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Sure am glad we refused to install the pool heater (GrandPAH)

Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
He gave an option, do it right or don't do it. It was a new install. Would you be responsible for installing it in a dangerous location just because the customer wanted it that way ?

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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    owner denied his request

    We were asked to install a pool heater. When the owner got our price for the underground gas line, he decided to move the pool heater to an alcove along the home - between double sets of windows on the first and second floors. Said that way we could ryn the gas line through the basement and through the side wall - no underground line needed! I wrote the rejection letter and included warnings about CO. He told me I was an idiot. Said he'd hire someone else.

    Here's a link to give those who think pool heaters aren't a danger.


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  • gerry gill
    gerry gill Member Posts: 3,078
    well, like forrest gump would say..

    stupid is as stupid does...maybe we will read about him some day..its hard to do the right thing isn't it..but your right..when your right your right..thats a good article you referenced..i printed it out for future use..

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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    One consistency of error I notice

    in articles regardin CO poisonings - the equipment, if any source is even identified at all - is always listed as "malfunctioning". A misleading label that no doubt leads HO's to think "Hey, our equipment's working, so it's just if there's a malfunction that causes an issue".

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  • Mitch_6
    Mitch_6 Member Posts: 549
    Jim Davis

    told us in class first day, when at a hotel never get a room near the indoor pool.

    Mitch S.

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  • jp_2
    jp_2 Member Posts: 1,935
    wrong way of thinking

    boy, I would think you are feeling bad you didn't install that heater, then you have the piece of mind it was done correctly and not having prossiblity of harming someone.

    i sleep better when I see things done rigght.

    maybe the guys a dope but innocent people can get hurt.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    Smart Move

    Should of asked him if he would park his car with it running, and blowing its exhaust in to the alcove with the winders open. Now have him sit there, and read a book next to the window for a while. Let me know if he awakes from his nap.

    People don't get it if they can't smell it.....On second thought some don't get if they can smell it.

    I seem to recall an article on here about some people getting gravley ill at an OUTDOOR pool party, from CO contributed by a pool heater.

  • Steamhead (in transit)
    Steamhead (in transit) Member Posts: 6,688
    Dave, based on what you've told us in the past

    I'll bet one of your local inspectors would approve such a thing!

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  • Weezbo
    Weezbo Member Posts: 6,232
    That is sick.

    And calling you names on top of it. Dont lower yourself to thier level .
  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    I hear you Dave

    Most general media stories refer to "...the source of the CO leak was a faulty propane heater..." Yeah, faulty when it is in an enclosed unventilated space. But those are too many words to fit into a tight newspaper column.
  • Leo
    Leo Member Posts: 770
    I get harassed

    I get harassed when I don't want to work around propane or kerosene space heaters. They have given me a headache since I was a kid.

  • Brad White_75
    Brad White_75 Member Posts: 15

    Are you a canary?


    You may be on to something.
  • BigRed
    BigRed Member Posts: 104

    I am always amazed with the treatment of the customers around The Wall here. First I will say this, I don't do any residential work, mostly multi-family housing, so rarely am I ever in the owners personal space. That being said, even when it is shady and just wrong We would always give the option to correct the situation to make it safe.

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  • BigRed
    BigRed Member Posts: 104

    Do it right or not at all what about other right ways. my way or no way sounds like I don't need this customer. If a contractor said that to me I would probably look for a new contractor.

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  • Cosmo_3
    Cosmo_3 Member Posts: 845

    I don't understand how you came to that conclusion. Are you a contractor or a customer Jeff?

    Cosmo Valavanis
  • Mitch_4
    Mitch_4 Member Posts: 955
    \"other right ways\"

    "Do it right or not at all what about other right ways"..

    What are "other right ways" there is right and wrong.

    While there are many ways to things right, and options that are "right" what the customer wants is wrong. there is no 2 ways about it...a vent terminal near a window does not meet code.

    you do know about code right?

    I agree with Cosmo...how did you reach that conclusion? you do sound more like a customer that a contractor.

    From your comments if your contractor wont help you kill yourself (even by accident) you'd find another?

    NOT on my insurance!!

  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    Just back from trout fishing & camping - mind set correction!

    Before this blows up in nastyville...


    Part of my job includes responsibility for my customers' safety - even if they chose someone else to do their work based on price only.

    The HO, in this case, was looking for a cheaper method and thought moving the pool heater would do the trick. My responsibility laid in several areas - not the least of which involved my knowledge regardin CO and the fact that ALL fossil fuel burning appliances produce CO - even when tuned to perfection. They're not "defective", just doing their job of transferring combustion energy to some usefull purpose.

    I knew this HO was looking elsewhere and, as a result, I felt compelled to detail why I wasn't willing to install their pool heater in the alcove of their home - as per his wishes. I didn't chide him or denegrate his choice, I did what I could to present the facts so they could base their ultimate decision on a tad more than just the bottom line.

    My letter included facts on CO poisoning and carboxyhemoglobin (why red blood cells will ignore oxygen in favor of CO) - in layman's terms. No slam on any HO, it's just that this is our business and passion and it would be criminal (IMHO) to simply walk away and not give them the facts. We're supposed to be the pros, not the HO's.

    So.... They had the facts, the pricing, and, the rest - as they say - was up to them. In the final analysis, once that first gas bill arrives after running the pool heater non-stop for a month (or more), they'll turn it off - permanently!

    Solar is the only way to fly for heating pools IMHO.

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  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    I'm looking forward

    to hearing you at ISH-USA on the CO panel. I missed an opportunity to get you to autograph my copy of your book! :(

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  • Cosmo_3
    Cosmo_3 Member Posts: 845
    Good times

    Sounds like you had a nice time Dave!

    Myself I am still recuperating after my cousins' bachelor party in Atlantic City last night.

    I am getting too old for this stuff........

    I was just wondering what Jeff's point of view was. I find it harder and harder to endure the 30 million questions of why this/or that won't work. The whole time keep a pleasant demeanor, and not just give short answers! I can't blame a HO for wanting to know why something can't be done more economically, because after all not everyone has an unlimited bank account. So we do the best we can to explain things as much as possible, when someone just simply "wants it done my way", then all we can do is explain why we will not do something that is against our principles, and move on.

    Jeff, this site is open to everyone, but you are also getting an insight into how this job stresses us. We don't want to take this home so we vent on this site. Please don't think that we all hate our customers unless we get our way. It is just that sometimes..... it is either right, or wrong. It is that simple.

    Cosmo Valavanis
  • Dave Yates (PAH)
    Dave Yates (PAH) Member Posts: 2,162
    no inspection req'd

    Pool boilers don't even get a look by local inspectors, but you're right. When asked to bid a group of condos, I visited the site to see what kind of PHVAC work was being done. The water heater vents all terminated a foot (or less) below the dining room windows - the only available spot from the basement area. I explained to the builder that we couldn't install an exhaust directly under a window and be compliant with codes. I started to detail CO issues, but he cut me off and stated they'd had every unit inspected without the inspectors once saying anything. Best to walk away from the deal & we did. No way we can compete with the quality of work he's already getting anyway(G). The HO's aren't getting what they're paying for where inspections are concerned (in my area) - not by a very long shot.

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  • what make

    What make inspectors more superior than us? Had a job where I was not involved in new construction of new sleeping qtrs at private golf club. They switched from electric to 2 large gas water heaters in a too air tight mech room. I pointed it out to the construction foreman that those heaters required make up air to burnt properly, he brushed me asided and said as long its passed the building inspection, I don't care. I took it to the higher boss at the county and reported the so called inspector, going on 3 rd years now and NOTHING happened.. They all have their job coz they are goverment and above us... So I screwed the outside window opened permantly (with damaged screwed heads so u can't back it out easily). We heating professials are the silent heros...
  • Joannie_11
    Joannie_11 Member Posts: 45
    He Tried

    He tried to install it correctly, but the customer said no. Should he have forced the guy at gunpoint? Should he have matched a cheaper price just to be able to do it right? He did the right thing. He warned him. The guy just wanted cheap.
  • Jerry_15
    Jerry_15 Member Posts: 379

    Jeff - Nobody stays in business very long by being rude and arrogant to their customers (that's THEIR job), or keeps their insurance by putting in dangerous installations. Venting to a few sympathetic ears on the wall is also far better, in my humble opinion, than yelling at the wife and kids. Even an occasional dope-slap (I speak from experience), is hubris adjustment, and on rare occasion, enlightening. If you can't stand the heat, get into AC.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Jeff, I know Mr Yates

    I know Mr Yates and you will not find a more diplomatic gentleman anywhere. Your post leads me to believe that you think Dave would tell the customer that his idea was stupid, dumb, dangerous and insane all right to his face. In those words! Nothing could be further from the truth, Dave simply would not do that. He would very politely explain, in good detail, why a given installation is or is not a good idea and leave it at that. I'm confident that Dave would have taken the time to explore any other options for doing the job right.

    Homeowner engineering never ceases to amaze me. Their heating system is something that fewer than 5% have any clue about and yet they will come up with endless suggestions about how to do it better, cheaper, prettier etc. If the same person goes to a mechanic and he is told that the back brakes have failed, he doesn't question the mechanic as to whether the car can safely be run without them. He simply accepts as fact that they have to be fixed. Tell someone however that their flue is unsafe, or their appliance is vented in a dangerous location, and you get the proverbial blank stare. Usually along with " Joe down the street has his done that way" or "the other two guys I had here didn't say anything about that".

    The bottom line for nearly all the guys that inhabit the Wall is the safety of the customer. Some customers listen, some don't. When one doesn't, you sometimes have to just walk away. I know Dave doesn't want to be responsible for ANY "compromised" installations and neither do I. We both like to sleep at night. We need our rest to keep up with the grandkids.
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