Truma Trumatic ignitor problem - sort of

Discussion in 'Heating and Air-Conditioning' started by veevee, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    We have a Truma Trumatic SL 5002 gas heater and tried for the first time to operate it today.

    The upshot was the automatic ignitor sort of doesn't work, but only sort of.

    We have the original manual and following the checks suggested took out the two batteries and checked the voltage, they are fine at just over 1.5v.

    On replacing the battery housing I could hear the ignitor sparking as the battery housing was being pushed into place but didn't know where the flame observation window was so didn't see the spark.

    After finding the flame/spark window depressed the control knob but no spark.

    Removed the battery housing and on removal heard the spark. Pushed the housing back in and saw/heard the spark lasting for around 5-8 seconds, then stop.

    Tried the control knob again and no spark.

    Have to mention that I had turned the gas off as I didn't want a gas build up while sorting the spark out.

    So, every time I remove and refit the battery housing the ignitor operates for 5-8 seconds, but wont ignite via the control knob.

    Have taken a brief look at the heater battery terminals, they look good and clean.

    Any help much appreciated as I'm not very conversant with these.
     
  2. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    I think our system's the same as yours. If you are getting the clicking noise it would seem the gas is not coming through? Normally,when I change the gas bottle for example, I just turn the Truma control to 2 or 3, press down, hold down for 10/15 seconds, then release it - this is when you hear the clicking sound. Normally this is when the burner starts: you can see the flames down in left hand corner through the sight aperture. Occasionally, if the gas bottle isn't changed immediately it runs out I need to hold the knob depressed for quite a while longer to allow the gas to reach the heater. I found once that lighting a cooker burner speeded up the gas flow somehow :Eek!:.
     
  3. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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  4. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Hello St C

    At the moment the problem is not if the burner will light, but there is no form of spark when pressing the control knob.

    The strange part is that only when re-fitting the batteries and housing will the ignitor work for a few seconds, the ignitor button wont opereate the ignitor at all.

    After the first few tries of trying to get the heater to light I did switch off the gas, just in case. So I am not expecting the heater to work, only the ignitor to work.

    Thanks for your thoughts
     
  5. stcyr

    stcyr Funster

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    Hmm. Ours only sparks as I release the knob. I turn the knob, press it down, hold it for a bit, then release and THEN get the sparking as it all lights up. Clicking continues sometimes for a couple of seconds after flames start... :Confused:
     
  6. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    We had a similar problem on our old Elddis.

    The problem with ours was that the insulation around the igniter lead had become damaged and was shorting out on the burner body.

    There was a spark, but not in right place!:Smile:
     
  7. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Stcyr

    Hmm. Ours only sparks as I release the knob. I turn the knob, press it down, hold it for a bit, then release and THEN get the sparking as it all lights up. Clicking continues sometimes for a couple of seconds after flames start... :Confused:

    Didn't realise the spark only occurrred after the release of the cobtrol knob, but have to say that there is no spark either when the knob is depressed of after.


    jonandshell

    We had a similar problem on our old Elddis.

    The problem with ours was that the insulation around the igniter lead had become damaged and was shorting out on the burner body.

    There was a spark, but not in right place!:Smile:

    The puzzle is the spark can be seen through the viewing window ie the right place, but only as the ignitor batteries are refitted, not when or after the control knob is depressed

    As the spark can be seen even though not at the correct operation, it tends to make me think the ignitor system is in working order?

    We are away for the next two days, but will look at the wiring over the weekend just in case, but it is still a puzzle.

    Thanks to both for your help.
     
  8. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Hi there...

    After loads of trouble getting my 5002 to fire up I ordered a new igniter unit... the old one worked some times and not at others. While waiting for it to arrive I lashed up a manual, push button type igniter from the Wagon Truma/Carver heater. Held the gas control knob down to let some gas through and pressed the button... worked first time every time... (you keep the knob held down for a few seconds to allow the heat to operate the thermocouple which keeps the gas flowing and then you set it to the heat setting you want. If the flames goes out the thermocouple switches the gas off so you don't die/catch fire.)

    When the new igniter arrived I wired it in and TUNGA... 100%

    The control knob connects via a long piece of coat hanger type wire to the gas valve and igniter switch at the bottom of the heater... it is a good piece of kit and all parts are available.

    I would recommend (assuming you are a DIYer) that you see about getting the whole heater out and on a bench/kitchen table :)Wink:). In my Hymer 660 it was a twenty minute job. Then you can give everything a good clean and learn how it all works...

    ...there should be a series of photos of mine somewhere on here...

    JJ :Cool:

    PS... after holding the knob down you do have to twist it a little (anti-clockwise)(to around the number five on mine) to switch the igniter on...)
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2012
  9. Douglas

    Douglas Read Only Funster

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    There you go JJ, practical experience over hearsay and theory every time.

    Doug...
     
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  10. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Some time since the first post but as it's starting to get chilly and we are using the van in a couple of weeks I thought it's time to go back to the problem.

    The model is a Trumatic - SL 5002/3 with a twin battery pack.

    Batteries are flat, were fitted new in January and the heater hasn't been used at all.

    Fitted new batteries, turned on the gas and away it went, but that was the only time.
    Burner works well, adjusts easily for heat level, extinguishes on turning off. Exhaust has good volume at the chimney outlet so no blockage, van get very warm quickly on maximum heat.

    There after the gas would ignite when the battery compartment is opened, it appears to creat a single spark which inginites the gas that is coming through as it should.

    Once or twice the ingnitor would spark after refitting the batteries, and if I depressed the heat control the heater would light.

    Have checked all the connections at the battery compartment, all are good except there is a 0.5v difference between the battery terminals and where the small twin wire plug fits to the two pins.

    As mentioned before by JJ, the battery assembly contains a form of condensor? which generates the spark. This of course could be erratic as wire terminals when clean tend not to produce different results one moment to another. But the spark at the ingition point is strong when sparking, but doesn't spark most of the time after the first ignition.

    I don't understand what the twin wires which run from behind the battery pack to the gas switch at the base of the heat control do. What sort of electrical switch do they operate by the gas switch?

    Any help gratefully received
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2012
  11. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Next day

    Refiited the Auto Ignitor/ battery pack housing, turned on gas at the heater, pressed the heater control to allow gas through and lots of sparks and ingnition.

    Left it to run for about a minute, can hear the burners burning, turned off.

    Went and had a cup of tea, went back hoping that just by removing the Auto Ignitor had cured it.

    Turned the gas control knob = A/I on, no sparks.

    Left again for a couple of minutes and repeated this, no sparks

    Tried another time, same result.

    Last, turned on heater control to half way, depressed the heater control to allow gas to run, clipped open the battery compartment and immediately pushed back in and heater lit but conldn't hear the spark, it may have only have been a single spark as the heater lights easily enough.

    Repeated this another 2 times and lit each time.


    Switched off heater control, did something else for 20 minutes and went back and fitted the battery housing back into the A/I. Sparked rapidly for maybe 10 seconds then spark slowed down until it stopped, in all maybe 20 seconds. I didn't know it was supposed to spark until the gas was turned on which makes me wonder about the switch on the gas control, or maybe it is the A/I that is giving a false command that the gas is on?


    Left with batteries fitted for another 15 minutes, heater control off. Go back switch heater control on...

    (this is the command for the A/I to start spaking) ( ah, so that's what the gas switch does, completes a circuit to allow the A/I to function? )

    it ignites. Turn off immediately, give it a couple of minutes, no spark and no ignition.

    Try pushing the electrical switch on the gas control, ignites when gas is on (also can here a few sparks). Can repeat this but not every time.


    The gas control is very dry and gives a little resistance both pushing down and rotating, so use a tiny amount of WD40 on each of the moving sections. That's a lot better.

    Can now get the stove to light every time. Depress contol knob and then turn, both burner 1 then two light up. Have repeated this half a dozen times now and lights every time.

    It suggests to me the electrical/gas switch at the base of the control is either corroded a little on the contacts or is faulty, but it doesn't appear to be the Automatic Ignitor.


    The heater hasn't been used for for a minimum of 16 months, plenty of time for corrosion to leave a light film, enough not to make a good contact. Plus the openings below the stove through the floor are the perfect place for air laden moisture to come into the interior.


    Have now waited another 15 minutes to try to light the heater as per the handbook - Quote

    "Turn the control knob to a number between 1 and 10, the automatic ignitor will produce sparks (shown by the indicator light flashig).

    Press down control know until heater lights. Keep it pressed down for 10 seconds until flame failure device has responded. "

    Sparked first time, second time... and all the way to the 15th time. On the 15th time dressed the control and lit immediately. Spark had become slow on the last few attempts, but leaving the A/I for say 20 seconds enabled it to recover a little.

    The is a possibilty that the A/I is slower than it should be, but it works every time now.

    Best guess is some of the WD40 got into the area of the contacts in the electrical switch on the gas control.


    The fact that it worked correctly one time only after being left for several hours or overnight suggest that the condensor? part of the A/I is not what it should be.


    This will do for the time being, now to get onto those other jobs before leaving, and hope this helps others from so much head scratching.
     
  12. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    I feel it is the igniter.

    Mine gave me lots of grief.

    Sometimes worked perfectly, sometimes didn't.

    Stopped using the van because of the possibilty of being cold.

    As I posted before, I lashed up a manual sparky thingy (off an old Truma) and it worked everytime.

    When the new igniter arrived (a single, not double battery one) all the frustration disappeared. After fitting it the heater just works. Every time.

    JJ
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  13. veevee

    veevee Funster

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    Thanks JJ

    The idea I was trying to put over is the ignitor probably is faulty but it is 'switched' by the electrical switch by the gas control, at the base of the operating knob.

    So even with a new ignitor the probelm with the switch would remain.

    Having a double problem in the same area confused me for quite a while, I didn't understand the complete circuit (not sure I do now!), but feel it would be possible to disconect the electrical switch at the gas control and replace it with a manual on/off as you did.

    The new batteries have lost small amounts of voltage quickly but I don't know what the draw is when the ignitor is running. They also lost voltage overnight when the ignitor was not in use so there appears to be a current drain all the time, albeit slowly.

    Although the ignitor works it's doesn't spark for long and slows quite quickly, and have believed all along that you were correct in suspecting the ignitor, but as now proven the switch also had a big part to play in our heater so this is a little more to add to the knowledge base.

    This heater puts out a stupendous amount of heat, 5.5 kW, have never used one of these before and really impressed for a 20 year old device.

    Thanks again, couldn't have done it without your input.
     
  14. bobbybear

    bobbybear Read Only Funster

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    The best way to test an ignitor box is OFF the van ,use a 6 inch length of insulated wire ,wedge one end between the two fine pins of the connector and hold the other end close to the single terminal . Bam,BAM, BAM, if its ok. carefull not to get a shock!!!.
     
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