The Atwood furnace is a popular choice for heating in RVs, trailers, and motorhomes due to its efficiency and compact design. However, like any mechanical system, it may encounter issues that require troubleshooting. One common problem is the furnace’s reset switch being tripped. In this comprehensive article, we will explore where to find the Atwood furnace reset switch and provide a step-by-step guide on how to reset it, ensuring your furnace operates optimally during your travels.
1. Understanding the Atwood Furnace Reset Switch
The reset switch serves as a safety feature that activates when the Atwood furnace overheats or encounters other potential problems. It is designed to protect the furnace from damage and ensure the safety of the occupants. When a safety issue is detected, the reset switch will automatically trip, shutting down the furnace until the problem is resolved.
The reset switch is a thermal safety switch that reacts to high temperatures. If the furnace becomes too hot due to inadequate airflow, a clogged burner, or other issues, the switch will trigger to prevent potential hazards, such as a fire or damage to the furnace components.
2. Locating the Atwood Furnace Reset Switch
The Atwood furnace reset switch is typically located on the furnace unit itself, making it relatively accessible for reset procedures. Follow these steps to locate the reset switch:
Step 1: Access the Furnace Compartment:
The furnace is usually installed in a dedicated compartment within your RV or motorhome. The location of this compartment can vary depending on the specific model and layout of your vehicle. In most cases, it can be accessed from either the interior or the exterior of the vehicle.
Step 2: Remove the Furnace Cover:
Once you have gained access to the furnace compartment, you will need to remove the furnace cover to expose the internal components, including the reset switch. The furnace cover is usually held in place by a few screws. Using a screwdriver, carefully remove these screws, and then take off the cover.
Step 3: Identify the Reset Switch:
With the furnace cover removed, you should be able to see the inner components of the furnace, including the reset switch. The reset switch is often red and may have a small button-like appearance. It is usually located near the burner assembly or on the side of the combustion chamber.
3. Steps to Reset the Atwood Furnace
Once you have located the reset switch, follow these step-by-step instructions to reset your Atwood furnace:
Step 1: Turn Off the Furnace:
Before attempting to reset the furnace, it is crucial to turn it off completely. This can usually be done by turning off the thermostat or shutting off the furnace’s power source at the main control panel.
Step 2: Press the Reset Switch:
Once the furnace is off, press the reset switch firmly. The reset switch is a push-button type switch. Depress it until you hear a slight clicking sound or feel a noticeable resistance. This indicates that the switch has been successfully reset.
Step 3: Wait for a Few Minutes:
After resetting the switch, wait for about 5 to 10 minutes. This allows the furnace to cool down and stabilize before you turn it back on.
Step 4: Power On the Furnace:
Now, you can turn the furnace back on by using the thermostat or the main control panel. The furnace should start up without any issues if the reset was successful.
4. Troubleshooting Common Furnace Issues
While the reset switch can resolve some problems, certain issues might require further investigation and troubleshooting. Here are some common furnace problems and their potential solutions:
a. No Heat Produced
If your furnace is running, but no heat is being produced, several factors might be at play:
Solution: Check the propane supply to ensure you have enough fuel. Low propane levels can prevent the furnace from producing heat. Also, examine the furnace’s air intake and exhaust vents for any blockages or debris that may hinder proper airflow.
A clogged air intake or exhaust vent can lead to inefficient heating. Clean any obstructions you find. Additionally, inspect the air filters and replace them if they are dirty, as dirty filters can restrict airflow and affect the furnace’s performance. If the issue persists, consult a professional technician for a more in-depth inspection.
b. Furnace Doesn’t Ignite
When your furnace attempts to start but fails to ignite, there could be several reasons:
Solution: Check if there’s a sufficient supply of propane and that the gas valve is open. Sometimes, a closed gas valve can prevent the furnace from igniting. Additionally, inspect the electrode and burner assembly for dirt or corrosion.
Accumulated dirt can obstruct the ignition process, and corroded components may need cleaning or replacement. It’s crucial to perform this task with caution and ensure the gas supply is turned off before proceeding. If you are uncertain about handling this task, seek assistance from a qualified technician.
c. Furnace Short Cycling
If your furnace frequently turns on and off in short intervals, it might be a sign of improper airflow or a faulty component:
Solution: Inspect the air filters for clogs and clean or replace them as necessary. Proper airflow is crucial for the furnace’s optimal performance, and clogged filters can cause the furnace to short cycle. Additionally, check the thermostat settings to ensure they are accurate.
A malfunctioning thermostat may cause the furnace to cycle on and off too frequently. If the problem persists, contact a professional technician for a thorough diagnosis and repair.
d. Unusual Noises
Unusual noises coming from the furnace during operation can indicate various issues:
Solution: If you hear rattling or vibrating noises, check the furnace components, such as the blower motor and burner assembly, for loose parts. Tighten any loose screws or components. Squealing or screeching sounds may indicate a worn-out belt in the blower motor.
In such cases, the belt needs replacement. If you notice a banging or booming noise, it could be due to delayed ignition, where excess gas builds up before igniting. This can be dangerous and requires immediate attention from a qualified technician.
5. Preventative Maintenance Tips
Regular maintenance can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering furnace issues during your travels. Here are some preventative maintenance tips for your Atwood furnace:
a. Clean and Inspect Regularly
Cleaning the furnace and its components regularly is essential for its efficient operation. Remove the furnace cover and use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner to clean the interior components. Pay particular attention to the burner assembly, blower motor, and air intake and exhaust vents. Dirt and debris can accumulate over time, reducing the furnace’s performance.
b. Check Propane Supply
Before embarking on your trip, ensure that your propane tank is adequately filled. Running out of propane can lead to furnace malfunctions, especially during cold weather when a reliable heating system is crucial. Carry an extra propane tank or two if you plan to travel extensively in colder climates.
c. Test the Furnace Before Traveling
Before setting out on a trip, it’s a good practice to run a test of the furnace to verify that it is operating correctly. Turn on the furnace and let it run for a few minutes to ensure it produces heat and that the blower fan is functioning correctly. This simple step can help you detect any issues early on and allow time for repairs if needed.
d. Schedule Professional Inspections
While regular cleaning and maintenance can go a long way in preventing furnace issues, it is also essential to have your Atwood furnace professionally inspected and serviced at least once a year.
A qualified technician can perform a thorough examination of the furnace, identifying any potential problems or worn-out components that may not be evident to the untrained eye. Regular inspections can catch issues early on, preventing them from escalating into more significant problems that could leave you without heat during your travels.
e. Inspect the Exhaust Vent
The exhaust vent plays a crucial role in expelling harmful gases produced during the furnace’s combustion process. Check the exhaust vent regularly for any obstructions, such as debris, bird nests, or insect nests. Blocked exhaust vents can lead to carbon monoxide buildup, which poses a severe health hazard. Ensure the exhaust vent is clear and properly functioning to guarantee safe and efficient furnace operation.
f. Check for Gas Leaks
Gas leaks are potentially dangerous and can lead to serious safety hazards. Periodically inspect all gas connections and fittings for leaks. You can use a mixture of water and dish soap and apply it to the connections while the gas supply is turned on. If you see bubbles forming, it indicates a gas leak. In such cases, turn off the gas supply immediately and seek assistance from a professional technician to fix the issue.
g. Lubricate Moving Parts
Keeping the moving parts of the furnace adequately lubricated helps reduce friction, extending the life of the components and ensuring smoother operation. Consult the furnace’s user manual for guidance on which parts require lubrication and the recommended lubricant to use. Be sure to turn off the furnace and disconnect the power before applying any lubricant.
h. Inspect the Ductwork
The ductwork is responsible for distributing warm air throughout your RV or motorhome. Inspect the ductwork for any leaks, holes, or loose connections that could lead to heat loss and reduced efficiency. Sealing any leaks and ensuring proper insulation along the ducts can help improve the overall performance of your furnace and maintain a comfortable indoor temperature.
The Atwood furnace reset switch is a critical safety feature designed to protect your furnace from damage and ensure the safety of occupants during your travels. Knowing the location of the reset switch and how to reset it can be valuable knowledge when encountering furnace issues on the road. However, it is equally important to practice preventative maintenance, such as regular cleaning, inspection, and professional servicing, to minimize the chances of encountering problems in the first place.
By following the step-by-step instructions provided in this article and implementing the preventative maintenance tips, you can keep your Atwood furnace in optimal condition, providing reliable heating during your adventures in your RV, trailer, or motorhome. Remember always to prioritize safety, and if you encounter persistent furnace issues or are uncertain about any maintenance tasks, seek assistance from a qualified technician who can ensure your furnace operates efficiently and safely throughout your journeys. Happy travels and stay warm!
Kyle Graham works as a writer and editor for Stellaroutdoorlife.com. He is happy to put in the time and effort to conduct thorough market research to identify common issues faced by households concerning their plumbing systems and other household fixtures. His passion is to help you solve the most pressing issues you are facing in your home and recommend the best products available on the market.