Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Rheem 90+ updraft furnace propane

dunlate
dunlate Member Posts: 5
Ok, to start off I have a rheem 90+ updraft unit model #RGRA-12ERAJS. My initial problem was that only the first two burner slots would ignite right by the igniter. I cleaned the ignitor and checked the board for error codes. Nothing helped. I called a service tech who came and pulled the orifices and said they were clogged and he drilled them out. Still no go. He then said I needed a new gas valve and lp conversion kit along with new orifices. His bid was $1100. With that as an incentive I decided to do some trouble shooting myself. First I checked the gas supply coming into the furnace and had zero propane coming in. A quick call to the propane company and they fixed the regulator. So the problem wasn't my furnace at all. I turned the furnace on and it lit right up. Problem solved, so I thought. The house smelled of flue gasses and my CO detector was alarming. My guess is that the tech drilled the orifices out and screwed them up. I checked the gas pressure at the valve and had 11.5 inches of water column at the inlet and 6.5 inches coming out. My question to you all is what size of orifice do I need at 7000' elevation and what should my discharge pressure be? Also with the orifices I have in it, the furnace shut off and the "ok" light is blinking 3 times. Thank you in advance.

Comments

  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,686
    You need to check with the manufacturer for the correct size orifices and manifold pressure for your altitude.

    WARNING: you have a dangerous situation with that furnace that needs to be corrected immediately. It could be life threatening.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    dunlateRobG
  • dunlate
    dunlate Member Posts: 5
    Ironman, thanks, I took the furnace out of commission until I can get the correct parts. Having a hard time finding information for propane.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,751
    Call Rheem directly if you have to with full Md. and Ser. #. I doubt they will sell you the parts but your gonna have to bite the bullet on this one. Tell them you just want the part numbers so you can verify that they are correct due to you last tech fail. Ironman is exactly right turn it off and buy space heaters ay best your gonna soot up that furnace or worse blow it up.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    The LP orifices are smaller than the natural gas ones, and the high altitude ones are even smaller. Drilling them out is not going to improve things. The LP conversion kit has a sheet in it with the correct orifice sizes for various altitudes.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Did the guy think he was converting it back to Nat. Gas in Boston where he got his experience (Sea Level)?

    The manual and conversion kits (if it needed to be converted) clearly states that the work MUST be performed by a "Qualified" service technician.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    @. ;)
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    LP Company's usually have really quality techs working for them. Like RobG said, they want to keep you as a customer. They want to sell you service and gas.
  • dunlate
    dunlate Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for all the advice. I didn't run the furnace after I discovered the CO coming from it after the tech troubleshot it. We also have a wood burner so it's not a matter of having no heat. I contacted the heating company that sent the tech, they said they would call back and haven't. I will try them again on Monday and see if they will make it right.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,686
    Make them install the proper orifices at their cost and set the manifold pressure as per manufacturers specs.
    Personally, I'd be very leary of using them again.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    dunlate
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Ironman said:

    Make them install the proper orifices at their cost and set the manifold pressure as per manufacturers specs.
    Personally, I'd be very leary of using them again.

    That's why I would go with the LP company, they understand about de-rating appliances and do conversions everyday. It doesn't sound like the "service" company has a clue. Drilling out orifices on gas burners? Cmon?
    dunlate
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    "" Drilling out orifices on gas burners? Cmon? ""

    Especially when the I/O manual gives you the correct orifice holes to have for whatever you need for your location.

    If it was Nat. Gas on the rating plate, and it is now LP, it had to have been converted. They have conversion kits to do it. In the kits are new rating plates for the modifications. If your I/O manual was left, read it.

    If you have a LP Kitchen Stove, it had to be converted from nat. Gas because they only come one way. Some guys will leave the old spuds there from the Nat Gas. You'd be shocked at the difference in size and how much bigger the Nat Gas ones are compared to the LPG.

    I doubt that the guy who drilled out the spuds has a career in gas service work.
  • dunlate
    dunlate Member Posts: 5
    He drilled them out because he said they were a little clogged. They didn't looked clogged to me. It appeared to me that originally the orifices were soldered over and drilled out to the correct size as the furnace ran fine before the "tech" messed with it. Was this a common practice? Soldering and drilling rather than getting the correct orifice? The furnace was originally a natural gas furnace and converted to lp, the gas valve has a sticker on it saying it had been converted.
  • dunlate
    dunlate Member Posts: 5
    I plan on making the company replacing the orifices and tune the valve per rheem specs. It surprised me that he didn't even check the gas pressure before determining the valve, ignitor, etc. needed replaced. I didn't realize he didn't until I decided to check myself.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Its not unusual to convert from Nat. Gas to LPG. It might be unusual to have soldered the holes and drilled them out.

    You usually look on the I/O manual, look for the correct size, and many of us have a set of "Finger Drills" to ream out the crud in the holes. I've never used a Finger Drill in my Bat Gun. I might use some beater finger type drills that they sell for all the handyperson drill sets, but never my good finger drills.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    dunlate said:

    He drilled them out because he said they were a little clogged.

    Unlikely.
    It appeared to me that originally the orifices were soldered over and drilled out to the correct size as the furnace ran fine before the "tech" messed with it. Was this a common practice? Soldering and drilling rather than getting the correct orifice?
    We still see that around here. It's never been in any manual I've seen.
    The furnace was originally a natural gas furnace and converted to lp, the gas valve has a sticker on it saying it had been converted.
    Presumably the installer drilled using the correct sized bit (or the closest thing he had) and made it work. The new guy saw the solder, assumed it was partially obstructing the orifice, and didn't know enough to use the right bit.
    dunlate
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    If it was Nat. Gas, the orifice's would have been substantially larger for Nat. Gas than LPG. If the stickers are on the plate saying it was converted, it had to have come from a conversion kit. The kit would have had the proper spuds in it.

    Is it common to solder over the holes like that? Using 50/50 solder, melting at 360 degrees, I could see reflected heat energy melting the solder and THAT might become interesting.

    "There's never enough time to do it right. But always time for someone else to do it over".
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    icesailor said:

    If the stickers are on the plate saying it was converted, it had to have come from a conversion kit. The kit would have had the proper spuds in it.

    For sea level.

  • Tim McElwain
    Tim McElwain Member Posts: 4,487
    It is not unusual for gas technicians who know what they are doing to solder natural gas orifices as they are too large for LP and then drill them to the correct size for proper input at the particular altitude. Another thing we gas guys do is "peen" over the orifices with a ball peen hammer as the brass for the spuds are soft brass and can easily be peened. Then you drill them from the back side. The tech who came has screwed things up so I would recommend the LP supplier be contacted to resolve the issue.

    Bottom line if the correct orifices are available then soldering and peening is not necessary. If that makes people nervous do it temporarily and then order the correct orifices.

    Gas ranges by the way typically have convertible regulators and coaxial orifices which can be adjusted all the way down for LP all the way out for natural gas. The only thing on the range that would be fixed orifice many times is the waist high broiler orifice.

    Watch out for equipment that says for LP only or for Natural Gas only, those can not be converted.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    I know that. I also know about soldering and peening, then drilling from the back. I was trying to be brief. Not always easy.

    I'm sure we agree. A bad thing was done by someone who either knew better and didn't give a RA, or a ignorant Hackaroo.

    "" Watch out for equipment that says for LP only or for Natural Gas only, those can not be converted. ""

    Seen that tried.

    Didn't work out well.