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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Ma.
    Posts
    108

    Do you have second thoughts or not?

    Have any of you gone from the mechanical end of the business to the controls end and regret it? Or due wish you made the change earlier?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Southern Tier, NY
    Posts
    6,066
    make money at both

    controls sure is easier on my body....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Fort Worth\Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    1,699
    I came out of the mechanical side and went into controls full time about 3.5 years ago. I like doing controls, but sometimes it sure seems like an uphill battle for me.

    As Slim sead it is much more easier on the body, but it sure is hard on my brain.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    735
    kpaul,

    What are you thinking?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,144
    I wish I would have won the lottery earlier! Other than that, I am very glad I had 15 years of HVAC service under my belt before I took it off.
    Doing service may be a bit harder on your body, if you dont have a full time gogetter with you, but one thing for sure, you come home, take a shower, and work stays at work. With controls, work can consume your mind if you let it.
    “It is impossible for one to learn what one thinks they already know"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    What? Who? Where?
    Posts
    1,693
    I started in the trades as a residential/light commercial electrician and got hired on at a medium sized mechanical firm as their in-house sparky, from there they needed help in their controls dept. and I have never looked back. I spent about 6 months doing regular sparky work one year and it drove me insane.

    I would like to get back in the field after 4 years as a desk jockey, but unless I change companies I don't see it happening.

    kontrol out
    "Open is as open does." - Forrest Gump
    "Can't we all just get a Lon?" - Garry Jack
    "BACnet: integration or interrogation?" - The Janitor
    "Open protocols? You can't handle open protocols!" - Nathan R. Jessup
    “What’s that? Aaa… open protocols? Don’t talk about…. open protocols? Are you kidding me? Open protocols? I just hope we can hardwire an interface!” - Jim Mora http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7fjDS0jKiE

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    735
    Kontrolphreak,

    I bet you pay people to do electrical work at your house now - right? Probably can't stand to do regular electrical work if there's no thought to it :-)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    What? Who? Where?
    Posts
    1,693
    No, I still do my own electrical work (I'm a cheap bastard) and "favors" for friends, but no side jobs and wouldn't go back to it for double what I'm making now. But it is funny when our installers complain that it can't be done or it's too hard to do it right, no you just don't want to do it. They just see me as the guy that draws pretty pictures and don't realize I was an electrician for about 4 years and then installed and started up controls for another 3 before I started riding the desk.
    "Open is as open does." - Forrest Gump
    "Can't we all just get a Lon?" - Garry Jack
    "BACnet: integration or interrogation?" - The Janitor
    "Open protocols? You can't handle open protocols!" - Nathan R. Jessup
    “What’s that? Aaa… open protocols? Don’t talk about…. open protocols? Are you kidding me? Open protocols? I just hope we can hardwire an interface!” - Jim Mora http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7fjDS0jKiE

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    735
    I was on the other end - the desk guy. I was spoiled because the electrician that used to work for us would run the job and get it done. But once I went out on my own, things changed. I started to notice that the electricians would start to do stupid things - 50' runs with no j-box or T condelet. Far too many penetrations into the control cans which loaded up the wire duct once we were in.

    So now we spend a ton of time laying out the conduit on paper on the AHU and a floor layout. We put j-boxes out the wazoo and insist on a gutter box at the main control panel with minimal penetrations into the control can. I can't tell you the number of times on a job we have to add a relay or sensor, and have no way to get into the conduit without ripping everything apart. NEVER AGAIN. The last time I let an electrician tell me we didn't need a gutter box or extra j-boxes on the job I regretted it. I told him if he ever did that to me again that I would fight him to the death and only one of us was coming out alive.

    Also, by putting all of the conduit layout on paper, I can give it to anyone, and if they don't do it that way, then we have a leg to stand on to either call them back, or have it done right and then back charge them.

    I'm not bi#ching about electricians, but if don't say "do it this way" they will do it the dumbest easiest way possible.

    BTW...I have had to rewire all of my NEW pool equipment at home because I didn't pay attention to the wiring when it was being done - also nobody spoke English that was doing the work so I had no idea what was going on but that's a whole other story.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Ma.
    Posts
    108
    just striking conversation!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pacific Time Zone
    Posts
    4,198
    Quote Originally Posted by kpaul View Post
    Have any of you gone from the mechanical end of the business to the controls end and regret it? Or due wish you made the change earlier?
    I worked as a commercial service tech for 7 years and now have done controls for the past couple of years. The parts I regret is the freedom being a tech vs. controls work, now I have to watch out for myself and others and I spend a lot more time in the office, where before my office was my work van and I really just watched out for myself, and office politics suck. Controls work is much easier on the body, but now I also have found I have to pay a bit more attention to my weight vs. before I paid no attention at all. Overall I like what I do now quite a bit more as the PM's could get really old in a hurry, don't have to think too much to change filters and do a basic checkout. As a tech I really enjoyed the troubleshooting of various service calls, change in environment, a new challenge and the difficult ones although very tough, but solving them was quite rewarding. I like that with controls I am using my brain quite a bit more overall, to program a sequence of ops, or to look at trends and tune up a system for better performance.
    I am glad I didn't make the change earlier as the field experience really taught me a lot on how thing should operate to prolong the life of the equipment. I've caught engineers trying to run a DX cooling system like it was a chilled water valve to "maintain" supply temp (banging compressors on and off), specifying built up economizer systems without any kind of relief for the building, running cast iron boilers reset schedule far too low and more. Without the service experience I would have likely followed their spec, but due to my experience I can "help" watch out for the customers best interests and the longevity of the equipment.
    "How it can be considered "Open" is beyond me. Calling it "voyeur-ed" would be more accurate." pka LeroyMac, SkyIsBlue, fka Freddy-B, Mongo, IndyBlue
    BIG Government = More Dependents
    "Any 'standard' would be great if it didn't get bastardised by corporate self interest." MatrixTransform
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Home is Azle Texas, work in Dallas-Fort Worth & surrounding areas.
    Posts
    370
    No regrets, life is pretty good.Switched from Mech. side to controls almost 3 years ago.
    Life as an adult is much like life in kindergarten - If I make it through the day without crying or hitting some one, then it was a good day!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Where it's dark & damp
    Posts
    609
    I started as being an HVAC service tech but liked the electrical circuit part of the job best. I then became an electrician because I wanted to do controls and always saw the electricians on the jobs installing the control systems. I served an apprenticeship and got a journeymans card as an electrician in addition to the HVAC mechanic card. I was always subbed out to control and HVAC companies installing control systems and do some motor work. I loved the single loop controller jobs and hardwire interlock jobs because they took thought on how you wired them but I haven't seen one of them go in in about 10 years. I became bored putting in DDC controls because there was no thought involved. Just use good wiring practices and it was point a to point b. Then 5 years ago I was talking with one of the control companies I was working for and they wanted a guy with a broader background than the people they had with computer sciences degrees and hired me to do thier turn key and retrofit jobs. I've been here 5 years and am now looking to do something else. I've been thinking about PLC's and proccess controls or maybe just a new company with a different brand of controls.

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