I am not an HVAC guy... I'm a electrician.
That said, you should have not allowed a unlicensed electrician to re-wire
your home or property... particularly from knob&tube.
In this kind of re-wire, every single circuit, every branch.... everything
including the service needs close attention. It is not a job for a amateur.
You don't strike me as a knowledgeable DIY'er. To look at these problems you
need a good quality digital multimeter with a amp-clamp. You need to know
how to use it and what it's telling you.
Michael, I don't do residential electrical work... I do the bigger stuff.
But I am called in from time-to-time for forensic studies concerning
devastating fires that have killed whole families.
Most of these fires are caused by honest folks doing really dumb things, and
hiring really dumb people to help them. Some of them end up in prison.
Do yourself a favor and have a qualified electrician look at the re-wire job
before you ever start messing with the furnace. Please!!!
I'm a Systems Developer/ Engineer. I was approached by an acquaintance
asking for help in lighting the furnace -- they couldn't figure it out when
they just had the gas turned on.
I lit the furnace for them and three weeks later they're asking me to re-
light the furnace. This is a "sheriff's sale" house they are gutting and
refurbishing -- I don't live there and your point is well taken. But read a
little further, please.
I have to respectfully disagree. I do all of my own automotive work for two
automobiles with my own hands (last year swapped an engine in my '97 Ford
by myself and the first time I turned the key it started and still
running), including brake work, clutch work, CV joints. I do all repairs
necessary by myself on my home appliances with great success. I build and
maintain all of my computers and my daughters computers, including Macs and
PC and Unix boxes. I manage a large corporate (actually higher education)
network with over 600 nodes, including management of firewalls, switches
and routers. I was recently published as technical editor by Macmillan
Computer Publishing for a book on network security. I have years of
experience as a journeyman, card carrying Union member of IUOE - as a
construction heavy equipment operator by trade. I can operate and maintain
almost everything, including dozers, track hoes, graders, etc. I do all my
own drywall, my own plumbing, my own landscaping. I have done countless
squares of roofing on difficult roofs and have more knowledge of concrete
operations, including actually placing it than anyone I know. Man, I even
designed and created my own wedding invitations! I have a Master of Science
degree from Ohio State. I really could honestly go on and on but to your
point: I have a good quality autoranging multimeter and I've been using
what it's telling me (maybe I should have given more details about
Having said that, I'm professional enough to admit I'm not very HVAC
knowledgable and know when to quit. When I said I'm ready to call a
technician I really meant "I'm ready to tell these guys I can't do anymore
with their furnace, they need to call a tech."
Again, your point is well taken and I will forward the recommendation to
the property owners. But I had to address your comment about "knowledgeable
Can you run all that equipment? Have you been published? Do you fix your
own cars and appliances? Can you write computer code in Perl or PHP? Do you
have any idea how to manage a firewall? Are you an accomplished musician?
Do you build your own computers? Did you do the excavation or place the
concrete of your own basement? Do you have a PhD? (I'm working on one) Man,
my kids are straight A students and well adjusted, I love my career with
its high salary and bright future. Heck, I'm even well liked at work which
is icing on the cake for anybody!
Sorry I tooted my own horn too much there but I've worked hard at learning
in life and not even an HVAC technician can hold me back from learning new
Normally, as most HVAC guys will tell you, most EEs cant wire up a unit to
Thats not a slam, thats a fact.
How do you light a HSI unit? There is no pilot...there is no need for you to
do much, other than purge the line, check pressures, set heat rise, etc..
No offence, but you cant figure out the problem?
What you state there, isnt far off from several of us, including myself.
that does not mean that any of us are going to jump into something and then
spout off that we can put our own brakes on...no offence..
My wife and I both have been.
Build Hemi powered toys as a hobby.
Nope, and dont care to.
Enough to make it work, for that I have people that do that I pay.
Nope....brother is, does that count?
Working on one now with a really cool Antec case..now if I could get a G4 to
fit in there..
Several actually...got a nice place in Colorado Springs that we did, that
also has a man made stream around the place with the plumbing 10 feet down
that I put in.
Nope...whats the point other than to say you have one?
is it going to matter in 100 years?
So go reverse the polarity and try it again.
But cut the breaker off first.
OK ... my miscommunication. They were looking for a missing red pilot
control knob and I explained to them it wasn't missing. I started their
furnace (simply followed instructions) and witnesses with my own eyes the
HSI glowing and heat coming on without even breaking out my meter to
check anything. Obviously purging the line, checking pressures, and
setting heat rise should be left to a professional. I actually suspect
with fairly high probability that the unlicensed electrician made a boo-
boo at some point and sent a surge to the board, but that's only my
educated BUT ADMITTEDLY AMATEUR assessment.
No offence taken, I'm getting close but I never "jumped in" and
represented to these guys I could fix their furnace at all. My furnace
runs trouble free and if need be, I'll call a tech. I knew I ran the risk
of appearing like I'm stuck on myself with all that "spouting off" but I
couldn't let it go unaddressed, sorry.
I find working with Perl to be a relaxing experience.
Thanks for injecting the humor, really.
You can if you want to learn. I have several Apples including a Ti
Powerbook. Most of my servers are G4s and G5s running OS X Server;
because "in a world without walls, who needs windows?"
Yes, at least a little. My daughters and their kids should still be here
... everything matters.
Actually I think it's time to call a technician ... but if possible I'll
be there when he comes and hopefully he'll be a nice guy who will react
to my thirst for knowledge. If he's anything like the majority of what
I've seen here he'll be a frightened and cagey creature to avoid.
Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
LOL...wish I could. The Mac boards WAY too large to fit in the case I am
i dont mind the G3, G4 and G5 cases....they are fine, but I needed a tiny,
fast, and really cool looking unit..LOL..
What you see here, is actually a bunch of professionals, (Even Mike, even
tho he wont admit it) that are in THEIR area.
People like the latest troll to come in here are simply toys, and they dont
get it. Some of us post in alt.home.repair and THAT is the area to get into
more detail, if we want to.
Serious however about the power...if it started after you put in the new
breaker, reverse what you have at the unit..other than that, since not a
soul here can see it, it would be in your best interests, since the tech
that will come out will be the one responsible if HE fries something, to
have them call a company.
Don't bother. You and your buddy are in violation of Columbus and state
You by screwing with his furnace at all. And him using a unlicensed
I love puffed up ego trippers like you. By the time you get done playing
with shit it's usually three to five times what it would have been.
As to your listing of "accomplishments". Yes and so what. LOL
There are guys here who make your list look paltry.
BTW Dude, Perl and PHP isn't anything to brag about.
Must really irk you that you'll have to defer to someone who might have
finished high school eh?
Maybe your buddy will smarten up and get someone licensed.
Surely you two wouldn't try to claim ignorance of the law?
Gee, Michael.... Would you like to post a resume, too? I'm happy that you've
accomplished so much, and pleased to hear that there are people in this
country that still have a thirst for knowledge. Folks willing to take the
time to actually learn something, instead of taking the easy way out, are
becoming rare these days.
Now, like a lot of tradesmen, I also have credentials outside my area. I
hold a CS degree from Purdue University, a Class A CDL license, a private
pilots license, numerous certifications in fabrication and construction...
etc... etc. My kids area also well-adjusted and straight A students, and are
working hard toward driving my wife and I CRAZY as they grow through their
I apologize if I under-estimated your knowledge and skill in this area....
but as a consequence of the Usenet medium, I cannot deduce what they might
be from my monitor here. When you ask questions like "How do I test a
circuit breaker?" it lead me to believe you were in way over your head.
You seem to have the opinion that tradesmen and professionals alike have
some 'secret' societies where we all meet and decide whether to dole out our
precious knowledge to the masses. This is not the case at all. The knowledge
is all available .... if you're willing to put in the effort to learn.
Public and University libraries, trade schools and numerous other facilities
are dedicated to providing you with the knowledge you seek... but you have
to be willing to put the time in.
Tradesmen and professionals make their living by selling their hard-earned
knowledge and experience, just as you make you your living sharing what you
know. Unlike computer networks, however, appliances and machinery inside
your home or in industry have the demonstrated capability of killing people
when not installed or serviced correctly. Just as doctors can make fatal
errors, and lawyers can ruin peoples lives if mistakes are made.... there
are severe consequences to decisions made in trade and professional fields.
Funny... as I've gotten older I've come to respect all professionals and
tradesmen (and gals) a lot more... as I've continued to learn that there is
so much I don't know. The HVAC folks here, and the plumbers, and fitters,
and machinist(s), and controls people, and virtually everyone who comes here
knows more about their respective fields than I do... but I continue to
learn through books, and studies, and schooling. There is no easy way to
accumulate all the knowledge you seek, but it can be accomplished in time...
if you're willing to expend the effort.
There are no quick-Usenet-fixes for most problems that involve complex
troubleshooting and where the consequences of a screw-up are life
threatening. I cannot, in good conscious, tell you that a circuit breaker is
bad (because they rarely are if not years old), or that you should try this,
that, or the other thing. I cannot see what kind of dangers might be lurking
So I gave you the best possible advice I could given the circumstances. Tell
your friends to have a licensed electrician look at the whole system as soon
as possible before they even bother paying a HVAC guy to come out and waste
Thanks for your thoughtful comments. I fully remember the
responsibility I carried when I ran heavy equipment - I worked lots on
the Interstate system in Ohio - with live traffic driving by. I knew then
and now that some things don't have a shortcut because it may cost lives.
I do make a living by selling my hard earned knowledge. I do some
outside consulting work, many times just fixing computer things that
honest people have screwed up. I guess I'm pointing out that I can make
these people pay through the nose or charge really reasonable rates for
something that is easy to fix. Maybe that was my point all along. I may
never get rich with consulting work because I just can't see charging
people exhorbitant rates for something they might have learned on their
own -- not to be confused with a serious problem that requires all of my
resources and time -- for that they get charged premium rates.
As for my network duties you are right, no life will be threatened if I
screw up. Folks may not get their paychecks, their health benefits may
not be processed, their e-mail might not get delivered but no one will
die. As we move toward more and more automated control systems there may
be a convergence of these systems. This may mean that in the future the
HVAC guy will have no choice but to coordinate and maybe even collaborate
with the computer network guy. We're currently installing a building
security system that is tied into the voice and data network (which used
to be discrete systems) ... will they extend that to the fire control
system? What is next? Will health systems around the country eventually
be tied into the internet? I think so, but not without a lot of
redundancies and fault tolerance features.
Thanks for your advice. You are single-handedly re-aligning my
opinion of HVAC professionals. I will certainly forward most of what I've
learned to these two guys (but I won't charge them for the info I've
What is working? Is the inducer fan running? How is the pressure
switch? Does the HSI glow? What condition is the flame sensor?
....................... and on and on and on.
Do you know how to use a multimeter? They are all connected in series.
Just call a "licensed pro".
No, unless it has perfectly balanced bearings and you can't hear it.
(don't know how to test)
How is the pressure
Don't know how to test without further reading.
Does the HSI glow?
Nope but it did before for sure.
What condition is the flame sensor?
Don't know how to test without further reading. It worked fine for three
I will 'cause heating systems aren't exactly the most exciting thing I've
The board was getting 115V. The 3A fuse was OK according to Ohmmeter.
The output from the board to the HSI was only 11V but that may be normal.
(I thought it would be 24 or 18V but what the heck do I know)
The "Component Test" didn't complete for whatever reason when I jumpered
the test lead. All I got was the continuous LED indicating "24V power to
At least your post tried to meet me halfway. If I worked on furnaces much
I would probably already know about ALT.HOMEOWNERS - I obviously posted
my query to the wrong group.
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