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Problem: Why is the pilot light on my furnace going out after a new roof installation?

Troubleshooting Gas & Electric Furnaces

Problem: The pilot on my furnace will not stay lit after we had a new roof installed.  The only changes I’ve made are: New cheap $1.58 furnace filter (30-day) Ace Hardware, New roof and New roof vents (my attic is SO windy compared to before) Maybe the roofers disconnected the furnace vent in attic and it’s causing a back-draft? Thanks greatly for any help. I’m very desperate! Lori

Answer:  Hi Lori! There are many reasons that could cause a pilot to not stay lit. One reason could be a bad thermocouple or gas valve. We discuss this problem with the thermocouple in a post we have on the following page: Other things to check would be, since you had a new roof installed:

1. Many times the roofers knock, sand off the shingles, dirt or rust on to the burners or into the pilot light and the pilot and burners need to be cleaned to work and burn properly. You should have a nice blue flame that encompasses the thermocouple. If the flame is not blue or not strong you probably need to clean the pilot. If the pilot is yellow the pilot needs to be cleaned.
2. Rust or dirt that falls on the burners can cause delayed ignition which would be like a mini explosion when the furnace tries to light. This could cause the pilot to blow out when the furnace ignites. This usually happens when the furnace tries to light after it has been off for a while (furnace is cold).
3. Check the furnace when the burners are on and make sure they are fully burning a blue flame from the front to back all the way. If not then the burners might need cleaning, the vent could be stopped up or if not burning properly only when the blower is on then this would be a sign of a heat exchanger leak.
4. Check to make sure that the hot gas is all going up your vent stack through the roof by feeling around the bonnet where the vent attaches to the furnace. If any heat is coming out around the bonnet when the gas is burning on your furnace then your furnace is not venting properly and you need to turn it off because this can be dangerous. Need to get the vent fixed.
5. The furnace and water heater vent as you know should run a couple of feet above the roof and not terminate in the attic. This is dangerous if it vents up in your attic. I could cause a fire or allow carbon monoxide into your home.
I hope this gives you some things to look for. I hope you can easily and inexpensively find and fix the problem. I hope all that the furnace needs is a good cleaning. Thanks for asking this question!
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Top 12 Problems/Mistakes when Installing or Replacing a Thermostat! HVAC Tips!

We have had many questions and problems about thermostats and about thermostat installations. I found a very good video on the ACservicetech youtube channel. Please click here if you are interested in seeing some of the many outstanding HVAC service and troubleshooting videos.   Below we have an excellent Youtube video that I copied from the ACservicetech channel which shows 12 problems, mistakes that we can make when installing or replacing a thermostat. I hope this helps you out. If you have any questions please email me, Steve Arnold anytime. Our email address is: We would love to help you out and earn your business!

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What does the word, “Protected” mean on an air conditioner run capacitor?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

We had this question asked this week by a potential customer and I did not know what the word, “Protected” on air conditioner run capacitors meant until I researched it on the Internet. Our customer’s question was the following:

“The AC (Carrier) in our vacation home failed and needs a replacement. The original has the word PROTECTED stamped on its metal  wall. I  found a local supplier that has a new Capacitor that has the same  spec except it does not have the PROTECTED  stamp. My question is what does Protected entail and is it an essential when replacing a Capacitor.” 
My answer: I really did not know what “Protected” meant until I started researching on the Internet and found the following answer on the HVAC Talk website. I opened a few of the capacitors that we sell and all of them say, “Protected” on them. The Titan Pro capacitors we sell say, “Protected 10,000AFC“. The following is what I found when I Googled the topic: “Its a safety rating. Some capacitors are designed so that if the cap short circuits and starts building up pressure inside the can the terminals will disconnect themselves from the internal connections to the cap plates. This opens the circuit before the can can burst or explodes.
When you see the top of a capacitor can bulged out you can see that the terminals and plates inside the capacitor have pulled away from the plate connections in the can.  I think circuit breakers carry the same ratings…..”

I would think that it is important to have a capacitor that has “protected” on it so it does not damage your equipment. If a capacitor is not protected then it could short out and damage other controls in an air conditioning system which could be very costly. All of the capacitors that we sell have “Protected” stamped on the body of the capacitor. We sell many different capacitors on the following page: Please click here to see the capacitors we sell. Thank you so very much for asking this question! This was a learning experience for me! Thanks! Steve Arnold
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My furnace / air conditioner cooling coil under my house is causing water to puddle up on the ground. What will cause this to happen and what do I need to do to fix it?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Water under the cooling coil can be caused by several things. (1) Most of the time it is caused by a stopped up condensate drain line and you should be able to blow compressed air through the line or take a wet vac and suck on the end of the condensate line to clear the clog. In severe cases sometimes the condensate line has to be cut with a saw or PVC cutter to remove the clog. I have also had to remove the evaporator coil covers to get to the coil drain pan and drain pan opening in order to clean the coil drain pan and condensate drain opening with a wet vac to get the coil drain unstopped and clean the coil drain pan while I have the evaporator coil open. I would suggest testing the coil drain pan with water by pouring water into the coil drain pan with a cup or bottle to make sure the drain is open before closing the evaporator coil back up.  (2) Sometimes coil drain pans develop holes and you would need to repair the leak in the pan by using epoxy of silicone caulk. I would try to make sure the condensate drain line is open before checking to see if the evaporator coil drain pan is leaking. If the condensate drain line is open and you are not getting any water or not much water out of the condensate drain then more than likely you have a hole in the condensate drain pan. I have tried to repair the pans before with epoxy and silicone, but most of the time this fix will only last one or two years. If you have a leak in the evaporator coil drain pan I would recommend replacing the entire coil. Repairing the drain pan can be time consuming and like I said usually does not last long because the coil pan has probably deteriorated in other places. Most of the time the entire evaporator coil has to be removed to do the repair. I some cases I had my sheet metal man make a new coil pans, but removing the old coil with all the movement, screwing on a new coil pan and heating the refrigeration lines to reinstall the coil after the new pan has been installed can cause refrigerant leaks. In my opinion after many years it is best to get a whole new evaporator coil and be done with it. (3) water on the floor around an evaporator coil or furnace can also be caused by a system being low on refrigeration charge and freezing up because of being low on charge or having poor air flow. Most of the time if a coil freezes up it is caused by a low charge, but I have seen cases where a dirty filter, dirty evaporator coil, or slow blower motor (might need a new motor capacitor) have caused evaporator coils to freeze up melt and cause water on the floor. If your coil is freezing up I would suggest checking anything and everything that could cause poor air flow across the coil and if everything is clean call a service tech to check the refrigeration charge in your air conditioning or heat pump system. I hope I have given you some things to look for if you find water on the floor around the furnace or under the air conditioner air handler. If you have any other questions please ask anytime. Our email address is:

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Look for simple easy solutions first when your air conditioner or heat pump will not work.

We have been in HVAC service for over 28 years. We have found it best to ask our customers over the phone the following questions before we make a service call. These are simple, easy solutions to air conditioning problems that customers can check before calling for service. We have seen many times where customers have solved their own air conditioner or heat pump problem by finding one of these problems with there air conditioner or heat pump. Before calling for service we would suggest that you: (1) Make sure the breaker which controls the air conditioner or heat pump has not tripped. Many times breakers will look OK when they actually are not. I would suggest resetting the air conditioner circuit breaker to make sure you are getting power to the unit. *Make sure you are not grounded when resetting breakers. Make sure you have shoes on and do not touch anything that would ground you out like the metal breaker box. Touch the plastic breaker handle only. (2) Make sure that you are getting power to the furnace or air handler. Most furnaces have a light switch on the side that may have been accidentally turned off. I know several of our customers who went without AC for days only to find out all they had to do is reset the switch on the side of the furnace! Most air handlers have breakers. We would suggest resetting the circuit breakers on air handlers. (3) Make sure that the furnace door is on tight. Many of the furnaces have door safety switches that turn off the furnace if the door is loose or removed. (4) If you have a condensate pump or secondary drain pan safety switch then make sure the safety switch on a condensate pump or pan over-flow switch has not caused the AC system to stop. Many times a slight movement (slight kick) to a stuck condensate pump will free the float safety switch, the condensate pump start pumping and will allow the AC to start working again! Sometimes drains on secondary drain pans will stop up and cause flow safety switches to cut the system off to prevent flooding. If you have a condensate pump or float safety switch make sure the condensate pump is working and the secondary drain pan is not stopped up. (5) Inspect the thermostat wires going to the air conditioner or heat pump to make sure they are in good condition. Many times we have found thermostat wires that have been damaged by weed eaters or chewed through by pets or stray animals. Most of the time this requires replacing the thermostat wires. We hope these suggestions will help you save money and prevent unnecessary time without having air conditioning. If you have any questions will be be glad to try and assist. Our email address is:  Steve & Barbara Arnold

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Test your air conditioner before it gets hot in the Spring. Needs to be above 75 degrees!

Recommendation: When the temperature gets above 75 degrees outside it is a good idea to test your air conditioner or heat pump system to make sure it is working properly before the air conditioning rush has HVAC contractors days behind and you waiting in a hot home.

I try to recommend to all of our customers to turn on and test their Air conditioner and heat pump units. I recommend that you let you let your unit run for about 15 minutes to make sure it is running OK and cold air is coming out of the registers. The air temperature coming out of the registers should be between 15 and 20 degrees colder than your indoor home temperature. A home that is 75 degrees inside should have 55 to 60 degree air coming out of the registers. If you are not getting this temperature difference, then I would recommend calling someone to have you air conditioner checked out before it really gets hot. I will be glad to try an answer any of your questions if you would like to comment or email us at:

Thanks so much for your interest in or website. I hope you have a blessed day! Steve Arnold

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Do not test a pressure switch by sucking on the pressure switch tubing.

I wanted to post this because many people are telling me that they are sucking on the pressure switch tubing to test pressure switch operation. I have heard from other forums that you should not suck on the pressure switch to test it because this can damage the diaphragm inside the pressure switch. It would be best to use a manometer or test with a volt meter like we advise on the following page: I wanted to pass this along so others will not damage pressure switches. Please feel free to comment below.

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Always allow electronic parts to warm up to room temperature before applying power.

Rheem Ruud Furnace Control Board 62-25338-01

I remind myself of a terrible experience I had several years ago when I brought my desktop computer in from a cold car, plugged it in and fried the mother board! I found out the hard way that it is always a good idea to allow an electronic part like control boards, pressure switches, televisions, laptops, etc. to warm up to room temperature before applying power. If you bring anything in from the cold outdoors into a warm home, condensation (water) will form on the part. We all know that water is a conductor. We can see why so many electronic parts can get destroyed if we do not allow them to warm up before applying power.  I would strongly suggest that we allow the electronic parts and devices to sit for a couple of hours for warm up. This allows time for the water condensation to evaporate before applying power. I hope this will save you and others from problems.

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Problem: Why do the gas burners on my furnace shut off after being on for only a minute or two?

QuestionHi, I have a BDP/Carrier furnace from 1987. The burners will light and run for about a minute or two, but within a minute after the blower turns on the burners and pilot go out. If I remove the cover to the blowers the burners will stay on and heat the house. I checked to make sure the air intake vents in the house are not covered. Any suggestions?

AnswerHi Darren! Great question! This sounds like the furnace is probably over-heating and going off on limit. I would suggest that the next time the furnace gas goes off prematurely that you check the limit with a volt meter to see if the limit is the problem. You might need a new limit or more than likely the limit is doing its job by cutting off the furnace to keep the furnace from getting too hot. Over-heating of the furnace can be caused by as you have already checked some of the registers being blocked or turned off. Over heating of the furnace can also be caused by a dirty filter, dirty blower wheel, slow blower motor, (might need a new capacitor) stopped up or blocked air conditioner evaporator coil or the gas valve gas pressure being set too high. I would suggest checking the easy causes first like the filter, dirty blower wheel or have the capacitor on the blower motor checked. Best of luck in finding and fixing this problem.

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Problem: Why does my air conditioner fan motor keep burning up?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Question: In May I started to have some problems with my outside ac unit. My fan stopped running but I could get it back running by spinning the blade when it hmmmmmed. Blade was easy to spin Called an AC Company to see what was wrong They said the fan motor was bad and put in a new fan motor and oval capacitor.
But didn’t replace the dual capacitor said it didn’t need to be replace it was good. Ran good and cooled down the house good for about a mouth or so but started having the same problems. My fan stop running I could get it back running by spinning the blade when it hmmmmmed. Blade was easy to spin, but motor was hot to the touch
Ac company came out again said it was a bad new motor. Company put in a new fan motor and oval capacitor but didn’t replace the dual capacitor said it didn’t need to be replaced that the capacitor was good. Ran good and cooled down the house good for about a mouth or so but started having the same problems. My fan stopped running but it’s hard to spin now and takes a couple of tries to spin when it hmmmmms. The motor was hot to the touch. Now the fan motor won’t start to spin by me spinning it at all. It is too hard to spin. Note: The motor is still hot to the touch. What could be possible wrong with my unit? Why does my fan motor keep burning up?

Answer: Hi! I am so sorry to hear that you are having all these problems with your fan motor. There are several things that can cause a fan motor to go out prematurely. I will list some of them below then you can assess whether any of these might be causing your fan motor to go out so often.
1. Installing a universal fan motor that is not matched correctly with the right RPM or horsepower to power the fan blade. Motor not matched to the diameter and pitch of the fan blade. Motors should be matched (RPM, Horsepower, Amps) with the fan blades or it will over-load the motor and the motor will fail soon.
2. Having a fan blade that is off-balance and causes vibration to the motor and unit. A new balanced blade would be best.
3. Installing a fan motor and capacitor where the capacitor does not match the specs on the label of the fan motor. The fan motor capacitor should match the specifications on the motor label.
4. Installing a fan motor where lots of moisture is present like from a leaking gutter or down spout. Water pours on to fan motor when it rains or when snow melts.
5. Not having the rain shield installed (when required) or leaving drain plugs open where water and moisture can get into the motor. Some motors have rain shields to prevent water from getting into the motor. Many universal motors do not have rain shields, but have drain plugs that can be opened or closed depending on how the motor is installed, horizontal, vertical, shaft up or shaft down.
6. Improper wiring. Where the motor is not wired according to the label on the motor.
7. Improper rotation of the fan blade. With the fan blade spinning in the wrong direction the motor will not load and it will burn up over time.
7. Grass, weeds, plants or children that stick into the fan blade path and stop or impede the fan motor when it is running.
More than likely the HVAC company you had installed a universal fan motor. Many of these motors use an individual capacitor and this is why they did not hook into your existing dual capacitor. They probably are using the dual capacitor for the compressor only and the fan motor they installed has a separate single capacitor. I am just guessing. I am thinking that probably number 1 is probably the problem. That is why we mostly sell OEM fan motors so they will be matched with the fan blade and the customer has an easy time with the installation. If you would send your unit’s model number I will try to find out which OEM motor fits your unit. Our support email address is: We will be glad to try and help you out!  Steve Arnold

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