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Old 10-23-2018, 09:03 AM   #1
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Propane regulator adjustment

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Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
I would consider asking if the propane regulator is adjusted to maintain proper pressure of 11" w.c. with ~50% BTU load running and maybe even seeing if they would take the time to show you. Or take your own manometer and be prepared to check it yourself at your first stop. I'd hate to be 3,000 miles from home and have something so simple give me grief. At least one owner reported it being quite low right out of the factory...

propane pressure regulator
How does one learn this stuff!??!!! I watched some you-tubes on this and feel this is beyond what we would want to tackle. But, we'll ask the RV place what they think and you got me to increase my knowledge even more.No one on our many calls to Dometic and Escape suggested getting this checked. I will also write David at Escape as we are taking the trailer in for a Dometic warranty issue and this would be beyond that. I assume Escape has some way to pay for tests like this right after you buy the trailer or maybe they will want us to wait until the furnace does or doesn't work? Anyone have experience getting shop work paid for by Escape under the trailer warranty. Here is a link to one of the you-tubes I watched.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:26 AM   #2
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In case anyone has these kinds of issue with furnace and remain curious -- this is the list I sent to David at Escape along with asking how one gets the service outside of Dometic warranty paid for on this issue. Symptoms and notes:

1. Furnace blower then clicks – 3 slow times then turns off
2. Furnace starts blower then shuts down immediately with no clicks
3. Furnace starts blower then clicks many times over 3 times – as much as 20 (only once 10/06) and shuts down. It seems to fire and not stay fired and keep trying to refire. We aren’t sure it fired and quit firing the first tine it did this. But we also stood outside on Bend test on 10/19/2018 and could hear it fire and feel some heat from outside that stopped and then retried to fire. We could also smell the propane gas. Also outside you could hear a “flutter”.
4. Furnace refuses to start blower or any attempt – but it clearly tried to start
5. Furnace doesn’t respond at all to thermostat – just nothing
6. From the chart we made – there is no obvious correlation to the altitude – though over 8000 feet we can sometimes hear the gas refrigerator and hot water heater sounding a little different – though still working.
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Old 10-23-2018, 09:52 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Tam2004 View Post
How does one learn this stuff!??!!! I watched some you-tubes on this and feel this is beyond what we would want to tackle.
Here is what I do...Feel the pain of a problem, cringe at the thought of the wait to get into an RV place, cringe at the thought of someone else working on the trailer, research, research, research, gain enough confidence to ignore the warnings that you can't do it yourself, bust out the proper tools, complete repair and then bask in the glory of a system that is working well.

Admittedly being a mechanical engineer and perpetual tinkerer helps too. The video you linked makes it look pretty complicated when messing with the stove. If you read the thread that I linked you will see that we are using a manometer on the fridge test port and another suggestion was made to try using the propane quick connect if you have one, but this would take the right arrangement of fittings.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:26 AM   #4
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Our regulator failed on our trip home with the new trailer. ETI sent me a new regulator under warranty and been fine since. It is a possibility, a simple solution, and as Dave suggests I’d have the rv shop start there.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubicon327 View Post
Here is what I do...Feel the pain of a problem, cringe at the thought of the wait to get into an RV place, cringe at the thought of someone else working on the trailer, research, research, research, gain enough confidence to ignore the warnings that you can't do it yourself, bust out the proper tools, complete repair and then bask in the glory of a system that is working well.

Admittedly being a mechanical engineer and perpetual tinkerer helps too. The video you linked makes it look pretty complicated when messing with the stove. If you read the thread that I linked you will see that we are using a manometer on the fridge test port and another suggestion was made to try using the propane quick connect if you have one, but this would take the right arrangement of fittings.
I like your attitude. I am thinking about this concept! I did use a you-tube to completely rebuild a toilet in our home. I bet if someone were watching they would have laughed as I ran back and for the between the toilet and the computer - and puzzled when it was different. One time I also reroofed a double garage built in 1925 and that was my biggest adventure. I guess I could do this -- still a bit intimidated by propane.
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:47 PM   #6
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Manometer

Tam,
A group of us used Iowa Dave's manometer at the Niagara rally a few weeks ago to test and adjust the propane pressure on our 2014 21'.

Just for background, the correct propane pressure should be between 11 and 12 inches of water column, as shown on the manometer. This correlates to about 1/2 lb of pressure (PSI) that we are all used to for tires. The change from 10.7 inches to 11.5 inches may actually make a difference in the performance of a propane appliance. In fact, the procedure includes checking by removing the brass test plug at the outside access to the frig.

With Dave, Fred, and others watching/helping we turned off the propane at the tank, removed the brass plug, installed the test plug, which connects to the manometer--which reads like an air gauge. The first reading was a little low, then when we lit two stove top burners, making it even lower, so we pulled the dust cover, screwed in the regulator a bit to increase the pressure, then put it all back.

I had bought a new regulator, just in case, and I have a sail switch when needed. Haven't needed either. I had no issues before the adjustment, just checking.

Let everyone know what fixes yours.
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill and Earline View Post
Tam,
A group of us used Iowa Dave's manometer at the Niagara rally a few weeks ago to test and adjust the propane pressure on our 2014 21'.

Just for background, the correct propane pressure should be between 11 and 12 inches of water column, as shown on the manometer. This correlates to about 1/2 lb of pressure (PSI) that we are all used to for tires. The change from 10.7 inches to 11.5 inches may actually make a difference in the performance of a propane appliance. In fact, the procedure includes checking by removing the brass test plug at the outside access to the frig.

With Dave, Fred, and others watching/helping we turned off the propane at the tank, removed the brass plug, installed the test plug, which connects to the manometer--which reads like an air gauge. The first reading was a little low, then when we lit two stove top burners, making it even lower, so we pulled the dust cover, screwed in the regulator a bit to increase the pressure, then put it all back.

I had bought a new regulator, just in case, and I have a sail switch when needed. Haven't needed either. I had no issues before the adjustment, just checking.

Let everyone know what fixes yours.
Thank you -- I will definitely let everyone know what fixes this. We have read of some of these furnaces staying bad past the two year warranty period and actually getting the warranty extended, that, plus the Dometic staff comments have us keeping a meticulous record and we are definitely not going to chase this for 2 plus years! We will do everything we can, but we are't idiots so we will end up demanding a new furnace if this doesn't end up working. It is not OK for it to work perfectly for a couple of days, then suddenly not work for some unknown reason. I like all the theories and will use all of them. If the snow holds off, after our RV place has at it - we will drag it up into our close by mountains (less than an hour) to test at a higher altitude, just in case the Dometic staff is correct and some of these furnaces are touchy at altitude. I think we should test the regulator, for sure. But why did everything work all at the same time at 8400 feet - at least some of the days, yet not at 1,200? ahem.... I plan for the worse and hope for the best. In this case I am staying in close communication with Escape and Dometic and we aren't going away. If we got a lemon, I want a new furnace. I understand this might not be logical. But this really is a drag.
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Old 10-23-2018, 10:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tam2004 View Post
If the snow holds off, after our RV place has at it - we will drag it up into our close by mountains (less than an hour) to test at a higher altitude, just in case the Dometic staff is correct and some of these furnaces are touchy at altitude. I think we should test the regulator, for sure. But why did everything work all at the same time at 8400 feet - at least some of the days, yet not at 1,200? ahem.... I plan for the worse and hope for the best.
I don’t believe the altitude itself is the problem. Something else is going on. The original Atwood 8012 “Everest Star” furnace that ETI used before it was discontinued was taken on the American Medical Research Expedition to Everest. South Base Camp is at 17,598’ and North Base Camp at at 16,900’. The basics of these furnaces hasn’t changed. In my opinion if the 8012 could work there any of these similar designs should work anywhere.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:48 AM   #9
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This sounds similar to issue I had with my furnace. It ended up being loose wire connections in furnace. A problem with manufacturer not Escape. Luckily my furnace was under warranty and I took it in to have it repaired. I believe they had to pull furnace and put in new connectors, nothing basically wrong with furnace except internal connections.

Though I would not have done this fix myself! But that is me!
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Old 10-24-2018, 03:49 PM   #10
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A relevant side note. It's very easy to make a manometer with a yard stick and about 10 ft. of clear vinyl tubing available at Home Depot. Accuracy is without question since it uses an actual water column for measurement. My guess is there are plenty of YouTube videos describing how to make one.
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