Furnance problem

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Furnance problem Empty Furnance problem

Post by terrydec on Wed Nov 28, 2012 5:43 pm

I have a furnace, actually a large gas space heater, that hasn't worked right since I moved in. When I first started using it the heat would come on and then a few minutes later the heater would completely shut down. The landlord replaced the limit switch. Since then, and for the past two months, it wouldn't regulate the heat. I could either turn it on one notch and it would just keep getting hotter and hotter, or I could turn it off. My complaints to the landlord were ignored. During this time I did some things to conserve heat. I closed off the living room, turned down the heat when I went out and in my bedroom at night. Despite these measures my gas bill doubled. After I told the landlord that I was going to call the gas company she finally sent out a heating contractor for a "Second opinion", in other words to prove that there weren't any problems. Instead he found a faulty shut off valve that had been leaking gas. He also found that the entire regulator and control unit on the heater was defective and also wasting gas. Yesterday he spent over an hour replacing the shut off valve and the parts on the heater. About three hours after he left the heater started shutting down- again. When I called the landlord he acted like it was my fault and he was mad at me for bothering him. I think instead that I have been MORE than patient.

The serviceman can't get back until tomorrow, it is too cold to eat in the kitchen, and as I type this it is 59 degrees in this room. I'm going to shut myself in the bedroom and live there until tomorrow, when I hope this finally gets fixed. A great way to spend my birthday.
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Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:31 pm

Sorry for your heater problems in cold weather. Paying the stupid propane dealer is part of the reason I spend the winter in AZ this year. It was 82 here this afternoon, the windows are open and the ceiling fans are all on. Cheaper to run ceiling fans than a silly gas furnace for certain. We haven't had heat or AC on at all since the end of October. Sounds like you need to find a new landlord.

Good luck

WC

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Post by Guest on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:08 pm

If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, a good one, get one. With the other problems it would be easy for the thing to be putting out the odorless and colorless gas that can be lethal. if that furnace has been poorly maintained, protect yourself and make your landlord get with it.

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Post by terrydec on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:24 pm

Wildcat445 wrote:Sorry for your heater problems in cold weather. Paying the stupid propane dealer is part of the reason I spend the winter in AZ this year. It was 82 here this afternoon, the windows are open and the ceiling fans are all on. Cheaper to run ceiling fans than a silly gas furnace for certain. We haven't had heat or AC on at all since the end of October. Sounds like you need to find a new landlord.

Good luck

WC
Do you have a spare room? Rolling Eyes
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Post by terrydec on Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:27 pm

19&41 wrote:If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, a good one, get one. With the other problems it would be easy for the thing to be putting out the odorless and colorless gas that can be lethal. if that furnace has been poorly maintained, protect yourself and make your landlord get with it.

Yep- got one. That's the good news.
I guess I'll know next month how much difference all of this will make in my bill.
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Post by Guest on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:12 am

I had been in the same boat with a dying furnace during my renting days. The techs kept coming, kept nickeling and dimeing poopy little repairs and they finally worked out that the combustion chamber was cracked. They finally had to replace the furnace. I about died laughing when I read the data plate on the new one: it was made by Power Wheels! The company that make battery powered riding cars for kids! I finally managed to scrape up enough to buy my own place a few months later.

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Post by Guest on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:20 am

I would get one of those oil filled space heaters until you can get the heck out of there. Those heaters are only good for one room, but one warm room is better than nothing.

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Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:13 am

Terry, sorry to hear you got cheated at your new digs. I sincerely hope you can get your pfoblems fixed, and, soon.
Bill Cahill

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Post by terrydec on Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:12 pm

The service guy is here right this minute replacing the thermocouple. I can't count how many times I've suggested that the thermocouple is bad.

But of course I'm just a dumb tenant and don't know nothing.

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Post by Bill Cahill on Thu Nov 29, 2012 2:17 pm

Is it fixed??????
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Post by terrydec on Thu Nov 29, 2012 5:56 pm

It seems to be.
Finally.

Let's see- A limit switch, regulator, control and thermocouple.
And a month and a half waiting.
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Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:13 pm

I have a spare bedroom. You would have to share it with the wife's female cat (she will bite you if you hog the bed) and all her Christmas decorations. It is the only bedroom in the country with a Christmas tree up all year 'round.

Seriously, three years ago, it cost me almost $3000 to hear our 1800 square foot house. So we remodeled, have R-23 in the walls, house wrap, insulated siding, thermopane windows, and R-40 in the attic. We used a third of the propane we had been using, but the price tripled! So we ended up spending even more to heat, in spite of all our energy saving methods, and we were out nearly $100 grand to remodel the house! So we decided that enough was enough and are spending the winters in AZ. The propane guy can keep his high-priced gas. When natural gas comes to our area, I will be the first to sign up. I put in a wood stove that we can use if we need heat before we head out west. I'm not sure that we made the smartest decision that we could, but I got so annoyed at the propane prices that we had to do something, even if it was wrong.

Terry, I am glad you got your heater going again. If it will make you feel better, they are predicting a "cold front" moving in here today. High will only be 78 instead of 82. Gotta dig out the long johns.

All the best

WC

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Post by terrydec on Fri Nov 30, 2012 1:25 pm

Somehow that doesn’t make me feel better. Wink
We’re having a heat wave too- 57º this weekend.
Something strange happened last night. Although the outside temp. was about the same I only had to turn up the controls halfway instead of on high. In fact I got up in the night and turned down the bedroom heater. I can’t explain it but perhaps fixing both the shut off valve and the heater equalized the temp. throughout the house. That would be nice.
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Post by terrydec on Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:07 pm

Before I moved in the landlord installed energy efficient windows and a drop ceiling with a foot of insulation. The windows work great. It can be 30 degrees outside but if you put your hand on the window you don't feel it, (just like that infomercial). As I've walked around the house today I keep feeling cold spots. For instance around closet doors and the door to the back room. While I'm out today I'm gonna pick up some of that foam insulation that sticks to the wood.
Maybe next month my gas bill will be $25. Razz
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Post by Guest on Fri Nov 30, 2012 5:22 pm

It's relatively nice to see you being concerned about that as opposed to freezing or smothering . You might get a few incense sticks and a flashlight. They can point up any drafts by observing the smoke.

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Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:41 pm

I'm glad that you have the situation under control. Good luck with your goal of a $25 gas bill.

All the best

WC

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Post by terrydec on Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:02 pm

The only things that get smothered around here are the animals- with attention. It's a good thing they aren't spoiled-oh wait, they are.

My old landlord, (I should stop calling him that). My friend Joe came over today and we did an extensive evaluation of the situation. He pointed out a couple of places that need foam, another place that needs to be re- caulked, and two closet doors that need a way to hold them closed. Hopefully that will thighten things up.
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Post by Guest on Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:26 pm

Joe will get a return on a tighter apartment, too. Tenants like lower gas bills.

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Post by scottb on Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:56 pm

Just keep in mind, propane is heavier than air. I read where things were leaking causing your bill to go up. Not sure if you have a basement, or crawl space, but if you had leaks, there is a possibility of explosion.
My best advice, and this is real, is to smell around your floors to see if you smell gas. Please do this. If you smell gas on the floor, get out!!!!!

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Post by terrydec on Sat Dec 01, 2012 12:56 am

I did smell gas, which is how I found the leaky shutoff valve. There are two ways to check for a leak. The safe way is to spray soapy water around the connection. A leak will form a bubble.

The much more interesting way is to use a lighter. A gas leak will keep burning after the lighter has been removed.

Note- The number one cause of fires in the winter is the use of indoor space heaters by the intellectually challenged. My favorite is using a kerosene heater. If the smell doesn't get you the carbon monoxide will.
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Post by Guest on Sat Dec 01, 2012 2:12 am

I have a couple of halogen radiant heaters. Those things really do a nice job at 400 and 800 watts for low and high output.

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Post by Guest on Sat Dec 01, 2012 7:26 am

The oil filled electric heaters which resemble the old radiators do a nice job also.

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Post by terrydec on Sat Dec 01, 2012 1:46 pm

MEZLAW wrote:The oil filled electric heaters which resemble the old radiators do a nice job also.

My friend Joe had loaned me one during this period while I waited for the heater to be repaired and it worked pretty good. It worked best next to the bed.

Apparently it hadn't been used for awhile because when I first turned it on it sounded like french fries being cooked.
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