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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    51

    "Cracked" HE... don't know what to think...

    I bought this current house in 2007. At the time we bought it, we had somebody in to inspect the HVAC systems, as much of it was old at the time. The attic furnace (a Trane THS 050A 9683) had the word "crack", and arrow, and a date in March '96. Understandably concerned, the folks we had come in to look at the furnace checked it out and said the unit looked clean.

    Well, today I had somebody out to repair the downstairs unit (a relatively new Goodman with a bad pressure switch) and had him do a check on the attic unit. I ask him about the "crack" notation and if it's possible it was repaired; he says the unit would not have been repairable. He peers, prods some rust with a nut-driver, shifts around, etc. He says he sees a crack, and the unit must be replaced. I, however, can't see it when I look.

    Looking at where the big 'ol arrow is, it isn't even over a burner, it's to the left of the burners. And I can't see the crack, and the burner flame is a steady blue (when they are running.)

    He of course quoted out a new unit.

    I have somebody else coming out tomorrow to also give a quote...

    My question is: If there is a crack, and if the crack is practically invisible, and not over a burner, is it even a problem? How do I know I even have a crack if it's so darn tiny? If there was a crack fourteen years ago, wouldn't that crack be a lot bigger now (so I could actually see it)? Is it reasonable to have somebody show the crack to me so I can see it before I go blow thousands and thousands on a new unit?

    Lastly, the A/C units are early-90's 8-seer builder-special Tranes. If I do get the furnace installed, would it make sense to replace those now, or should I just wait until they die? (As in, how much extra work (and cost) is there to just doing the furnace and leaving the A/C alone?)

    Thanks,
    SirWired

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Andover Kansas
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    2,115
    Ask them to remove the heat exchanger from the furnace and show you the crack. Make them prove it...it's their job!
    .


    The statement below is my signature and just my overall feeling towards our industry and does not necessarily pertain to you nor this thread.


    There really isn't a legitimate excuse for not doing the job correctly!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
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    25,851
    I'll let the CO kings weigh in on this with any technical data, but I condemn any and all furnaces with cracks in the heat exchanger.

    The purpose of the heat exchanger is to isolate the combustion from your living space. Once that is breached in any way, the furnace is no longer safe to operate.

    Call another company for a second opinion and ask the technician to show you the crack. Most of those that I've found are very easy to see.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    51
    Quote Originally Posted by Tech23 View Post
    Ask them to remove the heat exchanger from the furnace and show you the crack. Make them prove it...it's their job!
    Wow, I didn't even know they really came out without major (expensive) surgery... surgery that if I was an HVAC tech, I'd want to be charging the customer for.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Andover Kansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
    Wow, I didn't even know they really came out without major surgery... surgery that if I was an HVAC tech, I'd want to be charging the customer for.
    If we charge the customer for the service call and during that service call we tell them there is a crack, then they are already paying us to prove it to them.

    Not too many do we have to remove to prove, but if we need to..then we do it.

    So far, everytime we went to the trouble of removing the exchanger to prove the crack, the customer appreciated it enough to buy the new furnace from us and told others about our service.
    .


    The statement below is my signature and just my overall feeling towards our industry and does not necessarily pertain to you nor this thread.


    There really isn't a legitimate excuse for not doing the job correctly!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
    Wow, I didn't even know they really came out without major (expensive) surgery... surgery that if I was an HVAC tech, I'd want to be charging the customer for.
    He forgot to tell you. That you will have to pay for it.
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  7. #7
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    Nov 2010
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    Andover Kansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    He forgot to tell you. That you will have to pay for it.
    Haven't charge one yet to prove it to them if we diagnosed it. Like I said, we don't have to remove too many, but if we do we are willing to eat the time to prove it and have always gotten the sale for doing it.
    .


    The statement below is my signature and just my overall feeling towards our industry and does not necessarily pertain to you nor this thread.


    There really isn't a legitimate excuse for not doing the job correctly!

  8. #8
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    Jan 2004
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    Lancaster PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech23 View Post
    Haven't charge one yet to prove it to them if we diagnosed it. Like I said, we don't have to remove too many, but if we do we are willing to eat the time to prove it and have always gotten the sale for doing it.
    And how many other companies in your area also do this for free?

    Since you aren't the company he is using. You shouldn't try to give that companies labor away for free.
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Andover Kansas
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    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    And how many other companies in your area also do this for free?

    Since you aren't the company he is using. You shouldn't try to give that companies labor away for free.
    So, you are saying that if they pay us to do a tune up or a service call and we say there is a crack...they should just take our word for it and we should not have to prove it in any way to them...or they should have to pay more for us to prove the crack to them?
    .


    The statement below is my signature and just my overall feeling towards our industry and does not necessarily pertain to you nor this thread.


    There really isn't a legitimate excuse for not doing the job correctly!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Athens GA
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    1,234
    Your post is all messed up.
    First what the heck does "looked clean" mean,what tests were performed what actions were made to check for a crack???
    You have had two companies check and tell you that you have a crack and you don't beliecve either of them .This is a real problem .Why let them do anything if you don't trust them??
    To my knowledge Trane has never made a entry level or "builder special" units.Even their cheapest units had heavy duty heat pump ready compressors in them.The ONLY differances were the outer sheetmetal which was still powder painted.
    Unless your ductwork is messed up I too wonder about a crack in a Trane furnace but it is nothing to play with.Have someone show you the crack after they actually test for it.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    51
    Quote Originally Posted by REP View Post
    Your post is all messed up.
    First what the heck does "looked clean" mean,what tests were performed what actions were made to check for a crack???
    You have had two companies check and tell you that you have a crack and you don't beliecve either of them .This is a real problem .Why let them do anything if you don't trust them??
    To my knowledge Trane has never made a entry level or "builder special" units.Even their cheapest units had heavy duty heat pump ready compressors in them.The ONLY differances were the outer sheetmetal which was still powder painted.
    Unless your ductwork is messed up I too wonder about a crack in a Trane furnace but it is nothing to play with.Have someone show you the crack after they actually test for it.
    No tests were performed outside of him squirming on the floor with a flashlight.

    The company (unknown) that wrote "Crack" on the unit did so well before I owned the house, so I don't know what they saw or why the unit wasn't fixed at that time. The company that looked at the unit when I bought the house did not see a crack, and they looked. The technician today says he does.

    And about the A/C units? Are you saying that they probably have plenty of life left, and I should run them until they break?

    SirWired

    P.S. As a side note, my last house had the same deal... (previous servicer wrote "crack" on the side of the unit before I bought the house) the difference there is that I could definitely see the crack on that one when I got it replaced. (It was a then-25-yr old GE)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
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    3,349
    when they pull the furnace to replace it, then have them take the hx out. Otherwise, you (the company)aren't putting that new one in.

    If I pull one apart because I have to "prove it", should I have to put it back together so someone can flip the switch and run it anyway? Pretty much any one that would ask me to tear a furnace apart is also the person who wants to run it anyway. Sometimes I feel I'm a magnet for that sort of thing.
    Last edited by billygoat22; 12-09-2010 at 07:56 PM. Reason: grammar
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  13. #13
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    Jan 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech23 View Post
    So, you are saying that if they pay us to do a tune up or a service call and we say there is a crack...they should just take our word for it and we should not have to prove it in any way to them...or they should have to pay more for us to prove the crack to them?
    Yes.

    A Doctor doesn't run additional test on you for free to prove, or make sure his diagnosis is correct.

    You want to give YOUR labor a way for free, thats fine. Don't be telling people that it should be free from their contractors.

    You aren't pay the bills for those contractors.
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