I used to take care of a bunch of mobile hydrogen chillers and one time met a truck driver/machine operator couple who lived in hotels full time - no house or apartment of their own anywhere. They were both on salary and the company paid for all their expenses while traveling. So they just banked their income except when they got vacation-time. Then they had to pay their own hotel and restaurant bills for those few weeks. <g>
With an agreeable woman and no children it seemed like a decent gig. But who knows - maybe I would have hated it? <g>
It is a kind of funny thing about this business - there are a million ways available to go about it.
Ill admit I got an awesome gig, I don't pay for anything but food on the road and a get a great pay but its just about time for kids. Which means going home for good.
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I've worked with a tech school guy who tried to convince me that liquid charge into the low side was the best way to charge residential R22 systems. But I've also worked with a tech school guy who memorized the temp/pressure chart and could diagnose a trouble system over the phone while working on another straight off the bus.
I'm currently maintaining 240 systems and floating help over 5 other sites. I'm pretty fresh in the refrigerant side but the biggest problems I am finding are suction filters left on as a perm fix and horrible braze jobs that look like chewed bubble gum and leak like crazy. Most of those issues are to do with laziness rather than training.
Thanks for the advice. I am very comfortable on more simple units (especially bards, im pretty sure I could talk my wife through fixing one those wall units.) But my experience has limited my knowledge. Especially commercial. I been thinking about taking night classes at our tech school. I got a few friends that say the instructors are pretty knowledgeable and they still work during the day.
Even the most complicated mechanical thing in the world is made from the same exact components. There are only six basic items that they are all built from: a lever, a wheel and axle, a pulley, an inclined plane, a wedge, and a screw.
That's it. If you understand those six items you can figure out any machine.
Refrigeration is the same. No matter what you are working on - it's all using the same principles and components. Just like the classic Six Simple Machines - learn the basics of refrigeration theory because when you understand them well enough to explain them to others; there is nothing in this trade that you cannot figure out how to do.
I have been working in the field for 29 years now in New York City. I started out working for Kelly-Trane I started out overhauling absorbers, re-tubing, pump overhaul. They were a nonunion shop at the time, we voted for a union and we were all fired. I then went to work for a union shop (Local 3) Mainco they were more into elevators with a small AC dept. I worked for them for 6 years. Then I moved on to Inter-County Mechanical where I maintained all the Long Island Railroad Brooklyn and Queens facilities. I worked for them for 12 years and it was time to move on. I'm working for Harbour Technical Services now, I have been with them for 10 years. I service all types of units. We take care of a lot of data centers in lower Manhattan. We are a rep for Stulz, Florida Heat Pump. We service Liebert, Mammoth, Multi Stack, AAON, York, Trane You name it and we service it. We deal with a lot of ALC Web Control systems. I help all the new guys that come to the company and they look up to me. I started in this field before most of them were born. God I'm getting old 47, I still have a while to go before I retire and I still enjoy the work. The industry has changed a lot since I started, I remember I used to blow out condenser coils and drain lines with R-22. I really like this forum and hopefully obtain pro status.
I'll bet you wish you had that R-22 back. That stuff has gone through the roof out here in CA.
hey, new member here.. first fourm I have ever joined actually, just trying to play by all the rules. Went to vocational trade school hvac and sheet metal.. got my first job out of high school at a local mostly residential company with about 4 installers and 3 techs of which only 1 install and 1 tech were competent and I got out before I could learn bad habits (1 year). Went to new company from out of town and was laid off when they went under(< a year). got on at 50/50 comm./res. company and was in a truck in 5 months running calls for 4 1/2 years(most chiller work was done by 1 or 2 guys) and thought I would like a public job at school board because I could work with guys that know chillers...I have learned a little on my own and got to work a little bit on a few screw chillers. but the only thing these guys have to show me is how to hit the reset and try to get out before it trips again. Im going to look into somewhere I can learn...I like to do things the right way (and appriciate people who do) and consider myself a professional in residential and light commercial but I have a desire to keep moving forward and learning bigger equipment