Gas Heating Repair
it is vital for the health and safety of your family that your gas heater works properly and is reliable during cold weather. When your heater stops working or malfunctions, there are some steps that you can take for gas heater repair that will save you money on a costly repair bill. While leaks and bigger problems should only be addressed by professionals to avoid injury, you can inspect your heater and fix minor problems. If your gas heater stops working or malfunctions, follow the steps below.
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Identify the Problem
There are several problems that cause a gas furnace to stop working. Some of the most common gas heater repair solutions have to do with the thermocouple, pilot light, or a gas leak. Identifying the problem is the first step you have to take in order to proceed so the problem can be fixed quickly. Begin with trying to identify if there is a leak, as that is the most common problem.
Test for Gas Leaks
Proceed with extreme caution if you do suspect a gas leak. Do not turn on any lights or have any heat sources near the furnace. Mix together one cup of water with a teaspoon of household dish soap. Apply the solution with an artist’s paintbrush. Paint the lines and connections. If there is any bubbling, that is where the leak is.
Tighten and Seal the Leak
Once you have identified the leak, use a crescent wrench to tighten the pipe. Paint the area around the leak again. If it bubbles again, then you will need to use sealant. Pipe sealant can be bought at your local home hardware supply store. Seal the leak and let it dry. Test it again. If the furnace continues to act up, proceed to step 4.
Check for Burnt Out Breakers
If there is no heat coming from the furnace, then you might have a burnt fuse or there is a problem with the breaker. Reset the breakers and replace damaged fuses as needed. Power surges are usually the cause of these problems. This is the best place to start with gas heater repair to make sure that the problem is indeed with the furnace after any leaks have been fixed.
Inspect the Burner
Sometimes you might be able to get heat from the furnace but it is not enough. If this is the case, then inspect the burner. They often get clogged with dirt and debris. Clean the burner and then adjust the shutter to block dirt from getting into it.
Check the Pilot Light
A sputtering pilot light means that you need to either adjust the pilot or clean out the pilot orifice. Do this by:
* a) Cleaning the orifice – Insert a toothpick into the orifice and twist it several times to clean it thoroughly.
* b) Clean the burner ports – There is usually a blockage caused by dirt and dust that can cause the pilot light to sputter. Clean the burner ports along with the pilot orifice and set the pilot higher for a better flow.
Clean the Vents
If heat flow is an issue, clean out your vents. Over the summer dirt, debris, and pet hair can get into them, blocking the ducts. Make sure the pipes aren’t blocked and remove the vent covers to clean the insides.
Replace Filter Pads
If you have a heating system that is both a heating and cooling unit, then you need to replace the pads every eight weeks. Filter pads that are overloaded with hair and dirt can affect the furnace’s performance. If the air is too dry, then mist the pads with water before you install them. You can also adjust the float to increase moisture levels.
Check the Thermocouple
Light the pilot. Unfasten the thermocouple fitting with an open-ended wrench. Adjust a multimeter to the lowest voltage scale possible. Fasten one multimeter lead to one end of the thermocouple tube that is nearest to the pilot and the other lead to the fitting at the tube’s opposite end. A non-zero reading means the thermocouple is working.
Replace the Thermocouple if Needed
Turn off the electricity and gas to the furnace. Remove the old thermocouple from its mounting and clean the area. Put in the new thermocouple and tighten it down. Place the thermocouple within the bracket. Turn the power and gas back on, and light the pilot.
While some gas heater repair should only be handled by a professional, the above steps can be performed by almost anyone before one is called. Most modern gas heaters are simple to repair and maintain. Keep extra filters and fuses handy so you can change them out quickly. Don’t forget to refer to your heater’s owner’s manual for further instructions and tips about its operation.