Diagnosing Payne Furnace Codes 33 and 13

Recently, my Pane PG8DAA downflow furnace stopped delivering heat. The fan was running constantly, but the air was cold. The trouble codes were 33 which becomes 13 after a period of time. Powering off the furnace and restarting would trigger the gas ignition, but it would not stay on. After having the unit inspected professionally, the problem was determined to be poor airflow caused by clogged filters. I use 3M Filtrete filters and the technicians said it’s very common for these high grade filters to clog early and when they do it’s like having a piece of plywood in the air way. He said these kinds of filters should be checked every 30 days.

Since the trouble code pointed to the flame roll-out sensor, I thought manually resetting that would be the way I’d get the gas back on. The technician explained that if I had had a flame roll-out problem, my eyebrows would have been signed off. In other words, there would be no mistaking it. You would see the flames rolling out of the furnace.

My old furnace had a heat exchanger that had to be inspected every year for dangerous cracks. Given that the high limit switch was also a culprit, I was concerned that I might not have a similar problem and so I was glad to have the unit inspected. The tech said the newer furnaces are so pressure sensitive that cracks in the heat exchanger are very evident. You will see flames rolling out or the flame change from blue to yellow as it mixes with air leaking into the exchanger. He said he could tell just by looking at the flame that there were no cracks in the exchanger.

Here are the things I learned :

These codes can be set by a problem with the high limit switch, which shuts off the gas when the temperature in the heat exchanger exceeds the upper limit.

Symptoms: the blower fan comes on immediately after powering the furnace back on. The gas does not come on.

If you suspect this as the problem, try setting the fan from auto to on to cool the exchanger. Make sure all the vents are open. Clean or replace all the filters.

You can reset the high limit switch by tapping on the tan plate above the wires. Be careful to not touch to wires.

High limit sensor

If the problem is the high limit switch, these are temporary measures that may provide a work-around until you can have the unit professionally inspected.

These codes may also require the limit or flame roll-out switch to be reset. The two switches are located above the three burners. If the flame “rolls out” instead of into the heat exchanger, the sensors detect the heat and shut off the gas. Manually reset the sensor by turning off the furnace and pressing the center tab down on the back, upper side, of the switch.

Flame roll-out sensors

Or, they may mean dusty burners. Clean by using turning off the furnace and blowing compressed air into the burners. A shop-vac that can blow air can be used as well.

Ensure that there are no closed vents which would restrict air flow. Clean or replace all the filters. High grade filters like 3M Filtrete, because of their efficiency, may need to be replaced earlier than the manufacturer’s recommended 90 days. Check every 30 days.

Additionally, the flame sensor may need to be cleaned. Steel wool is best. Fine sand paper may be used, but you must remove the sand paper residue with a damp paper towel.

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Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm  Comments (34)  
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34 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have a Payne furnace model PG9MAA048080 and I’m getting a signal 34. Everything comes on but we only get cool air because the furnace won’t ignite.

    • What does signal 34 mean?

      • hey the code 34 is the white switch right by the 4 fire tubes. it looks like a rectangular 1 inch long and a pointy top. that make the fire stay on . i think its the spark .

  2. anyone know how do i replace the fuse link?? im having the same problem as the page is describing. code 33 + 13!!! please help.

  3. joe, if you click on one of his thumbnail pictures, it’ll take you to another page with more pictures. scroll the top right and click on the 5th picture. and the little tiny RED piece behind the flame ports is the problem 34.

  4. Thank you for the info on the Payne errors 33 and 13. My furnace hadn’t been working for the past 24 hrs.
    I started by cleaning the filters but that didn’t stop the errors. I then vacuumed and blew out the burners with my compressor. It was also very helpful to me to see pictures of the manual reset switches, they are pretty well hidden and I’m not sure I would have found them without your excellent discription of how to locate and reset them. I was wery pleasantly when my furnace fired and the error light stopped blinking!! Now my wife thinks I’m a genius and our house is warm again. Thanks again, Waldon.

    • You are very welcome. Glad to be of service.

  5. Thank you for the great info. We woke up on a Sunday morning with the house temp at 55 degrees and dropping. With the temp at -30 degrees outside, we were worried about our 8 month old that already had a cold. Thank you for helping me fix this problem at a time when money is tight for us.

  6. having trouble with furnace it will cut blower on but inducer wont start i only seen one rollout limit

  7. The Payne furnace is sensitive to airflow- using a 3m filter does restrict air and the furnace sees this as a danger and will not power the ignitor.. Fix is under a buck.. Use the blue cheap woven filters. To us a restrictive filter require the trouble of rebuilding the plenum to accept a larger air filter.

  8. FYI Its a EZ diag too.. Reading Masters post- It worked BEFORE the 3m filter?? Just remove filter and send a call for heat- all should be good. If so just use the cheapo air filter. Those
    “better” filters help pay my way with unneeded service calls

    Please clean the dust from your furnace room or I will at $65.00 per hour.

  9. Excuse me my uninformed friend , the flame roll out switch is opening due to a heat exchanger blockage or crack in the exchanger. if the unit is installed properly that switch should never open. dont be an idiot and wake up dead from CO poisioning. I am a hvac tech and have found several of these furnace go bad in less than 10 yrs. You are correct about dirty filters making the hi – limit open. the furnace may run a while cycling on and off on the hi -limit until it sticks open, the the blower will just run and run and nothing else

    • I have an older Carrier/Payne vertical FAU. I’m having the same problem with the code 33 to 13 and as far as I can determine, there’s no cracks or blockage to the exchanger. I changed the filter and replaced the control board. It worked fine for about 1 day, then no heat, just air. So, I checked and cleaned all the contacts. Still no heat. If I bypass the hi-limit switch and the vacume switch, it seems to work. Can’t the hi-limit or flame roll out switch just go bad? I think mine is a bad hi-limit, not a bad flame roll out because it will ignite with the flame roll out connected, but ?????

  10. Hey hope someone can help…….Have a 33 code that changes to 13. I tried all the fixes, new filters, vaced out the return as best I couldtried to reset both switches but they didn’t seem tripped to me. Shut off power to unit turned on about 15 min later and the blower started up…..NO FLAME. About to blow a lot of money (I’m sure) on having a tech come out. Can those switches be replaced by an average joe with average mech skills?

    • Did you ever fix it? I don’t see why anyone with average mechanical skills can’t replace the parts, if you can find them, but sometimes that’s not enough. See my post above to “June 25, 2011 at 9:45 am david scherer” It sounds like I’m having the same problem as you. I changed out the control board because it got hot and smoked. I think I had/have more than one issue. I can replace parts, but diagnosing the real problem takes more than average ability. I’m finding it may take the experience of an HVAC tech to diagnose some of the more tricky problems.

  11. MY HEATER WILL IGNITE AND THEN WONT STAY LIT. I’VE RESET THE POWER FLOW(POWER SWITCH),VACCUMMED,AND CHANGED FILTERS ALSO. WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?

  12. How to fix code 21 problem?

  13. my heater is making a whistling sound periodicly almost sounds like a humming sound.I checked to see if the cover is tight and it appears to be.heat is still coming out.just want noise gone!

  14. Thanks for your help David! :) We just got this furnace in last summer, and we had been experiencing the code 33 and 13 on and off and could not figure out why. Changed the filter (which was still fairly clean)and it lit up right away! My husband couldn’t belive it!

  15. Good stuff! Especially the switch re-set

  16. I have an error code 34 also, clicked on the thumbnail and can see what you are talking about. Is this a replaceable part? And if so, what is it called?

  17. This is a great web site. Good sparkling user interface and very informative blogs. I will be coming back in a bit, thanks for the great article. I have found it enormously useful.

  18. David, thank you so much for your blog! You just saved us $300! My husband followed your instructions and reset our furnace. :)

  19. Thanks David, you gave me the confidence to look at sensors and, locate my code 33 problem. Next to the 115VAC line-in hookup are two terminals which attach to the diaphragm switch. The switch wire was crowded against the tin box housing the line-in connection and had rubbed off the insulation, from furnace operating vibration over the last ten years. I did not see this with my meter but from visual observation of the silver glint where the insulation was worn away. To fix my furnace code 33 problen I reformed the switch away from the tin so the wire would not make connection there. The board was not damaged which I was glad to discover.

  20. I have a payne furnace model pg8daa and there is a wheel that spins and it is making a lot of noise when its spinning. Can I just put some household oil on it or use canned air. Any Ideas???

  21. Undeniably imagine that that you said. Your favorite reason
    seemed to be on the internet the simplest thing to
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    other people consider issues that they plainly do not understand about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the highest and defined out
    the entire thing with no need side-effects , other people can take a signal.
    Will probably be again to get more. Thanks

  22. Hey there superb website! Does running a blog like this take a large amount of work?
    I have no knowledge of coding but I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyway, should you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners please share.
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  23. just wanted to say thanks!
    Furnace wasnt working, couldnt figure out what was wrong for the life of me

    High limit was stuck, tapping it fixed the issue, so simple

  24. my payne furnace is not wrking

  25. I have the Payne PG9MAA gas furnace and need to replace the flame sensor (thermal coupler), can someone tell me where it is on the furnace? The manual is not helpful at all.

  26. It’s going to be ending of mine day, but before ending I am reading this
    impressive post to improve my know-how.

  27. Your mode of telling the whole thing in this piece of writing is actually fastidious, all be capable of simply know
    it, Thanks a lot.

  28. payne furnace pg8uaa048091 board keep blinking no heat no blower no nothing 24 vac from thermostat is present from common to white no power to gas vlv nothing turning on any suggestion and what error code is it if board does not stop blinking

  29. In my apartment building there was a new Payne furnace put in and the people upstairs just turned it on for the first time this year and it was making a funny noise when it first kicked on but now that its been running for a little while its not making that noise anymore the furnace is running fine. Should me and my family be worried about carbon monoxide poisoning


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