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Old 11-17-2010, 07:25 AM   #15
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If you are loosing voltage somewhere along the line I wold try to find that problem by tracing and cleaning connections.Running a new wire will solve the furnace problem but what else is fed with that feed?I once had a fuse that blew and coated the inside with enough metal to give a reading on my meter but not run the slide.
BOB
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:59 AM   #16
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Ok, now I am confused. Are we troubleshooting two furnaces on this topic. Both Jim and Chris are you both working on the same unit?
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:13 AM   #17
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Ok, now I am confused. Are we troubleshooting two furnaces on this topic. Both Jim and Chris are you both working on the same unit?
Too funny! I am still working on JUST my unit. Mike, though I live in AZ and we don't have Mud Daubbers here, it is possible there is dirt/debris/cobwebs/etc... I understand what you are saying (though I still think I have an issue with the voltage drop). I know what the sail switch looks like (white plastic with a long metal arm). However, I don't see it anywhere. Do I have to remove the furnace in order to get to it? I removed the outside grill. I can get a good look at the blower motor and would think the sail switch would be somewhere in front. I've also found TONS of diagrams of my model Suburban NT-40 Furnace, but none of them show where the sail switch is in the schematics of things. Most of the manuals just show a picture of the sail switch, but not where it is laid out or mounted.

Thanks!
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:36 AM   #18
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So you have never taken your MH out of Arizona? If it is not mud dawbers then it could be spiderwebs or anything that is making that sail switch hard to move in the air flow. Without that sail switch being activated the gas will not flow. You will hear the fan start and the ignitor spark and then it will just shut off.
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Old 11-17-2010, 08:56 AM   #19
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I have had that problem to; Most of the solutions have all ready been posted;; Wish I would have that kind of help;; Any way what I/we found in the shop, IT'S the ground;;;;
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:35 AM   #20
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If he only has <11 volts at the furnace the fan will not spin fast enough to open the sail switch .I put 1/8"wirecloth over the openings to prevent problems .
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:53 AM   #21
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I think if given the normal voltage drop through wires then if 11 volts was the cutoff at the furnace then most of the trailers and MHs with one or two house batteries would never make it through a cold night with the heater while dry camping.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:23 PM   #22
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Hey guys, I want to check the sail switch. The motorhome has been to other states, with the longest stays in Colorado. I can't seem to find the sail switch. Can someone tell me if I need to remove the furnace to get at the sail switch? I have a Suburban NT-40 furnace. None of the diagrams I find online show where the sail switch is located. Thanks!
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:39 AM   #23
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I still think if you solve the voltage problem the sail switch will be fine.Mud dobbers will not affect the voltage. A bad connection will.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:36 PM   #24
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I agree Bob! I figured I would check the sail switch just in case. It kind of makes sense that if there were cob webs or debris weighing it down, the 75% air flow many be increased to 85 or 90% air flow required. While my voltage does drop, the blower seems to blow a decent amount of air. Since I can't locate the sail switch, I think I will remove the furnace this weekend and see if I can spot the sail switch and clean it off.

As for the voltage issue, I think I am going to just run a new positive and negative run straight from the batteries to the converter. Since I know that solves the voltage problem, I won't spend any more time trying to track down loose or corroded connections. If I had a wiring schematic, it might make that job easier; but as of right now, I've probably spent about 10 hours trying to figure out the voltage drop. Since the the new "temporary" runs I did to the converter from the batteries solved the voltage problem, I think running permanent runs underneath the coach will be the easiest fix.

Thanks everyone for the troubleshooting suggestions and the assistance! It is great to have such a helpful forum to go to! I hope I can be of assistance to others down the road!
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:39 PM   #25
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Hook up your temperary Neg and Pos seperate and check the voltage. That would isolate which one it is. If its just the ground, run a new one. If its the Pos, then you should figure it out before something else goes...
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:41 AM   #26
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Hook up your temperary Neg and Pos seperate and check the voltage. That would isolate which one it is. If its just the ground, run a new one. If its the Pos, then you should figure it out before something else goes...
I did do that. I determined the problem is the Positive wire. It is a 6-gauge cable that comes from "somewhere" all the way at the front of the Motorhome. I followed it in the wire track as far forward as I could, and it just disappears somewhere up in the coach and I can't find it from the inside. I am thinking the length of the run, the size of the wire, the fact that the 12+volt originates from the back of the coach, runs to the forward, then back again, possible connection issue, etc... are all contributing to the loss in voltage. That's why I am thinking of just running a new positive run.
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Old 11-19-2010, 07:48 AM   #27
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We had a positive line excessive voltage drop issue. It turned out to be the contacts on the battery disconnect solenoid. I turned the disconnect on and off about 20 times with no load to wipe the contacts and we picked up .3 volts through the wiring.

Just another idea to throw into the pot.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:03 PM   #28
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Update: I took the furnace out today and located the Sail Switch. No Mud Dobbers or debris. However, I had electrical cleaner and thoroughly cleaned every electrical connection. I also went as far as to remove and clean the cage from the blower and oil the motor so that it spins more freely. I ALSO removed the battery disconnect switch and cleaned the electrical contacts there (which did seem to improve the voltage by .05). All of this was for not, as once I hooked everything all back up I still have the same problem. Works fine on shore power (i.e. more voltage) and does not work when on battery (using the existing positive wire to the converter). That leaves me with two options:

1. Run a new positive cable from batteries to the converter. Put a kill switch in (as my old battery disconnect switch to the coach would no longer kill the power to the converter) and put an in-line fuse in place as well.

2. One of my friends suggested something that I'm curious if it might just be the ticket. The more I think about it, the more I'm thinking he may be on to something. If I take a 12-volt battery and connect directly to the heater, it works fine and has the lowest drop in voltage. Perhaps if I permanently mount a motorcycle 12-volt battery next to the furnace and tied it into all the wires (and be sure to put a fuse in place). When the coach is plugged in to shore, it seems the voltage goes up on all of the internal feeds. Perhaps this would charge the motorcycle battery as well. When unplugged from shore, that 12-volt motorcycle battery should be providing enough voltage to the blower motor. I have a Quad that I can take the battery out of and test, but before I do this, thought I would run this scenario by.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
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