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Old 12-25-2020, 10:59 AM   #1
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Gas furnace and stove not working; refrigerator and water heater are fine.

Hello. Cold and stuck, attempting to figure this out. Furnace stopped working last night; blower and thermostat work but it appears there’s no gas flow to ignite. Troubleshooting found that the stove has no gas flow either. However, the water heater and refrigerator work on gas fine. No change overnight. No issue with LP detector; gas lines and splitter all appear intact and untouched underneath the trailer. The whole unit is only two weeks old, one propane tank full the other half full. Being Christmas, hoping we can source insight as we wait X days for service.... 2021 213RDS Apex nano. Thanks.
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:18 AM   #2
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Try turning off your propane at the tanks, disconnect the acme nuts from the tanks, wait about one minute, reconnect the nuts and turn the propane back on very, very slowly.

See if that does anything.

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Old 12-25-2020, 12:19 PM   #3
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Try turning off your propane at the tanks, disconnect the acme nuts from the tanks, wait about one minute, reconnect the nuts and turn the propane back on very, very slowly.

See if that does anything.

Bruce
Thanks, Bruce. I’ve done what you recommended twice, turning them off, disconnecting the tanks, waiting, reconnecting, slowly turning on. Using fridge as test, it kicks on immediately. Furnace and stove still out.
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Old 12-25-2020, 12:33 PM   #4
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How long have you this trailer, and how many other times did you camp on board?

So......are we to assume your furnace and stove DID work at some time?

Are they in close proximity to each other?

And you’re certain the fridge and water heater ARE working on gas and NOT electricity?

Sounds like a propane feed line blockage.
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Old 12-25-2020, 01:20 PM   #5
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On my old unit the pilot light in the oven had to be lit for the stove top and the furnace to work. Worth a try! Also, i don't know what size LP tanks are on your unit but when its cold, you really burn through the gas.
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Old 12-25-2020, 01:52 PM   #6
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Simple questions

This should be straightforward.
1) When you turn on a range burner, do you hear an audible hiss?
If no, there's no gas flow. Jump to 2 below;
If yes, can you (a) smell gas? and (b) will it ignite with a match?
If the answers to (a) and (b) are No, then there's gas, but there's air in the lines before it. Keep attempting to light the range. (Turn on all the top burners until you smell gas. Then turn all but one off and light that one.) Once it lights, the furnace should light after a few tries.
2) What is the position of the handle on the propane regulator? It should be pointing to one tank or the other, not straight up between them.
3) Are the valves on the tanks fully open?
4) What is the local temperature? If it's really cold (about -40F or -40C) the propane will liquify and you will have no heat. Need to warm the tanks somehow.
5) Are you certain that there is propane in the tanks? Unclamp each tank and shake it. Can you feel the liquid sloshing around?
6) As noted by another poster, are you certain that the refrigerator and water heater are running on gas? If you draw some water from the water heater, so it starts, you should be able to hear the click-click FWOOMP sound of Direct Spark Ignition. Do you hear this sound?
7) As Bruce suggested, turn off the tanks and remove the short propane hoses from the tanks. As the hoses release, can you smell propane at the point of release?

The answers to these questions will help us identify the point of stoppage.
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Old 12-25-2020, 02:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Larry-NC View Post
This should be straightforward.
1) When you turn on a range burner, do you hear an audible hiss?
If no, there's no gas flow. Jump to 2 below;
If yes, can you (a) smell gas? and (b) will it ignite with a match?
If the answers to (a) and (b) are No, then there's gas, but there's air in the lines before it. Keep attempting to light the range. (Turn on all the top burners until you smell gas. Then turn all but one off and light that one.) Once it lights, the furnace should light after a few tries.
2) What is the position of the handle on the propane regulator? It should be pointing to one tank or the other, not straight up between them.
3) Are the valves on the tanks fully open?
4) What is the local temperature? If it's really cold (about -40F or -40C) the propane will liquify and you will have no heat. Need to warm the tanks somehow.
5) Are you certain that there is propane in the tanks? Unclamp each tank and shake it. Can you feel the liquid sloshing around?
6) As noted by another poster, are you certain that the refrigerator and water heater are running on gas? If you draw some water from the water heater, so it starts, you should be able to hear the click-click FWOOMP sound of Direct Spark Ignition. Do you hear this sound?
7) As Bruce suggested, turn off the tanks and remove the short propane hoses from the tanks. As the hoses release, can you smell propane at the point of release?

The answers to these questions will help us identify the point of stoppage.
*Thank you* to everyone for your thoughts so far. Unit is only 2 weeks old. The few times we’ve used the gas appliances over the last 2 weeks they worked (even at the same time) until last night.

Relying to Larry-NC’s questions:

1) When you turn on a range burner, do you hear an audible hiss?
* No, they’re silent and don’t light

2) What is the position of the handle on the propane regulator? It should be pointing to one tank or the other, not straight up between them.
* I’ve tried it pointing to tank 1 and 2; never center.

3) Are the valves on the tanks fully open?
* Yes

4) What is the local temperature? If it's really cold (about -40F or -40C) the propane will liquify and you will have no heat. Need to warm the tanks somehow.
* 15 F when the problem began, 35 F now. Note that the water heater and fridge worked fine even when 15 F.

5) Are you certain that there is propane in the tanks? Unclamp each tank and shake it. Can you feel the liquid sloshing around?
* Yes, haven’t used tank 2 at all yet, and 1 still has fuel

6) As noted by another poster, are you certain that the refrigerator and water heater are running on gas? If you draw some water from the water heater, so it starts, you should be able to hear the click-click FWOOMP sound of Direct Spark Ignition. Do you hear this sound?
* Yes, visual and audible confirmation of gas running water heater; audible on fridge.

7) As Bruce suggested, turn off the tanks and remove the short propane hoses from the tanks. As the hoses release, can you smell propane at the point of release?
* Slightly, yes when released
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Old 12-25-2020, 02:25 PM   #8
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Maybe a kink in the line somewhere, try to find gas piping and inspect
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Old 12-25-2020, 02:40 PM   #9
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When my furnace wouldn't work, I noticed my Honeywell Thermostat was not displaying the temperature in the trailer -- popped the cover off and replaced the batteries and it worked immediately. OP should check that his thermostat displays correctly. I agree with other posters that his situation looks like a propane blockage. Another test is to see if his water heater will operate on gas -- mine has an indicator on the control panel which lights if the ignitor does not succeed in starting the burner. It will show a fault if there is no gas getting to it.
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Old 12-25-2020, 02:46 PM   #10
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One more question

Okay, it seems that the gas is pinched off someplace after the refrigerator and water heater and before the range and furnace.

I can think of three possibilities:
1) The regulator has gone bad. I know it's a new unit but the regulators are fragile. Typical lifetime is ten years. Often when they go bad the pressure is too high, not too low. I can tell you from experience that the Suburban SF-series furnaces are MUCH more finicky about pressure than the water heater or range, because of the forced air combustion. If the furnace is going through the normal lighting sequence: Delay, fan, delay, tick-tick-tick of Direct Spark Ignition, delay, retry above twice more and give up, that's pretty definitive of a regulator issue. When they say 11" w.c. pressure, they mean it. 14" won't ignite. The water heater doesn't have forced air and is more tolerant. The range has a secondary regulator right on top, alongside the burners, so it is also more tolerant than the furnace.

The fact that the water heater works and the furnace doesn't points to the regulator. But the fact that the water heater works and the range doesn't absolves the regulator. This is confusing to me. Are you absolutely certain the water heater and refrigerator are on propane?

2) The range and furnace are in a slide and the flexible propane hose to the slide is pinched off. (You didn't mention whether the trailer had been moved before the failure.) And a 21' trailer probably has no slide.

3) There's a dip in the line between the first two and last two appliances. The dip has somehow collected water which has frozen. This is a really off-the-wall guess, but Sherlock Holmes said "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."

To see if there's really no gas pressure at the furnace, you could try this sequence:
Turn off the gas at both tanks.
Take the grille off the furnace return vent.
Briefly loosen the flare nut where the propane copper tubing enters the furnace. See if you smell gas.
If you're not sure, have someone else BRIEFLY open valves on both tanks while you sniff.
When done, re-tighten the flare nut. It does not need pipe dope or Teflon tape.
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Old 12-25-2020, 02:47 PM   #11
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Hmmm only 2 weeks old ? Perhaps those feed lines have spiders nested in them. Ran into similar feed issues with propane lines in the past. Just saying could be “bugged”.
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Old 12-25-2020, 06:30 PM   #12
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Thanks for the continued help, everyone. Response to Larry-NC:

1) “(Possible) The regulator has gone bad?... The fact that the water heater works and the furnace doesn't points to the regulator. But the fact that the water heater works and the range doesn't absolves the regulator. This is confusing to me. Are you absolutely certain the water heater and refrigerator are on propane?”
* Yes - was able to see water heater flame; forced fridge over to gas, listened for ticks, heard it flame up.

2) “The range and furnace are in a slide and the flexible propane hose to the slide is pinched off. (You didn't mention whether the trailer had been moved before the failure.) And a 21' trailer probably has no slide.”
* Not moved since issue began. Has a slide, but opposite side of all appliances.

3) “There's a dip in the line between the first two and last two appliances. The dip has somehow collected water which has frozen. This is a really off-the-wall guess, but Sherlock Holmes said "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."”
* Good quote! I’ve included an image with notes of the gas “splitter” visible overtop of enclosed underbelly. Each appliance has its own feed. I’ve made assumptions (red ?’s) about which is furnace & fridge. It *could be* that they’re on the same side and the entire side of the “splitter” isn’t working?

4) “To see if there's really no gas pressure at the furnace, you could try this sequence:
.... Briefly loosen the flare nut where the propane copper tubing enters the furnace. See if you smell gas....”
* Can’t access furnace at all... front panel with vent removes, but fridge is directly overtop and there’s only a few inches clearance; can’t stick hand in.

Here’s hoping....
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Old 12-25-2020, 07:18 PM   #13
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Wow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ggumberg View Post
Thanks for the continued help, everyone. Response to Larry-NC:

1) “(Possible) The regulator has gone bad?... The fact that the water heater works and the furnace doesn't points to the regulator. But the fact that the water heater works and the range doesn't absolves the regulator. This is confusing to me. Are you absolutely certain the water heater and refrigerator are on propane?”
* Yes - was able to see water heater flame; forced fridge over to gas, listened for ticks, heard it flame up.

2) “The range and furnace are in a slide and the flexible propane hose to the slide is pinched off. (You didn't mention whether the trailer had been moved before the failure.) And a 21' trailer probably has no slide.”
* Not moved since issue began. Has a slide, but opposite side of all appliances.

3) “There's a dip in the line between the first two and last two appliances. The dip has somehow collected water which has frozen. This is a really off-the-wall guess, but Sherlock Holmes said "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."”
* Good quote! I’ve included an image with notes of the gas “splitter” visible overtop of enclosed underbelly. Each appliance has its own feed. I’ve made assumptions (red ?’s) about which is furnace & fridge. It *could be* that they’re on the same side and the entire side of the “splitter” isn’t working?

4) “To see if there's really no gas pressure at the furnace, you could try this sequence:
.... Briefly loosen the flare nut where the propane copper tubing enters the furnace. See if you smell gas....”
* Can’t access furnace at all... front panel with vent removes, but fridge is directly overtop and there’s only a few inches clearance; can’t stick hand in.

Here’s hoping....
Okay...I'm used to seeing iron pipe and copper tubing, not all that flex stuff. And individual tees, not a splitter like that.

You suggested that only the furthest-downstream ports were affected. Folks on this board often report construction debris where it doesn't belong: in water pipes or waste tanks or fresh water tanks or air conditioning ducts. You might consider disassembling the splitter fittings and blowing or rodding it out?

The bad news here is that the hoses to the splitter have one end that spins and one end that doesn't. When assembling, they screw the non-spinning ends into the splitter while spinning the entire hose. Then they attach the spinning ends (flare nut or compression fitting) to the appliances. It will be difficult to remove the hoses from the splitter end first. (If it has to be done, disconnect the other end first but leave the hose in place. Then unscrew the end at the splitter while spinning the hose in its original routing.)

I think maybe the best way to go is to take off only the hose that goes to the external quick-release fitting from the downstream end. Then use a flashlight and maybe a piece of hooked wire to clean the splitter by going in the port you just opened. Maybe even turn on the gas for a second or two to see if you can blow the clog out the end or get it to where you can reach it with tweezers or a hemostat.

I couldn't see any detail from the picture. Could you get a manufacturer name and part number from the splitter and look it up on the internet? I am curious to see whether it is a passive element or has some moving parts inside. If it has moving parts (another inline regulator?) that could also cause the problem.
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Old 12-25-2020, 07:18 PM   #14
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Just following along since you are getting good advice but I see something in your last photo that I question. On your switch-over regulator, I see BOTH red and green on the indicator.

I have never seen that before. It should be red or green but not both.

I realize some things work and others seem to have no gas at all but I'd make sure the supply point/regulator is working correctly before chasing other gremlins.

Also, I swear we had a past thread about that gas manifold being bad on another R/V a year or so ago but I can't seem to find it.
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Old 12-25-2020, 08:47 PM   #15
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Thanks everyone. Larry-NC, I really appreciate your advice, especially on Christmas day. Wish it had been a quick fix. We’ll boondock (minus water and heat...) to try and salvage at least some of our trip. We won’t be able to reach the manufacturer until at least Monday to talk about warranty repairs. While I think I could manage pulling the quick release from the manifold and looking around inside, I’m going to refrain from touching it so as to not muddy the waters when we talk about warranty repair. I’ll see about the model and passive/active elements tomorrow. 5picker - The regulator’s indicator has had that red section since the first time the supply selector was flipped during our purchase walk-through two weeks ago. I’ll be sure to reference that when talking to a shop.

If anyone knows anyone or gets creative over the next day or so please feel free to share thoughts. Otherwise I’ll report back hopefully with a solution soon.
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:37 PM   #16
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Have you hooked up to the outside propane connection, if so does it work? If you find it doesn't then that would leave me to believe the "splitter" is bad as the oven and water heater are on the same end.
My thoughts for what it's worth.
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Old 12-25-2020, 09:39 PM   #17
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Disregard, I'm wrong.
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Have you hooked up to the outside propane connection, if so does it work? If you find it doesn't then that would leave me to believe the "splitter" is bad as the oven and water heater are on the same end.
My thoughts for what it's worth.
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:41 PM   #18
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Disregard, I'm wrong.
I don't know that you are entirely wrong. I think they need to check the outside connection to see if it is blocked also. If it is or isn't they can still take that hose off fairly easy and maybe look down into the splitter from the end to check to see it is blocking the stove and furnace ports. The splitter could be full of junk in it or have enough ice in it to block ports.

Looks to me like they only would have to pop the two mounting screws and then could dis-connect the hose. Might be worth a try.
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Old 12-25-2020, 11:47 PM   #19
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I think that’s a great idea. I don’t actually have anything to plug into it but will check around our next camp.
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Old 12-26-2020, 12:11 AM   #20
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I think that’s a great idea. I don’t actually have anything to plug into it but will check around our next camp.
You don't really have to have something to plug into to it to see if there is gas flow at that connection.

First turn off you propane tanks, then either pop off the value or the plug opposite the hose. Have someone turn on the propane tank to whichever tank the valve is pointing to. If you hear gas hissing then you know that port is not blocked.

Even if it isn't blocked, I think you will still need to pop that hose off to try to see if something is blocking the stove and furnace ports in the splitter. Probably will need to cut the two ties too.

My opinion that if those ports are blocked in the splitter, dis-connecting the outside connection will be the simplest method to un-block them and maybe give you a peek at all four of the appliance ports. You can possibly use a thin piece of wire to try to un-block the blocked ports. Of course they may not be blocked there as the hoses could be blocked further up the pipeline (so to speak).

Good luck and keep us informed on what your final solution is. It's the way we know if our advice is helpful or not. Take care and be safe.
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