I live in St Louis and just got power back after losing it for four days for the
second time in one year.
The first time was in the summer and was merely inconvenient. This time I had
to have a way to keep the furnace running. I first borrowed a generator
(3550w), but I started feeling bad about putting so many hours on someone else's
unit and figured it was time I had my own so I went out and bought a Coleman
5000w with the Suzuki 10hp engine.
Problem (with both but more so with the new one) is that generator power is not
clean enough for my new-fangled electronically controlled furnace (Trane hv-80).
With the borrowed unit the board kept flashing an error code that basically
indicated to replace the controller board. Fiddling around with it for a while
and I was able to get it running. With the new one the glow igniter comes on
and apparently causes enough of a voltage fluctuation to disrupt the controller
board and I get a "check igniter" error code.
Do other people have these problems? Between the midwest and the gulf coast we
certainly have plenty of people who occasionally have to run on generators and
electronically controlled furnaces are pretty much the norm now. Is my Trane
just being particularly fussy? Everything else we powered off the generators
Of course the "cover our ass" page of the generator manual suggests getting a
line conditioner for just about anything that's not a light bulb. Do I really
have to drop a few hundred more dollars on one of those just to get my furnace
By the way, what convinced me that this was the problem was that the furnace
fired right up when I temporarily ran it thought my computer UPS. The UPS alarm
squalled like hell because it wasn't big enough, but the voltage as measured
with my voltmeter held much better and the furnace lit up. It would be nice if
I could isolate the power to run the controller board from those that pull major
amps so I could just get a conditioner for that, but it looks like everything
hooks straight to the board so I don't know if that can be done.
Naturally, four hours after I got the new generator running the utility company
got our power back up. I would still like to get a handle on this before the