Woke up to smoke alarm


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Old 10-26-13, 04:02 AM
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Woke up to smoke alarm

Around 1 or 2 days ago I noticed that when the furnace(gas) fan kicked in, it would shut off within a couple seconds, only to try again around 10 to 15 seconds later. It was doing this non stop so I figured I would try to get a HVAC guy to check it but because I'm a unemployed college student, I'm trying to get a "friend of a friend" to check it out for a reasonable price.

I woke up last night to the smell of smoke so I went looking around and noticed a little bit of white smoke in the basement, 2x the smoke on the main floor and a lot of smoke on the 2nd floor. At first I assumed something was smoking upstairs but since the fan wasn't kicking in, why would smoke be on the other floors? I figure it had to start in the furnace and since smoke rises, most of it went upstairs through the vents.

I turned off the heat and fan at the thermostat but for some reason the fan started to run like normal and the house started to fill with a lot of smoke so I ran downstairs and I could hear a squeaking noise that sounds like it might be a worn bearing. I quickly shut power off at the breaker.

I took off the panels for the furnace and noticed that the motor was very hot (too hot to touch)

Do u think its the fan motor that needs to be replaced or could it be something else that caused the motor to overheat? Also, with no power at the furnace, I don't have to worry about carbon monoxide if the pilot light is still lit, right?

I turned the furnace on a few weeks ago and it was working fine until I heard the fan cycling on and off a day and a half ago. If anybody's wondering, I do have smoke detectors and they went off. I'm glad I was home when this happened cuz it could've turned out a lot worse.

Mike K
 
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Old 10-26-13, 06:06 AM
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First, yes the motor is worn out, defective. But other damage may have occurred. Get a qualified technician in there pronto.

You say you're an unemployed college student. Who owns the building? They would be responsible to make sure the heating is in safe working order.

If they refuse call the local authorities. Don't wait you are living in a very dangerous situation.
 
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Old 10-26-13, 08:06 AM
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Thanks for the reply Norm201. I'm the owner of the house. Ironically, I'm going to college to become a electrician and I just started to learn about motor controls. That's why I'm not sure if its just the motor itself. My friend knows a HVAC tech so I'm trying to get in contact with him because I can't afford the normal rate from a company. I assume a new motor isn't cheap, if that's what needs to be replaced

Mike K
 
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Old 10-26-13, 11:54 AM
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I just got it checked and he said I should replace the furnace. The heat exchanger is cracked and I think he said there was a "full-on fault" with the motor. The furnace WAS venting co2 into the house. Because the furnace was so old, he needs to run 2 new intake pipes and a small water pump + hose to the dryer pipe. He also has to move a vent duct to make room. If I didn't have only 2 outer walls, he wouldn't have to do the extra work. $3400 (Canada). Ouch!
 
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Old 10-26-13, 12:22 PM
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$3400. for a new 90+% furnace installation is a pretty good price.
 
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Old 10-26-13, 12:27 PM
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Glad you got that sorted out. Carbon Monoxide poisoning isn't a fun thing to deal with. I worked on a business out in Vancouver that had to be gutted due to smoke/water damage caused by a fire in a growop on an upper floor.

We worked on the place for a number of months. Shortly after we started, my friend and I were going home at night feeling fairly stupid, lethargic and kind of depressed all the time. This went on for a couple of months. We just wrote it off to Vancouver winter rain depression.

It wasn't. The furnace in the place was venting CO into the business all day long while we worked on it 8hrs a day. Not sure how much permanent damage that did to us.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 10:14 PM
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Yeah, carbon monoxide is no joke. My dad and step mom got poisoned at their cottage. They thought it was odd that they both felt so tired by 8 pm but they didn't think it was a big deal. When my dad noticed something was wrong, he tried to get out of bed but couldn't stand. He tried to pull himself up but the dresser fell on top of him. Luckily my stepmom was able to crawl out and the neighbours dog noticed and barked till the neighbours realized something was wrong. They had to be rushed to the hospital by helicopter. Close call! Needless to say, its stupid not to have monoxide detectors. It's not worth the risk when a detector is relatively cheap.
 
 

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