View Full Version : Fin Straightening
07-12-2004, 05:49 PM
I just got my first job in HVAC a couple of weeks ago. I am working on mainly commercial equipment. Anyway, since Iím the new guy I get all the sh** jobs. Today I had to straighten fins that have been damaged by hail and normal wear and tear. It took me about 2 hours to straighten an 8 inch section about 5 feet tall using the small plastic combs. I was hoping that there may be someone that could offer me a little advice on making the job a little easier and faster. I know itís a tedious job, but come on, thereís got to be an easier way. My pocket thermometer said it was 110į F and I was sweating my a** off. I hope someone can help, Iím not looking forward to tomorrow.
07-12-2004, 06:20 PM
Grin and bear it. You are being tested.But don't worry, it will probably get worse. If you don't mind I will give you a little advice. What ever you are told to do, do it (within reason of course. Don't jump off a building or anything like that) and do your best. In everything you do be honest. If you don't know the answer don't lie. Ask questions from those who are wiser than you. It doesn't matter if you have been to a school, everyone you work with knows more than you do! Don't try to impress your co-workers with your knowledge or ability because you can't. Work smart and efficiently. If you do these things your superiors and co-workers will recognize them in you and react accordingly. I say these things to you not to dishearten you but to encourage you. I only wish someone had done the same for me when I started out. You have some years of learning ahead of you. Actually, you never stop learning. But it's worth it. We are a different bread. We are self reliant, tough, and well paid.We take care of the problems that the other guys can't handle. (And we like it!!) Semper Fi
07-12-2004, 07:07 PM
Listen to weezer my friend.....and be prepared for the worst the biz has to offer for at least two years, maybe more. There is no known way to straighten those fins any better than your doing now. Wear gloves or explain the small slices on your knuckles to everyone. As you progress, so will your selling ability, you may then be able to explain to the customer the merit of a new coil installation.......untill then, good luck.
I hear that you can use a pair of needle nose pliers to just pull out all of those bent fins! The exposed copper works great for condensing refrigerant.
Yeah... Yeah... I am just kidding :D
My friend, they are right in the posts above. Sometimes in a new business you just have to grin and go-with-the-flow. My first two years was ďgoing-where-no-serviceman-hadĖgoneĖbeforeĒ. I look back and believe it made me a stronger person and better tech. If we all told you stories of the proverbial ďWhat I didĒ this thread would be the longest in history.
You will get advice that is invaluable being a member of this site with a collective knowledge base greater than you could dream. I can only offer thisÖ Be who you are and give it your best every day, follow the advice of experienced others and you will love this tough-ass job and make it your own.
07-12-2004, 08:51 PM
Ahhhh...the first few years of apprenticeship, oh the memories! Fin straightening is nothing, wait until you have to powerwash 35 5-ton rooftop units with one hose bib and one electrical outlet in a plaza. Carring the powerwasher, 400' of hose, 400' of heavy duty electrical cord and corrosive chemical up an extension ladder! Now thats fun! Stick with it though, the gravy jobs are just around the corner along with the big fat paycheques!
07-12-2004, 10:29 PM
Your post made me smile.I remember doing jobs like that.Day after day of coil washing.Changing filters for weeks at a time.My advise is get a walk man and a five gallon bucket to sit on and enjoy the day.It could be worse believe me.
07-12-2004, 10:57 PM
It gets better. Down the road. Way down the road.
Some day you'll laugh about doing this, stick with it.
07-12-2004, 11:11 PM
You're getting lots of sympathy but no advice! It is a tedious and boring job. Make sure your using the right comb or you'll simply "chase" the bends as you go. Definately wear gloves as a slip will cut you badly. Use silicone spray to lubricate the comb and it will slide easier. Of course this oils the coil and you'll have to wash it when your done or dirt will cling right to the coil you just washed. Soap bubbles work good also to lube the comb and make it move a little easier and should rinse easier (rainwater will probably take care of it). They're right. It will get easier and harder at the same time! Somedays you will wish you had the simple task of doing this when the job you are on is taxing your brain.
07-12-2004, 11:35 PM
Thanks for all the input; I know Iím going to have to put in my time as a grunt. Iím already learning a lot, and itís only been a few weeks. Luckily, Iím working under some very intelligent and experience Techs. Thanks again. Adam.
07-12-2004, 11:56 PM
Well it sounds like you are in good hands. Good luck and dont give up!
07-13-2004, 12:03 AM
Another thing you are learning to do it take care of yourself while working under extreme conditions. That means plenty of water, protection from the sun and heat, safety on the roof with other workers, etc. You have a responsibility to yourself and your company to protect yourself. So if you are also working in the sun, find a tarp or something to block it. You'll make it. Just remember, one day at a time.
07-13-2004, 06:34 AM
try to get in the habit of wearing safety glasses early on, it could save you eyes, most people hate them and refuse to wear them, but as glasses wearer know once you get used to them you forget you have them on.
07-13-2004, 10:44 AM
caosesvida, that's a great piece of advice. I wear glasses anyway and they have already saved me a few times. I was using some Fominator the other day to wash a condenser, and when I was mixing the solution in water some of the Fominator splashed up on to my face. I have a chemical burn on my nose, but since I had my glasses on my eyes are ok. Now I know to be more careful w/ that stuff. Man that really burned.
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