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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys doing a real small job and want to see if it is possible to do this my self. I am a licensed general contractor in California.
Have a client with a granny house studio. 560 sq. ft tiny, right now they have a direct vent wall mount unit that has problems, the pilot light keeps blowing out.
They say they want to remove that and put in forced heating and air. From what I have read even the smallest unit would be too large for this space. True?
I think a 18,000 BTU Mitsubishi mini split with heat and air would be the way to go. I have watched some install videos on this but still not sure.

Can I Install this with basic tools? or are there welding and specialized tools needed. If not pulling a permit can I even buy one in CA?

Thanks guys, not trying to take from your trade, it just looks too simple in the videos.
 

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You may as well, apparently in the videos the mention of pulling a vacuum & weighing in or out the corresponding amount of refrigerant is not important enough and does involve a considerable investment in equipment & training to do this. This will work to the detriment of that industry niche.

We are getting an increasing number of calls from HO & GC who think there is nothing to this. We will not work on any system unless we are convinced that a proper vacuum was pulled on the lineset to begin with, the actual charge weight can be later verified when operational problems arise. By then, the effects of air in the system have done the damage that will very expensive to undo.

Improper evacuation of the lineset introduces air to the system, the problems resulting from that gets very complicated & expensive forever after.

As an HVAC contractor, we do not install HO or GC supplied equipment due to implied warranty if it doesn't work. The parts are covered by the manufacturer, for the first year the installer eats the labor. That is our incentive to install properly & hopefully make a little profit to boot. Sometimes we make a little, sometimes we lose big time. Depends on how the HVAC contractor values each client.

Hopefully you will be able to establish a relationship with a HVAC contractor that will be ultimately beneficial to you both.
 

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As long as you are going to do the warranty work yourself.
Go a head and install it.

Cause no contractor is going to come out and work for free if it has a problem. And the service call fee will floor your customer.

Specially, when they get charged for the part. or get charged for warranty handling.

These are things we include with our equipment and install prices.

One in warranty service call could cost your customer 200 to 400 dollars.
When if you had a contractor provide and install it. It would be free.
 

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Also 18,000 BTU regular heat pumps are common.
I believe is possible your already over sizing the equipment for your customer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
OK thanks guys, I won't try to pull it off

I was only going to do it if it was possible to do it correctly with basic tools. I had called a hvac contractor before posting my original message. He quoted me $5,200-$5,500 and it sounded ridiculous when I can find one of these units online for $1450 new. That means the hvac contractor with labor and overhead is close to $4000. For a job that will probably take 5 hours to install and not require him to crawl in any attic or under the house. Drill a hole, mount the unit, vacuum the lines, charge the system, run 220 12 feet to the panel, and test the system. Does this sound reasonable?
 

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For a 18,000 BTU, yep.

Remember. You only see part of the job.

While under first year warranty.
Who pays for labor?
Who pays for the dang phone tag time to get warranty parts?
The gas for the truck.
The service tech's wages.

Thats all included in the install price.

that price you saw on the internet. probably didn't include everything needed, or that will be used.
 

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5200 for a basic mini split would be a bit high here on this side of town. I am unfamiliar with prices over there. I have one in my attic, I installed it and it cost about 1700, for a 7000 btu sanyo. This was after materials. It is about 8 man hrs give or take.
 

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5200 for a basic mini split would be a bit high here on this side of town. I am unfamiliar with prices over there. I have one in my attic, I installed it and it cost about 1700, for a 7000 btu sanyo. This was after materials. It is about 8 man hrs give or take.
Check the your price for a 18,000BTU.

Plus ALL material.
Pad kine set enclosure, disconnects, 14-what ever SJO, etc.
 

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Just cause of the liability, chump change you might make & future PITA factor give it to a reliable HVAC guy. What is the cooling load of the space?
Computers, cooking etc?
 

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Check the your price for a 18,000BTU.

Plus ALL material.
Pad kine set enclosure, disconnects, 14-what ever SJO, etc.
Absolutly. That s why i said i dont know the prices over on the west coast as far as labor??? Didnt say it was unreasonable, just seems more than over here. I dunno.
 

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Absolutly. That s why i said i dont know the prices over on the west coast as far as labor??? Didnt say it was unreasonable, just seems more than over here. I dunno.
Thats why I try(key word"try")not to make too many comments about a price being too high.
 

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Everyone has an opinion, honestly a mini split with 1 wall mount isnt too difficult...
Nope.
Running that line set up 30' isn't too difficult.
Line set cover at 3 bucks a foot isn't cheap.
Cost of living in Cali isn't cheap either.

No idea of the overhead that the installing company has.
Maybe his guys make 30 bucks an hour. Or maybe 9 bucks an hour.
 

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Nope.
Running that line set up 30' isn't too difficult.
Line set cover at 3 bucks a foot isn't cheap.
Cost of living in Cali isn't cheap either.

No idea of the overhead that the installing company has.
Maybe his guys make 30 bucks an hour. Or maybe 9 bucks an hour.
true... I dont use that cover. I use downspout and split the back. Looks nice. Hey the job probably is worth it. Right now it is good to get any work.........
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Thanks guys really appriciate the feed back

Like I said I am not trying to completely cut out the HVAC contractor. This is a small job and I am trying to make a little money on it too. I have
decided
that if the home owner goes with it, I will purchase the unit online, install the inside portion stubbed out through the
exterior
wall, run the electrical, place mounting pad for the condenser, and place the gutter to hide the line set. Have a licensed HVAC
contractor
purge the vacuum and charge the freon.
Mitsubishi
12000BTU 20.5 seer heat pump single zone for $1,500, and a $200 line set and hardware kit with gutter and other stuff $75. =$1,775

I install it for $700, have a licensed HVAC contractor do his thing for $550.
The home owner gets 30%back on tax refund thing because is efficient.

$1,775 materials
$1,250 labor
$3,025 cost to the home owner minus rebate

Much better than my $5,200 quote I received in which I would make nothing.

What to You guys think Mitsubishi or
Fujitsu
for an extra $100
 

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just 1 problem there sparky...what happens in 6 months..lets say something goes.. simple relay u going to collect? warranty issues,most company's wont warranty product...lets say head has a issue with motor control jamming up stripped the gears new motor installation..warranty issues...collection,cust bitching.. biggest one.. or you going to be the guy..that doesnt go back.drain in the mit's are picky most installers make it difficult to access..but have seen 10grand of damage done to walls, mold issues unit leaking u dont want that responabity...but heck i work on all summer long...there great units..but they have issues...
 

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mit is a better unit...but can mold up..a bugger to clean..Fujitsu are good but had leaks at head flare nuts cracking..had 2 last year only about 3 years old...we didnt install companys not around anymore. rhreem dealer at that..all these mod furnaces out too
 
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