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Old 04-28-2009, 06:29 PM   #1
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


Is it different for new work and old work?

Can it be solved by throwing money at it?

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Old 04-28-2009, 07:42 PM   #2
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


Money.
Contractors that just use riles of thumb.
Quick buck contractors.
Home owners not willing to pay for high quality work.
Home owners not willing to allow ducts and or grilles to be ran where they should be.
GC's not willing to pay fo high quality work.


Just a quick few off the top of my head.

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Old 04-29-2009, 12:03 PM   #3
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
Money.
Contractors that just use riles of thumb.
Quick buck contractors.
Home owners not willing to pay for high quality work.
Home owners not willing to allow ducts and or grilles to be ran where they should be.
GC's not willing to pay fo high quality work.


Just a quick few off the top of my head.
So the HO gets noise, less comfort and shorter HVAC lifetime?
If an install like that above costs $D, a top quality install would be 2 x $D? More?
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:24 PM   #4
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


The bad part is.
Often, the better install is not a whole lot more.

On a simple furnace change out. It be 3 or 400 dollars.
On a simple A/C change out, it could be 600 or 1200 dollars.

On a full cut in, it could be a couple thousand dollars.

Every install/change out, has included in it. The cost of training.
A lower price, often means less training.
So the techs doing the work. May not even know they aren't doing the job right.

While there is nothing wrong with OTJT.
Too many companies rely on it only. And the new techs are just taught the bad habits of the senior techs.

Thats why many techs don't know that a duculator doesn't tell you pressure in the duct. But rather how much pressure will be lost.

And why many hydronic systems have 3/4" copper used where it should have been 1" if not 1 1/4" copper.

One of the most common circulators on hydronic systems, is the Taco 007.
It is seldom the correct circulator.

Some years ago.
I was in a supply house. A tech in there was finding the right circ to use. By asking the counter guy.
The counter guy told him a 007 would move 12 gallons a minute at a head pressure of 10 foot.

In reality, a 007 can only move 3 gallons a minute against 10 foot of head pressure.

I corrected him, and showed them how to read a circ curve chart.
Or else they would have only been moving 3GPM.

(the tech was from the company that low balled me, and got the job from me)
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Old 04-29-2009, 12:41 PM   #5
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
The bad part is.
Often, the better install is not a whole lot more.

On a simple furnace change out. It be 3 or 400 dollars.
On a simple A/C change out, it could be 600 or 1200 dollars.

On a full cut in, it could be a couple thousand dollars.

So it's 10% more, or 50% more for a good job? I don't remember the base price of my only new install.

Every install/change out, has included in it. The cost of training.
A lower price, often means less training.
So the techs doing the work. May not even know they aren't doing the job right.

While there is nothing wrong with OTJT.
Too many companies rely on it only. And the new techs are just taught the bad habits of the senior techs.

Thats why many techs don't know that a duculator doesn't tell you pressure in the duct. But rather how much pressure will be lost.

And why many hydronic systems have 3/4" copper used where it should have been 1" if not 1 1/4" copper.

One of the most common circulators on hydronic systems, is the Taco 007.
It is seldom the correct circulator.

Some years ago.
I was in a supply house. A tech in there was finding the right circ to use. By asking the counter guy.
The counter guy told him a 007 would move 12 gallons a minute at a head pressure of 10 foot.

In reality, a 007 can only move 3 gallons a minute against 10 foot of head pressure.

I corrected him, and showed them how to read a circ curve chart.
Or else they would have only been moving 3GPM.

(the tech was from the company that low balled me, and got the job from me)
Funny you say that about the supply house.
The first paragraph in a chapter of an HVAC book I read similar to the one below
http://www.professionalequipment.com...dheart-Willcox
said the compressor exhaust air could be at 130F and so the compressor fan motor should be rated at a higher ambient temperature than other motors.
When I brought this up at the HVAC supply house to buy a replacement motor nobody knew what I was talking about, not the counterguy and not some guy who happened to be there who worked in HVAC for 25 years. It was a special order.

Don't the licensing agencies watch out for this ['cause the homeowner is not going to know this]? I guess if it's not safety related, then "No."

Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-29-2009 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 04-29-2009, 02:19 PM   #6
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


Unfortunately, licensing is a just money making thing for most states and or counties that have it.

No area actually has anybody do a true mechanical ability test. Its pretty much all just written test.

Apprenticeship, works the best. But, that has flaws too. Some employers will falsify the repors, and claim they had the apprentice do more then they actually did.


Next. While there are many good HVAC/R books out there. Many of them are misleading (not really intentionally ).

Most condenser fan motors are already 60C rated. Which is 140F.
Some special ones are rated to 70C, which is 158F.

So while that paragraph is important. It should have a note telling people/techs/students. That motors are usually rated in C, not F.
Same for wire when determining proper size. Its rated in C.

That section. Is easily taken out of context.

It should also tell them that the manufacturers of condenser fan motors already make them in a temp rating able to operate in conditions above normal ARI rating conditions.

So that they know its more of a check to make sure your using a condenser motor and not a blower motor warning.

You may have special ordered a motor that you didn't have to.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:20 PM   #7
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


Quote:
Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
You may have special ordered a motor that you didn't have to.
My co-worker went with the motor they had in stock, in spite of what the book said. I guess it was in the summer, and it was hot, but he did understand the point of the temp. rating.
This happened 10 years ago but as I remember the amb. temp. in C on the nameplate was not high enough (probably by now the motor has failed)!

In MD, for ~$400 every two years for your home improvement lic. they don't test for competency (just an open book test for MD and Fed employment law) but if you break somebody's house the state has a guaranty fund to pay the homeowner, and then the state comes after the contractor for the money. I had to get a bond.

The thing is, in MD, I know there are unlicensed companies doing millions each year in sales, and they are not in hiding. Their MHIC number is supposed to be on their trucks, and it's not because they don't have one.

In VA, you pay $100 for a handyman lic., no test, no bond, just insurance, and you're good to go.

Last edited by Yoyizit; 04-29-2009 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:47 PM   #8
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


In PA, you call yourself a HVAC contractor, and you are one.
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Old 04-29-2009, 04:58 PM   #9
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


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In PA, you call yourself a HVAC contractor, and you are one.
I'd think the HVAC manu's would lobby for more state control over this trade so that the HVAC equip. can perform better. A shoddy install gives their products a bad name.
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Old 04-29-2009, 05:03 PM   #10
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What's prevents a good HVAC system install?


That would cost them money upfront.

And would lower their sales volumes.

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