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Brian HVAC Guy
Brian HVAC Guy, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 948
Experience:  I have been an HVAC/R mechanic/technician for 30+ years.
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I have an issue with my honeywell zone system. The furnace

Customer Question

Customer: ***** *****. I have an issue with my honeywell zone system. The furnace was powering on and off and is not working. I called my home warranty and they don't cover these zone systems. I need to see if the issue is with the zone system or my furnace...
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: Basically, the heater isn't working. First noticed a problem when the furnace would turn on for about 10 seconds, then turn off. It would repeat this cycle every 10 seconds or so.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — JustAnswer charges a fee (generally around $18) to post your type of question to HVAC Experts (you only pay if satisfied). There are a couple customers ahead of you. Are you willing to wait a bit?
Customer: Yes
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: HVAC
Expert:  Brian HVAC Guy replied 1 year ago.

Hi I'm Brian and I"m here to help!

Can you give me the make and model numbers of both your furnace and your zone controller please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I don't know them and will need to check if I can open them up and find the #'s. I have a honeywell TotalZone 4 panel and what appears to be a "Comfort maker" "RPJ heat exchanger"
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The purge light in the zone panel is blinking amber/orange. I have green lights for Zones 1-4 (although I think we only have 2 zones running). We just moved into the house, so I don't know very much else about the furnace.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Furnace info: Model#: GUD100A020AIN, Serial #: RB91900180
Zone system: I don't see any model #'s... The only #'s I see are 32003618-010
Expert:  Brian HVAC Guy replied 1 year ago.

The purge LED flashing means either your supply air sensor had failed or if none is installed this is normal.

When you set one or more of the zones to heat and the setpoint well above room temperature, does the Heat LED light? Does it stay lit while the furnace goes through its cycling malfunction?

Expert:  Brian HVAC Guy replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for all the info. It helps me get on the same page as your installation! :)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Let me check
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
heat LED turned on when I set the thermostat to 76 degrees (well above current temp). Pilot is lit and I can see the flames. Furnace fan has not turned on yet.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Furnace turned on. Heat LED is still on, only zone 1 green light is lit, and purge LED still blinking.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Furnace is staying on without any problems right now... weird
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am turning off the furnace now to see if it will turn off and stay off
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I turned off the heat at the thermostat, the heat LED turned off on the zone system. Furnace just turned off as well. Purge light still blinking.
Expert:  Brian HVAC Guy replied 1 year ago.

Ok, thanks. That is all normal. The important thing to note is if the heat LED stays on if/when the furnace cycles quickly as you stated as the original issue. If you have a failed supply air sensor or there was never one installed (a very common thing), your purge light will always blink unless the system is actually in the 4 minute purge cycle. The blink is to alert a problem with the supply air sensor and there's no way to turn this off except to install a new supply air sensor. It's much simpler just to ignore the blink :)

It's possible this is an intermittent problem. It could be either but the LED will tell you. There is also a way to override the zone panel and run the heat manually by jumping RH to W1/E on the HVAC Equipment terminal strip with a small jumper wire. If the furnace runs wild with that jumper and never does the short cycling issue then the furnace is fine. However, if the furnace DOES do the short cycling issue while you have those two terminals jumped out then the problem is with your furnace.

The steps you just performed and wrote to me about show an absolutely normal operation. You will have to catch the system in the act and note which of the scenarios with the Heat LED does or how the furnace behaves when you jumper as I state above. If the zone control LED stays lit while the furnace does its short cycling malfunction or if the furnace short cycles while you have those two terminals jumped out, the problem is indeed in your furnace and you can be assured its covered by your home warranty company.

Thanks,

Brian

Expert:  Brian HVAC Guy replied 1 year ago.

Click Here

For a copy of the manual for your Zone Controller. It may help shed some light for you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My wife reminded me that the furnace started cycling when it approached the target temperature (64 degrees). When the temp was at 63, that's when it started turning off and on. Does that info help with the diagnosis? Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Brian HVAC Guy replied 1 year ago.

You're very welcome! And, that's hard to say. It's not a very common occurrence for a furnace to short cycle that way that quickly. Your GUD model furnace is a modern style furnace with an electronic control board. If there is a problem with it, it has a diagnostic LED that you should be able to see through and inspection hole in the blower panel door. If that LED starts blinking a code during the short cycling then that would point more toward a furnace issue as well. Together with the zone control, it becomes a difficult system to diagnose remotely beyond telling you how to distinguish which device is causing the trouble with the suggestions I gave above. For your added info Click Here for a copy of the GUD furnace manual that may also shed some light for you. The GUD model was marketed under several different brand names. The manual I link to is under the Amana name but should be the same furnace.

Thanks,

Brian

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Still trying to get the heater going consistently
Expert:  Brian HVAC Guy replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry for your continued furnace trouble. A gas furnace with a zone controller can be a tough nut to crack when it comes to an issue like this. Since the problem appears when your system is getting close to the desired temperature, it could be that the airflow of the furnace is being diminished by the zone dampers closing. This may in turn cause the furnaces high limit control to trip. If that were to happen, you should see a 4 flash code from the furnace's status led (not the zone controller's led's). It would flash 4 times then pause and repeat. Zone systems should have a bypass damper to ensure the the airflow through the furnace remains high enough for proper operation. This is my best educated guess on what may be happening. It's also possible you may have a weak limit switch on the furnace.

It looks to me like you're going to need the help of a tech on site to find the gremlin.

Thanks,

Brian