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Upgrading a Wesco electric furnace


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I have a 25 UEM-1 Wesco that was installed in 79. I heard somewhere that upgrade drop ins are available for these old furnaces. I am looking for something that is solid state. This unit still heats but seems to run a lot. A couple of the relays don't pull in.

I did a search and didn't find any thing about it.

Thanks

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The furnace control unit is probably pretty simple. It was already solid state circuitry in 1970's. The furnace is basically a giant toaster oven. There is a thermostatic sensor that delays the blower fan from coming on too soon.

Maybe all you need to do is replace your wall thermostat with a new programmable unit. The thermostat does the real brainwork for the furnace, right?

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There's no reason to install any kind of upgrade to an old Wesco electric furnace. Everything in them can be replaced with off the shelf parts.

They're already 100% efficient in terms of how much heat they produced per unit of fuel. They can't be made more efficient with new parts.

As John pointed out, a new thermostat will improve the efficiency of the heating *system.*

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Yeah,

I'd have to agree with Jim. I've opened up Wesco, Lennox, Coleman and a couple other brands of electric furnace and sometimes I swear the innards of one, and the individual parts, are identical to those I'd seen in another brand. They truly look like they are a steel cabinet lined with insulation and filled with off-the-shelf stuff cobbled together.

I've seen a lot of Wesco units here on the left side; I bet you can find an HVAC firm or two that has one or two sitting on their salvage pile.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Thanks for the input. I do have a new programmable thermostat on the way.

The mechanical relays are definitely not state of the art. The fan control and the speed change control are in enclosures but there is nothing hi-tec inside.

I guess as long as all the elements are working that's as good as I can expect.

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Thanks for the input. I do have a new programmable thermostat on the way.

The mechanical relays are definitely not state of the art.

No, they're not. But what advantage would there be to installing a state of the art relay? What's a fancy new relay going to do that a plain old one won't do? (Don't say, "Be more dependable.")

The fan control and the speed change control are in enclosures but there is nothing hi-tec inside.

This isn't a heat pump, where complex controls can make huge differences in the efficiency of the process. It's a toaster in a box. I'm not sure what you think a high tech control board would do for you. About the only thing I can think of is that you might be able to have the fan ramp up & down so that it started & stopped more quietly.

I guess as long as all the elements are working that's as good as I can expect.

You can expect the coils to sequence on and off properly, you can expect the fan to work quietly. That's about it. If you want fancier performace, you'll need a fancier machine.

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The blower and one heating element respond first to a call for heat. They're connected to the same sequencer relay. The next relay comes on after a set number of seconds and energizes other elements, sometimes one, sometimes more than one.

When the call for heat is satisfied, the relay with only elements connected is the first to turn off. This reduces the amount of heat being generated. The relay with the blower and one element turns off later to allow the blower to cool off the appliance somewhat before shutting down.

At least that's how they worked when I last serviced them back when Clovis, Folsom and Cajuns were still neighbors.

Marc

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  • 1 year later...

Reading through this thread, it looks like some experts might be able to help me out..

I recently moved into a Condo and the electric furnace broke after 3 days. I took it apart (I am not too knowledgeable with this, but it's a very simple ancient-looking construction). It appears that the heating coil is physically broken (torn in one place). The furnace is labelled "Wesco Electric Central Heating Furnace 960K". My understanding is that Wesco spare parts are not available, is this right? Is there some generic heater coil I could use instead? And if not, can a physically torn coil be repaired?

Many thanks and please let me know if I can provide any additional information to help you answering my question.

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