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  1. #1

    I witnessed the unthinkable (epa violation)

    I am a brand new trainee fresh out of school at my first job in refrigeration and hvac (hooray), and i get excited when i am sent out on a random residential/light commercial install job (normally i am at a construction site installing a walk in box). Anyhow....we arrive there. We got a dry shipped 13 Seer 5 Ton carrier condenser and virgin r22. This is supposed to be simple, old condenser is dead and 30 years old, should be easy, right?


    Wrong.


    the guy I'm with hooks his gauges up to the service valves Of The existing unit and there is a charge of gas in there...

    "Do you have a Recovery machine and recovery cylinder?" I Ask him

    "Nope" The moron said, "here's an old school trick"....

    I Hold an epa universal and this dumb dumb only holds a can of skoal and his iPhone.."You better not vent that, the fine is over 37000$ if you get caught"...he doesn't care and gets ready to vent refrigerant...i walk away and couldn't even bear to watch such unspeakable horror...he finished the swap as if nothing happened. I don't know what to do about this, I can't see this happen again because i feel like I'll get in trouble as well Even though i Did no wrong, any advice appreciated. Pardon the random capital letters, typing on a Phone is hard. Also, putting a 13 Seer condenser with an old (30 year old?) indoor coil means zero energy benefit for the customer, last time i Heard.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    29
    Talk to your boss about it. You may find out it is the norm throughout the company. It is sad to say, but I have seen companies like that before.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Western, KY
    Posts
    2,875
    Geez it's not like he killed somebody. Just go to your boss and without backstabbing the guy ask if he wants recovery machines used to pull out charges on change outs. If he says no then it's a problem at the top, if he says yes then next time tell your coworker you are going to get a recovery machine and bottle or better yet you brung the recovery machine and bottle and you put it all on.

    Overall though don't be a punk about it, especially if you are new. The only time I had words with someone over venting was when they involved me in their actions, had a guy who told me on more than one occasion that he pulled the charge just to cut through the line with tubing cutters and have a full charge dump out, what I learned from that was don't ever trust somebody else, always confirm. Same guy told me to open about 8 bottles that still had 3-4lbs in them and throw them in the dumpster, I said no, he could do it or I could recover them into a recovery bottle, he opted for me to do the recovery bottle.

    BTW, holding a can of skoal and an iPhone doesn't mean you're a "dumb dumb".

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In a boiler room
    Posts
    7,049
    Quote Originally Posted by walden.raccoon View Post
    I am a brand new trainee fresh out of school at my first job in refrigeration and hvac (hooray), and i get excited when i am sent out on a random residential/light commercial install job (normally i am at a construction site installing a walk in box). Anyhow....we arrive there. We got a dry shipped 13 Seer 5 Ton carrier condenser and virgin r22. This is supposed to be simple, old condenser is dead and 30 years old, should be easy, right?


    Wrong.


    the guy I'm with hooks his gauges up to the service valves Of The existing unit and there is a charge of gas in there...

    "Do you have a Recovery machine and recovery cylinder?" I Ask him

    "Nope" The moron said, "here's an old school trick"....

    I Hold an epa universal and this dumb dumb only holds a can of skoal and his iPhone.."You better not vent that, the fine is over 37000$ if you get caught"...he doesn't care and gets ready to vent refrigerant...i walk away and couldn't even bear to watch such unspeakable horror...he finished the swap as if nothing happened. I don't know what to do about this, I can't see this happen again because i feel like I'll get in trouble as well Even though i Did no wrong, any advice appreciated. Pardon the random capital letters, typing on a Phone is hard. Also, putting a 13 Seer condenser with an old (30 year old?) indoor coil means zero energy benefit for the customer, last time i Heard.
    It's a cold cruel world out there.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by skapusci View Post
    TAlk to your boss about it. You may find out it is the norm throughout the company. It is sad to say, but I have seen companies like that before.
    We do have recovery equipment in the shop and plenty of recovery tanks, but this one guy i was with didn't have it, it's also the law that any service to be done needs to be accompanied with the appropriate recovery equipment. This guy I worked with told me if we overcharge a system by a couple Ounces to a pound we just "purge it out", my heart broke upon hearing that. I might have to find a new company that haS stricter Standard like the ones i follow (Aka the epa regulations). AlsO, this guy never reams or cleans pipe before brazing and doesn't use ppe for the job, he also uses a broken nitro regulator. I'm surprised he's still alive

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Cleveland
    Posts
    605
    Quote Originally Posted by mason View Post
    Geez it's not like he killed somebody. Just go to your boss and without backstabbing the guy ask if he wants recovery machines used to pull out charges on change outs. If he says no then it's a problem at the top, if he says yes then next time tell your coworker you are going to get a recovery machine and bottle or better yet you brung the recovery machine and bottle and you put it all on.

    Overall though don't be a punk about it, especially if you are new. The only time I had words with someone over venting was when they involved me in their actions, had a guy who told me on more than one occasion that he pulled the charge just to cut through the line with tubing cutters and have a full charge dump out, what I learned from that was don't ever trust somebody else, always confirm. Same guy told me to open about 8 bottles that still had 3-4lbs in them and throw them in the dumpster, I said no, he could do it or I could recover them into a recovery bottle, he opted for me to do the recovery bottle.

    BTW, holding a can of skoal and an iPhone doesn't mean you're a "dumb dumb".
    X2 well said.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Mechanicsville, Virginia
    Posts
    1,097
    I would guess that the company you work for would not like to be part of any federal violations nor would they condone what you describe. If they do, you may not be a good fit there anyway.

    I'm also not aware of "failure to report" to be a violation in itself. maybe someone else knows.

    "If perfection is your goal, you may end up with good enough, what might you end up with when good enough is your goal?"
    Wayne Pendergast, efficientcomfort.net

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    492
    hmm

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by penderway View Post
    I would guess that the company you work for would not like to be part of any federal violations nor would they condone what you describe. If they do, you may not be a good fit there anyway.

    I'm not aware of "failure to report" to be a violation in itself. maybe someone else knows.
    BOSS gave me a hard time when i asked to sign out a recovery machine and cylinder insisting the unit to be replaced was empty of r22 but it actually had a lot in there, then i tried to explain to him why..."What if we overcharge it and need to get some refrigerant back out?"

    "Kid that's the day you get shot by me, overcharging is a good way to ruin a compressor"...Yeah he's a smart man surely, though he Missed the point of the whole thing. It's Only been a month and i already feel like it's time to move on, unfortunately.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    492
    Even though he gave you a hard time, did he give you the recovery equipment?

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by RACMT View Post
    Even though he gave you a hard time, did he give you the recovery equipment?
    No, i felt intimidated by him and walked away, i thought the guy in the van would have the sense to carry the stuff to the job, i drove there in the company pickup truck and had no idea what the other guy had in his van, he had no recovery equipment that's for sure.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    641
    Start looking for a better job...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Mechanicsville, Virginia
    Posts
    1,097
    A stinkin' epa certification is the only requirement one needs to be an HVAC Technician. It sure does piss me off when someone who is supposed to be my peer can't even get that right.

    "If perfection is your goal, you may end up with good enough, what might you end up with when good enough is your goal?"
    Wayne Pendergast, efficientcomfort.net

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