Basic HVAC Tools for a Newbie
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4
    Hi everyone. I'm new to the world of HVAC. I have been a Aircraft tech for the last 10 yrs and would like to start HVAC on the side (the aircraft world is very unstable and would like to learn another trade to fall back on).
    I have a good understanding of HVAC theory and plan on taking some college level courses this fall. Can you knowledgable people help me put together some tools that I will need? I have a good Fluke multimeter already along with all the general tools any tradesmen would have but I'm not sure what kind of HVAC specific tools I will need.
    The first one that comes to mind is the AC manifold gauge. I see that there are lot's of different types specific to an aplication, (automobiles, central AC etc). I plan on working on home central AC and appliances. Are there diff. manifolds used on home refridgerators as well as central AC or can you buy a manifold that can be used on both?
    Secondly, I've read a lot of info on brazing and soldering. I understand that both are suitable depending on the application but I was wonder what equipment would I need to do either of them.
    Any help would be appreciated, I'm new so if my questions sound rediculous, please accept my appology.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    1,874
    Even if you go to take some classes, your not going to be thrown in a truck and let loose.

    You'll have a trial period that could last 1 or more yrs.
    so getting a set of torches is not something to focus on.

    Get seperate gauges for a/c & refrigeration. They are different refrigerants, so I'd keep things meant for what they are for.

    you'll need hand tools for ductwork.
    No-Matter your level of knowlegde on aircraft, you'll need to prove yourself in this field.
    Just like if I had 17 yrs in HVAC and wanted to learn aircraft repair.

    This field has been very good to me,
    Like anything else in the work place, you get out what you put in.

    Good luck,
    If you try to fail, and succeed.
    Which have you done ?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579


    Here is the first too you need before you purchase any of the others:

    http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showthread.php?threadid=49523

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4
    So what kind of gauges do I need? What is used in home central AC and what kind are used on refriderators?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579
    Originally posted by degull
    So what kind of gauges do I need? What is used in home central AC and what kind are used on refriderators?

    Don't buy any tools until you have completed a few classes with shop/lab instruction. Work on getting your EPA refrigerant certification and reading up on HVAC while you wait for school to start.

    You are in no position to use any HVAC tools right now plus you will get to use a wide variety of tools of different brands in school. Only then will you be at the point of understanding what you need and you will start getting a feel for what brands you like.

    Get reading! Learn what you can here at HVAC Talk as well as from a basic HVAC book or two.

    I can recommend several good HVAC books that will be of greater value to you than any tools right now. Start by preparing to take your EPA exam. You can't even buy or use refrigerant without your EPA certification.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4
    I don't plan on working on any systems yet, but I was thinking of starting to look for tools because it looks like a big investment, and would like to get some user opinions about what kind of gear I should be slowly buying. I would very much appreciate some recommendations on reading materials!! Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579


    Go here: http://www.lamabooks.com/

    Buy the following two books to start with

    Instruments For HVAC Work

    &

    Basic Electricity for HVAC


    Then work your way through any of the others at that site. They are well written and not expensive at all.


    If anyone recommends you buy the big book "Modern Refrigeration & Air Conditioning" by Althouse, DON'T do it!

    When you are ready for one of the larger HVAC textbooks I will recommend several that are better. Start with the smaller books sold at the LAMA Bookstore I just gave you the link to.

    And, no I do not own that site nor do I profit from the sales of the books at that site. I own a library of several hundred HVAC and related books. The LAMA books are some of the best written and you can buy them one at a time as well as easily carry them with you.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Serving Northern Va and surounding area
    Posts
    38
    First of all concrads and welcome to the field like others have said been good to me for the last 35 years and heck TOOLS I will give you all mine I'm gonna retire this year. One world of advise in this feild never step others toes as you climb the ladder because one day the guy you step on will be at the top and you may need him. Good Luck on your future.

    GO TO WALMART AND LOOK FOR CHEAP TOOLS MAKE SURE THIS WHAT YOU WANT TO DO YOU GOTTA LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,597
    refridgerators are disposable these days.

    get a set of r-22 and 410a guages.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    southern illinois
    Posts
    5,522
    get a set of snips..red and green,1/4 and 5/16 nut driver,flashlight,coveralls....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    4,970
    yep.......wouldnt even bother till you get a little schooling to see if you like it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    South Dakota
    Posts
    6,579


    I will sell you a 1997 GMC Savanna van, clean and white with a ladder rack that brings your ladder down to you so you don't have to reach for it, plus a full set of tools to perform residential and commercial service and installations.

    A rolling business ready to go. I don't run service or do installs anymore and don't need it. I just hung onto it because I hated to let it go since I too love tools.

    Even have a full stock of common replacement parts in the bins inside. And, yes it has air conditioning too.

    Norm

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    4
    LOL, I'd love to take you up on the offer, but I think that's far ahead in the game for me. Although if you willing to part with some of the tools that you might think are essential, I would be interested. Thanks.

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