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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
    Posts
    18,232
    I haven't done any experiments, but the idea is to not use cut cloth to avoid making small grooves in the flame sensor rod. That's why the dollar bill is used as an example.

    I don't clean the spark rod. No need.

    I don't clean the HSI type igniter. They can't get dirty.
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  2. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Dalton, Ga.
    Posts
    65
    I heard that the flame sensor had little holes in it that would be damaged by sand paper.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Ripley, WV
    Posts
    1,156
    Quote Originally Posted by FrostyBeer View Post
    Anything wrong with using a piece of sand cloth to clean ignitors? That's what I do and have had good luck.
    I've used fine emery cloth and haven't had any issues.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    229
    Fine sandpaper here.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    1,800
    Quote Originally Posted by timebuilder View Post
    I haven't done any experiments, but the idea is to not use cut cloth to avoid making small grooves in the flame sensor rod. That's why the dollar bill is used as an example.

    I don't clean the spark rod. No need.

    I don't clean the HSI type igniter. They can't get dirty.
    Bingo! The small grooves that are cut into the metal rod by the cut cloth provide a "ditch" for build-up to accumulate in. Over time, this imbedded build-up can become difficult to remove, causing potential nuisance lock-outs. Dollar bills or the "Scotch-Brite" scrub pad (no soap) type material do a good job at cleaning the rod, without scoring/grooving the surface.
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  6. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Las Vegas, NV
    Posts
    502
    Quote Originally Posted by FrostyBeer View Post
    Haha woops I meant flame sensor. Shows how tired I am.
    Got ya. I was taught to never use sandcloth or sand anything on a flame sensor. The reason I was taught (not sure if it's true, but it's what I was taught) is that the sandcloth scuffs it up too much and tiny pieces of sand stay in the grooves, then when the flame hits it and heats it up it can melt the sand into an extremely thin layer of glass, thus insulating the sensor and getting low microamps. Again, not sure how factual that is, but it's what I was taught and has been the reason I never use sandcloth. I always use a wire brush or steel wool.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    butler pa
    Posts
    1,073
    my carrier tech guy prefers a fine file vs sand cloth/steel wool

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    L.A. California
    Posts
    145
    steel wool gets all over the place though.
    i was told the best thing to use is paper like a business card

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Hendersonville, Tennessee
    Posts
    30
    In that situation I would hand the family abrasive cloth, and tell them if they REALLY have to they should use that to clean the ignitor, not a dollar bill.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    5
    Gray ScotchBrite fan here.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Kalamazoo Michigan
    Posts
    11
    I use scotchbrite or a fine sand paper. My teacher told me about using a dollar bill and I tried it when I first got out into the field and I got a call back. One thing I choose to do is after I use the scotchbrite or sandpaper I take a damp paper towel and wipe the sensor off. You get quite a bit of residue off the rod. I may not need to do this but it makes me feel better.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    416
    Very fine emory cloth followed by alcohol wipe. Flame sensor was still going strong after 8 years of pre-season cleaning....

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    1,801
    I have cleaned thousands of flame sensors with aluminum oxide sand cloth. The same bit I use to clean copper fittings. I don't know that any "sand cloth" contains sand. Never a problem with build up or call backs. I clean the flame sensor anytime I work on a furnace, for any reason.

    A flame sensor is just a steel rod with a ceramic insulator, get it reasonably clean and it will work.
    Jason

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