Changes To Home Heating Vent Pipe Recall Announced

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Goodman Manufacturing Company of Houston, Texas, just announced changes to a 1998 recall program to replace <"">dangerous home heating vent pipes. Both the CPSC and Goodman Manufacturing Company are urging consumers who have not yet responded to the previously-announced 1998 recall to do so immediately. The original recall notice can be viewed here.

Effective October 1, 2009, the remedy consumers receive will change to be identical to modifications recently announced for a related recall, which can be accessed here.

The recall included about 10,000 Plexvent and Ultravent HTPV pipe systems attached to certain Goodman mid-efficiency furnaces manufactured from October 1988 to July 1994. Models GUP, GDP, GUPS, GDPS, GUPI, GDPI, GUPX, GDPX, GMP, and GMPV for the following brands (manufactured by Goodman): Janitrol, GMC, Hamilton Electric, Franklin, Liberty, and Sears/Kenmore. The HTPV pipe used for these vents could be susceptible to corrosion, cracking, and joint separation, which could result in the release of carbon monoxide (CO) into living areas, posing a danger to consumers. Goodman did not manufacture the HTPV pipe, the CPSC noted.

The different remedies available to consumers with qualifying furnaces that use the two leading brands of HTPV pipe—Plexvent and Ultravent—follow:

Valid claims initiated on or before October 1, 2009, with remediation completed and required documentation submitted by January 1, 2010:

Plexvent and Ultravent owners will receive ONE of the following:
A new, professionally-installed venting system free of charge
A new, high-efficiency Goodman furnace and suitable vent for the manufacturer’s price (of just the furnace), with no charge for labor, associated materials, or dealer markup

Valid claims initiated after October 1, 2009:

Plexvent Owners: A rebate up to $400 toward either an HTPV replacement system, or a new, high-efficiency furnace from Goodman that does not require HTPV.
Ultravent Owners: A rebate up to $250 toward either an HTPV replacement system, or a new, high-efficiency furnace from Goodman that does not require HTPV.

Consumers who register after October 1, 2009 and choose to repair their systems will be responsible for up-front payment of parts, labor, and permits, and for arranging to have the work performed. Consumers should determine whether they have a recalled HTPV pipe system by checking the vent pipes attached to their natural gas furnace. Vent pipes subject to this recall can be identified as follows (other plastic vent pipes, such as white PVC, are not included): the vent pipes are plastic; are colored gray or black; have “Plexvent,” “Plexvent II,” or “Ultravent” stamped on the vent pipe or printed on stickers placed on pieces used to connect the vent pipes; and are located on furnaces. The pipes go through the sidewalls of structures.

The CPSC is advising owners of Goodman furnaces vented with HTPV pipe to immediately call Goodman, toll-free, at 1-800-394-8084 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday. The CPSC also reminds consumers to have fuel-burning appliances professionally inspected annually to check for cracks or separations in the vents that could allow CO to leak into the home. In addition, CPSC recommends that every home should have at least one CO alarm.

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned that CO poisoning can look a lot like the flu and can kill a person in minutes if exposed to high levels. CO poisoning is responsible for 15,000 emergency room visits and 500 deaths annually. Carbon monoxide is an odorless and colorless gas, the number one cause of poisoning deaths in this country, and dangerous and deadly when it builds up in improperly vented spaces, said HealthDay News previously.

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