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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    121

    Confused The best troubleshooting book/guide?

    Hello, I am very new to hvac and would like to pick your collective professional minds on what you consider to be the best book/guide/manual for troubleshooting. I have been in hvac school for only 4 weeks, but am lucky enough to have gotten on as a $10/hour helper with a great technician that runs service on residential and commercial. I am almost finished reading Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Technology...a great book that has given me a firm handle on components, laws, etc... But I am really disappointed in the AC troubleshooting section. I mean really--a 1300 page book with 17 pages dedicated to AC troubleshooting? I realize that no manual is a substitute for hands-on experience, but what would you recommend that I read/have on hand as a troubleshooting guide? Thank you in advance for any information.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    san pedro ca.
    Posts
    362
    Darrells ac troubleshooting guide.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Posts
    7,321
    I would state there is no be all book to teach you how to be a good troubleshooter. Things like experience, training, and mental processing come into play. The guys who are really good are so for a reason. First, they have been there and done that, along with having a thirst for knowledge and good training. The varied segments of this business make it nearly impossible for one or even ten good books to guide you through every situation.

    Learn the various aspects, including heat transfer, air and water flow, electrical troubleshooting, and then spend five or more years runnig service to be truly good. I applaud your thirst for knowledge, but just know it will take time to get there and dont get frustrated. Any good mechanic will tell you that they dont know everything, but do know where to go to get answers when necessary.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Saint Petersburg, FL
    Posts
    139
    Sorry for bringing this post up from the grave, but does anyone know of any books that are worth reading . Possibly a newer book.. 03 and up

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,561
    Quote Originally Posted by drew2128 View Post
    Sorry for bringing this post up from the grave, but does anyone know of any books that are worth reading . Possibly a newer book.. 03 and up
    Tell us exactly what you are looking for and we can probably steer you to the appropriate titles.....
    B.O. = B.S.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Cayuga, In
    Posts
    53
    Air Conditioning Service Guide by Michael Prokup, pretty good book with some step by step basic troubleshooting.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    GTA, ON
    Posts
    1,237
    I'm new in this trade, but I'm not a new technician, so I decided to avoid "how to troubleshoot" books. They may give you some additional ideas once you already know what you're doing, but in the beginning you should focus on learning about the system. The book may tell you to ohm out A and B and what to expect, but do you know why? I've met one resi installer who calls himself a "mechanic" (and has the CoQ to "prove" it) but doesn't know the basic reefer cycle - all he knows is how to drill a hole, run wire, connect red to D, blue to E, etc etc etc. Would you want for that guy to service your equipment even after reading a "how to t/s" book?

    If you wanna become a good service guy, you need to know the system well. Once you know the system, those t/s books have their uses, but they have to be balanced with your own experience and the guidance you get from da man (so I hope you're apprenticing with a good service guy - hint: if all you do is drill a hole, run wire, connect red to D, blue to E, etc etc etc, you may want to thank him for the opportunity and go to someone who actually fixes stuff). He will be able to guide you along with your busted knuckles and eventually you'll learn. That's when the book helps a bit, but you'll skim through most of it, while writing down at most half a page.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    185
    I just bought this book on Amazon.com: System Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Procedures [Paperback] John Tomczyk (Author). It was published in 2003 and that is actually fairly recent compared to the other more ancient titles available. Hopefully it is a good one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,561
    Quote Originally Posted by WMG View Post
    I just bought this book on Amazon.com: System Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Procedures [Paperback] John Tomczyk (Author). It was published in 2003 and that is actually fairly recent compared to the other more ancient titles available. Hopefully it is a good one.
    Sorry to rain on your parade but you should have bought Tomczyk's "Troubleshooting and Servicing Modern Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems" which is one of the best books out there. The "Systems Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Procedures" book is just an abbreviated version (72 pages) of the other book (290 pages).

    https://www.escoinst.com/Shop/ItemDetail.aspx?ID=416
    B.O. = B.S.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    185
    I went by the user reviews on Amazon.com. Tomczyk's "Troubleshooting and Servicing Modern Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems" , published 1995, averages 3 stars out of 10 reviews. System Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Procedures, published 2003,averages 4 1/2 stars out of 6 reviews. User reviews seem to be the most reliable way of evaluating a product online I have found so we will see if its good or not.
    Last edited by WMG; 05-06-2012 at 04:34 PM. Reason: more info.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,561
    Quote Originally Posted by WMG View Post
    I went by the user reviews on Amazon.com. Tomczyk's "Troubleshooting and Servicing Modern Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems" , published 1995, averages 3 stars out of 10 reviews. System Diagnostics and Troubleshooting Procedures, published 2003,averages 4 1/2 stars out of 6 reviews. User reviews seem to be the most reliable way of evaluating a product online I have found so we will see if its good or not.
    I just looked at some of those bad reviews and some are totally assinine like this one:

    "2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
    2.0 out of 5 stars Basic but inexpensive book
    As someone above pointed out, this is a very basic book. The theory in it is ridiculously oversimplified and the description of many working and diagnostic procedures lacks detail. On the other hand, it is not very expensive compare to other books on the subject"

    Basic????.....over-simplified?????........it just makes me laugh

    Another says:
    "This book is hopelessly out of date. I returned mine for that reason and was promised full return postage refund...it cost me $31.00 Australian to return this book and Amazon closed off without refunding it. So much for trust..better I just threw it in the bin!.. Ever tried to email them by the way? My suggestion from a bloke who paid $31 for the experience...don't buy it...get something modern and remember, in 2010 the present R134A will be extinct!!."
    Hopelessly out of date?? Did someone come up with a new, modern refrigeration cycle and they forgot to tell us???????? Did they take R-134A off the market and I just didn't notice???

    Someone else complains it doesn't cover automotive air conditioning - well duh!!...there's nothing in the book description that says it covers auto A/C.....
    B.O. = B.S.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    185

    Exclamation

    HELL YEAH!
    I got a job so I gotta go to work tomorrow. Its gonna be a hot one. See ya then.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Omaha, NE
    Posts
    1,561
    Supposedly, Troubleshooting and Servicing Modern Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Systems had a 2nd edition released in 2000 but it seems to have the same ISBN number which is a little strange........
    B.O. = B.S.

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