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  #1  
Old 02-16-2014, 05:08 PM
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Scamming furnace repairman

Female neighbor knocked on my door. Her furnace wasn't working. She has a repairman there and he's recommending a new furnace. Will I look at it and confirm his claim that board is bad, the furnace is cracked and the blower motor is leaking oil? Yes, board appears bad. It's not activating the gas valve. What about the oil leak? He points to the electric motor on the blower and tells me it has an oil leak. Total BS. I ask, where's the crack? He points to a piece of shiny sheet metal in the furnace with a black line on it. I put my finger on it. It's a pencil mark drawn on the sheet metal. I wonder who put that on there? He then starts saying he can replace the board but he can't guarantee anything. Board is about $800. New furnace $5000+. I told her to have him replace the board. You can't trust servicemen nowadays. Good thing she came and got me. Furnace is about 15 yrs old and looks to be in very good condition.
I wonder how many people fall for that stuff.

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Old 02-16-2014, 06:49 PM
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That's disturbing. Good thing you were around. I often wonder how often people get scammed like this -- it seems so easy in some cases.
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Old 02-16-2014, 07:24 PM
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Nothing new. To add to furnace owners woes. Locally whatever additive is in todays furnace oils is destroying riello oil burner pumps faster than replacements can be gotten. Probably just a regional problem though. A lot of furnaces if not corroded just have the stress crack welded up in ten minutes and are resold or go back into service. Many times this is done after the furnace has been replaced unfortunately.

Last edited by barry12345; 02-16-2014 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:00 PM
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The board? Did you ask to read the codes?
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:03 PM
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I don't know enough about the board to investigate it any further. It wasn't putting out enough voltage to activate the gas valve. He just left (was there about 3 hours) and I haven't had a chance to ask her exactly what he did.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:04 PM
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How do you read the codes?
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
I told her to have him replace the board.
If this were my neighbor, I'd advise her to kick him out the door and call a firm across town. Scammers don't deserve any money and checks for service call fees can be stopped.

Stupid question, though. The furnaces I've seen have had transformers to power the board. Was the repairman sure that the transformer wasn't going bad?

BTW- I wouldn't blame the repairman. He's probably salaried and doesn't give a hoot. I'd blame management for pushing him to make more sales -- there's something wrong higher than him.
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Old 02-16-2014, 08:11 PM
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I agree but I didn't know any mechanical contractor to recommend and I didn't have access to a replacement board to do it myself.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #9  
Old 02-16-2014, 08:53 PM
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I can't help but assume the furnace is not an oil burning type? Can you give the make, what it burns (nat gas I assume).?

I have never seen a board for more than $200 retail. Ever.

A new 90+ gas furnace is like 800$.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:06 PM
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People scam those they deem less knowledgeable. Because of the laws, I cannot go beat someone in the head and take their things so instead of strength, I use my mental muscle to get more money. It is that simple. Like it or not, soon as someone is vulnerable, they risk getting eaten by a bigger fish.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:09 PM
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Natural gas. Must be high efficiency since it vents out a PVC pipe. She was quoted $7000 for a new furnace. She didn't tell me how much she paid for the new board. Must have been pretty standard since he had one in his truck I think.
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1977 300d 70k--sold 08
1985 300TD 185k+
1984 307d 126k--sold 8/03
1985 409d 65k--sold 06
1984 300SD 315k--daughter's car
1979 300SD 122k--sold 2/11
1999 Fuso FG Expedition Camper
1993 GMC Sierra 6.5 TD 4x4
1982 Bluebird Wanderlodge CAT 3208--Sold 2/13
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  #12  
Old 02-16-2014, 09:18 PM
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"Scamming furnace repairman"

I have found that a nearly impossible task.
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  #13  
Old 02-16-2014, 09:20 PM
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Same thing happened to my best friend. Repairman said the furnace needed to be replaced. My friend repaired it himself for way under $100.
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  #14  
Old 02-16-2014, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerry View Post
Natural gas. Must be high efficiency since it vents out a PVC pipe. She was quoted $7000 for a new furnace. She didn't tell me how much she paid for the new board. Must have been pretty standard since he had one in his truck I think.
This business of scamming folks who don't have heat and don't have a relationship with the contractor is pretty standard. If they can manage to get a complete furnace installation out of it, they will always attempt to do so.

I had a house with a servicing contract on the oil burner to prevent these sorts of problems, especially in the cold. Furnace went out, tenant called the servicing company, and they decided that I needed a completely new burner. Well, a burner is nothing but a housing, a motor, a transformer, and a pump and all are covered under the contract. When they failed to get it running, they returned after repeated calls and decided that the boiler had failed and had a hole in the back.

This was New Years Eve, BTW.

I decided BS and managed to find another fellow to come out and check it out. He replaced the filter, nozzle, strainer and pump and it lit off and ran perfectly. $375. I got a full refund from the President of the servicing company, with whom I had a relationship of sorts. He provided an apology and stated that the full amount would be coming out of the pay of the serviceman.

So, sometimes it's just pure ignorance.


I now stock all the parts to repair my own system myself. In fact, it went down last Friday and I had it fixed in 25 minutes. Turns out that it wasn't getting fuel from the tank although the tank was 1/2 full of fuel. I blew out the line back down into the tank, reconnected the line, started the motor, bled the pump, and lit it off.

Like everything else in this world, if they can rip you off, they will most certainly try to do it.
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  #15  
Old 02-16-2014, 09:34 PM
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"Scamming furnace repairman"

Easiest way I ever found was to make sure he takes that old broken unit off your hands without the disposal fee ....

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