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  1. #1
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    Mar 2003
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    What's the best way to become a great hvac tech? Are there any good books that really help things stick inside your brain? I'm new to field and feel lost about 90% of the time I work on stuff, is looking at blue prints and manuals the only way to become a good tech? Thanks in advance for your suggestions on how to become a great hvac tech.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
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    Never say, "I don't know."

  3. #3
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    Dec 2001
    Ocean Pines, MD
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    Never say "I know it all!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    AFTER 20 + years I STILL learn everyday... the thing is knowing when you don't fully understand something and then go research it... sooner or later you'll archive enough information to be considerd your mind...... and remember to share the things you have learned with others along the way...and that will help them to feel that way about you too!!!!!(great tech) that is

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    sorry charlie brown...

    ...but there is absolutely no substitute for experience. Look at it this way, who would be better, a surgeon right out of med school or a surgeon who has done 10,000 operations? Or a pilot right out of flight school Vs. a piot who has flown millions of miles? Not trying to discourge you but be patient and MASTER THE BASICS! We are all lifetime students in our field but the ones who have been in class longer will typically do better.
    Hang In There

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Beaufort, SC
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    I still remember starting out and working with techs, thinking how in the world am I supposed to learn all they know and keep up with all the new stuff and changes. Next month will be 32 years in the business, I still learn everyday, as said experience, ask questions, don't just find a bad part, find out what is wrong and if possible why it failed. If you know the sequence of operation, how each part works and affects the system, and know duct sizing and airflow you can fix anything. One day you will be on a job and suddenly realize your not worried about finding the problem, it just comes to you, naturally. That is when you have arrived. Good Luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Dallas TX
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    School will get you the basics and theory and after that the rest is all you and the field. Like mentioned there is simply no substitute for field experience and that is the best way. Particularly at the same company as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Fort Worth, TX
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    Never think too highly of yourself.


    Never think too lowly of yourself.

    Confidence combined with humility goes a long way.

    Trust a point. After that, ask.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Always buy the older guys lunch.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
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    Originally posted by Spidy
    Always buy the older guys lunch.
    Yeah, that works!!! LOL

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    East Stroudsburg, PA
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    Originally posted by benncool
    Originally posted by Spidy
    Always buy the older guys lunch.
    Yeah, that works!!! LOL
    Morning donuts for the entire crew help you learn, also.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Middletown, Ohio, United States
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    Try and gravitate toward the senior techs who are quality-minded, who don't take shortcuts that lead to call-backs.

    I've had the good fortune to work with knowledgeable, quality-minded people over the years and that has made a world of difference. Learn to do the extra things that set you a step above the techs who merely show up for a paycheck.

    Avoid those techs who are present to just do a job rather than do the job right. Stay away from those who stretch their half-hour lunch into a half-day off with pay.

    You pick up a lot through osmosis, so be careful of what type of technician you learn from. If possible, request to work with one of the best techs at your company whenever practical (You'll know which ones these are).

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    One of the most important things to learn is how to get along with others.

    People in general like for you to make them happy. Fixing thier equipment usually is one of the ways to make someone happy.

    (your employer, your customer)

    People who are in this trade usually like to work alongside someone who is positive and uplifting. Think about how you make people feel. If you make them feel dirty and depressed, do you think they will want to work alongside you very often? I dont think so!!!

    Be real, dont be a brown nosed kiss-ass self seeking clock watching bone head! Be yourself.

    Insist on knowing what the truth of the matter is. Do Not insist on having your own way.
    Avoid at all costs those who do insist on having their own way. Seriously.

    Learn what is right and true and correct and honest.

    That way, if and when you vent refrigerant, you wont feel bad about the environment, only about getting a ticket.

    Learn the sequence of operation on each and every piece of equipment you can run into.
    Become introduced to each piece of equipment by someone who knows the system and has patience to teach you it's idiosyncricies.

    Be very careful whom you consider accepting knowledge from. Some people are fools dressed to look like techs.
    They skate by in their daily jobs by having strength in other areas than diagnosis and repair skills.

    Some are just plain hacks, avoid them too.

    Remember, thaw-zone and dytel are NOT NEVER to be introduced into any type of system you will ever work on! PERIOD!!!

    And anyone recomending their use should immediately become suspects on your list of who to stay clear of.

    Learn what evacuation is.
    Learn what promotes a good vacuum.
    Learn what hinders a good vacuum.
    Treat your vacuum pump better than you treat your dog and you'll be fine.

    Practice welding techniques in your spare time.

    Find pieces of tubing you can weld on. Get comfortable doing this in a variety of positions.

    Practice welding on a system with a little gas bleeding past your joint. Learn what your options are for making the joint weld, despite the poor welding conditions.

    Get yourself a Fluke 16 meter and get real comfortable with it.
    Take readings on everything you can get your hands on.

    This way you will know what is wrong when they are NOT operating within their desgin parameters.

    it's like becoming familiar with real money. That way, when someone tries to pass a counterfeit bill your way, you will imediately recognise it and know how to handle the situation.

    Get a Fluke 52 temp meter and learn all you can about it's functions.
    Learn to charge units using your gages in conjunction with your temp meter.

    That way you will know how well or how poorly your metering device is feeding while you are charging it up.
    it is also a means of trouble shooting systems, to have both your gages mounted as well as your temp meter.
    Otherwise ... your driving with only one eye open... so to speak.

    Find some old farts hanging around the wholesale houses. Buy them lunch. Ask them to tell you war stories about their service calls from hell.

    Get them talking.

    Get them telling you tips about the industry.

    Carry their tools for them. try to anticipate their next move. But do so without being a know it all or smart alleck.
    I mean, dont act like your a green horn, wet behind the ears.

    Bring safety glasses out into the field with you. Reason being, you wont know when to duck yet.

    (see the thread: "I should have kept my big mouth shut!") It shows what can happen when you dont know when to duck.

    Always protect your back. That is right up there with protecting your eyes.

    As you get tired during an extended long day of work, you tend to take chances with lifting which you normally would not do.
    Watch out for your back, especially when your real tired, in a hurry or being pushed to perform by a co-worker.

    Dont ever hold back from telling anyone to show it up their butt... if they attempt to push you beyond what is safe ... in your own estimation.
    Safe means ... you wouldnt feel dirty explaining the circumstances to the court after an accident occured and you were called as the chief wittness.

    Be honest beyond a fault.

    Protect your knees, begin yesterday. Buy and wear knee pads. Dont scrimp here. Buy ones you will wear and be comfortable in for LOOOOONGGG perdiods of time.

    Christians who are serious and refrigeration service techs, both spend a great deal of time on their knees.
    Be prepared.

    Use a rope with a snap hook, (carabeener) to lift and lower things. Thicker is mo better. At least 50 or 60 feet is my preferance.

    If your not comfortable with the ladder your partner is using ... do something.

    Roof hatches, if it's not safe ... dont open it yourself nor attempt to clos it yourself.

    If someone speaks down to you about it, refer them to your boss. Or walk away.

    If they get huffy about it.... it would be better to kick em in the balls than to go thru a bad roof hatch and have an accident.

    Finally ... learn what makes up your employer's paper trail. Learn all about his paperwork.
    Make sure you are doing his invoices his way. Make sure you are getting him all the info he needs in order to be paid for the work he is paying you to perform.

    Remember this, he pays you long before he gets paid, in most cases. He is essentially "floating" your paycheck on monies he has already earned, before you earned your own.

    Does that make any sence? I sure hope so.

    There are only two people whom you will ever potentially have trouble with.
    One of them will be your Service Manager. The other will be your Dispatcher.

    If you find you are NOT getting along with either of these two individuals ... check with your boss. If they cant seem to rectify the situation and your already doing all you can to get along with these people .... start pouring on the nice favors to them. That way ... when you do find another job ... which is likely. They wont have much bad to say about you.

    Dont work for or with rotten people. Life is just too short.

    Your job is going to become twelve hours a day of your life.
    Sleep or the attempts at it will be another six or maybe ... possibly even EIGHT hours of your life.
    What's left over... is "what's left over" ... and this is what your family gets to spend with you.
    So if your always upset about your job ... how is your time with the family going to be? Tainted at best.

    If and when someone tellsyou you will not have a social life or much of a family life by being a refrigeration man ... tell em their screwed up in the head and that they got their priorities backwards.
    I mean ...dead seriously!!!

    This industry treat us like expendable horses!
    We are rode hard and put away wet!

    If you dont set the stage to make time with your family, whose gonna do it for you?

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