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  #1  
Old 10/13/12, 9:51 AM
Cameron Anderson's Avatar
Cameron Anderson Cameron Anderson is online now
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Default Need some advice

I'll try to get a photo up later when my internet cooperates. I was looking at a 43 year old furnace which I am at least recommending some routine maintenance and a complete evaluation on for several reasons. It's a low efficiency, open draft hood, rusty antique. There were several water lines/stains from moisture leaking out of the A/C pan and running down around the furnace.

One set of rusty water stains was at the back of one of the burners inside the heat exchanger. My question to the furnace gurus is, would these stains be considered confirmation of cracks in the heat exchanger since water made it through to the interior of the burn chamber?



Cameron Anderson
Bachelor of Architecture, U of I, Urbana IL
Illinois Licensed Inspector
www.aaintegrityhomeinspection.com
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  #2  
Old 10/13/12, 1:26 PM
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Default Re: Need some advice

Hello? Anyone?



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  #3  
Old 10/13/12, 1:35 PM
Juan C. Jimenez Juan C. Jimenez is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by canderson5 View Post
Hello? Anyone?
The only response you will probably get is Mr. Jonas yelling at you to add a photo.



Juan Jimenez
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  #4  
Old 10/13/12, 1:38 PM
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Greg W. Mathias Greg W. Mathias is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice

When you create heat you create moisture. If the burners are set incorrectly and you are getting a cooler flame condensation can accumulate causing the staining. Not sure about the cracked heat exchanger though. I learned this from a heating tech about a month ago: He lets the furnace run for about ten minutes and the heat exchangers are red hot. He turns the burners to pilot and lets the fan run. He lites a piece of newspaper and puts it out so he has smoke. Run it along the burners and look for signs of the smoke coming back instead of going into the chamber. I would not use this as difinitive but another clue there is an issue. I also use a carbon monoxide detector and a mirror. I will never ever ever tell them yes or no as it should be confirmed but I will say it is suspected.



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  #5  
Old 10/13/12, 2:07 PM
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Michael Roberson Michael Roberson is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice

Based on my limited information from your post, I would recommend "evaluation by a licensed HVAC contractor to evaluate, repair or replace the heating system. Due to age and normal wear and tear and projected life expectancy, the unit may need to be replaced at any time." and state any visible rust, and if/how the unit operated. Nuff said.

Personally I would not comment on the heat exchanger at all unless it is clearly evident. Touchy subject lately.
Have you seen Ben's video on Heat Exchangers? I learned a ton. (Thanks Ben)
http://www.nachi.tv/hvac/crack-heat-exchanger.htm
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  #6  
Old 10/13/12, 4:05 PM
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Default Re: Need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by canderson5 View Post
I'll try to get a photo up later when my internet cooperates. I was looking at a 43 year old furnace which I am at least recommending some routine maintenance and a complete evaluation on for several reasons. It's a low efficiency, open draft hood, rusty antique. There were several water lines/stains from moisture leaking out of the A/C pan and running down around the furnace.

One set of rusty water stains was at the back of one of the burners inside the heat exchanger. My question to the furnace gurus is, would these stains be considered confirmation of cracks in the heat exchanger since water made it through to the interior of the burn chamber?
I wouldn't confirm it myself but yes IMO you need to let the client know that a cracked heat exchanger is possible due to what you saw but only a qualified HVAC tech with a snake camera can confirm.



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  #7  
Old 10/13/12, 9:19 PM
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Cameron Anderson Cameron Anderson is online now
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Default Re: Need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimenez View Post
The only response you will probably get is Mr. Jonas yelling at you to add a photo.
Yes, let's try to avert that scene. My internet has been on the fritz for days now.

Actually, I see that my subject line was poorly chosen. This is not a request for what I should put in my report or tell my client, this unit is so old a cracked heat exchanger is a foregone conclusion whether I would say it or not. I just wanted to see what the opinions of inspectors and HVAC guys would be if they came across this. Cracked or not cracked? Could it be another viable piece of evidence?

In the photo, I think it's pretty clear the water did not form as a product of combustion. It traveled down only one or two spots and stayed wet for a while allowing it to rust in the pattern it leaked. The moisture then leaked out the front of the exchanger(2nd photo). There were also stains all around the outside of the unit which came from the A/C.

My assumption would be the seams at the top of the exchanger would be watertight, but perhaps they could allow a condensate leak to trickle down.
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need-some-advice-img_0996.jpg   need-some-advice-img_0994.jpg  



Cameron Anderson
Bachelor of Architecture, U of I, Urbana IL
Illinois Licensed Inspector
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  #8  
Old 10/13/12, 10:28 PM
Juan C. Jimenez Juan C. Jimenez is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice

Was the evap coil before the heat exchanger? David eloquently explained that when its before the exchanger it cause excessive moisture, rust, and cracking of the heat exchanger.



Juan Jimenez
A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC
God. Family. Home.
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Richmond Home Inspector
Chesterfield Home Inspector
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  #9  
Old 10/13/12, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Need some advice

You Cannot make a silk purse from a sows ear. The furnace has exceeded an average life expectancy for the type of equipment Defer to the contractor and move on its to old to even be concerned
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  #10  
Old 10/13/12, 10:42 PM
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Joseph Hagarty, CMI Joseph Hagarty,  CMI is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by canderson5 View Post
I'll try to get a photo up later when my internet cooperates. I was looking at a 43 year old furnace which I am at least recommending some routine maintenance and a complete evaluation on for several reasons. It's a low efficiency, open draft hood, rusty antique. There were several water lines/stains from moisture leaking out of the A/C pan and running down around the furnace.

One set of rusty water stains was at the back of one of the burners inside the heat exchanger. My question to the furnace gurus is, would these stains be considered confirmation of cracks in the heat exchanger since water made it through to the interior of the burn chamber?
XXXXXXXX XXXXXXX Furnace (1969)
- Design life expectancy of the HVAC is 15 - 20 years.   
- Recommend annual service and evaluations on all HVAC equipment to maintain. Recommend service of the HVAC at this time if annual service has not been performed.
- Service records are not visible or apparent at time of Inspection. Recommend obtaining service records from the homeowner.
- Due to the age of the HVAC equipment, replacement needs should be anticipated and estimated.at this time.    



Joseph P. Hagarty
joseph.hagarty@comcast.net
Main Line Inspections, Inc.
Phone: 610-399-3675
Email: MainLineHI@comcast.net

http://pa.nachi.org/mainlinepa/about.html
http://www.householdinspector.com

National President / NACHI (2003-2004)
NACHI Education Committee Member
PA NACHI Certified Inspector # 01102902
Delaware Licensed Home Inspector # H4-071

Last edited by jhagarty; 10/13/12 at 11:56 PM..
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  #11  
Old 10/13/12, 11:21 PM
Cameron Anderson's Avatar
Cameron Anderson Cameron Anderson is online now
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Default Re: Need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by cbottger View Post
You Cannot make a silk purse from a sows ear. The furnace has exceeded an average life expectancy for the type of equipment Defer to the contractor and move on its to old to even be concerned
I'm not concerned, I'm curious. Would condensate leakage inside a heat exchanger be evidence of cracking?

Juan, no the A/C coil was above and after the HE.



Cameron Anderson
Bachelor of Architecture, U of I, Urbana IL
Illinois Licensed Inspector
www.aaintegrityhomeinspection.com
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  #12  
Old 10/13/12, 11:34 PM
Juan C. Jimenez Juan C. Jimenez is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice

Cam I understand what you mean. You know what to report but you want to actually understand how that happened. I am not sure why people keep commenting with how to report it. I gave you my only guess.



Juan Jimenez
A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC
God. Family. Home.
804-269-4321
Richmond Home Inspector
Chesterfield Home Inspector
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Richmond Radon Testing


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  #13  
Old 10/13/12, 11:43 PM
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Joseph Hagarty, CMI Joseph Hagarty,  CMI is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjimenez View Post
Cam I understand what you mean. You know what to report but you want to actually understand how that happened. I am not sure why people keep commenting with how to report it. I gave you my only guess.
If after 20 Years of Age...
and...........
If you do not recommend the need for replacement.....
Guess who the HVAC Contractor will be suggesting should be responsible for PAYMENT of REPLACEMENT......

...........................



Joseph P. Hagarty
joseph.hagarty@comcast.net
Main Line Inspections, Inc.
Phone: 610-399-3675
Email: MainLineHI@comcast.net

http://pa.nachi.org/mainlinepa/about.html
http://www.householdinspector.com

National President / NACHI (2003-2004)
NACHI Education Committee Member
PA NACHI Certified Inspector # 01102902
Delaware Licensed Home Inspector # H4-071

Last edited by jhagarty; 10/13/12 at 11:46 PM..
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  #14  
Old 10/13/12, 11:45 PM
Joseph Hagarty,  CMI's Avatar
Joseph Hagarty, CMI Joseph Hagarty,  CMI is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice

The difference between discussion of
Business
and...
Reality.....



Joseph P. Hagarty
joseph.hagarty@comcast.net
Main Line Inspections, Inc.
Phone: 610-399-3675
Email: MainLineHI@comcast.net

http://pa.nachi.org/mainlinepa/about.html
http://www.householdinspector.com

National President / NACHI (2003-2004)
NACHI Education Committee Member
PA NACHI Certified Inspector # 01102902
Delaware Licensed Home Inspector # H4-071
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  #15  
Old 10/13/12, 11:52 PM
Juan C. Jimenez Juan C. Jimenez is offline
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Default Re: Need some advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by jhagarty View Post
If after 20 Years of Age...
and...........
If you do not recommend the need for replacement.....
Guess who the HVAC Contractor will be suggesting should be responsible for PAYMENT of REPLACEMENT......

...........................
What in the world are you talking about? No one came close to suggesting that he not recommend replacement.



Juan Jimenez
A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC
God. Family. Home.
804-269-4321
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Chesterfield Home Inspector
Petersburg Home Inspector
Richmond Radon Testing


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