- It may be the heaviest, but it's not like its a 1/4 inch thick
Dunno...it was a 1950-ish Perfection gas fired forced air. From
exterior of the heat exchanger, it certainly appeared and felt, like
the unit was pretty thick.
In an earlier post, someone said (about the 20 YO Carrier) "The burner
tubes are inside the heat exchanger". On my perfection, the burner was
below the heat exchanger in it's own compartment. The burner was, I
don't know, about a 9" x 9" plate with over a hundred (?) flames.
The heat exchanger pictured towards the bottom of this site looks like
an absolute wimp compared to the rough surfaced, solid looking heat
exchanger in my old furnace.
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".
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
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
| Malcolm Hoar "The more I practice, the luckier I get". |
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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