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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wauconda, ILLINOIS
    Posts
    99

    A Little Nervous!

    Hey everyone..
    I have been doing commercial Hvac for about 7 months, and I am doing quite well even though school has not been in my training yet.
    I picked up the EPA study packet from a supply house, and have been studying it and honestly....I do get and understand alot of it, but some of it gets a little confusing. I guess I should confess I really want to go and take it and get it over with, but a little nervous about failing it cause of not studying enough, or not the right info. I really want to succede and want to impress myself as well as the boss.
    I guess my questions are:
    1.Am I too early into this trade to be taking this? How long did other guys wait till they took it?
    2.Is it really hard, such as trick questions, how many questions, and types of questions?
    3.In your professional point of view, should I take them separtly..like type 1 first..type 2 ...another day..and so on. I want to get the universal.
    4.One last one...I really want school, but it is not in my budget at this time..but are there any good reliable home study videos, or coarses that could help me in learning some troubleshooting skills better and the right way, or understanding the right way of how the sequence of the operation of the RTUs instead of asking questions every time to the tech Im with....which usually never has the anwsers anyway.

    I know..probably too much info at once...but this is something I want..and want to get the ball rolling.
    Thank you in advanced.....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Up North Some PLace. Brrrrr.
    Posts
    304
    best advice, Go to school. do the apprentice program. hands on and school will gain ya knowledge you need. you can hit all the books ya want but dont see it in front of ya touching and working on it will not help ya out, both go hand in hand. so just enroll and try to find a tech who knows what his doing to help ya on the the q u asked, although sometimes dont jump on the guy with all the questions try to think about the issue and then try to ask the appropriate questions.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wauconda, ILLINOIS
    Posts
    99
    OK I truly understand that school is very important, but right now it is not in my budget at all. At least for a year. In the mean time, is there any good tools for learning sequence of operations, or good troubleshooting skills. I am getting hands on everyday at work. I assisted in complete changeouts, replacing compressors, which they let me do all the piping and brazing, motors, controls, ductwork, wiring, and of coarse the changing of filters, tightening of belts, and now getting into the cooling season condensor coil cleaning.
    Just want the right info on the explanation of certain areas of how a system works.
    Plus........is it a good idea to take the EPA test this early?
    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    709
    I think the epa test is one of the least important things to worry about. I have it, but have never been asked for it, or needed it for any reason. The real certifications you need are apprenticeship completion, county licenses, nate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    phoenix az
    Posts
    429
    that is the way that i thought until finally at 38 years old i said hek i will never afford it so might as well just do it

    donated blood plasma for first three months to pay tuition then started getting side jobs doing residential then there i was at the bottom payscale in a new career. no i couldnt afford it but i am glad i did and my advice is to join a union earn and learn then college associates degree. there are some good trade schools and i went to one but if someone had given me advice to go union and college i would have been better off.

    most companies want at least an associates degree in order to hire someone in at the supervisor or management level. also the cost is actually cheaper at some community colleges.

    as for the test i took it before any schooling or formal training i learned residential hvac self taught but the place i worked at gave 1 dollar an hour more if i had that universal certification so yeah you can pass it no problem but it does not make you any better or give you any technical experience so if there is no reason to take it such as required for the job or at least 1 dollar an hour pay raise then wait and take it at school.

    and btw 1 dollar an hour translated to 3,250 dollars extra that year and that is a nice starting tool budget

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    NW AR
    Posts
    2,478
    All the epa test is is memorization. Study your book and unless your a moron you will pass. Take it now or whenever.

    Drawing schematics is a great way to understand how a system operates.

    Hands on is the best training.

    WHen the boss lets you do wiring ask why that wire goes there. A chimp can be trained to do wiring. You wanna no WHY that wire goes there.

    Ill try to find some links for ya.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wauconda, ILLINOIS
    Posts
    99
    Thanks for looking for some links. The shop I work for is pretty great, they always keep you busy no matter what, and they are non union. So an apprenticeship is not gonna happen. I did find a college that has a great open school program, but I live out of district and that means way more money. Anyone know ways around gettin in district rates?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Ft.Worth,Tx
    Posts
    4,584
    Go to the library and check out a few books on Air Conditioning and maybe save your money and buy Norm's book here on this site.

    Read installation sheets and wiring diagrams.
    Get a marker and trace circuits in cooling mode.

    Learn the low voltage circuit then learn line voltage circuit. Buy meter and use it.
    "Everyday above ground, is a good day".
    "But everyday that you have made a difference in someones life, may insure you stay above ground a little longer".<aircooled>

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    NW Ohio
    Posts
    516
    [QUOTE=ar_hvac_man;1419921]All the epa test is is memorization. Study your book and unless your a moron you will pass. Take it now or whenever.

    Yep, the test has little to do with real life work. Know the terms, the refrigeration cycle, some dates, why we have a hole in the o-zone and that type of stuff. If you know the book and the law you will pass.
    I work with a guy that has universal card. Could not fix anything if his life depended on it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    38
    I work for a commercial company. My owner won't even talk to you without an EPA card. If you have Baker Brothers supply houses in your area, you can take the test there. It is the cheapest one around, they sell you all the study materials, and you can take the test whenever you want instead of waiting until it's scheduled.

    I had to move in with my parents and use my GI bill so I could go to school. Best thing I ever did. As much as school helped me, there was definitely a learning curve when I started in the field. I had to start learning all over again and I still am.

    The EPA test is easier than you think. If you don't have that card you can't buy refrigerant, put gauges on a system, or even drive a truck with refrigerant on it. Having it will make you more useful although it is not a substitute for experience.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Wauconda, ILLINOIS
    Posts
    99
    Ok....so first I am from Lake county, IL.....and so yesterday I went to the supply house G.W.Berkeheimer, and picked up the QUIWK study packet for the E.P.A. and started studing. I will wait untill I am completely ready untill I can take it, cause it has alot dates you need to know. How many questions are on the Universal test total.
    Plus I stopped at a York suppy house and the had technical training om april 3 for basic refrigeration troubleshooting, in which I called the number, left a message, and hope I'm doing the right thing there. Does anyone know anything about those type of classes? We work on york rtus all the time for one of the big accounts we do, so I dont want to pass something like that up. Do ya think I did good?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Hot Springs, AR
    Posts
    1,043
    Quote Originally Posted by hvacstudentsteve View Post
    I work for a commercial company. My owner won't even talk to you without an EPA card. If you have Baker Brothers supply houses in your area, you can take the test there. It is the cheapest one around, they sell you all the study materials, and you can take the test whenever you want instead of waiting until it's scheduled.

    I had to move in with my parents and use my GI bill so I could go to school. Best thing I ever did. As much as school helped me, there was definitely a learning curve when I started in the field. I had to start learning all over again and I still am.

    The EPA test is easier than you think. If you don't have that card you can't buy refrigerant, put gauges on a system, or even drive a truck with refrigerant on it. Having it will make you more useful although it is not a substitute for experience.
    Let's see; here in AR if you're over 23yrs old and apply for a Pell Grant, they only use your income. I'm not sure, but I think you're allowed to make like up to $40,000 a year and still qualify.

    I'd take the EPA Universal, you won't fail if you memorize the dates, the rest just falls into place.
    "Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." -- Mark Twain

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sullivan County, NY
    Posts
    17
    [QUOTE=aircooled53;1421870]Go to the library and check out a few books on Air Conditioning and maybe save your money and buy Norm's book here on this site.

    Would this be the Dewalt HVAC exam book?

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