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GE Date?


Jaykline
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I'm trying to date a General Electric HVAC unit. Model number BGLA085C1K00

Serial # 603436307

85,000 BTU/H

Doesn't show up in my copy of Preston's Guide.

House was built in 1975. This unit appears to be pretty old - possibly even original equipment.

(outside coil is newer - Westinghouse, manufactured in 1998).

I'd appreciate any help - I'm trying to wrap up a report, and the age of the unit is a topic of concern for the client. Thanks!

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So . . . I went straight to GE. Nice folks at the customer Service Center - (telephone # 800-626-2000). Turns out the unit was manufactured in 1973! GE sold their HVAC manufacturing business to Trane over 20 years ago. Unit appeared to "function as intended" during the inspection, but yikes - it's 30+ years old.

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At 30 years of age in your part of the country you can bet that the guts of the system have all been replaced. I would say that the heat exchanger is most likely original however and this would be the major problem. I would report that the system has had a good life, but that the age of the unit necessitates the need for an HVAC contractor to disassemble the unit to fully inspect the exchanger or replace the unit. I would then say that this unit could fail at anytime even if an HVAC contractor says it is OK.

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That's the kind of situation where I put things "into perspective."

I tell the clients that I think the unit is pretty old, but is not just a case of Dad being in the nursing home. In this case Dad is in the nursing home in the hospice ward, is being fed intravenously, and at this point the doctors are just shrugging their shoulders.

I then tell 'em that regardless of the fact that it is still operational, I'll only guaranty it will remain that way until my truck hits the end of the driveway when I leave.

Somehow they never fail to understand that message. It drives the zoids nuts!

Of course, I never use that description for elderly clients. [:-eyebrow I don't want to have to drive to the emergency room to get a cane extracted from my posterior.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I have never understood the necessity of HI's to give an exact age.

This would be very simple for me:

1. Average furnace lasts 20 years.

2. House was built in '75 therefore the furnace is either 29 years old or 9 years old.

3. The model # doesn't appear in the Preston manual.

4. The furnace looks old - possibly original.

5. Every HI should know the difference in appearance between a 29 year old furnace and a 9 year old furnace.

Obvious conclusion (at least to me:) The furance has outlived its usefull life and replacement should be planned for the very near future.

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Hi Matt,

I agree, pegging it directly to a year isn't always needed. However, knowing how to decode various serial numbers can be very useful, particularly when the client is under the impression, based on representations made by the seller, that a furnace is "nearly new" or "only a couple of years old" or has "just been replaced".

Also, you can look at some brands of furnaces where a 15 year old one next to a 2 year old one look identical, and, as long as both are clean and have been properly cleaned and adjusted, under ideal conditions see no discernable difference between the old furnace and the new. That's when knowing that code comes in handy.

It seems too like the furnace industry changes color schemes about every 20 years. I'm finding various brands here from the 70's that are green, whereas just about everything from the 80's through the 90's is either tan or gray.

Except of course, for those danged Thermoflows. Always brown and a 30 year old one in good condition can look exactly like a new one. Even then, if the warranty card or ansi tag aren't present, the serial number doesn't help because you have to call Thermoflow and give them the serial number and they'll tell you the date it was sold, not the date it was manufactured.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Yes, Yes,

Dang it Neal, I was writing that and asking myself why the name of the product didn't seem "quite" right. Thanks.

Something's going on. I poured myself a cup of coffee this morning, opened the cupboard above the coffee maker and then spent nearly a minute with a coffee cup in my hand looking into the cupboard at the Coffemate container wondering what it was I had wanted to get out of the cupboard. I finally glanced down at the cup of hot black coffee and remembered it was to get some Coffeemate.

It's only one of at least a half dozen things in the past couple of days.

Early onset of alzheimers?!! [:-bigeyes

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I believe knowing how to decode the numbers is very important. Can't tell you how many times a listing read "recent HVAC upgrade" and the equipment turns out to be 5 or 6 years old. I always tell the Client to ask the Seller and Selling Agent their definition of "Recent".

I've seen more than one Seller try to push a 8-10 year old A/C off as "just a couple years old".

I've seen two year old compressors that looked like they were 10 and 10 year old ones that looked like they were new. I've stuck my foot in my mouth one too many times by saying "that unit looks like it is only a few years old" and then have to explain to the Client that it's a 10 year old compressor after I read the data tag.

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