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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Poughkeepsie, Ny
    Posts
    631
    Here's a story....Based on real experiance...

    I go to a home on Thursday. It's for an annual tune up on a furnace. There is 3 inches of standing water in the basement. I've got Goretex boots, so I'm cool. I put down my tools on a rock big enough to hold it. Put my bucket down and it starts to float away. I check the smokem pipe, chimney base and brush the flue collector, open up the inspection ports and they are packed solid. I fill up my new vacuum bag. So I vacuum them out and look for any obvios cracks. Filter, nozzle, strainer. Check the end cone and coupling. Slap old girl back together, Bachrach and i'm outta there.

    I'm sitting in my van at the shop finishing up an estimate and a customer shows up. Tells me who his is and why he's there. The address sounded familiar. So I call Mothership and go check out the furnace. Walk in the door and you're smacked with fumes. Downstairs, you don't smell anything. I open the access doors for the ports and check to make sure that I didn't forget to tighten the cleanouts. They're good. Checked the flu pipe and there was good draft. Removed the humidifier and spotted a crack.

    This is where it gets interesting. Now the landlord is yelling at me for cleaning the unit. Telling me that I should have left it alone so he could get a few more seasons out of it. Now he has to put in a new furnace and It's my fault. So I tell him that I am instructed by my companies rules to RED Tag the unit. Then his body language changes to agressive.
    I wasn't about to get into a fight over this, It's his problem. This is when this job sucks.
    Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.
    -Robert Green Ingersoll

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,084
    Our techs would have been outta there in a flash when they saw the wet basement!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,666
    Put all the ash back in the heat exchanger and that should seal up the crack.
    I wouldn't have worked on it either with a wet basement.

    [Edited by oil lp man on 10-29-2005 at 10:17 PM]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Poughkeepsie, Ny
    Posts
    631
    where I live, wet basements are very common. Alot of the old homes have sisterns (sp?) and we have had A-LOT of rain lately. That would be the reason I have GoreTex boots..

    Either case, the cust. was a jerk.
    Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.
    -Robert Green Ingersoll

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    2,651
    when i shut em down,i usually work this line in ...by licensing law if i see a crack i gotta shut it down...,now if you as the homeowner wanna go back behind me,well that is on you... as long as you sign my ticket,which clearly states why i have shut system down

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    2,635
    Originally posted by too tall terry
    when i shut em down,i usually work this line in ...by licensing law if i see a crack i gotta shut it down...
    Is it just a line or is there really a law? If so, what state and what law?

  7. #7
    We contacted our Mechanical Bureau about this very subject and could not get a straight answer out of them. Basically, they said how we handle it is at "our discretion" and if we really wanted to know what is best to contact a lawyer. At this point, we just document in writing that we "recommend that customer not operate the furnace, as it is not in safe operating condition, until repairs or replacement has been performed". Then we get a signature.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,666
    Its all about liability. If they sign that they were informed of the hazardous condition of the furnace and still run it, then they hold the liability not you. And their families lawyer (after he's dead) can't prove that the tech didn't warn him.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    256
    When its that wet in the baseemnt in Canada you just otta there!!
    No worker has to work in that...to dangerous.
    Besides...no offence..see what it got you...for doing your job?
    Answer: Trouble.
    Better had been otta' there.
    Leave it to some other haplesss guys/Companies problem

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    Ive had a few resturants want equipment repaired in flooded basements. I just tell them give me a call when you get that mess cleaned up or call someone else. I have no intention of standing in any water and working on anything with power going to it. Now standing on snow working on a heat pump is a differant thing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Poughkeepsie, Ny
    Posts
    631
    Originally posted by oil lp man
    Its all about liability. If they sign that they were informed of the hazardous condition of the furnace and still run it, then they hold the liability not you. And their families lawyer (after he's dead) can't prove that the tech didn't warn him.
    I couldn't get him to sign my time sheet. So either way they called our company about the odor and I went and inspected it. I showed him the crack. He asked me if I could patch it. I said no. I then suggested that I could give him an estimate. When I finished and checked in with the mothership I went out to get a tag and that is when everything went down.

    When a customer becomes beligerant then the onus is on them. They refuse to allow me back into the home to do my job. I'm lucky that I took my tools with me. Regardless of what anyone signs or dosen't sign I did what I could. He knows that it is cracked, the tenants left the house because of the odors.
    Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.
    -Robert Green Ingersoll

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    1
    Since this is a rental, is there a city housing department that you can report this to?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    2,651
    that is crazy...it is a good thing you took your tools,and no i don't believe that is an actual law....it sounds good though don't it?.....i am in KY

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