Did I Fix My Furnace?????

My new house has a 6 month old Goodman 92% HE furnace. A couple of days ago, it began cycling in an odd way. It would begin with the normal warmup phase (whatever that is), go to the next stage where it's actually blowing heat through the ducts, but afterward, the smaller warmup motor would continue running for between 5 and 20 minutes. Other times, the warmup stage would go on for 15 minutes BEFORE heat began blowing, and sometimes it would never reach the true heating stage.
By the way, when I say "warmup phase", I don't mean there's a flame yet. I'm referring (perhaps incorrectly) to the stage where the thing is checking for proper ventilation or whatever it's doing.
ANYWAY.....my neighbor's car alarm went off at 3:30 AM (the tenth time since this morning), and since nobody in my house is up watching TV, it's very quiet. The furnace began doing it's odd thing again, so I went down in the basement to curse at it. Because the house is quiet, I heard something interesting. Standing right under the PVC vent pipe, I heard what sounded like water - about as much as you'd hear if you were in the basement as the last 3 seconds of water drained out of the bath tub. "WTF?", I said to myself. I looked up and noticed that the installer had nailed a pipe hanger in such a way that the thing had come loose, leaving the 15 ft span of PVC with a downward bow in the middle. I went upstairs, had a few pieces of fresh pineapple, went down to the cellar again, pushed up on the pipe to straighten it, heard water head toward the outside, and voila! The furnace has cycled normally 5 times so far.
Was collected moisture in the pipe preventing the furnace from being satisfied with the venting?
Or was the pineapple a factor? On the next episode of Nova.....fruit and appliances....what science doesn't know yet.
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It depends: Was it a Dole or a Del Monte pineapple?
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Del Monte
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Just another example of a "professional" screwing it up and the home owner paying the price.

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I know the feeling.. I've done at least $2,000 worth of work on my central A/C in the four years after it was professionally installed (based on quotes I got from people to fix the screw-ups)... constructing an air intake that wasn't way undersized (which may have been responsible for a compressor failure after three years), replacing the plenum with one that actually fits over the outlet without a 1" gap, balancing the air flow, etc.. still considering redoing some of the other ductwork.
Over the years, with very few exceptions I've found that in order to hire someone to do major work you've got to watch them the whole time. At which point, of course, you are taking your own time off work and you might as well just be your own contractor or do it yourself.
No offense intended to the folks out here who take pride in their work and do a good job, I respect you. I just haven't found too many in Washington DC. And I'm not just hiring the cheapest guy I can find, I always research first using Consumer Checkbook, get referalls, whenever possible.

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Sounds familiar. The guy just got done looking at my situation. This is a company I used for 20 years in my first home, not the guy who installed the furnace in the current house. He simply opened the manual and pointed out about 10 mistakes the installer made. He fixed the two most likely problems and said "Let's see how this works before we spend any more of your money". That's why I keep using this company.
The founder is now 80-something years old, but when I had my first house, he was a great help. I had an ancient furnace which had a relay that was impossible to find. The relay used to stick, which kept the fan running after the heating cycle was over. He came over and showed me how to clean the contacts with emery paper. Next time it happened, I called him and he reminded me that he'd taught me what to do. He said he'd feel guilty sending a guy out for something so easy. Finally, when I wanted central air, we replaced the furnace. He stopped by while his guys were working on it and drove them friggin' nuts with details, but they smiled through it all. One of them was the guy who came today. It's a pleasure to have that kind of continuity with a service company.

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Doug Kanter wrote:

finally let go after the last time. Whenever his car alarm goes off, go down to the basement and tighten the hanger. Then throw a brick through one of his car windows.
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If I say "throw a brick", people say I'm nuts. But, it sounds normal to me. Actually, the matter has been discussed with him. Tonight, I'll call the cops and tell them I'm VERY angry and going to his house. "Can you get there before I do?" That sort of thing.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

and report the car alarm going off. Call from a phone where they can hear the alarm in the background, so they will know you're not making it up. After the cops answer the call a few times at 3 in the morning, they might get a little testy with the owner. Where I used to live, there was a local ordinance for alarms. Whenever there was an alarm requiring police response that turned out to be false, there was a fine assessed.
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A mechanic friend tells me that in most cases, it's a 5 minute job to adjust factory alarms. The owners are just too friggin' lazy to get it done. And, god forbid they should read the instructions.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

will set off the alarm. A small gust of wind moving the car may set it off. Ever been to a fireworks show and hear all the car alarms going off with the big blasts?
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OK NOW I am unclear - was it the Del Monte pineapple that caused the PVC pipe to collect water? Or did the car alarm cause the eating of the pineapple? And is the furnace problem actually fixed, as we all now know how the car alarm problem will be fixed? ! ______________________ Claudia Totus Tuus

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Well....let's see.....
1) Car alarm woke me up. 2) Realized I was hungry and craving pineapple for some reason. 3) Found none, but remembered my GF had just bought a few slices of fresh stuff. While in basement, heard odd watery sounds from furnace exhaust. 4) Munched pineapple because furnace problems were making me nervous, and pineapple is better than smoking, which I'm trying to quit. If you can assemble cause & effect from this, my hat's off to you. Just keep in mind that it was 3:30 AM when this so-called thinking process was going on. :-)

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Doug Kanter posted for all of us....

-- Tekkie
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Cute! The reply from ClaudCar, that is...well maybe the "reply-er", as well. What do I know?

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Very possible. In the warmup phase, one of the several things that the furnace does is try to be sure that there is air blowing through the PVC pipe.
I hope you redid the hanger, so that it isn't low in the middle like that.
Please remit $48.50 for consultation.
--

Christopher A. Young
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