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 Gas Furnace Troubleshooting 
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My heater is on the fritz. When the thermostat turns it on, the blower goes but the gas never ignites. An LED blinks with a code so there’s something going wrong. Thankfully switching the furnace off and back on again gets it back on track.

Now to find a good HVAC company that isn’t going to give me the “desperate idiot in winter” rates...


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Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:15 am
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edogg wrote:
My heater is on the fritz. When the thermostat turns it on, the blower goes but the gas never ignites. An LED blinks with a code so there’s something going wrong. Thankfully switching the furnace off and back on again gets it back on track.

Now to find a good HVAC company that isn’t going to give me the “desperate idiot in winter” rates...


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This suggestion should be in the DIY thread perhaps but can you locate and inspect the igniter? (it remotely resembles a spark plug)

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Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:41 am
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edogg wrote:
My heater is on the fritz. When the thermostat turns it on, the blower goes but the gas never ignites. An LED blinks with a code so there’s something going wrong. Thankfully switching the furnace off and back on again gets it back on track.

Now to find a good HVAC company that isn’t going to give me the “desperate idiot in winter” rates...

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We had the same issue last year. Our issue was the pressure switch. The furnace couldn't build up enough pressure to light the gas. I took it apart warmed up the membrane and realigned it. Worked fine ever since. The membrane wasn't sealing correctly because of the cold it got stiff. Might want to check that out. HVAC buddy of mine said it is a common cold weather problem.


Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:04 am
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Wetpaperbag wrote:
edogg wrote:
My heater is on the fritz. When the thermostat turns it on, the blower goes but the gas never ignites. An LED blinks with a code so there’s something going wrong. Thankfully switching the furnace off and back on again gets it back on track.

Now to find a good HVAC company that isn’t going to give me the “desperate idiot in winter” rates...

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We had the same issue last year. Our issue was the pressure switch. The furnace couldn't build up enough pressure to light the gas. I took it apart warmed up the membrane and realigned it. Worked fine ever since. The membrane wasn't sealing correctly because of the cold it got stiff. Might want to check that out. HVAC buddy of mine said it is a common cold weather problem.


Interesting. I know pretty much nothing about furnaces. I’ll peek in there and see if I can spot that and the igniter like Juk suggested.

The furnace is in our attic and is insulated. So it doesn’t get cold, unless the cold is traveling down the chimney into the furnace itself.


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Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:11 am
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edogg wrote:
Wetpaperbag wrote:
edogg wrote:
My heater is on the fritz. When the thermostat turns it on, the blower goes but the gas never ignites. An LED blinks with a code so there’s something going wrong. Thankfully switching the furnace off and back on again gets it back on track.

Now to find a good HVAC company that isn’t going to give me the “desperate idiot in winter” rates...



We had the same issue last year. Our issue was the pressure switch. The furnace couldn't build up enough pressure to light the gas. I took it apart warmed up the membrane and realigned it. Worked fine ever since. The membrane wasn't sealing correctly because of the cold it got stiff. Might want to check that out. HVAC buddy of mine said it is a common cold weather problem.


Interesting. I know pretty much nothing about furnaces. I’ll peek in there and see if I can spot that and the igniter like Juk suggested.

The furnace is in our attic and is insulated. So it doesn’t get cold, unless the cold is traveling down the chimney into the furnace itself.

I had a similar situation last year. Opened up the furnace, located a troubleshooting diagram, and sure enough it appeared to be a pressure switch issue. I found one on eBay for $11, swapped it out, and the furnace has been running like a champ ever since. BTW, I did have a HVAC company come out and take a look at it (after I diagnosed that it was a pressure switch issue). They said I needed a new furnace and quoted me an insane number. I politely told them to F off. Moral of the story, do what you can first, and always get a second opinion.


Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:39 am
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Guns4Liberty wrote:
I had a similar situation last year. Opened up the furnace, located a troubleshooting diagram, and sure enough it appeared to be a pressure switch issue. I found one on eBay for $11, swapped it out, and the furnace has been running like a champ ever since. BTW, I did have a HVAC company come out and take a look at it (after I diagnosed that it was a pressure switch issue). They said I needed a new furnace and quoted me an insane number. I politely told them to F off. Moral of the story, do what you can first, and always get a second opinion.

This is such a common theme...
The amount of money that a family can save by becoming proficient in learning new repair skills is pretty amazing.
Mind, I don't mean that a person should become skilled at fixing furnaces or even cars... But to become willing to learn how to properly diagnose first, then to learn the basic repairs that are the most common faults.

Open things up and look for the obvious, then look at the operating and/or repair manuals, then go online for some of the fixes that you find out that you actually can tackle.
The savings will pay for new guns and ammo. :thumbsup2:

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Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:44 am
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PMB wrote:
Guns4Liberty wrote:
I had a similar situation last year. Opened up the furnace, located a troubleshooting diagram, and sure enough it appeared to be a pressure switch issue. I found one on eBay for $11, swapped it out, and the furnace has been running like a champ ever since. BTW, I did have a HVAC company come out and take a look at it (after I diagnosed that it was a pressure switch issue). They said I needed a new furnace and quoted me an insane number. I politely told them to F off. Moral of the story, do what you can first, and always get a second opinion.

This is such a common theme...
The amount of money that a family can save by becoming proficient in learning new repair skills is pretty amazing.
Mind, I don't mean that a person should become skilled at fixing furnaces or even cars... But to become willing to learn how to properly diagnose first, then to learn the basic repairs that are the most common faults.

Open things up and look for the obvious, then look at the operating and/or repair manuals, then go online for some of the fixes that you find out that you actually can tackle.
The savings will pay for new guns and ammo. :thumbsup2:

Agreed! :thumbsup2:

My dad is both an electrical and mechanical engineer, so there are very few DIY projects he's afraid to tackle. Growing up, I was very fortunate that he involved me in many of those, as I can now hold my own pretty well. Things I still need a lot of help with are plumbing (behind the wall stuff) and vehicles. But diagnosing is half the battle, and as soon as you understand how something works, you can narrow down the potential solutions much more quickly. It really does help preserve the 2A Fund. :wagwoot:


Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:58 am
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I've also seen that the hole/port on the pressure switch diaphram can get plugged --- pull the hose and check.

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Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:17 am
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JohnMBrowning wrote:
I've also seen that the hole/port on the pressure switch diaphram can get plugged --- pull the hose and check.


This and every other issue, including the switch itself shitting the bed. Kept a couple heaters going working for many moons. Once you know how they cycle and when they should send a voltage signal, pretty easy to diagnose.

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Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:40 am
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I like to DIY. But I know my limits. And there are some things that are just too big and hairy for me to tackle myself. Between skills, tools, and just plain spending the time.

I poked around the furnace a bit and found the igniter...no idea what I’m looking for on it other than “yep there it is”.

I have no idea what I’m looking for to locate the diaphragm. The manual doesn’t say anything about a diaphragm. So maybe mine doesn’t have one or it’s built into the gas flow module?

Given I have no experience with HVAC type stuff the schematics in the manual are Greek to me. Though I did find the secret decoder ring to tell me what the blinking LED means. Turns out that it’s an ignition lockout after 4 failed ignition attempts.

This is probably due to the power flickers. While I was looking at it and watching the furnace run, the power flickered and it started its shutdown sequence. Then it went to reignite and blinked a similar failure code. That would also explain by turning the furnace off and back on again clears the error.


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Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:42 am
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Any of you amateur furnace guys want to make the trek to Kirkland? ;)


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Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:43 am
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edogg wrote:
I like to DIY. But I know my limits. And there are some things that are just too big and hairy for me to tackle myself. Between skills, tools, and just plain spending the time.

I poked around the furnace a bit and found the igniter...no idea what I’m looking for on it other than “yep there it is”.

I have no idea what I’m looking for to locate the diaphragm. The manual doesn’t say anything about a diaphragm. So maybe mine doesn’t have one or it’s built into the gas flow module?

Given I have no experience with HVAC type stuff the schematics in the manual are Greek to me. Though I did find the secret decoder ring to tell me what the blinking LED means. Turns out that it’s an ignition lockout after 4 failed ignition attempts.

This is probably due to the power flickers. While I was looking at it and watching the furnace run, the power flickered and it started its shutdown sequence. Then it went to reignite and blinked a similar failure code. That would also explain by turning the furnace off and back on again clears the error.


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So, working now?

Don't be so timid on this one.

Igniters can be a little hard to get to, but isolate and just see if one is electrically open.

Diaphragm will have a rubber hose and two wire, to the left upper, USUALLY. But could be mounted anywhere really. Rubber hose to tube.

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Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:48 am
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Pablo wrote:
edogg wrote:
I like to DIY. But I know my limits. And there are some things that are just too big and hairy for me to tackle myself. Between skills, tools, and just plain spending the time.

I poked around the furnace a bit and found the igniter...no idea what I’m looking for on it other than “yep there it is”.

I have no idea what I’m looking for to locate the diaphragm. The manual doesn’t say anything about a diaphragm. So maybe mine doesn’t have one or it’s built into the gas flow module?

Given I have no experience with HVAC type stuff the schematics in the manual are Greek to me. Though I did find the secret decoder ring to tell me what the blinking LED means. Turns out that it’s an ignition lockout after 4 failed ignition attempts.

This is probably due to the power flickers. While I was looking at it and watching the furnace run, the power flickered and it started its shutdown sequence. Then it went to reignite and blinked a similar failure code. That would also explain by turning the furnace off and back on again clears the error.


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So, working now?

Don't be so timid on this one.

Igniters can be a little hard to get to, but isolate and just see if one is electrically open.

Diaphragm will have a rubber hose and two wire, to the left upper, USUALLY. But could be mounted anywhere really. Rubber hose to tube.


It’s been working since I “rebooted” it. But I don’t trust it since I had to “reboot” it again this morning after doing it last night.

I don’t see anything that looks like what you describe. Here’s a pic of what I’ve got.

Image

Edit: yes it appears the furnace is installed upside down.


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Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:12 am
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edogg wrote:
Pablo wrote:
edogg wrote:
I like to DIY. But I know my limits. And there are some things that are just too big and hairy for me to tackle myself. Between skills, tools, and just plain spending the time.

I poked around the furnace a bit and found the igniter...no idea what I’m looking for on it other than “yep there it is”.

I have no idea what I’m looking for to locate the diaphragm. The manual doesn’t say anything about a diaphragm. So maybe mine doesn’t have one or it’s built into the gas flow module?

Given I have no experience with HVAC type stuff the schematics in the manual are Greek to me. Though I did find the secret decoder ring to tell me what the blinking LED means. Turns out that it’s an ignition lockout after 4 failed ignition attempts.

This is probably due to the power flickers. While I was looking at it and watching the furnace run, the power flickered and it started its shutdown sequence. Then it went to reignite and blinked a similar failure code. That would also explain by turning the furnace off and back on again clears the error.


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So, working now?

Don't be so timid on this one.

Igniters can be a little hard to get to, but isolate and just see if one is electrically open.

Diaphragm will have a rubber hose and two wire, to the left upper, USUALLY. But could be mounted anywhere really. Rubber hose to tube.


It’s been working since I “rebooted” it. But I don’t trust it since I had to “reboot” it again this morning after doing it last night.

I don’t see anything that looks like what you describe. Here’s a pic of what I’ve got.

Image

Edit: yes it appears the furnace is installed upside down.


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Power off.

Igniter center, behind black pipe. Unplug (white wires), and check igniter side for continuity. Obviously this is NOT your issue currently has heater works! (lights)

The switch is to the lower right in the picture, but would be upper left if right side up :) See the rubber hose (gray) and orange and yellow wires. Take hose off blow it out, clean blow out port on the diaphragm.

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Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:35 am
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Thanks!! Will need to get some compressed air since I don’t have any.


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Tue Feb 12, 2019 11:53 am
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