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April 29, 1999 Rheem Manufacturing and CSA International Announce Voluntary Retrofit Program for Electric Furnaces and Air Handlers Toronto, ON - In cooperation with CSA International, Rheem Manufacturing Co. of Fort Smith, Arkansas, announced today a retrofit program for approximately 1,000 electric furnaces and air handlers in Canada. The heating elements in the affected models can disintegrate and, possibly, expel small particles of molten metal through the duct system and into the living area of a home. The molten metal particles may ignite nearby combustibles, which may pose a potential fire hazard to consumers. There have been no reports of incidents in Canada, but Rheem has received 16 reports of incidents in the U.S. No injuries have been reported. Only certain down flow and horizontal installations are involved in this retrofit program. Specifically, only RBEA, UBEA, WBEA and WBEMA model electric furnaces and RBHA, UBHA, WBHA and WBHMA model electric air handlers with date codes between 3592 and 4595 are part of this recall. These products may have the trade names Rheem, Ruud or WeatherKing. The model and date code are on an identification plate affixed to the front of the unit. The date code consists of the four digits following the letter "M" in the unit's serial number. The first two digits of the date code specify the week and the last two digits specify the year. The units have cabinets, which are constructed of sheet steel painted beige or platinum, that house a circulating air blower, electric heating elements, mechanical controls, and an air filter. The physical dimensions of the units are 87.5 cm in length, 55 cm in depth and in varying widths of 35, 44, 52.5 or 61 cm, depending on model size. Rheem sold the furnaces and air handlers across Canada from August 1992 through December 1995 to distributors who, in turn, sold them to heating, ventilating and air conditioning dealers. Consumers with affected furnaces and air handlers should call Rheem's toll-free number at 1-877-749-6035, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rheem will provide information on how to arrange to have a qualified service technician repair the unit by installing a new blower assembly which contains a heating element with improved reliability. Rheem will paid for the new part, as well as provide a labour allowance for its installation. For more information, please contact: CSA International Media Relations (416) 747-4309 Rheem Manufacturing 1-877-749-6035



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