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Combustion chamber Rheem hot air furnace

Posted: Wed Oct 24, 2018 4:58 pm
I have a RHEEM oil fired hot air furnace hanging in my shop ( my rented shop). Recently a blade let go in the blower unit causing the blower to run out of balance. Of course it did this at night when I wasn't there to shut it off. It shook the unit so violently that the combustion chamber broke off from the mounting plate. The fiber material chamber has a flange that is cast into it with clamp rings that run around it . As it turns out the chamber is no longer available from Rheem and I haven't been able to find an aftermarket unit either. Unit is 15 years old when installed new.
There are also 2 locations where the fiber material broke creating a hole in the side of the chamber, but I have the pieces that came out of that.

This leads me to my questions; Does anyone know if there is something made, a light weight high temp cement, that can be used to repair the cracks/holes in the chamber? I have seen refractory cement as being available but the descriptions list it for being used with refractory brick. Having never done this work before I not sure what to use or if there even is anything available .

As for the flange that is broken off, it looks like I can make a simple cage from thin stainless strips to wrap around the combustion chamber. I can weld them to the existing flange clamps that would then bolt to the mounting plate.

Any thoughts? I don't want to replace the whole unit if I can at all avoid it.


Re: Combustion chamber Rheem hot air furnace

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 12:41 am
by steamin10
IMHO at some point everything wears out or gets busted past practical repair. I just went through this kind of delema with my house furnace. To be short, this is a safty item and a hackney repair will not do. It is much wiser to go on the market for Craigs list, and pay for the pick of the litter. Used units come on the market all the time for various reasons and for a few bucks a newer version of your failed unit can be had cheaply. Just hanging a new box is no big dael and worth the money to be safe and warm.

In my case, my furnace shut down with a failed board. I purchased a new board locally for a hunnerd bucks an change, and we are all happy. This same board was available on the net, uswd, for as low as $25, but the 4 day wait was inconvenient. This furnace broke the heat exchanger and it was replaced due to cracks in the welds. So the core of the furnace is newer than the 92 install date. The furnace guy wanted to install a coomplete furnace for stellar money with all the promoted horror stories of future failures. He wanted $2200 for a $600 furnace to set a tin box. Nuff said.

Your choice , but it sounds like too much monkey shines for the money. Look before you leap.

Re: Combustion chamber Rheem hot air furnace

Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:44 am
by curtis cutter
The furnace in my shop is propane and about 80,000 BTU I believe.

I got it from a Co-worker who told me it had failed and he asked me if I could look at it and see what the problem was. When I went to his house to check it out I saw the HSI unit had failed due to a crack. I showed him the part and told him it is a simple fix by removing one screw and unplug the old one and plug in a new unit. Probably a $15 fix.

When I asked him a couple days later if he had gotten it running he said he was having a new furnace put in because when one part fails the rest are not far behind. I asked him if I could have the old one and he said no problem and to come get it as it was sitting in the garage.

I got it home and looked up the model number and found it was equipped with a combustion fan so the unit could be mounted vertically or horizontally and a conversion kit from natural gas to propane was about $30 and the new HIS another $15. I made a wall hanging bracket and I was in business.

I also installed a timer for the furnace that breaks the thermostat wire when it times out and a limit switch on the overhead door that opens the thermostat any time the door is open. This is my teenage boy fuel saver system.... :)

Used stuff is around. This furnace was only, I would guess by the housing development, about 5-7 years old when it came out.


Re: Combustion chamber Rheem hot air furnace

Posted: Fri Nov 16, 2018 4:33 pm
So after contacting several HVAC companies here in NY and being told that the combustion chamber was discontinued/no longer available, I started looking at universal chambers and other chambers made by Rheem for similar sized furnaces. I figured I might be able to get a similar size chamber and adapt it. My unit is 135,000 BTU and is a Horizontal flow. Rheem made a vertical flow 150,000 BTU unit which appeared to be the same size, just a different mounting plate. I found a seller on Ebay and inquired about it, explaining my issue and also gave them the OEM part # for the original(discontinued) chamber. 2 days later I get a reply that the chamber I need may be available and they give me a link to an Ebay auction.....and what do you know, they were able to get the OEM chamber. 2 weeks later it arrived on my doorstep....WooHoo!!!!