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  1. #118
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,589
    I don't know how you couldn't have a manometer, but I know a company that installs that dosen't, us and them gave a price to install a fireplace insert and o course they were lower. I was doing ductwork on the job on the day they happen to fire it and what do you know it isn't burning well and they wanted me to look at it because the other guy didn't have a manometer to test gas pressure. I wanted to say f you but the customer still owned us money. A simple check found the gas pressure very low. So know the guy is out putting furnaces in and other stuff, and of course can't be setting them up proper.


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  2. #119
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,025
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    A little concerned now... this guy's the "owner" of a one man shop who said he has a tech who "helps" with installs.... when he shows up for work!

    We had a good long visit when he came out to get info for a Man J in preparation for his quote. He had a lot of good (I think) ideas regarding install options and tweaking ductwork, and he seemed really caring and knowledgeable. Nothing but A ratings on Angie's list, too.

    I expect his proposal soon and will ask again about manometer usage during the install.

    Can't seem to catch a break in finding that one totally comforting, technically capable, contractor.
    It seems to me in this age of keeping energy prices from going too high & keeping usage costs down, we need most HVAC Techs retrained to do their job thorough & right.

    There are a lot of good test instruments to test every aspect of heating & A/C; techs need to have all them possible; most are affordable; & they need to know how to use them...

    The one man shop usually depends on doing it right for referrals to stay in business...

    Got to leave the PC, so-long for now...

  3. #120
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,589
    The one man shop does a job visually correct because they know the HO won't know the difference. Most think oh nice and shiny now that's a good job. I don't think they are out to screw people all the time they just have a good enuf attitude, or don't know better. I haven't been in the trade as long as most people here but I know the more I learn the more I expect out of myself, I feel like I have a duty to do the best job I can.


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  4. #121
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,756
    Its not just a setup tool, it's a design tool.

    If there's not enough duct for the current system and you replace same for same, that's potentially $50 a month in higher energy costs and shortened equipment life that could have been avoided.

    Of course neither of those are burdens on the contractor.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  5. #122
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    5,025
    I was talking about a contractor licensed PRO that knows his stuff.

    Unless he has a lot of money to advertise; if the job isn't done right he won't be in business very long because word gets around & his referrals will dry-up.

    It catches up with the one man operator if the equipment doesn't hold up & do the job right; however, the large operator usually has strong advertising & is well known therefore, in a large city they can just keep rolling along hooking new suckers with their line....

    I started in this business before the mid-1970's & I followed a lot of large contractors; it appeared to me like they were hiring guys off the street & telling them how to use a manifold gage to add charge & little else.

    I got a lot of work because they screwed-up a lot &, big-time too often.

    So don't tell me about the big outfits being better than the small ones; most may have been okay, but my experience taught me that too many weren't okay...their sole mission, with at least some of their service workers, appeared to be just to make a fast buck.

    An uninformed customer doesn't know they're getting ripped-off until it is way too late...

  6. #123
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Rochester NY
    Posts
    4,756
    Quote Originally Posted by udarrell View Post

    An uninformed customer doesn't know they're getting ripped-off until it is way too late...
    ...If ever.

    If your car got 7 mpg you'd know pretty quick. Who has any idea what MPG their HOUSE gets?

    Really, that $50 a month in higher energy costs and shortened equipment life that could have been avoided is not transparent now, next year, or ever. (People simply don't track consumption on a meaningful level, and utilities make it harder rather than easier.)

    Well, it won't be clear until we have a tool that lets us easily compare our consumption to other peoples. When that happens the whole game changes. When there is a contractor registry based upon ability to deliver savings promised, contractors will be highly motivated to put effort into diagnostics and design up front, with a focus on energy efficiency instead of bigger is better.
    Which makes more sense to you?
    CONSERVATION - turning your thermostat back and being uncomfortable. Maybe saving 5-10%
    ENERGY EFFICIENCY - leaving your thermostat where everyone is comfortable. Saving 30-70%

    DO THE NUMBERS! Step on a HOMESCALE.
    What is comfort? Well, it AIN'T just TEMPERATURE!

    Energy Obese? An audit is the next step - go to BPI.org, or RESNET, and find an auditor near you.

  7. #124
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by tedkidd View Post
    Really, that $50 a month in higher energy costs and shortened equipment life that could have been avoided is not transparent now, next year, or ever. (People simply don't track consumption on a meaningful level, and utilities make it harder rather than easier.)
    Thing is, I DO track my consumption, and I DO know my neighbors on both sides use significantly less electric than I do, with "fairly" similar homes and, in one case, the exact same 3.5T HP, in the other, ~same age, different brand, 3T HP. Of course, I don't use setbacks because I'm home all day long, and I can tell they both do because their systems cycle on and off when they're not home during the day.

    If I'm paying more now because of my decrepit (corroded) condenser, that's fine. If I replace the equipment and STILL END UP PAYING MORE, I'll not be a happy camper.

    Now if I can just find a contractor who gets that. After spending so much time on this forum, I'm really paranoid about making a costly mistake!

  8. #125
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,589
    Quote Originally Posted by udarrell View Post
    I was talking about a contractor licensed PRO that knows his stuff.

    Unless he has a lot of money to advertise; if the job isn't done right he won't be in business very long because word gets around & his referrals will dry-up.

    It catches up with the one man operator if the equipment doesn't hold up & do the job right; however, the large operator usually has strong advertising & is well known therefore, in a large city they can just keep rolling along hooking new suckers with their line....

    I started in this business before the mid-1970's & I followed a lot of large contractors; it appeared to me like they were hiring guys off the street & telling them how to use a manifold gage to add charge & little else.

    I got a lot of work because they screwed-up a lot &, big-time too often.

    So don't tell me about the big outfits being better than the small ones; most may have been okay, but my experience taught me that too many weren't okay...their sole mission, with at least some of their service workers, appeared to be just to make a fast buck.

    An uninformed customer doesn't know they're getting ripped-off until it is way too late...
    I get what your saying, I just see the same hacks getting work and staying busy, it's no secret they are crooks, and we live in a small area so it just blows my mind they keep rolling. Company's big or small can be hacks, I work for a small company that just tries to install stuff the way it should be. I was wrong to single out one man outfits, I just had one in mind that I really can't stand because I'm always stuck with there garbage work.


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  9. #126
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,441
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    Thing is, I DO track my consumption, and I DO know my neighbors on both sides use significantly less electric than I do, with "fairly" similar homes and, in one case, the exact same 3.5T HP, in the other, ~same age, different brand, 3T HP. Of course, I don't use setbacks because I'm home all day long, and I can tell they both do because their systems cycle on and off when they're not home during the day.

    If I'm paying more now because of my decrepit (corroded) condenser, that's fine. If I replace the equipment and STILL END UP PAYING MORE, I'll not be a happy camper.

    Now if I can just find a contractor who gets that. After spending so much time on this forum, I'm really paranoid about making a costly mistake!
    Using smaller equipment and fixing the house is the key to lowering energy bills. Oversized equipment masks problems with the house and installation. Oversized equipment can be operating at 75% capacity and the homeowner would never know if it's oversized by 30%. Correctly sized equipment will make the house hot/cold if it isn't performing at near 100% of capacity.

  10. #127
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    Found the leak in the unfinished return cavity. The HVAC guy who "repaired" the duct leaks identified by the FPL blower door test would have had to "look up" to see it. It was probably easier to just put ductboard on the bottom and sides of the cavity and call it done, so he wouldn't have to twist his neck or lie on his back and "look up" to see this rather sizeable hole.
    Attachment 316201
    I wonder if they'll come back and do it right if I complain to FPL about one of their PIC list contractors doing substandard work?
    The contractor who did the poor job sealing the return has promised to "schedule" me for a return visit to fix it. We'll see how many times I have to call before they put me on their "schedule".

  11. #128
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    3,824
    Doesn't your unit sit on a shelf in a closet? Is the supply duct sealed going into the attic? Would not that hole actually be "in" the envelope of the house? It would only pull back conditioned air, not air from a crawl space or attic? It (the hole) looks as if its in the shelf that holds the unit up.

    Is that MOLD I see on the a/c coil & panning? Also, Is the hole (cut for the return) in the shelf as big as the intake on the piece of equipment?
    Always here

  12. #129
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by energy star View Post
    Doesn't your unit sit on a shelf in a closet? Is the supply duct sealed going into the attic? Would not that hole actually be "in" the envelope of the house? It would only pull back conditioned air, not air from a crawl space or attic? It (the hole) looks as if its in the shelf that holds the unit up.
    Not exactly. The hole is in the 2x4 that's part of the framework on the underside of the shelf on the back edge up against the wall where the filter grill comes through the wall into the hallway. There's no drywall on the laundry room side of the wall under this shelf. What you see to the right of the 2x4 (which has the actual hole in it) is the insulation between the drywall in the hallway (far right) that runs floor to ceiling, and the drywall in the laundry, that starts at the level of the shelf and runs to the ceiling. Depending on the integrity of the plate at the top of the wall, this open wall cavity would likely leak air from the attic. In any case, that wall extends beyond the conditioned laundry and forms the boundry between my "guest wing" hallway and my unconditioned garage. Air inside that wall cavity wouldn't be fully "conditioned".

    Quote Originally Posted by energy star View Post
    Is that MOLD I see on the a/c coil & panning?
    It's a little dirty, but I didn't find mold when I crawled inside (as much as I could without completely removing the filter grill).


    Quote Originally Posted by energy star View Post
    Also, Is the hole (cut for the return) in the shelf as big as the intake on the piece of equipment?
    According to the specs for my a/h, the intake is 20x20. I didn't use a tape measure, but by eyeballing it, the hole looks closer to 18x18. Unfortunately, the intake is further restricted by a 2x4 support in the middle of the shelf that runs across the center of the hole.

    More stuff I need to make sure the "new" equipment installer corrects!

  13. #130
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    this open wall cavity would likely leak air from the attic.
    Contractor came out this morning and sealed the "hole" and the space between the a/h stand and the wallboard. Hopefully, no more air leaking into the return from the attic!

    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    It's a little dirty, but I didn't find mold when I crawled inside (as much as I could without completely removing the filter grill).
    Contractor confirmed there's no mold on the inlet and it's relatively clean.

    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    According to the specs for my a/h, the intake is 20x20. I didn't use a tape measure, but by eyeballing it, the hole looks closer to 18x18. Unfortunately, the intake is further restricted by a 2x4 support in the middle of the shelf that runs across the center of the hole.

    More stuff I need to make sure the "new" equipment installer corrects!
    Contractor measured the opening under the a/h.... it's only 16.5 x 16.5. Current a/h was installed for a previous HO in 1999/2000 and they likely replaced the old one without sizing the hole to match the new a/h.

    Grrrr.... I guess the HO has to walk behind the installer every step of the way to make sure it's done right... like the way they put the condensing unit half on/half off the concrete pad!

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