|Isn't it kind of rude to ream someone like that?|
|I worked on just about everything you might find at home or in a business, including heating and air conditioning equipment. Now I'll make you aware of some unusual problems I've ran across with this equipment.
A couple years ago, I bought a new oil-fired furnace for my rural house. (The building I live in is a house, not a "home".) I was replacing a 20 year old furnace, also oil-fired. Prior to that, I heated with propane, sometimes called LP gas. I ditched the propane due to it's high cost from a crooked supplier, and because I like the roar of a white-hot oil fire.
Anyway, I bought this new furnace from one of my regular sources, who sells them under their own brand name. In the past, I had good luck with this brand, as it was made by one of the better manufacturers. Oh yeah, in case you didn't know, only about 4 companies make furnaces, but they are sold under about 20 different brands. The highly advertised brands are pretty much the same as the ones you seldom hear of, except they cost twice as much. Back to my story. I get the new furnace down the basement, and open up the box and take a look at it. I saw that it was made by a different company, but it appeared to be real neatly built. But this furnace is quite a bit taller than the old one, and it might be a little bit of a tight squeeze to make it fit in my not-so-high basement. So I hold off on the job for a while, because my old furnace is still working, just that it gives a little whiff of burned-oil smell in the house each time it starts, due to a leak in the heat exchanger.
A few weeks later, I get a call from a friend asking if I could replace the furnace at his house. I'm not in the furnace-replacement business, but I will if a friend wants me to, and if it's ok with the building inspector. So I go look the job over, and by golly, that new furnace I have sitting in my basement was the right size for his house, and he had plenty of height in his basement. So I decide to pull a swapperooo, I'll sell him that one, at my cost, and buy another, shorter one for my house. Big mistake!
I installed the furnace at his house, but I was not too impressed with the fact that there was no way to actually see the flame inside of it, which really helps with adjusting the burner to work efficiently. Instead, as per the instructions with the furnace, the burner had to be adjusted using instruments only. Up until now, I'd been sucessfully adjusting oil burners with just my eyes, for about 30 years. So I had to shell out hundreds of dollars for the instruments. But I got 'er going real good according to the instruments, higher than expected efficiency, zero smoke and all. For about a month, that is. I went back to his house on a no-heat call, to find the furnace completely clogged up with soot. I cleaned it up (I looked like Santa Claus coming out of the fireplace) and rechecked everything with the instruments. Still good they said. But I replaced the burner nozzle and readjusted everything just to be sure. Same crap again a month or two later.
The following year, the thing conked out on Christmas Eve. Instead of going to a family gathering, I wound up playing Santa Claus with the furnace again. At that time, I patched it up, told him it was a pile of junk, and got the go-ahead to replace it again, over the summer. I mentioned this to the supplier I bought it from, and they told me they had all kinds of trouble with this manufacturer's stuff, and had gone back to their old manufacturer.
That happened to be the same year that I finally replaced my own furnace too. I found a shorter model, with a still-different brand that's been around for many years. Although mine works good and has a door to observe the flame, the quality isn't what I was hoping for. But that's pretty much the way it is today, everything's junk! Only has to last long enough for the check to clear the bank.
Ironically, when I installed both of these furnaces that I talked about, even though they are different brands and made more than a year apart, they both had the exact same problem, a dead-on-arrival "primary control" on the burner. The primary controls, which shut down the burner if the flame doesn't ignite within so many seconds, were manufactured by one of the biggest names in heating controls. I'm not telling who it is, but I'm sure you've seen their name on a thermostat somewhere. They should learn how to solder a relay onto a printed-circuit board, bet it would save them a lot of warranty money! That's what you get for having it "Made in Mexico". (I was easy on them, I fixed them both myself.)
The moral of the story: Don't unload a pile of junk on someone you know! I went back on that job about 6 times for free, (20 miles away) and I will be installing his new furnace just for the cost of the materials. Even though Brand #1 (Hint: Top of page) looked to be neatly built, and the factory is ISO-blah-blah-blah certified, the design is stupid, making the product junk.
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