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Old 10-25-2019, 04:19 PM   #1
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Went to test air conditioner came back withn a heater issue

We took a trip to Anza Borrego to test the air conditioner. Picked up our 5.0 TA in May, spent 3 weeks coming home and testing most systems. Never tested air because it was cold and rainy. We have camped for three more weeks but had no hookups. Got to the campground in Anza Borrego fired up the air conditioner and it worked great. Got cold that night and the heater cycled on. Kind of surprised me but it gets cold in the desert. The next night heater cycled on then nothing, it got cold. Checked in morning, fan cycles on but no ignition. Finally found the sail switch video online, pulled it out blew out the fan with compressed air reinstalled and success heater is working again. Switch showed no lint or anything, did not see anything come out of fan area with compressed air. But it works. Once you know where the switch is, it is easy to remove and clean. I am going to carry a can of compressed air like they use for computers, It will be part of my " Tool " kit.
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Old 10-25-2019, 06:53 PM   #2
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Since you have the new style access door, next time can you post pictures showing where to last the air? Most of us are still waiting for that issue to occur/
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Old 10-28-2019, 09:15 AM   #3
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Same thing happened to us. We have a 2018 5.0 picked up last August no problems with furnace till two weeks ago. Called ETI sent us a new sail switch 4 days later same problem. Read a post to use air compressor to blow out fan and sail switch area did this yesterday afternoon and furnace fired right up. Will be carrying a can of compressed air from now on.
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:00 AM   #4
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I carry an air compressor with me, I wonder if maybe 35-45 psi burst of air from that would do the same? Just around the sail switch, correct?
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Old 10-28-2019, 10:01 AM   #5
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Since you have the new style access door, next time can you post pictures showing where to last the air? Most of us are still waiting for that issue to occur/
Hi: cpaharley2008... I'm very "Old style" and carry a copious amount of air. It will last a long time. My A/C is seperate from my furnace but I want to change to a digital thermostat. Alf
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Old 10-28-2019, 12:27 PM   #6
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I carry an air compressor with me, I wonder if maybe 35-45 psi burst of air from that would do the same? Just around the sail switch, correct?
When I did ours I pulled off the access panel on the outside. Sail switch is fastened by 1 screw. I removed the sail switch then blew out the area the sail switch sits in. I do not think just blowing out with compressed air will work. Need to remove switch and blow out that area.
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Old 10-28-2019, 02:11 PM   #7
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Since you have the new style access door, next time can you post pictures showing where to last the air? Most of us are still waiting for that issue to occur/
Here you go, Jim, just for you - my trailer is in the driveway on the way back to the storage yard today so I pulled the cover off to get a photo. The sail switch mounts to a plastic block that comes off by removing one Phillips screw, the one my screwdriver is pointing at in the photo. The switch is attached to the plastic mounting block with two screws - you can see the heads of them on the top of the sail switch in the photo. There are two spade wire connectors on the right of the switch, I pulled the wires off with needle nose pliers before removing the switch. The front connector has two wires, the rear has one wire, so it's easy not to get them mixed up when reinstalling if you remember that.

When you remove that one screw you have to jiggle the sail switch a bit to work it out of the furnace opening since the sail piece is several inches long. If you are just blowing off the switch once it's out, no need to remove it from the plastic mounting block, only do that if you are swapping out the switch.

With the sail switch removed there is an opening that would allow you to blow air into the blower housing and I suppose that might get any additional lint out that hasn't yet made it into the sail switch. I didn't do that - just blew the sail switch contact off really well and reinstalled and it worked. The contacts in the sail switch are not exposed, they are internal - the sail pushes a small white spring loaded plunger that operates the contacts inside the switch, so it's hard to see how a little lint on the outside would keep that from operating, but that seems to be happening to plenty of folks. At least with the external access door it's an easy fix.

You can see the circuit board on the left side - two screws hold it in place, if it ever fails it would be very easy to unplug the wires and pop a new one in.
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Old 10-28-2019, 02:31 PM   #8
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Thanks Dave, interesting that the switch is enclosed yet air blowing seems to help? So the issue is the contacts gathering dust? Thanks again for the detailed explanation and pictures...
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Old 10-28-2019, 02:46 PM   #9
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Thanks Dave, interesting that the switch is enclosed yet air blowing seems to help? So the issue is the contacts gathering dust? Thanks again for the detailed explanation and pictures...
Hard to say for sure what the issue is...that sail switch sticks out in the air flow inside the blower so any lint is bound to grab onto it, but it doesn't look to me like that would keep it from working. Most RV furnaces have sail switches and I'm not aware of others with this issue. Maybe because this small furnace has a lower air flow than the big ones, the sail switch is more sensitive...just a theory.
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:35 PM   #10
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Very good description and pictures. This is a link to the ETI sail switch video
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Old 10-28-2019, 05:43 PM   #11
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I wonder who will be making these videos now that Reace is no longer there?
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:03 PM   #12
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In my search online for replacement sail switches I came across a listing on PDX RV a while back and it referenced a new part number for a sail switch with a newly upgraded mounting bracket. In the photo it appears that the mounting bracket is larger, perhaps to act as a shield to keep air (and lint) from blowing on the contacts and clogging them up. Their website recommended getting this upgraded bracket if you had an older model.

It had been showing as out of stock for the past month, and I could not find any other listing for the part number anywhere else online. I emailed the company this morning and asked if they would be getting more, and also if it was in fact a redesign to protect the contacts from direct air flow. They just replied that yes, that's what it is for and they just got a shipment in. Their website now shows them as in stock so I ordered one, will be eager to see it in person and install it to see if it eliminates or at least greatly reduces the problem. Apparently the sail switch is the same, just the bracket has changed - would be nice to just purchase the bracket for a buck or two, but I'll take what I can get.

I won't be heading out again until the Matagorda Madness rally in December but hopefully I'll get a chance to test it there and will report back. In the meantime if anyone else wants to give one a try here's the link: https://pdxrvwholesale.com/products/...-bracket-33082
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:23 PM   #13
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Thanks David, for being the guinea pig on this issue...........
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Old 10-29-2019, 04:29 PM   #14
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I also emailed ETI about this - if Dometic has changed the part then I would think it would be in new furnaces going forward, but if it actually helps eliminate the problem then it would be much easier to have people with older furnaces just replace the mounting block one time rather than having to repeatedly blow out and clean the sail switch.
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Old 10-29-2019, 08:27 PM   #15
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Is it possible just to jump the 2 connection on the sail swich specially if they only close a circuit?

That way the system should think that it is on, a kind of bypass
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:00 PM   #16
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In the meantime if anyone else wants to give one a try here's the link: https://pdxrvwholesale.com/products/...-bracket-33082
Having had our origninal sail switch crap out on us four times, once requiring a removal, cleaning, and reinstall at 15 degrees outside, I used your link and purchased the newer version.

Trouble is, all four lint crapouts happened in the first 119 evenings (I have a spreadsheet). After replacing the original with a new sail switch from Dometic (free under warranty) the new sail switch has not crapped out. We now have 198 nights in our 5.0.

Regardless, I never want to replace the sail switch in 15 degree weather again. Since the replacement worked for the last 79 nights, there is really no way to tell if this new sail switch will make any difference, but since we have over $36,000 invested in our 5.0, what's another $22.97 (after shipping).

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:05 PM   #17
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Is it possible just to jump the 2 connection on the sail swich specially if they only close a circuit?

That way the system should think that it is on, a kind of bypass
Not a good idea. The sail switch is a safety mechanism to prevent the furnace from continuing to work if the fan fails. Think of the heat buildup if there is no fan to remove the hot air, creating a potential for fire, or ruined furnace at the minimum.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:12 PM   #18
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Is it possible just to jump the 2 connection on the sail swich specially if they only close a circuit?

That way the system should think that it is on, a kind of bypass
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Originally Posted by Perryb67 View Post
Not a good idea. The sail switch is a safety mechanism to prevent the furnace from continuing to work if the fan fails. Think of the heat buildup if there is no fan to remove the hot air, creating a potential for fire, or ruined furnace at the minimum.

Enjoy,

Perry
I do not think it will even work. The switch needs to be open when the sequence starts and then prove there is air flow by closing, this starts the gas and ignition. I don't think it will cycle if it is bypassed.
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:04 PM   #19
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I do not think it will even work. The switch needs to be open when the sequence starts and then prove there is air flow by closing, this starts the gas and ignition. I don't think it will cycle if it is bypassed.
Good! Checks and balances are in place.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 10-31-2019, 01:45 PM   #20
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Having had our origninal sail switch crap out on us four times, once requiring a removal, cleaning, and reinstall at 15 degrees outside, I used your link and purchased the newer version.

Trouble is, all four lint crapouts happened in the first 119 evenings (I have a spreadsheet). After replacing the original with a new sail switch from Dometic (free under warranty) the new sail switch has not crapped out. We now have 198 nights in our 5.0.

Regardless, I never want to replace the sail switch in 15 degree weather again. Since the replacement worked for the last 79 nights, there is really no way to tell if this new sail switch will make any difference, but since we have over $36,000 invested in our 5.0, what's another $22.97 (after shipping).

Enjoy,

Perry
I'm still not convinced that lint alone is the problem, and not just some defect in the switch design or poor quality control. I doubt your trailer suddenly became lint-free when you replaced the switch, it will be interesting to hear if the problem recurs. I suppose you could always take a look at your current sail switch and see if there's any lint on it since it is still working....inquiring minds want to know

There are people who have not had a sail switch issue in several years of use. Seems like a little foreign matter would get sucked into everyone's furnace air intake over time since there is no screen or filter. But this is the way pretty much all RV furnaces work, and most have sail switches.
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