Webster M34DJ-3 Fuel Pump


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Old 02-03-08, 02:39 PM
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Webster M34DJ-3 Fuel Pump

Hello,

I have a Carrier oil burning furnace [Model #58BMA105-12] with a Beckett AFG Burner. I had it installed 12 years ago and after an increasing level of service calls up to 2-3 service calls per year, for the last four years, from the different companies in the phone book, I said enough is enough!

I have been reading books and watching DVD's and trying to learn about my furnace. After reading and studying for three months, I had the furnace cleaned out professionally, and purchased a Bacharach combustion kit #5022 and did my own tune up for the first time this year. This was the first time any testing equipment had been put on the furnace since I have had it--including the intial set-up/installation.

So far so good! The furnace is not sooting up and it is still running well at -.01 over the fire and -.03 in the stack with a trace of smoke, and stack temp of 455 degrees.

And, maybe I'm going overboard now but as I continue to try to learn and check my system to know that it is running properly I am now working on the area of the fuel pump.

It is a Webster M34DJ-3 single stage fuel pump. I have read online that these are know for being noisey and producing a pulsating noise; however, I am hearing a whining noise coming from this pump. It comes and goes. I've read that air in the line can be the cause of this. But, here are my questions:

1.) Can anyone confirm that Webster pumps are known for this pulsating noise?

2.) I am looking at the Westwood T-10 pressure gauge kit and the T-15 vacuum gauge kit, can anyone comment on the quality of these kits or suggest another?

3.) One of my DVD's from "The Boilerman" says that this type of Webster pump does not have a strainer in it to clean out . . . does this mean there is no maintenance on the pump?

I am excited to have learned what I have so far, but I can see that there is much more to learn about this system.

Thank you very much for your time and patience.

--Rick
 
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Old 02-03-08, 03:51 PM
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Webster

I suggest you replace the pump with a Suntec A2VA-7116. Websters are notorious for pulsing & being noiser than the Suntec. Usually once they start to whine, presuming there is no restriction in the fuel system, they are on their way out. There is no screen thus no user serviceable parts.

You can buy the fancy gauges if you want but a 200 or 300# gauge from a plumbing supply or home center & a couple of adaptors will work just as well. Same is true for a vacuum gauge. In fact, there should be a vacuum gauge installed on a 10 micron, spin on fuel filter which would be preceeded by a felt or polyester can type filter.
 
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Old 02-03-08, 05:27 PM
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That's super Grady! Thanks so much for making that so easy. I have the pump you suggested in my cart at Patriot Supply right now.

And, at this point I am wondering if you might have part numbers for the strainer and cover gasket so I can order some of these for future tune ups?

Thanks again,
Rick

GO GIANTS! (Can you tell I'm getting hooked on working on my furnace? . . . I'm thinking about it as much as the Super Bowl right now )

PS I notice the Suntech that you suggested has a RH rotation, so I assume you can tell by my Webster numbers that that is what I need for my unit?
 
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Old 02-03-08, 06:07 PM
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Pump

If you thought that was easy.

All Beckett AFG burners using a single stage pump can use the A2VA-7116.

Here's a link to the replacement screen & gasket:
http://patriot-supply.com/products/showitem.cfm/4379
 
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Old 02-03-08, 06:33 PM
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Thanks so much Grady, you are a champ! I hope to talk with you again here in the future.

I noticed that my f-3 combustion head was loose on the left side of my air tube when I did my first tune up this year. The area around the screw hole is burned away on the air tube.

When the furnace man replaced the heat exchanger three years ago he replaced the air tube then because it was burned away. I already have the air tube combination here from Patriot waiting to installed.

Now, I since I am going to change out the fuel pump, I think I might try to make it to the end of the heating season and then pull the whole burner out and recondition the whole thing.

Thanks again very much,
Rick
 
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Old 02-03-08, 06:42 PM
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Heat Exchanger

Before you go thowing a bunch of money at that furnace, you should be made aware of the fact that furnace, I believe, was actually made by Ducane. If you can post a picture of the data plate, I can probably tell for sure.
They have a bad reputation for cracking. Often burned air tubes are an indication. Very rarely do I fire these furnaces at their rated capacity.
 
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Old 02-04-08, 05:07 AM
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Very impressive Grady[!]--you are batting a thousand here. As I look on the plate [below] I see the name "Ducane" as you have suggested (and as you can see it is positioned in the downflow position):


[IMG]aolemb://FD14A518-3669-4D82-BAB2-50F0A714F43B/Furnace%202.JPG[/IMG]


*NOTE: Working on posting photos at present (I don't see the 'manage attachments' button at the bottom of my composition page that the DIY FAQ section speaks of)

**NOTE: Now I see under posting rules at the lower left of my composition screen that I may not post attachments. Possibly, there is a feature that a moderator could enable for me to do this?


But, now that you have given me a heads-up on this (for which many thanks), I find that I have become more apprehensive about my mission here with my furnace.

After researching the different furnaces on the market along the way on this recent journey, I think after what you have shared with me, if I could afford it now, I would go out and try to locate a furnace man who seems sharp and one who sells "Thermo-Pride" furnaces.

But, since this is not an option at the present, I am wondering about the following now please:

1.) Do you think I may be fighting a losing battle here with my existing 12 year old Carrier/Ducane furnace? (After realizing that I had a draft problem too, I just piped in outside air after taking draft readings. I have put in a lot of work analyzing/thinking . . . researching/diagnosing . . . and providing remedies. I feel like I have the draft right in my house now and the burner running better than it ever has; but, now you have me worried that I might not be able to overcome the "Ducane" problem(s).

2.) Could you possibly bring me up to speed on any other problems besides the heat exchanger cracking that these furnaces have a reputation for?


Thanks again Grady. Obviously, I this was not the news I was hoping to hear, but I thank you for your honesty and straight shooting. I wish you lived here in my neck of the woods, here in Ohio (and sold Thermo-Pride) . . . something tells me you are popular in your neck of the woods.

--Rick
 

Last edited by Rick's Furnace; 02-04-08 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 02-04-08, 09:53 AM
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Help Please

I just smelled oil coming from my furnace and I noticed a fuel oil leak on the fuel pump coming from the screw that adjusts the pump pressure.

I shut off the furnace (because it will leak right on to the pipe coming from the heat exhanger) and cleaned the area with some alcohol and then put some silicone bathroom caulk in the hole on top of the screw.

I have no heat now.

I am going to see about getting a new pump sent overnight air from Patriot Supply after typing this post. So, I'll be doing the repair tomorrow hopefully.

Can anyone tell me what brand of pipe dope to get for the threads when I put in the new one?

Thanks so much,
Rick
 
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Old 02-04-08, 02:53 PM
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Pump, etc.

When installing the new pump, I suggest #2 Permatex (available at any auto parts store) on the pipe threads of the fittings. Almost any dope will do, really. Just avoid anything with Teflon in it & use the dope sparingly.

Odd you should mention Thermo-Pride. My employer does indeed sell them & they are not as expensive as you might think. Generally speaking, they run about 25-30% more than your run of the mill oil fired furnace. Sometimes not that much.

I do indeed think you are fighting a loosing battle with the Ducane. One bright spot in your otherwise gloomy situation:
With the furnace being only 12 years old, it should still be under warranty & United Technologies, who owns Carrier, is or was offering a substantial discount on a new furnace because of the Ducane headaches. It's worth looking into.

Just so you are aware, Carrier, Bryant, Payne, Day & Night, Heil, Comfortmaker, & Tempstar are all owned by UTC. A few years ago, UTC bought Detson(?), (a Canadian manufacturer) & now uses their heat exchangers which so far seem to be superior to the Ducane.

If your house is typical, the furnace is WAY over sized for the heat loss & the ductwork is too small causing a double whammy for the heat exchanger.
 
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Old 02-04-08, 03:25 PM
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Thanks again for bringing me up to speed Grady!

And, again you are correct. I have found out after the fact that my furnace with the 105,000 Btu input should have been been 72,000. I am short cycling with my burner cycle running about 5 mins at a time.

I just read on the label this morning [if I'm reading it correctly] that I can swap out my .75 x .70H for an alternative nozzle .65 x .70H and take my Btu's from 105k down to 72k.

Funny you should mention this today as I was just considering doing this when I put on the new fuel pump and when I break out my combustion kit again.

Is it this simple to just change nozzles and re-adjust my burner and then I have gone from 105k to 72k?

Thanks again,
Rick

PS Now I am becoming motivated to call Carrier to see about a discount.
 
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Old 02-04-08, 04:55 PM
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Nozzle swap

Generally, .75gph is considered the lower end of the firing range for the F3 end cone but Beckett's OEM Spec Guide says for 75,000 you can use a .50 x 70 Hollow nozzle. A .65nozzle would give you an input of about 91K. There should also be a low firing rate baffle installed (should be there with the .75 nozzle as well). You will have to cut back on the air a fair bit. I suggest starting about #4 on the shutter with the bulk band closed.
NOTE: The spec guide also says the end cone should have a fiber heat shield on it.

P.S. I forgot earilier to answer your question about photos. The easiest way is to post them on photobucket.com or similar site & provide a link here.
 

Last edited by Grady; 02-04-08 at 04:57 PM. Reason: More Info
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Old 02-04-08, 05:10 PM
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Before I go to photobucket to sign-up, I wonder if I can keep going with this without wearing out my welcome--this is so fantastic.

I think my last question before I do the fuel pump is about the pressure gauge. I didn't order the fancy gauge from Patriot with the pump . . . instead, I went to Lowes today and came back empty handed.

The DVD's I have show taking a regular $7.00 pressure gauge and then getting a 90 degree piece and what "The Boilerman" called a 'flare-fitting' and plumbing this up so that it can be connected right to the high pressure fuel line. He just unhooked the fuel line from the burner and tightend it on to the gauge he made.

I found the gauge and the 90 degree piece, but they didin't have anything like the flare fitting (which resemebles the threaded end with the coming out of the chasis from the nozzle/electrode assembly.

I then went to a plumbing supply house who said nope, and the to two automotive stores who couldn't help with this.

Does this sound like I'm on the right track here with this. I'm afraid my parts will arrive but I won't have a gauge to check things out to make sure they are correct.

Thanks again--this doesn't seem adequate to keep saying thanks for the high value that you are sharing with me--so kind.

Rick

PS I have a new nozzle/electrode assembly in my air tube combo waiting to go in . . . I wonder if I took off the nozzel on the one end, and then took of the electrodes and static plate, if I could plumb up the $7.00 gauge this way?
 
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Old 02-04-08, 05:46 PM
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Gauge

When you get your new pump, it will not have any fittings. Just take out the ones from the old pump & put in the new.
If your gauge is 1/4" male pipe thread (most are), you need a 1/4 x 1/8 reducing coupling (also called a bell reducer) or a 1/4" coupling and a 1/4 x 1/8 bushing. Into the bell or bushing you will need to screw a 1/8 male pipe x 3/16" flare adaptor. You can use either a straight or 90 fitting. (This is the same fitting that screws into the high pressure port of the pump.) From there you can connect directly to the 3/16 line which comes off the pump & goes to the nozzle assembly.

If your gauge happens to be 1/8" male pipe thread, just use a 1/8" coupling & flare adaptor.
 
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Old 02-04-08, 06:24 PM
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I will try another plumbing supply house tomorrow and I'll take you post with me when I go--hopefully, I can get this gauge put together then.

Otherwise, I think I owe you about 1000 cups of coffee by now Or, possibly, I could have you out to go fishing in Ohio . . . actually you may know that I'm kidding becuase in most of the state of Ohio going fishing can be a pretty painful experience--not the best fishing in the country here in my neck of the woods anyway.

Hopefully, I will be back in a day or so to report a success story here and then possibly, after a mild celebration, there can be some more discussion about lowering the Btu's. I ordered a couple of .65 x 70 hollow Delavan's with this in mind. Possibly, I can step down here and see how it goes, and then consider moving to the .50 gal per hour or not.

Maybe we will be the first ones, in the history of mankind, to get a Ducane to run right!!! Or, maybe I have just had too much coffee today

Thanks again,
Rick

PS You know, I think I remember something about this last heat exchanger they installed being made in Canada as you say.
 
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Old 02-04-08, 06:42 PM
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Gauge/Nozzles

Take your gauge with you as well as the small (3/16) copper line. Just tell the man "I have to get from here to here" or "I need to make this gauge fit this line without altering the line".
It's a lot easier when someone can see what you are trying to do.

While you are at the plumbing supply house, pick up a couple of .50 x 70 hollow nozzles as well.

They still make a few of those heat exchangers for warranty replacements but to actually buy one the price is crazy. You can very nearly buy a whole furnace for the price of a heat exchanger.
 
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Old 02-05-08, 10:24 AM
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Grady--First, the easy part . . . I couldn't sign on to photobucket because I don't have a cell phone.

Secondly, would you believe I went to four supply houses in my area, and a Grainger's and no one could help me. I gave them your post to read and that solved the communication problem, they all knew exactly what I wanted but all of them except Grainger's didn't have the 3/16" flare fitting/adapter. They all had some that were larger; but, none that small. Grainger's could order me one this size but it would come in a pack of ten for $38.00 (couldn't sell one separately).

So, I went to another supply house not close to my house and found out that what is being taught now is that there is a pressure gauge made that matches exactly the fine threads of the nozzle adapter. One distributor of these is Mitco [part # P125-M]. It sells for $9.80. Supposedly, one teacher, the son of the inventor of the Webster pump is teaching in seminars that you get your most accurate reading this way.

The idea is to take out the nozzle/electrode assembly and then reinstall it in a vertical position so that it comes out the chassis and is perpendicular to the burner . . . so that when you pull the transformer back it is sticking out the top of the hole (hopefully that makes sense). But, the idea is to position the nozzle/electrode assembly this way and attach the gauge where the nozzle goes and turn on the furnace for the most accurate reading.

All things considered after my two days of trying to put together and inexpensive gauge, and being unsuccessful . . . I jumped at the chance to get this $9.80 gauge that is supposed to represent the cutting edge thinking.

The bad news is that it won't be here for two days. So while my parts will be here special delivery today, I still won't have the gauge till Thurs.

The silicone seems to be doing the job where I filled the cavity over top the pressure adjustment screw; however, I am anxious to get this fixed. I'm not happy about the fact that if it would start leaking again it would drip onto a hot pipe coming out of the heat exchanger area.

Interestingly enough the WHINE that I initially complained of has disappeared since I put the silicone in this cavity . . . so this was the problem.

And, also just for the record, I called Webster Pumps and talked to a very helpful man named Curt who told me there is an O-ring behind the adjusting screw that may have gone bad. He generously offered to put a new O-ring and adjusting screw in an envelope and send it to me at no charge. I took him up on that.

Even though this Webster has an annoying pulsating noise (that it is known for I guess) I am tempted to try replacing that screw and O-ring to see if this takes care of the original problem.

Patriot has a great return policy (although I'd be out the shipping), so I dunno. I could keep it if the new screw works for my planned burner refurbishing in the very near future.

I know we said this is probably a lost cause . . . BUT, I'm not so sure the last furnace tech doesn't have the air tube that he replaced last time sticking out into the chamber a bit, and this is why it burned off on the one side.

Over all my furnace is not sooting up any more and it is staying like I adjusted it from the last tune up. Call me crazy, but what if I work this down to the 91k Btu or the 72kBtu and it quits short cycling and runs well? Possibly, with your help that you have already given here (along with a bit more as I try smaller nozzles) we would be placed into the Book of Guinness Records as the only men to ever get a Ducane to run right in the history of the world !/?

On one hand, I am glad to be giving this a go and to be making what I feel are improvements in things since I tried DIY, as I said no techs ever talked to me about bringing in outside combustion air--I had to research that and learn that for myself. But, on the other hand, I am also glad I am not making a living at this based on the amount of hours it is taking me to diagnose and apply remedies. All in all though it is very rewarding to figure these things out and make the necessary repairs/changes, and if I was honest it is fun at this stage (as long as I don't burn my house down that is). And, also ultimately when I think back to how much money I have spent on so called service calls in the past years, I might be making/saving more per hour than I realize. So there is both money savings and satisfaction here, not to mention that this is making my wife happy . . . if I can make it to the end of the heating season this will be the first year in several years that we didn't wake up in the middle of the night realizing that that 'darn' furnace has konked out again!

Did I tell you that last year I paid $129.00 x 3 service calls ($390) for so called techs to come and change the canister filter and nozzle and wipe the crud off the electrodes each time it konked out? After finding out I can buy the filters for $2 each and the nozzles for $3 each this was when I started studying about furnaces.

Well I'm rambling now so I better go . . . I think I'm just happy to have found a gauge at this point!

One day at a time,
Rick
 
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Old 02-05-08, 11:28 AM
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Village Photos works as well as Photo bucket and has an easier sign-on.

http://www.villagephotos.com/

Grady, don't they have the 1/4 inch (or maybe it was 1/8 inch) pipe plug gauge port on fuel pumps anymore?
 
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Old 02-05-08, 11:46 AM
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Thanks very much for the info about Village Photos Furd! I'll check them out this evening.

I also wondered about the gauge port on top of my pump. I looked at the Webster and then the Suntec field guides and I came away with the impression that this port was just for vacuum gauges and the nozzle port or nozzle line needed to be used for pressure checks; but, possibly one can check pressure at the gauge port that you refer to?


Thanks again,
Rick
 
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Old 02-05-08, 12:35 PM
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It's been about twenty years since I've even looked at a domestic oil burner pump but back then they had two "suction" ports where you could use one port for the incoming fuel line and the other was either plugged or for a vacuum gauge. Then they had the port for the pressure gauge, the pressure adjustment screw (under a removable cap) and the fuel outlet connection under the pressure cut-off valve.
 
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Old 02-05-08, 03:36 PM
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Gauge Ports

Both Suntec & Webster have 1/8" pressure ports. In order to install the gauge, you will need to extend the gauge otherwise it will probably hit the burner body when you try to screw it in. To extend the gauge, presuming you already have the coupling or bell reducer, you will need about a 3 or 4" long 1/8" pipe nipple.

Sorry, I don't believe the hype about the "new" pressure gauge. Static pressure is static pressure regardless of where it is measured. The best measurement you can get is a flowing pressure. In most residential applications you won't see a difference in static & flowing pressure. Only once you start to get near the capacity of the pump is there any real difference. Your gauge is probably +/- 5-10# anyway.

There are Ducanes out there 25-30 years old & running fine but they are few & far between, especially in horizontal or downflow applications.
 
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Old 02-06-08, 04:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Grady

Sorry, I don't believe the hype about the "new" pressure gauge. Static pressure is static pressure regardless of where it is measured. The best measurement you can get is a flowing pressure. In most residential applications you won't see a difference in static & flowing pressure. Only once you start to get near the capacity of the pump is there any real difference. Your gauge is probably +/- 5-10# anyway.
That's a very good point Grady--static pressure is static pressure. And, drawing on your experience with residential applications to see there is little difference between flowing pressure and static pressure, I feel good about the way this is going. Hopefully, my new gauge will come in tomorrow and I can move forward with this project.

In the meantime, as I consider what you have said in the following:


There are Ducanes out there 25-30 years old & running fine but they are few & far between, especially in horizontal or downflow applications.
Along with the fact that I am planning to scale the Btu input back on my Ducane, I think I might not be ready to abandon ship here. Last night I got my instruments out to take some readings--so that I can compare these to before and after new pump install to see if there is any difference--and observed that I was still in good shape from my last tune up (which was the first tune-up I ever did):

-.01 over the fire

trace of smoke (#1 smoke)

500 degree stack temp


The smoke did go up just a bit, I had it set very precisely right inbetween zero smoke and #1 smoke [1/2 smoke if you will]. But, the point I'm trying to make here is that my numbers are holding good and when I look in the inspection port I don't see any sooting up there--everything is all clean, I can see the threads on the bolts.

So I'm wondering if after much research/learning and a degree of grief, IF I am not on the verge of having this thing set up correctly so that it might be on of the minority of Ducanes that runs well and lasts (even though it is a downflow).

And, I don't want to throw a monkey wrench into the works here at this point, but I was re-reading the label on the furnace and I'm not so sure that it isn't indicating that this furnace may have come with a Ducane burner (if there is such a thing?) I'll try again to get my photos up for you to see what I mean about this, so we can settle this once and for all.

I wish there was a way to change the title of this thread to Carrier/Ducane Oil Furnace or something similar because what is being developed here could bring about some real discovery for others who might be in my position with their furnaces.

On one hand, what I have done (and am still doing with your help) are things that any trained/competent tech or owner of a HVAC company should have talked to me about years ago viz. putting gauges on the unit and using test equipment during the initial install and burner set-up and every year after that . . . as well as house pressurization or the lack of it and the bringing in of outside air for combustion air, as well as possibly another source for make-up air. And, aside from the fact that none of these HVAC companies ever put any test equipment on it or talked to about the "V" part of HVAC, aside from the fact that my Btu input is sky high, and aside from the fact that I have spent over $3,000 in attempts to make my $1700 dollar furnace run correctly. But, on the other hand, these furnaces have a bad reputation.

And, I am reminded of when I was younger and would shoot cheap guns. Especially the revolvers. Cheap guns were not precision intruments, you could shoot them all day without haveing to clean them, they had wide tolerances. But, when I got my first Smith and Wesson revolver I was surprised. I took it out the first day and ran two boxes of shells (wadcutters-cheap shells made for 'burning powder'), my new expensive pistol jammed up. I could **** it or work the action, it wouldn't shoot. So I took it back to the dealer where I bought it and he looked at it and said, "It's all dirty, you need to clean it and keep it clean." I thought he was giving me a line and didn't know what he was talking about becuase I was used to cheap guns that you could shoot all day long. But, I cleaned the gun and it worked fine, and I checked with S & W and found out that he was correct.

So I'm not saying the Ducane is a precision instrument by any means, actually it sounds like a bad design for sure. But, what I am wondering out loud is if it is possible that there is a very low tolerance or a very low range of conditions whereby the Ducane will operate efficiently and be a long lasting furnace?

Possibly, if the Ducane is set up correctly by the installer (which includes a taking into account of the big picture of the home), and if it is maintained/monitored properly by competent techs who actually have a combusition kit, then maybe its not going to be any different than any other furnace. But, UNLIKE other brands that may be designed better, and can be just thrown in without being set up in any way (regardless of the fact that it is the wrong size and there is not enough combusition air) and then the installer runs out the door, only to be followed up by a tech who comes in the following year to change the nozzle and filter and then run out the door, one cannot get away with this level of incompetence/sloth with a Ducane. Like the Smith and Wesson pistol, it has to be properly maintained and to a greater degree some other pistols, otherwise folks are going to say that Smith and Wesson pistol is a piece of junk!

My metaphors/analogies are bordeline mixed here and not spot-on; however, possibly there are points made all the same?

Thanks again very much,
Rick

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2008-...nace1Small.JPG

http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2008-...nace2Small.JPG
 

Last edited by Rick's Furnace; 02-06-08 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 02-06-08, 05:07 AM
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***Note: In the two links to the photos I added to my last post, one is the label.

It is hard to read, but under where it says R.G. Beckett on the chart that shows alternate nozzles for alternate input, you can read the name Ducane, and then it gives alternate nozzle and input for this as it does the Beckett burner. It almost seems like this section of the label is saying if you have a Beckett burner they here are your options; but, if you have a Ducane burner then here are your options.
 
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Old 02-06-08, 03:11 PM
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Carrier/Ducane

Rick,
Thanks for the photos. That furnace is worse than I thought, sorry. It was not right when it left the factory, nor will it ever be. Don't throw any more money at it than you absolutely have to & get rid of it as soon as you can. This is not the design of which I was thinking. I don't know under what other names it was sold other than Carrier & Janitrol. I don't think they even sold it under the Ducane brand.

I'm primarily a shotgunner myself but I know what you mean about the quality of firearms. All I buy now are Italian autoloaders, Beretta & Bennelli. I do have a Browning over & under but it is the most meat hungry thing I've ever shot. To reduce the recoil the gun now weighs 10# & still more than about 25 targets & I'm suffering. The really sad part is I shoot better with it than my autos.
 
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Old 02-06-08, 06:18 PM
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Sounds like you have some great guns Grady! Actually you are more in league with my father in law with what you have shared. When I visit him in Washington State we go out back and I get a taste of the good life with some of his high dollar over and unders. I will spill the beans and let you know that here in Ohio I'm a side-by-side man with my prized postion a Savage/Stevens 20 gauge that I've had since I kid. I ordered a new stock and beavertail forearm when I was a younger and carved both the grip and forearm to fit my hands. So possibly you can see what you are dealing with here as it relates to my gun slinging skills I do okay in the woods/fields with small game; but, put me inbetween the high house and the low house and I might as well be throwing my shells at those 'darn' pigeons!

But, anyway back to my ongoing nightmare with my furnace. This is going from bad to worse. Thanks again for the heads up on this. I wonder if you could be a little more specific about why I need to drop this one like a hot potatoe please?

In the meantime, hopefully my gauge will arrive tommorrow and I can at least sleep better at night not having to worry about an oil leak.

Thanks again,
Rick
 
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Old 02-06-08, 06:45 PM
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Specifics

That furnace works so-so to OK in the upflow configuration but in the downflow, as much as I hate to say this, it's junk & I'm not one to refer to equipment in such a manner. I'll beat up on a poor installation in a heartbeat. Look at where the vent pipe is in relation to the burner. You know as well as I, hot gases don't want to go down. They want to go up.

When I first saw one of these, it was a very cold day in January & I had to install it. It was the only downflow furnace we could get & the existing furnace was split wide open. I read, re-read, re-re-read the install manual & then called the distributor just knowing the heat exchanger had to be flipped 180. But nope, that's the way it's made. That furnace was nothing but trouble & after about 5 years it was scrapped & replaced.

Odd you mention high & low houses. Skeet is my game. I shoot anything from my OLD 870 with a 20" smooth bore slug barrel to the Browning with 34" barrells. When I shoot the Browning, I get always get comments like; "Why do even put shells in it? You ought to just reach out & break the target with the barrel." but I enjoy it & that's what it's all about.
 
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Old 02-07-08, 02:09 AM
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Grady, you touched upon a point I wanted to cover with this when you say in the following:



I read, re-read, re-re-read the install manual & then called the distributor just knowing the heat exchanger had to be flipped 180. But nope, that's the way it's made.
This is something that I have been unclear about. Because the Furnace DVD's and things I have read show that:

1.) The burner goes into the "combustion chamber" which is lined with fire brick or made of a molded material.

2.) Then from the combustion chamber the flame tips/heat go into the "heat exchanger" made of steel.

However, in mine . . . http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2008-...nace2Small.JPG


1.) When I look into the inspection door under the burner when it is running I see no brick or molded material but only steel/metal, and nuts and bolts.

2.) I haven't had the two clean-out ports off the bottom section yet, the ones on either side of the vent pipe, so I don't know what material is in there.

But, my question is, why is there no brick or molded material in the combustion chamber on this one, but only steel?

Thanks again,
Rick

PS Just have to get in a little more gun talk. Picturing one swinging one's Browning with a 34" barrel, and reading of your 870 reminds me of the first time I tried skeet. I was 17 years old, and I actually wanted an old model 870 but couldn't afford one, so I got a Mossberg 20 gauge pump with a vent rib. This gun had a 28" barrel and I thought I was swinging a howitzer around with that one (as my friends howled at my futile attempts to break a bird with it), let alone a 34" shotgun! Actually, as I remember it, halfway through my stations I just wanted that to be over with and this is actually the very time I was referring to when I commented before about feeling like I might as well be throwing my shells at the targets as to put them in the gun and pull the trigger. But, this is starting to sound too much like a Patrick McManus article so I better quit!

PPSS It was a different story with that Mossberg when we went over to shoot trap though! Vengeance was mine. :mask:
 

Last edited by Rick's Furnace; 02-07-08 at 03:01 AM.
  #27  
Old 02-08-08, 06:28 PM
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Combustion Chamber

In some furnaces there is no refractory material (brick or moulded ceramic fiber) only a steel chamber which sometimes has a refractory disc on the inside of the back. This disc is refered to as a "target wall".
If memory serves me right, your furnace does have a moulded ceramic fiber chamber into which the burner fires. You could see it if you pulled the burner. Again depending upon my memory, I believe if you removed the vent pipe you would see a series of oval tubes. To clean this furnace properly, you need to remove the vent pipe, two cleanout covers, that panel to which is attached the vent pipe & cleanouts. I think you will find you can't get to all the tubes thru the vent pipe opening (breech) or the cleanouts & have to remove panel held on by about 20 screws having a 3/8" hex head.
Doing all of this is not something I would suggest without confirming via a service manual.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 07:18 PM
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After reading my service manual, which has a pretty detailed section on disassembly and cleaning of the heat exchanger and reassembly, it appears your memory here is pretty good!

I might bet you one of the thousand cups of coffee that I owe you that my combustion chamber doesn't have any refractory material in it (or molded fibre) though . I can see the lower part pretty well through the inspection door and all I see is steel. I guess there could be material up higher that I can't see through the door however.

And, I think I might be going in a couple of directions here at once; but, along with the desire to make this one work I have started the process again of finding a new furnace so that I can examine all my options from a place of knowing. So far I have talked to three HVAC companies and have the following:

Thermo-Pride $4,500

Williamson $3,000

Trane $2,750

I have thought recently that the Thermo-Pride was the one to buy as I entertained the thought of looking again. But, I have to admit this Williamson has got my attention. Actually there is a multi-position Williamson that doesn't have doors on it that he could install for $2,500. The Williamson has a thicker cabinet than the Thermo-Pride and the heat exchanger is 14 gauge as opposed to the 13 gauge Thermo-Pride exchanger. And, after looking at the Williamson and its dark green cabinet, it reminds me of the furnace that was in the house when we moved here. That furnace was probably the one that came with the house in the 60's, and I remember it as being very thick/heavy and dark green. It worked perfectly fine when I got rid of it. I let my neighbor talk me into this new "Carrier" because he said I would save so much money in oil each year. I was trying to be smart and purchase a new one with my tax refund that year. But, as you can see the joke was on me with my Janitrol junk or Ducane disaster or whatever it is. One of the men that I talked to thought he was familiar with my furnace as being a problem, but when we looked to see if it said "Canada" anywhere on the label and couldn't find it, he wasn't too sure what I had.

Another man pointed out that my rectangular shaped rain cover that fits over my fake brick chimney is only about 3" over the top of the peak of my roof. He said that that should be 2' over the roof and that this could explain why I had an oil smell in the house this past week when the weather got mild and I tried to run my dryer at the same time as the furnace.

My pressure gauge didn't come in this week like it was supposed to, but, I am thinking it is possible that after I put these new parts on that I have for the burner and lower the Btu's with a smaller nozzle then I will have done all I can for this situation except for the flew/chimney. So my attention will be turning in that direction in the near future. Even if I get a new furnace, I want to make sure this area is correct.

But, again, whether you want to call me the eternal optimist or a real glutton for punishment, there is a part of me that would love to make this Sanford and Son Furnace Company product work and run for another 13 years.

Thank you,
Rick
 
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Old 02-08-08, 07:32 PM
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Chamber/Furnaces

Williamson used to be a very good piece of equipment but from what I've heard they ain't so good no more. Strictly hear-say. No first hand experience.

Trane--Made under contract by Thermo-Pride but not the same animal by any means.

You might want to look at Hallmark. After Thermo-Pride it would be my second choice.

Stay away from anything "multi-position". Ain't no such thing as a fits all furnace.
If your ducts are in a slab as many in your area are, you might want to consider an upflow with ducts (WELL INSULATED) in the attic.

With my memory's average so far on this furnace, I'll take that bet.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 07:48 PM
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Alright, what's one cup of coffee among thousands--You are on with that bet Where's that inspection mirror run off to now?


The Hallmark looks like it might be an easy one to work on and maintain. I think you may be influencing me back towards a Thermo-Pride though . . . although the price and the seeming quality of the Williamson with no doors is attractive. The man here in my neck of the woods that I talked to about the Williamson says he has installed these for the past 25 years and has had a very good experience with them. He said when he needs a new oil furnace in his current home that he will be installing a Williamson. But, then again, I do own a very nice tract of swamp land in Florida that I bought once when I was young, and I am part owner of the Brooklyn Bridge!

--Rick

PS I wonder if you can fish in a swamp?
 
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Old 02-08-08, 08:02 PM
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Chamber

You are going to be pulling the burner anyway to replace the end cone &/or air tube. You can get a good look thru there. Don't pull it just to look.

Swamp land in Florida I can't help you with but I'll gladly sell you my share of the Brooklyn Bridge.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 08:16 PM
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That's a good point, I'll get a good look when I pull the burner to replace the air tube (good memory).

And, when you wrote:

Originally Posted by Grady

Stay away from anything "multi-position". Ain't no such thing as a fits all furnace.

If your ducts are in a slab as many in your area are, you might want to consider an upflow with ducts (WELL INSULATED) in the attic.
I again become muddled when I was starting to think I knew something. I thought for us folks who have to have a downflow (I have a crawlspace) that we needed a 'multi-position.' I take it you are saying if I go with a downflow I need one that is made just for this?

And, that is very interesting to consider ductwork in the attic. I guess here we are saying the upflow is superior? I wonder if that is an expensive thing to have ductwork run in an attic?

--Rick
 
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Old 02-08-08, 08:48 PM
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Crawlspace

In a crawl, if space & conditions permit, a horizontal is the ticket. If the crawl space is damp or not deep enough, stick with the downflow. Heat works better from below. The only reason I mentioned the attic was if your ducts are in a slab, they are often too small & sometimes fill with water. The ideal situation is an upflow in a nice dry basement. Warm air wants to rise. You have to force it down.

Only a few manufacturers make dedicated upflow, downflow, & horizontal furnaces. Thermo-Pride & Hallmark are two but there are probably others as well.
 
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Old 02-08-08, 09:28 PM
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Grady--

Thanks for making that clear. It appears that becuase of my crawlspace conditions, I will be limiting my research to a dedicated downflow furnace--and one with the vent pipe coming out over top the burner this time.

Possibly, I could try for another clarification as well. Earlier we considered alternate nozzles to reduce Btu's. I have a small brick ranch home (3 bedroom), and currently am running 105k input with a .75 x 70A which is causing me to short cycle at about 5-6 minute burner cycles.

I mentioned that the alternate input for this furnace on the label is .65 x 70A. I think we said this would take it down to about 91k input, and you suggested that I pick up a couple of .50 x 70A nozzles.

I'm not too good at reading between the lines at times, but I am wondering:

1.) Do you think I should just go for the .50 x 70A right off the bat or do you think I should try the .65 x 70A and see what my burner cycle is like first? I was told the burner should run for about 15 mins.

2.) Could you give me any kind of idea what Btu I would be running with the .50 nozzle. The Thermo-Pride man measured my house and he said I should get the new model just out (I think it was OD-6) which has an INPUT of 70k and an OUTPUT of 56k.

--Rick

PS And, just so you know, I didn't just fall off the turnip truck yesterday . . . so I'll be expecting a good deal on your share of the bridge.
 

Last edited by Rick's Furnace; 02-08-08 at 11:04 PM.
  #35  
Old 02-09-08, 02:01 PM
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Furnace input

With fuel oil being a nominal 140,000 but/gal., a .50 nozzle would give you an input of 70,000. I strongly suggest you do a Manual J heat loss/gain calculation. There is a very good one available online for $49 from http://hvaccomputer.com.
This will tell you just what size furnace you need. No guessing. It will take several hours of measuring the house & data input but it's worth every minute & every dollar.

An OH-6 is an upflow furnace. The only way it would work is either to turn the main supply duct down to tie into your existing duct work or run up to new duct work in the attic.

I suggest dropping your nozzle size to the .50 gph. You can always upfire if need be.
 
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Old 02-10-08, 08:06 AM
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Mild Weather Heater Problems

Thanks for the link and suggestion on nozzle size. Thanks also for the info about dedicated vs. multiflow position. I probably would have steered towards another stupid multiflow if you wouldn't have pointed out the existence of the dedicated downflow. I am learning so much through this process. Hopefully, when I do get my next furnace it will be from an informed point of view, as opposed to complete ignorance like last time.

Today I am wondering what you think about the advice that was given to me, last week, about a possible flue/chimney issue when I smelled oil in the house.

To refresh your memory, I was sailing along pretty good after having the furnace cleaned, bringing in outside combustion air to the furnace cabinet, and getting a combustion kit and doing a tune up. That is until the weather got mild last week.

When the weather got mild, it was like the bad old days. I was having a fire in the fireplace and running the dryer (which sits next to the furnace) and then there it was . . . just like in the past, during the two blower cycles which follow the burner cycle--our old friend Mr. Oil Smell.

I got out my draft gauge and found I was running just under 0. I was not officially running positive pressure but pretty close. So, I opened my back door and this took the reading over the fire back to -.01 where I had it set. But, this was kind of depressing after making the most recent improvements.

So, anyway I talked to a local HVAC company owner and told him my story, and he said this story clearly points to an issue with the flue/chimney. And, this is where I shared with you the my chimney cap top is about 5" over the peak of the house and not the minimum 2'.

What do you think Grady? I guess this one, the chimney, needs to be looked at by somebody who knows what he is doing. But, I thought I'd run it past you in case your memory or crystal ball is in working order today.

The man I talked to seemed to think it sounds clearly like a chimney issue. But, me in my ignorance thinks that it had something to do with the weather somehow. I could tell there was not as much air being pulled in through the air pipe to the furnace when I put my hand there. So I would think we just didn't have enough air. Now that it is cold again we are doing fine, right on the money with readings and plenty of air.

One last thing if it matters, I'm remembering that day we had trouble along with the temps in the low 60's, it was raining--lot's of rain--so the barometer would have been way low.

Thanks again,
Rick

PS I just realized you may think I was a little nutty for having a fire when the temps were in the low 60's. It was a special request from my daughter who was studying in the living room that day and wanted to be warm and cozy by the fire as she worked. I am a soft touch, I think both my daughters have me wrapped around their little fingers.
 
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Old 02-10-08, 08:26 AM
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Draft

I honestly think you had the house under negative pressure. The extension of the chimney might help but I doubt it. The answer is controled fresh air into the house. Honeywell & others make "Heat Recovery Ventilators". Again, all part of the "V" in HVAC.
 
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Old 02-10-08, 08:33 AM
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See, that's exactly what I thought . . . I didn't think it was a real mystery, the house (possibly because of a chimney effect in my PVC pipe coming down out of the attic) was simply running under negative pressure like the bad ole days.

I will check into the Honeywell unit you have suggested today.

Also, I have looked at the Beckett air boot and the Fields control air boot systems in the past, do you think this would be anything to consider as well or not?
 
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Old 02-10-08, 08:48 AM
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Air Boot

Yes, I do think they are a worthwhile investment. I've installed quite a few & they work quite well. I often draw the combustion air from the attic or crawl as long as those areas are not sealed tightly. I usually put a 4" to 12" round increaser on the end then cover it with window screen to keep out the undesireables (crickets, wasps, etc.) yet still allow plenty of free air space.
 
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Old 02-10-08, 09:52 AM
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On the 6" pvc that you may have noticed coming into my cabinet on the lower left in the photo, I have a 1/4" mesh cover on the end in the attic, and a 6"sheet metal cap on the other end. I cut the middle out of cap on the cabinet end (leaving a 1/4" ring), and to this I have added a circle cut out of that blue permanent furnace filter material--the kind that you wash out and reuse. I don't have this filter cap installed in the photo because we were having a fire in the fireplace when it was taken. BUT . . . even here there is food for thought, because I forgot to tell you that when I want to have a fire I have to take my cap off because the filter restricts the amount of air coming into the house enough to give me backdrafting problems when the fireplace is going even when it is cold--the tug of war. So I think this tells us that I am right on the edge--as it is--with not enough air to take care of everything in the house (even though I have been doing very well up to last week). So I would say I definitely need more coming in when the attic warms to a higher temp than the rest of the house, in which case my 6" pvc turns into a chimney of sorts as much as a way to let air into the house.

The Honeywell HRV looks pretty good--the learning continues. I sounds like the air boot might be the way to go for this situation, all things considered. Like I said earlier, if it wasn't for the unseasonably warm weather combined with a fire in the fire place, I would still be sailing along.

For that matter Grady, it occurs to me that once I put an air boot on this furnace I might be running out of complaints. I am so used to having a tight stomach each winter because of the tension that is caused for my family when the heat goes out, and due to the expense and frustration each year. For a few years there early on in this nightmare, somehow my wife thought it was my fault that our new furnace wasn't working right!!! I'm glad she has moved on from there.

But, as we have been systematically going over the problem areas and making improvements here during this present heating season, I am starting to think it is not crazy talk to think that this one might be getting straightened around after many years of grief.

It occurs to me that this year since I have made these changes that I have shared with you, and since I have purchased the combustion kit to let me take some readings, this furnace has been doing pretty good. It's not sooting up from what I can see through the inspection door, it's numbers are staying right where they were set, and from all indications this thing is like a different furnace.

I know I still have to:

1.) change out the pump & install an air boot while the pump is off
2.) replace the nozzle electrode assembly (cracked porcelains)
3.) put on a new air tube
4.) change nozzle size and readjust burner


. . . but, it is occurring to me that I may be running out of complaints with this thing after making these repairs/improvments. I don't want to jinx myself, or be deluded, but this does occur to me.

In which case I plan to still continue researching and pick out my next furnace just so I know what I will do when I am put in that position. This way whenever I decide to get a new one, I won't be scrambling while the heat is off, I will have already done what was necessary to make a good decision hopefully.

BUT . . . here's the thing. I still have your labeling of this furnace in the back of my mind as "junk" and as you say you don't use this term lightly.

So, I am wondering what you are thinking at this stage of the game here. If this thing is running clean and the way it should, I guess I shouldn't scrap it.

BUT, I am wondering what you think. I have talked to a few folks about furnaces now, and the conversation is starting to sound like what I hear about cars in a way. What I mean is, some folks like Fords, some GM's , some imports, etc., and I remember one mechanic I knew told me once he hates to work on Chevy's because he "just can't get them to run right." Now that I am older, I think this statement possibly spoke to his abilities more than it did the GM Corp. . . . but do you see what I mean.

As I hear about this HVAC person's experience with this furnace or that person's experience with that furnace, it is starting to sound familiar.

You are the only HVAC pro that I have ever talked to in the past 12 years that has even wanted to talk to me about the V in HVAC. You seem to right in step with everything I throw at you, so your opinion matters to me when I ask here, do we want to reevaluate the prior statement that I should get rid of this one ASAP? I am sensing that we might be turning the corner on this one.

Thanks again very much.

Respectfully,
Rick

PS It would be nice to change my avatar from an eight ball to something more fun!
 

Last edited by Rick's Furnace; 02-10-08 at 10:55 AM.
 

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