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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11
    The operative word is "doing" the right thing. This is a work still in progress - I'm having the gas company come out Monday to give a final verdict. Do you really think that if I have (and pay) another contractor for a third opinion I will get an honest answer? Maybe, maybe not. I'm not a gambler - I'll let the gas company decide the best route. I really don't know if there's a crack or not -but I do know this, I'm not to be taken advantage of and I will not put my family or anybody else's in danger. On another note, I am curious. If you all know nothing about, let's say, cars, and you took the car for an oil change and the mechanic said gee istead of paying "x" you need to pay 10 TIMES that amount for something that he said was wrong - would you just hand over the cash and not get a second opinion, at least maybe to get the rate down?

  2. #28
    If he told me the block was cracked and showed me a pic of it, and I was fairly certain that it was a pic of my block and not someone elses, then I would not bother with another opinion.

    I don't know where you live but where I am at the gas company doesn't get involved with furnaces, and they surely do not take the liability of verifying the safety of a heat exchanger, my hunch is, that if they do come there , you will have no heat and a red tag when they leave. With instructions to replace it or repair it before they turn the gas back on. I have never heard of the gas company inspecting a furnace.They are gas suppliers not HVAC people.

  3. #29
    Originally posted by titleless
    I have never heard of the gas company inspecting a furnace.They are gas suppliers not HVAC people.
    Around here they do both. Incompetent HVAC Techs? at best. They send out little old ladies (like 60 and over) and they start replacing parts in the furnaces until it works. If they can't fix it, they say to call a real contractor. It's ridiculous what is going on here with the utilities.

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11
    I really don't know much about furnaces and was told the gas company does inspections? Quite simply, I know this is you all's area of expertise - I don't expect to know everything in life, this is why I ask people in the know. Thus contractors, chat forums and the gas company. Thanks for all who gave me constructive questions to ask when I have a professional contractor come in and look at my furnace. The others, who basically think I'm dodging a bill, or putting kids at risk, well, you must be a real hoot at a party. Thanks again!

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,510
    just for the record even if the heat exchanger isnt cracked does not mean you were being scamed just someone made a mistake or is a little over zealous in doing thier job. if it is cracked same goes for the guy that missed it. either was ship happens. i can fully understand where you are coming from and you do have every right to make sure there is a crack or not. i have on one ocasion followed up on a guy that comdemd a heat exchange saying it was cracked when it turned out to be a weld seam. i have on ocasion made the same mistake to find out i was mistaken. i stil feel pictures dont lie. in either case the best way to know for sure and with out leaving any question is to either pull the blower and look at the heat exchange. or open the pleanun and look under the ac coil and look at the heat exchange. i have found this way you can 9 out of 10 times see the crack and just axactly where it is. i will be willing to bet if ten guys look at it five will say yes and five will say no. but if all ten look at the heat exchanger all ten will say yes or all ten wil say no. sooner or later it will boil down to who do you want to believe.

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    manitowoc wisconsin
    Posts
    4,932
    Originally posted by westsidemech
    I have condemed many furnaces that were ok by someone else.
    If the customer was unsure or a second opinion was that it was good I would pull it and show the customer.Removing the heat exchanger was at my cost. Seeing is believing and a camera is a good way to go.



    Westside
    This is exactly where I am coming from I have time & time again went back to a job free of charge to show an unskilled tech where a crack was so they would see their mistake.The funny thing is people do not understand that once a heat ex begins to crack it is brittle & could split wide open & I mean wide open at any time!The company who found the crack should have no problem coming back to verify their findings with another company.When they do I hope you reward them by word of mouth & by giving them all of your work!I think it is ten times more likely that the second guy missed the fault found by the other guy rather than the other way around!
    Take your time & do it right!

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11
    I definitely don't trust the second contractor either, saying there is no crack - that's why I am going down this road. I think I will use some of the terminology some posters used to asked some educated questions. I guess I seem a little dumb to the furnace saavy, that's why I'm here! Thanks for the info!

  8. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    69
    All the manufacturers I know give at least 5 years parts on new furnaces. I'm curious why after the 5 yr period a lot of company's recomend replacing the ignitor every two. the original lasted for 5 did it not. I can see the homeowner in turmoil and he did the right thing by calling an impartial authority. We have also called the gas company in a similiar dispute situation and showed them our findings. A good reliable company isn't afraid of a second opinion. And by the way name calling is totally uncalled for especially in this situation. IF it was your house what would you do? Better yet if it was your mother's house what would you call her if she was unsure of what was going on?? Please post the gas company's findings I would like to know the outcome.

  9. #35
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    manitowoc wisconsin
    Posts
    4,932
    Originally posted by lambchop
    I definitely don't trust the second contractor either, saying there is no crack - that's why I am going down this road. I think I will use some of the terminology some posters used to asked some educated questions. I guess I seem a little dumb to the furnace saavy, that's why I'm here! Thanks for the info!
    With a cam there should be absolutely no doubt!Call the first company back and talk to the service manager,PLEASE!
    Take your time & do it right!

  10. #36
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    333
    For you HVAC contractors. I'm interested if your companies have policies or procedures if a tech finds a cracked heat exchanger. Geez, all I can think of is liability. Nobody wants to scare the pants off an old lady, but can you just have 'em sign off and walk away? Personally I wouldn't want anyone taking the risk of using a cracked heat exchanger, no matter how small the crack.
    meanwhile, back at the ranch.....

  11. #37
    We have no such policy at the company where I am employed. That way whatever you do, you are wrong, and the boss can yell at you.

    As far as I can distinguish, this month, we are supposed to simply put in writing "this furnace is not in safe operating condition, advised customer not to run until repairs or replacement is performed." As opposed to last month, when we were supposed to turn off the SSU and the gas cock. But we are starting a new month in a few days, so that will probably change again. (apologize for the rant)

  12. #38
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    69
    Our company's policy is to have the senior technician verify the crack. If it is cracked wide open he shuts off the electric switch only and informs the homeowner. I generally shut off the switch ( except in the case of senior citizen or handicapped, then I shut off the thermostat only ) I inform them that in my opinion ( and thats what it is) the furnace is unsafe for use and it should be repaired or replaced. I also ask them if they would like me to call one of their children or a family member to inform them of my findings. Last year a had a customer in his thirties call his father in law who stated I know all about you service companies, I used to be in the business before I retired. I know all about you putting dead mice near the furnace and saying the monoxide killed them. I told him I had showed his son-in-law the crack with light thru it( It was 3" long and wide open ). He told me I didn't have the authority to shut his furnace off!!! I told him his mouse story sounded like a personal experience to me and he could call the govenor for all I care. I always have the customer sigh off on my paperwork with what I have written,that way if it would be challenged I have documentation that they signed off that they were informed of my findings. I did end up in court years ago over an inspection on a piece of equipment.And It came down to what was actually documented and what wasn't. You can't make a homeowner repair his furnace or even replace it for that matter, you can only recomend it.And pulling hard line on them can get or their children filling a complaint with the Attorney General. And I doubt if any of us would like to be the subject of that complaint or the reason an investigation got started.

  13. #39
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    69
    Senior moment this morning and also need a spell checker.In reply to some of the other posts, In my area the gas company will take a reading on the furnace with a CO monitor, they also have a program for a few dollars a month they will have your furnace repaired for free under their program. However here lies the confusion???

    1. They use subcontractors who were awarded the bid for being the cheapest not the best.
    2. Are they really impartial if they have subcontractors that do work for them??
    3. I have been in houses where the homeowner was told who is a good company and who to stay away from and this came from an employee of the gas company..
    4. Some of them always have a buddy who will give the homeowner a really good job at a discount because he knows for a fact that they never cheap anybody and after all an employee of the gas company recommended them but there really not allowed to,their just trying to do the homeowner a favor.
    5. Have had to personally do the red tag paperwork on a furnace that a gas company employee tagged because the thermocouple needed replaced because it didn't stay lit and it was tagged for being unsafe(go figure??)


    So in perspective just because their the (gas company) it doesn't mean they know a damn thing about furnaces or even gas for that matter, It just means they happened to get a job working for the gas company.

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