Broken and leaking heat exchangers are responsible for about 1,500 deaths per year in the united states, and many more people are poisoned by exposure to toxic gasses that go unfiltered by defective heat exchangers. If you are inspecting your heat exchanger for cracks, check the bends or weld areas first. Have you heard this one recently, you have a cracked heat exchanger and your furnace has to be replaced, today. Natural gas or propane is being burned and the byproduct of that process is energy in the form of heat, along with water vapor h2o, carbon dioxide co2, carbon monoxide co, carbon or soot. A cracked heat exchanger is not a problem that should be taken lightly. Heat exchanger crack the heat exchanger is a key part of the furnace and is responsible for the actual heating of air. Any verifiable crack requires replacement of the heat exchanger or furnace. A cracked heat exchanger allows air from the furnace blower to interfere with the flame causing it to flutter or even roll out.
Be on the watch for symptoms of a cracked heat exchanger like. The american gas association has even put this in writing they say any visible crack or hole is reason for requiring replacement of the heat exchanger or furnace. Danger of a furnace with a cracked heat exchanger servicemax. Dec 16, 2012 heat exchanger can crack for various reasons and should be checked every time furnace is repaired or maintained. A cracked heat exchanger in a gas furnace is a serious safety issue.
If you have a heat exchanger crack, you need to replace the heat exchanger or the furnace. This is a requirement, is part of the fuel gas codes and is ultimately not negotiable. More commonly, the cause of a cracked heat exchanger is misapplication or poor maintenance of the furnace. If there is a crack in the furnaces heat exchanger, there will be some signs and symptoms that are normally evident concerning the furnace. And what did it mean if the camera revealed a crack. It is important that the heat exchanger is taken care of as hazards can build from a faulty exchanger. How to prevent a heat exchanger crack in your furnace.
A furnace lasts between 15 and 20 years over that time, the metal on the heat exchanger heats up and expands, and then contracts as it cools. Because the metal of the heat exchanger expands and then contracts as it heats and cools, the stress may eventually cause a crack to form on the exchanger. When the burners of the furnace come up, they generate hot combustion gas which is collected inside the heat exchanger, which is a metal chamber or series of chambers. What are the causes of a cracked heat exchanger in a gas furnace. Its comprised of a set of tubes or coils that repeatedly loops through the airflow inside the furnace to heat the air. Simple furnace heat exchanger test hvac learning solutions. For carbon monoxide to leak from a cracked heat exchanger, two things need to be happening.
A damaged heat exchanger in a gas furnace is potentially dangerous to a homes occupants and should not be ignored. For this reason, i want to share with you some of the common symptoms and causes of a cracked heat exchanger in a furnace. The reaction between the combustion gas and metal over time may create. A crack in your heat exchanger is no trivial matter. This effect will get worst as the furnace heats up from expansion and the crack gets bigger. Your blower motor aka your fan then blows air over this heat exchanger. A look at a heat exchanger crack that cant be found youtube. A good furnace tuneup will involve checking your ductwork, as well as the performance and efficiency of the hvac system, which will help you avoid the multiple scenarios that lead to a crack in the heat exchanger in the first place. How to determine if a furnace has a cracked heat exchanger 1. A furnace lasts between 15 and 20 years over that time, the metal on the heat. It is recommended that you have your furnace inspected yearly, preferablly before cold weather hits. Most newer models are equipped with special safety features that keep risks down. This article is about ways to determine if a gas furnace has a cracked heat exchanger. The american gas association has even put this in writing they say any visible crack or hole is reason.
The most common reason a heat exchanger cracks is normal wear and tear. If the heat ex changer is cracked, air is forced into the combustionchamber. This one takes apart the ruudrheem heat exchanger to inspect the. A heat exchanger crack is one of the biggest safety issues that your furnace can develop. Inside of your furnace or boiler there is actually a fire burning. Many companies use infrared light to detect cracks, but a flashlight is sufficient for more noticeable cracks. Hvac businesses in minnesota lock out furnaces when cracked heat exchangers are found. Combustible gas increases in temperature and collects in the heat exchanger, allowing it to increase the temperature of the air. Here are a few of the reasons you will need to get repairs for a cracked furnace heat exchanger. The most likely cause for a crack in the heat exchanger is corrosion.
Cracked heat exchanger deciding to repair or replace. Dec 28, 2016 a furnaces heat exchanger uses some type of fuelair mix to burn inside of it, creating heat and getting very hot. Very few, if any, furnaces with a typical small crack or hole in the heat exchanger. If its older than 10 to 12 years old, you may want to go with replacing the entire furnace. The shape of the coils depends on the type or model of your furnace. Signs and symptoms of a cracked gas furnace heat exchanger. The furnace heat exchanger is the one of the main components inside the gas furnace and its used to transfer the heat from the gas burner to the warm air thats blown into your home. This one is about a crack i found in a heat exchanger that caused no. Heating and air conditioning contractors rarely find furnaces with cracked heat exchangers. Often when cracks are present in a heat exchanger, soot from the combustion process will seep through and discolor the metal. The heat exchanger on a furnace is the section that keeps the combustion chamber and the breathing air separate 3. Some cracks have been known to only open when the unit is fired and the heat exchanger metal is hot. This procedure is as simple as watching the flame and observing if it the flame moves or changes when the blower starts.
If the heat exchanger is cracked, byproducts of the combustion process that takes place within the. The danger of cracked heat exchangers in gas furnaces. Bobs answer to whether or not a cracked heat exchanger can be dangerous is unambiguous. The heat exchanger is a key part of the furnace and is responsible for the actual heating of air. If the furnace isnt getting sufficient airflow, the exchanger gets too hot and literally cracks under the pressure of continual expanding and contracting. If a heat exchanger becomes cracked, then your heating system will not perform as it should. This video is part of the heating and cooling series of training videos made to accompany my websites.
Corrosion because of reaction between the combustion gas and the metal often because of improper venting can also weaken the metal to the point where cracks. A cracked heat exchanger can not be repaired either the part or entire unit must be replaced. If someone informs you that your heat exchanger is cracked, call the tedder company, and one of our specially trained technicians will immediately assess your furnaces situation. What are the causes of a cracked heat exchanger in a gas. I show how a furnace reacts when there is a crack in the heat exchanger. Cracked heat exchanger issues will affect how your heating system performs. Oct 30, 2019 invest in furnace maintenance to avoid heat exchanger problems.
Heat exchangers are built to last 10 to 20 years, but that period could be shorter if an hvac system is used more often than the norm. One of the oldest ways to check for heat exchanger cracks is to simply observe the flame when the blower starts. Cracked heat exchanger on lennox furnace we had a technician come out today to diagnose a problem with our furnace and upon inspection he noticed that there was a crack in the heat exchanger and the blower control board needs replacing the original problem. Nowadays, checking for a cracked heat exchanger is way more scientific. In most cases, the flue gases in your furnace will not contain carbon monoxideits not a typical byproduct of gas combustion in the furnace. The heat exchanger is cracked or otherwise has an air leak. Carbon monoxide can seep out of through a cracked heat exchanger. If a crack makes its way through the walls of your heat exchanger, dangerous carbon monoxide fumes can leak into your homes air. Furnace with a cracked heat exchanger and flame rollout. Were you recently told that your furnace heat exchanger is cracked and needs to be replaced. The reason a crack in a heat exchanger is such a cause for concernand reason to think about replacing a furnace is because it creates a major health hazard. A warning about cracked heat exchangers in gas furnace.
Through this crack, combustion fumes can escape from the exchanger, and can build up in the room. If we discover that a customers furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, we shut the furnace off at the electrical switch and gas valve and tag the appliance for repair. If we assume the average heating cycle is 15 minutes long, that heat exchanger is heating up and cooling down over 3,000 times per year. Most repairs require a component that will return the furnace to normal and safe operation. Is the crack deep enough to leach carbon monoxide co. Dec 03, 2018 but lets be clear if there are any cracks in an exchanger it needs to be replaced, there should not be cracks in a heat exchanger. If you find that your furnace heat exchanger has trouble getting enough heat and power, then you may find that it has developed a crack or hole. This trips a safety switch and shuts down the furnace. The crack is open when the heat exchanger metal is at or close to room temperature.
I open up the plenum and show the crack from the top. A gas furnaces heat exchanger is the furnace component that actually heats the air. A cracked heat exchanger is the most common reason carbon monoxide or toxic gasses may escape into homes using a gas furnace. The problem with finding a crack in a furnace heat exchanger is that you can see very little of the. Home warranties and cracks in your furnaces heat exchanger. We find some cracked heat exchangers from the pilot lights that are blown out. Jan, 2020 having a cracked heat exchanger can have a very adverse effect on the overall performance of your home heating equipment. A furnace with a cracked heatexchanger is usually an exception, because of the cost of the repair. Furnace heatexchanger crack signs your furnace has one. Heat safety is paramount so have your furnaces inspected immediately for a cracked heat exchanger. Cracked heat exchanger deciding to repair or replace depending on the age of your furnace, a cracked heat exchange probably means you need a new system. The heat of the combustion gas raises the temperature of the metal, and as the air from the blower passes around it, heat transfers to it.
Mar 11, 20 our recommendation on finding a crack in a heat exchanger will always be to replace the heat exchanger or the furnace it is in because your familys health and safety is far too important to make guesses and assumptions about how dangerous this crack may or may not be. Should i replace my heat exchanger or buy a new furnace. The combustible gas will become hotter as it accumulates in the exchanger. The problem with finding a crack in a furnace heat exchanger is that you can see very little of the heat exchanger without disassembling the furnace. Where we live, furnaces see nearly 900 hours of use every winter. Basically, the heat exchanger is where the furnace heats the air. The hot combustion gas in the heat exchanger heats up the metal walls. But the decision to repair or replace a heating unit can be difficult. Read our blog to learn what to do if this happens to you. The american gas association has even put this in writing.
This achr news article explains what to look for when inspecting a furnace flue. Aug 31, 2015 this video is about the your heat exchanger is cracked so your furnace must be replaced scam. A well qualified hvac technician will look for a furnace cracked heat exchanger during a maintenance check. The cracked heat exchanger because the metal of the heat exchanger expands and then contracts as it heats and cools, the stress may eventually cause a crack to form on the exchanger. Located in the center of the furnace, it is where fire, gas and heat connect. One problem you can encounter with a furnace is a cracked heat exchanger.
Depending on where the crack is, the supply fan creates a positive pressure on the outside of the heat exchanger that can blow air inside the heat exchanger and on to the flame. Guide to furnace heat exchanger inspection, testing, leaks how to inspect and test furnace heat exchangers for leaks photographs show clues indicating leaky, dangerous furnace heat exchangers furnace heat exchanger leak testing, a complete list of methods used to find or test for leaks in a furnace heat exchange what is the allowable amount of gas fired heat exchanger leakage. Combustion gases leaking from a cracked heat exchanger can cause frequent headaches as well as flulike symptoms. Not only is furnace performance an issue, but heat exchanger malfunctions can pose serious health and fire risks. Because it allows the exhaust fumes inside the exchanger to leak into the air. The longer your system operates with a cracked heat exchanger, the worse the cracks will get. Cracked heat exchanger furnance repair in anderson township. Can you repair a cracked heat exchanger on a gas furnace. The blower fan of the furnace then comes on and sends air around the. It is important to repair your furnace if you notice a crack in it. The service technician has the time, experience, or even reason to suspect the exchanger is cracked. And please remember never try to run a furnace when your heat exchanger is cracked.
In a home heater, the heat exchanger heats up the air that travels through the ventilation system. In order to help you avoid these safety issues, today were going to talk about how a heat exchanger develops cracks and what you can do to prevent or identify the problem before its too late. The air passes over absorbing heat off the surface conditioning it to warm air. Even though your furnace may look and seem fine, dangerous gases could leak into your home and seriously affect, even kill, your family members. Not having proper maintenance performed by a skilled professional will also take years off the life of a heat exchanger. Regardless of why it cracked, the heat exchanger needs to be replaced. Heat exchanger cracks are a serious furnace repair issue.
When your furnace is being inspected, the inspector will be looking for signs of problems with the furnace. If a heating contractor finds a cracked heat exchanger and says the furnace needs to be replaced, theyre not pulling a scam unless theyre just outright lying to you about finding a crack. Every cracked heat exchanger needs to be replaced, either by replacing the heat exchanger itself or by replacing the entire furnace. Cracked heat exchanger furnace trouble shooting help. A normally operating gas furnace has a steady blue flame. The main reason why a heat exchanger becomes cracked is due to the unit overheating. The heat exchanger is a metal container inside the furnace that collects hot combustion gas from the burners. Dangerous cracked heat exchangers in furnaces carbon monoxide detectors and cracked heat exchangers. Unless you are one of the top 3% of people who have all the money, replacing the furnace is going to hurt the pocket book if you have not planed for it, but it has to be done. If there is a crack in the furnace s heat exchanger, there will be some signs and symptoms that are normally evident concerning the furnace. The cause of cracked heat exchangers avoid this common scam. We use it to check co levels given in parts per million, or ppm and determine for sure whether theres a crack in your heat exchanger. If it cracks after the warranty is up, usually at least 20 years, consider replacing the entire furnace.
A combustion analyzer gives us co and oxygen readings. Signs and symptoms of a cracked gas furnace heat exchanger change in flame appearance. Combustion pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide, can cause eye and nose irritation, disorientation, sleepiness and nausea. There are certain signs to look for to determine if the heat exchanger has been. Towards the bottom of the page on thecomyths web site, youll find this text. Nov 05, 2019 a dangerous furnace problem that cant be ignored what causes a heat exchanger to crack. This article is about ways to determine if a gas furnace has a cracked heatexchanger. Oct 14, 2016 this one is about a crack i found in a heat exchanger that caused no symptoms. Needless to say, visual heat exchanger analysis provides woefully inadequate answers to these very important questions. The your heat exchanger is cracked so your furnace must be.
The appearance of a black carbon buildup on the furnace. When a furnace has a cracked heat exchanger, can it be. Its only going to get worse, not betterthe only question is when. One of the best ways you can protect your home from the dangers of a cracked heat exchanger is. Its the most common cause of excess carbon monoxide in a home. Signs the heat exchanger in your home furnace is cracked. The heat exchanger on a furnace is the section that keeps the combustion chamber and the breathing air separate. When faced with that decision, something to consider is the age of your unit. Older furnaces can develop major issues, such as a cracked heat exchanger. Depending on the furnace design, it might only be possible to examine 10% of the entire heat exchanger. Reasons to get repairs for a cracked furnace heat exchanger. Beware of an unethical technician who finds a crack with a camera on a furnace that seems to be running just fine.
A heat exchanger crack in a residential furnace large enough to cause trouble usually upsets a steady flame orcauses the burner flames to roll out the front of the burner openings. My concern is the fact that mechanics walk past other potential carbon monoxide poisoning issues to get to heat exchanger inspection. Heres why your furnace heat exchanger cracked in carbon monoxide testing, central heating and air conditioning, furnace repair. Dec 23, 2019 in a home heater, the heat exchanger heats up the air that travels through the ventilation system.
This can cause a fire or burned wiring and should trip the roll out switches, which are temperature sensors located near the front and above the burners. A heat exchanger is made of thin metal, and as it heats up from the combustion of the furnace, it transfers the heat to the air being distributed through the house by the blower 3. The unfortunate part of having a cracked heat exchanger is, well, there is usually no positive outcome for the homeowner. One of the most common reasons a gas furnace can be taken out of service, is when the repair technician finds to a cracked heat exchanger. These are the weak areas most likely to break first. We have talked a lot about furnace failures, repairs, and replacement in our blog and we want to go more in depth about furnace heat exchanger design, how they work, and why they fail. A furnace with a cracked heat exchanger is usually an exception, because of the cost of the repair.53 1338 1461 1041 1544 504 709 650 16 115 651 861 991 930 436 1065 260 466 852 171 436 99 225 1241 571 422 845 1142 565 773 395 1017 1408 780 1074 1252 829 663 662 925 966 1012 1001 1329 862 1291 215 1462 160 249