Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air Blog : Posts Tagged ‘Heating Repair’

Does Rust on a Furnace Mean It’s Time for Repair?

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Rusting is a term that describes the effect of a chemical process in which water, oxygen, and iron or an iron alloy like steel react to form iron oxide. If your furnace begins to rust over time, it’s never a good sign. Unfortunately, it’s sometimes cause to replace the entire furnace. But at other times, rust is to be expected over time, and replacing a single component may just solve the problem. Read about when a rusty heating component must be replaced and why it’s sometimes best to say goodbye to the entire unit in today’s guide.

The Problem with Rust

The issue with rust on any metal is that rust leads to corrosion. Rust essentially eats away at the iron alloy it covers, to the point that the strong metal becomes more of a flaky powder that chips away and allows the metal to develop holes. It also makes it more difficult for moving metal parts to turn, as they get stuck when they move up against one another. Rust is particularly problematic for a component like the heat exchanger, where holes in the metal could allow for a carbon monoxide leak into the home.

Are Repairs Still Possible?

While it’s not feasible to clean off a rusty spot or try to patch it up, there are some circumstances under which only a single part needs replacement. One common example of this is if the flue pipe rusts. It’s actually quite normal for the flue pipe to become rusty over time, and a homeowner shouldn’t have to replace this pipe very often. Flue pipes rust because of the combustion process. The gases that form as a result of combustion include water vapor, and when this come into contact with the pipe that vents combustion gases to the outdoors, it can cause corrosion in the pipe.

Other times, however, the furnace unit itself will need immediate replacement, particularly if there is a looming safety issue. But it makes more sense to replace a unit with a little bit of rust on it now than to wait for a safety hazard to occur or for parts of your unit to break away and create a mess for your home.

At Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air, our experts can detect rust during a routine maintenance. When you notice problems with your furnace, call for our heating repair service in Elk Grove. Call our experts today!

Is Rust on a Furnace a Problem?

Monday, January 5th, 2015

When there is a problem with the furnace, most homeowners will take any steps necessary to prevent replacing it. Often, you don’t need to replace the entire heating unit for a small repair, as only that single part will need repair or replacement from a heating technician. You want to hold onto your older unit as long as possible and a technician can sometimes help you to do just that. But unfortunately, when it comes to rust, there may be too much at stake to hold onto the furnace for too long.

Rust occurs when water, oxygen, and iron react together to form a visible red oxide. All three must be present in order for iron oxide to form, but water is usually the catalyst that finally allows the reaction to take place. Eventually, iron oxide will turn into rust that flakes off and disintegrates from the metal substance, corroding the metal until it becomes brittle.

Rust can occur on a furnace for a couple of reasons. For one, many air handlers contain a coil that can collect condensation as moist air from the indoors blows over it. If there is not adequate drainage to rid the air handler of this excess moisture, it may drip onto the furnace, creating conditions for rust to occur. Another common reason for corrosion happens in the flue pipe, the part that helps combustion gases to vent outdoors. Water vapor is created during combustion and it may damage the vent pipe. The water vapor may affect other portions of your furnace as well.

Unfortunately, rust can be bad news for your furnace. If the unit becomes too rusted, it’s no longer structurally sound and cannot be trusted to contain the poisonous gases created as a byproduct of combustion. As it corrodes, rust can flake off and interfere with the burners, or it may flake off from the heat exchanger which could give gas a chance to leak into the home. However, if it’s only the flue pipe or a very small component that has rusted, you may only have to worry about that part.

Bronco Plumbing Heating and Air can make the repair or replacement process easier by giving you plenty of options and keeping you informed about the damage. Call our friendly technicians today when you need to repair your heater in Sacramento.