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Thread: Gas Valve Lifespan Question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    HVAC Co. did routine winter tune up. All is fine.
    But I have a question that hope someone can help.

    1991 NG Tempstar Furnaces (qty = 2; 2-story home)
    Model: NUGI 100DH03
    Gas Valve is Honeywell VR8204
    http://customer.honeywell.com/Techli...0s/68-0047.pdf
    House set at 69F at night and 66F during the day.
    Furnaces well-maintained over the last 14 years.

    My Questions are:

    1. What is the average lifespan of a Gas Valve?

    2. Any symptoms before the Gas Valve fails?

    Considering the low cost of this Valve (about $XXXX/each + labor), is it a good idea to change these valves even though they work well for now?

    The analogy is like a Timing Belt in a car, there is no symptom before the Timing Belt fails! But change it before it fails and damages the engine.

    (Just do not want to be COLD when least expected)
    cn
    Omaha NE

    >>>edit...

    (No pricing, due to site rules )


    [Edited by jultzya on 12-09-2005 at 01:01 AM]

  2. #2
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    hmmm never done a preventative repair like that on a gas valve. I would not worry about it. This is a part you replace when it fails.. I have seen them last along time. Also have done warranty rpeairs. The usual gas valve failure is it gets stuck closed, meaning it has power going to it just does not allow the gas to flow to the burnner. Have you had problems with your furnace/gas valve?.Continue to have the furnace serviced anually.

    JMO

    Frank

  3. #3
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    Im probably gonna get flamed for this but I guess I dont care ........anyone agreeing to repalce a gas valve under that senario is being taken to the cleaners. In all the years I have been in business I have probably only replaced maybe 30 valves. No Im not counting smart valves, that would add another 150 or so lol. I would say that if they replace the valve on your unit now at its age , the new one might go bad before the old one would. You just never Know on gas valves , some go 40 years some go 3....kinda the luck of the draw.

    [Edited by dec on 12-08-2005 at 04:52 PM]

  4. #4
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    Thread Starter

    Thanks for all the advices and experience

    No, I do not have problems with the Furnace. Just serviced by the company and all is fine.

    This was just a question I posed to myself (The service tech did not mention it): I was just wondering how long the gas valve lasts and that is all.

    On the other note, Good to know when or if whenever the Gas Valve fails, it fails in the CLOSED position (I think they design it that way for obvious reasons!).

    Thanks again.

    cn

  5. #5
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    Gas valves like any switching device are built to withstand a given number of cycles under normal conditions. Generally upwards of 60,000. Your furnace my cucle 10,000 times in it's life. It should just about outlast any other part on the furnace.

  6. #6
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    Thread Starter

    Reading the Specifications of Gas Valve

    http://customer.honeywell.com/Techli...0s/68-0047.pdf

    Does not tell me what the life cycle is. They only mention "Appliances that cycle more than 100,000-200,000 per year need to be checked frequently.

    My rough estimate of a average homeowner furnace (Assuming the thermostat is set at 68F all the time 24/7ch is an overestimate):

    5 cycles/hour x 24h x 30d/month x 5months of heating season = 18,000 cycles/heating season (or per year)

    But this can range anywhere between 10,000-30,000 cycles/year.

    Assuming Furnace lasts 20yr, then the Gas Valve (as you say outlasts the furnace in most cases) will have cycled through as much as 600,000 cycles (30,000 cylce x 20 yr)!

    Wow, then Honeywell really designed it well to outlast the furnace itself.

    cn

  7. #7
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    Oh by the way I have seen 2 valves fail in the open position..... gas would keep burning no matter what. These were on old standing pilot units.

  8. #8
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    Agree with DEC, I have seen service companies routinly change gas valves for preventive maintinence, as far as I am concerned that is just ripping off the customer. It would be no different than changing blower motors on a routine basis. Like DEC I probably have not changed more than 20 or 30 failed gas valves in 30 years, more now on the newer units than on old units. They just don't make them like they used too. (hey I think I'm turning into my father) LOL
    "Go big or Go Home"

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