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Fixing a cracked heat exchanger

JohnWhite6607
JohnWhite6607 Member Posts: 14

I was inspecting a used oil furnace I got (CFM 80 PO CONV) and found some cracks on the heat exchanger where the plate that holds the burner attaches. I think they can be fixed but I’m not sure what the proper method is to patch one of these things. I understand that usually the entire heat exchanger or furnace would be replaced but that’s not an option and i think these are fixable. Not sure if it’s as easy as welding the crack or not. Im not that familiar with HVAC. I do electrical work. Pictures should be attached. 

Comments

  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 7,217
    I bet when you try to clean that to weld it the rest will be gone too.
    SuperTechMikeAmannGGrossEdTheHeaterMan
  • JohnWhite6607
    JohnWhite6607 Member Posts: 14
    I just checked it and the steel is all still there. No crumbling or further cracking when I pulled on it. The steel seems just as think around the crack as it is elsewhere. 
    I should also add that this furnace is temporary. So although a forever fix would be great, it would only need to last for a few years. 
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,788
    Hi, Is there any chance you could braze it rather than weld? The temperatures involved would be much lower, so less strain on the steel.

    Yours, Larry
    MikeAmannLyle {pheloa} Carter
  • MikeAmann
    MikeAmann Member Posts: 683
    I am not a welder, but I have messed around with trying to weld things such as this in the past.
    So here is my layman's explanation:
    1) The carbon from whatever fuel you were burning gets into the pores of the metal, and when you put welding heat to it, the metal "blows away" and you keep chasing a never-ending bigger and bigger hole.
    2) You are going to make the metal more brittle than it was before you started.
    3) Me - I would try a gas mig welder and do a series of spots.
    Spot, let the red go away, spot again, lather, rinse, repeat.

    This is not the ideal method, but it gives you a good chance of saving it.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,578
    edited October 2022
    The 2nd pic shows it's already been attempted. Ugly welds.

    How hot has this gotten? You said Used so probably unknown. How do you know that's the size you need? How old is it?

    Your house your life but I wouldn’t chance it and assume all liability!

    GGrossSuperTech
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,173
    Is this a Miller furnace? Regardless of what it is I would change the heat exchanger if available. Not worth taking a risk
    SuperTech
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 412

    I’m not sure what the proper method is to patch one of these things.


    Proper method is replacement.
    SuperTechratioRobert O'Brien
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,130
    Do you have working co detectors? 
  • JohnWhite6607
    JohnWhite6607 Member Posts: 14

    The furnace is designed for a mobile home. It’s very similar to my existing furnace I plan on installing it next to. (Miller M1MB 056A BW) 

    I’m doing this because I have a very large quantity of stabilized heating oil and I’m still getting more due to the amount of people who are switching from oil to heat pumps or gas. So if I’m successful with this furnace I’ll have free heat for a few years at least. Which would be nice because usually free heat means chopping wood and tending to a Charmaster or something similar.

    My existing unit will stay in place because it houses the coils for the AC and I want to be able to switch back to L.P. easily if I run out of oil or something happens to the oil furnace. 

    The furnace is temporarily. So the repair would just need to last a few years. I understand that the cracks will grow but I don’t know how fast. The two by the bolts are behind the gasket of the burner plate and the one that’s been welded is inside of the furnace anyway. the crack in the last picture might stop at the bolt. It’s the one in the first picture that I’m most concerned about. Right now it’s behind the gasket but it will grow. 

    I’m looking for a way to repair them or at least slow them down and seal them. I found some rutland stove and gasket cement that can be used on steel and is good for 2000°F. I may not use this exact product but something like it perhaps? I understand that a product like this wouldn’t stop the crack from growing but I think it would seal the crack and I would go back and inspect it every year and reapply if needed. 

    I’m not trying to do a sloppy job or cut corners out of apathy, just trying to work with what I got and keep my cost low. I would never do this if it was a complete replacement that was intended to stay operational for many years. 

    Maybe it’s completely hopeless but I don’t know. I find it hard to believe that in this day and age there’s no certain way to repair a crack in a steel furnace. I might believe it’s not worth the cost, but I can’t believe it’s not possible. 

    I have 2 carbon monoxide alarms outside of the furnace closet and the home has hard wired fire alarms that also detect CO. 

    I’m not sure if changing the heat exchanger would be worth the cost but I don’t know. I can’t find a price online. the only price I could find said $3510.38 which can’t be right. I think that’s more than the furnace was worth new. 

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,173
    Search for a supply house in your area or online that sells Miller equipment. I think they are part of Nordyne or Nortek or whatever they call themselves now.

    Don't even think about fixing it...you can't and it will risk the lives of whoever lives in the building.....not worth the risk
    SuperTech
  • SuperTech
    SuperTech Member Posts: 1,857
    That furnace is shot. The only reasonable way you can use the oil you obtained is to get a furnace with an intact heat exchanger. I wouldn't attempt what you are considering unless it was a very short-term, emergency situation where no other source of heating is available.  

    Not worth the risk. Are your CO detectors low level? Have they been replaced recently? They don't last forever.  Are you willing to depend on them to save the lives of everyone in the home?

    Maybe a more logical use of the oil is to sell it to someone with an intact furnace or boiler and use the money for propane and save yourself a lot of work and risk.


  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 412
    @JohnWhite6607

    Do you know anyone who has died from CO poisoning? Or any who have survived it? I do... The survivor is essentially unable to walk, paralyzed permanently according to the doctors, he is able to shuffle around with the help of a walker and another person. The other one in the home died. and for what??? because his backwoods contractor tried to save him a few dollars... That was 20 years ago, and several million dollars in hospital fees, not to mention the casket and burial for his son. but he saved a few dollars on the install..

    how about a whole family? tried to save a few dollars on venting and ended up spilling CO into the basement, family friend (my coworker) went to check up on them since nobody answered the phone, they were all dead except for an infant who miraculously did not get CO poisoning (who is now in the trade)

    Do not do this I don't know how clear we can make it, you are literally risking your life, and the lives of everyone in your home, to save a few dollars. This isn't like driving with no seatbelt, this is not like other risks you take every day. This is serious, if this thing spills CO it will kill, you will not know it is happening, you will not have a chance to call for help.

    Take out a loan and buy a new furnace.
    STEVEusaPAEdTheHeaterManSuperTech
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 5,003
    edited October 2022
    Don't waste your time. new HX or new equipment.
    Your repair will fail within 3 months of usage.
    Edward Young Retired HVAC Contractor & HYDRONICIAN Services first oil burner at age 16 P/T trainer for EH-CC.org
    GGrossSuperTech
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,578

    The furnace is designed for a mobile home. It’s very similar to my existing furnace I plan on installing it next to. (Miller M1MB 056A BW) 

    I’m doing this because I have a very large quantity of stabilized heating oil and I’m still getting more due to the amount of people who are switching from oil to heat pumps or gas. So if I’m successful with this furnace I’ll have free heat for a few years at least. Which would be nice because usually free heat means chopping wood and tending to a Charmaster or something similar.

    My existing unit will stay in place because it houses the coils for the AC and I want to be able to switch back to L.P. easily if I run out of oil or something happens to the oil furnace. 

    The furnace is temporarily. So the repair would just need to last a few years. I understand that the cracks will grow but I don’t know how fast. The two by the bolts are behind the gasket of the burner plate and the one that’s been welded is inside of the furnace anyway. the crack in the last picture might stop at the bolt. It’s the one in the first picture that I’m most concerned about. Right now it’s behind the gasket but it will grow. 

    I’m looking for a way to repair them or at least slow them down and seal them. I found some rutland stove and gasket cement that can be used on steel and is good for 2000°F. I may not use this exact product but something like it perhaps? I understand that a product like this wouldn’t stop the crack from growing but I think it would seal the crack and I would go back and inspect it every year and reapply if needed. 

    I’m not trying to do a sloppy job or cut corners out of apathy, just trying to work with what I got and keep my cost low. I would never do this if it was a complete replacement that was intended to stay operational for many years. 

    Maybe it’s completely hopeless but I don’t know. I find it hard to believe that in this day and age there’s no certain way to repair a crack in a steel furnace. I might believe it’s not worth the cost, but I can’t believe it’s not possible. 

    I have 2 carbon monoxide alarms outside of the furnace closet and the home has hard wired fire alarms that also detect CO. 

    I’m not sure if changing the heat exchanger would be worth the cost but I don’t know. I can’t find a price online. the only price I could find said $3510.38 which can’t be right. I think that’s more than the furnace was worth new. 

    Your CO detectors if UL listed are worthless for low level CO poisoning. 
    Your house
    no one else there. 
    Good Luck. 
    You renting it 
    DONT BE SO CHEAP!
  • JohnWhite6607
    JohnWhite6607 Member Posts: 14

    Screw it. Im just gonna weld it and see how long it lasts. 

    That was a joke. I just wanted to see if I could hear your heads explode all the way from PA. 🤯


    On a more serious note. I want to start with GGross’s comment 

    GGross said:
    @JohnWhite6607 Do you know anyone who has died from CO poisoning? Or any who have survived it? I do... The survivor is essentially unable to walk, paralyzed permanently according to the doctors, he is able to shuffle around with the help of a walker and another person. The other one in the home died. and for what??? because his backwoods contractor tried to save him a few dollars... That was 20 years ago, and several million dollars in hospital fees, not to mention the casket and burial for his son. but he saved a few dollars on the install.. how about a whole family? tried to save a few dollars on venting and ended up spilling CO into the basement, family friend (my coworker) went to check up on them since nobody answered the phone, they were all dead except for an infant who miraculously did not get CO poisoning (who is now in the trade) Do not do this I don't know how clear we can make it, you are literally risking your life, and the lives of everyone in your home, to save a few dollars. This isn't like driving with no seatbelt, this is not like other risks you take every day. This is serious, if this thing spills CO it will kill, you will not know it is happening, you will not have a chance to call for help. Take out a loan and buy a new furnace.

    First of all $3500 is not a few dollars to me. I wish it was. second, all of that was really unnecessary and unhelpful. I’m not 10 years old. I’m fully aware of the dangers of CO and You don’t have to scare me into submission. I didn’t take the whole thing apart and inspected it because I’m careless. You act like I’ve been saying “you’re all wrong and I’m gonna do what I want” I didn’t come here to ignore all of your opinions, I’m merely asking questions and i’m trying to understand why there isn’t a way to repair these things. I am very grateful for the responses I get on this forum but that response wasn’t helpful at all. Many other responses have been extremely helpful though. You guys prevent people like me from making costly, dangerous and deadly mistakes. That why I’m here, because I understand what can happen if things are done wrong. 

    If you want to tell sad stories I’ve got one about a little kid who got fried because the contractor who was working on buried power lines near a playground didn’t block off the hole and a kid went in to get a ball, got fried, then his father tried to pull him out and got fried to. But the workers were in a hurry to get home and thought the caution tape would be enough. 

    Or how my boss had his coworker die right next to him ON HIS FIRST WEEK. Dude was getting shocked with 480v and my boss didn’t know it. He said he never made a sound. Just fell. I can tell a couple more but I have a feeling that you already know electricity can be deadly. 


    Second is pecmsg’s comment

    pecmsg said:

    The furnace is designed for a mobile home. It’s very similar to my existing furnace I plan on installing it next to. (Miller M1MB 056A BW) 

    I’m doing this because I have a very large quantity of stabilized heating oil and I’m still getting more due to the amount of people who are switching from oil to heat pumps or gas. So if I’m successful with this furnace I’ll have free heat for a few years at least. Which would be nice because usually free heat means chopping wood and tending to a Charmaster or something similar.

    My existing unit will stay in place because it houses the coils for the AC and I want to be able to switch back to L.P. easily if I run out of oil or something happens to the oil furnace. 

    The furnace is temporarily. So the repair would just need to last a few years. I understand that the cracks will grow but I don’t know how fast. The two by the bolts are behind the gasket of the burner plate and the one that’s been welded is inside of the furnace anyway. the crack in the last picture might stop at the bolt. It’s the one in the first picture that I’m most concerned about. Right now it’s behind the gasket but it will grow. 

    I’m looking for a way to repair them or at least slow them down and seal them. I found some rutland stove and gasket cement that can be used on steel and is good for 2000°F. I may not use this exact product but something like it perhaps? I understand that a product like this wouldn’t stop the crack from growing but I think it would seal the crack and I would go back and inspect it every year and reapply if needed. 

    I’m not trying to do a sloppy job or cut corners out of apathy, just trying to work with what I got and keep my cost low. I would never do this if it was a complete replacement that was intended to stay operational for many years. 

    Maybe it’s completely hopeless but I don’t know. I find it hard to believe that in this day and age there’s no certain way to repair a crack in a steel furnace. I might believe it’s not worth the cost, but I can’t believe it’s not possible. 

    I have 2 carbon monoxide alarms outside of the furnace closet and the home has hard wired fire alarms that also detect CO. 

    I’m not sure if changing the heat exchanger would be worth the cost but I don’t know. I can’t find a price online. the only price I could find said $3510.38 which can’t be right. I think that’s more than the furnace was worth new. 

    Your CO detectors if UL listed are worthless for low level CO poisoning. 
    Your house
    no one else there. 
    Good Luck. 
    You renting it 
    DONT BE SO CHEAP!

    The first part is good information, thank you. 

    No i’m not renting and did you have to call me cheap. I’M NOT DOING THIS BECAUSE I HAVE $3500 TO THROW AROUND. If i did i wouldn’t be worried about the cost of energy in the next few years and I wouldn’t be online trying to find information about fixing a used trailer furnace! I’m not going to tell you my life story but due to a serious of unfortunate events, things aren’t going so well right now financially. I’m not being cheap. I’m trying to do the best with what I got because the money to do otherwise, doesn’t exist right now. Luckily I’m very good with my hands and I’m good at taking broken **** and turning it in to good ****. however hvac is a corner I haven’t explored. So here I am. 

    Just to be clear, I don’t find your comment offensive, I find your attempt to be offensive; offensive. 

    DON’T BE SO RUDE!

    GGross
  • JohnWhite6607
    JohnWhite6607 Member Posts: 14

    NOW 

    I feel like this thread has drifted in the wrong direction. I’m going to try and correct it for the sake of people like me who might search this topic in the future. 

    Almost all of you told me not to attempt a repair, but none of you explained WHY it couldn’t be done. This matters a lot when you’re trying to convince someone not to do something. 

    I didn’t understand why a heat exchanger that’s held together with welds couldn’t be welded. So I did some research and found When steel expands and contracts over and over and over again it becomes brittle. So the welds from the manufacturer are fine because that steel hasn’t gone through hell yet but once the steel has been compromised in such a way, it’s chances of failure only increase. Especially when you start super heating it with a welder. For a moment I thought “but car exhausts get around 300°-500° on average and they expand and contract just like furnaces do and they weld them all the time”. Only difference I could think of is car exhaust don’t kill you if the weld fails. 

    I spoke with a couple welders (I was not asking them to do the repair for me. I was asking them why it wasn’t practiced) and they said It could be done and it might be just fine but there’s a good chance the steel could fail due to the age of the furnace. They said the cracks alone tell them the steel has already had enough. They also said that although they didn’t weld car exhaust, they would imagine that the steel on a 15-20 year old car exhaust would be just as hard to weld successfully if it could be welded at all.

    In further research I did find that it is possible to patch/weld a heat exchanger. I KNOW, HOLD ON! Don’t let your head explode just yet, please, you’re gonna make a mess. 

    Depending on the location of the crack, the thickness of the steel, the age of the unit, the disruption of its absence and the availability of a replacement, a heat exchanger might be welded/patched. but only on large commercial units. it seems to be very rare and extremely discouraged. Whoever welds it needs to have access to both sides of the crack which is usually impossible and the cost of the repair is usually more than a new unit. Also The company who welds it assumes all liability if anything happens and I’m sure their premium would go through the roof. Also this would be a temporary fix because welds can fail and the consequences of failure could be deadly. 

    Some of this information might be incorrect. Feel free to point anything out. I’m not afraid of being wrong but it doesn’t really matter at this point because I’ve learned enough to know it’s not worth trying to fix. Believe it or not, I like being alive and I intend on staying alive for some time. I will most likely turn the heat exchanger in to a little wood burning heater for the shop. As for installing an oil furnace, I don’t know what I’m gonna do yet. I’m not gonna get a replacement heat exchanger for the same price as a new 90% furnace. Not like I could afford it right now anyway. Maybe I’ll find another used furnace for a good price or maybe I’ll do nothing at all. We’ll see. 

    bburdSuperTechGGross
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,578

    Screw it. Im just gonna weld it and see how long it lasts. 

    That was a joke. I just wanted to see if I could hear your heads explode all the way from PA. 🤯


    On a more serious note. I want to start with GGross’s comment 

    GGross said:
    @JohnWhite6607 Do you know anyone who has died from CO poisoning? Or any who have survived it? I do... The survivor is essentially unable to walk, paralyzed permanently according to the doctors, he is able to shuffle around with the help of a walker and another person. The other one in the home died. and for what??? because his backwoods contractor tried to save him a few dollars... That was 20 years ago, and several million dollars in hospital fees, not to mention the casket and burial for his son. but he saved a few dollars on the install.. how about a whole family? tried to save a few dollars on venting and ended up spilling CO into the basement, family friend (my coworker) went to check up on them since nobody answered the phone, they were all dead except for an infant who miraculously did not get CO poisoning (who is now in the trade) Do not do this I don't know how clear we can make it, you are literally risking your life, and the lives of everyone in your home, to save a few dollars. This isn't like driving with no seatbelt, this is not like other risks you take every day. This is serious, if this thing spills CO it will kill, you will not know it is happening, you will not have a chance to call for help. Take out a loan and buy a new furnace.

    First of all $3500 is not a few dollars to me. I wish it was. second, all of that was really unnecessary and unhelpful. I’m not 10 years old. I’m fully aware of the dangers of CO and You don’t have to scare me into submission. I didn’t take the whole thing apart and inspected it because I’m careless. You act like I’ve been saying “you’re all wrong and I’m gonna do what I want” I didn’t come here to ignore all of your opinions, I’m merely asking questions and i’m trying to understand why there isn’t a way to repair these things. I am very grateful for the responses I get on this forum but that response wasn’t helpful at all. Many other responses have been extremely helpful though. You guys prevent people like me from making costly, dangerous and deadly mistakes. That why I’m here, because I understand what can happen if things are done wrong. 

    If you want to tell sad stories I’ve got one about a little kid who got fried because the contractor who was working on buried power lines near a playground didn’t block off the hole and a kid went in to get a ball, got fried, then his father tried to pull him out and got fried to. But the workers were in a hurry to get home and thought the caution tape would be enough. 

    Or how my boss had his coworker die right next to him ON HIS FIRST WEEK. Dude was getting shocked with 480v and my boss didn’t know it. He said he never made a sound. Just fell. I can tell a couple more but I have a feeling that you already know electricity can be deadly. 


    Second is pecmsg’s comment

    pecmsg said:

    The furnace is designed for a mobile home. It’s very similar to my existing furnace I plan on installing it next to. (Miller M1MB 056A BW) 

    I’m doing this because I have a very large quantity of stabilized heating oil and I’m still getting more due to the amount of people who are switching from oil to heat pumps or gas. So if I’m successful with this furnace I’ll have free heat for a few years at least. Which would be nice because usually free heat means chopping wood and tending to a Charmaster or something similar.

    My existing unit will stay in place because it houses the coils for the AC and I want to be able to switch back to L.P. easily if I run out of oil or something happens to the oil furnace. 

    The furnace is temporarily. So the repair would just need to last a few years. I understand that the cracks will grow but I don’t know how fast. The two by the bolts are behind the gasket of the burner plate and the one that’s been welded is inside of the furnace anyway. the crack in the last picture might stop at the bolt. It’s the one in the first picture that I’m most concerned about. Right now it’s behind the gasket but it will grow. 

    I’m looking for a way to repair them or at least slow them down and seal them. I found some rutland stove and gasket cement that can be used on steel and is good for 2000°F. I may not use this exact product but something like it perhaps? I understand that a product like this wouldn’t stop the crack from growing but I think it would seal the crack and I would go back and inspect it every year and reapply if needed. 

    I’m not trying to do a sloppy job or cut corners out of apathy, just trying to work with what I got and keep my cost low. I would never do this if it was a complete replacement that was intended to stay operational for many years. 

    Maybe it’s completely hopeless but I don’t know. I find it hard to believe that in this day and age there’s no certain way to repair a crack in a steel furnace. I might believe it’s not worth the cost, but I can’t believe it’s not possible. 

    I have 2 carbon monoxide alarms outside of the furnace closet and the home has hard wired fire alarms that also detect CO. 

    I’m not sure if changing the heat exchanger would be worth the cost but I don’t know. I can’t find a price online. the only price I could find said $3510.38 which can’t be right. I think that’s more than the furnace was worth new. 

    Your CO detectors if UL listed are worthless for low level CO poisoning. 
    Your house
    no one else there. 
    Good Luck. 
    You renting it 
    DONT BE SO CHEAP!

    The first part is good information, thank you. 

    No i’m not renting and did you have to call me cheap. I’M NOT DOING THIS BECAUSE I HAVE $*,***.** TO THROW AROUND. If i did i wouldn’t be worried about the cost of energy in the next few years and I wouldn’t be online trying to find information about fixing a used trailer furnace! I’m not going to tell you my life story but due to a serious of unfortunate events, things aren’t going so well right now financially. I’m not being cheap. I’m trying to do the best with what I got because the money to do otherwise, doesn’t exist right now. Luckily I’m very good with my hands and I’m good at taking broken **** and turning it in to good ****. however hvac is a corner I haven’t explored. So here I am. 

    Just to be clear, I don’t find your comment offensive, I find your attempt to be offensive; offensive. 

    DON’T BE SO RUDE!

    So you want a blessing for what many qualified personnel have said “it’s a bad idea”?
    not going to happen. 

    Your the one posting prices (against site rules BTW) 
    so yes you opened the money door. 
    Is your life or better yet someone else’s life worth a few grand, I think it’s worth 10X that!
    GGross
  • JohnWhite6607
    JohnWhite6607 Member Posts: 14
    pecmsg said:

    Screw it. Im just gonna weld it and see how long it lasts. 

    That was a joke. I just wanted to see if I could hear your heads explode all the way from PA. 🤯


    On a more serious note. I want to start with GGross’s comment 

    GGross said:
    @JohnWhite6607 Do you know anyone who has died from CO poisoning? Or any who have survived it? I do... The survivor is essentially unable to walk, paralyzed permanently according to the doctors, he is able to shuffle around with the help of a walker and another person. The other one in the home died. and for what??? because his backwoods contractor tried to save him a few dollars... That was 20 years ago, and several million dollars in hospital fees, not to mention the casket and burial for his son. but he saved a few dollars on the install.. how about a whole family? tried to save a few dollars on venting and ended up spilling CO into the basement, family friend (my coworker) went to check up on them since nobody answered the phone, they were all dead except for an infant who miraculously did not get CO poisoning (who is now in the trade) Do not do this I don't know how clear we can make it, you are literally risking your life, and the lives of everyone in your home, to save a few dollars. This isn't like driving with no seatbelt, this is not like other risks you take every day. This is serious, if this thing spills CO it will kill, you will not know it is happening, you will not have a chance to call for help. Take out a loan and buy a new furnace.

    First of all $3500 is not a few dollars to me. I wish it was. second, all of that was really unnecessary and unhelpful. I’m not 10 years old. I’m fully aware of the dangers of CO and You don’t have to scare me into submission. I didn’t take the whole thing apart and inspected it because I’m careless. You act like I’ve been saying “you’re all wrong and I’m gonna do what I want” I didn’t come here to ignore all of your opinions, I’m merely asking questions and i’m trying to understand why there isn’t a way to repair these things. I am very grateful for the responses I get on this forum but that response wasn’t helpful at all. Many other responses have been extremely helpful though. You guys prevent people like me from making costly, dangerous and deadly mistakes. That why I’m here, because I understand what can happen if things are done wrong. 

    If you want to tell sad stories I’ve got one about a little kid who got fried because the contractor who was working on buried power lines near a playground didn’t block off the hole and a kid went in to get a ball, got fried, then his father tried to pull him out and got fried to. But the workers were in a hurry to get home and thought the caution tape would be enough. 

    Or how my boss had his coworker die right next to him ON HIS FIRST WEEK. Dude was getting shocked with 480v and my boss didn’t know it. He said he never made a sound. Just fell. I can tell a couple more but I have a feeling that you already know electricity can be deadly. 


    Second is pecmsg’s comment

    pecmsg said:

    The furnace is designed for a mobile home. It’s very similar to my existing furnace I plan on installing it next to. (Miller M1MB 056A BW) 

    I’m doing this because I have a very large quantity of stabilized heating oil and I’m still getting more due to the amount of people who are switching from oil to heat pumps or gas. So if I’m successful with this furnace I’ll have free heat for a few years at least. Which would be nice because usually free heat means chopping wood and tending to a Charmaster or something similar.

    My existing unit will stay in place because it houses the coils for the AC and I want to be able to switch back to L.P. easily if I run out of oil or something happens to the oil furnace. 

    The furnace is temporarily. So the repair would just need to last a few years. I understand that the cracks will grow but I don’t know how fast. The two by the bolts are behind the gasket of the burner plate and the one that’s been welded is inside of the furnace anyway. the crack in the last picture might stop at the bolt. It’s the one in the first picture that I’m most concerned about. Right now it’s behind the gasket but it will grow. 

    I’m looking for a way to repair them or at least slow them down and seal them. I found some rutland stove and gasket cement that can be used on steel and is good for 2000°F. I may not use this exact product but something like it perhaps? I understand that a product like this wouldn’t stop the crack from growing but I think it would seal the crack and I would go back and inspect it every year and reapply if needed. 

    I’m not trying to do a sloppy job or cut corners out of apathy, just trying to work with what I got and keep my cost low. I would never do this if it was a complete replacement that was intended to stay operational for many years. 

    Maybe it’s completely hopeless but I don’t know. I find it hard to believe that in this day and age there’s no certain way to repair a crack in a steel furnace. I might believe it’s not worth the cost, but I can’t believe it’s not possible. 

    I have 2 carbon monoxide alarms outside of the furnace closet and the home has hard wired fire alarms that also detect CO. 

    I’m not sure if changing the heat exchanger would be worth the cost but I don’t know. I can’t find a price online. the only price I could find said $3510.38 which can’t be right. I think that’s more than the furnace was worth new. 

    Your CO detectors if UL listed are worthless for low level CO poisoning. 
    Your house
    no one else there. 
    Good Luck. 
    You renting it 
    DONT BE SO CHEAP!

    The first part is good information, thank you. 

    No i’m not renting and did you have to call me cheap. I’M NOT DOING THIS BECAUSE I HAVE $*,***.** TO THROW AROUND. If i did i wouldn’t be worried about the cost of energy in the next few years and I wouldn’t be online trying to find information about fixing a used trailer furnace! I’m not going to tell you my life story but due to a serious of unfortunate events, things aren’t going so well right now financially. I’m not being cheap. I’m trying to do the best with what I got because the money to do otherwise, doesn’t exist right now. Luckily I’m very good with my hands and I’m good at taking broken **** and turning it in to good ****. however hvac is a corner I haven’t explored. So here I am. 

    Just to be clear, I don’t find your comment offensive, I find your attempt to be offensive; offensive. 

    DON’T BE SO RUDE!

    So you want a blessing for what many qualified personnel have said “it’s a bad idea”?
    not going to happen. 

    Your the one posting prices (against site rules BTW) 
    so yes you opened the money door. 
    Is your life or better yet someone else’s life worth a few grand, I think it’s worth 10X that!
    Something tells me you’re a real joy to be around. 

    No I’m not looking for your blessing. I was looking for information that would allow me to assess my own risk and then make my own decisions. 
    I don’t just hear no and leave it at that, I wanted to know why it shouldn’t be attempted, Because I know there are a lot of osha laws out there that are in place for ridiculous reasons. 

    Thank you for reminding me of the rules Karen. I believe being respectful is another one. 
    The Pricing rule is intended to prevent price fixing. Me mentioning the price of a product that can be found online can’t lead to price fixing because I have no control over the price of that product. Sometimes knowing the reason for a rule is helpful. 

     No, a life is not worth a few grand, thanks to the responses on this forum combined with other research, I’ve decided not to attempt the repair. And I’m not on the fence about it either. It’s a 100% NO. I really don’t see why you think I’m battling this. If this is you trying to help, your methods suck. 

    Also I spoke with an hvac contractor yesterday and he said he thinks it could be welded. I could have just taken that and ran with it because it was what I wanted to hear, but i didn’t because I want to live. I don’t think I’m as reckless and irresponsible as you might think. If I was, I wouldn’t be here. 
    mattmia2GGross
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,578
    edited October 2022
    These forums are open to any and everyone. A bad decision on your part could be interpreted as a repairable unit when it is not and is unsafe!

    pricing is not allowed. Not to prevent price fixing!
    STEVEusaPA
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 323
    How are you going to transfer/transport/store this fuel oil from multiple sources anyway? Just something I've been curious about.. now that your question has had a answer 
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
  • JohnWhite6607
    JohnWhite6607 Member Posts: 14
    pecmsg said:
    These forums are open to any and everyone. A bad decision on your part could be interpreted as a repairable unit when it is not and is unsafe!

    pricing is not allowed. Not to prevent price fixing!
    You might want to reread the rules. 
  • JohnWhite6607
    JohnWhite6607 Member Posts: 14
    reggi said:
    How are you going to transfer/transport/store this fuel oil from multiple sources anyway? Just something I've been curious about.. now that your question has had a answer 
    I have fuel pumps to transfer the oil. It gets pumped from the tank into a 275 gallon tote on my trailer. Then I remove the thank. If the tank is in working condition, I clean it out and install it at my place. If it’s not then I give it to my neighbor and he scraps it. I also have several drums and some extra totes if I don’t have a steel tank to put it in. 
    The heating oil gets treated with fuel stabilizer then gravity drained from the tote on my trailer, through a filter and into one of the tanks. 
    I originally started doing this for my parents because they have an oil furnace and had difficulty getting oil last year. Now I have enough oil for both of us and people keep offering more. They switch to a heat pumps or gas and want the tanks gone. I pick them up. 
  • reggi
    reggi Member Posts: 323
    reggi said:
    How are you going to transfer/transport/store this fuel oil from multiple sources anyway? Just something I've been curious about.. now that your question has had a answer 
    I have fuel pumps to transfer the oil. It gets pumped from the tank into a 275 gallon tote on my trailer. Then I remove the thank. If the tank is in working condition, I clean it out and install it at my place. If it’s not then I give it to my neighbor and he scraps it. I also have several drums and some extra totes if I don’t have a steel tank to put it in. 
    The heating oil gets treated with fuel stabilizer then gravity drained from the tote on my trailer, through a filter and into one of the tanks. 
    I originally started doing this for my parents because they have an oil furnace and had difficulty getting oil last year. Now I have enough oil for both of us and people keep offering more. They switch to a heat pumps or gas and want the tanks gone. I pick them up. 
    Sounds like it works for you and your parents... Now if you could get a "Oil Furnace" before it's made manageable for the change over you'll be aces. .. Maybe if people are contacting you in advance about the oil you can find out if the boiler is going.. you'll figure it out.. good luck 
    One way to get familiar something you know nothing about is to ask a really smart person a really stupid question
    JohnWhite6607
  • vtfarmer
    vtfarmer Member Posts: 80
    @JohnWhite6607 to help steer this toward your intended goal (utilizing the "free fuel oil"), if not the topic (welding up that HX), may I suggest monitoring craigslist and attending consignment auctions? I once picked up an Olsen oil furnace with an intact HX, that I installed in my shop back in NY for about $40. When I sold that property the new owner didn't want that furnace so I sold it with its tank on craigslist for a few hundred bucks, IIRC. This was ~15 years ago, so I hope posting this price is OK. I've seen Miller MH oil furnaces and even a Thermospride (Cadillac of oil furnaces) go for $5 to the scrap guy - makes me sick.

    Anyway, this repair is a pain and the consequence of failure is flue gasses in your living quarters, so why not try to solve the problem a different way? Try auctionzip dot com for farm/construction consignment sales in your area and I bet you'll find a perfectly good, non-cracked, ready to run oil furnace for peanuts if you're patient.
  • JohnWhite6607
    JohnWhite6607 Member Posts: 14
    vtfarmer said:
    @JohnWhite6607 to help steer this toward your intended goal (utilizing the "free fuel oil"), if not the topic (welding up that HX), may I suggest monitoring craigslist and attending consignment auctions? I once picked up an Olsen oil furnace with an intact HX, that I installed in my shop back in NY for about $40. When I sold that property the new owner didn't want that furnace so I sold it with its tank on craigslist for a few hundred bucks, IIRC. This was ~15 years ago, so I hope posting this price is OK. I've seen Miller MH oil furnaces and even a Thermospride (Cadillac of oil furnaces) go for $5 to the scrap guy - makes me sick. Anyway, this repair is a pain and the consequence of failure is flue gasses in your living quarters, so why not try to solve the problem a different way? Try auctionzip dot com for farm/construction consignment sales in your area and I bet you'll find a perfectly good, non-cracked, ready to run oil furnace for peanuts if you're patient.
    Thank you I’ll look in to this. I’m very active on Facebook marketplace and there are a lot of furnaces being sold right now. I’ve also see a lot go for free. Just not the type I need. I need a down flow unit that’s made for a mobile home. Something I can fit next to my existing furnace. I’ve seen them up for sale but I’ve ether missed them or they weren’t worth the price. 

    Definitely not welding the cracked heat exchanger. But I think I can convert it in to a nice little wood burning shop heater. 
    reggi
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,173
    @JohnWhite6607

    i would pursue a new heat exchanger from a supply house that sells Miller equipment. We can't talk price here, but you should be able to get one for less than the price you quoted.
    JohnWhite6607