The Wrong Furnace

In the winter of 2014 I was called to a residence in North Cohocton NY for a no heat call.

Upon arrival I found a down flow LP gas furnace which was recently converted to natural gas by a local company. The furnace was short cycling on high limit and there fore not staying on long enough to raise house temperatures accordingly.

The house was a modular style house with this furnace installed in a closet off the kitchen area. I checked the duct system and it was obvious that this was not the original furnace that came with the house.

Upon further investigation and finding the users manual for the furnace online it became clear that this furnace was incorrect for the application. The users manual declared in bold letters that this furnace can NOT be installed or used in Modular or Mobile home applications and was unsafe to do so. I informed the homeowners of my findings and they responded to them by saying that they just purchased the home through a Realtor and the furnace was replaced by another heating company to complete the sale of the house.

Because of the liability issue I could do nothing to help them and got back to them with a price to install the correct furnace the next morning. I did not ever hear back from them.

So my questions are these:

Why did the original installing company use the wrong furnace? How did the local company miss the fact that they piped and left running a potential hazard?

Are both companies so money orientated that common sense and customer safety is last on their lists?

It Has To Be Replaced

So I got a call in July 2015 from a local business man who asked me to take a ride with him to look at something that was troubling him.

To this I responded absolutely. I picked him up and he rode over to his friend’s house with me. He had me look at a central air conditioner and asked me if it could be repaired.

So I went through and diagnosed the system and found that all that was wrong with it was the AC thermostat was not calling to the outside unit. In other words it had a bad thermostat.

I replaced the thermostat and the customer’s AC was back on, all within an hour.

I now asked him why he was troubled and he explained to me that the summer previous a local company told his friend that the entire AC unit was bad and needed to be replaced. The cost would be approximately $5000.00. Ouch!! I fixed it for $100.00. He thanked me for my expertise and I dropped him back off at his place of business.

I was left pondering the following issues.

  • Did this company really serve its customer’s best interest?
  • Were they only interested in cashing in on the misfortune of another by offering to replace something that was perfectly fine?
  • To what caliber was the field tech? It is hard to believe that a simple diagnostic procedure was overlooked or not used. In conclusion i can tell you that there are "Big Box" service companies out there that do have technicians who have no field depth. These are the parts re placers who lack the proper field diagnostic training for simple repairs. It also occurs to me that these same companies have policies in place that say anything over x years old will be replaced and not bother to repair.

Screwed By J. Bet.

Got called to job today almost immediately behind another company.

The call was for no AC, upon arrival I was informed that the other company that was there could not find a leak and added dye and leak stop to "fix" the system. It was obvious to us that the evaporator coil was never leak tested, as the customers personal belongings were still stacked in front of the access panel to the coil, and the customer verified that they had not gone near that area.

Moving on, the leak was easily found and repaired in the evaporator area. System pumped down and vacuumed checked for no further leaks. We handed the owner a bill for 2/3 less than the first company that failed to make any lasting repair. They were supposed to be a "PRIORITY" customer ,but still got the shaft for being enrolled in that program anyway.

So glad we were able to help and resolve this issue for our customer.



Matt Burt
Comstock HVAC, Inc.

You won’t believe this one

We got a call from a customer who was using another company…….

They were called out for no AC on a Sunday. Did not correct the problem, and told the customer that the wrong gas was in his system and had to be replaced. After much confusion it was realized that the company was working on the wrong condensing unit, that’s the compressor side of the AC system and is located remotely. They then sent a $600,00 + bill for the call. We arrived on scene and located the remote portion of the unit inside the condo. Repaired some faulty low voltage wiring and now all is fine.

You can hear what Jeremy Havens has to say on this in the audio file below, start player then advance, by clicking on the bar, to 14:56 in the recording.