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Old 10-01-2009, 11:08 AM   #1
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


HI, hoping someone can help me out. Getting cold here in New England! I recently tried to start my furnace and this is what happened:

Small fan turns on - purge fan?

Ignitor clicks, ignites burners

after 8 seconds, burners shut off.

large fan comes on - circulation fan?

after about 2 minutes unit shuts off, then starts all over again.

after second attempt, ok led flashes four times indicating pressure switch.

Could it be a faulty flame sensor rod? my research indicates it is not the pressure switch. Cleaned the rod, but didn't take it out to examine ceramic casing yet. Just Don't want to buy parts I don't need. Last year replaced control board and gas valve. Single mom doesn't have money to get a $125.00 guess. Any help is appreciated.
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:30 AM   #2
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


it could be the flame rod...what condition is it in? if the purge fan came on, most likely the air pressure switch sensed it (switch...good). Make sure the connection to the flame rod is good. if you have a meter you could check the continuity between the rod and the plug. Flame rods are cheap are they charging you $125 for a flame rod? if you can take a picture of the rod with measurements, we have a third party electrode company we deal with that makes these...fractions of the cost. Manufacturers like to mark up flame rods 50-75% more than cost.

if the controller says it is the pressure switch...then i would bet it may be right. If you have a meter you could check the switches. is anything blocking the flow of the fan to the switch?
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Old 10-01-2009, 11:42 AM   #3
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


You may want to check the vent pipe for obstructions, such as a bee's nest or critters. If your getting a pressure switch code that is what I would look at.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:02 PM   #4
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


Hello, and thanks for your reply. There is no obstruction in the flue. I know this because I happen to work for a chimney company. I have a brand new liner, chimney and cap. The only thing that could cause an obstruction is a bees nest and there is not one. I had the guys check.

My gut says it is the flame sensor rod?? Could the code be coming from that? Realy appreciate your help!
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:09 PM   #5
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


Hi. The HVAC guy was charging me $125 "Just to pull up in front of my house." his exact words.

I actually found a flame rod for $12.00 which for that price I may just install this weekend. I got a price of about $50 for the pressure switch.

This is a very problematic basement with tons of condensation during the hot summer. Every year something goes wrong with this furnace, which is only 8 years old.

The flame rod was definately rusted pretty bad, I cleaned it with a wire brush, but haven't removed it yet to check for cracks. Will probably do that this evening.
Thanks for your reply!!
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:20 PM   #6
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


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Originally Posted by Marie1313 View Post
Hi. The HVAC guy was charging me $125 "Just to pull up in front of my house." his exact words.
The median income for your ZIP must be pretty high.
http://zipskinny.com/
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:32 PM   #7
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That demographic was pretty interesting. Says the median income is only $50,000. The problem is here in Rhode Island the state government is putting the "little guy" out of business with outragous taxes! Forbes just rated us worst in the country to own a business!!
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:23 AM   #8
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


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Originally Posted by Marie1313 View Post
That demographic was pretty interesting. Says the median income is only $50,000. The problem is here in Rhode Island the state government is putting the "little guy" out of business with outragous taxes! Forbes just rated us worst in the country to own a business!!
So,
other things being equal,
if someone knowledgeable replies to your question and says $125 is OK
but he/she is in a $30K median income ZIPcode
then you should actually be paying $125 (50/30) = ~$200 in your ZIPcode.
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Old 10-02-2009, 09:37 AM   #9
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That is interesting I never thought of it like that. I am not meaning to sound stingy or to say that good advice is not worth paying for. I absolutely think a trained eye is worth the money. I guess I am just jaded with the last guy that came and tried three parts- all at my expense- and had me tracking down a fourth, when viola! The whole problem was a $15 thermostat. I am the one who diagnosed the thermostat, on a hunch. The guy still charged me full price even though he was wrong. To top it off, this guy has been in business for over 30 years in my state and is supposed to have an excellent reputation. As I said in my origional post, I am just a single mom struggling like everyone else to make mortgage payments etc... If i was asssured that for $125 I would get the right diagnosis, I would definately pay it!!

Marie
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Old 10-02-2009, 10:55 AM   #10
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


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Originally Posted by Marie1313 View Post
the last guy that came and tried three parts- all at my expense- and had me tracking down a fourth, when viola! The whole problem was a $15 thermostat. I am the one who diagnosed the thermostat, on a hunch. The guy still charged me full price even though he was wrong. To top it off, this guy has been in business for over 30 years in my state and is supposed to have an excellent reputation.
I wouldn't deal with him anymore and you could complain to his licensing bureau.
If he is then shamed into giving you most of your money back, that's good, but I still wouldn't call on him again.

For installations you can get bids; I don't know if you can get bids for someone correctly diagnosing and repairing stuff.
A lot of people just change parts, and if they don't identify the root cause, you will be buying a lot of parts.
The root cause could be a defect inside the part itself or some other problem that is overstressing what was a perfectly good part. The parts-changers assume the root cause is in the part, itself. Sometimes they are right but in the long run this strategy has to cost the HO unnecessary bucks, or kilobucks, and the parts changer has no incentive to change this strategy.

The trick is to have an incentive in your agreement for the tech to be diligent. This is what Game Theory is about. This branch of science is, by definition, amoral, and the 30 year guy above might already be in that direction so this is a perfect countermove for the next few out there that you haven't met yet.

Something like, he/she gets one [or two; you decide] shot(s) at correctly fixing this and you pay this person for it.
If that fix doesn't hold for at least a few months, half or 1/4 or 3/4 of the parts price and all or 90% or 50% of the labor cost is on him/her.
Even people with a conscience shouldn't object to this.
I think just bringing up this idea will establish notice that you will not tolerate too much incompetence or negligence.

He/she can then walk or not, depending on the need for income at that moment and depending on his/her pride, and then you may have to find someone else who is willing to do this.
If the person is unwilling to put any monetary penalty on himself/herself for incompetence then I'd look elsewhere.

Another way is to tell them your symptom over the phone and give them one or two guesses as to the make and model of your unit.
This actually worked for someone in having a car problem diagnosed that was beyond me. She told him the symptom (engine producing excessive water which rusts out mufflers prematurely) and he correctly IDed her car.

When I give a bid and I'm wrong, I eat it. If there is too much uncertainty as to what the problem is, I don't bid.

But I am also not an outstanding business success, living large, with my own yacht, etc., . . .
However, on the plus side, no corporate CEO/sociopath/highroller ever called to ask my advice on how best to extract money from grandmothers on fixed incomes.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 10-02-2009 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 10-02-2009, 11:56 AM   #11
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Hi, and thanks for the good advice. Thats actually a really good idea, I wouldn't have thought of it.

I think this weekend I will replace the flame sensor and if that doesn't work I will replace the pressure switch. It neither of those work, I will have to bite the bullet and call in a pro.
I figure for the $70 investment it is worth the risk. Hope I am making the right decision.

By the way, you sound really smart, you should have a yacht.

thanks again, Marie
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Old 10-02-2009, 12:47 PM   #12
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


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Originally Posted by Yoyizit View Post
but I still wouldn't call on him again.

A lot of people just change parts, and if they don't identify the root cause, you will be buying a lot of parts.
The root cause could be a defect inside the part itself or some other problem that is overstressing what was a perfectly good part. The parts-changers assume the root cause is in the part, itself. Sometimes they are right but in the long run this strategy has to cost the HO unnecessary bucks, or kilobucks, and the parts changer has no incentive to change this strategy.
Sad, but true. This practice is not confined to the HVAC field.
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What we've got here is... failure to communicate. Some men you just can't reach. So you get what we had here last week, which is the way he wants it... well, he gets it.
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Old 10-02-2009, 03:21 PM   #13
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


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Originally Posted by Marie1313 View Post
I think this weekend I will replace the flame sensor and if that doesn't work I will replace the pressure switch. It neither of those work, I will have to bite the bullet and call in a pro.
I figure for the $70 investment it is worth the risk. Hope I am making the right decision.

By the way, you sound really smart, you should have a yacht.

thanks again, Marie
With 50-50 odds or better I'd do the $70, [50% of at least ~$140 = at least ~$70] but all bets are off if you mess something up or hurt yourself.

Re: the yacht, thanks. I'd settle for a small boat good for water-skiing but they are almost more trouble than they are worth and I'm a ways from the water.

Sounds like your furnace is a lemon or something is overstressing it. Is there a trend to your failed parts?

Last edited by Yoyizit; 10-02-2009 at 03:41 PM.
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Old 10-05-2009, 08:48 AM   #14
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Dayton Gas Furnace burners wont stay lit


I want to thank all of you guys for your input and good advice! I had first tried cleaning the sensor rod, and the furnace was going through the same cycle. I bought a new rod for $12.00, installed it, and viola! the furnace is working again! Perhaps I will begin a second career as an HVAC girl!

Well, just wanted to say thanks again for your help! You guys are smart and particularly courteous!

By the way Yoytiz, my basement is very damp and I have had past issues with flooding etc... I believe this has contributed to parts failure in the past. I have finally had a real sump pump system installed and run a dehumidifier in the basement when needed. Or the thing might just be a lemon!
P.S.
I have lived on the water my whole life and try to waterski every night in the summer. A cheap boat with a good engine will do! Don't know how I would manage living away from the water - I live in the Ocean State after all!

Take care, and best wishes to you all
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Old 10-05-2009, 12:34 PM   #15
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I'm having the same issue. I found the flame sensor for $12.00 and replaced it 5 days ago. Unfortunately it was working until this morning... Since you say you already replaced the control board and I don't have any strange LED lights on mine I'm wondering what else it could be. I'll keep poking around the forum, but any suggestions from the group would be appreciated. I have a weatherking 80PJ.

Thermostat calls for heat - induced draft motor starts - 30 sec. prepurge - hot surface igniter energizes - main burner lights - the main burner goes out.

I replaced the flame sensor and all was well for 5 days....If it was the IFC wouldn't I see blinking lights or would I have been able to get the thing working at all??

Thanks in advance for any guidance...
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