Doing the job right, whatever that job may be, often takes more effort than we may feel like expelling on any given day.  And while the temptation to cut corners may be great, I don’t understand why you would bother to if even more work were required to cheat.  Just by chance, I happen to have an example of such ridiculousness in my pocket.

I spoke to a technician recently who complained about the level of competence in the HVAC field.   He said that at the last house he was sent to, the new heating unit was having some sort of drafting problem.  As he began his investigation, he checked for the correct amount of combustion air, along with other common mistakes, but all appeared to be in order.  Next, to verify that the chimney was clear, he began to remove the flue pipe from the masonry chimney.

Now, being the experienced service guy that he was, he thought that perhaps something had fallen into the flue, or that it just hadn’t been cleaned in years — or maybe ever.  But, as it turns out, it was nothing of the sort; he hadn’t seen this issue before. The installing “tech” had left the five-inch flue pipe in the chimney, then placed the seven-inch flue pipe over it without making the hole in the chimney larger.  Then, to conceal the violation, the tech carefully cemented the seven inch flue to the brick to look as if it were installed properly.

I suppose the good news is that he didn’t choose to go into the medical field.

ABOUT Richard J. Schuster

Rich Schuster has worked in many phases of the HVAC and plumbing industries since 1991, from apprentice to general manager in the contractor segment, and later as a rep for a large HVAC wholesaler. He has written two books with a focus on installation training basics. His latest book, "101 Ways to Suck as an HVAC Tech," is available on Amazon. Rich can be reached at .