Furnace fix

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When my furnace wouldn't work, I called the local gas company (Excel Energy -- Minneapolis) figuring they would come out and look at it for free, like PG&E did in CA. But no, they wanted $80 for the first 15 minutes just to look at it, and I think it was $80 each half/hour after that, and so did all the private repair places I called. I fixed it myself and thought I would pass it on.
The symptom was, when the thermostat went on, I could hear a fan run for a while, but no heat. Then this would repeat.
My son Joe suggested I take the furnace panels off and look for a switch, and sure enough, there was a switch operated by vacuum from the stack, and the short vacuum hose was cracked and letting air in. But shorting out the switch didn't make the heat go on either, unless I let the fan run for a while first.
I should mention that the front of the furnace contains a circuit board with ICs and a bunch of electronics on it, including diagnostic lights. To make it short, what happens is this, (at least on my Lennox.)
1) When the thermostat goes on, the furnace computer requires that the vacuum switch be open (no vacuum). If so, then the stack fan is turns on. 2) After the stack fan is on for a few seconds, the computer requires the vacuum switch be closed. This is to test the switch every time it goes on. (A faulty switch could be stuck in the closed position, then if the stack fan also failed, the system would work without it, causing possible CO problems.)
So only if there is both no vacuum and then vacuum in sequence, the computer allows the gas to go on. All I had to do was replace the 1/4" vacuum hose and it worked fine. I spent $2 instead of $80+.
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I am happy for you that you fixed your furnace, but I think you got lucky. There are SO MANY other things that can go wrong. What if your hot surface igniter was bad? What if the gas valve was faulty? What if the cicuit board was fried? Sure you can replace it, but WHY did it fry? What if the switch (that you hooked the rubber hose to) was bad? PLUS, even if you figure out what IS wrong, where are you going to get the proper part to fix it (if it NEEDS a part)?? Gas and electricity is nothing to "experiment" with!!!
I agree that a customer should check the simple things in order to save themselves a service call. But if they don't know what they are doing, they can burn their house down and/or casue harm or death to their family.
It's not rocket science, but you are better off leaving some things to the pros.....
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Good for you and your do it yourself fix.
As always on this newsgroup and others like hvac some will try to persuade you to not do it yourself. They'll say that you should "Leave it to the pro's" I say you, me, and others are just as capable as the pro's and as long as a newsgroup is available we should use it to further our knowledge on do it yourself fixes.
Thanks for the info.
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On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 09:02:18 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

You are just as capable as the pro's? Get freakin real you idiot. You could only hope to be 1/1000th of what a pro is even in your worst nightmare of a wet dream. Bubba
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If I can fix the problem then yes. I have outsmarted the "pro's " quite a few times in the past. Being a "pro" is not any more of a guarantee of success than being a willing, smart, experienced amateur. The only problem is finding out how to access the same information that a money hungry "pro" is unwilling to divulge.

Then you don't know me.
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You got lucky. Period. IF you knew ahead of time, the proper check procedure, and find the problem, good for you. IF you go poking around, and find it this time, great. IF you think that a vac hose will be the issue every time, as per your posting suggests, then you are wrong. Just curious...did you run your camera up into the heat exchangers to see if they had holes, cracks or other damage? A pro would....and some even give you the vid tape to prove it if they find something.

And you dont know us. Its guys like you that have made the lawyers in our state pass legislation that makes it illegal for unlicenced persons to work or install units.
If you think that makes it easy on the competent licenced persons like myself, you are wrong.
And if you think that the units of tomorrow will be as user friendly, you are also kidding yourself. We have Tranes now that if you dont have the infrared reader, you WONT fix a thing....period. We have RTUs that if you dont have the software to read them, you wont even get them to fire up.
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More information divulged. Thank you. Before long I'll gather all the techniques for working on a furnace.
P.S. You can keep the technique used to pillage the consumer. I don't use that technique.
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On Fri, 04 Feb 2005 05:23:12 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@mucks.net wrote:

Too Too funny. You are such and idiot, "mucks". Someone tells you two things and you think you are an expert. Keep mucking around. You'll get burned real well. Take pictures for us. Bubba
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wrote:

I've mucked my way through many jobs. When I'm lazy or not sure I may call a professional. Otherwise I will continue to do it myself, and muck my way all the way to the bank.
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if
Nope...you wont. Not even close.. There is more to it than just running the cam up..LOL...
PS...there is NO technique we use to "pillage" you assuming fuck. I have news for you, that cam cost over $2500 and I have YET to charge a customer to use it.
Sucks when you assume that just because I own an HVAC company, that I run it like half the other guys do...
Just curious...when was the last time, you went to work, took over $2400.00 worth of parts they needed, and GAVE it to the boss? Well...we do it often....matter of fact, I just installed a unit for a lady last week, and got news this morning, she had died due to her cancer...now....care to guess what her final bill had on it? CAre to guess how much she paid for all that work to be done? I want to see you put your foot in your mouth again....cause ya aint got a clue.
Its either broke, or it aint.

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Thank you for making my point. I'd rather attempt to fix it myself than take a 50/50 chance of being robbed.
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On Sat, 5 Feb 2005 09:39:46 -0500, "Steve@carolinabreezehvac"

I could get robbed by at least three ways.
1. I would rob myself of learning how the darn thing works if I didn't at least attempt to investigate the problem.
2. I would rob from my bank account if I paid someone else to unnecessarily fix a problem that I am capable of fixing myself.
3. I would get robbed if I happened to chose the 50% of pro's that have no problem in inflating the cost of the job.

This may be true but there are no laws that can guarantee that you won't get robbed by a pro, and there are no laws that say a pro must be smarter than you.
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run
That would be called 4 years of a tech school....that is required to work on any gas burning furnace, or electric furnace, or oil burning furnace in most jurisdictions. I will not hire a tech unless hes got at LEAST 2 under his belt, and can be verified.

Thats called paying a bill, in a free enerprise system, not getting robbed.

The other 50% that I was talking about, simply have higher overhead. The customer pays for everything, everywhere...you do know that right?

for
Ok....first of all, if a consumer calls say, 4 different companies, and lets just say for arguements sake, there are only 4 in their state.... they get prices of $4500, $5500, $6500, and $7500 for the same size unit....installed. The 4500 quote is for a system, alone, 10SEER The 5500 is for the same the 6500 one is for a 12 SEER unit, with a digital stat, and the 7500 one is for a 12SEER unit with a digital programmable stat, longer warranty, labor warranty, and humidifier with humidistat. Who is trying to rob the customer?

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On Sat, 5 Feb 2005 16:40:22 -0500, "Steve@carolinabreezehvac"

Steve, Im suprised at you. You are arguing with one of the dumbest idiots yet to date. He thinks he is a "fixit man". You know and I know that he has probably wasted more time and more money on all his "jury rigged" shit in his home. Now he is wasting bandwidth. Im goina need a new keyboard soon if you keep this up. :-) Bubba
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Bubba:
Sorry man. Been a while since I posted in here on a regular basis and thought that with the bullshit in the other group it would be a nice change of pace...it has been. I even found someone dumber than Stormin Moron, or DaveHackinNunits.
I also know, that educated consumers dont do stupid shit like he is talking about. Now...if he wants to be a HVAC guy, properly, I have some used equipment, less than a year old, on a used Ford, also less than a year old (1 ton if anyones interested) that I can set him up with for about $75,000. While it wont cover the expenses of a new unit, fully stocked, it will give me a reason to go buy a new Sprinter.
What I wanna see him do is answer that question properly. You know the answer, I know the answer, and so do several other people in here.
I wanna know if he knows the right answer since he knows so much about crooks.
the only crook I have seen so far is the handyman wannabe.
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Steve@carolinabreezehvac posted for all of us....

Those Sprinters are getting popular around here. I guess they are more of a heavy duty vehicle... Can't wait till the carpet people get them so the roll of new carpet isn't sticking out in the weather and the door duct taped / bungee corded around it... lol

--
Tekkie

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change
talking
old
$75,000.
give
a
taped
Well hell, they ought to be....a rebadged Mercedes with a Dodge, or Frieghtliner tag on em for under $45,000.... Plus what sucks is that I finally bought a new Dodge 2500 Maxi Van, got it for a steal since the killed the line like idiots, and now, if you want one that actually works, gets 20MPG and you can stand in, you HAVE to get one.
I am not fully sold on them YET. Have you looked at the hogshead on a 3500 dually? Tiny....I mean, TINY.

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:

If you are talking about me what did I say that I did? Be specific

Why bother. It doesn't pay enough.

It's hard to answer a question when you haven't asked a question.

A bit defensive aren't you? You're not feeling guilty are you?
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talking
LOL.. OK. So you are a brain surgeon...or a lawyer right
For a guy what wants to make the world think that hes in the Forbes list, you dont read much do ya?

old
$75,000.
give
Oh..I did, like I said, you cant read well can you?

Not a bit there fella...anyone who knows me I have nothing to feel guilty for. Of course, when a real pro puts you to the test, its obvious how you reply...lol..

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Still waiting. Be specific.
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