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J.C.A. Member Posts: 349
Just a quick question . Was This puppy ever cleaned BEFORE they did the gas conversion? That looks like oil soot to this eye .

If it was...is the dryer right next to this thing ?

That's some mighty ugly looking stuff . Congratulations for taking the high road . Not blowing up shows the caliber of contracter YOU are . Like the previous poster...I believe you'll end up "fixing" the cheapo work and soon . Keep the faith , you'll be back. Chris


  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Sometimes going the extra yard doesn't pay

    We got an urgent call yesterday morning:"...do you guys know anthing about Carbon "dioxide' (sic)...I smelled something last night coming from the boiler, so I called the gas company...as they entered the front door his monitor was going crazy....he went down the basement and said it was over 100 in the basement...is that bad?????...he said that if my son had been sleeping in the basement like he usually does he woulda never got up....so he capped off the gas line....anyway, we called another company last night, but they haven't come yet...they said they'll charge me $125, but they don't know if they'll be able to handle that type of work, and if they can't They'll get me someone who does, but still charge me the 125 just to look...what should I do ...do you guys do this type of work?????" At this point our secretary, gave her a flat rate price to clean the boiler and do a co exam...",...no problem ...just come over the house is freezing...". So, I dropped what I was doing, grabbed my bacharach tester and was there within 40 minutes. "oh!!!!!! thank you so much for coming blah blah blah..." Anyway, I get down to the boiler and start to see some telltale signs of a bad co problem and blocked boiler. I explained that this was probably the worst I've ever seen (and it was!!!) , and that although we would clean the boiler chambers well, and clean up the old conversion burner there would be no guarantees that we could get co levels in the flue below 50 ppm which is what the gas company wants. I said, do you really want to put this good money into a 40 year old utica boiler with a first generation Economite conversion burner/??? i wouldn't I told her. So I gave her a very fair price on a new boiler and started to measure up the rads (steam)."....wow you really are thorough!!!, Matt." She called the husband at work who said go for the cleaning..too much $$$$$. Ok no problem, I thought, so I cleaned the bjeeezus out of the bad boy. Chimney was 85% blocked too!! 2 hours later I started her up.......I shut the the meter down when I saw the co level go above 1000...made sure I showed her. Calls the husband..." ...we need a new boiler blah blah they're fighting on the phone..she gets off, crying..what a psycho drama! So, until they decide to make up there minds, I let the boiler run because she's walkin' around with a blanket. I left my bacharch running near the boiler...no spillage...and I "lend" her a brand new out of the box CO EXPERT detector (The best and lowest level detector around!)after she tells me she definitely wants one. Once you power these bad boys up..they keep an ongoing record, so now I can't sell this one to anyone else, but she's buying it so, I activated it and set it up at her desk so she would "feel" safe, while this unsafe boiler ran. I'm now letting the house warm up (it was 40 inside)even though, I knew I couldn't safely let it run till the next day. She's back and forth on the phone..."ok how quickly can you do it???" We'll fit you in tomorrow, you have no heat!, ma'am. "...oh you are so wonderful...just write it up and when my husband comes home at 6:30, we'll finalize it...do you take credit cards????" sure! So I wait around all afternoon...letting the house get toasty. I ran around the block for coffee for five minutes, and when I came back, I got the bad news:"....I'm really sorry, Matt, you've been so wonderful (her favorite word) BUT!!!!!! My husband has a guy at work thAt can do it cheaper...that is a lot of money you know!!!!!but thank you...and no I don't need the carbon "dioxide" detector...my husband will get one from the firehouse that's even better....and, can you leave the heat on until the other guys can get here?????" Inside, Mad Dog was furious, but I wouldn't let her know it. So, I capped the gas again and started out the door with her trailing me trying to make small talk, and Mad Dog WAS NOT in the mood!!! "....make sure you give me some more cards, I definitely want to use you guys for "Local" work (whatever that meant?) yeah thanks!!!!!!!! I got paid for the cleaning (thank GOD!!!!)but, I used up a co detector and spent several hours waiting around, getting the house warm and consoling the woman. Bottom line guys...don't give it away and only treat special customers special.....It's a two-way street ...treat people well, but don't get stepped on. I've enclosed a few photos to show you how bad it was. Mad Dog

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  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
  • anthony_7
    anthony_7 Member Posts: 72
    From A Homeowner


    Sounds like your business person with a conscience. They are far and few to come by nowadays. In the end you lost a sale and a few bucks thats all. Don't give up on all homeowners who is cheap in your mind. Maybe they have another agenda. Keep up the good attitude with your clientelle. In the sales world you should treat every customer like you would want your parents treated if they were in this womans situation. Keep up the good work and dedication.
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Thanks Anthony

    I know everyone isn't like that, but I've had a few too many lately. We have a really great customer base, but we are always trying to improve that by giving new people "a try" just like they give the new plumber "a try"....Thanks for the kind words MAD DOG

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  • Eric Taylor_24
    Eric Taylor_24 Member Posts: 1
    CO Experts

    Hey Mad Dog I'll buy that CO detector from you if your interested. Email me.

  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,904
    I'm sure they'll call you back

    with their tail between their legs, after Mr. Cheapenfast botches the job.

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    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • MURPH'
    MURPH' Member Posts: 88
    reputable customers......??

    Madd Dawg, Ya need to get at least three references before taking on a new customer, other contractors, the dentist, run credit, check with thier "local" video store, see what they are watching so that you can get a read on thier "moral fiber" to see if this customer is a "fit" for your company.

    And do not forget before you make the appointment, call around and see who is willing to pay the most for your services, leave them bid your day to see who gets priority service, then use the perks for the tye-breakers IE:driveway clear, lunch served, ease of job ,etc. ,etc.

  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909

    You did good Matt! I hope that never happens to you again, but if it does I want you to look at the homeowner and ask them what type of testing equipment the "guy at work" has and what training he has.

    Around here, if the utility finds a CO situation they LOCK the meter and ONLY they have the keys!! You gotta' call them to unlock the meter to start the new equipment and they will do their own testing before they leave it unlocked.

    I have the gas emergency number on speed dial in my cell phone and I have used it.

    When we doing the A/C? Gonna' get warm sooner or later!!

    Mark H

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  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Good story

    Keep up the good work Mad Dog! I'd like to take excerpts from your story to keep adding to my growing CO seminar materials.
  • Did the Economite

    have a Guardian relay? If so that may have been the cause of carboning up. It is also possible that the centrifigual switch on the old motors would stick. That would cause the burner to fire before the blower was up to speed. MAKES LOTS OF SOOT.

    you should go back a year later and remove the buckets of fly ash that have accumulated after the oil system is converted to gas. The high acidity of the gas flue gases along with water vapor cleans the inside of boiler, chimney etc and then all the white flaky fly ash accumlates and blocks something up.

    We did a follow up one year later on every conversion.
  • Mad Dog
    Mad Dog Member Posts: 2,595
    Thanks Guys

    Yes John go ahead and use it ...funny murph...eric send me an email we'll work it out...right! this baby was NEVER cleaned after the conversion...thasnks tim...Mark Hunt let's shoot for early april mad dog

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