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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ajax, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    65
    I started out with Electromechanical course @ local college. It gives you great insight into control design and troubleshooting. I was supposed to be a millwright apprentice but found out hvac is much better for me.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    New Orleans
    Posts
    1,012
    whoa that is a great quote.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Albuquerque NM
    Posts
    2,484
    You first need to learn the basic concepts - voltage, current, resistance, power, Ohm's law. These are all the same whether you are going to be a computer engineer or HVAC technician. You can learn this in any electronics course, but it's all just "book learning" unless you have a hands-on lab, so look for that.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Eaton Rapids, Mi
    Posts
    256
    Quote Originally Posted by garya505 View Post
    You first need to learn the basic concepts - voltage, current, resistance, power, Ohm's law. These are all the same whether you are going to be a computer engineer or HVAC technician. You can learn this in any electronics course, but it's all just "book learning" unless you have a hands-on lab, so look for that.
    ya, hands on is a must for this field. i've had students that could quote all kinds of info verbatem from a book that couldn't apply even the simplest concept to an actual piece of equipment.

    hooking up a circuit, measuring and troubleshooting it, discussing why you see the numbers you do, if they are the proper range of numbers, and why they are important is ideal. Don't be the guy that goes out to troubleshoot a furnace and just randomly starts sticking his probes around.

    i've seen techs working in the field spend 30 mins or more on a unit only to give up and ask me what i did to it.. when it simply had the breaker turned off, the door switch failed, or the thermostat not calling for heat.

    these problems might not present themselves alot in the field, but it teaches you to start from where the power comes in and follow it till it stops.. that gives you a real good idea of where the problem lies, generally.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Valdosta Ga
    Posts
    847
    Join the air force alot of low volt wirring and controls in weapons

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Chicago, IL.
    Posts
    135
    Quote Originally Posted by seuadr View Post
    ya, hands on is a must for this field. i've had students that could quote all kinds of info verbatem from a book that couldn't apply even the simplest concept to an actual piece of equipment.

    hooking up a circuit, measuring and troubleshooting it, discussing why you see the numbers you do, if they are the proper range of numbers, and why they are important is ideal. Don't be the guy that goes out to troubleshoot a furnace and just randomly starts sticking his probes around.

    i've seen techs working in the field spend 30 mins or more on a unit only to give up and ask me what i did to it.. when it simply had the breaker turned off, the door switch failed, or the thermostat not calling for heat.

    these problems might not present themselves alot in the field, but it teaches you to start from where the power comes in and follow it till it stops.. that gives you a real good idea of where the problem lies, generally.
    I concur with this also. I can't tell you how many times I walk up to a piece of equipment, doesn't matter what is, if you understand the sequence of events, what's supposed to happen and when, oftentimes you simply need a meter to confirm what you now already know, simply based on observation.

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    3,228
    Quote Originally Posted by bzzline View Post
    Join the air force alot of low volt wirring and controls in weapons

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Hacienda Heights, California
    Posts
    14
    Take an hvac electric fundamentals class at a community college or a trade school...They help...when i first started i didnt know squat about electricity...it helped me a whole bunch...and yes they teach about control voltage...

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Milwaukee Wisconsin
    Posts
    984
    best book I've seen for HVAC elec.

    http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Ele.../9781418042875

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Northeast, Md.
    Posts
    126
    I am a second year apprentice and what I found is Read, Read, and study, and more Reading works. You will feel like it does not make any sense until you get in front of a unit and get frustrated a few times. Each time the reading starts to click in slowly, and you start to understand. Schematics, and sequence of Operation is the key to troubleshooting a unit.

    Another thing that helps me is when I was doing change outs I would strip the old units of basic electrical parts. Transformer, relays, inducer motors, safety switches, sequencers, t-stat, and a plug off a old condensate pump, and some boxes of 3amp fuses. Take a piece of plywood and mount this stuff to it. Take some 18/8 wire and wire up your low voltage to simulate a working system. This will teach you the basics, and help you understand your reading.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Red Deer, Alberta
    Posts
    653
    Quote Originally Posted by bzzline View Post
    Join the air force alot of low volt wirring and controls in weapons
    Yes, that's a good route too, I have fond memories of working for the Air Force (Canadian) on the radar chain. We all (SAC) must have done a good job, 'cause we're not speaking Russian today...

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Albuquerque NM
    Posts
    2,484
    I learned some stuff working on a 5 Megavolt Marx generator used in beam weapons research.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Red Deer, Alberta
    Posts
    653
    Quote Originally Posted by garya505 View Post
    I learned some stuff working on a 5 Megavolt Marx generator used in beam weapons research.
    Well, I guess the "advanced" HVAC tech can use that kind of knowledge to troubleshoot one of those new up and coming nuclear heating devices...

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