Heater Weirdness - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-13-2015, 08:04 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Bruce Wray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pollock Pines, California
Trailer: 2009 Escape 19
Posts: 452
Heater Weirdness

We've been on the road a week. The first morning when I switched the heater thermostat on, the ignitor cycled through a three-attempts try at lighting and shut down without firing off, I toggled the thermostat into a new lighting cycle and the heater finally lit. This went on for 5 days and suddenly yesterday morning the heater started operating normally, lighting after the ignitor sparked for a second or so. Any ideas of what's going on? I'm tempted to let this sleeping dog lie, at least for the time being.

Bruce
__________________

Bruce Wray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 08:26 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
KarenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Bellingham, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15A
Posts: 1,923
Send a message via Skype™ to KarenH
When this happened to my furnace, the sail switch was the culprit.
__________________

__________________
Karen Hulford
2013 Escape 15A, "Egbert"
Ford 150 XLT 5.8L
Bellingham, Washington
KarenH is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 08:34 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
BCnomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: O town, British Columbia
Trailer: 2014 Escape 21 "Lightning"
Posts: 1,327
Sail switch problems are no fun. If you do replace, just remember its a specific model number.
__________________
When you look for advice, make sure it's from someone towing your trailer, in your backyard, with the same expectations
BCnomad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 08:39 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
gbaglo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Trailer: 2009 Escape 17B - "Toad". '08 Toyota RAV4 V6
Posts: 10,731
I thought we were talking about water heater, not furnace.
If so, could be the igniter needs a nudge. Problem is Reace did it for me and I wouldn't want to advise you wrong. He just bent it a millimeter or so toward the flame port.
You could just try blowing it with air to rid it of debris.
If you are talking furnace, I take it to a tech.
__________________
2009 Escape 17B "Toad"
2008 Toyota RAV4 V6 Sport
North Vancouver, British Columbia

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
- Bertolt Brecht
gbaglo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 08:49 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
KarenH's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Bellingham, Washington
Trailer: 2013 Escape 15A
Posts: 1,923
Send a message via Skype™ to KarenH
That's probably my mistake. Since I don't have all the accoutrements on my trailer that y'all have, I made an assumption. And you know how that goes...
__________________
Karen Hulford
2013 Escape 15A, "Egbert"
Ford 150 XLT 5.8L
Bellingham, Washington
KarenH is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-13-2015, 11:01 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2015 F150 Ecoboost
Posts: 7,598
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Wray View Post
We've been on the road a week. The first morning when I switched the heater thermostat on, the ignitor cycled through a three-attempts try at lighting and shut down without firing off, I toggled the thermostat into a new lighting cycle and the heater finally lit. This went on for 5 days and suddenly yesterday morning the heater started operating normally, lighting after the ignitor sparked for a second or so. Any ideas of what's going on? I'm tempted to let this sleeping dog lie, at least for the time being.

Bruce
We had a similar problem on about our 3rd or 4th night camping, but that was with a new trailer/new furnace, so I'm not at all sure it's the same issue.

Ours was caused by black flakes which were inside the burn chamber and one of them was large enough that it was clogging the burner inlet. You can remove the cover to the burn chamber by removing a couple of screws. If you see any debris inside, remove it. If the furnace won't fire properly afterwards, it's probably the sail switch, as others have mentioned.

If you don't know exactly what that is, it's a switch with a flattened arm attached to it. As the fan causes air to flow, the air pushes against the sail switch arm, which closes the switch. That completes the circuit for ignition to take place. The purpose of the sail switch is to insure adequate air flow. If there is gunk or build up in the chamber, this can reduce air flow, which means the sail switch won't "sail", the switch won't close, and the furnace won't light. This doesn't mean the sail switch isn't working - in fact, it means it is working: it didn't sense adequate air flow (enough to push the switch closed), so the circuit was not completed.

But, sail switches can also have build up on the switch arm itself, making it too heavy to move and close the circuit. They can also have bad contacts, so that even if they close, there is no electrical signal sent that closes the circuit.

The first thing I'd do is take the cover off the burn chamber and look for build up or an obstruction on the inlet. After cleaning it out, try lighting the furnace again. If that doesn't work, and you think the sail switch may be defective, the good news is that sail switches are pretty inexpensive, and easy to replace.

There is one other possibility, as Glenn alluded to - the piezo for the igniter may not have the right gap to produce a good spark for ignition. Sometimes you can correct this by gently bending it a bit closer with a pair of needle nose pliers.
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2015, 08:13 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Bruce Wray's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Pollock Pines, California
Trailer: 2009 Escape 19
Posts: 452
I finally have internet again. The furnace is still behaving properly, so I'm thinking a flake in the burn chamber. But, we're still on the road, so that sleeping dog will lie until we get home. Then I'll have my RV shop give the furnace a going-over. Thanks everyone for your input. Made it to road's end -- Tofino, BC. Beautiful.

Bruce
Bruce Wray is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2015, 08:46 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Jim Bennett's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Trailer: 2017 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 11,934
Good news, Bruce.Hopefully it remains working for you. And what a great place to make the road's end, I love Tofino, though have only been there a few times.
__________________

__________________
2017 Escape 5.0 TA
2015 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5L EcoBoost
2009 Escape 19 (previous)
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” — Abraham Lincoln
Jim Bennett is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:27 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.