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What does a red tag furnace mean ?

Red tag furnace or a gas hot water heater?

No HVAC technician ever likes to tell a homeowner that their furnace, fireplace or water heater has to be red-tagged. But they’re required by law to do it, if they find that the equipment is in dangerous condition and poses a threat to residents or property.

If a qualified furnace technician spots a hazardous furnace, fireplace or hot water tank (any gas appliance), he must red-tag it. It’s not an optional step; he would be breaking Ontario’s safety laws if he let a potentially dangerous situation continue.

More to the point, ignoring the rules could lead to a household tragedy-which could lead to injury or even death, because of malfunctioning gas appliance.

red tag furnaceIf anything went wrong with your furnace-if there’s a cracked heat exchanger, or a rusted vent pipe, or insufficient combustion, or a poor quality installation-it could be a real hazard.

In cases where there is clear and present danger, the gas technician is required by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) to issue a furnace red tag. That means the appliance has to be shut down completely, and the gas turned off. The homeowner is stuck without their furnace (or boiler or heater) until they repair-or more usually, replace-the equipment. That’s not a position anybody wants to be in.

There are several levels of authority involved: the contractor who makes the decision (such as DeMark Home Ontario), the gas utility (Enbridge Gas, Union Gas), and the safety regulations of the TSSA-which is responsible for governing home safety in Ontario.

Only when the red tag situation has been taken care of, and the hazardous appliance repaired or replaced, can the heating company notify the gas contractor that corrective action has been taken. At that time, the red tag can be removed.

If your furnace is an older model, and if you want to avoid the danger of finding yourself in a “red tag furnace ” the best call you can make is to our licensed technicians at DeMark Home Ontario. And if it turns out that you do need a new furnace, check out our DeMark Home Ontario lineup of new high-efficiency gas furnaces.

For a free consultation, estimate or to book your maintenance call please contact us:

By phone: 647-847-2998 or Toll Free 1-855-998-2998

Or fill out a form for a free in home estimate and one of our friendly staff will contact you shortly.



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This item comes with absolutely free standard installation. We’ll ensure that the product is completely installed to code and fully functioning prior to leaving.


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Notice for Power Vent Water Heater Customers

Effective August 2007, gas code requires technicians working on venting to replace black ABS vent pipe with white UL-certified vent pipe.

We will upgrade your venting pipes at no additional cost.

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