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Old 10-13-2008, 11:53 PM   #1
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Heater starts...then stops. Help!


It's that time of year again to where we need to start using our heater. Ironically, I had the same exact problem last year. I turn the heater on, you can hear the warming up, the ignitor and flame begin and then it turns off after about 10 seconds.

Background on last year's fix:
Last year I called a "pro" to come check it out and after about 40 minutes of tinkering with it he convinced me that my circuit board ($300) was most likely the problem because there was evidence of a slight burn mark on it that made him believe that one of the circuits burnt out. The other possibility he mentioned was the ignitor sensor ($10). I was hoping it was the cheap fix, but he insisted on trying the board first. When that didn't fix the problem he was trying to talk me into it anyways since it's better to have a new one, blah, blah, blah. The ignitor switch didn't fix it either. He then left my house saying he needs to do additional research, but believes that a complete re-wire would be the best option. That was hard to swallow. I'm also leaving out the 2-weeks of total time it took him to actually come out to my house, evaluate it, order the part and install it, while we're freezing in the meantime. I decided to research it online and within a few webpage clicks, I found someone with a similar problem recommending to to just run the blower for a while and then switch it over to heater. It worked and I never had a problem for the rest of the winter. I had no intentions of paying for that new board, so I switched it out with my old one before he came back the following day. In fact, I called him to explain that I fixed the problem myself and didn't need the new board. I made specific plans for him to come pick up his new board several times, but he never came back. So, I still have this $300 board. What a markup to not even come back for it.

Now, the same problem exists, but the blower trick isn't helping this time around. Everything else works fine, but I can't keep the heater on. Because of the same problem last year, I'm thinking if I can just get it started once again, then it won't be a problem.

Any ideas? Thanks.

Heater: Ruud
Silhouette II Gas Heater

Last edited by beagan; 10-13-2008 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 10-14-2008, 11:47 AM   #2
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Heater starts...then stops. Help!


First off have you put a new filter in recently. And beyond having the so called tech (if one is to take your facts seriously. Personally i would never wait two weeks for a tech if my furnace was broke.) Do what he did does not strike me as a trained person.

Sounds to me like the igniter/sensor is gone or you may be going out on a safety. This furnace does not have an individual sensor you can clean.

It senses the flame thru the igniter itself. I would star with that (wish I could tell you more but I don't have a lot to work with here.)

Some other less common problems are a bad press switch and the inducer could be weak.

The igniter/sensor should be cheap enough and you have the guy's new board so just from what you told me I suspect either one of them.

Check back with what you find or if you have more questions.
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Old 12-03-2008, 08:53 PM   #3
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Heater starts...then stops. Help!


Just wanted to post an update in case anyone else runs into this problem as it was a very bizarre fix. I went to a couple repair shops and asked for advise. Everyone seemed to offer a different suggestion. The last guy, said to not bother and to just call "his" guy. I was hesitant, but he promised me that he was real honest and would have it fixed. I called him up and he happened to be near my house and stopped by. It took him and a friend about 90 minutes to figure it out with much troubleshooting. Turns out it was a polarity issue. The solution was to just swap the black and white cables. I have no idea how this could have got messed up. Only possibility was that about six months prior the a/c guy came back to replace the fan he put in my attic because it stopped working. Could he have messed with the electrical outlet. I have no idea. But it's fixed now and he only charged me $90. I'm happy.
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Old 12-04-2008, 02:40 AM   #4
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Heater starts...then stops. Help!


Quote:
Originally Posted by beagan View Post
Just wanted to post an update in case anyone else runs into this problem as it was a very bizarre fix. I went to a couple repair shops and asked for advise. Everyone seemed to offer a different suggestion. The last guy, said to not bother and to just call "his" guy. I was hesitant, but he promised me that he was real honest and would have it fixed. I called him up and he happened to be near my house and stopped by. It took him and a friend about 90 minutes to figure it out with much troubleshooting. Turns out it was a polarity issue. The solution was to just swap the black and white cables. I have no idea how this could have got messed up. Only possibility was that about six months prior the a/c guy came back to replace the fan he put in my attic because it stopped working. Could he have messed with the electrical outlet. I have no idea. But it's fixed now and he only charged me $90. I'm happy.
That happens a lot. I just did a repair from a neighbor that the last tech perform a HVAC maintenance, some wires were swapped causing the 5 amp fuse to open on the indoor unit when thermostat is on heating mode. The 5 amp fuse blows when temp goes below 35F, which indicates to me that the aux heater wire connection 24vac control circuit has a short or grounded. Wires were incorrectly wired at the indoor unit, causing a direct short at the control board.
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