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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was called to a home today, the homeowner wanted an estimate on the changeout of an existing unit. After arriving, evaluating, calculating, and presenting the homeowner with a bid, he then tells me that he has already purchased a condenser off ebay!!!!!!from ebay, dammit! is this even legal for him to buy a condenser from there. after I gave him my bid he asked me how much cheaper it would be with him furnishing the condenser, so in my most professional demeanor, I calmly explained to him that it would be the same price and that I would not give him my standard warranty that I give all my customers (In addition to the mfg warranty, I give two years labor warranty) since I didn't know where it came from. He was extra dissapointed when I explained that he had to now go and purchase a cased coil (410a) to match the condenser that he had just bought. Is it legal for just anyone to buy a split system from a web site like ebay?
 

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Yes and No...

It is not legal for him to purchase any unit that contains refrigerant that is not a sealed system ie. window A/C, without a refrigerant license. On the other hand a lot of manufacturers are now offering a few units in a "Dry Ship" confiquration, in other words no refrigerant in the unit. The unit is charged with dry nitrogen as a holding charge. But in your post you say it's a 410 a unit, I am not aware of any manufacturer shipping 410a units "dry". So while it is not legal, it would seem it is very possible to do, since he has apparently done so. For what it's worth I wouldn't have come off the price either.
 

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Anyone can legally buy any refrigerant containing component. Which includes condensers, and package units.

There is no R410A EPA certification requirement for purchasing, transporting or working on system containing it.

Before it was phased out. R22 factory charged units could be bought by anyone also. There was never any law or reg against it. While it was originally suppose to be that way. that section was removed before the regs passed. Due to large builders and brokers wanting buy their own units. They lobbied hard, and got it omitted.
 

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That fiqures....

All these years i thought that was part of the law...learn something everyday. It does seem that more and more consumers are buying their own equipment. I guess all we can do as an industry is walk away from it, and let the consumer do his own thing. If all contractors refused to install this equipment, perhaps John Q consumer would shy away from all this online cheap equipment.
 

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You can also always simply subtract your cost of the equipment from your estimate, an give him a price. That way you still make your normal mark up on the equipment.

EG: If the equipment cost to you is 1200 bucks, and you nomally mark it up to 2200 bucks. 2200-1200=1200. So you would still be getting your normal 1200 bucks.

Home owners being able to buy their own equipment will never really stop, as there will always be a side job guy willing to do the work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yeah I understand that, beenthere, but anytime a technician does a job he pretty much has to stand behind what he does, and it is very hard for me to warranty my work when I'm not sure where the equiptment came from. Even though a failure in the equiptment might not be through any fault of mine, most homeowners wouldn't see it that way. Even getting my standard markup, I'm not comfortable doing the job.
 

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When its equipment provided by the customer, THEY are responsible for providing all warranty parts. Or, thy must pay a handling fee, the same as a distributor will charge in some areas on equipment they didn't sell.

Its up to each individual company.
 

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I would try to find out what he customer paid for the part and subtract that amount from the estimate and also tell that part will not be covered under warranty.
 

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Been there done that!!!

Just cut that bid loose!!!! You also have insurance claims to think about. Equipment sold on EBAY just never works out.:no:
 

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You can make money and have a good customer as well and more importantly earn some referrals. If handled right the referrals will hear about what they really should do from this customer.
Or walk-your choice.
 

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I think it is a very bad trend that may reduce us to being "parts installers". The industry really should come together and derail this trend.
 

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Anyone can legally buy any refrigerant containing component. Which includes condensers, and package units.

There is no R410A EPA certification requirement for purchasing, transporting or working on system containing it.

Before it was phased out. R22 factory charged units could be bought by anyone also. There was never any law or reg against it. While it was originally suppose to be that way. that section was removed before the regs passed. Due to large builders and brokers wanting buy their own units. They lobbied hard, and got it omitted.
I am not saying that your statement is not true......but can you point out a link that states that law? I believe that it IS illegal to purchase any unit that contains refrigerant that is NOT a sealed system.......why else would we have to carry an EPA card?
 

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EPA card is basically only for servicing the equipment. There is no section that says you need to be certified to buy equipment.

From the EPA's website:

The Refrigerant Sales Restriction

The following questions and answers provide information about the restriction on sales of refrigerant to Section 608 or 609 certified technicians. A table summarizing this sales restriction is found here.
What does the sales restriction cover?

This sales restriction covers all CFC and HCFC refrigerants contained in bulk containers (such as cylinders, cans or drums). Refrigerant blends containing HCFCs (such as FRIGC FR-12, Free Zone, Hot Shot® or R-414B, GHG-X4 or R-414A, Freeze 12) are also covered under this sales restriction.
This sales restriction does not cover refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment or components containing an ozone-depleting refrigerant (such as components of residential split systems containing HCFC-22, also called R-22). Nor does the restriction cover the retail sale of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances containing CFC or HCFC refrigerants (such as window air conditioners).


Here is the link. http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/sales/sales.html
 

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i am that guy
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EPA card is basically only for servicing the equipment. There is no section that says you need to be certified to buy equipment.

From the EPA's website:

The Refrigerant Sales Restriction

The following questions and answers provide information about the restriction on sales of refrigerant to Section 608 or 609 certified technicians. A table summarizing this sales restriction is found here.
What does the sales restriction cover?

This sales restriction covers all CFC and HCFC refrigerants contained in bulk containers (such as cylinders, cans or drums). Refrigerant blends containing HCFCs (such as FRIGC FR-12, Free Zone, Hot Shot® or R-414B, GHG-X4 or R-414A, Freeze 12) are also covered under this sales restriction.
This sales restriction does not cover refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment or components containing an ozone-depleting refrigerant (such as components of residential split systems containing HCFC-22, also called R-22). Nor does the restriction cover the retail sale of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances containing CFC or HCFC refrigerants (such as window air conditioners).


Here is the link. http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/sales/sales.html
thank you very much
 

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I was called to a home today, the homeowner wanted an estimate on the changeout of an existing unit. After arriving, evaluating, calculating, and presenting the homeowner with a bid, he then tells me that he has already purchased a condenser off ebay!!!!!!from ebay, dammit! is this even legal for him to buy a condenser from there. after I gave him my bid he asked me how much cheaper it would be with him furnishing the condenser, so in my most professional demeanor, I calmly explained to him that it would be the same price and that I would not give him my standard warranty that I give all my customers (In addition to the mfg warranty, I give two years labor warranty) since I didn't know where it came from. He was extra dissapointed when I explained that he had to now go and purchase a cased coil (410a) to match the condenser that he had just bought. Is it legal for just anyone to buy a split system from a web site like ebay?
It is not illegal for an unlicensed individual to buy HVAC equipment online.

It is illegal for an unlicensed individual to perform service, alteration, and/or modifications on HVAC equipment containing refrigerant.

The reason supply houses require companies to have CFC licensed employees is that the EPA requires them to track their refrigerant supplies. In addition, supply houses understand that if an individual is picking up refrigerant or refrigerant containing equipment they are most likely going to install or service it.

It is not illegal for Joe the homeowner to simply purchase the equipment...irregardless of how mad it makes some, including me.
It is illegal for an
 

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i am that guy
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It is not illegal for an unlicensed individual to buy HVAC equipment online.

It is illegal for an unlicensed individual to perform service, alteration, and/or modifications on HVAC equipment containing refrigerant.

The reason supply houses require companies to have CFC licensed employees is that the EPA requires them to track their refrigerant supplies. In addition, supply houses understand that if an individual is picking up refrigerant or refrigerant containing equipment they are most likely going to install or service it.

It is not illegal for Joe the homeowner to simply purchase the equipment...irregardless of how mad it makes some, including me.
It is illegal for an
Its ok..........let them buy it ....we have special pricing for home owners that think they know what they really dont............they are going to pay for my address in St. Thomas US.VI.
 

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Its ok..........let them buy it ....we have special pricing for home owners that think they know what they really dont............they are going to pay for my address in St. Thomas US.VI.

While it is highly aggravating when homeowners or business owners engage in the HVAC industry this way....I can also understand individuals trying to save money...especially in this economy. By the same token I hope the unlicensed individuals can understand the side of HVAC providers as this type of activity hurts their ability to make a profit and pay their employees who need to provide for their family.

A similar scenario would be us having the ability to purchase our own crowns and then show up at the dentist with a screwed up crown and expect them to install the crown, warranty the crown, and give us a sizable discount.

You can't show up a the steak house and give the chef a steak you picked up on the way there and expect him to cook it.

Actually, I suppose you could but you can use your imagination regarding the chef's response.

 

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Just picture it......a home owner trying to braze in a line set.....shall we serve up two very well done service valves? And thats assuming it doesn't explode in their face....it ain't going to be pretty......but like i said ....when they call we will come $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
 

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I would inspect the equipment that the customer purchased, and make sure that the rest of the equipment that I was going to provide is an ari match for the condensor her bought. The warranty on the condenser will come from the factory and will be honored based on the invoice of the date I installed it. Labor of course will be on the customer, and it will be up to him to track down and get a hold of any warranty parts for his condenser. Just knock off your cost for the condenser on your bid and do the job. If you have sone your job of inspecting the equipment and matching it up with yours, then there should be no problem. Just explain that the condenser is his, and that means if it does not even start, then that is not your problem. Internet sales are a pain, but one we all better find a way to profit from cuz they are here to stay. Be professional and do your job right and all should work out. Once customers realize that they have limited themselves from the best service you could have provided them in the way of full service warranty attention, they will not do that anymore, and will advice their friends against it.
 

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I think it is a very bad trend that may reduce us to being "parts installers". The industry really should come together and derail this trend.
That's a little hard to do. Especially now that anything can be sold online. If the government or certain parties passed a law that says that selling this kind of parts are illegal... then maybe this trend will possibly be lessen or end.
 
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