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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, Ca
    Posts
    18

    Electrician new to HVAC

    Hi, my name is Tim. I live near Sacramento California. I have been an electrician since 1996 and the company I work with is starting to add HVAC service along with our electrical service. I have been doing electrical service almost since I started doing electrical so it is pretty much all I know. I am really looking forward to building my knowledge of hvac though. There is so much more to hvac systems than what I have worked on in the past (residential/small commercial service).

    I won't have much input since I am just starting into the trade but I am hoping to share whatever I do know along with some entertaining bloopers of my learning process.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    2,093
    Electricians, pfft.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    new jersey
    Posts
    366
    Welcome friend....having a solid electrical background will certainly help...and all of us here at h-t will help if we can...and i see you already have a good sense of humor.




  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Denver/Boulder
    Posts
    2,340
    Quote Originally Posted by electrictim View Post
    Hi, my name is Tim. I live near Sacramento California. I have been an electrician since 1996 and the company I work with is starting to add HVAC service along with our electrical service. I have been doing electrical service almost since I started doing electrical so it is pretty much all I know. I am really looking forward to building my knowledge of hvac though. There is so much more to hvac systems than what I have worked on in the past (residential/small commercial service).

    I won't have much input since I am just starting into the trade but I am hoping to share whatever I do know along with some entertaining bloopers of my learning process.
    Welcome!

    A couple of suggestions to start you off-

    The electric portion of HVAC would seem to be your strong suit, but keep in mind that very few electricians do well troubleshooting control circuits, and that is a great deal of what we work on in the HVAC service industry. You have some good fundamentals to build on, but you will be taking another step or two in order to get where you need to be.

    The second thing is to remember that HVAC is really and truly a "Multi-disciplinary" profession and you will need to learn to do many things well.

    Stick around, this place is a real kick in the pants for those that do.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.


    Two pressures, four temperatures = SUCCESS!


    Boulder Heating Contractor


    For Consumers:

    For HVACR Professionals:


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    139

    Talking

    After working on centrifugal and screw for 25 years, if you understand electricity and motors you have most of the problems taken care of.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, Ca
    Posts
    18
    Thanks for the input guys. I am really looking forward to the challenge of troubleshooting issues that are not as straight forward as most of the ones I come across in electrical problems. This is the main reason I am so excited about HVAC, there is more to the units than just 120/240v wiring. Problems that I cannot explain right away are what I live for because it just means I am one step closer to being good at it. If I just went by day by day resetting breakers and gfci's because of overloads and water spills I would be a pretty crappy electrician. I thank all the handymen and homeowners who stuff wiring in the walls and do awesome patchwork to cover them, it makes me think "What could this be?".

    Anyone know of some good study material for a beginner? I have yet to start classes but I want to get as much of a head start as possible for when I do. Can't wait to go on my first troublecall so I can be boggle out of my mind with only a vague picture of what could possible be wrong. It's almost like being 17 again.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Denver/Boulder
    Posts
    2,340
    Quote Originally Posted by electrictim View Post
    Thanks for the input guys. I am really looking forward to the challenge of troubleshooting issues that are not as straight forward as most of the ones I come across in electrical problems. This is the main reason I am so excited about HVAC, there is more to the units than just 120/240v wiring. Problems that I cannot explain right away are what I live for because it just means I am one step closer to being good at it. If I just went by day by day resetting breakers and gfci's because of overloads and water spills I would be a pretty crappy electrician. I thank all the handymen and homeowners who stuff wiring in the walls and do awesome patchwork to cover them, it makes me think "What could this be?".

    Anyone know of some good study material for a beginner? I have yet to start classes but I want to get as much of a head start as possible for when I do. Can't wait to go on my first troublecall so I can be boggle out of my mind with only a vague picture of what could possible be wrong. It's almost like being 17 again.
    LOL, That's pure awesome.

    You'll have whole career of entertainment in HVAC. There are plenty of guys here that could post schematics that would melt your brain, LOL. Now that I think about it that would make for an excellent thread someday. "Most convoluted schematic" thread. Funny stuff really.

    As far as training goes, there are lots of ways to train up, both conventional and unconventional. I have no idea what's available to you locally because I have no idea where you are. for tech working in the field, the best thing running is the training program at the local Johnstone supply. It's better than anything running at the local community colleges or tech schools. If you tell us where you are, other will chime in with suggestions. Putting a post in the "general" forum would be the best.

    As to some "unconventional" methods-

    The First and the easiest is to get your hands on a install manual and read that, taking notes of things you don't understand.

    Likewise, if you can get your hands on an old furnace there are a few things you can do-

    1) trace all the wiring in the unit in an attempt to understand what controls what. (use the diagram too)

    2) strip down furnaces (old ones going to the dump/recycling) pay attention to how old the furnace is- furnaces of different eras will have significantly different designs.

    3) strip parts off old furnaces- transformers, relays, circuit boards, high limits, fan limit controls, etc. you can use these parts at your leisure to build your own mock ups at home.

    All this may seem awfully rudimentary, but it really can get you a hands on feel for some of the things we do, but you will never learn it all unless you have class time with a good teacher, or some really serious book time.

    BTW, there's lots of good reading material on the pro side of the forum. Apply when you get your post count up to 15.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.


    Two pressures, four temperatures = SUCCESS!


    Boulder Heating Contractor


    For Consumers:

    For HVACR Professionals:


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Stumptown,USA
    Posts
    1,251
    Modern Refrigeration, Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Technology, Electricity for HVAC by Russell Smith. If you get these 3 books you will be ahead of the game. www.powells.comtechnicalbooks for used books cheaper. Get your posts up yo 15 and apply for pro membership, a lot of good info in the pro sections. Also www.rses.org for books and home study courses. Also ACCA has a website and bookstore. Carrier also has a lot of training available www.training.carrier.com
    Challenge yourself, take the CM test --- Certificate Member since 2004 ---Join RSES ---the HVAC/R training authority ---www.rses.org

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, Ca
    Posts
    18
    Awesome posts guys. I really appreciate the warm welcome and recommendations. I think I am going to do some searching for the materials you guys have pointed out. I really like the idea of stripping old units, hopefully I can get my hands on one here soon. I think I need to wait a little while before applying for pro though, I don't have any proof since I have not started classes yet and we only have our C-10, no C-20 yet. I'm just getting a head start coming here sooner we won't have license for a few more months. Only experience I have otherwise is working for multi-trade companies in the past where I was not an hvac tech just helped the guys out here and there.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    houston, texas
    Posts
    3,787
    Make sure your keeping up your liquid intake while reading and posting here, it can be very trying sometimes.


    Welcome to the site.
    I'm not tolerating Political Correctness anymore, from now on it's tell it like it is.

    Veto Pro Pak - The best tool bag you'll ever own






  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, Ca
    Posts
    18
    I don't know if I should do that. I get all loos tongued when I have that liquid with the percentages and stuff posted on 'em. I am on-call most of the week so I don't typically drink anyway. ... <<< before a service call can impair judgement.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Andover Kansas
    Posts
    2,115
    Welcome Sparky.
    .


    The statement below is my signature and just my overall feeling towards our industry and does not necessarily pertain to you nor this thread.


    There really isn't a legitimate excuse for not doing the job correctly!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    N 37 10.573 W 093 15.649
    Posts
    84
    I broke into the HVAC controls field after a long commercial electrical career, studying how relay logic can accomplish a written process(sequence of operation) is a great thing to know. That knowledge can help you understand which graphical programming blocks to use in different programming mediums. As I have posted before, I read an obscene amount of technical manuals and user's guides and ask alot of questions to the seasoned people I work with, as well as ask here on the forum.
    Good luck to you!
    When it is said that BacNet is a better protocol than LonWorks, I die a little more inside.
    ~knottyjabe

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