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  1. #1

    Repair or replace 17 year old WaterFurnace?

    I have a WaterFurnace AT070. It's approximately 17 years old (not sure exact date, we bought the home 1.5 years ago and the WaterFurnace was already installed). We've been seeing low-pressure faults for a couple weeks now. The tech diagnosed it as a leak in the air coil (ours is the old-style, without the corrosion-resistant coating they put on them now). We can replace the air coil (with a new coil that does have the corrosion-resistant coating) for about $$$$ or replace the whole furnace for about $$$$. Obviously I'd like to avoid the $$$$ hit right now, but is it foolish to put $$$$ into a 17-year-old furnace?

    The tech seemed to think our furnace might be nearing it's end of life? I know they replaced the flow pump in 2009 and I think the compressor has been replaced once but I need to double-check that and I don't have a date. Anyway I"m looking for advice on whether to replace or repair? Thanks!
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 10-22-2012 at 06:15 AM. Reason: pricing

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,476
    For only $$$$, I'd go ahead with repair. IMO anyway.
    Last edited by jpsmith1cm; 10-22-2012 at 06:16 AM. Reason: pricing

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,540

  4. #4
    Sorry for including pricing, my bad. Question still stands though, should I do a somewhat costly repair (without pricing, let's say approx 10% of the cost of a new system) on a 17-year-old water furnace? Or cut my losses and get a new system with a new 10 year warranty?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tyler, Tx
    Posts
    568
    Depends, does the furnace burn the fuel correctly? Have your tech inspect the furnace for any damage to the heat exchanger, have him do a carbon monoxide test to ensure its not killing your family. Suffer from frequent headaches when you heat the house? could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning.
    Now if the furnace passes all these test you still have to ask yourself, How long before these problems show up? I;d rather replace now, than have to wait for replacement in the middle of winter.
    Philippians 4:13
    I can do all things in him that strengthen me.
    Apostle Paul inspired by GOD.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,476
    For just 10% of replacement cost I'd repair it. If repair cost gets close to 25-30%, then I'd look into replacing. Usually if compressor goes (out of warranty) then it's time to replace.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Savannah, Ga/H.H. Island, S.C.
    Posts
    1,447
    Artdavilla:
    This customer has a geo thermal system. It doesn't burn fuel or create carbon monoxide. It uses water for heat transfer.

    To the OP:
    As far as replacement goes; That is a decision you will have to make. If you repair, there still is old and expensive components (I.E. Compressor).

    The only way to increase your odds of not having a breakdown is replacement.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,619
    might be able to get a 30% tax credit if you replace it
    We really need change now

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    West Central Illinois
    Posts
    34
    You should get a 30% tax credit on replacing the old unit, plus you need to check with your utility co. for any possible rebates that you might be able to get. Some of our local utility
    companies will give up to $500 per ton in rebates even on a change out.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,183
    At 10% cost I'd repair it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,619
    Quote Originally Posted by artdavila View Post
    Depends, does the furnace burn the fuel correctly? Have your tech inspect the furnace for any damage to the heat exchanger, have him do a carbon monoxide test to ensure its not killing your family. Suffer from frequent headaches when you heat the house? could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning.
    Now if the furnace passes all these test you still have to ask yourself, How long before these problems show up? I;d rather replace now, than have to wait for replacement in the middle of winter.
    its a waterfurnace , ie geo thermal
    We really need change now

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Portland OR
    Posts
    1,973
    Quote Originally Posted by artdavila View Post
    Depends, does the furnace burn the fuel correctly? Have your tech inspect the furnace for any damage to the heat exchanger, have him do a carbon monoxide test to ensure its not killing your family. Suffer from frequent headaches when you heat the house? could be a sign of carbon monoxide poisoning.
    Now if the furnace passes all these test you still have to ask yourself, How long before these problems show up? I;d rather replace now, than have to wait for replacement in the middle of winter.
    You need to do a little more research before answering. A "WATER" furnace does not burn fuel, unless you mean use electricity for the compressor and backup heat. Also the heat exchanger runs WATER not carbon monoxide through it.

    As for the unit, I would certainly look towards replacing, while it may not be time for replacement and may not fully need it, you probably will need to replace it in 3-7 years and by then the tax credit(supposed to be in place til 2016 but who knows after this election) may be gone and then you lost 30%. WaterFurnace also has the 7 Series and 5 Series units out know which are amazing in terms of efficiency and noise level and features. If you can afford to replace it, I would, if it would stretch your budget i would probably repair it and start saving/planning for a replacement when the time comes. If you are in Oregon give my company a call, we are located in Portland and are a WaterFurnace GeoPro and can help you any direction you go with your geothermal system.
    Where in the country are you located?
    Check out my YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/skyheating1 We have customer testimonials, product reviews and more!
    Like us on FACEBOOK if you like our advice here!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,721
    Quote Originally Posted by catmanacman View Post
    might be able to get a 30% tax credit if you replace it
    Quote Originally Posted by SkyHeating View Post
    As for the unit, I would certainly look towards replacing, while it may not be time for replacement and may not fully need it, you probably will need to replace it in 3-7 years and by then the tax credit(supposed to be in place til 2016 but who knows after this election) may be gone and then you lost 30%. WaterFurnace also has the 7 Series and 5 Series units out know which are amazing in terms of efficiency and noise level and features.
    Is the dying unit 2 stage? If not that's a huge upgrade.

    Climatemaster has a modulating unit with SEER near 40 and super high COP.

    Just the ECM blower will save a bunch.

    I bet a new unit will cut your cost 25%. What's your annual bill? Comfort issues? Noise? Humidity? All these things will be improved.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

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