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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Should I call someone?

    Hi there,

    I知 worried about my gas furnace. I went to check it out recently (to investigate an unrelated weird smell in my place) and found the top cover hanging open on its hinges (propped up against the closet door that houses the furnace.) Upon inspection the components of the furnace that were exposed were pretty filthy with dust and some kind of sandy salt and peppery buildup.

    When I look at the flame it is largely blue, but with a good amount of flickering orange mixed in. Someone came by to take a look and told me that was normal, that the cover probably just fell open because of a bad binding, vacuumed up and changed the filter and left. Flames still have orange mixed in after filter change and cleaning.

    My question is: does this warrant a second opinion? I知 not trying to cause trouble for this guy, I just want to make sure I知 safe. This is the third year running that we致e had issues with this furnace: year 1 the heater had trouble lighting up and staying lit (the flame would switch on and off briefly 2-4 times before sticking on), last year it was the occasional muffled boom sound upon startup and sometimes the flame switching back off so the blower circulated cold air, and now this.

    The issues (symptoms?) from previous years were corrected (fortunately), but at this point I知 just feeling a bit cautious. This is an apartment we池e talking about (4th story) and the furnace closet is directly outside my bedroom between me and the only door. The unit is also old, but not sure what model or year.

    Does it sound like this thing needs another pair of eyes?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Broomall, PA
    Posts
    2,943
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    You better hope the cover wasn't blown off by delayed ignition.
    I'd look for a recommendation of someone else. A professional that really knows how to check out your system, heat exchanger and venting, check gas pressure and do a combustion analysis.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    26,109
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    And invest in a Low Level CO detector.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Thread Starter
    Thank you, yeah the possibilities of delayed ignition and CO issues are my main fears. The person who came to service it dismissed both immediately (first speculating that the cover 屠ust wasn稚 on correctly and then, upon discovering the broken binding/plastic latch thing, said it was unlikely that a heater malfunction could have caused it without offering any other reasons for WHY it would have broken溶evermind that it痴 in a closet by itself where nothing could have run into it.)

    Its very helpful to hear I知 not just being paranoid. I think these repair folks sent by the management company are good people w/ skills but I suspect that they are generalists (the same person comes to work on the door locks as well as the heater etc.). I値l invest in that sensor, and if anyone knows where I can find a rec for an HVAC specialist near Oakland, CA I壇 appreciate any leads!

    Thanks again

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    Thread Starter
    Ah預nd one more follow up question. Does this situation sound dangerous enough that I shouldn稚 run the heat while home and awake till I get someone to take a deeper look? I already turn it off at night and when I知 out, but just trying to assess the level of risk in the meantime.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Gladstone, Oregon (Portland)
    Posts
    2,013
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktown17 View Post
    Ah預nd one more follow up question. Does this situation sound dangerous enough that I shouldn稚 run the heat while home and awake till I get someone to take a deeper look? I already turn it off at night and when I知 out, but just trying to assess the level of risk in the meantime.

    Yes, turn it off until it is deemed safe performing the tests mentioned previously. Grab some space heaters if you need heat in the meantime.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktown17 View Post
    and then, upon discovering the broken binding/plastic latch thing, said it was unlikely that a heater malfunction could have caused it without offering any other reasons for WHY it would have broken.
    Is this a Goodman furnace?
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    摘xperience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards" ~ Vernon Law

    "Skilled Labor Isn't Cheap, Cheap Labor Isn't Skilled" ~ Unknown

    "When the teachers become unteachable we're all in trouble"

    "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." ~ John Wooden



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    9,387
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    Is this a Goodman furnace?
    You went there.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Texas
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    19,900
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    Quote Originally Posted by pacnw View Post
    You went there.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    摘xperience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards" ~ Vernon Law

    "Skilled Labor Isn't Cheap, Cheap Labor Isn't Skilled" ~ Unknown

    "When the teachers become unteachable we're all in trouble"

    "It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." ~ John Wooden



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    26,109
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oaktown17 View Post
    Ah—and one more follow up question. Does this situation sound dangerous enough that I shouldn’t run the heat while home and awake till I get someone to take a deeper look? I already turn it off at night and when I’m out, but just trying to assess the level of risk in the meantime.
    If you have to ask that question I think you've answered it! Leave it off.

    Without being there, seeing what has happened, measuring CO levels, Combustion analyses, and many other readings we cant say except to error on the side of CAUTION!

    Did this gut take any kind of measurements?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Posts
    7
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    Thread Starter
    No idea what kind of furnace it is as there is no visible branding, and no the guy didn稚 take any measurements.

    He just eyeballed it, concluded it 斗ooked fine and that it was 砥nlikely that the cover being off was related to operating issues (with no other reasoning), and put the cover back on by drilling in a new screw.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
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    7
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    Thread Starter
    I値l definitely err on the side of caution as you suggest. Thanks for the guidance on what thorough service looks like!

    I壇 be happy to post pictures of what it looked like behind the cover if anyone is curious. Just need to make a couple more posts before I知 allowed, hah.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    9,387
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    Someplace there is a data plate with model and serial number.
    Inside side wall.
    On the back of one of the doors to unit.
    The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and stamps EVER.
    Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to "Please Do Not Feed the Animals". Their stated reason for this policy "... the animals become dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves."
    from an excerpt by Paul Jacob in Sun City, AZ

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