Atwood RV Furnace not Turning on | What I Check and Reset to Fix

For RV enthusiasts, the furnace is quite an important piece of equipment. Not only to keep you warm during those chilly nights, but it also allows your RV to continue to perform normally while keeping you safe at the same time. All those tanks and pipes, as well as the faucets, risk freezing if your furnace doesn’t produce enough heat to keep them in working condition and prevent them from bursting. 

Therefore, when your RV furnace stops working, it’s an issue that requires your immediate attention. So, if your Atwood RV furnace is not turning on, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I will mention various ways to fix the Atwood RV furnace if it fails to power on. 

Atwood RV Furnace not Turning on 

How Do I Fix Atwood RV Furnace If It’s Not Turning On? 

When your Atwood RV Furness stops working all of a sudden, it can happen for a lot of reasons. Here’s what you can do to fix it: 

1. Double-Check the Thermostat 

If you didn’t already know, depending on your thermostat, there might be a few temperature settings available in your furnace. If it’s flipped to something else than the “Heat” mode, you might not be able to realize it even if it’s turned on. Therefore, start by checking the thermostat settings. Make sure that it’s set to Heat and the temperature is set to something that’s above the current ambient temperature. Also, check if the furnace is getting power or not. 

2. Check the Power Supply

Although your Atwood RV furnace uses propane as its fuel, it still runs off a 12V electric system. If the electric system cannot provide sufficient power for some reason, it won’t turn on. Therefore, make sure that your RV has a sufficient power supply. Make sure that the batteries are charged. On the other hand, if you are connected to shore power, make sure that the electrical connection is stable enough.

3. Check the Fuse or Circuit Breaker

Depending on your model, there may be a user-replaceable fuse or circuit breaker in your Atwood RV furnace. If it’s a fuse, it may have blown. If it’s a circuit breaker, it may have been tipped. Either way, check it and replace the fuse if it needs to be. In the case of a circuit breaker, you simply need to reset it.

4. Check the Propane Supply

As we’ve mentioned earlier, apart from the 12V electric system, your Atwood RV furnace also needs propane to run. If it has run out, it won’t turn on at all. So, check the propane tank. If it’s empty, or the valve is closed, you need to refuel it. While you are at it, also make sure that the propane fuel system is working properly.

5. Check Ventilation

Lack of ventilation can stop your RV furnace from turning on too. They require proper ventilation to start and function normally. So, if your exhaust and intake vents are obstructed or blocked, clean them. With blocked vents, even if your RV furnace turns on, it will shut off automatically as a safety measure.

6. Thermocouple/Cleanliness

As your Atwood RV furnace keeps on running, over time, dust and dirt can accumulate around the furnace’s burner assembly and thermocouple. This will affect your thermostat’s performance, and can even stop it from turning on. Check those components and clean them carefully, including the area around the burner and thermocouple to make sure that it ignites and turns on properly.

7. Check Ignition Sequence

Did you know, there’s an ignition sequence of your RV furnace? Listen to the furnace’s ignition sequence. If you can hear the blower running but don’t hear the sound of the furnace igniting, it can be an issue with the ignition system. If that’s the case with you, you will need to seek professional help as ignition issues require some professional skill and tools to fix.

8. Check for Error Codes

Many modern RV furnaces, including Atwood, have diagnostic systems that display error codes. Here’s what the error code means:

  1. The internal circuit board is not working; it’s just staying on without blinking.
  2. There’s an issue with the limit switch or airflow, indicated by one flash followed by a 3-second pause.
  3. The flame sensor is faulty, showing two flashes followed by a 3-second pause.
  4. There’s a problem with ignition, indicated by three flashes followed by a 3-second pause.

Therefore, keep a keen eye on the indicator light. For additional error codes (if any) read the user manual carefully.

9. Check for Gas Leaks

Not only when your RV furnace is not turning on, but you should do this inspection from time to time for safety concerns as well. Make sure that there are no gas leaks in or around the furnace. If you smell gas, turn off the propane supply immediately. Then open your RV windows and ensure proper ventilation. Resolve the issue as soon as you can, otherwise, do not use your furnace.

10. Reset the Furnace

There’s a reset switch on the back of your Atwood RV furnace. The good news is that it’s located on the exterior part on the back, labeled “reset.” You just need to flip it and it will go through the reset cycle, which can take a while. So, wait for the furnace to reset and try to turn it back on.

11. Seek Professional Help

A furnace, even the small ones in RVs, is a complex mechanical equipment, that consists of different parts and principles. Fixing everything by yourself is, therefore, not possible. So, if none of the above-mentioned fixes work for you, you should seek professional help. Also, even when your Atwood RV furnace is working properly, you should get it checked once every year, to make sure proper operation and uncompromised safety.

To Sum it Up

When you are dealing with the RV furnace, always prioritize safety. Check for leakage in the propane fuel supply. Check the battery level, fuel supply, ignition, etc. Make sure to get your furnaced checked by a professional every once in a while, ideally once every year. 

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