Author Topic: Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement  (Read 1371 times)

Offline schepp

  • ***
  • Posts: 5
Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement
« on: December 26, 2018, 09:18:31 AM »
My insurance is covering costs for repair or replacement to my oil furnace. Ontario code apparently dictates that a defective heat Exchanger in a dwelling cannot be repaired , it must be replaced. I have two furnace techs quotes : 1) Due to crack (i assume in reference to  gasket between upper and lower heat exchanger) the entire heat exchanger system must be replaced due to code.  (hopefully cost to repair would be too much and would mean new furnace) ... 2) 2nd quote was to only replace gasket.

Can any one please elaborate on what "replace heat exchanger" includes... My argument to insurer is that the heat exchanger as a whole  is comprised of  multiple parts, and even if one piece fails (in this case the gasket) the entire heat exchanger system must be replaced due to TSSA and CSA code.
Thank you,

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2356
    • HVAC TECH GROUP
Re: Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2018, 09:29:36 AM »
I don’t see the need to replace the heat exchanger unless it is cracked.  You should be able to replace the gasket and reuse the heat exchanger.  Chances are the furnace has a 10, 15 or 20 year warranty on the heat exchanger so you may not be charged for parts, only labor.  Replacing the gasket between a primary and secondary heat exchanger or replacing the complete heat exchanger would take roughly the same time.  I doubt your oil furnace has a secondary heat exchanger though.

How does your home insurance have coverage on furnace failure?  I have never seen a policy pay for furnace repairs unless caused by a fire or flood.

Offline schepp

  • ***
  • Posts: 5
Re: Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2018, 09:35:47 AM »
There was a "blow back" or "puff back" as I understand it while we were away, soot everywhere. I cannot comment on why this is covered, perhaps this constitutes an explosion of sorts?

Offline schepp

  • ***
  • Posts: 5
Re: Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2018, 09:38:21 AM »
My question pertains to what constitutes a "Heat Exchanger",, all parts as a whole needed to operate or individual parts. Our code is pretty clear, that a heat exchanger must be replaced and NOT repaired.

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2356
    • HVAC TECH GROUP
Re: Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2018, 09:55:10 AM »
It’s the metal box inside the furnace that separates the flue gas and house air.  Usually these gaskets are what seal the primary heat exchanger to the secondary heat exchanger.  When they say you can’t repair a heat exchanger they are talking about repairing cracks or holes.  With oil furnaces there is likely no secondary heat exchanger.  It’s probably just a gasket that seals the exhaust motor to the heat exchanger.  I would not consider this gasket to even be part of the heat exchanger.  Any company that says they must replace a heat exchanger for this reason is just trying to sell you a new furnace.

There would be no problem replacing this gasket.  In fact the labor to do so should be much less than most house insurance premiums.  No home insurance plan should be covering this repair either.  It sounds like your agent is confused, but if you can take advantage and get a new furnace out of them then you’re lucky.

Offline schepp

  • ***
  • Posts: 5
Re: Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2018, 10:33:19 AM »
My contact is the Insurance Companies Adjuster, not my broker. What ever took place in my furnace blew the dampener assembly 8 feet from the furnace. It continued to operate while we away (set at 60 degrees F.)...The estimate to replace the gasket , clean  furnace/  chimney , replace nozzle, filter etc was close to $2500 plus taxes.  I believe this particular furnace has an upper and lower heat exchanger, with a gasket between. See attached.  i pay a premium surcharge for oil heat, so perhaps that is why this is covered. This was no fault of mine.

Offline Admin

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 2356
    • HVAC TECH GROUP
Re: Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2018, 11:09:43 AM »
That gasket part #4 would take awhile to replace and put back together.  If the manufacturer's warranty will give you a complete replacement heat exchanger for free, I would opt for that option versus just replacing the gasket.

Since the parts breakdown shows the top and bottom heat exchangers and gasket as separate parts it's unlikely you could use the argument that replacing the gasket would be considered repairing the heat exchanger and against Code.

Offline Porcupinepuffer

  • Pro Tech™
  • *****
  • Posts: 456
Re: Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement
« Reply #7 on: December 26, 2018, 12:47:29 PM »
I take it you didn't have this furnace annually cleaned? I've heard interesting stories of mis-fires with the barometric damper being the very thing that blows clean off across the room... Even an elbow can blow apart at the breech.
If I were you, I would really want proper clarification on whether a crack exists on the heat exchanger, or if a gasket just needs replacing. There are plenty of gaskets, so who knows which one it could be.
the price quoted sounds ridiculously high for some cleaning and mostly general maintenance.

How old is this furnace?

Offline schepp

  • ***
  • Posts: 5
Re: Oil Furnace Heat Exchanger gasket replacement
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2018, 05:12:44 PM »
Most recent Maintenance was last done last season. I use the furnace in a limited capacity as I also have a wood stove. Maybe 600 litre per heating season. 12 years old.  From my knowledge of this  particular oil furnace , It is impossible to know if there is a crack in either upper or lower  heat exchanger until the furnace is dismantled to the point you can see the 360 degree around the exchangers. I am a home owner obviously not a furnace tech.  Neither inspection or estimate from both companies went to that degree. Both saw the crack in the gasket and both agree that the upper or lower exchanger could have a crack in an area that could not be seen by the inspection.