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Furnace Starts Then Stops

The part(s) or condition(s) listed below for the symptom Furnace starts then stops are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur. Check or test each item, starting with the items at the top of the page.

Most Frequent Causes for Furnace starts then stops

For the most accurate results, enter your model number.


Cause 1Flame Sensor

The flame sensor monitors the burner to detect whether or not a flame is present. If the flame sensor is defective, it might fail to detect a flame. If the flame sensor does not detect a flame, the control board will shut off voltage to the gas valve to prevent the furnace from heating. Sometimes, if the flame sensor is dirty, it will fail to detect a flame. Try cleaning the flame sensor with a fine abrasive pad. If the furnace still doesn’t heat, replace the flame sensor.

Parts
Cause 2Control Board

The control board regulates the power supply to all of the components of the furnace. If the control board is defective, it might not send voltage to the ignition system, causing the furnace to shut off after a few minutes.

Parts
Cause 3Pressure Switch

The pressure switch closes when the burner has sufficient airflow. If the pressure switch isn’t working, it might not close when the proper airflow is present, causing the ignition process to stall. If the ignition process stalls, the furnace will shut off. To determine if the pressure switch is defective, use a multimeter to test the switch for continuity. If the pressure switch does not have continuity, replace it.

Parts
Cause 4Draft Inducer Motor

The draft inducer motor draws air into the heat exchanger and then exhausts it out the flue. The pressure switch senses a pressure change and closes a switch to signal the control board that the furnace has proper air flow. If the draft inducer motor is defective, it may be unable to close the pressure switch, causing the ignition process to stall and the furnace to shut off after a few minutes. If the ignition process stalls, the furnace will shut off. If the draft inducer motor is at fault, replace it.

Parts
Cause 5Flame Rollout Limit Switch

The flame rollout switch monitors the heat surrounding the burners. If the inducer fan motor cannot draw enough air through the burners, or if the furnace is not venting properly, the rollout switch will open to halt the ignition sequence and prevent the furnace from heating. When this happens, the furnace will shut off after running for a few minutes. To determine if the flame rollout switch is defective, use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If the switch does not have continuity, replace it. Be aware that poor airflow through the burner is often a result of insufficient ventilation or a restricted exhaust vent. Make sure that your furnace is in a properly ventilated location and the exhaust vent is clear of obstructions.

Parts
Cause 6Air Flow Problem

The furnace must have proper airflow through the burner in order to continue running. The furnace draws air from the surrounding area or from outside the room. If the furnace is located in a utility closet or in a cramped storage room, there may not be sufficient available air for the furnace to heat properly. If the furnace draws air from outside the home, check for an obstructions at the air inlet.