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Thread: Job Interview

  1. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,924
    Seriously, check out Harbor Freight for tools if there is one near you. Their hand tools are pretty good, fairly cheap and will get you started. Power tools, not so much, but they do work for starters.

    As you break or wear out tools, replace them with Craftsman or another quality brand of tool.

    Something else to look into is a "homeowners" tool kit. One of those kind of all-in-one boxes that are supposed to cover everything in home repair.

    Depending on what you are working on, a set of nutdrivers or a 1/4" drive socket set is nice for hex head screws, a six-in-one is almost mandatory, but eventually you will want properly sized screwdrivers rather than one size fits none, a 10" adjustable wrench is plenty, channel-locks, wire cut/strip/crimp tool, a clamp meter with thermometer, and a good flashlight should get you started.

    Hang out here long enough and you will likely be a hardcore tool addict before too long.


  2. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    1,673
    The potential employer wants to know
    can you do the work?
    will you do the work?
    are you desperate?

    To avoid this last one, try to have any kind of second job paying any money.

    Whatever the interviewer says he will do in return for your labor, like salary & benefits, try to get in writing.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    15
    Good stuff. I laughed when you said Harbor Freight. Me and my room mates go there all the time. Was the first place that popped into my head. Cheap stuff but it will do for now. So I'm gonna need a tool belt or box too, any recommendations? You guys are awesome

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Coffeepot, Ohio
    Posts
    275
    Harbor Freight...Odd Lots...Clearance aisle at Wal-Mart. Like jpsmith said, start with the cheap stuff. If you use it enough to break it, then replace it with something good.

    Oh, yeah- congrats! I started in apartment maintenance,too. Keep an HVAC goal in mind. Apartment maintenance can be ugly, so don't get discouraged. Learn how the equipment works, not just what tricks make it go.
    If you can't push; pull... If you can't pull; GET OUT OF THE WAY!!

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    WI
    Posts
    1,116
    Quote Originally Posted by fcs View Post
    Also to get your self some background on tools post in TOOL FORUM.

    good luck
    What! Don't tell him to go there, those guys will tell him he needs a Veto full of Flukes to start out.

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Location:Raleigh NC
    Posts
    9,667
    Quote Originally Posted by JuJo View Post
    So I'm gonna need a tool belt or box too, any recommendations? You guys are awesome
    To Start out while moneys tight just use 5 gal buckets.
    If you help others then you are a Success

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    352
    Oh the lost art of the 5 gallon bucket. I still use about 5 of them in my truck everyday, and that is the best way to sort pvc fittings unless you have a truck dedicated to sprinkler system installs.

    If you do work you way up to an actual tool belt get a rooster. I can remember the day my rooster was pryed from my hands and I went to the tool bag, then eventually the veto. (still miss my rooster) ....ok it was getting heavy on the hip.

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,924
    I have never used a bucket, but one of the guys I used to work with had an interesting tool bucket that he carried.

    He screwed peices of PVC around the inside of the bucket. These kept his tools in place while the center of the bucket was left open for small items and a box for screws and nuts.

    BTW: My tool bag gets pretty HEAVY (over 50lbs at times). I would opt for a smaller bucket or a tool belt. When I run maintenance, I have a little tool pouch that I picked up at Home Depot. Just a couple of screwdrivers and wrenches and off I go.

    Another thing that I tried for about a year was a rolling tool cart. Again, Home Depot. Kind of like a 2 wheeled dolly. Had a large tool bin in the bottom for a cordless drill and a few other things, a drawer for small stuff and a detachable tool box on top that carried my hand tools. Really, it is a good idea and a sound method for transporting tools. If I had a job like yours, I would still be pulling it. For me, it got too heavy to lift in and out of the van.

    A reasonably handy guy could easily fashion one out of a 2 wheeled dolly and a few toolboxes and bungees. Probably be better than what I had.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    352
    Home depot (no we don't work for them) has stackable dividers make to go inside a bucket. These things are great and reasonably inexpensive. You could have one divider for electrical, one for copper fittings etc..

    at the end of the day you end up with a versitile, cheap, lightweight container. It took me years to learn the importance of not making it a "catch all."

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    1,463
    Check out your local pawn shops also.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,376
    Congrats on landing the job! My work history has apartment maintenance in it. It is not easy work. You were likely hired to fill the most needed niche in apartment maintenance work...apartment turnovers or "make-ready" work. Lots of painting, fixing broken fixtures, appliances, HVAC...whatever it takes to get the apartment ready for the next tenant.

    It's easy to slam on apartment maintenance gigs and guys who work in it, but it gave me a solid footing in understanding building construction as well as a/c and heat work. At one complex I lived and worked at, I might be rebuilding a deck in the morning, or removing a sliding glass door to rework the rough opening so the door can be level again, and then grab my gauges in the afternoon to run an a/c call....then stop by an empty apartment to finish up a punch list so the unit is ready for move-in. If you're the only guy on property it can be a three ring circus at times. If you have help, or are the helper, it's better. Just hope your lead maintenance guy doesn't take advantage of you and use his time to skate and flirt with the office girls, leaving you to take up his slack. Been there, left that.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    15

    Fired!

    Just kidding. Over the past 2 days I've been flipping an apartment basically. Replaced some bifold doors, the bathroom sink, T-stat, and fixed the furnace in the room. The burners would kick on but than go off on the high limit b/c the blower would never kick in. First we thought it was the Ignition board so we replaced it and got the same results. It ended up being the fan side of the hi limit switch. Now the furnace is running and the apartment I'm working on will not be freezing anymore . One question, what are the most common problems you guys get with furnaces and any other troubleshooting tips would be awesome. Growing up I was never the handiest guy, but I think after awhile I'll be pretty good at this stuff. I had to get some experience somehow. Once again thanks for all the help.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    3,228
    many local HVAC supply houses have basic tech classes...see if you boss will if not pay for all at least half the class..tell him more knowledge and you will be able to troubleshoot the problem better, thus not replacing a board that was good to start with.

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