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Old 09-30-2010, 12:15 PM   #1
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Is this a fair charge??


I would appreciate the opinions of some HVAC professionals . I recently bought a small home . In the winter when I turned up the thermostat the "heat strips" would kick in and the breaker would trip off. I called in an HVAC guy. Seems like when unit was installed the homeowner bought the HVAC and had it installed. It was on a 30 amp breaker but per the HVAC I called in it was a 10KV heat strip and required a 60 amp breaker.

So he installed a 60 amp breaker and 4 feet of 6/2 wire. Charge was $69.00 for diagnostic and than 130 for the wire install. Total was $200.00

I supplied the breaker.

Isnt this a bit much? I am not unhappy with the work however it took maybe an hour and the wire is not that expensive. Id just like some input cause i dont want to look stupid if there is really nothing to complain about.

BTW: Turns out the company I called had done the original install!! Shouldnt they have seen that the original breaker (30 amp) was wrong??

Thanks

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Old 09-30-2010, 01:02 PM   #2
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Is this a fair charge??


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Originally Posted by drjay9051 View Post
I would appreciate the opinions of some HVAC professionals . I recently bought a small home . In the winter when I turned up the thermostat the "heat strips" would kick in and the breaker would trip off. I called in an HVAC guy. Seems like when unit was installed the homeowner bought the HVAC and had it installed. It was on a 30 amp breaker but per the HVAC I called in it was a 10KV heat strip and required a 60 amp breaker.

So he installed a 60 amp breaker and 4 feet of 6/2 wire. Charge was $69.00 for diagnostic and than 130 for the wire install. Total was $200.00

I supplied the breaker.

Isnt this a bit much? I am not unhappy with the work however it took maybe an hour and the wire is not that expensive. Id just like some input cause i dont want to look stupid if there is really nothing to complain about.

BTW: Turns out the company I called had done the original install!! Shouldnt they have seen that the original breaker (30 amp) was wrong??

Thanks

$200 for re-wiring and a service call?? I think you got off cheap!!

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Old 09-30-2010, 01:43 PM   #3
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Is this a fair charge??


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$200 for re-wiring and a service call?? I think you got off cheap!!
OK. I just thought it was high. Maybe I'm off base but I figured labor at what 60-70 an hour and supplies? If it's fair thats fine. I have never used an HVAC before so was not sure. Im comparing to a recent plumber call where the work was an hour and the part (pressure switch) was about $40. Totalbill $105.00

Again dont want to raise the roof if the price was fair thats why im asking for some input from you guys who know the business.
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Old 09-30-2010, 02:46 PM   #4
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Is this a fair charge??


Plumbing, is not HVAC.

No comparison.

As a DIY site. Price comparisons, are an off topic thing.

If the former home owner bought the HVAC unit. And then had them install it. Maybe he also said he didn't want to spend the extra to install the right breaker and wire. And to just leave the first 5 KW connected. And then later reconnected the second 5KW himself.

Strange your home inspector didn't catch that.
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Old 10-02-2010, 03:47 AM   #5
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Is this a fair charge??


HVAC is a high billing trade. i've seriously considered spending the $2,000 {and at some point likely will} or so on school to get certified. $75-100hr is very common around here.
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:13 AM   #6
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Strange your home inspector didn't catch that.
Depends on whether the capacity plate was visible at the equipment. If so, the min/max OCPD and minimum circuit ampacity would have been listed, and the breaker/conductor/load mismatch should have been noted.

If the capacity plate was missing, illegable or not visible at the exterior of the unit, this limitation should have been noted in the report as an item needing follow-up by an HVAC contractor, but it would have been beyond the scope of a home inspection to research the equipments power requirements - which is tough to do without a model number.

If the conductor size at the breaker was adequate for breaker but insufficient for the equipment served, depends on whether the capacity plate was available. If so, the undersized conductors should have been noted. If not, a really good inspector should still have caught an *obvious* conductor/load mismatch for follow-up, but absent the capacity plate this would have been just a "guess" as there would have been no way to be sure without researching the equipment.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:45 AM   #7
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Is this a fair charge??


I don't blame any HI for not opening up the compartment and trying to count the number of strips in a unit.

But if the heaters were tripping the breaker in the winter for the OP. Then they would have tripped the breaker in the summer when a HI tested to see if the heaters worked in the summer. Unless the HI didn't test the heaters.

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