On Nov 5, 3:50 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Yes, that often factors into my own decision making process - the
unknown quality of a new product. Unfortunately, anymore, it seems
like a lot of the time they "don't build 'em like they used to" and
rebuilding an older product actually results in a better result than
Of course, you never know if that is actually the case until you've
bought the new product and discarded the old...
On Thu, 5 Nov 2009 06:33:09 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
Hi. OP here. Guess what, the thing seems to be working again.
Perhaps we had a sticky thermostat, or fiddling the works broke loose
some dirt on a sensor, or something. Perhaps I didn't know what a
normal cycle looks like. Perhaps the repair guys didn't, either. I'm
pretty sure it looked like it was misbehaving more, with the front
panel off. Then again, perhaps the repair guy did know, and was
yanking my thermostat from the start.
I also Googled Carrier 58SS and see a lot of similar complaints about
similar age units - with no clear answers. May be a variety of things
that fail, at this age.
Anyway, looks like it doesn't have to be replaced *today*, but I'm
better for the education, and will keep the estimates on file.
As I remember, the OP is in Los Angeles area. And they want
ten grand to replace it. Well, gee, for half that price I
could fly out, rent a car, and do the repairs. Sounds like
either a bad board, or a flame sensor. Could also visit my
uncle who lives near LA. And some cousins down the coast, to
Santa Cruz, last I knew. Leave the car, fly back to
It's always easier and cheaper for a big company to hire teams of sellers
whose only goal is to scare you into getting a replacement. It takes far
less skilled labor to rip out something old and replace it with new gear
than it does to diagnose and fix a problem. If you're a rip and replace
shop, you don't have to have as many skilled mechanics, don't have to worry
about finding parts for old units, don't have to worry about your repairs
being up to code and don't have to take liability for anything that goes
wrong after they've worked on/tampered with your unit.
The problem is that things aren't engineered to last forever anymore, so
your 1984 unit is well likely to need replacement. Furnaces are relatively
simple devices. Even so, 25 years is a lot of "miles" for a unit that was
probably not built to last forever as some of the older units were.
Compare the heat exchanger on an old Chrylser Air Temp to a modern furnace
and you'll see why so many new exchangers die young. The old units were
massive (I had one that was the size of a VW bug) and it took moisture build
up a long, long time to eat through the exchanger. But lasting a long time
is a blessing and a curse. Technology moves so quickly that maintaining old
equipment often doesn't make good economic sense as newer equipment is often
incredibly more efficient than older designs.
I'm going to have to replace my unit soon, so I'm in the same boat. Old
furnace, old A/C and high climate control bills. Others have given very
good advice. Shop around, check the local consumer protection agency, check
the estimate they give you on the net, and beware the vendor who tries to do
what that double AA transmission franchise is famous for. They lowball the
price and then jack it when your furnace has been removed and the need for
extra equipment appears. You're stuck without heat and are pretty much bent
over the railing at that point.
Only careful checking of references and complaints can help you avoid that
sort of scamming scum. Furnaces, water heaters, A/Cs, mattresses and other
relatively "few per lifetime" purchases are favorites of dishonest vendors.
People buy them so infrequently that they don't have the same sense about
what the fair price should be as they do milk, gasoline or even new cars.
As a result, vendors know there's a terrible tendency for consumers to
Yes, the truth seems to be a little grey, and because it's "few per
lifetime" (been zero for me, I've mostly been a renter), I have no
But I'm glad I can ask here, and get some good advice!
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