Heater woes.
December 3, 2007 8:26 PM   Subscribe

Can I fix my gas heater without hurting myself?

My apartment's gas heater stopped working today. I took a look at it--the LED indicator flashes steadily, and the chart for LED indicator interpretation says that that means "Line voltage (115V) polarity reversed."

I don't know anything about heaters, but I am fairly proficient at splicing, crimping wires etc.

The heater has an automatic electric ignition system--no pilot light.

To my untrained eye, a reversed polarity sounds like a fairly isolated problem, and if I can fix it myself immediately without having to call for help, I'd prefer it.

Is this something I can safely fix myself? If so, how?

It's cold in here.
posted by Darth Fedor to Technology (9 answers total)
Is the question not more likely to be 'how can the polarity of my heater suddenly switch?'

That is not really as trivial a situation as you are suggesting the fix would be. Also, in a lot of countries it would be illegal for an unqualified person to mess with a gas heater. If there was any subsequent incident/damage, you may be in significantly more hot water than you don't have available to you now.
posted by Brockles at 8:29 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

No. Call your landlord and put in a work order request. I guarantee you no landlord wants you messing around with a fire hazard. There is no charge to you to submit a work order request. I am sure buried in your lease somewhere is something mentioning messing around with wiring/plumbing, etc.
posted by 45moore45 at 8:30 PM on December 3, 2007

Hm. Maybe if you want extra fast service, you could call the landlord and say that you're considering fixing it yourself. :-)

But I'd say if it suddenly stopped working, it's more complicated than reversed polarity.
posted by winston at 8:48 PM on December 3, 2007

Advice taken. Thanks guys.
posted by Darth Fedor at 8:55 PM on December 3, 2007

In theory, you can, but you almost certainly should not. As 45moore45 pointed out, it could very well be a violation of your lease (not to mention, quite possibly dangerous if you don't know exactly what you're doing).
posted by dhammond at 8:56 PM on December 3, 2007

I'm not quite sure how the polarity on an AC current could reverse? I suspect it is something a bit more serious.
posted by bystander at 9:16 PM on December 3, 2007

75% chance of not getting blown up. Act accordingly.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:23 PM on December 3, 2007

When you're dead, you'll wish you had gone to the trouble to have the work done by someone qualified.
posted by jayder at 9:32 PM on December 3, 2007

Make sure the ground wire on the control board is secure. This message isn't talking about the polarity from the wall current, it's referring to the secondaries on the transformer (DC output to power the controls/valve).
posted by IronLizard at 2:17 AM on December 4, 2007

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