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robendorf 02-23-2013 01:43 PM

Flames out as soon as blower comes on- Non-stop
The condensor fan and gas flame goes out the moment the blower fan comes on. This results in an Error Code #34-- "Ignition Proving Failure" however it does not stop after 3 trys but is continuous. I have checked the green ground wire and have cleaned the flame sensor.

There is another suspicion I have. This is a Carrier 90+ with a failed secondary heat exchanger (leaking water)- I tried to clean/rod out some of the rust and this problem started immediately after I put it back together. I have checked for corroded connections, tighted every screw, checked all my vacumn hoses, etc.

I know I need a new heat exchanger but I need heat until the new one comes.

Does anyone have an idea of what I can do?


techpappy 02-23-2013 03:43 PM

you have a cracked heat exchanger..this can easily lead to carbon monoxide poisoning in which case you would "wake up dead" as my pappy always used to say...suggest you purchase a bunch of portable electric heaters until it can be replaced...might have to check electrical panel to see if you have could even change out the 220 volt dryer plug and plug in 220V electric heater on that would have to go to the laundromat but, at least you would have heat.

robendorf 02-23-2013 04:10 PM

Thanks- I have scheduled a repairman for later today.

I know for sure that I have a failed secondary heat exchanger- Carrier, et al. had a big lawsuit and settlement for this issue- Fortunately I discovered the issue 1 month before the 20 yr window of warranty ran out. :) That is the only good news.

I suggest that anyone with a high-efficiency carrier, bryant, day&night, payne sold since 1993 search Google for the class action lawsuit for help in replacing their furnace.

Does anybody have experience with replacing their secondary heat exchanger?

I'm going to post a picture in this thread in a few minutes.

hvac benny 02-23-2013 04:20 PM

I've replaced many failed Carrier secondary and primary heat exchangers. While it is true that there was a flaw with the secondary, every single furnace I worked on also had an install problem that contributed to the failure. That problem needs to be addressed when changing the heat exchanger (s).

robendorf 02-23-2013 04:40 PM

Here is what I saw when I opened up the beast. What should I expect in replacement cost (not factoring in the lawsuit)?

hvac benny 02-23-2013 05:19 PM

Replacement cost will be up to whoever is going to be doing the work, and service rates vary by company and area. At twenty years old, you may be better off replacing your furnace. Carrier was offering rebates for this a few years ago, not sure if they still are.

ChiMike 02-25-2013 06:48 PM

Hey hope I didnt see this too late, this same thing happened to me and I am actually in HVAC classes now. Right where the flames come out where its ignited is whats called a flame sensor. It looks like a peice of metal that gets immersed in the flame. This is a safety net that will shut the gas off if it does not sense fire, that way your furnace will not contimue to throw out gas if there is no fire. Over time it will obviously get corroded, get in there with a peice of sandpaper or an emery board and clean it off, it wont take long and if that is the problem it will save you around 150 bucks to have the service tech come out. If this isnt the problem a) sorry, b) at least your in no worse a spot...

robendorf 02-25-2013 07:50 PM

Thanks for your interest in this post. It turns out that the secondary heat exchanger has rusted through. It is a big deal- The repair requires that the tech has to disassemble the furnace from the top down- Pull out the primary heat exchanger and then the secondary heat exchanger.

The good news- The secondary heat exchanger replacement and labor (4 hrs) are 100% covered under a class action lawsuit. (must be a bryant or carrier authorized dealer) Also if the primary heat exchanger is rusted out etc. it will also be replaced under this agreement. Mine is a Bryant 398AAV036080AAKA 90 Plus. but there are multiple model numbers covered. The install date must be 20 years or less. I just fell under the deadline 3/93 install.

Even if yours hasn't failed you can elect a small cash settlement- $something like $260 max to $100 (20 yrs.) or you can apply credit towards a new furnace. It must be a (in my case) a bryant or a Carrier. There is a credit of between $200 and $650 for the furnace (I don't know what those factors are) and 4 hrs free labor if you elect to go with a new furnace.

I called 3 different carrier/payne authorized dealers. All of them were aware of the lawsuit- One of them said we will do the work but it will cost you $1,100. Another told me only parts were covered and he could do it in his sleep in 2.5 to 3 hrs labor (charging $45 every 15 mins- I would hope so!)- The one I hired I found on Angie's list- I gave them the serial number, they call the wholesaler (Airefco warranty department) called me back- "We'll be there tomorrow morning at 8- It won't cost you a thing unless it takes us more than 4 hrs. Even at $110/hr, I'll take that risk.

Here is the Carrier to see if you qualify 800-227-7437 Ext #4. Also you can go to the internet and get a copy of the lawsuit Case No. 05-05437 RBL US District Court for Western District of Washington at Tacoma Grays vs Carrier Corporation- Settlement April 22, 2008.

Good luck.

jagans 02-25-2013 07:53 PM

I recently fixed my carrier with this problem, but my secondary was not as badly corroded as yours. My furnace was installed in 1993, and the payout after pro-rating was $124.00. Basically, the price of eggs in china was not worth the wear and tear on the hens ass, so I did what I could myself. I wire wheeled off the end of the tubes, and ran a bead of clear neutral cure GE silicone around the end of all the tubes. I tooled the sealant so the tubes were open to drain, and it stopped the leaks I had. Im not sure how many people know this but regular clear 100% silicone is good up to 400 degrees F, and Im sure there is a fudge factor in there. The inside of my tubes was still in pretty good condition, it was just at the end where the tube was flared out to the flat backer panel. Maybe if they put the polyester coating on after they attached the tubes to the end plate it would have worked. Bad Design, on which the end result should have been foreseen.

I put a large 3/8 bead of silicone around the hole in the cabinet where the main board is plugged to act as a dam so water does not go through the hole and ruin another board. My furnace no longer leaks, but I did this in case it starts to leak again.

I have learned a lot about HVAC on this forum from the pros, and I now see why preventative maintenance on the newer high efficiency units is so important. There is a lot going on in the new units. "It aint your dads furnace"

The furnace has been great except for this design issue, so I would probably get another Carrier but I will definitely make sure the new furnace has all stainless heat exchangers. That polyester coating was a really bad idea.

ChiMike 02-25-2013 07:57 PM

Thank you for the info... I, fortunately I guess, do not have a carrier system but that blows... I have realized that HVAC is a very expensive thing to have fixed so I figured id fill ya in on the quick easy possibility

jagans 02-25-2013 08:00 PM

Question: Isnt this lawsuit limited to the original purchaser? ie the original homeowner?


robendorf 02-25-2013 09:19 PM

I am the original purchaser, and you are right, it may make some difference if the house has been sold however it may only mean that the labor isn't covered. I know that these secondary heat exchangers have a "Limited Lifetime Guarantee" outside of the lawsuit. Check with Carrier- I have found them very good to work with. - May even extend past the 20 yrs..?

robendorf 02-25-2013 09:28 PM

[QUOTE][QUOTE]Here is the settlement verbiage in the class action lawsuit- Note the underlined portion- Dealers don't have to take this job you realize.

The Value Of The Settlement, And The Substantial Benefits It Provides To
Class Members
The Settlement provides relief for all Class members who experienced a CHX failure.
All eligible Class members will receive a cash payment based on the number of years their
Carrier furnace was in service prior to failure. Class members may submit a simple claim to
request the cash relief available under the Settlement.
Of particular value, and in addition to the cash component of the Settlement, all Class
members will receive a forward-looking enhanced warranty that covers all parts and labor
required for a Carrier-authorized technician to repair the CHX and associated parts for 20 years
from the date of installation at no cost to the class members. To effectuate this repair, Carrier
will reimburse its dealers for up to 4 hours of labor at the then-current hourly rate. Under no
circumstances, however, will a Class member be charged for labor required above and beyond
four hours.
The enhanced warranty differs from Carrier’s standard warranty by covering labor
in addition to replacement parts. Class members who qualify for enhanced warranty service
may elect a credit toward the purchase of a new furnace in lieu of the free CHX replacement.

jagans 02-26-2013 08:28 AM

Hi Benny, do you care to inform us what the problem was that you found?

robendorf 02-26-2013 09:11 AM

It wasn't Benny that had the problem it was robendorf. Looking back here were the signs that we had problems. 1. The condensation lines got plugged up with rust and I could hear water in the inducer fan. 2. Our electronic filter snapped alot (turns out it was water dripping down from the rusted out secondary heat exchanger. 3. Another sign will be a hotter than normal burner box (box with the round viewing window) from flame blowback (it wasn't as obvious as I thought it should be). Ultimately the high temp thermal sensor in the burner box will trip-- Game over.

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