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Brand new oil furnace NG on start-up, DISGUSTED! ----UPDATE, FIXED, NO, NOT REALLY

EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,495Member
edited March 29 in THE MAIN WALL
This one makes me want to retire right now.
Brand new 500,000 btu oil fire horizontal furnace, we have been waiting for delivery on this for a long time. Not too many companies make oil furnaces this size. Customer running temp heaters .

So first of all, this 1000 lb 42" x 42" x 96" HORIZONTAL unit showed up at our shop standing on end on a pallet! I asked where the burner was and our service manager called the supplier and was told it was shipped "inside" the furnace. Beckett model sm or maybe sf I forgot. So I got up on a 10' ladder and ripped off some cardboard and the burner box was inside the fan compartment. Couldn't get it out through the filter rack so I said we will wait until we get it to the job and lay it down.

Old furnace out, new one in place, flue, oil line, electrical and ductwork.

The guy that ordered this bought it 120 volt said "that's the only way they sell it". No, I found out he could have bought it 208/3/60 which was what the old furnace was.

So now, who want's a 2 hp 120 volt blower motor? They suck. Try and fine one on the shelf when you need one.

So when we finally removed the burner that was shipped in the blower compartment it rolled around during shipping and smashed one of the motor capacitors and I had to fix that up.

So, on start-up I get the blower running, check the belt, check rotation ok and amp out the motor with the covers on. Rated 17.0 amps drawing 14...ok.

Install nozzle, check electrodes and burner head all ok. Bleed the pump, start the burner....smoke everywhere, can't get near the sight port fumes blowing out.


Shut the burner down, open the transformer, air blowing back out through the burner with just the main blower running ....not good.

Called the factory, they claim the pressure test all their HXs with air. So he thinks it's assembled wrong. He thinks the opening in the HX for the burner and site port is not pulled up and sealed tight to the jacket which is sandwiched between the HX and the burner mounting plate.

My boss wants us to dissemble and fix it which is what the MFG wants. "says they will pay"

I have been doing this a long time, not the first trip down this road. They will never pay what it's worth.

Customer paid for a new furnace

I want a new furnace.

I think we can swap it with less labor than screwing around with the fix.

And the heating season is basically over. If it was the dead of winter I might think differently. These are not off the shelf like a residential furnace

Ruined my week. Not happy at all
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Comments

  • Mad Dog_2Mad Dog_2 Posts: 3,455Member
    Race to the bottom. Hear you ED. Dealing with same nonsense. Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • j a_2j a_2 Posts: 1,795Member
    I got mad just reading the crap they put you thru..
  • DZoroDZoro Posts: 477Member
    There is no quality control anymore, no pride either. Very sad to say, but it's true.
    Companies like the big "C" move their stuff to Mexico and that quality definitely shows......
    I try for 100% American products, but it is very hard to do that. And yes that doesn't always mean quality control has been implemented in the product.
    Good luck on getting your "project" corrected. Time is very valuable resource especially in our industry.
    D
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,310Member
    Ed, this is the kind of stuff, not only in our industry, but everywhere that just eats away at me. You probably still think about it from time to time and it gets your BP up.

    My buddy called me in on a new residential boiler install-Beckett AFG, can't get the CO down-pulled his analyzer at 900ppm. Double checked everything, but the Z dimension. It was a long day and he wanted to get the boiler running.
    So I came over, pulled the burner (please manufacturers-can't you only make a boiler with a hinged front).
    The escutcheon plate for adjusting the Z dimension was installed backwards (hole on left instead of on right). Flipped it around, checked the Z, fired up, full combustion test, set up perfect. But the aggravation...

    I'm currently battling multiple issues with a brand new Ford F150, and a 3 year old Kenworth oil truck, that magically seem to be "you are the first person to have these issues".
    With the Kenworth, I pulled out my phone and showed (shown?) the service manager the 180,000+ google hits on my 'unique' problem.
    Almost no one really cares anymore with these huge companies. Which is funny because I've never bought anything online, or after a customer service phone call, that there wasn't multiple follow ups for an online survey. They always want to know how the customer service person performed, and they really don't care if the problem was solved.


    steve
  • Sal SantamauraSal Santamaura Posts: 257Member
    This kind of crap happens with all sorts of equipment today. It reinforces my comment in the "best heating" poll, namely, the optimum system wasn't one of that poll's choices: passive solar.

    Of course, if everyone started building passive solar houses, QC on the sun would probably decline soon after. :)
  • Sal SantamauraSal Santamaura Posts: 257Member

    ...Almost no one really cares anymore with these huge companies...

    I'm firmly convinced that employees of large corporations displaying a lack of interest in the quality of products is a direct result of large corporations displaying an utter lack of interest in their employees' welfare. Perhaps a chicken and egg situation, but, having lived through decades of its development, I tend to place the lion's share of blame on corporate greed. One can only step on people so long before they stop caring.
  • the_donutthe_donut Posts: 374Member
    > @Sal Santamaura said:
    > This kind of crap happens with all sorts of equipment today. It reinforces my comment in the "best heating" poll, namely, the optimum system wasn't one of that poll's choices: passive solar.
    >
    > Of course, if everyone started building passive solar houses, QC on the sun would probably decline soon after. :)

    Hard to solar heat in higher northern or southern latitudes where there is little or no sunlight during winter.
  • bob eckbob eck Posts: 777Member
    What brand of furnace
  • ratioratio Posts: 1,669Member
    What an ordeal! I hope you can get a new furnace out of them, one with fewer problems even.
  • BobCBobC Posts: 4,858Member
    @Sal Santamaura You hit the nail on the head, back in the 70's companies recognized that their employees were the most important asset and they tried do anything they could to support them.

    Now the only thing they give a damn for is the profit and loss sheet, if they can make a nickel by firing a dozen or a hundred people you can consider it done. Employees realize they are worthless in the companies eyes so their attention to detail has waned.

    Society is getting what it paid for according to the accountants.

    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • LeonardLeonard Posts: 482Member
    Not going to be committed to the company if they make it obvious they don't care about you.

    Their good enough attitude about your life comes full circle with good enough work.

    I remember a story a Russian worker said...... They pretend to pay us and we pretend to work. Sad that today's top corporate managers have forgotten lessons of the past.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,495Member
    I don't want to badmouth the mfg so I haven't given out the brand name.

    We have had a few phone calls with them and they seem responsive. I think it's only fair to give them the chance.

    We will see what happens. Any mfg can have some kind of defect. How will they approach it and step up to the plate??
  • Sal SantamauraSal Santamaura Posts: 257Member
    BobC said:

    ...Now the only thing they give a damn for is the profit and loss sheet, if they can make a nickel by firing a dozen or a hundred people you can consider it done...

    It's actually worse than that. Publicly owned corporations' executive managers aren't even really concerned with profitability. What they focus on intently is stock price, a major determinant of how valuable their compensation packages are. Wall Street rewards smaller payrolls with higher stock prices. Icing on the cake is that cash components of executive compensation packages are rarely associated with profitability. Make money, lose money, the corporation's bottom line doesn't negatively affect what executive management takes home.
  • FredFred Posts: 6,942Member


    BobC said:

    ...Now the only thing they give a damn for is the profit and loss sheet, if they can make a nickel by firing a dozen or a hundred people you can consider it done...

    It's actually worse than that. Publicly owned corporations' executive managers aren't even really concerned with profitability. What they focus on intently is stock price, a major determinant of how valuable their compensation packages are. Wall Street rewards smaller payrolls with higher stock prices. Icing on the cake is that cash components of executive compensation packages are rarely associated with profitability. Make money, lose money, the corporation's bottom line doesn't negatively affect what executive management takes home.
    Nor does it affect they separation packages! In fact, the worse they perform, the bigger their reward and they usually have a new position lined up when they do leave.
  • FranklinDFranklinD Posts: 381Member
    In my business (automotive & heavy equipment mechanic) the sheer quantity of bad “new” parts is absolutely astounding. Almost every other day I’ll get something that isn’t cast correctly, holes milled the wrong size, cracks poorly repaired, new pumps leaking upon installation, fuel pumps DOA, the list goes on.

    Sometimes I can actually buy a new part; more often than not it’s remanufactured. Which is fine - but good lord, Quality Control, people! Sigh.

    I haven’t totally given up quite yet, but there are very few things worse than replacing a buried hydraulic pump on a grader, getting it all back together, and finding that it grinds louder than the original.

    @STEVEusaPA - what kind of issues with the Ford? I was a powertrain & electronics specialist for a local dealer here for 7 years...I believe I’ve seen it all
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,495Member
    Update: Predictably the furnace manufacturer isn't interested in doing much, they want us to "fix it and we will pay you back"

    I have been down this road before. If we do get paid it will be 10cents on the dollar.

    I went back to the job today and pulled the burner and burner mounting plate. You can see in the pictures (I will post later tonight) (although it's difficult) that the burner mounting plate is on the outside it's 1/4" steel, the boiler jacket is next sandwiched between the mounting plate and the heat exchanger which has about an 1 1/2" flange around it.

    Tek screws with 3/8 hex heads (5/16 dia) go through this mess.

    What I found was two things:
    The holes in the burner mounting plate were correctly drilled clearance size for the screws. They tried to shoot tek screws through this and the jacket and into the hx flange. Didn't work because they didn't predrill the jacket.

    They ended up screwing the mounting plate to the jacket and only 1 of 8 screws penetrated the hx flange. The others simply pushed the hx away creating the gap.

    So, I was in the process of putting on some clamps to suck it back together and preparing to drill some hole when I stuck my head inside the furnace and noticed a bad weld with a hole the size of a 16d nail right through the hx.

    I told my boss no more. We already have about 8 hrs in this. The heating season is basically done. Send a new furnace and will send the old one back or dumpster it, I really don't care. And they better pick up the freight too. We can wait all summer it will probably take another 6 weeks to get this one.

    If we keep working on this and get it running we will own it forever. If it was the dead of winter we may not have a choice.
  • DZoroDZoro Posts: 477Member
    Oh my,,,,,
    And they will probably stick you with all the time into this POS.
    One thing I have done about 4 years ago, is that I try to include a labor warranty on our products. I was never a big fan of them for all the well known reasons of the past history of them. But in todays world I'm finding it to be one of the best things we did not just for our customers but for ourselves. Too many issues like this, but with the labor warranty they are some what covered, kinda, sorta, well a little....:)
    Good luck
    D

  • CanuckerCanucker Posts: 471Member
    Do let us know which company's furnace you're dealing with @EBEBRATT-Ed My friend is the manager of the maintenance department where I work and I'm sure he'd be interested in knowing what equipment he should avoid using ahead of time
    You can have it good, fast or cheap. Pick two
  • GBartGBart Posts: 646Member
    Based on the way it arrived sounds like something may be bent or ......., be interesting to hear what you found. Definitely sounds like an issue with packing and shipment on the surface.

    Be interesting to know where this was made and shipped from too.

    If these HVAC manufacturers don't start getting their act together they are going to find they out of business because Daiken is poised to move in. Certain HVAC manufacturers have been absorbed by larger corporations over the years and this resulted in poor quality and in some cases lack of technical support.

    The factory and reps need feedback and pictures help, if you had pics of the way the unit arrived and the way the burner was packed they should be sent to them. That way they can point to their company what is wrong and what changes to be made, not only that the serial number will tell when and where it was made so if it was someone not following protocol they can be held to the fire, or fired.
  • HomerJSmithHomerJSmith Posts: 477Member
    Ed, you shouldn't be upset. This is just a sign of a descending path to 3rd world status. Just think, it's your knowledge and experience that makes you valuable. Fixing other people's problems provides you with a living and that's good. You should rejoice and take pride in your ability to do the job right and not compromise. I always go the extra mile, and I must admit that I get a happy feeling when I'm able to solve a problem that other service techs can't solve. I see my job as one of service and being helpful to another. There are always obstacles in life, the secret is to get thru those obstacles with serenity.
  • SuperTechSuperTech Posts: 468Member
    @HomerJSmith I couldn't agree more. That's the most rewarding part of the job.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,495Member
    edited March 18
    @HomerJSmith & @SuperTech I agree but you have to make money for your employer. It's a no win situation. You buy a pc of equipment and expect it to work, your customer is expecting it to work. It's an installation, nobody puts in enough money to do the job twice, troubleshoot, change equipment etc. Your immediately behind the 8 ball.

    As soon as it doesn't work every hour you spend on it is a lost hour. The supply house may be sympathetic, they wont do anything for you. The mfg is in the middle of the country and says "you fix it, we will pay". You know that's not happening. Your lucky to get gas money out of them.

    We will see. I am just lucky we have a good customer that's being real easy on us.

    Waiting to see how this mfg steps up. All talk so far.
  • SuperTechSuperTech Posts: 468Member
    edited March 18
    @EBEBRATT-Ed , yes warranty work is very stressful for me. I don't have to worry about what my work is going to cost the customer but I worry about the cost of my work and what it's going to cost my boss. Also I worry about how angry the customer gets over issues with the new system, this may lead to bad reviews online. These reviews can definitely hurt a small company.
  • AnthraciteEnergeticsAnthraciteEnergetics Posts: 77Member
    Lots of comments about "Mexico" and "China" when these issues come up. I know we need scapegoats to blame when we are frustrated but the workers in those countries are not at fault. They are no different than workers in US manufacturing plants. The owning company is responsible for providing them with the training tools and expertise needed to do the job and meet customer spec. Aliens on another planet could make this stuff if they are provided with the necessary training, materials, and tools.
  • Sal SantamauraSal Santamaura Posts: 257Member

    Lots of comments about "Mexico" and "China" when these issues come up. I know we need scapegoats to blame when we are frustrated but the workers in those countries are not at fault. They are no different than workers in US manufacturing plants...

    As Deming said, the problem is management. It's always management.
  • JackJack Posts: 1,044Member
    Having represented a lot of manuf over the years I have found that labor rates on warranties are generally "negotiated rates". The question to be asked is, "what is your (the manuf) labor rate for the work to be done...which, btw, was caused by gross incompetence at your facility?" I have never seen anyone get rich on labor claims, but you at least have to be able to cover your costs and that should include diagnostic time. It puts you in a he** of a spot, but that is the way I have seen it done by many manuf. The Rep and the Distributor should be solidly in your corner and you should ask directly for that support. Teamwork is effective. If you are not treated fairly then I'll look to see who that manuf is. If they do treat you fairly, you may want to say so as well. Good luck!
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,495Member
    @jack, that is why I haven't mentioned the mfg. yet. Waiting to see what they do.
  • JackJack Posts: 1,044Member
    Well done!
  • Jim HankinsonJim Hankinson Posts: 87Member
    Installed a warm air furnace many years ago. On start up the DD blower motor would not run. Found that it was jammed so called wholesaler. Eventually received a new one. Took it out of the box, shaft would not turn. Third one was the charm. Couldn't the assembler figure it out before packing it?
  • JackJack Posts: 1,044Member

    Installed a warm air furnace many years ago. On start up the DD blower motor would not run. Found that it was jammed so called wholesaler. Eventually received a new one. Took it out of the box, shaft would not turn. Third one was the charm. Couldn't the assembler figure it out before packing it?

    The more equipment brands you deal with the more you realize that the question that should be asked is what is your QC and final inspection procedure. Even if a product isn't necessarily the best, but is consistent, you know what you are getting. There is some comfort in that. I represented a line years ago that had a piece of paper with inspection points that were checked off. the paper was taped to the cabinet and signed. Not a bed idea.
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 4,495Member
    So I had my boss convinced that a new furnace was the best answer. The supplier and the MFG changed his mind to try and fix it. I convinced him again, and they changed his mind again.

    So they sent a factory tech. He spent a couple of hours trying to get the mounting plate screwed on tight and put "JB WELD" over the hole in the HX burner pouch. I wasn't happy. We pressurized it to check it. NG.

    Finally decided to take this 1000lb furnace down and set it on the floor to work on it. Disconnected oil, all electrical and flue. Took furnace down. Pulled the hx out of the furnace. There was a 8" x 4" plate that was supposed to be welded on the hx that was left off at the factory.

    This was allowing "room air" to pressurize the combustion chamber.

    The tech called the factory and they had another hx at the factory. We got the new hx installed it in the furnace and pressurized it while on the floor..ok

    Back up with the furnace and reconnected it all.

    Combustion test results with their analyzer:
    10.8% Co2
    40 ppm
    0 Smoke
    783 Stack temp

    They were happy with it.

    I said, is that stack temp for real? I was told it was "a little high"

    I also noticed that their analyzer ppm didn't return to 0 when out of the flue. I said I thought their analyzer was out of wack.

    Disgusted

    After they left I pulled out the 3 gph nozzle (140 psi at the pump) and put a 2.5 nozzle in in an effort to lower the stack temp. Checked blower motor amps, pulling full load.

    11% Co2
    6ppm
    0 Smoke
    695 stack

    I didn't measure the air temp in and out of the furnace (too disgusted at this point and what's the use?) but the return was around 70 deg and the supply looking at the limit was around 130.

    Clearly this thing isn't transferring heat the way it should be.

    No quality control & clearly a design issue.

    And I was told at the beginning "all our hxs are tested at the factory"

    So I guess that's the way it will stay.

    Everybody got screwed on this one.

    Not my decision.

    Now, here is my point.

    I have been to many manufacturers factories in my 45 years. Some of them are no good.

    I have been involved with may jobs over the years that went wrong due to bad equipment, equipment that won't perform to rating, equipment that was never tested etc.etc.etc.

    My advise, sick to equipment you know and trust that has a track record. Don't buy the cheapest thing you can find. Don't buy the "latest technology" or "do the first install of a new model"

    AND, take anything ANY manufacturer tells you with a grain of salt. Be skeptical.

    Take a deep breath, step back, let them get a track record and let someone else to the R & D and testing.

    Otherwise you will be doing it for them for free.











  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Posts: 2,310Member
    Good stuff Ed. Thanks for updating the thread (hopefully a little therapeutic).
    steve
  • Matt_67Matt_67 Posts: 166Member
    Thanks for the update. My boss has been in the trades for over 50 years - one of his lines: “Be not the first to try the new nor the last to leave the old.” Lots of wisdom in those words.
  • bob eckbob eck Posts: 777Member
    So what brand is the oil furnace
  • GBartGBart Posts: 646Member
    "So they sent a factory tech. He spent a couple of hours trying to get the mounting plate screwed on tight and put "JB WELD" over the hole in the HX burner pouch. I wasn't happy. We pressurized it to check it. NG."

    I am FLOORED........JB WELD ON A BRAND NEW FURNACE HEAT EX IS A FACTORY FIX???????????

    I mean I love JB Weld, but this can't be legal either, when I was at Carrier we would never consider anything beyond a new unit or new heat exchanger with labor cost pro rated, and over 600F gross stack??? what is this a 1955 unit??, maybe a crucial baffle is missing? I mean if they left a gaping hole in the side they probably screwed it up, sounds like the heat ex was not finished and it was assembled into a unit for sale.

    I've seen similar things happen but we corrected them
  • JackJack Posts: 1,044Member
    You have to wonder about the work environment at the manufacturers. How happy they must be to turn something like that out.
  • ratioratio Posts: 1,669Member
    Remember, some times the 'factory guy' is just another tech from a local outfit. Fer'instance, we're the 'factory guy' for Brand X—that we don't sell many of, because they're always higher than everyone else. OTOH, since I don't know what I'm doing in that case, I'd make it EXACTLY like the factory said it's supposed to be, and would immediately condemn it for broken/missing pieces.

    I can't believe the factory won't make this good, or that anyone is happy with what they did.

    Name & shame!

  • SteamheadSteamhead Posts: 12,410Member
    edited March 30
    I agree with @bob_eck , we need to know what brand this disaster is. They don't deserve our business.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • GBartGBart Posts: 646Member
    Agreed, when I was with Carrier and can say I worked with some of the best, sadly many companies have tossed their Technical Support divisions and handed the job off to the sales division or it doesn't exist.

    Usually there are sales rep companies that aren't the factory and some are good some aren't.

    Sorry you had to go through this, from my experience the proper response should have been.

    "We are terribly sorry, we are shipping out a new heat exchanger today, our rep will be there to ensure the warranty is valid and to take possession of the faulty heat ex and we are granting you 16hrs of labor at your agreed rate."
  • Dan_NJDan_NJ Posts: 78Member
    Steamhead said:

    I agree with @bob_eck , we need to know what brand this disaster is. They don't deserve our business.

    How about what brand it isn't? That would be a start
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