Author Topic: Bryant secondary heat exchanger issue  (Read 10771 times)

Offline GordonM

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Bryant secondary heat exchanger issue
« on: January 21, 2009, 09:55:22 PM »
Over several years there seem to have been problems with the secondary heat exchanger on some Bryant (and other UTC companies) furnaces.  There have been several class action suits.  Does anyone know if the technical issues have been solved?  I am currently trying to decide between Bryant and Trane high-efficiency models, for an emergency replacement, so I don't have much time for thorough research.

I hope this is an appropriate question for this forum.

Thank you
GordonM

Offline Admin

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Re: Bryant secondary heat exchanger issue
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2009, 03:33:52 PM »
Quote
Factual Allegations

High-efficiency condensing (or 90%) furnaces maximize efficiency by employing a second heat exchanger to extract more heat from the hot gases through condensation. These furnaces are typically more expensive than non-condensing (or 80%) furnaces.

The class action complaints in each case allege that, in 1989, Carrier stopped using high-grade stainless steel secondary heat exchangers in favor of cheaper polypropylene laminated ("PPL") mild steel. The complaints allege that Carrier knew from before it sold the first furnace that the PPL degrades and disintegrates due to the high temperatures in the furnace, exposing the underlying mild steel to corrosive acidic condensate. In some cases, the corrosion proceeds to the point of actually perforating the outside wall of the heat exchanger.

The industry standard was (and still is) to use high grade stainless steel for condensing heat exchangers to prevent corrosion. The complaints charge that Carrier has never disclosed to consumers that the new heat exchangers are not as robust as ones manufactured from stainless steel or that their furnaces would not last as long as consumers typically expect.

You don't have to worry about the newer products, they no longer use the cheaper steel.  Trane is a better furnace in my opinion though.  If I were buying, I would go with a Lennox G61V or G71P.  This is a very nice product.

Read this post if you are interested in the facts, they are all linked - Here

Offline GordonM

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Re: Bryant secondary heat exchanger issue
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2009, 05:53:37 PM »
Thank you very much for the reply.  Having investigated this further (I saw some of the litigation) and speaking with Carrier's Heat Exchanger Hotline, I decided to go for the Bryant.  This was partly because I have dealt with the dealer for many years.  You say that the Trane is better, though presumably your preference is for the Lennox.  Interestingly, my Bryant dealer also sells Lennox, but he advised me against it, saying that only about 15% of their sales were Lennox, the rest being Bryant.  Is your preference based on build quality, reliability, performance or something else?  It is really difficult to obtain unbiased opinions (or even the whole truth) from dealers, of course!

GordonM

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Re: Bryant secondary heat exchanger issue
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2009, 06:19:04 PM »
I belong to an organization that can purchase any brand of furnace.  When I sell, I try not to sell a brand, just comfort.  I always say the most important day in the furnaces life is the day it's installed... So don't worry about the brand.  Worry about the installer and the warranty. 

When I started out in the trade 12 years ago, I hated Lennox, for many reasons.  Alot of people still give them a bad name because of the past.  As a technician I happen to think the new Lennox equipment is superior.  I have never heard anything quieter.

I think Bryant is a great furnace too.  It's a UTC company just like Carrier.  You don't have to worry about heat exchanger quality anymore, so you should be happy with it.

BTW If you live in Ontario and you're getting the Eco Energy rebates, make sure you install a minimum 94% variable speed furnace to qualify for an emergency installation.  They changed things October 2008.  And if you're not getting rebates, you should be!

Offline GordonM

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Re: Bryant secondary heat exchanger issue
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2009, 07:26:55 PM »
Thank you for your further comments.  Yes, I hope to be getting the rebates.  The AFUE is quoted as "up to" 96.6%.  I was able to get an audit done today ... the furnace was red-tagged yesterday ... and installation is being done tomorrow.  Fortunately, the two nights without heating have been relatively warm :-) ,  down to only about -6'C.

Thank you again.

Gordon

Offline Machzzzz!

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Re: Bryant secondary heat exchanger issue
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2011, 08:48:53 PM »
In my opinion the heat exchanger issue is far from fixed.  From what I have seen the problems seem to really become evident when the unit is installed with a slight lean to the rear and %95 of the problems are all found on propane installations.   I work for a company that installs roughly 100 58mvb infinity furnaces a year and out of them a hand full of heat exchanger issues surface. 

Making matters worse when replacment units are sent out the knobs at the factory practly seal off the passages with silicone causing a blockage before the new secondary even sees a flame. 

I agree that theres nothing wrong with the furnace in the sense that if it was half way decently installed and running on natural gas with a level or forward tip you should enjoy years of comfort.

Not to turn this into a whos better match but a lot of people over look Olsens ultracomfort G95V.  Its a solid furnace with the same high end components that have started to get the reputation up here for installing and never seeing again.