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Thread: Combustion Analysis and PMs

  1. #1
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    Combustion Analysis and PMs

    Hey,

    Do you guy charge extra fee performing a combustion analysis during furnace PMs?

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  3. #2
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    I don't work on a furnace without performing combustion analysis. If a customer isn't willing to pay for combustion analysis I'm not willing to take the liability risk of working on their furnace. Currently I'm not in charge of billing so it's probably costing me money that I'm not getting back but I would rather that than a huge liability at some point and when I go out on my own I will be building that cost into my standard prices for working on a furnace.
    "Is this before or after you fired the parts cannon at it?" - senior tech
    I'm tired of these mediocre "semi flammable" refrigerants. If we're going to do it let's do it right.
    Unless we change direction we are likely to end up where we are going.

  4. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nytefog View Post
    Hey,

    Do you guy charge extra fee performing a combustion analysis during furnace PMs?
    I agree with "R600a". A furnace is not touched without doing a combustion analysis. After you do them a few times, it can easily be accomplished in 15 minutes.

    That 15 minutes is built into the service call charge.
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

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  6. #4
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    Included in the price with a PM or any service call that requires changing a part that affect combustion.
    I also have my personal CO monitor on as well. You'd be surprised what wind can do to room CO when there's a draft hood appliance.
    If I do a job in 30 minutes it's because I spent 30 years learning how to do that in 30 minutes. You owe me for the years, not the minutes.

  7. #5
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    I myself always perform Combustion Analysis on any furnace/boiler during PMs or repairs. At least ever since I took the NCI class with Jim Davis twice over the past 10 years ago. I wanted to ask what you charge for a simple combustion analysis during your PMs. I feel Im giving to much service work/time away not charging for safety testing I spend 3k+ on a ECOM D analyzer and like to cover the costs.

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nytefog View Post
    I wanted to ask what you charge for a simple combustion analysis during your PMs. I feel I’m giving to much service work/time away not charging for safety testing…
    Again, it is not a separate fee.

    You can’t use what I or others might charge and have it guaranteed to work for you. We all have different cost structures, and you have to decide what service call fee makes you money.

    I'm at around a buck and a half (not suppose to discuss dollars in this OPEN forum) to walk into someones home for an hour, inspect the furnace, and perform a combustion test.

    15 minutes of that time is combustion testing - from drilling the first hole to plugging it at the end of the testing procedure.

    Should any part need replacement, or the combustion analysis reveals a problem that needs to be addressed, the cost increases.

    I never let the opportunity go by to try and sell them a Low Level CO Monitor too - additional profit.
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

  10. #7
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    You take your car in for service and the first thing they tell you is they have to do a diagnostic and there is a charge for that. You go to the doctor and you have to go through all kinds of diagnostic tests to determine your problem. Most contractors have what they call their first half hour diagnostic charge, even those without analyzers. Can't fix it if you don't know what's.
    When customers ask why didn't you or anyone else ever do this before. You answer is it is 21st century technology. We now have the ability to diagnose things we never could before and make improvements that will be beneficial in increasing your comfort, minimizing wear and tear on your equipment and maximize its safety.
    I remember years ago when I was at a contractors place of business in Delaware, a customer called for service and they told them over the phone they had a diagnostic fee. The customer said they didn't want that and the contractor told them to call someone else.
    Maybe we should all carry a waiver form that states: If you don't want me to do a diagnostic test you will relieve me of all liability in case of a fire, explosion or a poisoning.
    captain CO

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  12. #8
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    I do not charge for the CA I do during a PM it is figured in the price. On normal maintenance or a service call there is an added fee that they know about going in. I always test furnaces before I walk away and if the CA shows a problem the customer is informed about the need for additional diagnostics. I have a had a few people not want to pay the extra and after I explain the reason for the CA most agree and the few that don't I tell them to find another company because I do not want the liability of missing a issue with their furnace.

  13. #9
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    What is a PM to most techs? For me, its not just about cleaning the flame sensor, changing a weak ignitor, seeing if the flame looks pretty , and making sure the air filter is clean.

    My customers are expecting me to ensure them their furnace is operating properly, safely and efficiently. The only way to do that is with a combustion analysis.

    Too many techs think a combustion analysis is just for finding high CO problems.

    That could not be further from the truth. It is a tool that will help diagnose a variety of combustion issues you normally cant see - dirt, rust and mechanical issues, heat transfer issues, over-fired and under-fired issues, venting and combustion air issues, along with the dangerously high CO issues that may arise.

    If you are not testing, you really cant ensure the customer their furnace is operating the way the manufacture intended it to operate.

    So back to your question one more time - there is no separate fee, as the PM always includes a combustion test. It is how I diagnose if there are problems.
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

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  15. #10
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    I also always performed C.A. at every maint/service call. I just wanted to find out if others include it in the price of their PM or have a separate charge for testing. I agree it’s with out a doubt a test that should be performed as part of every call. The additional labor, equipment, calibrations and materials cost just adjusting the price of the PM would probably be the wise option. I know our PM prices haven’t changed in at least 9yrs!

    Only after Jim’s class did I really understand the importance of testing and how to use properly use it for diagnostics.

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  17. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nytefog View Post
    I also always performed C.A. at every maint/service call. I just wanted to find out if others include it in the price of their PM or have a separate charge for testing. I agree it’s with out a doubt a test that should be performed as part of every call. The additional labor, equipment, calibrations and materials cost just adjusting the price of the PM would probably be the wise option. I know our PM prices haven’t changed in at least 9yrs!

    Only after Jim’s class did I really understand the importance of testing and how to use properly use it for diagnostics.
    As I see it that is not good. Just simple math off the top of my head because of inflation you are now somewhere between 15-20% loss of income from where you were 9 years ago. I used to adjust my PM prices every 3 years, then I figured what inflation was doing and started raising every year. I realize the idea of PM's from a business standpoint is not a moneymaker but to maintain a customer base and keep guys busy in slow times but I don't see taking a loss on any job if it can be helped.

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  19. #12
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    It get hard to compete with the outfits that charge <$60 for a PM. You know they are at the customers home for maybe 30 minutes. Changing the filter and humidifier pad, maybe cleaning the flame sensor and checking the HSI. They are almost always there to try and sell people new equipment. Only thing is customer need to be aware of is that if proper maintenance isnt performed their factory warranty could be in jeopardy.

  20. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nytefog View Post
    It get hard to compete with the outfits that charge <$60 for a PM. You know they are at the customers home for maybe 30 minutes. Changing the filter and humidifier pad, maybe cleaning the flame sensor and checking the HSI. They are almost always there to try and sell people new equipment. Only thing is customer need to be aware of is that if proper maintenance isnt performed their factory warranty could be in jeopardy.
    Why do you want to compete with those customers?

    Compete on value, which means you need to show the customer the value. Some customers don't care and will go cheap, cheap, cheap all day everyday. I know I don't want those customers.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

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  22. #14
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    Its more for customer we have installed new equipment for. They pay 15k for new equipment installation, but dont want to spend money maintaining it. This then can compromising their factory warranty which can lead to headaches, lawyers, bad reviews , ect. People seem more prone to leave negative reviews then positive especially when they are upset. The first year of maintenance is included with our installations of new equipment, but after the first year some only want to call you for issues. i always make sure I explain to them maintenance is a requirement by the equipment manufacturer to maintain their P&L warranty as well as keep their system operating at max efficiency and reliably. We definitely dont do any QD type installation ever. I think most people think they are getting the same type of service if they pay $60 or $150 for PM. I think they view it like buy a product online for the lowest price because you are getting the same product no matter the price.

    I had some a$$ leave a negative review because I mistakenly added the wrong sales tax percentage because I was in Pennsylvania and not NJ where I mainly work. It was literally $3 difference and it shows he didnt read the work order before he signed and paid for it. He never even called our office who would have credited them the difference. That customer was red tagged in the system to deny service. What really got me heated was I flushed out his filthy condenser coil, checked the charge and caps without charging him. I was their to replace a blower motor ONLY, but Im sometimes way too nice and it bits me in the ass sometimes.

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  24. #15
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    I find it crazy how many 90+ furnaces I see that show a record of "C&C" over the years with not one spot drilled for an anylizer probe in the venting??? We do it on every PM, and we at least track the CO, if nothing else. It's the firs indicator of a clogged secondary, or cracks or a half dozen other issues. It would be like going to the DR and not having them take temp, and blood pressure....
    I r the king of the world!...or at least I get to stand on the roof and look down on the rest of yall

  25. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelbaron View Post
    I find it crazy how many 90+ furnaces I see that show a record of "C&C" over the years with not one spot drilled for an anylizer probe in the venting???
    Many companies will take the reading at the flue termination so they do not have to drill a hole. They are worried about liability from a plugged hole.

    These are the same companies that are only looking for high CO readings, and could care less about using the combustion analysis for troubleshooting or even tuning the furnace for better efficiency.
    Instead of learning the tricks of the trade, learn the trade.

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