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Old 01-04-2010, 07:59 AM   #1
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Duo Therm furnace questions

I went to fire up my Duo Therm model 16 furnace and am having a few small problems.

A little history; my RV sat in Alabama for about a decade, and in that time the furnace became "home sweet home' to generations of mud daubers and wasps.

I removed the exterior cover and cleaned out the intake and exhaust tubes the nests, and opened up the burner box and cleaned it out as well. Fired up the unit, and it seemed to work just fine, almost ran me out of the place!

The thermostat didnt work consistently, so I replaced it with a modern unit that is rated for millivolt systems, and all seemed to be well.

Went camping this past weekend, and started having pilot light problems. Winds were blustery outside, and I think the pilot light was simply blown out.

2 questions....does anyone have a parts manual or exploded view of this heater? This might help me see if there are other hidden spots where nests could be hidden.

Also, would it be OK to lightly pack the intake tube with fiberglass to act as a buffer for windy conditions? Not talking about packing it tightly, just enough to slow down gusts and keep the pilot light lit.

Suggestions gladly taken!
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:23 AM   #2
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Here is a site for old manuals, do not know if they have the one you need, but you can look.

Owners Manuals
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:31 AM   #3
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Nah, I checked them out, no real help there...'Preciate the suggestion though!
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:18 AM   #4
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Stopped by the hardware store and picked up a common fiberglass air conditioning filter. Blew through it hard, but only felt a light air flow on the back side. At $1.99, no great loss if the plan works!

The plan; test the filter for fire-proofness by open flame. If the material passes that test, I will remove the exterior cover, cut the filter material to fit in the intake area of the nestled intake/exhaust flue. Then I will take 1/4 inch hardware cloth and cut 2 pieces to fit as well, slightly larger for a jam fit with the filter material sandwiched between, then replace the exterior cover and test!

Wish me luck!
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:55 PM   #5
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Is that one of those big boxy Duo Therms? Big rectangular vent on the outside with a large gaping circular opening in the center? My camper had one of them originally, with a mechanical thermostat and a pilot light. I was thankful the last owner had removed it and replaced it with a modern electronic ignition furnace.

The old Duo-Therms had a bad habit of rusting through the heat exchanger and leaking combustion gasses in the living space.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:56 PM   #6
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What year model is your furnace - and what BTU? I've done a fair amount of work on the one (Duo Therm) in our '88 KIT 5er...
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
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Model is 16MHU, IIRC...guessing 16Kbtu input and 10Kbtu output, judging by the specs I've seen while looking for info.

What year...dunno. But, the propane tank {just recertified} was stamped 1970, probably a good guess

Here is someone else's picture of a unit just like it.

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Old 01-04-2010, 03:17 PM   #8
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And or course, I have a CO detector. Been through the leaking heat exchanger thing before, on the home HVAC.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:18 PM   #9
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Yeah, that looks alot like my old one, just bigger.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:49 PM   #10
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Looks lots different in size and shape than mine, so can't help...
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:52 PM   #11
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Test, part 1, passed.

Home HVAC filters have some kind of coating on the fibers which is flammable. Touch a flame to them and it burns off, leaving the glass fiber substrate.

To infinity and beyond!
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:48 AM   #12
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Opened up the fire box again, more mud dauber nests dropped out of the heat exchanger, blocking the flow and putting the fire and pilot light out, performing as it should. Ran a coat hanger up there and gave it a good reaming, vacuumed the mess and reassembled.

Went ahead and installed the filter material sandwiched between hardware cloth, I like the idea of a light buffer on the intake and blocking any incoming insects.

Test fired the system, all seems to be a "Go!"
Good thing, I have 6 nights camping over the next 11 days, and nightly lows in the teens!
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