Igniter Life

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Don't want any help or advice. Just would like an opinion or two based on your field experience relative to the following; Got 3 yr. old Gas fired Trane with a Western Digital board and a WD Silicon Nitride Igniter. No heat problem-Service Tech quickly and correctly diagnosed a failed Igniter. I've read that the typical life of an Igniter is about 3-5 yrs but you can get at least 3 plus additional years with the Silicon Nitride type. So, did the one installed in my furnace fail prematurely (non typical-infant mortality) or is the longer life a bit exaggerated and just more hype to justify the higher cost? (Have a Service/Manteca contract so cost is not a factor for me) Also, does the practice of lowering the temperature at night and then resetting it in the morning (ala programmable thermostat) in time, actually have a negative impact on the furnace hot section components? That is, because of the long(er) time components are exposed to the full blast of the furnace (as the house is brought back up to the new set temperature) their useful life can be reduced. MLD
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Nitride Igniter. No heat problem-Service Tech quickly and correctly diagnosed a failed Igniter. I've read that the typical life of an Igniter is about 3-5 yrs but you can get at least 3 plus additional years with the Silicon Nitride type. So, did the one installed in my furnace fail prematurely (non typical-infant mortality) or is the longer life a bit exaggerated and just more hype to justify the higher cost? (Have a Service/Manteca contract so cost is not a factor for me)

it in the morning (ala programmable thermostat) in time, actually have a negative impact on the furnace hot section components? That is, because of the long(er) time components are exposed to the full blast of the furnace (as the house is brought back up to the new set temperature) their useful life can be reduced.

I've seen them last anywhere from a year to ten years. The one in my furnace is going on six years without replacement. Someone had wrote with a sharpie the date that it was last changed.
Interesting story about how I got my York Stellar 90 plus.
Went on a furnace change out and when I looked at the one to be replaced I went to the owner and told her I can fix this furnace for about a dollar. It looked brand new. She declined saying that she had had enough of the POS as it always gave her trouble. Called the salesman told him the same thing. Nope she wants a new furnace. Called my boss told him the same thing. Nope she wants a new furnace. Okey dokie I says and I proceeded with the install. Went to start up the new one and it would not fire. Checked it out and the pressure switch wouldn't make. Went outside and heard gurgling in the vent pipe. Went back downstairs and checked out the venting. Turns out I over bid the repair cost as some jack ass non union hack strapped the exhaust vent up with panduit strap and created a big dip in the pipe which when the furnace ran hard on cold day water trapped in the dip and it shut off on the pressure switch. I took my snips and cut the strap and about a gallon of water drains out and the new one fired right up. She's had zero problems since. Hauling the old one out she asked me if I was going to recycle the old furnace. I said yes I am and thought to myself, I'm going to recycle it right into my home since it was the perfect size and the price was right. Free. So far between the furnace and a additional 14" of blown insulation I added to the attic I've save two tanks of propane a year. A hearty thank you to the non union hack who didn't know his ass from a fire truck. Its been 3 years now and I haven't had a lick of trouble out of it.
True story.
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wrote:

Some people have more money than brains.
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I think it's a brain jam. People think the furnace (or the vehicle, or whatever) is the problem. So, they rush to the conclusion that you have to change out the furnace, sell the vehicle, etc. A woman I know from church bought a panel van that had several small problems. She finally sold it for scrap, when the neutral safety switch failed. I thought she was out of her mind, but that's just me. I called a guy I know, who probably changed the safety switch and sold the van for a good markup.
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The King wrote:

Nitride Igniter. No heat problem-Service Tech quickly and correctly diagnosed a failed Igniter. I've read that the typical life of an Igniter is about 3-5 yrs but you can get at least 3 plus additional years with the Silicon Nitride type. So, did the one installed in my furnace fail prematurely (non typical-infant mortality) or is the longer life a bit exaggerated and just more hype to justify the higher cost? (Have a Service/Manteca contract so cost is not a factor for me)

resetting it in the morning (ala programmable thermostat) in time, actually have a negative impact on the furnace hot section components? That is, because of the long(er) time components are exposed to the full blast of the furnace (as the house is brought back up to the new set temperature) their useful life can be reduced.

We all know that was a job by your Apprentice. Thats how you got the Job. He learned well from you. I bet you pull that stunt every time you find a furnace you want. ;-)
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When I used to do installs, once in a while, the boss would ask us to take a furnace out neat and tidy. He knows some landlords who can use furnace in good condition. I'm very pleased you put the "trouble unit" to good use.
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The laws here prevent me from installing any used fosil fuel appliance.

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Sounds a bit far fetched would appreciate a reference to the relevant code.
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wrote:

The same here but it can be done if the inspector signs off on it.
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code.
Quite a few routinely advertise on craigslist in my area offering used as well as installation of said used. ( permits may be required )
Furnaces gas and oil..
Steve's statement ( any used fossil fuel appliance ) taken literally I would also conclude to mean to ranges and ovens as well as water heaters, mostly curious to see how any such code exclusion would be written and parsed so as to preclude having tons of grey area and loophole as to legal interpretation
For instance, USED refrigerant is perfectly okay to recycle store and re-install into the original owner's equipment--just that ownership cannot be transferred.
IOW, not so much that I am seriously doubting that certain restrictions apply in some areas--mostly just I'm curious to see the code wording if /when/where such restrictions have actually been implemented into law.
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Bipolar Bear wrote:

It is pretty common through out the US of A, Mr Homsexual-Bear. do your own homework and be off with you. Liability Insurance won't cover it either. You are taking on product liability as once that equipment is removed from its original install, the manufacturer no longer has that liability. But of course you being a know it all, all ready knew that. What a tooty-frooty!

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On Wed, 21 Jan 2009 23:08:35 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

I did my best to convince the HO that she didn't need a new furnace but she was insistent about it so she got what she wanted.
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Some folks just totally determined that they know what the problem is. And that you, the experienced tech, don't know.
Would have made for a good laugh, if you'd left the saggy flue pipe in. Wait for trouble, and then go back and redo the flue pipe. However, she'd likely call some other tech, and your reputation would be smeared.
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On Sat, 24 Jan 2009 09:07:53 -0500, "Stormin Mormon"

Wait for trouble? Did you not see where I wrote that it would not close the pressure switch from the get go because the exhaust was already full of water?
Are you suggesting that I should have drained the exhaust pipe, put it back on the furnace and call it good knowing that it would soon fail?
Don't be ridiculous.
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The you could *really* get a good laugh at the customers who died of CO poisoning. Look down at the dead bodies and say, "I told you so".
Good one, Stormy.
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I see you haven't worked on many new HVAC systems... they don't run with a blocked flue! You might want to check into the reason manufactures install pressure switches.
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spaces for comments ):

Kenny is right and HVAC picked the wrong fight.
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No problem then...
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Your comments relative to my questions would have been appreciated. Too bad you stopped at the top and didn't read further down. MLD
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I suggest that you don't start your post with... "Don't want any help or advice." When you *do* want advice on experiences that others have.
To give you input on silicone nitride ignitors, there are many different styles out in the field. There are some that work at 120 volts while there are others that work on 70 and 24 volts. Personally, the silicone nitride ignitors have been an overall success. I would rate the Honeywell 24 volt smart valve ignitor at the top of the class. With the ignitorsdirect 120 volt "replacement" at the bottom of the class. Some of the conversion kits work well, while others create "other" ignition failures/problems. The nitride ignitor is far superior to the POS silicone carbibe ignitors that many manufactures have used for so many years.
As far as HVAC equipment operational runtime goes, if the equipment is properly sized, installed and set-up to operate with-in the manufactures specifications, it will normally provide years and years of troublefree service. If it's oversized, not properly set-up, etc, etc... you will most likely end up with a POS that will provide you with comfort issues,equipment failures, etc, etc
Your HVAC guy is like your doctor, you seek the most qualified, honest and reliable person and stick with them, period. You don't go looking for the cheapest hack you can find or you *will* have problems that compromise your comfort and safety. This becomes a nuisance and eventually, you will seek a competent tech to fix the problem once and for all.
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