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A Nagging Need to Know

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HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 650
edited May 2018 in THE MAIN WALL
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A Nagging Need to Know

There’s a quiet nagging going on in the Land of the New Hydronics. It nags at my friend, and I’m sure it nags at others who really care about the work because, when done well, the work outlives the designer. The work is our monument.

Read the full story here


Comments

  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
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    That is a nag. I think the solution lies in the contractor. Most contractors don't realize the potential of service contracts. They are a win-win. The customer gets there system serviced and tweaked every year and the contractor gets guaranteed income that can be scheduled to fill gaps in there schedule.

    I did a system design just like the one you describe a few years ago. Recently the owner called because the leak detection system installed by the alarm company kept sending false alarms. After that problem was solved, I asked the owner if they would like me to give the heating system a check up. She could not have been happier and I got to check the performance of a system I had been wondering about.

    Great article. Sell service contracts, it is better than printing money.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,833
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    The trouble with service contracts is you normally get the novice first year man. And while I understand that this was how I got my basic training I don't want that guy in my home poking around with something he hasn't a clue about.
  • Gsmith
    Gsmith Member Posts: 433
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    A suggestion for the original issue raised in Dan's article: price the return visit to check the controls into the original job; leave a note or send a postcard after construction is complete advising homeowner they are entitled to a free followup visit from the heating system designer and let them know how to contact you. You or the heating contractor may wind up with a follow-on service contract which will pay off every year.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
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    I get to see many large homes which really are light commercial projects. Many do not perform well and either over or under heat. Few, if any have the original design calcs, manifold balancing charts or even an as-built. Some have no manuals on site. It's not uncommon that the systems were ever commissioned properly. This sadly, has been the standard for too many projects. The best systems have a continuum from the conception to the commissioning. Does this mean only 10% are done correctly and balanced and working optimally? I wonder...
    GBart
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,573
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    A suggestion for the original issue raised in Dan's article: price the return visit to check the controls into the original job; leave a note or send a postcard after construction is complete advising homeowner they are entitled to a free followup visit from the heating system designer and let them know how to contact you. You or the heating contractor may wind up with a follow-on service contract which will pay off every year.

    This should work in theory. I have seen it done very successfully by service companies with great marketing folks.

    The issue in resort markets is that the owners are very difficult to get face time with. They trust property managers to make those decisions for them. Property managers tend to worship the contractor that will show up on a Christmas eve no heat call and save the day. What they won't tell you is that the heat went down on December 15th and no one noticed. They also won't realize that the cause of the failure was a lack of routine maintenance (by the company that saved the day).

    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Lance
    Lance Member Posts: 271
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    I for one am not nagged. I have seen my share of problems in service throughout all conditions. I have read and studied all I can get on designs and why the principles are called principles. One thing will never change and that is no matter the design, how it gets used will change as well as the structure it is put in. Controls will fail and be ignored or modified. Often unless you have total control, nothing will be able to remain as it was built. Even the fuel btu content can change as well as the chemistry of materials and of course there is "climate change". I have yet to find the instruction manual for this planets ecosystem. Imagine building a climate control system on the outside of your house which happens to be round in the vacuum of space while being pelted daily by thermal radiation, spinning around, circling a ball while a another ball circles your house affecting the gravity. really? We think we know enough to manipulate or change this if we can't even design it? Oh and it has growing all over the surface, stuff and critters, (people and animals), water, ( hydronic system), Air, (Forced air system), Ground heat, (Radiant floor system). I mean who could even dream up such an engineering feat as this? I think He'd have to be the God of engineering in my book. You know what really nags me? My wife when I don't finish her honey do list. (;-) Like right now, gotta run!
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,654
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    Welcome to my world. I just know that it could be "more better", but I'm always left doing "less worse" instead. <sigh>
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,629
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    I agree with @Zman, sell service contracts!. While that isn't my expertise you can make a ton of money on contracts if your set up properly.

    You would probably make more money on the service contract over a period of years than you would on the install
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
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    I do see companies make a good profit on service contracts..and it keeps people busy if done properly where otherwise they would be sitting around. btw Unclejohn, your going to get the first year guy either way.. only good part is when you call back in to get it fixed you wont pay for it.. I would strongly suggest you lay out exactly what your service plan will cover.. I.E powerventer, boiler blocks and heat exchangers...