How To Test a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch

By | July 2, 2023

How To Test a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch
A gas furnace pressure switch is a necessary component for safety and for the furnace to turn on.

If the switch is not working, the furnace will not start.

What is a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch?

A gas furnace pressure switch is a safety component that makes sure gas is being vented from a furnace before starting.

The furnace pressure switch sends a signal to the furnace control board that verifies the inducer motor is working.

An inducer motor spins creating a vacuum that pulls out toxic gasses that come from the flames.
gas furnace pressure switch inducer motor
Before natural gas goes into a furnace and starts a flame, it uses the pressure switch as a safety, to know that the gasses are being vented.

How Does a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch Work?

  • When there is a vacuum, the pressure switch diaphragm pulls out and closes the switch.
  • If there is no vacuum, the pressure switch diaphragm does not move and the switch stays open.
  • If the switch stays open, the furnace will not turn on since it thinks the inducer motor has not turned on.

A pressure switch has a diaphragm that pulls out when a vacuum is applied to it.

If there is no vacuum, the diaphragm does not pull out.

The diaphragm uses a switch connected to it that will show open or closed depending on what the diaphragm is doing.

While an inducer motor may be bad, often, a line is clogged and needs cleaning out.

How Do You Test a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch?

How Do You Test a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch
A furnace pressure switch is tested by using a multi meter to measure continuity to see if it opens and closes.

A multi-meter will be needed to test the switch for continuity.

Basically, The switch needs to be tested to see if it is closing when the pressure diaphragm pulls in.

First, take the two wires off the pressure switch and test them with a multi meter for continuity.
Gas Furnace Pressure Switch continuity
The switch is normally open and should only show closed when the furnace is working.

If the switch has continuity and shows closed with the furnace not in operation, it is bad.

The switch should only be closed when the furnace is on, and the inducer motor is working.

When the furnace starts, the draft inducer motor will turn on and begin to blow the air out the vent creating a vacuum that pulls in on the diaphragm and closes the switch.

A multi-meter can be used to see if there is any change and if the switch closes or not.

Steps To Test a Furnace Pressure Switch

  1. Take the two wires off the pressure switch.
  2. How To Test a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch Step 1

  3. Turn the furnace on.
  4. How To Test a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch Step 3

  5. Set the multi meter to continuity and touch the two pressure switch leads.
  6. How To Test a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch Step 2

  7. If the switch closes, the pressure switch is working and is good.
  8. How To Test a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch Step 4

  9. If the switch stays open, the pressure switch is Not working.

Where Can You Buy a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch?

HVAC supply stores will sell you a pressure switch but usually at elevated prices. If you can wait a few days, I would buy from Amazon or eBay since they both have a wide selection.

Before changing out an inducer motor or pressure switch, keep in mind that a kinked hose, clogged flue pipe, or anything that stops the inducer motor from pushing air out of the vent will cause a good pressure switch not to work.

Category: HVAC how to

About Aaron H. Benetti

Aaron H. Benetti an HVAC technician who has worked in the field since 1991. He began his career as an HVAC installer and later began doing troubleshooting and repairs. Around 2010, he began to write books on HVAC topics, mainly tutorials and how-to information. Currently, Aaron works as an HVAC tech and also writes many articles and posts for websites as well as books and videos on HVAC topics.

25 thoughts on “How To Test a Gas Furnace Pressure Switch

  1. Theresa

    I have checked everything and my furnace did run…I may need a new draft enducer…I cleared my humidifier hoses and now my furnace will not come on… I removed hoses from pressure switches before clearing hoses…when my furnace did run I would get a pressure switch stuck open fault and it would shut down after a minute.

  2. Joseph

    I have a rheem that is being funky. It will run fine for a few hours then shut down. I have found that if I go “wiggle”the leads on the pressure control the inducer will kick up and work for a few more hours then stop. I’m not a pro but I believe it’s the pressure control contacts being bad. Can I clean them with a Emory board or just replace the whole switch.

  3. Ryan

    My Lennox pulse 21 furnace the inducer motor wont turn off. I think it could be a pressure switch issue. Where do.i begin looking?

    1. Andrew

      I simply blew into the tube of both pressure switches several times to free whatever was sticking inside, and it worked. Next time I might squirt in some silicon into the switch and pump it back and forth to distribute lubricant where needed. WD40 probably should not be used since it might affect the rubber hoses, probably not Neoprene.

  4. Christopher

    Having a no igniting issue on my furnace pressure switches have all 26 volts to them but once it clicks to get hot surface to lite 0 volts show on other side of the pressure switch. So thinking that pressure switch is bad. Trying to see if jumping will get me temporary heat though the night.

  5. Luke

    Don’t blow or suck on your pressure switches, people. They are delicate and you could damage the diaphragm in them. And Pete is right. These switches are dialed in for a certain pressure specific to that model furnace. Adjusting them is dangerous, allowing the furnace to run when something is wrong with it. The pressure switch is usually the symptom and not the problem. Find a contractor you trust and get on a plan. Repairs will be cheaper that way and they can keep an eye on your equipment.

    1. Andrew

      Luke, in the middle of Xmas night, puffing worked. In addition , now I know what to do next time. The switches were the problem and it leaves me in charge rather than being a helpless consumer.

  6. John

    When a pressure switch opens and shuts off the burner, there are basically two things that could be wrong 1… the pressure switch is defective and needs to be replaced or 2… the pressure switch shut off because of a defect in the venting system that is not creating a vacuum.

    Too many repairman tend to jump to the conclusion that the pressure switch is bad and replace it, and indeed pressure switches CAN be bad. But about 90% of the time the pressure switch is opening because it is detecting a defect in the venting system which needs to be corrected for the furnace to operate safely.

    1. Jim Edwards

      Help! I have a Goodman unit. I tested the GFS as per above and the continuity did not change. I order and received one from Amazon. Install it and I still get the 3 blinking lights. I removed the skinny hose from the induction motor and applied about 20 PSI of air, no apparent leakage and the hose appears to be in good shape. The larger rubber hose going to the venting system also appears to be in good shape. I removed it thinking that if the vent was obstructed, the unit would work because it was no longer blocked. am I missing something else? Thanks. Jim

      1. Aaron Benetti Post author

        The switch needs to show a continuity change. Is the draft inducer motor turning on to create a vacuum? Basically there should be a vacuum that closes the switch so either there is no vacuum or something is blocking it.

      2. David Sedam

        Once in a while during the winter months my furnace starts to comes on, it runs for maybe 30 seconds each time then it shuts down. It does that three times and then it gives me three flashing red blinking code lights when I look in the peep hole. This happens few times and only during the winter months. After many years of fighting this issue I know it is one of my pressure switches and 99 % of the time it is the same switch. What I know and found out is that the diaphram inside the switch is stuck. I know people say do not blow on the hose that is connected to the switch , could be right but what I do is lightly suck on the hose until I can hear the switch inside make a clicking sound., once I hear that I know it has become unstuck. Put everything back and turn the thermostat back on . That is what I do and it works for me. I learned this trick from a HVAC friend. So next time try this.

  7. Glenn Francisco

    I have a York Coleman Furnace that displays 2 normal green flashes on starting, then 3 flashing (pressure switch code) after several minutes. But furnace won’t ignite.
    I tested for voltage across the PS terminals. On startup immediately goes to 27 V (open switch), then immediately drops to 0 (closed switch). Inducer motor stays running for several minutes, then 3 flashing lights are displayed and a couple mins later this process cycles over.
    I pulled the hose while running and repeatedly reinstall while the inducer is running and it quickly switches PS open and closed like I would expect (good vacuum and I’ve checked for clogs and clear venting).
    It seems to me that would indicate the PS Switch is working. But inducer motor never stops running when switch closes. And furnace never ignites.
    What is the next check I need to do? Could it still be a faulty PS switch – per the error code? Or is it possibly the component in the circuit board that thinks it is not receiving 24 volts from the PS? Is their a specific resistance between the PS terminals that is important for switch function or any ohm value okay as long as the circuit is closed and 27 volts are coming in thru the switch?

  8. Kevin Morris

    I replaced the control board on my goodman GMT 090-4 the furnace worked for about a day then gave a code 3- blinks the pressure switch I replaced that worked for a few hrs now when I call for heat nothing happens no inducer nothing and I still get the code 3-blinks I’m at a loss as to what to do next

  9. Maurice Hill

    Hello everybody. I have a carrier furnace problem. My furnace will not run unless i unplug the hose connected to the pressure switch. Can anyone help?

  10. don suttles

    Hello I have a York furnace and I’m getting a code for limit switch hvac guy said my furnace was fine.the let her said it was the limit I went out bought one and installed did nothing to change the problem.I’m thinking its the pressure switch.I heard you can test it by pulling line off of inducer blower and if you suck it should click and if you blow it should that true?my furnace will kick on put heat out for a little then the air gets cold and furnace will run till I turn thermostat off.then if I wait 5 mins it will work ok for a few then back to same thing

    1. Andrew

      Puffing into the switch tubes several times freed the sticky parts inside, I felt the membrane moving, so gave it few more puffs and the furnace took off flawlessly It is 123f right now. Calling for service Xmas night would cost quite bit, It took me about an hour to figure it and fix it all. It 12:30 night and the home is warm again. It helps to have some tools handy. Andrew

  11. Mark

    Not sure if anyone is watching.
    My daughter has a Trane XE90. I am getting the 3 blinks on the circuit board. The hose from the bottom left coming out of the unit (I am a handy electronics repairman and repaired/installed medical equipment for 30 years, but have no HVAC lingo in my forte ;), nxt to about a 3/4″ diameter hose, connects to the pressure switch (with a “PO4” yellow label on it), and the hose then T’s to the burner assy area and the gas valve.

    If I pull the hose from the bottom left (that goes into the back of the pressure diaphragm) I am getting pressure – not vacuum. So I am thinking the inductor motor may have a blocked vent (they did have bee’s in one of their roof vents last year that I found by accident patching around some flashing. Fortunately they didn’t attack; I have allergies).

    That said, I “tested” the switch by sucking and blowing into the hose (that again, goes into the back of the switch assembly from the lower left of the unit). Without a lot of blwoing I could hear it escaping from the switch assembly. Blowing would get the switch to “click”, but upon not blowing it would not “click” back. However, if I then sucked, it would click… but upon stopping the suction i t would again, not click. I am thinking the diaphragm has a tear and is hanging up in there.

    I know it is not common to have two issues at once, but after 30 years of repairing, I know it can happen and is a pain in the but to figure out!

    Thanks for the help

  12. Kevin beatty

    I need paperwork on a universal pressure swith so I can a just it I accidentally threw mine away

    1. jim craft

      Here’s my recent Thanksgiving experience fixing a Goodman Air Pressure Switch B1370158.

      My 89-year old Father-in-law called to convey that his house is 45 degrees (after a day; those Purple Heart guys bear up well). I check the obvious stuff then take off the Everrest furnace doors and the 3 “blinks” code points to the pressure switch/flue problem. Flue is clear so I call Taylor Heating. They respond within an hour and the nice young man checks for switch continuity (none) and jumps it to warm the house temporarily. Given the holiday, he quotes us $303 for the part, $285 to open the supplier, $216 acquisition fee, and $60 travel. We thank him and pay the $140 service call fee, thinking Dad could stay at the Hilton for a few days for less $$$.

      So I play with the switch and note that it closes when a vacuum is applied to (suck on) the port. So either the contacts are bad or the spring tension needs adjustment. I pried the wire prongs-access door off; the contacts looked fine and noticed a movable small cylinder in the center of the switch. This controls spring tension/needed vacuum and is adjustable by an exterior threaded square drive plastic set-screw (used a small screwdriver). Lacking a vacuum pump, I adjusted it to the lowest vacuum (inhales) to make contact without slop/looseness. One screw and a hose connection (10 seconds) later, it surprisingly it worked. Seems that any loss of vacuum like a loose or cracked hose ($1) could also cause problems.

      There’s no better feeling than tinkering/fixing something esp, when other are depending on you but I may just order a new switch ($17) from Amazon and pocket the 1500% markup.

      1. pete astacio

        It is always expensive to call out a service company on a holiday weekend. However…. I’d like to see a copy of the invoice that he gave you. Sounds to me like he was either trying to rob you or your exaggerating the price enormously!! Even on a holiday weekend it’s not going cost you almost $1,000 for that part. I’d say that depending on the company it should cost around $450.00 – $600.00 though. Also that is not marking the part up by 750%. It’s called the cost of doing business. Truck takes gas, Employee is at least at time and a half probably at double time on a holiday weekend. On top of that they charge you the $140.00 service call because a lot of people try to do just what you did call a company out to tell you what is wrong with it and then you try to half ass fix it your self. If the furnace hasn’t shut off again by now I’m sure it will soon. What you did to the switch could “possibly” fill your house with Carbon monoxide. What if a bird gets in there but does not block it up all the way. You might as well of just left the jumper on. Not to mention the issue with ordering a pressure switch on Amazon. LOL, you void the warranty on your furnace by putting a non factory pressure switch and of course there is always the safety issue witch is the most important issue… I would of called another company and let the professionals do it just my opinion though… SAFTY FIRST!!!!!

  13. Vernon kruger

    Have a rheem Corsair down flo furnace it lites burns 5-8 seconds shuts off have replaced flame sensor


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