Bethesda, MDA heating system from Lennox once touted as modern and efficient is proving a massive headache for many homeowners who have been made to suffer through the inconvenience of a wholesale removal and replacement of their heating systems. And if your failed Lennox CompleteHeat HM30 is out of warranty, you're probably out of luck.
The latter is what is motivating many homeowners to seek legal advice, given that the Lennox CompleteHeat HM30 is now considered, according to observers, an inferior system that was rife with problems. "Lennox does make mistakes," one Lennox dealer has been quoted as saying, "and the CompleteHeat system is a unit design that they wish they never created." The dealer, identified as an independent Lennox dealer writing on the CozyParts.com web site, noted that Lennox had decided to discontinue the systems, as well as discontinue all parts.
Lennox, according to the dealer in a post last year, indicated that Lennox was "not attempting to keep these systems running and are basically doing what they can to have the system removed and replaced with something much more reliable."
And yet, a 'decision tree' document in pdf format dated 2006 and posted by the dealer unequivocally suggests that if a consumer experiences a leak in the HM30 tank and the system is out of warranty, then the warranty has been fulfilled and nothing happens. Various scenarios are outlined should a leak happen while a unit is under warranty, and all scenarios involve replacing the failed HM30 with a completely different heating system.
Presumably, if a homeowner has a failed HM30 that is out of warranty, the system cannot even be repaired with authorized parts. The homeowner instead would be facing a costly replacement, where the homeowner would be footing the bill.
The Lennox CompleteHeat HM30 system was a marriage of the furnace and the hot water heater. The idea was to recycle the heat from the hot water, to heat the home via a complex coil system. An HM30 pdf document, mined from the bowels of the official Lennox web site, promises to increase the efficiency of heating air and water by 40 percent.
However, the system appears to have proven problematic, and has been discontinued. Nowhere is the CompleteHeat HM30 listed on the Lennox web site as a current product. In fact, the HM30 isn't listed anywhere. The only way to obtain HM30 information is to do a search within the Lennox site for the CompleteHeat HM30. Only then will you find the original pdf singing the praises of a system that is now considered obsolete and best forgotten.
Last winter a blogger posted on the CozyParts.com service forum that his elderly parents were struggling with a CompleteHeat HM30-LP system that was providing no heat at all for their home in Maryland. He noted that the system was still under warranty, and that Lennox was attempting to buy the unit back.
That observation appears consistent with the Decision Tree from Lennox dated October 1, 2006. Nowhere does it make any provision for repairing the HM30, or replacing it with another HM30. Provided the failed system is under warranty, various scenarios suggest the system be replaced by a high-efficiency furnace of a more standard design, free of charge, and credit limits for the purchase of a stand-alone hot water heater—with those limits varying depending upon what kind of venting is required.
However, for a system that is out of warranty there was no provision, as of October 1st 2006, for compensating homeowners for anything. If that policy has changed, there is no information anywhere on the Lennox web site that suggests as much.
In fact, unless you specifically mine the official web site through a site search for information on the CompleteHeat HM30, it appears as though the system never existed at all.
"It is the truth when you are being told that there are no longer factory parts available under warranty to repair this system," suggests the writer identified as an independent Lennox dealer, in a blog post. "I know of a few technicians outside of being Lennox Dealers that are not aware of the warranty issues and dangers with the continuation of running these systems and have found replacement parts on eBay to keep these systems running."
Models are discontinued all the time in the manufacturing industry, as products are updated. However, just because a product has been updated, does not suggest it was flawed. Rather, the product has been refined and improved, with added features. It does not suggest that the older product is any less reliable, and in most cases parts are stocked and older products continue to be supported—especially a heating system, which is expensive and time-consuming to replace.
However, in this case the writing is on the wall for owners of Lennox CompleteHeat HM30 units. It appears, according to the speed with which Lennox has backed away from the HM30 units, that the CompleteHeat HM30 was a failed design that Lennox is making no attempt to support. Failed units under warranty are, without exception, replaced rather than repaired.
Homeowner with an HM30 past warranty have been, literally, left out in the cold. The impact on an individual's health and the value of their property could carry significant impact. Seniors with poor circulation are more susceptible to the cold, and lack the resources to repair, or replace a heating system. If an HM30 fails entirely and occupants have to vacate the premises, extreme cold inherent with the more frigid US climates pose a threat to water pipes, which could burst and ruin both the structure, and contents.
All the more reason to contact an attorney if you have a failed Lennox CompleteHeat HM30 out of warranty. A consultation with a qualified lawyer to explore your legal options would be excellent value, in comparison with the potential costs of doing a complete retrofit of your home heating system, and footing the entire bill on your own.
Instead, do yourself a favor and contact a qualified attorney. Otherwise, you may be a lot more than simply out in the cold. You may be completely out of luck.
inquiring for my mom. She has this unit and no hot water. She is calling a plumber. Is the heat going to go out as well? Very hard to find info on how it works etc.
Posted by Ernie Lang
I have had my HM61-100 since 2001 and have been doing my own service work since purchase I have over the years made deals with Lennox contractors on the side to sell me replaced units that I have been bastering to keep my unit running>Last week had to change air gas blower vent-or unit work till last night now I am down with same problem .does anyone have used parts connection for me or am I out of luck.For anyone with this furnace ,when code flashes 2 times it is because no vacuum to fire gas valve ,probable cause ventor motor or board failure.(very expensive to replace if you do find a dealer with one on their shelf.(GOOD LUCK WITH THAT).Am now looking for advice on possible replacement of water heating unit with water on demand such as RHEEM or other .Has anyone tried this as my air handler works perfectelly and want to only supply hot water to heating coil and domestic piping system.
Frustrated Lennox customer
Posted by Angie
I moved into a custom-built home in Sept 2003 in Vancouver, B.C. The Complete Heat system was installed by Charles Frass, sole owner of Superior Gas. Despite annual maintenance visits, the system was constantly breaking down and requiring expensive repairs.
The damper is no longer functioning after failing 2x. The fan motor had to be replaced. At this time, Charles Frass refuses to service our unit after 14 years of expensive repairs. There is no heat to the house even though the furnace is operating as the damper does not open.
I am interested in the details of compensation from Lennox and Superior Gas for replacement of this unit.
Posted by Bill Sarazin
To Drummernaut: I am interested in the details of your coupling of the HM30 to a water heater. Thanks.
Posted by Drummernaut
To Heidi Duschanek: I installed an AM30(the air handler part of the Complete Heat) in 2003 with a Bock water heater. It has worked great since. I did have to make an anticipator circuit in 2004 for the Bock but it was easy. Even without the circuit the unit will work. In my research I have found that it is the HM30(hot water tank) part of the system that was designed with sub par parts. For the anticipator circuit l replaced the aquastat with a Johnson Control so the Bock could be controlled by the AM 30 when there is a call for heat. Let me know and I will give the details.
Posted by Bill Sarazin
I have a Lennox complete heat system that I installed myself to provide air heat to a swimming pool building, potable hot water to the building as well as to my adjacent (connected) home, and two independent hydronic (water to water) systems to heat the pool and the hot tub. When I initially found out about this system, it was the ideal unit to replace the 5 heaters with standing pilots that previously served each of these functions. It worked great for a while.
But the stainless tank cracked, leaking water on to the ignitor.---went through a couple ignitors before I realized what was happening.
I had several other problems with it, like others mention, but because I am not a licensed plumber and had installed it myself, Lennox voided the warranty from day one.
Fortunately I was able to find a used unit that still had a good tank. Because I had to work on it so often, I left the cover and some of the insulation off, as well as mounted the control panel on a wall about a foot away from the tank.
I have had problems with overheating which were due to failure of the Taco circulating pump failure, so I have since run the unit at the lowest temperature setting and it served me otherwise well for several years.
I AM CONVINCED THAT THE MAJOR CAUSE OF THE MANY PROBLEMS WITH THESE UNITS IS THAT THEY TYPICALLY RUN TOO HOT!
I again have a problem with overheating, but it is not the Taco pump. Hopefully it is a limit switch or bypass tube or drip tube failure. None-the-less, I had to shut the entire system(s) down and drain to protect against freezing until I can figure it out.
I sympathize with all who have had bad experiences with this unit and more, with the overtly hostile responses I got from the Lennox company personnel when I tried to find information and parts for repair.
Posted by Heidi Duschanek
I've been wout hot water and heat now 8 mo. I fixed it once....now I'm afraid it's toast! A friend wants to try replaceing water heater but doubt it'll work. I'm a single woman trying to buy the house from my mom. She can't afford to fix it and now wants to just sell my house. I grew up in this house. Now I'll be homeless unless I can figure this out! Lennox guy came out and wants to sell me furnace and water heater. Just can't afford that!!!!!
Posted by Trysha Miller
how do you find out what "watch guard" and other codes mean?
Posted by Aaron Kutz
We had brought our house about 1.5 years ago. The HM61 heater and the AM30 air handler was installed back in 2004 when the house was built. I had an issue with the temp sensor in the air handler last winter and I repaired it, no big deal. Just a few weeks ago we noticed no hot water. So I checked it out and found that the internal water coil is leaking onto the burner, so no fire. I have been looking into different solutions, all of them are expensive. I was doing some research online and found this. Sounds like I am not the only one with this issue. I was wondering if there was any assistance from Lennox on this issue.
Posted by Joe
I've serviced a lot of complete heat systems while I lived in RI. Although the concept was good (heat with lots of domestic hot water) but they weren't all that dependable & weren't cheap to fix either.
If I owned one that was out of warranty I'd just replace it with a simple gas furnace or boiler & a 75 gallon water heater which could be done for a few thousand bucks.
Spending $7,000 is sort of a high end price tag.
Posted by CYNTHIA TRAWICK
Its been more than 2 weeks since we have had hot water. And we cannot find anyone to work on the system. This is a nightmare. Lennox HM30 has no resolution for people who unknowingly bought a home with a working system only to find out later that you were going to need to make a major investment in a new system. Please someone help us.Our inside tank is leaking and cannot be repaired thus no hot water. This is going to be extremely expensive to replace -- thousands of dollars - my head hurst just think about it. We do not know what recourse we have in this matter.
Posted by Dee Fuller
I stumbled onto this page by accident and I'm glad I did...I have been told that I will have to replace my water heater at the tune of $8600+. What's the point? If its a piece of junk and non-existence, then he's blowing smoke up my ??? I'm looking for that Legal consultation for I'm a disabled elderly widow and cannot afford to be caught out in the cold. Its been more than 2 weeks since I had hot water and I was told that if I don't replace it, I won't have heat this winter. I feel I'm between a rock and a hard place but on a fixed income and alone, I feel desperate and confused. I pray and hope that Lennox will do the right thing, if not, I pray for a Divine intervention.
Posted by john yurman
Most of the comments are quite old. I fail to see why we think a unit, any unit should be covered after the warranty has expired. I work at a Lennox dealership and Lennox always covered units while under warranty. Whatever the reasons for failures, Lennox simply decided this design was not reliable enough to keep producing and recommends replacing them with a matching Polaris unit. (the lennox HM61) looks remarkably like a repainted Polaris.
I am very familiar with these units, readers may forward questions (not rants) to my email.
And yes, after all these years, there are still Complete Heat units still in service.
Posted by Wei
I have the HM30 and still have not been able to find the exact model number. It breaks down every winter, and it costing me thousands of dollars in repair cost.
I replaced all the major parts, and now my plumber is doing more diagnostic on it.
The worst is I cannot replace it with another furnace since this is complete with water and heat and the closet is very small to fit that furnace in.
Posted by Jack Whitehead
I have a Complete Heat system installed as well. Radiator and HM30 are showing signs of leaking. The HM30 has been repaired at least 3 times at my cost. I was provided with a cost to replace by the local Lennox dealer of a little under $15,000. I'm waiting to find out if Lennox will voluntarily provide any assistance given that the system is out of warranty.
Posted by Dan Pederson
Yes, system is crap and Energy Expeditors who did the install were an expensive fix.
Posted by john lozon
still have mine . it gave me problem & try to find some one to work on it , I have to fix it my self .and trying to find parts is hard
Posted by Now What
Bought a house with a complete crap in it. Have had problems since day one. Have replaced motor,fans,sensors and ignitors. I am well over $2000 in repairs and the system is currently not working. Had motor replaced today because it was making the worst noise I have ever heard 4hrs after repair guy leaves unit shuts down limit switch open. Rest system shuts down two hours later watch guard.
I can't win with this thing. Scary part is the estimate price I was quoted to replace it with some normal stuff. Remember it's a complet heat it's everything in one.
I hate this thing!
Posted by Pat Keohane
We had the Lennox Complete Heat Sys. put in our new home in 2003, on the advice of the builder. We've had several things replaced and now are told it has a major leak inside. It has to be replaced. This system has only been used for 5 mos. out of the year since 2003 so that's not much use. I'm stunned with so little use, the system has cracks.
Just adding my disgust for this product to the list.
Posted by Ellsworth Smith
I have a Lennox Comfort Heat HM30. I have gone through problems as have many others. My dealer did not stock parts, thus on several occasions I went without Comfort heat for several days at a time. I also heat by wood. My last encounter with my local Lennox dealer that sold me the systems in 1994 was their last service call, they worked and worked without getting the unit working. They presented me with a bill for $400 and insisted on CASH and left without fixing the system. I had repaired the system several times, but my wife instructed me to have the experts keep the system in working condition. >> I started getting parts such as printed wiring boards, gaskets, flame sensor/spark units along with other repair parts. I am repairing my own Printed wiring boards. > In my town of Fort Wayne Indiana, I have determined that I am the only Comfort Heat user left. I am now trying to find junked units for parts. I will drive 200 miles for old units.
Posted by Connie
We have 2 complete heat systems for a very large building. I'm in the process of trying to find out when they were installed as I know it has not been a full 10 years for the second unit that just had the tank crack. We have had to fix the igniter at least once on both units and there have been relatively small misc. issues on both of them over the years (I say small in issue, but the dollars for repairs have added up).
An answer to a question posed by Lorri- the replacement system for the water heater is a Polaris unit. You may have already found this out, but this is what I have been told by the company that installed mine.
Posted by Ken M
I have this crap system .Other than igniter problems I have been ok with the hot water tank but I have two of the hm 61 fan systems that break down constantly .
I give up on the one and am repacing it before cold weather sets in .
I will be very happy if someone gets a class action suit together
Count me in .
Posted by Denios Pido
Has anybody taken any liable action against Lennox? If so how can we join. If enough people take them to court it can be a class action suit.
Posted by Lorri
I have had a Complete Heat since 2004 the winter of 2005 it broke down, we froze to death for three weeks in January, I managed to figure out that the igniter was getting soak. From there till now I have managed to McGiver it. Last straw a pipe cracked which is leaking inside and soaking the igniter quite a challenge to get a hot shower these days. Does anyone know how the remedy the problem? Otherwise I am looking at $13,000 minimum to replace my heat a water supply
Posted by Randy
Our experience with the HM30 has been very good. It is currently down with pressure switch issue (which has happened a few times in the past) but for the most part has served us well since it was installed in 1997 (I believe it was). We have five children, ages 11 thru to 19, in a homeschooling environment so it provided many a hot shower. For 16 years, it has gotten a workout and remained reliable for the most part. I have gotten it back up and running from the pressure switch issue in the past by removing the hoses and tapping on the pressure switch. The same will be true today. I will have it running shortly. In all these years, we have not had a leak (and it's NOT going to start now). I am sorry to hear about the problems you all have had but ours has been quite faithful for quite some time. Have a great day!!
Posted by Steve in MN
I stumbled across this page while looking for a replacement igniter for a CompleteHeat system that has been running reliably (for a relative) for at least 10 years now. Every couple years the igniter needs to be replaced and it only takes 10 or 12 minutes – but this page brought back “fond” memories of the CompleteCrap systems (yes, plural) I had to deal with.
A brief history:
Aug., 1999 - The FIRST system was installed, a CompleteHeat HM30.
Jan., 2000 - The first repair occurred five months later when the ‘blower motor assembly’ had to be replaced. There was no charge as it was “a new system.”
--- there were one or two gaskets that also had to be replaced during this time period but it was covered under warranty and there was no billing so I don’t have the dates.
Dec., 2001 - A “high limit failure” repair resulted in a $72.00 charge
Jan., 2002 - The “pump cartridge” had to be replaced, a $144.00 charge
Jan., 2003 - The cold water intake pipe cracked, leaking water all over the basement floor - again. Had to make two service calls to get it fixed, a $179.00 charge
Nov., 2003 - Another breakdown resulted in the system being replaced with a new CompeteHeat HM61 under the Lennox replacement program, $500 installation fee.
Feb., 2005 - The “ignition control” had to be replaced. There was no charge (presumably since it was only a year old)
June, 2005 - A new “pressure switch” had to be installed, a $295.00 charge
Nov., 2006 - Another breakdown:
· Evening of Nov. 16th - I called the company that installed both systems. They sent a repairman, who upon seeing the CompleteHeat said they don’t service them anymore since the CompleteHeat line had been discontinued. He spent a little time looking at it but was unable to fix it, a $187.00 charge.
· Nov. 17th – Called the company again, they said they wouldn’t deal with CompleteHeats anymore and they suggested someone else who might still be dealing with them. I called them but they weren’t able to send anybody until the following day.
· Nov. 18th – The guy from the ‘other’ company arrived, but was unable to fix it. He needed to order some parts. In the mean time, he was able to get it to run manually and showed me how to do it so we would at least have heat and hot water.
· Dec. 11th – He returned with the new parts, a pressure switch and burner, but this did not fix the problem. He was going to have to try replacing the blower unit (as recommended by Lennox). Their bill to date: $560.00.
After a couple days of ‘manually’ running the unit, I jury-rigged a device to get my CompleteCrap running without my help. After the holidays, the guy spent a day-and-a-half working on it. I was at work and never did find out what was done to get it working again. Never did receive a bill (I suppose for the inconvenience) or explanation.
Aug., 2007 – It broke AGAIN. And the warranty was about to run out AGAIN. After 10 or 11 breakdowns in less than 8 years and $2000 in repair bills, I had the damned thing ripped out and replace with a NON-CompleteCrap unit.
Posted by Paul
We built a new home in 1999 and our local hvac dealer raved about how wonderful the Lennox complete heat system was .
The first winter was a night mare , many cold nights , cold showers and we had to heat water on the stove so the children could bathe . Our dealer just stood looking at our unit scratching his head saying "don't know what to tell you "
I have called in several other dealers to look at my unit over the years and none of them have any idea what to do.
The only person I have ever found was a lennox factory employee that did show up and spent 2 days working on the unit telling me all the things that were wrong from the factory
After he spent his time here at Lennox's expense my unit has ran flawlessly for appx 5 years until last night when it blew the blower housing completely apart and took the whole top off of the unit .
I spent the day today looking for parts to find out none are available . I did however talk to a gentleman at RELIANT water heater factory and he was very aware of the problems with the Lennox system and suggested the purchase of their POLARIS forced induction water heater as a superior replacement .
Posted by pete rinaldi
we vrought our lennox complete in 2001 and had lots of repairs. today we were told it is shot. so no heat or hot water.
Posted by gary
we had one of these, lasted 4years. they replaced with a quantum boiler. 4 years later it has cost us $3000 in repairs and is still acting up. they say now that it is not there system and won't cover warranty. flooded basement to a tune of $7000. i will never ever buy a lennox again. there customer service is horrible and so are there products !!!!!! if there is a lawsuit in canada I'm in.
Posted by Mike Jacobson
I've been a service technician for 25 years with a majority of those years with a Lennox dealer. I've had the unfortunate duty of condemning many HM-30 units, in fact another one ruptured just this morning. I use to be a huge Lennox fan, especially of the Pulse furnace. I now work for a Bryant dealer and can tell you that Bryant is a far superior product. Most owners of Lennox Complete Heat systems, are well aware of the ongoing issues. The HM61 unit also has its problems as well. The biggest issue I see is not having an inline filter installed in the pvc inlet pipe. This filter will prevent debris from entering the blower and burner area's. If you dont have this filter, get one installed as soon as possible.
Posted by Jeffery Buckner
Any reported problems with the HM61-100-1 .Lennox Complete heat system. We have had problems with the burner screens as well as the ignitors.More problems with bugs getting into the burner screens causing them not to fire up. We have to replace these screens ,because they will not fire up.
Posted by Dane Aksel
Tony, I would be all for that type of approach...I live in a building where these were installed in every unit back in 1998 (24 of them) I am on the board and have a pretty good feeling we would have 24 canidates that would join the cause....
Posted by Tony Bedrossian
Dear Folks: How about combining our resources towards litigation against Lennox or seeking some support from governmental jurisdiction. Please respond with your thoughts.
Posted by William Murphy
To the Lennox contractor- "Tell all your friends and good luck" - WTF are you a [expletive removed] or what. YOU sold them the thing YOU made a PROFIT from selling them a piece of crap--YOU repeat YOU have a responsibillity to make it right. Its clowns like you that make me want to puke.
Posted by Former Lennox Contractor
As a contractor that used to handle Lennox-I have installed many Complete Heat systems (much to my sorrow). They were touted as an amazing system, built by a (then) reputible company. They offered High-efficientcy, High capacity water heating as well as space heating. And, when working they do.
Lennox has buried their heads in their legal department.
The "buy-back" of in warranty systems is really a credit toward new Lennox equipment. this is not enough to cover even the replacement equipment, nonetheless the labor to put the new system in. Lennox is basing their replacement on a basic 90% furnace cost and a standard water heater (say goodby to water heating efficientcy and capacity).
These were an expensive system, and now (in warranty) they offer a cheap system in replace of it. Kind of like a Mercedes manufacturer who is replacing their defective car with a Ford Festiva (not that there is anything wrong with a Ford Festiva- it's just that it's not a Mercedes).
Please remember, as an air conditioning contractor, we install what we - at the time - believe is a good product built by a reputible manufacturer. Lennox has hung us all out to dry. You as a consumer who have to pay to replace their defective product, and Me and my reputation because I believed in them, and installed their products (which I don't anymore). I have had so many conversations with Lennox trying to get these replaced (even in warranty)for my customers that I am red faced.
I know it's easy to get mad at the contractor who sold you your system, please just remember - we didn't build these things. Lennox is responsible to stand behind the quality of their product. I and other contractors are responsible for the proper installation of equipment we sell and have no controll after that. It is Lennox that has decided to not stand behind what they build.
The only recourse we have now is legal, and of course verbal. Tell everyone you know what Lennox has done to you-and good luck.
Posted by D. Cullen
We had the complete heat system installed in 2001. It has been an expensive nightmare since the beginning. This is the most costly system to maintain. We have just been told that our inside tank is leaking. This is going to be extremely expensive to replace. We have also been limping along, fixing the problems as they arise. This is just about enough. I am not sure what recourse we have in this matter.
Posted by John Bergeron
We have a Lennox complete heat system installed in 2006 by the same contractor who had installed the same system in 1997. In 2006, the local Home comfort shop had this Lennox CH in stock from 2000 and in spite of all the problems, we now find they were aware of, installed this system as a replacement for the original failed Complete Heat system. Dealer integrity is a big question. At this juncture, the 2000 system, installed in 2006 has been a nightmare andf the dealer is trying to limp it along with caulking, silicones and indifference.
The mini-explosions inside the chamber appear to be caused by retarded lighting or the gas valve not shutting properly and exploding when the furnace tries to start.
The "solution" has been to put silicone over an apparent heat exchanger crack and letting it "cure" in hopes it will hold. It hasn't and our gas supplier's recommendation is to abandon our home until it's fixed.
Who would they expect to look after our home in our absence?? Our local Lennox distributor...
Legal consultation definititely in our future.
Posted by Helping a Friend
Way to go DAVE!
Perhaps lighting those coveralls on fire would provide a more sufficient source of heat than propriatry menusha.
Special thanks to Renos largest heating company for the on going lack of support to their former customers.
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