Ruud Silhouette refuses to work...

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Old 01-13-09, 12:29 PM
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Question Ruud Silhouette refuses to work...

Ruud Silhouette 75K BTU Natural Gas Furnace

Replaced Hot Surface 1 year ago

two weeks ago it got very cold in the house, I went into the crawlspace to discover the pilot valve seemed to have quit.

Draft fan comes on. Runs for 30 seconds

Hot Surface ingiter glows bright orange then cools down repeat times two

Blower motor comes on and blows cold air for about five minutes while igniter cycles two or three more times

When the furnace is operating normally i hear the valve open after the draft moter starts, that step is now missing.

I ordered a replacement pilot valve a week and a half ago.

Received and installed.

It fired up the first time, no problem, and worked like a champ for exactly 30 hours.

I go to a local HVAC supplier and get a SECOND identical replacement pilot valve.

Installed it today and it doesn't work either. As in it never worked at all. Could this be something else, I doubt it because the first replacement worked (some).

It is going to be 17F in a couple of days and I don't think my space heaters are going to be up to the task, please help.

What else could it be if not a bad pilot valve, and how could I test for other problems, if the NEW part doesn't work out of the box, or only temporarily???
 
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Old 01-13-09, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhawkinsjr View Post
Draft fan comes on. Runs for 30 seconds

Hot Surface ingiter glows bright orange then cools down repeat times two

Blower motor comes on and blows cold air for about five minutes while igniter cycles two or three more times

When the furnace is operating normally i hear the valve open after the draft moter starts, that step is now missing.

So the main burner doesn't light at all?

That the ignitor lights suggests that all is well to that point. The next step should be the main gas valve opening, often with a click as you suggest, with the gas then lighting off the hot surface ignitor.

I'd start by using an AC voltmeter to measure the voltage being supplied to the gas valve. If there is no 24 VAC after the ignitor heats up and the burner should light, that suggests a bad circuit board, although it could be an open pressure switch.

If the voltage is present, turn off the furnace and disconnect the wires to the gas valve. Measure the resistance through the gas valve. Infinite resistance means the gas valve is burned out and needs to be replaced. Some significant resistance may mean the gas valve is OK.
 
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Old 01-13-09, 02:03 PM
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Valve was getting 24v but contact was bad. I replaced the 24v contact to the valve and it came right on, now to see if it works for more than thirty hours...

It was probably just the contact to start with and I spent a couple hundred bucks for nothing...
 
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Old 01-13-09, 02:11 PM
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Old 01-13-09, 02:28 PM
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Pretty much, yeah...

I wouldn't have noticed the contacts if I hadn't gone at it with the multimeter.

Thanks for the quick response.
 
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Old 01-21-09, 04:23 PM
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Ongoing problems with this furnace...

SO a couple of days ago I started the furnace from the thermostat and it came on like nothing was wrong and ran for two whole days without issue, then I awoke on the third day to discover the furnace is doing the same as before I replaced the valve. Namely the valve will not open after the draft fan has started. I have noticed this problem seems to be connected to the temperature outside. If it is below about 20F the pilot valve will not operate. Why would this matter, can the electronics be effected by low temps? It happens to be cold in my neck of the woods right now, and I'd like to have a furnace I can count on, what is the best option for me at this time.

I have already replaced the pilot valve twice in the last four WEEKS. Repaired a frayed connection at the valve body, and taken the whole thing apart several times looking for anything that could be causing the unit to fail to start and found nothing. It shows no codes other than a lockout after cycling without the valve operating.
 
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Old 01-21-09, 05:53 PM
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Propane or natural gas?

Did you do any ohms test of the hot surface ignitor to make sure it glows hot enough? You often cannot tell if one is slightly weak by simply looking at how it glows!

Have you ever replaced the HSI with another one and did not get the same identical one or mounted it different? Or are you sure it is mounted level and tight? These have to be the right distance from the gas source to work.

Can you describe what the pilot assembly looked like/what was included on it?

Do you have any other gas appliances in the house, so you know the gas works up to snuff?
 
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Old 01-21-09, 06:20 PM
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Well, we are back where we were several posts ago.

It sounds like the HSI heats up as before, but I'm supposing you again don't here a click for the gas valve turning on the gas, and you don't hear any gas coming out of the valve to the burners. Is that correct?

You need to go back and test for 24VAC at the gas valve after the HSI gets hot. That should be the next step, and if that voltage isn't being switched on that's where to start looking for the cause of the problem, which might be a pressure switch that is opening or a bad circuit board/control module.
 
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Old 01-22-09, 09:20 PM
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Thanks for the responses

ecman51

Natural Gas with three other appliances on the same service humming along.

I replaced the Hot Surface last January and it functions normally, every time I cycle the furnace, either from the thermostat or the safety power switch.

SeattlePioneer

I am even more frustrated by my lack of resolution then you are I assure you.

Would you describe for me precisely how to find the voltage on this valve with an analog multimeter, there are four connections all of which show 1.8 to 2.4 resistance when I use the OHM x1K setting. Yes I have gotten readings but if I am doing it wrong the information I am getting is useless.

Also how would I determine if the pressure switch or the control module is the problem after I have confimed the 24VAC at the valve. What other tools should I be shopping for.

I appreciate the help.
 
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Old 01-23-09, 12:16 PM
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Further frustrations and ongoing confusion...

It is almost 60F today and the furnace is operating normally this afternoon, my assumtion being the temp in the crawlspace takes some time to catch up to the outside air(DUH). So when it is cold the furnace will not run (pilot valve fails to open) when I don't need the furnace to work (warm enough for short sleeves outside) it works perfectly.

Which part would be compromised by the low temperature.

This cold weather fail condition perpetuated through all three pilot valves I have installed (original failed the first time it got near 20F, second never worked but it was below 20F when I tryed that one, and third has worked off and on dependant on ambient temperature. Further observation and hindsight indicated one false start each time before normal furnace operation resumes...

So any suggestion at this point...
 
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Old 01-23-09, 04:53 PM
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You have replaced the "pilot valve" several times? Exactly what is that part?
 
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Old 01-23-09, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by ajhawkinsjr View Post
Which part would be compromised by the low temperature.


Guessing doesn't really cut it, as I expect you've learned by this time.


You've already been given the likely causes of the problem, either a bad circuit board or a problem with the venting system or pressure switch.

You need to test the system when it's failing and identify which system it is that is shutting off the burners.

The circuit board is a likely problem, but the venting system is more likely to be affected by low temperatures.

Like Ecman, it's not clear to me what you mean by the pilot valve" since this furnace has a hot surface ignitor and no pilot light. I'm supposing you mean the electric gas valve that turns the gas on to the main burners. You might want to clarify that guess, since it's not clear at this time.
 
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