What do YOU do?
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Thread: What do YOU do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,333

    What do YOU do?

    Maybe this belongs in the Pro's section, but since it relates more to Refrigeration, I will start here.

    Basic background. I do supermarket refrigeration work for those who don't already know.

    Mostly larger rack equipment, but in every grocery, there are smaller cases, and that is where my question is.

    Call comes in as "case warm"

    Arrive on site, no problem found. Either case is at temp or has been moved (unplugged) and when you restart it, it runs fine.

    Run basic checks, superheat, charge checks, etc. Nothing abnormal found.

    Now, I don't want to call my customers stupid (well, most of the time anyways. ), but I can PROVE that the case is operating properly before I leave.

    How far do you take the troubleshooting? I am trying to be aware of the costs of troubleshooting and the cost of call-backs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Winter Haven, FL
    Posts
    4,203
    Sometimes your customers are stupid. Its a fact of life. How many times have you been called to a store about a warm case on the rack, and find out that it was in defrost. (i used to mark all the defrost times on the cases just for that reason).

    I dont know sometimes..If I can absolutley prove that there is nothing wrong with the box then ill just blow out the coil and say it needed some "routine maintenance".
    If you dont find anything wrong the customer assumes that you are the idiot and will call your employeer and/or someone else to come and fix it. It doesnt sound right but that is just the way it is.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    michigan
    Posts
    1,145
    In that situation, I contact the store manager and explain all that I have done and that I have not found a problem with the unit. I then try and get all of the information I can about that piece of equipment. IE., does this happen every day?, certain time of day?, power issues? etc. Doesnt always lead anywhere but is worth an attempt. If you do get a call back on that piece of equipment, the best you can do is to attempt a diagnosis based on the information given to you about the problem and explain to the customer that, since you cannot find any issues with the equipment, this is the most likely cause of failure based on thier info and that you can not guarantee that it will fix the problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Gold Coast of Connecticut
    Posts
    4,567
    Quote Originally Posted by monkeyman#1 View Post
    In that situation, I contact the store manager and explain all that I have done and that I have not found a problem with the unit. I then try and get all of the information I can about that piece of equipment. IE., does this happen every day?, certain time of day?, power issues? etc. Doesnt always lead anywhere but is worth an attempt. If you do get a call back on that piece of equipment, the best you can do is to attempt a diagnosis based on the information given to you about the problem and explain to the customer that, since you cannot find any issues with the equipment, this is the most likely cause of failure based on thier info and that you can not guarantee that it will fix the problem.


    Small reach in ? change the thermostat.
    Aire Serv of SW Connecticut- Gas heat, dual fuel and central a/c systems installed and serviced

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Northern NJ
    Posts
    646
    in this industry we are damned if we do, damned if we don't. things can't always be fixed on the first trip, especially when the problem doesn't present itself while you are there. how far would I go to troubleshoot something that i don't see anything wrong with? how long would i sit there and babysit it? that depends on whether it is on regular time, 1.5, or double time

    hey jp, i was at that store when that call came in. did the store manager mention he had the door open for 30 minutes while loading it up, then noticed the thermometer reading 60?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    The Pas, Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    212

    best defence is offence

    Had a store manager defrost a natural defrost cooler with a skrew driver and too much energy when it had froze up one time. Made the freon leak repair last as long as I could and never let him forget about it every time any kind of know it all issue came up after words. Case worked fine after I cleared the drain. They didn't stop calling and I always had room to troubleshoot without explaining why I didn't scratch my nose with my left hand instead of my right after that.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    152
    Explain to manager that the t-stat needed to be calibrated and coil was "dusty". Sign,stamp and run...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    25,333
    Let's see. So many different and good answers.

    Joe, I know that my customers are sometimes stupid, I said I didn't want to tell them that they were stupid.

    Monkey, that is pretty much what I do. Do a complete workover of the case, and if nothing if found, I report that to the manager and explain about "intermittent problems" and how difficult that they can be to locate. They SEEM to understand.

    tjc, I KNEW that somebody was there telling them to call.


    Basically, this was intended to get some feedback and discussion started. Maybe get a new idea or two.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Banana Republic,Florida
    Posts
    400
    i take it to the limit and write it all down.If its a self contain i write down what isle its pluged in look to see if there is air blowing into the case get an idea of what time it happen see if there was a defrost at the time cover all bases bring mgr to the case and show them case is at 100% now the best part is when you leave they over stock it and the product is just warm and the coil is just freezing up than it goes into a defrost and product is removed!!!!!!coil is thaw out and its back to sq. one lol
    Mastic its whats for dinner!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    1,791
    For any shady repair I wait to submit the bill till the problem clearly shows itself or the corrections I did eliminates it.In my market that's the most effective way to keep custormers happy.
    If I rushed to submit the bill and it turnes out I was too hasty,I eat the subsiquent trips..

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    1,647
    How much time I spend on something like that depends on how much of a P.I.A. account that customer is. As a rule, I tell it like I find it. Sometimes end my work orders with "If problem returns...."
    The views and opinions posted here are my own. They do not reflect the corporate policies of my employer and will most likely get me fired at some point.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    308
    I always take time in these cases to ask exactly what they found. Was the case warm or did they just have bad product temps? If they removed all of the product, hunt down whoever stocks it and ask exactly how its done. Alot of times they ignore load limits and with the new high eff. cases, discharge temps. (evaporator) are higher leaving no room for error. Shelving can also make a huge difference. Generally, if the refrigeration is working and the product temps. are high, the case has been altered or not stocked correctly.
    Never kick a lying dog.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    38

    what would you do jp?(and other supermarket techs)

    I would like a reply stating the following:

    1) you have supermarket rack experience
    2) should I be worried about frost on suction lines?
    3) and what should I tell a customer who has been informed that if he see's frost on his lines it will damage his compressor?

    Why do I make this request?
    I am an apprentice. Another apprentice who was visiting our area and is well known and trusted by our company went with 3 of us to a new supermarket customer to make some suggestions on rack maintence(which I might add was very helpful and informative). And when I say "us" read my profile.

    I have limited rack experience and he( visiting apprent.) strictly does supermarkets.When he saw layer of frost/ice on some suction lines and portions of the header (low temp rack)he said "liquid flooding" and "compressor damage" and my boss promptly informed the customer. When I saw sweating on comp bell housing around SSV I agreed it was possible.
    Now i've been in that room several times and never worried about the frosting lines and was starting to feel dumb. The other apprent said it's NOT NORMAL and must be a open TXV or evap fans down. So we check superheat at header...404A ..suction line 20 psig and line temp 22*f.
    Even with SH of 37* he still didn't feel right about it and put it into defrost, and assured me it's not normal, somethings wrong with the measurements there must be liquid there. Now he has more supermarket experience and saw the confused look on my face and apologized for confusing me...now I felt really dumb. I got another set of guages and temp different temp probe and same readings. I found a thread on this confirming my thougts that frost is common but on printing it out and revealing my findings it was mentioned that "guys on here are HVAC and well it's not the same thing". Which is why I have made the above request.

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