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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    I am curious as to what most of you guys work on.At our office most of our guys are pretty diverse.It seems in a year I will go from starting up and overhauling all tonnage chillers, screw, centrifs etc, air handlers, 1,000,000+ BTU direct fired units, and then change out a 3 ton condensing unit,re&re compressors on all DXsytems, trouble shoot carriers, yorks , whatever , install Sanyo splits , then pull out my laptop and fix VAV boards, controllers etc.Is this the norm out there, the reason I ask is that I contemplate from time to time changing jobs and wonder if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence.

  2. #2
    That sounds pretty normal to me. Just curious, are you tired of working on everything? Some companies in my area have to sub out for specialty items,(overhauls, vibration analysis,DDC.) I like being self sufficient but TJMHO.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    If it contains refrigerant we work on it(except cars).We have 15 techs.Probably only four of us are diversified.We work on centrifugals, screws, recips, scrolls, air dryers, air washers,rebuild pumps,purge units, ice machines, walkin and reach in refrigerators,freezers,pnuamatic controls,sand filters,air washer controls,vav boxes,mixing boxes pretty much a little bit of everything.The more you learn the more valuable you become.Some guys like seeing the same thing day in and day out.I like the change of seeing differant things.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Practically Canadian ehh.
    Sounds like we work for the same outfit. It seems to come in phases like that.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    North Florida/South Georgia
    Chillers, chillers chillers. Centrifugal, screw, reciprocating, scroll, direct expansion, flooded evaporator,etc.[all brands] pumps, cooling towers, VFD equip., ahu, vav, ftu, rtu, split systems,computer room equip., even a little refrigeration from time to time. I do very little EMS work because our shop is divided, although they do leave the pneumatics to us. I believe you can find any of this at alot of places, you could even specialize if you like. For me , it comes down to people. You spend more time with the people you work with than anybody else. If you're on a good team, stay with em. If there's no backbiting, gossip or gloryhounding where you are now, then you've got a good thing. If you have any of the foolishness I just mentioned, then you may want to find other options. Obviously I only want to do commercial work, but the people I work with are just as important.[customers included].
    All my leon freaked out!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    manitowoc wisconsin
    We get into everything where I work.Today I went on a very large direct fired makeup air at the foundry(locked out on no flame again we are trying to get them to rebuild the needs a new burner),2 resi pm's,a walk in freezer at a restraunt(follow up check),I was supposed to do a start up on a large hw boiler in a commercial building but the guys working left early for the holiday(thank god the building sat vacant last year I hope someone elese gets to test the "sprinkler"lol)I ended up going on 2 more resi calls.We charge/test cranes for manitowoc crane(had to get automotive certified for that),install/service field experimental units for manitowoc ice,multiple gas fired burner repair on industrial applications,small to medium chillers(so far under 150 tons for me),steam or hw boiler apps,all different kinds of goofy small tonnage special application ac units,air dehydrators,machine coolant water systems,pretty much we do not turn any work away that comes our way except oil.
    Take your time & do it right!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Ft Worth Tx ( North Richland Hills)
    It's the variety that keeps this type of work from burning you out. We did a job at a Fish Farm in Nebraska where they were raising salmon. Used a 50 ton Trane scroll chiller to keep the water at 52 degrees. Now I can say I even "air conditioned" fish. Doing chiller work , we're usually worried about keeping the condenser side clean. At the fish farm....keeping the evap side clean was the fun part keeping fish guts and **** out of the tubes.

    There was this rich family in Wyoming that reminded me of the fictional Ewings on Dallas. They had an office building in Casper, for their oil company, a big ranch near the town of Newcastle in the Black Hills, and a hunting ranch at Laramie Peak in the mountains...they would fly us in their hellicopters to these places to do service work.

    Another fun contract was with the visitors center at Coulter Bay in Grand Teton National Park. We'd catch a plane in Cheyenne, fly to Denver..change planes and fly to Jackson Hole, rent a car to drive to the job. We'd do this 3 times a year. Spring startup, mid-summer and shutdown in September.

    Coal mines,uranium mines,power plants,universities,civic centers, hospitals, prisons,jails/police departments, museums,Airport Towers, railroad towers,computer rooms, each of these places has unique and different HVAC requirements and equipment and the variety keeps it from getting old. I'd go crazy trying to be a cubicle worker.
    How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    No centrificals or absorbers. No oil equipment cause it stinks. Some screws and anything else.
    "My hands are for sale"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Annapolis, MD: ragboat capitol of the world
    We work on anything from water coolers with fractional hp to 5H120s air conditioning a whole store and ice machines and walk ins for restaurants (no warehouses right now, but they dont scare us) the bulk of our work is retail stores at the major malls

    Just recips and scrolls, but some of the recips are chillers

    We average between 1,000 and 2,000 locations under contract at any one time .... with maybe 85 percent or more of them from just 10 customers

    [Edited by boat racer on 11-25-2004 at 10:53 PM]

    Know-it-all? Nope, not even half!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2004
    New Rochelle, New York

    What do we work on?

    Restaurants, restaurants, restaurants.
    Walk in coolers, freezers, lots of small stuff, ice cream machines, ice machines, some soda vending machines and the AC roof top units up to 20 tons.
    Also delis, grocery stores, clubs, the occasional domestic fridge, AC, and gas fired furnaces.
    Mostly service, some installation, some rental.

    And most anything else to help pay the bills. We work with many ethnic groups, we speak several languages. We look for people we can work with and hate billing and collecting but it has to be done.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    I am unsure myself
    I work on chillers any shape size and coulour. Lots of rooftops vavs, boilers mua cooling towers heatpumps basically anything hvac related I do. Don't do any refrigeration however and never have. That's a lie changed a comp in my fridge once.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Bay Area California

    chillers and towers usually 40 tons and up...

    dont get into air side except for ahu service fan/ motor repair...

    very little roof top work...

    we leave the ems to others...

    if were not rebuilding, we are installing or doing energy retrofits...very little new construction... but we'll grab a piping job now and again...maybe some relay logic interface controls...

    some time shops get pretty spread out in what services they offer and can really burn a guy out with having to stay on top of so much... especially if your the lead dog...


  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Being a relativelt small contractor, my guys have to be able to be diverse. We work on anything I can get at, but I prefer the larger end of the spectrum. We do start up work for a few manufacturers of custom equipment, chillers, energy recovery etc, as well as design build projects. Currently we are finishing a process plant with 3- 400,000 btu mod-cons,stainless process piping and vessels, etc, we are doing two 250 ton vav packaged rooftops, one 200 ton split, I am in design phase of a boiler plant replacement that currently has two steamers at 200 hp each, dual fuel, to be converter to three weil 88's, and down the road be flooded for use as water boilers. In addition, we have service contracts on everything from five ton splits on up.

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