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Furnace glow plug lights but main burner doesn't go on

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Hi, on a call for heat from your thermostat, you get a signal to your ignitor module to send voltage to your pilot glow plug. As it glows it sends a signal back through the flame sensor to tell the MGV, (main gas valve) to open and start the burners. When this glow plug glows, you should here a click at the gas valve as 24 volts is sent to it to open. Unless the gas is off for some reason, which I doubt you turned it off, the gas valve is shorted out. You might want to try this first, with the power off the flame sensor that is beside this glow plug as we call it may be dirty and not sending a signal back to open this valve. It is about 4 to 6" long and round, made of porcelin with a metal tip on the end. Take a piece of sanding cloth or steel wool and clean the tip, so it gets nice and hot from the glow plug. Turn the power back on and cycle the thermostat on heat again. The inducer motor will start first, then close the pressure switch and the plug will glow. After this, it will send a signal back to the module to open the gas valve. Hopefully this is the problem, just a dirty flame sensor. If that didn't do it, the gas valve is bad and will need to be replaced. Please rate me on this as I know you will be kind. If its a dirty flame sensor, you should be up and running in no time at all.
Sincerely,
Shastalaker7
A/C, & Heating Contractor

Posted on Sep 28, 2010

  • Robert Horton
    Robert Horton Oct 01, 2010

    What you have is called a hot surface ignitor, that's what glows. When it glows and lights the pilot, it heats up the rod I was talking about sending a signal back to the module telling the gas valve to open. If this sensor is dirty, it will not start the burners/open the gas valve. If you clean it and you still have no gas valve, The valve is defective. Please rate me and let me know how you are doing on this. I am not asking for any charges for this information to you.
    Shastalaker7

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This is possible, however it is possible they are missing something simple. I hope you can follow along.
1) Is this a Sealed Combustion Furnace, meaning you cannot get to the burners even after you remove the Door Panels?

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5) If you feel comfortable or know of someone that is.
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It sounds like you're describing one of two things. The hot surface ignitor in a gas-fired furnace, or the resistive heat strips in an electric furnace.

The hot surface ignitor in a gas-fired furnace lights the burners. This ignitor in modern furnaces serves the same purpose as the standing pilot flame did in older furnaces. It provides the required heat to ignite the gas at the burners. Without an ignition source, a gas-fired furnace cannot provide heat. When the ignitor is activated it will glow bright orange or yellow.

The resistive heat strips in an electric furnace actually provide the heat to a home or building. When the furnace turns on, the heat strips are activated and usually glow orange when they reach peak temperature. In almost all cases, the heat strips are not easily seen or accessed without removing covers or panels inside the furnace.

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