Rheem Model RGDD-06NC-ER

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Old 12-29-08, 12:49 AM
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Rheem Model RGDD-06NC-ER

Hello,

First off, this is a great forum, it has helped me somewhat already.

I have the above mentioned heater, looks to have been built in 1989. The problem I am having is the thing that glows (I assume its some type of heating element) turns on and gets really bright, then the gas kicks on. There is a flame that runs across the bar but shortly after the gas kicks on, like 1-2 seconds I would say, the heating element begins to turn itself off.

I have recently replaced the ignition control board with the advise from another post on here and the opinion of a heating guy who actually looked at my system, saved like $200 doing it myself. It worked great for like 2 days when I never turned the thing off. Well I went to work so I turned it off and now I am having the above mentioned problem.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Scott

p.s. on a side note, what does it cost to have a new heater put it?
 
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Old 12-29-08, 07:45 AM
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You need to locate the flame sensor. It is usually on the opposite side of the burners as the ignitor. It is a metal rod that is housed in a ceramic base. The metal contacts the flame when the furnace fires. This rod needs to be removed and polished with sand paper, steel wool or some other clean abrasive device.
 
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Old 12-29-08, 08:45 AM
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Thanks for the info. I did a web search to try and find out what exactly it looks like and the web site I found
Furnace Flame Sensors
said the exact same thing, it even has a picture of a flame sensor.

My problem is, I dont see anything that looks even close to that in my furnace. Could it be combined with the heating element? or do you happen to have a more exact location of this item inside the heater?

Thanks.

Scott

Additional info..

I am freezing my butt off, so I went outside and unplugged the unit and plugged it back in and began banging on the gas controller thing (haha sorry for my techincal lingo) and it actually lit this time and I have heat! I still can not locate this "flame sensor" but would still like the info if you can provide it.

Thanks again!
 

Last edited by thyme_bomb; 12-29-08 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 12-29-08, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by thyme_bomb View Post
Thanks for the info. I did a web search to try and find out what exactly it looks like and the web site I found
Furnace Flame Sensors
said the exact same thing, it even has a picture of a flame sensor.

My problem is, I dont see anything that looks even close to that in my furnace. Could it be combined with the heating element? or do you happen to have a more exact location of this item inside the heater?

Thanks.

Scott

Some designs use the hot surface ignitor itself as a flame sensor. You might have one of those.

Frankly, guessing and supposing isn't the right way to diagnose furnace problems, as replacing the circuit board illustrates.


The best decision would be to look for an honest and competent furnace repair outfit to help you. You are out of your depth by trying a DIY approach with this kind of problem, in my view.
 
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Old 12-29-08, 09:18 AM
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thyme...you might PM this poster, he has the same model, just a few years older.
http://forum.doityourself.com/gas-oi...off-crazy.html
 
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Old 12-29-08, 09:26 AM
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Thanks for the info.

I did a search on the web and I do have a hot surface ignitor unit! Can these be cleaned as well? They seem pretty inexpensive so I guess it doesnt matter but would like to know either way.

I edited my post below and maybe its the gas valve thing. Is it common for those to stick? I mean if I replace it, will it still be a problem or should I get a few more seasons out of one?

I will check the other post as well but I have heat for now so I will just leave it on until April HAHA.

Thanks again.
 

Last edited by thyme_bomb; 12-29-08 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 12-29-08, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by thyme_bomb View Post
Thanks for the info.

I did a search on the web and I do have a hot surface ignitor unit! Can these be cleaned as well? They seem pretty inexpensive so I guess it doesnt matter but would like to know either way.

I edited my post below and maybe its the gas valve thing. Is it common for those to stick? I mean if I replace it, will it still be a problem or should I get a few more seasons out of one?

I will check the other post as well but I have heat for now so I will just leave it on until April HAHA.

Thanks again.

Unfortunately, you are probably going to find that the problem returns and gets worse as the part detriorates further.

The correct test is to measure the DC microamps flowing through the HSI and flame to determine whether they are in the proper range, but you probably arent going to be able to figure out how to do that.

I'd observe the HSI carefully --- it should be engulfed in the flames of the main burner. If it's not, you will get the flame failure condition you described.

Having a spare HSI on hand is worthwhile --- they can and do burn out and replacing them is an easy DIY job --- if you have one available. But with a HSI that is also used for flkame rectification, it's important to have the one specified by the manufacturer. Get one from your furnace supplier specifically for your furnace --- check your owner's manual, there may be a part number you can use to order the right one.
 
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Old 01-05-09, 01:24 AM
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Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
Unfortunately, you are probably going to find that the problem returns and gets worse as the part detriorates further.

The correct test is to measure the DC microamps flowing through the HSI and flame to determine whether they are in the proper range, but you probably arent going to be able to figure out how to do that.

I'd observe the HSI carefully --- it should be engulfed in the flames of the main burner. If it's not, you will get the flame failure condition you described.

Having a spare HSI on hand is worthwhile --- they can and do burn out and replacing them is an easy DIY job --- if you have one available. But with a HSI that is also used for flkame rectification, it's important to have the one specified by the manufacturer. Get one from your furnace supplier specifically for your furnace --- check your owner's manual, there may be a part number you can use to order the right one.

That is a good answer.

BTW, I'm the guy with the slightly older model of this furnace. Mine has no HSI, it's got an intermittent ignition system, using a pilot light that comes on with the call for heat, and a spark generated from the ignition control module. And a flame sensor.

I found out that my Viking stove with two HSI had a similiar problem. both HSI were igniting, and looked just like they'd always looked, so I looked elsewhere for the problem. I found a great online forum (like this one), and learned how these systems work. Turns out that, over time, the resistance of the HSI will change, and it will get out of range. If this happens, the current draw through the unit will not be sufficient to open the gas valve, and there is no flame.

In the case of my viking, the parts were each $125, and they were only about 6 years old, and we hadn't really used the oven very much at all. I thought that was a ripoff (as my Maytag dryer HSI cost about $25 or so). On that forum I mentioned, someone said that Maytag used an HSI in one of their apps that had the same spec as the Viking, all you had to do was change the terminals on the ends of the wire. So I did that, and all is fine now. It's been another 6 years, so far so good. Word is that the Maytag part will last a lot longer than the crappy Viking part.

And BTW, the flame sensor is nothing more than a wire encased in ceramic. The ignition control module senses the flame by energizing the wire with a tiny current. since the sensor is immersed in the flame, and since flames actually conduct current, the sensor board will detect the change in current, and deduce there is a flame present, or not.

Bottom line, unless you actually measure the current draw through the ignitor and you know the proper spec, You won't know for sure if it's degraded. I'd simply replace the ignitor, if it's cheap enough. It's probably the problem.
 
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