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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Pacific Time Zone
    Posts
    4,151
    Quote Originally Posted by flyin90 View Post
    Do you guys see controls installation as an HVAC career or a stepping stone to a technician or other job? Do your companies hire installers or use electricians for controls installs?
    Again depends on what you make of it. Personally I see it as a stepping stone. I know another good service tech that plans to make a career out of it. Granted an installer has numerous advantages, no on call, typically can work 4 10's and the satisfaction of seeing neatly installed control panels/etc.
    We've done both but hired installers that you've used before and understand your instructions/how to read your wiring diagrams are extremely valuable.
    "How it can be considered "Open" is beyond me. Calling it "voyeur-ed" would be more accurate." pka LeroyMac, SkyIsBlue, fka Freddy-B, Mongo, IndyBlue
    BIG Government = More Dependents
    "Any 'standard' would be great if it didn't get bastardised by corporate self interest." MatrixTransform
    http://threedevilskennel.com/ - not my website.
    Versatile Hunting Dog Federation - www.vhdf.org/


  2. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Alexandria, VA
    Posts
    49
    I've met some really great electricians in my 15 year plus career with controls. Some of these guys couldn't do control work if you held a gun to their head.

    However, the best end of the company is being the owner.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia
    Posts
    8
    Quote Originally Posted by flyin90 View Post
    If everyone thought like you, I would not have asked my question because we would live in a world where most people take pride in what they do. I may have just answered my own question.

    I should have elaborated a little more on my question. I grew up through the ranks like yourself. I went to trade school, ran service, converted to controls tech, to controls engineer, to controls estimator, to sales, and then started an installation company. These jobs were not with small companies but a total of over 10 years at the big companies everyone talks about(Trane, Johnson, ALC, Siemens) I quit the desk job because it was driving me crazy behind a desk.

    As stated in a previous reply, installation is not the glory road but if there is a glory road in controls I have done it and I can say that if you are looking for a glory road in HVAC, you missed something somewhere. People think I am crazy for dropping what I had and going back to the tools bending pipe, pulling wire, normal install stuff. I love it but have a hard time finding people that want to learn this side of controls. Installers need to know a lot about systems to install controls right.

    I hear people say that X company sucks all the time when really the install was unprofessional or done by the service techs when they were slow and it was not done right and compromised the system in some way. Not that most service techs can't do the work but most of the time I see sloppy work from companies in my area that use service techs. I have tried electricians but they have a hard time understanding what the wires that aren't just voltage do, ie mA, thermisters, VDC, etc. I have also found some good guys that just want to pull wire and don't care about learning to terminate correctly and end up burning equipment up.

    Sorry to rant but I am wondering if there are others out there that like doing installs and what their background is???
    I like this, and tend to agree. Ive been in controls engineering for a couple years now and have been exposed to the install and service side quite a bit. I hate being behind this desk not being able to put my hands on something ive designed, but i do get satisfaction from being able to avert big issues through designing and managing the installs in particular ways. I recently read a book about the glories of trade work and the illusion of happiness in higher positions with diluted responsibilities.

    For me at the end of the day it all comes down to personal pride and ethics - have i done something worth doing? ..have i done anything at all? with trades your existence is based on the premace that what youre doing matters and youre directly and instantaneously responsible for either the embarrassment or glory of what has happened.

    I dont understand people who dream about having a job that pays a lot with little to no direct responsibility - its like living off a candy only diet - youll never get to that standard, and how do you sustain that existence? i completely respect people who just want to work and be proud of what they do.

    just my two cents

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,342
    This whole post is weird. I am sure there are guys that would install controls only, but they are probably going to want to program it eventually. I think that you would want them to learn. Control wiring is usually apprentice work and the the logic and programming is done by someone with more experience.

    The fun of controls is not running the wires, but seeing how those wires make the unit run.
    I STARTED WITH NOTHING, AND I STILL HAVE MOST OF IT!

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    82
    Quote Originally Posted by allstar08 View Post
    This whole post is weird. I am sure there are guys that would install controls only, but they are probably going to want to program it eventually. I think that you would want them to learn. Control wiring is usually apprentice work and the the logic and programming is done by someone with more experience.

    The fun of controls is not running the wires, but seeing how those wires make the unit run.
    The only thing weird about this post is that it is not the typical, how do I get to the top the fastest post.

    Of course the programming is done by someone with experience. The install should be also.

    I do want people that want to learn. Problem is that I want them to learn to be an installer and all anyone wants to do is get a job sitting behind a desk or computer surfing Myspace.

    Actually running the wire is fun if you enjoy working with your hands and most programmers I know wouldn't know fun if it smacked them in the head.
    Controlled

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    1,342
    Who makes more money? The experienced installer or the programmer? I know stupid question...
    Any installer worth his poop isn't going to be happy just running control wires. We are in a industry that is learning driven, there is not that much else to learn about pulling wire. Once you know how to do it, you know how to do it.
    I STARTED WITH NOTHING, AND I STILL HAVE MOST OF IT!

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Several Miles from Sane
    Posts
    1,445
    I have been doing "Controls" almost exclusively for the last 15 years.

    If I could create my perfect "Job" right now it would be 60% installation and 40% Controls Startup/Checkout.

    I have been wearing way too many hats for the past few years and Install/Startup is really apealing right now.

    My 2 cents, regardless what others think, a Quality Controls Installer is hard to find. I have had to deal with far too many (what we refer to as) wire draggers. Unfortunately, most of the industry doesn't recognize the benefit of that quality over "Low Install Bid"".

    Best of Luck, knock em dead !
    If sense were so common everyone would have it !

    All opinions expressed are my own. Any advice provided is based on personal experience, generally accepted fact or publicly available information. As such, it is worth exactly what you paid for it, not a penny more not a penny less !!

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