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Atwood Heater woes (won’t light) please help!

Atwood Heater Won’t light

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#21 Old Crow

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 04:00 PM

I just found this video troubleshooting and repairing a gas-valve problem.  It's on a more current Atwood (now Dometic) furnace but the principles are the same.  It brings us back to the lack-of-propane issue... one of the possible problems with WillTheThri11's furnace.

 

I've thought this an unlikely cause of a furnace not running, particularly when there's good LPG pressure at the stove and the gas-valve solenoid can be heard opening and closing. But Darren suggests the smell test is a strong indicator of whether the valve is working or not.  And it provides good info on bench-testing the valve and replacing the (dual) solenoids.

 

 

Also:  (I should have done this earlier) -  Here's a link to the  Atwood Furnace Training Manual 2015 for model info, sequence of operations, component identification, troubleshooting charts, etc.

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#22 WillTheThri11

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 05:36 PM

Well I got up this beautiful Saturday and was about to give @patrkbukly a call. I started by removing the upper access panel behind the fridge and boom, mystery solved...or not.

Well I’m pretty sure I’m not getting any propane to the heater at all. The reason is the propane line coming from the tank is not connected. It comes into a tee but the part that should go off to the heater appears to be capped off and the heater line is just left open. (See photos).

So now the question is, who did that and why? I’m guessing it means that there was a propane leak somewhere. So, I think I need to hook it up and start looking for the leak, right? Any other thoughts about why someone would’ve done this and precautions I need to take? Don't want to hook it up and have it blow up in my face. Whatever it was, it seems fixing it was more expensive than capping it off and the previous owner didn’t want to pay for it.

Note: the previous owner said it was working fine all winter and she had been renting it out to a couple of girls in Boulder Colorado who were living in it. Well that’s clearly a lie.

The video on the solenoids was great. And if nothing else I hope this thread helps someone in the future. I’m guessing that video along with his other one on gas valves may be what helps me get this thing back together in the end.

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Edited by WillTheThri11, 25 January 2020 - 06:09 PM.

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#23 patrkbukly

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 06:43 PM

Glad to hear you at least know why it isn't working. 


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#24 WillTheThri11

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 06:55 PM

Glad to hear you at least know why it isn't working.


Well I know one of the reasons so far. Need to figure out the other reason(s)
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#25 larryqp

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Posted 25 January 2020 - 08:28 PM

Many years ago my Atwood heater in an older RV set off my propane detector when I turn it on. I took it to a shop and they removed it to test for leaks. I'm not sure you can get to all the possible spots to test for leaks while it is in your camper. 


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#26 WillTheThri11

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Posted 26 January 2020 - 02:03 AM

Many years ago my Atwood heater in an older RV set off my propane detector when I turn it on. I took it to a shop and they removed it to test for leaks. I'm not sure you can get to all the possible spots to test for leaks while it is in your camper.


It seems that from the tee behind the upper access panel, it would go down to the lower compartment and disappears into the floor of that compartment and then pops up in the floor of the heater compartment. Then everything seems fairly accessible in the heater compartment.

Anyone know if there are any concerns with using a rubber hose to connect? I’m seeing that rubber hoses shouldn’t be used “inside RVs” but I have a rubber hose going from the tee to the fridge. That seems to be the cheapest option at about $10 for 3’ (not finding anything 1’ other than the yellow steal lines for natural gas).

I’m also considering an elbow off the tee to a valve and wondering if that might bridge the gap with the fittings needed for that. Probably a bit more expensive and more places for potential leaks, but it might be nice to be able to valve off the heater from the rest of the system (fridge has a gas shutoff valve)
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#27 WillTheThri11

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Posted 18 February 2020 - 02:30 AM

Well I I finally got around to making a small copper pipe connection for the heater and to my surprise it fired right up!

I was kinda scared it was gonna start a fire or something so I had the fire extinguisher ready. It’s been turning on and off though...thinking I might run it all night, but worried it will actually catch fire overnight haha.
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