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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    2,635
    The odds that both the motor and controller are bad are pretty low. In 14 years I've never seen a bad motor. I have seen plenty of bad controllers. That's purely anecdotal of course. But generally the motors are not the problem.

    You can see the controller on a repair I did here. It doesn't look like much. But trust me when I say that it's really expensive. Carrier especially likes to charge up the ying yang for parts. That's just an opinion that I'm sure some Carrier dude will take exception to. Unfortunately such controllers are OEM only.

    As far as pricing goes, I doubt you know how HVAC companies operate these days. Prices have skyrocketed, and rightfully so. I wrote this to help some people understand and to annoy the rest.

    edit: I saw your last reply after I posted this. Anything is possible I suppose. But that they dropped the price to 40% of what it was? I'm skeptical. I think it more likely that they "suddently realized" that the controller is all they need to replace rather than the motor. But I'm a cynic, so pay me no mind.

    As far as who the forum is protecting, that would be itself and the homeowner. You want to see never ending and utterly worthless debate? Just start allowing prices to be flung around. This is a national forum. A reasonable price for one area is not for another. But boy-howdy will guys post as if they know something they don't. And you should know that going for the lowest price on service will often get you ripped off. The services of a good tradesman commands a high price. Start catering to the lowest common denominator and the hacks would flood the forum to tell everyone that the rest are too high priced. They'd feed the myth that low bid is the way to go. Homeowners would suffer as a result.
    Last edited by Irascible; 02-25-2008 at 04:00 PM.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    North Richland Hills, Texas
    Posts
    14,915
    I havne't ever found the motor portion of an ECM blower bad. The last time I was forced to change the whole thing, because the particular brands distributor couldn't get just the module, the cost to the customer for the total repair was in the neighborhood of 350 gallons of gas.
    Just replacing the module the total is usually about the cost of 150 gallons of gas total.
    The part cost for a motor + module is generally over twice the cost of just a module, and it takes substantially more labor to replace the whole motor than to replace just the module.
    Price of gas and and number gallons will vary by area and contractor, just threw that in to show the relative cost difference between the 2 repairs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irascible View Post
    edit: I saw your last reply after I posted this. Anything is possible I suppose. But that they dropped the price to 40% of what it was? I'm skeptical. I think it more likely that they "suddently realized" that the controller is all they need to replace rather than the motor. But I'm a cynic, so pay me no mind.
    I was thinking the same thing, lol.

    You and I think a lot alike about a lot of things, it scares me sometimes.
    Last edited by mark beiser; 02-25-2008 at 04:34 PM.
    If more government is the answer, then it's a really stupid question.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,462
    Quote Originally Posted by DrDick View Post
    Even if you believe that the price is correct, I don't understand how you can consider it reasonable. This is a furnace for pete's sake! A furnace should be a burner and an air handler with associated duct work. I hope that you are explaining to your customers about the complexities and cost of repairs for these new high tech furnaces (that require a 10-year warranty) before you sell them on one. Do you also tell them that there are simpler, less complex systems available? I appreciate that you offer 10-year warranties with such systems, but how much does this add to the initial cost?
    This particular furnace is much more than a burner, blower and associated ductwork. Those type systems are available, but many people want more. The variable speed motor provides lower operating cost, better air control, and more comfort from the furnace......operation cost savings and comfort enjoyed but often forgotten when a repair is necessary.
    If all else fails....Try reading the directions!

    Tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may.

    Any views or opinions stated here are strictly my own.


  4. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    6,285
    Quote Originally Posted by Irascible View Post
    You can see the controller on a repair I did here. It doesn't look like much. But trust me when I say that it's really expensive. Carrier especially likes to charge up the ying yang for parts. That's just an opinion that I'm sure some Carrier dude will take exception to. Unfortunately such controllers are OEM only.
    I'll have to be honest looking at that picture of the repair you did seeing that module. Unless something is on the other side of that circuit board or they are in very limited supply the mark up on a part like that for the prices that have been flaunted around is up in the 1000%+ profit range. That has to be one of the most simple circuit boards I have seen in a while. I'm not an expert by any means but I do/did know cost on lot's of the surface and through hole mounted parts for PCB's (printed circuit boards) and honestly that appears to be class 1 technology which leave it with little to know required standards. That's just my two cents.


    When you start getting into something more complex than that I could see the prices elevating.....almost all those parts are through hole parts which could be easily removed/replaced with soldering iron if you could find the actual part that is bad/shorted.



    Edit: I feel I need to expand slightly. The reason through hole is cheaper is the boards themselves are less complex with less layers and usually less land traces (except on some extremely complex through hole boards). Surface mount boards tend to be more expensive with multiple layers and numerous land traces (the electrical engineers imagination is the limit for populizing a PCB) I had some very expensive boards we made that had 14 layers and looked like China from a satellite photo shot.
    Last edited by BigJon3475; 02-25-2008 at 05:36 PM.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    2,635
    There is indeed way more than meets the eye underneath. In terms of function, it’s a pretty trick device. It converts single phase AC to three phase DC. It monitors amp draw and RPM, plots that against a programmed chart and adjusts its speed accordingly. And, perhaps the biggest factor in price, it’s strictly OEM – with each furnace needing a specific module programmed for just that furnace. The lack of competition and generic replacements means the OEM has a field day – or so I believe.

    Combine that with the fact that we know this homeowner’s dealer dropped the price by 60% (he probably wanted to force a new motor on the customer) and you shouldn’t have a hard time understanding that 1000 percent markup is a fantasy. Since you're a pro, it’s seems odd that I’m explaining this.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    6,285
    Quote Originally Posted by Irascible View Post
    There is indeed way more than meets the eye underneath. In terms of function, it’s a pretty trick device. It converts single phase AC to three phase DC. It monitors amp draw and RPM, plots that against a programmed chart and adjusts its speed accordingly. And, perhaps the biggest factor in price, it’s strictly OEM – with each furnace needing a specific module programmed for just that furnace. The lack of competition and generic replacements means the OEM has a field day – or so I believe.
    Class 1 is a standard for manufacturing defects and reliability. Not an insult but the easiest standard to pass obviously....Class 3 is considered critical and installed in things like military and medical equipment.

    I should add there are several standards....some are strictly for military.

    Quote Originally Posted by Irascible View Post
    Combine that with the fact that we know this homeowner’s dealer dropped the price big time (probably wanted to force a new motor on the customer) and you shouldn’t have a hard time understanding that 1000 percent markup is a fantasy. Since you're a pro, it’s seems odd that I’m explaining this.
    I agree with you like Mark did on this matter. I think the 40% was were they figured out it was the controller and not the motor and the controller. Which leaves things kinda in a odd place.....do you still want to use them?
    Last edited by BigJon3475; 02-25-2008 at 06:32 PM.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    PA
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    68,789
    Quote Originally Posted by BigJon3475 View Post
    Unless something is on the other side of that circuit board or they are in very limited supply the mark up on a part like that for the prices that have been flaunted around is up in the xxx%+ profit range. That has to be one of the most simple circuit boards I have seen in a while.
    John, posting that profit guess is almost as bad as posting a price.
    The module isn't just a printed circuit board. Where do you thin the A/C to DC conversion is done?
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  8. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    6,285
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    John, posting that profit guess is almost as bad as posting a price.
    The module isn't just a printed circuit board. Where do you thin the A/C to DC conversion is done?
    It wasn't mean to start a arguement. Maybe I'll just retract. The profit guess......I was going by gas prices from another post...so I was guessing anyways as to how much they cost by cost of gallons of gas ...I'm saying they are making a huge profit unless this item was no longer mfg'ed and is in limited supply.

    Sorry I didn't mean to start a fire.

    Edit: Let me also add then that I can't truly call/pass it as class 1 standards without inspecting that board.
    Last edited by BigJon3475; 02-25-2008 at 05:53 PM.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
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    2,635
    Don't worry about it Jon. When there's a real fire at H-T, you'll know it.

    I took my reference to Class 1 out because I realized that I didn't know exactly what you meant. But you quoted me before I got to it. I take it that your professional status is not quite as an HVAC contractor? You obviously have knowledge, but not the same kind as a typical HVAC dude.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    6,285
    Quote Originally Posted by Irascible View Post
    Don't worry about it Jon. When there's a real fire at H-T, you'll know it.

    I took my reference to Class 1 out because I realized that I didn't know exactly what you meant. But you quoted me before I got to it. I take it that your professional status is not quite as an HVAC contractor? You obviously have knowledge, but not the same kind as a typical HVAC dude.
    I sent you an email.....I'm working towards becoming more knowledgeable....that leads to a lot of foot tasting.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Suppy NC
    Posts
    4,516
    I wont get into the pricing contest at all

    Once the controler is replaced have a static pressure test done on your system. I find most controlers go bad because of having to go beyond thier design because of high static pressure.

    keep your filter clean as you possibly can dust isnt good for them either
    a plugged filter will cause a higher then normal static

    change it every month if it is a paper filter

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Southern Ca, Elkton Md
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    7,572
    Quote Originally Posted by DrDick View Post
    I'm glad you spoke up; I'm not even a real "doctor", this is a handle I picked up as a teenager. And there is no way anyone could ever convince that the fee that some service providers charge is justified, even considering their overhead!
    What kind of chat rooms were you hanging out in as a teenager, that you used the name DrDick?????
    Maybe I dont want to know?

    When you say fee, are you refering to having them come out to your home to diagnosis your problem?
    "Correct Installation is the Key"

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    What is your TESP?

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    10

    Smile Chat Room - not in the 1950s

    Quote Originally Posted by weber View Post
    What kind of chat rooms were you hanging out in as a teenager, that you used the name DrDick?????
    Maybe I dont want to know?

    When you say fee, are you refering to having them come out to your home to diagnosis your problem?
    We take sooooo much for granted, when I was a teenager the weren't any PCs let alone chat rooms!

    Yes, the fee was the cost of coming to my home and diagnosing the problem, which took well under 1/2 hour. I don't pretend to know what a technician's overhead is in today's world, but my idea of a fair wage for this type of work is about half of what he charged me.

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