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This Sensor Could Be Making Your Heater Appear Broken

Your heater’s running into a bit of a problem: it’s not running at all, even though you can’t find a single issue with it. It’s totally fine on the outside, not making any noises, and generally seems okay. Yet obviously, something’s going on that’s preventing you from using it. It could be a little sensor in your gas-powered heater.

Whether it’s a furnace or a boiler, we can provide heater repair in Akron, OH to get things back on track. But first, let’s talk about what the problem is so you’re a bit more knowledgeable about your home heater and can spot this problem more easily in the future.

It’s a Flame Sensor, and It’s There for Safety

Your flame sensor, as you might expect, senses when there’s a flame or not. The way your heater works is by opening a line of gas and allowing it to meet the spark that comes from your electronic ignition. When the flame is live, it stays that way, and the flame sensor acts as a gatekeeper, allowing the continued flow of gas.

But when it’s not able to detect it, the gas line is shut. It’s frustrating, but it’s a safety precaution that prevents gas leaks into the air that can turn your home into a tinderbox. Fortunately, it’s a fixable problem, and it’s one we’ve seen plenty of times before. Here’s why it’s acting funny in the first place.

Why It’s Malfunctioning in the First Place

Your flame sensor is right there by the live flame, and as that flame burns, gas, soot, and debris coat the flame sensor. To an extent, it’s designed to handle this, but over time the buildup gets pretty extreme. It blocks the sensor completely, so even if there is a flame from attempted ignition, it can’t detect it. It’s akin to shutting the blackout curtains and wondering why you can’t see sunlight.

What to Do (Spoiler: It’s Not DIY-Friendly)

The process is pretty involved, even just for a little sensor like this. You have to turn off your gas, power down the heater’s electrical supply, remove the flame sensor, disassemble it, clean it piece by piece, reassemble it, and you can figure out the rest from there.

You may think that sounds simple, but there’s one big problem: it’s a safety device, so if it’s not handled by someone who’s trained to work on these, you can’t guarantee the safety of your family. It has to be carried out by someone who’s trained to do this on a daily basis.

On top of that, if you work on your furnace, you can void your warranty. That’s right–even on a one-year-old furnace, you could void the five- or ten-year warranty simply by working on it DIY style. Certified technicians have to, well, certify their work, and while manufacturers understand your furnace will require service throughout its life, they want to lower their liability by only allowing technicians to work on it. It makes sense, but it can be a frustrating part of this whole process even if you’re fairly savvy with HVAC equipment.

We Sense a Solution in Store

We can handle whatever problem your flame sensor has. Whether it needs to be cleaned, fixed, or just outright replaced, it’s a task designed for professional HVAC technicians like us to handle. With a quick tap of the submission form or a fast phone call, we’ll get you set up with a technician and an appointment before you know it. It’s time to turn the heat back on.

Contact Crown Group Ohio today to schedule your heater repair or replacement as soon as possible.

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