Only one burner fires with burner cover on, all work when cover is off


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Old 10-16-18, 07:51 PM
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Only one burner fires with burner cover on, all work when cover is off

Hi, first time posting here.

Chicagoland area, Payne gas furnace.

Furnace stopped working a couple days ago. I called a local HVAC company and they sent a guy out. He quickly assessed that it was a bad igniter. He showed me the old one, it was cracked or broken (pic attached).

He didn't have the same one, so he replaced it with a "universal" one, not forked, just a single shaft. It seemed to be working. That was in the evening. Later that night, I heard some strange sounds, so I went down there. As soon as I did, it kicked on, so I just shrugged and went back up. At 1:26 am, a loud noise woke me up. I went down to investigate, but didn't see anything, and went back to bed. This may or may not be related. In the morning it was cold, I went down, and it was flashing ignition lockout code again.

Tech comes again today. Says the burners fire when it's cold, but once it's warmed up only the first one fires. Flame sensor kids in and shuts it down after three tries.

Trouble-shooting info. With the burner panel off, it works.
Doesn't seem to matter if it's hooked up to the outside air intake or room air (he removed the cap on the other side).
He said the flame spreader looked clean. He did brush it, I tried later, but I was basically scrubbing blind.

He thinks there's not enough air getting in there with the panel on. I get it, but why now?

So the only thing that has changed is that now I have a new and different igniter in there. So I strongly suspect it has something to do with that.

Any suggestions? He was stumped and ended up leaving without resolving it. I can manually fire it up on-demand when we need heat, but this is obviously not ideal.

Thanks in advance.

Edited to add pictures of burner panel on and off.
 
Attached Images    

Last edited by carnotbrown; 10-16-18 at 08:45 PM. Reason: Adding more pictures
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Old 10-16-18, 08:22 PM
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What burner panel off ? Post a picture.
That problem is not caused by the igniter. If the igniter didn't heat up fully or fast enough you may get delayed ignition. That could cause a boom at the start of ignition.
 
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Old 10-16-18, 08:46 PM
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Edited to add pictures. Again, all burners fire with that cover off. Doesn't work with it on.
 
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Old 10-16-18, 08:50 PM
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If the first few holes in the burner nearest the igniter (or pilot light) are clogged with rust or dirt etc. then it can take longer for gas to get close enough to be ignited, resulting in delayed ignition including a possible boom due to more raw gas accumulating,

But I would not expect delayed ignition to result in one or more burner elements in the same combustion chamber to not come on. Does your furnace have high, medium, and low settings automatically controlled by some built in electronics in a manner where some of the burner elements have their gas supply shut off?

Are there rotating or tilt out flaps at the visible ends of the burner elements that admit less or more air and that might have been disturbed recently to upset the air/gas mixing?

Find out if the air intake has been blocked, possibly by dry leaves outside if you have that type of intake perhaps going through the wall nearby and possibly with a heat exchanger with the exhaust pipe.
 

Last edited by AllanJ; 10-16-18 at 09:05 PM.
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Old 10-16-18, 09:34 PM
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I'm not aware of any high/medium/low settings.

I see no flaps (I've seen them in a youtube video, mine doesn't look like that).

The air intake bends down outside. The tech checked and felt airflow going in. I later put a plumber's snake down it just to be sure, seems perfectly clear. The behavior is the same with either outside air (pvc pipe in) or room air (pipe end disconnected and blocked, cap removed on the other side).

It worked fine for years until he put that new igniter in.
 
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Old 10-17-18, 04:34 AM
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Could it be possible the cross burner lighter manifold is not seated properly on the burners? I believe the cross burner manifold fills with gas from the unlit burners. My guess is your center burner is the one that fires first.
 
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Old 10-17-18, 03:46 PM
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I can't figure out how to edit the original post again, so I'll just post this here.

It was the igniter -- sort of. The old one was sealed into the box. When the tech put the new one in, he left an opening around or near the base of it. That must have been enough to mess up the air flow, it failed about every time with the hole/gap/whatever there. He finally realized it, taped over it with aluminum tape, and it worked.
 
 

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