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#409324 - 01/08/15 04:27 PM Furnace Failure - Arrrgh
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1751
Well, after 20+ years of stellar service, my forced-air natural gas furnace will not deliver gas to the combustion chamber. It cost me $105 to diagnose that the gas valve is now defunct, sniff.

Dilemma - pay another ~$700 to fix it with the probability that the heat ex-changer will fail within the next year or so, or, go with a whole new unit. Prudence tells me that new is the answer.

Along with replacing the gas furnace (gas is getting cheaper here) I also need to replace our central AC unit as well, although electricity is increasing in price here. So I guess that a heat pump is probably the best way to go. Whatever way I choose, it will cost as bundle I'm afraid.

My gas fireplace still works & the house seemed to maintain 16C throughout the night with an outside temp of 2C even with all heating off. Thankfully, we aren't living where there is a real cold winter going on right now...

TAM

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#409327 - 01/08/15 07:34 PM Re: Furnace Failure - Arrrgh [Re: exlabdriver]
tomtuttle Offline
axiomite

Registered: 06/20/03
Posts: 8488
Loc: Tacoma
Oh, no!

Paging Shawn (real80sman). I don't know if things have changed, but he emphatically advised me to get Carrier a few years ago. I have instead patched my old unit together and decided to forego A/C because, well, I blame my kids.

Good luck, friend.
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bibere usque ad hilaritatem

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#409331 - 01/09/15 01:44 AM Re: Furnace Failure - Arrrgh [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1751
Well, the Heating Rep came for a walk around today & will provide an estimate tomorrow. They like 'Trane' but are going to cost out 'Carrier' as well as they carry both brands as well as some others.

Interestingly, he recommended that in our mostly balmy climate that our present set up of Forced Air Natural Gas Furnace + Central AC would still be a great choice with modern components. The advantages of the more costly & complex Heat Pump + Gas Furnace would probably not be realized financially in this climate & given that fact that electricity rates are going to rise substantially in the next decade. We need to continue to fill the provincial government coffers & to pay for a new proposed mega dam project up north in BC.

I was most impressed with him not trying to up-sell & giving me some really good, pragmatic advice...

TAM

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#409333 - 01/09/15 09:21 AM Re: Furnace Failure - Arrrgh [Re: exlabdriver]
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5341
Loc: Marion, IA
I am starting to get concerned about these same two (A/C and heat) units in our house. They work well today, but they are about 17 years old and I know that time is just ticking away on them before they implode, turn into a black hole, and suck up all of my (non-existent) money.

Good luck with the price quotes and install.
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2-M60s, VP180, 8-M3s, SVS 20-39PCi, DIY Sub, 8-Shakers, JVC RS45, Anthem MRX-1120

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#409334 - 01/09/15 10:12 AM Re: Furnace Failure - Arrrgh [Re: exlabdriver]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11444
Loc: Central NH
A few years ago, we replaced our system (gas-fired boiler) that had been there since 1959! Any (older) plumber that came in said " I've heard of these! They were the best money could buy in the 50s and 60s!".

I can't imagine we'll get as much life out of the one we replaced it with! :sigh:
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::::::: No disrespect to Axiom, but my favorite woofer is my yellow lab :::::::

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#409335 - 01/09/15 11:38 AM Re: Furnace Failure - Arrrgh [Re: exlabdriver]
Serenity_then Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 1574
Loc: PEI, Canada
We had to train on the carrier units in school. They are very well regarded and farily easy to troubleshoot.

The cost\savings benefit you will receive from going from a Standard to a High Efficiency Natural Gas setup will pay for itself in the first few years. You will be technically making money after that compared to your previous situation. It did you a long term favor by finally retiring. smile

FWIW, supplied and installed would run you around $3K for a well featured unit (dual stage at least) back in Calgary. Get several quotes if you can. Good Luck! Stay warm!
_________________________
Trevor. Cold turkey. Thanks guys. Cheers.

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#409336 - 01/09/15 12:28 PM Re: Furnace Failure - Arrrgh [Re: exlabdriver]
nickbuol Offline
axiomite

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 5341
Loc: Marion, IA
Odd furnace question. Our furnace room in our home built in 1998 has a fresh air supply that comes from outside. Does that mean that this is NOT a high efficiency unit? I was thinking that was the case, but maybe someone here knows.
_________________________
2-M60s, VP180, 8-M3s, SVS 20-39PCi, DIY Sub, 8-Shakers, JVC RS45, Anthem MRX-1120

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#409337 - 01/09/15 12:57 PM Re: Furnace Failure - Arrrgh [Re: exlabdriver]
michael_d Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 07/23/04
Posts: 4195
Loc: Up yonder
It needs to get combustion air from someplace. Most of the newer homes are built to be tight, so the combustion air source needs to come from outside the house. Some units will have a type of heat exchange unit that tempers the outside air with the exhaust, but that comes at a price; the exhaust gets cooled too much, so you get condensate / acid / sulphar build up in the flue. The type of fuel burnt also plays into this. Gas and/or propain exhaust is generally much cooler, with a much lower sulpher content.

Bummer you need to replace your furnace TAM. When it rains, it pours… A couple weeks ago, I decided to change out an instant hot water dispenser I installed about ten years ago. Had to remove the garbage disposal unit to get to it. After I installed the new dispenser ($350), and then the disposal unit, the friggin disposal unit developed an internal leak. $200 later, the new disposal unit was installed, but then the new hot water dispenser stopped working. Called the warranty / service line… They have to have one of their authorized installers check it out…. He finally shows up, “yep, the unit is bad and needs to be replaced”…. Four weeks later, no progress. And, three weeks ago, the dishwasher crappped out on me…. $900 later, a new Bosch was running. Now I’m just wondering what the hell else is going to crap out on me…..
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#409338 - 01/09/15 01:05 PM Re: Furnace Failure - Arrrgh [Re: exlabdriver]
Serenity_then Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/28/14
Posts: 1574
Loc: PEI, Canada
What you are describing sounds like a make up air interlock. Your house was probably built just after code required furnaces to bring fresh air in because houses are so air tight now. This helps with air pressure issues.

The easiest way to tell if you have a standard eff. furnace is the exhaust line is steel and exhausts out the roofline. You will have a chimney chase that may also be tied into the hot water heating system.

New construction Mid/high eff units exhaust through tubing out tbe side of the house typically. The exhaust is warm, but not hot. Much better heat exchange process.

Mid is no longer allowed to be sold in residential.

At 1998 you are mid most likely. (99% likleyhood.)
_________________________
Trevor. Cold turkey. Thanks guys. Cheers.

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#409350 - 01/09/15 07:33 PM Re: Furnace Failure - Arrrgh [Re: exlabdriver]
exlabdriver Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 09/07/11
Posts: 1751
There must be something in 'The Air' or 'The Force' or whatever.

A couple of weeks before Christmas my relatively new roof (~4 years) developed its 4th leak - I should have kept the old roof, grrrr! I noticed a small puddle on top of my left EP-400 (horrors) & immediately blamed the cats, ha! Then I saw drips over the window frame. Thankfully no damage to anything (Axiom vinyl seems waterproof) & I got a different roofer to correct mistake #4 - $100 bill.

Then my KitchenAid Dishwasher started acting up. It has a clean front with no positive locking handle (poor design IMO, but looks cool) - it is held closed largely by friction. What happens after a while is the door vibrates out just enough to disengage the micro switch thus causing the cycle to stop - repeatedly. I had resorted to pushing a kitchen chair against the door to hold it shut but that was a PITA. So, I bent the 'Striker' down to hold some more tension on the latch plus I loosened off the lower door hinges to reduce tension on the door. Thankfully, that seemed to work as the last 2 washes have completed normally. Hopefully we don't have to buy a new one for a while until we get this Furnace/AC thing sorted out.

Went to Canadian Tire to buy a couple of space heaters that are on sale for 20% off. I opened one box all OK. Opened box #2 - obviously it had been previously opened & was broken - a stripped assembly screw that would not come out. Take it back - another 10 mile round trip & another hour of my 'retirement' time wasted - arrrgh!! Why do retailers do that??

I believe that new furnace will be HE rated at 97%...

TAM

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