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Isolating Furnace Failure Points

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Whether you're using a residential heating furnace or working with a production-grade kiln, there are a few common failure points that should be examined if the heating seems uneven or if the furnace seems to turn on and off without your control.

Look For Heat Leaks

Furnaces that require specific temperature ranges need a solid, controlled interior. If you're molding glass figurines or firing clay creations for a darkened or faster drying effect, an uneven temperature may cause poor quality items to ruin your product line. Residential heating furnaces may take longer to heat an entire area while being too hot in the immediate vicinity of the furnace.

You'll need to inspect for any cracks, separating plates or other noticeable areas of damage. The easiest way to find such problems is to turn off all lights except for the furnace to create a darkened area, then look throughout the furnace for any leaking light.

Repairing such furnace problems either requires plaster patching or metal welding. Stone furnaces may be patched with furnace-grade plaster, but metal furnaces will need a metal plate welded over the breaking surface in order to conserve heat properly. Make sure that the metal used for welding is the same as the furnace, as different metal types may absorb and release heat at different intensities.

Some damage may spread faster than others. If the damage is excessive and flimsy enough to be moved or worsened by hand, don't attempt patching or welding. You'll need either a replacement burning chamber for the furnace or an entirely new furnace. Welding and patching may work for a little while, but the changes in temperature will eventually spread the damage and may lead to collapse.

Examine And Document Wiring

Furnaces controlled by electronic dials may be at risk due to old age, wear and tear or manufacturing faults. If the wiring isn't properly protected or beginning to melt due to heat exposure, you'll need to replace the wiring as soon as possible.

Check the manual for your furnace, or look up schematics for the control switch. Make sure to turn off and unplug any power sources for the furnace before performing any electrical maintenance. Turn off the furnace power at the electrical fuse box if necessary.

As you gain access to your furnace model's electrical wiring, write down the color codes. Such codes are necessary for specific electrical signal instructions such as temperature setting, turning on and off, and automatic shutoff. The color codes makes replacement easier, as you won't have to figure out specific wire locations; just replace the wires color-by-color.

For more information, contact Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC or a similar company.


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