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Country Discussion Topics
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Help plese, home thermostat problem
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Bkeepr    Posted 01-25-2004 at 04:24:25       [Reply]  [No Email]
Hey all, can anybody help me?

The thermostat on my furnace has suddenly gotten unreliable. Most times it works fine. But sometimes mostly at night it lets the temperature drop quite a bit below the setting. By mid-morning it is back to normal.

If I just bump it up a few degrees it will run the furnace for only a minute or two and then stop it. The mercury bulb seems to be tilted colder, so I have to really turn the temperature up about 10 degrees to turn on the heat for any period of time.

I do not want to replace the thermostat because it is very old, has "Esso" on the face, and just sort of fits my old farmhouse. I'd rather fix it if somebody can tell me what is wrong.

thanks!
Tom A


Michele in VA    Posted 01-28-2004 at 18:57:12       [Reply]  [Send Email]
My furnace was "short cycling," too. Heating guy said my filters were dirty, stopping the air. I don't get the connection, but when I changed the filters, the problem stopped. You said you don't have air filters, but that means that the dust an air filter would have stopped is probably clogging ducts.


toolman    Posted 01-25-2004 at 16:24:09       [Reply]  [No Email]
make sure there level on the wall or they will act like that some.


rhudson    Posted 01-25-2004 at 08:41:46       [Reply]  [Send Email]
sometimes with "high" voltage (120v)/high amp draw the mercury will vaporise and coat the inside of the glass bulb. this sometimes causes an always on condition of the bulb. but that's not your problem. besides your control circuit is probably 24 volts ac and i would think it would be hard to vaporise the mercury. like others have suggested, clean any dust that is on the coiled, bimetalic spring. its seems odd that malfunctions only occur at night. unless maybe the vibrations in the house caused by people walking around has something to do with the function of the thermo. if the contacts of the bulb are corroded, you would probably have to replace the old bulb with a new one.

may i suggest you go to the tractor page and ask the question to T-Bone. what he doesn't know about furnaces and controls, is not worth knowing.

could you post back with answer if you find one?


bill b va    Posted 01-25-2004 at 07:29:57       [Reply]  [No Email]

thermostats are very delicate . see if you can remove the cover to expose the mechanical mechanism .check for dirt/dust that may prevent free movement .clean very gently by blowing and or washing with alchol (thermostat wires disconnected ) gently move the bulb slightly back and forth to check for binding . does it have a bimetalic strip (looks like a coil spring ) or a bellows to move the mercury switch ?


James    Posted 01-25-2004 at 06:34:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
try cleaning the thermostat and clean the contacts This is always the first thing a serviceman does b4 he cleans a furnace. This is by the repair book,also.


bill b va    Posted 01-25-2004 at 07:01:41       [Reply]  [No Email]

please explain how to clean the contacts inside the sealed mercury switch . maybe you are talking about the heat antisipator. this thermstat sounds too old to have a heat antisipator .


KellyGa    Posted 01-25-2004 at 05:55:50       [Reply]  [No Email]
Mine did that, your going to have to replace it I believe. I had a very old one in my house, and I had to replace it. Good Luck!


rule one    Posted 01-25-2004 at 04:40:36       [Reply]  [No Email]
always check your filters first. Don't know what you have for heat, but they are the most neglected part of a heating system, and cooling. Don't fall in love with your thermostat, it is just something to use. If you got a 2 wire thermo, short it across and see if the furnace works okay. If so, chuck the thermo
REt


oil-fired steam heat    Posted 01-25-2004 at 06:13:48       [Reply]  [No Email]
only filter is for the oil and it is fresh. Furnace works fine, if I crank up the thermostat enough it'll turn the house to an oven with ease.


Donna from Mo    Posted 01-25-2004 at 04:31:14       [Reply]  [No Email]
We had something like this happening, and our present furnace just would not keep the house warm enough in the four years we'd had it. Then the furnace started running briefly, then kicking off. Cliff got a new thermostat; it didn't change a thing. So we called our local furnace man, and lo and behold, the vent pipe for the furnace was clogged up with bird nests and dead birds, and wouldn't let the furnace run. I think we were fortunate that we didn't get gassed to death! Anyhow, our furnace now gives off plenty of heat.


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