Furnace Baffle


Old 01-30-03, 07:34 AM
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Furnace Baffle

I had the furnace guy come out to do a check-up on my furnace. He told me that the flue baffle in my heating chamber is hanging when it should be welded horizontally.

He informed me that this could not be fixed and the only resolution is to purchase a new furnace. I find it hard to believe I have to spend thousands of dollars when this should be a $10 part.

Does this sound believable? Can I fix the baffle? What if I just remove the baffle? He told me that the purpose of the baffle is to keep too much heat from going into the chimney and that the furnace would be inefficient without the baffle.

My furnace is a 1980 Williamson 1117 Highboy Gas furnace.
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Old 01-30-03, 04:18 PM
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i would

call another tech and get his opinion. 22 years old tells me efficiency and reliability may be below standard, am not familiar with williamson enough to avvise on the baffle, but we had one in the 70's, when i was a kid, a 5 in 1, good unit, as we never needed repairs, just a yearly service.
Old 01-30-03, 06:23 PM
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I've been around a few Williamson Furances myself. Williason use the "Wraparound" design heat exchanger.

There is a small baffle inside the middle heat exchanger. Did you see for yourself what the baffle looks like? If not, there is a a couple of ways to look in. Remove the Silver door that has a peek hole to see the flame, and shine a flash light and a mirror and look for yourself.

Wish I could post a picture of the heat exchanger.


This picture is the lowboy, and Oil. Yours would be with out the oil gun, and the blower will be under the heat exchanger.

Does yours have a single opening with a single burner that has a bowl shape burner?

If this guy is saying the baffle is hanging on it's own, Does he mean the 2nd heat exchanger that wraps around and exhast to the front?

Williamson Furances are good furnaces, and last a long time. My parents just retired thiers a few years ago for a new one.. There was nothing wrong with thier Williasmson. it just was undersized for the largly added on two story home.

My grandparents stil got the 5-in-1 and still working like a charm!

So, check for yourself DWS, or call in another guy and see what he has to say.

Keep us posted on what happens! ;-)
Old 01-31-03, 03:05 AM
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Thanks for the link Jay!

I dug around the website and found out that Willaimson is a unit of Weil-McClain. Phone # for Williamson is 1-800-736-2378. Perhaps calling them directly and presenting your situation to a tech rep type person would yield an accurate answer. My gut reaction is you should be able to continue to use the furnace, but I don't really know enough about that design to give you a soilid answer. We're all curious to hear what they say.
Old 01-31-03, 05:42 AM
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The old coal and oil furnaces used to have a baffle that did what yours does. Just to prevent the free flow of gases toward the chimney. It disrupts flow and forces more contact with the heat exchanger. The oil ones were the size of a pizza pan and they were suspended by a chain roght over the combustion chamber. Sometimes they would burn away or the chain would break. The only problem that caused was when the 20 lb. plate came crashing down into the combustion chamber. We would pull it out and clean up the mess and start the unit up again. Some ran for years without the baffle. No big deal. It might save 5% of your heating bill. Maybe. So if you took 5% of your annual bill and figured how long it would take to pay for a new furnace out of that savings, you would be lucky to be alive (old age) by the time you got return on investment. Usually it is a burn through on the heat exchanger that requires replacement or some major mechanical expense.
Old 01-31-03, 08:03 AM
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I called Williamson today to satisfy my own curiosity. They described the heat exchanger design as probably being shaped like a tall can with the baffle suspended above the burners and tack welded at 4 [or possible more] points around the heat exchanger. Their concern is, if the welds have broken away, it could leave a hole in the heat exchanger at that spot. They wouldn't commit to saying that, if the heat exchanger is intact, then it would be ok to continue to use the furnace. I'm inclined to agree with KField, if the heat exchanger isn't compromised, just continue to use it as is. A second opinion and very close examination of the heat exhanger might be in order.
Old 01-31-03, 06:34 PM
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Thumbs up Your welcome Bigjohn!

I found that link last spring when I was serching on Williamson.

I've been a big fan of the Williamson Line when I was younger. I've dreamed of being a Williamson Dealer myself, and have a "FULL" showroom with every model set up!

I would have a Gas-Saver set up and running on the sales floor showing people the dual stage heating it has to offer! Yes, they had them back then!

My dad used to work for a Williamson Dealer in the 70's, and I tagged along with him a few times when they installed them.. I recalled when both side of my grandparents got thier "Oil-Saver" installed.. Piece by piece! It was a HUGE unit. but it did it's job for them!

My parents had to retire thier 20years old "Temo-O-Matic" 5 years ago since it was way undersized for new 2 story added on

My dad's parents has a "5-in-1" put in the mid 80's when they moved to town from the farm. The 5-in-1 was my dream furnace to have in my home! (Still is if they still made them!!! LOL)

Looking at the web sight, the Oil is the same style as the older Williamson.... But, not the gas, and A/C unit.. I wonder who makes them??

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