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Heat exchange has cracks. - Heating & Cooling

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If the furnace has any age to it, replace the furnace. Do not run it as the carbon monoxide can cause super bad side effects.

Posted on Oct 13, 2010

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My furnace is a Rheem has issues of pilot light not staying lite the flame blows out won't stay on long enough to heat house


First thing I do, especially if the furnace is an older one, is to light a match or long end lighter(like for BBQ pits), hold it inside the opening on the front of the furnace heat exchanger, where you would normally see the burner flames, then turn on the fan only. If you see the "flame dance/flame disturbance", then that furnace may be unsafe due to a cracked heat exchanger. Holes or cracks in heat exchanger will blow out the pilot by allowing the air that we breathe to enter the heat exchanger and mix with the combustion process. AND may cause carbon monoxide poisoning. In that scenario, I would call in a professional. Now if it's not a heat exchanger issue, the flue pipe may have a back draft issue. Again, call a professional! Play it safe with that issue. Hope this helps!

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After 18 years of service, it is not cost effective to just replace the heat exchanger. Go the complete replacement route. There may be a utility company incentive to do it.

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Can you install class-A cotton foil-backed insulation in a furnace heat exchanger duct


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None of these products are used INSIDE the heat exchanger. If the problem is a cracked heat exchanger, you may be able tp purchase replacement parts to repair it

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The heat exchanger must be free of cracks and holes due to the potential of carbon monoxide leakage. You can probably make a short term repair with sheet metal and high heat furnace refractory cement, but that is a quick fix only.
Please be aware of the potential for a lethal situation due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

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If the fan coming on blows out the pilot light it is a pretty good indication that the heat exchanger is cracked. You should not continue to use the heater. I recommend contacting a qualified service technician to check it out and confirm that it is a cracked heat exchanger. Hope this helps

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Gas backup wont light. repairman said need new heat exchanger. approx 60 days ago replaced all burners and it woked ok they got it running for 1 night now it is out again. if the xchanger is bad why did...


I would only assume that now you have taken out an over heating sensor. When a heat exchanger goes bad it is a very dangerous situation because now you are pumping carbon monoxide in your house along with your heat. A heat exchanger is a baffle that hot gases pass thru, heating up the exchanger along the way and expelling carbon monoxide out the exhaust/chimney. Bad exchangers crack along seams or burn holes thru allowing the exhaust to mix with the blower air and in time this could cause carbon monoxide build up in your house. This cracking also lets hot exhaust in to the furnace and can burn up over heat protection, wiring and possibly cause a house fire. Please change out the heat exchanger or entire furnace, there is no price to replace a human life.

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1 Answer

I have an airtemp furnace with a crack in the heat exchanger. How much would it cost to replace the heat exchanger as opposed to buying a whole new furnace?


Think about it this way, how much more money do you want to invest in a system that can only return 70 cents in heat for every dollar you spend on fuel? Other things will fail and the dependability has already let you down. Compared to a newer system at about $4000 over a 20 year lifespan, $200 a year in fuel savings will break even your investment for a 90-95% efficient system. $800-1000 today for a replacement heat exchanger and more dollars tomorrow when the blower dies. My question is, why did the exchanger crack? Is the return air duct-work properly sized?

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Flame drops when blower comes on suspect bad heat exchanger


Are you saying you lose the pilot flame or the main burner flame? A cracked heat exchanger will cause a "venturi effect" when the blower cycles on. This effect will cause blower to interfere with combustion air and **** out the pilot, and cause lifting of the main burner flames (also add oxygen to the flames changing their color).

Some of your newer style furnaces will kick the hi limit when they have a crack in the exchanger dropping the flame and bringing the blower on.

If you are pretty confident of a crack I would suggest a water test.....After the furnace has cooled. determine which way will most easily access the heat exchanger through the top (under the a-coil) from the "plenium". or from below by removing the blower with it's housing.

once you have determined your approach get a bug sprayer and put water in it. With the heat exchanger cool, use the wand of the sprayer to liberally spray the top of the exchanger. If there is a crack the water will find its way into it. Take a flashlight and look into the bottom of each burner slot, if you see water, you have a crack, shut it down and replace it.

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Yes it is well worth replacing. You can go to autozone.com and register for full free online repair manual and diagrams and instructions on how to replace the heat exchanger. It is well worth replacing.

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Yes I just had the same problem, the guy that I bought the house from told me to drain the pump and the filter,etc. But failed to mention there is three brass plugs on the side of the unit, so the heat exchanger cracked, but i took it to a general welding shop and they welded the crack up so that saved me a bunch of money That is all you have to do

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This sounds like a bad heat exchanger. It is possible that you do not see the crack because the crack is closed when the heat exchanger is cold (or room temp). Allow the furnace to heat up, this will allow the expansion of the crack. Turn the power off and examine the heat exchanger while it is still hot.

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