How To Test RV Furnace Ignitor? Step-By-Step Setup Guide 

RV Furnace

RV furnaces are a must-have for warmth and comfort while traveling or living in an RV. But, they can cause problems. Common issues include power supply problems, fan malfunctions, sail switch issues, blower motor failures, clogged vents, low propane levels, inadequate pressure, ignitor malfunctions, and other electrical circuit problems. It is important to understand the components of an RV furnace to detect and fix these issues.

The furnace has a propane tank and regulator. The regulator controls the pressure of gas that flows through the valve into the burner area. The fan housing generates hot air that mixes with cooler air from outside. This mixture enters the combustion chamber and ignites with a spark from an igniter. If there is enough propane, the pressure switch signals to open the gas valve, allowing fuel to flow over the burners and heat up the air quickly.

If there is limited power, like low battery voltage or a tripped circuit breaker, there will be no heat. There might be rapid ticking sounds around the furnace’s control board. This indicates faulty or damaged wires or a blown fuse. Repairment is necessary before the system can operate again.

My friend had intermittent problems with his Suburban RV furnace. He tried to fix them but failed. He contacted an experienced RV tech for help. Often, the lines leading to the limit switches can break. Pet hair or insect nests can also cause insulation build-up in the exhaust vent. So, it is important to clean out debris regularly. It is a good idea to learn how the RV furnace works in case it fails. Use a multimeter after taking safety precautions. Make sure the thermostat temperature is set properly and the exhaust ports are clear for warm air to flow into the vent. Test the RV furnace ignitor – got the power?

How To Test RV Furnace Ignitor

Checking for Power Supply

The power supply is the cause of all RV furnace issues. It’s hard to spot as it’s not always visible. Let’s look at how to check the power supply and fix the RV furnace issues.

  1. Check if the RV runs on battery power or shore power. Observe the control board for diagnostic lights or codes.
  2. If none are visible, use a multimeter to measure the voltage across the circuit board. Make sure it’s adequate.
  3. Search for blown fuses in the electrical circuit. If you discover one, replace it and see if it solves the issue.
  4. Test the limit switch with a multimeter. If you don’t get a reading, replace it.

Remember to examine the battery voltage as well. Low battery power can create furnace problems.

Debris, such as pet hair or insect nests, can clog the intake and exhaust vents, resulting in incomplete combustion. This can be dangerous as it can lead to harmful gases like carbon monoxide (CO). So clean the vents often.

A useful tip: When off-grid boondocking, make sure to have enough propane supply to avoid clicking sounds due to empty tanks.

If there’s clicking, it’s probably fan motor failure, while ticking sounds suggest ignition issues. Check for proper air intake too. The Suburban RV furnace reset button is located at the back of its metal housing.

These steps can help you keep your RV furnace in good condition without spending much money on repairs. Remember to turn off the furnace before inspecting the flame sensor – unless you’re looking for a surprise!

Inspecting the Flame Sensor

It is key to inspect the flame sensor in an RV furnace. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Turn off the power to the furnace completely. This will keep you safe.
  2. Locate the flame sensor by referring to the manual or diagram.
  3. Clean the metal rod using a brush or sandpaper. Remove pet hair and insects.

It is essential to inspect the flame sensor as it often affects the propane gas pressure. Short cycling, where the furnace turns on and off, is mainly caused by incorrect propane levels or a clogged exhaust vent.

Fugitive861 from TX Posts says, “Many RV maintenance tasks can be done by the owner. Fixing problems only requires basic tools.” Diagnosing and repairing, like inspecting the flame sensor, can save you time and money. Test the ignitor with a multimeter and get your RV furnace sparking!

Testing the Ignitor with a Multimeter

Troubleshooting RV furnace issues can be extra challenging. A faulty ignitor is a common problem. Test it with a multimeter to determine if a repair or replacement is needed. Here’s a 3-step guide:

  1. Turn off the power to the furnace. Remove the fan housing cover.
  2. Carefully take out the ignitor from its socket, being careful not to damage wires or components.
  3. Check the resistance of the ignitor by placing one lead on each of its leads. If the reading is 40 to 90 ohms, the ignitor is okay. If not, it needs to be replaced.

Other furnace components may also affect proper ignition and warm air circulation. Check potential causes like battery power, level switch, limit switch, sail switch, propane valve, gas valve, and flame sensor.

My own experience troubleshooting a furnace issue while on a winter RV trip taught me the importance of maintenance checks. Clean debris like pet hair or insect nests from exhaust ports and air intakes regularly. Don’t forget to check each part before taking off on a trip! Finding the sail switch is like a treasure hunt – but with airflow assessment instead of gold!

Assessing the Air Flow and Sail Switch

To assess air flow and sail switch, check if there’s enough propane gas supply. Verify RV furnace components. Here are steps to take: Check thermostat settings match room temp. This can help identify airflow & limit switch issues. Reset the furnace by pressing the reset button or resetting the electrical circuit breaker. For RV furnace protection, put a filter screen on the opening register before the heat cycle. This will prolong the furnace’s life span. Assessing thermostats & limit switches is key for warm airflow. The following table lists some common furnace issues and their solutions/checks:

The furnace Fan Runs Continuously but with Cold AirThe sail switch stops propane due to insufficient airflow.See if pet hair or insect nests block the intake/exhaust ports. Check both vents are not blocked & enough air pressure.
Rapid Ticking Noise within the Furnace HousingIncomplete combustion causes explosive ignitions in the burner chamber.Clean metal debris from the combustion chamber & fuel opening using compressed air. Check for enough propane. Use a multimeter to monitor battery voltage levels or disconnect low battery power connections.

Examining the Thermostat and Limit Switches

Here is a table showing how to check components. It includes readings, potential problems, and solutions.

Thermostat24VAC or battery power/room temp/selected heat levelFaulty wiring or broken circuit boardContact an RV tech or replace
Limit SwitchThe multimeter is set to continuity. Closed when below limit temp and open at a high tempAirflow blockage or wear and tearClean or replace

Also, make sure the propane valve has enough fuel, the blower fan is working, and all vents are clear of debris. A ticking sound or lack of warm air flow might mean an incomplete combustion process. Check for pet hair or insects blocking the flame sensor or exhaust port. If the diagnostic lights show a code, turn off the unit power supply and then turn it back on to reset. To avoid issues with low battery voltage or not enough propane gas pressure, regular RV maintenance by an experienced tech is advisable. Before inspecting the propane tank and regulator, make sure your will is up to date.

Inspecting the Propane Tank and Regulator

When it comes to RV furnace maintenance, inspecting the propane tank and regulator is key. Problems with these can lead to colder nights or even dangerous situations. Here’s how to inspect them:

  1. Read the gauge to check propane levels.
  2. Check the tank’s body for any damage or rust.
  3. See if there are any cracks or loose connections between the tank and regulator.
  4. Inspect the regulator’s body for cracks or dents.
  5. Open the valve briefly to check the pressure.

Pet hair and insect nests in the vents can cause incomplete combustion and a ticking noise when turning on your furnace. To avoid this, clean the vents regularly.

As an RV owner, inspecting your propane tank and regulator is essential. Don’t take the risk – inspect them as part of your RV maintenance schedule!

Testing the Blower Motor and Fan Housing

Testing the blower motor and fan housing of an RV furnace? Follow these 4 steps.

  1. Voltage: Measure with a multimeter. If under 10 volts, check the battery & circuit.
  2. Noise: Turn on the furnace and listen for odd sounds. Clicking or ticking? Blower blades have debris or the motor is worn.
  3. Damage: Inspect for obstructions like pet hair or insect nests. Clear and make sure air can flow freely.
  4. Airflow: Check intake & exhaust vents. Is air flowing? If not, may be a propane supply, regulator, or other propane part issue.

Invest in preventative maintenance. Check connections, clean debris, and test parts like blower motor and fan housing. Prevent big problems in cold weather. Solve circuit board issue? Use a multimeter and persevere!

Inspecting the Circuit Board for Issues

When it comes to RV furnace issues, the circuit board can be a cause. If the diagnostic lights say so, inspecting it is the next step. Here’s a guide:

Debris build-up can also cause circuit board failure. Pet hair and nests can create electrical issues.

Prevent problems: Regularly maintain your RV and check for debris inside and outside all components of the propane furnace.

Troubleshooting Incomplete Combustion

Incomplete combustion in your RV furnace needs prompt diagnosis and resolution. It can lead to heater failure, safety problems, and reduced efficiency. To troubleshoot this, follow these steps:

  1. Check the propane supply first. Ensure there’s enough fuel.
  2. Inspect the burner and clean any debris or pet hair obstructing airflow.
  3. Examine all furnace components for damage or wear, especially metal ones and wiring connections.
  4. Check the sail switch, which helps measure air pressure in the system. Position it correctly.
  5. Additionally, check the battery voltage. Low power can cause issues with ignition and fan motor operation. Use a multimeter to test it and replace it if needed.

Resetting the Furnace and Diagnostic Lights

Resetting your RV furnace and diagnostic lights can seem daunting, but with the right know-how, it’s easier than you think! Here’s a 6-step guide:

  1. Check the voltage of your RV battery. It should be at least 12 volts.
  2. Check your thermostat settings. Make sure they are on heat and set to an appropriate temperature.
  3. Check your propane supply. Ensure the valve is open and there’s an adequate propane level.
  4. Reset your furnace by switching off its circuit breaker for around 30 minutes, then switch it back on.
  5. Check your Suburban RV furnace control board for error codes using diagnostic lights.
  6. If unsure, consult a professional technician or look for online videos that offer clear directions.

Be aware that a lot of debris inside the fan motor can cause low battery voltage and long start-up times, leading to ticking or ignition failure. So, let’s tackle the grime and gunk in your RV furnace!

Cleaning the Furnace Components

Cleaning your RV furnace components is essential for regular maintenance. It prevents common issues caused by debris buildup. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Prepare: Turn off the power supply and shut off the propane valve.
  2. Remove debris: Use a soft-bristled brush or vacuum cleaner to clean the blower fan housing, intake and exhaust ports, and other areas.
  3. Check components: Inspect for signs of damage or wear, like frayed wires or corroded connections.
  4. Clean: Wipe down each component with a damp cloth, avoiding water in electrical parts such as fuses or control boards.
  5. Reassemble: Put everything back together in the proper order, making sure it’s connected and tightened.

Cleaning your RV furnace components regularly – before every camping season – is important. Otherwise, malfunctions and costly repairs could occur. Plus, pet hair, insect nests, and other particulate matter in your RV may cause allergies! Make sure all vents are free from blockages too. And always keep propane levels up before turning on any propane appliances, like the RV furnace burner – running out of fuel mid-use could damage your appliance. Neglect your RV furnace maintenance and you’ll soon find yourself in an igloo on wheels!

Conducting Adequate Maintenance to Prevent Problems

Maintaining your RV furnace is key to preventing problems. Malfunctioning can cause discomfort and even be unsafe. Regular maintenance will make sure it’s working well when you need it.

Start by checking the power source – battery and shore power if plugged in. Turn on the thermostat to make sure warm air is coming from the vents. Inspect and clean any components which might cause airflow issues, like the propane tank’s regulator or exhaust ports. Debris, pet hair, or insect nests can be easily solved with a brush or vacuum.

Check the sail switch, limit switch, and flame sensor for damage. Examine the blower motor, control board, and circuit breaker for potential issues. Multimeters are useful for measuring voltage and testing leads.

Rapid ticking noises mean something’s wrong with the propane supply level or valve pressure reading.

If you’re not sure about repairing, get help from an RV tech. Paying attention and using proper fuel can provide efficient operation of your RV furnace while avoiding incomplete combustion. Double-check all safety features after repairs. Use adequate propane gas and ignition mechanism. Learn diagram reading for sequence analysis. Inspect the furnace every 12 months. Qualified personnel may help you navigate through the diagnosis video or control board. Improve RV furnace repair skills with these pro tips.

Pro Tips for Effective Testing and Repair

Nothing’s worse than being stuck in cold weather without heat when it comes to RV furnace problems. As a tech, I’ve got pro tips for efficient testing and repairs. Here’s five key points to remember:

  1. Check your power source. Ensure adequate voltage to the unit and make sure no circuit breaker or control board’s tripped.
  2. Look for clogged vents or intake/exhaust ports that could be blocking airflow. Pet hair, insect nests, and other debris can build up and cause incomplete combustion or low airflow.
  3. Use diagnostic lights (where available) to diagnose an issue. Suburban RV furnaces have two lights on the circuit board to see if components like the propane supply, ignitor, fan motor, limit switch, sail switch, and others are functioning correctly.
  4. Rapid ticking sounds from the furnace, when it starts but doesn’t ignite, might be caused by a faulty sail switch or propane regulator. Check these before troubleshooting further.
  5. Use a multimeter for testing wires and connections. This will help you spot any shorts or failed relays causing furnace issues.

Plus, newer RV furnaces come with safety features like automatic shut-off valves and high-limit switches to deactivate the appliance if the temperature inside the combustion chamber gets too hot.

Also, inadequate propane gas pressure can lead to frequent ignition failures in furnaces – this tip was shared by fugitive861, a senior member on the TX posts forum.

So, RV furnace problems can be solved – just remember to understand their common causes and stay warm!

Common RV Furnace Problems and Causes

RV furnace issues can be irritating. Common problems are power supply, propane valve failure, exhaust blockage, and fan motor malfunction. Check battery voltage and propane supply. Inspect furnace parts for dirt or damage. Use a multimeter to examine connections and circuitry.

A dirty burner or restricted airflow can cause incomplete combustion. This can trigger ticking noises or even be dangerous such as carbon monoxide buildup. Clean air intake/exhaust; check for insects/pet hair in fan housing; replace worn relays and limit switches.

Tech had a Suburban RV furnace that wouldn’t light despite enough power/propane. Upon opening, a metal piece was blocking the gas flow. Repositioning it fixed the furnace.

Prevent RV furnace problems by adhering to installation instructions, using the proper regulator for propane tank size, and routing exhaust away from windows/doors. Always prioritize safety – use qualified technicians for repairs and follow usage rules.


Maintaining your RV furnace regularly is key. Inspect and clean it. Resetting it and playing with diagnostic lights can help too. Do this and enjoy safe and efficient furnace operation for years.