Troubleshooting a gas furnace can be a do-it-yourself project. It will save you so much money and time if you are able to make the necessary gas furnace repair without having to hire a professional to do it for you. Aside from this, you will be able to really orient yourself more with the parts and processes involved in your gas furnace when it is you who personally maintains it and troubleshoots it.
A typical gas furnace problem comes from any of the following: the pilot light, the thermocouple, or some portions of the electrical system. Here are a few good things you can do to troubleshoot your gas furnace.
It is highly possible that your gas furnace breaks down due to dirt. This is one of the gas furnace’s worst enemies. Before checking for any errors on the parts of the gas furnace, it is highly recommended that you clean the gas furnace first in its three major parts: the blower, the motor and the filter system.
These three parts are the most prone to dirt, and wastes fuel with lower efficiency. There are different special procedures you can look into as you clean each part, and make sure you clean it as carefully as you possibly can. You can also lubricate the motor, adjust the belt, or replace both the filter and the belt for supreme efficiency.
Check for gas leaks
The best way to check for gas leaks is by placing a mixture of water and detergent on the pathways of the gas furnace such as the valves and connectors. Bubbles will indicate a presence of a leak in that particular area. Gas leaks in severe proportions are dangerous.
The best thing for you to do when you discover a gas leak in your gas furnace is to call the fire department and make sure you are at a safe distance from your home before the aid arrives. Never try to make a do-it-yourself project out of gas leaks.
Pilot light or Thermocouple?
The pilot light of a gas furnace can go off without notice. Locate the pilot light– the part with gas valve on and settings. Turn the pilot light off for a few minutes and wait. Then, the valve must be moved to pilot setting. Reset the pilot button control while holding a source of fire such as a lighter or a lighted match on the other hand.
Maintain this position until the fire burns steadily to a flame, and position the valve accordingly. This is a test. If the flame does not sustain itself continually, the problem is due to a clogged opening. Try again the test, this time cleaning the opening with a thin wire. If this persists, the problem is in the thermocouple and not on the pilot light.
Replace the thermocouple
The thermocouple as previously mentioned is failing if the light from the pilot light is not able to sustain itself after several attempts. Using a wrench, you can tighten the thermocouple. It is situated near the pilot light and is easily seen. Do not tighten it too much so as to subject it to fatigue.
Apply just enough pressure. If after tightening it still continues to malfunction, replace the thermocouple by unscrewing the bolts and bracket nut. You can then insert your new thermocouple in the hole and tighten it moderately.
Also, read our article on hot tub cleaning.