I was dumped by my heating contractor like a teenager at prom : (

9 Replies

Hello fellow Hartford investors, I'm looking for a heating guy to work with on a regular basis. Anyone can recommend someone reasonable? I had HR Heating, who's a good guy, but he's ghosting me. I think he dumped me : ( 

ONE is the loneliest number…

Can't help you w this particular issue in CT, however from experience I've found it is best to have at least 2 plumbers, hvac, electricians, roofers, etc that you can call on in your contact list--before you really need them. 

Also found a good way to find a busy (usually means good) contractor is to go to the supply house for that industry, ie plumbing supply for plumber/hvac, and speak to the counter guys.  They know all the locals, and should be able to point you in the right direction.

Good luck.

I have a funny story (that won't help Shirley at all, sorry). I had a fridge repair guy that came out 3 times (seller paid for home owners warranty). I kept insisting the fridge needing replacement. He kept insisting he could repair it. After he leaves, his secretary calls me. "He's not coming back. All you want is a new fridge and we aren't going to help you get a new one". 

So the warranty company sends a new company. 

New guy: "That last guy had no idea what he was doing. It can't be fixed. You need a new fridge". 

Sure, it cost me $100 for deductible and several trips and a pain in the butt repairman, but tenants got a new $750 fridge!

@Shirley Rozenshteyn I had a plumber that did the same thing. He was a smaller company, with just him and two helpers. I thought it was kind of weird for him to ignore me after giving him lots of business and paying my bills immediately. I found out later he got hooked up with bigger commercial customer. I guess I became small fry. Well now he is dead to me, haha. 

Now I work with a bigger plumbing company. They cost a little more money, but they have many service techs, so I won't be pushed aside for larger customers. 

I have found it is more important to have responsive service providers, versus saving a few dollars. I just don't have time to hound people to do their job, which seems to be the norm with many small business owners - in a hot economy. Wait until the economy cools. All these people will be begging for work.

Originally posted by @Anthony Wick :

I have a funny story (that won't help Shirley at all, sorry). I had a fridge repair guy that came out 3 times (seller paid for home owners warranty). I kept insisting the fridge needing replacement. He kept insisting he could repair it. After he leaves, his secretary calls me. "He's not coming back. All you want is a new fridge and we aren't going to help you get a new one". 

So the warranty company sends a new company. 

New guy: "That last guy had no idea what he was doing. It can't be fixed. You need a new fridge". 

Sure, it cost me $100 for deductible and several trips and a pain in the butt repairman, but tenants got a new $750 fridge!

Sadly your story is fairly common. Incompetent service people is one of the most costly expenses for landlords and it is often a hidden cost because landlords don't know better. 

I had a drain flange in a shower rust out (shower on cement slab). Plumber told me the only way to fix it was to pull the shower, which meant drywall damage and $1000 expense. I found a $20 repair flange online and asked them to install one of those. They refused and said they don't work. I called a second plumber who said he wouldn't use something he had never installed. I finally installed the flange myself. It took me two hours and a $1000 repair ended up costing me $20.

Another property, the cast iron pipe under cement was clogged. The drain cleaning company said it was rusted closed. They said it would be $2000 to jack hammer the floor and replace the pipe. I called RotoRooter and he got it unclogged in 15 minutes for $90 service call. It has been fine for years now.

Some of this just comes down to profit motivation. In your case the fridge repair guy only makes money if he repairs the fridge, so he has no incentive to recommend replacement. 

Originally posted by @Joe Splitrock :
Originally posted by @Anthony Wick:

I have a funny story (that won't help Shirley at all, sorry). I had a fridge repair guy that came out 3 times (seller paid for home owners warranty). I kept insisting the fridge needing replacement. He kept insisting he could repair it. After he leaves, his secretary calls me. "He's not coming back. All you want is a new fridge and we aren't going to help you get a new one". 

So the warranty company sends a new company. 

New guy: "That last guy had no idea what he was doing. It can't be fixed. You need a new fridge". 

Sure, it cost me $100 for deductible and several trips and a pain in the butt repairman, but tenants got a new $750 fridge!

Sadly your story is fairly common. Incompetent service people is one of the most costly expenses for landlords and it is often a hidden cost because landlords don't know better. 

I had a drain flange in a shower rust out (shower on cement slab). Plumber told me the only way to fix it was to pull the shower, which meant drywall damage and $1000 expense. I found a $20 repair flange online and asked them to install one of those. They refused and said they don't work. I called a second plumber who said he wouldn't use something he had never installed. I finally installed the flange myself. It took me two hours and a $1000 repair ended up costing me $20.

Another property, the cast iron pipe under cement was clogged. The drain cleaning company said it was rusted closed. They said it would be $2000 to jack hammer the floor and replace the pipe. I called RotoRooter and he got it unclogged in 15 minutes for $90 service call. It has been fine for years now.

Some of this just comes down to profit motivation. In your case the fridge repair guy only makes money if he repairs the fridge, so he has no incentive to recommend replacement. 

 Half the stuff I've learned to do over the years was because either someone didn't/wouldn't come out to look at the job, or the guy that came did shoddy work/claimed huge costs that I ended up giving it a shot myself. My entire (relatively short) career as a plumber came about because one of the kids snapped one of those toilet cut-offs at the wall and water was pouring everywhere. It was a Saturday morning. I turned the water off to the house and called a dozen plumbers in the phone book, all of which advertised "24 hour emergency service!" Not one of them would come out until Monday. I took the broken valve and went to Lowe's and told the guy "I have this, the pipe is broken in the wall, and I can't turn the water back on until I close off that pipe somehow". Me and the guy put together a quickie mobile home (this was back before quick connect fittings i.e. sharkbites) setup with about 6 fittings, and he said "Push this end on the pipe and it should stop the water." Well, he was right, and for about 5 bucks in parts I had the water back on in the house. I went out to the book store (man, this whole post is nostalgia central - phone books, book stores) and bought "Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself" book, learned how to glue plastic pipe and parts together, and fixed it, and the drywall, myself about a week later. 

Anyway, yes, this doesn't help the OP at all. Usually if a company dumps you it's either because they don't think there's enough profit to keep working for you, they don't have enough techs and someone else gets priority, or you've been a PITA to work for and they don't want your business any more. 

@Shirley Rozenshteyn lots of posts here, but not many responses with what you actually need! I think that speaks volumes about your ability to title! :)

We use Dan Grunwald Heating and Cooling and Eric Jones out of Granby. They both cover Hartford county. Dan's prices are usually pretty awesome, but he can be difficult to reach because of how busy he gets. 


Feel free to PM me and I will send you their phone numbers. 

Happy investing!

Thank you all for the suggestions and the stories that made me feel like I'm not just a PITA to work with.

So I went to the supply store and spoke to the guy there. Apparently he knows my heat guy and he's one of his biggest clients and apparently he went back to school for refrigeration certification.

He got him to call me back and I got 3 other numbers!!! It's amazing what you can do in person and with a smile. @Marc Winter was right!

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