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Warranty. Are we being taken for a ride?

Robert O'Brien
Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,537
> I am a factory rep for Heat Transfer Products in <BR>
> the midwest, perhaps I can help you with some of <BR>
> the concerns you wrote about.<BR>
> <BR>
> Our company has <BR>
> sold thousands of Munchkin units and the debris <BR>
> you are describing inside the combustion chamber <BR>
> probably is not from the fan impeller. Does it <BR>
> look like coffee grounds? If so, the factory has <BR>
> identified it to be sulfer (from the fuel). This <BR>
> can be a natural byproduct of combustion, which <BR>
> is why they strongly suggest keeping and <BR>
> maintaining a maintenace schedule with the home <BR>
> owner.<BR>
> <BR>
> They do not recomend using anything <BR>
> 'caustic', they recomend using a household <BR>
> cleaner called CLR or a product called Rydlyme, <BR>
> both are pretty tame. I find them both to be easy <BR>
> to work with, and while you use a little more <BR>
> "arm-strong" power, I am willing to trade a <BR>
> little of that as I am not dealing with anything <BR>
> requiring a respirator.<BR>
> <BR>
> The clean out <BR>
> procedure is detailed in the installation manual <BR>
> and can be downloaded here: <BR>
> http://www.htproducts.com/literature/lp-61.pdf <BR>
> I find it to be written very well and the only <BR>
> thing I would personally add to it is that I like <BR>
> to leave a hose running inside the unit for about <BR>
> 5 minutes (basically as fast as the condensate <BR>
> line can handle it) to really flush the unit <BR>
> out.<BR>
> <BR>
> The other possible explaination to your <BR>
> blower problem is negative air. The easiest <BR>
> identifier of this is to look at the gas piping <BR>
> inside the cabinet -vs- the black pipe outside <BR>
> the cabinet. Is the inside pipe rusted? When you <BR>
> remove the cover on the boiler, stick your hand <BR>
> inside near the air venturi or swirl plate after <BR>
> the unit has shut down. Do you feel hot damp air <BR>
> moving backwards through the boiler? If so this <BR>
> could easily explain the impeller <BR>
> deteriorating.<BR>
> <BR>
> As a rep I can't tell you how <BR>
> frequently people choose to simply ignore <BR>
> different sections of the installation manual. As <BR>
> a manufactuer, what more can you do to combat <BR>
> people either not installing a unit correctly, or <BR>
> not maintaining the product?<BR>
> <BR>
> Speaking plainly, <BR>
> Heat Transfer Products has, in my opinion, been <BR>
> dealing with the issues responsively. While if I <BR>
> fealt otherwise I probably wouldn't be saying so <BR>
> here, I also wouldn't be responding to this at <BR>
> all.<BR>
> <BR>
> If you would like to speak to me <BR>
> personally, I would be more than happy to help <BR>
> you through anything discussed here. You can find <BR>
> me on HTP's website as the rep for WI,IL,IA, MN <BR>
> and da "yoo pee" of MI ;) Just ask for Dan. <BR>
<BR>


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Comments

  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
    Munchkin Boilers and Warranties in general

    The following letter is a brief sample of how I believe as an industry we are working harder than we should, because of manufacturers exploiting certain aspects of this business.

    Any comments or suggestions will be most welcome; it's just that I have had it explaining to people why it cost more to fix something than it should. And some of the ways we work for ungrateful manufacturers, indirectly, where we and our customers are the losers!

    I have attached a picture of the failed part, which isn't the first one! That started this whole thing.

    I can feel your frustration, Chris, and I know that you’ll vote with your dollars, which will be their loss. You might want to post this on the Wall at our site, and if you do, I’ll understand.

    Dan

    Subject: Munchkins

    I wanted to thank you for contacting whoever you did, it got a response. Unfortunately I have noticed that they: Heat Transfer Products aren't very responsive. They are handing out the expensive fan / impeller units like candy, which tells me they have had and continue to have problems that they are addressing as people complain. My concern is when the fan impeller unit disintegrates and clogs the burner with fine particulate matter, which happened, spraying the combustion chamber with black stuff that is sticking there very well thank you. Their response was to tell me to get some caustic cleaner and start cleaning. They feel no obligation to replace the unit. Other manufactures clearly state not to clean out anything and in writing state that if any contamination makes its way into the combustion chamber...replace it. I am more than reluctant to invest my time and effort fixing something that I feel they are responsible for.

    I raise the issue again of my wife's new car...the transmission failed; some small part called the discombodulator broke. The factory was more than happy to send me a new discombodulator in the mail, after I signed over my fist born at the parts counter. They indicated I need to find a company to remove the engine and fix the tranny, merely a 20 hour job. All at my cost and expense. But "WE STAND BEHIND OUR PRODUCTS." And we have the best warranty of any equivalent unit? (One year?) As I get older I am having more and more of a problem with our industry and a few manufactures equipment that we become their employees at our customer’s expense to fix defective equipment. I don't have this issue with water heaters, we simply remove the warranty sticker and pick up a new one, and some manufacturers don't even want the sticker, we call in or sometimes we get the customer to call in the serial number and on our way to the customers home, we stop by, or the supply house has already delivered the unit for us. They trust us. We don't have to (read required to) make a separate trip with the defective part back to the supply house to prove anything. It may seem trivial but this process frequently adds 2-4 hours to the cost of a warranty problem, never mind the inconvenience to the customer if a rep. must make (mandatory) read hostage...a field visit. But the attitude is one of just pass the cost along. For a defective unit, I don't think so! Their attitude of supplying a part and others install it just doesn't cut it anymore. Our customers deserve better than this.

    And their walking away from a now contaminated unit by saying just clean it out with naphtha or toluene is nuts. By the way Stacie Reynolds at HTP refuses to put this cleaning procedure in writing, and as it stands I refuse to do this particular bit of insanity. So we wait. I want them to stand by their promise and replace the unit; the customer lives far away from anyone and is very difficult to deal with. He saw the inside of his boiler full of black stuff from a defective fan and doesn't see why he should pay for us to travel around the state. He is also holding the unit hostage so to speak and I think this is why HTP is exploiting the rep. visit. I think from our customers perspective he has a very valid point, that this manufacturer is exploiting the installer. He points out that when his TV failed Sony didn't mail him a bag full of semiconductors, why are we different? Why do we have to make multiple trips to his home?

    Dan, am I right or wrong? Yes I understand it may be more practical for us to replace a single part than send a cast iron boiler back home, but why are we the ones working for an unresponsive manufacturer, jumping thru hoops at our customer’s expense? They played phone tag with different departments, they are good at this. This is why I am so hot under the collar, the first few units we just replaced, the gauntlet we ran, just became easier to eat the cost or pass it along. No more. Nor can my customers affort or should they bear the burden of an initial increase in installation costs to cover fixing factory defects!

    I have been asked, and I resent the reasons why, multiple times, by all the reps and the supply houses including HTP, presumably, how big of a customer are you? How much damage can you do, do we have to listen to you, or are you a small contractor that has no clout? Dan, I am a member of local XX, 30 years in this business, I was a former manager of Poole & Kent, now EMCOR, I am involved in our local xxxxxx area in a local housing project with the aggregated total of roughly 8,000 housing units, why does it matter who I am? There is a larger issue here and it involves this commonplace attitude that our customers will pay and continue to pay. I have a problem with this "just pass the cost along," it hurts us all.

    If you got this far, "the dead men didn't do this." Thank You
  • T Towne
    T Towne Member Posts: 35


    I am so glad I did not go the Munchkin route. Hope my Knight doesn't have problems. Thanks for the info....I'll pass it on to my heating pro as he does munchkin installs also.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Read darn near any of the warranty papers

    Most of them aren't worth the powder to blow 'em up. They have more disclaimers than the law should allow and virtually none cover any labor at all. The customer on the other hand automatically assumes that a boiler warranty covers labor for the specified period also, just like the warranty on his/her car or most any other thing they buy. The only way you can get labor coverage is to sell your customer some type of an extended warranty plan along with their purchase. I try to make a point of explaining these facts during the sale in order to save grief down the road.

    Not so!

    This is the type of marketing that Ken should take umbrage with.
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Could you resize that picture? Please?

    It's a thought-provoking letter, but the huge attachment makes it impossible to read. I have taken the liberty to resize the picture for you (below). Could you be kind enough to post that one instead? Simply download the picture, then hit edit on your message. Go down to attachments button and hit it. A window will open up, now you can remove the picture you posted and attach the smaller one. Hit the "OK" button, then "Post" and you're done.

    I look forward to comments on this topic, as one great way to measure manufacturers and their responsiveness is not when things are going well, but when things took a turn for the worse. Many installers here have been happy with HTP and yours is the first case of an impeller blowing up that I've heard of. I guess I'm happy that my blower wheel is made of GCRS...

    Anyway, best of luck getting a (hopefully positive!) resolution.
  • subcooler
    subcooler Member Posts: 140
    Oh Contraire

    These little condensing units are all the latest rage, fad, most current marketing strategy take you pick. Nobody implied that they were durable did they?
  • don_182
    don_182 Member Posts: 69
    Sell them

    a insurance policy.you have one on your home,car, yourself
    and other appliance that may go before its time.

    Just add it in the quote as a 10 year parts/labor warranty
    and these type problem will go away.
  • Troy_3
    Troy_3 Member Posts: 479
    Munchkin- warrenty

    I sold my customer the warrenty that comes with the boiler as an option. When i tried to get paid Stacy from HTP told me "call the warrenty co." the warrenty co. says "oh no HTP handles that." Meanwhile I don't get paid. Customer doesn't want to hear about it.
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    Chris,

    HTP markets through a rep/wholesaler network, and for good reason; almost immediate warranty resolution being one, replacement parts being the other.

    I happen to think highly of the Munchkin, have installed close to 100 in the past few years and would have put one in my own brand new home, had they made it in an oil-fired configuration.

    The fan "issues" are an old story. I thought their fan provider had solved the problem years ago. Could you mention the age (date of manufacture) of the unit(s) you have had the problem(s) with?

    Could you also mention the reason you were compelled to go around the rep/wholesaler?

    Being the perpetual skeptic, I am not a poster boy for any manufacturer, but assumed HTP to be the lesser of all comparable evils. How's that for tongue-in-cheek "brand optimism"?
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,487
    Man

    in the middle.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Perry_2
    Perry_2 Member Posts: 381
    To quote a great sage concerning this type of issue...

    Or at least a paraphrase from Ken:

    Marketing overcomes poor engineering.

    I note that the solution being offered it to "market" an extra service - an insurance policy. Of course the insurance policy dosn't cover everything either - anyone surprised?

    Why not design and market better boilers in the first place?

    Perry
  • joel_19
    joel_19 Member Posts: 931
    warranty

    I always tell people the warranty is almost worthless don't buy a product based upon it. This is an industry wide problem I frequently have heard from customers, "When my car breaks they pay for everything , why do I have to pay you" At that point they typically don't pay and we eat it.

    I know some contractors that have raised their maintenace contract price high enough to cover all warranty issues , some even bill the customers monthly like a cable bill . Say something like 49.95 a month (Note example only) covers yearly maintenance call and any and all repairs you need .

    I don't like selling the manufacturer warr. they are just an insurance policy and can be very hard to collect on. Or they don't pay any where near enough money don't want to pay for travel etc.

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  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    insurance

    Around here the gas co. has formed a sister plumbing and heating repair company. The #1 product they sell is an insurance policy (3 levels) that covers replacement of household appliances, furnaces, water heaters, etc. They told me they make so much money on this program that they don't repair much anymore; just replace. The brochures go out to all the gas customers in same envelope with the gas bill.
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Our Gas Utility

    offers similar plans. They cover lots of things that do not tend to break (such as "Draft Diverters"), but exclude circulators over 3 years old.. LOTS of fine print.

    What is not covered will be serviced for a stated service call rate, not disclosed per item so the HO has no idea what to expect.

    Makes one wonder what is covered for the $149 they are charging.

    You said they are making a lot of money on this program, right?
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    Joel

    The analogy of cars and boilers is a specious one.

    We can't bring the boiler into the shop where 10 technicins with all the diagnostic tools on earth are within inches of the fix.

    Nor did anyone at the dealer "make" the boiler, which is merely one component of a very large "system." The car is a complete device, a boiler is not.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    Ken

    You and I understand the car vs boiler analogy, which I used myself, however, 99% of the normally encountered homeowners/customers/clients do NOT understand it that way. All they see is a machine that they feel should run practically forever, with no maintenance, that has failed. They were told or read that the warranty was XX years and they automatically assume that's for the whole package, labor and all. Some of the blame has to rest on us as techs and salesmen for not explaining, some has to rest on the customer for not taking the time to research and some has to be pointed at the marketing dept's. of the manufacturers. Those guys usually put the longest term of their warranty out there in big bold faced print with the * and the fine print hiding the true facts. This isn't just a Munchkin issue. Given your penchant for spotting "good marketing", I'd think you'd be on this like flies on stink. :)
  • don_182
    don_182 Member Posts: 69
    I hate to say it

    Just another reason why forceair is kicking butt, in the hvac market place.

    Most now offer a 10 year parts and labor.Some even offer what they call a quality pledge.If the compressor goes in the first five years they, the manufacturer will replace the whole unit and give the dealer a 250 dollars for labor.
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Hmmm...

    I suppose that's a bit easier done with a unit that can be picked up and dollied off after making two lineset cuts and disconnecting the AC. Many boiler installs are in basements, require far more labor for installation, etc. than your average AC system when it comes to swapping out the "heart" of the system.

    Lest we forget, there are a great number of HX's being swapped by the forced-air guys due to cracks, corrosion, etc. So a component-level replacement strategy is not unknown in that business either. Never mind inducer motors, boards, and other "easy-to-replace" componentry.

    I don't know what the answer is. Perhaps the premium manufacturers can step up to the plate and put out an iron-clad guarantee. However, I remain a firm believer in buying equipment that won't break in the first place, so I won't have to discover small type the warranty policy. Plus, should a manufacturer cover obvious installation mistakes?

    Remember, that warranties are a cost that all of us get to carry when we buy equipment... So finding a great installer and maintainer probably remains the best warranty policy for equipment longevity.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322
    F/A HX replacements

    I think we've done one (1) period. That was on a 2 year old Carrier that was literally plugged with ladybugs. Once a 90% furnace hits 5 years old I don't advise replacing the HX. It's just throwing good money into an appliance that has probably reached half of it's normal lifespan. Future uncovered failures have a far greater likelyhood of occuring after 5 years.
  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80
    Maybe I can help

    I am a factory rep for Heat Transfer Products in the midwest, perhaps I can help you with some of the concerns you wrote about.

    Our company has sold thousands of Munchkin units and the debris you are describing inside the combustion chamber probably is not from the fan impeller. Does it look like coffee grounds? If so, the factory has identified it to be sulfer (from the fuel). This can be a natural byproduct of combustion, which is why they strongly suggest keeping and maintaining a maintenace schedule with the home owner.

    They do not recomend using anything 'caustic', they recomend using a household cleaner called CLR or a product called Rydlyme, both are pretty tame. I find them both to be easy to work with, and while you use a little more "arm-strong" power, I am willing to trade a little of that as I am not dealing with anything requiring a respirator.

    The clean out procedure is detailed in the installation manual and can be downloaded here: http://www.htproducts.com/literature/lp-61.pdf
    I find it to be written very well and the only thing I would personally add to it is that I like to leave a hose running inside the unit for about 5 minutes (basically as fast as the condensate line can handle it) to really flush the unit out.

    The other possible explaination to your blower problem is negative air. The easiest identifier of this is to look at the gas piping inside the cabinet -vs- the black pipe outside the cabinet. Is the inside pipe rusted? When you remove the cover on the boiler, stick your hand inside near the air venturi or swirl plate after the unit has shut down. Do you feel hot damp air moving backwards through the boiler? If so this could easily explain the impeller deteriorating.

    As a rep I can't tell you how frequently people choose to simply ignore different sections of the installation manual. As a manufactuer, what more can you do to combat people either not installing a unit correctly, or not maintaining the product?

    Speaking plainly, Heat Transfer Products has, in my opinion, been dealing with the issues responsively. While if I fealt otherwise I probably wouldn't be saying so here, I also wouldn't be responding to this at all.

    If you would like to speak to me personally, I would be more than happy to help you through anything discussed here. You can find me on HTP's website as the rep for WI,IL,IA, MN and da "yoo pee" of MI ;) Just ask for Dan.
  • don_182
    don_182 Member Posts: 69
    Speaking like

    a person who has no real world experience other then their home.

    Constantin I'm not sure if you ever seen a 18 seer outdoor
    or indoor unit however it takes more then just one man
    and a dolly to carry them.

    Also to simply state that that making two cuts and rolling
    it away also speak volume of how much you had yet to learn.

    That would be just like me saying oh hell, all you have to do with a lowmass boiler is cut two pipe and walk it up the basement by oneself and throw it in the dumpster.

    Hmmmmmm.reading from a book and off a website prove only one thing that hands on should be a requirement.

    Sorry to say..I can only agree with your last statement.
    And when you find the equipment that wont brake let me know so i can stay away from their stock options.



  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
    I seriously doubt ..

    the SEER rating is as significant as the cooling "tonnage" is.

    The topic was furnaces anyhow, not A/C.
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Heh!

    Don, I was simply reflecting on what is needed to remove a broken condenser. To get the system restarted, it'll have to be purged, evacuated again, etc. I don't think anyone here expected a installer check-off list on how to install a condenser from me. There are a lot steps, but after setting the equipment, can't most of them be done by a single technician? Plus, if it's a condenser, it doesn't have to be carried into the basement.

    Compare that labor requirement to the ultra-efficient boiler swaps that Ron Jr. manages... usually two or three guys working all day and into the night to get the boiler and the BOP set up. On average, I propose that most gas furnaces, air handlers, and condensers are lighter and easier to get installed than boilers, particularly the cast-iron variety. You seem to have a lot knowledge re: FA systems, I respect that, and I didn't mean to imply that somehow a FA installer has life much easier than the hydronic equivalent.

    Plus, I never claimed that a single person can move all HVAC equipment, condensers included. I'm quite familiar with condensers and air handlers since I tore some of them down. A 21 SEER condenser is a sight to behold... However, for an equivalent capacity, most condensers used today are smaller and lighter than those monsters because most people only go for the bare minimum, i.e. 13 SEER equipment.

    By the way, your description of what one could propose doing with a low-mass boiler is exactly how some people treat their water heaters. One guy I know runs through a water heater every year in his business because they condense to death (ice cream parlor + constant hot water demand = early WH demise).

    He has those WH on quick disconnects... the outdoor gas water heater I co-developed way back for AMWH would have made that job even easier. Of course, a longer-lifed option would be a water heater that is not killed by condensation. But he was perfectly happy doing his annual swap himself, liked the low cost, etc. better than hiring a pro to install a water heater to end all water heaters.

    Cheers.
  • Uni R_2
    Uni R_2 Member Posts: 589
    Don...

    I'm not sure I understand your point. Is it that Constantin is wrong and that furnaces are no more integrated and standardized than boiler based heating systems (in which case it is even more bizarre that they offer labor and replacement warranty options), that you would like to try and ridicule him here, or is it that nobody other than pros should be able to express an opinion on warranties because they lack the "hands-on requirement" that you have imposed?

  • don_182
    don_182 Member Posts: 69
    Not at all.

    No way was I trying to ridicule Constantin.He/she the type of customer I would love to have and hopefully a freindship for many years to come.

    My point was this, all equipment is prone to fail.And if we as hvac contractor can not read what is spell out for us in the warranty.Then god bless ya.
    And if we hvac contractor can not or will not add that into
    our cost of doing business during the sale then god bless ya.

    To offer a better warranty is no way bizarre I feel.
    It does not show that the equipment is of any lesser value.
    It just show that a company is willin to backup the system that being install..way pass the signature on the proposal.

    Comeon lets get real here.If i had a wise customer like constantin she/he would have brought up the issue of a 12 year hx warranty and only a one year on parts.

    She/he would also would have ask and i'm sure she/he did on her house is there a option of a labor/warranty.

    I mean after all its guys like you all that say you have the best heatplant in the business...but yet you offer so little after the sell.










  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873
    supposedly

    The top level package will cover your Microwave, Refridgerator, etc. The basic level is just your Furnace and Water Heater. When they expanded the gas service to real rural areas, they converted everything existing to NG from LP. Even LP water heaters. Just in this little burg, over 6000 new customers all getting the glossy ad with their gas bill.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,487
    Constantin

    is male.
    Retired and loving it.
  • Perry_2
    Perry_2 Member Posts: 381
    Real Insurance Options

    As a homeowner I would love to be offered a real insurance policy for parts and labor for 5 or 10 years that did not cost 2 legs and 1 arm. By real means no questions - we take care of the problem. Such a policy should adequately cover the servicing companies cost as well.

    I liken it to the kind of insurance that the independent automotive transmision shops offer. Redeamable at almost any shop in the nation. Last summer I had a transmission failure while in Idaho (I live in Wisconsin) after about 1 year on the transmission. The shop I stopped at looked at the "brand" on the policy and stated that it was a wonderfull policy and fairly paid for the cost of service.

    Why don't the service companies - set up an insurance company for just this kind of policy. I think you all see the need; probably all it takes is for a bunch of you to band together and start the wheels to set it up.

    Exclusions would be few (and in bold), and the policy could be priced differently for different types of boilers based on the risk.

    Perry
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,537
    Dan

    I don't know if you remember me but we met at HTP in August.I have to say you are the most knowledgeable Munchkin pro outside the factory and maybe in.I've never met a Rep who has the product knowledge you do,If you have a Munchkin question Dan is definitely the "Man"

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  • Uni R_2
    Uni R_2 Member Posts: 589
    Perry may I add something?

    Perry may not have fully realized the wisdom of what he said.

    Guys! This is the trend. What does GM push the most? Chevy, or one of the others? Neither! They push On-Star! Look at all of the various monthly things we buy - electrical, municipal, phone, network, cell, pagers, long distance, cable/dish. Yup they want that model. Software companies would prefer that you lease, hence the maintenance fees. It's all about setting up that revenue stream.

    The beauty of the revenue string is that you build it up and then it just keeps growing. Makes you more money and because it is a steady revenue stream it makes it highly salable. How many contractors are there in general that could sell their business and retire?

    This is tough however because once this starts happening, and those purchases start happening, one of those companies will be colored Home Depot orange.
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106
    Extended warranty on WH's

    is something I learened with Contractors 2000 a number of years ago. An old Frank Blau concept as I recall. Add 100 bucks to upgrade to a 10 year tank, parts and labor, with the installing company.

    Really that is all the manufactures of tank do, it's the same tank as the 5 year.

    Install 100 tanks per year and that adds up to plenty to replace a small percentage of leakers.

    Possibly $350 for a boiler extended warranty? If you sell 50 boilers a year that adds to $17,500. That should cover some callback labor.

    hot rod

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  • Pinball
    Pinball Member Posts: 249


    Could you please explain "negative air" What it's caused by and how to correct it?
    I have replaced three (3) blowers on a pinacle PI 140 in less than three years and had to EAT the labor on all three! The blower was covered by Peerless/HTP. But not the labor. I was told by HTP that it had something to do with the post-purge not being long enough on older pinacles. since I don't have a spare board laying around, that means no heat or hot water till I ship it to them to re-program and ship it back! I have an extremley irate customer who wants an explaination.
    Also the unit is installed with a concentric vent that goes no more than 20ft inc. Ells. And IS installed to the book! (with the exception of some secondary piping)

    Al (pinball) Bruno
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    Warranties have their uses...

    ... but given the exclusions in most factory/aftermarket warranties, one could make the argument that a homeowner is better served setting aside a certain amount for home maintenance and repair every year to cover unexpected breakdowns in the future. Larger condos set up reserves like this routinely.

    As a homeowner, a private rainy-day fund IMO is a better investment than "banking" with a particular contractor as one never knows where the house will have an issue, just that it will have issues. To the extent that one can prepare for the inevitiable, one should. Setting aside money in a general fund on a monthly basis for the large maintenance/renewal projects is probably a better investment than buying a home warranty that may have exclusions for the very things you seek coverage on. Signing the big cheques to get a new boiler installed, etc. is not as painful when there is sufficient money in the bank for that purpose.

    Plus, as Jerry Scharf liked to point out, just because a Hyundai has a 100,000 miles, 10 year warranty does not mean that its quality is better than that of a Toyota. Both the new as well as the resale prices indicate that the less-warranteed Toyota has a higher preceived consumer value. GM has now followed the Korean model to re-establish brand confidence by bringing out longer warranties, but I did not notice a sudden jump in the value of GM cars. Did you?

    So, I did not bring up warranties with my installers. Instead, I focused on how to detect/prevent problems before they stop my HVAC systems. IMO, maintenance by the HO as well as professionals is much better than any warranty replacement program that usually addresses symptoms, not causes. Most issues in well-installed and -maintained systems likely follow a bath-tub like distribution, with a high initial failure rate, followed by years of trouble-free service, followed by a gradual (or steep) rise at the end.
  • Al Corelli_2
    Al Corelli_2 Member Posts: 395
    On a side note....

    After recently buying a 2007 GM vehicle, I find the warranty is worth no more than a hill of beans.

    That whole 5/100 thing is worthless. They tell you the day you buy the damn thing.

    And ford is worse.

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  • scott w.
    scott w. Member Posts: 207


    Been caught in the middle before, that is where three way calling comes in handy by getting both parties on the line at the same time and let them duke it out.

    OOps this should have gone way up on the post.
  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80


    Well I thank you for the kind words, but you will have to forgive me as I'm not the best with names.

    I'm more of a 'face' kind of guy... might not be able to place one from time to time... but I never forget one :)

    Hope things are going well for you out there.
  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80
    \"negative air\"

    For our discussion here negative air = outside air coming inside through our 3" intake and exhaust pipes.

    If you have a smaller room or a new house that is "tight" (ie: newer doors/windows that don't leak, a finished basement that is drywalled and sealed from the upstairs) and you have exhaust fans (bathroom/kitchen), a power vented water heater, a power vented supplemental furnace, a clothes dryer or anything that takes air from inside the house and puts it outside, you have the potential for "negative air".

    When you suck air out of your house you are lowering the pressure inside it. With the outside pressure being higher, outside air will (through any means necessary) get back inside the house. Your two 3" PVC pipes, are great spots for air to rush back in.

    "But Dan...", you say... "with the lid on how does this happen?" While the Munchkin/Peerless boiler does qualify as a sealed combustion appliance... under severe "negative air" conditions it can be affected during it's down times.

    After the boiler shuts down, you still have heat and moisture inside. When air starts traveling backwards through the unit it picks up both condensing on the blower impeller and anything else in it's path.

    If you diagnose a "negative air" condition, the easiest thing to do is take some single sided, 3/4"-1" wide, insulating tape and run around the perimeter of the lid. I find this takes care of most jobs.

    Good luck to you.
  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80
    a helpful suggestion.

    ... whomever's mod-con product you buy. If you don't maintain it, you will have problems someday. It's just the nature of the beast.
  • Pinball
    Pinball Member Posts: 249


    Thank you for the response. That should eliminate that problem on this job. Since there is nothing to create a vacume in this house. (full un-insulated basement with no other appliances)
    Dryer is on second floor as are the bath exausts. and not an extremely "tight" house. Negative air is probably NOT the reason.
  • Constantin
    Constantin Member Posts: 3,796
    ... and

    ... as flawed as Consumer Reports may be, the car warranty reviews are pretty enlightening. I believe that the big three will always sell at a disadvantage until they can prove to the consumer that their cars are as reliable as those manufactured by the Japanese competition. Some of the German brands are also starting to feel the backlash, with BMW, Mercedes, and Audi taking big dings for increasing the scope of their offerings and reducing the quality at the same time.

    As for the comment further up about not wanting to own stock options in a company that produces near-perfect goods... which company's stock would you have rather held of the last 5 years: GM, Ford, or Toyota? All of them are MNC's that sell worldwide, GM and Toyota have about the same worldwide production. Yet the stock market performance of Toyota for the last 5 years leaves both GM and Ford in the dust (see below).

    IMO, the higher profitability per sedan sales is what drives Toyota forward, whereas Ford and GM used to subsidize their sedan sales with the trucks, SUVs, and other large vehicles. Now that the Chinese are also starting to gear up to export to the US, the US consumer will have even more choices and competition is going to get even fiercer.
  • Paul Readon
    Paul Readon Member Posts: 4
    I must agree

    Yes, why is this post so difficult to read. The warr. issues are another way to make money for those that provide them, the issue of what is happining to the customer are a good and valid point. I have had early HTP and other failures and the process is very time consuming. I can install in about the same time it takes to resolve this issue. Despite the obvious response by the factory to the inital post, I too am disgruntled about this process. I installed the very first munchkins and have noticed fan failures, my car has also been subject to many recalls, Subaru. But I have also noticed a trend that rather than issuing a recall, which would be bad pr, just wait for the complaints to come in. I can only wonder how many customers I have lost that when the fan jammed went elswhere. But the point about how the manufacturer wins in a sense is not lost on me. I always loose, and the round robin trips, yes when I add the number of times this has happened, I loose again. Why is it this industry from the man. perspective they walk and i frequently loose when it is time to replace parts?
This discussion has been closed.