Carrier/Payne Pilot Only Sparks Once, Is That Normal?


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Old 04-15-15, 09:18 AM
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Carrier/Payne Pilot Only Sparks Once, Is That Normal?

Furnace Type: Gas
Make: Payne/Carrier
Model: 394GAW000150
Year: 1975

The issue I am having is that my furnace is not firing up consistently. When it does, its works great. When it doesn't I can just hear a slight humming/buzzing but not pilot ignition.

After snooping around and removing the covers, I can see that the pilot does spark when jumping the Red to White trigger wires, but only one time. So if the pilot doesn't light with that one and only initial spark, the furnace cannot begin its startup cycle.

If I manually make it spark multiple times (by removing and reapplying the jumper) the pilot will light on the 2nd-4th spark, and everything will work as it should and the pilot will have a nice blue flame.

Is this model supposed to be trying to spark multiple times? Or is the one initial attempt normal? If so, what controls that, or what should I be looking at replacing? The furnace is currently experiencing a 30% success rate of starting so manually firing it up is getting old quick haha

Thank you for helping this newbie out!
 
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Old 04-15-15, 10:06 AM
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No, that is not normal, it should spark continuously until the pilot is established and then for a few more seconds as the bi-metal switch warps off proving the pilot and energizing the main gas valve. On the other hand, with your furnace being forty years old it is not surprising the ignitor is tired.

That is most likely a "builder's line" furnace and quite honestly needs to be closely inspected for any possible problems. The standard lifespan of these furnaces is about twenty years, mine had severely eroded burners at about seventeen years. The heat exchanger could be leaking and THAT could allow carbon monoxide to enter the living areas of your home. I would get that furnace checked by a pro (and not one of those $49 coupon specials) ASAP. Be prepared for the pro to "red tag" it as too dangerous to operate.
 
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Old 04-15-15, 05:18 PM
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**edit** Delete this post, accidental reply
 
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Old 04-15-15, 05:45 PM
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Perhaps you have the famous 5 wire gas control with the 3 wire pilot assy?
 
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Old 04-16-15, 08:36 AM
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Is there a way to verify that, or anywhere I can read up on the two? And what would the implications be? The pilot was replaced prior to me taking ownership of the home, and is currently using a 3 wire pilot, and about 6+ years old.

Is there a way to jump the pilot to see if its capable of continuous sparking? I am trying to figure out what tells the ignitor to start and stop sparking, as that may help me track down the problem.


I seem to have the exact opposite problem as this thread haha:

http://www.doityourself.com/forum/ga...cessively.html

Thank you again to everyone who has replied, this place is much more helpful than some of the other online alternatives!
 
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Old 04-16-15, 10:51 AM
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Smile

I will assume you have the pick-n-hold safety feature built into your furnace. The gas control, pilot assy work together to start the furnace. The pilot needs to be cold and in the pick position for the contacts to make in order for the gas control to pick, spark, and turn on the pilot gas. Once it picks and lights and warms up, the gas control will hold and allow the main gas to turn on. Few have enough experience to trouble shoot the system...forget about fixing it yourself. Call your local dealer for that brand and get it inspected / tested.

Sorry to be so blunt, but I want to cut to the chase here so you can move on.
 
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Old 04-16-15, 02:19 PM
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based on this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFoVcYpq1p8

It looks like the spark trigger is controlled via a bimetal switch within the pilot assembly.
 
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Old 04-16-15, 05:17 PM
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Based on that video, do you think you can trouble shoot the pick and hold feature on that gas valve? Maybe change all the parts to see which one fixes it? Most change the pilot assy which may fix it for a while, but soon they find out the gas control shorts and it won't come on?
 
 

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