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Old 10-09-2005, 08:54 AM   #1
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I am trying to determine if the problem we were having with our furnace is due to the temperature outside and the amount of LP in the tank. We have a 2005 Newmar Scottsdale with the one tank in a storage bay.
Temp: 45-50
LP: 1/3 full according to gauge on LP tank

Problem: The blower on the furnace would start, but then stop after about 30 sec. Only blowing cold air, so it appears that the gas was not getting ignited for some reason. Tried most of the evening to get it to work. Turned off thermostate, checked fuse, turned on gas to stove to make sure lp was flowing and left on several minutes to help pull gas into furnace. None of these worked.
Later I noticed that the light for the water heater came on indicating it was having a problem lighting also. It finally lit it self and I then tried the furnace and it worked.
So my question, would only having 1/3 tank of lp and 50 degrees outside, cause low gas pressure and the furnace could not get gas, or could this be something else?

Thanks
Ben
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Old 10-09-2005, 08:54 AM   #2
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I am trying to determine if the problem we were having with our furnace is due to the temperature outside and the amount of LP in the tank. We have a 2005 Newmar Scottsdale with the one tank in a storage bay.
Temp: 45-50
LP: 1/3 full according to gauge on LP tank

Problem: The blower on the furnace would start, but then stop after about 30 sec. Only blowing cold air, so it appears that the gas was not getting ignited for some reason. Tried most of the evening to get it to work. Turned off thermostate, checked fuse, turned on gas to stove to make sure lp was flowing and left on several minutes to help pull gas into furnace. None of these worked.
Later I noticed that the light for the water heater came on indicating it was having a problem lighting also. It finally lit it self and I then tried the furnace and it worked.
So my question, would only having 1/3 tank of lp and 50 degrees outside, cause low gas pressure and the furnace could not get gas, or could this be something else?

Thanks
Ben
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Old 10-09-2005, 09:08 AM   #3
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Propane will vaporize well below freezing so I am guessing that you may have some other problem, maybe even a malfunctioning gauge. there is a way of pouring water on the side of the tank to check the fill level but I cannot remember the technique. Maybe someone else will give us the answer.
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Old 10-09-2005, 09:30 AM   #4
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Ther eis a posibility that you got a wet load of propane and the moisture will freeze in the regulator. But with this and at 50 dF you should get some propane and then it'll freeze up after s time.

Can you get the stove to light? If you are getting some flow, it should blow the match flame even if it is air.

Have you had the propane shut off for a period of time. If so you will need to light the stove first and then start lighting the other users of propane.

Propane is at atmospheric pressure at -40 dF so above that pressue you will have pressure in the tank. It could be you have a regulator that has gone on the fritz.

Ken
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Old 10-09-2005, 11:29 AM   #5
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Propane tanks supply LP gas that has evaporated off of propane liquid in the tank. That's one reason why LP tanks shouldn't be filled over 80% lest the liquid LP get out and you'd have some serious flames coming out of your cooktop.

Also, when propane gets below 20% it is not "recommended" to operate them. It's not a safety issue as in the 80% rule but in cold temps you can have problems developing enough LP gas to run your appliance because the tank pressure is low. Sometimes they still run and sometimes they don't. It all depends upon how big the tank is, how cold the ambient air is, and how much LP volume you are trying to pull out of the tank at one time.

However, if your tank is at 33% you shouldn't have any problems unless you're dry camping in northern Greenland.

It's definitely something else.
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Old 10-09-2005, 04:54 PM   #6
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I wonder if your lp tank was purged properly when it was first filled? Sounds like there may be a pocket of air that can cause this type of problem. I would recommend you start with checking the operating gas pressure of the regulator and if correct try getting someone to purge the tank properly to rid it of air. Good luck and let us know the outcome.
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Old 10-09-2005, 05:17 PM   #7
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I had a problem very much the same as yours, with the heater and the hot water. The problem ended up being the valve, it was not opened all the way. It was just cracked open and if you used the burners it was fine, but when the heater / hot water kicked on they would quit. When I opened the valve all the way open, no more problems. Of course this was not until after a very cold night with no heat....
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Old 10-10-2005, 12:36 AM   #8
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It is required that one always opens the valve slowly all the way open to use the system. There are many reasons to do this simple step. One is that on the OPD valved tanks that the valve does not think that there is an excess flow problem because if it does it will restrict the flow. If you do not open it all the way you could get the problem of not enough flow rate when needed but will also not allow the excess flow valve to operate properly in the event a hose or line were to break.
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Old 10-10-2005, 09:50 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for your responses, we did not have a problem last night. Stayed good and warm, but it has happened twice now, so will probably happen again.
To answer some of your questions.
- Stove lights fine
- Tank was filled by dealer when MH purchased
- It has not been turned off for over a month, as we are now living in it.
- Did not open valve slowly, will try to remember to do that next time.

Going to dealer later this week for something else, will have them check it out. Will let everyone know what was found.

Thanks very much for the help.

Ben
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Old 10-11-2005, 02:39 AM   #10
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I had the exact problem with my high efficiency furnace in my home. A gas furnace is a gas furnace so this might help. Check the burner air intake on the furnace. If there is any blockage, bugs, nests or anything that will remotely reduce air flow, the gas valve in the furnace will not open and no fire. This is a safety feature on home furnaces and I would suspect the same holds true for a MH.

I had two dead bees in mine and it wouldn't fire, removed the bees and heat. Oh yea, I have a propane furnace in my home.
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