Flame sensor cleaning?

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Old 09-30-05, 07:24 PM
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Flame sensor cleaning?

Natural gas, forced air, 2003, Tempstar, Model FBF100F14G1. Rochester NY (near Buffalo) Frickin' cold most of time. 1600 sq. ft. house built 1942.

Got the burner on off on off cycle going. Burner goes on for about 3 secs. then shuts off, then on, ..... until plenum heats up and fan comes for about 10 mins. then cycle starts again.

From reading posts and my own research, I think it must be the flame sensor. I would like to try cleaning it, but 'm not exactly sure what it looks like. I found a part #PIL345A,http://209.240.136.26/Merchant2/merc...ry_Code=p-heil that says flame sensor. But Honeywell describes as pilot burner.I can't seem to find a manual or anything that gives a parts breakdown or any exploded views. Any advice at all would be helpful. I am a very handy guy, most mechanical stuff does not go over my head.Thanks in advance!!
 
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Old 10-01-05, 04:34 AM
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It will look kind of like this. http://arnoldservice.com/Janitrol_Go...ame_sensor.jpg Just use some scotch brite or a dollar bill and rub it clean "lightly" it usually don't take much to get them clean.

I almost forgot, it's usually located on the left side of the burner compartment.
 
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Old 10-01-05, 05:15 PM
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Flame sensor

As Mattison said, Scotch Brite usually works well. Before you start ordering parts make sure you are ordering the right thing. The same furnace manufacturer may use half a dozen or more different ignition & sensor configurations.
 
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Old 10-01-05, 05:19 PM
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Got it! I found the flame sensor! It is actually an "igniter/sensor assembly" according to the schematic inside the lower, blower motor, door. It is the thing I thought was JUST the igniter. In the link I had,on original post, it's the the white spark plug looking thing. There's a spring clip holding it on. Took off the spring clip, real gently wiped with emery cloth, put it back, checked it out, works perfect!! Man, it doesn't take much carbon to make that thing stop working. It was so gently coated, I needed a flashlight to see the coating. Oh, I should say, I shut off the gas and turned off the breaker before touching anything. Don't wanna blow myself up 'ya know! I know i got kinda detailed in here but if it can help someone else......... Thanks for the answer Mattison, I didn't have anything that looked exactly like that in there, but it got me started poking more than I had,and what I saw looked close, so thanks again!
 
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Old 10-01-05, 05:27 PM
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Good Deal, Heat is a good thing

You're right, it doesn't take much of a coating at all. When I go on a call similar you yours, one of the first things I do, just as a matter of routine, is clean that flame rod. Sometimes you can't even tell there is a coating, it's that light.
 
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Old 11-19-09, 08:17 AM
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Thanks

I too had a problem with my furnace, it would fire up only to have everything turn off a few seconds later. After checking the light pattern on my Lennox 80UHG series furnace, it indicated that it was in watchguard state and that the burners have failed to ignite. I went on this site, found out I should clean the flame sensor. I used some very fine grit paper and cleaned the sensor, and voila my furnace now works perfectely, thanks for the info and saving me a service call.
 
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Old 11-26-10, 06:34 AM
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That was it! Thank you so much! I have no idea how much money I just saved, but I got my furnace fixed--and my wife happy--in less than 5 minutes. My furnace fan would run, the igniter would light, the gas would turn on, flames would run for about 5 seconds--if that--then the flames would stop. After cleaning my sensor w/ a knife, my furnace is fixed. I've also heard you can use Scotch Brite, steel wool, or a dollar bill. Good luck!
 
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Old 11-27-10, 11:18 AM
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Their trip charge can bite you even if they are there for 5 minutes. Recently I could not replace a broken vacuum tube because I was out of town. Our furnace guy already had it explained to him by phone what the problem was and changed it and even though he is installing 6 furnace systems in 3 new duplexes my boss is building, he STILL charged his service fee. But then, that makes ME look good to my boss, like he knows I am saving him a fortune, by working for him.
 
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Old 11-17-11, 09:36 PM
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Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This was a spot on diagnosis and fix to my problem. The above descriptions fit exactly. The picture linked about for the flame sensor is accurate except for the metal piece attached to it. The sensor itself looks like a sparkplug with a thin metal rod extending down from it into the path of the left most burner. Just unscrew one screw, remove the whole sensor unit, use some steel wool to clean it, reinsert, and the problem is solved. Safety info should be posted outside of your furnice, but in case its not this is how to proceed with safety. Turn off the electric to the unti, turn of the gas to the unit, give it a few minutes to air out, then proceed. Use your nose and if you catch even a little mercaptin in the air, double check the gas is turned off and call the gas company or fire dept. Thanks again people.
 
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Old 11-24-11, 12:44 PM
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same here

Symptoms and solutions are a perfect match for my Honeywell furnace also. Thanks all, for confirmation and tips. Thanksgiving Day, we have guests coming, and no heat. I scraped the flame sensor lightly with a razor blade, wiped it with acetone, and (after reading this thread) rubbed it with a dollar bill. Amazing that invisible deposits can stop the whole furnace from working! This must be the best money-saving repair I've encountered.
 
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Old 01-05-13, 02:46 PM
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Thank you! I suspected the flame sensor on my Ruud was going out. I justed hopped online to buy a new part, but found this page instead.

Following your advise, I cleaned the old sensor with a Scotchbrite pad.

So far, so good. Gotta love a cheap home repair. Now if only I could have saved the fridge...
 
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Old 01-06-13, 01:14 PM
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Cleaning the flame sensor should be considered annual maintenance done to provide reliable operation of the equipment.
 
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