Woke up this morning to a colder than usual RV; which isn’t that terrible since Mariel and I typically keep the RV cold at night anyway. However, when we wake up I like to bump the thermostat up to warm up the inside to about 60 degrees.
Not this morning though…. Noooo. And my first thought? “Oh great! It’s supposed to be down to 14 degrees tomorrow morning.”
So… it was time to do some troubleshooting. Why wasn’t the furnace starting?
A couple weeks back the thermostat locked up so I thought that might be it. Except it was causing our heat pump to start up… so that didn’t seem to be the problem. But, just to be sure, I pulled/reinstalled the fuse for the thermostat.
Yea! The furnace is blowing air! Oh… but only for a few seconds…
Went to the internet and checked out my favorite RV Help spot: www.irv2.com/forums
Started to see that it could be any number of things going on… Time to start the troubleshooting in earnest.
Ultimately I found out that the furnace was trying to start. The blower would start and a few seconds later you could hear the furnace kick on (and feel heat coming from the exhaust). But then the propane would stop and it’d be colder air exhausting after a couple seconds. It’d try this three times before it completely shut down.
So now it’s time to break out the tools and take a look see at the innards of this contraption. And, on the circuit board (behind the cylinder you see in the picture) was a flashing red light.
Turns out the light was giving me the trouble code: Ignition Lockout Fault
Basically this is a safety feature of the furnace to turn itself off if it doesn’t sense that the it is producing heat. No need to run the battery down or use up propane if there’s no fire. Yet there WAS heat – I could feel it in the exhaust when it was trying to start.
Now at least I know what’s going on… so I thought.
I got a name and phone number from the furnace’s manufacturer website and called to make an appointment. Thankfully they could fit me in this same day.
I couldn’t wait until then, so I decided to pack up the RV and drive it in early. When I got there, no one knew anything about the appointment. Turns out that the manufacturer’s website has the right address for the RV service place; but gave me a phone number for their sister store in Albuquerque (3 hours away).
My day was starting to look worse!
Thankfully the people at the location nearest me helped me out. After some trials and tribulations, we figured out what part needed to be ordered to replace that circuit board. Too bad it would take a day before they got the part in. I needed it however, so I charged $175 for the part. I just figured we’d need to use a few electric heaters tonight/tomorrow to keep us warm as the temperature plummeted to way below freezing.
At least we got the part ordered. That was a good thing.
Guess what happened as I drove the RV back to our parking spot… The furnace started working! The last time I was in the innards of the furnace I jiggled a bunch of the wires; apparently that was good enough.
Feeling a little wary right now – so I just turned the thermostat up again to make sure it still works…. YEA! It does.
Anyway… we called them up and cancelled the part we ordered. Turns out that I can get the same part on Amazon for just under $90!
Mariel has even better news that resulted from this whole fiasco… she’ll likely write a blog about it so I’ll just end mine right here.