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16-year-old furnace with crack heat exchanger

  • Last Updated:
  • Jun 16th, 2018 8:40 pm
[OP]
Member
Mar 26, 2006
210 posts
29 upvotes
Ottawa

16-year-old furnace with crack heat exchanger

I saw a few threads about the crack heat exchanger. The HVAC guy came today and redtagged the furnace because of that reason. It is an 16-year old International Comfort Products Tempstar (90% Single stage). Although it is still under warranty (it has 20-year warranty), should I consider a replacement of the furnace? What would be the minimum labour charge for the replacement of the new heat exchanger? The guy told me $1500 or so, i.e. half of a new furnace. He said I can get $1200 rebate or something for a new (better) 2-stage furnace. I guess it would cost aroud $5000???
Last edited by redbridge on Jun 15th, 2018 7:53 am, edited 4 times in total.
7 replies
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2011
2610 posts
757 upvotes
Start shopping around for a good quality two stage high efficiency (95% or better) with a DC ECM motor from an installer with a good reputation in your area.

if rebates are available, you may have to have an energy audit before and after the install, but the company doing the install should let you know of any available offers and how they work.

Expect to bay between at least three grand, up to but not more than five grand for a good unit.

make sure it is properly sized for your house also, you can go online to various websites with information on how to size your furnace.
"The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."
Just a guy who dabbles in lots of stuff learning along the way. I do have opinions, and readily share them!
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
1487 posts
273 upvotes
12 yrs old or more ICP is well known for defective heat exchanger or popped rings from HEX. I wouldn't doubt diagnoses done by your contractor.
I refrain to comment on pricing but gladly answer any technical questions to the best of my knowledge.
If you are in Ottawa contact Limoges_Shopper from RFD. He is one of the most knowledgeable person I have come across.
Even though HEX may be under warranty, its not worth replacing unless you are qualified to do it yourself.

redbridge wrote:
Jun 14th, 2018 10:57 pm
I saw a few threads about the crack heat exchanger. The HVAC guy came today and redtagged the furnace because of that reason. It is an 16-year old International Comfort Products Tempstar (90% Single stage). Although it is still under warranty (it has 20-year warranty), should I consider a replacement of the furnace? What would be the minimum labour charge for the replacement of the new heat exchanger? The guy told me $1500 or so, i.e. half of a new furnace. He said I can get $1200 rebate or something for a new (better) 2-stage furnace. I guess it would cost aroud $5000???
A fine is a tax for doing wrong .
A tax is a fine for doing right .
Newbie
Feb 26, 2017
94 posts
39 upvotes
redbridge wrote:
Jun 14th, 2018 10:57 pm
I saw a few threads about the crack heat exchanger. The HVAC guy came today and redtagged the furnace because of that reason.
You should be glad that this is June and have more time to deal with it. If it's middle of winter, the HVAC guy would get your money quite fast and good.

Can you tell us more on this story how that HVAC guy found the heat exchanger cracked? Did he see the crack and show you? Or did he drill a hole in the duct and insert his detector that went wild within 30 seconds?
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 19, 2004
7840 posts
1221 upvotes
Cambridge, ON
Pretty sure if your furnace is over 10 years, they always find a cracked heat exchanger or popped ring. Well it may be true in your case, this is a known scam. At least you did this in the summer so you have some time to shop around.

Ive had my furnace inspected twice at different times and both times they shut it off. The first person I watched as he repeatedly jammed a screwdriver until something broke, then claimed a popped ring. The second time they claimed a cracked exchanger, second opinion proved otherwise. And these from the so called reputable companies. It is just another scam, but of course there are never consequences for them.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Oct 19, 2008
5392 posts
1158 upvotes
Whitby
don242 wrote:
Jun 16th, 2018 9:33 am
Ive had my furnace inspected twice at different times and both times they shut it off. The first person I watched as he repeatedly jammed a screwdriver until something broke, then claimed a popped ring.
Damn!.....you should have gone out to his vehicle and did an inspection with the same screwdriver, check for any soft spots in the doors. Joking of course but jabbing him in the side as he poked at your furnace might also have deterred him Smiling Face With Open Mouth
[OP]
Member
Mar 26, 2006
210 posts
29 upvotes
Ottawa
newlyborn wrote:
Jun 15th, 2018 9:23 am
12 yrs old or more ICP is well known for defective heat exchanger or popped rings from HEX. I wouldn't doubt diagnoses done by your contractor.
I refrain to comment on pricing but gladly answer any technical questions to the best of my knowledge.
If you are in Ottawa contact Limoges_Shopper from RFD. He is one of the most knowledgeable person I have come across.
Even though HEX may be under warranty, its not worth replacing unless you are qualified to do it yourself.
Lennox (Costco) came and did mention that the 100000 BTU is way oversized for my 2400sq ft home and that might be the cause of the premature crack of the heat exchanger. Anyway, since the price difference between the modulating and the two-stage is minor, I would go for the modulating. I will keep getting other quotes some time next week as the lennox quote is quite expensive. The thermostat itself is like $770. I just got the echobee installed last week because of the Green-on program but he said it does not work with modulating furance. It works with the 2-stage but requires extra wire to go through the ceiling (finished basement). I need to reduce the hydro bill and I believe that going with the ECM will definitely reduce my bill by 30-40%. my average is like 40kwh/day and I think 18 of them is due to the fan.

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