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Old 03-09-2016, 10:19 AM   #1
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Rear gas heater issues, not lighting

I have the Itasca Horizon with a second rear propane heater for the bed and bath. When we were looking at the coach last year it was working but hasn't since. It's a SF25 Suburban and operates off a separate thermostat. The thermostat is good, turning it on starts the blower, 18 seconds later an audible click as the ignitor starts, 7 seconds later a more muffled click and 10+- seconds the 2 click operation repeats. This cycle of 3 tries is by design and after that, it will shut down. Resetting the thermostat repeated the pattern.

I removed the outside cover to check connections, loosened the gas fitting to check for gas flow. Bubbles and smell confirmed gas. While standing outside by the exhaust as it goes through it's attempted ignition sequence I can smell propane being exhausted from the heater until the gas flow cuts off with the second click.

I don't hear an audible ignitor click during the cycle like one can hear for the water heater so I am wondering if I am getting a spark. None of the trouble shooting I can find gives me any checks of contacts or circuits to check with a test light or multimeter.

I did make sure the gas valve is on, got the stove, refer, and water heater to light properly, and attempted multiple times to light the heater with no luck. We are going to AK this summer and I would like to have all heat systems working before going to the non-southern regions. If anyone has any additional suggestions I'm all ears.
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Old 03-09-2016, 12:02 PM   #2
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I know it not much help. But there are service manuals on-line that have troubleshooting procedures. Anything from low gas pressure, bad grounds, etc can cause a non-lighting situation. Best of luck...
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Old 03-09-2016, 01:31 PM   #3
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I know it not much help. But there are service manuals on-line that have troubleshooting procedures. Anything from low gas pressure, bad grounds, etc can cause a non-lighting situation. Best of luck...
I have found some Suburban service literature and the troubleshooting flow chart tends to say "replace" something. The control module is a favorite of it to get replaced. But it's possible some other reason occurs to cause this or maybe I'm overlooking something. I'd rather not pull the unit to clean and inspect if there was a contact I could check. Per chance do you have this or a similar heater? If so, can you hear the ignitor popping while attempting ignition.

Thanks.
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Old 03-09-2016, 07:49 PM   #4
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drwwicks-

Don't you and Scott ("FIRE UP") have similar rigs? Maybe you can shoot him a private message about this problem.
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Old 03-09-2016, 08:23 PM   #5
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drwwicks-

Don't you and Scott ("FIRE UP") have similar rigs? Maybe you can shoot him a private message about this problem.
Same make, different model and year. Don't know if his has the separate heater.
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Old 03-09-2016, 09:25 PM   #6
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Might sound strange but check the ground wring. I had a new late model winnie with two heaters and both worked intermittently. From the outside, I found that they were both just jammed into their opening with a friction fit against the heater housing and not really screwed to the chassis body. I anchored the units to the housing and they worked well from that point forward.

Long shot but something to check.

cheers,
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Old 03-09-2016, 10:23 PM   #7
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Might sound strange but check the ground wring. I had a new late model winnie with two heaters and both worked intermittently. From the outside, I found that they were both just jammed into their opening with a friction fit against the heater housing and not really screwed to the chassis body. I anchored the units to the housing and they worked well from that point forward.

Long shot but something to check.

cheers,
Joopy
Good point. The heater is held in the housing/opening with 1 screw and it wasn't in all the way. I would hope that is not the only ground but tomorrow I'll tighten it and fire it up, hopefully.
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Old 03-10-2016, 05:53 AM   #8
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The igniter or electrodes go bad and they are less than $20 and depending on the furnace they are pretty easy to change. I am more familiar with Atwood furnaces so I really can't say how hard the igniter is to change in your model Suburban. I would check YouTube.
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Old 03-10-2016, 07:44 AM   #9
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Had the exact same problem you described above. The fans comes on but no ignition. Did the same things you did with no results. The last thing I did was remove the cover of the thermostat and sanded down the contacts and it has worked since.
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Old 03-10-2016, 09:43 PM   #10
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My rear heat wouldnt light when we first got our unit 2 yrs ago ..I ended up pulling the circuit board out and it was covered in dust so I blew it off and wiped it down put it back and and its worked fine every since
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Old 03-10-2016, 10:28 PM   #11
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Well so far the grounding screw didn't help any. Turns out there are 2 screws that hold the unit in anyway. Checked 12V input to the module but those are the only places I can reach to check. Was going to pull it but can't get to the wiring to disconnect and get the thing out. Likely before the trip north I'll run it by a service facility and use the service plan with $50 deductible to get it fixed. For the time being I have more pressing things to do.

Thanks for the replies and hints.
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Old 04-15-2016, 09:26 PM   #12
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Follow-up. Decided to take it to a shop and let them figure it out. Turns out 2 problems. The heater had a bad/corroded ground and that wouldn't let the igniters pop. Second was low propane pressure which was a bad regulator. All fixed now and paid mostly courtesy of the extended service plan.
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