Question about Furnace

Hi,
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 could not.
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.
Claire
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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.
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try hitting the gas valve, not real hard with apiece of wood next time.
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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 and nussiance. Bubba
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Bubba every year a I have to knock a few gas valves on old units that are old and stuck in fall, but you are right they might hit it too hard and their best option is call a pro.
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On Sun, 6 Jan 2008 15:07:14 -0800 (PST), ransley

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. Opps..........."KABOOM"!!!!! Bubba :-)
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Bubba wrote:

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.
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Show me in any service, installation or repair manual where they tell you rapping, tapping or hitting with a broom handle is a proper procedure on a gas valve. Bubba :-P
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Bubba wrote:

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." ?
No?
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...
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I really don't think having an 18 year old furnace is all that bad. Mine as made somewhere in the early 1980's and it works perfectly fine.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

What's its efficiency, though?
--
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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 humidity? Do you have other gas fired appliances running from the same source? Is the pipe run to the furnace excessively long? Longer than the other equipment? Do other gas appliances work right all the time? Is preventive maintenance done yearly on the furnace? Always by the same company? 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.
Lotsa luck
Pop`

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see: http://www.arnoldservice.com/Troubleshooting_Heating_Problems.htm
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In article

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.
--
:)
JR

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or short the leads calling for heat, this will prove if its the thermostat
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In article

Saaaaay! That's an even better - and CHEAPER - idea.
--
:)
JR

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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 terrific one.
CUL8r Claire
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In article

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 boots! HA!
--
:)
JR

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