My furnace wasn't working, so I called Cole heating / Plumbing
Services based out of Garden Grove, CA.
I was charged $320 for the transformer replacement
$290 for the hot surface ignition
$99 for a maintenence fee & $25 for something else I couldnt even read-
his hand writing was so bad.
HE WAS THERE FOR 40 minutes! No more.
Please tell me if anyone knows how above average this pricing
I read somewhere if any furnace repairs are over $500, then its time
to buy a new one anyway.
Is that correct? If so, why didnt he mention that?
My plumbing/air/heating guy weve used for years just retired. I tried
getting a referral from him, but he was having health problems. I
asked around and no one had anyhting for me, so I remembered seeing
their trucks around & gave them a call
On Wed, 16 Jan 2008 10:28:19 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
You didn't describe what type of furnace you have, the high tech high
efficiency type with an electronics board (expensive parts) or the
regular type without electronics (easy and cheap to fix).
Your description sounds like the older regular type which is quite
easy to repair and the parts should cost under $50. You also didn't
describe the problem with your furnace. That will give an idea of the
labor involved to fix and therefore what is reasonable as charges.
From the little you had said it sounds like the wire from the
transformer was faulty (open or shorted) and wouldn't operate the gas
valve. You could have replaced he wire yourself. The 24V transformer
shouldn't fail. All it does is to operate that gas valve and it needs
to work only when the furnace is running, a very light workload for
something with no moving parts to wear out. I wouldn't want to add to
your aggravation by commenting on the charges.
One more tip. In my city the gas company provides a free service for
gas furnace, gas hot water heater and gas fireplace problems, .
Probably your city's too. Their service department mandate is to
maintain the gas service. For example if your pilot light is out and
you have no clue as to where to look or what to do they will come and
relight it and show you how you can do it yourself. No charge. If
you suspect that combustion gasses may be leaking into your house
(carbon monixide, nausea, vomitting) they will inspect your furnace
and advise you if you need a new furnace (leaky heat exchangers cannot
be replaced under the law) or do a simple fix. No charge. Suspected
CO poisoning is a high priority call (24 hour emergency service) that
will being their service technician over to your house immediately.
Fixes that do not require parts are free. A wire replacement for your
transformer to gas valve is free. If the transformer needed replacing
they will charge only the price of the transformer. Same "price of
gas valve" only if that needed replacing. They won't clean your
furnace and they won't do big jobs like furnace replacement. But they
will give you an objective opinion/report on what needs to be done.
You can phone around HVAC contractors to get a price quote for a
clearly described problem.
PaPaPeng. You are a fuquering idiot and you dont have a clue what your
are talking about.
PaPaPeng. You are still a fuquering idiot. If the homeowner knew what
was easily wrong he would have fixed it. If 24V transformers dont
fail, then why do I carry several of them on my service truck? Why
wouldnt a short in a wire on a older furnace cause a transformer to
short? or a gas valve to short? or a thermostat heat anticipator to
PaPaPeng. You are still a fuquering idiot. Now you have told us that
persons that have no business lighting a pilot should do it themselves
and the utility company is telling them to do this? You are completely
clueless about life.
Our utility company will come out and light a pilot but they will
charge you for it and they will not tell you how to do it.
I can see it now.............."Well that there gas company guy told me
how to light it if it ever goes out again so I did and the furnace
blew up. It killed my kids, maimed me for life and burnt my house
Now just who with the deep pockets do you think is going to have to
take responsibility for that mess?
PaPaPeng. You are still a fuquering idiot. What rock did you come out
from under? "Leaky heat exchangers cannot be replaced under the law"?
Are you just ill or retarded? Heat exchangers get replaced all the
Free? Nothing is free my boy. Nothing. You are a very clueless boy.
Glad I never met a trademans from hell like you. You would have been
more inventive in your billing than the service guy who ripped off our
OP. You have been ranting in this newsgroup for years and its always
the same hysterical posts.
My city certainly does have pretty good laws (no market an unscruplous
person salvaging old parts for resale) and a good gas company.
Last October I called out the gas company guys three times within a
week. Three different service techs came within three hours and all
were really nice guys. All no charge for doing the problems I
described in my first post.
Its simple enough for the OP to call up her own gas company and find
out their service call options - what will they do, what's free,
what's chargeable, etc. Go from there. The worst that can happen is
I'll say it one more time. "You are a fuquering idiot!" Did you
actually read the crap that spewed from your keyboard? I'd like to say
Ive never met someone as clueless as you but unfortunately I find them
everyday. Guys like you that have no clue what it costs to run a
business. Try it sometime. You wouldnt last a week. In case you havent
noticed..........gas is not $0.39 a gallon anymore, a gal of milk is
not $0.65, your home utility bill isnt less than $50 a month and
sending a kid to college doesnt cost $300 a semester. I wont even
bother to mention health insurance costs.
Wake up and notice what going on in the trailer park around you. Im
not saying that what the guy charged was right or wrong. I wasnt there
and neither were you. You have no idea what happened. If the OP had a
problem with the charge he should have immediately called the company
and voiced his concern instead of listening to some idiot like you
telling him that "it should have been free, transformers dont go bad,
it was probably just a bad wire and transformers and gas valves only
Get a brain peng-peng
Of course I do, the cost of running a business. No one owes you a
living. If you can scare people to call you for every little problem
so that you can rip them off that's not my problem. Meanwhile there
are lots of people who seek advice here as to whether its something
they can do to avoid spending unecessary money. They are welcome to
free advice. They can decide for themselves if the advice is valid or
whether they should call a service guy. The knowledge helps them spot
scammers from hell like you in an instant.
In case you haven't noticed the designs of modern appliances have been
simplified so that a reasonably handy person can install or replace
the any module themselves without having to be an engineer. Anyone
can handle a wrench and a screwdriver. That's commonly all that is
needed to replace an appliance module and get the appliance running
again. Nobody including tradesmen does parts repairs anymore. It
takes too much skill and time. You'll go bankrupt doing parts
repairs. The skill of a repairman these days is to know which module
is producing the problem, quickly replace that, confirm that's the
fix, collect money and get to the next call.
Listening to you blither your words of dispair is painful. In case you
havent noticed, the design of new high tech energy efficient equipment
requires a vast array of knowledge and specialized tools to "PROPERLY"
work on them. I know that word is a tough one for you PaPaPeng but get
used to it. I have no ideal what kind of toys you are working on that
require only a screwdriver and wrench to repair. When you can tell me
you understand static pressures, gas pressures, CO and O2 readings,
temp rise, subcooling, superheat and how they each apply to a hvac
system and make it run properly then maybe I'll listen to you. Until
then, get your damn refrigerator off the back porch and go crawl back
under that rock you came from.
Read my other post on a guy who wants to know how to select a furnace.
The best way is to take a good look at the construction of one (they
have their whole range of models on display) in the HVAC supplies
warehouse. Ask their very helpful and knowledgeable salesguy (he's a
licensed journeman HVAC guy) anything and everything you want to know.
Every supply shop must have such a guy to provide accurate information
so that they won't get sued for giving the wrong info. No charge, no
BS about pricing or technical details. You get educated at the same
time. That allows you to decide if you want to do the job yourself or
hire a tradesman. Allows you to spot a flakey ripoff artist on the
phone and drop him from consideration right away.
Same supply shop guy will also give an educated guess as to ordinary
furnace problems and point you where to look to do the repairs you
might need. Go look at the furnace and decide if you want to fix
and/or buy the module too. Or get someone to do it for you. What you
do inside your own house is your nobody's businessa. What a tradesman
does inside your house for pay is a regulated business.
When you make a case how a car owner need to know about engine
construction, performace parameters, brakes, shocks, etc. in order
to drive a car then come back and convince us. Throwing all that
useless data around puts you as a ripoff artist right away. Are you
telling me that you are going to tweak those as settings when you
install a furnace? The furnace comes as is and you are not allowed to
change anything or else void the warranty as well as break the law.
At most you only adjust the air for the burner to get a clean blue
For sizing the furnace just ask the supplier what similar sized houses
in the neighborhood have installed. Every manufacturer offers at most
three to four furnace sizes which is the range of common houses sizes.
(800 sq ft to 3000 sq ft.) Larger houses have double furnaces. Get
the same furnace capacity as have other houses and you can't go wrong.
Heat is heat. The amount needed to heat a house to a set temperature
is the same. Your gas bill is the same. At worst an undersized
furnace (by one model size, you can't even make a bad goof) may cycle
more often. Furnaces are built for years of troublefree performace.
As for the newer high efficiency furnaces the expensive part is the
electronics board. The most a service guy can do is to replace a
blown fuse. The board itself can't be repaired on site. Hard to
troubleshoot, won't have the right component part to replace,
unreliable desolder-resoldering, etc. Butcher the board and the
supplier won't accept it for a trade-in exchange. So all our Bubba
can do is a board swap and charge you an arm and a leg. If the board
is indeed the problem you can do a board swap yourself just as you
would your PC.
For everything else this is where that visit to the supplier to take a
good look at the insides of the furnace is a wonderful learning
experience and money saver. You get to know how to open up the panels
for access and where every inside is located and interconnected. Its
easy to think through the likely source of the problem. Read the
owner's manual. All components are designed to operate safely for
years in a hot environment. They are therefore made simple and tough.
Its a piece of cake to locate and fix anything once you know what's
Yeah bubba go rip off old ladies and pensioners..
Honestly Ping Pong. The more you type the dumber you look. I cant
believe Im going to waste my time replying and trying to educate you
but Im going to put one last glimmer of hope that you have one ounce
of a working brain in that thing on your shoulders you call a melon.
1) HVAC supply houses do NOT have their entire line of furnaces on
display. Usually they have one. A true HVAC supply house does not even
let residential customers in the door. Why? Because they know what a
hassle it is to sell an uneducated idiot like you a furnace and then
get it or every part back in warranty because you cant install it
properly. You have to have a license and an account before they will
talk with you.
You must obviously talking about a place like Home Depot. There, they
usually put one guy in place and only at busy times. Usually he doesnt
know a whole hill of beans about anything except to get your
information so they can send out a salesman to sell you a furnace
whether you need one or not. What they dont know, they will make up on
the spot so you get that warm and fuzzy feeling (kind of like when you
piss you pants).
2) For you to think that a furnace comes as is and already set up to
work properly makes you the dumbest thing alive. THis is not a
refrigerator. Once it is installed the gas pressure and blower speed
needs to be set. If its a two stage furnace BOTH hi and low fire gas
pressure needs to be set. You then need to check the temp rise through
the furnace to make sure it is within the proper range AS PRINTED on
the rating label on the furnace. You then need to check static
pressure with a mamometer to make sure you actually have the correct
air flow being delivered and not too high which will burn out a new
motor before its time. You can also use a CO detector to fine tune the
burner. Very simple to do but I wont "learnt" you everything today.
Oh, and NO, Im not talking about your $25 plug in CO detector. This is
a Bacharach meter designed to test for CO in a home or furnace.
I really like your statement that a furnace comes as in and you cant
change any adjustments or you will be breaking the law and voiding the
warranty! That one still has me laughing.
3) To size a furnace you do not just ASK someone behind the counter
and hope someone guesses it right by using square footage.
You have a competent HVAC company come in and they do a load
calculation on your home. Google "Right J" or go to Wrightsoft.com to
get a clue what this is all about.
You dont honestly believe that a 2000 square foot home in Alaska and
the exact same house in Sunny Florida are going to use the same size
furnace or air conditioner, do you? Oh, thats right. You ARE that dumb
so you probably do believe thats true.
4) So you think a new furnace has only a new circuit board and fuse,
eh? Totally clueless you are. Im not even going to bother with that
one other than the fact that an expensive board doesnt always just
fail because its bad. You need to look for WHY it failed so the new
one doesnt do the same thing.
5) I think its funny to hear you think you can look inside a furnace
and know whats wrong and what to fix.
Once again I'll say it.
You PaPaPeng head are a fuquering joke and a discrase to all humanity.
Get a gun and blow your head off now. It will do us all a favor.
Bubba, since you are in the business, it would seem you are in a good
position to answer the OP's question. The OP gave a description of
the parts and labor charges from the bill. You may need more info,
which you could ask for, like the specific furnace and whether the
repair was during normal business hours, etc. But you should be
able to answer the question of whether the repair cost of $700+ was
On Fri, 18 Jan 2008 09:34:51 -0800 (PST), firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Watch bubba add to the bill his expenses for a two week holiday in the
Yoh bubba. How long will it take you to install a new furnace? Or to
fix the OP's problem. With all those bells and whistles you say are
necessary you will have to make your time and labor estimate match the
work involved. Now a lot of people lurking here won't know squat
about furnaces. But they know the time taken and can see the labor
taken the last time they had any work done including an installation.
Depends. We've done a few in 3 hrs and some have taken 1-1/2 days. All
depends on the extent of the job.
I wouldnt know. I wasnt there.
I consider those "bells and whistles" a necessary part of the proper
installation and start up of a new furnace.
Its obvious that will all that" looking around" and "questioning" you
have done of all those supposed "know it alls" youve been asking that
you've forgetten to look at an actual installation manual. Its all in
there on the proper start up of a furnace. It does require the skill
of actually reading though................something that Im sure is
very difficult for you PingPong boy.
Kinda of sounds like you are describing yourself PingBoy.
A sock stuff in your piehole would be a benefit to yourself right now
Boo hoo. I'm standing here in my living room and I'm freezing. The baby
can't drink his formula because it's frozen in the bottle. All the kids
look like the Michelin Man because they're wearing all the clothes they own.
I call the hvac guy. He comes right away. He fixes the problem.
Arghhhhhhhh. The bill is $700, and he was here forty minutes. Why should I
have to pay him to come right over, fix my calamitous situation, use a $300
circuit board and a couple of simple to install (though very expensive)
IT'S NOT FAIR!
Well, just tell him you won't pay, to go on the roof and pull the parts he
installed, and go back to frozen oatmeal.
Life IS made up of choices. You can choose to be cold if you want.
On Fri, 18 Jan 2008 09:34:51 -0800 (PST), email@example.com wrote:
Unfortunately, I cant answer the price question. I mean I could, but
it wouldnt make any difference. You see, prices vary widely, and I
mean WIDELY. It depends on what part of the country you are in and
what company is doing the work.
Take for example this:
I got a call from a new customer. They said a company had come out and
quoted them $8000 for a 95% gas furnace. (No, that isnt a typo). They
wanted a price from us. Our price was about $3300. They wound up using
a company that is Big appliance store that is know for cheap hack
work. I believe they got it for $2200. Thats about as wide as you can
get. Whats right and whats wrong? I know I charge what I need to make
a decent profit and keep my company growing. Pricing over the internet
is basically a waste of time.
He specified the parts replaced and the time required. Clearly, if
you wanted to, you could tell him how much you would charge someone
for the parts and labor. Everyone understands that the price is
going to vary depending on location and who does the job. But for
example, if someone questioned the price they were charged to have the
front pads and rotors replaced on a 2003 Pontiac Gran Prix, which
involved 2 hours labor, the question is easily answered. The prices
for the parts, either straight from the dealer or aftermarket are
available. And labor here is about $75 - 95 an hour.
Answer to the question the is:
Dealer parts: ~ X
Two hours labor ~ $160
Now sure, you will get a range. The price is likely going to be
higher in NYC than in Iowa. But a reasonable price, as opposed to a
rip-off for the same job, isn't going to vary so much that a reply to
the question isn't possible. And I would say that from the
description provided by the OP as to the parts replaced on the bill
and the time involved, plus maybe a simple question of two for more
info, anyone in the HVAC business could surely state what they would
charge, if they wanted to be helpful.
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