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Samurai Appliance Repair Man's Blog



Replacing an old furnace: some expert recommendations on equipment, brand, and contractor selection

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in HVAC 12 January 2012 · 1,218 views

A cracked heat exchanger is potentially hazardous to your health. As jumptrout said, the new ones are safer and use less gas. I really like the Rheem/Ruud RGPS series, a solid furnace priced as a builder's model. If you would like a little upgrade go with the RGPE series; this is a 2-stage furnace with a variable speed ECM blower motor. For about a $600 premium you are planning for the future as pretty much any A/C unit over 14 or 15 SEER requires a variable speed indoor blower. This furnace also has serial communication capabilities. The 2-stage heating is really nice and makes the home more cozy and even temperatured. Since these new furnaces may last 30 or 40 years you may want the upgrade if the budget allows. The RGPE model is compatable with all the Rheem/Ruud A/C models from the entry level to the top of the line 2-stage cooling units. If you have central A/C now that variable speed blower can increase your existing SEER rating by about a full SEER point. Don't be at all surprised that the new models will have a lower BTU rating than your old dinosaur. HVAC engineers have learned over the years that we don't need as many BTU's as once thought. In addition, the higher AFUE models waste much less heat and burn very cleanly.

In Atlanta you have lots of competition amongst contractors so once you determine the size you need to get multiple estimates. You may find as much as $1000 difference between highest and lowest prices. Look in the yellow pages and find the local Rheem or Ruud wholesale distributor in your area. Call and ask for someone at the A/C counter. Tell them you want to have a new furnace installed and could they recommend a couple of honest dealers to do the work. Be sure and get the name of the person providing the references. Have one or two dealers look at your old furnace to make sure there's nothing unusually difficult with your change-out. If there is they will certainly mention it. You can then get pricing over the phone. Once you choose a dealer have them stop by and look at your setup (if they haven't already seen it) before the day of the job so there are no surprises. Get a written estimate before the work begins. A reputable dealer won't ask for any money up front but will expect payment in full once the work is finished and the new furnace is fully tested.
Have fun!


I'll add that the Rheem/Ruud equipment has been at or near the top of Consumer Reports' dependability ratings for several years now. You will find that most contractors are partial to the brand they primarily sell so choose the brand first. A good question to ask is who is the wholesale distributor in the area and how many branches do they have. Many furnace parts are OEM only so it's important that these parts are stocked locally. The more brances, the bigger inventory.




Source: Fraser-Johnston Furnace repair possible?


How to troubleshoot flame sensor errors in a gas furnace

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in HVAC 05 January 2012 · 1,618 views

When getting a flame sensor error always make sure the furnace is properly grounded before you do anything else. An ungrounded furnace will pull a little ground off of the gas line but this is not a good ground source and the furnace will work when it feels like it and drive you up a wall. If the ground is good then cleaning the sensor rod with a little steel wool or fine grit sandpaper will usually fix it.

I had a customer once that had a heater problem. Every fall their previous A/C guy had to come out and replace the flame sensor. This went on for years and finally they got fed up and called me instead. I knew right away the problem once I saw the old 2-prong socket in the attic. Luckily the water heater was close by so I ran a new ground wire to a ground clamp on the cold water line and the furnace fired right up. The following fall I got a "thank you" card from this customer because it was the first time in years the furnace worked right the first cold spell.



Source: AMANA GUID090EA50


Fault codes for Amana and Goodman gas furnaces

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in HVAC 21 December 2011 · 9,129 views

AMANA & GOODMAN FAULT CODES

1. One led flash that stays on continuously = No signal from thermostat. Turn off power and check connections.

2. One led that flashes = Furnace lockout after three attempts to fire. Must be reset by lowering it for twenty seconds and then raise it back. After one hour furnace will reset itself.

3. Two led flashes = Draft Inducer not working or shorted or failed pressure switch.

4. Three led flashes = Open pressure switch.

5. Four led flashes = open primary limit switch due to faulty wiring or bad filters.

6. Five led flashes = Sensing flame without a call for heat due to possible slow closing valve.

7. Seven led flashes = faulty flame sensor

8. Eight led flashes = faulty igniter

9. Continuous led flashing = Reverse polarity. Check wiring diagram



Source: AMANA GUID090EA50


Rheem gas heater unit won't fire up

Posted by Samurai Appliance Repair Man, in HVAC 05 March 2011 · 1,230 views

Sublime Master ACtechguy imparts some pearls of wisdom to us on ignition problem with this furnace. Let's listen...

If you have a pilot flame that ignites and no main burner firing, then you have one of 3 very possible problems.
# 1 . if you have a separate spark module(separate from the main circuit board), then maybe the spark module is malfunctioning.

# 2 if the spark function is part of the main circuit board , then your problem is the main circuit board.

# 3 Main burner side of gas valve is failed.

All Post 1990 spark ignition systems that I have seen (in my neck of Louisiana ) work in the same way. They spark(sometimes for a long time on older models ) , Pilot flame ignites, then (sometimes after a delay) , main burners ignite.
Spark ignition systems may not have any sort of flame sensor that you can fix or clean( Flame sensing is built into the spark sensing circuit and not a seperate rod on the end of the burners), .......

SO, if you get spark, and then pilot flame and then no main burners, put a meter on the gas valve and look for 24 volts ac when the gas valve should be opening. If you get voltage at that point then the valve is bad . if you never get voltage there it is the spark module or main circuit board( Suspect whatever part that makes the spark).

Don't confuse the fact that just because the unit is sparking that everything is ok with the spark circuit.
From what you are describing , the spark control is sensing very little or no flame signal from the pilot flame.
And Yes, Once the control senses a stable pilot flame , the main gas valve will be opened(this could be very fast , or it could take 5 to 10 seconds, older models sometimes had long delays till main gas valve opening.

There are several things you can check on the flame sensing circuit .
Spark systems sense flame via chasis ground. ANY CORROSION will mess up the flame sensing circuit.

Make sure all ground connections to the control are good . clean all connections to board .. Clean any ground wires to burners. Pull pilot assembly and clean all metal surfaces that the pilot flame contacts(there will be metal rods or bars that the flame inpinges upon) . The flame contacting these metal peices is how the flame signal gets to ground and back to the control.

Blow out pilot tube with compressed air or something similar to clear out any blockages that may be reducing pilot flame size .

Still have the same problem after cleaning all this stuff?

REPLACE whatever device generates the spark.







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