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Question DetailsAsked on 4/25/2016

how to cut up and dismantle a 1978 furnace

Model is York. It lays on its side

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1 Answer


For a 1978 furnace, couple of considerations:

1) adjacent ducting might have asbestos insulation, which you do not want to free up into the air while cutting

2) the furnace itself might (possible with that manufacture year but lower chance because was pretty much phased out by 1985) have asbestos insulation sheet inside the panel surrounding the firebox, or asbestos board in the firebox or as a protective board under it to keep the heat from non-concrete flooring.

If you don't get it tested to check first, I would not cut it up myself - have a pro do it.

As far as physically cutting it up - generally the furnace itself is just a bunch of sheet metal panels with angle iron corner framing - a sawzall with metal cutting balde (after disconnecting power and gas line then being sure you are not cutting close enough to nick them) will make quick work of the panels - the removeable and screwed-on ones you can probably just prop up and stomp on them (being careful of sharp edges) to fold them to fit in garbage can. Sheet metal panels you can bend easily using a pipe wrench (if you have one) twisted sideways on the sheet metal - or take a 4 foot 2x4 and cut a slot thick enough for the metal edge to fit into to use as a pry bar to get the bend started - or whale on it with a hammer to start the bend to fold it up.

The heat exchanger (like a heavy duty radiator) will normally fit in a larger size trash dumpster or can - if not, prop up on boards and break with sledge hammer and large chisel or wood wedge driven into the gap between the radiator "fins" near the end of the gaps - will break apart quite easy. OR with cast iron just whale on it with large sledge hammer - will shatter. Wear faceshield - can break apart throwing pieces of metal around, especially if cast iron, and wear heavy long sleeved shirt or jacket and leather gloves when handling the metal pieces and panels - LOTS of sharp edges that can slice you up badly. Aluminum heat exchanger will cut easily with coarser toothed metal saw or even a fine toothed wood blade in sawzall - either can also be readily cut with abrasive blade in a skil saw, just pay attention where the sparks are going (bettear to do outdoors).

Course, if you take the metal to a junk dealer it might pay for the gas for the trip - maybe a bit more if aluminum heat exchanger.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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