Niagara furnace won't light


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Old 12-03-13, 02:26 PM
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Niagara furnace won't light

I have a Niagara forced air gas furnace. No idea how old it is, but it's a big green box. House was built in 1958.
Recently it stopped working properly. It would not turn on automatically through the thermostat controls. I thought the thermostat might have died, so replaced it. No change.
I am posting a picture of the controls area for reference.
It has a pilot that is always on. The main valve has a thumbscrew on the top that allows me to open and close the valve manually. When I open the valve, the furnace operates as it should - main burner lights, jacket heats up, blower turns on when jacket reaches correct temperature. Shutdown when I close the valve also works properly.
With all this, it seems to me that whatever controls the communication between the thermostat and the main valve is where the problem is. I just don't know which part that is, or how to test it.
Any help would be appreciated.
 
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Old 12-04-13, 03:57 PM
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^Have it looked at. Looks very old and may not be safe any more.

Sounds like an electrical problem though.
 
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Old 12-04-13, 06:54 PM
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You may have tripped the pilot safey? Pilot light heats the thermocouple that generates a little DC current which holds the safety system open in the gas valve.

So the pilot flame has to hit the thermocouple to generate the current...the red button on the valve is the reset for the pilot safety.

The thermocouple or valve could be faulty?

As said, kind of an old furnace for being up in Michigan, eh?

Doesn't it get cold up there? lol
 
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Old 12-04-13, 08:31 PM
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^If the pilot were to go out, a bit of gas would continue to flow on that model - granted, the main valve wouldn't open. Valve a regulator are separate - pilot gas comes off the regulator.

At a minimum the gas valve should be changed if the op wants to keep that furnace going for the time being.
 
 

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