Our 2.5 year old furnace is broken... AGAIN.


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Old 04-02-13, 08:30 PM
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Our 2.5 year old furnace is broken... AGAIN.

So, we bought our house in 2010. Around the end of 2010, our furnace died (we knew it would), so we had someone come out and install a new furnace for us. It's an Armstrong, from what my husband just said.

March 30th, 2012. Our furnace stops working. It will turn on, then turn off like 30 seconds later. Also, there is a white powder/residue near the pressure switch. A guy comes out, replaces our pressure switch and does maintenance on it. We get charged $374, but it's fixed, so yay.

Today we come home from work, it's a bit chilly in our house. Go outside to check on the furnace. Light is blinking (does 3 times) AGAIN near the pressure switch, and there's a ton of the white powder again. This is what it looks like:



We are both livid because this is not an old furnace, we just had it fixed for the same issue a year ago, and we're not sure what the heck to do.

Any ideas on what's going on would be greatly helpful.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 09:04 PM
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Your furnace should still have a full parts warranty.

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When it locks out, shut the power off for 30 seconds to reset the electronics.

The pressure switch issue could be related to a venting issue or something else.

Measuring the pressure in line with the switch is the first step to seeing if there's a venting issue or the pressure switch itself is bad.

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About the white powder -> have you done any renovations which involved drywall/plaster work recently?

What does the powder feel like?
 
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Old 04-02-13, 09:22 PM
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They charged us $374 when they shouldn't have then? They're coming out tomorrow morning so I'm going to put up a fight about paying them. Same company who replaced our old furnace, as well.

You said "Measuring the pressure in line with the switch is the first step to seeing if there's a venting issue or the pressure switch itself is bad." How would I go about measuring this?

No renovations/plaster work in our house. The powder is basically the consistency of powdered sugar. There is also some on top of the furnace, kind of close to the piping.

Lastly, it's an 80% Armstrong Downflow 75k BCAB (reading this off of the receipt we have for it).
 
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Old 04-02-13, 09:27 PM
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and there's a ton of the white powder again.
So you have seen the powder there before?
It didn't just recently appear ?
 
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Old 04-02-13, 09:32 PM
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Sorry, should have been clearer. This powder was there last year when we had this same issue. Blinking light 3 times near the pressure switch, with powder all around.

The guy who came out and looked at it, when my husband brought it up to him, said that it was normal and didn't seem to be anything.

He replaced the pressure switch and everything worked... for literally one year and 3 days. And now it's broken again.
 
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Old 04-02-13, 09:53 PM
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The powder is a byproduct of combustion gasses condensing in the flue. IF you have a 3 flash then the first thing to do is to make sure the draft motor works, next check the venting system, then remove the hose that goes to the inducer port from the pressure switch and using a paperlip ream out that port and insure there is no blockage.
 
 

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