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Old 09-17-2007, 07:24 AM   #1
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Furnace - Burner troubleshooting

1974, original furnace. Manual Light. The burner stays partially lit with the pilot on. This causes the furnace to cycle every 10 minutes or so due to combustion chamber temps.
New Regulator, full propane tank. All other gas appliances work with no issues.
Suspect a bad diaphragm in the inlet valve?
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:52 AM   #2
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New Furnace?

I sort of feel stupid for suggesting it, as I know you've got a lot more experience restoring than I have, but have you considered replacing it?

A 34 year old furnace has probably served it's useful life some time ago, and the burner chamber probably has some thin spots from corrosion on the inside which you can't see.

I put a new NT 30 in my '73 Sovereign (and '72 Overlander) and it wasn't too difficult (as obviously you know) and the peace of mind is worth it all. It automatically lights when you move the thermostat (pretty cool compared to the original).

I mean, it's not like you couldn't make the original operational, but why waste your time, effort, and $$ when you'll still have a 34 year old furnace?
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:19 AM   #3
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When the furnace cycles on, does the stove level drop? I had a similar issue when I upgraded to the new style tanks. The hose nipple didn't fully push open the valve in the new tank. It was enough to light but after a minute it acted like a Freon orifice and froze up. By the time I got to the tank it had defrosted and the heater would relight. The only way I figured it out was when I noticed it would only do it on one of the tanks, the other was fine.
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:24 AM   #4
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HW heater and stove show no signs of loss of fuel with he furnace on. Good point tho, I will look at that again.

I have not as of yet pulled the panel off to see more of the area in there. From what I can see the chamber looks to be in very good shape. I just hate swapping out an entire unit if the solenoids valve is the only thing that needs to be rebuilt.

However I do have a new furnace web site book marked in my favorites if I decide to swap it out
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Old 09-17-2007, 08:46 AM   #5
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My vote is the solenoid valve , could be depris caught in it or just faulty . For safety reasons it must shut down completely ( which you already know ) . Might have a used one if you'ld like to try it , let me know .
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Old 09-17-2007, 09:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ticki2
My vote is the solenoid valve , could be depris caught in it or just faulty . For safety reasons it must shut down completely ( which you already know ) . Might have a used one if you'ld like to try it , let me know .
Can you bring it this wekend, I'll bring some seal for the bottom of your door
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:10 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
HW heater and stove show no signs of loss of fuel with he furnace on. Good point tho, I will look at that again.

I have not as of yet pulled the panel off to see more of the area in there. From what I can see the chamber looks to be in very good shape. I just hate swapping out an entire unit if the solenoids valve is the only thing that needs to be rebuilt.

However I do have a new furnace web site book marked in my favorites if I decide to swap it out
Sounds like a gas supply problem to me. Either the solenoids are no longer opening the valves sufficiently to provide the required flow of LP, you have a blockage in the valves themselves, you have a blockage in the brass orifice that controls the flow of LP to the burner tube, or the internal regulator in the gas valve is not properly set. It should read 11" water guage with a manometer.

The last suggestion happens very frequently, but I would definitely check all of the above if saving your vintage furnace is your priority. Have fun!
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Old 09-17-2007, 03:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
Can you bring it this wekend, I'll bring some seal for the bottom of your door
Will do .
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:36 AM   #9
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Still on the fence for the Repair vrs Replace.

Thanks for the part Tiki2

Are the new styles, auto igniting, a direct wiring replacement from one with a manual light?
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balrgn
Still on the fence for the Repair vrs Replace.

Thanks for the part Tiki2

Are the new styles, auto igniting, a direct wiring replacement from one with a manual light?
The DSI ignition furnaces need 4 wires: 2 thermostat (which you have now) and a +12VDC and -12VDC. Power to the igniter board is supplied by the 12VDC (which you need on any furnace) which in turn controls the blower, ignition and the gas valve. The t/stat is the on/off control.

It should just wire right in!
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Old 09-24-2007, 11:46 AM   #11
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Lew,
I appreciate your helpful posts such as this. You always seem willing to lend assistance without the "attitude" that we sometimes see elsewhere.
Thanks!
Dave
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Old 09-24-2007, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Lew,
I appreciate your helpful posts such as this. You always seem willing to lend assistance without the "attitude" that we sometimes see elsewhere.
Thanks!
Dave
Me TOO!

New one on order, the more I thought about it the safer it is to just go new.

I'll keep ya posted on the install
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Old 09-24-2007, 09:23 PM   #13
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Don't be a hero, just go ahead and replace it. (You'll be so glad you did!)
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Old 09-24-2007, 10:37 PM   #14
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Your furnace other than not having a circuit board has the same basic parts as newer furnaces. The parts are limited but the permutations of possible combinations responsible for the problem are geometrically progressive (and could croak you) including: dirt, mud daubers in combustion chamber, leaks in the combustion chamber, thermocouple, anti sail switch, and time limit switch (not an inclusive list).

You will also have a lot of trouble finding anyone to work on them, both because most techs don't know about the oldies and if they do are prohibited by their liability policies. If you do find someone, a lot of parts are difficult if not impossible to find.

I fiddled with mine for a while and gave up and got a new one. It was an educational experience, I'm glad I did, and I know a lot more about what makes a furnace tick. But, I could have save a lot of time by not messing with it, biting the bullet and replacing it.
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