Inter-City Gas (LP) Intermittent Problem

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  #1  
Old 02-12-14, 08:06 AM
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Inter-City Gas (LP) Intermittent Problem

I wanted to get some input before I contact a technician so that I can point him in the right direction. I have an Inter-City forced air propane gas furnace and these are the scenarios:
1. It calls for heat but it does not light and shuts down after 5 or 10 minutes.
2. It calls for heat, after several minutes it lights but shuts down right away.
3. It calls for heat and after 5 or 10 minutes lights and works.
4. It calls for heat and starts up right away.

The first two scenarios happen in the middle of the night and 10 or 15 minutes after it shuts down it will start up per scenario 3 or 4. It does this all automatically with no manual intervention. Any ideas on what to tell the tech? I have cleaned the filter. The unit is about 15 years old and we have had no problems.
 
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Old 02-12-14, 05:17 PM
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The thing I'd suggest as a first step would be to remove & clean the flame sensing rod.
 
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Old 02-12-14, 06:06 PM
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Is it possible to post the model number for that furnace ?

Normally under those conditions it would set a trouble code if it has a control board with a blinking LED.
 
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Old 02-14-14, 01:56 PM
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I will get that info this weekend when I can get up in the attic to look at it. I have an owner's manual but there are several different models so I want to make sure I am talking about the correct one. Since it has gotten warmer (a relative term) the system seems to be working correctly. I am thinking it may be a faulty motor not getting up to speed because of the cold. I had a similar issue with a camper heater, battery was weak so the motor could not get up to running speed and the camper furnace would not work.
 
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Old 02-18-14, 07:55 AM
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It seems to be working properly since the temps have been up over zero. Years ago the igniter had to be bent a bit to light so I am wondering if the cold temps expanded/contracted the igniter so that it did not line up.
 
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Old 03-16-14, 11:45 AM
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This is a 5100BFC1. It is functioning now but seems to take a while to come on when it calls for heat, different lengths of time from one minute to five minutes. What would cause it to take different lengths of time to come on and is this normal?
 
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Old 03-16-14, 12:45 PM
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You would need to observe the operation and determine what wasn't happening when it should have.
 
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Old 03-16-14, 12:59 PM
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A video, posted to you tube, might help us determine what's going on. Sometimes they help, sometimes not but if you can do so it's worth a try.
 
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Old 05-07-14, 12:41 PM
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I have been trying to "catch" some glimpse of a fault and none are apparent. It just takes longer to fire up sometimes and seems to happen during colder weather, colder the longer it takes. I guess the average is 5 minutes or so. I am wondering if pressure is the culprit, cold could affect the gas pressure maybe? Anybody ever have something like this happen and what is the "average" time it should take from T-stat calling for heat to when it ignites/starts?
 
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Old 05-08-14, 07:32 PM
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Temperature could have something to do with your problem. How cold is a really cold night where you are?
I have heard of cases where the propane tanks had to be in a conditioned space because it was too cold outdoors for the liquid propane to vaporize properly.

Average ignition time should certainly be less than a minute. Most furnaces fire in less than 30 seconds.
 
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Old 05-12-14, 03:41 PM
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The colder temps about 20 below, after it gets up above zero it seems to take a lot less time to light. I guess I will get a tech out to check things, it could use a good inspection before AC time anyway.
 
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Old 05-13-14, 07:56 AM
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Propane vaporizes at about -40*F. Once the temps get down to the -20 range, you could start to have a problem especially if the tank is above ground & vertical. Horizontal tanks have more propane surface area. If the tank is underground, the earth adds some insulation.
 
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