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We have an Amana electric hot air furnace in our house.

Customer Question
We have an Amana...

We have an Amana electric hot air furnace in our house. Since technician installed a fourth switch , the house house is covered with soot. (Which we evacuated) is it possible this switch was faulty and caused air to get too hot, the insulation caught fire?

Contractor's Assistant: Can you guesstimate how old your Amana is? And just to clarify, what's the exact model?

3 years old

Contractor's Assistant: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?

No

Submitted: 8 months ago.Category: HVAC
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Answered in 25 minutes by:
1/1/2018
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago
airheatman
airheatman, HVAC Technician
Category: HVAC
Satisfied Customers: 9,545
Experience: Furnace, A/C and heat pump specialist.
Verified

What do you mean by a fourth switch?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
When technician came for service and diagnostic on Nov 9, 2017, he said only 3 out of 4 switches were working ( on the work sheet it said: installed new Hi Limit switch on 20 KV furnace)
Since that day, house was hotter but smelled of fire about a week later. Then we noticed all the plastics were getting black.. then walls etc , we had no idea it was the furnace until our insurance told us it’s soot and we need to evacuate. It’s been almost 3 weeks , the house is totally covered with sootTechnician says it’s not the furnace since it’s electric, but something is wrong inside the walls . The furnace is still running, we have evacuated house, I don’t know how else to refer to this ‘switch’ . The technician said that this furnace must run with 4 switches instead of 3. Then this problem happenedThanks
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
There has to be some sort of combustion happening. Could it be this switch does not turn off I on when electricity is heating the air travelling thru the vents. The vents getting too hot and burning the insulation inside the walls?
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

Sorry for the delay.Wife called me to come eat.Let me look over your last response.

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HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

OK now something is definitely burning to produce this soot.

The switch he replaced is a limit.Replacing the limit allowed all 4 heating elements to come on.

With 4 elements on, the temperature in the furnace itself should reach about 160 degrees but short of combustion ability.

Now if a limit failed and element stayed on after fan quit,we could definitely get some melting of relays or anything near the element.

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HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

THat is insane, Is filter inside unit or where is it located? And as of right now will furnace operate?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
filter is inside the unit. And furnace is operating as insurance company and Amana reps told me to leave it on. If I turn it off, our pipes will burst from the cold. We are in Canada.
But when I returned to house to check on it, it smelled like fire (wood burning smell). The house is built in 1964. It originally had an oil furnace but we replaced it this electric in 2015. But house never felt warm until this technician put this 4th switch which made the house warmer but by burning the insides of the walls
I have to find a logical proof problem was caused by this installation, meanwhile we are living in a hotel the past couple of weeks
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

OK was that stuff on filter on the bottom side or top side of filter?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
On the top side
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

OK if that was inside air handler it had to come from something inside the unit.Anything from the return being drawn in would be on bottom side of filter and anything from supply duct would be on elements it seems.

What is the model on the unit.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Hi
Model: MBR 1600AA-1 20KW electric furnace Amana
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Did u receive the video I sent
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

I have not. Can you resend link?

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HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

The link opens but just a pic. Dos not play. Do you have it on youtube?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok let me try to put it on You tube
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

THanks

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Go to my channel
Christine Stergiou
I only have a few videos. See Amana
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

OK

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Still uploading. Give it 10 minutes or so
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

OK Is the Hey Joe video on your channel?

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Video is there now
Customer reply replied 8 months ago
https://youtu.be/vOD62sdSTwk
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

Watching now

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HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

OK the filter is not actually in the air handler itself but in the return air duct on intake side. If that pile of stuff was on top of the filter, that means it had to draw the particles in.They are not coming from the air handler itself.

WE need to follow that metal duct looking for a source of the particles that ended upon filter.But it is NOT coming from the air handler.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Hmmmm. It makes it more bizarre. The house is black of soot,there should be more particles being sucked in from the ducts. If that switch they installed last is faulty and the heater elements heat the air very high and what point could a combustion happen somewhere? Around the ducts where the insulation is?
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

Hold it hold it hold. Ijust realized something, Take me another picture of the entire air handling unit .I want to see something

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
I’m not at home. You can’t see it from the video?
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

Looking again

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Ok. In order to produce so much soot for a three story house to be contaminated, the elements should be covered with something really big? Is the heat kit insulated ? Thanks
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

The elements are just metal coils but something was left in there at time of install or somehow got in there and was laying on the very top element, if that element never came on it may never get hot enough to catch fire.But then once that elemenis now coming on it would. I would love to see inside on top of the elements and the insulation on inside of duct just above air handler.

Cutting into the duct if it is fiberglass would allow this.

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Customer reply replied 8 months ago
Thank you. I am waiting for an independent technician to come and check out the furnace. My insurance company is setting up the appointment. I will let you know. Thanks so much!!!!
HVAC Technician: airheatman, HVAC Technician replied 8 months ago

PLease do I want to know the source of this.

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