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  1. #1
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    Sep 2012
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    Tools list.

    Looking at jobs on craigslist hoping to grab some info.

    Most say must have own tools. I was just wondering what potental employers expect to provide and what they expect employees to have.

    Basic hand tools are a no brainer. But what about vacuum pump, recovery machine, torchs and the like. I can see them expecting me to have stuff like basic multimeter, clamp, thermometer.

    Coming out of a factory setting most of these are provided, and I know alot of these cost alot. Just wondering what a basics tools list I should work to obtain.

  2. #2
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    Feb 2006
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    In my opinion they should supply anything they bill for . . . Vac pump, recovery, torch, etc ...
    Although i know guys that use some of their own equipment.



    Sent from my HTC Sensation 4G using Tapatalk 2

  3. #3
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    Mar 2012
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    If they expect you to supply pumps and torches and such, consider going into business for yourself.

  4. #4
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    yep.... only hand tools in my opinion , a few meters maybe a couple of pipe wrenchs ..... vacuum pumps torchs... scales recovery machines... I provide for my employees/.... may be different in your area
    it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair

  5. #5
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    Mar 2007
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    You should be prepared to spend thousands on equipping yourself with the best stuff money can buy. I like to use my own stuff so I am not stuck using whatever junk the company wants to supply. As long as there is an agreement that the employer will cover maintenance/repair/replacement cost if it's used on the job.

    I think most self-respecting techs own their own drills, saws, gauge manifolds, torch set, scale, leak detector(s), meters, thermometers, etc. in addition to the standard hand tools. Vacuum pump could go either way. Recovery machine & cylinders usually not. Your tools are an investment in your ability to do your job without being dependent on someone else. I would have a hard time taking someone seriously as a professional if they did not make this investment in themself.

    Just for illustration purposes, here's what I roll with every day. Can handle most service calls with just what's on the table there.
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    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Rob View Post
    You should be prepared to spend thousands on equipping yourself with the best stuff money can buy. I like to use my own stuff so I am not stuck using whatever junk the company wants to supply. As long as there is an agreement that the employer will cover maintenance/repair/replacement cost if it's used on the job.

    I think most self-respecting techs own their own drills, saws, gauge manifolds, torch set, scale, leak detector(s), meters, thermometers, etc. in addition to the standard hand tools. Vacuum pump could go either way. Recovery machine & cylinders usually not. Your tools are an investment in your ability to do your job without being dependent on someone else. I would have a hard time taking someone seriously as a professional if they did not make this investment in themself.

    Just for illustration purposes, here's what I roll with every day. Can handle most service calls with just what's on the table there.

    I completely agree. I plan on buying everything I need, but starting out that is quite hard. At the moment I have most of the hand tools you have but I want to add to that. If I had the money I would be a tool aholic.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfshadow View Post
    I completely agree. I plan on buying everything I need, but starting out that is quite hard. At the moment I have most of the hand tools you have but I want to add to that. If I had the money I would be a tool aholic.
    Budget a small amount out of each paycheck. A couple bucks will do.

    Put it in a jug, a jar, or a savings account.

    Before you know it, you'll have a few hundred bucks in there. Enough to add a tool to the inventory.

    I've been doing this for years. Informally at the start, stuffing my pocket change into a mason jar. More recently, I've set up an account and an automatic deposit each week.

    It adds up FAST.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tech Rob View Post
    You should be prepared to spend thousands on equipping yourself with the best stuff money can buy. I like to use my own stuff so I am not stuck using whatever junk the company wants to supply. As long as there is an agreement that the employer will cover maintenance/repair/replacement cost if it's used on the job.

    I think most self-respecting techs own their own drills, saws, gauge manifolds, torch set, scale, leak detector(s), meters, thermometers, etc. in addition to the standard hand tools. Vacuum pump could go either way. Recovery machine & cylinders usually not. Your tools are an investment in your ability to do your job without being dependent on someone else. I would have a hard time taking someone seriously as a professional if they did not make this investment in themself.

    Just for illustration purposes, here's what I roll with every day. Can handle most service calls with just what's on the table there.
    Most companies that I have worked for allowed me to purchase the epuipment that I will be using, such as reclaimer. If you don't go overboard they have no problem with it. As far as self reaspecting goes I disagree. The company needs to supply certain tools. As technology changes tools change. The company needs to keep all employees up to speed. They can't have one guy thatowns his own micron gage while another guy doesn't own one. Not fair to the customer, which guy do they get. Self respect is making sure the proper tools are supplied, such as evac tree and good evac hoses not those allin one gages with four valves on them. The industry has changed over my 33 years and I don't think I should be responible for upgrading my epquipment as it changes. There was no such thing as digital gauges and meters when I started. Simpson 260 was the elite meter at the time now fluke digital (imho).
    ckartson
    I didn't write the book I just read it!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ckartson View Post
    Most companies that I have worked for allowed me to purchase the epuipment that I will be using, such as reclaimer. If you don't go overboard they have no problem with it. As far as self reaspecting goes I disagree. The company needs to supply certain tools.
    OK.

    Quote Originally Posted by ckartson View Post
    As technology changes tools change. The company needs to keep all employees up to speed. They can't have one guy thatowns his own micron gage while another guy doesn't own one. Not fair to the customer, which guy do they get. Self respect is making sure the proper tools are supplied, such as evac tree and good evac hoses not those allin one gages with four valves on them. The industry has changed over my 33 years and I don't think I should be responible for upgrading my epquipment as it changes. There was no such thing as digital gauges and meters when I started. Simpson 260 was the elite meter at the time now fluke digital (imho).
    If you buy quality stuff that is built to last and the technology behind it is tested and true, you won't need to upgrade anything for a long time. We are not building rocket-ships and swiss watches. Knowing how to use your tools is more important than whether it is a Digi-Cool gauge or analog gauge. You don't need a $200 vacuum manifold and $75 1/2" x 1/4" hoses to pull down a system.

    I believe an employer's responsibility ends with repairing/replacing all tools that are used on the job, whether they are personal or company owned. Every company is different regarding what they supply and what they don't. Union shops in this area are required to supply any tools larger than 12" or with an electric cord. Others supply only vacuum pumps, recovery machines, and torches. Others still supply nothing, not even ladders. It is up to you who you want to work for. If you're willing to work for the guy who supplies nothing, then that's your problem, not his. It's his business. If you're using a cheap meter and it breaks, I'm not buying a Fluke for you. I'll contribute the replacement cost of your cheap meter, but the difference is coming out of your pocket. This is where the "self-respecting" part comes into play. It is your career. It is your livelihood. Do you want to be the guy with the tool bag full of chinese junk from Harbor Freight that you have to replace every week, or the guy with dependable professional quality tools that last a lifetime???
    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10
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    True that ^
    What happends when you have to make it on your own in the industry

  11. #11
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    Jul 2012
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    Florida
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    I'm in HVAC school now and think about my tool list regularly. In the past, I've always liked being prepared with my own tools. Right now, my garage is well stocked with all the hand tools I need from past jobs. Including multi meters, an amp meter, digital thermometer. I'm researching everything I'm going to need as an HVAV tech. Being in school, it will be some time before reaching that point, which gives me plenty of time to build my tool list. My first HVAC tool investment will most likely be a set of vacuum gauges. Any advice on a good, quality set would be welcomed.

  12. #12
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    Jun 2005
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    Near Chicago, IL
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    In my area, I have applied at 2 non-union shops.

    One expected you to provide everything, the only thing they supplied was B tank and nitrogen tank exchanges, brazing rod and small consumables like reciprocating saw blades.

    The other shop would provide a vacuum pump and reclaimer machine, unknown condition at that time.

  13. #13
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    Aug 2012
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    2,326
    Depends on how much side work you will be doing!

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