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Old 06-23-2016, 01:41 PM   #1
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Heater odor

WE have a 2016 Columbus 295RL with a heater problem. We purchased this unit in November from WANA RV in Shipshewana IL. On our way back to California we noticed a odor coming from the heater. Smells like a combination of either propane or formaldahide. I had it checked out in Oregon and there was no gas leak from the furnace or the system. In Redding I went to a dealer and he said to run the heater for about an hour at high temp and the odor should go away.Well after 2 and a half tanks of gas the odor is still with us. Has anyone had this problem and what is the fix. I have contacted Palomino and hope to hear from them shortly. Help.
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Old 06-23-2016, 01:50 PM   #2
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All new RV furnaces smell when first used. This is caused by the residue of liquids ( lubricants etc) used during the manufacturing process. These should burn off after the first few hours of use. This should have been explained at PDI ( some dealers actually run the furnace for an hour or two before sale) You should not have the odor if you have consumed two + tanks of propane thru the furnace. Be sure all the windows and vents are open when you run it. Does the propane detector sound if closed up when running? You can remove the front panel of the furnace to check the fan housing to insure there is nothing in the exchange box.
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Old 06-23-2016, 02:26 PM   #3
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Heater odor

Hi Bob,
Thanks for the reply and yes the windows and door were open during the burn-in. While investigating the heater issue I took the panel off in the storage area to see what it looks like, in regards to venting. Quite a maze of hoses. I notices one directional box sitting on the linoleum and a gap in the flange coming out of the plenum of the heater. I'm in the process of getting some silver duct tape and closing off the gaps. Meanwhile I'm still waiting to hear back from Palomino on this issue.

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Old 06-23-2016, 02:53 PM   #4
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Under normal conditions, the furnace combustion exhaust is completely separate from the hot air supply (two different chambers inside the furnace) and the combustion is discharged to the outside of the trailer.

Unless there is a defect in the furnace somewhere, even having a duct or ducts that are not completely sealed, should have no effect on making it smell (especially of propane) since the heated air all comes from inside the trailer and is recirculated.

I have seen instances of where someone had stored chemicals in the basement compartment and a non-sealed duct sucked the chemical smell up into the trailer.

2-1/2 tanks of propane through a furnace is an awful lot.
Under normal circumstances, that is MANY, MANY hours of burn time!
Many folks can go a whole season using just one tank so if you have used 2-1/2 tanks just trying to 'burn the furnace in' there is something wrong.

Have it checked by someone qualified in furnace repair.
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Old 08-01-2016, 06:36 PM   #5
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Heater odor

I figured out our heater odor. It was from the heater lines lying on the linoleum floor and also on the foam sealant for the hoses going into the tanks. Also there were gaps in the flanges of the heater chamber. I used the silver backed duct tape for HVAC systems to close off the gaps and lifted the heater hoses off the floor and put hardie cement board to create a barrier between the hoses and the floor and now I have no odor coming from the heater. I'm a happy camper and so is my wife. I only wish they could see the problem at the factory. I have pictures if anyone would like to see them.

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