DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum

DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum (
-   HVAC (
-   -   home owners beware..NBC stings HVAC guys (

biggles 07-11-2012 12:43 PM

home owners beware..NBC stings HVAC guys
if they find the problem outside in first half hour get ready for a part is required how would you know.the price is the "FLAG" when the bill comes...look it up on the computer and question it's price .the best safety is if the tech can't find the problem and it is all just billable time. so view this Today Show setup and keep it in mind.DO NOT let anybody just top off your freon and walk away it is leaking,the EPA laws require they have to attempt to look for a leak and repair it before introducing freon again.if the unit is flat of gas a nitro/vac test is procedure for a seasoned tech..

beenthere 07-11-2012 01:14 PM

I'd be willing to beat they didn't just randomly call those six companies. probably already had complaints on those companies already.

biggles 07-11-2012 02:46 PM

sure they did but for the owners of the companies need to generate money especially now and push techs to sell parts to the unsuspected owners.advise here :wink: is to ask the neighbors on who they use on anything with a home..

beenthere 07-11-2012 03:35 PM

Watch the video again. She didn't look up 6 contractors. She was given the names and numbers to call.
Law of averages says at least one company out of 6 called randomly would have simply fixed the wire, and just charged for that.

Ask neighbors? hat if the people the neighbors use, are people like in the video. What help was asking then.

Marty S. 07-11-2012 05:46 PM

Biggles most of us are hard working and honest folks. Sure there's crooks like any profession but it's a small percentage. Maybe in big cities there's enough population for crooks to stay in business but in most of America they're going under once word of mouth gets around.
To the matter of the EPA requiring leaks to be fixed it only applies to systems holding 50 lbs or more of refrigerant so you're wrong on that. If you have been telling folks they MUST fix a residential leak because of the EPA then we're going to lump you in with the crooks in the story. Customers have the choice of spending big money on a repair or topping it off.

biggles 07-11-2012 06:19 PM

bulls*** on giving options on leak repairs topping off is a low life hit and run repair:whistling2:nothing below 50 tons doesn't require a leak check what comic book did you read that one in:wink:.any thing no matter what the charge more then 9% of the charge missing requires a nirto/vac-micron check.i know you already know this stat,but there is more total freon in cars then in world wide hvac systems and those systems have to be microned down to pass a repair.

beenthere 07-11-2012 06:52 PM

The EPA leak repair requirements are ALL for Commercial comfort cooling and Industrial process. Commercial comfort cooling trigger rate is 15% annual loss of charge, industrial process trigger rate is 35% annual loss of charge. And then the refrigerant circuit must have a normal operating charge of 50 or more pounds. The leak repair does not have to be made 100% leak proof, just has to be brought under the trigger rate.

There is no EPA reg for looking for or repairing a leak on a residential system. A residential system can loose all of its charge annually, and still be refilled without looking for or repairing the leak.

You can look this up on the EPA website. Its all there.

A good tech would of course look for a leak in the case of the system being flat on charge.

Yoyizit 07-11-2012 07:28 PM

"We tested several of those [randomly selected?] companies on hidden camera, and experts say: Some [from your results, all] are blowing hot air when they hand you the bill."

I guess six out of six is censored data.
Along those lines I'd have continued until I found at least one company that charged me a fair price for the necessary repair.

And I guess the companies could argue that the tech was a bad apple and it was not company policy to do this. In this case, for evidence to the contrary you'd need whistleblowers from within the companies.

beenthere 07-11-2012 07:45 PM

Truely random, would have been the lady picking companies out of the phone book. While they claim random. Producers of stings like that. Research for companies they have heard complaints about.

JackDidley 07-11-2012 10:04 PM

Thats insane. I am thankful that we have at least one reliable HVAC company here. I remember when the local auto repair shops were doing a similar scam around here.

bobinphx 07-11-2012 10:09 PM

year after year, the press does stings like this... year after year a large percentage of the repairs are not necessary.

Sorry, but I see this too often, from my own experiance. I have likely 20 or so friends who call me when their ac fails. They all know that I do not make repairs. I only find the failure and educate them so they dont get taken. All of them have had techs come out to fix the issues I find and then the techs suggest there are more problems. I come over and lo and behold, the techs just fix what I suggest and the machines work again.... without the extra parts etc that the tech suggested... My way works for my friends... me too... I am not taking money out of good techs pockets, I am helping friends.

Bottom line this is why I do my own work and offer an education to anyone with a cold pepsi... I really really hate to see people get ripped off by bad techs... rant over.. thanks for listening..


hvac instructor 07-11-2012 11:37 PM

beenthere is correct on leak rate. i'm a proctor and give the test since this all started. thats why McQuay chillers that i work on contain 49.9 lbs of R22. I have seen alot of schisters companies. One co, hadd you change out the cap with every service call. I went to high school with the owner and he
was a scam artist in school. i had a student whose dad works for an auto factory and a female coworker came up to him and asked him if a quote of
$14,700.00 was to much for a replacement system. they wouldnt even tell
her what brand of units they would install. Just" whatever they can get".
you know a Goodman was most likley would be insalled. seems she had a problem with her 90% Carrier during heating. the co. sent out a tech and said the furnace was beyond repair. when the student father went to her house he found all the wires cut on the unit so another co can not even troubleshoot. student and father ended up doing the replacement.(he is a HVAC tech for the auto factoy). i had the student bring in the unit and had the class splice all the wires back together and they found a small circuit board behind the pressure switch that had a bad solder joint. new board would have cost 135.00

av-geek 07-12-2012 09:41 AM

I was having problems with my heat pump in my old house last year. I was hearing it defrosting in moderately cool conditions. I connected up my own gauge set to it and monitored what it was doing. I was noticing that the low side pressures were okay for the first 5 minutes or so of operation, but then it started to go down below 10psi. The fault looked like a bad expansion valve from my experience with automotive HVAC work. I called a technician to repair the unit and I told him my findings.

He came out and inspected the unit and stated that it was low on refrigerant. I really did not believe him, but he found a leak on the liquid line leaving the bottom of the compressor and said it was common for these units (American Standard Heritage 10) I told him again that I think there is a problem with the expansion valve. Well, he gave me an estimate which I approved and he repaired the refrigerant leak and charged the system back up, and yep, the low side pressures were way too low again! He sincerely apologized that he did not take my advice because he had never heard of an expansion valve going on those units, but he immediately got on the phone and ordered an expansion valve. He came over a few days later and installed it, but did not charge me for the parts or labor on the expansion valve, which I thought was very good of him!

It pays to know a little bit about what you are working on, but I imagine some of the things that are labeled by sting operations like this are not because the tech is purposely attempting to burn the customer, but because the fault the equipment is bugged with is an unusual malfunction to see on that specific piece of equipment. I am an electronics technician by trade, and if I am servicing a piece of malfunctioning equipment, I am going to let my experience guide me first, like my HVAC technician did. *I DO NOT FAULT HIM ON WHAT HE DID! and go after the most common faults first that would cause the symptom the user is experiencing.

If a wire is loose, WHY did it come loose? I can definitely attest that I would overlook a loose wire, especially if my experience with the equipment led me to a different source of the malfunction. Bugging equipment to sting a technician is not an entirely accurate way of "testing" a repair business to be honest because of this!

Wilmar 07-12-2012 12:12 PM

Thanks for the story. I wish you were my neighbor!

clocert 07-12-2012 03:56 PM

NO, no AC tech should overlook that loose wire. I watched the video again, That wire is the 24V contactor wire and is out in the front. If you miss that wire, you must be blind, not just incompetent. And IMO, if you can not fix that problem in 10 minutes, you are not qualified to be an AC tech by any standard.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:57 AM.

vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.

Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1