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Old 04-19-2010, 10:30 PM   #1
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Suburban furnace problems

I own a 2009 Rockwood 8313ss that I purchased in June 08. About a year ago the furnace stopped working on a very cold night. I took it to the dealer who found a "bad circuit board", replaced it under warranty, and all was fine. Two weekends ago the furnace stopped working again. When you switch it from "off" to "heat", you hear a click but it doesn't come on. I tried it several times through the day and then gave up. When we went to bed, I decided to give it a try, and it came on and ran all night. The next day it quit again and didn't come on again.

I am taking it to the dealer tomorrow to have fixed under warranty again. By the way, the furnace is a Suburban NT 30SP. My question is whether anyone has any suggestions what is really going on with my furnace. Apparently it goes deeper than just a bad circuit board. I need it to be fixed this time as I have been told that after two years the warranty won't cover it even if it was "fixed" under warranty.

Any thoughts?

One last bit of info, and this may not mean anything, but both failures occurred after I switched over propane tanks to refill one. I have done switchovers other times, but in the summer when I am not using heat.
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:06 AM   #2
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Grandpa,

I'm not a big fan of the OEM circuit boards that most manufacturers use in the RV appliances. I ran into the same problem with the refrigerator on our last rig and after having an OEM circuit board replaced to the tune of $280 only to have it fail within a year I switched over to a Dinosaur Electronics board and never had another problem with it. I would insist on one of these over an OEM board if you are going to pay the dealer to do it and have to pay for it this time. If they aren't going to cover it under warranty then I would do it myself. The furnace circuit boards are usually very easy to change out depending on the furnace location.

There are so many different fail safe items on furnaces that it can be very aggravating to try and troubleshoot them.

See this post for a link to some good furnace information.

Good Luck
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Old 04-20-2010, 12:18 AM   #3
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some times the board shuts down, from excess heat
the heat comes from the non sealing of the hot air that is in the heat box. My old fiver used t do it every winter. i spent a day with alum duct tape sealing up the hot air leaks and problem went away.

maybe it will help
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Old 04-20-2010, 07:50 AM   #4
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Dinosaur electronics has a kit that mounts the control board away from the heat, http://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/Extend-A-Life.htm
This kit is for older furnaces without the fan control.
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Old 04-20-2010, 08:01 AM   #5
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Great information! The furnace is supposed to still be covered by the two year parts and labor warranty. I will see if upgrading to the Dinosaur product is a possibility. If it costs me a few dollars it may be worth it.

Thanks
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Old 04-22-2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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Well, the repair shop went to work on my furnace, and, of course, now it works! At first the shop was going to do nothing more. I asked them to keep checking it through the day to get it to fail, but it didn't. I was on the phone with both Suburban and the shop trying to work out a solution. The best I could do was talk Suburban into extending my warranty by six months.

I plan to do some sealing as suggested and see what happens. I now have warranty coverage through December. I will upgrade to the Dinosaur product after the warranty is up.
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Old 07-06-2010, 11:47 AM   #7
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I'm having the exact same problem as Grandpaofthree except I have no truck to haul it and live on an whidbey island. Thermostate received replacement part 2009, now just clicks and does not work on furnace or A/C. No parts supplier has responded to my inquiries for a replacement part for my Komfort fifth wheel with a suburban furnace and duo-therm thermostat. Any suggestions or referrals to an Everett WA mobile repair place?
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Old 07-06-2010, 01:18 PM   #8
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Contact info for Suburban is below. On my unit, the problem was solved by completely disconnecting the RV from power, including the battery. This allowed the unit to reset then it worked fine. The furnace has a safety feature built in so after it tries to start three times unsuccessfully it locks itself out. In my case I left it in the "On" mposition with no propane attached. It tried to start but there was no ignition.

smcsales@suburbanmfg.com <smcsales@suburbanmfg.com>

423-775-2131
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:09 PM   #9
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Well, last Thursday I needed my furnace for the first time since my original post. It started right up and quickly brought the temperature up nicely from 55 degrees to 70 degrees. Some time in the night the furnace quit working and I was unable to restart it through the weekend. I called Suburban, but it turns out there is no one within 150 miles who will do a service call. I tried in vain the rest of the weekend to find someone, anyone, who would come to work on it. Since I am not willing to break it down and take it to be repaired, I am stuck with the electric heaters until next week. I plan to take it to a repair shop and hopefully they will replace something so this won't happen again.

Since it has been a while since my last post, I thought I would throw this out again to see if anyone has any ideas. I have verified that there is plenty of propane and there is 13.4 volts getting to the furnace. I have disconnected from power in an attempt to reset but that didn't work. With the furnace switch in the on position, when I slide the temp setting up you here a click at the furnace, but the motor does not start at all.
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Old 10-25-2010, 12:34 PM   #10
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There is a switch, called a "Sail Switch," that has to close to sustain combustion in the furnace. It is located on a "flapper" that is in the duct work close to the furnace.

It prevents running the propane fire in the furnace without the blower running to cool the firebox by drawing camper air over the firebox.

When the thermostat calls for heat, the blower (fan) starts running, the propane valve opens and the igniters fire.

As the blower forces air through the duct work, the sail switch closes. This is required to keep the fire going in the firebox. If the sail switch malfunctions (sticks) the furnace thinks the blower is not working and will shut down the furnace.
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