Heat exchangers

Originally Posted By: cbottger
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I inspected a 1976 model furnace today and thoroughly despise the CO reading that I obtained from the vents in the floor and thru out the home. .001 This is how I explain to my client who’s hair is standing on end at the thought of CO from a furnace in the home that he getting ready to live in. I can also see the white’s in the eyes of the Realtor who is all ears at this point.


Mr Client this furnace should be considered as at the end of its normal life expectancy or has exceeded. I can not condemn this furnace with a CO level of .001 and I proceed to explain how a gas cook top discharges more CO into the living area than what the furnace is discharging. I always recommend to the client to have the level of CO double checked by the gas Company and expect to have to change this furnace out in the near future and always use CO detectors in the home. I also recommend the purchase of a home warranty policy considering the age of the unit.

As I stated above I despise this type of reading much prefer 0 or a level that will allow me to condemn the furnace. On the other side if you take the statement. (Performing its intended function) the MFG did not design the furnace to discharge .001 CO so technically the furnace is not performing its intended function. BAAH gray area.

I am all ears how about some opinions on this.


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Don't argue with an idiot someone watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Originally Posted By: dhadler
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Charley:


I’m guessing you mean 1 part per million? I don’t know how your tester does its measurements.



Darrell Hadler


Five Star Home Inspections


Medicine Hat, Alberta CANADA

Originally Posted By: cbottger
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Darrell


Yes it reads PPM


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Don't argue with an idiot someone watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Originally Posted By: dhadler
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If I ever came across that situation, all I would do is air out the building and re-test, just to make darn sure nothing else was interfering with my results. eg backdrafting of a chimney, car running outside and fumes getting inside house from an open vent etc…


I also do a sulphur test on the heat exchanger as an extra measure of caution as I explained on a thread about 2 months ago. You probably don't have much choice but to recommend a thorough inspection by a qualified HVAC tech as you suspect there could be a problem with the heat exchanger. That's kinda where our job ends and the tech's begins.

I know the feeling... you just hope the hell your right because if not you know who the turd is going to be. It sucks when you have to deliver the bad news...they always want to kill the messenger ![icon_question.gif](upload://t2zemjDOQRADd4xSC3xOot86t0m.gif)

Up in our neck of the woods, the realtors would figure out who's paying for the tech (usually the homeowner as the heating system has to be in good working condition, which it isn't even if it's leaking slightly) and the problem has to be repaired before the sale can proceed.


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Darrell Hadler
Five Star Home Inspections
Medicine Hat, Alberta CANADA

Originally Posted By: jwortham
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I am curious.


I disclaim heat exchangers in my PIA but I do the normal testing on the furnace, observe the flame pattern, check for spillovers, etc.

However, I ALWAYS recommend the furnace be serviced by a qualified technician before close of escrow.

Maybe it's because I live in Chicago, but I consider the proper function of the furnace to be one of the "biggies" on a house.

I am not comfortable signing off on it when for around $75.00 they can get a professional HVAC tech to come out and give it a go over.

Am I being overly cautious? Making my client blow his hard earned bucks?
Being a pansy? Any opinions would be appreciated.


Originally Posted By: Gary Reecher
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jwortham wrote:
I am curious.

I disclaim heat exchangers in my PIA but I do the normal testing on the furnace, observe the flame pattern, check for spillovers, etc.

However, I ALWAYS recommend the furnace be serviced by a qualified technician before close of escrow.

Maybe it's because I live in Chicago, but I consider the proper function of the furnace to be one of the "biggies" on a house.

I am not comfortable signing off on it when for around $75.00 they can get a professional HVAC tech to come out and give it a go over.

Am I being overly cautious? Making my client blow his hard earned bucks?
Being a pansy? Any opinions would be appreciated.



Jeff, No you are not. As a home inspector I take it you do not disassemble the furnace, ie. remove burner covers, burners etc for your inspection. As a hvac service technician I do plus remove vent pipes checking chimney breech for debris. Measure undiluted burner gases monitoring from startup to shutdown, checking for co rise oxygen rise or fall and draft. On Lennox Pulse furnaces the only way to properly determine if the heat exchanger is leaking is to perform a pressure decay loss test, pressurized to 4 psi must not drop to zero before 10 minutes is up. Again this is a test that requires disassembly of furnace components.


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Gary Reecher, CM
HVAC Service Technician

MechAcc's Carbon Monoxide Site Links

Originally Posted By: cbottger
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Jeff Worthham


I did not intend to imply that anyone as a HI should exceed their limitations and you should follow the standards of practice as described for your area.
I have been a professional HVAC mech for the last 40 years and am very comfortable advising my clients regarding furnaces. I do perform a CO test on the HE and if it indicates any reading I recommend that the gas company double check the level before a service Tech is called. The gas company in my area performs this service for no charge.

I guess I am hard headed but do not belive in giving a HVAC company a free service call unless it is absolutely necessary.

I am in competition with the service companies that perform inspections for their particular trades. We as HI are not allowed by law to perform maintenance on homes that we inspect. Not so with the service companies and the contractors in my area as they perform inspections trying to drum up business knowing that they have the upper hand with the home under contract for sale. As a HI I do not disassemble a furnace I follow the standard of practice for my state but the standards do not limit what you can do above and beyond the standards I think of it as simply building a better mouse trap. If I can perform a higher level of inspection than Joe the inspector down the street so be it.

I do not use the words (further evaluation) in my reports to me that implies I do not know what is wrong. My choice of wording when I don't know what is actually wrong with an item and it does need further evulation is (its not performing its intended function) and recommend that a licensed person in that field be be called for repairs. I do not state what the repairs are unless it is something that can obviously be observed.

I have over the years had the opportunity as an HI to read reports on A/C systems and furnaces that were written by contractors that were strictly inspecting for code violations trying to get business for themselves and I do have a problem with this. Understand my wife is a realtor who leaves these reports unattended sometimes??? and I am not confessing anything.


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Don't argue with an idiot someone watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Originally Posted By: cmccann
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Charley,


Very old furnace I could not date it, but the way they assited the gas up the flue has me concerned. I have seen this before. What do you think?

![](upload://nwNOLFQgIzaikCdyYMH5sWTla0f.jpeg)


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NACHI MAB!

Originally Posted By: cbottger
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Chuck


Is the flue gravity or induced it appears to be gravity from the Pic where is it located basement or in a conditioned space from the spider webs I assume non-conditioned space.

We don't use that particular style of vent in this area but I would not have a problem with it if it was located in a non-conditioned area as the hot flue gas would draw in the cooler surrounding air from the opening.


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Don't argue with an idiot someone watching may not be able to tell the difference.

Originally Posted By: cmccann
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The flue is gravity and no air condition. Your right about the basement. Thanks for your input. Sometimes it’s good to be reassured by a experienced HVAC professional such as yourself. Thanks again,



NACHI MAB!