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Troubleshooters: Permits not pulled for residential A/C unit install

AC unit.png
Posted at 3:39 PM, Oct 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-02 18:28:42-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas —
CASE CLOSED:

Corpus Christi Development Services re-inspected Flour Bluff A/C & Heating's corrections, and they were approved.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Did you know that you have to pull a permit through the city's Development Services Department when installing a residential central A/C unit?

That's just one of the issues in this Troubleshooters report.

A homeowner had a new unit installed at his home a few weeks ago, but says it wasn't installed correctly. Also, he's not sure he wants the people who installed it back on his property.

Rodney Duve had his central A/C unit installed at his Flour Bluff home October 8 by Flour Bluff A/C & Heating.

"There should be four anchors," Duve told the Troubleshooters. "I have two missing. They didn't even secure it all the way."

So Duve says he hired an HVAC inspector to check out the work done by the business.

"The insulation should be covering, that is what I was told by the inspector," he said.

He adds that the inspector told him permits were required for a job like this.

"I called the city and asked," he told us. The city told him that the permit for his A/C install was just pulled.

"It kind of makes me feel angry. Somebody who says he's been doing this for 42 years should know what he's doing," he said.

We checked with Development Services. They confirmed that a permit is necessary for a job like this, and their records show one was pulled, but not until a week after installation took place. And further, Development Services says the penalty for not pulling a permit is $450 , plus, double the amount of the permit, which in this case would have been $200.

However, in this particular case, the business was not fined.

Flour Bluff A/C acknowledges they did not pull the necessary permit in time, saying illness prevented them from getting to the city.

Duve says Flour Bluff A/C was recommended by friends. The business has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but is not accredited by the Bureau.

Doug Le Sturgeon, co-owner of the A/C business, along with his wife, told the Troubleshooters he went back to the home to try and fix what needed to be fixed.

"The main thing was a water problem. I thought I had just got that fixed," he told us.

He also recalled more of his conversation with Duve that day.

"He got irate with us. He told us to get out of the attic. Get out and don't come back. I'll get a second opinion and let them fix it."

A third party told us there were issues on both sides.

The unit was not installed properly, Hurricane strappings were missing, and the unit was not sealed. But, it also appears Duve tried making repairs on his own and potentially caused damage to the unit.

So, what's Duve's next step?

He can hire somebody else to do what needed to be done.

Late Monday afternoon, the Troubleshooters received an email from Development Services.

The corrections their inspector listed as needing to be corrected were the mechanical change-out, insulation, and secondary drain.

The homeowner, Robert Duve, says Flour Bluff A/C & Heating went back and made the corrections. Now, a final inspection of the unit is planned for Tuesday.

We'll let you know how that turns out.