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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Metro Atlanta
    Posts
    777

    I got a new job..

    I have always wanted to work in Commercial Heating and Air Conditioning and refrigeration, I now have finally landed a job in that area (no more crawl spaces for me). What I did not realize was the world of hurt I was putting myself in.

    Bigger / more controls, bigger / more boards, bigger and more compressors, bigger and more contactors, more power, robbing t stats, make up air, vents, and the list goes on.

    I was not aware how big the difference is between commercial and residential work was, but I do like it more ( no crawl spaces).

    My new boss is well respected by his employees and has treated me great, not sure how many employees there is in all, but I have met 5 of them, and the shortest term employee is 15 years. My boss hired two new guys, me and this other guy that just got past his 90 days who I just met the other day.

    I am very excited to have landed this job with this company, and hope to grow with them for years to come (I see great long term potential, and lots of growth with opportunity this company).

    I have a few questions here.

    Do you guys have any tricks that you have come up with to help make working on these units easier?

    I keep getting told to treat each unit as one unit, just like in residential. Told to just break it in to each individual units, but that is hard to do when everything is all tied together, and the wires are all over the place, and you got a few boards, more controls, 3 compressors in one unit.

    I am open to any and all ideas.
    The opinions expressed by me are not that of my employer.


    insulation modern marvels
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g37riSkyZzM

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Metro Atlanta
    Posts
    777
    I am impressed.. 59 views and 0 replies.
    The opinions expressed by me are not that of my employer.


    insulation modern marvels
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g37riSkyZzM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Buffalo NY
    Posts
    3,080
    Exactly what you have been told. You will need to be very strong in electrical trouble shooting.


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  4. #4
    You will do just fine because you have spunk, and desire.
    Get with Rundawg the king of PDF's and build a learning library.

    And read,read read. And when you're done reading.

    Read some more.
    FEN

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,635
    you have been informed properly. the basics DO NOT change.

    oh; it's easier to get killed on commercial equipment.

    guess you haven't made it into a HOT! penthouse to work on compressor yet?
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    What kind of units are you talking about???

    Either way
    You will need to read.

    Are you going to get training
    Or school

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Detroit vicinity, Michigan
    Posts
    79
    The best way to troubleshoot any machine is to first learn it's "Sequence of Operation" once you know that, when things aren't working you have an idea where to start.

    And being able to follow a wiring diagram is critical.

    Remember we all started knowing nothing

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,103
    Good job, and good luck!!! Commercial HVAC is a field that'll definitely keep your brain engaged! If you're on this site to begin with, you're probably someone who is committed to being a student of the trade and understanding this stuff on a level that most don't care to.

    First and foremost, you need to understand how to work on this big stuff safely without getting yourself killed by the multitude of moving parts, high temperatures, and high voltages. You need to have an understanding of electricity, motors, and motor controls that far surpasses what most electricians know. You're still working with a vapor-compression refrigeration cycle; the fundamentals are not much different from what you're used to working with.

    When you run into a system that you don't understand or haven't seen before, try to find some literature on it and spend a few minutes reading when you're in your van eating your lunch or whatever. DO NOT be too proud to pick up the phone and ask your co-workers questions or find the tech support numbers for each manufacturer. Most people are eager to help you if they see that you're not just being lazy and looking for the answer without working for it. When you're troubleshooting something, gather info and readings in a methodical way, jot them down on a pad, and try to look at the big picture. Troubleshooting is a process of elimination. Start with the simple, cheap stuff, and work your way up to the complex, spendy stuff until you find the problem.

    The commercial field can be very rewarding to work in, professionally and financially. Best of luck to you.
    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    2,595
    The days of punching a contactor in with a screwdriver are over.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    SouthEast NC ICW & Piedmont Foothills
    Posts
    7,635


    Quote Originally Posted by toocoolforschool View Post
    The days of punching a contactor in with a screwdriver are over.
    It`s better to be silent and thought the fool; than speak and remove all doubt.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    256
    Refrigeration is refrigeration, no matter how big or small the equipment.

    Electrical theory is electrical theory, no matter how big or small the equipment.

    If you're weak in those area's, it will never get easy for you.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Silver Creek, Ny
    Posts
    94
    I know how you feel man...but I'm still waiting for that call for that job!!

    From my limited prior commercial RTU experience, I can give some advice because I actually completey understand how you feel...LOST!

    So, let's look at it this way:
    1. Yes, you have to learn how to decipher those schematics ,that will come.
    2. First and foremost, you have to be able to look inside the unit and 100% identify ALL components and wires. Beleive it or not, this may be easier for you than mastering the schematics because schematics are drawn differently than what you will actually see with your eyes.
    3. try to group all the 3 phase contactors stuff as one working component first because that will include alot of the separate components your looking at
    4. then separate the controls from the rest and look closer at those: BTDR's(blower time delay relays) are always a pain in the butt.(if they even have them anymore)because they are part of the startup sequence, so troubleshooting relays is a must.
    5. Learn the safety circuits by heart and separate those out also...that would be your sensors and limits etc, that are linked in series with the start-up sequence...being able to jump out components,, while maintaining the safety circuit is imperative to finding bad parts.
    6. try to add the economizer into your existing operational knowledge and separate out it's proprietary controls, this will be very new to you.
    7. you will come across multiple stage operations that will complicate everything 100%...try to carve those operations out and look at them separately too.

    As you can see, we have quite a list here, however looking at things in smaller operational groups will help...remember if you don't know what it looks like, you don't know it's there, if you don't know it's there, then you don't know when its NOT working!!!
    Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    Learn how a reset relay works!!


    Lol

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