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  1. #1
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    Oct 2017
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    Do you get to choose to be an installer or a service tech.

    I kind of already have an my own answer to this but, I want to some options. I've come from a different trade and was basically forman/journeymen status. I've been offered jobs to start as a service tech they would require me to move. I don't really want to. So, I got a job in the city I live in. They put me on install. I was under the impression I was going to start from the bottom and work back up. I don't care that's fine. After I started working it sounds like they have service and install department and once your in one you never leave. I want to learn to install and want to do service work. I figured the install side would be a learning curve for me. It's not. Its f***ING mind numbing and boring. I don't want to quit I would rather negotiate being on the service side oppose to getting a raise during my review. However I know that I someone else will hire me for service because during most interviews it becomes apparent that I have a firm grasp on service. I've heard to stories you either pick what side you do or you work up. I don't want to sound entitled asking for more responsibility. I also want to be a service tech in 5 years I have no problem with learning install I see it as benefit. I don't want 5 years to come and I'll I do is hang duct run wires and pipe flues. That's not building a career. Should ask To move to service or just move on. What's proper etiquette? The trade I came from we couldn't find people with legitimate troubleshooting skills so not utilizing someone for that was just logical.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    columbus, OH
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    what are you installing? New rough ins or retros? usually there is plenty to learn for someone new to the trade. Pay attention to code requirements and if nothing else the size of ducts,tubes,wires, grilles,breakers gas piping ect.. Take the start up very serious and be all over it. if the system you install has a chart learn it.

    if your just hanging duct I do understand your point of view but installing equipment can be useful experience if your actually "STARTING UP" systems and learning the ends and outs. IMO no one should be running service without doing some installing. I wish I had more install hands on...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Billington Heights, NY
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    Ask for more responsibility. Most employers WANT that in a tech.
    Experience - knowing when to get the hell out of the way and plug your ears. "Don't be a sissy. Turn it on!"

    Poodle Head Mikey - "the world is well populated with the unknowing and the uncaring and the stupid."

    Jtrammel - "I’m going to sell hvac systems derp derp derp"
    BBeerme - "every time he opens his mouth, he reminds me of a cow without the fart bag."

  4. #4
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    Oct 2017
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for answering. I'm doing commercial install. We only do duct, flues, wire, line set units, and line sets. We do not do start ups not even our lead installers start up or even leak check. Tech take over and do start ups and service work. I really do see a point in learning install. I want to be a full service tech. Install and service from start to finish, And I don't want to get laid off when its slow. I do not work with techs either. So, having the ability to converse on those kinds of projects are not an option. If I did work with service techs I know I would be able to move up simply because I know my knowledge show.

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  6. #5
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    Dec 2012
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    columbus, OH
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    well the choice is yours but you could ask to be part of a few startups at your first review and get the service info to every m#you walk by. also people have questions on this site and want help. You can try to help the ones you feel comfortable with and see how helpful you are.

    what is your former trade and skillset ? how do you know your a born service guru? I don't doubt you but, being thrown to the wolves can hurt your pride and your company.

    keep at it and push yourself but don't be too drastic is about as specific as anyone could be. Best of luck to you though, keep posting

  7. #6
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    Oct 2017
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    Thread Starter
    That's sounds like a good idea to help with start ups. I can chime in on some problems here. Mechanic automotive, and medium diesel, a little heavy equipment (caterpillar training just never pursued it). I think I will just talk with them see what happens.

  8. #7
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    Oct 2017
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    Thread Starter
    Do you guys think refrigeration would be a better fit? It seems to be a more service oriented sector I guess to say rather than construction. I could be wrong about that.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    New York
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    Personally, I'd stick it out for a little. Show them what you bring to the table.
    You can learn a bit from installs. Kinda like knowing it from the inside out. As you'll see from browsing around here, the consensus is the equipment is usually only as good as the install. You'll see as a tech that a good portion of service calls are system related, not just that specific piece of equipment.
    Put a bug in their ear, let them know what you want to do. As you gain knowledge of the equipment and how it should be installed, you'll pick out flaws. Engineers make mistakes. You can catch them before it's too late. Your employer should notice your forward thinking and ability to see/foresee problems.
    If it doesn't work out, you'll have some experience in the field and can take that somewhere else.
    -----Stop, step back, relax and have another go at it.-----

  10. #9
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    Oct 2017
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by BennyD View Post
    Personally, I'd stick it out for a little. Show them what you bring to the table.
    You can learn a bit from installs. Kinda like knowing it from the inside out. As you'll see from browsing around here, the consensus is the equipment is usually only as good as the install. You'll see as a tech that a good portion of service calls are system related, not just that specific piece of equipment.
    Put a bug in their ear, let them know what you want to do. As you gain knowledge of the equipment and how it should be installed, you'll pick out flaws. Engineers make mistakes. You can catch them before it's too late. Your employer should notice your forward thinking and ability to see/foresee problems.
    If it doesn't work out, you'll have some experience in the field and can take that somewhere else.
    That's a valid point. I remember even in my automotive training. Two things that where stressed through out it was

    1. You can add or sometimes remove refrigerant to get the readings you want. 99% of the time it's not an issue from charge but an environment obstruction or act of god. Because the systems are sealed and assembled in a cleaned particulate free environment.

    2. Piss poor a/c repair from a hacknitian.

    Both are true because either a rock went through the condenser, it was clogged with dirt or, the system had black death from a some shade tree mechanic popping a Schrader valve out and recharging the system without pulling it down and Damaged Schrader valves from cranking the fittings down to hard.

    The other 1% was a 10 year top off, clutch, resistor pack, in case of the crv the front bumper didn't allow enough air through. So r134 would run super hot and smoke the oil in the systems.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    montreal
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    Quote Originally Posted by chocolatecraze View Post
    I kind of already have an my own answer to this but, I want to some options. I've come from a different trade and was basically forman/journeymen status. I've been offered jobs to start as a service tech they would require me to move. I don't really want to. So, I got a job in the city I live in. They put me on install. I was under the impression I was going to start from the bottom and work back up. I don't care that's fine. After I started working it sounds like they have service and install department and once your in one you never leave. I want to learn to install and want to do service work. I figured the install side would be a learning curve for me. It's not. Its f***ING mind numbing and boring. I don't want to quit I would rather negotiate being on the service side oppose to getting a raise during my review. However I know that I someone else will hire me for service because during most interviews it becomes apparent that I have a firm grasp on service. I've heard to stories you either pick what side you do or you work up. I don't want to sound entitled asking for more responsibility. I also want to be a service tech in 5 years I have no problem with learning install I see it as benefit. I don't want 5 years to come and I'll I do is hang duct run wires and pipe flues. That's not building a career. Should ask To move to service or just move on. What's proper etiquette? The trade I came from we couldn't find people with legitimate troubleshooting skills so not utilizing someone for that was just logical.
    Switching place or staying is up to you it mostly depends on how you see your future with the company.
    If you talk to them about doing service do they care or they don't?
    BTW in refrigeration it's not necessarily more service oriented, you could end up brazing pipes on night shift.

    If you want to learn service ask for the opportunity to do it.
    The more you know the more valuable you are to your boss.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    PA
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    Perhaps to your company starting in install is starting at the bottom and working your way up.

    How long have you been with them now?
    Contractor locator map

    How-to-apply-for-Professional

    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  13. #12
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    Sep 2015
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    Ontari-ari-ari-o
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    Quote Originally Posted by Core_d View Post
    I wish I had more install hands on...
    Same here. We had a guy quit and nobody else wanted to do it and he didn't want to take one of his good installers off of installs. Service looks more glamorous than it really is and there are lots of days when I'm scraping burnt up rodents off of a contactor or heading out to a call right at the end of the day where I'd rather be hanging ductwork and knowing that at 4pm I'm going home.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Medford, N.Y.
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    This is still America so you can be anything you want to be.

    So,Mr.new guy WELCOME to the Trade.But, what do you know that qualifies you to be making decisions about what is not right about any HVACR system? Do you know about diff freons? What is the proper head/suction press on a 75,85,95* day? How does a condensate drain work? How much air(CFM) is required for a given system? What size ducts are required for a given system? What size return duct ? What is a PSC motor and how does it work?? What is an ECM motor and how does it work? What do you know about compressors,Reciprocating,Rotory,Scroll,Semi-Hermetics? How about what size lineset to use? How about HOW to properly run a line set? Do you "KNOW" about electricity?Do you like to read Technical Books? What books(HVACR OF COURSE) do you have that you have read and studied? W/o reading/studying/learning/and a HUGE desire to be a Troubleshooter ,it will be very tough to be a GOOD Service Tech?

    Service is ALL that I do now and for the past 4 + decades or so.I was also involved in installs on/off for another 9 years before that. Service is a lot of figuring out which part is defective and replacing that part, like a Indoor blower motor or a wall mounted Thermostat,or a freon leak. But the next step up from a regular ordinary everyday Service Tech is a TROUBLESHOOTER. A TROUBLESHOOTER finds out why a given customer has 6 25HP compressors die in 12 years and fixes the problems that the "installers" installed in the 1st place. Stuff like that.

    I can tell you this. This trade surely needs Service Tech's,Good Service Techs,Troubleshooting Techs,and GOOD TROUBLESHOOTING TECHS. It will take YEARS to get to the top, but one step at a time. I know some Service Guys that do not study/learn/self educate themselves and they are not going anywhere fast.So,the choice is yours to make,and a willing Boss sure helps. Good Luck and visit here a lot,A LOT.

    As already said,by others, grab the "paperwork" that comes w/ every new install and "MEMORIZE IT",just because you read the "IOM" and remember some of the info does mean that you "KNOW" the info. That is OK, no problem,its a starting place.Many ,many here are more that willing to help you get better. This is a "sharing" info site which means that whatever proper info that YOU have we/I want to know what you know. And don't get upset when your info is proven wrong,just learn and get better.

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