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Gas Furnace burner shuts off after a minute even with new sensor

Our 20 year old Magic Chef Ultra Furnace started giving us problems about a month ago.
The main burner shuts off after a minute or so. I cleaned the tip of the flame sensor and it worked ok for about a week. After it started doing the same thing again, I installed a new sensor. This worked for a couple of weeks and now it is shutting off again. I noticed a lot of carbon build up on the tip. Is there something else that I should be looking at?

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  • lionparent Mar 03, 2009

    Problem: Gas Furnace burner shuts off after a minute even with new sensor
    posted by lionparent on 03/03/2009

    Our 20 year old Magic Chef Ultra Furnace started giving us problems about a month ago.
    The main burner shuts off after a minute or so. I cleaned the tip of the flame sensor and it worked ok for about a week. After it started doing the same thing again, I installed a new sensor. This worked for a couple of weeks and now it is shutting off again. I noticed a lot of carbon build up on the tip. Is there something else that I should be looking at?

  • Farley Redfield
    Farley Redfield May 11, 2010

    plesae clarify the appearance and measurement of this probe. and is this a spark ignition?

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  • Dayton Expert
  • 252 Answers

BE AWARE THAT MAGIC CHEF IS NO LONGER IN BUSINESS!
In my experience a 20 year old Magic Chef probably has a bad heat exchanger which can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and can not be replaced since Magic Chef is not around any more!
Today’s furnaces are controlled by a computer which constantly monitors for problems. When it detects a problem it will shut off the burners. Depending on the problem and the specific furnace it will either “lock out” the furnace or cycle it through a purge (to rid it of un-burned gas and excess heat) and then attempt to re-start it. If the problem continues to occur then it will “lock out”. Depending on the problem and the furnace it may again attempt a re-start after several hours. In any case if the problem was not detected/caused by a sensor which requires a manual re-set, when the power to the computer is interrupted or the call for heat is interrupted the computer is reset and it will again attempt to re-start the furnace. The most common problems are:
· Low or lack of flame sense. Different furnaces use different methods to detect a flame – often these “flame sensors” become dirty and have to be cleaned (usually with sandpaper or steel wool).
· Bad igniter. (Doesn’t light at all).
· Clogged combustion air intake or exhaust.
· Clogged condensate drain. (90+% efficient furnaces).
This is not a complete list, only the most common!
Depending on where you live your HVAC system runs more than anything else you own (including your car). All furnace manufacturers “recommend” “regular maintenance” of your furnace. In fact, all that I am aware of state in their warranty that the warranty may be voided due to lack of “regular maintenance.” The industry has defined “regular maintenance” as yearly (in fact, some manufacturer’s warranties state yearly). Due to safety, liability, and the need for many other things to be checked, cleaned, and/or adjusted (2-page checklist where I work) to ensure safety and efficiency. Due to the large number of furnaces and the differences between them. Moreover, due to the terms of this site, I WILL NOT AND CAN NOT give you specific instructions on how to perform repairs on your furnace. I suggest that you contact a local, reputable, HVAC service company for (a tune up, preventive maintenance, general maintenance, yearly service call, general service, or whatever they call it).

While I may not have told you how to fix your furnace yourself, I have told you how to fix it. Please rate my answer.

Posted on Mar 14, 2009

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