The $10,000 Band-Aid
Heat Exchanger Company, Northeast U.S.
So often it's tempting to put a band-aid on a problem and move on.
But if the band-aid doesn't address the source of the problem, you end up needing a lot of band-aids.
And that's a problem when your band-aid is a $10,000 heat exchanger. A client had heat exchanger problems
and kept replacing them instead of doing more research to figure out the wider problem and how to correct it.
A heat exchanger had just been replaced, only to fail in less than ten days.
It was a potential warranty issue for the manufacturer, and the client was hoping they'd pay.
But evaluation of the heat exchanger found erosion and cavities in the condensation return pipes,
which basically meant the heat exchanger wasn't able to route the condensate where it needed to go.
The culprit? A faulty condensation return valve that was forcing water to back up in the system.
By taking short cuts and just replacing the entire heat exchanger instead of investigating a
relatively cheap valve, the end user was wasting thousands of dollars.