Major argument with the plumbing company

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Old 09-27-16, 07:00 PM
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Major argument with the plumbing company

Hi all,
Yesterday a plumber (a rep) came home to check for gas leaks exclusively in the furnace . He didn't find a gas leak but he couldn't turn the furnace on because the pilot kept turning off after a few seconds. So he said he couldn't finish checking for leaks.
I payed him anyway off course.
After he left I was able to turn the furnace on. No problems since, but still not sure whether I have a leak inside or not

I called to tell them but they said that the valve is probably bad and recommended buy a new furnace.

At that point I thought it was a rip off and asked for a refund, considering the furnace was on and working fine.

They refused to give me a refund and said that the problem with the valve is extremely dangerous and it can explode. (please note that at this point they were treating me like sht)

My question is: if there aren't leaks anywhere before the pilot, even if the valve is dirty, and knowing that now the furnace is working, is there any real danger?


Things you may need to know are:

1. In which area you live and ambient temperatures you usually experience.
In long Island, New York

2. House style and construction details.
A Levitt house, all wood except for basement, where the furnace is

3. Make, model and age of equipment related to the problem.
CARRIER, 1999

4. Fuel type.
GAS



7. Thermostat type
I'M BYPASSING THE THERMOSTAT FOR NOW

Thank you in advance
 
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Old 09-27-16, 08:16 PM
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Why did you suspect a leak, do you smell gas? Or was this just a company offering to do a free check?
 
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Old 09-27-16, 08:28 PM
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After he left I was able to turn the furnace on. No problems since, but still not sure whether I have a leak inside or not
Wait a minute..... you said the pilot wouldn't stay lit yet the furnace is "working fine"???

I have to echo Pauls question..... did you smell gas ?

In the future.... if you need service call your gas supplier. They have the BEST trained gas technicians in the field. They are prompt, courteous and extremely fair. They WILL tell you the straight up truth. Using your gas supplier gives you a lot of leverage if you are not satisfied.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 05:30 AM
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@carbide: it wasn't me who suspected about a leak. A person from national grid came home for another leak at the meter and told me to call a plumber because it's possible there's a leak in the furnace.

@pjmax: the plumber couldn't make the pilot to stay lit for more than a few seconds. When he left I tried myself and realized that I just needed to keep the safety button further in. The pilot stayed on and eventually the gas opened and lit the rest of the furnace.

I did not smell gas near the furnace. I smelled gas near the meter and that's when I called national grid. I have a really good sense of smell and I'm positive that no smell came from the furnace.

A gas supplier wouldn't come for my furnace, no? In any case, it was the gas supplier who turned the furnace off and told me to call a plumber.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 05:38 AM
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Carrier stopped using standing pilots in 1992 (of the models sold down here).


What is the model number and first four digits of the Serial number.

I recommend getting a second opinion.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 05:42 AM
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In short:
I smelled a leak near the meter in the basement. I called national grid.

They found a tiny leak and replaced the stuff around the meter.

At the same time they turned the furnace off and asked to call a plumber to check for leaks (I don't smell gas at all now).


The plumber came and couldn't find a leak on the exterior pipes, but couldn't keep the pilot on either. So he didn't really do a full check (bubble check).


The plumber left and I managed to keep the pilot on and the furnace went on too.

Now I'm not 100 % sure if there isn't a leak because nobody really checked the inner mechanisms for leaks.

My question is, could an interior leak or a faulty valve be dangerous?
 
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Old 09-28-16, 05:48 AM
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Model: 58g s125-lb
Serial:3991
 
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Old 09-28-16, 06:03 AM
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Well, yes to answer your question, there could be an internal leak and it could be dangerous. Anything is possible. However, all things being equal and assuming what you're saying is accurate, I'd say you're fine and the inspector did not know his job or equipment well enough to be doing inspection. Every standing pilot light I've ever encountered requires you to push and maintain the pilot push button for a period of time in order to purge the line of air and for the thermocouple to reach ignition temp to light the furnace. You can get a gas leak detection tool or meter.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 06:17 AM
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Thanks Norm.
Even if there's a chance of a leak inside, if the pilot is off, either by accident or intentionally, there is no gas going inside anyway, no? So I cannot imagine a situation where an internal leak could cause an explosion. Am I right?

Also the plumber was saying that the valve may be the reason why he couldn't keep the pilot on. And he said it could be dangerous. To me it doesn't make sense, does it?
 
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Old 09-28-16, 06:23 AM
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If the valve completely shuts off the gas supply and there is no leaks at or before the valve - there is no gas flow. Any gas leak has the potential to be dangerous!
 
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Old 09-28-16, 06:57 AM
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Like marksr says, the valve will prevent gas flow beyond itself. An explosion is not your main worry as much as gas leak poisoning.

How old is this furnace? Most gas valves in furnaces are made to shut down if leaking or faulty and should not work at all. If faulty it should not work intermittently. Keep an eye on it and if it works well over the next several heating cycles then you're OK.

If you don't smell gas at the furnace or in the upper floors then I doubt you have a leak in the furnace.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 07:20 AM
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Great. Thanks.
I can't believe the plumber suggested to buy a new furnace. Of course they sell and install them.
What a scam!
 
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Old 09-28-16, 07:25 AM
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Sorry. The furnace is a '99
 
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Old 09-28-16, 11:20 AM
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The first two digits of the serial number indicates week of manufacture. The third and fourth digits indicate year.

The pilot tube connections often leak gas on those old standing pilot models. If the gas shut off valve has a spring visible on the bottom it should also be checked.

I would not want that furnace on my house. I recommend carbon monoxide detectors.

Having that furnace inspected with a combustible gas detector and a carbon monoxide detector and getting the furnace cleaned annually would be a good idea.
 
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Old 09-28-16, 05:33 PM
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Sorry. The furnace is a '99
I believe the furnace is of 1991 vintage.

At the same time they turned the furnace off and asked to call a plumber to check for leaks (I don't smell gas at all now).
I stand corrected. Every gas company I've dealt with had trained appliance techs that serviced gas appliance. Apparently National Grid is just a gas provider. They don't offer any servicing on their site. How sad.

I've read some misinformation in this thread. You are just as worried about an explosion as inhaling the gas. If the gas valve is off and defective you could possibly get a gas smell.

If you've never smelled gas near the furnace then it is highly unlikely there is a gas leak.
Like Houston mentioned... a tiny smell from the shutoff valve is normal on an old furnace.

Your furnace has a pilot light. It's over 25 years old. You should probably start to look around for a replacement. Get several prices.
 
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