I had my oil furnace serviced yesterday by my oil comany. During th
servicing the nozzle and filter were replaced and the flue was cleaned
After the repairman left I noticed a strong odor of oil in the heate
air which was not present before he worked on it and I thought this wa
just from stirring things up in the furnace and flue and that it woul
go away soon.
Well, next morning the smell was still very strong so I called and th
repairman came back for a look. When he looked he found a large crac
in the side of the combustion chamber. The chamber will cost $1500 t
replace according to this guy.
This left me feeling as though I'm being taken advantage of. Shouldn'
a crack in the combustion chamber been detected during the maintenace?
The crack was in a remote location, so I can understand how he woul
not have seen it directly on his first visit, but he did take CO2
stack temp, and draft measurements and I think this problem should hav
Now I know very little about oil furnaces, so I'm hoping I can get
little advice or opinion on this situation. I still haven't decided i
I'm going to replace the combustion chamber. I was thinking I might b
able to epoxy the crack. I'd like to know if this is possible so tha
I can save myself a lot of money. Of course, I need to be sure tha
the solution is also safe.
First off get a second opinion, second, if there is a crack, replace the
heat exchanger, or the whole furnace. Third, do not run the furnace untill
you get it repaired! This is not something you mess around with and try
patch, it can kill you!
Epoxy the crack?? WTF! Holly shit! Now Ive heard everything. You
freakin idiot. Get a second opinion. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT attempt
some stupid home remedy repair on a heat exchanger that may cost your
or your family their lives. Get a qualified HVAC company out that
specializes in oil. In specific, make sure your tech comes out with a
digital combustion analyzer and that he knows how to use it. You might
also not want to look for the cheapest hack you can find.
And how old is the furnace? Typically when a crack like this occurs,
it's at the end of the life of the furnace, so you replace the
furnace. You can't patch the heat exchanger, because not only won't
it work, but it can kill you with CO.
Now now Bubba, he did ask if it was safe. Obviously it isin't :)
However, I would side with you on the re-inspection but I am curious
as to what this is. By this, I mean if there's a crack, then wouldn't
sealing it stop the outflow of dangerous gases?
Or is there something that we (Of the non-oil and ignorant) don't
understand or see.
Could you elaborate?
Well Gene, you are making it into to the marks of utter wisdomless.
I wont be held liable for trying to patch/weld/muck-up a heat
exchanger. It will most likely take me longer to repair one (which I
wont and dont do) than to install a new heat exchanger. The original
poster was wanting to epoxy a crack in a heat exchanger. Have you ever
seen a Williamson heat exchanger? Very thick metal. Then it gets a
flame beat on it. You would epoxy that? Not I. Now the poster could
have even been talking about the refractory in the oil furnace. I dont
know. Either way, I dont repair those either. They get replaced too if
they are available.
A cracked heat exchanger means you either get a new heat exchanger or
a new furnace. NO OTHER CHOICES!
You know Bubba, if you'd have a pill or two, before you post. You
might actually come across as a decent person, instead of the
analretentive you appear to be.
I asked for a seemingly simple explaination, it's sad someone who
seems to be *possibly* qualified to do such a repair, has no
conception of explaining it.
Sadly, I expect to later find out, you have procreated. Mankind
shall forever be condemed.
Boo Hoo. Didnt get the answer on a silver platter the way you wanted
it. Gee.Now you're just a bitchy homemoaner. Like Ive never seen that
Cry me a river. If you cant take letters tossed at you on a screen Id
hate to see what you do in person if someone yells at you.
Patch a damn heat exchanger indeed. If you only knew how dangerous
that can be. You'd understand my tone iafter you see it a few hundred
Bubba is right...even if you dont like the reply.
To someone that has seen heat exchangers that someone has tried to repair,
and the later problems, and the fact that anyone with a licnece to do this
work has a responsibility not to kill anyone, its a silly question.
Here is the deal..
the unit is cracked. You go to repair it....it cracked in a weak spot..for
whatever reason..overfiring, lack of airflow....whatever...you weld it say..
the weld is not as strong as the original material...it will either fail
again there, or in another place that is stressed, or about to crack.
In order to find out, you take it out and MagnaFlux it, X-Ray it and chances
are, you are gonna find 100 smaller cracks that have not shown themselves
yet, but will soon.
The weld is made, the customer is left with a feeling of security, and hes
not safe at all. he will fail to check it later and will possibly wake up
The cost to remove the old exchanger, MagnaFlux it, X-Ray it, and put it
back in after the repairs exceeds the price of a new unit, so why even
Plus, the customer is safe, and the contractor can sleep at night, not
worried if the repair he just did will kill the family of 4 or not.
I had pics on my site one time of an oil unit that someone had tried to
repair. When it failed the same month, the people didnt realize it until the
white curtians in teh home turned black overnight.
Needless to say, that Wiliamson oil burner got pulled and a new unit got put
I like ThermoPride if you can afford it. they are made right down the road
here in Denton, and while they are not cheap, they are the Caddy of the oil
If a customer cant afford a ThermoPride, they get a York..and the ONLY
difference I see is the heat exchangers..the ThermoPride is copper coated,
while the York is not.
Both have a lifetime warranty on the exchangers, and both heat the home..
On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 23:06:27 -0500, "Steve@carolinabreezehvac"
I never said that. I don't see where someone is asking a question
and admits to not knowing why something is done a certian way, is open
to insults by someone who mental capacity seems to be below the norm
Your reply to my question is that which is useful and exapnds my
understanding of what is involved and why it's done *This way and no
other* and the reasons why.
When I was quite young, we used to have oil, but after a couple of
decades, we found that electric was a better (Safer/cheaper) option
and have gone that route.
However, this was a curious thing to me as some of the houses in
this area, do have oil/gas heat and I am trying to understand the + or
- of each so that when I do buy, I look at each option for their
points and knowing the drawbacks if any.
It is not silly if one does not understand. I guess you ask stupid
OK, now I understand the reasons. Wouldn't have been better to have
explained it without all the insults from you and the mentally
challenged Bubba? Is there something that says "I must insult this
I don't doubt you have friends, but they probably know you and by
now have learned to live with you and *ahem* your family.
As for "Bubba" (sigh) we're stuck with those types for a long time.
You're still a whiner and your skin is as thin as paper. I also know
that you didnt only ask about the heat exchanger out of curiousity but
because you are a cheap ass. Somewhere out there you have a friend or
even your own that you were going to somehow try and get a heat
exchanger repaired. Either that or you were trying to gather info so
that you could complain to a company that was trying to replace a heat
exchanger instead of what you thought would be a cheaper repair. Your
question was bullshit and you know it.
My crystal ball says so.
No one said anything about your mental capacity...
I guess you like putting words in peoples mouths...
Silly-Stupid...there is a difference, and I never said stupid.
What family might that be? Around these parts, the only ones that would have
been even slightly offended by that would have been a lying two faced prick.
We say what we mean, and mean what we say. If point blank does not get it,
You dont have to go deal with this crap all day long, and then actually
offer your time and advice for free later so I wont even bother trying to
explain it all.
Well not really. Gene didn't say he didn't like the answer, he said
he didn't -get- an answer and he didn't. The question was why you
don't repair them. I know about oil furnaces and I don't see a good
explanation of -why- you don't repair them even tho I know why. Your
answer is much better.
Don't repair it!! You are just asking for trouble (or death!)
If it DOES have a crack, get at least 3 QUOTES (from 3 different companies)
and replace the furnace. Unless it is less than 10 years old, I wouldn't
bother just replacing the heat exchanger.....
How long was the first guy there? When we service oil, it takes over an hour
and leaves the tech smelling like he went for a dip in your storage tank.
if he was there about 30 minutes, he just changed the nozzle and perhaps
went looking it over....and if you paid less than $100..thats what you got.
Ok..for starters....unless you have a ThermoPride, and the units under 10
years old, get a new unit, but shop around for a bit. Get at least 3 quotes,
and be prepared to pay for them..
Epoxy the crack? Bubba said it best, Holy shit are you that stupid? Heat
exchangers are NOT to be repaired, they are to be thrown away when
cracked...period. Your life may depend on it...if you are sure you wanna
epoxy it, ask yourself this..would you crank your car up in the garage, and
close the door, and take a nap out there?
if not..replace the unit, or exchanger...
oh..its illegal in most states for a tech to leave your unit operational if
its got a crack in the exchanger, so, I dont know why you still have heat.
Here, we can do two things...shut it off, or shut it off and call an
inspector, who then will condem the home until it is repaired.
I would be wondering more about that first company, and WHY they didnt
dis-able the unit.
On Sun, 28 Nov 2004 03:56:21 -0600, firstname.lastname@example.org (m Ransley)
Stop payment? You freakin idiot. How about maybe try to resolve it in
some sort of civil manner? The guy had it serviced by his oil company.
If he stops payment he may not get any more oil delivered. He may be
in an area that there is only one oil distributor. Where would that
leave him? It may be shot or the oil company may be a bunch of idiots
when it comes to service? He needs to get a second opinion or two. He
may come out ahead. in the long run. If its bad he may even want to
consider switching to heat pump. Electric is cheap here.
Either way I dont think much will happen considering he wanted to
epoxy his heat exchanger.
Among the most common mistakes made by new apprentices in the industry
is attempting to repair parts instead of replacing them. It almost
always ends up costing more and is sometimes dangerous. In this case
it is potentially deadly. A patched up heat exchanger cannot be
trusted, and you are gambling with your life.
An experienced service tech will replace parts, rather than try to
repair them. Yes, I know that parts changers have a bad rep, but that
is because they change the wrong parts. Their failure is not in
replacement, but in troubleshooting. A skilled service tech learns as
much as he can about the machine, troubleshoots correctly (buys my
books), and replaces the right part. A skilled DIYer does the same.
Overall, DIYers are good for business. In an effort to save a few
dollars, they generally screw the machine up to the point where it
costs ten times as much to fix it.
Gary R. Lloyd CMS
HVACR Troubleshooting Books/Software
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