Furnace only "clicks", won't start


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Old 02-07-15, 09:06 AM
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Unhappy Furnace only "clicks", won't start

Hi. I have an older Whirlpool natural gas furnace that won't fire up. When the thermostat calls on my furnace, this is what happens when all is good...Thermostat calls on the furnace, there is a click, it fires up within seconds, and about a minute later the motor starts blowing after a few "ticks".

Here is what has happened over the past 2 weeks...It was calling on the furnace, there would be a click or an abnormal multiple clicks, it would fire up, and then sometimes shut down before blowing heat. I changed the batteries on my thermostat, and all was normal for 3 days. Don't know if that really fixed anything or not, but it seemed it did.

Today, it has started calling on the furnace, and I hear the click and a low "hum". NO firing up. I hear a few more clicks and it gives up. Don't know if this is related to the pre-battery change issue or not. It seems more dire, though, as now it won't fire up. So I'm now without heat. I have 3 space heaters doing the best they can.

Can someone tell me the possibilities of why it won't fire after the click, and how I can troubleshoot and/or fix this? Much appreciated. Thanks so much...
 
  #2  
Old 02-07-15, 09:22 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

You have to be standing at the furnace, with the burner access cover removed, and observe what happens. We can't tell what it's doing by the clicks. You have to describe what you are visually seeing.

It sounds like you may have a flue or draft inducer issue. The draft inducer blower needs to start and be running before the furnace will light.
 
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Old 02-07-15, 02:30 PM
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Well, how old?????? Does the heater have a inducer (vent motor) that goes to the chimnney??? If it has one of these, this motor must run before any fire will happen. If its a older furnace, which they call natural draft, an the electronics are very outdated, sounds like maybe gas valve or the board.
 
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Old 02-08-15, 09:24 AM
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Thanks so much for the input, guys. The Model is a 1983 Whirlpool manufactured by Heil-Quaker #NUGI075AF01. So I removed the covers of the unit to witness what was happening and what I was hearing. I'm not sure if this unit has a draft inducer. From what I've seen on the internet, this unit may also have electronic ignition. Then I ran into an even bigger problem.

Before heading to the basement, I bypassed the thermostat to be sure that I still only got the initial "clicks". Yes. I also found that the fan still worked. I went into the basement and turned off the emergency shut-off switch attached to the left side bottom of the unit. I then gently vacuumed out some dust inside the unit, and unscrewed the 4 nuts to the access door to lift it and reveal and have access to the "ignition device". I then switched the emergency shut-off switch back on. Somehow, in doing just this, there is no longer power to the unit. No clicks. Even the fan doesn't go on anymore. Don't know how this is? I'm really not seeing any unsecured wiring.

Since info about this unit on the internet is limited, I took some close-up pics if I may share them with you. Thanks so much...
 
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Old 02-08-15, 09:32 AM
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Please feel free to post the pictures. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...rt-images.html
If they are too big to post here let me know and I'll tell you where to send them.

Please confirm NUGI. I don't see an I listed in the manuals.

See if this link is your furnace. It would be a draft induced furnace and you would see white PVC pipe for the flue vent.

heil/go/index.asp?a=go&docid=24626
 

Last edited by PJmax; 02-08-15 at 09:59 AM.
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Old 02-08-15, 10:59 AM
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Thanks so much, Pete. While the manual has some similarities to my unit (casing, blower motor), there are also many differences. Unfortunately, NUGI is correct for the model prefix.

I'm not seeing any PVC piping within the 2 removed front door panels of the case. The only PVC piping that I see is PVC coming out of the front of a duct "box" that sits on top of the unit (a box that has pipes running into it from the A/C unit outside the house), and this PVC connects to a PVC pipe running down the right side of the unit and into my sump pit.

I'll go ahead and send some pics with the 2 front door panels off. Thanks so much...
 
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Old 02-08-15, 11:37 AM
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Here are the pics of everything that is exposed beyond the 2 front door panels, as well as the top of the unit. Please let me know if you would like more pics. Thanks so much...

Joe

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Old 02-08-15, 12:24 PM
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The power is back now. Some relief there. The bottom panel had to remain on due to a safety switch. I'll report back on what I observe with the "click". Still unsure if I have an inducer. Thanks...
 
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Old 02-08-15, 12:43 PM
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I'm out on the road.

No... you don't have an inducer. You have what appears to be a standing pilot furnace or an electronically lit pilot.
I can't believe how many installers put the gas service shutoff valve inside the unit.

Just a few pointers while we work on this unit. Due to its age... it should be professionally cleaned where they clean the burners and inspect the heat exchanger for cracks or rust thru.

Be sure to have a CO detector in the hall near the sleeping quarters.

I'll check back in later.
 
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Old 02-08-15, 01:17 PM
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Thank you so much. I believe that this is an electronically lit pilot. Here are more observations:

When the thermostat calls for heat, there is nothing visual, cannot see a pilot light. I hear the "click" and ensuing "hum" or "buzz". Nothing more. Sounds like the sounds come from either the Honeywell Fan and Limit Switch, or the Honeywell Gas Pilot mechanism (model #VR8440A 2001). Please note also that there is a label in the unit which reads "This appliance is equipped with an intermittent ignition device". The part number seems to indicate an intermittent pilot, if that's an indication of "electronically lit". Thanks so much...

I also thought that the gas pilot shut-off was in a strange location. I was looking for it on the outside!
 
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Old 02-08-15, 02:25 PM
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You've learned a lot just by pulling the covers off.

When the t'stat calls for heat.... the gas turns on to the pilot and the spark ignition starts. The pilot should light and the spark ignition will stop. The pilot needs to be a clean good sized blue flame. If it's bushy looking you may need to have the pilot orifice cleaned. Once the pilot is lit the spark igniter becomes a flame sensor and monitors for correct pilot flame. Once established it opens the main gas valve.
 
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Old 02-08-15, 04:09 PM
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There shoudl be either a buzz or tic-tic-tic-tic sound from the pilot area of the burners. This would be the sound of the spark ignitor. If what I am seeing is the pilot assembly, it is just right of the center burner. Do you have a volt meter?
 
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Old 02-09-15, 12:30 AM
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Thanks Pete and Grady. I'll try to clarify a bit for both of you.

Pete, if I understand you correctly, the "click" is the thermostat calling, and the ensuing "buzz" is the spark ignition starting and attempting to light the pilot. The pilot is currently not lighting up.

Grady, yes indeed, the buzz is coming from the pilot area, which is in the location you describe. (I am very familiar with that tic-tic-tic-tic sound also. I hear that about 1 minute later under normal operating conditions, when the blower is about to start). I DO have a volt meter. Please describe what to test and how.

Thanks so much, guys!
 
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Old 02-09-15, 07:56 AM
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What I want to veriy is there is 24 volts AC going to the pilot valve.
Turn off power to the furnace either by removing the blower door or via a switch on or very near the furnace.
Set the thermostat well above room temperature.
Turn on power.
Measure voltage between terminals PV & MV/PV.
During the sparking, you should get 24 volts.
The results will tell us in which direction we need to go for troubleshooting.
 
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Old 02-09-15, 11:14 PM
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Thank you, Grady. I have my voltage meter ready to go to work. Some more observations: I attempted 6 times tonight to turn on the furnace and observe. 4 of the times, I just got the click and ensuing "buzz". No spark or flame. 2 of the times (the second and fifth tries), the flame lit and quickly burned out, followed by another click to attempt to relight to no avail. I have some more close-up pics to share:

Please note these pics of wiring near the pilot:
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For what it's worth, the wire doesn't look too good to me. Maybe because of it's location to the flame, and maybe it's normal...but it's bent, a bit black, and looks a bit frayed. Maybe you can zoom the image even more.

Here are pics of the rest of my wiring connections:
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S86 left side:
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Close up left side:
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S86 right side:
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Close up right side:
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Please tell me which connection gets the voltage meter. Thanks so much...
 
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Old 02-10-15, 07:44 AM
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The second picture is the gas valve. There should be 3 terminals (PV, MV, & PV/MV [or Com]). You want to measure between PV & PV/MV.

That frayed wire looks like it might be a ground. A good ground is important. As well as you can, make sure both ends are clean & tight.
 
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Old 02-11-15, 12:22 AM
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Thanks, Grady. Tonight I flicked the power switch on and off in darkness while my wife and I looked for a spark. There was no flame tonight at all. We also could not see any sparking at all. The sparking would indeed be well concealed inside that bracket in the pic, but I would think we would have seen a glow somewhere.

I removed that suspect wire we talked about, cleaned it up, and reinstalled it. It was not frayed after all.

For some reason I was thinking you meant that PV, MV, and MV/PV would be the connections on the gas valve. Diagrams of my S86 show the PV and MV/PV to be the 2 red wire connections in the bottom pic above, on the right side of the S86. I believe this is what we're testing? If so, I'm putting the black test lead on one, and the red test lead on the other? And am I removing the 2 red wires wires to do this or leaving them on? Thanks so much...
 
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Old 02-11-15, 08:20 AM
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You can leave the wires on as long as you can get your probes on the terminals. If you can't, mark the wires & remove them.

The fact you are not getting any spark (did you hear the buzz or tic-tic-tic?), makes me suspect the module may be bad but let's not go crazy & start replacing parts without proving they are bad.

On page 14, figure 13, of this pdf file, there is a check out procedure. http://www.cgnacontrols.com/members/...20Sheet%20.pdf
 
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Old 02-11-15, 07:58 PM
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You're such a big help, Grady. Much appreciated. Thanks for the link for the manual.

PV-MP/PV reads 27 volts.

Tonight I repeatedly got a pilot flame on the majority of my first 12 tries. I never saw the spark...I think it's well hidden inside the bracket...but I sometimes HEARD sparking. The flame would stay on for 2-10 seconds and go out. I sometimes heard sparking/crackling before the flame would go out. It sometimes relit, and other times would just time out. After the 12 tries, I could no longer get a flame. Just the click, followed by the ensuing buzz and hiss.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 11:51 AM
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At this point, I believe the problem to lie with the pilot assembly.
Remove the pilot assembly & clean everything with a small, toothbrush sized, wire brush, flush the actual pilot part with caburetor cleaner, then blow it out with canned air. Put things back together & give it a try.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 05:18 PM
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Thanks so much, Grady. Will do. I'll be back in touch when finished cleaning them and reassembling.
 
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Old 02-12-15, 11:40 PM
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Hi Grady. I removed a pair of access panels so that I could get to the bracket screws to remove the black bracket. Once the black bracket was removed, the apparatus hangs with very little play due to the gas tube/pilot tube. I've provided some pics of where I'm at with this. Please guide me from here. For starters, I believe that the gas tube/pilot tube must be removed to get complete access to the apparatus.

1) If I'm indeed correct that the tube must be removed, how do I safely and correctly remove it?

2) How do I safely and correctly reinstall the tube? I suppose that is to say, will I need to be concerned that gas will leak out of the connections?

3) Is it imperative to turn off the gas valve, or did turning the furnace switch off suffice?

4) The screws did not come out easily. Normally I would put some WD-40 on the threads to put them back in. I'm thinking that it's flammable and not a good idea. What do you suggest? Thanks so much.

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Old 11-08-15, 02:08 PM
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Thank you for this information it was extremely helpful in diagnosing and fixing the issue with my 25yr old TempStar furnace. The parts were nearly identical.
My issue: furnace pilot would light pretty quickly but shut off immediately after lighting without lighting the burners. I figured it was either a faulty Pilot Module not signaling the Main Valve to open the main burners or a faulty Main Valve receiving the signal but unable to open the main burners. So it took to eBay for the parts and found both used for under $80 (free shipping). I first changed the Pilot Module because that was easiest (disconnect/reconnect a few wires) and viola my furnace is working again. I didn't have to replace the Main Valve but will keep the part in case that is the next thing to go. Saved me big money in professional repair costs... big thanks to you all from this DIYer.
 
 

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