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#2738043 - 01/01/12 08:20 PM
Fish House Propane Issues
Wishin4Walleyes Offline
Jr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 23
Loc: MN
Need help. I have a 14 ft ice castle with a suburban furnace. I run 20 lb propane tanks for the convenience of easily exchanging empties. I am having issues every yr on colder days where the furnace wont light. Furnace works great till it hits bout 5 degrees out. Happened this am on red with the wind chill. Swapped the regulator and still wouldnt light. Brought a tank in shack for awhile, hooked it up and furnace lit once then stopped. Is this a regulator problem or would switching to 30 lb tanks help? Tired of waking up on cold nights to a cold shack. Help!
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#2738053 - 01/01/12 08:29 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Wishin4Walleyes]
gogophers Offline
HSOShow.com Family

Registered: 01/22/07
Posts: 170
Loc: Hard water
My guess is small tanks equals not enough pressure when its cold. Bigger tanks would help.
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#2738073 - 01/01/12 08:50 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Wishin4Walleyes]
leech~~ Online   content
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 9160
Loc: Northern state of mind
When was the last time you did a good cleaning of the air tube and gas orifice. Over time they can get spider webs and scale build up and any little drop in pressure makes it harder to get a good gas flow if it's half blocked already! wink

Cooking over an open fire with a stick is all fun and games!
Until someone loses a Weiner!
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#2738078 - 01/01/12 08:55 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: leech~~]
Wishin4Walleyes Offline
Jr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 23
Loc: MN
This is the second winter and bought shack brand new. Dont think it would be a cleaning issue but i'll try anything. You talking about cleaning at the furnace right?
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#2738117 - 01/01/12 09:31 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Wishin4Walleyes]
Red Miller Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 624
Loc: East Bethel
I had a similar problem with my camper during deer hunting last year. Best I could figure is the regulator got wet the day we drove up and then it froze. A new regulator and a removal, minor diassembly, and cleaning of the furnace unit seems to have cured it.

You might want to go to the furnace manufacturers website and email or call them. They may have some support available there that could solve the problem. It might be well known issue with them. Good luck and that must suck...I know, I've been there.


Edited by Red Miller (01/01/12 09:36 PM)
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#2738132 - 01/01/12 09:43 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Red Miller]
limited out Offline
HSOShow.com Family

Registered: 12/15/04
Posts: 145
I'd upgrade to at least 30 lb tanks in colder weather. I also always lightly cover my regulator vent holes with a cloth becasue i have had it freeze up or get plugged with ice in the past and it shuts down the propane flow once the airflow is cut off.
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#2738142 - 01/01/12 09:49 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: limited out]
motley man Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1184
Loc: Motley,mn.
I've found that to long of a hose to stove is sometimes the problem. With a long gas line the bigger tanks do work better.
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#2738153 - 01/01/12 10:07 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Wishin4Walleyes]
leech~~ Online   content
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 9160
Loc: Northern state of mind
Originally Posted By: Wishin4Walleyes
This is the second winter and bought shack brand new. Dont think it would be a cleaning issue but i'll try anything. You talking about cleaning at the furnace right?
This is from a Sub web site on furnace issues.

PILOT FAILS TO IGNITE OR STAY LIT --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

CONDITION
SOLUTION


Plugged pilot orifice
Electrode out of adjustment
Pilot tube defective
Piezo sparker defective
Defective thermocouple
Defective valve
Vent kit not sealed
MICA window missing
Combustion air hose plugged or collapsed
Water in propane
Burner plate gasket or pilot not sealed


Clean or replace orifice
Adjust electrode to furnace's specifications
Replace tube
Replace sparker
Replace thermocouple
Replace valve
Seal vent where it meets the furnace.
Replace MICA
Replace combustion hose
Add alcohol to the propane bottles.
Replace gaskets

Cooking over an open fire with a stick is all fun and games!
Until someone loses a Weiner!
Top
#2738229 - 01/02/12 03:47 AM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: leech~~]
grundy Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 69
Loc: St. Cloud, Mn
I have a 14' ice castle that had the same issues. I do have 30# tanks on mine and I don't think 20# tanks are the problem. I went to Pleasureland RV and talked to one of the parts guys. The problem is either the circuit board or the gas valve itself. I went on HSOList.com and purchased the parts cheaper than Pleasureland wanted and fixed it myself. It was the gas valve that was faulty. The circuit board tells the gas valve (which has electronic piezos on it) when to open and let gas flow. You will have to pull the whole furnace out to fix it and you might as well clean it at the same time. Its not as difficult as it seems.
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#2738271 - 01/02/12 07:00 AM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: grundy]
Red Miller Offline
Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 624
Loc: East Bethel
Faulty gas valve.....wow!. I would contact the furnace manufacturer by phone. If that is really the problem, I would be P&*@#%. The unit obviously doesnt have very many hours on it. And to have a core component like the gas valve fail is ridiculous. Maybe some QA issues. They may take care of you if they are reputable even if it is out of warranty. That is a possible safety issue.

I love that list of possible problems and solutions. Add alcohol to the propane bottles?!?!?!?!?! laugh


Edited by Red Miller (01/02/12 07:03 AM)
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#2738449 - 01/02/12 10:03 AM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Red Miller]
Wishin4Walleyes Offline
Jr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 23
Loc: MN
Grundy, did your furnace sometimes work then stop when it got cold? I dont think its a valve since my furnace ran for 42 hrs straight this weekend than stopped lighting at the coldest time (6 am yesterday with a 20 mph nw wind). Gonna call suburban & pleasureland today.

Add alcohol to the propane? Do i just crack the valve & pour some coors light in there:)!

Thanks for the replies guys. Cant wait to fix this problem.
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#2738451 - 01/02/12 10:04 AM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Wishin4Walleyes]
Kahuner Offline
Jr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 04/19/09
Posts: 22
Loc: New Hope, MN
The answer may be very simple!!

You said the furnace works great until it gets to 5* or so. That indicates to me that you shouldn't need to be changing out electronic boards. At times (and it seems to be temp dependent) everythings works. Me thinks:

The problem w/ a 20# tank is that there is very little space above the liquid propane (in a full tank) for the liquid to turn back into a gas. The furnace needs a gas to burn and on cold nights the gas needs more room to do that. Quickly translated; if your tank would've been 1/2 full; my guess is that you wouldn't have had a problem.

Other thoughts. If the tank was over-filled; that's a big problem. (less room) 2. As the gas flows out of the tank; frost builds up on the valve area of the tank making it harder for the liquid to turn to gas. If you want to keep using a 20# tank, can you keep the tank warm? That'll help.

Good luck;
Kahuner

The only time you have too much gas is if you're on FIRE!!
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#2738506 - 01/02/12 11:01 AM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Red Miller]
leech~~ Online   content
HSO Legacy Member

Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 9160
Loc: Northern state of mind
Originally Posted By: Red Miller


I love that list of possible problems and solutions. Add alcohol to the propane bottles?!?!?!?!?! laugh

I just copied if off a web site. I had the same reaction when I read that and thought about deleting that because it still doesn't make any sense to me? crazy laugh

Cooking over an open fire with a stick is all fun and games!
Until someone loses a Weiner!
Top
#2738643 - 01/02/12 01:26 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: leech~~]
grundy Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 69
Loc: St. Cloud, Mn
Wishin...Mine did the same thing yours did a few times when I was on Mille Lacs. All I did was reset the thermostat and it took off again. I had to put a new valve in at deer hunting season because it would not get gas. You could hear it clicking (trying to ignite) but it wouldnt get gas. Like i said when i talked to pleasureland they said it would be the circuit board or the gas valve. Give them a call and tell them your problem and they will steer you in the right direction.
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#2739146 - 01/03/12 03:34 AM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: grundy]
grundy Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 69
Loc: St. Cloud, Mn
If your stovetop burners light, but the furnace won't ignite its either the circuit board or the gas valve. period!!! end of story!!
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#2739494 - 01/03/12 10:57 AM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Wishin4Walleyes]
Lip_Ripper Guy Online   content
Sr HSOList.com Family

Registered: 05/12/05
Posts: 2213
Loc: South Metro
I had this same problem last year with the 20's. It stopped working on a semi-empty tank, but was fine when I switched to a full one. I've since swapped to 30's, but haven't had a chance to try it in cold weather.
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#2739550 - 01/03/12 11:34 AM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: Lip_Ripper Guy]
MuleShack Offline
Sr HSO Family

Registered: 01/25/07
Posts: 2834
Loc: South Metro
Never had a 20lb on my house, but the 30lb seem to go until -15 to -20 before they stop flow.

I rigged up a back up plan with a 20lb inside the closet in the house with a seperate regulator and valve tied into the main line. So on those cold nights when my heat stops, I open the valve to the 20lb and open the tank and I have heat over night. Once the sun comes out, the outside tanks usually start flowing again.

Sounds like if it works for hours straight, then stops when it gets cold would be the tank. But as Grudy said, it you get flame at the stove, then it may not be the case.
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#2740074 - 01/03/12 07:26 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: grundy]
pikechaser Offline

Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 471
Loc: Elk River,MN USA
I'd be carefull there. Doesnt take much gas to work a burner top & how things are piped would also be a factor. Really does sound like a gas problem. The Ambient air temp prolly not gonna affect the operations of the unit(electrically). Would need to check the gas pressure @ the heater when your having the problems. I would look at the manual for the heater...They may not advise using 20lb tanks, Ive seen that before..not sure on yours.


Edited by pikechaser (01/03/12 07:32 PM)
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#2740282 - 01/04/12 03:53 AM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: pikechaser]
grundy Offline
HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 12/24/04
Posts: 69
Loc: St. Cloud, Mn
I use 30# tanks on my ice castle. I really don,t think 20 or 30 makes a difference. I have used a 20# cylinder sitting outside my portable for years with no problems at -20 below. On my ice castle the main gas line feeds both the stove top and the furnace. So the problem is with the furnace, not the regulator (which he replaced) or the tank. It takes just as much gas to run the stovetop as it does to run the furnace, the regulator takes care of that.
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#2741159 - 01/04/12 08:04 PM
Re: Fish House Propane Issues [Re: grundy]
pikechaser Offline

Sr HotSpotOutdoors.com Family

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 471
Loc: Elk River,MN USA
HMMMM check the btu rating of the Heater versus that of the stove top...Do you run all the burners on the stove top at the same time? prolly not.. The burner control on the furnace senses flame to know its lit. Your gas pressure drops..so does the flame size & the control will not sense flame. The stove top has nothing like that...nuff said there...My point is try a Bigger tank before you start guessing & swapping parts out. anyone can fix it if they change enough parts..gonna change the right one eventually crazy
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