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Furnace motherboard

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by aot2002, Oct 14, 2011.

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  1. aot2002


    Oct 14, 2011
    I recently installed a furnace about 3 1/2 weeks ago. The furnace is new on the market from the manufacture as one of the more advanced one's using more computer related electronics to run the furnace. I installed a GFI on the furnace to protect myself and I think my investment.
    The furnace was running fine for all 3 1/2 weeks up until two days ago.

    Two days ago the furnace was off and the GFI was kicked. Everytime I powered up the furnace it would kick the GFI again.
    I talked to the manufacture and he helped diag through finding a part that was bad and said it's not a common part that normally fails this early.
    We replaced it doing a swap out of the part and the GFI no longer kicked anymore and finally the motherboard booted up.
    The lcd was giving a weird error code that would not reset on the screen which he thought was weird. He had me do a complete wipe and restart of the board using the keypad hidden sequence.
    The error still popped up, so we replaced the motherboard.
    All is well now and things are working fine, but I couldn't stop there so I took apart the old control board to see if maybe I could find signs of what went wrong.

    I took some pics of the board and my gut is saying water damage but I wanna be sure that's what happened or not.
    I had to give back the old board so I cannot test anything on it at this point.

    If you look at the pics is that white stuff from water damage?
  2. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Hard to tell.
    It's possible the board got wet before you got it (might have been stored outside in the
    rain by installation company). Or stored in high humidity environment.
    When they manufacture boards, they wave-solder them, then run them through a bath to
    remove any flux. But I doubt that's an issue here (poor washing in the factory).
    I tend to THINK you're probably right, moisture might have gotten to the board at some
    time in the past.
    In case you're wondering, I don't see any way your GFI could have caused your control
    board to stop working.
  3. aot2002


    Oct 14, 2011
    I was thinking of replacing the GFI with a surge protection device or both since I already own the GFI.
    Any thoughts on this?
  4. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Pointless to add a surge protection device, the GFI will trip long before the surge suppressor
    had a chance to work.
    You've already talked to the manufacturer, try again, and ask if they have any recommendations.
    It was a little startling to hear them say your controller died before they expected it to.
    Obviously they know there's a problem. And they expect you to have this problem again,
    just not for a while.
    It's difficult to suggest additional protection, because we don't know what failed to
    begin with. Like I said, the manufacturer knows, maybe they'll share an idea or two.
  5. aot2002


    Oct 14, 2011
    I kept asking if a gfi was a good idea they just said they can't recommend one which was odd. Maybe for liability reasons?
    I'll touch base with them to see what I can find out
  6. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    I believe they know there's a problem with their design, because it sounds like they're
    familiar with the problem you reported to them.
    Possibly, the next time you lose the board, they'll have engineered the fix into the
    new replacement.
    Don't mean to sound insensitive about that, but business is business. They're probably
    hoping the boards they have in the field now, will last longer than their warranty on them,
    and they'll be working to solve the problem for the next generation, if they haven't identified
    and already implemented the fix already.
  7. jackorocko


    Apr 4, 2010
    I don't really think that board got wet. I have seen computer boards that got wet and normally the damage is much more visible and worse.

    As long as you have a warranty then I wouldn't worry to much about it till it really becomes a problem. Here is to hoping you stay warm.
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