Burners won't light in older furnace

Discussion in 'HVAC' started by tysonjm@yahoo.com, Jan 14, 2007.

  1. Guest

    I've got a Magic Chef furance/blower from the early '80s. When the
    thermostat calls for heat, an ignitor starts clicking and a steady
    pilot light comes on. The clicking will continue for about 10-15
    seconds, then stop. After another 5 seconds, a different click is heard
    (gas shutting off?) and nothing happens but the pilot light stays lit.
    I did see one time, during the initial clicking, the two burners fire
    up fully only to poof off after about 5 seconds. The furnace had been
    working fine when we used it once or twice a week over the last month.

    After some research, it appears the pilot light is lighting just fine,
    but perhaps the flame sensor is dirty or bad? I'm not able to tell
    where the the flame sensor is in this model to check though. Any other
    ideas on why the burners won't light? I know this is one is old and
    probably either needs cleaning and/or replaced. Here are a couple
    close-up pictures if it can help to identify the flame sensor or other
    problems.

    http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace1.jpg
    http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace2.jpg
     
    , Jan 14, 2007
    #1
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  2. Noon-Air Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've got a Magic Chef furance/blower from the early '80s. When the
    > thermostat calls for heat, an ignitor starts clicking and a steady
    > pilot light comes on. The clicking will continue for about 10-15
    > seconds, then stop. After another 5 seconds, a different click is heard
    > (gas shutting off?) and nothing happens but the pilot light stays lit.
    > I did see one time, during the initial clicking, the two burners fire
    > up fully only to poof off after about 5 seconds. The furnace had been
    > working fine when we used it once or twice a week over the last month.
    >
    > After some research, it appears the pilot light is lighting just fine,
    > but perhaps the flame sensor is dirty or bad? I'm not able to tell
    > where the the flame sensor is in this model to check though. Any other
    > ideas on why the burners won't light? I know this is one is old and
    > probably either needs cleaning and/or replaced. Here are a couple
    > close-up pictures if it can help to identify the flame sensor or other
    > problems.
    >
    > http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace1.jpg
    > http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace2.jpg
    >

    what did your local tech tell you??
     
    Noon-Air, Jan 14, 2007
    #2
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  3. Guest

    On 14 Jan 2007 11:47:34 -0800, wrote:

    >I've got a Magic Chef furance/blower from the early '80s. When the
    >thermostat calls for heat, an ignitor starts clicking and a steady
    >pilot light comes on. The clicking will continue for about 10-15
    >seconds, then stop. After another 5 seconds, a different click is heard
    >(gas shutting off?) and nothing happens but the pilot light stays lit.
    >I did see one time, during the initial clicking, the two burners fire
    >up fully only to poof off after about 5 seconds. The furnace had been
    >working fine when we used it once or twice a week over the last month.
    >
    >After some research, it appears the pilot light is lighting just fine,
    >but perhaps the flame sensor is dirty or bad? I'm not able to tell
    >where the the flame sensor is in this model to check though. Any other
    >ideas on why the burners won't light? I know this is one is old and
    >probably either needs cleaning and/or replaced. Here are a couple
    >close-up pictures if it can help to identify the flame sensor or other
    >problems.
    >
    >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace1.jpg
    >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace2.jpg



    I can probably help you out but first post two more pictures: one of
    the pilot burning, the other of the opposite side of picture #2 ie a
    picture of the flame sensor & the pilot together....
     
    , Jan 14, 2007
    #3
  4. Guest

    Thanks, here are the pics based on what you described. See if they're
    sufficient...I'm just not sure what/where the flame sensor is supposed
    to be.

    I'll stand by, and let me know if you need more info - thx!

    http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace3.jpg
    http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace4.jpg


    wrote:
    > On 14 Jan 2007 11:47:34 -0800, wrote:
    >
    > >I've got a Magic Chef furance/blower from the early '80s. When the
    > >thermostat calls for heat, an ignitor starts clicking and a steady
    > >pilot light comes on. The clicking will continue for about 10-15
    > >seconds, then stop. After another 5 seconds, a different click is heard
    > >(gas shutting off?) and nothing happens but the pilot light stays lit.
    > >I did see one time, during the initial clicking, the two burners fire
    > >up fully only to poof off after about 5 seconds. The furnace had been
    > >working fine when we used it once or twice a week over the last month.
    > >
    > >After some research, it appears the pilot light is lighting just fine,
    > >but perhaps the flame sensor is dirty or bad? I'm not able to tell
    > >where the the flame sensor is in this model to check though. Any other
    > >ideas on why the burners won't light? I know this is one is old and
    > >probably either needs cleaning and/or replaced. Here are a couple
    > >close-up pictures if it can help to identify the flame sensor or other
    > >problems.
    > >
    > >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace1.jpg
    > >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace2.jpg

    >
    >
    > I can probably help you out but first post two more pictures: one of
    > the pilot burning, the other of the opposite side of picture #2 ie a
    > picture of the flame sensor & the pilot together....
     
    , Jan 14, 2007
    #4
  5. Guest

    Another pic with a better angle:

    http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace5.jpg


    wrote:
    > On 14 Jan 2007 11:47:34 -0800, wrote:
    >
    > >I've got a Magic Chef furance/blower from the early '80s. When the
    > >thermostat calls for heat, an ignitor starts clicking and a steady
    > >pilot light comes on. The clicking will continue for about 10-15
    > >seconds, then stop. After another 5 seconds, a different click is heard
    > >(gas shutting off?) and nothing happens but the pilot light stays lit.
    > >I did see one time, during the initial clicking, the two burners fire
    > >up fully only to poof off after about 5 seconds. The furnace had been
    > >working fine when we used it once or twice a week over the last month.
    > >
    > >After some research, it appears the pilot light is lighting just fine,
    > >but perhaps the flame sensor is dirty or bad? I'm not able to tell
    > >where the the flame sensor is in this model to check though. Any other
    > >ideas on why the burners won't light? I know this is one is old and
    > >probably either needs cleaning and/or replaced. Here are a couple
    > >close-up pictures if it can help to identify the flame sensor or other
    > >problems.
    > >
    > >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace1.jpg
    > >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace2.jpg

    >
    >
    > I can probably help you out but first post two more pictures: one of
    > the pilot burning, the other of the opposite side of picture #2 ie a
    > picture of the flame sensor & the pilot together....
     
    , Jan 14, 2007
    #5
  6. Guest

    wrote:

    >Thanks, here are the pics based on what you described. See if they're
    >sufficient...I'm just not sure what/where the flame sensor is supposed
    >to be.
    >
    >I'll stand by, and let me know if you need more info - thx!
    >
    >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace3.jpg
    >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace4.jpg
    >



    partner, you need serious help. Magic Chef should have stuck with
    what they do best, which is NOT building furnaces....

    An early 80's model you say?

    so if you have a pilot......AND you know how to apply 24v to the gas
    valve....you may get lucky & have heat temporarily. I'm betting the
    gas valve is toasted and no matter WHAT you do, you aint gonna have
    heat. now a sharp cookie could put you in a retrofit kit for $750,
    but hell, thats a down pymt on a brand new furnace....

    I'm guessing you're in So Cal. what do you think of that bitter
    freeze we're getting?
     
    , Jan 15, 2007
    #6
  7. Guest

    Thanks for taking a look...I figured our Magic Chef furnace wasn't too
    promising when we bought this place 2 yrs. ago. You might be right on
    the gas valve since when I hear the repeated clicking, I'm seeing a
    spark emitting each time...it seems to get the pilot going, but I
    assume that spark is also supposed to get the burners rolling, but not
    enough gas?

    Yeah, the SoCal chill...I guess we don't have it so bad considering
    other parts of the country, but it's enough to warrant turning on the
    heater you'd expect to work!


    wrote:
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Thanks, here are the pics based on what you described. See if they're
    > >sufficient...I'm just not sure what/where the flame sensor is supposed
    > >to be.
    > >
    > >I'll stand by, and let me know if you need more info - thx!
    > >
    > >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace3.jpg
    > >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace4.jpg
    > >

    >
    >
    > partner, you need serious help. Magic Chef should have stuck with
    > what they do best, which is NOT building furnaces....
    >
    > An early 80's model you say?
    >
    > so if you have a pilot......AND you know how to apply 24v to the gas
    > valve....you may get lucky & have heat temporarily. I'm betting the
    > gas valve is toasted and no matter WHAT you do, you aint gonna have
    > heat. now a sharp cookie could put you in a retrofit kit for $750,
    > but hell, thats a down pymt on a brand new furnace....
    >
    > I'm guessing you're in So Cal. what do you think of that bitter
    > freeze we're getting?
     
    , Jan 15, 2007
    #7
  8. Oscar_Lives Guest

    <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > I've got a Magic Chef furance/blower from the early '80s. When the
    > thermostat calls for heat, an ignitor starts clicking and a steady
    > pilot light comes on. The clicking will continue for about 10-15
    > seconds, then stop. After another 5 seconds, a different click is heard
    > (gas shutting off?) and nothing happens but the pilot light stays lit.
    > I did see one time, during the initial clicking, the two burners fire
    > up fully only to poof off after about 5 seconds. The furnace had been
    > working fine when we used it once or twice a week over the last month.
    >
    > After some research, it appears the pilot light is lighting just fine,
    > but perhaps the flame sensor is dirty or bad? I'm not able to tell
    > where the the flame sensor is in this model to check though. Any other
    > ideas on why the burners won't light? I know this is one is old and
    > probably either needs cleaning and/or replaced. Here are a couple
    > close-up pictures if it can help to identify the flame sensor or other
    > problems.
    >
    > http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace1.jpg
    > http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace2.jpg
    >


    Nice....
     
    Oscar_Lives, Jan 15, 2007
    #8
  9. Guest

    Thanks for taking a look...I figured our Magic Chef furnace wasn't too
    promising when we bought this place 2 yrs. ago. You might be right on
    the gas valve since when I hear the repeated clicking, I'm seeing a
    spark emitting each time...it seems to get the pilot going, but I
    assume that spark is also supposed to get the burners rolling, but not
    enough gas?

    Yeah, the SoCal chill...I guess we don't have it so bad considering
    other parts of the country, but it's enough to warrant turning on the
    heater you'd expect to work!


    wrote:
    > wrote:
    >
    > >Thanks, here are the pics based on what you described. See if they're
    > >sufficient...I'm just not sure what/where the flame sensor is supposed
    > >to be.
    > >
    > >I'll stand by, and let me know if you need more info - thx!
    > >
    > >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace3.jpg
    > >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace4.jpg
    > >

    >
    >
    > partner, you need serious help. Magic Chef should have stuck with
    > what they do best, which is NOT building furnaces....
    >
    > An early 80's model you say?
    >
    > so if you have a pilot......AND you know how to apply 24v to the gas
    > valve....you may get lucky & have heat temporarily. I'm betting the
    > gas valve is toasted and no matter WHAT you do, you aint gonna have
    > heat. now a sharp cookie could put you in a retrofit kit for $750,
    > but hell, thats a down pymt on a brand new furnace....
    >
    > I'm guessing you're in So Cal. what do you think of that bitter
    > freeze we're getting?
     
    , Jan 15, 2007
    #9
  10. Guest

    Thanks, Canadian Heat...is a flame switch easy to find AND install to
    see if that's the problem, or is this an obscure part to find for this
    old of furnace and/or require a professional?

    wrote:
    > Looks like a flame switch. I think you have a small white spark relight
    > module, and a flame switch that plugs into the gas valve. You could have a
    > bad flame switch or gas valve, or just a dirty pilot not hot enough to close
    > the hot side of the flame switch.
    >
    >
    > Or your electrode might be the flame sensor, if wired to a module with mv, pv
    > spark terminals..you could have a bad module or a dirty electrode/sensor.
    >
    > -Canadian Heat
    >
    >
    > --
    > --------------------------------- --- -- -
    > Posted with NewsLeecher v3.7 Final
    > Web @ http://www.newsleecher.com/?usenet
    > ------------------- ----- ---- -- -
     
    , Jan 17, 2007
    #10
  11. wrote:
    > Thanks, Canadian Heat...is a flame switch easy to find AND install to
    > see if that's the problem, or is this an obscure part to find for this
    > old of furnace and/or require a professional?
    >

    Its actually called a auto pilot. Readily available and made by White
    Rodgers. Its a mecury switch has to be properly disposed of. Not just
    tossed into the trash.

    snip
     
    Power's Mechanical, Jan 17, 2007
    #11
  12. Guest

    Thanks. This sounds like it's worth a try at least before calling in
    someone. I did manage to take out that little assembly, but still just
    am not sure which part is which, i.e. pilot, pilot hood, flame switch,
    etc. Maybe this new pic will help? I've put letters on the different
    parts, but don't know what each is:
    http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace6.jpg

    I tapped a couple things lightly and blew some compressed air to clean,
    but when I put it back the pilot won't even light anymore...I probably
    really messed something up now, but I figure the thing is so old it
    eventually needs replacing anyway. Let me know if you can help me
    identify the parts to do what you described. Thanks!


    wrote:
    > Well if your pilot lights and the ticking stops, I'm assuming the auto relight
    > is satisfied, and the gas valve is waiting for the flame switch to open.
    >
    > The chances are greater the mercury flame switch is the problem rather then
    > the gas valve. If the pilot is dirty and the little flame doesnt heat the
    > flame switch up then the burner won't light. I usually remove the pilot
    > orifice and try to clean that. Or just blow and suck on the pilot tubing
    > while you hit the pilot hood with a wrench. Mercury switch is very easy to
    > replace. Make sure not to unravel the capillary anymore then needed. And
    > keep note of where the existing rod is sitting, inside the pilot assembly.
    > You want it to sit just right inside the flame. Normally after the pilot
    > lights it showed take no more then 120sec to open the gas valve. 30sec is
    > what I am used to waiting.
    >
    > -Canadian Heat
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > --------------------------------- --- -- -
    > Posted with NewsLeecher v3.7 Final
    > Web @ http://www.newsleecher.com/?usenet
    > ------------------- ----- ---- -- -
     
    , Jan 19, 2007
    #12
  13. Bubba Guest

    On 19 Jan 2007 11:58:39 -0800, wrote:

    >Thanks. This sounds like it's worth a try at least before calling in
    >someone. I did manage to take out that little assembly, but still just
    >am not sure which part is which, i.e. pilot, pilot hood, flame switch,
    >etc. Maybe this new pic will help? I've put letters on the different
    >parts, but don't know what each is:
    >http://www.icedpita.com/images/furnace6.jpg


    I believe someone from the Smithsonian called and is looking for that.
    Bubba

    >
    >I tapped a couple things lightly and blew some compressed air to clean,
    >but when I put it back the pilot won't even light anymore...I probably
    >really messed something up now, but I figure the thing is so old it
    >eventually needs replacing anyway. Let me know if you can help me
    >identify the parts to do what you described. Thanks!
    >
    >
    > wrote:
    >> Well if your pilot lights and the ticking stops, I'm assuming the auto relight
    >> is satisfied, and the gas valve is waiting for the flame switch to open.
    >>
    >> The chances are greater the mercury flame switch is the problem rather then
    >> the gas valve. If the pilot is dirty and the little flame doesnt heat the
    >> flame switch up then the burner won't light. I usually remove the pilot
    >> orifice and try to clean that. Or just blow and suck on the pilot tubing
    >> while you hit the pilot hood with a wrench. Mercury switch is very easy to
    >> replace. Make sure not to unravel the capillary anymore then needed. And
    >> keep note of where the existing rod is sitting, inside the pilot assembly.
    >> You want it to sit just right inside the flame. Normally after the pilot
    >> lights it showed take no more then 120sec to open the gas valve. 30sec is
    >> what I am used to waiting.
    >>
    >> -Canadian Heat
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> --
    >> --------------------------------- --- -- -
    >> Posted with NewsLeecher v3.7 Final
    >> Web @ http://www.newsleecher.com/?usenet
    >> ------------------- ----- ---- -- -
     
    Bubba, Jan 19, 2007
    #13
  14. Guest

    Hey, I stepped away from this project for a few days...Identifying the
    parts really helps for my knowledge (thx!), but nonetheless, I think
    it's dead. All I've got now is a clicking with a spark, and it'll just
    do that until I turn the thermostat off or unplug the furnace. Not sure
    why the pilot doesn'tlight anymore other than something getting tweaked
    when I removed that whole little assembly to attempt a quick cleaning.
    The tubing that seems to carry the gas feels a little looser now
    despite the nuts still feeling completely tight...what an odd thing,
    the way this is set up. Oh well, hopefully, I can get a kit or
    something without having to spend $1,000s on a whole new furnace. :O


    On Jan 19, 2:41 pm, DANgER () wrote:
    > bubba's an idiot, he's the old dinosaur that should beat it.
    >
    > Wow nice pic and labels hehehe
    >
    > A=flameswitch (follow the skinny copper capilary, it should plug into the
    > gas valve.
    >
    > D= electrode (sparker)
    >
    > B= pilot hood
    >
    > C=flamerunner
    >
    > So you don't hear a spark or clicking now?
    > If it's not lighting the pilot tubing could be full of air from you cleaning
    > it, just try a few times until the air purges out.
    >
    > -Canadian Heat
    >
    > --
    > --------------------------------- --- -- -
    > Posted with NewsLeecher v3.7 Final
    > Web @http://www.newsleecher.com/?usenet
    > ------------------- ----- ---- -- -
     
    , Jan 27, 2007
    #14
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