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Thread: Chiller techs

  1. #1
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    Chiller techs

    Do Trane, Carrier, Johnson Controls/York hire commerical techs and train them to become chiller techs or is it just one or 2 guys at these companies that work on chilers and the rest rooftops. I am interested in chillers but guys from these big 3 companies tell me it is a revolving door of new guys and a boys club to get the chiller work.

  2. #2
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    chiller techs do tend to stay around longer than your average rooftop tech but that could be because the chiller techs are harder to find. if you want to get into that business, you need to do the grunt work first (cleaning parts, carrying tools, running for parts, etc) and then maybe you could start getting your own accounts if you are any good. there is a big difference in being a chiller tech and being just another tech in your attitude, quality of workmanship and willingness to learn on your own (not paid). when you speak of 'overtime' to a strip mall owner, most are likely to say: come back tomorrow. but when you have a process chiller down that nets $100,000 an hour (or -$100,000/hr down time), your kids recital and your billing rate don't mean jack to the owner.
    "Mother" is the name for God on the lips and hearts of children....The Crow

  3. #3
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    I think what Jayguy said use to be correct. It use to be you had to know someone and they vouched for you to get a job. You started punching tubes and hauling rigging/reco gear. Now the guys they send out in the field are scary. I know I was green but damn these guys take the cake. I think the last one that made me chuckle is the sight glass is low and the chiller must be low on refrigerant. Sight glass on a cvhf purge btw. I'm out of the tear down game now too old and don't want it anymore. The last I heard from a buddy that still works for the manufacture they have to quote two men two weeks on tear downs now. Use to be the motor was on the ground Tuesday and it better be running by Friday. To answer your question though it depends on what part of the world you are in to be sure. There will always be a tight group of guys in the chiller clique but they are dying/retiring so if that's what you want to do it shouldn't be too hard to get a foot in the door.

  4. #4
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    Are working on chillers that complicated? I am asking out of curiosity I have wanted to learn how to work on them and venture off into that part of the industry for some time, but i feel that i need a few more years of residential experience. what would someone like myself be looking at coming from about 4 years of residential and commercial ac work to going and working with chillers?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trehak01 View Post
    Are working on chillers that complicated? I am asking out of curiosity I have wanted to learn how to work on them and venture off into that part of the industry for some time, but i feel that i need a few more years of residential experience. what would someone like myself be looking at coming from about 4 years of residential and commercial ac work to going and working with chillers?
    It's an interesting transition. I was around them for 2 years before they turned the reigns over. I'll speak for all the chillers other than wheels, most of it isn't rocket science. The difficulty comes in the controls, electronics, etc IMO.

    The pressures of making something run like Jay said can be trying on someone who doesn't handle pressure well. Patience is a must. Being able to see things that are going to happen before they happen is key.

  6. #6
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    Gotcha, If I were to get hired with a company that works with chillers. where would I start? I am a service tech currently.

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    Obviously you have to have sound fundamentals. Wiring, refrigeration, troubleshooting methods, etc. one of the hardest things is to not miss the easy things. As Jay said earlier, a lot of times you have to start on the bottom and work your way up.

    Here's what I did, it may or may not work for you....

    Worked my way up by just working my off. Show that you want it. Spend all the time you can reading here, reading iom manuals, asking fellow techs what they look for. If you have a smart phone, you can find books and support with it.

    It took me 2 years to get a solid foundation. It will be frustrating but you have to keep grinding. You'll have it handed to you a lot, it's how you handle that will define what kind of tech you'll become.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ryan1088 View Post
    Obviously you have to have sound fundamentals. Wiring, refrigeration, troubleshooting methods, etc. one of the hardest things is to not miss the easy things. As Jay said earlier, a lot of times you have to start on the bottom and work your way up.

    Here's what I did, it may or may not work for you....

    Worked my way up by just working my off. Show that you want it. Spend all the time you can reading here, reading iom manuals, asking fellow techs what they look for. If you have a smart phone, you can find books and support with it.

    It took me 2 years to get a solid foundation. It will be frustrating but you have to keep grinding. You'll have it handed to you a lot, it's how you handle that will define what kind of tech you'll become.
    Thank you, thats good advice. I spend alot of time on here.. my wife hate this site.. thats how much time I spend here and reading manuals for the equipment I work on currently.. maybe in a few years Ill look around and see If the chiller world is for me.

  9. #9
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    you know there is also a big difference in the number of accounts that you have compared to the non-chiller techs (i don't want to be rude to the non-chiller techs at all...there are many that are better than i am). a non-chiller tech may have what? 75-100 accounts/locations...i have 8 major accounts. and they keep me pretty busy the whole year. i take a lot of pride in my relationships with those accounts and with the chillers themselves. if you want to be a chiller tech in my shop, then great! but you better be good because now you want me to tell one of my customers that he is going to be in good hands. you are asking a lot. you can do it but you need to step it up.
    "Mother" is the name for God on the lips and hearts of children....The Crow

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trehak01 View Post
    ...I spend alot of time on here.. my wife hate this site.. thats how much time I spend here and reading manuals for the equipment I work on currently...
    its like we are twins! my wife hates this site too.
    "Mother" is the name for God on the lips and hearts of children....The Crow

  11. #11
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    Don't forget about the water. With out the correct water flow you will be chasing your tail.
    You will need to be just as strong on the water side of things. The understanding of pumps, switch gear, air vents, flow valves etc. are a must.


    But I am still learning and looking for a new mentor.
    _______________________
    In a strict sense troubleshooting is not part of the repair..........understand the symptoms and you will find a solution.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  12. #12
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    Anyone here have any good reads on chillers that someone who doesn't have much of a clue could read for starts?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayguy View Post
    its like we are twins! my wife hates this site too.
    That makes 3....

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