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Old 01-09-2009, 07:59 PM   #16
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Replace Heat Exchanger or Furnace


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Originally Posted by Home Air Direct View Post
I am going to open up my closet a little and let you know a little something about my past. I was the Vice President of a midsized wholesale distribution company who distributed Goodman/Amana throughout the state Illinois, before creating my own business.

I have very vivid memories (that felt like nightmares) of replacing over 200 GMP model Goodman furnaces between 2005 - 2007. Goodman took care of most of them, but the paperwork was a living nightmare.

Goodman changed their heat exchanger to tubes after the clamshell/rivet fiasco. They have been relatively trouble free since.

The current Goodman furnace is a decent box. Do not get all caught up in the crazy warranties that they offer up. It is an actuarial numbers game that they are playing. I will not go into to it here, but I have sat in meetings in Houston at Goodman corporate and have had to pick up my chin from the plans that Goodman has for dominating the market.

As far as which furnace to choose? There is really no bad product on the market today. The reality is that a bad install will kill a great furnace.

Heck, guy. You ain't telling us nothing we didn't already know.

I felt sorry for my guy at Flo Co who had all that paper work to do after the return EX.

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Old 01-09-2009, 08:20 PM   #17
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Replace Heat Exchanger or Furnace


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Dhu...missed by ten years. Is still under warranty but i would still opt for a new one.
Yeah, I missed that too. I should have known better.

But, the Op should take the fact that the servicing contractor who found the crack and then pushed the replacement over the repair with the Goodman brand was not their to help, or they would have offered up the warranty work in order to gain confidence and a probable furnace replacement when the time was right.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:24 PM   #18
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Yeah, I missed that too. I should have known better.

But, the Op should take the fact that the servicing contractor who found the crack and then pushed the replacement over the repair with the Goodman brand was not their to help, or they would have offered up the warranty work in order to gain confidence and a probable furnace replacement when the time was right.

Damn straight. Unless the HO is sandbagging that one little fact.

you know how it goes with a complaint against an aggressive production oriented work force.
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:45 PM   #19
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Replace Heat Exchanger or Furnace


My American Standard furnace (13-14 years old) has been acting up lately, not wanting to start for a while, especially in the mornings. It can take around 5 minute to finally get started, but once started, runs just fine.

We thought this was a thermostat issue, but after one conctractor spent two hours in the basement checking things out, he said the pressure reading was low, which was causing it to cut out early or take a while to start up. He attributed this to a dirty heat exchanger (i.e., the caked on dirt was causing a blockage and thus bad pressure readings), which he could clean for only $1000!!!!. However, if this turned out not to be the source of the problem, then I would need to replace the furnace for the low, low price of only $6000. This just didn't seem right to me.

I called another contractor this morning, and he felt it was the pressure switch itself if it was indeed not reading properly, or something to do with the blower. He never heard of cleaning the heat exchanger, although he said he could probably do it by simply vacuuming out the soot if that's what I wanted. The other guy made it sound like it was more than soot caking the exchanger, like it was hard stuff that would need to be scraped off (I have no idea what this would be).

Absent a dirty exchanger, it might be due to cracks in the exchanger causing pressure problems.

In any event, should I first try to get the exchanger cleaned (by the second contractor, and not for $1000), and if that does't work, and if it's not the pressure switch, can I simply replace the heat exchanger rather than purchase a new furnace? I can't afford a new furnace right now, or even a $1000 cleaning.

Something about the first guy, even though he spent two hours of his time and didn't charge me for it, still doesn't sound right. He did lower the price of the cleaning to $875, and then said that if it turned out not to be the problem, and I bought a new furnace, they would only charge me $125 for the cleaning, and apply the remaining cost to the new furnace.

Is this a scam?

Any and all help and suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 01-19-2009, 04:32 PM   #20
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A sooted exchange is more times than not caused by a cracked heat exchanger. Most companies are not going to take a chance cause it does turn out to be a bad exchange.

If you are not comfortable with the cost get other estimates.But if you can't afford it, the diff in price from company to company won't be enough to make a diff for your problem.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #21
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Replace Heat Exchanger or Furnace


Given my yearly averaged gas bill is $103/mo, including my water heater, a 15% efficiency gain would take forever to pay for the new furnace. If I save roughly 15% on my bill (going from 80% to 95% efficiency), and assume the whole $103 is the furnace, I save a grand total of $180/yr.

It seems a no brainer to me to fix my existing furnace for around $1,000. Does anyone have any thoughts that contradict my thinking?

Could I get a new furnace from another contractor for substantially less than these guys are quoting? I am thinking the labor must be really high to put in this furnace, given I found the exact model on the Internet for just under $1,600. See http://www.acwholesalers.com/Goodman...ce-p/11140.htm

Thank you for taking the time to read this and reply.[/quote]
1 to determine your savings take your gas bill average for a month This is not perfect but close enough for your purpose.
2 subtract 20% this is because you can only get 80% of the energy out of natural gas by burning it
3 now you need to take your average bill for the summer and subtract that. this is to take into account fuel used for dryer water heater and stove (if you have a pool heater this will not work) it will also take out fixed costs Like delivery fee (propane)

Once you have subtracted these non heating fuel costs you simply take 15% if that is the efficiency difference and wella you approximate savings.

I have not found a case where the payback in my area warrants the 90 over the 80
Bare in mind we need to consider interest you will pay on financing or interest lost by withdrawing savings.

Consider how long you expect to stay in your home.
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:26 PM   #22
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one more thing if the furnace is past warranty replace it if it is still in warranty replace the heat exchanger
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:20 PM   #23
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As someone who is not in the business, and who is dealing with questionable contractors, I must have missed something in this thread. I hope maybe you can explain to me.
As I understand it, this guys furnace runs, and still runs okay. I don't believe that it was stated why the contractor was at the house in the first place. Seems to me, that the only thing wrong, is that the exchanger has a few small cracks in it. They aren't leaking CO, so there is no danger posed.
So why do anything?
He has a CO detector - so if the exchanger does fail, he will know.
If your concerned about the exchanger failing, why can't it be fixed?
Seems like it would be a much less expensive repair than a replacement.
Thanks for your replies.
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Old 01-23-2009, 04:52 PM   #24
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Heat exchangers can't be fixed.
They are made too thin to weld, or patch.

As for CO detectors, they don't protect you. By the time they alarm you, you are already feeling the effects of the CO.
The reason they are set so high, and take so long to go into alrm, is vecoause of all the false alarms fire companies were getting.

Neither you, nor him know if there is CO in his air stream.
Because no one used a sensitive enough CO meter, to check.


Read the rating on your CO detector if you have one.
They are a false sense of security.
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Old 01-23-2009, 06:13 PM   #25
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Heat exchangers can't be fixed.
They are made too thin to weld, or patch.

As for CO detectors, they don't protect you. By the time they alarm you, you are already feeling the effects of the CO.
The reason they are set so high, and take so long to go into alrm, is vecoause of all the false alarms fire companies were getting.

Neither you, nor him know if there is CO in his air stream.
Because no one used a sensitive enough CO meter, to check.


Read the rating on your CO detector if you have one.
They are a false sense of security.
Been is absolutely correct cracked heat exchangers cannot be fixed.

Now there are several things that techs call cracks for example popped rings these can be fixed. You buy the comprehension fitting from the manufacturer (not all offer them) and insert it then presto (you should also increase you liability ins. and pray often pray without ceasing)

Really if it is under warranty replace the HE if it is not buy a furnace do not expose your self or your loved ones to even low levels of CO, the long term neurological damage is foreseeable and therefore preventable.

For this reason I hate Co detectors People tell me ya the co detector only goes off a couple times a day so I figured maybe next fall Il get the furnace checked. People this is your life.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:37 AM   #26
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I have just been told I have a bad heat exchanger in my GMP125-4 (Janitrol, but now Goodman). I was told $400 to $600 for exchanger, and $1,100 labor. I asked how long it takes and he said 5 or 6 hours. They must think a lot of themselves, demanding over $180 for the work. I found the part on-line for just under $300, and apparently most HVAC work can be done for around $85 per hour. I am planning to get several other estimates. Point being, I am looking at a minimum of 5 hours at $85/hr + $300 for heat exchanger = $725. More realistically I will get estimates for $800 to $1,000 total, I am guessing.

The same HVAC company did their free sizing on my house and figured I need a 115 BTU furnace with a 5 ton blower (house is finished basement + 2 story, total SF of 3,250). He recommended the 95% efficiency Goodman GMV-95-115. He was offering the "one time only price" of $5,892 installed.

Given my yearly averaged gas bill is $103/mo, including my water heater, a 15% efficiency gain would take forever to pay for the new furnace. If I save roughly 15% on my bill (going from 80% to 95% efficiency), and assume the whole $103 is the furnace, I save a grand total of $180/yr.

It seems a no brainer to me to fix my existing furnace for around $1,000. Does anyone have any thoughts that contradict my thinking?

Could I get a new furnace from another contractor for substantially less than these guys are quoting? I am thinking the labor must be really high to put in this furnace, given I found the exact model on the Internet for just under $1,600. See http://www.acwholesalers.com/Goodman...ce-p/11140.htm

Thank you for taking the time to read this and reply.
hello, my furnace keeps shutting off, when we press the reset button it runs for about 5 minutes then shuts back off again. did you have the same problem. we are trying to find out if our heat exchanger is bad. thanks
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:55 AM   #27
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Which reset button are you pressing, post a pic of it. The heat exchanger may be cracked and needs to be inspected by a Pro. Goodman had a lot of problems with them.
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:39 PM   #28
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Replace it you already have a quote to install the HE under warranty it will cost anywhere from 850 to 1K why put that into it?

Go with the quotes you have for 2K and 2.5K for the new system, it's worth it. The money it cost to install the HE will pay for half the new one.
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Old 11-20-2010, 05:49 PM   #29
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what is the serial number on that furnace, it would have had a 20 year warranty on the heat exchanger
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Old 11-20-2010, 08:45 PM   #30
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I can't believe that you have seven cracks in you heat exchanger and are still running the unit. You must not value your families lives very much. Those cracks open and close with expansion and contraction and could open wide anytime. If the service company left it running after seeing this then bad on them.

As said a co detector is not the way to check a heat exchanger. One installed in your house like, the ones you bought, as said do not alarm soon enough or at all. Read the fine print on them. Most don't alarm until 35-40 ppm is sensed and then they have to have that reading for hours before they alarm. You could have 30 ppm for example in your house and it would never alarm. Do you know how sick or dead 30-40 ppm can make you or your kids? Wow. The service company that you hired tries to save your life and all you can do is find things wrong with them. Sorry but I will not throw them under the bus and think they did the right thing bidding a new unit and not wanting to repair the junk you have.

Sorry if this is harsh but I get tired of people putting us down when we are just the barrer of bad news. We did not make the problem only diagnosised it.

Also you have no idea how much it takes to stay in business and shouldnt try to set others rates.

I am sure you will go with the cheapest option and company so don't complain later with what you get.

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