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Old 11-07-2017, 08:57 AM   #1
Travelling Three
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High Altitude Furnace Question

I recently saw on this forum that a camper's hot water heater didn't heat properly at high altitudes. A answer was there's something in the hot water heater that slides in and out to fix this problem. We discovered our furnace didn't work at 10k feet in Cripple Creek, CO. The furnace would attempt to ignite then turn it itself off then try to ignite again and turn itself off, never would it ignite and therefore no heat. We are at 1.1k feet and the furnace works fine, at least the one time I tried it. My question is, do I have an altitude problem with our furnace and is there a fix? Thanks everyone.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:13 AM   #2
Ram Montana High Country
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two thoughts:
#1 - water boils slower @ altitude
#2 - scuba diving, at depth air is consumed quicker due to being compressed by water depth

Propane might decrease in pressure ...
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Old 11-10-2017, 12:25 PM   #3
jlb27537
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelling Three View Post
I recently saw on this forum that a camper's hot water heater didn't heat properly at high altitudes. A answer was there's something in the hot water heater that slides in and out to fix this problem. We discovered our furnace didn't work at 10k feet in Cripple Creek, CO. The furnace would attempt to ignite then turn it itself off then try to ignite again and turn itself off, never would it ignite and therefore no heat. We are at 1.1k feet and the furnace works fine, at least the one time I tried it. My question is, do I have an altitude problem with our furnace and is there a fix? Thanks everyone.
Check the LP pressure at the valve in the water heater. My LP pressure was about 9" WC when it should be 11" WC with furnace and or water heater burning.

Low pressure + lack of O2 at altitude will not support the flame. Need more LP flow to create a larger fire with reduced O2.

My guess is your pressure is low. Is adjustable at the switch over regulator.. Just need a WC gauge. A good RV service tech will have one.

Jim
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Old 11-10-2017, 01:47 PM   #4
RV6A
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ram Montana High Country View Post
two thoughts:
#1 - water boils slower @ altitude
#2 - scuba diving, at depth air is consumed quicker due to being compressed by water depth

Propane might decrease in pressure ...
#1 - Water boils at a lower temperature at altitude, Hence it boils faster.
#2 - Semi true - the air in the tank is at the same pressure regardless of depth. The body is the what is being compressed along with the air it consumes.

Propane pressure should be the same at sea level and 10000'. The reason there is a regulator. O2 content is much less and may be why your furnace won't light. The ignitor could be bad also.

Ours works fine at altitude but again it is older, a 2009 model, and things just worked better in the old days.
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