What causes furnace circuit board to fail?


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Old 02-06-09, 08:13 PM
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Question What causes furnace circuit board to fail?



What makes a furnace circuit board go bad?

The circuit board on our gas furnace went bad and the landlord says we are responsible.

Before leaving town for the holidays we turned the thermostat on our gas furnace down to 55 degrees. Three weeks later we returned and turned the thermostat up to 70 degrees. When we went to bed the house was still chilly, but we just thought it needed some time to warm up. The next morning we woke up to find the furnace fan working but not putting out any heat. We contacted our landlord. He brought in a furnace repairman who replaced the circuit board.

The landlord said we are responsible for the circuit board going bad. He said it's because we were constantly turning the thermostat up and down. That's hard to believe since we weren't there for three weeks and don't turn the thermostat down even at night.

I spoke to a couple of contractors who say blowing a furnace circuit board is like blowing the circuit board in a computer... it just happens.

So, what causes a circuit board to go bad? And are there any signs to indicate a board is going bad? Are we responsible? We've lived here for 14 years and the furnace was old when we moved in.

Thanks.
 
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Old 02-06-09, 09:35 PM
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The landlord is blowing smoke.

The furnace is designed to have the thermostat turned up and down ---- duh...


The landlord is making the claim that you were nehligent and caused damage --- what evidence does he have to support that claim?
 
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Old 02-07-09, 06:19 AM
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The landlord said we are responsible for the circuit board going bad. He said it's because we were constantly turning the thermostat up and down.

That is the 110% wrong!!

Oh ya......and your landlord is an idiot
 
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Old 02-07-09, 12:49 PM
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Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
The landlord is blowing smoke.

The furnace is designed to have the thermostat turned up and down ---- duh...


The landlord is making the claim that you were nehligent and caused damage --- what evidence does he have to support that claim?
Thanks for your quick response.

The landlord lives in the other side of the duplex. He says his evidence that we blew the circuit board is that his furnace hasn't blown a circuit board. So, since his hasn't blown then we had to have done something to cause our circuit board to blow.

Are there any signs that a circuit board is going to die? What causes a circuit board to go bad?

I asked someone at Home Depot. He said the only way he could think that we would be responsible would be if we opened up the furnace, identified where the circuit board was and then threw a bucket of water at it.

If we are responsible, I'll pay the bill. But if we are responsible, I want to know what we did to cause the board to go out.
 

Last edited by treddout; 02-07-09 at 01:07 PM.
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Old 02-07-09, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by dun11 View Post
The landlord said we are responsible for the circuit board going bad. He said it's because we were constantly turning the thermostat up and down.

That is the 110% wrong!!

Oh ya......and your landlord is an idiot
Thanks for your support. But I NEED information to prove my landlord is an idiot.

What causes a circuit board to go bad. Is there anything we could have done to cause it to blow?
 
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Old 02-07-09, 01:24 PM
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Yeah...and because he's never had a problem with HIS car (ECM, injectors, rear-end, whatever) and someone else has...it must be the other persons fault.

Or his toilet, or stove, or refigerator, or TV, or or....

14+++ y/o furnace that has worked that long w/o some circuit board of some type going bad is pure chance.

Electronics can fail, relays can stick or burn out, componants can get old. A very slight surge through the power mains can eat one piece of equipment and leave the identical one beside it working fine. I spent 24 yrs repairing electronics.....trust me....they can work for years..and then just fail.

Ask a couple of those HVAC guys to write a little note saying boards can just fail.
 
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Old 02-07-09, 01:25 PM
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The burden is on HIM to prove to YOU (or a the courts)that you did it, since it is common for boards to fail. Reasons unknown, to the best of my knowledge.

He is operating on the assumption that extra use causes failure. And maybe so. That is life.

THEN he should have installed a lockbox on the stat. SMART landlords do that. He was negligent for not putting on lockbox. Without the lockbox is open invitation for you, or any person who lives there or lived there before you, or comes after you, to do as you please with that stat.

Would he charge you for wearing out a faucet for turning it on and off too many times? We can start a great big list of similar type questions that could never be claimed against you if this went to court.

........................
Ha! I see Gunguy who was posting while I was posting has the same thought processes.
 
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Old 02-07-09, 02:51 PM
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Is your landlord proposing to add on the amount of the repair to your rent or given you notice that he is cancelling your lease? Just what action is he taking to try to enforce his claim that you caused this damage?

It sounds like he handed you a bill for the repairs. I'd refuse to pay it and remind him that in pretty much all jurisdictions landlords are responsible for normal wear and tear on equipment. It id up to him to be able to prove that you were negligent, and his line of argument that his furnace didn't suffer a similar problem is a bogus line of argument.

Do you have a lease? He might not offer you a new one, but he's not going to be able to enforce collection of his bill.

Month to month tenancy? Same deal --- he might give you notice cancelling your tenancy for any reason or no reason, but he can't require you to pay his bill. Should he deduct it from a deposit what you move out, sue him to collect what you are owed.


Seattle Pioneer
 
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Old 02-07-09, 03:05 PM
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If adjusting a thermostat up or down could possibly cause a circuit board to fail, there would be a warning in the operators manual, a warning on the thermostat and a statement in the warranty excluding coverage if you changed the initial setting. Since the manufacturer has not included any such warnings, it is safe to conclude that no such risk exists.

ditto on all of the names above, plus a few more,

Bud
 
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Old 02-08-09, 05:51 PM
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Thanks...

Thanks to all of you for your comments.

I'm afraid the landlord has us between a rock and a hard place.

When we said we wouldn't pay for the repairs it boiled down to both side agreeing we would move out by the end of March.
(I don't want to live in a place where I'm told I sabotage furnaces.)

We applied for an apartment, passed the credit check with flying colors but got turned down due to a bad landlord recommendation. I don't expect the landlord will change his tune when the next apartment complex calls for a recommendation.

I'm dumbfounded. Looks like the only way we'll get out of this is to pay the ransom or take him to court. Either way doesn't put a roof over my head in April.
 
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Old 02-08-09, 06:09 PM
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Well..what I'd do is bleed him dry. I can't believe you have been there that long and this is the way he acts.

Find the laws for your area and every single thing that doesn't come up to the requirements..make him pay to fix.

Of course you need to be looking for a new place in the meantime.

Sorry, but if you don't have a longterm lease..yes..you can be screwed by a bad landlord.
 
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Old 02-08-09, 07:02 PM
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I'd be inclined to make a copy of this thread and give it to the manager where you applied to rent. And starting a war of abusive complaints isn't going to solve anything.

The landlord loses a good tenant to feed his foolishness and that will probably cost him a good deal.

Unfortunately, you are probably well shut of the nutty and abusive owner where you live now.
 
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Old 02-08-09, 08:02 PM
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Maybe the circuit board wasn't defective. Maybe your landlords service tech was. A blower blowing cold air doesn't necessarily mean a bad circuit board. Could have been locked out on a fault such as an limit overheat fault. This situation will shut off the burners and run the blower. Tell your landlord you want the old board for testing.
It should be landlords responsibility to repair furnace problems unless it is specified otherwise in the lease.
 

Last edited by Skip4661; 02-08-09 at 08:27 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 02-10-09, 09:07 AM
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I would turn the tables on him, see what the eviction laws are in your area, most places it could take him up to six months to get you out. Put the rent $ in an escrow acct., call the local code inspector...do you have CO alarms, smoke alarms etc. pour a little bad news on him. Tell him as long as he sees fit to make your life difficult you'll do the same. Once he stops getting that rent check he may change his tune. No matter what you'll be better off once your rid of him. And as Seattle said take a copy of this thread to where you applied.
 
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Old 02-10-09, 09:52 AM
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I can't really recommend your strategy, dun11. It sounds like treddout is on a month to month tenancy, or his lease is expiring shortly. If that's the case, either the landlord or the tenant is entitled to terminate the tenancy for any reason.

Unfortunately, the landlord sounds like he's a fool and vindictive, but perhaps that's a good reason for using the opportunity to move. Get out on the best terms possible and get on with life.
 
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Old 02-10-09, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
I can't really recommend your strategy, dun11. It sounds like treddout is on a month to month tenancy, or his lease is expiring shortly. If that's the case, either the landlord or the tenant is entitled to terminate the tenancy for any reason.

Unfortunately, the landlord sounds like he's a fool and vindictive, but perhaps that's a good reason for using the opportunity to move. Get out on the best terms possible and get on with life.
Yah I know........just venting, I can't stand people like that
 
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Old 02-11-09, 10:57 PM
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Good News

Thanks again to all of you who posted answers to my question.

Good news! We went in and described our situation to the apartment complex that turned us down due to the landlord's poor recommendation. The apartment manager called the landlord a second time and despite the landlords negative comments the apartment complex decided to accept us anyway. (Good credit scores didn't hurt!)

We'll be moving out at the end of March. We'll make any repairs we feel responsible for... and the rest... well the ball is in the landlord's court.

I will be keeping a copy of this thread just in case he decides to take us to small claims court or through mediation.

Again, thanks for your comments, suggestions and support. You helped me get through a tough time!

Terri
 
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Old 02-12-09, 07:42 AM
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That's very good news, treddout, it sounds like you are trading in a foolish landlord for a smart one.

I hopt you'll let us know how this works out. Unfortunately, too many stupid landlords like to grab up the deposits of tenants even when doing so is unjustified, and your landlord sounds like he may be among that number.

I hope you had a move in inspection that documents the move in condition and be sure to get a move out inspection with the landlord if possible, and take lots of pictures of anything he might complain about. It's a lot more likely that you would need to take the landlord to small claims court to get back what you are owed than the reverse.
 
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Old 02-12-09, 08:37 AM
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Sorry to get here so late.

At least made my area (Chicago) while a residential tenant can be responsible by mutual agreement for paying the utility bills if that is a condition of the lease, it is the responsibility of the landlord to maintain heating equipment in a condition such that a specified temperature can be maintained. Failure to do so generally results in a fine if the landlord is not cooperative with whatever local governing body is responsible for enforcing these requirements.

In my city they are quite strict about enforcing this, for example if the heat is out and a tenant complains the city will call me on the 24-hour number required to be provided on the lease, obtain the name of my HVAC contractor, and then call the contractor to make sure that there is actually a service ticket open for the job and when the HVAC contractor expects the heat will be back on.

I used to be sort of offended by this, but as I got to know the inspectors better, and heard stories about the evasions and lies that some landlords resort to, I understood why they needed to do it.

--------------

A furnace turns "off and on" every time a thermostat calls for heat, typically at least once an hour or so during the heating season - that's what it's designed to do. If anything you're turning the heat down caused it to cycle less frequently, and extended its service life.

Per this study by the National Association of Homebuilders, the typical service life of a gas furnace is 18 years. You've been there 14, the furnace was "old" when you moved in, so it's almost certainly well beyond the end of its expected service life.

Before you leave take pictures of the unit's capacity plate, with the model and serial number visible, or if you can't do that write them down checking carefully to make sure their complete and correct.

Upload and link to the pictures or post the the model and serial number and I'll probably be able to tell you the year and likely the month and year of manufacture.

Between the NAHB study and documenting the age of the furnace you will be in much stronger position if you end up before some sort of landlord tenants committee or in court.
 
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Old 02-12-09, 09:07 AM
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Hello Michael,


Taking pictures of the furnace and rating plate hadn't occurred to me, but that sounds like a good idea. It would be interesting to know when the last time the furnace was serviced, and pictures of the condition of the burner compartment might allow an experienced person an idea of whether the furnace was maintained in a reasonable way

Gas furnaces that haven't been serviced often have dust bunnies of various kinds around the burner compartment, may have rusty burners and other telltail evidence of neglect.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 01:13 AM
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Red face You guys are amazing

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Each one of you who responded to my original post have given me information, ideas, support... and now... a legitimate resource.

Micheal's link to the National Home Builder life expectancy study is a gold mine of information. According to the study, our furnace should be retired, the water heater lived out its life expectancy and so has the dishwasher. And the carpet that was old when we moved in 14 years ago is on it's second or third life.

The house was built in 1983 and the linoleum is original. (Where it's peeled up at the edges you can see concrete, so I'm assuming it's original.) That means the linoleum has reached it's life expectancy.

Basically, anything the landlord may want to pin on us is simply normal wear and tear.

I'm going to sleep a lot easier tonight.

And yes, we plan to take pictures of every square inch of the place when we move out. I'll try to get pictures of the furnace this weekend and send them to you.

Thanks again for you responses... you have no idea how helpful you've been.

Terri
 
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Old 02-13-09, 08:49 AM
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I hadn't noticed you say that you'd lived in this place for fourteen years! That's a long time. It makes this unreasonable attitude by the landlord a lot harder to understand.

Has the guy generally treated you reasonably and taken care of maintenance and repair issues over the years, or has he always been erratic and quirky?

Are you paying rent that is more or less the current market rent, or has the owner rewarded your long term tenancy by letting the rents fall to a level significantly below what the current market might command?

And how difficult might it be for the owner to find a new tenant?


I'm just trying to understand what could be motivating the owner ---- to make something that appears to be flatly unreasonable be more explainable.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 04:35 PM
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Some history

For most of the time we've been in this place our landlord has been reasonable, helpful and, yes, even friendly.

According to him, he could get more for the place we rent. I guess he'll find out when we move out next month.

It's a two bedroom, one bath duplex with carpet and flooring that's 20+ years old.

During the 14 years we've been there the dishwasher (that was old when we moved in) has been replaced. So has the water heater (which was old when we moved in). About 6 years ago the landlord re-roofed both sides of the duplex (which he seems to think we're responsible for). Now the problem with the furnace. Yes, it does seem like quite a laundry list... but when you space that out over a period of 14 years....well...I'll let you decide. My thought is, if we were such bad tenants, why didn't get rid of us earlier?

I'm moving to a place with two bedrooms, two baths, new carpet (by new I mean less than 3 years old), well maintained lawns, swimming pool, hot tub and exercise room. The place is managed by professionals with a maintenance staff on site. We'll be paying about $75 more a month, but the utility bills will be lower and we're closer to work.

The new place won't have as much storage and I won't have my garden, but my lifestyle has changed so it's no big loss.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed living at the duplex. The yard was great for my son to play in and we had a great garden. At the time the pluses outweighed the negatives of the place. But now my son is in law school and I have a tendency to spend vacation time with family and friends in another state.

This whole incident has been taxing... but I'm beginning to feel it's a blessing. We're getting out of a situation that has gone from bad to worse.

I hope this gives you some perspective. I truly don't know what's going on. I'm just glad I'm getting out of it.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 06:08 PM
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It's unfortunate you wound up parting on bad terms. And it's unfortunate that the guy can't take the ordinary costs of maintenance and repair on his rental property in stride.

In any case, I'm glad to hear you have been able to move from a deteriorating situation into a good one. As I commented earlier, you seem to be trading in a landlord with poor judgement for one who is smart and shrewd enough to identify a good risk and set aside a biased reference. I'm glad to hear about that kind of landlord just as much as I'm sorry to hear about the one you have now.


And I'm glad to hear you were thrown into a hard place by this but have come up smelling like a rose.

I'm always glad to hear about people who are making the world work for them, rather than being victims of their own poor judgement or forces they can't manage.
 
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Old 02-13-09, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by treddout View Post
..the National Home Builder life expectancy study is a gold mine of information.
I reference that study whenever I'm reporting that an appliance I observe at a home inspection may be at, near or beyond the end of it's life at a home inspection - it gives me a objective standard by which to make such judgments, and it tends to avoid or defuse disputes between buyers and sellers - they are not arguing with me or each other, but with an objective third party.

Which has saved my clients a lot of money and aggravation over the years.

----------

Home Inspection: ""A business with illogically high liability, slim profit margins and limited economies of scale. An incredibly diverse, multi-disciplined consulting service, delivered under difficult in-field circumstances, before a hostile audience in an impossibly short time frame, requiring the production of an extraordinarily detailed technical report, almost instantly, without benefit of research facilities or resources." - Alan Carson
 
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Old 02-13-09, 08:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Michael Thomas View Post
I reference that study whenever I'm reporting that an appliance I observe at a home inspection may be at, near or beyond the end of it's life at a home inspection - it gives me a objective standard by which to make such judgments, and it tends to avoid or defuse disputes between buyers and sellers - they are not arguing with me or each other, but with an objective third party.


Frankly, replacing equipment based on probabilities such as those described is a second rate way of managing, in my opinion. The idea that furnaces are worn out and ought to be replaced after twenty years or whatever is bogus, although a lot of heating contractors make a living by selling people new equipment they don't need.

It sounds like you are honestly admitting that you don't have the expertise or experience to evaluate such equipment yourself. You then use this study to make recommendations on selecting or replacing equipment when the study itself explicitly says that it should not be used for that purpose on page 1.

In my view as a furnace repairman, you do your customers no favor by using this study to bolster an expertise you do not have. Replacing furnaces after 15-20 years based on this study is ludicrous, although certainly there are a lot of heating contractors who are glad to sell people new equipment they don't need.

The judicious and honest move for you is to recommend that older equipment have needed cleaning and maintenance performed by a competent repairman and have that person render an opinion on whether the equipment is safe and efficient and reasonable to continue using.
 
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Old 02-14-09, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
Frankly, replacing equipment based on probabilities such as those described is a second rate way of managing, in my opinion...
I always welcome suggestions to improve the accuracy or usefulness of my inspections and reports, your point is one that's made frequently.

Usually, it's because the speaker does not understand the legal and practical constraints under which I inspect and report what I find.

1) In my state I'm required by law to put my opinions in writing, and under the same law I am legally responsible their accuracy for the next five years.

If the average HVAC contractor had operate under the same constraints, I suspect they would start to become much more cautious in their statements about the likely future operating life of equipment.

2) Generally, my clients have a different set of concerns and priorities of those of the typical HVAC contractor's customers.

Frequently, the contractor's customers will perceive their interest as laying in keeping older equipment operating as long as possible - the purchase price of equipment is a sunk cost, and extending its life (operating efficiency aside) improves their return on their investment.

My client, on the other hand, is usually much less interested in knowing if the equipment's life can be extended at the moment than knowing how likely it is that they will be faced with a major expense in the next few years.

It's the difference between the mechanic saying "Fan belts frayed, but I can replace it and you can drive it right on out" and the customer asking "will it run another 10,000 miles without more repairs?".

3) A HVAC contractor has the time and equipment to perform a much more exhaustive examination and testing and of equipment than I do: for me a furnace is one many components I miss rapidly evaluate the course of a home inspection, typically I can spend about 10-15 minutes on the inspection of a furnace, and that includes gas lines and venting as well is the furnace itself.

A competent HVAC contractor could easily spend that much time on carefully inspection of the burner area and heat exchanger alone, and will have the time to employ tools such as combustion analyzers to evaluate the safety and efficiency of the furnace with far more accuracy than I can.

4) An HVAC contractor's legal liability for their opinion and advice is tied to a much shorter time period than my own, and they are generally not legally required to provide their opinion in writing.

For example. most furnace manufacturers recommend yearly cleaning and inspection, if the heat exchanger fails four years after the last time it was inspected and the surviving spouse hauls an HVAC contractor into court, he or she can say "I carefully inspected the heat exchanger four years ago, when it failed it had not been inspected for three times the manufacturers recommended time between inspections". They have a an objective basis for a defense grounded in the fact that the homeowner has not properly maintained the equipment.

OTOH, if I was to report that "this furnace is 20 years old, but with regular maintenance who knows... it could run for 30 " my statement would certainly be technically correct but the surviving spouse's attorney could point out accurately that I'm responsible for the accuracy of my opinion for five years after the date of inspection, and that that my opinion as stated could certainly lead a reasonable person to suppose that the furnace would operate safely for a considerable period.

So, there's a vast difference between our positions: I actually have a much greater liability exposure, and I must accept it on the basis of a much less thorough investigation, than an HVAC contractor.

Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
... the judicious and honest move for you is to recommend that older equipment have needed cleaning and maintenance performed by a competent repairman and have that person render an opinion on whether the equipment is safe and efficient and reasonable to continue using.
I do so, the "limitations" section of my report for HVAC equipment states:
"This inspection is based upon visual observations and not meant to be technically exhaustive. There are a number of important aspects of your heating systems condition and operation that this inspection cannot reveal: 1) I cannot determine the remaining service life of heating equipment by visual inspections....I make every attempt to discover defects in heating system(s) consistent with the scope of our contract, however for a complete evaluation of the system and an opinion concerning continued performance the opinion of a licensed HVAC specialist is always recommended. Do not depend on this report to determine repair requirements; consult a licensed HVAC contractor for repairs and itemized estimates. Based on their more extensive investigation an HVAC contractor may identify additional items not noted in this report that require repair, replacement, or installation. These opinions and estimates should be based upon his/her actual inspection and service, not just the specific deficiencies listed in this report."
Furthermore, absent evidence of recent service the report will state that:

Observation: I was not able to establish when this furnace was last serviced.

Analysis: Most furnace manufacturers recommend cleaning, inspection, and required maintenance of a furnace prior to the start of each heating season. Failure to perform the required service can reduce the efficiency of the furnace, short its operating life, and allow dangerous defects to remain undetected.

Recommendation: If the seller cannot demonstrate that the required inspection and service has been performed according to the manufacture's recommended schedule, have all required service performed prior to the expiration of your inspection contingency to determine the furnaces condition, any if repairs are required, and if so their cost.

If you intend to obtain a ""homeowners warranty" to cover this equipment, check with the warranty vendor to determine what type of inspection, and by whom, is required to ensure that the insurance remains in force, and had this inspection performed prior to expiration of the inspection contingency.


And that's for a furnace which appears in good condition upon visual inspection, if there are visually apparent defects or evidence of operating defects that fall within the scope of a home inspection, those of course would be reported, along with appropriate recommendations for the diagnosis and repair by competent person.

However, I'm still left with the problem of how to report a properly functioning furnace which nevertheless appears to be at, near, or beyond the end of its average operating life.

The presences of such a furnace (assuming it appears to be operating properly) is not a "defect", but it's certainly something most clients could reasonably expect me to bring to their attention, and failure to do so means that if the furnace fails within five years of the inspection I'd quite likely be buying the new one.

In order to appropriately report this observation (assuming that there is no visual evidence of impending failure) I need to do two things: 1) I need to establish some objective basis for average operating life 2) and I need to make the implications of the presence of such a furnace clear to my clients.

The way I address these requirements is report an older furnace as an FYI item, in the FYI section of the report, generally it will be reported something like this:
Observation: Based on the serial number, it appears to me that this furnace was manufactured 24 years ago.

Analysis: According to a study by the national Association of Home Builders the average operating life of the gas forced air furnace is 18 years. The exact operating life of a particular furnace often cannot be predicted from its present condition - I have observed gas furnaces more than 30 years old which are still operating properly, and I have observed gas furnaces which are replaced by their frustrated owners only a few years after installation after repeated failures. I cannot predict when this furnace will fail, however other factors being equal, the older the furnace, the more likely it will fail. Also, this furnace is considerably less efficient than its modern counterpart, and is more expensive to operate.

When a furnace fails during heating season, it often must be replaced immediately - this may not allow you time to properly research your best choices, or to locate and evaluate contractors to install the equipment

Recommendation: Consult with a qualified HVAC contractor regarding the condition, efficiency, and likely remaining operating life of this furnace. If you choose not to replace it at this time obtain a cost from the contractor for its replacement, and budget to allow for this replacement within its likely remaining life. As replacement of a furnace will be a major expense, I recommend you obtain this information prior to the expiration of your inspection contingency.
There is also the question (which I wont go into here) of the expected life of the heat exchanger, and whether one wants to be in the position of recommending continued operation of a furnace well beyond it's expected operating life from a safety standpoint, especially given the increasing concern about the effects of chronicle low level sub-clinical CO exposure.

That's the logic of how and why how I currently report such furnaces, however I'm always open to suggestions as to how to improve any aspect of my inspections and reporting.

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Home Inspection: ""A business with illogically high liability, slim profit margins and limited economies of scale. An incredibly diverse, multi-disciplined consulting service, delivered under difficult in-field circumstances, before a hostile audience in an impossibly short time frame, requiring the production of an extraordinarily detailed technical report, almost instantly, without benefit of research facilities or resources." - Alan Carson
 

Last edited by Michael Thomas; 02-14-09 at 02:45 PM.
  #28  
Old 02-14-09, 02:26 PM
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Hello Michael,


Well, with the much greater detail you provide your comments strike me as much more reasonable.

From time to time I did find brand new owners with a furnace that wouldn't work and which was improperly installed or unrepairable --- causing them a lot of trouble the day they bought their new home ---very sad.

Homebuyers who had the furnace cleaned and serviced before buying, and who ideally were present while the repairman was there to answer questions were the most likely to be ***happy*** buyers!

Fairly often I was called out to do that kind of maintenance and isnspection due to suggestions by home inspectors, that's good too.

Frankly I don't envy you having to deal with a wide variety of technical systems when you can't be an expert in them all. I was happy sticking to my furnace repair trade with occasional forays into the electrical and gas piping systems to see what wasn't working properly.

And identifying roof leaks when it's dry and sunny would seem to be a challenge, among other things.


So anyway--- good luck to you!
 
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Old 02-14-09, 03:27 PM
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A real example of what can cause a furnace board to go out--once I saw a board that had a big black spot on the back. Then I noticed pieces of an exploded insect, no kidding . . . the insect shorted a part of the board to ground. It was kind of cool to see such direct evidence, though not cool for the customer having to pay for the repair.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
And identifying roof leaks when it's dry and sunny would seem to be a challenge, among other things.
Being in a fairly dark attic - if you can see pinholes of daylight or other sources of daylight, that is a good indicator. That is how I had to seal up leaks in a castle-like turret, on an historic house last year. Off-topic, but this is one answer to that challenge.
 
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Old 02-15-09, 04:37 PM
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Where are you?

Treddout:

What state do you live in?

Unless your lease specifically states you are obligated to repair and pay for repairs to the mechanical services included in your rented dwelling, chances are state law requires the landlord to provide working heating equipment at his expense, provided you pay for the utilities to operate it.

Caveat: I am not a lawyer and cannot advise you on the law, but I did spend 20 years managing lots of types of rental properties and can state with assurance that what I stated above is the law in California.

The landlord cannot give you a bad reference if you have otherwise been a good tenant. That is retaliatory behavior and opens up civil liability unto itself.

You will do well to contact a tenant's representative law firm and discuss your options.

Good luck!
 
 

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