Are birds in high-eff furnace exhaust common?

We've got a new Trane XL90 gas furnace. Wife turned it on yesterday and it didn't fire up. When I got home from work, I took the lid off & started poking around. Discovered that the combustion air fan (I think the svc guy called it the "inducer") was bound. (Push in cover limit switch, hear HMMMMMMMM at 60Hz, release limit switch, start feeling for hot things, identify stuck motor...)
Since it's in warranty, I called service & griped. First thing he asked was whether it was a 90% effeciency furnace. When I told him it was (PVC exhaust), he immediately asked if there was a bird in the fan. Yeah, that's the first thing I think of when a fan motor fails--there's a dead bird in it!
Took the fan off, removed the dead bird, and everything works fine now.
Any good troubleshooter looks for horses, not zebras, and this guy nailed it on the first try. So, is this a common thing? Repair dude said you can't put a grill over the exhaust because it'll ice up & clog. Is there nothing that can be done to prevent birds from getting into my furnace?
The motor has a thermal overload (thought it was really hot), so probably no damage when this happens again. Still, WTF??
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Mine has a screen over it, and it hasn't iced up. And no, I didn't put it there...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Toller wrote:

Do you have a high-effeciency furnace? I think the exhaust is not so hot (hence the high effeciency and PVC exhaust pipe).
How cold does it get where you live?
What brand of furnace do you have?
thanks,
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Yes, a 93%

Upstate NY; it frequently gets below zero

Lennox. The intake/output is a plastic thing with a grating built into it. Maybe plastic doesn't ice up?

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

If you're in a place where icing is an issue, put a cage over it, instead of a screen in it.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Same here. Upstate NY, stayed below 20 degrees for at least a month last winter. And, my exhaust pipe is only in the sun for an hour each morning.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Same furnace. Some animal(s) chewed away the plastic ribs that go across the exhaust gas discharge. I put chicken wire over the opening and over two winters it hasn't been a problem. The only thing that I get is some small icicles due to the moisture on the wire. MLD
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just means the dispatcher know his company is to cheap to install the properly screened termination point for the vent. The down turned elbow should have had a 1/4" screen inset into it. But then they do cost a bit more than a regular elbow.
Colbyt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 21 Oct 2005 05:36:09 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Just put some chicken wire or 1/2" hardware cloth over the end and attach with a standard large automotive hose clamp. I highly doubt that will ice up. I had birds getting into my woodstove thru the chimney. They would get into the stove and not be able to get out. U used chicken wire on top, the only problem is that the smoke causes it to deteriorate real fast, so it's new wire every spring.
Mark
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.