I have a 13 year old Coleman nat gas furnace with a two stage gas valve and
igniter, not a pilot light. I've only owned this house for 4 months but the
service records on this furnace seem to suggest the flame rod cause problems
once a year and service people are called out in march/april/may to clean
the rod after a cold Canadian winter.
Basically the 1st stage of the valve, a low stage kicks in and ignites and
it seems to take 7 seconds to kick into the high stage. Once the high stage
kicks in, furnace shuts down. Seems this flame rod is a safety device that
shuts the solenoid on the valve down. I watched the repair guy take the rod
out and clean it, although he seemed to think the valve had unspecified
issues, his back-up idea was the rod was car boned up so he cleaned it. He
did not read the servicing reports from the prior owners as they are not
posted on the furnace. The furnace has been fine since that rod was
cleaned. The serviceman I used is different company from the old owners.
Is this rod something I can take out myself and clean periodically? Or is
this space age-metal that only a qualified tech can touch. Looks fragile,
but it gets serviced every year. No I don't plan on touching the valve or
anything else!!!! The rod only sends a signal to shut the valve when it
falsely detects improper flame (can't detect much right when you are
BTW burners are clean and air flow for the flame is great. Dunno why the
rod is so fickle when it fires up. We need the furnace for 7 months to 8
months a year.
When you say manufacturer's specs do you mean the furnace or the valve?
Apparently, this valve is not an original part. it's a two-stage valve
that was installed after the furnace was. My guess, and this is not the
serviceman's guess, it was installed to quiet down the furnace fire-up. A
teenager's bedroom was across the hall from the basement furnace room. He
seems to think this valve is quirky, not faulty, but quirky. He did adjust
the pressure on the valve, on the low stage anyways. I watched him. Dunno
what reference he used to make his adjustment. This guy works for a company
that services Coleman furnaces and A/Cs. He's middle aged, maybe 50.
Service records indicate yearly flame rod cleaning. Not sure if this was
scheduled or emergency calls. They might have been scheduled for all I
know. Records prove this rod is cleaned same time frame (March or April)
every year Remember I've only owned this place for 4 months.
Flame rod senses faulty flame on high stage fire-up, trips the gas valve
Might be propane fueled furnace. For some reason the flame sensor
on those models tend to get dirty more often. Also cleaning them with
fine steel wool doesn't damage the coating as rapidly. The does come a
time when the flame sensor does need to be replaced. Using the proper
meter will guide you on this. An over pressure on the Gas valve tends
to stress heat exchangers and sometimes clogs up the far tight chamber
in the secondary exchanger(If this model has that)
Funny how this sounds like your typical alt.hvac hardcore reg response,
troll-like in other words. However, it's the best piece of advice he's
gotten in this particular case. Strange id'nit?
We have no way to find out, but I'd bet my bottom dollar the execs at
York/Luxaire/Coleman would'nt ever have one of these units in their own
personal homes, for safety reasons.
There are sure a lot of all of those makes out there and working just
fine. Properly installed/Properly maintained Units that have reached
their golden years and are finally paying for the investment of
installation. So how many of you have graduated from repair, to parts
replacers, to replacing the whole unit when the evil thermostat destroys
I'm talking about COLEMAN/EVCON units, of the era when Luxaire bought them
out (Not York or Luxaire units, but that's another story). Like Oscar said,
they were'nt "to spec" when they were built. Single burner, residential,
yet barely 80%, piecework controls scheme, yet built in the 90's, now
that's a dinosaur. They are shit, plain and simple. I don't care what
ANYONE says. Thermostat, indeed.
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