Heaters vs Rodents

I'm in North Central Florida. Mice, Rats, and Squirels love to nest in gas heater cabinets, eat the wire harnesses and make a great mess.Have you found a solution to keep the rodents away. I've often suggested mothballs around the equipment. A customer of mine had his wire harness damaged last week. We suggested the mothballs to him again. We had the wire harness repaired, it was just a couple of spots in the harness needing repair. 2 days later, the mouse comes back and this time the homeowner makes the repair himself and places a couple of handfulls of the mothballs inside the heater cabinet. Next day he leaves a message, says, he's got thick black smoke billowing out of the heater cabinet and now it wont light anymore. I went over last nite to investigate. Yep, he dumped a 1/2 a box of mothballs in the bottom of the cabinet. Though mothballs arent flamable, they smoldered and melted. Soot everwhere!I took the heater cabinet apart, washed the soot off so as to replace the wire harness (it had now melted in more than one place.So...how can we prevent rodents from entering heater cabinets?-JeremyFlorida Leisure Pool & Spa

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  • Its been disconnected for gas piping and code infractions. Plumber is to make those corrections this week.
    -Jeremy
    Florida Leisure Pool & Spa

    Marc L. Brown said:
    There never is a complete soluation to rodents and spiders. As i said before, Mouse Busters works most of the time. I still have some customers who swere to moth balls. And then there are some who put rat and mouse poison in the cabinets. Take you choice, but some of these remidies can have consequences. Like on the heater where you put mesh wire, they can crawl up through the hood. Buy the way, on that gas line, is it propane or natural gas? If propane is there suposed to be a pressure regulator at the connection point? If it is natural gas, there is no way in+!@#$that heater could get enough gas to feed it.
  • There never is a complete soluation to rodents and spiders. As i said before, Mouse Busters works most of the time. I still have some customers who swere to moth balls. And then there are some who put rat and mouse poison in the cabinets. Take you choice, but some of these remidies can have consequences. Like on the heater where you put mesh wire, they can crawl up through the hood. Buy the way, on that gas line, is it propane or natural gas? If propane is there suposed to be a pressure regulator at the connection point? If it is natural gas, there is no way in hell that heater could get enough gas to feed it.
  • The copper line is sized accordingly. The flexible stainless conduit however is a no-no. And the connections here are not according to the NFGA code. The plumber disconnected the heater at the main until these issues can be corrected this week.
    -Jeremy
    Florida Leisure Pool & Spa
  • I'll tell what will happen , seeing how no chicken wire was installed on the exhaust, those little buggers are going to climb up that wire like a ladder crawl under the flue cover and make a nice cozzy home on top that heat exchanger and get fried next spring when who ever starts that heater. I write this with a devilish grin on my face.
  • so here's what the customer came up with as a means to deter rodents from renting the heater for living quarters for the off season.

    -Jeremy

    Florida Leisure Pool & Spa
    www.FLLeisure.com
    Florida Leisure Pool, Spa, Hot Tub Repair, Pumps, Filters, Heaters, Salt Chlorinators, Automation
    We repair pools, spas and hot tubs, pumps, motors, heaters, filters, automation equipment in Gainesville and North Central FL
  • I just had a well pump guy out to pull my submerisble well pump. I had a leak in the galvanized pipe 64' down. I asked him about the ants getting on the points of the pressure switch. His suggestion was to spread cinamon and cloves around the points. Mother nature doesnt seem to care for the stuff. I am anxious to try it myself.

    -Jeremy
    Florida Leisure Pool & Spa
    www.FloridaPoolGuys.com
  • Lets be very carefull with any discussion regarding pricing. I do not remember which FEDERAL ACT it is but it can be concidered price fixing and collusion. To base something on what your labor price is based on time is OK. But do not mention that amount.

    My formula is a flat rate to clean the heater on opening.Base price is for any open burner type heater with or without fan. Sealed burnrt units like Sta-Rite or Lochenvar 1/2 price. We know from how long it takes from easy to hard and I took an adverage time and thats what I charge. If the heater does not light after the cleaning, we send a tech back to fix it at an additional charge. If we getra service call to fix a heater, we tell the customer we will not work on it untill we clean it out first (at our regular service rates) then do the testing and repair. Come hell or hi water, I have told my men, and continue to tell them, not to service or light a dirty heater.

    Luke Norris said:
    isn't that flat rate pricing book like $5,000?? Why I don't have it. I made up my own this past summer.

    Jeremy Hine said:
    Chuck:

    Have you considered flat rate pricing for the pool industry. I subscribe to it and I'm making more than before. Theres no surprises, all parties involved know what to expect. The #'s, the books, make it easier to sell the service agreements as well.

    -Jeremy
    Florida Leisure Pool & Spa

    Chuck Burkholz said:
    Thanks for the encouragement, guys. I gotta say, this site is great. Now if I can digest, learn, get creative and contribute.

    This heater topic really perked my interest, I have a significant background in heating and air conditioning, will likely start threads in the future on heaters and who knows what.

    Brian - your question whether we charge more for cleaning out the heaters has also perked some considerable interest in me. Yes, we do charge for that service. We charge by the hour, so whatever we do, we charge for. What perks my interest is the concept of "what do we charge?" and "how much?" I hope to find posts on this subject, possibly start my own thread on it. The age-old question for all small business owners - How to charge, how much to charge and how to stay competitive while still providing a good, fair value to our customers - and then stay in business! How to charge enough to pay our techs well, offer insurance, paid vacations, retirement money, raises, pay the vendors and the bankers and the taxes and on and on and then - PAY OURSELVES!

    I'm going to spend some time surfing this site and reading, then I may start a thread(s) on the "how much to charge?" question. That's a hot topic in the HVAC industry. But maybe that thread is already here somewhere. I'm a newbie here, guess I better start reading.
  • We have always used mouse away are any form of mint smell it seems to keep all the pest away from inclosed hot tubs which is a major problem with us they seem to love to chew on the plumbing just out of reach...so mint and it also smells better than the rat pee!!!!!
  • As I said in a earlier response: I started to use Mouse Busters. It works in 95% of the heaters I used it in. I only had a couple of problems where the heater was at the very edge of plant life and or bushes almost against it. I tell the homeowners it is there fault for not cutting back the plant life when its too colse. Also, I failed to mention I had recieved a tip from a old Sta Rite employee ( remain annomous ) who said to spray the wires with WD-40, not to use a subsutite, on all the wires and top of the burner compartment cover. That also sems to help.
  • I use, err i tell my customers to, steel wool and chicken wire the heater.
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