Cracked heat exchanger

Old 06-27-03, 10:23 PM
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Cracked heat exchanger

Can someone tell me what signs may be present if a heat exchanger is cracked or what I may look for. Thanks in advance.
Old 06-28-03, 06:32 AM
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Hello: hurstfam

There are several methods used to test a firebox for cracks. Most commonly used method is the visable inspection both while the unit is in operation and not in operation.

Older heaters have fireboxes that are more easily able to view the interior while the newer units are not. Much depends upon at age of the heater, type of heater and style of firebox used.

Forced air heaters generally are the easiest. When the blower fan turns on to circulate the warm air, serverly cracked fireboxes will have burner flames that appear blown around. Depending upon the extent of the crack and it's location, the more servere and easily visable the problem becomes and appears.

Cracked fireboxes pose a major health hazard. Cracked fireboxes <often called Heat Exchangers> cause fumes to enter the circulating warm air.

The flame distortion caused by the fan blowing the flames around drastically increases the level of carbon monoxides produced.

Cracked fireboxes often cannot be visably noticed to have the defect until the problem is severe and or may never until tested with professional CO testing equipment or removed from the heater and visually inspected.

If the unit is supected to have a cracked firebox, it should be inspected by a professional only. If found to be defective replacement of the heater is required. Fireboxes are not replaceable as individual parts in most cases and not repairable.

Your question has also been copied into the heating and cooling forum. I did this so additional replies can be obtained from our other professionals. Check that forum also.

Regards & Good Luck, Web Site Host & Multiple Topic Moderator.
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