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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    10

    Confused

    I have a Payne 90% efficiency furnace, model 398AAZ upflow that is approximately 15 yrs old. I've had a professional heating co. inform me that the heat exchanger is cracked and exhaust is being returned out of the burner assembly. I (and several others) have smelled the odor and know the problem exists. Is there anything other than a crack in the heat exchanger that could cause the excess exhaust to be venting through the house? Such as an improperly vented terminal to outside?(which leaves excess exhaust in the chamber?) It has been explained to me as a KNOWN issue but I want to be CERTAIN before I opt for an entirely new furnace.

    Incidentally, any opinions on Rheem 90% efficency would be appreciated as that is the unit I'm considering.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,841
    I've had a professional heating co. inform me that the heat exchanger is cracked and exhaust is being returned out of the burner assembly


    Is there a reason why you don't believe them?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    chicago suburbs
    Posts
    4,422
    go with that Rheem RGRA model.
    FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,841
    Originally posted by tinner73
    go with that Rheem RGRA model.
    Here we go with the rheem job again.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    10

    Reply to framehvac

    Yes because I need 2nd opinions on everything home related.

    1) this model has been worked on by other hvac companies and their lack of experience caused more problems.
    2) there is no evidence to prove it is a crack in the heat exchanger since we can't exactly OPEN it and look, can we?
    3) We have had a problem with the vent to outside which caused water to backflow into the unit and stop working.
    4) And everyone ALWAYS recommends replacement of the unit regardless of what the real problem is.

    Is that enough reasons?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Posts
    1,841

    Re: Reply to framehvac

    Originally posted by kayac2005
    Yes because I need 2nd opinions on everything home related.

    1) this model has been worked on by other hvac companies and their lack of experience caused more problems.
    2) there is no evidence to prove it is a crack in the heat exchanger since we can't exactly OPEN it and look, can we?
    3) We have had a problem with the vent to outside which caused water to backflow into the unit and stop working.
    4) And everyone ALWAYS recommends replacement of the unit regardless of what the real problem is.

    Is that enough reasons?

    Yes but we are not their so post some photos of it I would just call a new hvac company for a second opinion.


    We have had a problem with the vent to outside which caused water to backflow into the unit and stop working.

    Why didn't the hvac company fix it?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    10

    R U serious?

    Post pictures of what? The smell of exhaust?
    I can't prove the heat exchanger is cracked, that's why I'm asking if anyone KNOWS of this because I was TOLD it was COMMON with Payne 90% efficiency models of this type and when someone tells me something is KNOWN I would expect people such as yourselves to confirm it for me.
    Yes I will contact another dealer to give 2nd opinion tomorrow but since it is 7 pm PST lets all just assume I'm making this query for information to help make my ultimate decision.

    Is there anything else about a Payne furnace that would cause EXHAUST to be returned out of our heat registers AND the burner assembly unit? [Anything other than a cracked heat exchanger]

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grottoes VA
    Posts
    5,856
    It is not hard to open unit and remove heat exchanger. It does take awhile and you will have to pay if the heat exchanger is cracked. If they pull it and it's not cracked than they should do it for free. I would. But I am positive when I find a crack.

    You should be able to check heat exchanger without removing it but I can't see your situation.

    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    chicago suburbs
    Posts
    4,422

    R U serious

    we can't see what you have. yet, you want us to tell you what is wrong. HXs go bad and 15/yrs is a pretty good run. you have two options.......call for another opinion....or forget it and live with the consequences. if you have CO dumping into your house i'd have the furnace replaced ASAP. if you're not sure confirm it. call the gas co. out. where i live they show up under an hour. i hope your smart enough to have some CO detectors. Rheem is still a good furnace.





    so you know...Payne is Carrier's bottom grade equipment.
    FILL OUT YOUR PROFILE!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    10

    Thumbs up Thank you Kars

    Very helpful! I will get the next dealer to do just that.
    Much appreciated

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    10

    Tinner

    Thanks for the feedback re: Rheem.
    I've only had the house a couple of years and the Payne unit came with, I found out today that Payne, Bryant, Carrier and perhaps another furnace brand are all made by the same manufacturer.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Zelienople, Pa
    Posts
    2,965
    You are dumping money into a sinking ship.

    15 years? Break open the dusty wallet.
    How tall are you Private???!!!!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Grottoes VA
    Posts
    5,856
    I do have to agree with Yellodot. I would bite the bullet and replace.

    Rheem is the best brand.

    If you call another contractor you may have to pay weather it's cracked or not. Unless they tell you it's cracked.
    Karst means cave. So, I search for caves.

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