Advice needed on heat exchanger and dangerous conditions like rol

clueless_gardnerDecember 1, 2012

We have two older central air/heat system that just got the regular winter service. After servicing the downstairs unit the tech wanted to talk about the condition of the system. I've got home warranty but they are dropping us at the end of this contract year which runs out soon. I mention this just because he told me the system has seen better days and then he started to talk about the condition of the heat exchanger. He described rust and other problems and said it will need to be replaced soon. When I asked about the warranty he said his guess doubts it's to the point where they would cover it, but it's very close.

He mentioned that it's not quite at the point where roll-out is happening, but again it's very close. His advice was to get several CO detectors incase the systems starts releasing CO. And he kept saying it won't be long before it will need replacement. He didn't say it is currently a dangerous situation. Researching this on the web I found suggestions for the service tech to overly cautious with the exchangers.

I decided to record what the system is doing, but I don't know what I'm looking for and what's normal. The burners run blue, but do have orange flames that appear around the base of the burner, but they stay within the shielded area around the burners. I'm not sure if the gas is "rolling out" but I really don't have any experience with this.

I think I should call the warranty company and schedule a service call and have the tech make the call. That at least put it in their court to make the call on. I'd be set to fight them on this if needed, but I don't have any experience with this and would like to know what's important in deciding what normal operation looks like.

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There are videos on YouTube which show which show flame roll out from a badly cracked heat exchanger. Do a search an you will find them. A small crack may not effect the flame, but it is still considered dangerous. You can't be sure without a visual inspection.

Home warranty companies typically pay the least amount of money. My advice is to get the cash and put it towards a new HVAC system installed by a reputable contractor.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 9:50AM
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