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Old 01-02-2010, 09:21 PM   #1
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Questions about Gas Furnace

Hi. I have posted on here before and found it to be a wonderful site, full of wonderful people willing to help a newby.

I have a 1999 Jayco Eagle. Bought it last spring and got to use it only once this past September. Had a wonderful maiden trip to the NC coast. A little intimidating since this was our first trip, but everything worked out ok.

So now it is freezing weather here in Winston Salem NC, and we thought we would try out the heat to see how well it warmed up the camper in 28 degree weather. I cranked the furnace up and within 20 minutes it was 70 degrees inside. We were well pleased. But all this brought forward a few questions that we had. Here they are......

1) We had dual propane tanks mounted on the tongue. There is a slide switch that you move when one tank runs out and you switch it to the other tank manually. Do you turn both tanks on at the valve?, and then when one tank runs out, you slide the slideswitch to the other tank? If so, how do you know the one tank is out? When it starts getting cold inside.

2) When I first started it up, the automatic igniter started up the furnace. If one tank runs out, and the other tank is not turned on (or if both tanks are turned on and both tanks are now empty) will the furnace continue to try to automatically ignite the furnace, even though there is no gas available? If so, it seems like the continuous sparking all night long would ruin something.

3) Are the fuel gauge strips that you stick to the side of the tanks accurate to any degree? It would be great to have some type of indication that your are about to run out of gas on one tank, before switching to another tank.

Thanks for any input anyone can give.......and any tips will be accepted graciously.

Alex Niforos

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Old 01-02-2010, 09:47 PM   #2
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The "slide switch" should have the tank closest to the lever as the active tank and operate from that tank. It should show green if that tank has propane. If the other tank valve is open and the first tank runs dry, it should switch to the other tank automatically and indicate red on the dry tank.

You need to then move the slide switch over to the other tank and close the valve to the dry tank. You can then remove the dry tank and get it refilled. Install the refilled tank, and open the gas valve, but leave the slide switch on the tank it is on and let it run dry then switch back to the tank.

You need to be sure that you turn off the furnace if you are not using the RV as it will run down the battery. By letting it spark and try to ignite, can shorten the life of the ignitor or the module.

I do not bother to use the strips as they are too much trouble to use. But do let the swith over valve do the work for you, but check to see if it switched.


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Old 01-03-2010, 07:25 AM   #3
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Not sure what type furnace you have. But with mine if the gas tank runs dry. The blower will come on then it trys to ignite three times. If it doesn't fire up the furnace locks up and won't try to start until it is turned off at the thermostat then back on.

With my old 5ver. I had to replace the tank with an OPD one. They had one with a gauge for about $135 and one without a gauge for $75. I got the one with the gauge. It was a waste of money. The gauge never moved off the 1/2 full mark.
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Old 01-03-2010, 09:16 AM   #4
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The cheap plastic strip gauges are only activated by pouring hot water on them, that's why some folks say they don't work-didn't read instructions. You may accomplish the same thing by pouring hot water on the tank you are using, a frost-line will appear where at the propane level. Note that you must have something drawing propane from the tank for either of these to work.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:10 PM   #5
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Ray: Good tip. Thanks
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