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Posted: 3/16/2013 1:51:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/16/2013 1:51:30 PM EDT by itstock]
I finally found a trade/career less reliable and more expensive than plumbing...HVAC.

I got quotes to do my heat pump/ac/air handler ranging from $4900 to $6800. Either a 6 month or 1 year labor warranty was included in those prices.

So after getting prices, and trying to get a hold of companies to see when they could do the work (setting up estimates was enough work), nobody was returning my call. That's when I ended up saying fuck it. I found the same spec'ed middle road 2 stage/scroll heat pump and matching air handler, along with the minimal amount of other parts (lineset/tstat/pad/condensate/etc) for $2400 delivered to my door. My friend and I just got it up and running in 5 hours and everything seems to work just fine. I gave him $600 (he is certified for freon and reclaimed the old system and added some charge to the new one).

As an electrician, we try to get about $120/hour. $4900-$6800 would work out to 10 man hours, ranging from $240/hour up to $430/hour. What. The. Fuck.

Link Posted: 3/16/2013 1:53:01 PM EDT
Yeah that is high
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 1:55:05 PM EDT
In before "i'm the only one one that I know of professional enough to work on this HVAC unit"

Go over to hvac-talk.com and tell them you just did a DIY install... lulz will ensue.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 2:00:38 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pilotman:
In before "i'm the only one one that I know of professional enough to work on this HVAC unit"

Go over to hvac-talk.com and tell them you just did a DIY install... lulz will ensue.


It's the same thing when DIY'ers try to post up on the electrical forums. A bunch of people get all upset about questions asked. God forbid they post a picture of work they did and it isn't 100% perfect , as if we always do things 100%.

I was thinking the entire time, "if I knew anything about this freon stuff I'd do it myself. Damn this looks easy". It wasn't till my friend told me he was certified in freon that I actually decided to "do it myself", though him being the HVAC actually did pretty much everything, so it's not like it was a DIY install more just a side job for him.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 2:15:47 PM EDT
Yep, just have a condenser coil crap out or a compressor motor go tits up and wait to get bent over and cornholed. HVAC guys know that civilians don't know anything about these systems and they're anxious to get them running again, so they stick it to us.

The only thing I know to do is to get several quotes, so as to play one crook off against the others. But I think you'll still get screwed.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 2:33:36 PM EDT
My HVAC story. Guy checks it out, runs it up to high head. Then he takes out his clampon ampmeter and puts it on the the compressor leads. Pulls the disconnect and then puts it back in about 2 seconds later. Oh, look! Your unit has high starting amperage! You need a $278 hard start kit!

Um, didn't you just start the pumped up system and show me the locked rotor amp reading. WTF, no thank you.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 2:38:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By itstock:
Originally Posted By pilotman:
In before "i'm the only one one that I know of professional enough to work on this HVAC unit"

Go over to hvac-talk.com and tell them you just did a DIY install... lulz will ensue.


It's the same thing when DIY'ers try to post up on the electrical forums. A bunch of people get all upset about questions asked. God forbid they post a picture of work they did and it isn't 100% perfect , as if we always do things 100%.

I was thinking the entire time, "if I knew anything about this freon stuff I'd do it myself. Damn this looks easy". It wasn't till my friend told me he was certified in freon that I actually decided to "do it myself", though him being the HVAC actually did pretty much everything, so it's not like it was a DIY install more just a side job for him.


All the electrical panels I've ever opened up, I always end up with a look on my face. And these were supposedly done by professionals? I'm in no way certified, but I have done panel replacements, sub panel installs, etc. at home and work, generator transfer switch installs, etc, that always look better than the existing stuff. I take a bit longer, that's all. I'm a bit OCD with stuff like that. I went into the panel in my wife's aunt's house, and someone had run all the white neutral wire to the breakers. I checked the outlets, they used black and white tapes to label everything correctly after the fact, but jeez... Don't get me started on plumbers. Whoever installed the sprinkler system on the house I'm renting blocked the hose spigot with the piping.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 2:58:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AZ_newguy:
My HVAC story. Guy checks it out, runs it up to high head. Then he takes out his clampon ampmeter and puts it on the the compressor leads. Pulls the disconnect and then puts it back in about 2 seconds later. Oh, look! Your unit has high starting amperage! You need a $278 hard start kit!

Um, didn't you just start the pumped up system and show me the locked rotor amp reading. WTF, no thank you.


I've got a better one.

A few weeks ago I come home and check the mail. In the mailbox is a business card of an HVAC company with a note on the back that says "YOUR UNIT IS FREEZING AND IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE CALL ME"

What stands out about that day is the fact that there was FREEZING RAIN that morning. FREEZING FUCKING RAIN and something outside is ICING UP. NO FUCKING SHIT, how did you ever fucking figure this out o Sherlock Holmes of refrigeration systems?

I was going to call them up and raise hell for trespassing on my property, but the neighbor caught me before I could and told me he was getting fucked in the ass having some work done that morning and his guy had left the card.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 3:01:10 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pilotman:
Originally Posted By AZ_newguy:
My HVAC story. Guy checks it out, runs it up to high head. Then he takes out his clampon ampmeter and puts it on the the compressor leads. Pulls the disconnect and then puts it back in about 2 seconds later. Oh, look! Your unit has high starting amperage! You need a $278 hard start kit!

Um, didn't you just start the pumped up system and show me the locked rotor amp reading. WTF, no thank you.


I've got a better one.

A few weeks ago I come home and check the mail. In the mailbox is a business card of an HVAC company with a note on the back that says "YOUR UNIT IS FREEZING AND IS IN SERIOUS TROUBLE CALL ME"

What stands out about that day is the fact that there was FREEZING RAIN that morning. FREEZING FUCKING RAIN and something outside is ICING UP. NO FUCKING SHIT, how did you ever fucking figure this out o Sherlock Holmes of refrigeration systems?

I was going to call them up and raise hell for trespassing on my property, but the neighbor caught me before I could and told me he was getting fucked in the ass having some work done that morning and his guy had left the card.


Did the business card have a postage stamp on it? If not, should have been put in the mailbox.
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 3:25:10 PM EDT
Never mind. I was going to ask which version DVD did you get.
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 9:27:42 AM EDT
I guess the estimates I received signed me up for all kinds of junk mail. I got 3 different mailers saying that my system is over 12 years old.
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 9:33:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By itstock:
I finally found a trade/career less reliable and more expensive than plumbing...HVAC.

I got quotes to do my heat pump/ac/air handler ranging from $4900 to $6800. Either a 6 month or 1 year labor warranty was included in those prices.

So after getting prices, and trying to get a hold of companies to see when they could do the work (setting up estimates was enough work), nobody was returning my call. That's when I ended up saying fuck it. I found the same spec'ed middle road 2 stage/scroll heat pump and matching air handler, along with the minimal amount of other parts (lineset/tstat/pad/condensate/etc) for $2400 delivered to my door. My friend and I just got it up and running in 5 hours and everything seems to work just fine. I gave him $600 (he is certified for freon and reclaimed the old system and added some charge to the new one).

As an electrician, we try to get about $120/hour. $4900-$6800 would work out to 10 man hours, ranging from $240/hour up to $430/hour. What. The. Fuck.



You friend have NO idea. You are in PA, where A/C is still an option. Move to TX, AZ, NM where it is a requirement to not have heat stroke on some days. The prices here are absolutely fucking insane. Owner of one mom and pop shop I know of in rural TX (town population 1170) had over $1mil in net profit in 1y back in the 90's.

I chose the wrong profession
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 9:35:40 AM EDT
My dad knew a guy that fixes everything himself, and had his A/C fail. He knew what parts to get, but none of the parts places would sell to him because he didn't have a license. So he finangled a license from some contacts he knew, went back and said "Give me the fucking parts". Pure protectionism.

I was trying to find an answer to why the compressor outside my last place kept failing, and every DIY board is patrolled by these "no answers, play me to do it" dicks.
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 9:39:10 AM EDT
Originally Posted By dyezak:
Originally Posted By itstock:
I finally found a trade/career less reliable and more expensive than plumbing...HVAC.

I got quotes to do my heat pump/ac/air handler ranging from $4900 to $6800. Either a 6 month or 1 year labor warranty was included in those prices.

So after getting prices, and trying to get a hold of companies to see when they could do the work (setting up estimates was enough work), nobody was returning my call. That's when I ended up saying fuck it. I found the same spec'ed middle road 2 stage/scroll heat pump and matching air handler, along with the minimal amount of other parts (lineset/tstat/pad/condensate/etc) for $2400 delivered to my door. My friend and I just got it up and running in 5 hours and everything seems to work just fine. I gave him $600 (he is certified for freon and reclaimed the old system and added some charge to the new one).

As an electrician, we try to get about $120/hour. $4900-$6800 would work out to 10 man hours, ranging from $240/hour up to $430/hour. What. The. Fuck.



You friend have NO idea. You are in PA, where A/C is still an option. Move to TX, AZ, NM where it is a requirement to not have heat stroke on some days. The prices here are absolutely fucking insane. Owner of one mom and pop shop I know of in rural TX (town population 1170) had over $1mil in net profit in 1y back in the 90's.

I chose the wrong profession


It does get in to the 100's every once in a while here ya know, right?

I hear ya though, AC is a necessity for you, but heat is a necessity here. The HVAC contractors I know do alright . I kind of figured I would get a friend discount from some of them as I've always given them quite the discount.
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 9:40:45 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Rhude:
My dad knew a guy that fixes everything himself, and had his A/C fail. He knew what parts to get, but none of the parts places would sell to him because he didn't have a license. So he finangled a license from some contacts he knew, went back and said "Give me the fucking parts". Pure protectionism.

I was trying to find an answer to why the compressor outside my last place kept failing, and every DIY board is patrolled by these "no answers, play me to do it" dicks.


The supply house quoted me $1500 more than he quoted the one HVAC contractor, and it was only a $2200 unit. Plumbing supply houses are notorious for this too. The people walking in to the electrical supply houses usually seem to get pretty decent deals though (at least in comparison).
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 9:40:57 AM EDT
Had to have a condensor/coil replaced on my house down in GA this summer. $2400 Woo!

Yeah...I chose the wrong job. You can definitely make a killing in HVAC.
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 9:43:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pilotman:
In before "i'm the only one one that I know of professional enough to work on this HVAC unit"

Go over to hvac-talk.com and tell them you just did a DIY install... lulz will ensue.

You should see the shit I got when I built my garage, and did all of the wiring. I've never seen so much butt hurt.

This must be specific to the trades, because I've NEVER seen somebody in my profession (IT) go apeshit if somebody fixed a computer problem without paying somebody like me to do it.
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 9:46:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By pilotman:
In before "i'm the only one one that I know of professional enough to work on this HVAC unit"

Go over to hvac-talk.com and tell them you just did a DIY install... lulz will ensue.

You should see the shit I got when I built my garage, and did all of the wiring. I've never seen so much butt hurt.

This must be specific to the trades, because I've NEVER seen somebody in my profession (IT) go apeshit if somebody fixed a computer problem without paying somebody like me to do it.


I've seen you guys go apeshit when an electrician did your network cables though....
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 9:48:01 AM EDT
It ain't all flowers & sunshine, or so I've been told.

One of my former supervisors moved to Arizona, and thought HVAC was the way to go. His first day, his job was to fill the 5 gallon bucket with water & hump it up the ladder to the top of the roof.

"What for?" he asked.
"That's to put your tools in, so you don't burn your hands."

He changed professions.
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 10:30:24 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Mak_380:
It ain't all flowers & sunshine, or so I've been told.

One of my former supervisors moved to Arizona, and thought HVAC was the way to go. His first day, his job was to fill the 5 gallon bucket with water & hump it up the ladder to the top of the roof.

"What for?" he asked.
"That's to put your tools in, so you don't burn your hands."

He changed professions.


Yep, it's why I wouldn't even consider it. You only work in the non-airconditioned parts of a building. The roof, attic, under floors, anywhere the hardware is or ducting goes but doesn't vent out.

Link Posted: 3/20/2013 10:51:47 AM EDT
Burned out GC Institutional Contract PM here, once a carpenter on the way up, jack of all trades master of one.


Installed my own mini split system three years ago and had my licenced neighboor pull vacum on it. $3400 for the system at my local Sanyo distributor and saved $4000
on install

Ain't being handy and knowing where and how to purchase wholesale grand.
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 11:00:40 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/20/2013 11:02:52 AM EDT by Ibn_Huq]
You should see the shit I got when I built my garage, and did all of the wiring. I've never seen so much butt hurt.

This must be specific to the trades, because I've NEVER seen somebody in my profession (IT) go apeshit if somebody fixed a computer problem without paying somebody like me to do it.




The local building supply wouldn't even sell me rebar because they could tell I was savy to the trade but not a face they recognized from their organized company customer base.

At least that's all I can figure why they told me a $5k order of rebar and Sakrete was too small for delivery four miles away.

Probably figured I was an independent that would threaten the established old line organized outfits or the local independent good old boys.

All I wanted was to repair my basement walls, which I did buying materials forty miles away and paying delivery for distance

I would never try to hang a shingle as a GC in Pitssburgh, they would shoot you down before you got your wheels up.


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