Gas furnace burners don't stay lit, cycles 3 times


Old 03-04-12, 08:42 AM
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Location: United states
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Exclamation Gas furnace burners don't stay lit, cycles 3 times

All, I have a 4 year old Gibson gas furnace that has not been functioning properly all winter! We have had 2 different technicians out to look at the unit, one of which wanted to replace our whole unit on top of his 300 dollar service charge, the other we had out for a 2nd opinion and he told us we needed to cut a whole in our ceiling and our door due to a ventilation issue, then tried to charge us a $600 service charge. After closely observing the unit the last couple of days I've noticed that the duct fan comes on for a minute or so, the glow plug comes on like it should, the burners ignite for a few seconds, then a click goes off just as the blower is coming on, and then the burners go out. After this the fan continues blowing for a couple of minutes, then the fan turns off, and immediately there after the whole cycle starts over. This happens for two cycles, then on the third the burners stay lit and the furnace brings the house to temp. Also randomly the thermostat will call for heat, but the furnace is frozen (a high limit switch I assume) and I have to essentially reset the unit. I removed the glow plug or whatever and cleaned it with some sand paper, and that didn't help. At this point I am beyond frustrated and am very wary of service techs in this area, any advice would greatly be appreciated.
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Old 03-04-12, 09:20 AM
hvactechfw's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
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what do the diagnostic lights on the control board flash? What does the legend on the furnace say that means? You need to note the flash after the burners go out and when the furnace is "froze".
Old 03-04-12, 10:53 AM
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If the furnace is only 4 years old, you should still have the manual. See what it says about trouble codes. Also, give us the model information on your Gibson.

On some furnaces, the furnace will go into a lockout mode (for safety) after a certain number of failed starts. Switch off the 120V to the furnace and then switch it back on to reset.

Your description of the attempted starts sounds a lot like a dirty flame sensor. There are numerous posts on here as to how to clean it. It doesn't cost anything and will at least rule that out as a problem.
Old 03-08-12, 05:27 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
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randomly the thermostat will call for heat - If you suspect the thermostat is a problem replace it with the cheap analog honeywell round thermostat, that will rule out a thermostat problem.

Ventilation issue - Can you leave a window or door to the unit open so it gets better airflow? Maybe a fan in the room to aid circulation. This is only a test to see if getting oxygen to the unit is the problem. On hearing this I would make sure there are CO detectors in all bed rooms.

Things an amateur can check are:
if the flue and chimney are clear. For example placing a camera or mirror at the base of the chimney and look for daylight.

You can inspect the blower wheels for any kind of build up. Very small amounts can dramatically reduce the ability to blow air, which results in the furnace shutting down.
Old 03-08-12, 10:29 AM
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Sorry geo8rge, I consider your suggestions to be very poor.

Guessing and supposing that there is a thermostat problem and buying a new thermostat to test that theory is a very poor diagnostic method --- all too commonly used by unskilled DIYers.

Unfortunately, the rest of your ideas amount to guessing ansd supposing as well.

The right place to start is to concentrate of accurately diagnosing the problem. HVAC Tech and Goldstar are directing attention in the right direction.

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