I fired my contractor today

Discussion in 'Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Popoff, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    We have two Water Furnace dealers in the area. Turns out I chose the wrong one to buy my system from. )~:

    The email I sent him follows.

    "I requested my new HVAC contractor to perform a pre startup inspection on the Water Furnace unit I
    purchased from you. It didn’t take him long to find with 4 serious mistakes you made in the installation.

    1) the shipping bolt for the compressor had not been removed.

    2) freeze protection dip switch was incorrectly set to “well”. proper setting should have been “loop”.

    3) low voltage plug was not connected to the aux heat control board resulting in aux heat not being functional.

    4) the “burp me” sticker was still on the desuperheater pump indicating it had not been burped during startup.

    I previously had noticed the humidifier you installed was not working. Your technician had to replace the saddle valve and hose. Why wasn’t the functionality of the unit checked at the time of installation?

    These are serious omissions indicating sloppy and careless workmanship on the part of you and your
    installers. Obviously, the “Unit Startup” instructions on page 36 of the Envision installation manual were ignored.

    My new contractor was good enough to run the Geolink software and provide me with a hard copy of the results. What a wealth of information! Why didn’t you provide me with this data? I asked you repeatedly for design information and all you finally
    provided me was one sheet of paper containing a summary of your load calculation. I’m now seeing the unit you sold me is minimally sized for my
    application. I would have liked to have known my options so that I could have made an informed decision as to what size unit I wanted.

    I’m sending a copy
    of this message to (Water Furnace rep) for his information. I do want to emphasize I’m
    very happy with Water Furnace, its’ products, and their service. I think they have gone way beyond the call of duty and for that I’m most appreciative.

    As for you (name), I regret having bought this system from you. Your attitude, lack of

    responsiveness, and poor communication has made this a very unpleasant experience for me. If it’s not already clear to you, consider this as your notice that you are fired."
  2. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    For what it's worth, I find the serious mistake is your contractor's inability to to satisfy your needs. The "serious" mistakes you mentioned are un fortunate and numerous, but ummmm...... not horific. They are not ok, but they are minor.
    Why is your generator not starting the geo? That's the one thing that nags at me. Did new guy answer that?
  3. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Installed the Intellistart and took the humidifier (10 amps) off the generator circuit. Unit starts fine on generator power now so I haven't persued it any further.

    You've got an interesting take on the situation, one which I don't understand. What would you classify as serious?
  4. JKn

    JKn New Member

    ive got to agree with the other guy

    ive got to agree with the other guy, the only real mistakes are the strip heater being disconnected and the freeze protection switch the wrong way, bleeding desuperheater pumps really doesn't matter, and whether you remove the shipping bolt or not makes no difference whatsoever. believe me, ive done nothing but install and service these things for 4 years, i know what im talking about. you need that strip heater, otherwise you can deplete your loops in an extreme winter or depending on how you you run your t-stat settings. that can lead to sink holes. also, with the freeze protection the wrong way, your going to shut down on a waterflow fault halfway through the winter and be running that strip heater and get a ridiculous bill, those mistakes are unacceptable. Sounds like you got a contractor that installs maybe like 2 of those a year.
  5. engineer

    engineer Well-Known Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I'll hang with Joe on this one - All these mistakes are minor and easily corrected - nothing broken, no one hurt or in jail. I've made most of them myself.

    An example of a serious mistake would have been to select incorrect freeze protection such that the waterside heat exchanger cracks and then hiding from that fact. Everyone makes mistakes; what separates the good from the rest is how mistakes are handled.

    I subscribe to a philosophy of immediately and unreservedly owning up to mistakes made on my watch, fixing them promptly and moving on. If nothing else, it confuses the adversary..."yep, that was a screwup...I regret it happened...here's what I've done to fix the problem and here's what I'll do to make you whole...next question?"

    As to sizing, a "minimally sized" system is very often the right size for the application in terms of both least first cost and most efficient, quiet and comfortable operation. It takes a certain amount of personal mojo to stand by the results of a load calculation and NOT give in to the temptation to add an extra ton "just to be sure"

    Popoff, you may have aptly named yourself here; maybe you 'popped off', perhaps prematurely...
  6. cgin59

    cgin59 New Member

    I can't think of a better reason to find a new dealer/contractor. Imcompetence is the biggest fault with the industry. I have been on the sales side most of my career. I am always baffled when people minimize a complaint to a black and white answer. "It isn't murder unless someone dies". "And if no one dies, there is no crime". Just because nothing broke, doesn't excuse the fault! He was lucky nothing broke or froze. Manufacturers would deny warranty service/replacement on any unit not properly installed and they look for any reason not to!
  7. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    And that's the way I would have liked for it to be. If that had been the case, I would still be his customer.

    I'm not going to post a laundry list of negative stuff that's happened with the contractor since the day the well driller showed up 4 months ago but suffice it to say the decision to fire the guy was not made on the spur of the moment.

    You guys are certainly entitled to your opinions and I happen not to agree.

    I'm looking forward to input from other members of the forum.
  8. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Thanks for the response

    How does a sink hole happen in a geo system? What are the effects if it were to happen?
  9. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Pop I characterized the mistakes your contractor made as "unfortunate, numerous and minor". It does certainly suggest lack of experience when you make so many of them at one time. None by itself is serious and all here have made some of them at one time or another. I also said your contractors failure to respond to your needs is "serious".

    Now lemme tell ya why I risked making the distinction when I know you are fired up-

    I don't know if you decided these things were huge mistakes or if new contractor threw old contractor under the bus. I would be suspicious of new guy if he characterized this stuff as "SERIOUS". I'd rather he told you "yeah we found these couple of things but you are all set now". Reason being you don't need to jump from one drama queen to the next and if this is going to be your contractor now, we don't want a guy who's still going to be blaming any problem on the original guy years down the road (unless it's true).

    Now about the generator thingy, are you suggestiong that new guy says fixing the symptom means that we needn't determine what the problem was? Again, the manufacturer of the heat pump says your generator should have started it and new guy isn't curious why it wouldn't? Has anybody pulled amp draws on your equipment yet?

    I know you are frustrated. You suggested that I was unhelpful previously, but I think you came to understand my comments and concerns. Again I am simply observing and trying to make suggestions that are beneficial to you. As you say all entitled to an opinion.

    WF dealers: are auxiliary heaters installed at WF or in the field....(who failed to plug in auxiliary heat)?

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2010
  10. teetech

    teetech Member Forum Leader

    Auxiliary heaters are field installed on WF.
    Generators are a little dicey on GSHP as they must meet LRA specs.
    Intellistart reduces LRA by 60% (they claim 70% but I prefer a margin of error)
  11. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    OK, generators mite be dicey, but if manufacturer says a generator will work without intellistart, shouldn;t it work?
  12. Mark Custis

    Mark Custis Not soon. Industry Professional Forum Leader

    It depends...

    Generators do not always make clean curved sine waves. They do not like hard start loads as mentioned above. Compressers like nice bell curves on the L1 with the boost on L2 at the run capacitor winding. If the compressor sees square waves from the generator, or the control board does not like the voltage it sees: LOCK OUT.

    Why? The manufacturers do not like warranty stuff. So they designed electronics to protect what they sold you from warranty claims.
  13. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    I understand how generators work and respond to load, but in a previous thread, we determined that the WF table showed the automatic generator purchased by Popoff was adequate to start the heat pump without soft start kit.
    We have also determined that his previous contractor was not thorough and I'm unclear as to who installed the generator and the quality of the electricians work on this job.
    So we know the generator should work.
    We know it doesn't.
    We know it's a generac (which sometimes requires adjustment out of the box)
    I don't know if amp draw has been done on the geo or volt and amp checks on the generac.
    I'm suggesting that Popoff not bury his head in the sand on this issue though I know the desire is to be done with it.
  14. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Lots of good posts here. Thanks.

    I'll be out of town until the first part of next week so it may be a while before I respond.

    Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving! I'm on my way to experience a "pat down" first hand. Might even get someone to "touch my junk."
  15. Bergy

    Bergy Member Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Don't forget...one man's junk is the TSA's treasure!:eek:

    Sorry, I could not resist.

    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  16. geome

    geome Member Forum Leader

    What is the freeze protection on your loop?

    Our installer wanted to protect our closed loop to 30f, but I requested and was given protection to 15f (he said that 15f was perfectly fine). After installation, I noticed our DIP switch was still set to open loop (30f protection), which I asked the installer about and he told me that it could be changed to closed loop since we had 15f protection.

    My point is that if a closed loop only has freeze protection to 30f, then perhaps the open loop DIP setting (of 30f) can be correct for a closed loop. Is this correct?

    P.S. If you have adequate freeze protection for 15f, I would consider this mistake serious in the sense that you may have unnecessarily been running emergency heat if the loop temp dropped below 30f (to me, a $200-$400 higher electric bill is serious.) Of course, with your heat strips not properly installed as well, you wouldn't have had the high electric bill. :)
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  17. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Geome, this is a quote taken from Post #4 in this thread.

    I'm sure other forum participants can give you a more complete answer.
  18. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Not sure how it was determined that the generator was adequate for the load. That determination just seemed to appear in a post one day.

    The LRA on my 026 Envision heat pump is 52 amps. The humidifier (since removed from the generator circuit) drew an additional 10 amps. Other things that might be on (refrigerator, microwave, lights) when the power fails would obviously be additional. The 12kw Generac is rated at 50 amps.

    The ex's technician did check the amps on the heat pump after installing the Intellistart and came up with 9 amps. He showed me the reading on his meter. Sounds low to me but that's what I saw. WF states LRA with Intellistart is 18 amps.

    The generator was installed by a guy from Greensboro who travels around the state installing and servicing generators. That's all he does. He's installed 10 or 12 Generacs just in my neighborhood over the last 10 years and gives great service. He brought his electrician with him.

    I called Generac a while ago. The guy told me they don't publish starting amps. After a while, he said figure maybe an additional 10-12 amps for starting load.

    The next time I have an electrician here, I'll ask him to put his meter on the generator.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!
  19. AMI Contracting

    AMI Contracting A nice Van Morrison song Industry Professional Forum Leader

    Not sure how the generator was determined adequate for the load?! Really?

    Wasn't that you that I directed to Waterfurnace's generator sizing chart?

    Didn't it suggest that your generator should start the geo?

    If you don't want to worry about it that's up to you, but to say "Not sure how it was determined that the generator was adequate for the load. That determination just seemed to appear in a post one day"- which might imply that it was unsupported is a bit much.
    With a quick review of your "Newbie could use some assistance post" you can access the PDF I attached. The manufacturer of your heat pump thinks the generator should do the job without intellistart.
    You take it from there.

    Honestly........"just seemed to appear"? :confused::confused::confused:

    Good Luck.
  20. Popoff

    Popoff Member

    Mea culpa

    Sorry to be so slow in responding but I was looking for an emoticon showing a skinny, bald, older gentleman wearing sack cloth and ashes. Couldn't find it. What I did find was your post with the attachment. What does "LRA @ 30% voltage dip" mean?

    May I send you a baked good?:p

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