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GrapeApe 11-13-2012 12:06 PM

Old RUUD Gas heater not kicking on at all. Was fine yesterday.
Hi guys. I am brand new here and found the site through google while trying to fix my heater. Usually when it doesn't kick on it's because I forgot that I had turned off the gas for the summer (it runs about 15.00 a month just for the pilot :eek: ) but this year I was on top of things.

I turned on the gas.
I lit the pilot.
I turned on the heat on the thermostat and set it for 72. The thermostat clicked and the heater fired. All was well.

Then last night it got down to ~30 degrees here and I woke up shivering. I have a house full of kids (6) so this was a big problem. I raced to the thermo to make sure someone hadn't turned it off accidentally. It was fine.

I went out to the furnace to check if the pilot went out after a storm we had.

(click for a larger pic)

It was lit.

And so then I checked online for other ideas which lead me here. I cleaned the temp/flame sensor with a wire wheel.

Still not good. Then I saw the "jumper R/W" threads and tried that. No cigar.

So I did what all idiots do. I took my screwdriver and poked around a little, wiggling wires and generally making sure everything was connected.

Then I plugged it back in. Still nothing but the normal "hum" and the pilot light hiss.

So I poked in there again with the screwdriver but I forgot to unplug it this time. I happened to tap this thing, which I have no idea what it is. :whistling2:

That's when it seemed to depress a bit and WHOOSH! My gas kicked on and I had fire. Scared me half to death, but the fan kicked on at that point and the house warmed up. It had no problem kicking on after that so I guess it had crud in it or something and my poking freed it up.

At any rate, this post has two purposes.

One, I hope this helps someone else with an old furnace. They are old and don't have fancy lights but darn it if you can't fix them with a bit of bailing wire and some bubble gum!

And two, what is that thing I hit and did I cause myself further problems down the road? :wink:

Thanks! :thumbup:

Marty S. 11-13-2012 06:16 PM

That is a safety device called a flame roll out switch. When the furnace flue down drafts or a big crack in the heat exchanger lets air from the blower come into the exchanger it pushes the heat/flames out the front of the furnace and trips the switch so you don't get carbon monoxide poisoned or burnt. At the very least you'll want a complete safety inspection from a well trained tech. If it trips again before he gets there buy some electric space heaters,don't reset it. Could be just a big gust of wind caused it or could be something seriously wrong. Only way to know for sure is have the furnace tested.

GrapeApe 11-13-2012 06:29 PM

So that's what that is.

We had a huge 12 hour storm so I'd imagine that's what tripped it. We do have a CO detector in the house so we *should* be OK, but being that it's possible it could be bad I'll foot the 70.00 housecall bill and get someone to check it out. Best case scenario we're A-OK :)

Thanks for the info Marty

Doc Holliday 11-13-2012 07:01 PM

If you have a/c have the tech check the evaporator coil as well. Keep that return air filter clean, new. Lack of air flow will also cause that limit to trip.

This is a relatively new system that the same flame roll out switch tripped due to the dirty filter. I removed the filter, reset the switch and it's been good ever since.

ben's plumbing 11-13-2012 09:11 PM

wow what a dirty filter doc....did you notice the code violation on the flex connector to gas valve....sell them another repair or red tag it....ben sr

ddawg16 11-13-2012 09:14 PM


Originally Posted by ben's plumbing (Post 1051713)
wow what a dirty filter doc....did you notice the code violation on the flex connector to gas valve....sell them another repair or red tag it....ben sr

Flex hoses are not allowed?

Doc Holliday 11-13-2012 10:04 PM

Ddawg, it has to be steel pipe from the valve to outside of the unit, then a gas drip leg and then to the gas flex line with a gas cock/valve.

Ben, I didn't notice it until you just said something, good eye, but it wouldn't have made any difference, Bank of America foreclosed property. Vacant.

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