Subject: FIXED!!!!!: Furnace blows but does not heat (intermittent problem)
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No thanks to some of the "pros" here, but I fixed the problem myself.
It was a great learning experience -- I learned a lot about furnace
drainage and controls. Best of all, I didn't have to hire any of those
ARROGANT ASSHOLE types that seem to infest this newsgroup.
Only cost to me was my time -- I didn't asphyxiate
myself, blow up the house, or even break anything! Imagine that a
stupid homeowner can actually fix something without bowing to the gods
In all seriousness, I do want to thank the disgruntled alt.hvac pros
because without their bullshit, I might actually have given up and
called a tech. But they offered a challenge that I just couldn't
So, please if you are a handy homeowner, don't be scared off by these
nitwits. HVAC repair is far from rocket science -- just a little basic
plumbing and electricity. Now to tell the truth, I would probably
never take apart a gas connection because that stuff (along with
roofing) actually scares me, but the rest is easy -- I mean I was
building more complicated electrical control circuits back in grade
school. Just remember that the only reason they bark so loud is that
they are afraid you may actually look inside an HVAC unit and realize
how simple it is and then you may realize that they are just a bunch
of overpaid and overpampered high school graduates (if that).
Anyway, enough of the gloat.
Here are the details of what I believe went wrong and what I did to
fix it in case someone else has a similar problem in the future...
Issue ended up being a problem with condensate drainage (thanks
Dmitrios for the hint based on your experience). The actual cause of it
shutting off was that the inducer pressure switch was triggered
(thanks Tony Hwang).
It Really ended up being two contributing problems. First, the flexible
rubber condensate tube leading from the exhaust side of the ventor
motor to the internal trap (black plastic manifold where 3 condensate
drain lines meet before exiting the furnace) was FILLED with particles
-- so much so that the entire line was blocked solid. Some of these
particles had also started to clog the trap. I couldn't believe how
much crap was there!
Interestingly, despite the clog which presumably had been there for a
while, the system still worked until I added the condensate pump last
week. In the installation, the last couple of feet of the flexible
tubing sloped upwards (after dropping about 20 feet). My guess is that
this created a second water trap that aggravated the more proximal
blockage within the furnace.
In any case, I cleaned out all the condensate tubing inside the
furnace and shortened the final stretch of tubing leading to the
condensate pump so that it slopes down almost vertically into the pump
All works PERFECTLY now -- ran the furnace for about 2 hours straight
and didn't get a hiccup.
Now contrast that satisfying learning experience with what one might
exect calling in a repair man. Based on my experience with the average
quality of technicians today, they probably would have first tried to
replace everything that moved -- e.g., "lets' try a new pressure
switch" or "how about a new ventor motor" etc... This would take at
least two visits since they would of course have to go order and get
the part. After paying for their marked-up parts and labor, it might
actually have worked for a few days or weeks since just replacing the
parts might have shaken things up a bit.. But then the problem
would inevitably recurr since they wouldn't have fixed the right thing
in the first place. Then they would probably come back to the house a
couple of more times, each time replacing a new part or so. Finally,
they would try to convince me to buy a new furnace since they would
then claim that the problem is a common defect with the model with no
solution and since it is out of warrantee the only choice is to
replace the entire furnace... Sigh... I know the story well and have
seen how it ends...
| No thanks to some of the "pros" here, but I fixed the problem myself.
Just wondering how far you would have got without the advise from some of
the more obliging people in here?
I'd get that OCD problem of yours checked.... you do know there is
medication for it.... don't you?
If you read the post, you would see that I thanked people for their
contribution -- even mentioning two people by name.
What I meant is that I didn't need to call in a "tech" which is what
about a dozen people felt they needed to say repeatedly in rather foul
WTF r u talking about? I thought you had a serious comment...
I have had the same problem with HVAC elitism. The best thing you can
do is educate yourself and others about your fix which is exactly what
you did. The HVAC elite are more interested in their pocketbook than
actually helping the general public.
You are one stupid SOB... I walked through the debri of what used
to be a Do it yourselfer home yesterday. 2 dead adults and 2 chldren.
In this extreme cold weather.. the equipment takes quite a beating.
So I really suggest up to date equipment and professional maintenance.
And I really could care less which trained/licensed/Insured Tech you
utilize. Here, if the Fire Marshal catches you fucking with your
furnace..he fines you and then turns you over to the jurisdictions
Building services people. Fines run about $300 a code and safety
violation and usually find about 9 or 10.= Approx $3,000.. And the
Judges don't bargain on safety violations. You can of course get a
permit after passing a HVAC homeowners exam. After which it is inspected
before you can use it. So Shithead...Are you going to be safe or sorry?
And don't call me..I am busy... And the lads we send out cost us about
$2,000 each this year alone upgrading their technical education. I don't
suppose it ever occurred to a Moron like you, why there is such a
shortage of HVAC personal in America.. Its a 24 hour a day job... and
Holidays are a thing of the past. The education curve takes in
Electronic, Electric, Low and high pressure plumbing, international fuel
gas codes, not to mention it is damned hard work. I do understand they
are accepting Amateur HVAC experts like yourself in Iraq right now for
$160,000 to $240,000 per annum. Most of us are too busy to go and aren't
smart enough to commit suicide by either insurgents bullet Or Amateur
Well, your being too busy to respond is a blessing, though it's amazing
that you "postal" sounding hvac techs have all this time for newsgroups,
not to help or anything, just as a place to use all the vile language
you learned in your widdle techie school. You people are just laughable.
It's your attitude and your inability to see what an ass you are that
makes me repair my own furnace, and pass along knowledge to others.
My hope is to make as many HVAC scum bags unemployed as I can. My
apologies to the decent HVAC tech's, but you are not one of them.
And you are one arrogant MFer. Get a clue, a lot of DIYers are actually
more competent and intelligent that the so called pros, what makes them
pros is charging people for their service, not some alleged level of
expertise. What makes DIYers out of customers is bad experience with
these pros. When someone charges you $80 to tell you they don't have a
clue, you begin to think; I already don't have a clue, $80 saved. With
a little research, one can easily become familiar with any system, and
with a few successes, competent to perform at least rudimentary
repairs. The reason a lot of things are illegal to repair is simply
lobbyists convincing lawmakers to protect tradesmen, rather than the
public by and large being incompetent.
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