Mobile home furnaces

Can anyone tell me if there is such a thing as an illegal down draft furnace for a mobile home.
Hope someone can help

Off of the top of my head the only thing that I could think of is if the MFG design clearance to combustibles were not complied with.

York International Corporation Recall of Gas Furnaces (September 6, 2001)

Recall of Furnaces in California (July 9, 2001)

CPSC Recommends Carbon Monoxide Alarm for Every Home (January 18, 2001)

Defective Furnaces Warning in California (September 27, 2000)

Diamond 80 Furnaces Recalled by York International (October 12, 1999)

Electric Furnaces and Air Handlers Recalled by Rheem Manufacturing (February 16, 1999)

Upflow Horizontal Oil Furnaces Recalled by The Ducane Company (October 29, 1996)

Heatpipe Furnaces Replacement by York International (November 1, 1993)

Coleman Urges Inspection Of Pre-1971 Solar Pak Furnaces (November , 1989)

Coleman 8600 Solar Pak Mobile Home Furnaces Replacement (October 26, 1988)

Preway and Arkla Furnaces Correction (February 17, 1988)

Blueray “Blue Flame” Furnace or Boiler Warning (October 27, 1987)

Home or Miller Gas-Fired Furnaces for Mobile Home Replacement (February 3, 1987)

Oil/Wood Combination Furnaces Warning (May 2, 1984)

Mobile Home Furnaces Repaired by HOME (June 9, 1981)

Good morning inspectors
My problem is this. I inspected a mobile home on Dec.28/07. Client took possession Feb.28/07. When I inspected the home I noted that the furnace was newer, about 5 yrs old, and was in good condition,fully operative and no CO detected. After she took possession she claims the furnace was blowing cold air. She called a furnace company and they replaced the limit control,however it still did not operate properly. After several more house calls they convinced her the furnace was illegal and told her she was luckily she didn’t die from carbon monoxide poisoning. They installed a new furnace for $2600.00. Now she would like me to pay for it as the heating company told her that the inspector should have seen that this was not a proper furnace for a mobile home and was an illegal installation. I questioned them and their explanation was that the flue was the problem and a proper flue had to be a 2 walled flue that vents as well as supplies combustion air.
Any comments appreciated,

Here we go again!

I guess I’m going to be quoted again and some HVAC magazine for damning HVAC contractors for opening their bigmouth!

If the furnace was illegal and they did several house calls before condemning the unit they are in violation of their license requirements for not locking down the furnace in the first place!

HVAC contractors don’t know what home inspectors do. You should contact the company owner and demand a retraction and an apology to your client and advised them that they will be sued with you through a countersuit if this goes to court.

Get your client’s complaint in writing so that you have evidence of all the facts that occurred up to the point that you are expected to be at fault. Specifically, what the HVAC company did prior to condemning the unit.

I highly recommend that you tread lightly when discussing anything with your client from this point on. You are not here to prove who is right or wrong. You’re there to collect facts. Make her put it in writing and spell out the specific violation that you are accused of.

Then, you pull out the SOP that you operate under and any applicable state inspection laws that say how you will inspect a furnace. It is not your responsibility to keep track of what is and is not illegal. Read the SOP carefully and be sure you understand your responsibilities. Also read the exclusions part of any state law as they specifically spell out these responsibilities.

not your job to say what’s legal or illegal.

if it was just the flue, why’d the whole furnace get replaced?

dont know what your agreement states, but mine says that they have to give time for me to reevaluate b4 repairs are made.

if yours does also, remind the client of the fact that they signed it.

Dave beat me…oh, and provided much more info.


Sounds like some one just bought a pig in a poke, contractor was unable to repair the furnace so just sell them a new one. My wife just last week received a bid on a furnace change out on a rental for less than $1500.00:roll: :roll: Why not just let the old HI pay for it they make the big bucks???</IMG></IMG>

Be nice Charlie!

You’ll be on the front page of US today with me!

You can’t imagine who monitors these bulletin boards and writes entire articles out of one paragraph of a post by a home inspector from NACHI!

Manufactured home gas furnaces and water heaters will have a decal stating that they are approved for use in manufactured homes.

Manufactured home gas furnaces come in single wall vent and concentric vent. Older Intertherm furnaces would pull combustion air from an air duct from under the home. Some models have power burners. Most all of the newer furnaces are vented in double wall metal concentric vent pipes. All manufactured home furnaces will have a sticker or data plate that states that it is approved for use in a manufactured home.

There are a few 90+ percent high efficiency furnaces that are approved for manufactured homes. Carrier/Bryant is one that comes to mind. The furnaces do require a conversion kit that has a decal that states that it is approved for manufactured home use. These are vented use the pvc concentric vent kit.

One would have to post the make and model number of that furnace to determine if it is approved for manufactured home use.

The heating technician should have determined on the first call whether or not the furnace is approved.

I have seen approved furnaces that were not vented correctly. Ie. using on a single wall vent pipe.

David is right,that furnace should have been shut down on the first service call to protect the home owner,if in fact it was an illegal installation.Where is the furnace and the proof that it was illegal.Looks like sombody is trying to get a free furnace.I agree with all the other posts,you should get full disclosure of the whole thing.Matt

You did your job as the home inspector only a hvac contractor would have known that the flue was or wasn’t installed correctly.

I have the pleasure of being both a hvac contractor and a home inspector. I feel if I can’t do your air conditioning/heating work I can do your home inspection or vis versa both of which I do with a smile.

Thanks for your input and suggestions. One other thing I did not mention was I asked the contractor if the 4 year old “illegal” furnace was repairable and he said absolutely, he didn’t think it would cost much to repair. I am still dealing with this and getting all the information I can on the safety aspect of the furnace. Is there really a danger of CO poisoning? A young family of 4 lived in the home since they installed the furnace and had no ill effects.
I will keep you posted on my saga.


I’m confused, the Prof. HVAC Contr. stated that the furnace would be easily repairable, so if that’s correct, why didn’t they repair? Why did they replace?

A four year old Counterflow/Downflow furnace shouldn’t be burned out, even if the flue vent is/was wrongly installed.

It’s easy to point fingers, play the blame game, after the fact, when the new system is in, and the Contr. has stated the old unit should be easily fixable.

It’s CYA time. What were your comments in your report. Did you recommend further evaluation, or did you just check it off - OK?

Because the furnace did not meet HUD approval for manufacture homes. Even though it can be repaired and used in convetionally built homes it still would not be approved for manufactured homes. Manufactured home codes in the US fall under H.U.D. auspices. Since manufactured homes could be installed in any state in the union it would require each state to have a building inspector on site at each manufacturing location. Hmm 50 inspectors times each manufacturing plant. Since many states did not want to foot the bill for inspectors at these locations to inspect the homes destined for their state it was determined HUD would make the codes and have their inspectors at the plant. Once instance where government logic made sense.

The other is safety. To my knowledge there are no direct vent 80 percent furnaces other than those made specifically for mobile homes. Miller, Intertherm, Coleman and Thermopride. Most have no return ductwork. The return is through the louvered furnace door and louvered furnace closet door. A furnace not designed to be operated in this type of location, ie single wall vent, would back draft the vent gases into the blower and throughout the home. Ran into a new install where installer gave up trying to fix pilot going out. He did not install the approved vent. The previous furnace must have been an older type Intertherm where combustion air is pulled from under the trailer into the burner compartment. This model is legal to vent in single wall pipe and that is how the newer furnace was vented in spite of requiring a concentric vent. The owners kept wanting to know why the pilot would keep going out. Well the blower would backdraft the furnace. They were lucky. Really lucky.

Know it is long winded but hope that answers your question why the furnace could not be used at the location.


Thanks, and some good information.

What my question is, is why replace the furnace when the only problem appears to be the venting concerns, as stated so far.
I have not heard from Jerry if the furnace is illegal or not. He has just stated what he was told. It appears all the rest (our posts) is speculation on our parts.
I would want an opportunity to see the furnace again, or at least ask additional questions before I admit or payout on anything.
Have I missed something in the earlier posts??