Power Pile Pooped Out??


Old 12-10-02, 10:59 AM
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Thumbs down Power Pile Pooped Out??

I have a Moncrief furnace, which was manufactured by the Henry Furnace Company. It is a power-pile type, and is probably 40-50 years old. The only way I can get the furnace to turn on is to "jump" it by connecting a wire from one t'stat terminal on the furnace to the other. Then, the only way to shut the furnace off is to go back downstairs and take the wire off. The thermostat has absolutely no control over the furnace for the most part. I got lucky and it actually worked great for a couple weeks after i "jumped" it and left the wire connected. It worked like a dream without having to touch it. I could turn it on and off, up or down with the thermostat, but eventually it went on and wouldn't go off so I had to take the wire off, and I haven't been able to control it with the thermostat since. It goes down to 50 degrees in here at night .. brrrr. Do you think this is fixable? Can this furnace be converted to an electric thermostat? I know I need a new furnace but haven't the money for one. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading.
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Old 12-10-02, 12:14 PM
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Powerpile stats are notoriously simple and reliable.

If you are able to get the valve to open by shorting the terminals the valve is likely ok.

Some powerpile setups make it possible to burn out the anticipator in the thermostat when shorting out the terminals as you have done.

Also if you were not carefull with the shorting trick, something could have been damaged.

The proper way to check the valve and powerpile generator is to use a millivolt meter to check the output terminals.

Simplest thing though is to replace the thermostat, making sure it is for millivolt systems.

Read the instructions that come with it, it should say something about the shorting damage.
Old 12-10-02, 01:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Chicago
Posts: 1,915
If the furnace will start by shorting the furnace terminals but not from the thermostat then you either have a bad thermostat or a bad wire between the thermostat and furnace.

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