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Mark Henley
Mark Henley, Journeyman Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 3217
Experience:  UA Journeyman Pipefitter , HVAC, Refrigeration, DDC controls. 26 years.Commercial & residential
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I have a Trane furnace, 6 yrs old, XR80 . It short cycles some

Customer Question

I have a Trane furnace, 6 yrs old, XR80 . It short cycles some times and the indicator light says it is the high limit. I have replaced the high limit and it still does it. I had a technician turn down the gas valve and it still does it. I had a higher temperature high limit put in and 3 days later it does it again. I checked the temperature coming out of the vent and it is only 120 F and the high limit is a 165 F one now. What can be done to fix this intermittent problem?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

Here's a couple of ideas. The wires that connect to the limit switch can be faulty , a break or a bad connection in these wires at the connection to the board or the next device in line can make it look like a fault to the board when it really isn't. If you have a volt meter you can check this when the furnace goes into fault by disconnecting the wires on the limit switch and measuring the continuity across it. ya see the first thing you need to determine is if it is actually going out on fault or not , my hunch is that it is not.

 

Another scenario could be that it is going out on fault, if this is the case you probably have a problem with the heat exchanger and are not moving enough air between the cells where the limit device is located. This could be due to a plugged up cooling coil or some other obstruction like insulation falling into the furnace and blocking air flow through that exchanger.

 

In an extreme case your heat exchanger can have a hole in it, this however is not likely because you would experience other problems with it as well.

 

Those are the things to look for.

 

Thanks

 

Mark.

Mark Henley, Journeyman Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 3217
Experience: UA Journeyman Pipefitter , HVAC, Refrigeration, DDC controls. 26 years.Commercial & residential
Mark Henley and other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I am going to go home and check those things. I am at work right now.

Thanks,

Paul

Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

Let me know

 

Thanks

 

Mark.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
do I need to reinstall the insulation panels that are loose in the fan compartment. I just removed them for now. The furnace is in a hall closet, not a garage.
Paul
Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

The insulation in the blower compartment is for noise reduction only. So no you don't have to replace those. Was that the problem ?

 

Thanks

 

Mark.

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I removed them and turned the furnace back on and it works, but I won't really know if that solved the problem for a few days. It would only short cycle every few days, usually after it was on a set back schedule and running a lot to re-heat the house to a decent temp. If I have a further problem I will check back. Thanks for your help.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Mark,
My furnace came on this AM heated up the house most of the way and then went out on the high limit again. I got out the volt meter and set to Ohms and contacted the leads on the high limit and the reading was zero. The furnace was flashing 4 times which means high limit. What do you suggest?
Paul
Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

Does your meter show 0 for an open circuit or for continuity some are different. If you touch your leads together do they read 0 ? Probably reads 0 for no ohms no resistance which means the switch would have been closed and not actually tripped. Let me know,

 

Thanks

 

Mark.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Mark,

When I touch the tips together I get a zero reading. It is a Craftsman brand if that helps.

Paul

Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

OK, that means that the limit switch is not open when you are testing it. How much time do you think passes between the time you are measuring it and the time that it goes off on fault ?

 

Thanks

 

Mark.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Mark,

This AM it went off on fault and I got out of bed and checked it immediately. I would say a few minutes passed, maybe 10. I left the power on for the unit and unplugged the wires from the limit switch and tested it. As I said, the reading was zero. Yesterday I removed those insulation panels that had come loose, so that wasn't the problem (or at least not yet). When I was working on it in the past couple of weeks, I replaced the Ultra Allergen filters I had in there with a cheaper , less restrictive, pleated filter to try to increase air flow. Also, I backed off the gas valve to make it leaner and reduced the temp of the air coming out of the vent by 20F. It sounds like the limit switch isn't even bad? What could cause it to go out like that? It sometimes will work for a few days without tripping. After our conversation yesterday and removing the panels and tightening the clips on the connections, it tripped this morning after it was running for a while to heat up the house. It seems to happen after the unit has run a long while to heat the house and then on the next cycle or so after that, it trips.

Let me know your thoughts.

I am heading to my house now and will be there in 30 minutes so I can try whatever you suggest. Thanks again for your help.

Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

I think you have to look for a loose wire on the terminal board or on the limit switch circuit board. Other than that the board is just not reading its inputs properly.

 

Thanks

 

Mark.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am not seeing any loose wires anywhere that is visible. Where is the limit switch circuit board? Is it the big board inside the upper panel? There is nothing loose there that I can see. If it is not reading inputs properly, how do you fix that?
Paul
Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi ,

 

When you read the ohms on the limit switch that is the switch its just the wires that go to the circuit board. The limit switch looked something like this ? but you would have only seen the front of it. Let me know.

 

graphic

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I have already replaced that switch twice. The one in there now is a 165F one. I was testing the limit switch this AM without the wires attached that go to the board. Is that correct? I also just tested the continuity of those wires (the ends with the clips) and they test out fine too.
Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

Unfortunately it sounds like we are headed toward replacing the circuit board. If that switch is closed and the wires running from it to the control board are intact then its just the circuit board that is failing.

 

Thanks

 

Mark.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
What does that cost? Do I need a pro to do it or can I order one and put it in myself?
Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

Being a Trane unit it will be hard to get. You may want to have a pro do it.

 

Thanks

 

Mark

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
okay, thanks for your help.
Expert:  Mark Henley replied 5 years ago.

Hi,

 

No problem.

 

Thanks

 

Mark

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Mark Henley
Mark Henley
HVAC Technician
3217 Satisfied Customers
UA Journeyman Pipefitter , HVAC, Refrigeration, DDC controls. 26 years.Commercial & residential