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pjfromny

Electric Heat Not Working

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Hello!  My husband and I bought a used motorhome this summer (2005 Winnebago Journey) and discovered last week that the electric heat is not working.  Propane works fine.

 Its out of warranty at this point, and I wondered if there were some simple things that we could check, before taking it in for repair.  

Thank you!

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I am assuming you are talking about using your roof units/heat pumps.

Do the AC units work? What is the outside temperature? Heat pumps only work down to about 40 degrees then it will automatically switch to gas. 

Bill

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pjfromny,

So I understand what you are saying and what systems you have.  Your propane furnace (ducted through the floors and lower walls) works.  But, the heat pumps, using the air conditioning systems, don't?

Blake

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Is this basement A/C? 

Reverse cycle (i.e. heat pump) or heat strips (i.e. resistance heat)?

What thermostat?

Does nothing happen when you turn it on? Fan come on, but air cold? Other?

 

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Let me see if I can figure all this out.  I think its a heat pump; that's what is described in the manual.  Yes, the AC works.  Its in the basement.  The thermostat is a True-Air.  Nothing happens when we slide the switch to electric heat.  In reading the instructions, it seems like the gas furnace should come on, if its cold outside and/or the temp differential is more than 5 degrees.  As far as we can tell nothing happens.

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I had the basement unit on my 07' .  My heat pumps worked, but as Herman said, it did take up to 10 minutes to really give out noticeable warm air...it has a way's to travel and then goes down thru the ceiling ducts.  On mine, and very common on most basement AC/Heat in a coach, one of the ducts had been pinched, when they installed the end cap!

Have you checked and or replaced your filter?  It's a common house filter, I think it's 18" x 13" x 1".  Mine was located in bedroom, passenger side, in a  drawer under closet.  Since you can't wash it, you need to get a new one and replace each month your using the AC/Heat system!

Carl

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PJ,

Yes....Our heat pumps takes awhile to start producing.  However, I have to select the mode I want on the thermostat.  For example: fan, A/C, heat pump, furnace.  When I select heat pump, the distribution fan comes on and it takes a bit to get heat (same as Herman's).  Once the pumps start producing heat the coach gets warmer over time because of circulation.

I did a google search on the newer True Air thermostats and see by looking at pics that there is a select switch for electric heat vs. gas heat.

https://winnebagoind.com/key-features/features/trueair

Perhaps give Winnebago a call and ask their tech department to help diagnose?

Blake

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Okay, we're making some progress!  Thanks to all your comments, I understood the system a little better, and I think the problem is literally the switch.  It slides to the right for Electric heat and nothing has been happening (even with waiting).  But today I discovered that if I really push the switch to the right, it makes contact, and the furnace comes on with a greater than 5 degree differential in current and set temp, and then it switches to heat pump with 4 degrees or less.  So the problem seems to be the switch.  Does anyone know if contacts could be dirty, or if they wear out?

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Got the cover off. :)  The contacts are VERY tiny, like maybe 1/32" square, and behind a metal bracket, so I don't think the pencil eraser will work.  I think I will try some electronic contact cleaner.  But, its also easy to see how the thermostat comes off altogether, if we decide to replace it.  Thanks!  We went from no electric heat and debating a repair, to perhaps only cleaning contacts and maybe replacing a thermostat.

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Old trick to clean contacts in protective relay in power plants is to us a new clean dollar bill and while holding contacts closed pull dollar bill through contacts.  May have to fold dollar bill.

 

Jim

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Jim, I have cleaned a number of relay contacts using 1500 automotive sandpaper on the low voltage ones and 800 to 400 paper on the higher voltage contacts. A small pack of 6 by 6in. automotive body sandpaper in 4 to 6 grits is a very handy item to have on hand and it can be folded to clean both surfaces at the same time. Also stiff enough to slide between the contacts. Put just a little pressure on the movable contact with a pen knife or small flat bladed screw driver. Repeat the process for the NC(Normally Closed) set of contacts, just need to open them and use the spring pressure as the closing force.

Cleaned thousands of old telephone mechanical contact line switches to keep the things working using the same process. No touch phones, just the old rotary dial back then. OH man that kind of dates me. :o 

Rich.

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2 hours ago, DickandLois said:

Jim, I have cleaned a number of relay contacts using 1500 automotive sandpaper on the low voltage ones and 800 to 400 paper on the higher voltage contacts. A small pack of 6 by 6in. automotive body sandpaper in 4 to 6 grits is a very handy item to have on hand and it can be folded to clean both surfaces at the same time. Also stiff enough to slide between the contacts. Put just a little pressure on the movable contact with a pen knife or small flat bladed screw driver. Repeat the process for the NC(Normally Closed) set of contacts, just need to open them and use the spring pressure as the closing force.

Cleaned thousands of old telephone mechanical contact line switches to keep the things working using the same process. No touch phones, just the old rotary dial back then. OH man that kind of dates me. :o 

Rich.

Yes it does, but I remember being on a "party"line:rolleyes:

Bill

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Bill, you just had to go there, didn't you? :(:P  I remember picking up the hearing part and getting the local operator, after turning the crank...Norway was behind America,  When I got here in 1953...I had party line...ugh!  Thanks...:lol:

Jim, I can't think of the last time I had a clean dollar bill...:( Do you wash them? :lol:

Carl

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18 hours ago, WILDEBILL308 said:

Yes it does, but I remember being on a "party"line:rolleyes:

Bill

I did not want to go that far back regarding telephones, but I did need to stand on a chair to turn the crank and then ask the operator to connect me to my friends and party lines where the norm. Note ! one could get a good jolt holding on the wires and turning the crank. That most likely is where my curiosity about electrons started.

Rich. 

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To carry this thread further astray. Do you remember that when you called someone and they answered you didn't have to say "where are you" You knew exactly where they were.B)

 Back to the problem of pjfromny's thermostat. When you spray the contacts with cleaner move the switch back and forth briskly a few times to help clean the contacts.

Bill

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