"if you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much room"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

cold again

Well I know you are probably as tired of hearing about my furnace problem as we are having to deal with it. We came home Monday and the furnace started acting up again, same old story, same old codes. I called the mobile RV repair guy first thing Tuesday morning and left him a message. I called again in the afternoon when I didn't hear from him and left him another message. Meanwhile I was able to get the furnace going using the reset/tap on the side technique and we were able to stay reasonably comfortable.
The furnace worked on it's own several times Tuesday night which is a good thing because the outside temperature dropped into the teens. The rv technician only works 1/2 day on Wednesday so I waited until after his 12:30 start time to begin calling again. I never did get through to him and just had to leave messages. We went to the Goldwing meeting Wednesday evening and the temperature inside the 5th wheel was down to 64* when we got home. I got the furnace started up and we quickly warmed up. The furnace came on a few more times during the night but still was not working properly.

I did some research on the internet and talked with a couple of technicians and I came to the conclusion that the sail switch was causing the problem. The way our RV furnaces work is the thermostat sends an electrical signal to the furnace to come on. The blower starts and the air blowing from the fan closes the sail switch which then allows the power to continue to flow through the system so the gas opens and ignites. The sail switch is located inside on the wall of the blower housing which is what I tap on that causes it to start up. The sail switch is just a simple switch with a long "paddle". When the blower starts the wind blows against the paddle closing the switch. When the mobile tech was here a couple of weeks ago he found the paddle was rubbing on the housing causing to drag and maybe stick. Unfortunately he did not replace the switch, just bent the paddle and proclaimed it fixed. I decided to try changing the entire switch as I was convinced this was the problem.

While out doing inspections for work on Thursday I found an RV dealership and they had a replacement sail switch in stock. When I got home I told Rudee I was going to work on the furnace, she gave me a look of terror and pity all wrapped up into one :-).

I already had the outer panel off so I could do my reset/tap maneuver and only had to remove 4 screws to take the blower casing apart. I got to the sail switch fairly easily although they could have made these things with a little more space to work. I removed the old switch and lo and behold one of the contacts was burned. I installed the new switch and plugged the wires back in and put it all together. I had some trouble getting everything aligned in the tiny space but eventually it all went back together. So far it seems to be working. I guess time will tell if all we needed was a $7.00 switch all this time :-(. Here are a couple of photos of the old sail switch.

I have written before about our friends Gail and Gordon Pike who we met in Florida last year. Here is a link to a you tube video of them on stage. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qx_bgzySpF8 I can't get over how she can sing so "Southern" and talk so "Northern"!! :-)

We are looking forward to watching the Colts play tonight. I doubt if I will be able to stay awake for the whole game but hopefully we will stay warm!! I'll keep you posted.

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