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Old 09-04-2016, 07:21 AM   #1
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We're finally using our furnace in our 2015 Escape 19. If I turn it on manually (set the thermostat higher than the inside temperature), it works fine -- starts the blower, ignites the burner, blows hot air, eventually shuts off the burner, runs the blower for another minute, and shuts down.

BUT -- if I set the thermostat for the night, it will wake me up in the night with the igniter clicking repeatedly, as many as 30-40 times. Typically after clicking a dozen times, it will turn on the blower, and it will continue clicking, eventually lighting the burner, blowing hot air, and shutting down. Sometimes the burner doesn't light, and blows a couple of minutes of cold air before shutting down.

Propane is fine - hot water and stove working great. Battery is fine. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2016, 08:57 AM   #2
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Dave, check for debris in the furnace by removing the two screws for the burn chamber cover. Ours was filled with black flakes after only one or two short uses. Once we cleaned it out, the furnace has worked flawlessly ever since.

My assumption is there's a lot of carbon build up that occurs when you're breaking in a new furnace, but it doesn't build up as quickly after its been run for awhile.

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Old 09-04-2016, 09:54 AM   #3
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I would second Roberts suggestion. On both our Scamp and Escape, we had those black flakes after initial uses in both the furnace and water heater. My working theory has been that there is oil left on the steel used in the combustion chambers and burning it off leaves the residue. Our Escape's water heater began to shut itself off after running for a very short time. After using my air compressor to blow the flakes out of the combustion chamber and it started working perfectly again.
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Old 09-04-2016, 09:55 AM   #4
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Robert how easy is it/how does one get to the burn chamber on the furnace. Must admit I've never looked at it. Have done the water heater.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:35 AM   #5
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Dave, check for debris in the furnace by removing the two screws for the burn chamber cover. Ours was filled with black flakes after only one or two short uses. Once we cleaned it out, the furnace has worked flawlessly ever since.
My assumption is there's a lot of carbon build up that occurs when you're breaking in a new furnace, but it doesn't build up as quickly after its been run for awhile.
Are you referring to the water heater or refer ? The furnace appears to have an enclosed combustion chamber.
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Old 09-04-2016, 10:55 AM   #6
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Robert how easy is it/how does one get to the burn chamber.
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I'm using the wrong terms Doug. On the water heater it's the chamber cover, on the furnace it's the exhaust/vent.

[QUOTE=Jubal;159088]
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Are you referring to the water heater or refer ? The furnace appears to have an enclosed combustion chamber.
Yeah, I wasn't clear. In any case, blowing out the exhaust/vent worked for the furnace, and blowing out the chamber on the water heater worked too.


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Old 09-04-2016, 10:56 AM   #7
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I would second Roberts suggestion. On both our Scamp and Escape, we had those black flakes after initial uses in both the furnace and water heater. My working theory has been that there is oil left on the steel used in the combustion chambers and burning it off leaves the residue. Our Escape's water heater began to shut itself off after running for a very short time. After using my air compressor to blow the flakes out of the combustion chamber and it started working perfectly again.
Oil or a coating on the new metal eh? Perhaps that's why. Thanks.

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Old 09-04-2016, 11:02 AM   #8
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I'm using the wrong terms Doug. On the water heater it's the chamber cover, on the furnace it's the exhaust/vent.
Yeah, I wasn't clear. In any case, blowing out the exhaust/vent worked for the furnace, and blowing out the chamber on the water heater worked too.

So, you blew compressed air into the furnace thru exhaust/vent ?
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Old 09-05-2016, 02:01 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. I blew air into the far end of the vent cone with my tire compressor, and we'll see how things go.

It took awhile to find a diagram for the Atwood AFS furnace ETI started using last year, but here is a PDF with a detailed parts diagram.
http://www.americanrvcompany.com/ass...l-Furnaces.pdf

These folks have a zoom photo, which shows the exterior vent assembly, the igniter board, the diagnostic list, and more. Atwood 32715 AFSD12111 DC Small Furnace 12,000 BTU | American RV Company

It looks like the burner is mounted vertically. I'm guessing if I pull the four screws, I can pull out the vent assembly and get better access to the burner, if necessary.

Attaching a non-zooming photo of the furnace.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg atwood afs.jpg (44.3 KB, 25 views)
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:30 PM   #10
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Our Escape is at the RV repair place tomorrow to have our 3 year old Atwood put back in working order. Blowing out the unit with compressed air did get it firing again, but as soon as it cooled the "sail switch" freezes and it won't ignite unless you remove the drawers along side and bang the furnace sides. RV shop will be removing the furnace completely to replace the switch (which the built in diagnostic panel says is problem). This will be a pricey repair. My question is whether anyone has mounted a hard wired electric ( if you can find one that is 120v) heater in the cabinet beneath the fridge (we have a 17)? I'm wondering that there must be a reason why electric heat is not on the option list.
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Old 09-06-2016, 05:36 AM   #11
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I have installed several electric heaters in my Escapes as well as others. all you need is a source of electric and some basic tools. see here https://www.amazon.com/Cadet-Com-Pak...20KP7M7QEEFF9P
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Old 09-06-2016, 01:43 PM   #12
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I have installed several electric heaters in my Escapes as well as others. all you need is a source of electric and some basic tools. see here https://www.amazon.com/Cadet-Com-Pak...20KP7M7QEEFF9P
Thanks for the reply. This is the kind of unit I was looking for. I'm still wondering why it wasn't on the option list when we had our Escape built. At any rate that small simple little switch in the furnace was $150. to pull out and replace. RV mechanic assures us that it is a rarity to see the switch go defective. All set for the cooler fall weathers!
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:23 PM   #13
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Thanks for the reply. This is the kind of unit I was looking for. I'm still wondering why it wasn't on the option list when we had our Escape built. At any rate that small simple little switch in the furnace was $150. to pull out and replace. RV mechanic assures us that it is a rarity to see the switch go defective. All set for the cooler fall weathers!
Most people buy little electric heaters with thermostats for a few dollars. Can be placed anywhere in the trailer and if it should ever stop working, it can easily be replaced.

Would anyone else like to comment on that $150 for the switch that they said was a rarity to go out?
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:43 PM   #14
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I think it was $140 for labour and $10 for the switch. I think my service center charged Atwood about $180 to replace the motor on my furnace, under warranty.
Not surprised, given that people need to run a shop and make a living.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:13 PM   #15
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Would anyone else like to comment on that $150 for the switch that they said was a rarity to go out?
First, I don't think sail switch failures are all that rare. Maybe a very small fraction of them fail, but enough that it occasionally comes up in forum discussions (mostly in FiberglassRV where people have older trailers).

But about the cost...
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I think it was $140 for labour and $10 for the switch.
That sounds likely to me.

Although this series of Atwood furnace can be installed against the outside wall (the normal method for ducted installations), and if done that way pulls right out through an outside access panel, the Escape installation is against the inside cabinet face, with only a small vent assembly on the outside. This means that removal all needs to be done from the trailer interior; my guess is that takes longer.

$140 is probably about the minimum in at least some shops to have anything done to an RV.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:28 PM   #16
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Let's think about it.
Shop has a mortgage payment, or rent, and pays if there are customers or not. Has to pay property insurance and liability insurance, Worker's Compensation for employees, property taxes, heat, light.
Is expected to be open when we need something fixed and is expected to have the parts on hand.
Has to make enough money to support his family and his employee's families and at the end of the day, afford to buy a six-pack of beer.
I'd rather be camping myself.
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Old 09-06-2016, 11:45 PM   #17
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I agree that there are many costs of doing business, and I'm not complaining about the cost... but this part:
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Is expected to be open when we need something fixed and is expected to have the parts on hand.
That must be nice. RV shops here are not open long hours, take as long to book into as a dentist, and RV stores often don't have required parts in stock. That's all understandable, too.
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Old 09-07-2016, 11:21 AM   #18
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You were all close...it was $40 for the switch and balance for labour and shop. I feel this was a very fair charge as it did require removal of furnace installation and reinstall and then test. Time is money....and as others point out there is the shop overheads to pay. The only thing that gets me is that I was out of warranty by six months. I haven't gone direct to Atwood so who knows if they would chip in.
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