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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    9

    Another "simple" PM

    Just had to ask if this has ever happened to anybody else?

    Started the call about noon. Just a quick preventive maintenence on a residential, 3 split system house. All rheem equipment, all R22 refrigerant, no problem right? WRONG!!

    Started out having to rebuild a condensate drain on an upstairs unit just to get the filter out. I guess the 9 guys before me just figured that since the drain was in the way, that particular filter didn't need to come out?

    So anyway no big deal but then I go to reset the furnace breakers on the main (5 ton) unit and one of the breakers won't reset. Aggrivating, but breakers fail. None on the truck so I gotta go to the shop. Shoulda pulled the breaker but ofcourse I didn't so I just grabbed all available 60 ampers and headed back to the house.

    Now many of you willl know what I mean when I say that getting all those power wires into those breakers aint easy. So I finally get the replacement mounted and ready to go and I SWEAR TO YOU, when I hit the other breaker to turn the system on, it does the same thing!!!

    Now of course this is about the time that the homeowner comes sniffing...

    Awesome!!! Try explaining this with a straight face! Two hours in and I haven't washed a single condenser!

    Now, as I've stated, I brought more breakers than I needed as well as a rheem heat kit that was lying around just in case. So luckily I've got another 60 amp breaker ready to go. But it accepts spade terminals so I've gotta crimp 8 of these on right?

    Meanwhile... turns out this homeowners got his own handy dandy amp meter, and he's behind me checking these old breakers for continuity to see if I'm just tryin to sell him parts....

    So he's behind me and I hear... click - nothin, click -nothin, click - nothin, click - beeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

    So great! Now this a$$hole thinks this breakers good!

    Ofcourse he wanted me to put it back in but I'd already invested the time to crimp on all these terminals on so I said "Your sure right boss", washed and checked operation of the condensers, and left with both new breakers still in there.

    To top it all off, when I get back to the shop, my boss wants to give me that "have you been smoking crack all day" look!

    The homeowners still got the one that he couldn't get to work so that ones paid for, but the other one... I told my boss I'd buy the other one if he just wouldn't send me back! lol!

    I wasn't even gonna try because I figured this stupid breaker would just make me look like an a$$, but luckily one of the guys grabbed a meter and started playing with it. The third time he flipped it on, it didn't make... Thank you lord!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Rising Sun, Maryland, United States
    Posts
    110
    haha sounds like a fun day.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Northwest Georgia
    Posts
    111
    Man you gotta love Johnny Homeowner and residential hvac. Some days are like that, and bossman always assumes your out smokin crack! WTF!!
    Everyday is like my first day!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    South
    Posts
    580
    You shouldn't shut those breakers off, I never do, I use the service disconnect (there is supposed to be one (my local code).
    It's rare to find those bad unless they've been shut off.

    Usually since theres usually a disconnect within reach I will delete the breaker if it's bad and wire nut everything together. Explain to the customer that it's not needed, if theres a service disconnect, and you just saved him money. Then be prepared to explain why it was there in the first place. A lot of times if you offer to delete it they will want a new one. So I guess it works out either way.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    9
    Quote Originally Posted by truck12 View Post
    You shouldn't shut those breakers off, I never do, I use the service disconnect (there is supposed to be one (my local code).
    It's rare to find those bad unless they've been shut off.

    Usually since theres usually a disconnect within reach I will delete the breaker if it's bad and wire nut everything together. Explain to the customer that it's not needed, if theres a service disconnect, and you just saved him money. Then be prepared to explain why it was there in the first place. A lot of times if you offer to delete it they will want a new one. So I guess it works out either way.
    Interesting... I don't think I've ever even seen an air handler with a disconnect. Just not something they do around here. Not a bad idea though!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    Quote Originally Posted by truck12 View Post
    You shouldn't shut those breakers off, I never do, I use the service disconnect (there is supposed to be one (my local code).
    It's rare to find those bad unless they've been shut off.

    Usually since theres usually a disconnect within reach I will delete the breaker if it's bad and wire nut everything together. Explain to the customer that it's not needed, if theres a service disconnect, and you just saved him money. Then be prepared to explain why it was there in the first place. A lot of times if you offer to delete it they will want a new one. So I guess it works out either way.
    If I were only that easy, I had a pm on a boiler, summer home so it had antifreeze in system. I told the home owner I wanted to turn the fill valve off so incase a leak happened it wouldn't contaminate the whole system. Well after 15 minutes of explaining the reason (antifreeze is not free) to keep it off I got nowhere and had to leave it on lol. Moral of the story sometimes its easier to not say anything.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    9
    lol... I called a guy tonight and tryed to explain that he had a bad dual run capacitor in his condenser at his lake house. That even though it was one capacitor, when he got his invoice he would be charged for two capacitors because I had to use two seperate caps instead of a dual.... you know just tryin to explain what I did.

    Halfway through this guy says real snotty, "do I have fu*%ing cold air or not".

    So I says " Yes, ofcourse you do sir! You have exceptionaly fu*&^%ing cold air!"

    LOL, Gotta love it!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    State College, PA
    Posts
    1,055

    Come on now ...

    You guys can't let little things like that get under your skin.

    And just so yo know, if you are referring to the "breakers" in a heat pump air handler, those are not breakers, they are cut offs.
    Can someone please explain to me -
    Why is there never enough time to do it right the first time, but plenty of time to do it twice?


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    Trying to explain stuff to people can be a pain, I always like to just to make them feel better. Nothing worse than an ******* customer, is it my fault the last time there **** was maintained was the day it was put in? Hell we even send them a reminder lol

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    9 out of 10 customers are great so not trying to sound bitter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Central WA
    Posts
    1,497
    Quote Originally Posted by joemach View Post

    And just so yo know, if you are referring to the "breakers" in a heat pump air handler, those are not breakers, they are cut offs.
    I've always called them circuit breakers. They look just like circuit breakers, and when they see an over current situation they automatically break the circuit. The square-d's even show the little orange flag when tripped.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    South
    Posts
    580
    Quote Originally Posted by joemach View Post

    And just so yo know, if you are referring to the "breakers" in a heat pump air handler, those are not breakers, they are cut offs.
    You know it seems like everyone on this site is in their own little bubble and they never step out.

    Today alone I've worked on a Rheem with a breaker, 60 amp, factory installed.
    I worked on a Rheem with a disconnect, a handle with two U shaped copper pieces, when pulled out it serves as a disconnect. Factory installed.

    Goodman, factory breaker. Trane factory disconnect. Coleman with nothing.

    In my area there needs to be a means of shutting off power within 15-20 feet of the airhandler so it either needs a factory installed breaker, disconnect, or a seperate box with either a disconnect (that thing with the handle and two copper pieces, sometimes called a pull out) or a fused or non fused disconnect (thats the one that looks like a breaker but has no rating and only acts as a switch).

    Depending on the installing contractor it's very common to find an airhandler with a factory breaker or disconnect installed along with a seperate disconnect installed nearby.

    Sometimes around here you see the main panel 10 feet away, also a disconnect on the wall, and a breaker or disconnect in the airhandler.

    Maybe it's just me, maybe in some areas these are called cut offs, maybe because they allow you to cut off power?
    I don't know. It's a big world out there....journey into it now and then, take a look around.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    3,588
    It seems like there is lots of different names for stuff, I've never heard cutoff just disconnect and breaker. In some cases you just have to interpolate lol

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