Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition

Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition
Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition - This is one of many questions we get by email.

Lighting a Pilot that is Electronic Ignition Comment: Thank you for your interesting discussion of pilot lights vs. electronic ignition. I may have to replace my gas water heater soon and am weighing the options. Although I understand that electronic ignition is more efficient, I worry about not having hot water during a power outage. A number of years ago we had an ice storm and the power was out for almost a week. My gas water heater still worked as did my gas stove, and that really made a big difference. That happened when the temperature outside was in the 20’s (F). Is there any way to light a water heater with electronic ignition by hand? Or is it completely dependent on electricity? Thanks for any information you can provide. (more…)

Gas Manifolds | Furnace Components

Gas Furnace Components 2

90 Plus Furnace

Gas Manifolds - Furnace gas manifolds connect the valve with the main burners and it is important that the proper pressure be present inside the manifold for proper combustion. Manifold pressure is different from natural gas to liquid propane. Furthermore, this pressure needs to be set with a special instrument which the HVAC installer or HVAC start-up technician should have.

The manifold pressure should be set according to the furnace manufacturer’s instructions. This is done by an adjustment on the regulator and valve as noted in the valve section (see gas furnace components). The setting will depend on the type of fuel, natural gas or LP, and the manufacturers instructions.
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Gas Furnace Troubleshooting and Repair – Flash Codes

flash codes for gas furnacesGas Furnace Troubleshooting and Repair - Flash Codes - In the extreme cold weather there is nothing worse than losing your heating system. Here are some basic tips to checking basic things for the average person to hopefully make a quick fix. A quick fix so you do not have to suffer until an HVAC repairman comes.
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How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter

What you will learn from How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter article:

 

  1. How not to guess if the thermocouple is bad
  2. Step by step procedure for testing a thermocouple with a multimeter
  3. What reading you should get if the thermocouple is good
  4. Lots of resource and related links to help you learn more

How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter? So you have found the pilot light will not stay lit when you try to light the pilot light. You know you have gas and everything seems to be fine so what is the problem?

How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter

You ask a friend and the friend tells you the thermocouple is bad.

So how do you test the thermocouple to see if it is bad or not? You will need a multi-meter that will read millivolts (most meters read small voltage like millivolts which is 1/1000th of a volt) and a source of fire such as a lighter or small torch. How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter step by step:

How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter

Thermocouple fits securely in the pilot burner (pictured above)

  1. Remove the thermocouple.
  2. Turn on the meter and set it to Ohms. Touch the two leads together from the meter and you should get a reading close to zero. With the leads apart you will read infinity. This is simply a test to check the meter for continuity. NOW TURN THE METER TO VOLTS.
  3. Start the flame and put the tip of the thermocouple in the fire.
  4. Ensuring the tip is nice and hot from the flame take one lead from the meter and put it on the shaft of the thermocouple and the other lead and put on the end of the thermocouple where it makes contact with the gas valve.
  5. If the reading is less than 25 millivolts replace the thermocouple as most standing pilot gas valves need 25 or more millivolts to keep the pilot flame lit.

How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter

If you test the thermocouple with the multimeter and you get a reading above 25 then you have another issue. Always make sure the tip of the thermocouple is directly in the pilot flame. If the tip is in the flame, you have held the nob on the gas valve down for longer than a minute, the pilot flame is strong and steady, and the pilot still does not stay lit then you likely have a problem with the gas valve. Gas valves can not be repaired as per any manufacturer and need to be replaced. Good luck!

Use our handy calculator to see how many BTU's your natural gas appliances are producing:

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How to Test a Thermocouple with a Multi-Meter

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Trane Gas Furnace Efficiency Factors & Fuel Purity

Trane Gas Furnace Efficiency FactorsTrane Gas Furnace Efficiency Factors – This is a Trane gas furnace. It is also called a Trane 90 plus gas furnace because it offers efficiency levels up to 90 percent plus AFUE (rating). Gas or oil furnaces generally cannot achieve efficiency at 100% because of impurities in the fuel including moisture. This is the reason why no fossil fuel furnace sold has a rating of up to 100%. This biggest impurity in many fuels is moisture which is difficult to remove because it is in the distribution and storage places where the fuel is distributed and stored. If these impurities were removed from the fuels before they were introduced to the furnace the cost of the fuel would be much higher and the cost to benefit ratio would not be effective. (more…)

Gas Furnace Heat Exchanger Failure | Heating and Cooling

Gas Furnace Heat Exchanger Failure - Dangerous Cracked Heat Exchangers in Furnaces

You can see the rust holes up near the sheet metal plates in this heat exchanger. This exchanger made the occupants sick.

Gas Furnace Heat Exchanger Failure - Richard, a technician just departed my house after looking at my gas furnace. My mom thought she smelled something so we called the furnace company we usually call when we need furnace maintenance to check it out.  He told us our heat exchanger in our furnace failed. I asked him how much it would cost to fix and he told me his service manager would call me with a price. I just got off the phone with the service manager and he said the furnace is still under warranty but we would have to pay for labor.
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How a Gas Furnace Works

How a Gas Furnace Works How a Gas Furnace Works . Richard, Can you please explain to me in basic terms how a gas furnace works? I have a standing pilot gas furnace if that helps you better. This question is closely related to my article on the Gas Furnace Sequence of Operation. Each type of gas furnace works differently. Therefore, the sequence of operation or how the gas furnace works will work differently for each gas furnace type. Since you have a standing pilot gas furnace it will work differently from an electronic ignition gas furnace.
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Gas Furnace Troubleshooting Techniques | HVAC Heating Repair

Gas Furnace Troubleshooting Techniques

Electronic Control Board for an Electronic Ignition Furnace

Gas Furnace Troubleshooting Techniques . Electronic ignition for gas furnaces are the modern way for furnaces to light the main burners. Furnace technology has evolved from the standing pilot gas ignition systems. These furnaces continue to be used today however there are less standing pilot furnaces used today than yesterday.  When troubleshooting a system it is important to know which type of ignition system the furnace uses. (more…)

Dangerous Cracked Heat Exchangers in Furnaces | Heating Safety

Dangerous Cracked Heat Exchangers in Furnaces

You can see the rust holes up near the sheet metal plates in this heat exchanger

Dangerous Cracked Heat Exchangers in Furnaces . Everyone wants heat when old man winter arrives in the fall. Many times we take it for granted. When the temperature falls all we have to do is go to the thermostat and turn the heat on. Usually, this is not a problem. We turn the thermostat on and the heat comes on. When we first turn the furnace on we have a slight burning odor which comes from the system. (more…)

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