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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    91

    Rust inside heat exchanger -- replace now?

    Probably an obvious Q/A, but...

    If a heat exchanger is rusty on the inside, and I mean most of the inner surface has visible rust, is it about time to start shopping?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,125
    How old is the furnace? I'm guessing pretty old if there's that much rust..or there's another factor that's causing it to rust.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    6,248
    Have the furnace combustion tested, there is a good possibility it isn't venting properly.

    Depending on what is causing the rust there might be other issues that need to be addressed.
    Have you set up a Google alert for Carbon Monoxide yet?
    Click here to find out how.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
    Posts
    17
    Just because the furnace has rust inside it does not necessarily mean it needs to be replaced. If it has big flakes of rust falling down then probably so. If it just has some surface rust it may be okay. I would recommend having a qualified professional that you trust come out and examine the heater for cracks and leaks. Also check all the safeties and the venting of the unit. If you live in a humid climate rust is a regular thing. If your heater is real old then you really need to have is professionally inspected every year. And even if it is not old it is a really good idea to have it professionally inspected every year.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    ooh my god im lost, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    25
    superficial rust or big chunks? get it serviced, carbon monoxide detectors are not an option. (if don't already have)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    7,680
    It could be underfired or too much airflow causing the flue gasses to condense inside the HX. It may be a result of running the fan continuously and short cycling the burners. It may be a sign of something worse, but I would probably have it looked at by someone who you can trust and someone who can really do a combustion test on it. They will need to have instruments, not just a mirror and a flashlight.

    I agree, any home with a fossil fuel should have a CO detector just as important as a smoke detector in any other dwelling.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    91
    Thanks for the responses everyone. This is my neighbor's furnace which is 15+ years old; we got a new gas furnace back in January and he wanted to discuss. He said it's been short cycling for the last month so he did some looking around and says the heat exchanger looks like it is rusty on the inside. Don't know much more than that but he's got a pro coming out this week.

    I basically told him what you guys are saying -- make sure you have a CO detector and call someone who knows what they're doing.

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