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Mark H 12-28-2007 11:11 PM

Problem with Payne ultra 90
Hello all,
My Payne ultra 90 started acting up this year. At the onset of winter temps it would not come on. The service man found it to be a blocked air intake and fixed it. It worked fine for about a month. The new problem is that sometimes it will not start. I called the service man again. He unplugged a plug that made the blower motor come on. He then shut off the power, turned off the gas, waited a few minutes, and then turned it all back on and the furnace started right up. He said that it is probably "the circuit board" going out and to let him know if it was acting up again. He said this circuit board would cost me $350.

In the past few weeks I have had to restart the furnace as he had done. Sometimes it works right away, sometimes I have to do it 3-4 times. Sometimes the furnace will operate perfect for a week and then I have to restart it 2-3 times a night.

So, I have been researching parts. The only board I can see is the Inducer board that hides behind the pressure switch. I have also found numerous places online selling the exact one in my furnace for in between $106-$130. I can also see that replacing this board would be simple.

So, to those with experience. Is the the only circuit board or am I just not finding the other(s)? Do you think this board would cause the problems I am describing? If not, any ideas on other things I could check?

Thanks in advance!
Mark H.

undone 12-28-2007 11:57 PM

Circuit board?
I know how frustrating it could be when theres that intermittant problem. The first thing most want to do is start changing parts until the problem goes away--this can become expensive. A good tech values their clients and are not wasteful. And being a service tech myself, the bottom line is we can't hang out to spend the time to pin-point the actual problem. My advice to you, if you want to perhaps save some money and attempt to tackle the problem, I can help with some suggestions. First, it would be helpful if you're mechanically inclined. I mean this as no insult--some can some can't. Second, assuming you are mechanically inclined, be prepared to excersize some patience. What I'm suggesting is, believe it or not, the method of how most techs get started and/or encouraged.
Because most components "tie" into the circuit board, it would be easy to put the board at fault. Where I used to work, our so called service techs were merely glorified parts changers. True techs are hard to find.
Before you settle for replacing the circuit board--Make sure the inlet pipe to the furnace is clear (unobstructed), level and not too long. The exhaust pipe likewise. Next, make sure all the supply registers are open. With the power supply off or disconnected, make certain all the terminals are secure, i.e. wires, hoses, plugs, etc.
Follow these few steps first and then if necessary, we will procede.

Mark H 12-29-2007 12:29 AM

Thanks so much for your reply. I was planing on checking the exhaust tube tomorrow. Both inlet and exhaust tubes are about 8' long, hopefully that is a good length. As far as them being level...well they make several turns on the 8' long trip to outside. I already went through all the wires and terminals the other night. Everything fits nice and tight and no signs of corrosion. I also checked the hoses and they all look perfect. I never thought about my supply registers, which makes my feel kind of foolish. I just checked them all and found 5 of 16 completely closed. Could it be something so simple dare I hope? Anyhow, its is turning on and off tonight as it should after 2 restarts earlier today. Anyway, I will check the exhaust tube tomorrow and post back again.

Thanks again! Mark

Mark H 12-29-2007 12:32 PM

Today's update. I found the first repairman's fix of the blocked inlet. He simply disconnected the 2" PVC from the top of the furnace and let it draw air from the room. Not cool! I tried to snake both inlet and exhaust tubes and because they both have about 5 turns in them I could not effectively do so. I went out a bought a couple of 2" rubber couplings and cut both the inlet and exhaust tubes in half and was then able to snake them both. They were both completely free and clear of any obstruction. Both are now re-installed and the furnace restarted. I'm guessing the first repairman must have removed the inlet, then restarted the furnace and it worked so he assumed that was the problem. I once again checked all my wiring and it all looks really good. All the terminals are tight and the wiring basically looks new. The norprene hoses also look really good. So, once again, do I dare hope that 5 of 16 registers being closed could have been the problem? I guess time will tell, however I am not confident that I have solved the problem. Any idea's on what I can check/look for if and when it stops working again? I don't want to call up and complain about the repairman leaving my inlet disconnected because obviously I may need to call them again, but is that dangerous?

Thanks! Mark H

undone 12-29-2007 02:08 PM

The inlet tube that "feeds" the flame with fresh air is sometimes overkill. If your furnace is in an area where it can recieve adequate fresh air from an outside source, I wouldn't be too hard on the service tech.
Are you viewing any LED signals from the circuit board? If so, observe them closely and report. How does the inducer sound? Its hard to tell sometimes if this is the problem. Debris can enter the inlet system and cause obstruction there. If you can bump the indoor fan speed up, this could be a problem if the unit was over sized (which I doubt--16 registers). Anyway. we/you are narrowing the probabilities!

Mark H 12-29-2007 03:05 PM

I'm either not finding the right circuit board or my furnace does not have that feature (LED display). The circuit board I have found is part #313680-751 , the inducer control board. The inducer fan sounds good, it has a nice smooth low sound to it.

"Debris can enter the inlet system and cause obstruction there." There is a mesh type screen where the inlet attaches. It was clean and free of obstruction. I'm not sure if your talking about smaller stuff that can make through the screen.

"If you can bump the indoor fan speed up, this could be a problem if the unit was over sized (which I doubt--16 registers). " This one is apparantley beyond my knowledge. I would assume your talking about the main fan. I see no speed adjustment for it, unless they hide it somewhere.

Mark H 12-29-2007 03:32 PM

I also wanted to add that when the problem occurs, after the call for heat from the thermostat, the inducer motor does not start. If I understand the system correctly I would think that the inducer fan would be the first thing to come on to check the vent is not blocked. So when the problem occurs, it is before the inducer fan. When I reset the furnace and it starts working I can hear the pressure switch activate, then the inducer fan kicks in, then the igniter turns on and wala...heat. So, is the pressure switch initially activated electronically or by pressure? I ask this because there are times when I reset the furnace and it does not start up. When it does not start up I never here the pressure switch click. At these times I pulled one of the hoses going to the switch and gave it a suck and heard the switch click, this did not start the furnace though. It only restarted after turning off the power, the gas and then turning it all back on.

bigMikeB 12-30-2007 08:06 AM

When the t-stat makes, the first part to close is the inducer relay in the board, if the fan has good flow the pressure switch closes and makes the heat relay, then the ignition control is powered and the unit will energize the ignitor and if it proves pilot the main gas valve will be powered.

Mark H 12-30-2007 10:26 AM

Thanks Mike! I found what you are describing. Removed another cover and found Circuit board HH84AA015 with to big relays on it. What I thought was the pressure switch clicking was actually one of those relays. They look rather stone age and some research shows that card has been replaced with a more modern version.

I'm figuring the next time the furnace will not start up I will try tapping on that relay and see what happens. It's been running flawlessly now for 2-1/2 days.

I did however have a question about the replacement card for the HH84AA015, I found it listed as HH84AA021 or ICM275. I found a company selling them for what looks to be an extremely good price but they call one a "Carrier HH84AA021 Fan Blower Control Circuit board" for $65.99, and the other a "Carrier Bryant HH84AA021 Main Control Circuit Board" for $97.99. The both have the same exact part number and while the cards seem like the relays, resisters, etc are layed out a little different, the card size is the same and all the hook-ups look the same. Is there a difference between the two that anyone knows of? Is there any reason why the $97 one would be better than the other?

Here is the link to both circuit cards if anyone wants to check them out.

bigMikeB 12-30-2007 02:14 PM

The cheaper one is made by ICM off of Carriers expired patent which you would still be paying for with the other that has the Carrier logo on it.

Mark H 12-30-2007 02:43 PM

Thanks again Mike. I've never cared much for logo's personally....

bigMikeB 12-30-2007 02:46 PM

No problem, me either. I use the ICM boards from Johnstone all the time but they are trade only.

Mark H 12-30-2007 05:54 PM

Well, I just purchased an ICM275 from Patriot Supply for $52.00 shipped. I know I have not narrowed it down and proven the card is the problem, but for $52.00 compared to the $350 my serviceman was going to charge I am willing to risk that it will hopefully fix the problem. If it doesn't I will have a spare!

leoacrh 12-30-2007 06:30 PM

did you read the code the board was sending?

Mark H 12-30-2007 08:02 PM

Maybe I'm missing something but I do not see any type of LED display on the board. However, I did not find the board until after the last time I reset the furnace and it has been running flawless since then. Will there be any code shown if it is operating correctly?

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