got home from xmas road trip last night. furnace was not working and
house was a chilly 48 degrees inside (thermostat was set to 57 while I
was away.) Fortunately I'd drained all the plumbing just in case it got
really cold and something bad happened, and also it never got seriously
below freezing while I was away. I ASSumed that the ignitor had gone
Tango Uniform again but I simply power cycled the furnace and it fired
right up and has run through several cycles. I can only assume that it
failed to ignite at some point while I was away and the thermocouple
shut it down. I've had the water heater go out a couple times, but only
a couple, over the past year. Never often enough to consider it a
problem and call in a repairman. I'm starting to wonder if there's an
issue with the gas service (water?) but I had the water heater shut off
while I was away so I couldn't see if the pilot on the heater had blown
out as well. Any ideas? I can deal with relighting the water heater
every couple months but not so much with the furnace shutting off while
Second problem is I'd like to strap up some pipes but have been
completely unable to find copper roofing-type nails, which is what I
assume I want. Only source of copper nails at all that I've been able
to find is McMaster-Carr, but they only sell common nails and small
tacks. Is that all that is currently available? I actually stopped at
the hardware store that has the best selection of various fasteners that
I've ever seen while I was on vacation and couldn't find any copper
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
You mention that the water heater pilot light has also gone out a
couple times. Have you checked to see whether you might have one of
those serendipitous drafts that happen only on certain windy days? I
had a house with this kind of strange episodic event, and finally I
figured out it was from a drafty window, and once I blocked that off,
all was well.
forgot to mention, it is a "90 plus" furnace with separate PVC pipes for
intake and exhaust - chimney is only for the water heater at this time
(and a separate flue for the fireplace above.) Dunno if there is any
kind of damper on the PVC, doesn't appear to be.
replace "roosters" with "cox" to reply.
I don't think those direct vent units are designed to have / need
barometric dampers. At any rate, now that we know that the water heater
and the furnace have entirely separate venting, it makes the gas supply
more suspect if both appliances are experiencing these outages. Is it
possible that there is undersized gas piping or other restriction
causing a pressure drop when both units are trying to fire at the same
time? Bad regulator or meter? If both appliances are experiencing the
problem it doesn't seem unreasonable to ass the gas company to check
things up through their meter at least.
Last time I purchased a box (100) of two hole copper straps at the real
plumbing supply place, the box included a bag of nails to match. I used
a lot of them for that project, and the remainder just started my
plumbing kit. Not like they're expensive items. You could also use the
Deck Mate coated screws which will be easier to install, and the coating
will prevent any issues.
You don't have a thermocouple, but you do have a flame sensor. If it
has only happened once, there probably isn't cause for concern, but if
it continues to happen, you could try "roughing it up" with some emory
paper, or it might need to to be replaced. Hard to see it from here,
You also might want to look carefully at your intake and exhaust. I
have seen them partially blocked by leaves, snow, weeds, etc. I have
also has a furnace "inhale" a leaf, causing an intermittent problem
My local Menards has copper roofing nails. I am surprised to hear
that Lowe's or Home Depot doesn't carry them. If you want to email me
privately, I could pick up a box and ship them to you. If you only
need a few, I think I have half a box lying around somewhere.
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