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Old 04-30-2012, 05:51 PM   #1
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Another heater problem.....

While camping this weekend I turned the heater on to take the chill off the camper one morning. I heard the fan kick on and then the sound of the burner lighting. about 2 minutes later she was blowing cold air. I shut the system off, went outside and open the hatch cover and had the wife turn it back on. This is what I observed.

Fan comes on
Auto ignites clicks
Burner lites
You hear the whoosh of it lighting
Stays lite for less than a minute and goes out.

Does this sound like just dirty tubes? or something else?

It is an Atwoods Model 8520

Thanks everyone
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:16 PM   #2
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We have had an air lock in our propane line that caused similar problems.
One thing our Rv mechanic mentioned to us this week was that it helps to open the propane slowly.. in order to avoid an air lock.
Not sure if this could be the case for you.. but perhaps with investigating.
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Old 04-30-2012, 06:34 PM   #3
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That was my first thought also so I turned the propane off. Turned it back on (slowly). Went inside and lite all the burners on the stove and let them burn for about 30 sec. Then tried the heater again....with the same effects.
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:27 PM   #4
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The thermal couple could be dirty. that is the part that sticks out into the flame to make sure the propane lights. You can GENTLY clean it off with something like a small file or some emery cloth. Be very careful as the ceramic around the probe is very, very easy to break and then it's not good...
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Old 04-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #5
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Atwood lists the following possible causes:

- Low gas pressure
- Exhaust blocked
- Combustion air wheel loose
- Electrodes out of adjustment
- Electrode defective
- Circuit board defective
- Flame sensor wire between electrode and circuit board defective
- Air leakage at gasekets
- Defective heat exchanger
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:05 AM   #6
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Furnace off & On

I had a similar problem, found the register is located directly under the thermostat, was shutting the thermostat off. Also try turning the thermostat all the way up to 90, making sure the heating contacts stay closed. Could be a defective thermostat.
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:05 PM   #7
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If the thermocouple was defective it may not ignite at all.
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Old 05-10-2012, 02:45 PM   #8
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I probably should have investigated a little more before I posted the question as I might have solved my problem. I removed the vent cover on the inside to see what I could see and discovered two very old what looked like lids to the old style coffee cans (plastic and circular). They apparently had been sliding around in there for quite some time. I don't remember if I posted in the orginal question that this was an on and off again problem. My theory is those lids would slide around in there and land over the intake and cause my problem. Then I would proceed to the next campground on down the line and they might not land over the intake and I would have no problems with the heater. Anyways, I'm hoping that is what it was.

Removed the lids and fired up the heater and it worked fine. Guess I'll have to wait until fall or winter to see if I fixed it fer good!!!!

Thanks for everyones input .....I appreciate it.
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