What's a crancase heater?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    82
    I know "webea/c" sounds like I don't know and although I will not say I know everything I think after 20 years in the biz and countless schools and seminars I've picked up something I can call knowledge. Besides my tech school instructor made us read the Modern Air Conditioning and Refrigeration book cover to cover. (I've forgotten a lot of the theory though.) So I'm looking for you guys to back me up on something so I can prove a point.

    The Project Manager of our company is trying to tell me that a crankcase heater keeps the oil from "gelling" up during cold weather and that in Florida we do not need them.

    I am trying to convince him that it is to keep the refrigerant from migrating to the compressor and mixing with the oil during the off cycle, thus preventing the refrigerant from carrying the oil away from the compressor during starts.

    Please post some threads so I may print this and set him straight. I wonder if I should follow him on some installs to make sure he's not disconnecting them.

    By the way, In Florida we run commercial A/C systems all year because even on a 40deg day the buildings here are in the high seventies by 11:00am.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    BR,LA
    Posts
    256
    if he won't listen to what you have to say, why do you think he is going to listen to what we have to say. You are the one with " 20 years in the biz and countless schools and seminars" You know your right. Don;t put up with that crap. Your boss has been in the office to long.

    [Edited by joeywpittman on 06-11-2005 at 02:12 AM]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    207
    Yes you are correct, also, you dont want the liquid sitting or migrating back to the pump during the off cycle and then starting up w/ a throat full of liquid. Tell him compressors dont like liquid and dont compress it very well, if he asks you why, just walk away.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    42
    He knows better let him believe in mickey mouse , already in flordia. guess we don't need a compressor either this is fla damm sun will heat up refrigerant .

  5. #5
    Stupid is as stupid does..... leave him alone.

    Otherwise you are trying to teach a pig to sing. You simply CANNOT DO IT!!!

    You may prove your point, but end up on his hit list.


    It is not about being right! It is about getting the work done and coming home with a weekly check in your pocket.
    This will never be accomplished by proving your superiors they are wrong.


    If they ask your advice, be kind and patient with them. Show them. But stop there. Let it sink in.

    If it does, they will be better for the effort.
    However, if it does not sink in ... they will only hate you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    30
    I love doing it their way when you told them it was wrong. Then when the crap hits the fan you get to sit back with a grin on your face and say told you so.

    Better yet. Call the manufacturer and ask if the warranty will be voided if you don't install the CCH.

  7. #7
    Senior Tech Guest
    This may not be the best advice but here it is anyway...

    Find literature that identifies what a crankcase heater does and what it's purpose is...not from a website such as this but perhaps training manuals and such, leave it in very conspicuous places...like on his desk when he's not around. He will eventually begin to "think" the right way and doe's it on his own (or so he thinks)...sometimes things of this nature, when it's a battle of "I'M RIGHT, YOUR WRONG" makes a certain type of person feel insecure and they will battle to the end beacause it gives them a feeling of power or strength...the end result is you want to do it the right way and he will to eventually...(we hope). Okay, so that's it from Senior "freud" Tech.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Fargo, ND
    Posts
    86
    Originally posted by webea/c

    I am trying to convince him that it is to keep the refrigerant from migrating to the compressor and mixing with the oil during the off cycle, thus preventing the refrigerant from carrying the oil away from the compressor during starts.


    By the way, In Florida we run commercial A/C systems all year because even on a 40deg day the buildings here are in the high seventies by 11:00am.
    You are correct.
    As far as running AC in low temps, try here in North Dakota. We have some computer server rooms that the AC runs all winter long. With no possible way to get outside air we can not use economizers so straight AC only. It is real fun trying to set up a unit when it is -20F outside.
    We get very familar with crankcase heaters, and low ambiant controls.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    82
    Originally posted by senior tech
    This may not be the best advice but here it is anyway...

    Find literature that identifies what a crankcase heater does and what it's purpose is...

    Thanks Senior. Your right, I’ve been putting literature around the office and struck up conversations with the service techs and he is avoiding me now. Doesn’t want to admit he’s wrong.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    82

    Superior

    Funny word, superior. Thanks everyone for the answers. I reread my post and realize that it does sound like he is my superior. We are actually equals as far as seniority. I'm in sales and he coordinates the projects us salesman sale.

    Salesman! I bet that's why he thinks I don't know what I'm talking about because most salesmen don't.

    "If you can't do it, sell it!" right?

    Anyway, I thought “superior” was an interesting word since I have a hard time thinking of someone as superior in a situation like this. I read your posts all over this sight, and it seems to be the same group of people, and I can’t help but to feel inferior. Sometimes I wonder if I made the right choice to hang up my tool belt and put on a “shirt and tie”.

    Thanks for some fun reading. Keep it up.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    1,560
    Dear Webea/c,

    You could have just shown your co-worker the section on crankcase heaters from “Modern Air Conditioning and Refrigeration” and tell him you obtained your understanding about crankcase heaters from this “text book” and ask him where he obtained his understanding from? Remembering to do so with the utmost respect and humbleness, since most of us here have been on both sides of this fence.

    Then laugh it off with the statement that now it’s your co-workers turn to find a problem in your knowledge so you can benefit from “his” HVAC knowledge and experience. And lastly, really mean what you say and remember to always be humble.

    Respectfully Submitted,
    John J. Dalton

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kenilworth New Jersey
    Posts
    230
    Ask this Engineer what POUR POINT means and where in Fla does it get that cold.....

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,805
    Crankcase heaters are used on most units that may be in a region that the AMBIENT TEMPERATURE will or could drop below 50'F to stop oil migration.

    Florida always above 50'F ?

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