"hot Spot" On Furnace PC Board??? - HVAC - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

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Old 05-25-2010, 05:03 PM   #1
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"hot spot" on furnace PC board???

I am selling my home. The buyer had a separate inspection of the 6-year old Ducane furnace and 2-year old Goodman AC system. That inspection company claimed there was "a hot spot on the PC Board," but that both units were in good condition and working properly. I have had no problems with both systems since installing them and am suspicious of this company's report. I had my own HVAC tech come out, she installed the AC but not the furnace, and do an inspection. She found no problems and said if the PC board had a problem, the units would not be working properly. When I told her what the other company said they would charge to fit this "problem," ($700.00), she laughed. She said she charges approx $189 for a new pc board, plus her labor of $90. That other company would be charging around $500 for labor! So my question is, what the heck is a hot spot, can a PC board have a hot spot and still work properly, and would a unit this age have this type of problem? I live in Louisiana, not exactly a cold place, so the heater is only used 2-3 months.


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Old 05-25-2010, 05:09 PM   #2
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Sounds like a snow job and I doubt if you get that stuff on the ground unlike where I am. Your gal works dirt cheap so keep her ph. number for the future. We sell our boards for $400 and up depending on which one etc. When the board burns out it will get a burnt out spot but then it would have failed and not be working. Lots of snake oil sales out there, we had a poster getting ripped off with "phase shifters", simple capacitors. Fortunately we set him straight and saved him a lot of dough.


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Old 05-25-2010, 06:02 PM   #3
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Resistors get hot and leave a brown spot on the circuit board. It's normal for some but not all.
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Old 05-25-2010, 06:28 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mande View Post
That inspection company claimed there was "a hot spot on the PC Board," but that both units were in good condition and working properly.
The factory is the only place that knows if this hot spot is at a normal temperature for this board. I can't imagine any inspection company knowing the normal temps for PC board components.

A component at 71C will burn you quickly, 42C will never burn you. Some components could be designed to run at above 50C.
In general, an abnormally hot component will fail sooner than its design lifetime. Probably a drop of water carefully placed on the component should not boil.

Components have a designator next to them: R6 for resistor #6, U9 for integrated circuit #9, D7 for diode #7. If you can find the component designator for the hot component, I guess you could call the factory and ask for the design temperature, if they will tell you. They will think you're bonkers or that you want to steal proprietary design secrets.

Is the burden of proof on the inspection company to show that this is an abnormally high temp for that component on that board by that manufacturer, or is the burden of refutation on you to show that this is normal?

What a hassle. If this turns out to be a wild goose chase I'd notify your state's attorney about the conduct of this inspection company.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 05-25-2010 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 05-25-2010, 07:39 PM   #5
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Most of those boards do get a hot spot.

Its not until it fails that you know if its really a problem or not.

Tell the buyers, their HVAC company is a company of part changers. Not service techs.
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Old 05-26-2010, 09:45 AM   #6
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Thanks for advice!

Thank you for all your advice! Since my HVAC Tech has a good reputation locally, I was able to get both realtors (mine and the buyers) to convince the buyer that there was no problem so he dropped the issue. I told one of my neighbors and he said the company that did that inspection has a bad rep (no surprise there). My HVAC lady offered a guarantee that if the PC board did in fact go out, she would replace it free of charge, as she was confident there was nothing wrong with it.

I freely admit I know very little about home repairs, but I am suspicious when someone claims there is a problem (electrical) but yet everything is working properly. And then wants an arm and a leg to fix it.

Anyway, thanks for all the advice.


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