reasonable price to replace heat exchanger?

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Old 02-03-07, 11:05 AM
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Question reasonable price to replace heat exchanger?

I have a Goodman GMP 075-3 furnace. The service tech said the heat exchanger is cracked (I can't see it) and it needs replacing. The part will be under warranty, but not the labor. Has anyone had this done and what did it cost? I think the service guy wants a LOT of money for a two hour job (his estimate).
What exactly is it that makes this repair cost more per hour than my lawyer gets?
 
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Old 02-03-07, 01:48 PM
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First, I would get a second estimate. Second, not knowing what your lawyer or the tech charges per hour, I can only think that the "gas" your lawyer spouts is not as likely to blow up your house or kill someone as the gas - both natural and CO - that the tech is working with.
 
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Old 02-03-07, 01:58 PM
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Wink

Like said I dont know what price he gave you. But he does have shipping in there also. I know my insurance to work on LP gas cost more than a Gas station does.
 
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Old 02-03-07, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by goldstar View Post
First, I would get a second estimate. Second, not knowing what your lawyer or the tech charges per hour, I can only think that the "gas" your lawyer spouts is not as likely to blow up your house or kill someone as the gas - both natural and CO - that the tech is working with.
My tech wants about $250 an hour. My lawyer gets $90. I can't see the crack the tech is talking about. Be that as it may, I'm waiting on a second opinion, but it is getting cold in here! The kero heater is warm in three rooms.
Does anyone know how hard it is to replace the heat exchanger? I was told I would never be able to rebuild an automatic transmission, but I did. I took longer than the pro, but the pro also said I did a beautiful job. What is involved? Does it require exotic tools? Or is it just time consuming? Lining up parts to tight tolerances is no problem.
I'm not worried about a gas leak, there is no need to touch any of those parts.
 
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Old 02-03-07, 02:44 PM
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Dont know the unit. BUT most furnaces you just pull the burners, controls and vent pipe out then you can take the heat exchamber right out of the front of the furnace there. Check an see if the inside front panel will come out the front there. You dont have to touch the plenum at all.
 
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Old 02-07-07, 11:20 AM
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Its typical for exchanger cracks to be hard to see when the exchanger has cooled down. I suppose you could fix it or have it fixed yourself as long as the proper braising or welding material is used.

I don't think I would repair mine, but I wouldnt have any hesitation about removing the exchanger.

Did the HVAC tech do a smoke bomb test to see if the exchanger was busted?
 
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Old 02-07-07, 12:24 PM
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If your furnace is indeed under warranty, I really doubt if Goodman would ever furnish you a new heat exchanger for you to install yourself. Liability concerns would prevent them from letting anyone but a trained tech do this kind of job.

You're talking $500 labor to have it replaced? I can't tell you if this is high or not. My mother had a heat exchanger replaced in a 90% efficient Heil, and I believe the labor cost was around $275, but labor costs may be much higher in your part of the country. You can always get another estimate from other Goodman installers.
 
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Old 02-07-07, 07:38 PM
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Exchanger is out

That was easy! I had to remove the air box on top (four 1/4" screws) and push it out of the way (Flexiduct). Then the entire burner/regulator/manifold assembly came out with about 16 screws. The exhaust fan came out with eight. The limit switch assembly came out with six. The exchanger came out with four. All the screws are identical! All the electrical unplugged, plugs only go back in one way. They don't trust their assemblers either! A little over an hour, the hard part being loosening the gas union. I capped the open end of the pipe in case the valve leaks.
I don't see any cracks in the exchanger. I will try putting pressure on it Saturday, maybe ten pounds. I think the little rings that hold the pieces of sheet metal together are missing in a few places, that may cause a leak. Other than that the exchanger looks wonderful! No rust anywhere, so apparently the furnace was sized and installed correctly. I think my neighbor can braze the places where the rings should go. That's good for about nine hundred degrees.
 
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Old 02-08-07, 06:33 PM
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OK I'll ad my $.02 here at the risk of starting a frenzy. First, when it comes to pricing, you can't decide what is "too much " for a company to charge unless you pay their bills. You can only shop for a better deal. It also seems that he "better deal" is just the cheapest price.

Your lawyer doesn't drive his fully stocked office to you to do business.
Your lawyer doesn't do warranty work, if it doesn't work, he tries something else, and you pay again.
Your lawyer hardly ever burns a home down, never worries about CO poisoning or gas leaks.
Your lawyer charges you 90.00 an hour to drive to and from court, for making phone calls about you case, and to research the law for you. You pay for his education each day, by the hour.
You wouldn't watch your lawyer in court and think "That looks easy, I think I'll give it a try."

When you perform a cost breakdown of even a one truck operation, and divide by the amount of billable hours that are available (Average 4 per day) it is astounding at waht must be charged to just break even. Most small operations cost between 200-260 per billable hour. The big companies know this, because they run the numbers.

On top of all this the companies must compete with the guy down the street with the van topping 200k miles, whose wife answers the phone for free. He has no health insurance, no retirement, no workman's comp and at the end of each month can't figure out where the money went. He didn't charge enough for the job in the first place, so if it don't work he ain't a coming back.

The "rings" that you found are called eyelets & they hold the heat exchanger together. Your exchanger has been stressed and should be replaced. I have 2 Goodman heat exchangers on order at the moment, cracking is what they do best.

Don't try to fix the exchanger, a professional wouldn't do it. Please don't think you know better. Replace it or get a new furnace. The thing only cost $350 to begin with.
Sorry if I offended, but I had to say it.
 
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Old 02-10-07, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by HVACGuy View Post
OK I'll ad my $.02 here at the risk of starting a frenzy. First, when it comes to pricing, you can't decide what is "too much " for a company to charge unless you pay their bills. You can only shop for a better deal. It also seems that he "better deal" is just the cheapest price.

Your lawyer doesn't drive his fully stocked office to you to do business.
Your lawyer doesn't do warranty work, if it doesn't work, he tries something else, and you pay again.
Your lawyer hardly ever burns a home down, never worries about CO poisoning or gas leaks.
Your lawyer charges you 90.00 an hour to drive to and from court, for making phone calls about you case, and to research the law for you. You pay for his education each day, by the hour.
You wouldn't watch your lawyer in court and think "That looks easy, I think I'll give it a try."

When you perform a cost breakdown of even a one truck operation, and divide by the amount of billable hours that are available (Average 4 per day) it is astounding at waht must be charged to just break even. Most small operations cost between 200-260 per billable hour. The big companies know this, because they run the numbers.

On top of all this the companies must compete with the guy down the street with the van topping 200k miles, whose wife answers the phone for free. He has no health insurance, no retirement, no workman's comp and at the end of each month can't figure out where the money went. He didn't charge enough for the job in the first place, so if it don't work he ain't a coming back.

The "rings" that you found are called eyelets & they hold the heat exchanger together. Your exchanger has been stressed and should be replaced. I have 2 Goodman heat exchangers on order at the moment, cracking is what they do best.

Don't try to fix the exchanger, a professional wouldn't do it. Please don't think you know better. Replace it or get a new furnace. The thing only cost $350 to begin with.
Sorry if I offended, but I had to say it.
Well put HVACGuy. I'm also a small contractor but I do know the costs involved and bill accordingly. I'm in Canada and here they won't allow a reweld of a heat exchanger in a residential application(only commercial) risk is too great.
 
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Old 02-10-07, 07:36 PM
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Short & to the point

Rhinoguy:
It's your heater, your house, & possibily your funeral. Do what you want.
 
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