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Old 01-06-2012, 11:52 PM   #1
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


There seems to be an ongoing issue with the furnance over the last few days. For some reason, I get the furnace working by turning it off manually from the electrical panel or switch, or by turning off the heat on my thermostat and than calling for heat again. This will sometime work, other times, I have to take off the front door panel to the furnace and put the swith to the off position and then back on, and press a few times on the red button by the ignition chamber (I believe this is a reset button).

Now, I removed the filter and put in a new one and checked outside the home for air flow problems as the ignitor seems to heat up at times but does not ignite (no pilot light). I can get heat after doing the above, however when leaving the furnace to go through its own cycle, once the heat turns off, it doesn't seem to want to come back on its own.

Any reason for this? What would be the most likely causes?

Help is greatly appreciated as I would like to eliminate any potential fixes or problems before having to call a tech and see what parts he gets me to change that aren't really required.

I had the furnace serviced in August 2010, but did not really see what the guy did.

The furnace is about 14 years old. It works like a charm when I turn it on manually, but doesn't want to go through cycles. I am thinking something is wrong with the ignitor, maybe too much dust?

There is a red solid on the motherboard currently, but it was blinking earlier when the furnace was not "on".

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Old 01-07-2012, 12:06 AM   #2
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


This button you speak of, does it have two wires connected to it?

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Old 01-07-2012, 12:09 AM   #3
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


Yes it does. Also, there is no pilot light on this furnace so I should not have written that. I just read more of the instructions and it definitely says not to try and light it on your own. It should light on its own....which it doesn't seem to always do, only when I shut the whole system down and then start it up again.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:18 AM   #4
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


No pilot light meaning no consistant flame that lights the gas whence the gas valve opens but rather a spark ignition which acts like a car spark plug or a hot surface ignitor which glows?

Either way, the little button you are pressing which resets once pressed is called a flame rollout switch. Not good.

This means that your furnace is getting too hot and around the burner orifice. A flame rollout switch is exactly as it sounds, the flame is "rolling out" of it's burner compartment. The switch is doing it's job by shutting the gas (thus heat) off. The problem is not the switch.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:24 AM   #5
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


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Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
No pilot light meaning no consistant flame that lights the gas whence the gas valve opens but rather a spark ignition which acts like a car spark plug or a hot surface ignitor which glows?

Either way, the little button you are pressing which resets once pressed is called a flame rollout switch. Not good.

This means that your furnace is getting too hot and around the burner orifice. A flame rollout switch is exactly as it sounds, the flame is "rolling out" of it's burner compartment. The switch is doing it's job by shutting the gas (thus heat) off. The problem is not the switch.
What could be the problem? Why is it getting suddenly so hot whereas a few weeks ago it was working fine?
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:54 AM   #6
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


jean,

There are alot of reasons why your furnace is overheating. Undersize return, undersize ducts, clogged evaporator coil, clogged filter, ect.
Try this steps,

1. Check all your supply vents, make sure it is open. Take a flash light and look into it, make sure there is no obstruction.
2. Take a look at your return vent to make sure it's not block by furniture, sofa, ect. It's the biggest vent inside your house.
3. Change the filter.

If all fail, your best bet is to call a tech.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:28 AM   #7
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


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What could be the problem? Why is it getting suddenly so hot whereas a few weeks ago it was working fine?
If "all of a sudden" is truely it then an air flow issue as Mr. Hvac has said. Most likely an evaporator coil plugged with grime. The evaporator coil is only "used" in cooling mode but it sits in the way of air flow at all times. If it has dirt accumulated than the hot air during heating mode is restricted from flowing thus overheating.
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Old 01-07-2012, 08:36 AM   #8
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


Limits trip from not enough air flow. Roll out switches trip because of blocked flues or cracked heat exchangers.

Small cracks in the exchanger often cause no problems with the furnace operation so folks don't know they're there without annual inspections.Hopefully those inspections are done before the cold weather sets in since parts can take days or weeks to get. Once it has opened up enough to cause roll out then the furnace needs to be shut down, no matter how cold it is outside, and have the heat exchanger replaced or replace the whole furnace.

Last edited by Marty S.; 01-07-2012 at 08:47 AM. Reason: added info
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:13 AM   #9
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


We are ASSumeing that she has a limit issue, sounds more to me (re-read her original post ) that the unit is in lock out, and when she flips power it comes back on........seems that alot of us in here tend to "jump"to conclusions with out thinking out the whole situation. Jean if you still haven't gotten resolve on your issue, I suggest that you locate, remove and clean the flame sensor with sand paper or scotchbrite pad.
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:18 PM   #10
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


Yea I caught that resetting power used to work but now the flame roll out switch must be pushed.IMO at that point it's time to inform the poster of potential serious problems that need checked by a good tech instead of jacking around.
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Old 01-07-2012, 01:01 PM   #11
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


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Originally Posted by Marty S. View Post
Yea I caught that resetting power used to work but now the flame roll out switch must be pushed.IMO at that point it's time to inform the poster of potential serious problems that need checked by a good tech instead of jacking around.
Nope, when she pushes the "red reset button" she is breaking and resetting the low voltage, no different then resetting the ssu, or the main panel breaker......the furnace is in a lock out (most likely due to a dirty flame sensor) and is learning every cyce after a reset.

Last edited by harleyrider; 01-07-2012 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:29 PM   #12
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


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Originally Posted by harleyrider View Post
We are ASSumeing that she has a limit issue, sounds more to me (re-read her original post ) that the unit is in lock out, and when she flips power it comes back on........seems that alot of us in here tend to "jump"to conclusions with out thinking out the whole situation. Jean if you still haven't gotten resolve on your issue, I suggest that you locate, remove and clean the flame sensor with sand paper or scotchbrite pad.
Where is this? Is that the box where the flame is in? If so, I assume I need to shut the whole thing down from the thermostat, breaker, switch, and also turn the furnace gas to off, and then open the box? I believe there is 5 screws or something on the box panel with 2 round windows where I can see the flame.
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Old 01-07-2012, 03:43 PM   #13
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


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Originally Posted by jean004 View Post
Where is this? Is that the box where the flame is in? If so, I assume I need to shut the whole thing down from the thermostat, breaker, switch, and also turn the furnace gas to off, and then open the box? I believe there is 5 screws or something on the box panel with 2 round windows where I can see the flame.
yes, yes and yes......its a steel rod, may have a 90 degree bend on it, may be straight, and it will be opposite of the ignitor. As stated earlier, remove it sand it and put it back in............easy repair to try, before doing much more evasive things to trouble shoot a simple issue.
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Old 01-07-2012, 04:59 PM   #14
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


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Originally Posted by harleyrider View Post
yes, yes and yes......its a steel rod, may have a 90 degree bend on it, may be straight, and it will be opposite of the ignitor. As stated earlier, remove it sand it and put it back in............easy repair to try, before doing much more evasive things to trouble shoot a simple issue.
I opened the box, and took some pictures. If possible, it would be great if you could point out what to remove from the box. I don't really want to touch anything I shouldn't.
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:08 PM   #15
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Carrier Gas Furnace - Problems with Ignition


I can't see it in your picture but I would expect the flame sensor to penetrate into that box but be attached to and be able to be accessed without opening up that box cover. The flame sensor can probably be tracked as being only one of two components that will have a wire attached to it that are connected to the burner box. That assembly will probably be held in place on the outside with a single sheet metal screw.

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