bulges and "hot spots" inside 20 year old furnace...do I really need new one?

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Sounds like a manufacturers conversion from oil to gas.

Sounds Like an oil to gas conversion. Midco burners did quite well through to 60's-70's. :-)
In the early 60's, there were quite a few companies that designed their own conversion burner (or fuel burner of choice) as they we're sitting on a cargo loads of oil furnace chambers that were not moving anytime soon. As Natural-Gas lines were being run like mad through the big cities, Gas furnace design was changing from gravity units w/ add-on blowers, to the typical 80%'ers of the 1960's-80's.
Mind you, back then there were 1,000 times (WAG) the number of furnace and boiler manufacturers in the US. Many were very popular/well known but only encompassing a very small region of the country.
Some of these are still running today, due to the lack of the Planned-Obsolescence concept, and the focus was mostly "Ours is better/stronger/faster than yours".
-zero
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If it was a conversion, it was certainly done by the manufacturer, as you stated. The manual included instructions for the installed gas valve and side mounted blower.
The original gas valve had a flip-up tab so you could manually operate the gas valve during a power outage. The manual listed the duty cycle for operating the unit without a blower. I doubt the comparatively wimpy heat exchangers of today's furnaces could handle running without a blower.
Wouldn't you know that early one winter the gas valve started acting up, so I placed a service a call. They had to replace the gas valve, and "No, you can't have one that can be operated manually. They're illegal now." So what happens during March of same winter? A major ice storm in upstate NY. We were without power - and now without heat due to the "upgraded" gas valve - for 5 days.
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wrote:

Heat exchangers are not known to crack?????
I think you're smoking crack!!!!!!
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:

It is possible. The key item is did he do a CO test? The risk in a cracked condenser is flue gas in the warm air stream which is a serious potentially fatal problem. While not as sensitive as a real instrument, a CO monitor could spot a serious problem.
Goodman is one of the lower initial cost units but seems recently (last couple of years from anecdotal evidence) to have upped their warranty periods. What the actual failure rates are for their gas furnace units I don't know but the last CR ratings for A/C units had them at the complete bottom and separated from the rest of the pack by a significant margin. I'd do a little investigative digging before jumping in, particularly if there is an A/C unit involved as well as the furnace.
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Cr
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CR is a joke for rating HVAC equipment.
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On Thu, 04 Oct 2007 22:38:58 GMT, " snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net"

Get a new furnace before you kill your family you damn moron.
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Bulges, hum... a new sales tactic?

Yes
The burner tubes are inside the heat exchanger.

On a 20 year old furnace? No way, get out of here!

That's nice.

The question as to when to replace would be economics. Where do you live?

And probably present at the time of manufacturing. Try getting someone that's competent in HVAC.

Any brand will last *if* properly sized, installed and set-up to run with-in the manufacture's specifications.
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Ok, so it sounds like your telling me that they're trying to BS me about the idea that bulges or curves in the metal are a sign that it is close to the point of cracking. What he showed me doesn't strike me as appearing to be present by design though.
Anyway, it sounds like I need to be getting a 2nd opinion as to whether the bulges or curves in the metal really mean that the metal is about to crack. Is there anyone you recommend in Northern NJ that knows what they are doing?
Thanks,
J

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This technician is probably right. You should start planning for a replacement furnace fairly soon. Yes, the existing furnace may last a while longer. But it may fail as soon as the really cold weather sets in and then you'll probably have a very hard time finding anyone to work on it unless you're willing to pay a premium price.
But you'd also be crazy to give the job to the first guy that came along. It's time to get recommendations and prices from several firms and think through exactly what kind of system you're going to want.
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snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net wrote:

Have a second opinion and if I were you, I'd plan for a replacement furnace. Sounds like you are trying to get last drop out of 20 year old inefficient furnace on today's standard. Remember Murphy's law. Things like that will fail on coldest day when techs are busiest. You can't even save some money then being in a big rush.
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I see why you fucking idiots cross post to alt.hvac. The 20 yo 80% furnace is just as efficient as todays 80% furnace. If the HX has bulges in it its a sigh of over heating and stress. Id look at the return and I would have someone properly size the new one.
Now please quit cross posting your fucking home owner BS to alt hvac.
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Natural draft vs induced draft. No way.
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Do bulges or curves in the metal of the heat exchanger mean it is about to crack or not? Yes or no?
J.
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No
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On Fri, 05 Oct 2007 16:06:28 GMT, " snipped-for-privacy@verizon.net"

Usually this is a sympton of your wife about ready to scream out another mans name during sex. Then the house blows up. Bubba
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