Atwood Furnace Repairs
I just finished fixing our Atwood furnace by replacing the gas valve. While were in Rocky a couple of weeks ago, our heater decided to no longer be one. The flame would ignite but not stay lit. The flame would be unstable, semi re-light a couple of times and go out. After 3 tries the controller would give up.
After some poking around I concluded that it was likely that one of the gas valve solenoids was bad. You could hear the coil energize and open to let gas through, but then chattered and the flame went out. It looked like the solenoid valve wasnít staying open and the burner was flaming out due to lack of gas flow.
When we got home and I pulled things apart, everything looked good and clean. Verified that the sail switch is working and tried the spare board I have (another story) and the failure remained the same. So I'm pretty sure it was the gas valve.
The new gas valve seems to work - the heater lights and the flame is stable. The replacement valve was a bit of fun. It doesnít come with an orifice so I had to pull the orifice off the old valve. Also the screw holes for mounting the new valve werenít tapped. I had to drill them out a bit to get the original screws to cut their own threads.
I did discover that my Honeywell thermostat (replacement for the OEM Coleman analog thermostat) is programmed to a maximum heat setting of 80 degrees so I had to start the generator and run the AC to get the inside temp below 80 before I could test the valve.
I called Atwood last week and talked to a service rep who was very nice, but not very helpful. She first said that they would not sell me a gas valve, but that they were readily available on the internet. As I'm still under warranty (3 weeks left) she suggested that I take it in to a service center. I told her I had no desire to have Camping World touch my coach, and that I'd never get in before Labor Day anyway, and certainly didn't want to play their lack of service game. She did give me a couple of alternatives, but its worth the price of a gas valve to not deal with an RV repair shop, especially CW. It would cost the equivalent of the gas valve just in gas for a round trip, much less the 2 or 3 it would take with them. I ordered a gas valve from GetRVParts for $53.
Second question I had for her was getting a control board relocation kit as I've experienced water under the control board 4 or 5 times now. Latest incident was yesterday. I'd sealed the cover with butyl tape and that worked very well, but I had to break the seal to diagnose the flame problem. It rained on Monday, and sure enough water had gotten under the board again.
They say they won't give me one, or even sell me one as I'm still under warranty. (Are you sure about that, I've torn the heater apart myself?) Sounds like the lawyers have taken over as they don't want anyone other than an "authorized" service location to work on the furnace (as if CW is competent).
So I have made my own fix - I drilled a half dozen 1/4" holes in the plastic shelf the board sits on and took the wide end of a plastic shim and put it under the board and secured it with a longer screw than the one the factory uses. That keeps the board another 1/4" above the plastic shelf, and gives the water that gets in there a place to go. We will see if that keeps the water from reaching the board. I'll probably re-seal the cover now that I have the furnace working again.
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