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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    McQueeney, Texas
    Posts
    3,869
    Quote Originally Posted by HuNGRYTeCH View Post
    I like to poke at rusty heat exhangers with a screw driver in a few spots, if it is copmpromised you will usually find out much quicker than taking it out. If I don't put a hole in it and I still am uncertain I will explain to the customer and let them decide if they want to pay me to take it apart and stress the safety factor.
    I do that too, but some go to far.

    I was on a second opinion call for a hole in a HX. Natural draft furnace. I looked inside and saw the hole through rusty but thick metal. Someone took a screwdriver and I guess a hammer and beat a hole in it. The customer said they heard the hammering.
    I left it up to them and advised them on how to proceed.
    The most difficult part to prove it is not actually seeing them do it, but to assume they did by the noise.

    I've also seen the low speed wire cut to the motor so they would have to call them back to check the heat- as well as the white LV wire cut, thermocouples cut and so on.

    Pretty pathetic.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    31
    Well, an experienced tech can go on gut instinct because ive see it time and time again. Usually can tell right off if its just surface rust or rusted all the way through. Just get a Trane with a 20yr warranty on the Heat x and you will never have to worry.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Dalton, Ga.
    Posts
    65
    Since That warranty really makes that metal last longer right.

    Better make sure it is combusting right with low o2 or any heat exchanger will rust through.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Oklahoma , Elmore city
    Posts
    1
    I looked at a furnace this afternoon a goettl, yes that is spelled correctly, ok it is a spark ignition pilot with draft fan and the pilot is not getting pulled into combustion chamber and that chambers flame is not as clean burning as the others. My snake camera broke this summer but who thinks it is a cracked heat x

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Posts
    1,341
    Quote Originally Posted by kimosobee View Post
    I understand what you mean about gut feelings on whether a furnace is safe or not but if you go by gut feelings and not evidence or CO readings than your relying on speculation and fear that you might have instilled to the unknowing homeowner. Just my opinion .
    I understand this and it is why I started this thread. I do not want to put fear into my customers. I just want to do my job to the best of my abilities, at the same time keep my customers safe even if they do not want me to.
    Never give up; Never surrender!

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis IN
    Posts
    404
    I have been on a couple of 2nd opinions already this fall for cracks. One was and one very definitely wasn't. Same company different techs. Seems to be the thing again this year.

    I like to sell equipment too, but I will only do it honestly though.

    This is why it's so important to find a good and honest company and stick with them. Don't get drawn in by any super cheap offers you hear in the media. The only way to really save on this stuff is to get good equipment from a good company that will install it correctly and then take care of it.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    in a house, Appomattox, Va.
    Posts
    3,308
    the gama/aga standard for inspecting hxs does include 50% loss of the metal as a failure, not too sure how you'd test that.

    I check every furnace before repairing, since whoever touched it last will be blamed for any injuries, dust, "new" noises, the water heater breaking, the stove not lighting right, etc.

    Some of Trane's gas packs are negative pressure gas valve/positive pressure hx design. the gas is injected into the intake of the combustion blower and blown through a screen (I think) into the comb chamber. -.02" wc on the gas valve.

    I don't use a screwdriver for the "you did it" reason. WD40 sprayed on one side will bleed through any holes in rust spots.
    Col 3:23


    questions asked, answers received, ignorance abated

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Okmulgee, OK
    Posts
    184
    Combustion analyzer for me. There's not a good way to see the entire heat exchanger no matter how you do it (unless you rip the furnace out). Also, I would not have a gas burning appliance without having a CO detector in the home either. And I always stress that rust isn't the only thing to crack a heat exchanger. Everybody has seen an overheated hx that has a crack in it or the awesome design of janitrol that uses the big rings (rivet type rings) that pop out and cause an opening in the hx.
    It's just rocket science. It's not like it's heat and air work or something.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eagle (Boise), Idaho
    Posts
    383
    The most common thing that will cause a crack is lack of airflow.
    Also Afa Co detectors, they will not sound until they detect... I believe 400ppm.
    Also just because you may not pick up any Co means absolutely nothing.
    The tiniest most insignificant thing like the ammount of c rap on the burner oriface
    Can have an affect on Co levels being released.
    So just because you might not detect much or any Co at 1 point in time is no assurance
    That as soon as you leave Co levels won't skyrocket.
    And if you find a unit to have more than .4" WC on your return a crack is almost guaranteed.

    On Lennox clamshell hx's they will crack under the bolt every time
    On d amn near any other clamshell hx it will crack at the back where it narrows
    The newer Goodman's are NOT using amanas reliable hx and you can expect to find
    cracks in those after around 9 years.
    Trans will crack right around where the flame is as with most other tube types.
    Tempstar eylets get cracks around them.
    Armstrongs get cracks alot too

    The only hx you will never find a crack in is an oldschool Holland unit.
    Unfortunately they went out of business cuz nobody wanted to pay that much for a furnace.
    Last edited by Mille Racer 69; 10-19-2011 at 12:29 AM.
    Tell Obama he can keep the change

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Indianapolis IN
    Posts
    404
    I just looked at a 16 y/o ICP (looks like a Heil maybe) condensing furnace that I know has a problem on the center one of it's 3 burners. I can see the flame change with the blower, but I can't find a crack or a hole in any of the places I can get my borescope into. Any ideas on where these fail. I am just not familiar with them.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    798
    Quote Originally Posted by DarrinB View Post
    I just looked at a 16 y/o ICP (looks like a Heil maybe) condensing furnace that I know has a problem on the center one of it's 3 burners. I can see the flame change with the blower, but I can't find a crack or a hole in any of the places I can get my borescope into. Any ideas on where these fail. I am just not familiar with them.
    doesnt mean its a crack, could be its sucking or blowing air from or into the burner compartment

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Eastern Shore, MD
    Posts
    798
    Quote Originally Posted by Mille Racer 69 View Post
    The most common thing that will cause a crack is lack of airflow.
    Also Afa Co detectors, they will not sound until they detect... I believe 400ppm.
    Also just because you may not pick up any Co means absolutely nothing.
    The tiniest most insignificant thing like the ammount of c rap on the burner oriface
    Can have an affect on Co levels being released.
    So just because you might not detect much or any Co at 1 point in time is no assurance
    That as soon as you leave Co levels won't skyrocket.
    And if you find a unit to have more than .4" WC on your return a crack is almost guaranteed.

    On Lennox clamshell hx's they will crack under the bolt every time
    On d amn near any other clamshell hx it will crack at the back where it narrows
    The newer Goodman's are NOT using amanas reliable hx and you can expect to find
    cracks in those after around 9 years.
    Trans will crack right around where the flame is as with most other tube types.
    Tempstar eylets get cracks around them.
    Armstrongs get cracks alot too

    The only hx you will never find a crack in is an oldschool Holland unit.
    Unfortunately they went out of business cuz nobody wanted to pay that much for a furnace.
    so an AMVC and a GMVC furnaces have different HX? look the same to me....

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Eagle (Boise), Idaho
    Posts
    383
    They are different.

    And on another note, if you are suspecting a crack but are unable to find it, pull the HX. If you STILL can't find the crack, fill it with water.
    Tell Obama he can keep the change

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