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Old 03-02-2012, 10:16 PM
 
131 posts, read 366,173 times
Reputation: 54

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I normally do my own oil burner tune ups. Pretty simple right? I change the filter, then replace the nozzle with the one recommended, vacuum the furnace, remove the gun and vacuum in there. Pretty simple and I'm done. This winter I started getting a sulphur smell and soot build up. I check everything and not sure what I did wrong. I called a few places and check out prices. I started calling at 8AM and one guy called me back right away. He took the time to listen and gave a lot of advice.

I asked him to come in and look at it. This guy came in I was very very impressed and that's why I am posting. As soon as he walked into the house he stated the burner was too rich. (he has been doing this for 20 years). He shut the burner off and started working, he removed the top and vacuumed everything. He took out the air restrictors and cleaned them one by one. He took the gun off and vacuumed in there as well. I just did this 2 weeks ago and was shocked how much soot built up since then. He changed the filters and screens. He changed the nozzle and then gave the entire boiler room a vacuum. I asked him why I was getting that much soot. He explained that the nozzle I was using was too large. I used the one recommended by the manufacturer and he explained with my gun setup and burner the nozzle they recommend is too large (from his experience). He downsized the nozzle and all was perfect.

In the end I was penny wise and pound foolish trying to do this myself. He did all this work for $100 I also realized there is a big difference with a plumber doing a tune up etc vs a boiler/burner guy. For $100 ($90 and I gave him a $10 tip) you cannot go wrong. With oil prices going up, I'm glad I did this right away.

If you want his name send me a DM

Hope it helps...

Anthony

Last edited by Keeper; 03-07-2012 at 07:10 AM.. Reason: Sorry too much like advertising/if someone ask you can post it as long as you don't start it
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Island of long
3,582 posts, read 6,054,157 times
Reputation: 1128
$100 an hour for residential work is average price.
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Old 03-03-2012, 07:32 PM
 
629 posts, read 807,180 times
Reputation: 609
An experienced guy should be able to do that in under an hour - probably close to 45 minutes. If he's charging $90 - that comes out to $120 an hour - right? How is he losing money - he's got his foot in the door and has impressed a potential future customer with the quality of his work.
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Old 03-03-2012, 10:33 PM
 
131 posts, read 366,173 times
Reputation: 54
He really did impress me. I build race engines and pay attention to detail. I have seen guys come in, do the job and leave. Then I see this guy, who took the time to vacuum behind the boiler, too the time to vacuum the soot but then use a brush and vacuum some more, then also never let a drop of oil hit the floor so I wanted to post. It's the little things.

I used to have the head guy at Lake Ville Pace service my houses (personal friend) and he put the wrong size nozzle and he is a licensed plumber. The nozzle that the burner called for made it run rich. This guy (Paul) explained with the gun I have, I should use a smaller nozzle. That is what I meant when I said there is a big difference between a plumber and a oil furnace guy from my experience.

And yes, this was the average price from what I see from ads all over but I really liked this guys work. It's very rare I put my name on the line to refer people, I almost never do it because it always backfires but in this case, I don't mind.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:51 AM
 
Location: Island of long
3,582 posts, read 6,054,157 times
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JFYI.....nozzles are sized to match the burner firing rate, not the boiler size. A quick test on the stack and smoke will tell you if you are firing efficiently. Some crooked oil companies will oversize the nozzle on purpose so you need to buy more oil.
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Old 03-04-2012, 08:56 AM
 
38 posts, read 69,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rocafeller05 View Post
$100 an hour for residential work is average price.
According to who? I am a licensed plumber and my hourly rate is $155 - which is competitive for Nassau County plumbers.
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Old 03-04-2012, 09:00 AM
 
38 posts, read 69,839 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthBound3 View Post
An experienced guy should be able to do that in under an hour - probably close to 45 minutes. If he's charging $90 - that comes out to $120 an hour - right? How is he losing money - he's got his foot in the door and has impressed a potential future customer with the quality of his work.
Ok, your obviously another genius at business. So he is there for 45 minutes. What about wear and tear on his vehicle, tools, overhead and the 30 minutes + in travel time to get to the job? Really? Now lets factor in gas for that service vehicle.....

Point Pipe Doctor was trying to make obviously went over everyones head which is very disappointing.
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Old 03-04-2012, 10:43 AM
 
629 posts, read 807,180 times
Reputation: 609
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepipe View Post
Ok, your obviously another genius at business. So he is there for 45 minutes. What about wear and tear on his vehicle, tools, overhead and the 30 minutes + in travel time to get to the job? Really? Now lets factor in gas for that service vehicle.....

Point Pipe Doctor was trying to make obviously went over everyones head which is very disappointing.
Assuming this fellow is smart (like the fellow that I use) he books a group of 6-8 jobs in the same area/town on the same day for burner tune-ups starting just after Labor Day - so let's not beat the drum about the poor guy driving for 1/2 an hour for a $90 job - if he's doing that - then he'll be out of business soon enough and you won't have to worry about him as competition.

As far as his truck and gas - all people in a service business have overhead, whether rent for a retail store, an office, or a vehicle to get to clients. All my oil burner guy brings to do my annual burner service is a commercial-grade vac, new filter, new nozzle, and some small tools - he doesn't roll out his E350 box truck that gets 8MPG for that - he comes in an small minivan (a smart guy minimizing his overhead where possible).

Additionally, if the price of fuel continues upward to the levels of Europe (around $9 a gallon) as the current administration has publicly said it is in favor of - then yes - I would fully expect service people of all kinds (electricians, plumbers, landscapers, etc.) who must travel to clients to increase the price of their services to help compensate for higher fuel costs and/or institute travel/fuel surcharges. No reasonable customer would argue this.

Lastly, I doubt this guy earns a living (enough to call Long Island home) doing oil burner service at $90 a pop. I suggested that it's probably just a foot in the door and chance to win a customer. My own oil burner technician is a licensed plumber and since I started using him for my annual oil burner service - I have given him other meaningful business (bathroom plumbing, hot water heater installation, central air conditioning service, etc.) as a result of knowing him and being happy with his work.

Moderator cut: snip

Last edited by Kimballette; 03-06-2012 at 07:23 PM.. Reason: Oh, please.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:40 AM
 
2,630 posts, read 2,245,521 times
Reputation: 1705
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepipe View Post
Ok, your obviously another genius at business. So he is there for 45 minutes. What about wear and tear on his vehicle, tools, overhead and the 30 minutes + in travel time to get to the job? Really? Now lets factor in gas for that service vehicle.....

Point Pipe Doctor was trying to make obviously went over everyones head which is very disappointing.
Another cranky contractor telling everyone how dumb they are.

The guy did excellent burner work and charged $90. I have a great guy who charges $85.

Great work, fair price. Period, end of happy story.

Last "pro" plumber I used for double the price forgot to cap a return flow pipe (could have learned it in middle school shop class) and flooded my house. He was good enough to buy me a new crappy carpet after a long stressful battle.

I just had an electrician in to do a small job replacing a GFCI outlet in a tough spot. Local, nice guy, good personality, licensed, called back first and quoted me $85. Came on time, fixed it and then changed another outlet for me on the
same $85. The 2nd guy who called quoted me $125 for the visit and when I told him I had someone for less he told me how bad that guy must be and what a fool I am for hiring him. I was just amazed. If the 1st guy didn't show, do you really think I would have called that 2nd guy back?! 1st guy had good reviews on smartpages. 2nd guy had a bigger ad but no reviews. Typical. Finding good trades help is really a crapshoot.
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Old 03-08-2012, 02:44 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
6,483 posts, read 4,481,766 times
Reputation: 6261
Quote:
Originally Posted by mongoose65 View Post
Another cranky contractor telling everyone how dumb they are.

The guy did excellent burner work and charged $90. I have a great guy who charges $85.

Great work, fair price. Period, end of happy story.

Last "pro" plumber I used for double the price forgot to cap a return flow pipe (could have learned it in middle school shop class) and flooded my house. He was good enough to buy me a new crappy carpet after a long stressful battle.

I just had an electrician in to do a small job replacing a GFCI outlet in a tough spot. Local, nice guy, good personality, licensed, called back first and quoted me $85. Came on time, fixed it and then changed another outlet for me on the
same $85. The 2nd guy who called quoted me $125 for the visit and when I told him I had someone for less he told me how bad that guy must be and what a fool I am for hiring him. I was just amazed. If the 1st guy didn't show, do you really think I would have called that 2nd guy back?! 1st guy had good reviews on smartpages. 2nd guy had a bigger ad but no reviews. Typical. Finding good trades help is really a crapshoot.
Agreed. I paid only $99 to have my furnance cleaned with a tune up. I find that contractors get peeved when they lose business to someone else because that other contractor is willing to be a few bucks less and have another customer. "Cheaper" doesn't always mean "shoddy".
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