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.

Published in: on January 30, 2009 at 1:26 pm  Comments (48)  
Tags: , , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://dmcmeans.wordpress.com/2009/01/30/diagnosing-payne-furnace-codes-33-and-13/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

48 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.

    • I had the same problem, the gas wouldnt stay on and the error code was 33 & 13. I removed the 16 x 25 inch cold air return filter and it now works fine. even though the filter didnt look dirty it was restricting air flow.

  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.


  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
    take note of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed whilst
    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.
    I understand this is off topic however I just wanted to ask.

  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

  30. I want to let you know that you don’t have any idea how much this post helped me and my family. Although the flame roll out switch is in a different location, pressing it did the job! I also made the blower motor ran for a couple of minutes just to get any dust out of the way I guess. I did not have any compressed air to clean the burners but I just used my mouth to blow the dusf off lol. I also cleaned the flame sensor with a sand paper. Plus, I checked the igniter for continuity – it was fine. I also found out that I put the air filter the wrong way. So I switched it by flipping it where the arrow is pointing upward. Anyway, you saved me a lot of money! Not to mention, I had a technician come over and all he told me was “You need to replace your whole system”. Thanks again.

  31. flames not going 100% into tubes. furnace over heats cools down. push reset runs for 10 to 15 mins over heats.checked air intake and exhaust. vac tubes and burner 2004 pyne 120 btu pg9maa60120afka

  32. I have a payne gas furnace. honeywell manual t stat. t stat set at 75 and temp shows 59. Turn heat up and look at furnace and it works for about 4 minutes then flame goes out and flashing code 33. What seems to be the problem? Can’t get the heat to meet the temp setting and flashing code 33 after 4 minutes of heat blowing (flames go out when code 33 comes on). Thank You. I have 2 young children and no experience with gas or electric and don’t want to die or kill my kids or have them/us die from troubled furnace.

  33. I have a Payne furnace it was running but shut off and now it won’t Do anything no codes flash I checked the power and it’s good what could it be?

    • Did you ever figure this out. I’m having the exact same problem any advice ?

  34. I’m code 33 and then 13 I’ve replaced the fan limit . And it still code I’ve clean the evap ck the filter all vent r open , there one thing I’m not sure about someone vented it into a fire place in a basement ??

  35. Hello, I just had a Payne 95XAT installed Horizontally, it was working fine for the past two weeks, until two nights ago, when we woke up the house was at 55F and the wireless thermostat was disconnected. It seems that the furnace shut off overnight for some reason after it was running great and toasty for a couple nights of 4-8F cold.

    I reset the flame rollout switch as per what my tech told me, and it seemed to fire up again for only an hour or so. It is a two stage furnace, and it doesnt seem to be kicking into the second stage to heat the place. The 3 burners are going, upon start up the first fan starts, then 30sec later the igniter fires up the flames and then the fan seems to kick down a notch and thats all we get. We are getting a slight draft thru the floor registers, but it is cool, barely even room temperature. Why isnt the 2nd stage kicking on and heating the house? could it be a gas line pressure? I noticed a bit of carbon build up on the gas jets on the intake side of the burn (they look like trumpet horns) could this be a low flow gas issue?

  36. I have an older 1989 vintage Payne vertical furnace that has been rebuilt about 10 years ago using parts from an identical Payne furnace that was only a year old at that time. The only thing not used was the heat exchanger and the main body. I had what the furnace repairman called the high limit switch that he replaced about 30 days ago when the switch kept popping & had to be reset 2 times. The repairman stated on the receipt it was functioning properly, but this is a rental and the tenant decided to have the Gas Co come look at it for a safety check. They red tagged it for improper venting, along with several other issues, and told me the switch the repairman replaced was not the high limit switch, but the vent shutoff switch which was a $5 part. I that repair cost $325 parts. & labor for a 15 minute job.
    My question is, are the terms high limit switch and vent shutoff switch interchangeable or actually completely different parts with different replacement costs and functions?

  37. Bryant Furnace Model 355MAV060100… Have had troubles with the unit since it was first installed. Yes, day 1, once it was actually used. Always showed many of the symptoms discussed here, recently getting exact same codes. I have probably had every single part changed on this too. ALWAYS was told, get a new one. When it heats it heats well. Problem is always having to go up shut off then reset and start it and hope it stays going…. WELL….guess what? Sort of a LAST effort. Was being told heat exchanger going bad….because of how the flame looked. Had the gas valve of the unit checked and it was not good…replaced it this morning and WHOA!!!! The flame is straight and like it should look. SO, maybe it was a bad gas valve on this unit all along since when I purchased the new furnace. I’ve been given EVERY excuse about this unit. WHO has the money to just “replace” a furnace? CHECK YOUR GAS VALVE inside the unit.

  38. I’ve just corrected the problem by re-habbing the contacts at Pin 7 of the 9-pin plug, after confirming continuity everywhere else in the circuit, including the roll-out switch and hi limit switch.

  39. I have a 10 year old payne PG8JAA followed your directions furnace fired up but a powerful burning smell was coming from the furnace although it runs then shuts off then runs again when it is running (flame blowing ) the led light is on solid like it is supposed to be but when the flame shuts off the led starts it 3 long three short flashing sequence there is no cold air return filter on this furnace so there was quite a lot of dust bunnies in and around the motor, naturally I cleaned all of the above.
    what is the life span of a furnace ? Should I change it out ?

    • I figured you had this problem resolved by now. But maybe for others. I’ve been in the field since 1976, after 2 year college in HVAC. Had my own company here in Oregon since 1989. Air filters are crucial. If you have no filter and evidence of lots of dust then you need to check out your heat exchanger, room air side, not flame side. If you have central air then you need to check out the indoor evaporator coil. Without an air filter this coil becomes you next stop for the air flow. Thus the coil becomes the ‘air filter’. It is like a car radiator with tubes and closely spaced fins. These can become clogged with the dust from the non filtered air blowing through. If it is really plugged up it may look like a sheet of grey felt. To clean the ac coil you probably need to slide out the coil from the coil cabinet or sheet metal plenum and clean the air coming in side with a brush. Medium to small wire brush works great. Hopefully no need to disconnect the refrigerant tubing. For those of you with a 90% plus efficient furnace, which is identifiable with PVC white or ABS black plastic venting then next filter spot, without a throwaway filter, becomes the secondary heat exchanger. To clean that tube and fin device the blower housing has to be slid out ond then you can see, with a light and mirror if the secondary is plugged up. Nevertheless, air filters are crucial. Furnace life span is typically 20 years, but it’s not years old but hours run. If you have another source of heat then the furnace can last much longer. Good luck and I like hearing the efforts of other fellow Columbos. Garys Heating.

  40. I have noticed you don’t monetize your website, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn extra cash every month because you’ve got high
    quality content. If you want to know how to make extra $$$, search
    for: best adsense alternative Wrastain’s tools

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: