Maintenance tech needs some pointers
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    5

    Maintenance tech needs some pointers

    I run a small apartment complex. The management expects me to repair the central AC units. They sent me to get me EPA cert, (which I have) but I know very little.

    Is there a guide, pointers, etc...

    I can read a manifold, but have little clue what it means.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,279
    You have a good learning curve ahead of you.

    At bare minimum, get a good textbook to read, like Refrigeration and Airconditioning Technology or Modern Refrigeration and Airconditioning. Consider enrolling in HVAC classes if they're offered at your local community college.

    You must understand how it works before you understand how to fix it. It will always be an uphill struggle for you if you don't get the theory down pat first.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    5
    I do understand theory. I understand how all the parts work. Electrical is a breeze. I mostly need to know how to interpret pressures.
    I can pinpoint most other issues not pertaining to charge pressure.

    When I find and repair a leak, how much refrigerant do I put in... etc...

    Thanks

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    226
    You need to either get some training or study with a good book youself....You will not become a tech over night...There are no quick answers...There are rules of thumbs but are pointless to talk about without an understanding of the refrigeration cycle etc...Sound like the company you work for need to hire a contractor to do the repairs while you learn the trade

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5
    They aren't going to hire a contractor.
    Do you have any recommendations for a good book or two.

    I don't need to learn about huge chillers, or refrigeration units that cool meat lockers. Are there any books geared toward residential AC units?


    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    226
    as stated above.... i recommend these books to start with....
    Refrigeration and Airconditioning Technology or Modern Refrigeration and Airconditioning

    You make it sound like a simple piece of equiptment lol...Trust me ...You need to stud the basics cause there are common things that will happen with a RES system that can through you for a loop...Trust me get a book and study ...Then it will become clear that there is alot to learn even for a home ac system

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    5
    no disrespect meant. Just didnt want to buy an 800 page book if I only need 1-2 chapters.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    texas
    Posts
    333
    residential,commercial,big or small refrigeration or a/c its all the same but its differant. until you understand the basic theory of how it works dont make the mistake of thinking one is easier than the other. if they wont hire a contractor than make them pay for your schooling. there is only so much you can learn from a book. either that or go to a a/c company and ask if you can work for free on the weekends if they will teach you. good luck.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    nebraska
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    1,628
    Keep on posting then apply for pro membership. Lots and lots of very good info in the educational forums.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Galveston Texas
    Posts
    530
    There is a BIG difference between the electrical side and the refrigeration side. you need to understand the refrigeration theory for anything that you read here to make sense. Get the books, take classes.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,955
    "I need to know how to interpret pressures".
    That's easy - just think of them as temperatures.
    OK, not so easy.
    There really are no shortcuts, but if you get pro membership here, and read everyday, you'll learn more than you would in most tech schools. Seriously.
    And by the way, are you expected to service the heating side too?
    'Cause that's a whole other ball game.
    "Hey Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort." And he says, "there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin' for me, which is nice. - Carl Spackler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunicy View Post
    I do understand theory. I understand how all the parts work. Electrical is a breeze. I mostly need to know how to interpret pressures.
    I can pinpoint most other issues not pertaining to charge pressure.

    When I find and repair a leak, how much refrigerant do I put in... etc...

    Thanks
    No disrespect intended, but if you understood refrigeration theory, you would not have asked the question you posed in your original post.

    Search online for a pressure-temperature chart for Refrigerant 22. Learn how to interpret that chart. Your gauges also have an abridged "chart" right on the face of them. You need to not only understand the gauge pressure, but also how to get superheat and subcooling readings, and what these readings mean.

    I once did apartment work. It's no walk in the park. Doing make-ready one moment and figuring out why Ms. Jones a/c won't cool well in the afternoon but cools fine in the morning and evening. And then the pool pump broke and Mr. Jackson has a pool party planned for the weekend. You want to get to that as Mr. Jackson sweats bullets at the smallest problem, but then there's that fire that just broke out in Building 12, and you don't have a master key to evacuate everyone without kicking their doors in. On your way to the fire Ms. Crabtree cries a fit about her dishwasher overflowing for the umpteenth time because she can't get it through her thick head not to put Joy in the soap dispenser of the machine instead of automatic dishwasher detergent.

    Hang in there.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  13. #13
    jpsmith1cm's Avatar
    jpsmith1cm is offline Global Moderator/AOP Committee
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
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    25,386
    Quote Originally Posted by cuchulain View Post
    There is a BIG difference between the electrical side and the refrigeration side. you need to understand the refrigeration theory for anything that you read here to make sense. Get the books, take classes.


    Well said.

    There aren't any shortcuts.

    You can hack 'em and gas 'em if you'd like, but that won't serve you OR your boss well.

    Learn the WHY behind the pressures and other reading you will take.

    Otherwise, you can guess...

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