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Thread: Chiller techs

  1. #27
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    I don't care for "flame wars", but this trade is not for the thin skinned. At this point in life I'm way past being insulted by another man's opinion (not that your opinion would have been insulting, at any time of my life). Besides, hopefully we're all doing what we want to be doing. And it's all an important part of our way of life. And shouldn't we all be glad that somebody else enjoys doing the things we don't?

  2. #28
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    GT
    NO biggie my friend- you just have to like what you do and want it- GT ur on this site so that has to mean something -lol

    NEWCHILLER
    I know EXACTLY what ur saying- I love this stuff.!!
    Good post
    no signature blast'em man blast'em
    !!!KILL THE TERRORIST!!!

  3. #29
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    Aug 2006
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    Mixing oil and fire with a big spoon.
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    4,388
    Quote Originally Posted by GT Jets View Post
    It is on the tech's shoulders to learn it on their own, not necessarily the other way around. If you want the work, you need to be doing the research, nobody held my hand coming up through the trade, I found myself reading manuals and O and M's as recreational reading.

    I don't know why it is the newer generation thinks they have to be sent to all the schools BEFORE they get their hands dirty... It is just not how it works....
    x2! there is a lot to learn here and you just can't do it all in classes....well, you probably could, but what company would send all of their techs to a 2 year class for 1 piece of equipment?!!?
    When I am late for work, I usually make up for it by leaving early.

  4. #30
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    May 2009
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    Calgary AB
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT Jets View Post
    It is on the tech's shoulders to learn it on their own, not necessarily the other way around. If you want the work, you need to be doing the research, nobody held my hand coming up through the trade, I found myself reading manuals and O and M's as recreational reading.

    I don't know why it is the newer generation thinks they have to be sent to all the schools BEFORE they get their hands dirty... It is just not how it works.

    Just piggy back this on my previous prick card..

    GT
    All I was getting at is that a lot of this equipment is 100% mission critical and that the employer needs to provide support to their guys. No matter how smart one technician is and no matter how dumb one greenhorn is (myself) they need to support their guys by giving them access to the information and knowledge that the other guys have.

  5. #31
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    Nov 2012
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    Toronto
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    I think most service techs are subject to stress but it is usually by a small group of people that are aggravated and uncomfortable.
    There are many large tonnage machines in process and big money is at stake. The equipment is expensive and the lost profits can be more expensive. And outside of process, chillers that are in comfort cooling applications usually have a couple thousand angry customers when there is no cooling. Thats a lot of stress and a lot of responsibility.
    You are either born into it. Or you catch a break and build a relationship with a good tech while you're an apprentice. Reputation is everything and you're only as good as your last job.
    No matter how you fall into it you need to be the guy who works harder and goes further to make it. Come early and stay late. Read manuals and take as many courses as possible.
    Ask to work for free during big repairs until you are useful enough to be paid.
    It is not for everyone. And even after you become a 'chiller mechanic' good luck keeping your family together when you're never home.
    It's not an easy job by any means but it can be very rewarding if you are the type that needs to be challenged constantly. I wouldn't have it any other way personally.

  6. #32
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    Mar 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron604 View Post
    All I was getting at is that a lot of this equipment is 100% mission critical and that the employer needs to provide support to their guys. No matter how smart one technician is and no matter how dumb one greenhorn is (myself) they need to support their guys by giving them access to the information and knowledge that the other guys have.
    The information is not proprietary (for the most part), my point was that it is on you to gain access to it.

    If I had an apprentice tell me as a journeyman or a foreman that I had to hunt down and provide information for a certain machine, unless it was a really unusual set of circumstances, I would tell them to go pound sand, you have fingers, type the word "Google" before the model number and see what transpires.

    I did this very thing just last night to my apprentice who was on call... I knew what the fault code meant, but if I told him what to do, he would not have learned a GD thing other than that if he calls someone when he gets stuck, someone will bail him out...

    Said it like " dude, you have a smart phone in your pocket, did you think it was for playing online poker and liking things on Facebook"?

    Not trying to be a tool, literally...

    GT
    If a day goes by and you have learned nothing, I hope you got a lot of sleep.

  7. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by aaron604 View Post
    All I was getting at is that a lot of this equipment is 100% mission critical and that the employer needs to provide support to their guys...
    absolutely true. but a good employer would not put his newbies on critical equipment. as a newbie, i would recommend that you go find the information BEFORE you need it. you know that the equipment is out there. you know that someday (if you are good enough) you will be the one working on it. get the literature now and save it because many manufacturers have this nasty little habit of removing things from their website if they don't offer that model anymore.



    Quote Originally Posted by aaron604 View Post
    ...No matter how smart one technician is and no matter how dumb one greenhorn is (myself) they need to support their guys by giving them access to the information and knowledge that the other guys have.
    that is true also. are you being denied information? i can tell you right now that YOU can get more information off of this website and faster than your boss can. i, too, get frustrated when someone has information but doesn't offer it up. but it works both ways. get smart. work hard. teach others. it will come around to them someday. karma is real.
    When I am late for work, I usually make up for it by leaving early.

  8. #34
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    Jul 2003
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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?
    Working on chillers isn't all that complicated, just time consuming. A good commercial/industrial/refrigeration background is certain to help much more than a residential background.

    My thought on where a technician is in the field would generally be that it takes 5 years experience to be able to have a fair clue as to what is happening on any service call, 10 years to be able to switch effortlessly from a no heat call, to a cooling call, to a ice machine, call to a walkin cooler, to a chiller, etc.,etc.,etc.

    Its not the case for every tech but probably a fair assumption from what I've seen in the last 25 years. Large tonnage chiller work is more about attention to detail and BIG HEAVY THINGS, which means working slightly slower, more orderly, and cleaner than on a RTU or residential call.

    As others have stated, there will be many techs retiring in the next ten years, start looking for a commercial shop that works on chillers.

    ...Ron
    Roof Rat

  9. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayguy View Post
    teach others. it will come around to them someday. karma is real.

    God I hope so.... I have invested everything in that very thought.
    If a day goes by and you have learned nothing, I hope you got a lot of sleep.

  10. #36
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    May 2009
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    Calgary AB
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    Lots of good stuff on this post guys. The company I work for is pretty good in regards to the tasks they give us and what level of expertise we might have. They could send me or the other apprentice on a blind call to a unit but they would be on the phone to support us if we needed it or brief us before we go in. In the end as everyone has said it is up to the individual to harness the information and put the big picture together.

  11. #37
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    Apr 2013
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    NJ
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    It can be a tough transition in to a Chiller Guy. I'm going though it right now. Its a lot of willingness to learn and coming home at night on your own time to read the manuals and be prepared for the next day regardless of your personal life. Just like every thing else we work on we need to understand How it works, why it works, and when it works. If you can answer these questions on every thing you work on and are able to explain it to someone else in simple form with out going into geek speak then i would say you understand the equipment you work on. I've been in the trade for 6 years now and I have had a couple oppertunitys to do PMs on chillers with Journeyman when I was an apprentice and now i'm on my own to do some service calls on them. My Boss is testing the water/ throwing to some wolfs. I'm not looking to only work on chillers or high tonage equipment even though thats were the money is, But it does make you valuable to your company. I want to be able to work on just about anything.

  12. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by njbiker66 View Post
    ... Its a lot of willingness to learn and coming home at night on your own time to read the manuals and be prepared for the next day regardless of your personal life. Just like every thing else we work on we need to understand How it works, why it works, and when it works.
    I could not agree more. In fact, I don't see how anyone can succeed without doing this. Also, take advantage of any "free" time on site to study and become more familar with equipment.

  13. #39
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    Apr 2013
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    South of Oklahoma
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    I agree with posted comments on getting into chiller industry. My opinion is go to work for a good company that has a lot of chiller work. Then learn all you can on your own, show as much initiative as you can. Let your boss know you are a "go getter", and willing to learn on your own. DO NOT: wait for company to send you to training! I have worked with guys who were stuck in holding pattern waiting to be sent factory training. I learned more in the field, and my own reading than most people I know that went to factory training.

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