Furnace and service guy problems?

Old 10-17-03, 10:45 PM
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Furnace and service guy problems?

Hello all,
I moved into a new (to me) home last July.
We had the home inspected and the HVAC system checked out fine according to the inspector.
Recently with the cooler weather, the furnace stopped working.

It would trip the exhaust blower, glow igniter would come on and then no flame. It would try 3 times and then give up.

I called the service company who's sticker was on the side of the furnace.
He came and within 2 minutes had said that a high limit switch on top of the unit was faulty. He installed a new one and left.

The very next day, it happened again. I called. He came and installed another new one, claiming that it too must have been faulty.

A week went by before we needed the heat again but the next time we did, it tripped out again.

The same guy came AGAIN. Only this time he spent some time with a temp probe only to find that the area where the sensor is, was getting very hot.
Then he decided that the factory mounting place was too close to the burner and was going to move it back but I stopped him.
I mean isn't this curing the symptom and not the problem?

Anyway, he desgustedly tooled around with the thing for an hour or more, all the while I am watching him. Then he adjusts the gas pressure valve and it started to work correctly.

He couldn't wait to get out of my house and I had a lot of questions I wanted to ask him like, why was I charged for a sensor that obviously I did not need?
Shouldn't he have checked the gas pressure first?

This whole thing has my confidence shaken in both my furnace and the repair man.
To top this off, I suspect that the furnace is giving off a bit more CO than it should as I get headaches when I am near it. I have a CO detector in the basement that never reads anything.
I wonder if it's screwed up too?

What should I do? I can not afford a new furnace, nor can I afford many more service calls.

The unit is a Janitrol GMP series gas furnace, installed in 1994 with central air, Aprilaire air cleaner and humidifier.
Old 10-18-03, 08:16 AM
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Well, if the furnace been working fine all these years untill now, I'd say I'll check the heat exchanger, inducer fan blade, fan pressure, and the flue pipe to make sure something isn't blocked or slowed down..

Did he change the postion of the high limit sensor? Those limit are there for a reason...

I would not pay for the bill since you are not comfortable with the results of the service. Call the shop and talk to the owner and tell him what's going on.. if it's one man shop, then call in another company.
Old 10-18-03, 04:02 PM
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I did not let the guy move the sensor. That's when he copped an additude.

The good news is that my headaches are not CO related.
(At least not directly related)
I bought another CO detector today and cannot get it to read above 011 PPM with it sitting right on the heat register.

I already paid the guy with a check that I am sure was cashed by now. The company is a small family owned company.

I am going to call them Monday and have it out with them over this. I don't mind paying the money if I get a thorough job.

I don't think I got one yet at this point.
Old 10-18-03, 04:16 PM
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Our story is much the same as yours -- bought a new house using the same company that had inspected it previously, and to make a very long (and continuing) story short we weren't impressed, at all, with the service technician.

For any service technician reading this, if you can't do anything else, at least communicate with the customer.
Old 10-18-03, 05:52 PM
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From the contractors viewpoint - When you call, give them the story without unnecessary embellisment or attitude. They may agree that you are indeed due a refund. If you explain it to them like you did here, there isn't much of an argument they can give. The odds of having a simple thing like a high-limit klixon be defective right out of the box is pretty low. If the manufacturer would agree to have the tech move the high-limit, then so-be-it. I don't believe the manufacturer would approve of that type of service. You know it would never trip off if you removed the control all together. I could tell you stories all day about things that have perplexed me and caused multiple call-backs. These things can make a guy pull his hair out. But unless it is caused by the customer, it isn't their fault either. I don't charge a customer for my education. Sometimes it gets expensive but it just has to be that way.

My original point was not to back them into a corner before someone higher up the food chain gets to hear the story. Family owned isn't necessarily a bad thing either. They may have a compassionate family viwepoint.

I tell people to use common sense. Whether it is looking at esitmates or agreeing to a service techs method of fixing a problem. If it seems like it doesn't make sense, slice and dice it until it makes sense. That usually sorts out the illogical first asessment of a complicated problem. I guess I watch too much Columbo.

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