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Thread: Vent Damper Sticks

  1. #1

    Default Vent Damper Sticks

    I have a carrier steam boiler setup that's about twenty years old, fairly modern. My carrier automatic vent damper is sticking shut and keeping the electronic ignition from firing. This happens about once every couple of weeks and until recently I was able to just unplug the molex connector and it would close when I plugged it back in. This last time it didn't shut and I had to turn the little square end of the damper that sticks out of the sheet metal a bit and I heard the actuator kick in and turn it the rest of the way. Should I lubricate this thing a little bit? It doesn't sound any different than when it did when it wasn't working perfectly, not dirty or grungy or anything. It just sticks open and keeps the furnace from firing. It was -4 below here in the west suburbs of chicago last night. Not good.

    Thanks in advance for your help. Ray

  2. #2
    Computer Programmer Bill Arden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    MN, USA


    It sounds like a bad gear.

    or it could just be frost.

    Was the end hard to turn?

    Try holding the end while it opens and closes to get a feel for how much torque is required and to try and sense dead spots and/or binding.
    Important note Ė I donít know man made laws, just laws of physics
    Disclaimer: I'm a big fan of Darwin awards.

  3. #3

    Default Vent Damper Sticks

    I should proof my posts. What I meant to say was that it sounds the same as it did when it WAS working perfectly. It takes a little torque to move it around and it moves smoothly with a small amount of resistance. I just use some pliers and turn it slowly, no gear crunching, but I read somewhere on the internet that moving the damper manually could damage the motor so I'm a little gun shy about doing it too much. Could there be frost on the inside of the exhaust vent? It's a two story house plus attic and the boiler (in the basement) vents into the brick fireplace chimney that runs down the middle of the house.

    Thanks for your advice. Ray


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