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Old 12-19-2009, 01:34 PM   #1
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Trane XR90


Have problem with my furnace today. Trane XR90, 3 years old. Turn stat to heat and the furnace trouble light flashes 3 times. The manual says this indicates a problem with the pressure switch. Is there any way for a novice to check or correct it. It is snowing here in Maryland today pretty heavy and I cannot get a service tech to come out until Monday. I am in a condo and the residents here have the same problem. Could the heavy amount of snow on the roof be causing a vent pipe to be clogged or have an effect on the condensate drain?
Any help would be genuinely appreciated.

Thank you,
Mike

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Old 12-19-2009, 01:39 PM   #2
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Yep, the intake pipe is probably plugged with snow and the pressure switch is doing it's job and shutting the furnace down. Not likely more than 1 condo would have the same mech problem so it looks like a snow issue.

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Old 12-19-2009, 01:44 PM   #3
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You can take the intake pipe off temporally at the furnace to draw fresh air from inside to get you by for now.

Last edited by HvacWiz; 12-19-2009 at 02:09 PM.
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Yep, the intake pipe is probably plugged with snow and the pressure switch is doing it's job and shutting the furnace down. Not likely more than 1 condo would have the same mech problem so it looks like a snow issue.
Hi Yuri,

Thank you for your quick response. Is there any way to allow heat from inside the condo to circulate up through the intake pipe to help the snow melt? Is there a cover that can be safely removed on the inside the furnace?
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Old 12-19-2009, 01:48 PM   #5
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Depends if that unit is certified for 1 pipe use, meaning it is designed to run with only a exhaust pipe. You can temporarily remove the burner box cover or intake pipe at the furnace to give it air but it is not exactly safe or legal. The pipe usually has to be cleared manually or where I am sometimes with a hair dryer or heat gun and that is a pain in the azz. Is the installation manual near the furnace? read it and it will tell you in the venting info if it is certified for 1 pipe use. Beware, the exhaust pipe may be plugged also and that is dangerous.

Last edited by yuri; 12-19-2009 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Depends if that unit is certified for 1 pipe use, meaning it is designed to run with only a exhaust pipe. You can temporarily remove the burner box cover or intake pipe at the furnace to give it air but it is not exactly safe or legal. The pipe usually has to be cleared manually or where I am sometimes with a hair dryer or heat gun and that is a pain in the azz. Is the installation manual near the furnace? read it and it will tell you in the venting info if it is certified for 1 pipe use. Beware, the exhaust pipe may be plugged also and that is dangerous.

Hi Yuri,

Thank you for the warning. I seem to think that it is only logical that if one of the pipes is blocked then most likely the other one will be also. I will wait until Monday to have the tech determine the actual cause. Maybe, if the sun appears tomorrow, the problem will clear itself.

Thank you very much for your advice.

Regards,
Mike
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by HvacWiz View Post
You can take the intake pipe off temporally at the furnace to draw fresh air from inside to get you by for now.

Hi HvacWiz,

Thank you for your response. I think that I will wait for the HVAC tech to diagnose the problem.

Appreciate you advice.

Regards,
Mike
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:22 PM   #8
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Is there a way to avoid this problem in the future? It seems that any time it snows people could lose their heating. Doesn't seem that it is normal to expect this to happen. Is there a HVAC or building code that states the vent or intake pipes be longer or have a cap installed on them?

Thank you,
Mike
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:54 PM   #9
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Furnace intake and exhaust vents should be at least 12" above expected snowfall. They should also be located to avoid areas prone to big drifts.
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Old 12-19-2009, 02:56 PM   #10
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Don't know how old you are but I learned about venting/recirculation/drifts etc the HARD way when the Pulse came out. Virtual nightmares some of them.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Marty S. View Post
Furnace intake and exhaust vents should be at least 12" above expected snowfall. They should also be located to avoid areas prone to big drifts.
Hi Marty,

Is there a chart that shows the expected snowfall amount by region or state. I'm in Maryland.

Thank you,
Mike
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yuri View Post
Don't know how old you are but I learned about venting/recirculation/drifts etc the HARD way when the Pulse came out. Virtual nightmares some of them.
Hi Yuri,

I am not real old, but I was born during WW2. By the way, what is PULSE?

Mike
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:49 PM   #13
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Your problem may or may not be caused by the snow.

But, if a lot of the other units are having no heat also. Good chance it is.
Do you have access to the roof. If so, look to see if the pipes are blocked.
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Old 12-19-2009, 03:54 PM   #14
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The pulse is a type of furnace Lennox used to make in the 80's and 90's. I started hanging duct about the time the last of them were being installed.

Don't know if there's a chart showing how much snow usually comes at a time in your area but the locals should be able to tell you. Our area of Nebraska gets a 10-12" dump twice a year so that's what we plan for.
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Old 12-19-2009, 04:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Your problem may or may not be caused by the snow.

But, if a lot of the other units are having no heat also. Good chance it is.
Do you have access to the roof. If so, look to see if the pipes are blocked.
Hi Beenthere,

All of the buildings are 3 stories with no access from inside. Will have to view from outside. The snow is still coming down pretty good and I doubt if the vents can be seen today. So far, there are at least 5 other residents out of 70 that have reported the same problem today. Lancaster, PA is probably getting it pretty good also?

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