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Old 04-18-2019, 11:10 AM   #1
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furnace sail switch

Our new 19’ furnace is great, very quiet and heats well.....except when it doesn’t. It has a microswitch which senses when the fan is pushing air. The switch is there to prevent the furnace from firing if the battery is too low to run the fan at the correct speed. Unfortunately, the switch will not close when fluff collects in it. I’ve had to open the outside access port 3 times to clean it out since we bought it last November. Apparently it happens often enough that Escape made a youtube video showing how to clean it.
Since we never let the batteries get low, I thought I’d be clever and jump the leads to keep the switch closed. Doesn’t work. So thought I’d be more clever and remove the switch, tape it closed, cover the hole in the fan cowling. Doesn’t work.
Oh well....to me it’s worth the trouble since the furnace is so quiet compared to any RV We’ve had before.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:09 PM   #2
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The switch has to be in the N/O position when the furnace starts it cycle
Then there is a timer which allows the fan to run and the N/O sail switch to close . When the sail switch closes the firing cycle starts . At the end of the cycle the sail switch must return to its’ normal position and the N/0 contacts must open in order to allow you to start the next cycle . Your furnace is performing correctly , you cannot splice the wires together and bypass the switch .
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:17 PM   #3
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Dpiano...You are just lucky you can get to it via the new outside hatch design.
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:02 AM   #4
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If you call Dometic Customer service, 800-544-4881, have your furnace serial number in hand, from the sticker on the furnace blower housing.

Explain to them the issue, they will send you a replacement switch at no cost to you.

It helps to know which switch you have, one has about a 1/2 inch wide by 2 3/4 long sail, the second has a square pad about 1 inch at the end of the sail arm.
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Old 04-19-2019, 08:39 AM   #5
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Dometic’s furnishing of a free sail switch does little to solve the real issue .
This is a design flaw and throwing parts at it just pushes the problem down the road just past the warranty period .
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:34 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Dometic’s furnishing of a free sail switch does little to solve the real issue .
This is a design flaw and throwing parts at it just pushes the problem down the road just past the warranty period .
I fully agree, but until there is a better furnace option, and you are willing to shell out the cash on your own, you have to live with what you have.
I'll take the free switch now as the only consolation I can get.
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Old 04-19-2019, 11:57 AM   #7
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I fully agree, but until there is a better furnace option, and you are willing to shell out the cash on your own, you have to live with what you have.
I'll take the free switch now as the only consolation I can get.
I fully agree with you . My furnace is non operable at this moment
I would gladly pay the cost for a redesigned sail switch that would solve the problem
Having to take the time and effort to repeatedly replace the sail switch and the unreliability factor just doesn’t make sense to me .
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Old 04-21-2019, 01:48 PM   #8
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cover for dail switcg

Thanks for all your comments on the sail switch.
It is a poor design for sure. In our case the switch itself is not defective, it just collects enough fuzz to keep the switch from activating.
This morning it occured to me to pull the swich (again), and install a cloth teabag around the offending area, leaving the sail outside the bag and cutting slots for the wire contacts. A goofy fix but better than pulling the switch every time it clogs up. I still plan to get another switch ffrom Dometic. Now that I know the furnace won’t run without it, I’d rather have a spare.
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:40 PM   #9
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There was also the carbon air filter mod for the intake, which should help mitigate dust bunnies.

It seems like this problem only seems to be affecting newer furnaces. I wonder why.
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:59 PM   #10
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and the newer style is about 2 feet off the floor area, so where are the dust bunnies coming from?
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dpiano View Post
the furnace is so quiet compared to any RV We’ve had before.
We had an RV repair shop work on our furnace 2 years ago and the owner said he had never heard such a quiet furnace. I have to agree. In our old NASH trailer we woke up every time the furnace came on, and the fan was a real squealer.

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Old 04-22-2019, 07:02 AM   #12
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and the newer style is about 2 feet off the floor area, so where are the dust bunnies coming from?
In our house, with three cats, dust bunnies come from EVERYWHERE

When we start traveling with our cats I will definitely need to do something to mitigate that effect on the furnace - probably will try that charcoal filter idea. I was hesitant to add anything that might restrict the air flow in the furnace, but if anyone has dust bunnies it will be us.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:23 AM   #13
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We have owned our 2019 E21 for 4 months. I have cleaned the Sail Switch 4 times in that period of time and the furnace is presently inop on this trip due to yet another Sail Switch issue. No amount of videos or replacement sail switches will make this problem go away or make me feel better about this bummer furnace. There is, as others have said, a DESIGN DEFECT with the Dometic furnace. We now carry an electric heater on every trip and may not even bother to clean the sail switch a 5th time. Yes, that means we are power pole campers until a permanent solution can be found for this Dometic furnace problem. Putting a microswitch directly in the airflow is simply a stupid design. I hope they fired the engineer who designed it. Oh, and yes, the furnace is quiet, REALLY QUIET, because it is never working. Want to wake up cold in the middle of the night to find your furnace has quit working yet again- get a Dometic furnace! End of rant.
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:36 AM   #14
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Smile

There are aftermarket heating options. I have used both with success. As with all heaters just follow the safety instructions

Portable Buddy heaters.

https://www.mrheater.com/portable-buddy-heater.html

Wave catalytic heaters.


https://www.campingworld.com/olympia...SABEgKZG_D_BwE

Stay warm.

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Old 04-22-2019, 11:45 AM   #15
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I have installed one of these in my last 3 Escapes...https://www.amazon.com/Broan-174-Hea...-1-spons&psc=1
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Old 04-22-2019, 11:49 AM   #16
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There are aftermarket heating options. I have used both with success. As with all heaters just follow the safety instructions

Portable Buddy heaters.

https://www.mrheater.com/portable-buddy-heater.html

Wave catalytic heaters.


https://www.campingworld.com/olympia...SABEgKZG_D_BwE

Stay warm.

Ed
We have the same issues and opinion as Chama and I do not think that using an unvented propane heater in a confined space is a viable solution
I don’t think it unreasonable to expect the furnace that you paid for with your hard earned money to actually work with out the need of CONSTANT repair .’
Our trailer does not have the outside access panel so repairing the furnace is a PITA
Sending me a new sail switch for free and then having it fail again a month later is not a solution , it’s just Dometic’s cheap way of getting around the problem until the warranty runs out .
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:27 PM   #17
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Has anyone used the charcoal or other air filter at the furnace air intake and found that the furnace is OK with that? With cat fur flying all over our trailer I think the sail switch has a big bullseye on it....just wanted confirmation that the filter doesn't restrict airflow in a way that affects the operation of the furnace.
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Old 04-22-2019, 12:32 PM   #18
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Has anyone used the charcoal or other air filter at the furnace air intake and found that the furnace is OK with that? With cat fur flying all over our trailer I think the sail switch has a big bullseye on it....just wanted confirmation that the filter doesn't restrict airflow in a way that affects the operation of the furnace.
Wondering the same thing. Would a piece of regular A/C filter material placed inside the air intake work?
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:31 PM   #19
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So far haven't had this issue with the 2015 version. Not really familiar with the inner workings of the furnace, but wondering if some kind of plexi surround or some similar material could be designed and mounted around the sail switch to put in in it's own sealed enclosure.
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:53 PM   #20
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I believe the sail switch needs air movement to operate, no air, no ignition. Air movement means no blockage and any disruption will cause issues. If anything, the supply air should be coming from outside and exhaust goes outside, so there should not be any air being pulled from inside. Similar to a HE furnace, it has dual walled pvc pipe, the smaller is the supply and the larger is the exhaust, or vice versa my point is no air is consumed from inside the unit. So where and how is the lint getting on the sail switch? Does the exterior need a filter cover?
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