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Phil
Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 5683
Experience:  Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
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Our Trane XR90 pilot light goes out and then blows cold air.

Customer Question

Our Trane XR90 pilot light goes out and then blows cold air. This happens frequently and has occurred on and off over the last 2 years. The company who installed the furnace about 4 years ago says there is not enough air flow and wants to add a "Y" tube to allow for better flow to the pilot light. All the filters are clean and according to the contractor referenced above, the "Y" tube will fix our problem. We have to pay his labor costs, but parts are paid for by warranty. Is this a common problem with this model Trane furnace and is this Trane's recommended fix?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Phil replied 3 years ago.

Phil :

Hi,This is risky business in the blind, not responsible for damages on your end. Click 'accept' when satisfied.. or we can get another expert

Customer :

Hi Phil.

Phil :

The Y tube is a 50 cent piece of sheet metal about the size of your thumb. that allows for the pilot flame to split and blow onto the flame sensor from one direction and over the main burners so it can ignite them in the other direction. The Y tube as very little to do with air mixing with the burner gas. these are simple parts common to virtually all pilot lites and have long since been refined.

Customer :

Any suggestions on why this is happening with our furnace? I have seen others reporting similar problems on line. We want to make the right repairs and avoid continuing problems.

Customer :

A contractor suggested and would install the y tube. Could we put in electronic ignition instead or some other method to make our pilot work?

Phil :

the problem is more likely that the flame sensor is not directly in the path of the pilot flame, in which can you just bend the Y tube a bit or the flame sensor... OR... the tiny micro orifice in the body of the pilot lite is a bit clogged... if thats the case the flame will be weak... OR. the primary gas pressure regulator is set a bit low and the pilot is not getting enough gas.

Phil :

Inspect that and get back to me..I'll wait a bit. Phil

Phil :

What sort of ignition does the furnace have now (the model number didnt check)

Customer :

We have a contractor working on the furnace. He has recommended the y tube, but we have not agreed to it yet and he is not at the house at the moment. I am at my office now and am not at home to check this myself.

Phil :

In 48 years in this business Ive never seen a y tube replaced..

Customer :

Not sure of the ignition type. That is the information I took off the furnace. Maybe I wrote it down wrong. It is definately a Trane XR90

Phil :

that doesnt mean its not necessary.. odds are slim though

Customer :

There is no Y tube at the moment. The furnace is only 4 years old

Phil :

I would put a hold on the repairs if possible. and tell me how much money the guy wants

Phil :

This is probably a very minor problem

Customer :

He charges us labor only and is the contractor who originally installed the furnace

Phil :

How much is his total estimate?

Phil :

Im leery of this

Customer :

I am not much help. My wife has been dealing with him and gave me the information to call Trane. I stumbled upon you guys online while researching the problem and thought I would give you a try

Customer :

The filters are clean and it seems to work fine when the cover is off. When we put the cover on it won't ignite and then blows cold air

Phil :

A y tube typically is part of a entire pilot lite assembly.. 15 dollars or so for the entire pilot .. Y tube if you could buy it separate 38 cents. or less, maybe 2 cents

Customer :

Thank you for the pricing information

Phil :

Thats another issue, not related to the pilot that ive ever seen at least

Customer :

The way I understand it was explained is that the pilot is not getting enough oxygen when the cover is on and goes out

Phil :

I might be wrong on the Y tube price.. it could be 52 cents for all I know.

Phil :

The filter / blower access cover has nothing to do with the pilot

Customer :

OK....so you think it's not getting gas??

Phil :

it does have a door switch though that will keep the ignition off if its not making contact correctly.

Customer :

It works sometimes, but not always

Phil :

It could be anything.. we check these gas flow issues visually and go from there.

Customer :

So, should we check the door cover and gas flow and not worry so much about installing a y tube?

Phil :

weak flame on the flame sensor will make it erratic.. the cause of that has nothing to do with any of the units covers though. Like a flat tire on a car..it doesnt affect how the radio works if if the paint peels or not

Phil :

Yes, odds its a Y tube issue approach zero.

Phil :

thats a first for me..and Ive been around since Custer got a haircut at little big horn

Customer :

OK. Any other thoughts? I doubt you are old enough to know Custer! :)

Phil :

I am very very old..

Phil :

I have to use a stool to get on my flat tracker.

Customer :

Well, I appreciate your experience and help with this issue. We will check the door latch and clean the ignition line as well as check to make sure the gas line is aligned with the igniter.

Phil :

Put the guy off, look the flame over and contact me before night fall, and I will be here to pick it up again with you.. unless our servers have bugs.

Phil :

Its the pilot FLAME that needs to be blowing firm and hard onto the FLAME sensor rod.

Phil :

Nothing needs to be cleaned.

Customer :

I will give it a shot, thank you. It may be late by the time I am able to get to the furnace though.

Phil :

it is the Y tube piece of tin that directs the pilot flame onto the sensor.. it is easly bent, but thats not usually necessary.

Phil :

Im up late west coast time

Phil :

When do you expect to get back on line, west coast time?

Phil :

The Y tube is not actually a 'tube'.. its an open sided piece of tin, bent into a Y shape

Customer :

I try to get back to you before 6:00 PM west coast time.

Phil :

that works just fine.

Phil :

I will keep you in mind.. by the way how much the guy was attempting to charge for a fix will tell me a lot about his credibility etc. If he wanted $100 bucks hed be a good man probably.. even 200 would be out of the rip off range. over a few hundred dollars it begins to mark him poorly.

Phil :

Ive seen some try to get thousands for such repairs.

Customer :

Phil, i wasn't able to look tonight. thank you so much and best wishes.

Phil, Mechanical Engineer
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 5683
Experience: Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
Phil and other HVAC Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Phil replied 3 years ago.

Stay in touch regardless your accept, and thanks for that. I will pick it up regardless until we trace the problem out, Phil

 

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