Excuse me for top-posting (I'm try to save you time).
Dear Mr. Dufas and others who have provided assistance to me,
I just wanted to let you know that my fan motor install appears to have
worked out successfully. I made sure I had a clear path to the
quick-disconnect and gave my wife the first honors today, but she was
too afraid. I set the thermostat to go on, and the fan went on (and in
the right direction (CWLE)), cool air came out where it was supposed to,
and everything was hunky-dory! : )
By biggest surprise during the install was that I needed to splice wires
due to shorter ones attached to the new motor. This added two days to
my installation. One to learn how to splice wires properly, and one for
me to get what I needed, and to practice a little and to do the work. I
am confident that the experience, tools and techniques I learned on this
project will be valuable to me on my road to being a DIY'er. I bought
crimp-pliers too (i.e. I didn't "cheap-out"), besides a heat gun.
Besides for having a greater understanding of my heat-pump unit (I'm a
relatively new home-owner), It is very nice to have learned how to
splice wires. This project was a very good challenge for me, and I
appreciate my new knowledge. Thank you very much!
The Daring Dufas wrote:
Since your top posting to save time, Keep in mind that a heat pump is
not a cheap piece of equipment and if working on one goes sour, you'll
need a tech to repair it and the price will reflect whatever is wrong
plus whatever you might have accidently done. Be careful out there.
You might consider taking the make and model number and check on what
a new unit would cost you if the worst case scenario ever rears it's
Actually the person/company that did the diagnosis was recommending a
replacement of the heat pump and furnace. So, if i adopted his
perspective (which I didn't and don't), I had very little to lose!
I've built and made repairs to 3 computers. I didn't do anything
accidently. Electronically, we are basically talking about 4 wires.
Ironically, I think the "tech" who replaced the fan motor capacitor last
summer screwed up by looking at the micro-Farad rating on the side of
the heat-pump rather than the actual motor in the unit. Factory was
7.5 and and that's what he put in. New one was 5. I'll double check and
get reply back.
I will retract my last comment. I checked and the motor I took out
was most likely the factory one, based on my Google search of the model
number. The person who did the work was actually the brother of the
real tech, and they conversed over the phone. Weather was "very hot"
that week and business must have been great! I don't think I got a
discount for that ($265 to diagnose and replace a capacitor--and it was
As an aspiring DIY'er, I really love doing things like this. I now have
MUCH greater knowledge about how my heat-pump system works and I learned
ALOT! Thank you again to eveyone who provided help and/or concern!
Its not a matter of "if", its a matter of *WHEN*. Assuming a top quality
(not cheap) 3 ton heat pump system, you can figure a 15SEER replacement
system installed by a competent, licensed, bonded, insured, professionally
trained Master Tech(also not cheap), to be in the neighborhood of $7,000
People who pay a lawyer $250.00 for a few sheets of paper have a
meltdown when I charge them $250.00 for an electric motor. I sell
the same thing a lawyer sells, "my time" and nothing irritates me
more than someone thinking my time isn't worth anything even though
I've spent four decades acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary
to do the things they can't do themselves. When someone gets a bill
from me and asks "What did the parts cost you?" my answer is "The
material and ability cost me upwards of $1,000,000.00, would you like
to pay the entire cost of what was necessary for me to do the job?".
The really dense folks don't grok what I tell them. ^_^
I *certainly* am not suggesting your time is not very valuable. But I
think it's reasonable to disclose to a potential customer what you are
charging for it.
For something in the neighborhood of $150, Sears will come to your home
and fix "whatever is wrong with your dishwasher, parts extra". This
does not disclose that they will charge multiple times, for the parts,
what you might regard as the regular retail price. I consider that
misleading, for instance. Just my opinion. IMO, Mr. D. Dufas is tops!
When someone gets a bill
On Sat, 19 May 2012 18:23:27 -0500, The Daring Dufas
Our invoices always carried a parts list, pricing plus labor, tax and
all. If they ask me if that is what I paid for the parts, I used to
say, "Those prices are exactly what you would have had to pay for them
unless you went used or outdated. Since I have to guarantee my work, I
can't go with used or outdated equipment. All has to be factory
fresh. That usually stops any further inquiry and if not, I then said,
"You have me at a disadvantage with pricing. I don't do the buying,
just the installations." If it does go any further, one can try to
explain that "if you were to buy 15 of these condensing units, you can
get a discount too but it won't be as much as you'd like."
How much is the wholesale price of the ingredients for that pizza that you
just bought? How much is the wholesale price for the materials to make that
new car? How much is the wholesale cost of that piece of paper you got from
a lawyer? How much is the wholesale cost of the materials to build that
house you live in? There is a lot more to it than *just* the wholesale costs
Its not about my costs of equipment, materials, training, tools, continuing
education, overhead, licensing, service truck and all of its costs and
expenses(its more than just gas), salaries, taxes or any of the other
associated costs and expenses of running a business.... its all about
providing top quality service and comfort solutions to my customers and not
go broke because I didn't charge enough.
I want you to stay in business, provide jobs, make money and pay taxes.
As your customer, I just would like you to be open and honest with me.
My perspective, as a customer, is that "to fail to reveal (upon request)
is to conceal"--especially since only one of us is writing checks to the
other. I expect that after I pay you $100 to come look at my system,
that I have already demonstrated sufficient goodwill that you would be
No matter what we write here, the economics will prevail. Like in this
case, I ended up learning what I needed to in order to do the job
myself. Of course, I rather enjoy it, even if I don't admit it. I have
been working at learning stuff for a long time. A year ago I learned to
replace my (broken) garage door spring and replace a garbage disposal,
for instance. When I was 17, I rebuilt my carburetor and made many
other repairs to my car, and mounted (stuffed) a fish, etc, etc.
From what you wrote, it seems like some of the HVAC companies perhaps
are becoming top-heavy with administrative costs. About half appear to
be running out of their homes in my neck of the woods.
I do run my company out of my home.... if I had a storefront, my overhead
would increase by well over $5,000 per month. The "administrative costs" are
a necessary evil for any legitmate business. Having been in business for 17
years, I figure I have a pretty good handle on the business of running a
business. My companys business model is based on a very modest 10% after tax
*NET* profit. No I don't break down pricing, my company does everything,
including system replacements with flat rate pricing (we don't charge
"labor"). There are no surprises for the customer... they know what it will
cost before I make any repairs to their system. The only thing I cannot tell
them in advance, is how much refrigerant it will need, or how much needs to
be recovered.until after I balance the refrigerant charge, and weigh the
The question you need to ask yourself is this... do you want to deal with a
fly-by-night, or somebody who "does it on the side"? or do you want a
certified master, that is licensed(EPA card is *NOT* a license), bonded,
insured, and profesionally trained to service and repair your system?? You
can get it done cheap, or you can get it done right the first time.
You say that like you have something to hide. I am mainly suggesting
that I will choose to retain contractors that I trust. THAT means more
to me than different sorts of certification (which I am not in a very
good position to assess). As I mentioned earlier, two episodes ago a
"certified" contractor sent his brother..and they conversed over the
phone. So far I have dealt with 3 HVAC tech companies, and I keep notes
on the service I receive from each one. That the last company, 30
experienced as they are, encouraged me turn this problem into a "full
system replacement" may make me hesitate to call them back soon--unless
perhaps, that's what I am seeking. With all of the certification that
they surely possess, they have convinced me on their first visit that I
can't trust them. That's one customer's perpective anyway.
With 17 years in the business, you evidently have a lot of satified
customers! I know from experience that having satisfied customers brings
satisfaction in itself. Take care.
I don't have anything to hide... however, as a customer you don't have a
need to know what my costs and expenses are unless you are my local IRS
agent doing another audit. What you need to know is that I have the
training, education, and experience to do the job right the first time and
guarentee my repairs, as well as your satisfaction. I'm not cheap, and don't
pretend to be because I provide a premium service. There are lots of folks
who will work for nothing and will go bankrupt within 6 months of opening
their doors. They won't be there when you need them again, I will.
first problem, you didn't have a certified master show up, you had his
flunky brother... a wannabe apprentice. Big problem with medium and large
companies, they may only have ONE masters license holder, and the rest of
the folks they have working for them are questionable at best.
So that one sent you a "salesnition"... still not a certified master or even
You still haven't found a good technician... your search is not over. Try
calling your local wholesale supply house and asking them whos the best
tech/company to call, and not the one who sells the most boxes. Who would
they trust to do work in their familys home.
Caveat emptor, huh? I guess that helps illustrate why having a little
knowledge is valuable.
Just curious, do you find that the percentage of customers say "No, I
don't want you to do the work (or want the work done)" depends on the
weather? HVAC seems like an interesting business.
I have given some thought to trying to become certified as some sort of
"Handyman" (not HVAC). I know a little about alot and alot about a
little. : )
Try going into
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