Boy Scout HVAC badge

Well I have finally earned my HVAC scout badge. Been nursing a 51 year old furnace along for about the last 10 years. A couple of years back had to change out the gas valve, switch out both limit switches and replace the capacitor several times. In the last couple of years started having fan problem. Probably a combination of the heat switch in the motor and bearings. Last spring it sprung for the last time. Took time to find the right after market replacement motor meeting all the right specs but, got it in finally last week.

Today I commenced putting it back together with a dreaded fear that I had really messed up because I did not take a picture of the wiring connections at that control box. Tried to find something online but could not find anything directly just some similar situations but it was enought to figure out the motor wiring connections. Then my old tired memory kicked in and knew there was a wiring diagram some where. I found it on one of the filter access doors. So was able to get the motor wired up and tested with the fan switch. Ohhhh so nice a quiet motor that run like it is supposed to. One little problem, I pulled two wires and then had no idea where they went. They were disconnected on both ends. Oops. Looking at the wiring diagram I realized they were the connections for the limit switches. They are in line so one connects betwee then two limit switches. That was the easy one. The other connected on the control board. Then the old memory kicked in again(actually God giving it a kick start) and remember having a dickens of a time reaching one of the connections behind a mess of other wires. Go it connected and tested and nothing. Got to thinking was it the upper or lower connection. I thought and realized I took it off the lower. The upper was a dead lead to no where. So I moved the wired down and now I got a fully rebuilt 51 year old furnace for less than $300 (parts only), save the burners but those I cleaned up and they will be fine as they are heavy duty cast iron anyway.

One question, where does one go to get there earned HVAC scout badge?

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Sadly, HVAC Scout Camp…school lol
Congrats on fixing your furnace, man! That’s great to hear! And in time, I’ll be sure to know who to talk to when I have to fix mine lol.

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Only if if is old. The only reason I could do this one is that it is a simple design. New ones are way too complex. Yeah I am happy to have it running now as I am suspecting a very nasty winter this year. Saw signs of it coming as far back as late July. Never bothered with winter much for years but this old creaking bod just does not like the cold all the much. Since I work outside more than half the day I need a warm place to go home to.

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Dang back to fixin the heat again. Suddenly it stopped working. Fan works no problem but no heat. Go out took at it and it is cold. No heat even from the pilot light. Try lighting the pilot and hold it for 90 seconds, 30 more than necessary. Nope that ain’t working. Ok time to pull the multi meter. Check the gas valve connections…nope nada. Okay it is on the 24V side so I goes and check the output from the transformer. Oops nada again. Guess it is time to try and find newer version of a 51 year old transformer that will fit the slot the one I have goes into. At least the manufacturer still exist so there is hope. If I can find the right part number I will be good to go if I can find one locally.

Okay for who ever did the thread on "If it ain’t one thing its another…cut that out. I am tire of all those other things that keep popping up.

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Ok, got the transformer today. Not the same dimensions so I had to do some minor modification to make it fit. Tried to light the pilot light that went out and Still nothing. Looked really closely and one end of the thermal switch that keeps the pilot light valve open had slipped down enough to be out of the flame. Pushed it up and got the pilot light lit. Checked continuity on all the limit switches and the fan control switch and they were all good. Powered it up, went inside and set the thermostat up till I heard the switch click and bam the fan started up, then shut off and I thought another problem. Nope it cycled through and once shut down opened the gas valve and the burners lit up and then the fan kicked in. I do believe by the grace of God and His ignoring a few choice words that slipped out all day long that I have a fully functioning 50 year old heater that will probably last without service for another 5 years the Good Lord willing. Now I can rest from concern of the coming winter at least inside the house. Still have to deal with snowy and/or icy roads when they come.

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I’m really dreading icy roads. Lots of rain today so the roads are covered with slick, wet leaves now. We all know what’s next. Yuck.

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Stay safe. On slick road, leaves or ice, what I tell everyone is do nothing fast. Do not take off fast, do not stop fast, and do not change direction fast and that includes a simple lane change. Any of those moves can break the friction the tires have with what ever surface they are on. Once you break that friction you are sliding out of control.

Second since most people have never driven a standard transmission and even some that have don’t realize why they slide less on a stop is because the engine power is disconnected from the drive wheels via the clutch. You can do the same with an automatic by simply putting it in neutral. Before you apply the break put the shifter in neutral and then careful and smoothly apply break pressure. It will take longer to stop that way so start stopping way early but it will keep the tires turning rather than slipping. So treat your automatic transmission like it is a standard and disengage the engine from the rest of the drive train and your stops will be easier and smoother and much safer.

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Sounds like you’ve been there and done that. Very good advice. I really do prefer a standard shift on slick roads, but always try to remember to shift to neutral when coming to a stop. And when going uphill, keep a steady pressure on the gas pedal - I quote Captain Kirk and keep repeating, “steady as she goes,” til I get to the top. Lots of hills in West Virginia, and so many people slow down too much and get stuck halfway up, then everyone else behind them gets stuck. You be safe out there too.

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Yeah I drive professionally for a living. I have been driving legally for 48 years, but totally for 52. Driven in countries where you sit on the right and drive on the left. Have driven through flood waters, typhoons, hurricanes snow, and ice and on wet clay roads. I have ridden or driven everything from a 50cc minibike all the way up to a full sized school bus and a tractor trailer rig as well as some very hair off road situations in the mountains. Been there and done that for sure.

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My dad was a truck driver most of his life, so I got a lot of tips from him. I’m sure there’s not much you guys haven’t seen.

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10 points if any one can tell me (without an internet search) what the “toten chit” merit badge was for.

Good for you!!!

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Well all the work may have been for nothing if this winter gets really bad and they hold back gas and electric power during the coldest times. Time to start cutting wood as a back up and pick up an extra couple of propane bottles just to be safe.

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We have only a tiny bit of wood that has been stacked there for at least 10 years.

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You may want to get some then. If they cut power or gas or other heating fuel sources it could get really cold inside the house. Somebody has a thread about feeling a sense of foreboding my sense is that we have a very nasty winter coming. I hope I am wrong but I think we are one long over due and two it is about time for God to send another wake up call. A bad winter would be a very good one to send.

Last year, I had to sleep in my car for a night bc the forecast was calling for ice, and it was imperative that I let 2 dogs out that night and early the next morning. My dog was with me so I couldn’t stay inside the house with her. I had purchased a zero-degree sleeping bag to carry in my car for emergencies, and it was wonderful! I could barely walk on the ice, so certainly glad I didn’t have to drive on it. The dog and I stayed very warm except when I had to get out of the sleeping bag to start the car in the morning. Purchased another one recently to keep in the house.

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I have had that feeling too about this winter. We will be at home in Iowa until end of January and then, Lord willing, will go to our reserved place in South Carolina until mid-March. We have paid for it already and so are praying things work out; but if we are raptured b/4 then, I think that will be even more amazing.

We have a fireplace that has never been used since we got married in 2012.

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You took a real risk staying out in a car all night. Well at least you had a good sleeping bag. That is a dangerous thing to do. Little secret, you can save on super cold sleeping bags if you buy some $1 mylar emergency blankets. You can line a lessor quality sleeping bag with it and then cover the outside with another one like a blanket on a bed. This will keep you from getting hypothermia. Short of that you would be surprised how much news paper helps to keep you warm. This is why the homeless always have some with them. It ain’t perfect but it keeps you warmer than just a blanket.

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Ewww Iowa can get some really nasty cold weather. If you got a fire place then I would look to stock up some wood if you can. Make sure you check the flu that it is open before you run a fire though. No sense killing yourself with CO gas while you sleep.

Well, maybe not so dangerous with hot flashes waking me up every 30 to 45 minutes. That’s why I wasn’t too concerned. See, there’s one good thing about them.

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