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Old 12-18-2010, 11:48 AM   #1
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


My modulating gas furnace and heat pump install was complete 2/2009 by a HVAC contractor. No problem with heat pump, so this question relates solely to furnace firing problem. Beginning immediately upon installation and continuing until my latest "fix'', the furnace will often time-out due to three continuous misfires. Never able to leave home during extremely cold weather.

Here is my abreviated furnace's history, troubleshooting, and corrective measures.

-Furnace installed with 2 inch vent and intake piping through existing flue with approximately 30 feet pvc and (4) 90 degree els on each pipe.

-I read installtion manual and changed out vent pipe to 3 inch pvc for entire run. The 3 inch pvc used up too much space in existing flue, so I cut off 2 inch intake pipe at bottom of flue, so using about 8 feet of 2 inch intake pipe with (2) 90 degree els and on 45 degree el. The flue is 6 x 8 tile liner inside brick chimney. The furnace still fails to start often enough to be dependable.

Observation of problem is that all five burners will not fire on startup. The first burner always fires, but the fire may only spread to the second or third burner. Sometimes the flame will crossover to all burners except the fifth burner. The fifth burner must fire to allow the flame sensor to detect flame. My belief is that air intake turbulance is affecting the gas pattern causing these misfires. The intake pipe terminates above and directly over the middle burner.

-I opened up a spare vent pipe access hole on the side of the furnace cabinet (meant for sideways configuration). This access hole is on the hot surface ignitor side and below the burner tubes. My belief is that the air flow will be more laminar as well as less restrictive.

Opening up this additional intake air source allows the furnace to fire properly 100 percent of the time (going on two weeks). However during times wihen the furnace is modulating at high output, a trouble code will flash 5 amber meaning a restriction in vent or intake pipe. This makes no sense to me.

I have had the installer in a couple of times and he does not know how to fix the problem. He admitted that he sells many 95 % furnaces (he has worked at least 30 years in business) but my 97 % is the only one he has installed and I now understand from talking to him that I know more about my furnace than he does.

I am living with my fix for now mainly because it is the first time the furnace has fired properly in two years. However, I want to be able to use outside air for combustion, but do not want to waste time and money to reconfigure my intake air until I know why the furnace does not work as designed without my modification.

I can provide very specific information on my observations and troubleshooting if anyone wishes to discuss this issue.

Sincerely from a newbie,

Trailwalker.


Last edited by Trailwalker; 12-18-2010 at 12:31 PM.
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Old 12-18-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


What size is the furnace?

That 2" intake may still be a problem.

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Old 12-18-2010, 02:33 PM   #3
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


The short version is the furnace is not getting enough combustion air proven by your trail and error ( I congratulate you. This would have been about the only approach available to a tech barring factory assistance).

I would think that it is possible the combustion in take could be inserted too close to the burner causing flame out age.

There are other guys who may know better.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:12 PM   #4
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


Thank you! I have the original 2 inch intake plus a 3 3/8 inch hole in the cabinet for additional intake. This is much more air than should be necessary.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:14 PM   #5
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


Thanks HVACLover. Do you think a manufacture rep will help me if I call them or will they blow me off since I am not a contractor?
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:19 PM   #6
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


Quote:
Originally Posted by Trailwalker View Post
Thanks HVACLover. Do you think a manufacture rep will help me if I call them or will they blow me off since I am not a contractor?
They won't talk to you.
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Old 12-18-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


Quote:
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They won't talk to you.
He's right.

You are going to have to get a contractor to get any further.

Furnace install date is feb '09. didn't catch first time around.

You may still be under warranty. No offense but why with so new a furnace would you attempt any service when it can void the warranty?

That furnace requires specialized training that only factory dealers can receive.

Non-Luxaire dealers can get an abbreviated training session for a small fee, but it comes no where close to covering the nuances that a modulating furnace can exhibit.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:04 PM   #8
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


I don't know why I tried to fix it other than I gave up on the installer. In retrospect, I should have been an ass and made them take it out, but they are a long time Luxaire dealer, so they should have information to correct the problem. In reality, I have not done anything to the furnace to void the warranty. All I did was remove a plastic plug. I can put it back in if I want the furnace to misfire. Anyway, I suppose I will contact another dealer in the area and start paying for service calls.

Thanks!
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:13 PM   #9
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


Contact the factory. They can put you in contact with qualified dealer in your area.

That much they will talk to you about. They may refer you back to the local wholesaler. They would be in a position to give you the best referral.

What was the problem with the original installer?

And did you get a ten year warranty on labor? If it is thru the factory you won't have to pay.
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Old 12-18-2010, 05:25 PM   #10
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Luxaire Acclimate 9M Natural Gas Problem


The original installer is a Luxaire dealer that sold me their first 97% Modulating furnace. I was expecting 95% furnace,but they brought in the 97% and told me I would be happy. They did not charge me more than the original quote. The problem is that fact that they were not able to make the thing fire correctly. They would tinker around with it and it would start. They would leave and within a couple of hours, the problem would start up again. Anyway, I am a long time car mechanic that knows how to troubleshoot automotive electronics and have decent knowledge on sheet metal and furnace installation from a two year stint in the 80's when I worked for a local Lennox dealer installing Pulse gas furnaces and Thermopride oil furnaces. I don't know anything about the modulation stuff other than a board is controlling a variable gas valve. I have not touched any of the controls other than to test the pressure switches. They are working fine.

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