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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    New Bloomfield, PA
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    17
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    Help needed -- How do I deal with a contractor doing horrible work?

    I'm going completely nuts here. I agonized for months over what contractor and equipment to go with. I probably talked to eight different contractors before making a final decision (half were eliminated immediately because they didn't do a load calc and wanted to just take a guess at sizing). I finally made a decision last month and things have basically gone completely wrong since the install was started.

    The other day I posted about concerns I had regarding where the outdoor unit was placed. I raised my concerns and about the placement was completely brushed off. Essentially they said "There's no issue and I even talked to our Mitsubishi rep and he said it looked fine." Things have gotten much worse since then. I'm doing my best to try to catch things that are being done incorrectly and while I'm more technically and mechanically inclined than your average consumer, I'm not an HVAC expert.

    Full Photo Album

    The more I dig, the more issues I find that need to be fixed. I'm sure the issues will be obvious to you guys just taking a look through, but here's a list I've started of things that need to be resolved:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    New Bloomfield, PA
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    17
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    Thread Starter
    The return ducting which has been installed is completely unacceptable. Nothing is air sealed correctly, old school foil tape was (poorly) applied at some joints.
    Attached Images Attached Images       

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    New Bloomfield, PA
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    17
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    Thread Starter
    Return ducting is resting directly on the joists, meaning it will not be able to be properly insulated. There's a 12ft span of ducting running under the window that is completely unsupported and is resting on the vent stack pipe from the bathroom below on one end.
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    New Bloomfield, PA
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    17
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    Thread Starter
    In several locations the flex duct does not have adequate clearance to achieve the required bend radius. In a few locations flex duct was squashed into joist cavities that were too small (ex: 7" flex duct in a cavity that is only 7" high). To add insult to injury, a full size piece of fiberglass batt was stuffed on top and squeezed between the flex duct and the subfloor. None of the interfaces between the flex duct and registers have been air sealed.

    I'll also note that the two registers here have excessively long runs of flex in the area of 25ft to reach the air handler.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
    Posts
    2,810
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    Talk to the owner. He'll make sure things get done right or fire him.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    New Bloomfield, PA
    Posts
    17
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    Thread Starter
    Drywall Damage
    Attached Images Attached Images     

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    New Bloomfield, PA
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    17
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    Thread Starter
    Here is a full photo album if you haven't seen enough hackwork yet.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    27,200
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    Please say youve only payed a little bit!
    Id tell them to STOP.
    If there not listening then there done. Cut your losses and get someone else!

    Has a permit been pulled and is it required?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Grand Blanc
    Posts
    561
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    I agree this is terrible work. But how many quotes did you get? And did you go with the lowest bidder?

    Thats definitely a huge job so I could see how the quotes could be scary. But for something that extensive you want someone whos done jobs like that before and be able to go look at their work.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Chico, Ca #StateofJefferson
    Posts
    1,868
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    ITS YOUR MONEY! Contractor should not be arguing with you unless what you want done is against code or install instructions. He said it’s not a problem where the condenser was, most people on this site disagreed. It’s your home though, there’s nothing wrong with mastic tape but it’s meant to seal, not fill in a big old gap. If the owner feels like arguing with you then fire them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    New Bloomfield, PA
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    17
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    Thread Starter
    Here's my current list of complaints:

    1. Placement of the condenser does not meet manufacturer specifications. I only know this because it didn't look right to me and I looked in the install manual.
    2. The return ducting which has been installed is completely unacceptable. Nothing is air sealed correctly, old school foil tape was (poorly) applied at (some) joints. A large section of the ducting is ran completely unsupported over a span of 12ft and at one end it's just sitting on the vent stack pipe from the bathroom below. As installed it's also impossible to insulate most of the trunk ducts correctly as they are directly resting on the joists.
    3. No mastic was used anywhere, including between the flex ducts and registers.
    4. Much of the flex duct does not have addequate space to acheieve the needed bend radius. In some places its been shoved into a joist bay that smaller than it's normal radius.
    5. The MFZ-KJ09NA floor unit in a 13ft x 17ft upstairs office is unable to hit a 68F setpoint on a 78F day.
    6. Workmanship and layout of linesets and electrical under the deck is terrible
    7. Innoperable upper return vents due to the dampers hitting the exposed metal duct
    8. Flex duct passed through from an unconditoned attic to a bathroom wall (wtf!?)
    9. Shredded lineset insulation throughout entire system
    10. Lots of drywall damage (this was never even mentioned to me, I just found it while looking around the house)
    11. Remndants of insulation and random debris found in several return stud bays
    12. Random hardware used to level condenser bracket

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    New Bloomfield, PA
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    17
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by martyinlincoln View Post
    Talk to the owner. He'll make sure things get done right or fire him.
    Believe it or not, this is actually work done by one of the larger companies in the area. They have a good reputation, show up in branded trucks, and are a Mitsubishi Diamond Elite contractor.

    Quote Originally Posted by pecmsg View Post
    Please say you’ve only payed a little bit!
    I’d tell them to STOP.
    If there not listening then there done. Cut your losses and get someone else!

    Has a permit been pulled and is it required?
    I've not paid a dime yet, but the balance is intended to be financed through a partner of the contractor (Wells Fargo). I did sign a contract and at this point it's likely too late to try to cut my losses and go with a different contractor without getting a lawyer involved. I did ask about the permit, but haven't gotten an answer yet as to whether a permit was pulled.

    On the upside, the latest round of photos I sent over did get their attention. They readily admitted that things were not being done correctly and that it would be rectified. That said, it's now been over 24 hours since I've heard from them and no one has reached back out to me to setup a walkthrough to go over my concerns.

    I should also note that earlier in the week (Tuesday) the crew left early because apparently the correct ducting for the supply side of the system had not been ordered or the company manufacturing the ducting had screwed up (not sure which). They've not been back since, which I'm going to take as a blessing in disguise as it gives some time to get things properly sorted out.

    Quote Originally Posted by johoff34 View Post
    I agree this is terrible work. But how many quotes did you get? And did you go with the lowest bidder?

    That’s definitely a huge job so I could see how the quotes could be scary. But for something that extensive you want someone who’s done jobs like that before and be able to go look at their work.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I got about 8 quotes, four for mitsubishi systems, three for Fujitsu and one for Daikin. Like I said in the original post, 4 of those immediately got eliminated because they failed to take any measurements or do a heat loss/gain calc for sizing the system. This quote was actually the most expensive of all the ones that I got, but I really liked everything about dealing with them during the sales process. No gimmicky "member plans", willing to spend 3+ hours on site with me going over details of the system design. They were also readily willing to use custom metal ducting rather than ductboard, which most of the other companies preferred to use. I also didn't feel like they gave me BS answers (ex: one of the companies I talked to wanted to sell me a "no compromises" system that used a single central return for the ducted part of the system.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Makeitcold View Post
    ITS YOUR MONEY! Contractor should not be arguing with you unless what you want done is against code or install instructions. He said it’s not a problem where the condenser was, most people on this site disagreed. It’s your home though, there’s nothing wrong with mastic tape but it’s meant to seal, not fill in a big old gap. If the owner feels like arguing with you then fire them.
    I've not had a chance to speak with the owner yet. It will be my next step if I don't hear anything back tomorrow on scheduling a walkthrough with the installation manager and sales rep.

    As far as I can tell, this isn't mastic tape. It looks/feels like the standard thin 3M foil tape that you can buy at Home Depot. It seems like in some places the tape is the only thing holding things together.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sea to Sky
    Posts
    3,659
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    Keep on them.....I see nothing unreasonable in your list.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

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