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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    greenville , sc
    Posts
    718

    looking for heat-strips/ duct heater kits

    i have a customer who wants to put 20kw heat in their gas package unit.
    its a 8 yo grandaire and she can not afford the gas right now so the landlord wants me to install electric heat in the supply plenum............

    i have two questions,

    1.) where do i look for a purpose built heater kit?

    2.) wouldnt it be better to install it in the return air plenum?


    i need 20kw heat in two stages 5-10-5 and cant seem to find any conclusive
    literature on such product. if the coil is placed in the supply plenum would moisture compromise the elements? is there a better way? the unit is fine not perfect but sustainable.

    thanks for any help or advice ,

    Jeremy hall

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    139
    In my neck of the woods adding electric heat strips and shutting down the gas would just about triple the cost per btu delivered. Is it really cheaper where you are? Here even propane is just about the same price as electric resistance, and that's assuming 100% efficiency on the electric heat which you won't get if you install outside the heated envelope.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    774
    I agree with DirkRoper. If you figure out your cost ber BTU for straight electric and for natural gas in your area it will most certainly favor gas. I would show your calculations to the landlord and recommend that he use the money he was going to pay for this strip heat install for tightening up the thermal envelope of the house.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    774
    Don't forget about the cost of a new electrical run to the unit to support those heaters.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    greenville , sc
    Posts
    718
    Quote Originally Posted by DirkRoper View Post
    In my neck of the woods adding electric heat strips and shutting down the gas would just about triple the cost per btu delivered. Is it really cheaper where you are? Here even propane is just about the same price as electric resistance, and that's assuming 100% efficiency on the electric heat which you won't get if you install outside the heated envelope.
    dirk and micha,
    its not logical at this point as its a rental house and the last tenants left with a 3 month gas bill . so the 3 month bill of $700+ the cost of the $500 deposit is $1200 . the tenant was talking about using kerosene heaters and the owner doesnt want that.

    micha,

    the unit is 8 feet or less from the out door panel.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    774
    Something doesn't sound right here. Firstly, utilities (at least in North Carolina where I own rental properties) provide electric and gas service to the tenants, not to the property itself or the landlord. I have had similar situations where previous tenants left with huge utility balances, but all the utilities required was a copy of the new lease agreement to prove that the new service being established at a particular property was not related to the previous tenants with outstanding debt owed. The only exceptions to this are properties which have the utilities in the landlords name (rare), and in this case the landlord shouldn't have let the outstanding balance get so high in the first place.

    Secondly, 3 months worth of gas at "over $700" is more than $230/month. While this is entirely possible, that is a lot of gas. Either there is something wrong with the house, there is something wrong with the furnace or ducting, the house is enormous, or the previous tenants liked to keep it very, very warm in there.

    Third, if the gas utility is wanting a $500 deposit from the new tenants, these new tenants might have a credit problem. It might also have to do with the fact that the particular property has had problems with previous tenants not paying the huge gas bills. This is the only instance where I can see a previous tenants outstanding bills affecting a new tenants service.

    Fourth, if the previous tenants were using that much gas, assuming they didn't keep it abnormally warm in the house and the unit is functioning properly, then the current tenants using electric resistance heat exclusively is going to cost a HUGE amount more that making the same amount of heat with gas. They will end up with electric bills they can't pay, then will stop paying the rent.

    I would pass on a job like this, even if the landlord just goes on to the next tech and he actually does add strip heat for him. I don't like to do illogical, borderline hack work.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    greenville , sc
    Posts
    718
    Quote Originally Posted by MicahWes View Post
    Something doesn't sound right here. Firstly, utilities (at least in North Carolina where I own rental properties) provide electric and gas service to the tenants, not to the property itself or the landlord. I have had similar situations where previous tenants left with huge utility balances, but all the utilities required was a copy of the new lease agreement to prove that the new service being established at a particular property was not related to the previous tenants with outstanding debt owed. The only exceptions to this are properties which have the utilities in the landlords name (rare), and in this case the landlord shouldn't have let the outstanding balance get so high in the first place.

    Secondly, 3 months worth of gas at "over $700" is more than $230/month. While this is entirely possible, that is a lot of gas. Either there is something wrong with the house, there is something wrong with the furnace or ducting, the house is enormous, or the previous tenants liked to keep it very, very warm in there.

    Third, if the gas utility is wanting a $500 deposit from the new tenants, these new tenants might have a credit problem. It might also have to do with the fact that the particular property has had problems with previous tenants not paying the huge gas bills. This is the only instance where I can see a previous tenants outstanding bills affecting a new tenants service.

    Fourth, if the previous tenants were using that much gas, assuming they didn't keep it abnormally warm in the house and the unit is functioning properly, then the current tenants using electric resistance heat exclusively is going to cost a HUGE amount more that making the same amount of heat with gas. They will end up with electric bills they can't pay, then will stop paying the rent.

    I would pass on a job like this, even if the landlord just goes on to the next tech and he actually does add strip heat for him. I don't like to do illogical, borderline hack work.
    sorry you feel its hack-work, your opinion has been noted and you are wrong i have checked the unit and ductwork there isnt a problem and yes it is a older mill house that could use some insulation, there isnt any laws here in SC concerning utilities being forgiving on unpaid bills.

    i understand you have an opinion and would appreciate if you would quit "what if-ing" this situation, if you cant respond to the OP subject just dont post ,

    thx J.HALL

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,578
    1st, it amazes me the people who come on a forum and ask where to find a product. Google is freaking amazing.

    2nd, not going to hurt putting in supply, never seen them in the return.

    3rd, if the landlord doesn't pay the utility bills, that's just wrong to install 20kw for main source of heat. plus the monster circut to run it.

    me personally sounds like a landlord who doesnt take care of his properties nor cares about there tenants, and If I was called to do such a job I would walk away, there is no return on investment nor property improvement factor happening here.
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    greenville , sc
    Posts
    718

    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by Southern Mech View Post
    1st, it amazes me the people who come on a forum and ask where to find a product. Google is freaking amazing.

    2nd, not going to hurt putting in supply, never seen them in the return.

    3rd, if the landlord doesn't pay the utility bills, that's just wrong to install 20kw for main source of heat. plus the monster circut to run it.

    me personally sounds like a landlord who doesnt take care of his properties nor cares about there tenants, and If I was called to do such a job I would walk away, there is no return on investment nor property improvement factor happening here.
    so you got a link? ive looked and even talked to johnstone about what i think we can use and im not going to get into the landlord/slumlord war with you or anyone else here .

    1st. you have done something similar?

    2nd . if so please tell what result you had and ill make the call , if not then WTF are you posting for?

    3rd. please see above.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Down by the river
    Posts
    1,578
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyhall.tech.sc View Post
    so you got a link? ive looked and even talked to johnstone about what i think we can use and im not going to get into the landlord/slumlord war with you or anyone else here .

    1st. you have done something similar?

    2nd . if so please tell what result you had and ill make the call , if not then WTF are you posting for?

    3rd. please see above.
    no never done this crap before but I'm learnin, lots of switches and stuff


    no link for you
    It's hard to stop a Trane. but I have made one helluva living keeping them going.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    4,656
    Quote Originally Posted by jeremyhall.tech.sc View Post
    so you got a link? ive looked and even talked to johnstone about what i think we can use and im not going to get into the landlord/slumlord war with you or anyone else here .

    1st. you have done something similar?

    2nd . if so please tell what result you had and ill make the call , if not then WTF are you posting for?

    3rd. please see above.
    He's trying to help you look at the big picture.

    Imagine someone coming here asking if he should convert his coal gravity furnace to gas.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    greenville , sc
    Posts
    718
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacvegas View Post
    He's trying to help you look at the big picture.

    Imagine someone coming here asking if he should convert his coal gravity furnace to gas.
    yea i understand. ive also been working for this guy a while and know when the time comes hell do the turn over, but right now hes tight on money and the renter absolutely should not be using kerosene heaters in a home with hardwood floors . now calling me a hack or hvac-joe for doing something thats not wrong but just unconventional isnt the reason i posted here. im okay with doing this because ill do it properly and get the most out of the install to help the owner and the tenant .

    im back to my original posting and asking , of the hundreds of add-on heater kits is there any that some one could recommend ?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Kaufman county, Texas
    Posts
    9,628
    Without addressing the myriad of multiple problems associated with this situation, I would suggest adding 230v baseboard heaters instead.
    "You boys are really making this thing harder than it has to be". Me

    "Who ARE you people? And WHAT are you doing in my SWAMP!?" Shrek

    Service calls submitted after 3PM will be posted the next business day.

    I give free estimates [Wild Ass Guesses] over the phone.

    "Ain't nobody got time for that". Corny

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