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Ruud Acheiver 90 plus


Jim Morrison
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Jim,

What do you want to know? All 90% efficient furnaces are condensing furnaces. The condensate is about as acidic as tomato juice. This acid eventually eats through a stainless steel heat exchanger.

The lifetime warranty is on the heat exchanger only, not parts or labor. Lennox started this about 15 years ago or so and every manufacturer had to follow to remain competitive. The kicker here is that the labor costs to replace the heat exchanger is in the $1200 neighborhood. Most dealers are pretty good at selling folks on the idea that it is often throwing good money after bad to change the heat exchanger on a 10 plus year old furnace. Since these HX's don't usually eat through until after 10 to 12 years, the warranty is sort of academic.

George

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Jim,

With the exception of the Lennox Pulse and Borg Warner glycol furnaces (both pretty much history), the rest of the 90% market is pretty much the same. 8 manufacturers make 100 different brands. Each brand has a very colorful brochure that tries to make you think that it is something special.

The fact of the matter is that they pretty much all use White Rogers, Honeywell or Robert Shaw controls. They all cool the stack temperature down to around 100 degrees, all have induced draft, all use stainless steel and they all have provided a lot more work for servicemen. The Ruud can use either indoor or outdoor air for combustion. If you see that it is drawing indoor air, it may be the buyer was looking for the lowest bidder and the contractor cut that expense.

IF that is the case, you may want to point out that with a 28 or 30 (depending who you listen to) to 1 ratio, it may be worth while to use outdoor air instead of using the air inside the house that they just paid to heat.

George

Now having said all of that, I did a google search on the Ruud Achiever 90 Plus. I didn't find anything special about it. But I am curious, why did you ask? Do you know something that I don't?

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I asked because I saw one in a super-cheesy new house this morning, and I've never come across one before. I wouldn't be surprised if they have some kind of reputation as being pieces of shite, and if that is the case, I just wanted to find out so I could put it in my report.

Here's a question from this morning's inspection: Can you flash a deck with drip edge flashing? Answer: Yes. It just looks funny and leaks anyway. I really do have to buy myself a digital camera.

I also found my first instance of high voltage drop (14%)since starting to use my SureTest a couple of weeks ago. Feels like a rite of passage.

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

I also found my first instance of high voltage drop (14%)since starting to use my SureTest a couple of weeks ago. Feels like a rite of passage.

Jim,

When you find an electrician who gets concerned about voltage drops, let me know. When I first started using the Sure Test years ago I would call out for further evaluation when I got 10% or higher. My clients would get back to me and say "the electrician checked out the outlets and didn't find anything wrong." I don't call them out now unless I get 12% or higher or if the drop brings the available voltage down below 108 at the outlet, (of course in my report I disclaim anything to do with voltage drops.)

I have found a lot of these high voltage drops to be at "back stabbed" outlets.

BTW, I'm going be in your backyard tomorrow. Second time in a month. I tried to kind of talk the guy out of using me because of the distance, but he agreed to my travel charge, plus he wants a water test, which brings the total fee to about a grand.

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

Has anyone seen enough of these units to have formed an opinion about them? They're supposed to have a lifetime warranty on the stainless steel heat exchanger. I saw my first one this morning.

Whaddya know?

I've seen several of them. They're on par with the condensing furnaces currently being made by Carrier, Lennox & Trane. They do not have a reputation as pieces of shite.

However, as George pointed out, the condensate will eventually get them all in the end.

I don't really like any of the condensing furnaces. The small increase in efficiency just doesn't seem to be worth the more expensive and more frequent service that these things need. Seems to me that they've been engineered a little too close to the edge.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

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Originally posted by a46geo

Jim,

With the exception of the Lennox Pulse and Borg Warner glycol furnaces (both pretty much history), . . .

George,

I was unaware that Borg Warner made glycol units. Were they similar to the Amana ones?

Here's a picture of the first Amana glycol unit I ever inspected. Turned up the thermostat, then took this picture.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Amana_Glycol.jpg

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No Jim, you are correct, it was Amana.

Back in the 80's I worked for a company that sold York. Our second line was Amana. I stand corrected. My wife (whats-her-name) says my memory is terrible. I guess you just proved her right. However, your photo does bring back some BAD memories.

George

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Originally posted by Jim Morrison

You just said that to hurt me.

Jim,

I think this guy did call you because he told me he wanted an older inspector, one who didn't climb every roof and one who didn't charge less than $950.[:D]

Seriously though, I actual don't get much business in my own town. I get a number of calls from clients who tell me they want an inspector from "out of town." The reason they give is they don't want someone who "knows" the agents.

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Originally posted by denable

Originally posted by Jim Morrison

You just said that to hurt me.

Jim,

Seriously though, I actual don't get much business in my own town (Evanston NW Wildcat country, perennial letdown). I get a number of calls from clients who tell me they want an inspector from "out of town." The reason they give is they don't want someone who "knows" the agents.

Isn't that the truth. I (almost) never get work in my own town (Evanston, NW Wildcat country, NOT going to the show this year). When I do, the customer always calls back to see if I'm insane, as the realtors usually expresses horror along the lines of "how did you find him?"

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