View Poll Results: How Many Labor Hours to Replace an Indoor TXV
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Regardless of the amount of time it took to replace the TXV, travel time should be included. I carry a lot of parts in my van, but I can't have everything in there. My van doesn't move for free either. There is a lot of expense involved in having a service vehicle. Our company does flat rate pricing for residential service. Customer pays a diagnostic fee for me to go out and diagnose the problem. After I find the problem, I approach the customer with what's wrong and how much to repair. There is also a charge in our flat rate book for picking up parts based on the amount of time it takes to make the trip. I explain this up front before making any repairs or picking up parts. We do not charge a consulting fee to a customer if they decide to have someone else make the repairs. They paid me to diagnose the problem, what they do after that is up to them, I move on to the next call. I have had customers complain about paying for travel time, how they don't think it's fair that they should. I just tell them that next time they have a problem with their furnace or a/c, just to bring it down to our shop and I won't have to charge them for the travel time. A little common sense has to kick in some where. Should we(techs) really have to drive from call to call for free and have our boss pay out the you know what for fuel and vehicle maintenence and not be compensated for it?!
I have a similar situation and need some timely advice (I need to make a decision by tomorrow).
Outside we have an approximately 10 year old 7 ton Carrier unit. The compressor and some related parts were replaced Monday. Upon pressure test it was going up to 400 (psi?) and it would automatically shut off b/c of the 'built in safety mechanism.' Basically our objective of cooling our rooms was not being met, even after spending the $ on the parts and labor (well, have not paid for the labor portion yet).
Tech goes up in the attic (easy access) and opens the air handler (15 seconds or so to access, easy) and tells me the expansion valve must need replacing, and that is the reason the new compressor does not stay on (showed it to me in the attic). Got the part number (Trane VAL 02875) and is now quoting me in the high $ for replacing the expansion valve, valve included (I checked and the valve runs about $-$).
I'm having a hard time trying to afford this now. Wev'e already committed to $ and now he is asking for additional money to replace the expansion valve (TXV?).
With all the charges, should we just have gotten a new unit?! The outside unit is showing rust. I called our previous tech and told this to him. Previous tech said that the outside condenser was probably ok and that the new tech should have checked the expansion valve FIRST because that could have caused a mis diagnosis as to the condition of the compressor. I should also mention the previous tech had, on previous repair apparently cut the safety lines of the outside unit. When I questioned him about this he stated that he did that (to save me money), and that in doing so it would not have damaged the compressor anyways (which sounded doubtful to me, but otherwise he has been pretty good I think). He seemed to imply that the new tech is taking a much costlier route by his solution to the problem.
Who sounds right here? What would you suggest? Does the new tech's diagnosis and proposal seem fair? Everyone on here seems to say it would take 3-4 hours, so to be in the high hundreds seems high to me
FYI we are in Houston. Thank you
p.s. is it reasonable to request him to guarantee the system will cool properly if i agree to the additional work and his charges? I don't want to get into a money pit situation.
Last edited by beenthere; 05-12-2010 at 05:45 AM.
Reason: price references
Does everyone live in Houston these days? LOL.
Originally Posted by dt2010
We can't tell you how much it would cost as well as we could tell you what socks you are wearing.
Last edited by beenthere; 05-12-2010 at 05:45 AM.
Reason: removed price references from quote
Sounds like you got a tech(the first one) that doesn't know what the safeties in the condenser are for. Safeties should NOT be bypassed.
And now the tech that wants to do the job right. Finds what caused the old compressor to die. Is looking bad, because he wants to fix the system right.
We don't sell parts for the same price we buy them for. After all. When you sell your house. Your not going to sell it for the same price you bought it for are you.
He wears white socks for work boots & black socks for church ...
Originally Posted by seatonheating
My avatar is a picture of a Goodman Silencer .....These were commonly used in Goodman country ....Photos by hvac tech ( PaysonHVAC )
Can't diagnos bad TXV...
Without the system running unless the power head was all rusted out and obviously leaking. Compressor safteys are there for a reason and should never be bypassed except for diagnosis by a trained professional and then only with very great care. Something doesn't sound right though, you said after replacing the compressor and running it would shut down on high head pressure, that mean's that saftey was wired in properly other than if R-22 should have been set around 330-340 psi. Unfortunatly you already went down the path of repair rather than replace which means your kind of commited. As far as the cost it all depends on what contractors in your area charge for labor, recovery charges, refrigerant, silver solder, mileage, mark up on parts %, torch charges, vacuum charges, etc.
Originally Posted by dt2010
When someone goes to work, normally he/she expects to be paid for that work. Some of the cost of the work should include warranty allowances, should something be done incorrectly or a new component fail prematurely. I think dt2010 needs to ask himself if he would have actually replaced the 10-year old system if the topic had been broached. No matter what he's paid for the compressor change out, the new system would have been substantially more.
As far as the cost of the TXV, IMO it doesn't matter. That's a do-it-yourself project at that point, just like Lowes and Home Depot. DIY. Once you need the knowledge and skill of a trained pro, you're paying for his intellectual property more than for the parts he's using. He may also have some special tools that cost hundreds and/or thousands of dollars to make the repair. An architect brings precious little in the way of 'parts' to the job but he/she will charge many thousands of dollars for their intellectual property. Why would a service tech be any different? I understand your frustration. At our company all compressor replacements must be checked by a senior tech before the work is done. That's just a company policy to prevent a mistake. I don't believe most companies have that policy but we all learn as we go along. Our prices must also cover the cost of the that second opinion. So there's no free lunch anywhere I can find.
If YOU want change, YOU have to first change.
If you are waiting for the 'other guy' to change first, just remember, you're the 'other guy's' other guy. To continue to expect real change when you keep acting the same way as always, is folly. Won't happen. Real change will only happen when a majority of the people change the way they vote!
I'd say 4 hours if a trip to the parts house was involved.
The actual expenses for the contractor start even before you pick up the phone and dial the number.
Somebody has to pay for that phone book add and they are OUTRAGEOUS and go up every year! Someone has to pay for the phone service, pay for the person that answered the phone, pay the technician to drive the truck, pay for the maintenenace and insurance on the truck, pay for the tools, pay for training, pay for service tools and equipment, pay for the forms the technician used, pay TWICE what you pay in FICA taxes and the list goes on for 4 miles.
How much time was involved if you start @ the shop with the technician getting in the service truck to come to your house?
It's just not logical to ask a person to go to the parts house to gather up all the 'maybe bad' parts that might be required to fix your system.
If we did it that way we'd all have to come out in a 80' BUS, LOL.
Well I reckon he could have went to the supply house and bought a new condensing unit and air handler before he came out.
In all actuallity the company that did the work probably LOST MONEY on your job at just 3 hours billable. I'd just about make bet on it when all overhead is figured against that 3 hours.
You can't make up losing a few bucks on each job with volume.
The reward for doing a thing well... is to have done it.
Just speculating on dt2010's situation....
The 'safety' was disconnected or bypassed with the old compressor.
The bad TXV was found by the person who installed the new compressor.
New compressor has excessive head pressure.....
What effect would it have on the original compressor if the high pressure 'safety' switch was bypassed then the TXV had a blockage of some sort?
Possibly it was bypassed by previous technicians to keep the system running (somewhat) even though they found high head pressure at the time.... just saying (speculating).
Just wondering since I'd think the system was leak checked before it was serviced up with regrigerant after the new compressor was changed out.
Point being, I'm not sure the old TXV's problem was leakage.....
I don't know (can't know) but it sounds like the TXV was stopped up but the technician who installed the new compressor probably didn't know that without an operable compressor when he checked the system before condemming the old compressor.
Maybe, once he installed the new compressor he got bitten by a series of errors (comedy of errors ?) committed by his forerunners (again, speculation) that could have caused the compressor to fail because the TXV was experiencing a blockage.
If that's the case those errors would have been; (a) not finding the cause of the original high head pressure (the TXV)
(b) bypassing the HP switch
A working compressor is one of the most valuable 'tools' we use in the field to troubleshoot these things.
It's danged hard to do much dynamic testing with a failed compressor.
The reward for doing a thing well... is to have done it.
I may have missed it, but I didn't catch why the original compressor was condemned. Was it DOA, or was it condemned because of high head pressure? If the latter, that is NOT a reason to condemn a compressor! A compressor that can make high head pressure does not strike me as a compressor that has a pumping problem.
A restricted TXV on a normally charged system typically will NOT run high head pressure. Think about it...if there is not much refrigerant moving through the evaporator, it isn't picking up much heat, so there isn't much heat to reject in the condenser. Temperature and pressure relationships are key here to understanding this.
If the TXV was restricted, the refrigerant charge may have been boosted to compensate for low suction pressure. This is where technicians who do not understand or use superheat and subcooling values get into trouble. If they're just a "pressure jockey" they can't understand why when they boost the suction pressure, they then get high head pressure. If they measure the superheat and subcooling values, they can gain an understanding what the problem might be and make a correct diagnosis on the first go-around.
DT...short of being there my hunch is your latter tech knows his stuff and found the cause of your original string of problems. It's unfortunate this is how it came about, but at this juncture I'd let him proceed with the repair and pay him for it.
- Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
- Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
- HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.
A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.
I have witnessed a "bench test" at a distributors site of a tech changing a txvalve due to difference of opinion. The actual changing time took just undera half hour in a perfect world where coil was on a table and tools were placed on the table prior to starting. This was an empty coil. Now add getting tools out, pumping donw condenser, which means removal of screws to access starter, closing service valves, getting recovery cylinder and machine out of van, running power and setting up, pumping down, doing the work, and then reversing everything, PLUS a run to the supply house. To me, four hours seems very fair, especially without knowing turnaround time to go and back to supply house. The thing is, and many people dont realize this fact....a guy driving to your home in a sevice van is on the clock being paid. when he is going to the supply house he is being paid. when he is doing the work he is being paid, and when he is cleaning up his tools is being paid. Why is it that the average homeowner thinks he only gets paid while he is in the basement? Also, if a guy carried every part ever needed for service, he would drive a service tractor trailer, not a van. Even then, might miss something. If you look around here, there are always guys trying to figure out "service van inventory" in some fashion as a way to be more productive. Look, my average service tech drives 35-40000 miles per year. Do you think they like driving anymore? the answer is no, but its part of the job. The way homeowners see things, truck drivers would only get paid while unloading or loading freight at a terminal. What about that drive from cali to colorado, should they do it on their own time? In the commercial world we bill for every minute from the time a guy leaves home until he gets back there, minus the first 45 minutes, which is considered his drive time. There are days when one of my guys may drive two hours or more to a job, it gets billed and paid. Every other profession such as accountant and lawyer does the same. Some charge you while you are on the phone in fifteen minute increments. ok, i am done
This is a piece of cake txv replacement, only thing is how long its going to take to recover (if needed), pull vaccum and recharge. Add in delta T check and paperwork. Two to three hours total most likely.
Where is the time to get the N2 purge? Where is the time to verify diagnosis..it was speculation on the homeowners part...
Originally Posted by Hemi348