Help with a Flooded Furnance

mike_kaiser_gwApril 23, 2013

The mother-in-law's furnace was flooded last week and an insurance settlement is dubious at this time, plus my labor is pretty cheap. While it isn't winter its still cold enough here that a little heat would be nice.

It's an Byrant, probably from the early 90's. While there is a tag I can't read what's printed on it.

Replaced the control board today. Part HH84AA021 That got things working to some degree. Draft inducer, blower motor, and the ignition system sparks. What I'm not getting is any gas to the pilot. I know the gas valve was under water - pulled the pressure ports and water flowed out. Near as I can guess, and it's a guess, it's a White-Rogers 36E93-303. I can jump out the appropriate terminal and get gas to flow through a main valve. What I don't know is why there isn't any gas coming out for the pilot. Perhaps there's enough water left in there to prevent gas from flowing.

I'm also wondering if the pressure switch might have something to do with all of this. It's got three (3) terminals and all have voltage and there is voltage at the pressure switch terminal on the gas valve. From what I can tell from White-Roger's documentation, the pressure switch on the gas valve is normally closed but just do double check, I pulled the wire with no change.

Obviously I need to replace the gas valve but what I'd like to avoid is spending any more money than necessary or stringing this out any long than necessary. We've got a local HVAC place where the folks are helpful but the prices are kind of high. If I have to replace several components, I would prefer to find an online vendor and trade the time for money.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

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I think you are not going to want to hear this, but my suggestion is to not to spend a lot of money trying to fix a 20 year old furnace which was underwater. You could end up replacing every component and still not get it to work reliably. The furnace is reaching the end of its life and it is not worth fixing even if the labor is free.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:09AM
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Have to agree with Mike. You can replace parts but guess what, you still have a 20 yr old furnace that was flooded. Don't throw good money toward a bad project. Consider replacing.


This post was edited by tigerdunes on Wed, Apr 24, 13 at 9:55

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:20AM
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I did suggest replacement but she's a bit insistent. My thought is if I can get it running with a relatively modest investment then she can replace it more or less at her leisure, giving her time to investigate, price shop, etc.

I have no idea what a new furnace costs (the house is about 2,500 sq. ft.). I have another friend who just replaced hers at a cost of $6,000, although she has a somewhat larger house. Even at half that, it buys a lot of parts. ;-)

So can anyone help with my original question...

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 9:37AM
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I'm sorry I can not answer your question, but wanted to share an anecdote about salvaging flooded equipment.

In the late 1960s the Mare Island Naval Shipyard in Vallejo, CA, was building a nuclear submarine - the USS Guitarro - when it inadvertently sank along side the pier. All of the electronics and machinery were completely immersed in sea water.

It was held that the crew had no responsibility and the shipyard was totally responsible for the disaster.

The Guitarro was raised and equipments removed and either refurbished or replaced and the Guitarro ultimately went to sea as an operational boat.

Fast forward 5 years and the Guitarro was sent to Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA, for a complete overhaul or refurbishment.

I was the Senior Repair Superintendent on that overhaul. Many of the yard workers referred to me as the Repair Superintendent that did NOT sink the Guitarro. (Comparing me to the poor guy that had been responsible five years earlier at a different shipyard.)

In any event, best of luck in salvaging your mother-in-law's furnace!

This post was edited by saltidawg on Wed, Apr 24, 13 at 19:26

    Bookmark   April 24, 2013 at 7:21PM
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Are you saying you know how to fix a flooded submarine but not a flooded furnace? I thought your underwater experience would make you an expert in this area.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 8:45AM
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Actually Guitarro had been "fixed" before I got it. That said, we found and corrected a couple of leftover issues during my term.

You would never hire me to fix a furnace... I could never get past smelling the fuel oil (aka Diesel Fuel) - an odor that all Submarine Sailors remember with fondness! (And wives and girlfriends often greeted with, "You need a shower!")

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 9:28AM
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You know what I think this forum needs ... a "LIKE " button. You guys made laugh out loud on this one ....

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 2:28PM
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big al said,

" You guys made laugh out loud on this one ...."

I can remember while a young student at Submarine School in New London, CT, in 1965 there were ten newly married couples with no children all married within a few weeks of each other just months before after graduating from Annapolis.

We had been at sea for a couple of weeks on WW II Diesel Submarines - think lots of diesel fumes and other odors and no showers.

When we returned from sea, and being essentially newlyweds, we all went home immediately with a firm purpose in mind.

I can remember standing on the back porch to remove my stinky clothing before being allowed in the house... actually I can also distinctly remembering looking to the right and to the left and seeing all ten of us stripping on the back porch before our respective wives would let us in the house!

Interestingly, while I can't be positive, I don;t think more that 2 or 3 of us are still married to the same person.

This post was edited by saltidawg on Thu, Apr 25, 13 at 16:03

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Just replace the gas valve, and all the sensors hooked to it.

Having a valve failure will put you in a world of hurt.

If there is a house left.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2013 at 4:23PM
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