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Furnace clicks many times before igniting

My mother turns her furnace down at night, so it has time to really cool down. when she gets up in the morning she turns up the thermostat to about 70 but the furnace has a hard time getting started again, it clicks for about a minute sometimes igniting a flame sometimes not at all (at least an hour) but eventually it will ignite, then it will work ok as long as the furnace is warm. The furnace is a Goodman unsure of model # but it is a downdraft heats about 1800 sq ft

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  • 27 Answers

Sounds like it could use a new spark ignitor with new pilot assy. will probably die completely soon

Posted on Nov 26, 2008

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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Tractorman44 thanks but misunderdstood husband! When thermostat turned up the fan comes on before flames ignites. Plenum heats and furnace runs.


If the fan comes on first, then the flame ignites, it USUALLY indicates there is a problem in the ignition process of the furnace. Most new manufacturers have the adjustable 'time off' sequence for the blower, and most initiate a call for the blower to run within a pre-determined amount of time AFTER a call for heat has been established. ALSO, and this is where I think the problem is, the ignition sequence starts immediately upon a call for heat. If there is a heat ignition failure, it will attempt a restart. USUALLY, they allow 5 restarts within a certain timeframe then the circuit board locks out the heat sequence until it is reset by cycling the power or cycling the thermostat manually.

What I think is happening with yours it that your ignition sequence is experiencing a 'flame failure' upon a call for heat....then it re-establishes the ignition sequence, which takes another 30 to 45 seconds. During this time, the blower automatically starts (because the allotted time has expired) and blows COLD air because of the initial flame failure. In the meantime the ignition sequence establishes a flame on the second or possibly the third try and then you feel the warm air.

IF this is the case, ultimately what will happen is that the furnace will continue to experience 'flame failure' and eventually fail to the point of 'flame failure lockout' and you will have no heat, but the fan could possibly run continuously.

At any rate, without being able to be there to troubleshoot and test components physically, this is just a calculated and reasonably reasonable guess. What it is telling you is that you probably need to contact a reputable, reliable service organization to give your furnace a good going over before it lets you down on a good cooooold night!!!

I hope this helps you understand the basics of what happens within the system and bear in mind, this is a 'generic' sequence and possibly NOT the exact sequence of your particular furnace.

Oct 01, 2015 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Mobile Home Furnace Problem. I have replaced the furnace "board" [$150.00] and the thermostat [$65.00] and my furnace still turns itself off during night time hours - only. Is there anything else...


What you are describing is a lock-out condition that occurs after the furnace attempts to establish flame three times (usually) and fails, necessitating manual cycling of the power to 'reset' the circuit board. Its unusual that it is only happening at night unless the night temps drop extremely lower in you location than the daytime temps and the heat loss is greater so the furnace needs to come on more ofter. Hmmm.... Still a bit odd.

I'd have a tendency to inspect the flame rod or flame sensor and its connections back to the 'sensor' spade clip on the circuit board. It is responsible for signalling the control board that the flame has been established so gas can continue to flow feeding the flames. If it does not send the signal in a few short seconds after the gas valve opens, it shuts the system down and it re establishes the cycle again....only up to three times before a lockout.

Your system may not have a separate flame sensor and if not the ignition electrode or hot surface igniter itself performs double duty as the ignition device AND the flame sensor. If so, check the connections and make sure there is no oxidation between the wire and the connector.

Jan 07, 2015 | Heating & Cooling

2 Answers

Burner shut off then there is a clicking sound, burner ignites again


this is normal the clicking sound you hear is the system starting another cycle for your furnace to ignite the burners, then turn on tbe fan blower.

Sep 27, 2017 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

Intertherm furnace burner comes on, but blower does not. If I turn thermostat off then back on until it clicks the fan will then come on. It does not do this all of the time, just now and then.


Furnace burner and heat element are not the same. I think the fan time delay, a sensor that turns the fan on when this sensor senses heat, is shot and needs replacing, for a furnace type heat ( gas heat)

Aug 08, 2017 | Intertherm E3EB010H Electric Furnac

1 Answer

Oil fired intertherm trailer furnace would kick out during the night . I Had replaced the fuel pump as the seal let go ,the cad cell ,the protector relay , the cracked air guard, the fuel filter 3 times,...


If it always shuts down during the night it could be an air adjustment, during the nighttime the humidity and temperature both drop making the air denser with oxygen and "can" cause the initial light off to be so lean that the flame does not fully ignite. If there is an air adjustment move it (slightly) to a smaller number reducing the amount of combustion air which richens the mixture of oxygen and hydrocarbons (fuel). A rich mix will light reliably, too rich and you will make soot during burner operation so if the trick works more is not better, don't soot up your furnace or vent pipe by going too far.

Oct 11, 2017 | Intertherm Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

I'm not sure of the exact model of my Goodman furnace, but here is the problem. The new furnace was installed this summer (2010) and it is mounted in the space under the house in Big Bear Lake, CA....


I suppose this furnace is fueled by Natural Gas?
(Or is it Propane-- Bottled gas?)

Did the Service company leave you any manual, with your new furnace?
and I would think there was a warranty, for assuring you (the customer) satisfaction, no?
Have you called the people who sold/installed it?
What do they say?

If they did leave a manual-- what does it suggest for narrowing down your possible problems?
Like: Low Fuel-- Low Voltage- Filter Changes, Fan switch problems- or ignition failure problems?

For a new furnace, someone should be right there to do a start-up for you!

Let me know what you learn--

Mack B

Jan 14, 2011 | Goodman GMS80903BNA Heater

1 Answer

Furnace doesn't ignite all the time.


That is usually the flame is dirty and not sensing the flame.
You can clean this by first turning off all the power to the furnace.
Take the door off to burner area and locating the flame sensor it looks like metal rod and it is in the flame of one of the burners.
Once you locate it, take a piece of extra fine steel wool and clean it.
Put door back on and turn power on and furnace should run.

Jan 09, 2010 | Heating & Cooling

2 Answers

Lennox furnace 17 yeanrs old. flame comes on and the shuts down sometimes right away some times in a few minutes. We have the furnace go down to 58 at night. It takes all day to get back to 67.


Sounds like a dirty flame sensor.
Also 9 degrees is a large swing to recover. Most specialist will advise no more than a 5 degree set back, otherwise recovery time eliminates any savings you may achieve.

Dec 05, 2009 | Dayton (3E407) Heater

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