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New person,indroducing myself

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by fastrac, Sep 28, 2006.

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  1. fastrac

    fastrac Member

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    Hello All My Name is Larry

    I am a hearth products dealer. We came from the hvac industry . We have a showroom,we are an installing shop,we service what we sell

    We will not service any thing we did not install or sell.

    I am NFi certifeid in wood,and looking foward to certifying in gas and pellet.

    I was just looking for a place to talk shop with other hearth folks.

    I am 25 years in the HVAC industry and about 10 years in the hearth industry.

    Is this mostly a forum for the proffetionals or for the home owners?

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  2. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    Howdy.

    I'm a soon to be professional currently pretending to know more than I really do.
  3. Robbie

    Robbie Minister of Fire

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    East Tennessee- Great Smoky Mountains.
    Fastrac (Larry), welcome to the forums, there seems to lots of both type people you mentioned here. Great place to hang around and read, sounds like you have lots of experience in this area.

    Could you tell us approx. where you are located ?

    Glad your here.......... :)


    Robbie
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Actually I think the "talking shop" takes place over in the industry forum. I would dearly love to spend an hour in that thing and hear how they talk about "Harry Homeowner".
  5. fastrac

    fastrac Member

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    Thank you for the welcome

    I am on the east coast,about a 40 minute ride form NYC
  6. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    where at larry?

    That could be a number of places that I am familiar with?

    I grew up in Jerzzzzzzzzzzzey......
  7. fastrac

    fastrac Member

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    I am in Rockland county New York. Our shop borders Ramsey/Mahwah NJ
  8. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    ahhhh gotcha. I knew I'd know where you were at.

    I grew up in Rivervale and Bloomingdale. Born in Ridgewood in Valley hospital.

    So i know where you're at!

    Nice to have you on board.
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Larry you should e-mail Craig our webmaster and request Permission to the dealers forums part of the site
    Then again lots of people here are dealers helping out the public and themselves. The forum goes a bit beyond stoves, into other areas of energy use or conservation. Many questions concern furnaces and HVAC as well

    What line of stoves do you sell? Welcome a board
  10. fastrac

    fastrac Member

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    We are mostly a Regency & Fireplace xtrordinair dealer. But carry Thelen,Valor, VC, and Lennox & the Martin line

    Came into the industry thru Lennox but now avoid the lennox hearth product line as I cant compete with the online houses selling them.

    When I get a chance I was going to drop you a PM about your post about the HVAC returns you mentioned in another post.
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Hi Larry,

    Good to see more dealers join. Lots of dealers and home owners. I'm a professional...just not in the hearth industry :cheese:

    In the grand scheme of things, I'm just up the road a bit from you (vs in Californina or Washington) so it's nice to see another North east dealer join.
  12. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Oh no, Dylan, no, no, no! It's not the weekend yet and I can't drink beer at work, it scares my patients! Welcome aboard Larry.
  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    Welcome, you will be suprised how much stuff you pick up here. At one time i felt that i was pretty good at this stuff. Not one day goes by that i dont pick up something usefull here, and that is passed right on to the customers in the shop. You will also get to see homeowners who burn your products and get a first hand look on how people like them. Enjoy the show!!
  14. ChrisN

    ChrisN Feeling the Heat

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    My lovely wife rarely shows interest in Hearthnet, but when I showed her Dylan's dry humor she laughed until she had tears in her eyes. :lol:
  15. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Hey Lary dose smoke spiral or travel in a circular patten in the chimney and does it spiral clockwise or counter clockwise.

    Gotz its ok to pick up some beer early the weekend is not that far away
  16. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Does it matter if your north or south of the equator for which way it spins?????? :lol: just kidding ELK

    Welcome Larry just curious why won't you service a stove you didn't sell....

    If your nearest competitor has poor service you could make alot of coin with your experience :cheese:

    Just another forum topic that pops up alot is support after the sale, take care of your customers.
  17. fastrac

    fastrac Member

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    Well I am all for taking care of my customers, its one of my top priorities.

    It seems my competitors, like to sell product but not stand behind it. It cost us a ton of coin to get an education, I lose time from work my family and my customer to educate myself. the same goes for our employees. I lose revenue from my employees being away at class.

    I would say 95% of a problem with a hearth product is related to something other then a defect in equipment. The manufactures warranty covers for defects nothing else. Who is going to pay that service bill when I tell them the unit is not installed as per the manufacturers specifications and that's why it will not work.

    The manufacturers pay about $12.00 dollars less per hour then what it cost me to deliver a qualified service tec to the home. So pretty much if its a defect in the unit I only lose $12.00 per hour. If its a defect in the installation done by another contractor No one want to pay me.

    Then we have a the liability issue that I would have to be a lawyer to wright a disclaimer trying to explain why the system is wrong


    WARNING
    this stove should not be used,it is dangerous, it could destroy your home with soot,it could burn your house down,over the next ten years it may cause the wood in the wall behind it to have its combustion temperature lowered enough to smolder in the wall waiting for oxygen to get at it and burst into flames... I could go on but I wont.

    I know for sure what ever we install is done per the manufacturers specifications and it makes it easy to service it in the future.


    I feel if your going to be selling hearth, you should be qualified and prepared to service the customers you took there hard earned money from.
  18. fastrac

    fastrac Member

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    Hey I will share a story from 2 weeks ago

    Get a call from a new home owner, who's house was just finished but they cant get a C.O. and her new gas fired fireplace doesnt work, burns a little while but the flames rise up and disappear.

    I explain we don't service unit we didn't install. she gets pissed and hands up

    The installing contractor ( a competitor ) comes in my show room looking for repair advice on same unit. I handed him an NFI brochure and suggested he invest in getting an education.

    Builder of the home calls a couple of days latter looking for advice, manufacturers rep request I go and he will make it up to me latter

    Get the name and address and I am off. I also check last years quote and the lady and the husband received a quote from us last year on this same job

    Anyways get to the job, 18 foot ceilings culture stone all the way up, black imported marble surrounding the unit looks absolutely beautiful. Every one is there, retailer, installer ,home owner ,Builder , Manufacturer's rep, and every one has the puss on claiming the unit is defective and has to be removed and the manufacturer has to pay to remove and replace the marble (big dollars) I was also told everybody checked everything and the unit is just defective, all the parts have been replaced. (thanks now I have to check all of that)

    Get out my installation manual and start check all of the clearance. Installing contractor getting mad as I was supposed to fix it not enforce codes.

    Mantel too low

    Check gas line, 1/2" over 80 long with the equivalent of 90'S in it connecting to a gas dryer that on 1/2" line another 90' including the 90"s in it off of a 1" main feeding about 400,000 btus of heat and hot water (another problem they will have to deal with)

    Open the unit check my orifice make sure it set for natural gas, check air shudders, check flue height and then check air baffles and adjust them to the chimney height (air baffles what air baffles the installing contractor says as the retailer is explaining that's the first thing you said you were supposed to check)


    Take a peak at the vent at the top of the chimney chase looks good, for now

    Now I go to start it and for sure its runs, gets real sweat then starts ghosting, Open the glass a tad and she settle wright in. Now the installing contractor explains this isn't nothing new he had it propped open for 3 days and it was burning perfect till the building inspector said it cant run like that and refused the CO for the house, All the unit needs is a smaller glass on it to let the oxygen in or a nice hole in the burner deck that no one would be the wiser of.

    So now I have to look in the chimney, get up on the chimney chase with everyone still telling me the units defective and needs to be replaced (with the exception of the manufacturers rep) pull the cap drop my Mag light down on a string to see if they have too many joints in the pipe, maybe they didn't seal them? I am not sure what I was looking for but I had to look.

    What I find it 1-4' length of pipe dropping into this 8 foot chase with a plywood base with a 5" hole in it. its not connected to anything just up in the chase. I get the builder to help me climb into the chase. look in the 5" hole and I can see the flue pipe about a foot below me connected to nothing. The builder realize what happened they built the chase, the fireplace was roughed in, Homeowner felt the chase was too low so they raised it, But he was sure the pipe was connected it had to have fallen off as he got a bill for raising the flue. I show him it was only a 5" hole it was never Thu the top of the old chimney cap deck. they cut the hole hoping the flue gases would just rise out of the chimney chase

    Cut Thur the original chimney cap look down the chimney and see it connected but not a drop of mill-pack could be seen so I could also have a exhaust recirculating problem once I get it connected. Now at this point installing contractor leaves as he had an appointment elsewhere. The retailer sent for some pipe, I get it connected I get out of the chase. Restart the unit and its perfect,

    Every one is happy and the roofer will return to re-flash the chimney cap. I am walking my tools out to the truck and builder sk what does he owe me . I explain my diagnostic rate is $116.00 plus tax I was hear over an hour but I will not charge you any additional fees, He says for that price I would think you would have re flashed the chimney cap.

    WHAT

    I have the unit fixed in about an hour, doesnt have to remove the marble and the unit as they all wanted to do, Customer can get her CO. and not have to have a non operational unit and he is complaining of the price? the rep comes out and says he will pay me for my time .

    This is why I chose only to service what I sold/installed
  19. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Got one better than yours Plumber will not cut the custon formica counter top. It seems no one else will either It is l shaped and if it chips someone will be out $3500. I get a call will I cut i the sink opening in? I tell them $400 for the cut in and garentee no chipe=s ad if there are any I will replace the counter. I duct tape the cutout area use a fine tooth recripating blabe a wiz wheel drill and dremmel to score the cut Everything works perfect according to plan I' done right? the builder hits me with cutting an additional hole w for in a cremanic sink for the soap dispensor. I tell him $150 more I buya ceranic hole saw bit for $52 and sucesfully make the cut total time about 2 hours. Now the builder wants to pay me $100. I want $550 we agreed upon. Too boot I even installed the sink with the clips. Please note this is when i was quite a bit younger.I Tell the builder If I do not get paid as agree, I am going to put my 28 oz straight claw hammer threw the entire counter. Since you have not paid me good luck filing a court claim. I got paid.

    Larry I am a part time inspector but still make my living as a contractor. I can relate to this situation. I look at every situation as a contractor inspector and homeowner
  20. DonCT

    DonCT Minister of Fire

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    I love those stories!!!!
  21. fastrac

    fastrac Member

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    Funny thing is the building inspectors are always jerks, Just there to bust your chops and make your life miserable, As they say LARGE and INCHARGE


    That is until something is wrong and it the building inspectors fault for giving a C.O.

    Then the building inspector becomes the stupid lazy guy that should be held responsible for his neglect

    We are in a county that has tons of villages

    We have one village that the inspector requires you to fill out an affidavit stating Everything with inn the scope of our contractual job has been done too all national,local building code and the system is installed as per the manufacturer's specs. Allot of folks dont want to sign the form and explain its his job to inspect.

    I think all of the villages should require this, Why would you not want to sign it,

    When I am helping a customer fill out a permit for a stove. We down load the installation manual and I put sticky notes on all of the important pages he will need to refer to when he is inspecting, then Highlight the important clearances.

    I enclose a copy of my NFI id card along with a brochure about the NFI.

    Currently in our area you need to be licenced for heating,cooling,plumbing,electrical,home improvements, But there is nothing about solid fuels/hearth.If your installing this equipment in our area you just have to licenced as a home improvement contractor.

    I feel it should require a licence and thinks its as simple as adopting the NFI tests , I would think if you can pass the NFI wood burning test, you will know how to properly install a unit.

    Call me crazy but I like the licencing, I feel it protects the end users
  22. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I had a simmilar discussion with the code review board. In our state to install a wood stove one has to have a Construction supervisor's licence. We all know joe common builder, is not the best suited for wood/ pellet stove installs
    A trained installer from pellet institure or NFI would be the logical choice. I tried to word this into the code.
    Technically, I should or could ,require a CS licencee on the job at all times.
    I am also a firm believer of being consistant level the playing field so that bidding should include x amount of work and material.

    On the hvac end Bedrooms do have returns. I have challenged any and every HVAC contractor to fine language in the codes that allow under the door space as the accepted return path. 11 years later I still waiting. In the mean time I want a return in there and not next to the feed Idealy I want the shop design drawings and heat take off and balancing reports. Nothing is worse to have a room at the end of a zone that can not maintain a confortable temp.. Thats right I inspect t FHW systems to figure base board coverage.
    I hate to see an overloaded room at the start of a zone.

    Larry What do you do with the decent wood stove removed for a pellet stove? A myself and Corie rebuild them and give them to
    famillies that realy could m used the help with their heating bills Check the sticky nots at the top of the page. I have been waiting for an answer from VC for weeks about donating stoves The guy I contact, never seems to be there any more and never answered calls or e-mails
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Building inspectors aren't all bad. We've had a great one for years. He comes from the construction trade and understands that some decisions need to be made on site. As long as the change is done properly and safely, he's pretty open minded. There's no harassing about the little crap and no power tripping.
  24. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Slow down relax.
    I'm merely saying that for something such as routine maintenance/ cleanings or other issues like making sure the draft is right replacing gaskets or firebricks etc. etc.
    People are looking for a qualified person to give them service... and within a reasonable amount of time.. and alot of people don't get that...
    here's an example my warranty is 6 years on materials and workmanship, 3 years on parts electrical and mechanical.
    If i'm out of warranty who cares what the manufactures pay you for service rates.... They won't pay you anything The consumer would pay whatever you charge!!! And just a heads up lots of people will pay for service to have things fixed once and fixed right...
    I guess just imagine if your store had to have outlets added and every electrician that you called to do the work said to you we didn't install the service so we can't help you, even though, say the electrician you hired is now out of business.....

    All I was trying to say was that you could further your business by possibly helping other stove people with their problems and for example if a control board blew after 3 years by a lightning strike You could send someone out to do it and make money and increase business. This scenario has nothing to do with a poor install....

    If you are called out to fix a stove that your competition installed a year ago take whatever attitude you want, but just be open to the fact that most stoves will be in use well beyond the warranty, especially when your competition is out of business and everyone is running to you for help........ Would you turn them away?
  25. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    Oh yea and if I didn't say it yet welcome to the forum.. :red:
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