Caravan gas heater

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 10:49
ThreadID: 119271 Views:2364 Replies:6 FollowUps:9
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We recently had an incident with our caravan gas heater which caused the heater to explode blowing off the exhaust system and the external cover across the park some 30 metres. I had attempted to start the unit without removing the external cover, the units turned itself off as expected, it was 5:00 am and I was a bit dopey and with out thinking after waiting a few minutes I tried again. The unit started the fan as per the process then exploded. Has anyone had l similar experience or am I the only dill?
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Reply By: Member - John - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 11:47

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 11:47
Pat & Will, no, you are not a dill, the unit shouldn't have started the second time, the safety system isn't fool proof.................. I would be talking to the manufacturer and asking why it happened. Luckily nobody was hurt. John
John and Jan

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Follow Up By: Member - John - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 11:48

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 11:48
meant to add after "the safety system isn't fool proof.................. " it should be!!!!
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Follow Up By: Notso - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 12:19

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 12:19
Like most of these things, the auto shut off will reset after a period, so if you don't investigate why it happened the first time it will reset so you get a second chance to blow yourself up.
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Follow Up By: Pat & Will - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 13:15

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 13:15
Thanks for your comments, we have contacted the distributor (a very large caravan products supplier) who has responded with "Not covered by warranty " (Misuse). I guess there isn't a safety system in place to prevent people like me having a brain fade. On the humour side my wife said if it's going to start like that each time I could stick it. Buyer beware
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Reply By: Athol W1 - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 14:19

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 14:19
Pat Will
Not good to hear out your little bit of excitement for the day.

If the manufacturer of the unit is not interested then may suggest that you contact either, or both, the Australian Gas Association and/or the ACCC (Australian Consumer Commission), as they can order the manufacturer to conduct a product recall to correct anything that they see as a Safety Related Defect, and I would suggest that something that will cause some sort of explosion and throw a projectile some 30 metres would have to be safety related.

Best of luck
Regards
Athol
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Follow Up By: Pat & Will - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 15:14

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 15:14
Hi Athol, hadn't considered that it was that serious particularly after the service guys response, but it maybe worth a call to gas association to obtain their opinion.
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Follow Up By: Pat & Will - Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 14:29

Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 14:29
Hi Athol, we have gotten through to the appropriate people at the supplier who have now taken the incident seriously. The unit will be replaced and the unit concerned will be investigated for faults. Thanks for your input
Cheers
Will
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Follow Up By: Athol W1 - Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 19:21

Friday, Jul 03, 2015 at 19:21
Will
That is good news.

May I suggest that this incident is still reported to the authorities, even if you wait until you have your new unit, as they may not take any action on only one such report but if they are getting repeated reports about a particular unit then it does show that there is an issue that requires further action.

Regards
Athol
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Follow Up By: Pat & Will - Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 22:26

Sunday, Jul 05, 2015 at 22:26
We have contacted the association and they are coordinating to process with follow-up.
Cheers
Will
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Reply By: HKB Electronics - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 15:07

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 15:07
I would have thought the safety interlocks and the gas certification process would ensure the unit is explosion proof no matter else what's the purpose?

For example and this is regarding a water heater so not exactly the same but similar, the VistaRV can have a gas hot water system that is installed in a locker, to use the heater the locker door must be open, as part of the gas desertification requirement it has a micro switch connected to the door, the heater will not operate unless the door is open.

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Follow Up By: Pat & Will - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 15:19

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 15:19
I have checked the outlet and there isn't any wiring going to the cowl. From the manual there isn't a requirement either, only that if there is an opening window above the outlet there must be an interloc to ensure the window is closed during operation. Not required in our case.
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Reply By: Droving on the long plain - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 16:30

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 16:30
Pat & Will,
I forgot to take the cap off once, lit the heater which immediately shut down, then remembered I didn't remove the exhaust cap, I removed the cap and them proceeded to restart the heater, fired up no problem.
I now always remove the cap when parking up for the night during winter. Better than having to go out in the freezing cold to do it the next morning?

Great heater!! my better half agrees and will still venture on a winter trip.

I don,t know or have not heard of any faults like yours, I will take particular care if the heater doesn't fire up in future.

You were fortunate that apart from blowing the cap off no one got hurt and I presume the heater wasn't damaged and is working OK.
enjoy your travels.
cheers,
Drover.
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Follow Up By: Pat & Will - Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 16:58

Tuesday, Jun 23, 2015 at 16:58
We have used the heater once before and found it very good but it's not working now as the explosion not only blow the cap off but it also tore the exhaust pipe from the outlet of the heater damaging the protective tube in the process.
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Reply By: Member - Ian G (NSW) - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015 at 00:06

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015 at 00:06
G'day Pat & Will,

Before, as suggested earlier, you contact the gas association &/or the ACCC, go back to the supplier and advise them that you are going to contact both organisations and suggest a recall be undertaken.

I would be surprised if you don't get a different response from them after that.

Regards,

Ian
You don't have to know everything - you just have to know someone who does.

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Reply By: TomH - Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015 at 08:58

Wednesday, Jun 24, 2015 at 08:58
Lucky you werent parked next to a van with a kid in a bunk right beside it.
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