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Thread: Iginition Problem Fix for Armstrong Ultra SX-80 Furnace

  1. #1

    Default Iginition Problem Fix for Armstrong Ultra SX-80 Furnace

    A friend of mine just spent $100 having her Armstrong Ultra SX-80 furnace fixed. According to the repairman, this is a common problem with this model and is easily fixed by the homeowner -- so I thought I'd post the fix here and, hopefully, save some future reader a few bucks.

    Her problem was that the furnace would not light. This unit has an electronic ignition that will not function unless conditions are OK in the combustion area. When the thermostat calls for heat, the combustion fan motor turns on, drawing in fresh outside air. The pressure caused by the fan is detected by a separately mounted pressure switch. If the switch is not activated, no ignition.

    The pressure switch is connected to the combustion area by an 18 inch length of 1/4 inch rubber hose. It turns out that there is a lot of condensation in the combustion chamber in the area of the hose fitting and particles of rust can clog that fitting. Once the serviceman realized the pressure switch wasn't activating, the first thing he did was pull the hose off the fitting near the fan and ran a wire down the fitting bore to clean it. He reattached the hose, hit the power switch and the furnace fired right up. Total time: 10 minutes, tops.

    I now know what to do next time -- and I expect there will be a next time.

    Hopefully, I've saved you a service call.
    IP

  2. #2

    Default

    Not only is this a problem with Armstrongs, many other high efficiency furnace makes suffer from this problem of condensation (and then rust) clogging the pressure switch fitting. Luxaire is one brand that comes to mind right away that suffers from this trouble. Any high efficiency furnace that has the pressure switch hose barb fitting on the bottom of the combustion chamber seem particularly troubled. Brands that have the pressure switch hose barb fitting on the SIDE of the combustion chamber, such as Goodman, Janitrol and Amana equipment, seem to never suffer from this problem.
    IP

  3. #3
    Unregistered Guest

    Default Darin

    I just had this exact problem. Thank you very much for the informative post. Right now I need heat but after I guess i will have to clen out the bore hole. Right now I created a suction on the hose to try it and put a screw in the end. Sure enough it works. Just to confirm your point, I also noticed a lot of condensation dripping through the purge duct. Thanks again for this post.

    Quote Originally Posted by royzim
    A friend of mine just spent $100 having her Armstrong Ultra SX-80 furnace fixed. According to the repairman, this is a common problem with this model and is easily fixed by the homeowner -- so I thought I'd post the fix here and, hopefully, save some future reader a few bucks.

    Her problem was that the furnace would not light. This unit has an electronic ignition that will not function unless conditions are OK in the combustion area. When the thermostat calls for heat, the combustion fan motor turns on, drawing in fresh outside air. The pressure caused by the fan is detected by a separately mounted pressure switch. If the switch is not activated, no ignition.

    The pressure switch is connected to the combustion area by an 18 inch length of 1/4 inch rubber hose. It turns out that there is a lot of condensation in the combustion chamber in the area of the hose fitting and particles of rust can clog that fitting. Once the serviceman realized the pressure switch wasn't activating, the first thing he did was pull the hose off the fitting near the fan and ran a wire down the fitting bore to clean it. He reattached the hose, hit the power switch and the furnace fired right up. Total time: 10 minutes, tops.

    I now know what to do next time -- and I expect there will be a next time.

    Hopefully, I've saved you a service call.
    IP

  4. #4

    Default

    My Bryant 90+ every year upon 1st start-up fails to fire and gives me a code 31 = pressure switch malfunction. The first time this happened I call service and he pulled both hoses off the switch and blew air threw them. That fixed the problem, so now instead of paying to have some guy blow my furnace, I do it for free.
    Last edited by BOA; March 23rd, 2004 at 09:53 AM.
    IP

  5. #5

    Talking It really works!

    The fix really works. I was waiting on the repair man to come and look at my furnace when I did a search on Yahoo! and found this website. I did it in less than 10 min. like they said. I called my husband and told him to cancel the repair guy and that I fixed the furnace with a paperclip! He counldn't believe it. The furnace guy was about 15 min. from the house when my husband got ahold of him. He said that was the first thing he was going to check. Thanks so much for posting that information!!
    IP

  6. #6

    Default Armstrong Ultra SX 80

    Thanks for the suggestion, however after using a paper clip on the top tube connection by burners will still not ignite. The pilot comes on fine but the burners will not fire. Further suggestions.
    IP

  7. #7

    Default

    can you take a picture of the setup? I have a luxaire and it's having he same problem...
    IP

  8. #8

    Default

    I just wanted to confirm that this trick does indeed work. I have an 80 Plus gas furnace and hadn't used it since last winter. When I turned it on for the first time the other day, the fan would come on but the burners would never light and the diagnostic light would flash 3 times, which indicated that the "pressure switch" was stuck open. I located the rubber tubing as described by the 1st poster and stuck a paper clip down into the cone shaped fitting over which the rubber hose goes on BOTH ends. I noticed there was resistance when I did each one indicating they were both in fact clogged up but the trusty paperclip took care of that. I also ran a wire through the rubber tubing since I could not blow air through it at first. Then I reconnected the rubber tubing and turned on the thermostat and it fired right up!
    IP

  9. #9

    Default

    I tried what royzim had posted but that did not fix my ignition problem. My combustion fan motor turns on and just runs but no pilot light. I pulled off the rubber tube and there was no blockage at either end on the tube or where it connects to.

    My thought now is that its the ignition thats not working properly to light the pilot, but not completely sure. Anyone have any other thoughts, as sometimes the pilot will light and other times it will not light, it started last season but this year more and more it will not light.

    Thanks
    IP

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Redlands, California
    Posts
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    Default

    Jumper out the pressure switch when you have a call for heating. It could be the pressure switch is bad. If you jumper it out and it works several times in a row, you have found your problem.
    IP

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