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Is TAPPAN the problem or is the tech the problem?

LyraLyra Member Posts: 4
Hi all, I just need some general insight for now. The old furnace (maybe 1970s) was replaced in Dec 2009 with a TAPPAN high efficiency (natural gas, forced hot air). This house is a duplex and it is rented out. Since the installation, I've replaced the condense pump, and the furnace has quit at least twice and is currently blowing lukewarm air and short cycling. (that's for another post) I've had several problems with the "smart" thermostat as well (I went back to the old Honeywell this year).
So, the furnace or thermostat has some problem almost every year, and tenants are understandably unhappy. After repairs during minus zero weather in 2017 (several companies tried several things-it took a few days to fix) I was never able to get the duct system balanced, although it was balance from 2010 to 2017....
This Sunday I paid several hundred dollars for an emergency visit and it's still blowing lukewarm air (but produced hot air when the thermostat was over ridden at the panel-so they thought it had been fixed). The repair guy also adjusted some of the dampers, thinking the hot air wasn't making it to the second story. But that isn't the problem bc last year the second floor was fine. So my question is; is Tappan reliable or known for issues? Or is this a tech problem? (I'm using a recommended company and had probably more than 5 different guys over the years). Is it possible their policy is to send the least experience tech first and if that doesn't work send a more experienced tech? I know this stuff is complicated-I'm not throwing the techs under the bus.
If I replaced it with another furnace which brands do you guys find most reliable? Would replacing it solve (most of) the problems? My stress levels at trying to keep this furnace working are at an unhealthy level-it is pretty much interfering with everything we do (vacations, etc). The furnace did lower my heating costs by $50 a month -but raised my repair bills-and stress-so exponentially. Opinions? What would you do if this were your rental property?


  • Jamie HallJamie Hall Member Posts: 12,710
    Tech problem. Some furnaces are trickier to work on than others. Some thermostats are trickier than others. They all work. However, if the tech. doesn't troubleshoot the problem correctly, none of them will work.
    Br. Jamie, osb

    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.

    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • pecmsgpecmsg Member Posts: 1,392
    I really don't care about the name on the equipment, the people that did the install make or break a "System".

    Saying you paid X,Y,Z also doesn't matter! Good techs are in very short supply, great ones are almost impossible to find. You need a knowledgeable the that knows the equipment and has the training and tools to do the job correctly.

    Easier said then done
  • LyraLyra Member Posts: 4
    Ok guys how do I find find the techs that know vs the ones that don't? Any way to narrow the field?
  • ZmanZman Member Posts: 5,737
    Manufacture's reps spend a lot of time with local contractors troubleshooting their products. They will know who is great and who is not. You can usually find your local rep on the manufactures website.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    LyraDan Foley
  • DZoroDZoro Member Posts: 1,035
    Truly sounds like you have a air duct distribution problem. Pretty hard to get lower and upper apartments satisfactory temps with one furnace and no zoning.
    You will need to put in zoning or 2 separate furnaces and air duct systems.
    Either way heat loss calcs. need to be done so that the new furnace (s) or the existing system is not over sized which will cause even more issues.
  • LyraLyra Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the idea about manufacturer's reps. Very helpful. I will track this down.
  • JUGHNEJUGHNE Member Posts: 6,793
    Tappan is part of the Nordyne empire which has about 6 labels for the same product. They and most other "entry level" furnace makers do not make thermostats or condensate pumps. Sometimes they give you a choice of 3-4 labels to stick on the thermostats.
    It is like blaming bad tires on your old Ford on that car company.

    Any furnace is just a box that makes hot air. What and how you control that air is part of the ductwork system. The thermostat is also a big controlling factor. "Smart " thermostats can get dumb real quick if asked to do too much.

    Do you have motorized zone valves or are you trying to balance the flow with the diffuser dampers? The manual dampers will work loose and close on their own.
    Is there AC on this system also?

    Having dealt personally with tennants in a duplex, IMO, the best answer is separate systems with separate meters that each pay.

    Also if there is only one thermostat, what unit has control of it?
    Tennants will get into a temperature battle pretty often.
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