Don’t use All Temp Service of Hackettstown NJ

I would dissuade you from using All Temp Service of Hackettstown NJ for your plumbing and HVAC needs. I wrote the letter below to All Temp and called several times for a followup. I received no response whatsoever, though their answering service knows me well now.

February 7, 2004
All Temp Service Co.
229 Main St
Hackettstown, NJ 07840

Folks at All Temp,

We have been very happy with All Temp�s service in our home for many years. Seven years ago, All-Temp did a great job renovating our HVAC system when we put an addition on our home. It was a large project and All Temp came through for us. We�ve called on you several times for different projects.

Last February I called All Temp to install a whole-house humidifier. When I called, I made sure to tell the person scheduling the service that our house was larger than the average townhouse at 3,400 square feet. After all, we started with a large townhouse and then put an addition on it! Brian, the service representative showed up for the installation. He was going to install a Lennox WD1-15 passive whole-house humidifier. I expressed doubt to him, saying that I had done some research and the WD1-15 was only rated for a 2,000 square foot home. He assured me that this unit was the right size. It was installed for $400.

The unit works and does increase the humidity in the house but not nearly enough. The unit just isn�t large enough. I purchased a humidity meter and verified over the course of a month that with the unit disabled, humidity in the house is typically 16%. With the unit working, humidity is typically 24%. That�s better but a comfortable home has 30-40% humidity.

By the time my tests were done, it was springtime and dry air wasn�t an issue any more. I didn�t pay attention to this issue again until the winter when this became a problem again. I called All Temp a few times this winter. The first time, I spoke to a woman who scheduled a service call. The service rep never showed up. It is very frustrating when a rep is scheduled to arrive and then doesn�t show up or cancel the appointment! But that�s past. I called All Temp again and spoke to a different woman on the phone. We spoke for a few minutes about my humidity issue on the phone and the woman promised to call me back with a response. She didn�t call back within a few days so I called All Temp again. I spoke to the second telephone rep again and she told me that she had spoken to a responsible person. She said that the WD1-15 was appropriately sized for most of the townhouses in my neighborhood. I responded that my townhouse was larger than most. She could only respond that that if I wanted, I could have another humidifier unit installed for another $400.

It doesn�t seem right that we should pay another $400 for a second humidifier unit when the first one should have done the job.

The above is my primary problem. There are some other issues that I would like to relay to you:

– The service rep didn�t install a shut-off on the system. Therefore, there is no way to drain the system for the summer. This fall, the water tray was full of algae (or something, I don�t know exactly what) that I cleaned out. Algae in the HVAC system can�t be healthy! I did research and found that it is industry practice to install a summer shut-off on units like this that use standing water.

– When first installed, Brian hooked the unit up so that it would turn on whenever the HVAC fan was running. Every humidifier manufacturer says that this is not the right way to configure a humidifier. The plenum should be at 120 degrees before turning on the humidifier or mold will accumulate in the system. I directed the service rep to have the humidifier turn on only when the heat was on.

– The service rep ignored the fact that a water line and drainage line were already in place before his installation. We paid All Temp little extra 7 years ago to have these lines installed when the new HVAC system was being installed. The intent was to reduce the cost of installing a humidifier later. But that did not happen.

– I was disappointed with the choice of humidifier (Lennox WD-1-15) due to lime and calcium deposit issues. This unit doesn�t clear itself of deposits well. Since you often do business in our neighborhood, you should know that our water is very high in deposits. Also, standing water humidifiers like this one have been discontinued for several years because of the unhealthy conditions created by microbe growth in the water tray.

– On a different occasion last year, we called All Temp about a different issue. The safety pressure release valve on our hot water heater leaked slightly. We asked your service rep to take a look at it. Brian again came to look at it. He said that he was pretty sure that replacing the valve wouldn’t fix the problem but he would replace it anyway. He charged us about $100 for this replacement. I later did my own research and it should have been obvious to him why the valve was leaking. When All Temp first installed the system, instead of using a pressure relief bladder, you used an inexpensive and ineffective coil of copper pipe filled with air to act as bladder. The valve leaks because when the water is being heated, it expands, raising the pressure in the system. The valve is doing its job properly in the absence of a bladder. However, the service rep charged us for obviously unneeded and ineffective repair work.

– While Brian was here for the leaking safety valve, I asked him about replacing the anode on the hot water heater. He told me that we had a gas hot water heater so that wasn�t an issue. I had to explain to him what an anode was and why it needed occasional inspection and replacement.

We�ve had a great relationship with All Temp in the past and I would like to keep our relationship strong. How can we make this happen?

Thank you very much for your time,
Lee C. Sonko

And in case there is any question. I, Lee C. Sonko wrote this letter to All Temp, not my father, Lee J. Sonko.

One Comment

  1. Charlie Gosh says:

    Spooky. I watched a video from This Old House, and, you’re correct, they say to replace the anode (sacrificial) rod on all water heaters to prevent tank rust leaks – it has nothing to do with gas or electricity. I can see Joe Homeowner messing this one up, but not someone who does this for a living.
    Very sorry to hear you’ve been working with such an incompetent, know-it-all (who doesn’t really know) service tech. As long as he’s allowed to work there, it speaks volumes of the overall quality of the company’s service.

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