Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    24

    Default Inadequate Duct Size

    I did an inspection for a friend about 4 months ago on a 2004 Highland home. One of their compressors just went out. They had a warranty and an HVAC tech was sent out. The HVAC tech investigated and indicated the supply and return duct sizes were too small for the unit and provided my client with a Flex Duct Field Duct Size Estimate. In addition, the warranty company also claimed "the inspector should have caught that", which is laughable.

    I'm not worried about me because I reported to the SOP, but I want to do what I can for my friend and his family. The warranty company will pay for a second opinion, but only if it differs from their analysis, which is that the overall duct sizes are too small.

    Has anyone experienced a similar issue and what advice did you offer your friend/client in such a situation?

    Similar Threads:
    Inspection Referral SOC
    Professional Real Estate Inspector, TREC #20511
    Certified Level 1 Infrared Thermographer
    www.vikinginspections.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Inadequate Duct Size

    I've never had that experience but then my background is in HVAC so I tend to be a bit anal about HVAC. But on it's face it would not be at all unreasonable that the duct work was undersized. If that was the case, you might have seen temperature drops in excess of normal, icing of the coil, etc. but if the unit was slightly undercharged, the temp drop may have been in the normal range.

    I'm guessing the warranty company is trying to deny the claim? Shocker!!

    Let's see, the unit I'm guessing was 9 years old and doing the job for 9 years and was doing the job the day you inspected it? And it worked for the last 4 months following the inspection...
    Sounds like the warranty guy is doing what warranty guys do, trying to get out of paying for a repair by blaming someone else.

    HVAC sizing is beyond the scope of my home inspection and unless I REALLY felt like I missed something obvious, I would refer them back to the contract and SOP.

    If I REALLY wanted to get an education, I might pay for an independent opinion from someone I chose and be there for the appointment.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,847

    Default Re: Inadequate Duct Size

    As Jim pointed out this is so typical of any home warranty! Something very similar just happend to my son and his wife. The warranty service person told them that their unit was dirty, undersized and had been neglected. Wrong on all accounts.... Anyway after a week of no AC in Memphis TN, they were able to get two independent HVAC contractors provide a differing opinion to the original one and the warranty company caved and replaced the evaporator coil on their unit. Yes, it cost them two service calls but it was their only option.

    We really need to expose just how bad home warranty programs are.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: Inadequate Duct Size

    My first response would be that the duct is the same existing duct as was there when THEY did their inspection - the duct has not magically shrunk in size ... oh, THEY did an inspection, right? (Of course not)

    Since THEY did not do an inspection, and THEY accepted the system as installed at the time THEY approved covering the system, and being as the duct work has not been replaced with smaller duct work (or replaced at all), then THEY get to pay for equipment which failed and which THEY accepted and covered under THEIR warranty.

    If they do not do an inspection then they are accepting the installation as it is at that time, sight unseen - would you buy a house sight unseen? I doubt it, unless someone were to sell you 1000 houses at $1 each, in which case you assume that there will be some dogs among them and you hope there is at least one gem among them - it is an investment business decision to take the risk versus the cost to inspect ... sometimes you win, sometimes you don't ... sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield ... it is all part of their business model of covering everything and hoping there are no failures, and if there are that you can 'blame someone else' for not catching what they should have caught at their inspection ... oops, they didn't do an inspection = their problem.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Inadequate Duct Size

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Since THEY did not do an inspection, and THEY accepted the system as installed at the time THEY approved covering the system, and being as the duct work has not been replaced with smaller duct work (or replaced at all), then THEY get to pay for equipment which failed and which THEY accepted and covered under THEIR warranty.
    Thanks everyone.

    Jerry,
    You make some really good points. Thank you.

    Professional Real Estate Inspector, TREC #20511
    Certified Level 1 Infrared Thermographer
    www.vikinginspections.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    89

    Default Re: Inadequate Duct Size

    I hate it when the realtor during the walk-thru down plays my comments with "That's ok, you've got a home warranty" Or for new-builds they say "It's warrantied for 10 years" when I know not everything is. Or the worst one "You don't need an inspection, you've got a home warranty!"

    My own personal experience with them was a couple a months ago with the warranty the seller gave me. The waste disposer gave out, called them, they came out and wanted me to pay them $400 for the change out, same size. When I questioned that, the tech said it would have been $600, but the company is giving me a $200 break. I gave him his $65 and sent him on his way.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Marietta, Georgia
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Inadequate Duct Size

    Frank, I have heard this for so many years that I actually put verbiage into the documentation I give my clients that say something to the effect: "Be advised, a home warranty is not a substitute for maintenance, repairs or corrections recommended by the inspector''. I hate it, too, when I hear them say, ''Oh, don't worry about it, the warranty will take care of it if it breaks or quits working''. As soon as the agent is out of ear-shot I will tell them just the exact opposite and I have been known to say it in front of the agent. I love this job.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Inadequate Duct Size

    Quote Originally Posted by Kris Svendsen View Post
    I did an inspection for a friend about 4 months ago on a 2004 Highland home. One of their compressors just went out. They had a warranty and an HVAC tech was sent out. The HVAC tech investigated and indicated the supply and return duct sizes were too small for the unit and provided my client with a Flex Duct Field Duct Size Estimate. In addition, the warranty company also claimed "the inspector should have caught that", which is laughable.

    I'm not worried about me because I reported to the SOP, but I want to do what I can for my friend and his family. The warranty company will pay for a second opinion, but only if it differs from their analysis, which is that the overall duct sizes are too small.

    Has anyone experienced a similar issue and what advice did you offer your friend/client in such a situation?
    The duct system is undersized per HVAC tech. The the system could never have worked correctly. Even if was under charged to prevent freeze up it could not have maintained temp. Therefore the disclosure information should have reflected that.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    24

    Default Re: Inadequate Duct Size

    I followed up and they are working with the builder at this point to get out there and check it. It's a slow process with no AC. It's getting warm in Dallas!

    Professional Real Estate Inspector, TREC #20511
    Certified Level 1 Infrared Thermographer
    www.vikinginspections.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Charlotte NC
    Posts
    2,303

    Default Re: Inadequate Duct Size

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Melocco View Post
    The duct system is undersized per HVAC tech. The the system could never have worked correctly. Even if was under charged to prevent freeze up it could not have maintained temp. Therefore the disclosure information should have reflected that.
    Under charging often results in evaporator freeze up!

    The beatings will continue until morale has improved. mgt.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •