Gone Outdoors

How do I Troubleshoot a Surburban SF Furnace?

by Ross Glyn

The Suburban SF series furnaces are heating systems for RVs or campers. At 7 1/2 inches high, they are low profile, yet pump out maximum heating performance through a duct system at 20,000 to 40,000 BTU H. The units come with nine duct connections and there are models for both interior and exterior installation in mid-size and large RVs. These are sturdy and dependable units, however sometimes glitches can occur. There are a few troubleshooting steps you can take before calling a service repairman.

Inspect the RV or camper electrical panel for damaged fuses and tripped breakers if the burner does not ignite and the blower fails to operate. Replace fuses with others of the same amperage and reset any breakers as necessary.

Check to see if there is excess ducting or bends and kinks in the system if the burner keeps cycling on and off or the blower runs continuously while the thermostat is in the ON position. Make sure that the furnace is secured properly and the vent fully terminates to the outside air. Check the vent for any buildup of soot. Blow the vent with compressed air if necessary.

Clean or replace the pilot orifice if the pilot light will not light. Check that the electrode is positioned properly over the burner. Make sure there is propane in the bottles.

Set the gas pressure to 11" W.C. while all the appliances are running if there is insufficient heat coming from the unit.

Check all gaskets for signs of deterioration. For safe operation of the unit, gaskets need to be secure and tight. Replace the gaskets if necessary.

Tips

  • The blower wheel may need to be replaced if the unit vibrates or is excessively noisy.
  • The motor is permanently lubricated and needs no further oiling.

Warnings

  • Do not install screens over the vent.
  • Do not store combustible liquids near the furnace area.
  • Make sure the vent is not blocked by the RV door or any other outside obstruction.
  • Turn off the manual gas valve and the electrical supply if the gas supply fails to shut off or overheating occurs.
  • Do not install air boosters in the the duct system.
  • Never use the unit if any part of it has been underwater.
  • Turn off all other appliances if you smell gas. Do not turn light switches on or off. Call a gas expert from a neighbor's phone. If you do not get through to the local gas company, call the fire department.

About the Author

Ross Glyn began writing for film and television in 1986. He wrote and directed the film “After The Rain” as well as the play “Soweto's Burning.” He is a member of the Writers Guild Of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Ross holds a performer's degree from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

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