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Sometimes the furnace doesn't come on when it should

When I turn up the thermostat I can hear clicking but the furnace doesn't come on. After I flip the breaker switches at my home electrical panel and pull out the connect switch and put it back it in the furnace will come on. I also have trouble with it cutting on during normal use just on occasion. It doesn't always do it. What could be wrong?

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  • number1candl Mar 03, 2009

    It is an electric Intertherm furnace. It says Nordyne also so I don't know if that will help. I can't tell where the ticking is coming from. When I turn up the wall thermo. it clicks somewhere in the furnace. Can't pinpoint.

  • number1candl Mar 04, 2009

    The strange thing doesn't happen all the time. When it does happen it smells as if there 's heat (burning) but the fan doesn't come on, I haven't tried the on vs the auto switch, I'll try that and see if it works or not. It also on occasion will run on and on even after its passed the temp that it's set on. Does that help with diagnosising?

  • Farley Redfield
    Farley Redfield May 11, 2010

    Is this a gas or electrical heating unit? And what brand is it? Can you tell what it is clicking? Is it a spark ignition type furnace on Gas and or LP?


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OK so its an all electric furnace no gas? I cant think of anything clicking on an electric furnace except the sequencers or the safety switches.

If this is whats your hearing then the fan should definitely be running.

Feel carefully around the fan motor (I assume this is in a mobile home). See if you detect any heat coming around the blower area close to the fan motor. If so the fan motor may be at fault or one sequencer may be out (the main one of course...) the thing is can you get the fan to come on by turning the auto switch on the thermostat (or if older model the Auto On switch on the furnace) to ON? If so you can "limp by and have heat til someone either checks it or you can go on deeper into it. but to go deeper you'll have to let me know you know where the elements are and that you have a volt meter. and feel comfortable using it especially on HOT wires.

Posted on Mar 04, 2009

  • Farley Redfield
    Farley Redfield Mar 05, 2009

    Sorry it took so long gettteng back, YES. I believe now your problem is a defective "sequencer switch".You have the problem by the throat - find a sequencer - wholesaler of  parts for furnaces and you can replace wire by wire, especially if you get one just like the old one. If this isnt the problem Im not understanding your symptom correctly. Infact when I have removed the switch, like this, it has came on apart when removing several times in the past.  

    Sequencers can be vareious geometric configurations. These are usually a black "stack" set of switches. Look at your elements. 1 side of these elements goes to this stack or sequencers. the other side goes directly to the breakers.  Now there are also safety switches usually mounted in the face of the element base and these are not sequencers they only have 2 wires sequencer stacks have 2 wires for each element and at least 1 more wire for the fan motor and at least 2 more wires going to the 24 v transformer/thermostat circut.. (Sequencers used to be all different types but in the last 3 years this type Im discribing has been all Ive seen except for OEM manufacturer parts. Nordyne doesnt have OEM parts in this area to my knowledge).

    The problem should have reared its head by now and Im betting you havent had the problem return assuming the motor ran 100% of the time.


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