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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    33

    Food equipment repair

    I got an interview with a company that services Restaurant equipment. Just wondering What to expect when in this field? Hows the pay? my primary goal is to get some refrigeration experience. I have only been doing residential HVAC service for several years is it an easy transition?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    NE Alabama
    Posts
    301
    Are you kidding? A/C repair is Kindergarden refrigeration is high school and ice machines are college. On the hot side equip. you follow the path

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    33
    yeah i follow! but hows the money? I know that refrigeration is a lot harder than A/C . Is Hot side and cold side something that keeps you busy all the time?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Stumptown,USA
    Posts
    1,253
    Where do you live? The pay in New York City is a lot different than Tupelo Mississippi.
    Challenge yourself, take the CM test --- Certificate Member since 2004 ---Join RSES ---the HVAC/R training authority ---www.rses.org

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    12,230
    Quote Originally Posted by relay101 View Post
    I have only been doing residential HVAC service for several years is it an easy transition?
    No, it isn't, but glad to have you out there learning the business. It's a huge learning curve ahead of you.

    Be prepared to carry more than one extra uniform shirt, plenty of clean rags and hand cleaner. One thing you will never have to worry about again is rusty tools or being able to change clothes in the house again. Make a changing room in your garage and never wear your work boots in the house. Take a shower immediately when home so your house doesn't smell like burnt chicken. Be sure to have plenty of band-aids in your truck along with a good antiseptic ointment. A simple scratch can become infected by staff.

    You can ask the other guys here if I'm kidding, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Quote Originally Posted by relay101 View Post
    Hows the pay? my primary goal is to get some refrigeration experience.
    The pay is about the same as it is for anything else. It's never enough but a good appliance guy is far worth more his weight than a refrigeration service tech alone. Learn both trades and become someone that is dedicated. You could get a job anywhere if you know both. If you learn commercial refrigeration then you will also cross over to commercial AC. It takes years to be called "good" at what you do as you can never know everything.

    I've known several guys, some that I've trained, that only want to work appliances and make a really good living. Some start their own business and flourish in their trade.

    Best of luck to you for which ever route you take.
    Last edited by Dad; 04-01-2010 at 10:59 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,619
    Better start reading up on electrical if you work on ovens.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    33
    I live in chicago. I am looking forward to the challenge ahead of me. Thats why i want to work in the food service. I want 40+ hours a week steady. What is the base pay that you would expect to start with if you have 5 years residential HVAC experience?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    12,230

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    West Yorkshire England
    Posts
    405
    Quote Originally Posted by relay101 View Post
    I got an interview with a company that services Restaurant equipment. Just wondering What to expect when in this field? Hows the pay? my primary goal is to get some refrigeration experience. I have only been doing residential HVAC service for several years is it an easy transition?
    That depends if your a quick learner. I also use to work for a firm that specialised in aircon in computer suites/mainframes back in the eighties, but you also had to be an electrician, joiner (carpenter US/CA), plumber, floor layer/carpet fitter, and voice and data engineer. You soon picked it up.

    I have been working in the catering and laundry engineering trade for almost three years now. I tend to carryout refrigeration work part time for myself, but do occasionally look at waklins and uprights where I work. I had only a few days induction training on the laundry equipment, but none on the catering side.

    I payed for my own comcats (gas catering quals in the UK) because I was going to leave where I work. And paid for my own pipework and brazing and safe handling of refrigerants qualification. This means the firm I work for can't stop me from doing guvvy jobs, as the knowledge is mine and equipment is mine.

    Without blowing my trumpet, I'm the kind of bloke that can go to a machine that isn't working and get it going again. or at least diagnose the fault and order the parts for it. Sometimes I have to make a call to the technician for advice and guidance.

    Anyway you've got the grounding for refrigeration with your aircon experience. One thing you will find with refrigeration, is that the design of a system can vary so much from one make to another. As for the other stuff, if you understand the electrical and mechanical side of aircon/refrigeration. You should pick up the other stuff such as warewashers and cookline equipment. Be prepared to get dirty and sticky, as some of the places that you work in will be very dirty. When you get a chef that thinks they're god and doesn't want you in his kitchen, take them with a pinch of salt. It's hard to do sometimes, and sometimes you have to bite your tongue.

    Start to brush up your knowledge on natural gas and LPG fired catering equipment. Then when you go and sit your licence, you will have more idea on what questions your answering. Anyway think about what I've wrote and bear this in mind when you sit the interview, and don't forget... be yourself. If you don't mind me telling you so. Also don't be suprised if they ask you to call to a job on your way home, thats miles away from your home. You could end up averaging 12 hour days at some firms.
    Last edited by chilliwilly; 04-01-2010 at 04:52 PM. Reason: missing text
    Martyn

    50 & 60 hz but 100's worse

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    33
    thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I always look around the forums to learn something new and thanks everyone for providing useful information.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Stumptown,USA
    Posts
    1,253
    I would expect the pay near Chicago to be in the top 10% of the 48 states. I hope you like the switch to kitchen equipment, Microwaves are a trip! Discharge that Capacitor and don't ever run one with the cover off, I did once and I have the burn and stitch scars to prove it! Ice machines are pretty cool too. Be sure to go to the tech classes the manufacturers put on, that info is priceless! Good Luck!
    Challenge yourself, take the CM test --- Certificate Member since 2004 ---Join RSES ---the HVAC/R training authority ---www.rses.org

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    33
    Another question for everyone, I am making more at my current job then the food service equipment job. The Reason i wanna change jobs is that I feel like I am not growing anymore, I would like to get into the refrigeration business. WOuld you take the lesser paying job just to get the experience? or would you stick with your current job?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    6,619
    Jump ship and run Forrest run & don't look back!!

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