lights with a boom

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Old 09-29-07, 10:38 AM
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Exclamation lights with a boom

Our old natural gas furnace in the garage sometimes lights rather alarmingly. It seems slow to ignite and sometimes it blow flames out of the front when it finally lights with a boom. What are the probable causes. Is it the gas valve or the mixture settings or ? I can get you the make and model if that will help.
 
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Old 09-30-07, 05:10 PM
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Many times it is an ignitor placement or alignment problem. Any good service tech should be able to get it working correctly on an annual tune-up.

Ken
 
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Old 10-01-07, 03:31 PM
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If the ignition source (spark, or flame) is not right next to an orifice or slits in burners that allow gas to quickly come in contact with the ignition source, due to these being plugged up in the near vicinity, this can cause gas to build up until the gas finally reaches the ignition source, and then it can literally explode into ignition.

You really need to clean or have the furnace cleaned in the burners area. You can buy long round wire brushes for such a purpose. I've seen burner slits get all plugged up with rust and carbon, and when taking the burners out have poured tons of this junk out from the hollow insides!
 
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Old 10-02-07, 04:38 AM
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Like said. Get this thing cleaned and safety checked. It sounds like the crossover tubes are clogged.
 
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Old 10-02-07, 09:43 PM
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Wink

Our old natural gas furnace
Im with Matt Vaccum out the burners and make sure that the pilot ignitor strip is clean. On all burners. check for any spiders in the venturi of the burners and the pilot
 
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Old 10-03-07, 06:59 PM
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Continuing to operate it like that may result in explosion, fire, and/or death.

If you value your safety more than the cost of a service call, step away from the furnace and find a qualified heating contractor.
 
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Old 10-05-07, 10:12 AM
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I will take a look at it. I am not a bonified service tech (I am a journeyman motor mechanic) but I can handle a cleaning I think, if I am careful (I have watched it being done a few times). That furnace will be replaced soon but I just need to heat the place up a few times to complete a project in the meantime; we will not go away and leave it unattended. Should I go to a heating supply place to get one of the long round brushes; or do they come in a set of sizes? "make sure that the pilot ignitor strip is clean"...What exactly is the 'pilot ignitor strip' and what's the best way to clean that one? "check for any spiders in the venturi of the burners and the pilot"... do you mean rust and crud and dirt and bugs in general, that might be accumulating in the venturi? If the "crossover tubes are clogged", I should be able to clear that all out with the round brush and air and vacuum? I will make sure all of the slits or orifices are clear so the fuel will be directly available at the ignitor, and that the ignitor is aligned. I appreciate the input and the cautionary advice. Is there anything else anyone can think of? Thanks a bunch.
 
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Old 10-06-07, 08:36 AM
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My 2 cents: I'm not a rich man but I know sometimes it pays to have someone do something who knows what they're doing. This seems to me to be one of those times. I'd pay instead of risking a gas leak explosion or CO2 poisoning due to cracked heat exchanger.
 
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Old 10-08-07, 09:37 AM
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I quite often ask enough 'dumb questions' until it sounds like I am totally incompetent I am sure I can handle a cleaning without killing myself. We have decided though, to let this old furnace go to the grave. Upon further thought, we remember in the past having to 'clobber' the gas valve with the handle of a screwdriver because it was sticking; a cleaning isn't going to give us clear sailing anyway. The new installation will be in a week or two so for the time being (so I can finish my current project) I am going to heat the place up with my propane tiger torch or heater. There is good insulation in there and we aren't into the deep freeze yet. That old dinosaur doesn't get anymore of my time. Thanks a bunch to everybody for your input. I can access the technical info in this thread again in the future as the need arises. Do it yourself is a great furum!
 
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