Avoid a Red Tag Furnace or Water Heater With Help From AtlasCare

Nov 23, 2009

There's no need to fear a 'red tag' with AtlasCare on your side. With regular maintenance and service from our team of Healthy Home Technicians, you can avoid the inconvenience and cost of replacing a malfunctioning furnace or water heater.

What does a red tag furnace mean for homeowners?

No gas fitter likes to deliver the message that a furnace has been red tagged. It evokes a strong response because it usually results in a major expense such as a furnace repair or replacement. The term to 'red tag' a furnace or water heater is an expression from when a gas company put an actual red tag on an unsafe appliance. Today, this does not involve an alarming red notice left on the furnace, but is now a phrase meaning that dangerous equipment needs to be replaced quickly.

What's wrong with a red tag furnace?

Typical cases for red tagging furnaces are cracked heat exchangers, which could emit carbon monoxide into the air, insufficient combustion air for the appliance, or a cracked vent pipe, such as on a water heater. A red tag could also be issued if a furnace is not installed according to the manufacturers instructions, usually the result of a low-quality or quick install.

What are the different types of red tag furnaces?

When a gas fitter inspects a gas appliance such as a furnace and finds it is operating in an unsafe condition, they have two choices. If the appliance is an immediate hazard to the home occupants, then the gas fitter issues an "A" tag, meaning they must then shut down the red tag appliance and turn off the gas. If the infraction does not represent an immediate danger, the gas fitter issues a "B" tag and the owner has 45 days to repair or replace the red tagged appliance. The heating company then sends a notification to the appropriate gas utility company for their records.

Following the notification, the utility company will then issue a letter advising the homeowner of the next steps in the process. Once the hazardous appliance has been repaired or replaced, the heating company will notify the gas company that the corrective action has been taken for the red tag furnace or water heater.

If the homeowner fails to have the necessary work done, the gas utility company will turn off the gas without further warning. The homeowner will then have to pay a reconnect fee to get the gas turned back on.

Avoid the inconvenience and cost, call AtlasCare!

Remember, if a furnace technician spots a hazardous furnace or hot water tank, they must red tag it. These are situations that no one likes to be in, but with a regular inspection from your Healthy Home Technician, the inconvenience and cost of a red tag furnace or water heater can be avoided.

For more information on red tagged furnaces, consult this Technical Standards & Safety Authority document.

Learn more about our Healthy Homes Services.

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