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RicM from HVACTV.com needs help again

Ric Murray
Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
I'm totally confused now. The website says:

"Westinghouse Two-Stage furnaces operate at lower capacity during mild winter days, then full capacity during colder days. Because this furnace idles down to a reduced capacity it provides better comfort and performs quieter then a single-stage furnace. Longer cycles improve air circulation, minimizing temperature swings to a couple of degrees, while reducing hot and cold spots.

GE ECM™ Variable speed Blower technology automatically compensates for reduced duct volume, dirty air filters, zoning changes, obstructed registers, etc. to improve indoor air quality, and precise humidity control. Setting the thermostat fan mode to run continuously reduces electrical consumption close to 80% over conventional furnaces therefore reducing utility costs.

Because of its longer cycles and its ability to ramp-up gradually, air circulation increases and the furnace virtually eliminates temperature swings and hot and cold spots for the best in home comfort."

I went through a local plumber with an excellant reputation. He brought in his "Hot Air" guy to do the furnace install. The hot air guy recommended Westinghouse. I told them I wanted "The Best" and that quiet & efficient was more important than price.We were replacing a crap job done 2 and a half years ago by another guy. I then looked at the Westinghouse site and asked for a 2 stage variable speed as described above. Believe me there was no quibbling about $$$$. God I HATE hot air. I love were I live, but I would slash my throat before I live with another hot air system.

Comments

  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    RicM from HVACTV.com needs help again

    Hi all and thanks to those who gave advice on my hot air furnace question. I have my new 2 stage variable speed furnace installed. I do not, however, notice any real difference in operation. The unit kicks on and off just like the old one. If I leave the fan setting to "On" instaed of "auto" it seems to run full speed all the time. I don't notice any of the promised difference in fan speed (& noise) advertised on the Westinghouse site. I tried to confirm that this furnace is indeed a variable speed model, and there are no markings on it to indicate model. The instruction books are generic for all models of 80+ and 90+ 1,2 stage and fixed variable units. The westinghouse website does not list model #'s (!). I googled the model # hidden on a sticker inside the unit and it kicks out a Nordyne # that doesn't match exactly. Westinghouse lists no phone for customer service, just refers you to a search by zip code for local dealers that doesn't work. I am constantly amazed at what some companies get away with!
  • tom_49
    tom_49 Member Posts: 269


    ric,

    Wheres the dealer?

    I'm not familiar w/ this unit but if you want to find out if it truly is VS, open the blower door and look at the wiring harness going to the motor. There should be "lots" of wires. If theres only 3,4,or5 what you good there is the old psc motor.

    Alot of these VS furnaces I see have never been set up properly upoon install. Again Im not familiar w/ that part. furnace, but the ones we put in have several dip switches in them for proper set-up.

    good luck, Tom
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,094
    check

    Besides checking the blower wiring harness also check the low voltage termal strip and se if there is a clearly marked w1 and w2 termal if they are present then indead it's a 2 stage burner but if they are jumped together then your system will only operate as a single stage burner .Also as stated above on the circuit board there should be several small dip swiches which usually set the blower speed and delay time and speed for ventalayion .Why not contact who ever installed the unit if not local supply house to see who carries this unit they may be helpful peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,040


    'ON' just means the blower runs at whatever speed it is set to run at. No heat. 'Auto' means fan is controled by the fan limit switch to kick on when the HX reaches a set temp. You are looking to program the speed either by dip switches, or jumpers. Is there a chance you are missing a sensor or specific t-stat that sends data back from the room temp that controls the speed? Are there more terminals where the t-stat wires to the control board that are not currently being used? Does the manuel call for a specific t-stat with more than a simple 2-wire hookup? A leaking return pulling very cold air might cause the limit switch to cycle. Maybe find someone who could perform a blower door test.

    T
    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    2 Stage Thermostat

    is required by some makes in order to achieve true 2 stage firing. Might read the connecting t-stat chapter of the installation manual; also what clammy said.
  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    Wires on Blower

    There are 5 wires to the blower, Black, White. Orange, Red, Blue. I see no DIP switches or jumpers on the circuit board.
  • John Starcher_4
    John Starcher_4 Member Posts: 794
    Ummmm.....

    ...Rick? I hate to tell you this, buddy, but I doubt very much that your furnace is variable speed.

    Might be time to call your installer!

    Starch
  • Gary Fereday
    Gary Fereday Member Posts: 427
    Your Furnace

    Is a single stage type. the blower can be made to run at a different speed for Air cooling, (usually faster is needed). I doubt the burner is made to go two stage. The blower should have been set to run the air temp at the best the furnace is efficient at. Temperature taken at the plenum, and blower set to optimum hot air temp for the furnace. These parameters are usually listed in each furnace litturture.
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
    Westinghouse

    Is a Nordyne product. I don't think they even have a variable speed product. Some of these co's call a multispeed a variable speed :(

    I bet the price looked better than the Carrier/Bryant guy's price :)
  • Darin(in Michigan)
    Darin(in Michigan) Member Posts: 90


    There are several furnaces that have two stages and use ac motors. The tru indication is as was stated earlier, is whether or not there is a w2 terminal. Also, if there is a two speed inducer, it can be 2 stage. Alot of contractors will use an internal time delay to control the staging between w1 and w2 and use a single stage stat.
  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    What the circuit board says...How do it know?

    I looked at the circuit board and there are spade connectors labeled M1, M2, M3. They are empty. I assume they are a means to change the motor speed maually? How does the furnace know to vary speed or change stages? Do you need a special T-Stat?
  • Gary Reecher
    Gary Reecher Member Posts: 111
    John is right.

    There should be 2 plugs going to the blower motor. One is a 16 pin plug for the 24 vac and control. The other is the 120vac plug. If you don't have these you don't have variable speed.
  • Darin(in Michigan)
    Darin(in Michigan) Member Posts: 90
    Ric

    Where the T-stat wires tie into the control board(there s/b a red, white if just furnace, and blue(or yellow) and green if A/C ready or installed. At this junction, there s/b a w if single stage, or (keep your fingers crossed) a w1 and a w2 terminal if it is two stage on the control board. As I said earlier if you have a two stage furnace and only a single stage stat, don't worry. Most manufacturers I know use a time delay of say 10 minutes after w1 is energized and then w2 is energized to take up the slack. However, if your contactor gave you literature for a unit with ECM technology and you have 5 wires going to the existing blower, I doubt you have the same furnace. If the contractor is what you say he is, it could be an honest mistake. We all make them.
  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    So what do I do now?

    OK so I'm pretty sure this is not the furnace I asked for. It is noisy, blows the curtains around everytime it starts up it's p@#$ing me off that I've got 10-15 years of this furnace to live with. What do you guys think the contractor owes me? I stated at the beginning (from advice gained here) that I wanted a 2 stage variable speed furnace. When the unit arrived I asked the plumber guy (who was my contact throughout) "were they able to get the 2 stage variable speed furnace I requested?". He said yes. I plan to call him tomorrow and politely tell him that I have questions about the furnace and we need to talk. Should I ask him to remove it and put in the one I requested? There was no rush here, I have a direct vent gas fireplace (28,000BTU) that was heating our home adequately if somewhat unevenly. I was adamant that cost was not the issue, quality and comfort was.

    Once again, I thank you all for your help and patience with my ignorance.

    RicM
  • tom_49
    tom_49 Member Posts: 269


    Ric,

    I would definately have him pull it out. Your going to have to live w/ it for sometime. I know I'd pull it out if I made that error in someones house.

    If you really want a nice FHA furnace, put in the Carrier " Infinity" furnace and control, 2 stage, whisper quiet. When we started putting them in I thought there was a problem with it because you couldnt hear it running.It WILL change your opinion ( maybe a little ) about hot air.
  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    Polling the Pros on what to do now

    It looks like a lot of Monday activity has pushed me down the list a bit, therefore I respectfully ask the pro's opinion on how to deal with my contractor. A quick summary. My FHA system failed for the 3d time in 2.5 years (third smartvalve) decided to install new furnace. Trusted local contractor suggested Westinghouse equipment. Went to the Westinghouse website and told him I wanted a 2 stage variable speed 90+ unit. Siting condensation and venting issues he talked me down to 80+ unit. I said OK. He ordered unit and over the phone I asked if it was indeed the 2 Stage, Variable Speed 80+. He said yes. Over the weekend with help from those here at The Wall i have established that the new unit in my basement is not variable speed. What should I do? How would you handle it?

    RicM from HVACTV.com
  • John Starcher_4
    John Starcher_4 Member Posts: 794
    Ric,

    You obviously have not gotten what you asked for from the contractor. First thing to ask you is - did he give you a written proposal specifying a two-stage variable speed furnace? If he did, then you have every right to ask him to install what you originally asked for and were quoted.

    If the contract was verbal, it's going to get sticky. Could end up being a "he said she said" situation. Hopefully the contractor will step up to the plate and do the right thing. If not, you may need an attorney.

    I would call the installer, and ask him to meet you at the house. Review the events leading up to the job, and your stated desire for a v/s furnace. You were under the impression all along that's what you were getting. Ask him why the installed furnace is not what you requested, then politely ask him to replace it. Trust me, you don't want to live with the furnace you have for ten more years.

    Good luck, and let us know how you make out!!!!!

    Starch

    Starch
  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    Now looking for NEW FHA contractor in the RI Area

    Just talked to the guy who put in the non variable speed furnace. His answer was "what do you want one of those for anyway? It's a control nightmare. I put in the best thing for you." So he'd coming tomorrow to take it out and does not want to replace it. So I'm looking for a good forced hot air guy in Rhode Island. Any suggestions?
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    past visit!

    Ric,

    When Lois & I visited your home, you & I talked about hydronics and retro-fitting your home. Sounds like there won't be a better time or opportunity than your present situation. A hydro-air unit would grant you immediate ducted warmth and give you the luxury of time to weave a fabric of hydronic comfort.



    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    Thanks Dave

    Dave:

    Thanks for your input. What would I ask a contrator for? I understand there would be some kind of heat exchanger that would provide hot air into the duct work. Then I guess I could add radiant areas as I was able to? Is that what you are suggesting?

    Ric
  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    On the path to the Future

    God what a nightmare, you'd think I would know better! Thanks for the suggestion Dave. I've got a guy (who prefers to remain anonymous) coming to look at a Hydro-Air solution this week. If we can get that to work then throw in some floor warming next fall I would be one happy guy!

    Ric
  • Ric, I am just a phone call

    away if you need some help!!!
  • Darin(in Michigan)
    Darin(in Michigan) Member Posts: 90
    Vacation??!!

    I've always wanted to see Rhode Island;)
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    And.....

    A RI install party that could be filmed for........

    Ric barbequeing (one of the world's best cooks, BTW) while passionate wet heads come to the rescue - saving a friend from the clutches of scorched misery.

    Who could narrate such a thing? A gent with a fireside-chat manner who has a charm and wit to match....

    Timmie could spin in a tale or two as well.

    I see a beautiful damsel in distress on the upper floor balcony pleading for help(G).

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    Thanks for your Proposals

    Darin, believe me you'd like RI a lot more in the summer time than you would right now, but thanks for the offer. Dave - I like your outline. I have already started composing a monologe on the lines of "Hi my name is RicM and I'm a friend of Dan. I am an HVAC customer and this is my story....". Beleive me this whole experience is definately going to make on HVACTV one way or the other.

    So today the FHA guy is coming to remove the Westinghouse unit. I asked him if he had any suggestions that he might replace it with. In polite terms he told me where to stick it, he's coming to remove the unit, that's it. I suppose at that point most of his victims, errr... customers cave in with visions of freezing pipes while they stay in a motel. Fortunately I have a secret weapon, a 40,000BTU direct vent gas fireplace that we put in just before Christmas. Does that sucker pump heat! It's on the lower level (split level condo w/open stairs) and when the original furnace crapped out on New Years Eve it heated the house quite adequately for 5 days. Indeed I find out that my better half has been TURNING OFF the new FHA system during the day when I'm at work because it's so noisy and blows cold air around! She prefers the quiet warmth of the gas fireplace!
    So I have no idea what I'll be returning home to tonight. I'm just hoping this character isn't going to wreck the place.
  • Ric Murray
    Ric Murray Member Posts: 23
    Thank you all

    As this saga winds to a close I want to thank, from the depth of my heart, all of you who have given a word of advice or hope. From my years of working for HVACTV.com I've come to appreciate the professionalism of all the people on this forum and the vast majority of the folks I meet at seminars and through HVACTV, and I guess it's made me a little naive in that I expect all contractors to be like you guys. To paraphrase Dan....thanks for being who you are and doing what you do....I really appreciate it.
  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Hey Ric

    If you need any help from a QUALITY gfa guy, let me know. There's a few good ones in your neck of the woods.
  • Mitch_4
    Mitch_4 Member Posts: 955
    rick

    I am in a similar situation as you, have FA, want hydronics, but $$ is an issue, I can't afford to do it all at once. replaced furnace with hydro air unit (very basic, and a mod.con boiler, best I could get. piped the manifold in for the dream system, and will add the rest as the years roll in. Will keep the duct for CA.

    Best time to do it
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    How close

    are you to the Viessman school? I'll be there Feb 8, 9 & 10 with three of our techs.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
This discussion has been closed.