FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Special Program Phone Number: (800) 758-3688
February 24, 1998
Release # 98-072
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 is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products under the agency’s jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually. CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical or mechanical hazard. CPSC's work to help ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters and household chemicals -– contributed to a decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 40 years.
Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.
To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury go online to www.SaferProducts.gov or call CPSC's Hotline at 800-638-2772 or teletypewriter at 301-595-7054 for the hearing impaired. Consumers can obtain news release and recall information at www.cpsc.gov, on Twitter @USCPSC or by subscribing to CPSC's free e-mail newsletters.
Please use the below phone number for all media requests.
Phone: (301) 504-7908
Spanish: (301) 504-7800