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A Sad Commentary


mgbinspect
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I wonder if anyone else is observing the level of carelessness in their area that I am in mine regarding HVAC installations?

1.) Missing gaskets around refrigerant lines where they enter the evaporator coil cabinet permitting air to be introduced from the attic or crawlspace: 60 - 80 percent of the time and closer to 80 percent on new construction

2.) Poorly constructed and sealed ductwork permitting the same: 10 percent

3.) Poorly constructed (restrictive) ductwork in new construction: 10 percent

What is happening?

I always tell HVAC contractors that say I'm being picky, "If you think this is insignificant, put a small slit in a drinking straw and see how much soda you get! Air is going to travel the path of least resistance and you're looking at it!"

On todays new construction inspection both the supply and return ducts were reduced by easily 33% as they passed through the garage wall to connect to the furnace.

My third inspection of the day I find a gas water heater and gas furnace in a utility closet under the stairs with no ventilation and a 1/4" gap between the the central return duct and the furnace! CO anyone?

I have to think that most HVAC company owners would have to be shocked if they were inspect some of the quality of their installer's work.

The thing that is hardest to understand about this stuff is that it doesn't take any more time to do these things right. So, it's not even a matter of being lazy or in a hurry. It seems to be a lack of pride and concern for customer's health and safety.

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As someone I know says, "It's epidemic". I looked at a property last week where, for whatever reason, there were no air returns @ the 2nd fl. None. Total percent of return to supply was about 20%; ducts oilcanned like crazy. Installer said it was fine.

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Originally posted by Jerry Simon

Got ya on this one. Gut-rehab in Chicago...furnace was inside the hall closet...facing the side wall. About two inches between the front furnace cover and the wall. Unit already had its certificate of occupancy fron the city.

You mean you actually saw a property w/a Certificate of Occupancy?

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2.) Poorly constructed and sealed ductwork permitting the same: 10 percent

3.) Poorly constructed (restrictive) ductwork in new construction: 10 percent

10% Count your blessings. in the Phoenix area only about 10% of homes built in the last 20 years don't have those issues. And we take Air Conditioning very seriously.

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  • 3 weeks later...

mgb,

Ditto, friend. I think the HVAC guys are the sloppiest beacuse their stuff goes in the areas that are the least accessible. When the installer crawls out of whatever hole he's been jamming equipment and ducts into, who goes to check his work? His boss? HA! The AHJ inspector? Ha! Usually the insulators fill up the attic drip pans with fluff as well.

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Hi,

Perhaps the problem is that HVAC guys aren't required to be licensed (Like a whole lot of us) and anyone can jump into that business. Plumbers and electricians have to go through a lot of training and get certifications of basic competency - not so with the HVAC guys.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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Not being licensed is probably part of the problem. The biggest factor however is that if you are not the lowest bidder you don't get the job.

To be the lowest bidder, you need the cheapest equipment, cheapest help and, whenever possible, no permits and no inspections.

Honest contractors no longer even try to compete in this market. This leaves an awful lot of reasons why people need us.

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I know you are dead right, George.

Heck, 24 years ago there was no margin in residential masonry. One little trip up and your profit was gone and you were struggling to break even.

I just got told yesterday by a home seller that her HVAC man said those (gaping) gaps arounnd the refrigerant line into the evaporator coil are "fine" and I'm just being "picky and stupid".

(I bet there aren't gaps like that in his home HVAC system...)

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Jeez,

I'm startin' to feel good over here because I don't hit the 55 until September. Guess I was too conditioned by my soldiers when they used to say that "Top is older than dirt." Kewl! Keep it up, I need to hear more. [:-bonc01]

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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