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  1. #1

    Did I get cheated by my contractor?

    First, I know nothing about HVAC and can barely work a screwdriver (not a DIYer). I have 2 Lennox furnaces in my house that is 8 years old. Last winter one of them had a problem with the burners igniting, running for about 10 seconds are shutting down. I had an HVAC contractor come out and he said the burners needed to be replaced, which he did (or said he did). Recently the other furnace had the exact same problem. This time I did some online searching and saw a suggestion to clean the flame sensor, which I did (without so much as loosening a screw)...and the furnace started working normally again. So...now I wonder if the burners really needed to be replaced last year...and if they even were. How do I know the guy didn't just clean the sensor? Is it typical for burners to go out after just 7 years...or did I probably get ripped off?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chicago, IL
    Posts
    11
    I guess you learned from your mistake of not doing your due diligence (or research) earlier. Having said that it is late to find out what he did and why. My suggestion is to get references from your friends/relatives and use them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,103
    No way to tell now.

    If your on LP though.
    It is possible that the burners were in bad shape and needed replaced.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    658
    like been there said, LP will do a number on those burners......especially if you never have them serviced.

    8 years sounds about right for a furnace with no pm contract.

    get em checked, you probably at least need the other burners cleaned if they dont need replacing too.
    You're only as good as your customer will allow you to be.........If they want junk, sell them junk, but make your junk look neat!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    there are many reasons to need burners replaced and just because one furnace is ok does not mean the other one is. I think if he said they need to be replaced then there was a reason. JMHO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,944
    If the flame sensor needed cleaning, the burners are most likely also having issues. You may have only addressed half of your furnaces real issues.

    Think of it this way; if you go to a doctor with a broken arm and the doctor charges you to fix your broken arm, are you better off then if you bought some pain killers from your neighbor? In both cases, your arm feels better, right?
    Government is a disease...
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673
    Quote Originally Posted by BeerFan View Post
    I have 2 Lennox furnaces in my house that is 8 years old.
    one of them had a problem

    I had an HVAC contractor come out and he said the burners needed to be replaced, which he did (or said he did).

    Recently the other furnace had the exact same problem.

    saw a suggestion to clean the flame sensor, which I did (without so much as loosening a screw)...and the furnace started working normally again.

    I wonder if the burners really needed to be replaced last year

    How do I know the guy didn't just clean the sensor?

    Is it typical for burners to go out after just 7 years

    did I probably get ripped off?
    Here are some possibilities, courtesy of Wiki.

    "
    A [a bad burner] may be the cause of B [dirty flame sensor] or
    A [a dirty flame sensor] may be the cause of B [your symptom] or
    A [a bad burner] may be the cause of B [your symptom].

    some unknown third factor C is actually the cause of the both A and B [using LP?]

    the "relationship" is coincidence or so complex or indirect that it is more effectively called coincidence (i.e. two events occurring at the same time that have no direct relationship to each other besides the fact that they are occurring at the same time).

    A may be the cause of B at the same time as B is the cause of A (contradicting that the only relationship between A and B is that A causes B). This describes a self-reinforcing system
    "
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayes'_theorem
    can shed some light on this kind of problem, but at least some of the likelihoods are needed first.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,842
    I always show the customer the problem and leave the old parts unless requested to dispose of them (not counting regulated or dangerous substances).
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    4,665
    did he have the burners on the truck or did he have to go get them, is the heater natural gas or propane, in this part of Texas it is rare to replace a burner on the 80% Furnace cleaning the flame sensor is part of the heating PM might be time to get a maintenance agreement as a gas furnace should be checked annually mice and other critters like to hide in the burner compartment during the summer

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