Refrigeration is Refrigeration. Right?
Well yes and no. Not all systems are the same. On a call that has several commercial units on the roof of the building and several units @ ground level. What can I do to familiarize myself with each system, so I will be able to address a particular unit and diagnose a problem without re-inventing the wheel every call?
A new client and 15 units. Client calls and says I’m having trouble with Suite G. It just quit working. You make it out to the site and it is very difficult to determine which one is suite G. It’s possible that you begin to diagnose the wrong unit. How embarrassing is that?
Well kinda like never trusting someone else to turn off the current. “Hey Joe, did you turn the current off.” Yes says Joe. You insert screwdriver and a arc from Hell melts the tip of your screwdriver into oblivion. You yell, “Joe I thought you turned it off.” Joe says “Oh I thought you said turn it on.” Well you get the point.
1.Find out as much about the problems or symptoms from whomever can provide you info on when it quit, what happened, how did it act, did it show previous symptoms that led up to it’s total failure. It will also be helpful in most case’s to have them show you all thermostats, electrical boxes, units, access points. etc.
Now we are ready to start. With all info gathered I figure that I have a good idea of what I need to do next. So the process of elimination starts. I soak up all info I can and then don’t put 100% trust in what info I have is right. Now it’s up to in the field experience as to what I do next. Or maybe even in-experience.
After several hours and checking all the maybes and what ifs, I have a general idea of this particular system. Now I know which of the very large electrical boxes deep within the building and several hundred feet from the H.V.A.C. unit has the faulty 30 amp cartridge fuses that are being blown with every throw of the switch.
After diagnosing the problem and fixing the unit, it is only now, that if I had to do the same thing again next week with the same unit would I know right where to go and what to do.
Familiarize Yourself With The System.
So that is why I say every system is different. The homeowner or client sometimes may not understand that a ten minute fix may take several hours to diagnose and perform. Many of the problems are the same but location of electrical panels, faulty wiring, bad components, neglect, and shoddy work from former repairmen often take awhile to diagnose.
2. Take some time with today’s technology and itemize the H.V.A.C . units on a large building like I have mentioned. Label them so it is easy to get to the right unit, easily. A-1, A-2, A-3, Suite B, Suite 4, Suite C, again you get the idea. A simple .txt file with some photos in a directory named Client#1 is simple and will really help next time you have to go out to that particular site. A brief notation of what was done on that unit in Suite G may simplify and save you a lot of time which equals money. The more $$$ you save your clients the more satisfied clients you will have.
This is simple experience that may help you in your H.V.A.C. needs as a customer or as a Technician.
Stay Safe, It’s Up To You. Not Hey Joe