Carbon monoxide sensor went off and now furnace won't turn on
I’ve got a 20 year old Westinghouse furnace. I don’t see a model number on it. It has been upgraded at some point with an automatic ignitor. I replaced the belt on it yesterday. I left the front panel off to make sure the belt was fine when the furnace was running. Stupidly, I left the cover off as I went to make dinner. After 20 minutes or so our CO sensor went off. This sensor is not the battery powered type; it is on one of the household circuits. I immediately turned off the furnace and put the cover back on. It was at this point I saw the “Do not operate furnace without this cover in place” sticker. Dumb. Anyway, after having the windows and doors open for 45 minutes or so, I attempted to restart the furnace. The ignitor is clicking but the furnace will not actually ‘kick’ on. I have absolutely no experience working on furnaces and really don’t now exactly how they operate but I’m guessing that when the CO alarm went off it somehow disabled the furnace. I’ve looked for a reset button on the furnace but can’t find one. I turned the breaker on/off and have unplugged the furnace for an extended period but these things didn’t work either.
What am I missing here? Any advice is much appreciated as it is getting pretty cold here!
Please read the DIY rules.
I would be surprised if your CO detector is actually connected to the furnace. I would also guess that if there is enough CO to set the the detector off, a few minutes of fresh air may not be enough to clear it out without a fan.
If your CO detector has gone off, and the furnace will not light, it is VERY possible that you have a DANGEROUS condition in your house. You may not want to be inside.
Sounds like time to call a professional.
If you have a Westinghorse, it's way more than 20 years old!
And I agree, if I had a CO detector go off and had a relic furnace, I'd want a pro to check things out before I used it again
You left the blower door off...when the furnace lit and the blower came on, it probably sucked either flue gas, flames, or both out of the burner compartment, which released products of combustion into the air adjacent to the CO detector, setting it off.
You're lucky it was just the CO detector going off, and not a smoke detector as well!
A furnace that old should be professionally examined for safety.
westinghouse with a belt drive is probably at least 35-40 yrs old.
best to call for service.
The house is 22 years old so I figured that is most likely the age of the furnace as well. Hmm.
I've had the furnace professionally checked in the past year and it was fine. The problem now is that I dumbly left the front cover off while the furnace was running. I shut the furnace off just as soon as the CO sensor went off. The furnace will still not come on. It worked fine prior to this event. I had just replaced the belt as the old one had apparently stretched and was making a little noise. I put on a new belt and the noise went away. The furnace is elevated above the air intake space. I'm wondering now if there is CO in that space that is preventing the furnace from operating. I've got a fan going right now, with all the doors and windows open, to clear it out. Is this even a probable reason why this thing wouldn't be working?
I've called a number of heating places here in town and I've got a couple day wait just to have someone come out and I'd like to get this working sooner than that. It has been below zero a couple times this week and was only 13 this morning.
Do Not Attempt To Use System Until A Pro Looks At!!!!!!
I will be having a professional look at it. Most of you state that the furnace because of it's age needs to be looked at by a pro. I had it checked within the past year and it was fine. Do you think something in the furnace was damaged by me leaving the front cover off and now is unsafe to use? I don't know enough about furnaces to know if what I did has made the furnace unsafe to use even if it would turn on.
Yes. Can't see it from here, but I think it's a sure call.
Originally Posted by jcro
You could give no better reason than that for leaving it alone. Rules prohibit DIY repair instruction here, and with reason.
I don't know enough about furnaces to know if what I did has made the furnace unsafe to use even if it would turn on.
Thanks. I wasn't sure what you all were getting at but I understand now. I'll leave it alone and wait for someone to come check it out.
furnace that old may have just had a pilot relighter put on and not a true electronic ignition. are there any lighting instructions on the furnace???
we sold westinghouse in the 70's until they went out of business.
don't see how a 22 yr old house could have one unless it was used when installed?
when we were installing them i don't remember installing any belt drive furnaces...........
IMO (note the 'Regular Member' tag), this is the simplest problem that would cause this behavior. The other simple solution would be to try to manually light the pilot per the instructions on the furnace.
Originally Posted by jcro
The problem is, there may be bigger problems that are not apparent.
Locally, most HVAC contractors will come out and light a pilot for free. You may try calling back and explain that you need your pilot lit, and that you don't have heat right now.
Good chance it did some harm to the furnace running it like that.
Belt drive blower, its OLD.
Now would be a good time to get some quotes on a new higher efficiency furnace.