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Furnace won’t start when powered by generator.

Jeanf
Jeanf Member Posts: 1
edited October 2022 in Gas Heating
I have a York Propane furnace. Runs perfectly when powered by the grid. Will not start when powered by generator. I adjusted the generator to 120V 60HZ to no better result. Generator oscillates between 59.9 to 60.1. Is that enough to cause the problem?

Comments

  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 669
    I think your Hz is fine. I think the problem is your igniter requires a different type of neutral - ground bonding than your generator is currently set up for. Not hard to change, but lets think this through.
    Are you currently without heat? I remember a thread from a couple years ago describing this issue. I will find it.
    How do you have your furnace and generator connected?
    STEVEusaPA
  • 109A_5
    109A_5 Member Posts: 483
    edited October 2022
    Hello @Jean,
    If the possible neutral - ground bonding issue does not help remedy your problem maybe read this post.
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/comment/1172856#Comment_1172856
    National - U.S. Gas Boiler 45+ Years Old
    Steam 300 SQ. FT. - EDR 347
    One Pipe System
    WMno57
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,570
    Jeanf said:

    I have a York Propane furnace. Runs perfectly when powered by the grid. Will not start when powered by generator. I adjusted the generator to 120V 60HZ to no better result. Generator oscillates between 59.9 to 60.1. Is that enough to cause the problem?

    How is this generator connected to the furnace?
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,191
    Where in the cycle does it fail?
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 20,473
    Excellent reference, @WMno57 -- thank you. And, in passing I might add that it presents one of the best (if subtle) arguments for connecting your "portable" generator through a transfer switch and your main box, or a lockout system on your main circuit board if you are going cheap, rather than the common "just put the boiler power feed on a plug and plug it into the generator" back lot approach.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    PC7060
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 1,927
    edited October 2022
    Sometimes a problem can occur because the generator has a high THD (total harmonic distortion) of the 60 hz sine wave. The THD of the utility is around 2% and a generator can be as high at 12%. Timing circuits that rely upon the HZ can be affected. You may need a line conditioner.