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Old 01-01-2011, 10:49 AM   #1
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Hi, I have a Carrier 58STA090 Forced Air Furnace running on propane. Last night I noticed that it was running kind of strange. It would turn on for a couple of minutes, blow cold air and turn back off again. It was late so I didn't mess with it. In the morning we woke up to -24f outside and 50f inside. The blower was not running at all. The burner would fire up for a few seconds and then shut off.

Once the outside temp warrmed up to about 10f it started running fine and has been running non-stop ever since, trying to get the house back up to 68f.

The furnace "lives" in a closet on the south side of the house. The closet has a vent in it that pulls air from outside. I was thinking that the sub-zero temps were causing a problem but I'm not sure?

Any ideas?

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Old 01-01-2011, 11:05 AM   #2
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


How much Propane do you have in your tank? If it is low then the pressure drops with the outdoor temp.

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Old 01-01-2011, 11:29 AM   #3
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


It is about 80% full. They just filled it up last week.

-s
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:48 AM   #4
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Should have a plastic viewing hole on the bottom door. Look inside when it is acting up for a flashing error code. Carefully read the error code legend on the door. Changed your air filter lately? All vents open? Check the top of your chimney for ice buildup.
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Old 01-01-2011, 12:10 PM   #5
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Hi Yuri,

Thanks for the replies. I'll go out and get a new air filter today. I did change it about a month or two ago but it is worth a shot. The exhaust on the roof looks clear of snow and the vent on the side of the house is open. It is actually quite big, maybe 8" x 8". I just taped off part of it an hour ago because it was letting in a lot of cold air.

The red light was blinking eariler but isn't now. It is a steady red. I'll have to check the owners manual.

thanks,

-s
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:15 PM   #6
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
How much Propane do you have in your tank? If it is low then the pressure drops with the outdoor temp.
You might have a good point there yuri.
At -44 propane stops boiling and that means no more pressure.
Skadera, does your propane tank have a pressure guage?

- 24,,,good grief !!!
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Old 01-01-2011, 01:23 PM   #7
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


If the tank is full it will keep going. We get down to -40 here once in awhile and have Propane in our rural areas. Need to keep it topped up though.
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Old 01-01-2011, 03:42 PM   #8
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Hi all, thanks for the replies. I'd be suprised if it was the propane since they just filled it the week before xmas and yesterday is the first time we have ever had an issue with the furnace.

So far it has run fine all day today. We have tile floors so it is taking a while to get the whole house back up to temperature.

Here's what I have done so far:

- Replaced Air Filter (the old one doesn't look bad at all)
- Cleaned off flame sensor
- checked the roof vent, it seems fine
- closed off some of the ventillation from outside because it was bringing in a lot of cold air.

Since it is running ok right now I haven't checked the warrning light but will check it if it starts to act up again. some of the error messages are a little cryptic so I'm not sure how much that will help.

I think for now I'm going to monitor it closly. If it starts to act up then I'll pull the cover off again and see what the light says.

Regardless, I'll get it serviced ealy next week and have them troubleshoot it.

Of couse, it is supposed to get below -10 again tonight so we'll see if we survive. :-)

If you think of anything else please let me know.

Thanks,

-s
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Old 01-01-2011, 06:46 PM   #9
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Don't pull the cover off or it will erase the code. Need to view it thru that window. OR tape the door switch behind the lower door closed with the handymans secret weapon so the power stays on when you remove the lower door.
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:34 AM   #10
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Hi all,

-20f again last night.

Ok, I'm going to take back what I said yesterday about the propane tank. We ran the furnace all day yesterday without a problem once the temp got above 5f on the south side of the house. It was fine when we went to bed but stopped working shortly thereafter. Since the whole house was nice and warm at 10:00 PM it is unlikly that the temp outside would affect the furnace. However, it is possible that the regulator has frozen up on the tank. And, the tank is also on the south side of the house so it warms up faster than the air temp.

I've called the propane company and they are sending someone out to look at it. The guy said that you can get some moisture in the tank and that will freeze up the regulator. They can add a little methane to the mix and that should fix the problem.

Thanks for all your help.

-s
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Old 01-02-2011, 09:46 AM   #11
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Let us know in a day or two if that fixes the problem. You can then help your fellow man/woman/ other posters.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:01 AM   #12
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Skadera. May I suggest inquiring about a PSI gage be installed?
What happens to propane when it boils. It gets colder causing pressure to drop even more.
About 5 years ago I worked for a family owned propane business for 3 months between jobs. Being always eager to learn something new, when the owner told me that propane stops boiling at -44 I ask him if he had ever seen a conditon where a customers pressure dropped too low. He said one time over 30 years ago he saw -10 and an industrial customer needed more propane than his tank could deliver. I ask him how he raised the pressure. He said they set a car tire on fire and slid it under the tank. When the pressure came up to normal he pulled the tire back a foot or so. Doing that today would bring on WW III. NOT A SAFE idea !!
Being a volunteer fire fighter I have to say that propane tanks are built strong. Even with a house fully engulfed in flames I have never seen a BLEVE from the immense heat. My very first house fire call was from a propane explosion. It raised the roof. Total loss. We did spray the propane tank with water a few times for insurance.


Last edited by Know It ALL; 01-02-2011 at 10:04 AM.
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Old 01-02-2011, 10:11 AM   #13
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


COOL explosions. And you wonder why us Pros are leery about giving DIYers advice on fixing gas burners. They use large vaporizers in large applications like boilers for schools in Northern Canada as well as grain dryers and other commercial/industrial apps. Not for resi use though. Scary units though if not run properly. My Buddy is a boiler inspector and goes up North a lot and sees these units.
http://www.altenergy.com/products/Va...s/Prod_Vap.htm
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:10 AM   #14
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Carrier Furance will not keep running


Hi All,

Just thought you would like to know that the furnace has been working fine the last two nights.

Also note, it was not methane that they added, it was methanol.

Thanks everyone for your help...

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