There are a number of components in a combustion furnace that ensure the gas or propane flows correctly and safely. One of these components is the manifold. You don’t hear too much about the manifold because it is often overshadowed by the burner and heat exchanger, but without the manifold, there no heat for your home.
What Is the Manifold?
The manifold is a straight, metal tube that directs the gas from the main gas valve to the burners. The burners are usually open tubes and each has a small nozzle inside known as “spuds” through which the manifold disperses the gas or propane; there can anywhere from 2-10 burners with correlating spuds. The size of the holes for the spuds will depend on which fuel type is used. For the manifold to operate correctly, the correct pressure has to be set according to the manufacturers specifications. Natural gas and propane each need a different pressure level, so your heating specialist will use special tools to accommodate for whichever fuel type you use.
The main problem that can develop with a manifold is corrosion and/or rust. Typically this can happen if the furnace hasn’t been well-maintained. Manifolds are not exposed to the elements and as part of the burner, are inside the cabinet. During regular maintenance the manifold will be inspected and cleaned, which helps to significantly reduce the development of rust or corrosion. The nozzles of the manifold will also be cleaned so that the fuel jets of the burner flow as they should. If a problem develops with your manifold, you’ll need the assistance of a trained expert because manifolds are factory-made and require expert handling.
Furnaces can be complex, and attempting to repair parts without knowing exactly what you are doing can be risky. If you are having problems with your furnace, don’t try to guess what’s happening. Instead, call an expert from APC Plumbing & Heating for furnace service in Denver and get qualified help.