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Poll: How do you feel availability of HVAC equipment/parts should be?
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How do you feel availability of HVAC equipment/parts should be?

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Old 07-05-2011, 10:40 AM   #16
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


although they may be difficult to find, hvac supply stores are around and will typically sell pretty much everything that doesn't contain refrigerant to you. you may not get a discount, but the local supply store that i use has excellent prices that are usually cheaper than anything on e-bay. granted, it's not a lowe's or hd that is on practically every corner, but it works just fine for me.

the warranty issue is kind of annoying, but for most things i could re-buy and replace the part the second time for what the labor alone would cost to replace it, regardless of the warranty.

i'm not sure what the deal is specifically with the HVAC industry when it comes to DIY and supply availability, i really don't understand how the industry is "special" or different than electrical, automotive, plumbing, construction, etc.

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Old 07-05-2011, 05:47 PM   #17
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


Quote:
Originally Posted by HVAC_NW View Post
Supply houses won't sell period, even if I don't make a warranty claim. If I can get parts/accessories (i.e. dampers and such) at supply house prices, it can often end up being cheaper to just replacing it out of pocket than having a tech come out and replace parts under warranty and pay labor.
Then just order it on line like everyone else does. Simple solution for a simple situation. Atleast 1 HVAC distributor is a member here. Order from him if you want HVAC parts. Whats so hard about that?

Your making a big fuss, over something that really isn't a problem.

Now if its an OEM part that can only come from the distributor of the brand you have. Well, thats something you should have thought of before you got that brand installed, if you intended not pay for a contractor to come out and fix it.

Yes, I know hind site is easier then foresight. But most DIYers are foresighted enough that they seem to think of these things before jumping into something. Or they come to a forum and get answers first.

When I do a sales call. The customers pretty much always have lots of questions, and those questions always include questions about warranties. Whats covered and whats not covered. How long the labor warranty is. Should they buy an extended labor warranty or not. Didn't you ask them any questions?

The ones that don't ask a lot of questions, I ask them if they have any questions about anything.

And yes, I get calls asking if I will install equipment if they buy it themselves. And then I explain how the warranty will work, and they decide if they are saving any money or not, and if they want the part warranty headaches or not.

You probably should have got a Dayton from Grainger, then warranty parts would be easy for you.
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Old 07-05-2011, 06:44 PM   #18
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


I can't buy Trane online. I can't buy Carrier online. If I walk into a JohnStone supply, half the staff will sell basic supplies to me, half will turn me away. I've actually tried this. Same on the phone too..

None will sell me equipment at this JohnStone, just parts and only if the sun is out. This is really lame.

If I walk into a Toyota dealer and plop down the $ for a new engine, I'll be able to get it.

Sure, I can go find a middle man on craigslist but why is it this hard?

www.alpinehomeair.com and www.acwholesalers.com should be able to carry all sorts of brands. Not just Goodman.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:03 PM   #19
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


Try buying that new motor from that Toyota dealer, and get a warranty on it if you install it yourself.
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:13 PM   #20
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


I can just imagine the boxes of burnt out circuit boards Lennox and York and Carrier and Goodman would get from DIYers not knowing how to ground them properly and check for that (or even why) or reversed polarity etc. There is a reason they don't want to have anything to do with DIYers. You need EXPERIENCE and a lot of knowledge as to HOW these units are supposed to work, not just being able to parts change/guess your way thru it. You also need insider info into the TSBs technical service bulletins etc which they are NOT obligated to supply to DIYers. I worked with multi million dollar Siemens and Johnson Controls building automation systems and everything they have is for their techs only even though I operated all the mechanical systems in the building. Nothing says they had to allow me to parts change my way thru their systems ( saving $200-300 /hr by eliminating them) or have access to their manuals etc even though we owned the equipment. The distributors are no different, a huge amount of product comes back burnt out or not even faulty and tried to be claimed under warranty by unskilled techs and DIYers so they don't want to get involved with that.
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Last edited by yuri; 07-05-2011 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:28 AM   #21
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


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Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Try buying that new motor from that Toyota dealer, and get a warranty on it if you install it yourself.
Yaa, the warranty is a lost cause. If you want a warranty, don't do-it-yourself. Save the 2000 dollars and if you have a problem, that will fund your would-be-warranty work, and you'll learn a bunch in the process, and get to look at your own workmanship.

I certainly don't DIY to save time. I've had a ton of fun learning about this stuff. A training in Electrical Engineering has prevented me from burning out circuit boards. Reading how-tos and posting on forums has kept me from having problems thus far.

I find it a real bummer that I knew more about the TXV than the tech that brazed my system. He thought he couldn't use the pressure port on the suction line already inside the cased coil box but rather needed to braze on the field provided one in the kit outside the cased coil. No one is ever going to know everything or make everyone happy. But it would be great if more of the HVAC companies would sell online (with or without their anti warranty) to support the spirit of this thread..


Heck, don't just tell them No Warranty in all caps, they should print no warranty on the little insert and that you are required register on the online support forum in order to make the purchase, or get instal manuals, so they don't have to answer calls ever.
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Old 07-06-2011, 05:46 AM   #22
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


You would be surprised at the price increases if all the manufacturers sold on line.

Once it became a common sells practice supported by them. they would have to warranty all units sold over the internet. And the warranty losses would sky rocket, forcing them to increase prices to all dealers and distributors.

All the units being sold over the internet already have a good margin on them, cause the prices they show on their sites, is a lot more then what I pay for the same stuff.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:06 AM   #23
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


I'm not talking about just warranty.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty S. View Post
So are you saying that the local HVAC shops will not sell you a circuit board, capacitor, motor ect..?
Correct. Understandably, I can't go to a dealership and purchase a replacement alternator at no charge on warranty, however I can order parts if I pay for it. If I lose lug nuts, oil cap, etc, they will sell them.

Johnstone's, and other HVAC supply houses will not sell anything to you unless you're an HVAC contractor.

You want an inducer motor and willing and able to pay cash?
"Are you a heating contractor?"
"no"
"go away"
warranty doesn't even get mentioned.

Rheem apparently has contractual agreement with its authorized distributors that they shall not sell equipment or parts to joe schmoe punishable by termination of authorized status as well as the ability to order parts from factory.

Last edited by HVAC_NW; 07-06-2011 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 07-06-2011, 08:11 AM   #24
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


This is the reason why there are TRADES. Most HVAC technicians have gone to tech school and the real factors are consumer protection and safety for the individuals doing the repairs and occuping where the repairs are made.
I have been in this trade for over 40 years and have seen situations wherc problems showed up that you would never think could happen,
such as a poorly brazed discharge line on a pkg unit that had been running for some time and all of a sudden the line let go and a technician got the refrigerant and oil right in the face, luckily it was not acidic. Come to find out the factory had a bad braze (braze just puddled around the rim of the fitting and had not sucked in)
Another situation where a technician was removing a sweat in drier on a 20 ton unit by unbrazing it, luckily he had cut one side of the 7/8 inch tube away from the drier and did not realize the other side still had pressure (drier completely plugged solid) well when it finally unbrazed it was like a rocket and went up about 40 feet in the air.
Thank God no one got hurt.
I learned that day as an apprentice always nick both side of a drier before unbrazing.

DIY is great I really believe in it but Technicians learn the safe ways to service. You can take DIY to a certain point and then the diyer should request the experts to complete the work.
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Old 07-06-2011, 12:40 PM   #25
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


Quote:
Originally Posted by HVAC_NW View Post
Johnstone's, and other HVAC supply houses will not sell anything to you unless you're an HVAC contractor.
Maybe it's state and region specific, but I have not had any problems purchasing supplies at my local Johnstone's here in Texas.
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Old 07-06-2011, 07:49 PM   #26
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Personal view on how readily available HVAC parts/equipment should be?


Quote:
Originally Posted by HVAC_NW View Post
I'm not talking about just warranty.



Correct. Understandably, I can't go to a dealership and purchase a replacement alternator at no charge on warranty, however I can order parts if I pay for it. If I lose lug nuts, oil cap, etc, they will sell them.

Johnstone's, and other HVAC supply houses will not sell anything to you unless you're an HVAC contractor.

You want an inducer motor and willing and able to pay cash?
"Are you a heating contractor?"
"no"
"go away"
warranty doesn't even get mentioned.

Rheem apparently has contractual agreement with its authorized distributors that they shall not sell equipment or parts to joe schmoe punishable by termination of authorized status as well as the ability to order parts from factory.
There's the problem. Joe schmoe doesn't have a business license and is trying to purchase one item from a wholesale distributor. Go to the local Billy Bobs heating and air instead of his distributor and problem solved.

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