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Initial Startup Sound in a 10 year old High Efficiency Gas Furnace  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Fri Jan 4th, 2019 04:48 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Hello everyone, just recently the 10 year old High Efficiency Gas Furnace in my house where I live has started to make some not so good sounding noises during the initial startup phase of the furnace where it sounds like a motor of some sort is kicking on about a minute before the main blower fan kicks on and that motor sound used to be fairly quiet but now within the past month or so that motor sound has gotten louder and makes a sound sort of like the sound of like failing bearings or something and that sound whatever it is runs throughout the entire time the furnace is running. 
I have 2 questions regarding the aforementioned issue, 1). what is that motor noise that I hear when the furnace first kicks on and that runs through out the entire time the furnace is running, and 2). is that bad bearing sound I'm hearing from that motor sound that I hear from the initial startup process of the furnace something to be concerned about?

Thanks 

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 Posted: Fri Jan 4th, 2019 11:13 pm
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Lane Shirey
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There’s what’s called (if I recall ) an induction blower that kicks on and establishes the draft necessary for the exhaust to vent properly. The gas and ignition are interlocked to the draft created by this blower. No draft or insufficient draft and the whole system shuts down.   The problem is that all the condensation water from combustion drains back through this squirrel cage blower . One of 2 things usually happens. Either the drain out of the fan housing is plugged with slime or debris, and what you’re hearing is the fan chopping water, or the bearings have indeed failed due to the moisture. 

I’ve had 2 of those critters replaced under warranty. Both developed noisy bearings after a few years. 
The replacement blowers cost about $100 in parts and could be changed out fairly quickly. 

Welcome to the HVAC forum folks!

Levi, this probably should be in the members only forum, though I guess technically it is a post 1950 fan. Lol. Best of luck with it Levi!

Last edited on Fri Jan 4th, 2019 11:18 pm by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Fri Jan 4th, 2019 11:21 pm
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Levi Mevis
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The furnace has shut down completely a couple of times after attempting to start up but after reading what you said Lane it does sound like perhaps something is indeed wrong with the induction blower as you call it.

And from the way it sounds to me (it sounds like the motor is making a loud whining screeching noise) that the bearing are going bad. 

Is there a chance of Carbon Monoxide leaking into the house with this problem?

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 Posted: Fri Jan 4th, 2019 11:37 pm
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Mark Olson
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Levi Mevis wrote:Is there a chance of Carbon Monoxide leaking into the house with this problem?Only if the heat exchanger is rusted through or cracked. Often, the blade (wheel) on the draft inducer is badly rusted,causing a scraping noise. If the differential pressure switch doesn't make the furnace won't light.If the differential pressure switch opens during a heating cycle, the burners will go out.The differential pressure switch is what proves that the draft inducer fan is running.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 12:27 am
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Levi Mevis
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Ok, well the majority of the time the furnace does light successfully but there has been some times that the furnace will attempt to start but then just shut down for no reason.
I let my landlord know about this issue but he doesn't seem too worried about it or something because he hasn't called anyone out to repair it yet.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 10:02 am
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Lane Shirey
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There’s a water drain tube on the bottom of the blower housing. Pull it off and run something through it to see if it’s clogged. 
The furnace shouldn’t run like yours is. I wouldn’t say it’s a safety hazard, because as Mark said, there are safetys built in to prevent it from running if conditions aren’t right. However you might wind up in the cold. 

They also will shut down and lock out if there are x number of failed attempts to light properly.  Mine used to do that. Also check for obstructions in the exhaust/intake pipes. Bird and bee nests are common. If the pipes are restricted in any way, it’ll cause that condition like yours has. 

Also, on the blower housing is a tiny rubber/silicone hose. That provides a vacuum to the sensor when the blower is running. That tells the control board that there’s a good draft and allows the flame to light. Sometimes that hose cracks or fits loosely and allows leakage.  These are things you might be able to check/fix. You’ll have to remove the front cover to access these parts. 

Last edited on Sat Jan 5th, 2019 10:06 am by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 12:00 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Ok, I'll check it out.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 03:01 pm
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Charlie Forster
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is it natural gas or propane?
Natural gas is dirty and my need a cleaning also check the pilot light or igniter.
PROPANE HAS SOME ISSUES THESE DAYS TOO
BEST TO GET YOUR LAND LORD TO HAVE IT FIXED ASAP.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 03:10 pm
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Levi Mevis
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It's natural gas Charlie. And I did let my landlord know about the furnace issue but he hasn't called anyone out to check on it yet. And even my staff person that works with me from a local organization that works with people with disabilities is even concerned about it and told me to alert my landlord about the furnace issue which I did, but he doesn't seem too concerned about it or something because like I said he has yet to call anyone out to check on it. And I alerted him about it back in November. 

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 03:21 pm
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Charlie Forster
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Levi
This is serious and you may need to  get a hold of the local health department or social services.
leave a window  open for fresh air.
IF you don't have fresh air and the furnace dont light and  you are sleeping  you might not wake up.

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 Posted: Sat Jan 5th, 2019 06:01 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Well the thing is is that the furnace so far hasn't done anything funky beyond the bearing squeal noise. And Lane has pointed out that the furnace does shut itself down when it fails to light properly to prevent carbon monoxide from building up in the house. But it still would be nice to get the furnace checked out though.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2019 01:43 am
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Lane Shirey
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Charlie Forster wrote: Levi
This is serious and you may need to  get a hold of the local health department or social services.
leave a window  open for fresh air.
IF you don't have fresh air and the furnace dont light and  you are sleeping  you might not wake up.
That’s not true with today’s systems. They absolutely won’t let any gas flow if the combustion and conditions are not perfect. After speaking with our HVAC tech and doing research on the modern systems , I finally feel safe with gas.  Yes it should be looked at, but no, you don’t need to sleep with the windows open. BUT you may be sleeping in a cold house when it locks out. 

And propane is far more dangerous than natl gas because it’s heavier than air and tends to collect in low spaces of the house until something ignites it , then boom. Natural gas is lighter than air and dissipates, especially in small quantities. 

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2019 05:45 am
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Charlie Forster
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ok

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2019 06:41 am
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Levi Mevis
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Lane Shirey wrote: Charlie Forster wrote: Levi
This is serious and you may need to  get a hold of the local health department or social services.
leave a window  open for fresh air.
IF you don't have fresh air and the furnace dont light and  you are sleeping  you might not wake up.
That’s not true with today’s systems. They absolutely won’t let any gas flow if the combustion and conditions are not perfect. After speaking with our HVAC tech and doing research on the modern systems , I finally feel safe with gas.  Yes it should be looked at, but no, you don’t need to sleep with the windows open. BUT you may be sleeping in a cold house when it locks out. 

And propane is far more dangerous than natl gas because it’s heavier than air and tends to collect in low spaces of the house until something ignites it , then boom. Natural gas is lighter than air and dissipates, especially in small quantities. 
So how many failed ignition attempts does it take for the furnace to lock itself out? I'm curious because so far I've counted 4 failed ignition attempts by the furnace and it's still working albeit not properly.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2019 11:03 am
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Lane Shirey
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Mine is 5 if I recall. There is a way to reset it if that happens but I can’t recall the procedure. It may be as simple as unlatching the access door on the front of the furnace. 

Last edited on Sun Jan 6th, 2019 11:05 am by Lane Shirey

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2019 11:20 am
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Levi Mevis
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Ok, thanks. The funny thing is that I've told my housemate about the furnace acting up as well and he didn't really believe me (My housemate is my landlord's son) and so in order to be able to check the stuff out on the furnace that you said I should check out (like a plugged drain or rotted out exhaust chamber floor) I have to wait until my housemate is gone, because I'll need to turn the furnace off in order to check out the furnace. Also the way the furnace is sitting and located in the basement of the house it will be kind of tricky to get to the furnace access panel because basically there's literally only a half a foot between the furnace access panel and the wall of the furnace room... :pissed :wondering: :down:

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2019 03:41 pm
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Charlie Forster
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Levi
If you turn the power off and back on may re set the  system. leave it off just long enough to  drain all the cap,s that are in the system thern turn it back on.
You could just pull the mains  to do it if the furnace is to hard to get at.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2019 09:15 pm
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Stan Adams
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Gas heat has always been the safest heating. When I was in the residential HVAC business, anytime we heard of a fire caused by a heater, we always asked “electric heat”? The answer was always yes. The only issue was CO & that was corrected with forced draft. If the heat exchanger cracks, the induction blower can’t get enough negative pressure to trigger the igniter.Like the others have said, sounds like the induced draft motor has a bad bearing. If it fails, you are going to be cold because it will not fire up without it.

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 Posted: Sun Jan 6th, 2019 09:18 pm
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Levi Mevis
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Thanks for all the information everyone. I will definitely pass this information on to my landlord as he may not know any of this.

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 Posted: Mon Jan 7th, 2019 12:23 am
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Charlie Forster
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Levi.
The squeaking motor look at the ends and see if there is a little rubber plug in it if so take it out and oil the bearings
 mine  has oil holes front and back and the front is covered   by the cage so I took it out  and took the squirrel cage off and  got a small piece of tubing and  and  bent it around  so I can oil it without taking anything apart..
I oil 3-4 times a year  as it also runs with the air conditioner   only faster  .
use the same oil you use on your old fans!!

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 Posted: Thu Jan 10th, 2019 11:41 pm
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Levi Mevis
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OK So I got a chance to open the Furnace up tonight and below is what I saw inside the furnace:




The Furnace is made by Ducane and the draft induction blower is made by Fasco and ISN'T serviceable (it doesn't have any oil ports) and I have a feeling that this thing like I said has bad bearings, because of how it sounds when it starts up.

Last edited on Thu Jan 10th, 2019 11:41 pm by Levi Mevis

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