I'm not sure if anyone would have any input but if you have any
theories, would love to hear 'em.
Our natural gas furnace is a bit elderly (18 years old, almost) but
always always always was tempermental.
There's always been one thing or another going on with it.
But this latest thing has stumped me. What happens is if we turn the
heat down too far, like at night or when we go out for a few hours, if
the heat turns off, then it doesn't want to come back on.
The heat went out Christmas day and we had no heat for an entire day
and a half from that furnace.
Pressed the reset button, did all that.
So we called the utiltiy co. They didn't come out until two days later
because that's the turnaround time. By then, it had gone on by itself
the previous night.
I asked them to see if they could see any problems ANYWAY, and they
Since then, since this happened two more times, we see that it has
something to do with turning off then not wanting to come back on.
It eventually DOES come back on but it's always anybody's guess as to
when with the Christmas 36 hour delay being the worst.
Why might it do that?
I probably should get a new one but they are expensive and if I can
get a couple or few more years out of this one, then that's what I
want to do.
Someone you know has a heating contractor they really like and have been
using for many years. Start asking everyone you know until you get a
referral, and then call that company. If you had the skill to diagnose and
repair the problem, you would've done so by now.
On Sun, 6 Jan 2008 11:35:06 -0800 (PST), Ball of Fluff
Its really pretty simple. You really havent given any great detail and
no one here can see it. From your own admission it has been giving you
trouble from day one. You need to either start getting estimates for a
replacement or find a good competent tech/company that can resolve
your problems. Do NOT, I repeat.....Do NOT start banging on the gas
valve with a hammer or whatever as someone who shall go nameless
stated. Thats just an accident waiting to happen.
Otherwise, keep doing what you are doing and live with the cold days
I understand. Ive done it myself. Usually just when I get frustrated.
If you have to hit it, it gets replaced. I get enough after hours
calls without needing one that I know I will get.
I can just see the homeowner down there with a hammer.
"WHACK"!! Opps, wrong part. Opps, just broke the pilot line. Opps,
just broke the wire terminal connections on top.
Oh, fiddle-de-dee. A gentle rappping, slightly tapping, can't do much
damage. I have to do that two or three times a year with a broom handle.
The alternative is extreme cold, forcing the occupants to kill and eat the
sled dogs, but that only delays the inevitable. Fortunately freezing to
death is painless.
Haven't you heard the story about the technician who tapped one time on the
side of something then presented a bill for $300 and the owner said "What! A
bill for $300 for one tap? How can that be?" and the technician replied
"It's knowing where to tap." ?
Well, once upon a time there was this big, expensive piece of equipment that
suddenly quit working. The owner of the plant called the equipment
manufacturer in a panic...
It's pretty unlikely it's the furnace itself, so a replacement of the
whole thing is very likely unwarranted, esp if funds are a problem (when
aren't they?). If it were the furnace, you would have had other
explicit comments to make about things that happen to it when it finally
does start, IMO.
It is however in the furnace controls somewhere, IMO. Thermostat,
wiring, burner eye, fuel filters, amount of fuel delivered, air that
seeps into the piping, transformer, fuel valves, etc. etc. etc..
Is there a tank or is it municipally supplied?
Are the pressures always OK when it goes out?
What's the weather like when it goes out? Any connection to temp or
Do you have other gas fired appliances running from the same source?
Is the pipe run to the furnace excessively long? Longer than the
Do other gas appliances work right all the time?
Is preventive maintenance done yearly on the furnace? Always by the
Is the tank always full, half or near empty when that happens? IFF
you have a tank tha tis.
You need to begin more sluething and get a reliable, trustworthy company
to check it next time it dies. Ask around; neighbors, coworkers,
family, etc. for a company to try. Then chgeck them against your local
BBB to weed out any that might have a record already.
It wouldn't hurt, or cost too much, to replace the thermostat.
If that doesn't fix the problem, the new thermostat can probably be used
if/when you replace the furnace so no money is really lost. Good luck.
You're right! It turned out to be the thermostat.
We'd had some renovations done, new drywall, all kinds of stuff in
that room last Summer, and we think (well, my husband thinks this and
I think he's right) that the thermostat got clogged up with gunk
during the work.
So last week my husband replaced the thermostat with a new one and
it's been super reliable ever since.
Someday we'll probably have to buy a new furnace, but hopefully we can
nurse this one along for a few years- because I know that when it does
come time to buy a new one, we will want to spend a bit of extra money
to buy a better quality furnace. We wouldn't want to get the cheapest,
I don't think.
Thank you guys for all your feedback. This newsgroup looks like a
That's GREAT!! Thanks for letting us know. It's particularly gratifying to
learn that ones suggestion was right.
You are right about that.
Just remember that, the sooner you replace the old furnace, the sooner you
will realize the fuel savings.
Two years ago I replaced my >14-year-old conventional draft natural gas
furnace (60-70% rating?) with a "condensing" furnace (96-98% efficient). I
have noticed a significant reduction in our gas bill not due to any measurable
change in heating days.
Before the swap, I was skeptical of all the claims of BIG savings made by
those that sell and install furnaces. I am now mostly convinced. Many
entities grant tax incentives for such upgrades. That makes the up-front cost
of the replacement even more "palatable".
Thank-YOU for the follow-up.
If you can filter-out the bulk of the inevitable spam, off-topics and other
"chaff", the "wheat" is pretty good. Still, this IS usenet after all so I am
"required" to tell you that you're full of it and your muther wears combat
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