I contracted Baumberger heating and cooling to install a new condensor unit at my home. After the install concluded I found a huge water leak.
With in 4 weeks of having a new condensor unit installed in my home. i started a renovation project. In the process of tearing up the carpet in my bedroom, I cam across a huge Water leak. I tracked the leak from the back of my wifes closet to the front of the water heater closet. this closet also contains the HVAC unit. I searched for hours to try to find where the water was coming from. it was not until I was right infront of the condensor drain tube(whyle I was tearing out my sub floor) that I found the problem. water was backing up from the drian pipe and overflowing the condensate reservoir.Gallons of water in minutes. Because of the tile and carpet floor it was not noticeable. I immeadiatly called baumberger.
They sent the installer the next day. He was suppose to bring the Sales person with him. the installer came in and started poring water down the drain. He then told me it was a Air gap problem and was going to put a cap on it. which he did. I called the sales person an asked him to come over. They talked with me standing in the distance as the installer told the sales person that he thought he put a cap on it and i must have removed it. not the case! the installer than went to the craw space to look at the "trap" for the first time. he told me he never went down and looked at it before because the allways "assume" everything is fine.
He said it was not the way he would do it and there were other things tied into it that had to be the problem. The sales person asked if they should put a larger line in because the new a/c unit was more efficent and would have do drain extra water. The installers response is "i would have to be down here all day running new pipe". he was quite certain that the cap he put on would fix the problem. He was incorrect. After that visit they sent there manager out to assess the damage. He asked alot of questions about what could be have happened. I told him the process how I found the water and where it was coming from. He did not offer alot of help. He told me that he might have to send their insurance agent out to look at my damage. As soon as he got back from vacation with the owner of Baumberger.
The manager asked me what i was looking have baumberger to cover. I told him i wanted my water problem fixed and my floor fixed. I was in the process of re-doing the floor in the bedroom, but not the bathroom and laundry room. He said he would talk to the owner and see if he wanted to handle it without insurance getting involved. A few days went buy with water backing up everyday. I had to Call them to see what was going to happen. I talked to the manager who told me they would like to offer me $350. I was not happy with that number.
I told him i was going to try to find the problem on my own and get back with him. I called multiple plumbers and asked there opinion. I called the manager and told him we have not pin pointed the problem but i would like to take the offer of $350 to help recoop the cost. He told me he didn't know if that offer still stood. He said he would talk to the owner and call me back. He never has!
I finally had my dad come to the house. I went in to the Craw space. I couldnt have been down there 10 seconds and he found a srcew thru the pvc coming from the drain. The 3/4 pvc went into 1/2" gavenized pipe that was not even attached to the main drain in the floor. Any water that could get out was running into the floor of the craw space. The gavenized was clogged, with only a small stream of water coming out. A run to ******* and $60 bucks in pvc and about 2 hours i had it fixed.
The question is was this my problem to fix and how could i spot it and there installer couldn't? I now am fixing my floor in the bathroom. All out of my pocket. I think there is some liability from baumberger. If the would have checked from the first Quote I would have paid and been done. no water! But they "Assumed" and left me with a mess and no return phone calls and concern for fixing the problem.
I would like to recoop the money and time i have lost. They offered me $350.00 for materials. As if my time is not worth anything. And the materials did not cover anything but the floor. What about the Pvc pipe and the Vanity in the bathroom that had water damage? I figure with materials and time It is $800 to $900 bucks worth of damage and labor. But I don't need the Money. I just want there poor service documented!
Business' Initial Response
This letter is in reference to the BBB complaint filed under case number: ********
Baumberger Heating & Cooling, was approved to replace the condensing unit only, at Mr. ******s home. We did not add an evaporator or furnace, and did not do any work relating to the existing drain system. The direction given, was to do this job as inexpensively as possible, as Mr. ***** wanted to sell the home. Baumberger verified the unit was operational upon completion of the install, as we always do, and no issues were noted. This install was completed on 6/21/2013. The complaint of water was made on 7/25/2013, over a month later. Had there been a "huge" water leak from the condensing unit install, it would have been noted much sooner, especially with the extreme heat we were experiencing at the time. We did not have a reason, or a need, to go beneath the home and inspect the house drain system and this work was not part of our proposal. The unit was functioning properly at the completion of the installation on 6/21/2013.
Our initial attempts were to solve the issue and figure out where the leak was occurring. The spill-over from the pan was not from the AC, and we (Mr. *****, and I), both determined this to be the case when we still had a leak, even after Baumberger did all the things that were "assumed". Baumberger went under the home and inspected the drain system and informed Mr. ***** that it was not to code. Our suspicion is that the combination of the water softener, and the poor drain system, was the cause of the issue, and I personally advised Mr. ***** to contact a plumber and have them inspect the drain and make it to code. I didn*t understand how Mr. ***** could place blame on anyone in this situation, with the plumbing configured the way that it was. I also forwarded Mr. ***** pictures of the drain, via email, at his request, illustrating the configuration and advising him to have a professional plumber make a recommendation. His version of events, infer that we ignored him and never answered his inquiries. We spoke often and had detailed conversations through this entire process. I explained to Mr. ***** that Baumberger is not a plumbing company and could not give him factual plumbing information. I again advised Mr. ***** to consult a licensed plumber.
Baumberger*s initial offer of $350 was a "good faith" offer to cover the cost of materials. It was made at the initial visit when we made all of our "assumed" corrections. Mr. ***** and I, confirmed on that visit, that the unit was draining properly and agreed the AC was draining properly. He rejected the $350 because he felt it wasn*t sufficient and I informed him that I would have to take it back to ownership and Insurance may become involved. This was on Friday, July 26. Mr. ***** called me on Monday, July 29th, and indicated that the leak was still present. At that point, we both knew the AC was not the culprit and the issue was elsewhere. The issue then became a licensed plumber*s issue.
As stated, Baumberger advised Mr. ***** of this on at least three occasions. Mr. ***** mentions that the 3/4" PVC that went into the 1/2" galvanized was not attached to the main drain. If this was the case during our initial inspection, then there wouldn*t have been water in the home, it would have been in the crawl space. As indicated, Baumberger did not do anything to the existing evaporator coil, or drain system, and did not enter Mr. ******s crawl space during install; there wasn*t a need. We had only installed a condensing unit onto his existing furnace and coil. The unit was draining fine at the time of the install (June 21st.), as it was on July 26th, when we visited his home at his request. On July29th, Mr. ***** contacted me, and indicated he still had a water issue and that he was talking with plumbers and couldn*t understand where the water was coming from. July 31st, Mr. ***** asked if my offer of $350 was still valid. I indicated that we had corrected the "assumed" issues and seen that the drain wasn*t to code and that I didn*t feel Baumberger was at fault. He reported there was still standing water. I indicated that I would have to talk to ownership and for him to call back once I had made ownership aware of the situation (the following day). I am not aware of any return calls on this matter.
If I*m reading Mr. ******s complaint correctly, a licensed plumber was never contacted and a professional assessment never made on the drain system. Baumberger has no way to confirm or deny any of the claims being made. When we were in the crawl space, we took pictures of the drain system and did not note any separations, or screws. We were never in the crawl space until after the complaint was made. Mr. *****, it seems, did not involve a plumber, as advised. Baumberger Heating and Cooling has been in business since 1982.
We*re able to make this claim because we are fair and take care of our customers. We have maintained an A+ rating with The Better Business Bureau, each year. If we felt we were at fault, we would have corrected the problem! Baumberger should not be liable for anything that has been proven false, and should not be responsible for a drain system not to code and that was not part of our proposal. Our initial offer was made because we wanted to meet Mr. ***** in the middle of an issue that neither of us, at that time, knew the exact cause. It was not a low-ball offer intended to irritate. Once we were confident that the issue was drain related, not install related, I decided to rescind the offer and consult ownership. I have not heard anything more until this claim. I*ve attached a picture of the drain as reference. It was taken on the July 26 visit when Mr. ***** first requested our presence. This is the same picture forwarded to Mr. *****, via email.