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  1. #1
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    Default heat exchanger disclaimer

    I want to use a disclaimer for heat exchangers in the body of my reports. Because it will be in the body, I also want it to be informative in nature. I came up with this:

    "The heating equipment in this house uses fossil fuels that produce CO gas. Because of this, it is important that the heat exchanger always be in good condition. The failure of a heat exchanger could let CO gas into the house which could be a threat to the life and safety of the occupants. Fully examining the heat exchanger is beyond the scope of this inspection. Therefore, I recommend that you hire a qualified HVAC technician and have them do a full examination of the heat exchanger."

    I know it's wordy. Chop it down if you can. What the heck, if you think I need it,chop me down too.

    What do you think?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post

    I want to use a disclaimer for heat exchangers

    What do you think?
    .
    Add Heat Exchangers in your pre-Inspection agreement ( right after the part about being a visual inspection & no dismantlement disclaimers.)
    .

    It Might have Choked Artie But it ain't gone'a choke Stymie! Our Gang " The Pooch " (1932)
    Billy J. Stephens HI Service Memphis TN.

  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Quote Originally Posted by John Dirks Jr View Post
    I want to use a disclaimer for heat exchangers in the body of my reports. Because it will be in the body, I also want it to be informative in nature. I came up with this:

    "The heating equipment in this house uses fossil fuels that produce CO gas. Because of this, it is important that the heat exchanger always be in good condition. The failure of a heat exchanger could let CO gas into the house which could be a threat to the life and safety of the occupants. Fully examining the heat exchanger is beyond the scope of this inspection. Therefore, I recommend that you hire a qualified HVAC technician and have them do a full examination of the heat exchanger."

    I know it's wordy. Chop it down if you can. What the heck, if you think I need it,chop me down too.

    What do you think?
    John: I use this as the boiler plate comment in the HVAC section of my reports:

    Note: Specific Limitations. The system fan, burner and heat exchanger were not readily accessible for inspection without disassembly of the unit. Because we do not disassemble equipment the condition of the system interior is unknown. If the system does not have a documented history of regular (annual) cleaning and maintenance since its installation, servicing by a licensed professional HVAC technician is required. Heat pumps are not operated at an ambient temperature of 60 degrees F. or more and are never operated in emergency mode. WARNING: This inspection will likely not meet the underwriting requirements of a home warranty (residential service contract) company. Many of these companies have been known to decline coverage due to subjective and often specious code compliance and maintenance arguments. You are strongly advised to ask your “home warranty” (residential service contract) provider to assure that the system meets their underwriting requirements prior to contracting for their services or closing escrow on the property. Failure to do so may result in future claim denial.

    As Billy indicated, you should reiterate your disclaimer in the body of your inspection agreement.


  4. #4
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    John: I use this as the boiler plate comment in the HVAC section of my reports:

    Note: Specific Limitations. The system fan, burner and heat exchanger were not readily accessible for inspection without disassembly of the unit. Because we do not disassemble equipment the condition of the system interior is unknown. If the system does not have a documented history of regular (annual) cleaning and maintenance since its installation, servicing by a licensed professional HVAC technician is required. Heat pumps are not operated at an ambient temperature of 60 degrees F. or more and are never operated in emergency mode. WARNING: This inspection will likely not meet the underwriting requirements of a home warranty (residential service contract) company. Many of these companies have been known to decline coverage due to subjective and often specious code compliance and maintenance arguments. You are strongly advised to ask your “home warranty” (residential service contract) provider to assure that the system meets their underwriting requirements prior to contracting for their services or closing escrow on the property. Failure to do so may result in future claim denial.

    As Billy indicated, you should reiterate your disclaimer in the body of your inspection agreement.
    Good points Aaron. I have similar but woefully weaker language. You make good points and I may have to take lessons from you concerning my verbiage.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Note: Specific Limitations. The system fan, burner and heat exchanger were not readily accessible for inspection without disassembly of the unit. Because we do not disassemble equipment the condition of the system interior is unknown. If the system does not have a documented history of regular (annual) cleaning and maintenance since its installation, servicing by a licensed professional HVAC technician is required. Heat pumps are not operated at an ambient temperature of 60 degrees F. or more and are never operated in emergency mode. WARNING: This inspection will likely not meet the underwriting requirements of a home warranty (residential service contract) company. Many of these companies have been known to decline coverage due to subjective and often specious code compliance and maintenance arguments. You are strongly advised to ask your “home warranty” (residential service contract) provider to assure that the system meets their underwriting requirements prior to contracting for their services or closing escrow on the property. Failure to do so may result in future claim denial.

    Aaron,

    I see a loop hole in there big enough to ... well ... maybe not drive the proverbial semi through, but certainly a big moving van through.

    "If the system does not have a documented history of regular (annual) cleaning and maintenance since its installation, servicing by a licensed professional HVAC technician is required."

    And ... "if" it has had regular annual service ... you are stating that it does not need servicing?

    *IF* the annual service is as what most annual services we as home inspectors see ... I'm not sure it would make much difference if it was regularly service or not.

    'Load 'er up, we got to git this big moving van outta here before he comes home and sees we cleaned him out.'

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Too many words... Why not say something like this;

    If I can not see an item or system, I can not inspect it. An example of such items would be, but not limited to: Heat Exchangers, some pipes, electrical wiring in walls or other concealed locations, etc, etc. I am not Superman; so if I can't see it, I can not report on it!

    A small paragraph like this will cover just about everything in an inspection.

    I actually use the Superman statement in my agreement. It always gets a chuckle when I go over the agreement, but everyone also understands what is being said.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    I actually use the Superman statement in my agreement.
    While I did not have that in my agreement, I always explained that "My x-ray vision glasses broke last month on an inspection and I have not been able to find a replacement pair or get those repair."

    Probably similar to your Superman statement, and it always got a chuckle to and everyone knew what the limitations were. If I cannot see it, I cannot tell you anything about it, not even whether it is actually there or not.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  8. #8
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Good points Aaron. I have similar but woefully weaker language. You make good points and I may have to take lessons from you concerning my verbiage.
    Jim: As you might have observed, it is never enough for some of these guys and always too much for the others. I've attempted to keep as much of my boiler plate comments as short as possible because my reports are now averaging 80 pages. JP would have them 300-400 pages in length, unless of course, he collaborated with HG. Then I'd need a new hard drive to contain veritable mountain of steaming BS in my template alone.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    unless of course, he collaborated with HG.

    No, if I were to have collaborated with Watson, the report would have been one page:

    Electrical - see NEC.

    Plumbing - see IRC, Plumbing

    Gas - see IRC, Fuel Gas, possibly NFPA 54 also



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    What happened to disclaimers in contracts? You know, the little blurb about visual inspections, can't see concealed conditions etc. How many times do you need to say it in the report?

    As for expecting a HVAC contractor to have a thorough looksie of the heat exchanger, it's not going to happen. The only recognized full evaluation of a H.E. by the A.G.A. is to pull the entire unit out of the furnace.

    There is no realistic way to know the true condition of an exchanger. I've marked lots of furnaces as satisfactory that probably had cracks that just can't be seen - by anyone.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  11. #11
    Roger Hankey's Avatar
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    "The heating equipment in this house uses fossil fuels that produce CO gas. Because of this, it is important that the heat exchanger always be in good condition. The failure of a heat exchanger could let CO gas into the house which could be a threat to the life and safety of the occupants. "

    Firstly, the statement is not completely correct. When operating properly the heating equipment will produce very LITTLE CO (carbon monoxide should always be spelled out during the first use of the acronym). Secondly, other conditions, not just heat exchanger failure can create carbon monoxide: improper gas pressure, flame impingement, etc. Third, a failure of the heat exchanger often does let CO enter the house due to the inherent safety of a force air furnace: the blower creates air pressure on the air side of the heat exchanger, so a heat exchanger failure moves air into the heat exchanger, not exhaust into the house.

    Lastly, many other conditions that you CAN inspect are much more important potential carbon monoxide dangers: rusted out vents, obstructed vents, backdrafting, backspillage. Water heaters often make lots of CO.

    My point is, do not focus the disclaimer on CO. Some good examples have been given by others in this thread. Use a glossary to define terms in your report, and use a carefully worded comprehensive contract or inspection agreement.

    Best wishes.


  12. #12
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Roger,

    I fully agree. The lack of considerations for pressurization in and around the exchanger send too many into hyper-drive over H.E. cracks. While a crack is important, I don't think that it quite lives up to the potential that it's given. That being said, we can't ignore what a manufacturer will say about it, whether we agree or disagree with them.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  13. #13
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hankey View Post
    "The heating equipment in this house uses fossil fuels that produce CO gas. Because of this, it is important that the heat exchanger always be in good condition. The failure of a heat exchanger could let CO gas into the house which could be a threat to the life and safety of the occupants. "

    Firstly, the statement is not completely correct. When operating properly the heating equipment will produce very LITTLE CO (carbon monoxide should always be spelled out during the first use of the acronym).

    The original statement said "uses fossil fuels that produce CO gas", I agree that it 'should have' stated "when burned", but it did not.

    However, your statement, and rejection of the original statement was not based on that, it was based on the implied statement that *the furnace* produces CO when not burning properly, however, your rejection was that it was incorrect 'because' the original statement said it produces CO and you corrected it to "very LITTLE" CO, which, unless I am not understanding basics, "very LITTLE" is still *some* and the original statement would therefore still be correct regarding producing CO.

    Your rejection of the original statement, therefore, is based on the amount of CO being produced, and *your* reading into the original statement that it was producing 'too much', versus your correction to "very LITTLE" under proper operating conditions, which it may or may not be.

    I do agree with you though on this: It is not a good statement. But I disagree on the reason you are saying it is incorrect.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  14. #14
    Roger Hankey's Avatar
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    Jerry's fine point is correct. However, the main point of my response continues to be that the statement should NOT focus on carbon monoxide. The statement should indicate what you do and do not inspect. Limitations generally should be in the contract/agreement. You might refer to the contract limitations in the report if you like.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    In the statement "uses fossil fuels that produce CO gas", I would change it to read "uses fuel that produces carbon monoxide gas".....


  16. #16
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    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    I think Roger's point was that the statement should be intended to convey that the heat exchanger's condition could not be verified and that it is not uncommon for heat exchangers to be cracked/rusted/in need of replacement instead of being about carbon monoxide (CO).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
    Roger Hankey's Avatar
    Roger Hankey Guest

    Default Re: heat exchanger disclaimer

    "Firstly, the statement is not completely correct. When operating properly the heating equipment will produce very LITTLE CO (carbon monoxide should always be spelled out during the first use of the acronym). Secondly, other conditions, not just heat exchanger failure can create carbon monoxide: improper gas pressure, flame impingement, etc. Third, a failure of the heat exchanger often does [NOT] let CO enter the house due to the inherent safety of a force air furnace: the blower creates air pressure on the air side of the heat exchanger, so a heat exchanger failure moves air into the heat exchanger, not exhaust into the house."


    Note I left out the word [NOT] in my original post.

    I apologize for any confusion.


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