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Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?

 
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #1
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Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


While you can't expect R717 Will Call, payable in cash, I don't know of good reason for how uptight they're about everything else.

You can order piston rods from any auto dealership, yet HVAC supply house won't even give a price on furnace lid, let alone buy without having an established account with them.

They have one of the strongest anti DIY culture, but why? What's with the lack of transparency?

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Old 04-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #2
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Death, usually.

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Old 04-16-2012, 05:38 PM   #3
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


I've caught myself on fire during an unsweating of a compressor that was under pressure and still had a slight bit of refrigerant in the accumulator. Burned my eyelashes, hair on my head and right arm completely off. It literally exploded out of the compressor in a roughly 10' ball of flame, shooting firey oil all over me. Had I been inhaling at the time I'd be dead, scorched lungs.

If someone in the field such as myself had to learn the hard way than what's going to happen to those who know absolutely nothing?

They should tighten it up even more, if you ask me. Not just anyone can do this type of work.

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Old 04-16-2012, 05:43 PM   #4
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


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Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
I've caught myself on fire during an unsweating of a compressor that was under pressure and still had a slight bit of refrigerant in the accumulator. Burned my eyelashes, hair on my head and right arm complettely off. Had I been inhaling at the time I'd be dead, scorched lungs.

In someone in the field such as myself had to learn the hard way than what's going to happen to those who know absolutely nothing?

They should tighten it up even more, if you ask me. Not just anyone can do this type of work.
What's that have anything to do with it? Car jacks are not designed to hold a car up indefinitely and sometimes, the valve becomes worn out. Since jacks are not fail safe, you're not supposed to work under the car when its only held up by a jack.

People have done it, and have died.

If it was the HVAC industry, their solution would be to form a supply chain where DIYers can not buy jacks or vehicle parts, because their reasoning would if parts were unavailable the DIYer wouldn't have attempted and if jacks weren't available, misuse wouldn't have occurred.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:46 PM   #5
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Ask OSHA. Apparently, quite a lot.
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:50 PM   #6
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


And then ask the EPA. Remember that little thing called Global Warming, icebergs melting and all that impunitive science?

Yeah, not just anyone can walk in and purchase refrigerant and it needs to stay that way.

What is it that you are really wanting to know? The prices?
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:43 PM   #7
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


While it's true that not just anyone can walk in off the street and buy a jug of refrigerant, I've yet to run into an HVAC supplier that wouldn't give me any prices. Maybe you need to find a different supply house, or start asking your questions a different way....
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:48 PM   #8
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


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And then ask the EPA. Remember that little thing called Global Warming, icebergs melting and all that impunitive science?

Yeah, not just anyone can walk in and purchase refrigerant and it needs to stay that way.

What is it that you are really wanting to know? The prices?
What I want to know is the root cause of the clique like sub-culture.

There is a lot you can do with HVAC system that doesn't involve refrigerant handling. Even if it did, there is no excuse R410A is not readily available at the Home Depot like R134a is at Autozone. R12 requires 609. Go to Pepboys and you can go home with a new blower fan motor.

Not so with home HVAC parts.

OSHA has no jurisdiction over DIYers, so I don't think they could care less.

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Old 04-16-2012, 10:06 PM   #9
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Tsk, tsk. You still have to be EPA certified, Type II or Universal, to be able to HANDLE or WORK on or REPAIR any high pressure appliance. Guess the pressures of 410-A versus the older R-22? Guess what a condenser is?

No way The Home Depot will ever sell 410-A. They will be held liable for some twit who goes and blows himself or his unit up due to ignorance.

It'll never happen.
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Old 04-16-2012, 10:17 PM   #10
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


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Not so with home HVAC parts.
You can order pretty much anything and everything including up to complete systems on line. If 410-A than the condenser will come pre-charged, enough for most applications. If you need a 22 condenser or evaporator, it'll be dry charged with nitrogen. You will most likely pay near the cost of the unit itself to fill the sytem up with R-22 seeing as how it's over tripled in price in the last few months.

You will not be able to pick up anything from an hvac supply house, no, probably never. But Grainger you can.
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Old 04-16-2012, 11:40 PM   #11
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Holliday
No way The Home Depot will ever sell 410-A. They will be held liable for some twit who goes and blows himself or his unit up due to ignorance.

It'll never happen.
Exactly!

I was in a Sears the other week walking around killing time while I waited for my Sweetie.

I remembered I needed some utility knives, so I scoured the whole dept. looking for them.....to no avail.

I finally asked an associate where they were. His response? We don't sell them anymore. You're kidding right? A hardware/tool store that doesn't sell utility knives? Nope.

Seems someone slashed a person in an attack with a knife that had Craftsman on it. Victim sued Sears......and WON!

Now, no knives at Sears....

Incredible!
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Old 04-17-2012, 12:11 AM   #12
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Not exactly the same but okay.
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Old 04-17-2012, 01:44 AM   #13
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Holliday View Post
Tsk, tsk. You still have to be EPA certified, Type II or Universal, to be able to HANDLE or WORK on or REPAIR any high pressure appliance. Guess the pressures of 410-A versus the older R-22? Guess what a condenser is?

No way The Home Depot will ever sell 410-A. They will be held liable for some twit who goes and blows himself or his unit up due to ignorance.

It'll never happen.
Tsk Tsk. You need to go back and read the Clean Air Act then.

It requires a certification to purchase Class I and II ODS. Non ozone depleting refrigerants do not.

It is ILLEGAL to vent ANY refrigerant, but then, it's illegal to dump used oil down the drain too, yet there is no restriction on the sale of motor oil.
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:24 AM   #14
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric_Light View Post
Tsk Tsk. You need to go back and read the Clean Air Act then.

It requires a certification to purchase Class I and II ODS. Non ozone depleting refrigerants do not.

It is ILLEGAL to vent ANY refrigerant, but then, it's illegal to dump used oil down the drain too, yet there is no restriction on the sale of motor oil.
So you're having a hard time getting refrigerant or some other parts for your DIY project/projects?
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:39 AM   #15
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Mr. Light, I believe the reason that certain supply houses are being "secretive" is because the contractors are paying for the lights, and they are looking out for us. They are actually practicing loyalty, which is hard to come about anymore. There are many supply houses that will sell to the DIY guy.

You clearly are an intelligent guy, but frequently you do bring up topics that stir up controversy. Maybe, don't know for sure, but it is possible, you bring this attitude to the supply house, and that is why they won't sell to you.
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Old 04-17-2012, 10:53 AM   #16
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Electric_Light View Post
Tsk Tsk. You need to go back and read the Clean Air Act then.

It requires a certification to purchase Class I and II ODS. Non ozone depleting refrigerants do not.

It is ILLEGAL to vent ANY refrigerant, but then, it's illegal to dump used oil down the drain too, yet there is no restriction on the sale of motor oil.
Tsk, tsk. You need to read my previous post again, Yoda. I said to be able to WORK on any high pressure appliance.
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Old 04-22-2012, 09:39 AM   #17
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


It is a lucrative business. Alot of suppliers support the HVAC contractor and have repeat business not selling to homeowners may be strictly monetary. The main focus should be consumer safety. Technicians are trained to keep you, your family, and your property safe. Many aspects of HVAC service and repair rely on our safety training. If these tasks are not performed correctly, the end result could be bad, including death, fire, carbon monoxide, and explosion. I know you are asking about refrigerant, but most of these materials are sold under the same conditions.
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:35 AM   #18
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Don't know about your heating & cooling history, but, truthfully, when I started, out, I took a nine month program in hvac & refrigeration at the local c.c.. Then I landed a job as a entry level service tech, and they threw me into the pool.

Safety training? What is that?
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:48 AM   #19
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


Unfortunately, I think that is how most of us got our start. But through your progression over the years, what role does customer safety play for you now as an experienced Tech? I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I would say Techs are usually a very similar breed. At least the many I've met along the way.
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:05 AM   #20
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Re: Why Is The HVAC Suppliers So Secretive?


My motto "safety first, service second, and thriftyness third". Compromising sefety is not an option, same for my previous employers, but, they did throw us in the shark tank.

Heck, did you read about Doc H's experience form Brazing a system under pressure...Aye, yay, yuy. I laugh, but that easily could have been me when I started.

One thing that always killed me is the drug testing thing. Yeah, drug testing was serious, but never I mean never have we been educated on the effects of inhaling insulation and crawlspace funk w/o a mask

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