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  1. #1
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    Routine furnace check turns into failed parts

    Recently had my 36 year old Carrier furnace checked and cleaned by the same tech that came last year. He said that he adjusted the gas flow up even though the 3.2 rate wasn't causing an issue. He also readjusted the angle of the ignighter because there was a delay between the lighting of the pilot and the burners. During this visit he was pressing me to buy a new furnace. After he left I noticed a hot plastic smell coming from the ceiling vents. Within 30 hours the fan was running continuously and the burners were not turning on.
    I called and another tech came and told me that the furnace overheated and the safety shut off was tripped. He also said the fan board wasn't working unless he kicked it and needed to be replaced. Without asking, he replaced the the ignighter because he did not like the delay between the pilot and the burner lighting. During this visit I was again pressured to buy a new furnace. I again refused. After several days of waiting for a fan board, and stalling by the tech, I called a supervisor and explained my concerns. He refused to entertain that turning up the gas flow caused it to overheat and damage the fan control board. He agreed to send a tech and to turn the gas flow back to where it was and to replace the fan control board but all at my expense. He replaced the fan board but refused to turn down the gas flow.
    The home is 816 sq ft. The furnace has 4 burners with one capped so only three ignite. The vents are in the attic and are buried under wooly insulation.
    What is your take on my situation? The hot plastic odor still comes from the vents when the heat is on..

  2. #2
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    Jan 2004
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    Good chance the installing contractor had the gas pressure turned down to prevent over heating.

    Dirty burners is probably the cause of the delayed ignition.
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  3. #3
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    One burner is capped? That's dangerous!

  4. #4
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    Jun 2014
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    Why is a burner capped, and who did that?
    It should be noted that in many cases, but not all, those cheap cleaning and checkups that companies advertise are a way to get their foot in the door to sell parts and equipment. Again, this isn’t every company, but a lot operate this way.
    At 36 years old you should be planning on replacement so as you don’t have to make a very big and expensive decision quickly if something major were to happen.
    The burner should be set to where the factory recommends it should be. If the unit can’t run at that setting, there’s an outside cause of why that is. Dirt, poor airflow, duct problems or blower problems can all be a cause, among others.
    Was heat rise checked?
    At 36 years old you should have at least semi-annual combustion analysis tests done. Was this done during the PM.
    I havent failed. Ive just found 10,000 ways that wont work. - Thomas Edison

    Its not whether you get knocked down, its whether you get up. - Vince Lombardi

    "In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics" - Homer Simpson

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  5. #5
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    Sep 2008
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    Sounds to me like the original installer rigged the unit to run. This poor new guy just tried to adjust it to MANUFACTURER SPECS, and now you’re making him pay the price for doing his job?

    FUNNY HOW THE WORLD WORKS...

    Quit squeezing your cheeks and buy a new furnace that’s properly sized for the ducting.
    This tech is correct. That furnace needs to be properly sized and installed properly.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" Socrates

  6. #6
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    Thread Starter
    I am sure the original contractor capped the burner. So considering the burner is capped to fit the square footage, is the recommended gas flow now too high? I have only lived here 2 years so was not a part of the original install.

  7. #7
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    Common at one time to cap a burner.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warmest View Post
    I am sure the original contractor capped the burner. So considering the burner is capped to fit the square footage, is the recommended gas flow now too high? I have only lived here 2 years so was not a part of the original install.
    Again, the furnace is RIGGED, it’s not a question whether it was “adjusted to fit the sq footage”, it’s rigged. This means the manufacturer did not design the unit to function in this capacity. It was not sized properly, if it was, it would not have been rigged. Low gas pressure can cause improper combustion, low efficiency, sooting, and other issues.
    Do yourself a favor and replace it.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" Socrates

  9. #9
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    Thread Starter
    The burner was capped to fit the furnace to the square footage of the house on the original install. All the mentioned checks were done and within tolerance. The tech said the burners and furnace were clean. Considering the burner is capped, are the recommended specs for the gas pressure too high?

  10. #10
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    Where is the high limit control located in alignment with the capped burner. Curious what size do you have and efficiency of furnace, 80%?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Common at one time to cap a burner.
    As a moderator I’m surprised at this comment on an AOP forum. This supplies the homeowner with justification that it’s okay. Do I agree with you, yes it was done ages ago, but a proper combustion analysis should be performed with any adjustments to this furnace. He’s not dealing with a standard spec unit now. Anyone working on it is leaving themselves liable for the improper operation which is against original manufacturer design.

    That is why I completely agree with the tech, the furnace needs to be replaced. Because it’s old? No, because it’s old and rigged.
    "The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing" Socrates

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warmest View Post
    The burner was capped to fit the furnace to the square footage of the house on the original install. All the mentioned checks were done and within tolerance. The tech said the burners and furnace were clean. Considering the burner is capped, are the recommended specs for the gas pressure too high?
    Was a combustion analyzer used?
    The design has been changed so there are NO recommended specs!


    Get a Low Level CO detector not a big box store type but LOW LEVEL. You life depends on it!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgenius33 View Post
    As a moderator Im surprised at this comment on an AOP forum. This supplies the homeowner with justification that its okay. Do I agree with you, yes it was done ages ago, but a proper combustion analysis should be performed with any adjustments to this furnace. Hes not dealing with a standard spec unit now. Anyone working on it is leaving themselves liable for the improper operation which is against original manufacturer design.

    That is why I completely agree with the tech, the furnace needs to be replaced. Because its old? No, because its old and rigged.
    If I was posting as a Moderator. I would be warning someone of a rule violation they made, or answering a site question they asked.

    So I'm only answering/posting as a member the same as you.

    A furnace or boiler is rigged, anytime a non OEM part is used. And that includes blower motors, gas valves, HSIs, Flame sensors, Limits, fan controls, etc.

    30 Years ago, a 40,000 BTU input furnace was hard, if not impossible to get. So capping a burner was not uncommon, and many are still operating today. And yes, I plugged some burners/cells back then.

    Now whether or not the limit is on the capped side or not, is important. But with everyone beating the OP up isn't going to help the OP. And could turn him a way from the site, and to a DIY site. Where he might get correct, or incorrect answers.

    But if the questions are asked in a no condemning way, we might be able to aid the OP.
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