Furnace heat exchanger


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Old 10-03-01, 01:48 PM
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How can a furnace heat exchanger with a stress crack or hole effect the flame? If so, how can I tell by observing the flame? What shiuld I look for.
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Old 10-03-01, 03:36 PM
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Hello JimT51 and Welcome to the Do It Yourself Web Site and my Gas Appliance forum.

For the purpose of this reply...firebox and heat exchanger are the same.

Your question is an Excellent one?
I have to assume here the furnace in question is a forced air heater. Different methods are used for the different types of heaters.

It also depends on the type of furnace and the design of the firebox. Lots of factors to consider based upon a visual inspection, furnace age, etc.

The problem is there isn't always a positive method using the naked eye, even for the highly trained professional.

It takes a highly trained eye from a person with lots of experience to be able to observe the flame characteristics of a properly burning burner when the heater first fires up and after the fan turns on. This is if the unit is a fan forced warn air furnace.

Basically, your looking for flame distortion near the tip of the flame. However, the distortion may not always be near the top. It can appear anywhere the flame burns inside the firebox.

There just isn't any exact nor proof positive method available to the do-it-yourself person, nor anyway I could accurately discribe each method within the text only format of this forum.

Highly trained professionals could miss the signs themselves. Non professionals should not even attempt to determine if there is a firebox problem. It can be very risky to miss a cracked firebox. Carbon monoxides fumes are the results and are allowed to enter the living area of the home, etc.

This is a task for a professional with a carbon monoxide tester if there is any doubt as to the condition of a firebox. I would suggest you have a service professional make the determination.

Regards & Good Luck
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