help needed with HSI for trane XE80


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Old 03-13-13, 07:03 PM
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help needed with HSI for trane XE80

I have a Trane XE80 that is about 15 years old. It has always been a bit spotty about lighting. At the best of times, it would make a loud POOF! when lighting. At the worst of times (about two years ago, and then again for the last week), it would not light. I have replaced both the flame sensor and the igniter (HSI) several times. I have cleaned the burners and the sensor as best I can. I frequently replace filters. The controller seems to be doing its job properly. It was frequently not lighting starting about two weeks ago, and steadily getting worse. A couple days ago, I replace the HSI. No improvement. I believe the controller and the gas are fine, as I can always manually light it. So, today, I tried something different. I thought maybe the HSI was not properly positioned. So I gently bent the bracket that holds it in place. No tools or heavy force, just some pressure with my hand. The end of the HSI moved about 1/4 inch closer to the main flame. Holy mackerel, this furnace has NEVER been quieter or quicker to light. So, my question is, is there any danger of getting the HSI TOO close to the flame? Will the HSI be damaged by being too close to the flame? I tried to take some pictures to show, but it is extremely difficult to get a good picture of a flame. The flames are nice and bright blue, no orange or yellow. The HSI is not in the middle of the flame, just barely at the edge. Are there guidelines or specs or anything about HSI placement?
I would appreciate any advice before I burn up my HSI.
Thanks.
 
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Old 03-13-13, 07:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

It is possible that your HSI mount was bent or that the HSI was just not close enough.
It is also possible that the tiny holes in the burner near the HSI are clogged or partially clogged.

I don't know if having the HSI to close to the flame will cause it to burn up. I don't think so but let the HVAC pros comment first.
 
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Old 03-14-13, 02:26 PM
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The picture shows a silicone nitride HSI, you are using an silicone carbide HSI. The look of the HSI is the only real difference. The positioning should be the same. This info came out of my Trane book on gas furnaces with silicone carbide ignitors.

 
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Old 03-14-13, 04:06 PM
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hvactechfw, thanks very much. That is exactly what I was looking for. I am extremely grateful to you, and at the same time, mad as hell at Trane and/or my installer, because my HSI was NEVER that close to the burner. In fact, after my adjustment, it is still further from the flame than shown in this diagram, but at least it works quite well now, so I'm not going to touch it.
FYI, my installer also did something else that caused me a lot of misery and a lot of damage to my house. grrrrrrrr.
 
 

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