Cracked heat exchange?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    11
    I had a reputable company come to my home to do a furnace inspection - we are selling our house. The contractor said that we need a new heat exchange (the part is under warranty for 12 more years) but the labor to replace the part is about half the cost of replacing the entire furnace. Seeing as this is a huge expense I got a second opinion. The second contractor assured me there was no crack in the exchanger and that if he took the item in to exchange, they would laugh at him! He proceeded to replace the ignitor, filter and cleaned the parts. He assured me and put in writing that the furance is ok. This contractor is a sole proprietor and is properly licensed also. He claimed the first contractor may have been "scamming" me. Do I get another opinion? I am confused!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    32
    I Have been in the heating and air business for over 6yrs and where I am from we have other companies that are infamous for condemning furnaces that are fine.If the other contractor is putting it in writing that the furnace is fine you probably don't need another opinion.It sounds to me like the second contractor is trying to earn your trust and your business.If the contractor puts it in writing than he is standing behind it,and if the heat exchanger was cracked it would potentially leak carbon monoxide,and noone would sign off an that unless they were possitively sure,Ithink the second opinion is enough.















  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    did the first contractor show you, or prove to you, there is a crack?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    6,247
    If neither contractor combustion tested your furnace I would not trust either one of them.
    Have you set up a Google alert for Carbon Monoxide yet?
    Click here to find out how.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11
    Thanks for your quick response. I was kind of thinking the same thing, why would this contractor put in writing that the furnace was ok if it wasn't? Certainly not worth the risk. My problem is that the first contractor worked for a large, spiffy company with logo's on the van sort of gig, while the second guy works alone. I just find it hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the guy who works for this large company would be so wrong - to the tune of shutting off the gas valve and tagging the unit as unusable. I am still going to buy a carbon monoxide dectector tonight, just to be safe. Thanks again for your quick response!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11
    Sorry, I posted before I saw the other replies. Yes, the first contractor showed me a video of the crack (there's supposed to be 3). That's why I am so confused? Would the first guy go through so much trouble to fool me? I don't know about the combustion test - I have some readings on the invoice, but I don't know what they mean. Inducer mtr?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    6,247
    Originally posted by lambchop
    I am still going to buy a carbon monoxide dectector tonight, just to be safe. Thanks again for your quick response!
    lambchop you need to be aware that an over the counter carbon monoxide alarm will not protect your family from low levels of carbon monoxide.

    They are not designed to operate that way, it can possibly read 69 parts per million of carbon monoxide for a unlimited amount of time.

    Don't trust the safety of your family to someones word, have that furnace tested to be sure.
    Have you set up a Google alert for Carbon Monoxide yet?
    Click here to find out how.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11
    Thanks for the insight on the detectors DavidR. Another question, should I go with another big company or a small guy and do I tell them what the previous contractor said? I guess they will figure it out when they see the new ignitor, filters etc. I just don't know what to do and we are running out of money to keep paying people. It was mentioned somewhere that the gas company does checks?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Posts
    6,247
    The size of the company isn't going to determine the competence or honesty of the tech they send to your home.

    To help sort out some of the confusion you can click on http://www.nationalcomfortinstitute.com, they have a consumer site where you can locate contractors in your area who have been trained by them.

    You might even want to call them,they would be able to refer you to someone in your area who has been trained in combustion testing.

    Good Luck in your search.
    Have you set up a Google alert for Carbon Monoxide yet?
    Click here to find out how.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Posts
    1,051
    I am confused now. If the first company showed you a video of the crack how can there be any question of weather its there or not? Do you think the video was rigged? Maby the second guy is not up on the new ways to check heat exchangers. If the first guy has a camera and the video is suspect ask them back and they should be able to show you right on the camera screen. 1,2 or three cracks makes no difference. Any crack needs attention.

    Its a good Life!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,513
    if the first guy sent a camera up and showed you the cracks then in my mind there is no question. have it repaired asap. the second guy probably just looked at it and didnt see any cracks and the didnt show up is any visual test. does not mean the cracks arent there. pictures dont lie

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    11
    The first contractor wanted to charge a fee that was the equvilent of $XXX per hour. I thought this was really high, so I wanted a second opinion for pricing purposes. Maybe $XXX an hour. I know this is skilled labor, but c'mon! It just happened that the two didn't agree on what the problem was. As far as the video, it was a still picture, I'm no dummy, but a picture doesn't lie, the operator of that camera may.



    (no pricing, due to site rules )


    [Edited by jultzya on 10-26-2005 at 10:59 PM]

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    2,927
    Originally posted by lambchop
    I had a reputable company come to my home to do a furnace inspection - we are selling our house.
    Inform the buyers of your findings....or lack thereof.

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