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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Merritt Island Florida
    Posts
    5

    Frown

    I am so sick and tired of control companys coming into the HVAC industry and taking control of equipment that they absoulty have not a clue as to what they are controling or what the long term outcome may be.We are subjected to guys with a laptop and software that could not begin to tell you how conditioning of a contained space is accomplished.Untill they get off there trojoin horse and ask us how this stuff works we will remain in KAHOUSS.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    9,564
    Well - get on it then because those IT guys are going to get jobs HVAC guys were doing.

    Take a really good look at Lonmark

    With ASC and other standardized profiles the business of design application is getting easier.

  3. #3
    Originally posted by miacbob
    I am so sick and tired of control companys coming into the HVAC industry and taking control of equipment that they absoulty have not a clue as to what they are controling or what the long term outcome may be.We are subjected to guys with a laptop and software that could not begin to tell you how conditioning of a contained space is accomplished.Untill they get off there trojoin horse and ask us how this stuff works we will remain in KAHOUSS.
    Well then, pick your control guy more closely... or begin to do your own control work. There are plenty of people doing controls that started out in hvac, you just have to find one. Till you do, you will be in CHAOS.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    p.e.i. canadaOccupation:hvac &refr mech. Interests:?
    Posts
    4

    Post

    this is the way the industry is going. your customer is interested in saving money. it is an interesting field and you should try to understand it if you can get the info. control co. cannot fix all, you will still have to go onsite to fix the major problems, but it is nice to dial up and see whats happening before you go.technology is a great thing .

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,377
    Originally posted by miacbob
    I am so sick and tired of control companys coming into the HVAC industry and taking control of equipment that they absoulty have not a clue as to what they are controling or what the long term outcome may be.We are subjected to guys with a laptop and software that could not begin to tell you how conditioning of a contained space is accomplished.Untill they get off there trojoin horse and ask us how this stuff works we will remain in KAHOUSS.
    Hmmm.

    Well, I'd have to say my first impression is to tell yah that you should learn the new control systems yourself. What is keeping you from doing so?

    Chuckle, but I do understand what you mean. I've seen it.

    In my job with the company I work for, we've picked up jobs where original control company has been kicked off site, and we took over. Likewise, I occassionally teach various night classes (part time) for trades people. A couple of which are HVAC controls related. And I can remember one controls tech sitting in my class with whom I had a discussion. Guy was clueless about HVAC equipment. Ex-compuer/electronics type, who'd found self out of work and looking for a job. This free lance controls outfit picked him up. Gave him a truck, a laptop, and a stack of manuals. Then essentially gave him a piece of paper with an address, plan book for the control system, and said "Get er done."

    ROFLMAO. He was a lost puppy. Not that I blame him. Just an honest fellow trying to find work. I taught him what I could in the time I had, then gave him some names, phone numbers, etc. So he could enroll in a basic HVAC class. Taught by an retired Honeywell fellow over at a tech school. But for the couple jobs he was on before he got into a class, it was common for him to call me and yelp,"Hellppppp !!!" And I'd talk him thru some issue.

    But the fact is, not all controls companies are equal. Some are very competent, some good, and some aren't very good.

    Pretty much the same as with HVAC firms. Guy, I'm licensed and certifed and EXPERIENCED in computer systems, as an electrician, and as a HVAC and boiler type. And have been around for more than a couple years. And I'll tell you I've run into my fair share of incompetent, or near to it, HVAC techs. On more than just a couple occassions. And I've run into some with some real snooty, ****ty attitudes, too. Undeserved ones as they weren't nearly as good as they thought they were. Ditto, the same with electricians. Couple years back I did the usual and hired the general project electricians on one site to do some work for us. Halfway thru the project I fired em and brought in a separate bunch to finish our part of the job. First outfit, in fact, was blacklisted after that project by both the general contractor and the property owner (how owned many other properties). A total bunch of dinks, that particular company of electricians.

    With the company for whom I work, the automation techs are nearly equally divided, approx half being previous electrical/electronic types. The other half being previous HVAC techs. They train each other and help each other. Works well for us.

    In fact, currently we have an inhouse series of classes being conducted where several of our HVAC service repair guys are learning DDC systems and such. Company sent em to a 6 day intro to computers and computer applications class.
    And since, they've been spending 4 hours a day, two evenings a week, in claas in the shop learnign DDC controller setup, programming, etc. Included is the use of live trainers.

    If we have a problem, it's that numerous of our HVAC techs when we've tried to get em to try to learn DDC systems, have decided they don't like the work. And begged to go back to the HVAC shops. And in fact we've had to "lean" on em a bit
    to get volunteers for the classes being conducted.

    As in ...hint ... hint ... a service tech certified in DDC with us is less likely to face lay off. If we gotta send anybody home, HVAC pipefitters with DDC quals go to top of list for staying on the job, those without go to the bottom and we'll start at the bottom for sending guys home.

    <Shrug> Might seem unfair to some. But we had to try something. And essentially have modified our rules, and got the local to agree, that the more quals a guy has, thus the more employable, we can bounce him higher on the list. While others go down on the list. Doesn't apply only to DDC quals. ie a couple of our tin benders, who're also qualified
    HVAC service, and as balancers, go up on the list. Above others who don't have additional quals/skills.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    p.e.i. canadaOccupation:hvac &refr mech. Interests:?
    Posts
    4

    osiyo

    wow, sounds good. there is a lot of control co. that will lock the pass word and you or the building maintenance cannot get into the system. if the owner wants to change co. they will not give info, thus big $$$ to change energy management system. did you ever run into this.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    p.e.i. canadaOccupation:hvac &refr mech. Interests:?
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    4

    Hmm Re: osiyo

    Originally posted by p/tguy
    wow, sounds good. there is a lot of control co. that will lock the pass word and you or the building maintenance cannot get into the system. if the owner wants to change co. they will not give info, thus big $$$ to change energy management system. did you ever run into this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Posts
    1,605

    Re: osiyo

    Originally posted by p/tguy
    wow, sounds good. there is a lot of control co. that will lock the pass word and you or the building maintenance cannot get into the system. if the owner wants to change co. they will not give info, thus big $$$ to change energy management system. did you ever run into this.
    The building owner should insist that he is given all passwords to the system, he's paid for them!, but he must also understand that if he uses high level passwords or releases them to someone who does more damage that good that the installing control company will need to charge to reprogram the system.
    "Profit is not the legitimate purpose of business. The legitimate purpose of business is to provide a product or service that people need and do it so well that it's profitable."

    James Rouse

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,377

    Re: osiyo

    Originally posted by p/tguy
    wow, sounds good. there is a lot of control co. that will lock the pass word and you or the building maintenance cannot get into the system. if the owner wants to change co. they will not give info, thus big $$$ to change energy management system. did you ever run into this.
    Only once. And at the time the company I worked for was the customer. And I was their in-house facilities maintenance engineer. Well, one of them. I used to work for a major telecom. The controls company we were using was Johnson Controls. And they refused to give us access, passwords, or the friggin manuals.

    Nothing I couldn't solve by using a set of wire cutters. And, at least in my region, which covered a bit more than a whole state, we kicked JCI out.

    But since I've been on the new install side of things, working for another company, haven't seen it. Did have a case where a previous contractor gave us a hard time about it. But both we and the customer leaned on the fellow real hard ... or I should say our lawyers did. And he coughed up the info. In a couple other cases, customer had no password, but we knew the factory default (backdoor) and it worked. But more often, in all honesty, customer had been given info. Used to have it. Lost it somewhere. And original contractor was no longer in business. Or hadn't kept records on that project themselves. Not longer than the warranty period, anyway.

    I find it pretty durned common for a customer to have lost or misplaced their copies of things.

    Just recently I started some add-on projects for a property management company which owns a dozen sizeable buildings. We'd done work for them previously. Back in 1996/97. Then, off and on, some other add-ons since. They have a new facilities engineer. And I was in a meeting with him and a mechanical engineer they'd hired. Going over what would be needed for the new adds. The facility engineer is new to that company. Old one retired. He bent my ear for a while *****ing about fact they had no info on previous controls installs, didn't have access to anything but a limited subset of the control points, and so forth.

    <Shrug> Didn't seem right to me. I called the office, got the number for the guy who'd done the original installation.
    Yep, he said ... they'd HAD all that stuff. Damned if he knew what they did with it. A bit later, I even found one of their inside techs who said they'd had the stuff. But one of the senior maintenance guys kept it sort of secret and locked away. Sort of making himself Mr DDC for that company. The only one who knew how things really worked. But he was gone now, and who knows where the stuff went?

    No big deal. We had everything on record back at the office. I had an admin type reprint all the manuals, schematics, etc and burn em a new CD with all the software on it. (Actually, a couple CDs)

    You'd best ask others about this. I've only been doing this as a contract installer/programmer for about 4 years now. Did inhouse DDC before that. But as a contract installer, I've yet to ever see a contract that didn't specify that we give the customer all As Builts, owner manuals, copies of all software, passwords, etc.

    And as far as I'm concerned, that's the way it should be.

    Now, does that mean customer could get inside the system and maybe screw it up? Yep, sure does. Customer's problem, not mine. My guys when on a service call do check to see if controls and setpoints have been dinked with, and whether or not that caused problem. If it was and did .... it's a service call, not a warranty call. Doesn't break my heart to have a service tech billing T&M. Customer *****es about it? No problem. I can PROVE settings have been changed. As we keep master copies of complete memory dump from each controller and the front end, and of all programs. On our internal office network drives, and burned on CD with time and date stamps, kept filed away in archive.

    The thing is, everybody argues about whether or not this controls manufacturer or that one makes good stuff or rotten stuff. Well, while I have had experience with several brands, I sure as heck haven't had experience with every brand. So I can not possibly know for sure. But ..

    Most problems I see are caused by piss poor installation and/or programming, providing owner with poor or faulty documentation and explainations of how things work, or by owner/operator error. 90% or better of the problems I see fall into one of those categories. Rather than it being a matter that the controller itself was a POS.

    On this site I've read folks badmouthing all sorts of controllers that I've seen operating, and operating very well, for years and years after installation without significant problems. And the ones I've seen failed mostly are as a result of one of the above causes I listed.

    But I can only speak from my perspective and from what I see. Lots of folks in this group have far wider experience than I do.

    If it were me, and a controls contractor did not give me EVERYTHING ... manuals, softare, passwords, etc ... I'd fire the sucker.




  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Merritt Island Florida
    Posts
    5

    Hmm Great Stuff

    To start out with I was just a little pissed off when I posted my first Comment.Thuth is I am certified in Honeywell XL 5000,Tracer Summit,Johnson,Novar,and Com-Trol.
    I started in the HVAC industrey in 1970.I am the control tech for my company.In the past we have had Trane and other companys install DDC control systems on our larger jobs because of the man power.It becomes my job to make shure its all programmed and installed properly.The frustration comes in when you see somthing like a 50 ton chilled water AHU with its cooling valve open 100% four stages of 60KW heat on a cooling set point of 73 deg. heat at 70 deg.,humidity set point of 55%. The space temp 69 deg. and humidity at 56%.This is no doubt poor energy management.I run across this kind of stuff more often than you would think and ultamently I end up doing the fine tuning on the loops.We all have been in that situation where the controls contractor has his propriortary software and you have no choice but to work with them or convince your customer to let you remove it and install your system.I guess all of this turns out to be job security and a good tool for getting new customers it just gets frustrating sometimes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    150
    Unfortunately, some "controls" companies only see their job as an electrical installation job - where as BAS/EMCS companies hopefully are engineering/installing/startup/commissioning their work, and sit down with the client to discuss sequences, setpoints, energy management strategies,,etc.

    It is no excuse for an incomplete or improperly set up system - but often times there is a misunderstanding concerning the scope of a job. Many specs I have seen are unclear or omit specific startup/commissioning details, which should always include training, documentation and as-built reviews of the entire system with the end users.

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