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Old 04-16-2013, 02:18 PM   #1
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Weathermaker 9200 was leaking rusty water but stopped


Hello,

I'm hoping to gets some help/ideas about my Carrier Weathermaker 9200 furnace.

A couple of times this winter my furnace leaked rusty water onto the basement floor. Last week I opened up the front panel and saw a puddle of rusty/slimy water under the blower. I pulled the fan out and cleaned up the puddle. While there, I peeked up into the secondary heat exchanger and the fins are shiny and bright. I could not see the secondary h/x so I have no idea what shape it is in. I checked the condensate trap and the 3 hoses going to it were clogged with dark sludge. The trap was also clogged so i ran water and blew it out. Ran the furnace another week.

I check this week and there is no puddle of rusty water and the drain lines run more or less clear.

I'm trying to figure out how the condensate found its way down to the bottom of the cabinet under the blower and where along the way the rust is happening.

I wondered why this only happened twice this winter and have an idea. On two occasions I was away for a week or more when it was freezing outside and I set the thermostat to 50 degrees. Is it possible that on those occasions it was so cold in the basement that an unusual volume of condensate was generated and it encountered clogged drain lines - leading to the overflow. Does that make any sense?

The furnace guy came - unfortunately I was not here at the time so I could not talk to him but I do know he did not open up the unit to look at the heat exchangers. He recommended a new furnace. Since it is >10 years old, it doesn't make sense to spend a lot on repairs.

I'm hoping to delay the new furnace if i can, so I have a few questions if anyone knows this furnace:

1. Is it possible that there was a condensate overflow above somewhere that dripped down to the blower compartment? Could it get there somehow without requiring a damaged/cracked h/x?

2. Would it make sense to run antifreeze through the 'winterizer' port to see whether it comes out clear versus sludgy? If it's all clear above, perhaps the rust didn't happen until the condensate reached the blower compartment?

3. If I do not have CO2 leaks and the drain lines are now running clear, what else could be going on? Could I be OK for a while?

I'm trying to avoid a new furnace right now so any ideas/suggestions would be welcome.

I appreciate the help and advice.

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Old 04-16-2013, 09:41 PM   #2
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Weathermaker 9200 was leaking rusty water but stopped


Iam from the old school...if it not broke don't fix it ...you cleaned out the trap and hose...no water....good... that could have been the cause..wait and see..10 yr is not that old of a furnace and that carrier unit is a good unit..call another service company ..have unit checked for safety including heat exchangers..imo its worth it..ben sr

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Old 04-17-2013, 10:48 AM   #3
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Weathermaker 9200 was leaking rusty water but stopped


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Originally Posted by hvmax View Post
Hello,

I'm hoping to gets some help/ideas about my Carrier Weathermaker 9200 furnace.

A couple of times this winter my furnace leaked rusty water onto the basement floor. Last week I opened up the front panel and saw a puddle of rusty/slimy water under the blower. I pulled the fan out and cleaned up the puddle. While there, I peeked up into the secondary heat exchanger and the fins are shiny and bright. I could not see the secondary h/x so I have no idea what shape it is in. I checked the condensate trap and the 3 hoses going to it were clogged with dark sludge. The trap was also clogged so i ran water and blew it out. Ran the furnace another week.

First of all when you pull the blower and look up you are looking at the secondary heat exchanger. Secondly if there was dark sludge in the lines and trap that is a sign of poor combustion or debris coming from inside the furnace due to deterioration. Neither of these conditions are normal and should be addressed.

Finding water/condensate in the bottom of the blower compartment that the evidence points to it came from above the blower is an indication of a leak in the secondary heat exchanger right above the blower. The proof of where the leak is coming from is usually found inside of the blower itself or the seams on the bottom of the metal housing.

I check this week and there is no puddle of rusty water and the drain lines run more or less clear.

I'm trying to figure out how the condensate found its way down to the bottom of the cabinet under the blower and where along the way the rust is happening.

I wondered why this only happened twice this winter and have an idea. On two occasions I was away for a week or more when it was freezing outside and I set the thermostat to 50 degrees. Is it possible that on those occasions it was so cold in the basement that an unusual volume of condensate was generated and it encountered clogged drain lines - leading to the overflow. Does that make any sense?

The required minimum temperature setting on that furnace is no less than 55-60F. What the manufacturer is looking for is no less than about 55 air coming back to the furnace. If the air is cooler it causes condensation in the primary heat exchanger which isn't designed or intended to deal with the acidic properties of the condensate.

The furnace guy came - unfortunately I was not here at the time so I could not talk to him but I do know he did not open up the unit to look at the heat exchangers. He recommended a new furnace. Since it is >10 years old, it doesn't make sense to spend a lot on repairs.

If a "furnace guy" came out to inspect your furnace, and you told them the reason for the call was that you'd found rusty water in the blower compartment, and they didn't even inspect the heat exchangers, but instead recommended replacing a 10 year old furnace..... you called the wrong people. IMO

If you explained to them what you've explained here the minimum they should have done was a combustion analysis on the furnace and a full inspection. Only then could they give you a diagnosis of what possibly is going on and what your options were.

Can I assume that you didn't call a company that sells and installs your brand of furnace? If you did, and that's the service they provided, then I'd be highly suspect of their motives.

I'm hoping to delay the new furnace if i can, so I have a few questions if anyone knows this furnace:

1. Is it possible that there was a condensate overflow above somewhere that dripped down to the blower compartment? Could it get there somehow without requiring a damaged/cracked h/x?

Without a failure in the secondary heat exchanger there is no means for condensate to drip out of the blower unit. There is though ways for condensate to leak above the "blower deck" and puddle where you found it that don't involve the HE's.

2. Would it make sense to run antifreeze through the 'winterizer' port to see whether it comes out clear versus sludgy? If it's all clear above, perhaps the rust didn't happen until the condensate reached the blower compartment?

3. If I do not have CO2 leaks and the drain lines are now running clear, what else could be going on? Could I be OK for a while?

With this style and design of furnace you're "basically" safe until it quits working all together. I can't stress the "basically" enough. Each situation is unique. And how are you positive you don't have any CO2 leaks?

I'm trying to avoid a new furnace right now so any ideas/suggestions would be welcome.

I would suggest that you call a dealer that represents the brand you have, explain what you've found and get their suggestions. If what I suspect is happening, the problem is covered by a service bulletin on that model furnace and at most you'll have to pay labor for the installation of parts.

I appreciate the help and advice.
Good Luck
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:29 AM   #4
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Weathermaker 9200 was leaking rusty water but stopped


Thanks to Ben's and Old_squid for your ideas.

Here's what happened: I waited to see if the problem returned with the onset of cold weather and indeed it did. Same as before - rusty water leaking into blower compartment and onto floor.

I had someone come look closer and they pulled the heat exchangers. The secondary was completely shot - the source of all the rust. The primary had a couple of fins clogged. So the secondary was replaced and the clogged fins on the primary were replaced.

The new/reconditioned units were put back in and things are working like a champ.

Thanks for the help!
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