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-   -   Do I replace Heat Exchanger or wait? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/do-i-replace-heat-exchanger-wait-126735/)

coder_t2 12-15-2011 08:55 PM

Do I replace Heat Exchanger or wait?
 
Hey guys, I need some help on deciding what to do with my furnace, and the risks. I have a 14 year old Janitrol GMP100-3. I just had it serviced and one of the rings were popped in it. I believe it was on the heat exchanger. The tech said I would need to replace the heat exchanger to fix it. Or he said I could just not do anything and it could possibly run for 6 months or 6 years. Taking my chances I guess. Is there any health risk or hazard to not getting this replace right away? Such as a gas leak or fire?

Since I have to replace the entire heat exchanger anyway, would my best bet be to just leave it and check it every year until another ring pops?

I just bought the house 2 years ago, so I am guessing any warranty that would have been on the unit would be void.

I am still waiting on them to call me to give me an estimate to replace the heat exchanger.

Thanks for the help.

ben's plumbing 12-15-2011 09:39 PM

the reason for service is to make sure the unit is safe....if your tech is telling you the truth "we hope he is" he just told you that you could have carbon moxoide leak from your furnace putting your family in danger.....just had a man this week die from same problem.....get 2nd opinion...then make your decision....repair or replace

yuri 12-15-2011 09:43 PM

more rings could pop in a day or two or who knows when? then you WILL get a dangerous flame rollout and CO poisoning when the air gets into the heat exchanger and pushes the flames out the front. replace it soon or better yet buy a new furnace. with 14 yr old parts it is a $$ pit as more repairs will be needed soon.

Marty S. 12-15-2011 10:36 PM

When a ring pops the heat exchanger opens in that spot as it heats up. Air then pushes in when the blower comes on and disturbs the flame which greatly increases the amount of carbon monoxide produced. As yuri said it can,and often does, also push those carbon monoxide laden flue gasses out the front of the furnace instead of them going out the flue. He should have shut the furnace off right then and there. You go do it right now and buy a couple space heaters to get by for a couple nights until a repair or replace decision can be made.

I had one last month with a ring that split. It looked fine with a visual inspection from the blower compartment but the flue gas O2 climbed on my combustion analyzer and the carbon monoxide went from 30ppm to over 1000ppm. Tore the coil case apart and checked the heat exchanger again but from the top side and saw a 3/8th inch gap between the two halves of a ring. Had no choice but to shut the furnace off at that point because it was a clear danger to the family.

coder_t2 12-15-2011 10:39 PM

Well he showed me the popped ring with that little camera (boroscope?). So it definitely has a popped ring. I also noticed that the CO detector in the basement is way old. So I just bought a couple CO detectors on Amazon today, should get them in a week.

So, one ring popped off a heat exchanger is a serious concern for CO?

He said all else was running fine on the furnace and didn't act like it was an immediate cause for concern.

Missouri Bound 12-15-2011 11:02 PM

You can replae the heat exchanger and have a 14 year old furnace with a new heat exchanger. Get some estimates to replace it and replace the furnace. A new furnace will be more efficient and will probably be the smartest route....unless you can have the repair done very inexpensively.....but you get what you pay for.

Marty S. 12-15-2011 11:08 PM

Yes a popped ring IS a big deal. That's why the furnace is supposed to be "red tagged" and shut off.

Just so we're on the same page here...You have a MAJOR defect in the one part of the furnace that separates the deadly fumes from your home. Then there's old out dated CO detectors and the plan is to replace them with some that alarm when the CO level in the house has poisoned your family(27-33ppm exposure for 30 days)...IN A WEEK! See any flaws in that plan of attack?

coder_t2 12-15-2011 11:11 PM

For those that know what it means, I'll put the other readings he made.

HSI = 34ohms, and i think he wrote .82A after it. A little tough to read his writing.

1.9/1.42A interior
motor 12.5/12.12

Does this sound like the overall condition is good and worth replacing the heat exchanger? I am planning on making calls tomorrow to get estimates on both a new furnace and heat exchanger. I am guessing if it the heat exchanger is more than the third of the cost of a new furnace, I'll go with a new furnace. But it sounds like everyone is pushing toward me getting a new furnace.

coder_t2 12-15-2011 11:15 PM

Ok. I turned off the heat at the thermostat. Is that a safe enough way to turn it off for now? Or do I need to go and shut the furnace completely off at the unit? Going right now to Walmart to pick up a CO detector.

hvactech126 12-15-2011 11:23 PM

Quote:

Any visible crack
or hole discovered in this step is reason for requiring
replacement of the heat exchanger or furnace.
From the American Gas Association

http://www.aga.org/SiteCollectionDoc...NGLEAKTEST.pdf

Quote:

Well he showed me the popped ring with that little camera (boroscope?). So it definitely has a popped ring. I also noticed that the CO detector in the basement is way old. So I just bought a couple CO detectors on Amazon today, should get them in a week.

So, one ring popped off a heat exchanger is a serious concern for CO?

He said all else was running fine on the furnace and didn't act like it was an immediate cause for concern.
YES there is a concern for CO. Even if it is not leaking at this time the chamber is no longer sealed as it was from the factory. It could start leaking at anytime and has the probability to do so. BTW, so you ordered CO alarms.... THEY ARE NOT DETECTORS!!!! They are not sophisticated instruments like us PRO's have on our truck. They have been "dumbed down" by UL so as not to alarm all the time.

http://www.coexperts.com

coder_t2 12-15-2011 11:43 PM

I am not really sure what you are trying to say about the CO alarm. Are you saying they are unreliable or something?

hvactech126 12-16-2011 05:55 AM

yes, they are unreliable. I have seen brand new out of the box alarms put in a ziploc bad and filled with 100 ppm CO from a can and the alarms NEVER went off. Not after 1 hour, not after2 hours, not after 3 hours. How much CO is safe in your home 0 ppm. The UL lab wont put their approval on them unless they have been dumbed down so they dont go off with low levels of CO. Low levels at sustained periods of exposure can be very harmful.

yuri 12-16-2011 06:40 AM

read this link. CO detectors from big box stores were tested with a Pro machine and gases and are inaccurate.

http://www.diychatroom.com/f17/old-f...rviced-122515/

you are playing Russian roulette with that exchanger. it can seriously open at that popped ring immediately and more of therm will pop off. your tech is irresponsible and probably does not have a license. if he did he would be worried about liability, losing it, getting sued and your safery. I would condemn it as a licensed tech.

coder_t2 12-16-2011 10:35 AM

He came from a reputable company. So id be very surprised if he wasn't licensed. Going to make calls today and get estimates so i can take care of it.

Having someone come out Monday for an estimate. Do you guys have any recommendation on brand/models? I am doing my own research but I'd like to hear what you all have to say. Thanks

yuri 12-16-2011 04:45 PM

Politically incorrect to ask that here as we all sell different brands. You do tend to get what you pay for. Most brands have good, better and best models and as the price goes up they definitely get quieter and have more features for comfort etc.


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