Inherited Messes
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lamar, SC
    Posts
    491

    Inherited Messes

    Got a call today about a furnace not working. Went to the residence and the customer explained that originally the burner was working but the indoor fan was not. He had 2 jack-legs give it a shot and now the burner didn't even work. The unit was a Lennox pulse. One of the jack-legs diagnosed it as a bad icm (back when the burner was still working, my guess is because it was shutting off on high limit, who knows?) and replaced it with a cheap generic unit. I first found the wire to the pressure switch loose at the relay, fixed that, when that started sending power to the icm got an error code and traced that to the common and w wires being reversed. switched those around, got the furnace to light and the blower did not start (back to the original problem), which was simply a bad capacitor. His final bill was x. I told him if he had called us first between paying the jack-legs and buying parts he probably didnt need he would have spent about 1/4x. My question for you all is what are some crazy messes you have inherited from other "techs".

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    NE wisconsin
    Posts
    401
    I once went on a second opinion call where the owner was told the control board was bad, turned out to be a dirty flame sensor. He got a maintenance contract and the next summer when his ac condenser fan burned out, he had us replace his entire system with a nice modulating furnace and 18 seer ac. Just another happy client.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Antelope,Ca
    Posts
    70
    check the wall of shame

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,914
    Quote Originally Posted by jmsmars1 View Post
    The unit was a Lennox pulse. One of the jack-legs diagnosed it as a bad icm (back when the burner was still working, my guess is because it was shutting off on high limit, who knows?) and replaced it with a cheap generic unit.
    That Pulse furnace needs the OEM ICM.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lamar, SC
    Posts
    491
    The customer told me he originally tried to purchase one himself from lennox but they would not sell him one since he is not an authorized repair person. He then found a local parts house to sell him this one and I asked if he provided them with the model/serial and he claimed he did. Its a huge plain black box, barely fit back in the compartment. I asked him if he had the original and he said "no". He didn't have the funds to pay for this repair, still owes a third of it. I guess my question is this: given the situation outlined above; parts house stated compatibility, unit working well, customer out of cash, do you think it's worth pressing for the OEM ICM? I am almost certain he wouldn't go for it unless the unit stopped working. Can you help me by telling me some things that could go wrong with a non-oem icm? There are very few of these units in town and nobody seems to know that much about them.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    94
    Lennox no longer makes a replacement for the Pulse conrol. Baso has been manufacturing one that will work for the last year which looks quite different from the one you describe. Mavbe someone else has started making them too. Did you notice the brand on the board?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,573
    Quote Originally Posted by jmsmars1 View Post
    The customer told me he originally tried to purchase one himself from lennox but they would not sell him one since he is not an authorized repair person. He then found a local parts house to sell him this one and I asked if he provided them with the model/serial and he claimed he did. Its a huge plain black box, barely fit back in the compartment. I asked him if he had the original and he said "no". He didn't have the funds to pay for this repair, still owes a third of it. I guess my question is this: given the situation outlined above; parts house stated compatibility, unit working well, customer out of cash, do you think it's worth pressing for the OEM ICM? I am almost certain he wouldn't go for it unless the unit stopped working. Can you help me by telling me some things that could go wrong with a non-oem icm? There are very few of these units in town and nobody seems to know that much about them.
    It sounds like the home owner was a diyer and finally conceded to calling you.
    My name is TooCoolforschool and I am a chronic over charger.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    west burbs,il
    Posts
    145
    I worked on a split system for commercial store. Went to the call and mind you this was a brand new building, company had their own contractors install system. Was a no heat call, I investigate the furnace. Front panel was off and inducer motor was hanging out the unit. I figured OK these guys had somebody come out and monkey around with it. Looking at it - thought OK tech took it off no big, but closer look I found plastic assembly was actually blown off the furnace. It was so clean cut I didn't notice the mounting screws were still fastened to the unit. Tested gas pressure, turn gas on look down at analog gauge and needle pegged out. 10lbs of gas flying out the pipe. Install regulator and repaired.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    mid-Tennessee
    Posts
    684
    I do commercial kitchen equipment repair. Therefore, residential calls are extremely rare for me. So, I had a warranty call that took me to someone's house. A beautiful home in a new neighborhood modeled after those nostalgically old turn-of-the-century layouts.

    This guy planned to bake and sell cookies out of his basement, which isn't legal here in the first place. Not my concern though.

    His problem was his brand new gas convection oven wouldn't light. Since his beautiful home wasn't supplied with gas, he had bought an oven that was converted to burn LP. With that, got himself one of those 100 lb. LP bottles from Home Depot. That tank was parked right outside of a nearby window. He had his plumber run the gas connection from the tank, through the window and to the oven.



    Given that his plumber obviously never put any thought into the importance and necessity of a high pressure LP regulator - as evidenced by this setup's complete LACK of ANY regulator, this gentleman was lucky to still have such an inviting abode. On that balmy, seventy degree morning, my guess is that the incoming pressure to this gentleman's oven was in excess of 100 psi...


    Luckily the oven's 1/2 psi combination valve merely went into lockdown.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lamar, SC
    Posts
    491
    Quote Originally Posted by tchntch View Post
    Lennox no longer makes a replacement for the Pulse conrol. Baso has been manufacturing one that will work for the last year which looks quite different from the one you describe. Mavbe someone else has started making them too. Did you notice the brand on the board?
    there was none, only a cheap looking sticker labeling the terminals. the box was about 5"x5"x2" thick, black plastic and had a single diagnostic led.
    Last edited by jmsmars1; 03-08-2013 at 06:30 PM. Reason: additional info

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Northern Cali
    Posts
    72
    lol what is jack-legs??????????????????????????????????????

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Lamar, SC
    Posts
    491
    jack·leg adjective \ˈjak-ˌleg, -ˌlāg\

    Definition of JACKLEG

    1
    a : characterized by unscrupulousness, dishonesty, or lack of professional standards <a jackleg lawyer>
    b : lacking skill or training : amateur <a jackleg carpenter>
    2
    : designed as a temporary expedient : makeshift
    — jackleg noun
    Examples of JACKLEG

    <a toolshed that can be built by any jackleg carpenter who's capable of hitting a nail without smashing his thumb>
    <he did such a jackleg installation of that door frame that now the door won't shut>

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Mistake by the lake
    Posts
    33
    Was on an 18 yo heat pump that wouldn't keep up. Two companies out before me. One said the strip heat was toast and were no longer made. The other said the condenser was shot. Both told him he needed to replace the system. After talking with the guy I found out he just bought the place and put on a new stat. Aux terminal was empty. Hooked it up and collected 200.

    On another ho installed stat on hp, stat was never told it was hp. Lady called another company and the guy hooked the condenser wire to emergency heat. Brilliance.

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