February 24, 1998
Release # 98-072
|CONTACT: Russ Rader
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1166
CPSC, Manufacturers Announce Recall Program to
Replace Vent Pipes on Home Heating Systems
WASHINGTON, D.C. -
In a landmark action, virtually the entire furnace and boiler industry together with the
manufacturers of high-temperature plastic vent (HTPV) pipes have joined with the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to announce a recall program. This program will
replace, free of charge, an estimated 250,000 HTPV pipe systems attached to gas or propane
furnaces or boilers in consumers' homes. The HTPV pipes could crack or separate at the
joints and leak carbon monoxide (CO), presenting a deadly threat to consumers.
CO is a colorless, odorless gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuel,
including natural gas and propane. The initial symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to the
flu, and may include dizziness, fatigue, headache, nausea and irregular breathing.
High-level exposure to CO can cause death.
To determine whether they have HTPV pipe systems that are subject to this program,
consumers should first check the vent pipes attached to their natural gas or propane
furnaces or boilers. Vent pipes subject to this recall program can be identified as
follows: the vent pipes are plastic; the vent pipes are colored gray or black; and the
vent pipes have the names "Plexvent ," "Plexvent II" or
"Ultravent " stamped on the vent pipe or printed on stickers placed on pieces
used to connect the vent pipes together. Consumers should now check the location of these
vent pipes. For furnaces, only HTPV systems that have vent pipes that go through the
sidewalls of structures (horizontal systems) are subject to this program. For boilers, all
HTPV systems are subject to this program. Other plastic vent pipes, such as white PVC or
CPVC, are not involved in this program.
After checking the vent pipes, consumers should call the special toll-free number (800)
758-3688, available between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. EST seven days a week, to verify that their
HTPV pipe systems are subject to this recall program. Consumers with eligible systems will
receive new, professionally installed venting systems free of charge. Additionally,
consumers who already have replaced their HTPV pipe systems may be eligible for
reimbursement for some or all of the replacement costs.
The program came about as a result of mediation among 27 participants manufacturers of
HTPV pipes and manufacturers of natural gas or propane-fired boilers and mid-efficiency
furnaces. This is the first time that CPSC has used a mediator to bring together all
segments of an industry to implement a program for the benefit of consumers.
All consumers should have their fuel-burning appliances 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 detector that meets the
requirements of the most recent Underwriters Laboratories 2034 standard or International
Approval Services 6-96 standard.
The following lists the manufacturers participating in this program.
Armstrong Air Conditioning Inc.
Bard Manufacturing Co.
Crown Boiler Co.
The Ducane Co. Inc.
Dunkirk Radiator Corp.
Evcon Industries Inc.
Hart & Cooley Inc.
Heat Controller Inc.
International Comfort Prod. Corp.(USA)
Lennox Industries Inc.
Peerless Heater Co.
Rheem Manufacturing Co.
Thermo Products Inc.
The Trane Co.
Utica Boilers Inc.
York International Corp.
A related recall has also been issued.
The U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from
15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous
product or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service,
call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order
a press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax
machine and enter the release number. Consumers can report product hazards to email@example.com.