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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    59
    OK - just had a new furnace installed. It was the Rheem modulating - so far so good but I do have some concerns about the work.

    First off, in general everything generally looks good to my eye, so I do not think this was a hack job or anything. But one of the things they were supposed to do was balance the duct work. When they were done I asked them about that and the tech kind of blew me off and said if I thought it needed it in the future to just call them and they'll come back and do it. I think they were in a hurry to get out here so I didn't press on it, I talked to the service rep for the company and he said they would come out and do it, so I guess it's no big deal, but I was a little dissapointed in them.

    2nd, after reviewing the manual with the furnace I think the pvc they used for the venting is too small. They used 2" PVC for the entire run (for both intake and exhaust, and based on the #of elbows I think they should of used 3". I think it said for 5-6 elbows, you can 10' of 2" pipe. They had 7 on the exhaust and it is probably close to 15' total length. He said when they come out to balance the duct work they would take a look at it.

    3rd, I called them today and asked about the permit (expecting that the inspector would need to come out sometime), and suprise no permit was pulled. He said that they don't always pull the permit since sometimes the homeowner gets nailed on other things - I think that is a line of BS. That said, I did do some minor plumbing in that room without a permit, but in either case I think they should always pull a permit.

    What do you guys think? Should I make them pull a permit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    44
    yes, check with your county home improvement commission see what they say.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,943
    I would not be concerned about the permit if everything else is proper. Government beauracracy has a tendency to cause unnecessary issues.

    Balancing will be a matter of how you feel different rooms need more or less conditioning after the system has been needed.

    From what you are stating it sounds like the venting needs to be replaced with 3".
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    483
    Originally posted by RoBoTeq
    I would not be concerned about the permit if everything else is proper. Government beauracracy has a tendency to cause unnecessary issues.

    Balancing will be a matter of how you feel different rooms need more or less conditioning after the system has been needed.

    From what you are stating it sounds like the venting needs to be replaced with 3".
    It is true that the inspector can make you bring other issues up to current code if it's something in that area of the install. A good example, let's say the furnace is in the basement. Current code may now require all outlets to be GFCI protected if located in the basement, the inspector may now want all outlets in the basement changed. Before the permit was pulled you were grandfathered, but now that a permit gets pulled and that area is being worked on you may no longer be grandfathered.

    I agree with Robo, government can sometimes cause more headaches than you need. Permits can be funny, let's say a few years from now the town comes in to do an assesment on your property. They notice something has changed and no permit was pulled, they can legally make you change it back to the way it was. This really doesn't apply to heating and cooling installs, mostly remodeling projects.

    In most areas homeowners are not required to pull permits for "minor" repairs and work they do themselves. The permit should have been pulled before the job was started, now if the inspector finds something wrong, you would probably have to fix it at your cost. If you are happy with the install and the unit functions to manufacturers specs, I would let the permit issue die.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    San Luis Obispo County, CA
    Posts
    215
    Work without Permit? C'mon guys... If that furnace ever causes a problem, fire, smoke damage, water damage etc, just how good do you think the homeowners insurance is going to be when they find out its an unpermitted install?
    Just how good do you think your business insurance is going to be if an unpermitted install you did goes wrong and somebody is hurt?
    As far as other items in the area, they are not in the scope of the permit, therefore not subject to inspection. If the permit is a general remodel permit, then yes, you might have to bring other things up to code. But if its just a OTC permit for a furnace replacement, that shouldn't be the case.
    Pull the permit, get it inspected, and then sleep at night.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    Originally posted by dave_slo
    Work without Permit? C'mon guys... If that furnace ever causes a problem, fire, smoke damage, water damage etc, just how good do you think the homeowners insurance is going to be when they find out its an unpermitted install?
    Just how good do you think your business insurance is going to be if an unpermitted install you did goes wrong and somebody is hurt?
    As far as other items in the area, they are not in the scope of the permit, therefore not subject to inspection. If the permit is a general remodel permit, then yes, you might have to bring other things up to code. But if its just a OTC permit for a furnace replacement, that shouldn't be the case.
    Pull the permit, get it inspected, and then sleep at night.

    yes have them pull a permit,you are not qualified to "look' at it and decide it's good enough.

    It may be fine,but as stated above there are reasons to have an inspection.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,209
    Don't worry about a permit? What kind of response is that. You will not be inspected on anything other than what is on the permit. HVAC equipment must have a permit. Some area's may not require it but I doubt it. A good sign of a hack or low ball company is no permit.
    By the way the company that did this can be fined and charged double for the permit. As a homeowner you don't have to have a license to do any work on your own house you do however need to pull permits for certain work, not repairs. The response regarding your insurance is true, so have the installing company get one. Ask them if they would like you to call the city or county public works regarding the install they did and lack of a permit, see what they say.
    Proud supporter of Springfield Millers and Oregon Ducks.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    240
    Quote
    "As far as other items in the area, they are not in the scope of the permit, therefore not subject to inspection."

    We have had inspectors come in to look at a furnace install and saw that the home owner had their sump pump piped into the sewer , which is a no no. He made them have it pipe to the outside. So around here once they're in if they see something it seems they can call you on it.

    Did your contract state that permit fees were included in the price? If so I would ask for the permit money back or for the inspection. We always pull a permit.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,943
    Inspections of HVAC in Maryland are a joke and only cause problems from inspectors who are rarely qualified to know what they are looking at. It is unfortunate, but most Maryland contractors try to avoid pulling permits because it increases the cost of doing the job so much.

    Pennsylvania requires no permits and they are doing just fine.

    It is unfortunate that too many government organizations have turned what could have been a benefit to the homeowner into a way of collecting more revenue and employing more people who are unemployable in the private sector.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Eugene, Oregon
    Posts
    1,209
    It is interesting how differant things are from state to state. It is the law here in Oregon to pull permits on mechanical and plumbing (water heaters) equipment. It is best to check your local authority for the correct answer to the posed question regarding permits as (apparently) it is differant in all parts of the country.
    A person could go on and on about the horrors and politics involved with permit issues nevertheless, if it is the law in your state abide by them period. Most homeowners don't know what is and isn't required and a dishonest company will hide that information so they can cut corners.
    Proud supporter of Springfield Millers and Oregon Ducks.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
    Posts
    59
    A permit is definately required by the city. It wasn't written in the contract, but when they gave me the estimate he did say that they would pull a permit.

    But regardless of what they said or what the contract says, I think they are obligated to obtain the permit since they are the ones performing the work. When I talked to him today he said he would pull a permit if I wanted, so I don't think he'll fight too much. I really don't want to get into a p'sing match with him, just want to get things wrapped up and be assured that things were installed correctly.

    Things "look" ok, but I'm no expert. If I was I would of installed it myself. They also installed a chimney liner for the water heater and I have no idea if that was done correctly either. Seems like that would be hard to screw up but who knows.

    If I get a chance tonight maybe I'll take a few pictures and you guys can give me a review of the install.

    One last thing. Another thing I noticed in the instructions for the furnace was that they specified a drain (in the picture it looked like a tube with a loop in it for a trap) on the combustion air intake piping. It is supposed to be located as close to the furnace as possible, and is intended to protect against possible water entry into the combustion air intake. I never noticed that before in any of the install pics I've seen here before - is that something that is required?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    67,929
    Originally posted by RoBoTeq


    Pennsylvania requires no permits and they are doing just fine.

    Different counties and townships do require permits.
    And PA, has adopted the 2003 IBC as its code. Along with 2003 EEC.

    Some areas we still don't need a permit.

    No wonder the amish are moving.
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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Eastern PA
    Posts
    68,943
    The company installed a chimney liner for an orphaned water heater, and you are questioning their integrity?

    I think you most certainly are creating a p*$$ing match with your contractor.

    It sounds like they have been quite diligent while possibly overlooking the vent requirements. Since venting requirements change quite often with manufacturers of equipment, I can't really blame your contractor for possibly overlooking a change.

    I would consider you a problematic customer.
    Government is a disease...
    ...masquerading as its own cure…
    Ecclesiastes 10:2 NIV


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