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Old 01-08-2012, 02:57 PM   #1
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Sorry for the long post.

I was visiting my mom and thought furnace was short-cycling (heat).
Pulled the upper cover off and watched a heat cycle. Burners look well aligned with heat ex tubes, were blue with no yellow or orange color, and didn't waver. Some glowing of the rust around the openings.

I saw some small twigs, grass-like material in the burner box.
Pulled the burner box and cleaned it out (maybe a 1/4 cup of stuff).
Checked outside PVC intake and exhaust lines; nothing in them.

I unscrewed the burner tubes and tried to take some shots with my iphone of the heat exch. The best shot below seems to show a dark pencil thin line in the wall of the far right tube.
Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?-heatexc1.jpg
Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?-burners1.jpg
Q1: If you can see it in the picture, is this line something to worry about?

Also, the black Honeywell box (ignition module?) was put in about 2 years ago.
Q2: Is the gas valve the infamous (?) smart valve?
Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?-cab1.jpg
I'm thinking the furnace is over-sized (guessing house is no more than 2500 sq ft near Philadelphia). A-coil's cabinet has a mfg date of 5/93 on it so it is about 17-18 years old.

I'm going to get someone in to check out the heat exchanger for cracks.
Q3: Assuming he finds one or more, should she get a new unit or have the heat exchanger replaced?
She is 86 and lives alone, in good health (still works 9-5 as a secretary) and could be there for some more years (hopefully).

Q4: Any suggestions as to how to check on the sizing issue?
I assume Manual J? Her house is on a slab and I believe the return system is all based on wall cavities and likely leaks like a sieve (an updraft system; beneath the filter is the concrete slab!).
Q5: If the system is leaky, would it be better to size for the Manual J specs or go higher/lower to account for the leakiness?

Q6: Better to go for a variable speed, 2-stage or similar vs. single-speed, single-speed? I guess the current is single-speed, single-stage. Any idea of its efficiency?

Thanks in advance!
Bob

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Old 01-08-2012, 04:03 PM   #2
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Sorry for the long post.

I was visiting my mom and thought furnace was short-cycling (heat).
Pulled the upper cover off and watched a heat cycle. Burners look well aligned with heat ex tubes, were blue with no yellow or orange color, and didn't waver. Some glowing of the rust around the openings.

I saw some small twigs, grass-like material in the burner box.
Pulled the burner box and cleaned it out (maybe a 1/4 cup of stuff).
Checked outside PVC intake and exhaust lines; nothing in them.

I unscrewed the burner tubes and tried to take some shots with my iphone of the heat exch. The best shot below seems to show a dark pencil thin line in the wall of the far right tube.
Attachment 43753
Attachment 43751
Q1: If you can see it in the picture, is this line something to worry about?

Also, the black Honeywell box (ignition module?) was put in about 2 years ago.
Q2: Is the gas valve the infamous (?) smart valve?
Attachment 43752
I'm thinking the furnace is over-sized (guessing house is no more than 2500 sq ft near Philadelphia). A-coil's cabinet has a mfg date of 5/93 on it so it is about 17-18 years old.

I'm going to get someone in to check out the heat exchanger for cracks.
Q3: Assuming he finds one or more, should she get a new unit or have the heat exchanger replaced?
She is 86 and lives alone, in good health (still works 9-5 as a secretary) and could be there for some more years (hopefully).

Q4: Any suggestions as to how to check on the sizing issue?
I assume Manual J? Her house is on a slab and I believe the return system is all based on wall cavities and likely leaks like a sieve (an updraft system; beneath the filter is the concrete slab!).
Q5: If the system is leaky, would it be better to size for the Manual J specs or go higher/lower to account for the leakiness?

Q6: Better to go for a variable speed, 2-stage or similar vs. single-speed, single-speed? I guess the current is single-speed, single-stage. Any idea of its efficiency?

Thanks in advance!
Bob
Hi Bob,
that furnace has many issues, 1 st of it has a lot of rust, in the burner area as well as down by the condensate area. That is NOT a smart valve. The proper way to check for proper size is a right J . I would strongly suggest a 2 stage or even better yet a modulating furnace, do not even attempt to repair the current model.....it was made during a time when Lennox was in a "cost reduction era", and a lot of the product that they put out back then was not what you would expect from the leader of the industry. Rest assured, they are "back on the ball" now.


Last edited by harleyrider; 01-09-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 01-08-2012, 04:37 PM   #3
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


What you have is a single speed 90% furnace.
!7 years of service with few problems it seems.
I don't like all the rust.There was a considerable condensate leak.
Anyone that installs a furnace without a manuel "J" is a fool.
If you have leaks on the return side its not that big a problem.If the leaks were on the supply side that could be an unacceptabler problem
I will get some flack on this but my opinion is that as you get a more compelcated a furnace ,you increase the chance for problems.
An 86 year old doesn't need the headaches.They tend to worry a lot more than younger people do,Do your mom a favor and replace it with a single stage,single speed furnace.I did for my mother and I was in the business for more than 30 years.
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Old 01-08-2012, 05:42 PM   #4
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by REP View Post
What you have is a single speed 90% furnace.
!7 years of service with few problems it seems.
I don't like all the rust.There was a considerable condensate leak.
You should see my 21yo "Pulse"!

I will get some flack on this but my opinion is that as you get a more compelcated a furnace ,you increase the chance for problems.

You won't get that flack from me.
A $200 module plus a $100 ignitor has to save a LOT of gas to make up for a $5 thermocouple; let alone the up front costs.


An 86 year old doesn't need the headaches.
I don't either. Mine's getting changed out this spring.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:19 PM   #5
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by REP View Post
What you have is a single speed 90% furnace.
!7 years of service with few problems it seems.
I don't like all the rust.There was a considerable condensate leak.
Anyone that installs a furnace without a Manuel "J" is a fool.
If you have leaks on the return side its not that big a problem.If the leaks were on the supply side that could be an unacceptable problem
I will get some flack on this but my opinion is that as you get a more complicated a furnace ,you increase the chance for problems.
An 86 year old doesn't need the headaches.They tend to worry a lot more than younger people do,Do your mom a favor and replace it with a single stage,single speed furnace.I did for my mother and I was in the business for more than 30 years.

if its installed and set up properly and maintained by trade professionals, she wont have any problems

Last edited by harleyrider; 01-09-2012 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:43 AM   #6
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Thank you all for the feedback.
My only thought on a more "complicated" furnace was for improved comfort (longer heating and cooling cycles with fewer off/on periods) potential attractiveness when the day comes we have to sell her house.
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:08 AM   #7
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Thank you all for the feedback.
My only thought on a more "complicated" furnace was for improved comfort (longer heating and cooling cycles with fewer off/on periods) potential attractiveness when the day comes we have to sell her house.
All very good points.............
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:14 AM   #8
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Rep's quote
I will get some flack on this but my opinion is that as you get a more compelcated a furnace ,you increase the chance for problems.

This is an undeniable experienced fact for anyone who works in HVAC repair.
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:48 PM   #9
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by how View Post
Rep's quote
I will get some flack on this but my opinion is that as you get a more compelcated a furnace ,you increase the chance for problems.

This is an undeniable experienced fact for anyone who works in HVAC repair.
I agree 100...........if you don't put it in right, It won't run right.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:05 PM   #10
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


If Mom wants to be more comfortable a 2 stage furnace will give her more even cycles and as she gets older and may feel cooler that may be a nice thing for her to have. a 3 stage or mod furnace is the ultimate and some of them are so quiet and smooth you can barely hear them run. you get what you pay for price wise.
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:19 PM   #11
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


You guys are killing me.
Lets make this simple.
Say you have a bathroom mirror and it has a single light above it.
Now with the same morror add a second light.
Have you cut the chance of a bad light bulb in half or have you doubled the chance of a bad light bulb?
I think we can all agree that modulating or staged gas valves are more complicated than a light bulb.
Now add another light bulb and you have tripled the chance of a bad light bulb.
Warranty or not a variable speed motor is a much bigger deal than a one speed motor.
The lady isd 86 years old.She is not interested in bells and whistles.She only wants on or off.Why is that so hard to understand? don't you guys have mothers?
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:25 PM   #12
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


If she gets old and starts to lose circulation and feel uncomfortable which 90% of my elderly clients do then they usually buy a high end furnace to enjoy the comfort and their last remaining days. They have nice pensions and drive Buicks also. $$ is not always an option. I had one cheap son of a byatch who would not allow his parents to buy an AC as he was more worried about them spending his inheritance. They built him a 26 foot garage to store his Corvette in but when it come time to buy an AC he booted out the salesman and told them to leave the windows open. Old folks deserve comfort after having worked hard all their lives. Just depends on what their value system is and whether comfort is more important than simplicity.

With the crappy pressure switches they make these days a single stage furnace can be unreliable too.
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Last edited by yuri; 01-09-2012 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:02 PM   #13
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Well, the techs were there today; they agreed I saw the beginning of a crack in the HX.
While testing, the circulator motor relay on the board failed to work once. When it did work, there was some obvious arcing in the relay (a nice green glow!). Tomorrow they'll get me pricing on a new board and a heating unit (has a/c installed). Mentioned a York and an Air_?__(made by Lennox, with a 10-year warranty). I'm thinking it isn't worth putting money into a unit with the beginning of a crack and a bad board. Blower motor is probably next.
One issue: unit is in a utility space under the stairs (house on a slab) and this space is in her family room with the TV. Any one series of units from York or the Lennox (Air___?) that may be quieter when running? The current one is a bit noisy when blowing.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:08 PM   #14
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bob22 View Post
Well, the techs were there today; they agreed I saw the beginning of a crack in the HX.
While testing, the circulator motor relay on the board failed to work once. When it did work, there was some obvious arcing in the relay (a nice green glow!). Tomorrow they'll get me pricing on a new board and a heating unit (has a/c installed). Mentioned a York and an Air_?__(made by Lennox, with a 10-year warranty). I'm thinking it isn't worth putting money into a unit with the beginning of a crack and a bad board. Blower motor is probably next.
One issue: unit is in a utility space under the stairs (house on a slab) and this space is in her family room with the TV. Any one series of units from York or the Lennox (Air___?) that may be quieter when running? The current one is a bit noisy when blowing.
Stick with a lennox, do not buy aire flo....its pure crap.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:19 PM   #15
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Lennox G26q3/4-100 Crack?


ok guys your making your point all of you....so heres a thougth..I bid a furnace job exactly the way rep explained....wanting to keep it simple for the older lady..a very good salesman from a big local hvac company came in sold this lady top package .. from what the neighbor says over 10,000.00 dollars..they also tell me service truck has been there every other day since the install in november......just read of the old ladie dying in the newspaper again the neighbor says it was that damm furnace that killed her?????? Iam just saying

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