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Issue With Carrier 58 MVP 100 14120

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Hello. In a rental property I own (used to be our own home) we have a Carrier furnace installed in

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Old 04-09-2014, 12:24 PM
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Default Issue With Carrier 58 MVP 100 14120
Model Number: 58 MVP 100 14120   Brand: -other-   Age: More than 10 years   

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Hello. In a rental property I own (used to be our own home) we have a Carrier furnace installed in 1999 which has been really pretty great. A week ago we had a problem where it simply would not start. It would try to do so and then click off in a cycle over and over again.

A technician came and told me that he found 3 different fault codes. If I got it right they pertained to: low fire pressure switch stuck closed, inducer outside valid speed range, and pressure switch calibration fault. He was, however, able to simply cut power to the furnace and when re-applied all was well again. He said this was common place. Since then, our tenant says the furnace has been operating just fine - better than before. Seems odd but there are circuit cards in there and perhaps, like most computers, they require a reboot now and then.

The other thing the technician said was that this furnace is basically at end-of-life which surprised the heck out of me. He said that repairing this would be very expensive and that replacing is likely the thing to do at this point. I have no way to confirm this one way or the other. It just seems a pretty short lifespan for a unit that was so expensive to begin with and that actually sees use less than 1/2 of the year. Maybe these are just not made like they used to be?

I was called by the service company and they are saying the the inducer assembly and the pressure switch assembly would cost over $1900 installed (1-1.5 hours labor). I have no idea what these entail or should cost. But I do know that in 1999 the cost to install the furnace (along with gas meter/pipe, direct venting, etc) was about $5000. I have to guess that it will be more than that now.

So can anyone speak to these issues? Are the parts prices over-stated? Are they even actually needed since the furnace seems fine since its "reboot"? Should the thing be tossed?

Thanks for your viewpoints.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 04-10-2014, 03:29 AM
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I would take Mr. Bates comments with a grain of salt.
I looked at his other posts and most of them just recommend calling a repair company.
Sort of defeats the purpose of this forum.

So can anyone speak to these issues?
I am not a furnace pro so also take my comments with a grain of salt.
You may want to call another repair company or two to get quotes on the suggested repair. I am not even sure if you need it.

Are the parts prices over-stated?
Cannot say as I do not know exactly what part they are replacing.
On another site I did find a pressure switch is about $100.00 and a draft inducer motor (not sure if this is what they are referring to or if it is part of an assembly) is about 325.00. But the prices are just for the parts and I do not know how much labor is required to replace them.

Are they even actually needed since the furnace seems fine since its "reboot"? Should the thing be tossed?
I would not toss it.
If the parts are actually bad then I would think that the error would re-occur.
Anything that uses a microprocessor may hang up once in a while and need re-booting (reset).

I can only relate my experience with a repair company. About 5 years ago I had a company in to professionally clean/check my furnace. They said the furnace needed replacing. Well it's been 5 years and the unit is still running just fine.
I do not want to accuse the company you used of anything shady as I do not know them and do not have the expertise but you have to be careful when taking advise that puts dollars into their pockets.

With luck a real HVAC tech will jump in and give you some guidance.
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Old 04-10-2014, 09:23 AM
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Thanks. Mr. Bates's comments basically parrot what I heard from the tech and both may be right here. That is what I am trying to confirm. But to toss this now really irks me. Then again, I still drive the 1983 Volvo I bought new. So I tend to want to use everything until it really is dead.

I also looked around on the web for parts and found some, like you did, that appeared to be correct at prices lower than what I would have expected from the quote I received. Since the labor was supposed to be 1-1.5 hours (and they seem to charge around $100/hour) that leaves alot of room for part price inflation to reach $1900+. The draft inducer part they want to install is an "assembly" and they are not clear that it was the motor or what inside the assembly.

My experience is that most repair outfits do not want to tinker with repairing stuff, they want to replace stuff. I have a GE Profile fridge that had a problem and the repair tech told me that he could replace the brain card for $200 or so. But he also told me the issue was well known and if I had a soldering iron he would show me the joint that fails every time and I could fix it in about 5 minutes with $0.02 worth of solder. He said that his company policy prevented him from doing this. So I did it, gave the guy $20 for beer, and it has been fine ever since.

It is experiences like this that make me question the "expert" opinions when it comes to just replacing entire, expensive assemblies. That said, the labor involved to replace just a component inside an assembly may outweigh the cost of just doing the whole shebang. As a DIY, I don't really know.

Also, when I look at the way the furnace was warrantied, I can see that the longest part of the warranty is on the burner. So one would think (perhaps wrongly) that this is the part most likely to fail. And no one has said anything about the burner. So I assume it is ok. Of course, I also don't know if the tech even looked at the burner during his hour of "diagnosing" the problem.

Thanks!
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