View Full Version : Upside down Furnace ???
12-23-2006, 08:37 AM
I was recently doing a new home inspection on a 4-floor townhouse and the furnace for the upper floors was installed UPSIDE DOWN. They took a Normal up flow Carrier Gas furnace and installed in upside down making it into a down flow unit.
Is this Acceptable ??
I saw lots of possible issues including but not limited to:
- All of the heat sensors expect heat to rise, so all of the over temp devices will be confused.
- The filter is now 6' off the ground and not easy to replace.
- The A-Coil (installed right side up) now has the air going in the wrong direction and may drip more than it should.
The unit is a Carrier M/N 58STA045 -- 12112
Unfortunately the Install manual was nowhere to be seen.
I said I would check to see if this was proper and get back to my client as quick as I could.
If this is as bad as I think is could be, please email me DIRECTLY atNO EMAILS IN POSTS PLEASE as well as posting here. It may be fine, but knowing that carrier makes specific downflow units makes me think not....
(UPDATE) I see that the furnace is listed as a "4-way" furnace... does this mean its OK upside down? I found a thread another person posted with the same furnace line (58STA...) and was told it MIGHT be a multi-position... I just want to be sure either way before I call my client back...
PS... It was absolutely choked with drywall dust, what else is new...
12-23-2006, 09:20 AM
carrier lists it as multi pos furnace, should be ok
12-23-2006, 10:47 AM
<<Show some respect. If you don't want to help, don't post on the thread.>>
12-23-2006, 12:33 PM
Come on, this IS the residential forum, and at least he is asking politely. Obviously he didn't read the posting rules since he posted his email address, but he'll learn his lesson when he gets loads of SPAM in his inbox.
12-23-2006, 03:30 PM
Thank you (most) for the replies.
I am NOT a HVAC expert, thats why I ask before I stick my foot in my mouth.
Knowing the people who installed this furnace, I would not put it past them to put a "normal" furnace in upside down just because the did it with a 4-way.
I only get a few minutes to look at a furnace, so I am looking at the BIG things, does it have the air it needs, do the flames change when the blower comes on, does the unit come on at all, it is reasonably clean, do the cutoff switch work, is there a disconnect outside if there is an outside unit, ...yada yada yada....
Clueless, not quite, but no expert either and I know that. What I look for are things I have been told to look for, or things that seem different from the other 500 similar systems... ie the upside down unit.
I never say it is "broken" unless it is very clear, but more often I will say "I would have a professional HVAC person look at that because...."
Remember, I am supposed to know a little about everything from gravity octopus systems, steam systems, heat pumps, Oil, gas and electric furnaces, Ground source systems, and condensing systems, not to mention radiant hydronic, radiant electric floor and ceilings,.... then I go to roofs, plumbing, electrical systems, appliances, ....
Expert no, and I am "corrected" occasionally, but I try not to make the same mistake more than once.....
Helpful suggestions are ALWAYS welcome.....
PS... sorry about posting my email, no I don't read ALL the forum rules.... just like I don't read ALL of the software licences... wouldn't understand them if I did, and like I have a choice....
12-23-2006, 03:59 PM
Legitimate home inspectors (man that's a contradiction) please excuse me, and for someone to come here and ask for help is commendable. But I am going to overstate the obvious here and make a blanket statement. "Home Inspectors should inspect homes, not HVAC systems!" This post just illustrates again, why home inspectors should not, simply because they do not have the proper knowledge, make observations about HVAC equipment and systems. Here is a system that he immediately thought was 'upside down' and incorrectly installed, when in fact, the unit is a multi-position or multi-poise. Those of us 'in the business' know what this means; that the unit can be installed in multiple configurations. Now, that is not to say a furnace may NOT be installed properly, but someone who is familiar with the equipment and systems should be making that determination. An HVAC professional should be inspecting the HVAC system. a PLUMBING professional should be inspecting the plumbing. An ELECTRICAL professional should be inspecting the electric in the house. When will people, especially those in the business themselves, admit when you purchase a home inspection, you are usually purchasing an opinion; no more, and no less.
All the best, John.
12-23-2006, 04:20 PM
As follow up, do the HVAC experts consult the Structural experts before they install the system on either new or replacement?
12-23-2006, 07:37 PM
Structural systems... I won't say how many times I have seen the trusses in an attic butchered by an HVAC person to put in a replacement AC HVAC system.
I agree with the poster that an expert would be the BEST to inspect each system. That said...
Someone has just put a contract in on a house, They have a 5 day contingency. If they want anything inspected, they have 5 days otherwise they have accepted the house as is automatically. 5 Days is the current norm in my area, in others it is 7. I have seen as little as 3 days and as many as 45 on large complicated (expensive) houses....
They now need to line up
- An HVAC inspection
(may be multiple if separate systems)
- An electrical Inspection
- A plumbing inspection
- A framing inspection
- A foundation inspection
- A roof inspection
- A termite inspection
- An appliance inspection (if there is such a thing)
- A radon test
If you want a WRITTEN report from each one, they each will want money, each will take time and need to be scheduled, and let in by the Realtor and the home owner.
At $75 each, just the main ones alone are $525, and I don't know many professionals who will make a call and write a (real) report for $75. Realtors and home owners don't want 5-6 different trades going through their homes, and people don't want to take the time to find 5-6 different trades who can make the trip AND deliver the report in less than 5 days. My inspections on small homes are much less than that, and I do it in ONE (1) trip.
Home inspectors are not perfect, I am not perfect, but I spend many hours in OTHER trades class rooms to become better, and learn more. There are bad inspectors, just as there are bad HVAC techs. There are good inspectors as well. We make it clear we are generalists, we are looking for clues that let us say "An HVAC person should look at that..." A home inspector who says he is an expert is, well, I won't go there....
I provide a well educated opinion on a house. That opinion is based on lots of training and experience and asking questions of everyone, and seeing the good, the bad and the ugly. Many of my inspection pictures have been reprinted by "experts" in the trades as how not to install things.
If anyone has some constructive input I welcome it. The local chapter of ASHI to which I belong is always looking for speakers from the trades to talk to us about things to look for. I am sure that other chapters also are looking for "experts" to come speak and teach for an evening. Beyond the extra training many of us take, we are REQUIRED by our association to get 20 hours of training to maintain our membership certification.
Again, I thank the person who confirmed my thought that a "4-way" carrier meant it could be used "upside down." If the manuals had been locatable, I could (and would) have read them on site to determine that.
Lastly, Home inspectors look out for the trades, I for one have called out the need for a new platform in an attic when a furnace was put in facing the wrong way. To open the service panel would have required standing in the insulation, on the rafters, in the dark... the builder saw nothing wrong with that......
12-24-2006, 12:25 AM
It is sort of like going to a doctor...First you check in with a receptionist, then you see and speak to a nurse and then you get to see a doctor. Everyone has a position and a job to do to make the big picture complete.
A home inspector has a position and a job to do and the whole system works well when everyone knows what there position and job is and does it.
I say to rsisson, keep up the good work!! :rolleyes:
12-24-2006, 12:53 AM
You know "most" Home Inspectors know their limits and I believe they are just out to do their customer the best job they can do in good faith.
I have had a run into with one of them over a system we put in a home, he told the customer that the furnace needed cleaning and we installed the furnace in the summer time and it had never even been operated yet and I called him up and he said sorry I weigh 270# and I could not even get back up into there were the furnace was, so I just wrote that down because most all of them need cleaning when I look at them, so I ask him to please call my customer and tell them what he did.
I will have to say here in Houston I have seen more Home Inspectors lately recommend the HO to call out a professional to really thoroughly check it as one did last week said the overflow pan looked like it had oil in it and sure enough the system was running a 20# suction when our guy went out and condemned the evaporator coil it had a bad leak in it.
I really think the majority of them I have personally ran across have been good folks and try there best to do there job as there supposed to, but I have seen a couple get to the home turn the system on for 5 minutes in 100° weather and write down the system only has a 10° TD this really gets under my skin especially when we installed the system.
I think in the long run if they all would just do their job according to the limits required and if they see something that might need further attention recommend a good service company it would be better for all parties involved.
12-25-2006, 12:30 AM
I have found it wiser to work with home inspectors rather than criticizing them. If they are familiar with the basics then they can make a recommendation to call a pro if there is something suspect. I have friends that are home inspectors and I have received work from their referrals when they have spotted problems. I have also been called to look over things that looked suspect to them. In turn I give them "heads up" on things to look for which clearly don't meet code. I guess I haven't ran across a poor home inspector yet as it appears others have.
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