Oil furnace, major repair or replace, need advice

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Old 12-16-08, 08:09 AM
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Oil furnace, major repair or replace, need advice

Greetings, my furnace has suffered a major set back, burned through the heat exchanger, and Iím getting slow to no response from my oil co. They came out for the routine service and discovered the problem and promised a quote on repair, if possible, or replacement, if not. They did a temporary patch giving me 45 days. That was 2 weeks ago and I stopped over and found the service techs notes buried in the file cabinet and had to push to even get them moving on the estimate. No idea how long it will take to do the work.

I was hoping to get a ballpark price and pointers from you folks, so I can make a quick decision when the time comes. One, the tech didnít like my brand furnace, I donít either, but are parts available? It is:
Willimson Temp-o-matic Model T167-10-2 space 158 oil fired at .75 gal per hour. I believe it is about 17 years old.

He opened up the back to confirm what he saw looking inside, and showed me an obviously melted area that had burned through. Thatís the area he patched, I believe he called it the hear exchanger. He wasnít sure if he could get one. Any thought as to availability and cost to replace?

If not repairable I would, for now, go with a similar unit, smaller if possible as the house is undergoing a major upgrade in insulation. Since the duct work is in place, your thoughts on cost of unit and labor to slip one into place. Maine is typically on the low side of project costs.

Last option is to pick up a unit from the big box and put it in myself. Then have them or someone trained come and tune it up.

All help appreciated
Bud
 
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Old 12-16-08, 11:16 AM
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I'm no expert Bud, but I just had my 13-year-old builder special furnace replaced after the heat exchanger cracked. The cost to replace the heat exchanger was around $1100 installed, the price of a new oil-fired 125K BTU furnace was $4,100 complete. that included switching over all the zone controls, humidifier, AC, etc. that was part of my system. My oil company did the job 2 days after confirming the heat exchanger was cracked (and burned through completely on the top, as found when the old unit was pulled out). Due to timing and to a lesser extent, cost, I went with a Williamson CHB. Thermopride is a top brand, but would have run me close to twice what the Williamson did, plus it would have taken 4 days to get one shipped in vs a Williamson at the supply company one town over. Frankly, unless your oil company is just covered up with work, I am surprised that they aren't more responsive. You might want to consider that when picking a maintenance company. If you have to chase them around to install a whole new furnace, what will it be like in January, when its 5 degrees and you have some problem you can't fix yourself?
 
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Old 12-16-08, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Bud9051 View Post
Greetings,

I was hoping to get a ballpark price and pointers from you.



Last option is to pick up a unit from the big box and put it in myself. Then have them or someone trained come and tune it up.



All help appreciated
Bud
between 2k and 10k hard to tale without seeing anything


odds are you won't beable to just slide it in. This is a common mistake that alot of DIYERS make. usually the new one is shorter than the old one making all connections take extratime and added materials and skills.

Why not call another company?
 
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Old 12-16-08, 01:46 PM
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Thanks mb and maint. mb, I may need the name of that supply co. as one of my options is to drive to NJ and pick one up, your area might be closer. So I guess Williamson is still in business, the tech sounded like he never heard of it

Does anyone know if a heat exchanger is still available for that unit?

maintelect, calling another service co is high on the list, but I pre-bought so still have to get my oil from where I am, plus it's a friend of a friend, but that isn't going to last forever. As for sliding one in, I wouldn't mind some tin work, as I have a bender and cutting tool. The unit was already relocated once, so the metal work looks like a patchwork quilt. I know some boilers look intimidating, but this furnace is just the electric, stat, copper line, and stack. I can certainly get one in place and let a tech do the tune up.

So, is a heat exchanger still available, or would Williamson or other still make a comparable unit I could purchase. We do have F.W.Webb in town, but couldnít tell what they carry from their web site.

Thanks again,
Bud
 
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Old 12-17-08, 03:02 PM
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Repair or Replace

Replace without a doubt. My first choice would be ThermoPride. Nothing else on the market comes close. Hallmark is heavy steel but not a great design. In oil fired furnaces, Thermo-Pride's two stage is the cat's meow but seriously pricey. Armstrong would probably be my second choice provided the ductwork is adequate.
 
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