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Furnace Heat Exchanger - Replace or Repair

  • Last Updated:
  • Apr 10th, 2019 5:20 pm
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 24, 2017
2 posts

Furnace Heat Exchanger - Replace or Repair

Was getting my furnace maintenance done and was told that the heat exchanger in my furnace is "defective". Technician shut my system off, and recommended that I replace my whole furnace. Was told that replacing the Heat Exchange would cost more than $1500. I asked him to take a video of heat exchange to show me why it's defective. Here's the video. I'm thinking of getting a second opinion, but wanted to get some feedback here. Should I repair or replace?

My Furnace is 11 years old (Carrier Brand).
20 replies
Sr. Member
Jul 20, 2012
733 posts
299 upvotes
Toronto
Call a Carrier dealer and get a second opinion. The heat exchanger may have a warranty. If so even paying for labour you'd come out ahead.
Deal Addict
Dec 19, 2009
4716 posts
2643 upvotes
Paying labour ($1,000+) to have a new heat exchanger with the rest of the furnace components still being 11 years old is kinda silly.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
18711 posts
21394 upvotes
GTA
mzikra007 wrote: Was getting my furnace maintenance done and was told that the heat exchanger in my furnace is "defective". Technician shut my system off, and recommended that I replace my whole furnace. Was told that replacing the Heat Exchange would cost more than $1500. I asked him to take a video of heat exchange to show me why it's defective. Here's the video. I'm thinking of getting a second opinion, but wanted to get some feedback here. Should I repair or replace?

My Furnace is 11 years old (Carrier Brand).
Was there an issue that caused you to get your furnace maintenance done in the middle of winter?
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Jr. Member
Feb 9, 2006
164 posts
50 upvotes
That's your secondary heat exchanger, it's a known issue with that model furnace. It becomes plugged and I'd bet the CO in your venting is in the 1000's. The primary heat exchangers rarely crack on those but I have seen it, so its possible you would need to just replace the secondary which would probably be less than $500 as the part is covered by carrier. There is no way to know for sure though until they have it out if its just one exchanger or if its both, personally I would look into a new furnace.
[OP]
Newbie
Feb 24, 2017
2 posts
engineered wrote: Was there an issue that caused you to get your furnace maintenance done in the middle of winter?
No specific issue. I'm on a yearly maintenance plan that includes maintenance, and so had to get it done before the end of the month.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Nov 19, 2004
9122 posts
2025 upvotes
Cambridge, ON
mzikra007 wrote: No specific issue. I'm on a yearly maintenance plan that includes maintenance, and so had to get it done before the end of the month.
Never have maintenance done in the winter. Chances are they find a "cracked heat exchange" because they know you are desperate when you no longer have heat.

Probably best to get a new furnace.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
18711 posts
21394 upvotes
GTA
mzikra007 wrote: No specific issue. I'm on a yearly maintenance plan that includes maintenance, and so had to get it done before the end of the month.
The maintenance guy must need to buy a new boat. Get a second opinion at the very least.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 8, 2014
24123 posts
9578 upvotes
Socially Distanced
I agree with the above posters you should have a warranty, contact Carrier and find out.
In fact in Rand McNally they wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people
Sr. Member
Nov 21, 2010
515 posts
107 upvotes
Ontario
Like Hexavalent mentioned, this is a known problem with that furnace so Carrier has extended the warranty on the parts.
It's a big job so the labour cost is significant.
Just last fall my son paid $750 labour to have both heat exchangers replaced.
Now you know what needs to be done best to call around for quotes.
Newbie
Apr 27, 2003
69 posts
3 upvotes
Brampton
I have the same problem with my 2006 made 92% efficient carrier. I am getting both exchangers replaced as they are covered under warranty but the labour is $800. Otherwise, the furnace has been trouble free.
Newbie
Mar 21, 2017
3 posts
Same situation
My Furnace is 11 years old (Carrier Brand)
Replaced Heat Exchange Part labour: 1K.
Technician checked other parts are ok.
He plugged and I'd bet the CO in your venting is in the 4500's(outside). That is mean not good for health.
Less than 1K. replaced Heat Exchange
Deal Addict
Jan 31, 2011
1042 posts
603 upvotes
Toronto
pken818 wrote: Same situation
My Furnace is 11 years old (Carrier Brand)
Replaced Heat Exchange Part labour: 1K.
Technician checked other parts are ok.
He plugged and I'd bet the CO in your venting is in the 4500's(outside). That is mean not good for health.
Less than 1K. replaced Heat Exchange
when the heat exchanger is replaced, are both primary and secondary replaced at the same time under carrier extended warranty, or just the secondary?
Deal Addict
Apr 6, 2008
1807 posts
1164 upvotes
Looks like a scam to me by a rental outfit. Get a second opinion, and if you do buy, don't buy from the company that originally pointed it out.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2007
2312 posts
1661 upvotes
SW Ontario
No one should be paying for a heat exchanger as generally they carry 20 years or lifetime warranty.
I would be calling the manufacturer of the furnace to find out.
We had one fail and everyone was trying to sell us a nee part or an entire furnace, until one honest guy told us about the warranty and fixed it.
I'd rather be outdoors camping, kayaking, and mountain biking ...
Sr. Member
Jan 19, 2013
661 posts
527 upvotes
Ottawa
thunderbolt wrote: when the heat exchanger is replaced, are both primary and secondary replaced at the same time under carrier extended warranty, or just the secondary?
If the secondary hx has failed, best practice is to replace primary at same time since you have it out already. Minor additional labour. Carrier will supply primary under warranty.
Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
3482 posts
1903 upvotes
Woodbridge
Please don't get me wrong . Just wondering have you ever replaced a primary HEX or seen anyone replacing it as you quoted its a minor additional labour?
Do you know Carrier can actually deny the warranty claim and the installer will be out of his pocket at least 1200 $ ?
P.S : Carrier HEX unlike other brands do not come in single piece. Its rare though that primary HEX is defective and Carrier knows about it. They very much can ask for a physical HEX to be retruned to them for inspection when in doubt for warranty claims. So beware.
1chinaman wrote: If the secondary hx has failed, best practice is to replace primary at same time since you have it out already. Minor additional labour. Carrier will supply primary under warranty.
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Deal Addict
Jun 16, 2009
3482 posts
1903 upvotes
Woodbridge
700-800 $ is a very fair and reasonable price for a tech to replace HEX in GTA. Price difference is due to input difference. For eg. changing HEX in 60 K BTU furnace is much easier than 100 K .
retrovette wrote: Like Hexavalent mentioned, this is a known problem with that furnace so Carrier has extended the warranty on the parts.
It's a big job so the labour cost is significant.
Just last fall my son paid $750 labour to have both heat exchangers replaced.
Now you know what needs to be done best to call around for quotes.
HVAC Pro-Committed to customer, not brand. Past RFD Reviews
2022 Central Air Conditioner & Furnace Group Buy
Sr. Member
Jan 19, 2013
661 posts
527 upvotes
Ottawa
newlyborn wrote: Please don't get me wrong . Just wondering have you ever replaced a primary HEX or seen anyone replacing it as you quoted its a minor additional labour?
Do you know Carrier can actually deny the warranty claim and the installer will be out of his pocket at least 1200 $ ?
P.S : Carrier HEX unlike other brands do not come in single piece. Its rare though that primary HEX is defective and Carrier knows about it. They very much can ask for a physical HEX to be retruned to them for inspection when in doubt for warranty claims. So beware.
I’ve replaced carrier hx many times.
I quote it all or nothing.
A defective secondary that goes unoticed longer than normal impacts the primary also.
Better to spend some extra time now than down the road all over since almost everything has to removed to get the hx out.
No issues with getting reimbursed for the parts.
Yes carrier hxs are a pain, not my favorite thing to do.

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