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Old 05-04-2009, 09:36 AM   #1
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Furnace: Repair or buy new?


I have a Lennox Elite Series Furnace about 6 years old. Model number 90UGFA3-75-6. Both motors have died and we have been advised that repairs would be about $1500.00. Any advice on whether to go with these repairs, or buy a new unit? Thanks!

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Old 05-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #2
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Furnace: Repair or buy new?


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Furnace about 6 years old.
repairs would be about $1500.00
Figuring the Economic Life of an Asset [Equipment Replacement Strategies] is messy, even with a spreadsheet.
Please post the original cost and the cost of maintenance each year. I'll assume the Salvage Value is zero and scrounge up my Excel program.

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Old 05-04-2009, 11:18 AM   #3
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I would wonder why two motors went bad at the same time. Pretty peculiar
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Old 05-04-2009, 11:35 AM   #4
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Furnace: Repair or buy new?


What are the symptoms that make you think both motors are bad? If they are indeed bad (which is odd for a 6 year old furnace) you ought to be able to replace them yourself for a lot less than $1500.
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Old 05-05-2009, 09:24 AM   #5
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Furnace: Repair or buy new?


Thanks for your replies. The furnace was in the house when we bought it in 2006, so I don't have an original price on it. The house was built in late 2002.

We knew something was wrong when we were getting a burnt electrical smell through our vents (it's a forced air system). When the technician came, he said it was the motor. He replaced it and then told me that the other motor had just gone as well and that this was very unusual. This is when the $1500.00 estimate came up...
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Old 05-05-2009, 10:31 AM   #6
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Furnace: Repair or buy new?


I would be suspect of two burned motors. Sounds like an "act of God" aka Power Surge. Had any other appliances fail?

The $1,500 is exactly why this forum exists, and why many contractors have black eyes. That is probably an arbitrary number invented to push you to decide on new.

Now, I am going to uncover the dirty truth. The two blowers for this furnace should be 60-L-21 for the blower motor, and 68-K-21 for the combustion blower. Collectively, my cost is about $250. You should expect to pay about double this amount, along with 2-3 hours of installation if you use a pro.

From what I can tell, there is nothing special about this blower motor. If it were a VS, then the numbers change, but my cost on that blower is $121.00 so I am betting garden variety blower set up.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old 05-05-2009, 11:03 AM   #7
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I would be suspect of two burned motors. Sounds like an "act of God" aka Power Surge. Had any other appliances fail?

The $1,500 is exactly why this forum exists, and why many contractors have black eyes. That is probably an arbitrary number invented to push you to decide on new.

Now, I am going to uncover the dirty truth. The two blowers for this furnace should be 60-L-21 for the blower motor, and 68-K-21 for the combustion blower. Collectively, my cost is about $250. You should expect to pay about double this amount, along with 2-3 hours of installation if you use a pro.

From what I can tell, there is nothing special about this blower motor. If it were a VS, then the numbers change, but my cost on that blower is $121.00 so I am betting garden variety blower set up.

Good luck with your decision.
You make an excellent point regarding the "dirty truth". Thanks for being quite candid on this issue. I have experienced it first hand and heard of having this tactic utilized on family and friends in the past.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:28 PM   #8
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Furnace: Repair or buy new?


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That is probably an arbitrary number invented to push you to decide on new.
I've seen a guy admit on TV that the price of a replacement part is designed to put you on the fence for repair or replace, and this price is ~half the cost of a new unit.

For this many bucks, I'd get several opinions.

A dot plot might be helpful at some point

.........a...bcd...e.........f
$0....1.....2.....3.....4.....5
........^relative price^

Bids a and f are probably outliers, and bcd seems to be the true price of doing your job in your zip code in May, 2009.

And motors and relay coils are about the hardiest components you can have.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-05-2009 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 05-06-2009, 05:22 AM   #9
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You make an excellent point regarding the "dirty truth". Thanks for being quite candid on this issue. I have experienced it first hand and heard of having this tactic utilized on family and friends in the past.
if only he had a snuggie
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Old 05-06-2009, 06:07 PM   #10
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Furnace: Repair or buy new?


Probably needs 2 motors AND a circuit board. All the surge went thru the board also. HSI may be blown or other problems may still be there. Confronted with that scenario I would have quoted $1000 and up, and the final amount would be determined when all the problems showed up.
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Old 05-10-2009, 11:03 AM   #11
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Furnace: Repair or buy new?


A bit late but I always ask to see the problem prior to removal and to save the old parts so I can dispose or recylce.. then again I can repair circuit boards and rebuild motors so I generally understand what I'm looking at. There are reputable trades people and those who are not
as with any profession.
If you are suspect get a second opinion. I have cleaned up more than one mess left behind by a modern day pirate. A good tradesman does not need to relay on taking advantage of his clients, he makes more by word of mouth than a guy out for a fast buck, but teh cheapest quote is not always the best option either

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