Quiz: Could you fix your faulty gas furnace?

Staff

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About This Quiz

A gas furnace is an integral part of many homes. If your furnace quits, could you repair it -- or will you spend a fortune on a service call? Quiz yourself to see if you could fix your gas furnace and save yourself time and money.

If you enter your home and smell gas, what should you do?

Never remain in a home -- or any building -- when you suspect a gas leak. The best thing to do is immediately open the windows and leave to call the gas company or fire department. Do not use any phone or turn on or off any electric switches inside the home because these may cause a spark. Whatever you do, don't light a flame!

Which of the following would cause a gas furnace to stop working?

The pilot light is the fire source that causes the gas to ignite, thus heating your home and water.

Where should you first look to find the manufacturer's instructions for your furnace?

For easy access, the manufacturer often fastens the instructions to the outside of the furnace.

What is the purpose of a furnace's shut-off?

Gas leaks are extremely hazardous. To help prevent such leaks, many gas furnaces and heaters have a shut-off.

Which of the following is an advantage of using natural gas rather than fuel oil?

Natural gas is a cleaner fuel source than oil. Natural gas furnaces also tend to have fewer operational problems.

What is likely to occur if the pilot light is set too low?

For the pilot light to burn properly, you should make sure the flame is about 2 inches (5 centimeters) high; otherwise, a draft could blow it out.

If you've set the furnace to the temperature you want but aren't getting the result you want, which of the following components should you check?

For the air to flow properly, you must have a clean filter. Change your filter according to the furnace's maintenance schedule for optimal temperature control.

What is a thermocouple?

As a safety measure, gas furnaces have a thermocouple that turns off gas when the pilot is out. This protects against gas flowing into the air and possibly exploding.

When fastening a nut into place, what should you be careful not to do?

You never want to overtighten a screw, nut or bolt when fixing any appliance. It can damage the item and might get stuck in place, preventing future repairs.

What is the function of the limit switch?

The limit switch is a safety feature that shuts off the burner whenever the main chamber, known as the plenum, overheats. Gas poisoning and fire are serious concerns, which is why many safety features have been included on gas-burning furnaces.

What is the appropriate temperature for the low setting on the limit control safety feature?

The low setting should be high enough to keep the home comfortable but not necessarily warm. The recommended temperature is about 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius).

What is the appropriate temperature for the high setting on the limit control safety feature?

The high setting should be hot enough to warm the house but not so high as to risk a fire; about 115 degrees Fahrenheit (46 degrees Celsius) is the suggested temperature limit.

If you've attempted to relight the pilot light and it won't stay lit, which of the following might be the cause?

A clogged opening will prevent the gas from flowing properly. As a result, the fire will not have a fuel source and will go out.

Before attempting to clean the pilot light, which of these steps is mandatory?

Whenever you begin to fix a problem with a gas source, you should make sure the gas is off. This will reduce the risk of fire and accidental gas exposure.

What is the most effective way of cleaning a clogged opening?

To clean the opening, you have to insert something into the pilot's gas line, which is rather narrow. A small wire or pipe cleaner works best.

A sputtering sound coming from your furnace suggests what sort of problem?

When gas leaks, it often sputters. Being able to recognize this sound and locate the leak can help ensure the proper function of your furnace -- not to mention keeping your house from exploding!

If no gas is flowing into the furnace, what should you do first?

The most likely reason for a lack of gas flow is that the valve is closed. Simply check whether the valve is open before attempting anything more serious.

Which of these combinations can be used to check for a gas leak?

Soapy water will bubble when applied to a gas leak. By coating the suspected area with the solution, you can identify whether you have a leak and its location.

Which tool should be used to tighten a leaky connection?

The standard tool for tightening connections between pipes is a pipe wrench. Tighten loose connections to ensure proper gas flow.

Which of the following scenarios does NOT require a professional?

Some tasks are complicated and potentially dangerous. If you need to replace an electrical component or gas isn't reaching the furnace, call a professional. Safety first!

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