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  1. #1

    SO confused?! Heat Exchanger failed water test looking for new unit advice

    We noticed a water spot in our hallway, assuming it came from the AC we called out a company to service our split unit. Gentleman actually did a "water test" on the heat exchanger, pulled it out filled it with water from my garden hose and it leaked so he told me it had to be tagged and I would have to replace my furnace. In addition, my drip pan under AC is completely rusty and inside the AC unit the coil is all rusty too. So he said I should just replace the entire unit; AC and furnace. We currently have a zephyr system???...its 14 years old, put in when the house was built. I've had 3 different companies come to give me estimates. One is pricing me for a 15 seer 3 ton split Day & Night unit, the second a 13 seer 3 ton split Rheem unit(both around the same prices). The third wants me to go with a 13 seer lennox but the guy was a total jerk and I do not want them in my house again. Anyway I am wondering which unit is best? Also 2 of these companies questioned if the first company(they actually knew who the company was without me telling them) and couldn't believe they actually pulled the heat exchanger because its a hard process and were wondering if they were just trying scare tactics to get me to purchase a new unit. Could this be possible? Has anyone heard of this?! I've been trying to research it online and it just confuses me more! Help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    5,058
    Quote Originally Posted by klowe417 View Post
    We noticed a water spot in our hallway, assuming it came from the AC we called out a company to service our split unit. Gentleman actually did a "water test" on the heat exchanger, pulled it out filled it with water from my garden hose and it leaked so he told me it had to be tagged and I would have to replace my furnace. In addition, my drip pan under AC is completely rusty and inside the AC unit the coil is all rusty too. So he said I should just replace the entire unit; AC and furnace. We currently have a zephyr system???...its 14 years old, put in when the house was built. I've had 3 different companies come to give me estimates. One is pricing me for a 15 seer 3 ton split Day & Night unit, the second a 13 seer 3 ton split Rheem unit(both around the same prices). The third wants me to go with a 13 seer lennox but the guy was a total jerk and I do not want them in my house again. Anyway I am wondering which unit is best? Also 2 of these companies questioned if the first company(they actually knew who the company was without me telling them) and couldn't believe they actually pulled the heat exchanger because its a hard process and were wondering if they were just trying scare tactics to get me to purchase a new unit. Could this be possible? Has anyone heard of this?! I've been trying to research it online and it just confuses me more! Help!
    The secondary heat exchanger is usually a replaceable part, and can usually be tested in place.

    Do you have the model # of your equipment?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by second opinion View Post
    The secondary heat exchanger is usually a replaceable part, and can usually be tested in place.

    Do you have the model # of your equipment?
    model # of existing unit - EGPJ-07EAUER

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    North Dakota
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    518
    did you watch him do this water test?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
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    33,896
    Huh? Actually pulled the HX out of the furnace? Did he show you the crack or hole? Never heard of someone going to the work of taking a HX out and filling with water. Holes and cracks should be very visible.

    The *GPJ is an 80% furnace. There isn't water involved under normal operation. I'd bet any water in the emergency pan is from a leak on the A/C coil, either plugged drain or other leak. We've sold Rheem since before the 34" furnaces came out. They arrived in 1992. In the last 20 years guess how many failed heat exchangers found? 0, goose egg, nada. The only Rheem tubular heat exchanger we've ever found bad was on a gas pack and being in the cold air, that's normal.

    So something is really tripping my b-s meter on this one.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mechanical'al View Post
    did you watch him do this water test?
    Yeah I watched him we took it outside and he filled it with water from the hose. It leaked through where all the metal pipes go into the side plate. No visible cracks, but he removed it because he could tell it was damaged in places. What he told me.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Huh? Actually pulled the HX out of the furnace? Did he show you the crack or hole? Never heard of someone going to the work of taking a HX out and filling with water. Holes and cracks should be very visible.

    The *GPJ is an 80% furnace. There isn't water involved under normal operation. I'd bet any water in the emergency pan is from a leak on the A/C coil, either plugged drain or other leak. We've sold Rheem since before the 34" furnaces came out. They arrived in 1992. In the last 20 years guess how many failed heat exchangers found? 0, goose egg, nada. The only Rheem tubular heat exchanger we've ever found bad was on a gas pack and being in the cold air, that's normal.

    So something is really tripping my b-s meter on this one.
    He said water should NOT get on the outside of it. Filled three holes on top with water. Told me if water could leak through then CO2 was going to leak through.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
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    5,058
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Huh? Actually pulled the HX out of the furnace? Did he show you the crack or hole? Never heard of someone going to the work of taking a HX out and filling with water. Holes and cracks should be very visible.

    The *GPJ is an 80% furnace. There isn't water involved under normal operation. I'd bet any water in the emergency pan is from a leak on the A/C coil, either plugged drain or other leak. We've sold Rheem since before the 34" furnaces came out. They arrived in 1992. In the last 20 years guess how many failed heat exchangers found? 0, goose egg, nada. The only Rheem tubular heat exchanger we've ever found bad was on a gas pack and being in the cold air, that's normal.

    So something is really tripping my b-s meter on this one.
    I went with the secondary because of the water, not knowing it was an 80%.

    BS meter dinging,
    with it out you are forced to reinstall or replace heat exchanger or purchase new equipment, but clearly use a different company.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    33,896
    Quote Originally Posted by second opinion View Post
    I went with the secondary because of the water, not knowing it was an 80%.
    Exactly. When you hear water leak and furnace, you only think 90% since there isn't water in an 80 unless it's coming down an uncapped flue or condensing horribly in the flue.

    Furnace makers with crimped HX say water test not valid with theirs. Wonder if it is on this one. I might ask our tech rep Monday just out of curiosity.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Savannah, Ga/H.H. Island, S.C.
    Posts
    1,401
    Your heat exchanger should still be under warranty. It is covered for 20 years. Check page 7 of the attached link. The part would be under warranty but you would still be responsible for the repair labor.

    http://www.rheem.com/documents/rgph-...ication-sheets

    I would investigate this route before proceeding with replacement. Call another contractor and discuss all of your new findings and come to a logical and educated decision on what is the best option for your situation.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    winnipeg
    Posts
    1,330
    wow.....
    it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL.
    Posts
    4,313
    Quote Originally Posted by BaldLoonie View Post
    Exactly. When you hear water leak and furnace, you only think 90% since there isn't water in an 80 unless it's coming down an uncapped flue or condensing horribly in the flue.

    Furnace makers with crimped HX say water test not valid with theirs. Wonder if it is on this one. I might ask our tech rep Monday just out of curiosity.
    Exactly right, the water test is NOT applicable to HX's w/crimps.
    WHY?

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