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Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

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  • #16

    Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

    Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

    Art, If you had readout it would probably only showed vac switch prob .Not the detail .Some HE boilers /furnaces have the inside of the fan housing coated in a epoxy paint that flakes off after years or as you sat can be that white oxide you get on alloys or calcium . However remember all the safeties are usually in a daisy chain and one fails and the ignitor is disabled . You could have jumped the terminals on the vac unit and got it to fire .Just a bit dodgy if the vent was blocked or the ventor fan not working but a pair of roach clips and wire can help in diagnosing problems. Sometimes the tubing perishes after years
    Glad you solved it

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    • #17

      Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

      Originally posted by ArtMulder View Post
      Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)



      Fixed it AGAIN...

      I'm torn between grumpy that it happened again, and happy that I knew exactly what to do to fix it, saving a $150+ service call.

      Original post is from November 2013, It is now March 2015, so it's only been 16 months, give or take a bit.
      It is now February 2018 and it happened again. Fooled me for a few hours as the furnace would light, and appear to run a regular cycle and then a little while later it would cycle again. But you go back upstairs and an hour later you realize that the house is NOT warming up much. maybe a half degree warmer.

      Cycle the power and check and it would seem to start up and run a few cycles... but still a cold house.

      FInally I just figured that I should at least check if it was the same problem, so I pulled off the vacuum line and poked a paperclip in the hole. It seemed to have a bit of resistance.
      AND NOW the furnace fires right up and it was a full degree warmer in the house within a half hour, and now a few hours later we're back up to comfortable temps inside. (it was 16c in the house when I woke this morning!!!)

      I suspect (I have not disassembled it so I am not 100% certain) that the vacuum line was only partially blocked. So it would cycle and turn on, but then the partial blockage would me that it would turn off early OR the partial blockage would mean that it would turn off after just 2 or 3 on-cycles.

      Either way, it's fixed again, and we have again saved on a service call, but its a bit annoying. There's a design flaw there. I wonder if I could relocate the vacuum line to the TOP of the power fan enclosure instead at the bottom. Then the calcium from the condensate would not be able to gather there.

      Happy Day, all!
      It's not about you.

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      • #18

        Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

        Congratulations, well done !
        Like so many other things, furnaces have become more complicated to make them more efficient.

        Tim

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        • #19

          Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

          What is causing the blockage. Is it calcium or mold? Can a squirt of vinegar or chlorine from a syringe at the plug be done?? Let it cook a while before cycling.

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          • #20

            Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

            funny to see this thread now.
            Last week one of my garage heaters (which is a forced air one, Mr. Heater) stopped working, similar symptoms. So climbed up over the trailer that is parked just under it and started opening it out to figure out how it works and why the igniter wasn't kicking in. Noticed there is a tube going into something (which figured out must be a switch). After a while figured out it must be a vacuum switch and tried just like what you describe: suck the line and the switch would kick in and the igniter start. So the switch was fine but there was no vacuum being created when the inducer fan would start. I couldn't blow into it either (it was blocked). Took my compressor hose and started blowing into it. Now when the inducer fan started you could feel a bit of vacuum in the tube and it was enough to get the switch and igniter going.

            After about a week or two it happened again. This time opened the inducer fan housing to see what is behind that little hole to which the tube goes; nothing! so blow it out again with compressor and now it works again. I'm wondering what is getting there to block the air flow to begin with....
            Remember, we are here to share, learn, and enjoy. Relax.

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            • #21

              Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

              As I posted before with a couple of roach clips joined with wire just jump each safety in turn and you will locate the fault .no sucking and blowing just simple analysis. Arts tech should have a taken common sense 101. I recently trouble shot a new boiler put in by Gas company endorsed installer who changed the pump as there was no circulation. In moving the boiler to another part of the house they had crossed the feed and return lines dead heading the pump. .Their solution was to replace the pump and were then going to call in the suppliers because the boiler was faulty. Their faces were a picture when I pointed it out in front of the homeowner who had called me in. By the way some early boilers and furnaces had fan housings that were metal and powder coated after years of exposure to condensate the coating flaked off . It may be also that the acidic condensate (it is about the same acidity as vinegar ) is making furry corrosion on the alloy nipples Just food for thought
              Bryan @ Woodstock likes this.

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              • #22

                Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

                Originally posted by mreza View Post
                funny to see this thread now.
                Last week one of my garage heaters (which is a forced air one, Mr. Heater) stopped working, similar symptoms. So climbed up over the trailer that is parked just under it and started opening it out to figure out how it works and why the igniter wasn't kicking in. Noticed there is a tube going into something (which figured out must be a switch). After a while figured out it must be a vacuum switch and tried just like what you describe: suck the line and the switch would kick in and the igniter start. So the switch was fine but there was no vacuum being created when the inducer fan would start. I couldn't blow into it either (it was blocked). Took my compressor hose and started blowing into it. Now when the inducer fan started you could feel a bit of vacuum in the tube and it was enough to get the switch and igniter going.

                After about a week or two it happened again. This time opened the inducer fan housing to see what is behind that little hole to which the tube goes; nothing! so blow it out again with compressor and now it works again. I'm wondering what is getting there to block the air flow to begin with....
                Just curious if you removed the vacuum line and blew it out too? The vacuum from the fan is very light, so it doesn't take much to actuate the switch. Sometimes even a partial blockage in the hose is enough to keep it from working in the heater, but it works fine when you suck on it. I also have a Mr. Heater hanging heater and that's what I found when mine quit a few years ago..... a partial blockage in the hose. As I recall, it was a dead spider.

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                • #23

                  Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

                  The hose was clear John, the connection to the fan housing (which has a very tiny hole) was somehow blocked). I couldn't clear it with blowing (mouth) into the hose but compressed air worked in clearing it. Yes, the vacuum created is very light and a small sucking at the hose connected to the switch would activate the switch and start the ignition.
                  Remember, we are here to share, learn, and enjoy. Relax.

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                  • #24

                    Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

                    I think what you got there is a clinker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjNqLOorulI

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                    • #25

                      Re: Furnace Won't Light (fixed)

                      I'm amazed that you noticed a 1.8 C drop in house temperature, I hope no one puts a pea under your mattress, you'll never get any sleep! Good diagnostic work figuring out what the problem was, well done.

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