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HVAC School - For Techs, By Techs

Dec 20, 2019

In this live podcast episode from the Castbox app, we have four techs join us to talk about common furnace issues and best practices.

Those of us in heat-pump-dominant markets rarely have to worry about common furnace issues related to gas pressure and flow. In that same vein, we also don't have to worry about clocking the gas meter, which is a common practice on gas furnaces. Checking input and performing combustion analysis is critical to the diagnostic process AND can give you an idea of the unit's safety. There is no reason NOT to do combustion analysis when commissioning a furnace.

Furnaces also have electrical components with flashing error codes. You must be careful when interpreting those codes, as multiple issues could show up under one code. (Compare it to going out on high pressure; that error doesn't necessarily indicate a pressure switch issue and could entail other problems.) Common codes deal with the flame sensor, but flame sensor failure is rare; the issue could come down to simple maintenance. When cleaning parts, the most important thing to do is make sure the carbon and debris come off; you don't have to overthink the cleaning material.

Cracked heat exchangers are common issues that can present unsafe conditions, though they won't always have CO problems. If there is an issue with a cracked heat exchanger, the technician usually CANNOT turn off the system at the gas. (We usually CAN shut off the power at the switch, though.) Only the gas company can typically shut off the gas.

We also discuss:

  • Restrictions at ports
  • Adjustments for altitude
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Proper drain line
  • Clocking the gas meter in commercial settings
  • Gas pool heater problems
  • Parts that commonly need cleaning
  • Steel wool vs. sand cloth
  • High limit codes
  • Clogged burner wings
  • CO-monitoring
  • Venting issues and negative pressurization
  • Intake/exhaust pipe issues
  • Power passing vs. consuming

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

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