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Weld Cracked Heat Exchanger???

rjw's picture

A question popsted in the Inspetion News forum for home inspectors:


"I, found a 1/4 " hair line crack in the front weld in a heat exchanger. The unit was over 30 years old in average condition, I did call for a licensed heating contractor to evaluate the condition and advise for replacement or repairs. My question is this, Does any crack in a heat exchanger need to be replaced or can it be repaired if the person doing the repairs guarantees their work?"


I've never heard of weld repairs being OK, but wonder if someone (Tim?) has some definitive knowledge.


 


_______________________


"I may have said the same thing before... But my explanation, I am sure, will always be different."  Oscar Wilde

======================================== "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary." Reinhold Niebuhr: 'The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness' http://rjw-progressive.blogspot.com/ ========================================

(post #109880, reply #1 of 4)

Hi...Bob!


Through the years of service for this old beast's combustion chamber....it has done well but has come to the end of its usefulness.   Even if welded, how can one know that the metal of thirty years of raging heat will correctly hold a repair weld?  The old beast has run its gambit....time to retire it.....lest it callapses and sends itself and the owners to the same grave.


We always replaced split combustion chambers with new units......works a lot better than a liability claim via the soon to be "past tense" insurer.  And I really don't like the thought of a "wrongful death"/negligence legal action!!!!


Play it safe.........................Iron Helix

.......Iron Helix

(post #109880, reply #2 of 4)

Thanks for the good info.


 


_______________________


"I may have said the same thing before... But my explanation, I am sure, will always be different."  Oscar Wilde

======================================== "Man's capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man's inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary." Reinhold Niebuhr: 'The Children of Light and the Children of Darkness' http://rjw-progressive.blogspot.com/ ========================================

(post #109880, reply #3 of 4)

Bob,

I do not have any definitive knowledge on this one. Older cast heat exchangers rarely fail. My first notion would be to replace the unit. This is based more on the age than liability or viability of repair.

Can a heat exchanger be repared? Yes. The wisdom of persuing repairs would have to be evaluated on a case by case basis. One consideration would be the qualifications of the welder doing the repairs.

Overall, I have to go with IH's recommendation on this one: play it safe and replace.

Tim


Edited 12/29/2002 8:50:03 AM ET by Tim

(post #109880, reply #4 of 4)

Seems like I just barely remember a service bullitin , maybe 3-5 years ago, maybe Trane. It outlined the repair of a crack (weld).  Seems more like I remember the aftershock of the bullentin.  Everybody was horrified for several reasons. 1 will it work- who knows.  2 Do you really want to assume that kind of liability.  3 screws up the planned obselence schedule.