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[HVAC] HELP! Water in pressure switch and potentially in inducer motor

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  • Nov 12th, 2018 9:41 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 3, 2017
155 posts
79 upvotes

[HVAC] HELP! Water in pressure switch and potentially in inducer motor

Is it normal for the pressure switch to be full of water?

My 10 year old carrier furnace refused to turn on. Essentially, when I turn on the furnace, the inducer would start spinning for about 15 seconds, and I will hear clicking sound closer to the 10 second mark, and in the end the furnace will shut itself down. This will loop for 4-5 times until the furnace lock itself down due to many fail attempts. I get check inducer motor error code with this.

After a week or so, when I turn on the furnace, the inducer motor doesn’t even spin. The entire furnace is quiet and refuse to start in any form and I simply get a pressure switch open error code.

Eventually, I Got a technician to come and have a look. He initially said I need a board replacement. But after he took out the entire pressure switch, it is filled with water, in which he said is not normal and would need replacement. Does this conclusion make sense based on my facts?

The replacement would cost a thousand buck. Any recommendations from you guys? I’m a complete noob in this field and for myself to replace it is kind of out of the picture.
8 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
1706 posts
720 upvotes
Alliston, ON
considering a pressure switch is about $80-125 for the part, then maybe an hour labor charge to replace and test.... It sounds like you are getting ripped off if all he's replacing is the pressure switch for $1k. Call in another hvac company to have a look.

Look up some youtube videos for testing and replacement of pressure switches
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
7531 posts
601 upvotes
Bbbbbbg wrote:
Nov 9th, 2018 10:26 pm
Is it normal for the pressure switch to be full of water?

My 10 year old carrier furnace refused to turn on. Essentially, when I turn on the furnace, the inducer would start spinning for about 15 seconds, and I will hear clicking sound closer to the 10 second mark, and in the end the furnace will shut itself down. This will loop for 4-5 times until the furnace lock itself down due to many fail attempts. I get check inducer motor error code with this.

After a week or so, when I turn on the furnace, the inducer motor doesn’t even spin. The entire furnace is quiet and refuse to start in any form and I simply get a pressure switch open error code.

Eventually, I Got a technician to come and have a look. He initially said I need a board replacement. But after he took out the entire pressure switch, it is filled with water, in which he said is not normal and would need replacement. Does this conclusion make sense based on my facts?

The replacement would cost a thousand buck. Any recommendations from you guys? I’m a complete noob in this field and for myself to replace it is kind of out of the picture.
I had a similar problem with my Lennox furnace and it was only when the inducer motor tried to spin did I hear the water issue. I disconnected the main tube, used a flex hose to suck out the water with from the inducer motor housing, let everything dry and was back in business after about 4 hours.
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Deal Fanatic
Feb 9, 2006
9355 posts
3315 upvotes
Brampton
There's usually a little drain/trap (looks like a rubber coupler) above the inducer motor designed to capture any excess moisture that collects in the exhaust piping.

Take the part off and clean it to make sure it's not clogged up. It usually connects to a small rubber hose. Blow out the hose to make sure there's no gunk in it too.

If this is all clogged up the moisture makes it way back to the motor.
Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2006
2664 posts
374 upvotes
Wondering if I have a similar issue on my EL296 Lennox - it's been periodically failing to come on this past weekend (motor spins up, fails to ignite and then cuts back). I can get it to run for a couple of hours again if I flip the main furnace cutoff switch and turn it back on. I haven't noticed my condensate pump running recently (and I usually notice it draining water into the laundry tub drain) - thinking the pump might be causing everything to fail if the water isn't being drained. Thought I'd check in before I get a tech to come by...
Member
Jan 1, 2012
257 posts
48 upvotes
KINGSTON
This happens to me every few years...biofilm accumulates and plugs the drain line on the carryover allowing water to accumulate in the combustion blower. Clean the drain, let it dry, and it should be ok.
Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
7531 posts
601 upvotes
tebore wrote:
Nov 11th, 2018 8:31 am
There's usually a little drain/trap (looks like a rubber coupler) above the inducer motor designed to capture any excess moisture that collects in the exhaust piping.

Take the part off and clean it to make sure it's not clogged up. It usually connects to a small rubber hose. Blow out the hose to make sure there's no gunk in it too.

If this is all clogged up the moisture makes it way back to the motor.
I saw a YouTube video where a guy had a service person in do exactly this and sure enough, the tube was plugged (as was mine). I tried blowing through the tube and when I couldn't realized that it was plugged, that's why the inducer motor housing was filing with water. In the video the guy took the tube off, ran it under hot water and all the crap came out.

After doing the above, and siphoning the water out of the housing everything was good. Luckily, the inducer motor didn't burn out considering how much water was in there.

As stated above, make sure to clear all blocked tubing or else this issue will be back
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Deal Fanatic
Jul 4, 2004
7531 posts
601 upvotes
mangoman wrote:
Nov 11th, 2018 10:13 am
Wondering if I have a similar issue on my EL296 Lennox - it's been periodically failing to come on this past weekend (motor spins up, fails to ignite and then cuts back). I can get it to run for a couple of hours again if I flip the main furnace cutoff switch and turn it back on. I haven't noticed my condensate pump running recently (and I usually notice it draining water into the laundry tub drain) - thinking the pump might be causing everything to fail if the water isn't being drained. Thought I'd check in before I get a tech to come by...
Prior to calling for service, it wouldn't be too difficulty to disconnect the hoses blow them out, and run very hot water through them (not connected to the furnace of course).

You may have a different issue though and it might have to do with the igniter in the gas chamber. Due carbon build up it might need to be cleaned. Can be done simply.
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Deal Addict
Aug 31, 2006
2664 posts
374 upvotes
Thanks for all the suggestions RFDers! I opened the clean-out cap and got rid of some of the debris and I also lifted up the condensate pump and sure enough it was full of water. I've been bailing it every 5-6 hours or so and sure enough the Lennox furnace has been running without cutting out now for the past 18 hours.

New pump is arriving later today (thank you Amazon Prime), so I'll just do a swap out for now. It might be a clogged check valve or float switch but I'm not really interested in repairing the pump (or I can do so at my own pace later and have a spare pump if it fails again in 5 years).

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