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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    DFW area
    Posts
    13

    How many installs are done 100% by the book?

    I was reading through all the install information on the outdoor unit, the furnace, and coil. It details every single step in order from taking it out of the box to leaving the job site!

    I watched most of what the guys did when they put in my complete new system and there were 'shortcuts' or just plain omissions on some of the stuff. Like the way to connect the coil to the furnace and/or plenums. They didn't use a bunch of brackets to mate the furnace to the A-coil. They had to use foamboard, with a lot of aluminum tape then a brushed on goo on top of the tape for a complete seal. (it looks very nicely done) When they brazed the new line set, they were not running a slow flow nitrogen thru the pipes while brazing. They did use some sort of goop...looks sort of like a grey toothpaste around the pipes while they were putting the sweat joints together though. The A coil was filled with something because when they connected the a-coil to the line set, they uncapped the suction line on the coil and a LOT of something came whooshing out of the a-coil.

    Before start-up the did pressurize with nitrogen for about 20 min or so uses gages as some sort of reference. Then they pulled a vacuum, I didn't see any sort of device that registers 'microns'....they just kept suction on the system for about 15 min and occasionally looked at the gages. Upon start up, the gages were used almost exclusively to check the charge levels. After a couple of trips outside, they added some R410a with the tank up-side-down, then later added a little more with the tank upright. How does one know whether to put liquid or gas in the system? They would feel by hand the suction line, and liquid line, but didn't use any sort of temperature gage on either one.

    The only thing they didn't do was to fire up the furnace. Probably because the ambient temp in the house was already well above limit. 92*F inside!! 99*F outside! It was late and I and they just wanted to get the A/C going.

    All these guys (3 of them) were all in company uniforms with names on their shirts, all the proper tools at hand. Wore shoe guards religously when going from inside to outside. Only thing I saw a bit odd, was when they disconnected the gages, they would open a valve and a whoosh of something came out of the gage lines into the atmosphere. I presume that was OK? Seems logical as no other way to relieve pressure on the gage set.

    So, does everyone follow manf install sheets to the absolute letter? And based on my scant non-pro observations did they do a 'good install'? I would like to know as I've not paid them yet for the job and they are coming back out next week to tweak on some of the registerts for balancing airflow.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,090
    You got an average install by an average installer.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Posts
    1,051
    I agree, average install.

    Pictures are worth a thousand words.

    Is the system cooling good?
    Its a good Life!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
    Posts
    889

    and the survey says (circa 2004)

    of ARI National Training directors

    Failure to use proper solder or soldering technique................................70%

    Failure to evcacuate refrigerant lines and evap coil using recommended method............................................ .............................................50%

    Failure to leak test before charging or proper use of leak detector...........49%

    Failure to confirm 350 to 450 cfm per ton of supply air..........................72%

    I have to stop now a potential customer is on the phone wanting me to lower my price to be like the majority.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,001
    Only folks I know of that do them 100% right are NATE Certified. that's what I was told anyway.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
    Posts
    889
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post
    Only folks I know of that do them 100% right are NATE Certified. that's what I was told anyway.
    And you know I beleive it. Nate does not confirm integrity.
    Last edited by adrianf; 07-03-2008 at 01:56 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Houston,Tx.
    Posts
    16,001
    Quote Originally Posted by adrianf View Post
    And you know I beleive it. Nate does confirm integrity.

    So what your saying is, if I am not a NATE tech my integrity sucks?
    Thank you, thank you very much.
    __________________________________________________ _______________________
    “Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards". - Vernon Law

    "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart". - Unknown

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Naples, Fl
    Posts
    889
    Heck no Mr. Bill that was a flippin' serious typo which I have corrected. And thanks for the reply.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SW Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,989

    Arrow A 92-F interior heatload - Overcharged?

    With the indoor temp at 92-F perhaps they added too much 410a.
    It happens a lot!

    Be sure they check the charge again when interior is at a normal range.

    Edit: Make sure they check for proper indoor airflow CFM, & use superheat &/or subcooling when they check the charge

    http://www.udarrell.com/aircondition...e-airflow.html
    Last edited by udarrell; 07-03-2008 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Explaining why it happens

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    burlington county n.j.
    Posts
    9,743
    added r-410 with the tank upright???

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    25
    This is exactly what tarnishes those in the profession. Seems like its unusually difficult to find a good installer with integrity these days. They get offended and attitudinal when their worksmanship / knowledge is questioned , rather than just doing the job as they were tought to do prior to getting licensed. Exactly what do they gain by taking those shortcuts? Perhaps time saved, which equals more money, at the expense of reputation.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,090
    Quote Originally Posted by t527ed View Post
    added r-410 with the tank upright???
    Check out Lennoxs top off/fine tuning charging instructions.
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    5

    Educate your customer

    I'm a HO.
    So after reading the survey. I read.
    The only way to make a higher margin is to cheat the HO.

    99% of the HO's have no idea what to ask for when getting a new heat pump system. My self included.
    This site could be of great assistance to the everyday HO if one of the professional certified installers developed a bid sheet so we can compare apples to apples when shopping.
    How the individual Heat pump system components are graded. eg. a compressor could be manufactured to different tolerances, one tolerance may increase life, one tolerance may increase performance.
    Make it a sticky in the Residential area.
    Equipment good better best each manuf probably has the grades.
    Install same thing if you good start here. If you want it right ask for this.
    I put together my questions and concerns for my contractors. Exactly one addressed my concerns. He got my business. But it was more about his truck being neat and clean. He listened. He returned my calls. Certaintly not the best way to determine how to spend hard earned cash.

    I almost feel this site cultivates ways to cheat without being caught (marketing). eg. Pro only sites.
    No pricing in residential (I understand why you do it but it could be construed as a way to keep margins up)
    Granted HO are probably worse. They have no scruples. Are goal is to get the best system for the best price. But you professionals need to really spend much more time letting know what the best system is, including criteria for installs.
    John Olinski

    "and the survey says (circa 2004)

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    of ARI National Training directors

    Failure to use proper solder or soldering technique................................70%

    Failure to evcacuate refrigerant lines and evap coil using recommended method............................................ .............................................50%

    Failure to leak test before charging or proper use of leak detector...........49%

    Failure to confirm 350 to 450 cfm per ton of supply air..........................72%

    I have to stop now a potential customer is on the phone wanting me to lower my price to be like the majority."

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