Furnace & Water Heater Maintenance

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If your Spinell Home was built in 2011 or later your furnace or water heater may need maintenance.

The high efficiency furnace and water heater units installed in Spinell Homes with 90% efficiency or above require periodic maintenance, to avoid erosion of city waterline pipes. Please check your unit to see if it has a neutralizer tube, a black plastic pipe approximately 12" long attached to the unit. There should be marble chips filling at least 1/4 of the neutralizer tube; if the tube is not filled to this level, homeowners will need to replace the marble chips, which can be purchased at a home supply store, like Home Depot or Lowe’s.

How to check your unit and replace marble chips: 

  1. Locate the neutralizer tube; on the furnace units it can be found attached to the base of the furnace where the sheet metal is exposed or along the side of the unit attached to the wall. On the high efficiency water heaters and boilers, the neutralizer tube will be attached to the wall below or alongside the unit where the space is available. If you are unable to find the neutralizer in the area of your furnace, water heater or boiler it was not required on your home.

  2. After identifying the neutralizer pipe, unscrew the cap at the top of the black pipe. A pair of channel locks may be needed to loosen the cap.

  3. Look down into the pipe to check the level of the marble chips

    1. If there are marble chips are still in the pipe and filled to 1/4 level, no further maintenance is required.

    2. If the marble chips have eroded completely or are below 1/4 level, they need to be replaced.

  4. To replace the marble chips, simply drop new chips into the pipe until it is approximately 3/4 full. 

  5. Close the pipe by securing the cap back onto the top of the pipe.

  6. For the next year please consider checking every six months in order to gage how quickly the marble chips erode and need replacing. After that it should be easy to estimate how often you need to replace the marble chips.

The marble chips needed to fill the neutralizer pipe are sold at home supply stores, but are usually only sold locally during the summer for landscaping. We suggest homeowners with units that require maintenance purchase a bag of marble chips in the summer and keep them on hand for yearly replacements.

Please feel free to contact Spinell Homes if you need further clarification.