HSI bad, can light with match?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    9

    HSI bad, can light with match?

    It's cold. It's Sunday. I just found out my HSI is cracked. So it will be a few days until I can get a new one. Can I light my furnace with a match? The controller did not recognize the faulty HSI. It continued on as normal then turned on the gas. But since there was no flame, it shut down and locked out. So since the gas started flowing, can I have a flame source in there to light it?

    Thanks. It cold today in NJ and our one little electric heater is not enough.

    Please help. Thank You.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Savannah, Ga/H.H. Island, S.C.
    Posts
    1,392
    No!

    Call a professional. Most companies are 24 hrs and do not mind coming out on a weekend. A HSI is standard stock on a service truck.

    Once again, Do NOT attempt to light your furnace with a match! You could harm yourself or others!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    9
    Ok. Of course I cannot afford a tech to come out. I can only afford the $ igniter. Why exactly is it harmful? Just curious. If there is a small flame in there, next to igniter, it will catch the gas. What am I missing?
    Just looking at this from an engineers perspective. Thanks for the quick reply.
    Last edited by beenthere; 02-10-2013 at 10:24 AM. Reason: price

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    17,711
    Because, your unit is designed to use a hot surface ignitor and not an open flame source for ignition.

    You are proposing to substitute an open flame and that may cause a rapidly expanding flame front which could be dangerous.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    9
    Ok. That's is understandable. Thank you for the quick reply and insight. Glad I didn't try. Well, I can get one from pex supply by Tuesday. We can manage till then. Thanks so much!!
    ~Steve.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Mount Airy, MD
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    7,281
    Thread relocated to AOP

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    67,591
    Third degree burns are more expensive then Sunday service calls.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    9
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Third degree burns are more expensive then Sunday service calls.
    Ummmmm, yea.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Altmar, New York, United States
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    4,102
    Quote Originally Posted by gd420mj View Post
    Ok. That's is understandable. Thank you for the quick reply and insight. Glad I didn't try. Well, I can get one from pex supply by Tuesday. We can manage till then. Thanks so much!!
    ~Steve.

    i might get in trouble for this but, what about a hardware store? the hsi may not have just cracked for no reason. it is possible you have other issues. call a tech and have them look at it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,661
    all units of this configuration I can think of have a WARNING sticker on them that says NOT to light it manually!!!

    why com here and ask if you can do something the unit specifically says not to do?
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    9
    My bet is it just old. The controller went last year about this time. Then right at the end of the season the flame sensor went. So. My bet is it just went. The crack had some hard white build up around it. didn't see it was a crack until I scraped the build up off. A new igniter will work.
    I've searched Google for this question and all that came up was lighting pilots. So now I know. And hopefully others might see this post.
    ~Steve.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by pacnw View Post
    all units of this configuration I can think of have a WARNING sticker on them that says NOT to light it manually!!!

    why com here and ask if you can do something the unit specifically says not to do?
    Those warnings also say not remove covers, don't touch wiring, blah blah, I know all the warnings. I work on everything. They protect general public who doesnt know what a screw driver is or especially the difference in hsi units. I'm an aerospace electo-mechanical engineer by trade. Appliances are a bit on the simple end. Of course, I don't know all the nuances of everything. Hence, gas is flowing, why can't I light it. But now I know why.
    Thanks again for those that answered. I really appreciate the help.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
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    17,711
    Quote Originally Posted by gd420mj View Post
    Those warnings also say not remove covers, don't touch wiring, blah blah, I know all the warnings. I work on everything. They protect general public who doesnt know what a screw driver is or especially the difference in hsi units. I'm an aerospace electo-mechanical engineer by trade. Appliances are a bit on the simple end. Of course, I don't know all the nuances of everything. Hence, gas is flowing, why can't I light it. But now I know why.
    Thanks again for those that answered. I really appreciate the help.
    I raise this only because my father, whose company manufactures the mixers used by Morton Thiokol to produce the solid fuel used in the Shuttle boosters, is an engineer.

    Most of the degreed engineers on the booster team would have opined that an O ring is a simple device that is at the bottom end of their expertise. To this day, they regret that perspective.

    It is for that reason that folks like me have re-evaluated the importance of the simple things, including simple devices like HVAC equipment, and their ability to wreak havoc. An admonishment to not light the gas in your unit is not the same trifling warning as the sticker on a lawn mower that tells you not to put your hands or feet under the mower. I would not discount such warnings due to my training. Or, the training my father has passed along to me.

    My point is that unless you have the same familiarity with the equipment as someone does who works with it every day, the best approach is to treat the warning label with a higher level of respect. Whether I was in a Skyhawk at 3,000 or a Lear 55 at FL450, I treated the AFM with the same respect I asked of my private pilot students. Clearly, the only way to fly reliably is within the envelope.

    So, I obey the labels, and I encourage every other non-professional to do the same.

    It is just plain prudent to do so.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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