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Question about Contractor/Installer and warranty work

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Deal Addict
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Feb 25, 2006
1786 posts
6 upvotes
Toronto

Question about Contractor/Installer and warranty work

Hello everyone, dealing with a situation here and wanted to get your thoughts. I replaced a furnace in my home 4 years ago to a brand new one which comes with pretty much lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Last night when I went to turn the heat on, my Nest said it was on, but I noticed that the heat wasn't coming from the vents. Ended up debugging the problem until 5am and concluded that the furnace was turning on but the blower fan was not triggered, so the furnace went into safety shutdown because it can't continuously heat up without the hot air blowing around the house. The weird thing is that I can manually turn the fan on through my Nest as well, so it's not like the blower fan doesn't work or the capacitor (I think).

Anyway, decided this isn't my forte, so I called the installer and told him basically the issue, everything I did and was hoping he'd come by and assist. He gave some super high level suggestions like did you change the air filter (yes I switch it every 3 months or less) and then just went on to say keep trying and let me know if it's still a problem. I told him well, I've tried this myself till 5am last night and I'm out of ideas, so why don't you come down and check it out.

He then goes on to say, well we'll replace the capacitor since it sounds like that's the problem, and I explained why maybe, but maybe not because I can turn the fan on by itself. He's then like, okay let's change the circuitry/control board since that's the problem. And I'm like but how can you really tell until you come see it. So he basically wants to charge me $180 to for the time to file warranty papers, get the warranty part and then come replace it, without even looking or knowing what's wrong. The fact that he teether-toothered saying it was capacitor and then circuitry within 30 seconds just makes me think he needs to actually check.

Long story short, what would you guys do? I feel like as a company and service owner, should he not pay a visit to diagnose the problem and at that point, I'd be willing to fork over $$ to cover labor cost to replace a warranty part, even though I feel like a brand new furnace really shouldn't break down within 4 years time.

I'm almost giving up and just going to trust his claim that for $180 he'll fix it one way or another, but the whole problem to begin with is I trusted this company and guy to do the job. Is it too much to ask him to come check and figure out the problem without charging me first?

Thoughts, opinions?
8 replies
Newbie
Dec 21, 2009
44 posts
17 upvotes
Toronto
It’s busy season for the guy. He/she is picking and choosing what jobs to take on right now.

Also, Unfortunately, some home owners are a waste of time...
Deal Addict
Nov 24, 2013
1090 posts
545 upvotes
Toronto
Call up the manufacturer and talk to them to see what your options are. Is this the manufacturer's warranty or contractor's warranty?
Deal Fanatic
Aug 15, 2015
8336 posts
4608 upvotes
ON
llAPll wrote: Hello everyone, dealing with a situation here and wanted to get your thoughts. I replaced a furnace in my home 4 years ago to a brand new one which comes with pretty much lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Last night when I went to turn the heat on, my Nest said it was on, but I noticed that the heat wasn't coming from the vents. Ended up debugging the problem until 5am and concluded that the furnace was turning on but the blower fan was not triggered, so the furnace went into safety shutdown because it can't continuously heat up without the hot air blowing around the house. The weird thing is that I can manually turn the fan on through my Nest as well, so it's not like the blower fan doesn't work or the capacitor (I think).

Anyway, decided this isn't my forte, so I called the installer and told him basically the issue, everything I did and was hoping he'd come by and assist. He gave some super high level suggestions like did you change the air filter (yes I switch it every 3 months or less) and then just went on to say keep trying and let me know if it's still a problem. I told him well, I've tried this myself till 5am last night and I'm out of ideas, so why don't you come down and check it out.

He then goes on to say, well we'll replace the capacitor since it sounds like that's the problem, and I explained why maybe, but maybe not because I can turn the fan on by itself. He's then like, okay let's change the circuitry/control board since that's the problem. And I'm like but how can you really tell until you come see it. So he basically wants to charge me $180 to for the time to file warranty papers, get the warranty part and then come replace it, without even looking or knowing what's wrong. The fact that he teether-toothered saying it was capacitor and then circuitry within 30 seconds just makes me think he needs to actually check.

Long story short, what would you guys do? I feel like as a company and service owner, should he not pay a visit to diagnose the problem and at that point, I'd be willing to fork over $$ to cover labor cost to replace a warranty part, even though I feel like a brand new furnace really shouldn't break down within 4 years time.

I'm almost giving up and just going to trust his claim that for $180 he'll fix it one way or another, but the whole problem to begin with is I trusted this company and guy to do the job. Is it too much to ask him to come check and figure out the problem without charging me first?

Thoughts, opinions?
You need to clean the flame sensor. Usually a bit of sandpaper will do it .
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
8980 posts
4585 upvotes
Paris
Lifetime warranty on parts, not lifetime warranty on diagnosing and replacing them. Labour is rarely included.
Sr. Member
Jul 2, 2013
624 posts
168 upvotes
Aurora
llAPll wrote: Is it too much to ask him to come check and figure out the problem without charging me first?
Yes.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
16577 posts
6706 upvotes
Long story short, what would you guys do? I feel like as a company and service owner, should he not pay a visit to diagnose the problem and at that point, I'd be willing to fork over $$ to cover labor cost to replace a warranty part, even though I feel like a brand new furnace really shouldn't break down within 4 years time.
It is unreasonable to expect someone to drive to your house, spend 15-20 minutes testing and diagnosing your problem, and then sharing the problem with you for $0. You're essentially asking for someone to spend 1 hour of time with no expectation of compensation. What some will do is credit you the diagnosis fee towards the repair so if you decide to repair on your own they are still compensated.

Some warranties do include parts and labour, and you should become familiar with what the warranties are for items you purchase.
Deal Fanatic
Jan 25, 2007
8980 posts
4585 upvotes
Paris
TrevorK wrote: Some warranties do include parts and labour, and you should become familiar with what the warranties are for items you purchase.
Our cottage water heater included parts and labour for 1 year. Died in the first 6 months. Turned out to be some combustible cut off thing that if it senses combustibles in the air it shuts gas down. Not under warranty, had to pay the $20 for part and $150 for service call. Would have all been free if warranty issue.

Bad design for a water heater heater in the same room as a wood stove.

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