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WOMAN NEEDS HELP-Forced Air Heating Challenge


Will you please help me? My forced air gas furnace will not blow hot air. The fan blows air and the furnace starts but no hot air. The A/C works fine by the way. I thought the pilot light might be out and called the Gas Co. to have it lit. Turns out it has an electric ignitior and a glow bar was recommended. Sounds great but I would prefer a second opinion, and if in fact you agree with the glow bar recommendation, would you please give me tips on how to find it so I can call the parts store and replace it so my kids and I can be warm and toasty when the cold weather hits. By the way, I can fix just about anything as long as I know what and where. Calling a tech is just not an option for me at this point. Thank you so much for your help!

P.S. I know this not major so I am definitely happy and grateful about that! :)


  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    Any repair on a gas appliance xan be extremely dangerous, even for an experienced technician. Nobody here should willingly give advice for this type of work. Sorry. You really need a professional with a big heart, and open mind.

    Where are you located?
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,467

    Most furnaces have a troubleshooting section in the owners manual. Some have lights or digital displays which indicate what the problem is. A bad ignitor is certainly a likely cause of you problem but there are several other equally likely causes. I would take some time to download the manual and see if it is something simple. As with many electronic devices. It never hurts to turn it off for a few minutes and restart it.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265

    As an aside, most codes require that the installation and service manuals be left with the equipment. It does not mean that the information is stored off site. It is supposed to mean that the information is left in the close vicinity of the appliance so that someone needing the information does not need to go to a computer and try to download information that may be wrong or not available.

    Be sure that the information that GMAN mentions is not readily available on the unit. There will be wiring diagrams on the inside of the front cover. Often, there will be troubleshooting guides there too. The missing information problem is so great in rental units with the information being thrown away by cleaners that know not what they are doing, that steps had to be taken.

    In fairness to you though, I have been doing this stuff for years. I am lost without the manufacturers information. And I know (usually) what I am doing. I can't imagine doing it successfully not knowing what I am doing and having no information. There comes a time in our lives when we must accept that we may be in over our heads, or that the time spent on something is unproductive and will cost us more to do than we could pay someone to fix.
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    edited September 2012
    Dear woman in need

    To repeat Jstars question, Where are you? Be rather specific. If there is a guy close by, it's very possible this guy wouldn't mind helping someone in need like yourself.

    Having A/C I'm guessing you're not in Alaska, so I'm out.

    Oh ya, You don't need to give a phone number. You can be contacted by clicking on your name. So check your e-mail often
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    Probably not an igniter!

    Electric ignition furnaces will cause the blower to run when one of the limits is open often times after the cooling season it is the auxiliary limit in the blower compartment that has tripped perhaps due to high return temps during the summer when it is over 100 outside. It has a little red button on it that can be pushed and if everything works after that you should be all set. If it keeps tripping try changing the filter. After that get a pro to look at it as there are other limits which may be open and those should be checked by a pro. I feel comfortable giving you this information as I am sure you get into that area to change your filters so you are familiar with it.
  • Please Help

    Hey fellas, thanks for quick replies. I am in Charlotte, NC the east side to be exact, in the innercity. Guys calling a tech is simply not an option for me that is why I joined this forum and posted this thread. I'm no cheapskate it's simply not an option at the moment. I changed the glowbar on my electric-gas oven and the ignition switch on my keep. How hard can this be? I just want to ensure a warm house for my children. I have been trying to find the name and model number to buy the part but that has been a challenge. I saw a diagram that said Honeywell and outside the unit it says Comfortmaker. Please help me. Thanks
  • More info

    I would like to add that this initially occurred (stopped blowing hot air) at the end of March. Hence this happened prior to the summer. It sounds like she really does want to start but she just can't. In the past I have been able to hear when she ignites and starts blowing hot air. Now that element is missing. Also where exactly is the auxillary limit? Would it be worth it to post a picture of the unit. It's in the crawl space.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    The limit is located

    in the blower compartment.

    Do you know how to do electrical troubleshooting with a multi-meter?

    You say the gas company told you it needed an igniter how did they determine that?

    If you are going to take pictures then take them of the inside of the unit and the electronic control in the blower compartment and I will try and help you.

    Does the electronic board in the blower compartment have any flashing lights on the board?

    On the plate inside the burner compartment there is information on a plate I need the Make, Model and Serial number of the unit.
  • Make Model Serial...

    I don't know how to use a multimeter tester but I can buy one and learn. Also tomorrow afternoon I can take the pictures and post them. I went under the house on Thursday and I saw 2 compartments (note: I changed the filter Oct. of last year). The one on the left has a diagram on he inside panel and wires, I looked for the igniter location but didn't see it. The compartment on the right had... can't identify the parts, but I do know the reset switch was there.

    There seems to be so many numbers, how do I identify the make, model and serial numbers. No blinking lights.

    Hey thanks so much for your help.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    There will be a plate

    somewhere on the unit and it will give the name of the manufacturer,the model number and serial number.

    Lets wait for pictures before you buy a meter.

    Was it a reset switch or just the blower door switch a picture will help.
  • Got it

    Its a Comfortmaker, model#GNJ0758N12D1, serial#L971843599. I'm working on the pictures.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    If my notes are

    correct that furnace has a SmartValve system. Look inside the area with the flame and see if there is a small glow at the pilot when it is first called to come on. That is the igniter that lights the pilot if it glows then it should light the pilot which in turn lights the burners. If it does not glow I would suspect as the gas company told you the igniter for the pilot need replaced. That is a job for a pro as it requires taking the unit apart and I would not suggest a homeowner tackling that.

    Thanks Ted. Hey sorry I was slow to reply, couldn't connect. Again hiring a pro is not an option. Seriously, I can do this! I just nee a talk/walk through if you have the time. I'm not sure where the flame would be is it in the first picture?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    The name is Tim not Ted

    Go to the gas valve and on top of the valve there is a plug with two blue wires and a space and then a balck wire. Pull the plug and take a multi-meter and test the gas valve where the two blue wires plugged in do you have 24 volts?
  • don_9
    don_9 Member Posts: 395

    Maybe someone should loan her a draft guage and combusition tester too so she can check the rest of her system as well.

    Lady so you are saying its not an option to keep you and your family safe? the price people are willing to pay to save a dollar.so scary.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    Lady I am still here

    to try and help you. We just want to make sure no one gets hurt so once again it would be better if you found a professional to try and help you. That would be the best thing as they can be right there and see quickly what the problem is. I will still try and help you if hiring a pro is not financially possible.

    Everyone please allow me to help this lady without making her situation more difficult.
  • I'm Back...

    Tim, sorry for the name error. I know that you are insisting that I need a pro but I'm not working right now Tim and God has been providing for me and an my two kids day by day. Some days are better then others and for that I am grateful to God.

    I just had to step away from the negativity for a moment since my situation is misunderstood.

    My Repair History:

    Replaced oven glowbar

    Car transmission gasket and filter (met a mechanic who helped me some with this)

    Flushed and filled the radiator

    Ignition switch

    Replaced headliner

    Replaced Valve Cover Gasket

    Replace Heater Valve

    Replaced rearend differential

    During this time, God has given me skills I never knew I had. God will make a way. In the meantime, if you can direct me that would be awesome. If I didn't think I could do this, I wouldn't attempt it. Believe it or not some beautiful women are very handy.

    Were the pictures I posted helpful? Please help me to identify parts through the pictures. Also, what I need to purchase is a multi-tester, correct?

    Thanks, and Queen is the name. My real name, Queen Smalls.
  • Forgot to mention...

    The guy from the gas company was really nice. I told him what was going on because I thought that he could light the pilot. At least at the time I didn't know I had an electric igniter. He told me to turn on the furnace while he was under the house, then he had me put the switch on the fan. He said while it was under the unit turned on and was operating fine but would not light up. He said it was the igniter.

    I thought that myself before he even said anything. In my gut I know that's what it is. Where is it located?
  • Forgot to mention...

    The guy from the gas company was really nice. I told him what was going on because I thought that he could light the pilot. At least at the time I didn't know I had an electric igniter. He told me to turn on the furnace while he was under the house, then he had me put the switch on the fan. He said while it was under the unit turned on and was operating fine but would not light up. He said it was the igniter.

    I thought that myself before he even said anything. In my gut I know that's what it is. Where is it located?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    Well Queen I thought the only queen I knew was my wife, Oh well.

    You are surely putting your trust in the right place God is our only hope when things go wrong and I know he will make a way through for you. In addition to my gas talents I am also an ordained Pentecostal minister. That being said I assume you are a church attending women. If so can't the church help you out? When I was pastoring a church (seventeen years) we had a benevolent fund to help folks out. Why not try that or ask one of the men at the church who are handy to help you out.

    To answer your question about the igniter it is located at the end of the small tubing coming out of the gas valve it is a combination igniter/sensor and is very fragile. There are two blue wires and a single black wire running to it and it plugs into the top of the gas valve. There is a small clip which holds the igniter/sensor in the pilot, that will have to be removed and a new igniter sensor installed. This is a little tricky and you do not want to break the new igniter/sensor or you will have to get another one. If and when you are ready to tackle this I will give you a part number for the igniter sensor.
  • Just about ready...

    Wow a Minister, that's great to hear! GOD is brilliant! He sent the perfect guy to help us! I am not from Charlotte, NC. Originally from NYC. I have been a member of my church for almost a year but I don't really know many people since it's a mega church. So, I will do a fine job of changing this igniter. My children are 4 and 17. My 17 year old takes computers apart and puts them back together, he's been my apprentice on other projects so he can help with this one too!

    Here are some more pictures.You gave me some good instructions but I just want to verify that this is the igniter sensor. It has a little clip at the bottom of it, right? I know the last picture is blurry, I was rushing because my daughter was crying.
  • Not sure

    why I am unable to attach the pictures. I will try again tomorrow.

    Finally able to upload these pictures.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    The plug on top of the gas valve with the two

    blue wires and a third wire usually black is the harness for the igniter/sensor. Follow those wires to the pilot. Remove the pilot and then take the clip holding the igniter/sensor off the pilot. This will allow the igniter/sensor to be removed from the pilot. That is what you will need to replace. Be careful as the igniter is fragile and will break easily. Make sure the power is off while doing this. Once you get it out show me a photo and then I will give you the part number.
  • Will do that...

    ...at some point tomorrow.
  • VictoriaEnergy
    VictoriaEnergy Member Posts: 126

    The induce motor could be seized,  This is the little fan unit on the right hand side that forces the exhaust out of the furnace.  There is a gap between the fan motor and the inducer housing.  You will see in there the little blades of the cooling fan for the motor.  Take a small screwdriver and VERY very gently push a fan blade and see if it rotates freely.  Let us know.

    I noticed the flexible gas pipe is resting on the top of the furnace cabinet, support it above the furnace so the vibrating furnace isn't chaffing it.

    The flame roll out switch is on the bottom of the burner. I'm wondering if this furnace is intended for horizontal-left installation only, or an up-flow model..?...?.  Does anyone on this board have any old Comfortmaker info??
    Home Owners Please Note:

    You are receiving advice from some very skilled pros completely free of charge. One of the reasons I participate is to sharpen my own troubleshooting skills. So; did we get it right? I would be grateful if you extend this courtesy back by posting the final outcome of the issue you are inquiring about. Thanks
  • Tim, I just came from under the house and I followed the...

    ...2 blue wires and the 1 black at the opposite end of the wiring. I tried to pulled them out but they won't budge. Now, there is there is this metal guard securing or covering them and I am assuming need to unscrew and remove this guard but I wanted to check with you first.

    Just to clarify I need to remove the plug at the oppposite end of the wiring and then remove the plug at the top of the valve to release the chip (sensor)?

    Here's a picture of what I'm referring to:
  • I'm having trouble with the pictures again I will try again...

    ...a little later.
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    You will have to

    unplug the connection at the gas valve then remove the pilot and pull the clip securing the igniter/sensor to get it out.
  • I thought I needed to pull the wires

    out from the opposite end. I know where the gas valve is and I know where the clip and the wires are located but I'm not sure about the the pilot. Does it look like a  small really flat gray square? Is it in between the area where I pull out the plug?
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,469
    No Yanking

    Follow the wires, and if you don't know how to access where they disappear, post a photo and Tim will direct you. Take your time.
  • Does anyone know

    why I can't get my pictures to post? Has anyone else had this challenge on this forum. Thanks.
  • Here are

    the pictures
  • This is the metal housing I was talking about

    do I need to remove it to get to detach the wires?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    You have found the pilot

    it is attached with a screw to the bracket it will have to be removed. You will also have to disconnect with a small adjustable wrench the shiny tubing going to the pilot. Once that is done there is a clip which holds the piece with the two blue wires and the black wire. Remove the clip and be careful not to lose it as you will need it when replacing the new igniter.

    The part number for the igniter/sensor is Honeywell Q3400A-1024 it can be purchased at most plumbing/heating supply stores such as F.W. Webb, Johnstone Supply, R.E. Michel, Sid Harvey etc.

    Keep in mind this is all based on what the gas company told you was wrong, we really do not know if that is the real problem.
  • Ok Tim, thank you. It will be just fine now. I will take more pictures once

    I take it apart tomorrow. So happy!
  • Hey Tim, I haven't been able to go under the house

    ...because of the rainy weather but I have been calling around for the part at the stores you listed as well as some other part stores here in Charlotte that I am familiar with. Unfortunately, I need to be a wholesaler to purchase from them. However, I googled the part number and this is what I came up with:

    Honeywell Q3400A1024 30-Inch Igniter Flame Rod Assembly

    Would this be it?
  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,593
    Yes that is it

    I hope you are able to get the part somehow.
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Hi Tim

    If I can recall, wasn't there a problem with the Smart Valve pre 2004 0r something l.ike that.  The molex plug was the problem and before you remove that pilot, grasp the 4 wire (molex plug) this is at the gas valve and next to the 2 blue and 1 black wire molex.  While calling for heat, move the plug in a circular kind of motion.  What I am trying to see is if the valve needs to be replaced.  Basically jiggle the plug to see if it will catch and initiate the call for heat.  If it lights,.... That valve needs to be replaced.


    Mike T.
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    Your picture.

    I can finally put a face to your name Tim........

    Mike T.
This discussion has been closed.