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Old 12-28-2014, 10:54 PM   #1
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


This video shows the furnance that will not ignite. THE SAFETY PRESSURE SWITCH AND GAS VALVE HAVE ALREADY BEEN REINSTALLED, SO NO NEED TO TELL ME TO HOOK THEM BACK UP. THAT WAS PART OF THE PLAN ALL ALONG.

I think it might have a bad igniter sparker. The flame sensor is part of the sparker unit. If I go to a hvac supply store is this item typical? It seems that most flame sensors are seperate units. thanks for watching the video and trying to help in advance.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6_oC...f1ypvqkexyxxd4

I HAVE done the following:
tested thermometer power, tested start capacitor for blower fan was bad and replaced it, checked for blocked flue, checked for blocked air filter, verified power to unit, verified 24v power from transformer with multimeter., cleaned flame sensor with 150 grit sandpaper, any advice? thanks

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Old 12-28-2014, 11:57 PM   #2
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


so after 45 minutes of googling found this:
basically you plug the igniter switch into a wall and see if it sparks is the simple answer! so simple and easy to do.

http://homeguides.sfgate.com/hvac-ig...bad-34282.html
1

Shut off the power to the circuit for the furnace at the breaker box. Open the furnace and locate the ignitor following the instructions from the furnace's manual.

2

Remove the plug at the end of the ignitor.

3

Attach the leads from the volt meter to the ignitor plug.

4

Turn the circuit and furnace back on and readjust the thermostat so that it sends the message to turn on the heat.

5

Let the furnace run until the inductor motor comes on. The volt meter should read 120 volts for a few seconds if the ignitor is functional. If there is no reading and the system is not a 24-volt system, you need to replace the ignitor.

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Old 12-29-2014, 07:32 AM   #3
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


The link that you provided at Homeguides is for a Hot Surface Ignition, You have a Spark Ignition, Still Automatic however works in a different way.

Anyway I suspect that the grey control box in the lower left corner of the furnace is the problem. There are numbers on the control and the replacement should match, This control lights the fire and provides proof of flame and for safety will shut the gas valve off if it fails to light in a short amount of time.

Evidently you didn't read the warning about NOT lighting it manually?
The spark ignition that you are playing with should have a few THOUSAND Volts to make it spark so you are probably fortunate that it didn't try to spark while you were testing it!!
Any advice? I think you should call someone that is familiar with working with thousands of volts and gas mixed together.
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Old 12-29-2014, 09:32 AM   #4
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


Have you done what was suggested before, and checked your heat exchanger and verified the ignitor is wanting to lite? Is the safety circuit closed or open?
You plugging a spark ignitor into an outlet is not safe. That's live electric that someone could be holding in their hand if it's removed.

Last edited by roughneck; 12-29-2014 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:10 PM   #5
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after verifying the spark ignitore works, I went hunting on the internet for a new ignitor control box, called lennox and they gave me the replacement part number to the now obsolete part, then went to cc dickson this morning and $185 latter I have a working furnance.

the heat exchanger is fine, it is made out of old cast iron and will probably be around for decades more. it's not made out of that cheap stamped sheet metal I see on all the new furnaces. it also has nothing to do with my issue,not sure why you are so hounding about it.

http://www.cozyparts.com/lennox-part...?TOPIC_ID=1538

if the forum i go the most help from , someone actually had the exact same issue I did.

I think to help others, the best thing to do is google the exact furnance model and research from there. tends to pint point problems faster.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:42 PM   #6
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


You don't have a cast iron heat exchanger. It is made of thicker metal then new ones. But the one you have will rust out if it already doesn't have a hole or 2, eventually.
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Old 12-29-2014, 03:49 PM   #7
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


lennox gcs16r-411-100-3p
call lennox up and ask them if the primary heat exchanger is cast iron,
better yet download the brochure from their web site.
prepare to eat crow.
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Old 12-29-2014, 04:56 PM   #8
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


The serpentine is not cast iron, and will rust out.
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Old 12-29-2014, 06:43 PM   #9
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


http://webmanuals.lennoxeurope.com/o....GCS16.653.pdf

page 16

its not a serpentine heat exchanger, in fact I have never seen anything like it.

Heat Exchanger 1- Visually check all air and exhaust passages regularly.
They must be clean and clear of debris and dirt accu
mulation.
2- Periodically check heat exchanger (once every few
heating
seasons). Remove unit side panel adjacent to
heat exchanger (GCS16/GCS16R) or top panel
(GCS16H). Inspect heat exchanger casting (primary)
and tailpipe (secondary) for cracks. Replace if
cracked. Refer to Heating System Service Checks"
section for heat exchanger access and removal pro
cedure.
3- Inspect
burner plate gasket and burner cone for dete
rioration.
Replace if necessary. Refer to Heating Sys
tem Service Checks" section for heat exchanger re
moval and burner manifold assembly removal proce
dures.
4- Inspect gasket(s) between tailpipe (secondary) and
combustion air blower for deterioration. Replace if
necessary.
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Old 12-29-2014, 07:01 PM   #10
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


"The serpentine is not cast iron, and will rust out."

you are right it will rust out, but probably not in mylife time. watch the video again the aluminized steel looks great after 30 years. and like the above post confirms the primary fire zone is cast iron and that is the part that gets the most abuse.
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Old 12-29-2014, 08:08 PM   #11
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


It will rust from the inside out. Unless you don't use the A/C.
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Old 12-29-2014, 11:40 PM   #12
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No it won't
SeriouslyLook at the manual it's not designed that way

Should of quit while u thought u were ahead now u r eating crow twice and credibility is going down the drain

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Old 12-30-2014, 05:28 AM   #13
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


So you don't believe that during the summer, the outside air in your heat exchanger is going to condense in the serpentine. If you live in an arid area(outdoor humidity less then 30% at all outdoor temps), your right. If you live in an area that has humidity levels 45% at 95, it will. Same when outdoor conditions are 85f and 61%RH. The return air itself is cold enough to cool the condenser so that moisture condensates in the heat exchanger.

Units with the evap before the heat exchanger rust out fairly quick, units with the evap after the heat exchanger last longer, but still rust from the inside out.
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Old 12-30-2014, 08:31 AM   #14
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


I BELIEVE THAT i know much better than anyone what the condition of the unit is because I personally inspected it.

Just because anything is 30 years old doesn't mean it needs to be junked. just means it needs to be inspected and cared for. every hvac company i spoke to me was just like you, they told me i should replace the unit because of age without even looking at it. gave me some high effciency bs speech and then tried to sell me a furnance that was still the exact same 80% effciency, lol.
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Old 12-30-2014, 04:59 PM   #15
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how to test furnance spark igniter?


Guaranty, you had no company, or HVAC person out like me. Cause if you had, you would have seen them run a combustion test on it. Inspect the heat exchanger from both the outside of it, and the inside of it. Check the manifold pressure, and adjust if need to get proper combustion. Check temp rise. Check the static pressure the blower is working against. And check the amp draw of the blower motor and inducer. Along with checking the capacitors.


I make more money checking, repairing, and setting up existing equipment then replacing equipment.

But I don't hold back and tell people oh yeah, this will last for years to come. Just so I can make more money on repairs down the road. I tell them what the probability is of it failing in the near future.

Then if they are interested in a new unit. I do a load calc, and size the new equipment to what the house really needs. When I give them the price of the change out. I tell them to call 2 or 3 other companies and they get a lower price then me.

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