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Advice

347
347 Member Posts: 135
edited August 2021 in THE MAIN WALL
I have a future customer (I hope) who wants to upgrade there heating system (gas to gas). They are going from atmospheric to mod cons. The existing boilers (3) load is well over 400,000. We did a heat loss and came up with just about 165,000 (numbers have been double checked). They want two small boilers which I don't have a problem with. I normally install Burnham or HTP. They want me to install Naviens (which I have never done). I really do want to install them because of things I read about them and lack of experience. My question is how do I justify installing a boiler (Alpine) that will cost almost double to buy then the Naviens ?
Thanks in advance

Comments

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    First off, this sounds like a large house or a commercial property. The existing boilers may have been installed with the intention of running two in a staged setup, with the third being a spare. This is not uncommon in these buildings. If they've been running them all at once, no wonder their gas bills are high.

    Now, if they're insisting on Naviens because they are cheap, this is a major red flag. It means the customer is a cheapskate as well, and you have to ask yourself if you really want the job.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    Zmankcoppdelta T
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 564
    Do some research on the Navien brand. I haven't used them.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,987
    Yes, research Navien, they are having issues. Proceed with caution.

    If it was me I would tell the customer you want to install a boiler you are comfortable with. If not take a walk. JMHO
    mattmia2
  • 347
    347 Member Posts: 135
    Steamhead, it is a small commercial building, drs/dentist. The original building(small) had a 200k boiler with 2 3/4" zones. Added an addition, doubled the size of the 1st building and added a 370k boiler to it.
    I did a little reading on the Naviens and wasn't impressed. Someone got in the buildings owner ear and told them that they were the end all do all. Same guy that wanted to install 3 200k Naviens. I'd hate to walk away from a nice job.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,505
    If the customer is telling you how to do the job and they are wrong it won't be a nice job.

    On the other hand if you can convince them you know what you a re doing and that they are ok with the equipment you understand then it could be ok. I'd go with something along the line with every modocon does about the same thing but each series has very different controls to accomplish that and you can set up the ones you are familiar with to work well with their system.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,962
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,985
    edited August 2021
    You can tell them about the history of the navien boilers...
    Install what they ask for...
    Then when they have had enough headaches you can replace them...
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 15,329
    kcopp said:

    You can tell them about the history of the navien boilers...
    Install what they ask for...
    Then when they have had enough headaches you can replace them...

    Doesn't work that way. My experience is if you do what they want and it doesn't work, they still blame you.

    Best to get out of there while you can. You don't need the aggravation or to lose money.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
    ratio
  • 347
    347 Member Posts: 135
    Thank you all for your input. I will price the job they want and give them a extra cost for the upgrade in boilers (in my opinion). I will give them my view and take it from there.
    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 11,987
    edited August 2021
    Agree with @Steamhead a bad job doesn't help your reputation. You will own it forever.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 2,880
    347 said:

    Thank you all for your input. I will price the job they want and give them a extra cost for the upgrade in boilers (in my opinion). I will give them my view and take it from there.

    Price it high enough that its worth many many extra hours of headaches!
    mattmia2
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,750
    Looking back at 45 years of self employment, there were jobs I should have avoided....this is sounding like one of them.

    Almost sounds like the owner could be the type to shop your numbers....so I would keep them up there quite high.

    There seems to be plenty of work available in most places.

    As far as the Navien brand, you should go to "MikeyPipes" Utubes.
    He was a full time dedicated Navien person, then things went south on the heat exchangers. Company claimed no problems but videos' show otherwise.

    IIUC, Lawyers are now involved. Contractor stuck in the middle.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,173
    It's been my experience that when a customer calls out for an econo-model it invariably means they want high-end performance but want you to absorb the cost for them.
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,508
    I don't quite understand why the contractor would defer to the homeowner for equipment specs. The contractor should be specifying and installing equipment he is familiar with. If the owner has his favorite boiler he wants to use, I'd be talking features and benefits, not just a price. The initial phone call can reveal the job particulars, then there are some choices to make. I tell all the customers that call and want a system or boiler replacement that we use a particular brand of equipment and that's what we use.
    tgallagher
  • Jersey2
    Jersey2 Member Posts: 103
    It might be a good job, a commercial building with dentists who make a lot of money. Install something that works good and has longevity and they will give you great reviews that will lead to more commercial jobs. I agree with what the above poster said, you're the heating expert, you tell them what is best. I think customers who want something inexpensive and are afraid of being ripped off is different than customers who can't pay a high bill.
    I'm not a plumber or hvac man and my thoughts in comments are purely for conversation.