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Help with home heating service

Discussion in 'Garage / Workshop' started by kingston73, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:26 AM
    #1
    kingston73

    kingston73 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    OK, I need some advice from any of you who have experience with home heating systems. I paid $348 to have my oil-burning water heater cleaned and serviced, we've only lived in this house for about 2 years and the last time it was cleaned was about 10 years ago, so it was extremely dirty. I wasn't here when the 1st place came and cleaned it, but the guy told my wife our chimney was too hot and recommended we replace the oil-burning water with an electric and gave us a quote of about $1500 for the replacement, plus between $600 and $1000 for the electrician. This guy also said we needed a new oil shut off valve and new oil lines for a total of $1150.

    I wasn't satisfied with that recommendation so I called a 2nd place to come out and give us an estimate, plus I had them clean my oil-burning furnace since it was old and dirty also. This 2nd place also took a look at the work order from the 1st place and looked at our water heater and told me that the reason our stack temp was high is because of all the soot build up inside it. They said there was no way the 1st place vacuumed and cleaned the water heater stack and showed me how much soot was built up inside it. Also, they said they would clean it for $85 and replace the oil lines AND clean the furnace all for about $600.

    I want to know who to believe? I called the 1st place and complained, they won't give me a refund and offered to send a different technician out to review the work that was done by the 1st guy.
     
  2. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:41 AM
    #2
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Did he say why you needed all of this? I don't understand why he was trying to switch you over to electric when you already have oil. Would switching the hot water to electric completely eliminate your need for oil in the house? Your exhaust being too hot should be able to be fixed with a tune up and a chimney sweep as long as the unit isn't completely shot.

    What was the reasoning for the new shut off valve and the lines and which lines are you talking about, the ones from the tank to the boiler? There are upcoming changes to MA code (just went through this on my house) and the copper oil lines feeding from the oil tank to the furnace or boiler will have to be replaced with something with a non-metallic coating. I don't believe the change has taken place yet so you should be good for a while, he could have just been giving you a heads up.

    A good tune-up should cost around the $300 +/- because of the parts and labor required. This typically would NOT include a chimney sweep (although if his work order said it did, he should have done it). A lot of the time they'll just throw something in the fire box which is supposed to burn off the soot when it burns and call that a 'cleaning'.

    Good luck! Some of the guys out there that do that stuff can be very slippery... Hopefully you find someone good! Is your oil company the one doing the work?
     
  3. Jun 30, 2011 at 8:55 AM
    #3
    kingston73

    kingston73 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    We haven't had a steady oil company, we have a wood stove so we don't go through oil very quickly and when we need more we've just been shopping around for the best price. The 2nd place who came is also an oil company we've used in the past, so I'm thinking I might just sign up with them for oil and servicing.
     
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