How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask servtech50 Your Own Question

servtech50
servtech50, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 322
Experience:  over 20 yrs. experience
18623841
Type Your HVAC Question Here...
servtech50 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

We have a Amana GCVA High Efficiency Gas Furnace that wont

Customer Question

We have a Amana GCVA High Efficiency Gas Furnace that won't fire up. I had a problem with this once before and was told to check the tubing going to the air switches for water. Water was in the tubing which I cleared out and the problem was resolved. Now it is basically doing the same thing - comes on periodically with the fan going, runs for a little while with no ignition, and then shuts off. I have once again checked the lines for water and they are dry - I checked the overflow reservoir on the left side of the furnace housing that these tubing's empty out to and it was bone dry also. I also filled this reservoir with water just to above the open ends of the overflow tubes that go/empty into it thinking that it may be necessary to provide a seal for the air switches to work properly. Where do I go from here?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Airheatman replied 1 year ago.

airheatman :

Hello. My name is XXXXX XXXXX do my best to assist you.ANSWERS ARE NOT ALWAYS ONE LINERS.PLEASE HIT THE REPLY BUTTON FOR FURTHER ASSISTANCE.


Have you checked both intake and exhaust vents to make sure no birds or dit dobbers have built nest and they are free and clear?


 


 

Expert:  Airheatman replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

What happens now?

If you haven’t already done so, please rate your answer above. Or, you can reply to me using the box below.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I checked the exhaust vent on the roof and found a small bees nest in it. I removed that but it did nothing to resolve the problem. By intake vent are you referring to the cold air return ducts that come in to the top of the furnace?


I also took off the top panel and checked the fuse that plugs into the circuit board and that is good. One more note for you that may help is that the light on the thermostat is always red and not green. I don't know if that means anything since the furnace is not operational, but I figured I may as well throw in as many facts as I know.

Expert:  Airheatman replied 1 year ago.
I would start by bypassing the thermostat. To do this, disconnect the wires at control board from thermostat.Then jump the R and W1 terminal and see if anything will come on.If furnace comes one, the problem is with the thermostat.If not,we will go from there.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

By 'control board' do you mean the circuit board that sits in the top portion of the furnace box that is visible when I take off that top panel - where the large blower fan is housed? The furnace does come on now, it just wont ignite and then shuts down again.

Expert:  Airheatman replied 1 year ago.

Ok. I was not aware that it was actually coming on. I see you mentioned it does periodically. Lets skip that step if the inducer motor is actually coming on with the thermostat. Lets start by turning power OFF to furnace and thermostat OFF. Then

power the furnace back up and call for heat on thermostat.Let me know exactly how far the furnace goes in this sequence( Inducer comes on, pressure switch closes, igniter light,burners light, then blower starts). At that point we should get a trouble code on the circuit board indicated by how many times the led flashes before pausing.Let me know the number of flashes.We will go from there to determine what is failing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I'm not sure how to tell if the inducer switch comes on or when the pressure switches close. But the lower fan starts up, runs for a while, and then everything just shuts back down. I am getting no ignition, no burners light, and the upper blower does not start up.


 


I get 8 red LED flashes of the furnace control board before a pause.

Expert:  Airheatman replied 1 year ago.

8 flashes indicates that there is a problem with the ignitor itself. It says one of the follow is the issue.Mis connected ignitor( Unplug the ignitor and plug back in making sure we have a good connection),bad ignitor( If you have the hot surface ignitor,look closely and make sure there is no burned place on the ignitor like in this picture)graphicor the last thing it mentions is a poor equipment ground(Make sure unit ground is good).

The only thing that bothers me is that the inducer motor should be starting as soon as the thermostat calls for heat. Check these things good . Next, try leaving power off to furnace for about 5 minutes to make sure circuit board resets and back on to verify the code.If you still get 8 flashes, there must be an issue with one of above items. Let me know

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Igniter


 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, that was my 1st attempt at sending a pic and apparently I didn't size it correctly. There was a lot of rust around the top of it where it mounted to the sheet metal so I sanded the rust off so there was a good metal to metal contact in case that had anything to do with grounding. All the other ground points seem to look good to me and this igniter looks the same as the last time I removed and looked at it back when it was working.

Expert:  Airheatman replied 1 year ago.

Personally at this point, I would probably call in a tech to verify the problem.It sounds as though you may have a defective computer board (IFC). If you have verified that the igniter circuit and igniter are fine, then the 8 flash code is a false code.(IFC board giving false code). Also the first thing that should take place is the inducer motor is not coming on and that is the first thing the board should do is send signal to the induced draft vent motor to come on.

The reason I recommend having it verified is the board is probably around 150 bucks.You can Google the part number on the board to locate one.I just hate making recommendation for replacing a part that expensive without being there to actually troubleshoot on site.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Tim, I think you are misunderstanding which motor I am saying comes on. If you are looking at the same Amana schematic as I have on the back of the manual then it is reversed from my furnace setup. When I say the lower fan starts up I believe this is probably what you are calling the inducer motor. If this is the motor in the same compartment with the air switches mounted all around it and the 4 gas jets and gas manifold just below it, then this would be the lower compartment on my furnace instead of the upper as shown on the Amana diagram.


And yes that motor does come on first thing. It runs long enough for the system to realize that there is no ignition and then shuts down. This is the same thing it was doing the last time I had a problem and found that there was water in the lines going to the air switches. I cleared the air lines, resolved the problem that was causing water to get into the lines, and it fired right up and ran great for about 4 or 5 months. While we have been working on this I have double and triple checked those lines for water and there is none.


How did that igniter in the pic look to you? Even when the furnace was working I have never seen this thing start to glow in any way - is it supposed to? Is that how this igniter works, or does it jump a spark to something I am not seeing back in there? It looked OK to me but I'm not the expert - and if it looks questionable then it seems that it would be a pretty cheap part to replace in order to rule it out.


And how about that thermostat, have we ruled it out. I have always wondered why the light on it was red even when the furnace was working.

Expert:  Airheatman replied 1 year ago.

The ignitor looks pretty rough .It should glow a bright orange and heat up before the gas valve will open.AS for the thermostat.I would need the model on the thermostat to know which stat you have so I can pull a manual on it.

The ignitor is only about 30 bucks.You can get the part number and Google it if you want to lets start there.The 8 flashes definitely states it is an issue with the ignitor.

And about the motor, I thought you were saying the main blower was coming on.If inducer fan vent motor is coming on, I highly suspect the ignitor needs to be replaced from looking at it and if it does not glow bright orange

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The thermostat is a TOTALINE Programmable Thermostat (P/N 0441). I will see if I can pick up a new igniter somewhere locally tomorrow and get back to you once I have installed the new one.

Expert:  Airheatman replied 1 year ago.
Sounds good. Look on the thermostat and see if there is a model number like P374-1100 or similar.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

That's the one - model # XXXXX

Expert:  Airheatman replied 1 year ago.
The little light appears to be supposed show Green in Cool mode and Red in Heat Mode.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Tim, sorry I didn't get back to you sooner. I had some work I had to get right on. I checked on the igniter and its going to run $80 - $90, so I am trying to positively determine as to whether or not that actually is the problem. One thing I did do was to unplug the igniter and plug the two leads from a voltmeter into the plug end that the igniter was plugged in to - I'm assuming that they come off of the circuit board. I then cycled on the furnace a couple of times to see if any juice was even being sent down to the igniter from the circuit board. I don't know if this would be enough to even light up the voltmeter or if I should have used an ohm meter or something instead. In any case I got nothing. So now I'm wondering if it might actually be the circuit board, or possibly even both. Would it work for me to plug a continuity tester on to the leads coming off of the igniter to see if it is good or bad? It seems that there should be a fairly simple way to test these two items.

Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I amCustomerand will try to assist you. I see Tim has opted out so I will try to assist. It sounds like you have a down flow furnace. The combustion blower (for burners) is at the bottom and the main blower for your home is at the top, correct? Now to find out if you need a new board or ignitor what you need to do is....... pull wires off pressure switch. keep apart. make a call for heat when lower combustion blower comes up to speed connect the two wires you took off pressure switch. hold together. after about 30 seconds the ignitor should start to glow and 15 seconds from there the gas valve should open and flame. If you were getting water into your pressure switches a year ago it could have rotted the diafram so the switch is not closing. Now if you bypass the pressure switch and the ignitor still does not glow and you measure 0.0 volts at line going to ignitor then the board is bad, not energizing the the ignitor. Do a ohm test on ignitor it should be between 70 and 100 ohms.Customer/p>

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Servtech50, Yes you are correct, it is a down flow furnace. I went out and bought a digital multimeter so I could do the tests you wanted, but when it comes to electrical I am a relative dunce so I am sending pic's of the te

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
View Full Image

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
sts I did. When I powered up the furnace the inducer (blower?) motor starts up and then almost immediately after that I get a reading of 7.3 volts on my multimeter as shown in the picture (assuming that I have the multimeter set correctly). Is that enough to get this igniter glowing? When I hook up to test the igniter I can't get a reading any higher than 8.96, unless I am testing it wrong this is nowhere near the 70 - 100 you mentioned I should get. Also, you mentioned disconnecting the wires to the air pressure switch and connecting them together to see if it may be the air pressure switch diaphragm that is rotted out - the problem is that I have 3 of those switches. Which one do I do that to, or do I have to do it to all 3 of them? Sorry for the long pauses between correspondence but I have been, and still am, sick and on top of that have been having to still work do to being under the gun on a job.

Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.
Nice pic........The problem with connecting that way is can't be for sure you are contacting the wire or clips inside the molex connector.. When I said 70 to 100 that was ohms not current. about 7o'clock on your meter is the ohm selector. I can not tell if the numbers preceding the ohm word is for testing different values of resistance. if so set to 200 ohms. take glow coil off molex connector so you have glow coil all by itself. test the glow coil for ohm reading. your meter will display 70 or higher or will display 'OL" or all 0's servtech50 By the way you do have meter in pic set up correctly for test volts
Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.
the inducer should run longer than 30 seconds before you would get a volt reading from the glow coil circuit. servtech50
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I jammed the probes into the molex connector and both probes are in there securely with a good contact with the metal ends that are pinched onto the ends of the wires entering the connector. It does not run for 30 seconds before I get a reading, I start getting a reading as soon as it kicks on, the motor runs for about 12 seconds and then it turns off and it reads 7.3 volts throughout that period.


I am attaching the pic of the test on the igniter. I get no reading except 1. on the 200 and 2K settings. I get a reading of 8.96 when I click it over to the 20K setting.

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
View Full Image

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.
Ok. if you set your ohms to 200 and touch your two meters ends together what do you get? Ok follow your thermostat wire to the control board. locate the "R" and "W" terminals. using a piece of wire or paper clip jump those two together. Or with your meter set to 200 vac make a call for heat and test "W" terminal to "C" terminal see if you loose the 24 volts you should read and not loose. servtech50
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I think there are some typos and I'm having a little trouble understanding the response. OK, I put a jump wire from terminal R to terminal W - that part I get. Now in the next part I'm thinking you are saying that I power it up and place one of my probes on the W terminal and the other probe on the C terminal, and when I do this I should get a reading of 24 volts? Or are you saying that I will get a reading of 24 volts and then possibly loose it when the inducer motor kicks on or something? Does it matter which color probe goes on which terminal, W or C,or does it not matter since it is alternating current?


Also, to answer your question, when I touch the probes together at the 200 ohm setting it goes slightly up in scale and then zero's out. So I'm assuming the meter is working correctly?


I have to go out for a bit but I'm going to also attach the pic

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
View Full Image

Attachments are only available to registered users.

Register Here
of the 3 air switches just in case this all ends up leading us there. The front 2 are piggy backed.

Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.
Yes your meter is working correctly. What I meant before was instead of jumping "R" to "W", use your thermostat to call for heat then from the bigging of the cycle test your "W" circuit. one probe on "W" and the other on "C" no does not matter which probe is on what. but usually the red goes to power ("W") and black goes to common ("C"). but if you ran the furnace with the R & W jumped did it stay running?
Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.
The 2 that are together are for your 2 stage gas valve telling the board that the ventor is operating properly and the one by itself actual supplies power to gas valve. If any of those do not work you would get a flashing code on control board. Are you getting any code(s)?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK, I turned on the power, held in the cover switch, held the black probe on C and the red probe on W1 (there is a W1 and a W2 terminal, but they are jumped together with a small copper wire so I don't think it made any difference), and then I called for power at the thermostat. When the inducer motor kicked on the meter went from 0 to 24.5V. The inducer motor runs for about 12 seconds and then shuts down, but I still have 24.5V on the meter - I'm assuming that this voltage will stay active at those terminals until the red light on the thermostat goes off. What I'm not understanding is why I have 24.5V at the terminals and only 7.3V at the molex connection down by the igniter. How many volts does it take to make the igniter work?


I have not jumped R & W terminals yet to see if the furnace still runs. I will do that next if you think it is still necessary.

Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.
no no need to jump R & W. is there any fault codes being flashed? and the glow coil should have 120 volts to energize. I am trying to understand why the combustion blower stops after only 12 seconds. That is hardly enough time to close the pressure switch. is there a model number for this furnace. I have to know why 12 seconds the blower turns off. check to see if there is a flashing code.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Model # GCVA090BX50 Amana High Efficiency Gas Furnace (2 stage variable speed). Yes, there is a flashing code - I get 8 red flashes on the red led light off center on the board (this is the one you would see through the clear plastic peep hole in the cover panel).


The green led at the corner of the board also flashes, but its a bit different. It starts off glowing dim and then brightens up and flashes either 8 or 9 times, then goes out, starts up dim again and cycles through the same thing again.

Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.
Sorry for such a long delay, my computer froze up last night heck of a time with it. flash code 8 is either control board or glow coil. So before just saying board I guess the best way would be to replace the glow coil. It was looking bad and if you have to set your meter to 20,000 ohms (k=1000) to check resistance then it is bad. Now not saying control isn't bad, that I am not sure. Like I mentioned before the 12 second ventor motor operation. I am not sure that is enough time to close the pressure switches, that is why you do not get 120 vac when checking the line going to the glow coil, the control had not tried to ignite coil. you can check. on pressure switch with the blue and red wires is the low fire pressure switch, remove the wires and check continuity through the switch. first check to make sure switch is open, then cycle furnace and try to check before ventor shuts down and see if switch closes and how soon after the ventor starts does switch close. if with in 5 to 8 seconds then maybe the board is reading high resistance in glow coil and shuts down. if switch does not close with in the ventor running for the 12 seconds then I think the board would be bad. But still I would replace the glow coil before condemning the board. servtech50
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry, I am having some real internet problems and am having to currently hotspot to my phone just to be able to get online. Long story short. I did the continuity test on the air switch and it is opening and closing. Also I get continuity immediately when the inducer/ventor motor starts up.

Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.
If the pressure switch is closing with in a reasonable amount of time then I would suggest replacing the glow coil. Now I have done this in the past and it will be totally up to you, but I have gone as far as connecting line voltage to the glow coil to make sure it is or is not good, before I would condemn a control board. It is only 120 vac. but that is totally up to you if you want to check glow coil in this manner. What I would do, well I had made a extension cord into a testing device. connected an alligator clip on each lead and would clip on to the glow coil ends to check for sure. just plug in. if it glows......board....if not new glow coil. servtech50
Expert:  servtech50 replied 1 year ago.
Hello, did you try what I suggest or did you just get a new glow coil? Let me know if I can be of further assistance. If we are finished please rate my assistance. servtech50

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
< Last | Next >
  • You did one super job of explaining to me everything there is to know about this fridge. I'm looking forward to asking you questions in the future. Jimmy Bagley, IA
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • gotoman for ac

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    4657
    51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/SE/ServiceTechRus/2012-6-7_2119_056.64x64.JPG gotoman for ac's Avatar

    gotoman for ac

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    4657
    51 years of experience install design and repair of all makes and models of AC
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/AL/alumalite/2012-5-10_234018_shutterstock506249951forJA500.64x64.jpg Phil's Avatar

    Phil

    Mechanical Engineer

    Satisfied Customers:

    3888
    Retired HVAC/ Electrical & Boiler contractor. Industrial
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/skibum0101/2008-12-16_015819_just_answer.jpg Rick Mather's Avatar

    Rick Mather

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    3132
    35 years experience, HVAC
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RY/Rygis20/2011-5-7_3143_DSC5324.64x64.JPG Matthew's Avatar

    Matthew

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    1994
    14 years experience in the HVAC field of service, installation, Manual J & D calculations
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KE/kentguidry/2011-9-26_214316_0059.64x64.jpg Kenton Guidry's Avatar

    Kenton Guidry

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    962
    12 years install/service experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/solarman1947/2009-12-13_223915_phpkKBcXq_c2PM.jpg Rick Ridley's Avatar

    Rick Ridley

    UK Heating Engineer

    Satisfied Customers:

    871
    Retired But have had 30 years on the tools, Ex CORGI
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/Ironheadfan/2009-12-18_222416_pump_005.jpg Tom's Avatar

    Tom

    HVAC Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    770
    16+yrs HVAC/R service. Residential Commerical Industrial