furnace help? end of my rope - Jemsite
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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furnace help? end of my rope

i have been wrestling with this for 3 weeks now...intermittent heat in the house. i learned a lot in the last 3 weeks about furnaces.

it's a gas furnace, a york diamond 80, built in '95. house is 10 years old.

the issue is that the furnace kicks on, ignitor lights and then gas comes out and blue flames ignite to warm the place. for whatever damned reason the flames go out and the gas shuts off. it went from once a week to once every 5 hours. we not come home to a freezing house and wake up to a freezing house...and it's cold in chicago! when it just kicks off, the thermostat is still saying it is too cold obviously and to keep the furnace going....so, the blower still blows, now circulating cold air through the house.

to "fix" it i power down or "reboot" the furnace at the switch on the furnace. turning it back on makes everything good again....till the next time. you never know when it will go out next.

i replaced the digital thermostat with a $85 honeywell (sweet), i replaced the flame sensor and yes the filter is new. still an issue.

i called a heating guy out and he found nothing. he said it has to fail for him to fix it. understood but haven't you seen this before? when the furnace goes out the red light blinks 5 times, pointing to a rollout switch i believe.

i'm stuck. i was going to replace the circuit board on my own but that might not even be it.

thanks for reading.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 05:28 PM
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

For your furnace, I'd recommend a repair contract from someone like PSEG asap. You have a 2-3 week "wait period" but you'll need that long term for things like this from my experience.

These things always fail at night when it's colder and they run alot. i know what you're saying.

Did you search around online for that furnace. Surprised he never saw this before... get a second opinion as you await the service contract if you don't want to pay $100 a pop for service calls... glen
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

Glen what's up? yeah man, you know i searched all over the web. did a search on so many things. rollout switches, circuit / control boards, etc. i'm having someone pickup a control board and rollout switch for me tonight so i can install it tonight. no one from the 2 heating places is calling me back even though they said they would. i'll read directions and do it myself. i hate to be put into that and i cringe but i know it's easy. if i feel i can't do it then i won't. i will also get up on the roof somehow and see if there is clogging anywhere, bird's nest, etc. that rollout switch shuts down the gas flow in case of fire....it's a safety. i think that rollout switch is faulty. that explains the gas just cutting out.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 05:48 PM
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

Gas furnaces,

Inductor fan turns on
When enough vacumn is detected in the flue the gas valve is opened and the ignitor lights the gas.
Burn until the thermostat reaches desired temperature, flame shuts off but fan still runs to suck available heat out of the transfer box

Usually the cause of premature shutoff is the high temp limit sensor is fried. In the transfer box there's a sensor that will shut the system down if the temp goes above a certain level for safety. Of coure being in a very hot spot for many years takes it's toll and they just start going whacky. They're only like $15 and are very accesible for any consumer to replace. You can contact a local York dealer for the part, and just look inside the furnace until you find it, then replace. Typical is 2 screws.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 05:56 PM
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

Rich, where are these located in a simple furnace w/ circulator pumps (hot-water baseboard heating).

I had a few "pilot light went out" problems and my service guy replaced the gas sensor/valve which is said to be one of the few moving parts on the unit. It happened again and the next guy was miffed what he did, then replaced a $5 ignitor coil. Took 3 guys (two under the service contract) to get it fixed that winter... LOL... glen
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 06:01 PM
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

No experience with the hot water systems, but if it's the same [transfer box] it's probably in the flue or transfer box. I just have [lots] of experience with my forced air system. I've replaced my limit sensor 2 or 3 times in the 25 years since the furnace was installed, among inductor fans, rebuilt the motor for the forced air fan, replaced the control panel, among a few other things. In fact I have a spare limit sensor sitting on top of my furnace so I don't have to go get one the next time it goes

Pilot lights going out is usually a crust buildup interferring with the flow. If you take a wire brush and clean the tip of the nozel and inside it as far as you can reach it should clear up. I have to do that to my hot water heater every few years.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 10:52 PM
 
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

I've been in the HVAC/R field since 1983. I work for a major wholesale distributor in Baltimore. On the heating and air conditioning side, I handle equipment and parts sales, system design and troubleshooting. When the contractor can't fix it, he calls me or the manufacturer.

Shredmaster, there are 2 major causes of a rollout switch fault code.
1) The most common is an intermitent or permanent failure of the switch. Either the switch is weak and temporarily opens, or it will not reset at all, causing the fault code to blink on your system board.
2) The most dangerous (and possibly deadly) cause is a cracked or rusted out heat exchanger tube. When a tube or heat exchanger section is cracked or rusted out, the air from the circulating fan is forced through the hole and causes the flame in the faulty burner tube to blow back and "rollout" of the burner. The presence of the misguided flame causes the temperature to rise in the burner chamber and the rollout switch opens. There is usually a red reset button located in the center of the switch. Press the button and the contacts will close, provided the bimetal switch has cooled enough to allow a reset. There is a dangerous side effect of the cracked heat exchanger. Flue gases, including carbon monoxide (CO), will escape from the heat exchanger and mix with the air passing through the furnace and it is then circulated through your ducts and throughout your home.

If you have any type of fossil fueled (wood or pellet stove, fireplace, natural gas, liquid propane or fuel oil) heating system in your home, please please, please have at least 2 carbon monoxide detectors in your home. For forced air systems, locate one in the furnace equipment area. The other one should be located near the supply air outlet of the first branch duct off of the main trunk. This will be the branch duct closest to the furnace.

I know your furnace is only 10 years old, but in a poorly ventilated home, without adequate fresh air intake, I've seen heat exchangers rust out in 3 to 4 years. This usually occurs in newer homes that are well insulated and lack a source of fresh combustion air in the furnace area. This was never a problem in older homes because fresh cold air poured in through cracks around windows, doors and electrical outlets located on exterior walls. In the case of a tightly insulated home, the furnace burns oxygen at a faster rate than it can infiltrate through the tiny cracks under your exterior doors. This causes a low oxygen flame and an incomplete burning of the fuel. One byproduct of gas and oil combustion is sulfuric acid. The higher the oxygen mixture, the hotter the flame, more sulfur is burned and less sulfuric acid remains in the heat exchanger and flue pipes. If you don't have a fresh air intake in your furnace room or basement, you can make one inexpensively by installing a dryer vent through the wall and covering the interior opening with a piece of window screen. The flapper should be removed and the screen will prevent birds and insects from entering the vent.

If the new rollout switch continues to cause the board to shut the furnace down, call a service tech immediately. If you can't find one that is reputable on your own, ask one of the older residents on your street to refer one for you. Better yet, call the York equipment distributor in your area and have them refer one. A licensed and qualified company will have hand held CO detectors supplied to their technicians. They will check the supply air vents for the presence of CO in the air stream.

If you decide to purchase a service and maintenance agreement, make sure that part of the annual maintenance checkup includes a test with a hand held CO detector.

Let me know how this turns out. I'll be subscribing to this thread, so either post it here, PM or email me.

I hope it all turns out well without too much expense on your part. If I was in your area, I'd come out and check it over for free. (Well not free - you'd owe me a sandwich and a couple beers!)


Scott
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2005, 11:48 PM
 
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

Shredmaster, is your York Diamond 80 furnace a downflow or counterflow model? (cold return air enters the top and warm supply air exits from the bottom)

There was a major recall on these models manufactured beginning in 1995.

See the Consumer Products Safety Commission recall notice:

http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml00/00003.html
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-01-2005, 10:20 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

Scott,

thanks so much man! that post kinda made me nervous. i don't know the answers to half that stuff. i will get a couple co detectors today. put one by the furnace and one upstairs by the bedrooms? makes sense?

well last night i got this circuit board and rollout switch. we replaced the rollout switch first but i think the guy gave me the wrong circuit board. there were 3 extra leads coming off the furnace and i couldn't see where to put them on the new board. 2 for LEDs and 1 for FAN. maybe i don't need the fan lead, maybe it is integrated in the new board. who knows. the instructions said it will support furnaces (listing the first 4 digits of model numbers) and mine was there, P2MP. ok cool, but then below it said "this circuit board part# only replaces the following circuit board part#'s.....and mine wasn't there. there were only 6 listed. so i'm going to try and take it back.

we made it through the night without the burners cutting out. if i get home from work and the heat is still on, i may feel good about it. if i make it through till friday night, i will feel better (since it cut out 4 times in a day on wednesday.) if i make it through the weekend, maybe it's fixed??

maybe it was the rollout since the furnace blinked 5 times...pointing to rollout switch? i hope it wasn't a deeper issue with an actual rollout issue! or what you said! maybe i had a freaky switch that just turned the burners off, shutting the gas down?

i did get nervous for a 2nd after i turned the switch on the breaker box on and powered up the furnace after i turned the gas back on...the light blinked 5 times right away after trying to light. maybe cuz i had all the electrical off and it was the first run?

here is the model number of my york diamond 80. i don't know if it was recalled or not. i did read something to that effect.

model# P2MPD12N06401E

thanks for all your help!!! i'll email you to keep you posted with more details.

steve
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

well so far so good. hasn't kicked off yet since wednesday afternoon (do i dare type this! i seriously believe it is hearing me type this. that is how crazy i am with it.) after the $5 rollout switch, it seems to be ok. if it makes it to tonight i will be happy, and through saturday, very happy.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-02-2005, 02:04 PM
 
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Re: furnace help? end of my rope

Don't have these kind of problems in this country, wood and electricity is the chosen method up here.

But I wish you good luck! Sounds like a problem I'd avoid.
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