Heating, Air Conditioning, Fridge, HVAC/Furnace on the fritz



We recently bought our first home (2yrs ago) and over the course of the last three weeks, the furnace has started to not ignite more and more frequently. At first I would just wait and try again after a little while and it would work. Now it's a semi-regular occurance, although the problem always occurs only from a cold start. Once it gets going, it'll stay working all day, even with cycling on and off. When it's malfunctioning and I turn it on, I hear the fan start up as normal, then I hear the ignition clicking as normal, but then I don't see the pilot ignite or the hear the last whoosh. The other day I whacked the front of it and immediately the pilot jumped on. I've achieved the same success from smacking it a few other times, but more often then not, nothing happens.

I had a service call today and the guy said that as best he could guess, it was a faulty gas valve, which would cost $700 to fix. The furnace, a Honeywell, is older than 20 years old though (I'm not sure if it's 21 or 23) so obviously I'm not going to pay $700 to fix something that will likely die some year soon anyway. I guess my questions are: a) is he just trying to get me to buy a new furnace or is $700 actually the going rate for a gas valve replacement? b) does an old, failing gas valve sound like a logical diagnosis to you? c) if $700 is too high, what kind of price should I be paying for that service and how much money, if anything, is worth putting into a very old furnace?

Thank you very much for your help!


The $700.00 should include the labor, a 30 day labor warranty ,probably one year part warranty.I would think Calif. is a high cost state so labor costs are higher than lower cost states.If you never had any real problems with the furnace and have many of the original parts and the company is positive that is the problem it would be worth considering.I would hold them to being 100% sure that is the problem.You certainly can get a 2nd opinion. Certainly if you have disposable cash I would consider a furnace change out, get several bids. You  probably can get buy with a smaller furnace.They should do an accurate heat loss calculation to determine.

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40+ years diversified experience.An HVAC/Refrigeration Self Employed Contractor since 1986. NATE Certifield. Answer questions pertaining to Residential and Commercial Air Conditioning , Warm Air Heating, Heat Pump systems.Mechanical and Electrical troubleshooting of these systems.Be as detailed as possible when describing problem.Packaged unit or split systems.No appliance questions.


Installation and Troubleshooting, Mechanical and Electrical, in following areas, Refrigeration ( Walk In and Reach In Coolers and Freezers ) Commercial Roof Top and Packaged Heating/Cooling ( Natural Gas,Propane, Electric, and Heat Pumps ) Computer Room Air Conditoning Systems,Commercial Residential Packaged and Split Systems Air Conditoning and Heat Pumps.Warm Air Oil , Natural and Propane Gas Heating systems.

Graduated from Private Technical School in 1975. An HVAC/Refrigeration Contractor . Have Unlimited Heating/Piping and Cooling Contractor License.Limited Sheetmetal Contractors License.NATE Certifield. York Certifield Master Heat Pump Technician 1986. Served 33 years combination Active Duty Air Force , Air Force Reserves and Air National Guard in the HVAC/Refrigeration Shop/Mechanical Shop. Troubleshooting/Installing HVAC/Refrigeration Equiptment Worldwide. Retiring in 2003 as a Senior NCO ,and a Mechanical Superintendent.

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