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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    fort myers, florida
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    Finally got a job as a service tech - tools needed?

    To give you a little background about myself I just acquired a job as an HVAC tech for a very credible company in south Florida, I start in a couple of weeks. I have worked apartment maintenance for over 3 years and have also had the EPA 608 type 1 and 2 for that time, but as apartment maintenance tech, HVAC is only about 1/3 of the calls, rest are mostly plumbing.

    So I have been dealing with the same systems and same problems for years now and have the tools to fix the problems in most cases, but being on my own I am starting to go shopping for some ac tools that I might need, any good recomendations on where to purchase these tools would be great as I will be entering the HVAC service tech field in the middle of June.

    What kind of clamp on multi meter should I buy?
    410a/r22 gauges?
    pvc cutting tools?
    gallo gun or nitrogen tank?
    what do you use to find leaks on central air units?
    any other tools that you use on a daily basis that I should invest in?

    I know I will learn as I go but I want to be prepared and not look like a total idiot when I start the job in a couple of weeks...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    In a mechanical room....
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    1,887
    Quote Originally Posted by dwepproductions View Post
    To give you a little background about myself I just acquired a job as an HVAC tech for a very credible company in south Florida, I start in a couple of weeks. I have worked apartment maintenance for over 3 years and have also had the EPA 608 type 1 and 2 for that time, but as apartment maintenance tech, HVAC is only about 1/3 of the calls, rest are mostly plumbing.

    So I have been dealing with the same systems and same problems for years now and have the tools to fix the problems in most cases, but being on my own I am starting to go shopping for some ac tools that I might need, any good recomendations on where to purchase these tools would be great as I will be entering the HVAC service tech field in the middle of June.

    What kind of clamp on multi meter should I buy?
    410a/r22 gauges?
    pvc cutting tools?
    gallo gun or nitrogen tank?
    what do you use to find leaks on central air units?
    any other tools that you use on a daily basis that I should invest in?

    I know I will learn as I go but I want to be prepared and not look like a total idiot when I start the job in a couple of weeks...


    Regular yellowjacket r-410/ r-22 manifold will be fine
    Ratcheting PVC cutter any will do or even a hax saw
    They should supply tank if they do not try local swap shop they usually have guys who sell tanks for a few dollars make sure it's not out of date and get a new regulator.
    Basic hand tools screw drivers, sheet metal snips, at least a clamp amp meter fieldpiece fluke if you don't have any $$ many pawn shops usually have ALLOT of basic tools for CHEAP CHEAP, Swaging tool set nothing fancy, socket set metric and std, a few hand wrenches, allen wrenches, some sort of drill/ a crescent wrench, thermometer "ir" thermocouple, hand 5/16'' nut driver and 1/4'' nut driver 3/8'' nut driver, uni bits, panduit strap gun, for a refrigerant leak detector there are two kinds in my book soap bubbles and the H-10 period, others may disagree, bastard file, a good flash light, a tool bag and I'm sure I'm missing allot of stuff.... But basically you can start off soft so if things don't work out you don't have a tractor trailer to unload and if they do you can buy tools as you need them ether at the supply house or homer, lowes whatever, even the auto parts place has goos deals on some stuff.
    Last edited by Octopus; 05-22-2010 at 11:40 PM.
    “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”

    - E.E. Cummings

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Connectitaxed
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    2,644
    This will give you an idea of the various specialty tools we use. Don't panic! You won't be needing them all! Just give it a look.
    Last edited by pdrake65; 10-21-2010 at 04:21 PM.

  4. #4
    timebuilder's Avatar
    timebuilder is offline AOP Committee/Professional Member*
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    I should post my stolen tools list.

    Naw, that would scare him.
    [Avatar photo from a Florida training accident. Everyone walked away.]
    2 Tim 3:16-17

    RSES CMS, HVAC Electrical Specialist

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    3,103
    As far as meters go, do a little research on the site and you'll find that the vast majority swear by Fluke. A Fieldpiece will probably work just fine, but remember this - You are using your meter not just for troubleshooting, but to verify that something is de-energized prior to putting your hands on it. Do you really want to trust your life to an inferior product?

    Yep, you should have some 22 and 410 gauges - If you're doing mostly residential, you won't need to worry about all the other refrigerants floating around out there.

    You will need the tools to work with every kind of pipe there is.

    Get a wet/dry vacuum, but forget the gallo gun.

    I wouldn't worry too much about an electronic leak detector until you get really good at locating leaks with your senses and a bottle of soap solution - 99.9% of leaks can be found that way.
    "There is no greater inequality than the equal treatment of unequals."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    440
    The Fluke 902 HVAC meter is nice. Has microfarad, temp and so on. The temp clamp for this that is about another $150 but its great. Its a Fluke 80PK-8. 1/4 and 5/16 bits for your dril. I also have found a strap on flashlight is very handy. socket set with a long extension (for compressor). service tool. snips. I have always like my 6 in 1 screw driver.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    s.e. mi
    Posts
    173
    The two tools I use the most - and which I don't see mentioned - are a Leatherman multi-tool and a mini-flashlight. Both are always in pouches on my belt.

    I also carry a 4" crescent wrench in a back pocket. (Dang things cost more than a 6" inch Crescent but they get into the tight spots on pilot tubes and T-couples, but open to 9/16ths to remove an old style, hex schrader cap).

    When I hit a job I toss a r-22 gage set over my shoulder, grab an Amprobe clamp on multi-meter (with t-couple thermometer), an alligator jumper and a 6-in-1 screwdriver.

    With those tools I'm able to troubleshoot 98% of the calls without returning to the truck for "Plan B."

    I'm 60. I probably have every specialty tool known to the trade in the truck. But some I haven't touched in a decade.

    Once you've troubleshot it, odds are you have to run for parts. So if you need a tool, you can pick it up when you're getting the part.

    I'm also an owner/boss. We really don't expect a newbie to have the collection of tools that we've accumulated over 30 years! All we want you to have is what you need to diagnose what's broke. And we want you to be able to know what tools you'll need to replace it, and buy it then, gradually, same as we did.

    Guess what I'm saying is don't sweat it. Take what tools you have and go-fer-it. But get a Leatherman and mini-flashlight on your belt, just to save you some time on the job - for your own sake.

    When you get to the supply houses and see the other techs buying parts, look at their belts. They'll be carrying the same.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    fort myers, florida
    Posts
    25

    Talking

    Thanks guys this has been really helpful - can't wait until I start the new job just wanted to be prepared even though I will have to train for a couple weeks before I get my own van.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Northern Indiana
    Posts
    1,406
    Hand wipes, aspirin and a cooler full of cold drinks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Kansas City, Kansas, United States
    Posts
    13,832
    most important tool for a hvac tech is a good meter!
    the second mostimportent tool is a good thermometer! fluke 56, cooper sh66, whatever
    the third most important tool is your mobile phone, call somebody that is smarter than you!
    I WILL SELL WORK,GENERATE BUSINESS, GO GET NEW CUSTOMERS!
    YOU SHUT THE HELL UP AND QUIT RUNNING YOUR MOUTH!

  11. #11
    Joe Harper's Avatar
    Joe Harper is offline AOP Committee/Professional Member*
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    The most important tool is sitting on top of your neck..

  12. #12
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    May 2007
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    Dry as a bone Tucson
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    Some Talk, Some Do
    "keeping condensing pressures low and evaporator pressures high"
    Comfort is my goal
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  13. #13
    Joe Harper's Avatar
    Joe Harper is offline AOP Committee/Professional Member*
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    What are you doing with that shaft??

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