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Burner cutting in and out during startup of gas heater

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I have a Carrier gaspack. Carrier is not listed in the "Brand" pulldown menu for this forum for some reason

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Old 10-31-2013, 02:52 PM
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Default Burner cutting in and out during startup of gas heater
Model Number: 48SX-400-074   Brand: -brand-   Age: More than 10 years   

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I have a Carrier gaspack. Carrier is not listed in the "Brand" pulldown menu for this forum for some reason ... wonder why?

Anyway, the burner on my furnace is cycling on an off a few times before it stays lit. Once lit, the furnace works properly.

The problem seems to occur mostly after the furnace has been down a while, such as in the morning when when my programmable thermostat turns up the heat for the day. The furnace is outside my bedroom room and I can hear what it's doing. First, I hear the sound of the burner coming on. In normal operation this sound would continue a few seconds after which the blower would come on. But instead the burner turns off (gets quiet).

After a few seconds I hear the burner start again. This time it seems to say on a little longer. But then it goes silent again. After a few cycles of the burner cutting on and off the blower also comes on, but not for long. Everything goes quiet again. Then I hear the burner start again.

After several more cycles the burner finally stays on. The blower comes on and stays on until the house is warm. For the rest of the day everything seems fine. The furnace seems to cycle on and off properly. I fear that something is waiting for the coldest day of the year to quit completely.

I'm not a technician but I've done some reading. My theory is that the flame sensor may be getting weak. This would cause the computer to shut the gas valve off if the flame sensor's signal does not appear in time. Maybe after a few tries the flame sensor finally gets hot enough to deliver a solid signal. Then everything works fine for the rest of the day. But this is just what it sounds like to my untrained ears. I could very likely be completely wrong. Do flame sensors get weak before failing completely?

Any comments are greatly appreciated.

Thanks for taking the time to consider my situation.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-04-2013, 09:38 PM
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Default Problem Solved!

So I've managed to stump the "Pro's" with a fairly routine problem, at least 79 of you at last count. Not even one "Pro" had any idea. So I'll tell you the solution. I repositioned the flame sensor and now the problem is gone. There you have it! That wasn't so hard was it? Even and amateur like me was able to figure this one out.
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Old 12-04-2013, 08:51 PM
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Default

Try cleaning it as well. It is very simple. Just pull it out and rub it with some steel wool. These sensors produce micro amps and have very tight tolerances and while repositioning it may have worked for now in reality you probably only knocked some of the junk off. Cleaning this annually will ensure that it doesn't happen anymore
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