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Problem: How Do I Test My Gas Furnace Rollout Switch, Limit Switch, Pressure Switch and Flame Sensor?

Problem: My gas furnace’s ignitor will not glow, my electronic ignition will not spark and my gas furnace will not ignite the gas. Steve, You told me to make sure that all my safety controls are closed before testing the control board and other components for problems. Where are the furnace’s safety controls that you are referring to and how do I test these controls to make sure they are working correctly?

Answer: We have this question asked a lot. For the gas furnace to operate the safety controls like the rollout switches, limit switch, and pressure switch have to be closed and allow the 24 volt AC current to flow through the controls. If you have an open safety control then your furnace will not operate. The safety controls are installed by the manufacturer’s engineers to prevent a fire and possible carbon monoxide poisoning. The flame sensor has to sense the gas burner flame and send microamps back to the furnace control board telling the control board that there is a flame. No flame sensed by the flame sensor then within 8 to 10 seconds the flames cut off. No heat!  We have an excellent YouTube video made by AC Service Tech LLC below that explains how to quickly test and troubleshoot these safety controls. If you find out that you need a rollout or limit switch then please click here to see the rollout and limit switches that we sell. If you test and find out that you need a pressure switch then please click here to see the furnace pressure switches that we sell.  If you find out that you need a flame sensor then please click here to see the flame sensors that we sell. If you have any questions or if you would like for us to look up parts then please send us your furnace’s model number by email at support@arnoldservice.com. We will be glad to try and help you out. Please comment below if you have any questions or comments.  We would love to help you out and earn your business! 

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Problem: Please help me identify my gas furnace parts, functions and how they operate?

Problems: We have these questions asked many times: Where are the various parts on my gas furnace located? Many of our potential customers ask where is the hot surface ignitor, gas valve, flame sensor, control board, draft inducer, limit, and rollouts on my gas furnace located? I can not find where this part is located? Where are the parts located and what function does each part perform? How does a gas furnace operate?

Answer: We have these questions asked a lot. Below we have a really good super great YouTube video where AC Service Tech LLC shows and explains where the gas furnace parts are located and what the functions are for each gas furnace part. This is an excellent gas furnace troubleshooting video! Thanks so very much to AC Service Tech LLC. for making this excellent educational and informative video!! The video shows where the following gas furnace parts are located: control board,  control board fuse, low voltage transformer, thermostat, blower door safety switch, blower motor, blower motor capacitor, inducer motor, inducer motor capacitor,  pressure switch, limit switch, rollout switches, hot surface ignitor, flame sensor, burners, and gas valve. 

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Problem My Gas Furnace Will Not Heat! What Furnace Parts Might Cause This Problem?

Problem: My Gas furnace will not heat or work. What furnace parts might be the cause of this problem? 

Answer: We have this question asked lots. There are 6 main parts that can cause your furnace to not heat. Some of these parts can be blamed or misdiagnosed as bad when actually the part is good. The only way to find out if the part is bad or not is to do some testing. Below we have a really good super YouTube video where AC Service Tech LLC shows and explains what the 6 most frequently misdiagnosed parts are and how to test them. I have listed below the video many troubleshooting links where AC Service Tech explains how to troubleshoot each furnace part in detail. There are also links to the troubleshooting tools that AC Service Tech uses in the video. Thanks so very much to AC Service Tech LLC. for making these excellent informative videos!! 

The 6 parts that are blamed and misdiagnosed most often are:

  1. Flame Rod or Flame Sensor- Usually cleaning the flame sensor will fix the problem.
  2. Gas Valve –AC Service Tech LLC has testing and troubleshooting links to YouTube Videos below.
  3. Pressure Switch-AC Service Tech LLC has testing and troubleshooting links to YouTube Videos below.
  4. Control Board-AC Service Tech LLC has testing and troubleshooting links to YouTube Videos below.
  5. Blower Motor is bad or on High-Efficiency furnaces, the ECM Blower Motor is diagnosed as bad-Many times a motor run capacitor can be replaced on PSC (Permanent Split Capacitor) blower motors and it will fix the blower motor problem. Most of the time the ECM motor module is bad and the motor is not actually bad. Replacing the motor module is less expensive than replacing the entire ECM motor.  AC Service Tech LLC has testing and troubleshooting links to YouTube Videos below.
  6. Heat Exchanger is bad. If one of your rollout switches is going off where you have to reset the rollout switch then this is a sure sign that you have a heat exchanger or venting problems. Make sure your condensate drain is open and your vent is not obstructed if you have a 92% or above condensing furnace that produces water during the winter.

Below we have a great video made by AC Service Tech LLC. that shows the

Below are many links to a more detailed explanation for troubleshooting the problems described in the video. Thanks so very much AC Service Tech LLC. 

Related Videos: -Top 10 Pressure Switch Problems-  https://youtu.be/bY6QcnlbutI -Pressure Switch Troubleshooting-  https://youtu.be/v9QWIr9TIVU -Cleaning the Condensate Tubing-  https://youtu.be/guf3TESb3V0   -Pressure Switch Testing and Replacement-  https://youtu.be/6P6r6POGHDcHow -The Pressure Switch Works-  https://youtu.be/9DAEZvkyO9A -Why The Pressure Switch Wont Work While the Condensate Drain is Clogged-  https://youtu.be/XKAyznghlro -Using The SDMN6 to Test Pressure Switches- https://youtu.be/mKtGL8NJ58Q -ECM Blower Motor Testing: Make Your Own -ECM Tester- https://youtu.be/lKsIgjEJDII   -X-13 ECM Blower Motor Testing-  https://youtu.be/SamEuSzvYbEECM -Variable Speed Blower Testing- https://youtu.be/locNv9WsanA -10 reasons Why The Blower Motor Won’t Turn On- https://youtu.be/T5j4Q8Zp_qk -4 Reasons Why the Blower Motor Won’t Shut Off- https://youtu.be/wX3hCqwUjkE -What Type Of Blower Motor Do I Have-  https://youtu.be/EHwTZFvv-2Q -240 volt PSC Blower Motor Fan Speeds- https://youtu.be/5GITgsRmSZ4 -How to Tell the Difference Between Blower Fan Motors- https://youtu.be/EHwTZFvv-2Q -Gas Valve Troubleshooting-  https://youtu.be/euUrufn6AsI -Combination Gas Valve, How it Works-  https://youtu.be/7m5ZDvOoVwU -Smart Valve Troubleshooting-  https://youtu.be/qjrrXmLlLRc -Furnace Flame Sensor and Rectification Troubleshooting-  https://youtu.be/LtfghUYfl-4How -Flame Rectification Works-  https://youtu.be/kfQ2ivr4gSw -Single Rod Spark Ignition and Flame Rectification- https://youtu.be/GNYdOIvWyyk   -Two Rod Spark Ignition and Flame Rectification- https://youtu.be/dUFcVJXJ8Vg -Troubleshooting the Furnace Control Board- https://youtu.be/phsUYxo75jU -Thermostat Wiring to a Furnace and AC Unit- https://youtu.be/GoThAlOvSts -Heat Pump Thermostat Wiring Explained- https://youtu.be/tf2OxCDwlFY -Thermostat Wiring Diagrams- https://youtu.be/h24-n9kyw0w -Clogged 90% Furnace Heat Exchanger- https://youtu.be/sNlWZEzSfrA -Why the Furnace Sequence of Operation is Important- https://youtu.be/uKsRpYmwlnM Electrical Diagnosis Tools: UEI DL389 Multimeter http://amzn.to/2xAdaJf UEI DL479 Multimeter with temp sensor http://amzn.to/2jtsUbJ Magnet Jumpers- https://amzn.to/2PyKPQZ Alligator Jumpers- https://amzn.to/2PxqJXn Irwin Wire Stripper/Cutter/Crimper http://amzn.to/2dGTj2V Water Column Manometers FieldpieceSDMN6 Dual Manometer Pump – http://amzn.to/2jyK5Ka UEI Digital Dual Manometer – https://amzn.to/2CWC6BD Supco Universal Adjustable Pressure Switch -.01wc -10.0wc – http://amzn.to/2G1y0py 3/16″ x 3/16″ x 3/16″ brass barbed tee – https://amzn.to/2INSRhQ 1/8″ NPTF x 3/16″ barb fitting for reading wc pressure – https://amzn.to/2G563Bq Combustion and CO Detectors: Testo CO detector https://amzn.to/33yqkqK Testo 310 Res Combustion Analyzer https://amzn.to/2NuYAO5Testo 310 Res Combustion Analyzer with printer https://amzn.to/33vLl53 Testo 320 w printer  https://amzn.to/33xZbUz Vacuum Tools: JB 6 CFM Vacuum Pump – http://amzn.to/2nqbvo8 CPS 4 CFM Vacuum Pump – https://amzn.to/2DxgPwY Appion Valve Core Removal Tool – http://amzn.to/2uYr8WL Appion Blue 3/8″ to 1/4″ Vacuum Hose – http://amzn.to/2uYlVyc Appion Red 3/8″ to 1/4″ Vacuum Hose – http://amzn.to/2uYg6Ro Yellow Jacket 1/4″ by 1/4″ 3’ hose – http://amzn.to/2umtcod Appion 1/4″ by 1/4″ and 3/8” hose – https://amzn.to/2Zyxzx9 Uniweld 1/4″ by 1/4″ 2’ hose – https://amzn.to/2GFov1Y CPS Vacuum Micron Gauge – http://amzn.to/2v1nM3O Checking the Charge Tools: Yellow Jacket Refrigerant Gauge Set http://amzn.to/2aenwTq Refrigerant hoses with valves http://amzn.to/2aBumVI Compact Ball Valve for Refrigerant Hose https://amzn.to/2KUisW8 QuickDisconnect 90 for refrigerant hose https://amzn.to/2MMtVcg RectorSeal Bubble Gas Leak Detector http://amzn.to/2ckWACn Fieldpiece ST4 Dual Temp Meter http://amzn.to/2wc1ME3 Fieldpiece Bead K Type Temp Sensor https://amzn.to/2DBwKfs Fieldpiece Wet Bulb Temp Sensor https://amzn.to/2RRI7Tw Fieldpiece TC24 Temp Clamp https://amzn.to/2qHLyjZ Refrigerant Leak Detection Tool: Accutrak VPE Ultrasonic Leak Detector https://amzn.to/2nFYKVe

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Problem My Gas Furnace will not turn On? Nothing Happens?

Troubleshooting Gas & Electric Furnaces

Problem: My gas furnace will not turn on? Nothing happens when I turn the heat up on my thermostat to start my furnace. What could be the reason that my gas furnace will not start?

Answer: We have this question and problem asked many times. I have had this problem with my own furnace over the years. Below we have a great YouTube video made by AC Service Tech LLC that explains 8 reasons why that a gas furnace will not turn on. Many thanks to AC Service Tech for making this excellent troubleshooting video! Here are the 8 short reasons why the gas furnace will not turn on. If you would like an explanation of the reasons I would highly recommend watching this 12-minute video.

Reasons why a gas furnace will not turn on:

  1. No power to the furnace. Make sure that you check the power switch, the circuit breaker, and the door safety switch to make sure they are all on. You can tape the door safety switch down so the furnace will be on and check with a voltmeter set to “Volts AC” to see if you are getting power between L1 and neutral wire on the control board. You should be getting between 110 to 125 volts AC between L1 and neutral.
  2. You could have a bad transformer or a bad low voltage fuse. You should be getting 24 to 29 volts AC between the R and C terminals on the control board. We sell low voltage transformers on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in the low voltage transformers that we sell.
  3. Something could be opening the low voltage circuit like a condensate pump low voltage safety switch. Please click here if you are interested in the low voltage condensate pump safety switches we sell. 
  4. The thermostat wire could be shorted out or you could have an intermittent electrical, loose connection.
  5. The thermostat could be bad. If your thermostat has batteries make sure the batteries are in good condition.
  6. The control board could be bad and the board might not be allowing power to go to the inducer motor. You could have a bad relay on the control board. Please click here if you are interested in the furnace control boards that we sell. 
  7. The inducer motor might have a bad inducer motor capacitor. Please click here if you are interested in the inducer motor capacitors that we sell. 
  8. The inducer motor might be bad. You might need a new draft inducer. Please click here if you are interested in the draft inducers that we sell. 

Below is a great video made by AC Service Tech that explains the 8 reasons why a gas furnace does not start. Thanks so very much AC Service Tech!

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Question: What Are the Top 10 Furnace Troubleshooting Problems?

Troubleshooting Gas & Electric Furnaces

Question: What are the top 10 gas furnace troubleshooting problems? What should I be looking for if my furnace stops working?

Answer: We have this question asked quite often. We have a really good YouTube video from Word of Advice TV that discusses the top 10 furnace problems. Jay took the list from 315 service calls that he made during one heating season. One half of the video discusses the top 10 furnace problems and the other half of the video discusses honorable mention furnace problems.  Many thanks to Word of Advice TV for making this excellent video!  Here is the list of the top 10 problems and some of the honorable mention furnace troubleshooting problems. Please feel free to email us anytime if you have any questions. Our email address is Support@arnoldservice.com We would love to try and help you out and earn your business!

  1. A dirty flame sensor is the number one furnace troubleshooting problem.
  2. Having a dirty furnace filter that causes the furnace to go off on high limit. The furnace has poor airflow.
  3. Bad inducer motor.
  4. Bad blower motor.
  5. Bad control board.
  6. Bad gas valve and tied with having found a bad heat exchanger in the same number of service calls.
  7. Bad ignitor and tied with having found a plugged or stopped up evaporator coil in having the same number of service calls.
  8. Bad ignition module.
  9. Bad thermostat and tied with having found a dirty pilot assembly in having the same number of service calls.
  10. Plugged or stopped up condensate trap.

Honorable Mention Problems: 

  1. High limit switch stuck open.
  2. Bad pressure switch.
  3. Noisy blower wheel or motor.
  4. Bad 3 wire pilot.
  5. Blown control board fuse.
  6. Furnace breaker tripped.
  7. Leaking collector box.

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How Do I Bypass My Thermostat to see if the Thermostat is Bad?

Problem: My air conditioner or furnace will not work. Is there a way to test the thermostat to see if the thermostat is the problem? Can I bypass my thermostat to see if the thermostat is bad?

Answer: We have this question asked many times. The first thing that I would like to suggest that you do would be to make sure that if your thermostat uses batteries to make sure the batteries are in good condition. Also, make sure that the power switch on the side of the furnace is turned on. We have seen many preventable service calls where all our customers had to do was flip the power switch on the side of the furnace! With the furnace door’s safety switch taped down and with the furnace’s power switch turned ON use a voltmeter set to “Volts AC” and test between R and C (com) terminals on the furnace’s control board. You should get 24 to 28 volts AC (alternating current) between R and C on your furnace’s or air handler’s control board. If you are not getting 24 volts AC then you might have a blown fuse on the control board/transformer or a burnt-out low voltage transformer. We sell low voltage transformers on the following page: Please click here to see the low voltage transformers we sell. 

If everything checks out on the low voltage side then you can test to see if the thermostat is at fault by bypassing the thermostat. Bypassing the thermostat is a great way to troubleshoot the thermostat to see if the thermostat is at fault. We have a really good YouTube video from Word of Advice TV that explains in detail how to bypass the thermostat to see if the thermostat is bad. Thanks so very much to Word of Advice TV for making this informative, excellent video. If you have any questions please email us anytime. Our email address is Support@arnoldservice.com  If you would like to comment then please feel free to comment in the comments section below. We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business! 

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Problem: Why is my Air Conditioner Contactor Going Out So Often?

Bryant Carrier Air Conditioner Contactor

Problem: Why do I have to replace my air conditioner contactor so often? This happens every couple of weeks. Either my contactor’s contacts are welded closed which keeps the air conditioner running continuously without me being able to turn it off without pulling the high voltage disconnect or the contactor quits working altogether?

Answer: Thanks so much for asking this question!  I have seen many contactors go out prematurely in our HVAC business.  Contactors going out prematurely are usually caused by dirt, moisture, or low voltage. I would like to suggest that you test your coil voltage and make sure that you are keeping a minimum of 24 volts AC to the contactor coil. If you are not getting at least 24 volts AC to the contactor coil then contactor contacts will chatter, vibrate, arc, and burn the contactor out prematurely. If you are not getting at least 24 volts to the contactor then you might have a loose low voltage wire connection, a thermostat that needs new batteries or you might need a new transformer or a transformer with a  higher VA rating. Most transformers are 40 VA. You might want to get a transformer that is more than 40 VA. We have a really good YouTube Video made by #ToolboxTuesday below that describes what causes contactors to fail. Thanks #ToolboxTuesday for making this excellent video!   Please click here if you are interested in a good universal low voltage transformerPlease click here if you are interested in a new contactor. Please email us anytime if you have any questions. Our email address is support@arnoldservice.comWe would love to help you out and have your business! We hope that this post helps you find out what is causing your contactor to fail so often.  We hope you all have a great and blessed day! 

 

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Problem: My furnace needs a new control board. Is there any way I can bypass the control board so I can run my air conditioner?

troubleshooting air conditioners and heat pumps

Problem: My furnace needs a new control board. Is there any way I can bypass the control board so I can run my air conditioning? We have this question asked quite often during the summer months. The problem is that the blower fan will not come on because the fan relay on the control board has failed. It is on the weekend when getting a control board is impossible or the person does not want to wait on a new control board to be shipped in before they can use their air conditioner.  It is hot and they need air conditioning now.  I wanted to make a post and write about how to bypass the control board to get air conditioning back on while waiting for a new control board.

Answer: This answer is intended to be used on PSC  (Permanent Split Capacitor) motors and not ECM (electronically commutated motors). If you have an ECM motor do not try this. If you have a 220-volt air handler do not try this.  If you are not comfortable working with electricity and working with your hands then do not try this. We here at Arnold’s Service Company, Inc. are not responsible for any injury or damaged equipment that might occur when doing this control board bypass. This answer is intended to help you get your air conditioning working again while you wait to have a new furnace control board installed. I feel so very sorry for people who have to wait on a control board to come in when wanting to run their air conditioner on those hot summer days and nights! I know that I would want to have air conditioning if there was any way possible! I hope this will help you get your air conditioner back on until you can get a new control board installed. We have a really good video below made by Travis Poe and HVAC contractor. Mr. Poe explains how he bypassed a furnace control board to run the blower by tying into the furnace door switch. This is an excellent idea! Thanks so very much to Travis Poe for making this great YouTube video. Below the video, I have another idea where I explain how to bypass the control board and connect the blower motor using an extension cord. You could use either method. Mr. Poe’s explanation seems to be a lot simpler than my explanation. 

You can also bypass the furnace control board with a heavy-duty extension cord as I describe here. This is the email I wrote to one of our potential customers when they asked if there was a way to bypass the furnace control board so the family could get air conditioning while waiting on a new control board. Here is my answer: The control board is used to start and stop the fan motor on your indoor furnace blower motor in both heating and air conditioning mode. There is a fan relay on the board that controls the blower motor. The control board should have nothing to do with the AC coming off and on because on most boards unless you have a high efficiency two speed AC. The only function of the control board for most AC installations is to provide a junction for the two Y wires at the furnace control board and the control board is not used to turn the outdoor unit off and on. The thermostat controls the AC outdoor unit to go off and on through the Y connection. The control board is used to turn the fan blower off and on. If you could by-pass your control board fan relay and run an extension cord to your fan blower motor then this would allow you to run your AC. You should be able to do this by turning the power off to your furnace and disconnecting the wires that go to your blower motor from the control board. Usually, there are 5 wires that come from the blower motor. Black, White, Blue, Yellow, and Red.  The Black, Blue, Yellow and Red wires are the furnace speed wires. The white wire is usually the neutral or common wire. You will only use two of the wires black and white coming from the blower motor to connect to the extension cord. I would suggest using a heavy gauge extension cord with at least 14 gauge wire because some blower motors require on the average 5 to 12 amps of power. You will need a good extension cord so it does not rob the blower motor of electricity. I would suggest using electrical tape to tape over the ends of the blower wires that you do not use so they will not short to ground.  You would hook the hot wire usually black (high speed)  on the blower to the black wire of a stripped extension cord with a wire nut then hook the white (neutral wire) of your blower motor to the white wire of the extension cord and plug the extension cord into a 120-volt outlet. The blower motor should start and run.  Turn your furnace back on so you will get 24 volts to the thermostat. Turn your thermostat to cooling and turn the thermostat down so your outdoor AC comes on. This should provide AC for your home. You will need to of course manually unplug the blower and turn up the AC thermostat when you want the AC to stop. I hope this helps you get air conditioning until your new control board arrives. God Bless you and your family today and always! Steve

 

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Problem: Please explain how to read air conditioner refrigeration gauges?

Problem: I would like to check the charge on my air conditioner or heat pump unit. I purchased some air conditioner freon refrigerant gauges, but have no idea what all the numbers pressures and temperatures mean. Please explain how to read the HVAC freon air conditioner gauges.  Please explain what all the numbers and temperatures mean?

Answer: I found a great YouTube video made by AC Service Tech LLC that describes how to read manifold air conditioner refrigeration gauges when using either R22 or 410A refrigerant. AC Service Tech explains what things affect the pressures on the low and high side gauges. If you have any questions please email us anytime. Support@arnoldservice.com

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How to Use a Multimeter to Troubleshoot HVAC Circuits

Problem: In troubleshooting heating and air conditioning problems it is very important to know how to use a multimeter.  I remember when I did not know how to use a multimeter and I would use the trial and error method for testing circuits! If the circuit breaker blew then I had it wired wrong. If the breaker held I was right! This, of course, was very dangerous and I do not want anyone to use this trial and error method! The trial and error method is very scary, to say the least!  It is a wonder that I did not burn the house down or get hurt from electrical shock! Many people do not know how to use a multimeter and I wanted to list this post and video that shows how to use a multimeter! Of course,  as we all know electricity (the flow of electrons in a conductor) can not be seen. We need to know how to use a multimeter and we need a good multimeter to be able to troubleshoot, find, and fix HVAC, automobile, and home electrical problems. 

Solution: Learn how to properly use a multimeter to troubleshoot heating and air conditioning equipment. We have a really good YouTube video made by Word of Advice TV that explains how to use a multimeter in detail. The Word of Advice Video explains what the multimeter is capable of doing and then shows how each of the functions of the multimeter are used in troubleshooting and testing a furnace. The video shows how to check resistance, voltage, continuity, capacitors, batteries micro-amps, and more! Thanks so very much to Word of Advice TV for making this excellent educational video!  We sell the same G2 Phoenix Pro multimeter that is used and shown in the video below on the following page: Please click here if you are interested in the Phoenix Pro Multimeter that we sell. 

It is unbelievable and awesome how many different tests and functions that you can do with a good multimeter! The most useful thing that I found with multimeters in troubleshooting is the ability to read electricity and amperage through an insulated wire! How can it do that? Just clamp around the outside of the wire and see how many amps are being used and see the flow of electricity! Awesome to say the least!  I hope this video helps you understand how to use a multimeter! If you have any questions please email us anytime or comment below. Our email address is support@arnoldservice.com

We Would Love to Help You Out and Earn Your Business!

 

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