HVAC Salt Test

Whats all involved in a salt test? Is it more than a visual inspection of the heat exchange and CO test?

I believe a brine test is one type of test for determining if there are cracks in a certain shape/type heat exchanger.

Yes, it is more than a visual and more involved than using a CO meter.

A salt spray test is a test for heat exchanger cracks, Its conducted by disconnecting the blower motor power wire so it will not run. The warm air plenum is opened for access. Water & salt mix is sprayed into the burners when on and a propane torch is passed over the area above the heat exchanger in the plenum, salt will pass through the crack and the blue propane flame will turn orange.

This can only be used on older 60% efficient or less furnace, it can not be used with any furnace that is a power Vented

sound way out of my scope.

The Gas Research Institute does not recommend or indorse the salt spray test because it causes corrosion. The methane/nitrogen mixture gas test is their approved method.

This test was common 20+ years ago, it still can be used by an hvac company when they are pretty sure the furnace is cracked and will be changed out, I ran across a few hvac companys using this test this winter.

Ditto Jay

Home Inspections are meant to be visual…period

There are many other ways of visually checking for cracked heat exchangers.

Suggest keep it visual, visual, and visual.

i don’t like the term “visual” for my inspections. i use tools, testers and what my clients call “gadgets” to perform a complete inspection. i do know what you mean, but i think we need a more betterer word for it. i call it “non invasive”. i don’t poke holes, take apart anything that isn’t designed to be taken apart by anyone with more knowlage than me. if the homeowner is allowed to open an acces panel, so will i, we do go a bit further, but still within our scope, ie; panel covers, and accesses for the heat exchangers, etc, etc. these aren’t to a level above “apprentice” and as inspectors, i think we are all qualified as apprentices in many feild pertaining to residential systems. access panels are meant to be removed without breaching the system itself. I’m not going to pull stems to check the wear on washers, but i will pull a filter for the furnace and see if it’s dirty. looking at it is visual, but pulling it is the “more than visual” that i speek of. but we’re on the same page. i’m just a little long winded tonite. (the hot arabic java flows much tonite…mmmmmmmmmmm)

Add some Baileys to it…that will slow you down more to our speed…thank you.

not a bad idea Tony, got any??? well now you all know the 3 sides of Jay. one is with coffee (usualy too much) one is with beer (again…to much) and the last one, well not quite as much fun, pretty boring realy. but that’s when you don’t hear from me so it doesn’t matter.:mrgreen: :mrgreen: