As a convenience, Payne furnaces contain a built-in diagnostic system that can alert you when something goes wrong. These furnaces simply show an error code to help you narrow down the problem quickly. Although your Payne furnace model may be a bit different, most furnaces have a flashing LED mounted on their control boards where error codes are reported. You can usually see this LED by viewing it through a small opening on the blower motor door. If not, take the blower motor door off to get a better look.
To determine the two-digit error code, count the red LED flashes. The first few flashes will be short, and counting them will give you the first digit of your error code. The next set of flashes will be longer and indicate the second digit. You can tackle some furnace problems on your own, but others may require a professional furnace technician to fix them.
No Heat, No Error Code
If your furnace isn't kicking on when you need it but there are no error codes present on the furnace, your unit likely has no power. Check your home's fuse box to make sure the breaker for the furnace hasn't tripped. Reset it if it has. If the breaker trips again shortly after turning your furnace back on, consult a furnace repair technician.
If a breaker hasn't tripped, check the on/off switch on your furnace to make sure it's on. This switch usually sits on the side of your furnace and looks like a light switch. It may seem silly to make sure your furnace is on, but sometimes switches can get bumped into the off position.
Error Codes 13 and 33
These two codes are related to each other. If your furnace shows an error code 33 that's not addressed promptly, the code will change to a 13. These codes indicate a limit switch lockout. This occurs when the furnace attempts to ignite but fails three times in a row. This usually indicates an airflow problem.
To fix it, try replacing the air filter in your furnace. Changing the filter on most furnaces is quite easy. Starting with this simple fix can save you a hefty and potentially unnecessary furnace repair bill.
Check the furnace for blocked or covered air vents, too, and remember to look outdoors as well. Your Payne furnace and other high-efficiency furnaces have an outdoor vent that pulls fresh air into the furnace for combustion. It too can become clogged with debris or find itself blocked by a snowdrift. Clearing away the debris should fix the furnace.
Error Codes 14 and 34
These fault codes can indicate an ignition switch lockout or an ignition proving fault. Unlike codes 13 and 33, codes 14 and 34 deal with combustion problems related to gas rather than air. Begin your troubleshooting of these codes by examining the valve on your incoming gas line. The valve should sit parallel to your gas line. If it sits perpendicular, the gas is off. Turn the lever to restore gas flow to your furnace.
If that doesn't solve the problem, turn the power to your furnace off. With the electricity off, check the gas valves inside the furnace. Make sure they aren't closed or blocked.
Error Code 31
A code 31 indicates that the pressure switch on your furnace is open. This safety feature ensures that gases created in your furnace during combustion properly vent to the outside rather than backing up into the furnace or your home. Furnace technicians call this problem back drafting.
To clear the code, check all of the PVC intake pipes going into your furnace for cracks or sags. Replace any that are damaged. A lack of airflow can cause this fault as well, so check the outdoor air intake for blockages or damage. Verify that your outdoor furnace vent pipe is also clear.
Other Error Codes
When your furnace is on the fritz, it's important to remember that both gas and electricity are potentially dangerous. As such, there are certain parts of your furnace you should leave to a qualified technician. In fact, Payne recommends skipping the troubleshooting and calling a repairman right away if your furnace shows error codes 12, 21, 22, or 23.
Error code 24 indicates a blown fuse or wiring short. You may be able to change a fuse yourself, but chasing down broken electrical wires is best left to a pro.
- Payne Heating & Cooling Systems: User's Information Manual for the Operation and Maintenance of Your New Gas-Fired Furnace
- Air Experts, Inc.: What To Do If Your Gas Furnace Pressure Switch Is Stuck Open
- Payne Heating & Cooling Systems: Condensing Gas Furnace Owner's Manual
- Chicago Heating & Repair: Payne Furnace Error Code
Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.