All I want to do is replace my 25 yr old Carrier 4T HP and Evaporator coil. (no ducts changes, no control system changes, no add ons).
The local Carrier dealer quoted a 4 figure quote. (although it included a totally new air handler vs. just an evaporator).
I'm leaning to these guys program:
Buy the components direct and they make arrangements for a local contractor to perform the final steps such as soldering the connections and charge the system. It's 1/4 the price.
I have no concerns with my part of the task since I'm just replacing old components vs. a total redesign.
Has anyone used these guys program? Anyone recommend other online sources?
>>>Removed DIY link. Please don't link or post those type of sites here. Thanks.<<<
[Edited by jrbenny on 11-05-2006 at 11:00 PM]
Do you bring your own steak to your favorate restaurant?
No quality HVAC contractor is going to install equipment you provide for them.
If you provide your own equipment, you are setting yourself up for a fall.
You are trying to save money but in the long run it will cost you more than if you simply went with a quality local contractor.
This guy was on usenet with the same questions, think he is just looking for a fight
The way we build has a greater impact on our comfort, energy consumption and IAQ than any HVAC system we install.
It's not full installation. I simply want to replace old 4T condenser with a new 4T condenser, old lineset with new lineset, and old A coil with new A coil.
The program is that homeowner does the install and tech does evac. and refrigerent charge. The company has co-op arrangements with at least 10 local contractors in my area.
Yes, I'd prefer one stop shopping but is it worth 4X the price???
Some things you may want to consider...... does your state or county require a mechanical / electrical permit, is the installer required to be licenced and do you need more than just a condensor, refrigerant piping and coil. Do you need a pad to set the new unit on, changes in electrical breakers (most newer more efficient units require less power), changes in condensate drain piping, duct transitions if the new coil is a differant shape than the old. And many more things to consider. There is a reason HVAC systems cost a lot of money. It's just not plug in and go. Be carefull as a DIY. I have gone on many jobs where a DIYer has gotten themselves into a lot of trouble not knowing what they are doing. It ended up costing them a lot more than if the hired an HVAC contractor to do it right the 1st time.
A pat on the back is nothing more then topical anesthesia for a knife.
I agree with what your saying. However I don't need a new pad, control system changes, electrical upgrades or changes to my air handler. (new A coil dimensions are the same as old A coil dimesions and match the new proposed HP). The condensate drain is also in place. The control system is compatable with I have now. (I verified it)
I agree that substantive changes to ducting, capacity and/or overall configuration are outside of the scope of what I'm considering. However I'm only talking about replacing 3 components (old to new).
I also agree that this is beyond the scope of average Joe Homeowner. However I know my capabilities and where to draw the line and this seems well within it.
This is one option that I'm considering. I still have plans to get 2 more quotes but if they're like the first one then I'll likely implement this plan.
I fully understand that a contractor's margin needs to cover a whole lot more then just time and materials but I'm still in shock over why this job would be even close to 4 figures.
If I'm stepping into area too sensitive for meaningful discussion then I'll gladly go away and take it elsewhere. I'm just trying to make an informed decision. (not horror stories of how "Joe Six Packs" botched their DIY attempt).
You only picked out certain issues of my post that you have covered. Does your state or county require permits to replace this equipment. In my area they are required. Also, in my area and many others across the country, there are local codes which must be followed when installing system. I have replaced over 600 systems since I have been involved in residential replacements and can't remember any that were just replacing condensor, refrigerant piping and coil. I'm here to help, not to criticize. I'm just making sure your realize all which is involved. This is my profession, not my hobby.
My county does not require permits for the work I describe.
Mechanical permits are required for:
- Changes to heating or cooling system that vents into a chimney
- Installation of fireplaces, stoves, etc
- Changes to gas piping between meter and appliance
- Installation of ventilating systems (exhausts and fans)
Electrical permits are required for:
- Installation or altering permanent wiring
- A permit is not required to replace an electrical device or to perform maint. on an existing installation.
Be sure to Dbl check those contractors. I personally, don't know of any reputable contractor that would do this. I checked one such site and found the name of a company that we had purchased several years ago still listed. We absolutely would NOT do such work so there is one name on the list that is no good. I've known of other contractors that found their name on such lists with no knowledge of it and also would not do that kind of work. Even if the site lists 10, I doubt you'll find that many actually willing to do so and the ones left, you may not want in your home.
Originally posted by davefr
The company has co-op arrangements with at least 10 local contractors in my area.
Never knock on Death's door. Ring the bell and run, he hates that.
Views expressed here are my own and not neccessarily those of any company I am affiliated with.
I will also advise you against this approach. You need to buy your equipment from a certified dealerand service company. If you buy the equipment you will have no parts or labor warranty, because manufacturers will not warranty Anything that is not professionaly installed, and that means from beginning to end.
So if the unit you buy is a lemon, you will be buying another one, and you will have to buy a new coil and lines too because they will be contaminated. They may say they offer a warranty but read the fine print and you will see the Manufacturers warranty is void if you dont buy the eqipment from a dealer.
And even if you get a contractor to do the charging and brazing they will not gaurantee their work because it is not their equipment, and they may even screw it up fo get more work out of you (not something I condone, but it happens). Buy the equipment from a real reputable dealer they will back the install and fix anything that goes wrong free of charge for up to 10 years. And things do go wrong ALL THE TIME, just like cars, alot of them are great machines, but they all have their problems.
If your looking for any of us contractors to encourage you to do this, then your wasting your time. Its a fool idea & your asking for trouble.
Quit being cheap & get it done right.
Life is like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today might burn your ass tomorrow.
The supplier I referenced claims to provide the full warranty. However the devil is in the details and I do understand the additional risk factors. (maybe they provide the warranty in lieu of the manufacturer). Misrepresentation can be pretty serious stuff.
Let me ask another couple questions regarding hiring an HVAC contractor to do my entire job. Once again, all I want is my very old 4T HP replaced because it's probably living on borroed time. I know the A coil and line set should go with it.
1. Is there a lull time in the HVAC business? Heating system just began, they're pretty busy and maybe that's why I got a 4 figure quote. When are HVAC companies the most eager for business? Is Spring a good time? (ie after heating season but before summer)
2. Should I change my approach. I know what I want and it isn't the utlimate efficiency packages and all the fancy options. A single stage HP and one speed air handler has served me well. Should I ask for verbal quotes on installation of the components that I specify?
I wish we could talk price here so we have some basis for what's reasonable and customary but I will obviously abide by the forums rules.