Trane XE70 igniter won't come on

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Old 01-01-08, 06:46 PM
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Trane XE70 igniter won't come on

I can hear (and smell) the gas for about 2 seconds when I turn the thermostat on, but the clicking of the igniter is absent. Is this usually the igniter or the controls when this happens? I am getting ready to pull the igniter to take a look at it, but am not really sure what to look for. Being short funds after buying way too many Christmas gifts I am hoping to do the repair myself. Any words of wisdom would be appreciated.
 
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Old 01-01-08, 09:31 PM
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With a hot surface ignition system, the usual sequence of operation is as follows:

The thermostat closes to turn the furnace on.

A small fan motor (the inducer motor) starts up

The ignitor is switched on and gradually becomes white hot over a period of thirty seconds or so

The electric gas valve turns the main burner gas on. The ignitor should light the gas pretty much right away. If it doesn't, the gas is switched off after 2-3 seconds.

The ignitor is shut off and the ignition sequence tries again by turning the ignitor on.



Is the inducer motor turning on?


It sounds like the ignitor isn't working, which causes the gas to shut off after a couple of seconds.


Usually a failed ignitor is indicated by a visible gap in the silicon ignitor, often with whitish discoloration around it. If that's not obvious, testing with an ohmmeter to see if you have an open circuit through the ignitor would be the thing to do.
 
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Old 01-01-08, 09:36 PM
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Yes the fan kicks on, I expected to hear a clicking for the igniter but after looking at it the way you explain it makes sense. It broke when I was trying to clean it, and one area looked like was all ready missing a piece. I wish I knew of a place in Omaha that was open to get a new one. I'll replace it tomorrow and hopefully that will do the trick. Thanks.
 
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Old 01-01-08, 10:05 PM
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Buy two.


It's easy enough to break one as you've discovered, and even if you don't break it having a spare is worthwhile, since the part isn't too expensive.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 07:43 AM
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I discovered yesterday that my Trane XR90 furnace is not igniting either. After doing a few continuity and visual checks I suspect that my HSI may be bad. The system is not even 3 years old, with very little use in a house I'm not yet living in!

As this is all new to me, can you clarify what I should be seeing when the system is trying to ignite? Does the ignitor actually glow? I know it's getting voltage because I checked the wires leading to it. But it doesn't "light up" at all when I run the ignition sequence.

Can a homeowner find actual Trace replacement parts anywhere? It was mentioned to buy 2 'cause they aren't that expensive. The only place I've found online that seemed to be carrying them showed a price of $119 or thereabouts. What is a reasonable price point for the ignitor?
 
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Old 01-02-08, 08:09 AM
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As a furnace repairman, I'd normally expect to pay about $25 or so for hot surface ignitors. But I'd often buy knock offs that were cheaper.


Buying fromTrane you should get one that will fit and work. You might look for a distributor in your area.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 08:14 AM
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Hot surface ignitors

I bought a replacement HSI for about $25, if I recall. It was probably not OEM (but that's ok with me) and if you were looking at a Trane website it doesn't surprise me that you saw $119.

A guy I know also got one from Home Depot- they don't carry them in the store but they can special order and get it next day. The problem with mail order is shipping: even next day shipping means you'll be spending a cold overnight at the house, which is why having a spare on hand makes sense.

If you can wait for shipping, I've had success with these people:
www.arnoldservice.com
and
www.climatedoctors.com

Replacing the HSI is easy: it's a blade type electrical connection and a small screw. I've read you should wear clean rubber gloves or latex exam gloves when you handle the HSI to prevent getting skin oil on it, which can shorten its useful life.

Good luck with it!
Dave O
 
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Old 01-02-08, 08:21 AM
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Missed your other question

HSIs do glow- mine comes up red when it comes on. (That's how I knew I had a problem with my furnace this summer: I noticed the HSI glowing when the air conditioner was blowing. Fixed the problem in time for cool weather, didn't have any rushing around to find parts.) So if yours is not glowing, it's a good bet that it's gone bad.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 08:21 AM
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Looks like we posted at the same time - thanks for the answer to the question below:

Part of my question was what I should be seeing, if anything, when the ignitor is working properly. When it's getting voltage during the ignition sequence, should it be visibly glowing?

Mine is showing no visible signs of heating up, but I didn't know if that was normal or not.

Is it odd that a silicon nitride ignitor would fail in less than 3 years? I was under the impression that these were supposed to last much longer.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 08:45 AM
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Kinda out of my depth, now

I'm not sure how long they're supposed to last- maybe it was a bad batch at the factory? Installer dropped it or sneezed at the wrong time? Just bad luck?

In my case I got lucky: the previous owner must have had the HSI replaced even though the old one still worked, and kept the old one, left it on shelving in the garage. I didn't even know what it was. Then the HSI failed and I just guessed this part in the garage would replace it- so now we're still using the previous owner's original part three years on. That's when I bought the backup, as part of my "keep the family warm" campaign.
 
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Old 01-02-08, 12:40 PM
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I have heat again! Thankfully, 'cause it was 9 teeny degrees last night.

The ignitor was, in fact, bad. Under warranty still, and the guy who installed it only charged me $25 to replace it for labor. At least that's what his wife said it would cost - I haven't gotten the bill yet.

But he said it was very rare to see one go bad. He's only seen 2 others like this fail in the 7-8 years the silicon nitride version have been on the market.

Guess I'm just lucky. :-)

Thanks for the info everyone.
 
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Old 01-05-09, 09:01 PM
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Smile trane xb80 man 05-05

hello I have problems with my three year old furnace
every seems like it about to work like normal hsi glows then furnace turns on then after 2 or 3 seconds then just shuts off like if someone turned of the gas??
furnace just recently turns on then off gas light up for 2 seconds then shouts off could this be the
271N Trane Hot Surface Ignitor please any help thankyou godbless
 
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Old 01-05-09, 09:20 PM
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Hello agi----


I'd like to suggest you start a new thread to avoid confusion with earlier issues.
 
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