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Forced Air Furnace Issue - Troubleshooting and Identification

Can anyone tell me what a few causes may be for the following issue:

Was blowing air, yet not heated - switch was tripped and replaced, solved temporarily.

When the side cover was removed, there is "blow back" in the 2nd from the left  "blower" where the ignitor is - so maybe a clog of some sort?

My neighbor just had an issue with his unit about a month or so ago and the first person he called tried to rake him over the coals for what turned out to be a simple, inexpensive fix. Before I call a service man, I just want to have some idea of what could be causing the issue. This started New Year's Eve - at least it was doing it when I returned home at 9pm (Happy New Years?!). I just turned off the unit and plugged in an electric heater until the electrician boyfriend could look at it this morning, change the tripped switch, and head out of town again on business.

Anyway - please take a look at the pics and let me know what you think. I'd like to call a serviceman before the weekend. (Recommendations for the Rocky Mount, NC area are welcome.)

Says Concord, but when googled, Armstrong related stuff comes up. Model Number - since not very visible in pics is: RPG10A36D100A-4A ; Year built unknown, though it came with my house which I purchased 5 years ago.


  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    That system looks highly nelected. That odd burner pattern could be a cracked heat exchanger. Have it looked at by somebody with an inspection camera, or who knows how to properly diagnose failed heat exchangers.
  • Empire_2
    Empire_2 Member Posts: 2,343
    edited January 2013
    Bad news...

    HX is cracked!  Replacement is necessary. No camera needed, I'll bet my pay check on it.

    Mike T.
  • XStaceyAMayX
    XStaceyAMayX Member Posts: 5

    Thanks. Since there weren't any recommendations for Rocky Mount, NC - and I'm not from around here (Upstate NY) - so I don't know anyone.... do either of you know what range of pricing I should be charged for replacing the heat exchanger? 

    I guess you could say I have trust issues - or you could say I just like my research in order so I don't appear to be a naive, easy mark.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    edited January 2013

    100,000 BTU/hr gas heater with 3 tons of cooling dating from (just checked with Allied) 1998.  HX warranty is 10 years, so repairs will get expensive.  10 SEER unit - I'd look seriously at replacing it.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,801
    10 years is about all

    You get with a outdoor package on the heat exchanger. You might want to consider a comerical unit instead of a residential they last longer in my humble opinion. And are sometimes less expensive.
  • RJ_4
    RJ_4 Member Posts: 484

    Do not operate CO is probably present

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • XStaceyAMayX
    XStaceyAMayX Member Posts: 5

    As of yesterday, the new heat exchanged was installed - by a now highly recommended professional company in Rocky Mount - well, technically, Nashville - Jack McManus Heating and Cooling.

    My CO alarms never went off during this situation. 

    Thanks to all who assisted.
  • JStar
    JStar Member Posts: 2,752

    CO might not enter the living space if the heat exchanger is cracked. However, the furnace is still unsafe and presents a list of other issues. And most alarms go off at very high levels. They are not sensitive enough to detect a level of CO that is still dangerous.

    Glad to hear that you had a good experience, and all is fixed and well.
  • XStaceyAMayX
    XStaceyAMayX Member Posts: 5

    Huh. And you pay extra for the Carbon Monoxide feature on these alarms... and you're telling me they won't pick up low-but-still-dangerous levels of CO? That's messed up. A friend said a similar thing, but I disregarded it because of the alarms.

    A little odd that I got your reply right now - as I'm searching the Internet for reasons for some health issues that have crept up on me in the last 2 weeks. I probably just drink too much Diet Coke. Anyway. I'm not jumping to any conclusions, the heating system has been repaired, and it's going to be warmer today and the whole house is getting aired out. 
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,801
    Don't panic

    Dear all good co detectors will pick up any dangerous levels of co. They do how ever need to be replaced as per there instructions. Most last two to three years and then your supposed to replace them. Unfortunately I've seen them over 10 years old. 
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,801

    Just add a little burbon to that diet coke and you will be fine.
  • XStaceyAMayX
    XStaceyAMayX Member Posts: 5

    Got the detectors a couple months ago - so good there then. Thanks.

    Does it have to be bourbon?!
This discussion has been closed.