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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 the 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 the limit. I would suggest that the next time the furnace gas goes off prematurely that you check the limit with a voltmeter 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. Overheating 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. We have two really good YouTube videos by AC Service tech below that show the different types of furnace limit switches and how to troubleshoot limits. Thanks so much to AC Service Tech LLC for making this video! Best of luck in finding and fixing this problem.

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

  1. My hot air (Carrier) goes off also, but the repairman said the condensate trap needed replacement.

    1. Hi Joan!
      If the condensate trap has a leak then this might cause the pressure switch on the furnace to open up and cause the gas burners to go out. A condensate trap leak can cause rust and other problems inside the furnace so I would recommend getting it replaced if it is leaking. I hope this solves your furnace problem. Steve

  2. I have a Trane gas forced hot air heater.
    Heater runs all day and makes temp. But every morning the house is cold and gas burner is off. The indoor fan is running and the tstat is calling for heat. The only way I can get the gas burner to fire up is by shutting the main power off to the unit at the service switch. As soon as I turn the switch back on it starts the ignition process and lights up and works all day. Of coarse the next morning we wake to a cold house and we have to do it all over again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Bill! Sorry you are having this frustrating cold problem with your furnace. It sounds like the furnace is locking out during the night. Most furnaces will try to light and if the flame sensor does not sense the flame after 3 tries then the furnace will lock out until the furnace is reset. Most of the time furnaces have a hard time lighting when they are cold after being off for long periods of time during the night. We discuss this problem with flame sensors on the following page: This could also be a relay on the control board which is wearing out, but most of the time it is a flame sensing problem. You might try cleaning the flame sensor with steel wool or light emery cloth and see if the problem continues. I hope you can easily find the problem and get it fixed. Steve

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