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+.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Its either broke, or it aint.
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.
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
I will not hire a tech unless hes got at LEAST 2 under his belt, and can be
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?
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
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?
On Sat, 5 Feb 2005 16:40:22 -0500, "Steve@carolinabreezehvac"
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. :-)
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
the only crook I have seen so far is the handyman wannabe.
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
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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