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Did I just do the right thing???

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  • Did I just do the right thing???

    First let me start by saying I don't know jack about furnaces.


    Did a flooded basement (3") job today for for the second time for the same elderly woman. Last Nov I explained the problem to her, positive drain is now negative and crushed and needs to be dug up and replaced. I thought at the time she understood but today I noticed a lot more signs of old age. I know she is on a very fixed income (not the type with a 2008 BMW in the drive way) so it's almost as if she wants to believe the problem will just go away on its own after I pump.

    Any way she mentioned the furnace was making popping sounds. (the water never got close enough to effect the furnace). So I took a look at it. I noticed a small amount of soot (snow like but black) around it. So I told her she should have it checked out ASAP to be on the safe side.
    Later while standing by it, it turned on and at the back I could see a 3" crack, and a thumb size hole with flame showing.

    I showed her this and she started to get upset because it's going to cost money to have someone look at it and even more to fix it. I spent 10mins calming her down and trying to convince her that this could be a life/death situation (fire or CO2). And no CO2 detectors in the home to top it off.

    She went upstairs to make the call to her "furnace guy". Later I asked her what the guy said and she said she left him a message. I asked her who she called and she said a name different then the tag on the furnace. Tag goes back 5yrs showing dates of service with So and So.
    I don't think she called anyone. I think she hopes this problem too will just go away. So I shut it down and was going to pull the eye just in case she figured out the shut off switch, but no eye.

    I was gathering up #'s and info for elder services in her area when she came out with the phone. It was the same furnace co on the tag and he said he was on his way.

    My question is, did I make the right call on insisting this be checked out by a pro and shutting it down?

    Like I said, I don't know jack about furnaces but this to me looked like a situation that could get bad real quick.
    INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
    Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

  • #2
    Re: Did I just do the right thing???

    Gene,

    You absolutely did the right thing and thank you for caring enough to take the time and make some calls. My mother is no longer able to make decision for herself and I would hope if she was in the same situation she would be lucky enough to have someone like you around.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Did I just do the right thing???

      Yep, good call, and if she had given you anymore crap I would have called the fire department.
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Did I just do the right thing???

        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
        Gene,

        You absolutely did the right thing and thank you for caring enough to take the time and make some calls. My mother is no longer able to make decision for herself and I would hope if she was in the same situation she would be lucky enough to have someone like you around.

        Mark

        The saddest part of the whole thing is her 40ish year old live in unemployed son hollering at and demeaning her. He got kind of loud back in nov but today I wanted to choke the living F%#K out of him. I started to get the Irish rage, so I talked to her outside. Makes me wonder what kind of things go on in that home when strangers are not around.

        The more I think about the whole situation the more I want to .
        Then I get that funny felling I get just before I..., um.. get something in my eye.
        INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
        Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Did I just do the right thing???

          I think you did the right thing. There is probably a lawyer out there that would make it your fault if something happened and you hadn't done anything.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Did I just do the right thing???

            yes you did good
            if you see flame its not long before the house is on fire or the all fall a sleep with co2 . but on the other hand the co2 may not be so bad if you were to get her out of the house for a week or so and the son was the one that got it
            i know thats bad

            if you think she is in any harm from him i would tell some one .
            stop in to check on your work so you can see if she is ok
            Charlie

            My seek the peek fundraiser page
            http://observatory.mountwashington.o...nal&fr_id=1040


            http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/conditions.php

            new work pictures 12/09
            http://public.fotki.com/hvachawk/

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            • #7
              Re: Did I just do the right thing???

              Good call Gene,

              see? you do now jack about furnaces

              Always have the customer sign a contract for your work before mentioning other deficiencies

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Did I just do the right thing???

                Originally posted by HVAC HAWK View Post
                if you think she is in any harm from him i would tell some one .
                stop in to check on your work so you can see if she is ok
                Already in the works.
                I don't think anything physical is going on but the way he was hollering and the things he was saying were just too much.

                I was kind of wrestling with the idea of making a call so I called a former customer that is a case worker with the state elder services. When I make a complaint he will more then likely get the case. I hope so as he's a good man.

                After talking with him, and thinking about some of the things she had to say when we were outside having a heart to heart, I will file a formal complaint in the a.m. partly due to the son and partly due to her obvious aging.

                It's hard for me though because in my family we always take care of our own not send them to the home. If the state decides she is not able to care for herself then she is home bound as she has no family to care for her.

                Who would have thought a simple flooded basement call would bring up so many morel dilemmas?

                I sometimes wish I were more callous and didn't always have so many friggin' morels getting in my way.
                INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
                Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Did I just do the right thing???

                  Its kinda funny how doing right by somebody gets them upset with you. I count 3 things you did right, Gene. They'll probably hate you.

                  Andy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Did I just do the right thing???

                    You did good. What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right.
                    Buy cheap, buy twice.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Did I just do the right thing???

                      you did good Gene.

                      maybe that elderly lady was already feeling the effects of the cracked combustion chamber.

                      we have abuse against the elderly up here too. so far i haven't personally seen it. but if i do, God help the abuser.

                      hopefuly the son will get some much needed help. to you, his name is Jack.

                      i wonder if there is some type of program available with your gov't that she could apply for as a pensioner for the replacement of the furnace?

                      Vince

                      Gene, Gene, washing machinnnne.......

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Did I just do the right thing???

                        Vince if that is a gas appliance you could have contacted the utility company. They will send a gas tech to check it out. If they find it is unsafe they will lock it out and then the liability is on them at that point.

                        I lookied up the Utility Co and it looks like Berkshire Gas is the utility that supplies that area. Call them.
                        Last edited by Chauncey; 04-08-2009, 06:52 AM.
                        WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE,
                        ONLY BECAUSE OF THE BRAVE

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Did I just do the right thing???

                          I just want to help by correcting one thing. CO2 is carbon dioxide and is normal. CO is carbon monoxide and only normal in very small amounts. If there is soot build up anywhere on a funace, it's the sign of improper combustion and that is very dangerous. If there is a breach than of course that's worse.
                          Good call though. Only thing I would advise is that you document what you do and have her sign so that you're a$$ is covered no matter what.
                          RJ

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Did I just do the right thing???

                            CO2 is carbon dioxide which is not bad FYI. It's CO we need to worry about.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Did I just do the right thing???

                              You did good Gene. Also, many counties have an Office on Aging or Elderly Services as you mentioned. These agencies often have monies available to help elderly people with upgrades or repairs to their heating or other mechanical systems. She might be eligible for some grant money that couple offset the cost of replacing that old furnace.
                              ---------------
                              Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                              ---------------
                              “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                              ---------
                              "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
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