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I am looking to answer the following: Was this job done properly, and if not, then how really bad it is? And should I hire this contractor again ?

Product: Ruud RGTM10ERBJS 100K BTU 95% Downflow/Horizontal Gas Furnace...

I have this furnace installed about five years ago. We only installed furnace, but but the contractor we choose arranged everything for AC to be installed. I trusted the contractor, and liked to have business with him.

We want to install AC now. We only need top add the compressor unit and refrigeration lines. I decided to get several quotes, but I thought I shall most likely hire my previous contractor, if the difference won't be that big.

Now, a few other contractors gave me a much higher quote than I am considering to spend. They also mentioned that ventilation lines are not installed properly to my current unit. And that permit could not pass an inspection like that, and the permit is most likely not finaled. I checked, the permit seems to be finaled. I also checked instructions, and it clearly says that ventilation pipes should preferably go vertically up 90 degrees, or have one inch increase for every few feet. My vents go a little down to the wall, and then go outside.

I asked my contractor about it, and he said he should have been creative to create it, to avoid bringing vent through my fragile roof with defected shingles, and to pass inspection. Well, the permit shows that he passed it.

I called the city and asked to come back to me intending to ask them why city accepted the work if the instructions for AC clearly state something which was not done.

I understand that everyone trying to compete on the market, and trying to convince me to make business with them. But this defect was mentioned by two unrelated contractors. And, I'd like to have business with someone who I already know. However, if the previous project was done poorly, I do not want to continue on that pass. I have pictures and even videos of my furnace. I can email them if required. I would appreciate an advice from uninterested party on the matter.

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Additional pictures and videos at Google Drive Share

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Long story short... The guy that installed this thing didn't follow the manufacturer's installation instructions, and did some UGLY plumbing. I would not allow him back in my home.

Hire a new contractor, and pay them to fix this guys mistakes.

  • +1 - You can see things were not installed right in the attic but how can you let somebody install a permanent candy cane next to your roof? – DMoore Mar 3 '16 at 21:47
  • The roof is composed of defected shingles. Shingles break from every step on it. I wanted to avoid touching the roof at the time.. – vlr Mar 4 '16 at 19:47
  • Is it true that this ventilation pipes absolutely must go vertically up ? This is what other contractors are saying. – vlr Mar 4 '16 at 19:56
  • @vlr Not necessarily. The exhaust can go horizontal, but it depends on the site as to which installation is more practical. – Tester101 Mar 4 '16 at 20:02
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Yeah, go with the other guys. Bravo on the first guy doing the real grunt work, but yikes. I'm not an HVAC pro, but here are the problems I see:

1 - I understand looks to a point, but I would've chosen to put the Exhaust & Intake beside the chimney in the gable for a nice steady vertical rise if going straight up would've been an eyesore.

2 - The Intake's a clearance violation according to the manual & it's choked-down at the unit, all the one's I've seen have the same size...just like the manual's diagrams show.

3 - There shouldn't be any or a big height difference between Exhaust & Intake as they need to be at the same atmospheric pressure.

4 - Planting damage aside, though yours look fine. The condensate drain is just plain ridiculous, if you're raised & going to the right you don't build things out & way to the left before going right. And, why not use the first downspout where everything first breaches the exterior?

5 - There should be a bolted hanging bar for the AC end too & not just some screwed-in carcass strapping, that was just to make the inspector happy.

6 - The Exhaust's outdoor condensate "catch", that hose setup tied into the condensate drain, shows he clearly understood he was doing it all sorts of wrong & thankfully caught by the inspector.

7 - Not hardwired with a Shut-Off switch mounted to the carcass, but plugged into a floor outlet.

8 - I don't know what he did to that intake pipe on the left before it exits the building. Or, why he cut a square hole for a round pipe on the outside. But, nice UV damaged foam job.

9 - Clean your gutters annually :)

  • The secondary "overflow" condensate drain must be separate from the primary drain, and according to code "shall discharge to a conspicuous point of disposal to alert occupants in the event of a stoppage of the primary drain.". Which is why all the drains are not combined, and they shouldn't all discharge to the same place. – Tester101 Mar 3 '16 at 14:06
  • You mean just the third line right, not that all have to be separate...because I've never seen such a thing anywhere. – Iggy Mar 3 '16 at 14:08
  • You only need a secondary drain "where damage to any building components will occur as a result of overflow from the equipment drain pan or stoppage in the condensate drain piping.". So because this is in the attic, a secondary drain is needed. It looks like the other two are combined, but not until just before they exit the building. – Tester101 Mar 3 '16 at 14:18
  • It also looks like there's a trap on the primary drain, which is required. But it's way away from the unit, and at a weird angle. So it's probably not doing much, if anything. – Tester101 Mar 3 '16 at 14:21
  • Thanks for the clarification, I thought it only applied as an overflow if internal debris blocked up the primary & had nothing to do with the piping, I'll update. – Iggy Mar 3 '16 at 14:30
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as a consumer in 2016 do your research on the contractor we know and you know you can see the price of the equipment online so you are paying for quality and the vast knowledge of the person installing the system. As to see examples of their work. I would gladly show pictures or physically look at current and past jobs and know a few simple things to ask and be familiar yourself. Ask about a simple refrigeration cycle , the states of matter, or super simple what is cold? Do they solder,weld or braze their refrigerant line's and purge with nitrogen while doing so? Do they own a vacuum pump and can they tell you the purpose of using it? Be an informed consumer make your tech talk to you even if you dont understand they should be proud to explain all before they start work. You should be satisfied enough that you leave them to it without hovering or trying to get these details after they have started or asking questions after the fact online in a forum

  • Hello, and welcome to Stack Exchange. Although this is interesting, it's focused at before the job, rather than after the job, so it doesn't really answer the OP's question. – Daniel Griscom Mar 9 '16 at 10:50
  • It is focusing on the job which is done already. I just mentioned that based on the responses I wil decide if to hire this contractor again or not. But furnace is done already. – vlr Apr 1 '16 at 21:58

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