Leaking Furnace

shw001December 25, 2006

Bryant Plus 90 furnace (Model 398AAV060100) installed in 1992.

Have a slow leak out of the draft inducer motor housing. Technician came out, dismantled the housing, installed an orange colored silicone sealant from a tube, told me to wait 12 hours before turning on the furnace. I waited 20 hours, and after about 8 hours of running the furnace the leak started again, but somewhat slower. Second service call, the technician did the same thing, same result.

He said if this doesn't work, the next step is to replace the housing (about $300+ for the part). Does this sound logical? I cannot see any cracks in the plastic housing. Would there be an OEM cut gasket instead of the silicon adhesive that would be better?

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I would suggest to find the leak. If sounds like you repaired the wrong place. Silicon is very good for sealing leaks. If it is on the exchanger, it probably won't work for long. Silicon probably has an upper limit under the temperature of gas fired exchangers. Call the manufacturer or dealer for a new part.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 8:28PM
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The red RTV sealant is a high temp silicone sealant and is probably the best thing he could use to try to repair the leak. The reason for the high price is more then likely you can't just buy a replacement housing, you have to buy the whole blower assembly. Never heard of a housing cracking, thats odd. Did he rough up the surface around the area he planned on sealing with course sand cloth? This might make for better adhesion and do the trick.

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 8:45PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Roughing up the area where the gasket sites is a Good idea. But, I did not see the first time he did it so I do not know whether he roughed it up. I also wonder if the OEM calls for a cut gasket and the silicone is just the tech's shorcut? If he put this stuff over an old cut or molded gasket or pulled out the old gasket, there is probably no way to ever be able to clean all the silicone off to go back to a new cut gasket now. I do not think the water pressure inside this assembly is too great (? not sure), so why wouldn't the silicone seal it?

I do not see any cracks. I was just conjecturing possible other sources for the leak, such as a crack so small that I cannot see it with the naked eye. It is clearly coming from the inducer housing, not the heat exchanger. The inducer motor itself seems to be working fine.

Any other ideas?

    Bookmark   December 25, 2006 at 11:54PM
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You're right, there is no water pressure within the housing at all, and the flue gasses are basically the same temperature and a clother drier vent. I can't quite picture in my mind where its leaking. I'm guessing this is a two piece housing and if there is a gasket in there originally I really don't know. The RTV sealant is really good stuff though but like with any hi tech chemical like that it only works as good as the preperation done before hand. If there is a gasket in between the two sections it just might be possible that a gasket is available. What's the brand and model of the unit?

    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 8:21PM
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Motor is made by MagneTek,
serial no. 31DA 70656R
Model JA1P084N

The motor is outside the housing, which contains the impellar and the housing is the part that is leaking. I do not know if you have to buy the entire assembly to replace only the housing. I believe they come apart.

Furnace model is Bryant Plus 90 furnace (Model 398AAV060100) installed in 1992

In poking around again, I noticed that one of the eight nuts that hold the sides of the housing together is loose, and I cannot tighten it (and I did not put much tork on it). It just turns. I suppose the screw could be stripped. If this is the problem, do I have to rplace the part? or is there a way to re-tap the hole or put in a larger screw?


    Bookmark   December 26, 2006 at 11:28PM
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I just replaced the inducer blower on our Bryant Plus 90. Our inducer is also on the outside of the furnace. Had to buy the complete inducer on-line since can not just buy any one part of it such as the housing, motor or the blower wheel. Easy to sway out since there was four bolts holding it to the furnace and two electrical wires.

The water is condensation and there is a fair amount of it. Our inducer blows upward and thus has a clear plastic condensation drain hose attached to the lower bottom of the inducer. What direction does your inducer exhaust? Is it upward, horizontal from the top or horizontal from the bottom?

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 1:37AM
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The exhaust goes up from the top of the blower wheel housing into a black cylinder about 3 inches diameter by five inches long mounted horizontially on top of the blower wheel housing, then out the right side of the furnace.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2006 at 9:07AM
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Can you take a picture and post it?

    Bookmark   December 28, 2006 at 1:57AM
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sorry, no picture. Camera broken. If I can borrow one, will try, but am running out of time.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2006 at 12:32AM
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Thanks everyone for the comments. I finally got tired nursing this problem and called in the pros. $380 for inducer motor and housing, including labor. Apparantly, they come as a unit, so even though the motor was good, it had to be replaced also.

Tech told me that my practice of putting sponges under the leak helped keep water away from the electronic components, which are mounted underneath the motor. If the circuit board got wet, it could have doubled the cost. I rung out the sponges twice a day.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2007 at 4:00PM
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Were you able to determine where the leak was coming from? I am having the same problem, is there a gasket or was the housing cracked?

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 8:47AM
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I hope you held on to the old motor. That way you have a spare if you ever need it.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2007 at 12:30PM
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Hi All,
Wanted to pass on my information to future viewers as my situation was very similar the above posts. I have a 7 yr old Trane gas furnace (model # XE90) that uses a Draft Inducer Blower Motor (DIBM) to scavenge the exhaust gas from the furnace and pushes it through PVC piping to the outside of the house. Recently, I heard an unusual noise coming from the furnace; by the DIBM. I investigated and found the drain line to the bottom of the DIBM housing to be plugged with debris. Water(condensation from the LP gas) wasn't draining and the impeller inside the DIBM was moving it around (the noise I heard). After cleaning the drain line; I removed the DIBM from the furnance. I then took apart the housing (2 plastic halves held together with 8 or so screws). After inspecting/drying the inside; I re-installed the unit back to the furnance. Over the next week of running; I notice water was leaking from the area of the lower housing; at the seam where the 2 halves met. I figure the gasket wasn't sealing 100% anymore. However, I put a small aluminum tray under the DIBM to collect the water. My hope was to see if the little bit of water would evaporate and I wouldn't have to replace the DIBM (as these units are not repairable). Well my luck wasn't so, the water collected to the point where I needed to remove the water from the tray with sponges every 3 or so days or so it wouldn't overflow the tray I put in place. After researching this issue on the internet, I came across this post and saw SHW001 situation (of all places...a Garden website forum). I decide to replace the gasket and use a sealant as SHW001's repair technician did. I bought some Permatex High-Temp Red RTV Silicone gasket maker from the local hardware store. This morning, I removed the DIBM again and cleaned out the gasket material from the housing half. NOTE: the original gasket was a black putty like substance that was press fitted into the groove that went around the housing half (like a dado joint). I removed the putty material and cleaned/dried the channel. After applying the RTV to the housing; my next step was to re-attach the DIBM to the furnace. I noticed where the DIBM inlet mounted to the furnace; there was also a dado type groove that had some sealant from the original installation. So I cleaned that area up and put some RTV there as well. I re-installed the DIBM to the furnace. Now I'm waiting for the RTV to dry before cranking up the furnace. Todays weather will be somewhat mild here in PA (40 degrees); so I'll leave it off until tonight. I'll follow up with another post to see if this cures my leaking Draft Inducer Blower Motor. My DIBM is a FASCO unit, part # A130 (Trane # 7062-3956. You can do a google search and see prices vary considerably. Best price if I need to replace was with Grainger at $139. Very easy to replace by someone with average "handyman" skills.

    Bookmark   January 24, 2007 at 11:23AM
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This is an update from yesterdays post. I let the RTV silicone dry for 6 hours yesterday. Started the furnace up at 3:00pm yesterday. Since then, no signs of any water leakage. So far so good...........

    Bookmark   January 25, 2007 at 8:06AM
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I think technicians had no incentive to repair existing blower housing! They can make more money by changing whole blower and charge you double for part and service call plus time!
But 90% home owners have very little technical information or aptitude. Some time they are scared to touch any appliances! So these tech have fun!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 8:29PM
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Let me give you a little different perspective on this situation bk2000ext since you're obviously not a very trusting person. He could change out the whole blower assembly in about an hour or two and the customer has a brand spanking new SAFE assembly, done deal, if there's a problem with it he,(the tech) returns and takes care of the problem free of charge. A no loose situation for the customer. But because, in your mind we technicians have no incentive, you expect us to remove this assembly but instead of replacing it like we prefer, you think we should take this thing apart, clean the surfaces, seal it with a sealer we don't know is going to stand the test of time with highly acidic water, reinstall the repaired assembly, WHICH BY THE WAY CONTAINS A 7 YEAR OLD MOTOR THAT PERFORMS ITS FUNCTION IN A TOUGH ENVIRONMENT, wait several hours for the permatex to cure, then start the thing back up. OK, tell me, who pays for the labor for all this? Also, what will you say if somewhere down the road the motor goes and you payed big money to have the housing fixed not that long ago? Oh wait,let me guess, something along the line of "that tech was a crook, he probably knew the blower was on the way out, now I have to pay the SOB twice!" How about this scenerio, the repair doesn't hold and now the assembly is releasing deadly flue gas into the living space! "FAMILY RUSHED TO HOSPITAL WITH SEVERE CARBON MONOXIDE POISENING, HOMEOWNER CLAIMS FURNACE WAS JUST REPAIRED RECENTLY" Do you think maybe there's a reason why none of the manufacturers sell parts for these assemblies instead of making techs replace the whole factory sealed unit? Its no wonder some techs get pissed off on this site. They give their time for free here to help others only to read some idiots take on something he doesn't know his butt from a hole in the ground about!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 10:10PM
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Who is this BK2000ext any way? He has been posting on various posts answers that don't make sense, bad advise etc., just look at all the old posts that are popping up!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2007 at 11:06PM
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Yeah, I saw that this morning too jeffnette as I was scrolling over older posts. Some really poor advice! BK? hmmm, Burger King maybe? I wonder if he's the fry station expert, counter expert, head burger flipper, etc.? He's certainly no heating expert but he knows how they should do their job.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 11:50AM
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First, don't let clowns like BK2000 get to you. Folks like this usually prove the Darwin theory at some point.

I wouldn't think of trying to fix a leak myself (thus avoiding my own Darwin award for Co poisoning), but my problm is the inducer motor on my Bryant Plus90 (I think). The LED code flashes incicate a faulty inducer motor is one of about 5 possible problems.

The motor will humm, the wheel will barely turn, and the motor gets VERY hot. I figure either the motor is shot, or it's bound up somehow. I can turn the wheel freely by hand. I've removed the three bolts/screws that mount the motor to the housing, but the motor won't just simply pull away from the housing.

Any tips for how to completely remove the motor? I'm confident I can replace this myself if I can get past this little stumbling block.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 11:10AM
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dglarson--same exact problem--Thanks for your info.
How much trouble is taking the unit out? Anything to be especially careful with?
Thanks again, Gary

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 9:45AM
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March 2008 UPDATE: While replacing the air filter today, I notice the inducer blower motor was dripping water again. The RTV sealant repair from Jan 07 is now failing. Time to shop the internet for another FASCO A130 unit.
Easy to replace....some mounting screws and disconnecting a few electrical wire plugs.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2008 at 10:30AM
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Another update: It appears the leak was the result of the drain port on the bottom of the housing getting plugged with "gunk". Since the water couldn't drain from the housing; it found other places to get out. I did buy another FASCO unit from Grainger. Grainger is discontinuing the FASCO line of blowers and got a good price.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2008 at 10:08AM
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I have the same leaking water problem in my Bryant Plus 90 model 350MAV. Well after having spent 3-4 hrs in removing the cover and the rdiator type fan assembly and also studying each and every component and keeping in mind the wire assembly, I could disgnose the cause of the problem. It's the leaky black hose (spring type looking) that goes from fam assembly to outside drain. Actua;y there are 3 hoses, 2 of them are spring type looking whereas the 3rd one looks like how you have fuel lines in the car i.e pure thick rubber approx 0.5 cm in thickness and i guess 3 mm in the internal diameter. It's one of those spring hoses that's ruptured and leaky.

Now after reading the entire thread, I'd like to also point out that I did see approx 1 drop/min type of leak in the black color fan assembly too but you know what, it's all the condensation that occurs from the heated gases. One of those spring hoses is connected to the bottom of the fan assembly that drains such condensated moisture to the drain outside. Now the leak i.e 1 drop/min that I mentioned above coming from the side of the fan assembly is actuallly due to the 5 retainer clips not properly clamped together. If you are having the same problem, try to engage those clips properly and firmly. I'd suggest that you first remove the clips and disengage the two parts of the fan assembly. Check inside with a flash light and you can clearly see that there's not much of a moisture inside. Infact the moisture that's there in side does not have any pressure at all. It's just plain condensated water. So just put back everything together and make sure that the clips are plugged in together properly. EVen after the clips bound together propery, you can still see a leak, just get a long piece of rubber and glue it with silicon at the place of the leak, from outside. I know it does get hot in there but since you're placing the rubber outside, it should be OK. Make sure that you seal the entire thing with high temp. silicone.

I'm gonna replace the ruptured pipe tommorrow and I hope that it doesn't leak any further. Good luck to all with leaky furnaces.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2008 at 1:04AM
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Hi I have Bryant Plus 90 model 350MAV and I notice some water around he unit today. After opening it there was some water on the bottom of the unit to the back. I check all the hoses and everything looks fine and unit still put up heat but I this water leak makes me worry and I can't see where is coming from without removing blower motor. Is there a way to get to the back of the unit without removing bottom motor? Since all the hoses to water collector coming from inducer motor do you think I should remove the inducer motor and check for leaks there?
Thanks for any help


    Bookmark   January 2, 2009 at 1:29PM
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I had water on the floor under our Bryant Plus 90, and for the longest time couldn't figure out what was the source. I read lots of posts here and elsewhere, talking about hoses and other items which could get leaky, but everything here looked OK, after removing the panels on the front of the furnace to inspect the thing. I did finally see some water drops way in the back, near the bottom, needed a strong flashlight to spot these, but they were a false lead, the problem came from what is apparently a real common source - a clogged condensor drain, which is the large white plastic box with several hoses attached to it. The thing is, it looks OK just sitting there, but it will get clogged up internally, and you won't even suspect it. That water you see on your floor was supposed to pass through the condenser drain and on to the little sump pump. When I pulled off the largest of the hoses connected to it on the top of it, I could see that the hose was overflowing with water, and had a paper cup at the ready. I filled that cup over and over, just by tilting that hose downward, and removed over a quart and a half of water, hiding invisibly in the chamber behind the air blower, hoses, wires etc.
Think about it: the furnace has that small water pump in the back of it, for what? To remove the large amount of water which condenses inside the furnace most of the time, and if you have water on your floor, most likely the drain-off setup of the furnace has been disabled, this typically won't be caused by rotting hoses, bad seals or any such thing, no, the water is not really pure and will, therefore, wind up clogging the setup somewhere. On page 14 of my Owner's Manual it says that the (white plastic) condensate drain should be cleaned out ANNUALLY. So now you know why. The manufacturer should put that little tidbit in large print in a special box on page 1 on the manual, then you'd spot it.
So, to pull those hoses off of the white box, squeeze with pliers the hose clamps carefully so as not to tear the rubber, altogether there are 4 hoses. But then, the box doesn't want to be removed, because there are 2 large bendable tabs on it - pretty easy to not notice them, but with a quite large slip pliers you can squeeze these tabs together, which will then enable the white plastic box to be pulled out from below. After I did this, I poured water into the top of the box, sure enough, no water came out the bottom of the box, which meant that it was clogged. I used then my laundry tub hose to force water into the top, and out blew the clogged gunk from the bottom. Quite a sight.
After reinstalling the box, both my wife and I noticed a distinctly higher temperature on the furnace vents upstairs, seems likely that the overflowed water buildup was raising our gas bill too.
- granddad314

    Bookmark   January 15, 2014 at 12:43PM
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