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Old 12-07-2008, 09:24 AM   #16
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


I would be $165.00 for the first valve, and $127.00 per each additional valve.
So I would have been $675.00. Just for changing out the 5 valves.

I would of also changed the rad spud(included in above fee). So there is no way, I could change 5 of them in 45 minutes.
Plus run the system to make sure they don't leak and see that the rads are getting steam.

How much you can charge.
Is dependant on several things.

1. Is how you present yourself, both in apperance, and how knowledgable you are about what you are doing.
2. Is the clientel that you are dealing with.
There are several other things also.

Most posters on this site wouldn't pay my fee's. And that is ok.
I don't blame them for wanting to save money.

I know of companies that charge twice what I do, just to tell the customer what is wrong. And their 30% more for the same repairs.

Including one, that if you have a full service contract with them. And you call them out on a Holiday. You must pay the tech with a check, or cash for $300.00 before they will enter the house.

And yes, that is in Lancaster.

If the OP called me and wanted that work done, without a diagnostic being done. I would also have him sign that this may not solve the heating problem.
The shut off valve is very very rarely the cause of no or not enough heat in a steam system.


If I was called out to find out the reason why a 3 story apartment building with steam heat isn't heating the third floor.
My evaluation fee would be higher then for a private residence.
About double.
But, My solution, would fix it. Not just give the customer a big bill.

And, if I couldn't figure out the problem. It would be No Charge.

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Old 12-07-2008, 09:42 AM   #17
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


Sounds reasonable. This sounds like the time I had trouble with my boiler. My wife calls me up and tells me there's black smoke coming out of the chimney and the house smells smokey. Tell her to shut it down and call the boiler company and have it serviced. They come and do a regular maintenance service(vacuum, change nozzle, change oil filter, check combustion). It's usually a $100 job. Get a bill for around $325 because it was a "no-heat" emergency call. Learned my lesson then.

Last edited by jerryh3; 12-07-2008 at 07:01 PM.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:11 PM   #18
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


The plumber changed the air vent, not the radiator valve. At least that's what I get. Groton?
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:50 PM   #19
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


you got riped........... make that RIPPED http://www.rd.com/19298/article19298.html

Last edited by biggles; 12-07-2008 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 12-07-2008, 06:55 PM   #20
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


It's also called buyers remorse. You called them. You OK'd the repair. They did it. You paid it. The unit is repaired and operating properly. Regardless of your hindsight.

End of Story.

That is how a court of law would look at it.

Buyer's remorse = Sorry, but you lose. You don't have a leg to stand on.
If you try to cancel the charge, and are successful in doing so, you will be taken to court, and you will end up paying even more. You cannot win.
All you can do is live and learn. Next time, get an estimate before hand.

(There are many times that I have a customer that will OK a repair without a price upfront. I tell them that I would be more comfortable with getting them an initial price, and their OK after that, before we start anything.)
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Old 12-07-2008, 07:45 PM   #21
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


Don't forget other costs such as insurance --- overhead has to be added in to the pricing of all jobs, company's are in business to provide a service and make money
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:41 PM   #22
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
It's also called buyers remorse. You called them. You OK'd the repair. They did it. You paid it. The unit is repaired and operating properly. Regardless of your hindsight.

End of Story.

That is how a court of law would look at it.

Buyer's remorse = Sorry, but you lose. You don't have a leg to stand on.
If you try to cancel the charge, and are successful in doing so, you will be taken to court, and you will end up paying even more. You cannot win.
All you can do is live and learn. Next time, get an estimate before hand.

(There are many times that I have a customer that will OK a repair without a price upfront. I tell them that I would be more comfortable with getting them an initial price, and their OK after that, before we start anything.)


My sentiments exactly.

I use a flat rate pricing system also. The price i give up front is what it takes.

i used to rely heavily on Yellow Page ads and the customers generated from the book were always the ones who complained about price.
It's a big red flag when HO says it only took ten minutes or some absurdly short period to finish the repair and the HO is complaining about the bill. Make the tech look bad after he saved his bacon, real gratitude there.


I only do work for my established customers and the folks they refer me to now. I won't chase a call from my free listing in the Yellow Pages anymore.
Since I have initiated this practice i no longer have customers complaining about price.
Even though I charge flat rate I still put down time on the job just in case a referral customer turns out to be a cheap skate.


The op has heat on a Sunday. Did he think he would get a discount?

I would have just paid the bill and swallowed hard.
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Last edited by hvaclover; 12-07-2008 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 10-20-2009, 07:40 PM   #23
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


No, its not buyers remorse when the plumber doesn't fix the problem!

Changing the valves had NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on my heating system. The 1st and 2nd floors were overheated, and the 3rd floor got little heat without turning up the thermostat (on the 1st floor) to 75 degrees. I would then have to leave the back door open all day (even on the coldest of winter days) to get cold air onto the first floor to tell the thermostat its cold so that it will continue to keep the boiler pumping heat!

A year later, and here we go again. Can anyone actually help?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlanticWBConst. View Post
It's also called buyers remorse. You called them. You OK'd the repair. They did it. You paid it. The unit is repaired and operating properly. Regardless of your hindsight.

End of Story.

That is how a court of law would look at it.

Buyer's remorse = Sorry, but you lose. You don't have a leg to stand on.
If you try to cancel the charge, and are successful in doing so, you will be taken to court, and you will end up paying even more. You cannot win.
All you can do is live and learn. Next time, get an estimate before hand.

(There are many times that I have a customer that will OK a repair without a price upfront. I tell them that I would be more comfortable with getting them an initial price, and their OK after that, before we start anything.)
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:27 PM   #24
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


Call then back. And tell them it is still not fixed.
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Old 10-20-2009, 08:49 PM   #25
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


I have something helpful and not-helpful to say. I'll start with the helpful:

- there are MANY resources for the steam heat owner. Check out http://www.heatinghelp.com/, also, buy and read Dan Holohan's books. Giving yourself some education will prevent you from getting snookered in the future.

- The other good news is that you may not have been ripped off. I have a oil fired boiler and single-pipe steam heat - Last fall I paid a specialist in hydronic heat systems to come out last fall. I paid over $1400 for installation of new supply valves on 11 radiators (including all new bushings), and air vents on four of them (I had already done the rest, myself), and balancing the radiators. The cost included the owner of the company (PM me and I will make a recommendation for the Washington DC area), four technicians, and an hourly rate for their travel time. They drove 90 miles each way. Our heat now runs whisper silent (no knocks, no pings, no whistling, no hissing, no spitting). The savings in oil will allow me to recoup the cost of the repair in less than two years!

- the not helpful part: every tom-dick-and-heating-harry says they work on radiators. - Most of them simply DO NOT posses the knowledge or experience to do a good job. - Did the guy who did your repair say that it would fix your radiator balancing problem? Or did he just replace some leaky valves?

Chances are that, expensive as it was, your repair was NEVER going to fix your bigger problem. You probably need to relocate your thermostat, add some thermostatic reactive valves, replace main valves, and balance the venting of your system, amongst any other number of things.

Read Dan's books. Good luck next time.
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Old 10-21-2009, 07:41 AM   #26
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


Did it work last year? To me it sounds like the system wasn't balanced correctly to begin with.
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:01 AM   #27
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


Quote:
Originally Posted by topfloornoheat View Post
I would then have to leave the back door open all day (even on the coldest of winter days) to get cold air onto the first floor to tell the thermostat its cold so that it will continue to keep the boiler pumping heat!

A year later, and here we go again. Can anyone actually help?
This has been, by OP's own admission, an ongoing problem.
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Last edited by Leah Frances; 10-21-2009 at 08:04 AM. Reason: morning mind
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Old 10-21-2009, 08:21 AM   #28
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


This is such an easy thing to fix. All you need to do is to buy the adjustable vents and open the ones furthest away from the boiler all the way and close the ones closest to the boiler to a minimum.
Once you do the basic adjustment, you can fine tune it with the use of thermometers on each level.
This is an example of pathetic incompetance.
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Old 10-21-2009, 04:11 PM   #29
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


Like Priceline name your price!!!
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Old 10-22-2009, 06:36 AM   #30
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$574 for 45 minutes of work replacing radiator valves ?!?!?


We're 2+ pages into this saga before any mention that the work performed did not solve the problem.
Had the post started out with "$574 and I still don't have heat", you might have gotten more help.

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