Jeeeeze..... it's long....
I just found this forum and it sure is nice that diy'ers don't get raked over the coals for simply wanting to understand stuff. Here goes. I have a 23 year old Rheem (RGCA-10EC) nat gasser. In getting estimates to replace it, well, let's just say it's way out of my budget! Fortunatley it's running okay. My interest is in replacing it myself, since parts seem to be somewhat hard to get and expensive if I were to "rebuild" it. My question(s) are: Since I'm very reasonably handy, and actually installed the old one 23 years ago, are the newer more efficient models much harder installation wise? The Rheem is an Imperial 80 Plus model. Would a new replacement 80% model benefit me? I believe I could re-use the existing metal flue. 3" B vent. Through the roof. Do any of you have any recommendations for this "project"? On the old unit, I had a tin man do the duct work and the house (ranch) has seemed to be fairly evenly heated and cooled. He really knew his stuff. Since it's been so cold here (Michigan) recently, I think it's about time to replace the old beast-- although in 23 years all that's been replaced is the ignition controll module. Sorry for the long first posting, but as I get my feet wet with all the on-line HVAC info I realize that there's a lot of dis-satisfaction with just about every manufacturer out there, and if I do the install correctly I may have no more or less problems than the trained people. Thoughts?