CPSC Announces Changes to Home Heating Vent Pipes Recall

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and various home heating furnace, boiler, and high-temperature plastic vent (HTPV) manufacturers are urging home owners who have not yet responded to the previously-announced 1998 recall, to do so immediately. After May 1, 2009, the remedy consumers receive under the existing program, which has been operating continuously for almost 11 years, will change.

The recall, first announced in February 1998, included about 250,000 Plexvent and Ultravent HTPV pipe systems attached to gas or propane furnaces and boilers in homes. HTPV pipes can crack or separate at the joints and leak deadly carbon monoxide (CO) gas. The following table includes the different remedies available to consumers with qualifying heating systems vented with two leading brands of HTPV pipe--Plexvent and Ultravent.

  Plexvent owners Ultravent owners
Valid claims initiated on or before May 1, 2009, with remediation completed and required documentation submitted by October 1, 2009 Will receive a new, professionally-installed venting system free of charge or a rebate up to $400 towards purchase of a new, high-efficiency appliance from the same manufacturer that does not require HTPV Will receive a new, professionally-installed venting system for about $250 or a rebate of $250 towards purchase of a new, high-efficiency appliance from the same manufacturer that does not require HTPV
Valid claims initiated after May 1, 2009 A rebate up to $400 toward either an HTPV replacement system, or a new, high-efficiency appliance from the same manufacturer that does not require HTPV A rebate up to $250 toward either an HTPV replacement system, or a new, high-efficiency appliance from the same manufacturer that does not require HTPV

Consumers who register after May 1, 2009 and who choose to repair their systems will be responsible for up-front payment of parts, labor, and permits, and will be responsible 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 or propane furnace or boiler. Vent pipes subject to this recall can be identified as follows:

  • the vent pipes are plastic;
  • the vent pipes are colored gray or black;
  • "Plexvent," "Plexvent II," or "Ultravent" is stamped on the vent pipe or printed on stickers placed on pieces used to connect the vent pipes; and
  • the vent pipes are located on furnaces (and the pipes go through the sidewalls of structures) or on boilers.

Other plastic vent pipes, such as white PVC, are not included in the recall.

After checking the vent pipes, consumers should call 800-758-3688 between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday to sign up for HTPV pipe system replacement.

The following manufacturers are participating in this program: Armstrong Air; Conditioning Inc.; Bard Manufacturing Co.; Burnham Corp.; Dunkirk Radiator Corp.; Evcon Industries Inc.; Heat Controller Inc.; International Comfort Prod. Corp.(USA); Lennox Industries Inc.; Nordyne Inc.; Peerless Heater Co.; Pennco Inc.; Plexco Inc.; Raypak Inc.; Rheem Manufacturing Co.; Slant/Fin Corp.; The Trane Co.; Trianco-Heatmaker Inc.; Utica Boilers Inc.; Vaillant Corp.; Weil-McLain; Westcast Inc.; and York International Corp.

CPSC reminds all consumers to have fuel-burning appliances professionally inspected each year 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.

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