The furnace is one of the most useful pieces of equipment installed in an RV or motorhome. Essentially, these are small heaters that can be used to heat the water supply in your vehicle.
While most RVs already come with these installed in them, some models don’t have it, and you may want to install a third-party furnace instead. Installing it ensures that you can stay on trips in a cold area without any issue.
When it comes to furnace manufacturers, Atwood is undoubtedly among the top choices. Most RV manufacturers use the furnaces made by Atwood in their vehicles, thanks to their superior quality and durability. However, as with every other equipment, there are a few problems that you may encounter while using these furnaces.
Although there could be some differences depending on the model of your gas furnace, most of them work in the same basic way. One problem users have recently reported is that Atwood furnace ignition lockout is faulty. Of course, this problem could be pretty irksome and put your entire journey down in flames.
The Atwood furnaces come with innovative safety sensors to ensure your safety. If these sensors detect anything wrong in the furnace, the furnace automatically shuts down for your and your RV’s safety.
The common safety hazards leading to lockout are a sudden drop in gas pressure and overheating. Gas leak, a blocked airflow, inability to move hot air out, damaged gas control nozzle, and a few other things can make your furnace overheat, creating a safety hazard.
To worsen the situation, your furnace will remain in this condition until you fix it. If your furnace is not turning or shutting down after you turn it on, the ignition lockout may be the problem. If you have been facing the same problem recently, consider going through this article to learn how to fix it.
Atwood Furnace Ignition Lockout Fault
There are a few workarounds to fix the faulty Atwood furnace ignition lockout.
1. Check Water Pressure
As mentioned earlier, the ignition lockout on Atwood furnaces is a security feature installed to protect the device from getting damaged. Considering this, you should keep in mind that there is only one way to fix the problem.
This is to enable the furnace again from its control panel. Ignition lockout only switches off the main circuit breaker by resetting the device.
Switching on the button should allow you to start your device again. Although, before you get to this, keep in mind that there was some reason this switch was activated. If you do not fix the main cause, the chances are that the ignition lockout may happen again. A common reason for the ignition lockout is low water pressure.
So, if you face the ignition lockout problem, make sure that enough water is running through your pipelines. You can quickly test this by leaving the taps in your vehicle open.
Sometimes, you might be using a lot of taps in their vehicle at once, consuming lots of water, which can reduce the pressure going to their furnace. If that’s the case, simply switching off the extra taps would fix the pressure problem for you.
2. Check Gas Pressure
Just like water pressure, another reason why the ignition system can lockout is because of the gas in your vehicle running out. You can check your propane gas tank to confirm this. In some cases, you might have not completely run out but instead might be running too low.
That being said, the Atwood furnace needs a limited amount of gas to run properly, so make sure to immediately check your gas tank to avoid any unpleasant experience.
If the gas pressure of your RV is low, you can face the ignition lockout issue. Although, simply replacing the tank with a new one should fix the problem for you. Aside from this, make sure that the pipes are tightly connected, and there are no bends in them.
Sometimes routing the pipes in a certain way can prevent gas from flowing with pressure. So, check to see if they are connected correctly. If not, consider seeking help from a professional RV mechanic.
3. Check Sensors
Faulty sensors are another reason why you might be getting this issue. These are used to detect the heat on your burner, ensuring there are no problems with the device. If the flame is not detected after seven seconds, the flame sensor automatically shuts off the gas.
However, if the sensors themselves are having issues, they might accidentally switch off the ignition. If the flame sensor fails or is dirty, it can cause the furnace to shut off even if there is enough flame. Considering this, you should start by cleaning off the sensors. Of course, dust can accumulate on sensors over time, preventing their proper functioning.
Even a little amount of dust on them can prevent these sensors from taking a proper reading. Use a small pin to clear the specks of dust stuck within the sensor. Make sure not to apply too much force while cleaning the sensors, or you may end up damaging your sensors beyond repair.
On the other hand, if they are damaged, then cleaning them off will do no good. You will have to purchase a new set of temperature sensors. There are many reasons why sensors of your RV can wear out. Since the Atwood furnaces are widely used, the good news for you is that you can easily find their accessories, including their sensors.
Make sure that the sensors are compatible with the Atwood furnace. If yes, you can proceed to replace the sensors on your own or contact a specialist to help you. If done correctly, you should be able to fix your problem.
To replace the sensors, start by shutting off the power and closing the gas valve. Now, remove the top cover panel. Use a screwdriver for this purpose. Once you have opened the panel, disconnect the wire and unscrew and remove the old flame sensor.
Now, install the new flame sensor and secure it tightly into place. After that, reconnect the wires and top cover panel. Open the gas valve and turn on the power to your furnace to see if it has fixed the problem.
4. Bad Igniter
If you are facing the Atwood furnace ignition lockout fault, the faulty igniter can also be the culprit. For a furnace to function properly, the igniter must activate as soon as you turn the furnace on. Of course, if it doesn’t ignite the flame, the flame sensors won’t detect the flame.
However, it is pertinent to mention that you should not quit trying if the igniter doesn’t produce a flame in your first attempt. Sometimes, the igniter activates on a second attempt. After three attempts, it will lead to ignition lockout if it doesn’t work.
In addition, cleaning the vent pipes and air filters can also troubleshoot the lockout issue . It’s a good rule of thumb to clean the air pipes after every week or two to ensure your safety.
It is important to note that resetting the furnace mostly fixes the ignition lockout issue. If your furnace has entered lockout mode, consider resetting it to bring it back to normal. For this purpose, turn off the power and wait for 40 to 50 seconds before turning it on again.
If it doesn’t work, consider waiting for 1-2 hours. Furthermore, refer to the user manual to gain deeper insight into the problem and learn how to fix it.
Aside from this, you can also contact the support team of Atwood directly if you are unable to diagnose the root of the lockout issue. Atwood has an active customer support service, and the problem would be dealt with effectively.