Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 13 of 27
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    10
    Post Likes

    Was this a fair price and poor man's heat pump test

    Two questions.

    This is a ~14yo Carrier heat pump (13 SEER?) 3-ton

    Sorry for weird math under Q1 but I'm trying to obey "no prices" if you're a HVAC contractor sure you know about what a carrier fan should cost.

    --
    Q1

    Paid local HVAC company to come out and diagnose buzzing & freezing. Bad fan, paid $-- for diagnostic. They quoted me $XYZ to put new fan on. Said lemme think. Ordered genuine Carrier part for $ABC and installed myself. I paid them their $-- diagnostic fee so not feeling like I ripped them in any way (it wasn't free)

    So I'm thinking man it took me & a friend like 1.5 hours to change fan not knowing what we're doing (other than I'm smart enough to not lick a capacitor) and thinking guy who works on HVAC all time could do it in 45 minutes or less. So that's 150% more than cost of fan for labor. Sorry trying to do this without pricing. Fan cost * 1.5 was labor portion. Add (cost of fan) + ( cost of fan * 1.5) to get total. I get they have insurance, workers comp, etc, and I'm OK with yes they need to make some profit. But I'm thinking man they probably pay less for fan than me. Just seems like a *lot* of profit. I mean say they ask 50% fan markup for labor I wouldn't think twice. (cost of fan) + (cost of fan * 0.5) seems reasonable. That's getting into over $100 an hour for labor vs. $200-$300 an hour.

    So was 150% too much? I feel like they were trying to make quick buck from someone who wasn't willing to look into it. Wanted your opinion, I realize it could just be me overreacting.

    --
    Q2

    Poor Mans heat pump test.

    Before I pay someone to come test charge, etc., is there a simple way I can test? Such as "If outside temp is XX and heat pump is running without emergency heat, if temp coming out of vents is YY degrees higher than XX then I'm probably all good, and if it's way less than that I should pay for a servicing/check"

    I did go out and verify one side of lines was getting hot, and the other cold.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    8,253
    Post Likes
    You get what you pay for!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    EXIT 16W www.wmtandson.com
    Posts
    4,460
    Post Likes
    I have no problem with
    My diagnoses leading to your DYI repair
    BUT
    if you call after that the price goes up by %%%%%++++%%%%+%%%%
    DON"T mess with the US
    I thought I had been there and done That.
    ITS ALL ABOUT LEARNIN!
    I thought it would be better by now
    "He who works with his hands is a laborer.
    He who works with his hands & his head is a craftsman.
    He who works with his hands, his head & his heart is an artist."
    ~St. Francis of Assisi

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Visalia California 93291
    Posts
    3,567
    Post Likes
    There are SOOOO many costs you left out...........You know what one pays for a hamburger at even a fast food joint compared to the cost of ground beef at the store? I think they were under charging you........now when the fan fails how will you handle the warranty?

  5. Likes ts5089 liked this post.
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    6,720
    Post Likes
    Answer 1:

    I am not trying to be sarcastic here - have you ever set up and run a business?
    If so, you know most companies have at least these expenses:

    Technician salary,
    Technicians liability insurance,
    Technicians heath benefits,
    Office/building lease,
    Office expenses,
    Office staff salary,
    Office staff health benefits,
    Business taxes,
    Business insurance,
    Truck maintenance expenses,
    Truck fuel,
    Truck insurance,
    Warranty costs,
    ect. ect. ect………………

    Every company determines what it has to charge the customer in order to pay these expenses, buy the part, and have some profit left over. The final price you pay will vary with each company, and cannot be arbitrarily dismissed because of how long it took you, or the price you paid for the part on the internet.

    The bottom line - if you don't like the price, move on to the next company. Just remember the old adage "pecmsg" posted.


    Answer 2:

    No, there isn’t a quick and easy way. Airflow needs to be determined, and unless you are measuring the temps right at the unit, duct leakage could give you a false indication of how well the system is performing.

    Trying to determine exact charge in the winter is difficult too. Most guys will get it close if there is a noticeable problem, and then come back when it is warmer, to check the charge when the system is operating in the cooling mode.
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    1,432
    Post Likes
    You would also get a 30 day labor warranty and a one year part warranty. If they had to come out within that 30 day period for that motor for any reason ,the Tech gets paid plus additional wear and tear of the vehicle but the Company does not charge you , so that profit margin minus all the overhead and due to the call back just got smaller , depending on how long the tech is there or what the problem was they could have lost money. Also if another part failed within the 30 day labor warranty of the first service call that is totally unrelated to the part that was replaced , many homeowners balk at paying for that legitimate 2nd service call or they grudgingly pay stating , " Why didn't you notice that part was going bad also the first time you where here " If the original job was billed instead of COD and that 2nd unrelated call comes in under or a little over the 30 day labor warranty of the first call then many customers try to get a discount stating you should have noticed it when you where here originally or hold off an extremely long time before they pay the bills or pay only one of the bills at best to make sure there is no more problems.

    As stated above running a business is very expensive

    Do you complain about your meal at a restaurant ( as long as it was cooked to your satisfaction ) certainly you see the upfront cost right off the bat , your paying for the cook to prepare your meal , the lights, advertisement , to have the food delivered to the restaurant etc. Ultimately the customer pays those overhead in the bill.
    Last edited by Bazooka Joey; 02-23-2015 at 02:34 PM.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    10
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by rundawg View Post
    Answer 1:

    I am not trying to be sarcastic here - have you ever set up and run a business?
    Yes I have! Own my own business now with employees, insurance, do payroll, etc., and I've been partner in businesses in the past. Not huge but 20+ employees.

    As I said I have no issue with someone making a profit. And I don't expect them to do it for free.

    I just felt that $300 an hour was steep. But that's why I asked here, to get opinions. My initial feel was if it equated to $150 an hour I would have felt OK with that.

    Do HVAC people need to make $300 an hour labor to stay in business???

    If so then cool -- I just wanted to ask to know if I should feel like they were scammy/shady, or if this seemed like an all-good number.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    10
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by Bazooka Joey View Post
    You would also get a 30 day labor warranty and a one year part warranty. If they had to come out within that 30 day period for that motor for any reason ,the Tech gets paid plus additional wear and tear of the vehicle but the Company does not charge you , so that profit margin minus all the overhead and due to the call back just got smaller , depending on how long the tech is there or what the problem was they could have lost money. Also if another part failed within the 30 day labor warranty of the first service call that is totally unrelated to the part that was replaced , many homeowners balk at paying for that legitimate 2nd service call or they grudgingly pay stating , " Why didn't you notice that part was going bad also the first time you where here " If the original job was billed instead of COD and that 2nd unrelated call comes in under or a little over the 30 day labor warranty of the first call then many customers try to get a discount stating you should have noticed it when you where here originally or hold off an extremely long time before they pay the bills or pay only one of the bills at best to make sure there is no more problems.

    As stated above running a business is very expensive

    Do you complain about your meal at a restaurant ( as long as it was cooked to your satisfaction ) certainly you see the upfront cost right off the bat , your paying for the cook to prepare your meal , the lights, advertisement , to have the food delivered to the restaurant etc. Ultimately the customer pays those overhead in the bill.
    Points on warranty/etc are well made. I would think $150/hour though would cover the X percent of warranty call backs you get, where $300 an hour would be up there.

    As for meals - yes, I regularly don't eat at restaurants that I have tried and feel for the quality/quantity of food offered they don't offer a good price/value ratio. There are some restaurants here that I go back to regularly and am ahppy to pay $20-$30 for dinner, and others I tried once and said "no, this isn't worth $28 + tip" -- I don't complain, I just don't go back. And sure I would regularly discuss restaurants with friends. Did you go here? What did you think? I love this place. At over there once I didn't go back. You been there? What did you think?

    But it others think given costs involved of running HVAC business - which I'm not aware of - think that labor rate is fair with overhead, etc, then I'll feel better about this business and possible call them back

    I do need some ductwork redone. And the person they sent out seemed knowledgeable about other things too!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    8,253
    Post Likes
    Please break down that $300 an Hr I make.

    $300 X 2080 hrs a year worked+ $624,000 a year.

    Damn i gotta buy another Beach House

  11. Likes lkapigian liked this post.
  12. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    10
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by rundawg View Post
    Answer 2:

    No, there isn’t a quick and easy way. Airflow needs to be determined, and unless you are measuring the temps right at the unit, duct leakage could give you a false indication of how well the system is performing.

    Trying to determine exact charge in the winter is difficult too. Most guys will get it close if there is a noticeable problem, and then come back when it is warmer, to check the charge when the system is operating in the cooling mode.
    Hmm, very useful thank you! I never would have thought this ... with March rolling up maybe I wait until warm weather.

    I've looked at duct work and it "seems" OK but thinking about getting a blower-door test done. From what guy said when checking air handler he said precursorily the ducts (insulated flex) seems to be well installed. House is ~14 years old.

  13. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    6,720
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by czeetah View Post
    Yes I have! Own my own business now with employees, insurance, do payroll, etc., and I've been partner in businesses in the past. Not huge but 20+ employees.
    Excellent! Glad we are on the same page.

    Then you understand that without knowing that specific companies expenses or profit margin, there is no definitive answer to your question.

    The price for that job could be all over the map depending on how many companies you called.

    Again, If you aren't comfortable with the price, don't pay it. Move on to one that is offering the same service in your price range, and you feel is a reputable company.
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

  14. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    6,720
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by czeetah View Post
    Hmm, very useful thank you! I never would have thought this ... with March rolling up maybe I wait until warm weather.
    Unless you have a definite problem with your system, waiting until the spring would be prudent.
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

  15. Likes czeetah liked this post.
  16. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    10
    Post Likes
    Just to clarify I'm not here accusing them of charging too much.

    The reason I came here is because I had an open mind and thought "maybe so, maybe not" and thus asked. My first blush was to think $150 to install a fan would be more than fair -- but I was/am open to others thoughts and didn't want to judge a company/technician without input from others

    I'm sure there must be call backs on fan motors, but we've been building electric fan motors in this country for like 100 years it's not likely that some high percentage of them get warrantied. Unless the manufacturer just sucks and cuts corners. Manufacturing a relatively reliable electric fan motor isn't an unknown cutting edge science.

    Though it does seem many here think labor is fine - which is good to know, and now I can proceed without wrongly thinking company was being a rip off. I did like the tech guy

  17. Likes meebers liked this post.
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Related Forums

Plumbing Talks | Contractor MagazineThe place where Electrical professionals meet.
Quality Home Comfort Awards