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  1. #1184
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    22
    Had a pretty busy morning with two maintenance calls and 2 service calls with A/C's not cooling. I had to go over to Johnstone supply and pick up a cheap leak detector (I can't wait until I have enough money in my tool account for a good leak detector). Anyways, had to get up in the attic and pull the coil doors off to search for a leak. This was after I put soap bubbles/ leak detector fluid on the outside welds by the AC. Leak detector started screaming near the bottom right of the coil. The coil is 13 years old and is out of warranty.

    The customer has 3 options at this point:

    1) Keep paying outrageous R22 freon prices and put 3-4lbs of freon in it per year.

    2) Replace the R22 coli and keep the current R22 AC as well.

    3) Replace the coil and the AC with new R410A refrigerants.

    I never like telling anyone how to spend their money, but at this point as old as the AC unit is I advised that it may be best to change both; however, I made it clear to the customer that I would inform them of the pro's and con's to both and let them make the decision over the weekend.

  2. #1185
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Kansas city
    Posts
    31
    That is the best you can do for your customers. Give them the facts and the figures and let them be comfortable with it. That leads to happy people who will tell ever body your soo honest.

  3. #1186
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,729
    Yes; I gave up completely. I just stopped doing almost all the work that required having employees.

    Two young guys who used to work for me (and for whom I still do Extensive mentoring ) have their own companies and are my go-to guys now. As I am for them. If I get too busy or dis-interested I lateral off some easy work to them. Whenever they get anything too tough (all steam, all refrigeration, and anything much beyond basic residential work ) they send it over to me. For example: I don't really like changing residential condensing units any more - so I say: Mr. HomeOwner, we're going to have to replace this unit - I'll get the residential division over here to handle it for you. They do this stuff every day.

    I've said it so much that recently my guys have started saying: Wow; this looks Serious. I'll get the industrial division to send somebody over for that. There's a guy over there who knows Everything - I'll get them to send him out.

    They don't work late, they don't work weekends, they don't do anything challenging unless I force them to do it. And they seem happy that way. They love selling service contracts. Whereas if I never changed another filter or cleaned a furnace for the rest of my life it would be fine with me.

    The only thing that has kept me in this business all these years it that it keeps me interested and amused. I was an exotic auto mechanic, I was a welder, I built oil derricks, and I was a pipe fitter for a while. But I couldn't take it - the same thing day after day after day. Some guys love a routine - but I was apparently cut out to work like a commando. And this was the only business that I found which did it for me.




    e \

    Quote Originally Posted by estherhead View Post
    I wonder if trade schools have changed? We find that many around here teach to the test and the kids that come out of them think they know EVERYTHING but can't tell the difference between an A/C and a HP. They wanna make $20 an hour and not have to work over 30 hours a week and no crawlspaces and attics. Oy! the whining! Drives me bonkers. Maybe it isn't the schools. Maybe it's the quality of the students. I almost am at the point I don't want to hire trade school kids! Do you all hire out of high school and train, or hire college graduates? Or given up completely and hire only experienced techs?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  4. #1187
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    22
    Few questions for you guys..

    I have the analog gauges and am going to be switching to digitals fairly soon. Do most digital gauges double as a micron gauge as well? How about measuring nitrogen pressure?

    I've seen that some techs do not like using their manifold to pull a vacuum though. So would you buy a completely separate micron gauge?

    Any help would be appreciated, thanks guys!

  5. #1188
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    22
    Had a pretty tough one yesterday, luckily I'm still working with my dad so he's there helping me along the way.

    Went to a house with a no A/C call, nothing would come on.. We had bad storms the night before and figured it was just a tripped break, fuse, etc. The breaker was tripped, but still got nothing once we turned it back on. After a bunch of wire checking we found that the board was bad (of course we didn't have the right one on the truck). Off to the supply house we go to pick one up, get back to the house and install the board and the unit comes on.

    But now the blower sounds like it's going to explode, so we take everything out of the way to slide the blower out and inside the motor all of the insides were completely melted. So back to the supply house we got to get a motor, long story short we got it fixed after we installed the new motor. We think lighting must have hit somewhere near or on the house and just about fried everything in that furnace. Needless to say that was a pretty expensive stop for the customer.

  6. #1189
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    32
    We are having a rash of copper thefts lately. The miscreants are getting up on a two story roof to strip out the heavy pipe and distributor bundles. Second time this month. Now I am looking into putting motion sensors on the roof, and adding security lighting pointing at the building from the utility poles before I rebuild them again. First time came in at 26k in damages, and this time there is more damage.

    I'm farming these repairs out because they are so labor intensive, they would eat up my crews available hours.

    I am wondering at what point they are going to start charging the scrap yards with receiving stolen property! It's rather obvious that when you bring in torn up acr tubing still dripping oil that your not exactly a legitimate contractor.

    Sent from my Thunderbolt

  7. #1190
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Tulsa
    Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by pnagel180 View Post
    We are having a rash of copper thefts lately. The miscreants are getting up on a two story roof to strip out the heavy pipe and distributor bundles. Second time this month. Now I am looking into putting motion sensors on the roof, and adding security lighting pointing at the building from the utility poles before I rebuild them again. First time came in at 26k in damages, and this time there is more damage.

    I'm farming these repairs out because they are so labor intensive, they would eat up my crews available hours.

    I am wondering at what point they are going to start charging the scrap yards with receiving stolen property! It's rather obvious that when you bring in torn up acr tubing still dripping oil that your not exactly a legitimate contractor.

    Sent from my Thunderbolt
    It definitely sucks to have copper stolen. I can't imagine having 26k worth of damages though. We always have a problem with copper thiefs as I live in the meth capital of the world; however, our damages usually range from $800-$2400 and the builder picks up the bill unless there are garage doors, doors and windows already installed.

  8. #1191
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    33
    No copper thieves around here.. at least none that we've dealt with. Boss just bought a new box van not too long ago.. man that thing can fit a ton of equipment, scrap you name it. It's interesting driving on narrow hilly roads of Pittsburgh. Installs all last week, and I got to play Electrician on Thursday doing a new electrical service. I'm glad I can do both.

  9. #1192
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Headland,al
    Posts
    27
    I had one with lightning today also.got the defrost board fan relay.

  10. #1193
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    32
    First time the copper thieves got on the roof they completely stripped out the Trane and damaged the Petras. We had the Petras repaired and was waiting for a new Trane when they hit the Petras again and this time tried for the coils.

    Sent from my Thunderbolt
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  11. #1194
    I am new to HVAC talk and figured it would be a great place to learn from the right sources. Currently I am taking A/C Technology classes and have about a year left. This stuff is pretty hard at times, but it helps to slow down and not over analyze it. That's pretty much all I have. Have a great day!

  12. #1195
    Please disregard this post.

  13. #1196
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    12,729

    Ryan! Now I am Obsessed with this post!!!!

    What is it originally say? Come on!!! I can't sleep!

    PHM
    --------


    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan2891 View Post
    Please disregard this post.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

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