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Old 07-13-2016, 09:26 AM   #11
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SAIL Switch

Remove the wooden grill to furnace if you have one. Use a rubber mallet or object to bump or jar the furnace casing, this may unstick the sail switch.
If the sail switch is stuck in closed position (sensing fan blower pressure).
Sometime this will unstick the sail switch. The sail switch is what turns the gas on for the furnace.


Good Luck
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Old 07-13-2016, 09:49 AM   #12
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I've said this previously...
When calling for heat, the furnace is designed to come on, run the fan a few moments and prove out it is running via a sail switch. This is necessary because they use part of the fan for the combustion chamber. (in a separate part of the furnace)

If the control board/module doesn't see voltage (through the sail switch) it won't try to light the furnace because it deems it unsafe to light.

If the sail switch circuitry is working OK, the furnace will try to light three times.
Then, if it fails to light, the control board/module goes into lock-out and it is necessary to shut the furnace off to retry.

If the sail switch is stuck, the furnace will run a few moments (but not try to light) and then shut down.

Alternately, if the control board has problems, it can cause similar conditions.

You really need to follow the troubleshooting procedures in the service manual and determine what the culprit is.

**HERE** is a Suburban service manual. Pay attention beginning on page 23.
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Old 07-13-2016, 10:58 AM   #13
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Thanks to all for your input....I have followed your advice/recommendations and still no heat but (thanks to the users manual) I believe, as some have suggested, it is the sail switch.

I have a call in to the Suburban Technical support now and waiting on return call. Don't expect they handle too many heater/furnace related calls this time of year.

Can someone confirm that the sail switch and circuit board are both located inside the cabinet of the unit? I saw the removal (of the unit) instructions in the manual and assume that is the process I will follow to replace the sail switch?

Thanks again for your help!
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Old 07-13-2016, 11:41 AM   #14
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Yes, the sail switch is inside the unit enclosure. You'll have to remove the panels from the unit to access it.
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Old 07-14-2016, 08:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bama Rambler View Post
Yes, the sail switch is inside the unit enclosure. You'll have to remove the panels from the unit to access it.

Thanks Bama Rambler
No call back yet but temps are getting warmer. Likely will address back home.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:10 PM   #16
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Before you take anything apart. Turn furnace totally off ( not just down) . Depending on the thermostat you have, you may have to pull 12V fuse for furnace. Let sit for a few minutes to reset the control board. Then re apply power and try again. There is a safety feature that after a few failed tries ( can be from air in the lines) the furnace goes into safe mode and will not operate.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:47 PM   #17
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Thanks Flybob.....I have tried turning off but not pulling fuses with intent to reset.....worth a try
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:57 PM   #18
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My first thought was as AquaMan posted. From your post: "Worked fine til this morning and now it runs (fan) briefly then shuts down". IF your unit is going through this sequence then I would bet on the "sail switch". 1) When the thermostat tells the furnace/heater to come on the gas valve opens. 2) After the gas valve opens the igniter lights the gas in the heat chamber. 3) After a pre-determined time, say 10 seconds, the fan will come on. But, once the fan comes on the air being discharged has to satisfy a "sail switch" to keep the gas valve open. A sail switch is nothing more than a small piece of sheet metal somewhere in your heating unit, after the blower. It is a very balanced piece of sheet metal that is allowed to swing open when air blows across it or shuts if the moving air stops. When the sail switch opens that is a little piece on the axle of it that has to make contact with a very small switch, often referred to as a "micro-switch". Making this switch tells the furnace computer that the fan is working, and you stated that you can hear your fan. IF this sail switch moves and the switch is bad the system will shut down as the computer is not getting a signal that all is well. Is it possible that your sail switch is stuck and not moving? Yes there is that possibility, I have seen that often in home heating units. With the power to the heating unit OFF and the gas to the heating unit turned OFF, you may be able to find the piece of sheet metal and try to wiggle it to see if it is stuck. You would need a multi-meter to check the switch itself. Is there a quick fix for this? Not in my opinion. An experienced service tech will know how to get around this switch IF it is bad. BUT the most important thing to remember is that it is designed as a safety item.
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:36 PM   #19
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Update on Suburban Furnace Problem

Well, after returning from our Alaska trip I began working on the furnace.
I removed the furnace and did some troubleshooting on the bench and discovered that the Sail Switch was okay and the culprit was a limit switch.

Talking with the Suburban Technical rep I was told that they don't recommend owners working on them.... a little late since it was on my bench at that point.
He said they would not sell me any parts but was kind enough to provide me the part numbers for the limit switch and the sail switch.

I was able to acquire the sail switch from Amazon for $12 and after reassembly and reinstalling the unit I am back in business.

Appreciate all the help/tips and wanted to follow up with the solution to my problem in hopes that it may help someone else.

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Old 09-22-2016, 09:31 PM   #20
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Thanks for coming back and letting us know what you found and how you fixed it.

I'm sure that it will help someone soon.
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