First time home buyer: HVAC home inspection issues
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  1. #1

    First time home buyer: HVAC home inspection issues

    Hello,

    My wife and I are purchasing our first home and a couple of HVAC issues pertaining to out furnace and water heater came up.

    1. The furnace has mineral build up on the top of the burners as a result of condensate dripping onto them. See picture below. I was just wondering if this could indicate a bigger problem with the furnace or if this is a common occurrence with furnaces. The inspector recommended cleaning and servicing the furnace. Anything else we should be concerned with?

    2. The water heater is 14 years old obviously at the end of its life. There is a leak from the water heater drain valve (see photo). Is this likely fixable or is this water heater likely on its last leg and in need of replacing? Main question is: Ask the owners to fix it or take the credit and buy a new water heater?

    Your help is appreciated.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    SE Washington
    Posts
    516
    go with that, clean and inspection of furnace, buy a new water heater
    Total Energy Management, inc

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Central Texas
    Posts
    155
    It looks like the Condensate issue for the furnace is actualy due too the AC coil above it. The AC condensate is either leaking, or the Suction Line is poorly insulated. May just be a minor repair.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    3,410
    You must consider that you are buying a "used" house and it won't be in "new" condition. If you truly want new equipment, then either ask previous owner's to replace all equipment, and re-negotiate the price, or assume you're buying used equipment in a used house. Sorry if I sound harsh, but most inspectors find enough potential problems to justify their expense (plus some). My advice is to simply take enough credit to have furnace serviced, and some additional to put towards a water heater replacement in the future. Flush out the water heater and install a new faucet washer in drain valve. If the water heater is still working OK, then you've probably just got a small piece of sediment under faucet washer inside drain valve (common problem).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    On the furnace, I'd have it checked by an HVAC professional to determine exactly what is going on.
    It could just be from an old condensate leak, but it could also be condensation from the flue gases due to a venting problem.
    The draft inducer housing needs to be checked for cracks, and that the appropriate 3" to 4" connector was used to connect the vent pipe to the outlet of the draft inducer.

    It isn't uncommon for the composite housing of the draft inducer on those furnaces to develop cracks, and I occasionally find them with 4" vent pipe just pushed down over the 3" outlet from the furnace, with no connector. Either one can cause issues with condensation in the vent pipe, and/or poor venting.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

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