Forced air gas furnace needs breaker or furnace reset often

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Old 03-25-14, 04:43 PM
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Unhappy Forced air gas furnace needs breaker or furnace reset often

Hi. I have a gas, forced air furnace of (I FOUND THE MAKE/MODEL, SEE REPLY BELOW) unknown make (I can't find identifying information on it anywhere, nor on the spare). The home I live in used to be a duplex, so I have a spare furnace.

Yesterday, it began to blow, but cold air. The temp got to 67 degrees before we noticed, and we like our house warm. Also, the outlying parts of the house are not the same temp as the area by the thermostat, so we have to have it set higher.

It seems like it is cycling properly, with the exception that it does not appear to fire. It will, however, fire within seconds of flipping the breaker, which it is NOT tripping, or opening the filter door and closing it. I changed the filter today, last time was +/- 45 days ago, and it fired up as soon as I closed the door.

I don't know much about furnaces, but I can see the orange glow when it fires, and when it is not firing it does not glow, and the exhaust does not get warm. It is not a high-efficiency, and if anyone can assist with a location to find the ID of it, I'll be glad to post that for more information.

Thank you in advance!

Tony
 

Last edited by Tony Verrette; 03-25-14 at 05:13 PM. Reason: Add information
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Old 03-25-14, 04:55 PM
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Alright, I looked into the other furnace, behind the top grate it had a serial/model number and MFR.
It's a Nordyne, model #GL1RA 108C - 16B.

I just got back from resetting the breaker again, from 30 minutes ago last time, this time no flame.

Edit: 6:34, shut off the breaker for +/- 30 seconds, and it fired up. We'll see how long it continues to work.
Edit 6:55, quit firing again.

Could it be the igniter? I'm reading up on forced air furnaces, and I spoke to a gentleman on the phone that thought that may be the issue.
 

Last edited by Tony Verrette; 03-25-14 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Change in status
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Old 03-25-14, 06:13 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Your furnace is going into lockout because it has an operating problem. Every time you disconnect power to the unit.... you reset it.

In the upper left corner of the furnace is a control board. The red light blinks a trouble code. Next time the furnace fails..... DON'T power it down. Look at the red LED and count the flashes. It will equate to a trouble code. While the furnace is actually lit and operating.... the yellow LED should stay lit. My guess is you'll see it flash which means a flame sensing issue.

You more than likely have a dirty flame sensor issue. It's mounted near the burner area all the way to the left. It will be a skinny silver rod that sits in the flame. Shut the furnace AC off. Remove the single screw holding it in place and then unplug the single wire connected to it. Polish the metal rod with steel wool or a green scotchbrite pad. Reinstall it and check operation.

In the link below is the hard to find service manual for your furnace. I'd download it and save it for future reference. It will help you now to diagnose your problem if it's not the flame sensor.

Nordyne/Literature/7085060.pdf
 
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Old 03-25-14, 06:31 PM
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Thank you VERY much! I've been scouring the internet, looking for similar problems (found one, no answer to his) and a manual. The one and only manual link I found lead to a 404 error...

I'll check that error code, I'm sure as well that there is one. I have the cover off right now, and as soon as I finish eating I'll go mark down the flashes. Is it like Morse code, with long and short flashes? I just sat down to eat, reading while eating.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 06:59 PM
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One question- the PDF says RA 80+ series furnaces. In the model number, it's a 108C. I also see there seem to be a ton of rebadged Nordyne furnaces, and while looking it up I've tried to find square footage heating capacity, and I can't seem to find anything. Am I missing something?
 
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Old 03-25-14, 07:04 PM
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The diagnostic code flashing is 4 flashes. It's begun to make a noise when running, only when not fired, though.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 07:06 PM
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The following link is the technical spec sheet on your furnace. I don't think you'll find square footage capacity listed for any furnace...... just total BTU rating.

Nordyne TechSpec Literature.pdf
 
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Old 03-25-14, 07:09 PM
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Page 29 discusses that code. It is a flame sensor issue.

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Old 03-25-14, 07:19 PM
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I read that. I wasn't sure if that was what applied to my situation, though. Please bear in mind, I am inexperienced at furnace repair, and I'm learning as I go. I do almost all of my own repairs on pretty much anything I have the skills and the tools to repair, so I feel pretty good about this one, especially with your help with the manual and advice.

I cleaned the flame sensor, and I'm going to put it back in now. We'll see how that goes. I may be a few on the reply, I'm not sure how long it will take to return a code if that isn't the issue.

Thank you, again, PJ.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 07:46 PM
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It seems to be working. The red light is steady, the igniter glows orange, snap sound, blue flame, orange LED on. Gained 5 degrees, it's going again right now. Is there a chance a flame sensor can fail after it gets hot? Probably sounds stupid, I know, a flame sensor that can't handle heat... I know many electronics will work fine when cool/cold but won't when hot.

If the flame sensor is bad, I do have the spare furnace I can scavenge from. I'm pretty sure that worked when it was parked.

Again, PJmax, thank you for your help. I'd be looking to spend money we don't have for a repairman to come and replace something that may or may not have needed replacing tomorrow without your assistance. I'll be hanging around here (probably automotive) to see what I can do to help others so I can pay it forward.

Tony
 
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Old 03-25-14, 08:34 PM
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Your input in the forums is always welcome.

The flame sensor rod is just a piece of metal. What happens is the byproducts in the flame coat the rod with a hard coating and it becomes insulated. When you clean it you're removing that coating and exposing clean bare metal. The rods don't go bad unless dropped and the porcelain holding it to the bracket cracks.

Now... you could have an additional problem. If you notice where the burner lights and where the sensor is located is on opposite ends of the burner. There are crossover ports in the burners that carry the flame from the first burner near the igniter to the end burner where the sensor rod is. If those ports get clogged with rust..... the flame won't carry over fast enough and the module shuts down on flame not sensed.

It is very possible that your burner may need to be pulled out and thoroughly cleaned. You can watch the lighting process. Make sure the flame carries over between all burners smoothly and quickly. A burner cleaning is best handled by a heating pro.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 09:27 PM
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It seems to carry rather quickly, almost too fast to catch while watching through the cover, so I assume I'm good. It's still going strong, and my mind is at ease for the first time today. It's been a "when it rains, it pours" type of month for us. Over $1,000 in unplanned repairs to my truck after fixing some issues I knew about prior to going on a 3,000 mile round trip, repairs done at the vacation location and on the road for the return trip... I replaced intake manifold gaskets and CV shafts on my truck before we left. While I was in Texas I replaced all 4 universal joints, the rear driveshaft tube, and had them balanced, rebent and replaced a brake hard line and caliper, and had to have all 4 tires rebalanced after the local Wallyworld did a bad job. Then on the way home, about ten miles inside Illinois from St Louis, I had a front wheel bearing go out. At 8:30 at night. All of these things that happened on the trip I was not aware of needing done, or we would have taken my wife's car. I had mud terrain tires on the truck for the last year, I do a lot of driving on back roads, and the vibration of them masked the other issues.

My furnace going out was beginning to feel like a nightmare until you helped me out. I'd like to repay the favor somehow, if I could. I don't know if you drink, but if I'm ever in your area, or you in mine, I'd like to meet you! Thank you for the welcome, as well.

Tony
 
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Old 03-25-14, 09:44 PM
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What a month My pleasure in helping you.
 
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