thar she blows !
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  1. #1

    Cool

    I would like to share a story, purely for comic effect and a good lesson to beginner techs.

    Got a call for no cooling (last July). Get there. AC's running. Put my gauges on and it is showing an "equalized" pressure of about 5 psig.

    I put a trace charge in and find two leaks. I can hear the compressor trying to run, but doing nothing.

    Recover all the refrigerant, repair the leaks, install a new filter-drier, evacuate the system, and start weighing in the charge (r-22). Once my gauges show about 90 psig equalized, I kick the AC on and figure I will add the rest to superheat as vapor.

    Only problem is pressures are equalized. Oh crap, what is wrong with this compressor? Check the capacitor - good. Try a hermetic analyzer to unlock it - no luck. OK, the compressor is shot. I think...probably from running with no refrigerant, you know? Call the developer and he says "just go ahead and install a new one".

    Wait for the OEM part to come in and go back. Recover all of the refrigerant. Open up the condensing unit. Me and my buddy (a more experienced tech) are working together. This was my first actual compressor changeout. So, I start cutting into the discharge line...face right down inside.

    What's that sound? fsss...fsss...fsss...? Weird. I am almost all the way through and I have this sensation that says "stop" and let it bleed of. Just a little deminimus. My buddy leans over, with his face right in the condensor, and hits my cutters with a friggin' pipe wrench.

    BOOM !!!

    Line blows wide open and erupts a ten to fifteen foot tall volcano-like explosion of saturated refrigerant and oil into his face and the surrounding area. He jumped back and barely got hit. But we had to stand there and go "damn" and watch this happen for about five minutes. Neighbors pointing. Customer watching out the window.

    The point of this story "always check to make sure the service valves are open (backseated). The original installers never opened them. When we cut into the line we released the entire (original) factory charge.

    LOL

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    Upstate, SC
    Posts
    2,919
    Anyone get any video?? If so, can I borrow it??

    Bobby

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Florida's space coast
    Posts
    2,538
    Originally posted by BobbyBJr
    Anyone get any video?? If so, can I borrow it??

    Bobby
    Looking for an EPA bounty?
    We've been doing so much,for so long,with so little, that now we can do almost anything, with nothing at all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Bartlett, IL
    Posts
    6,619
    That'll learn ya.

    Something you should have checked right away.

    So you never finished...who ended up paying for the second compressor?

  5. #5
    Originally posted by 2hot2coolme
    So you never finished...who ended up paying for the second compressor?
    Probably the manufacture.

  6. #6
    @ 2hot2coolme - Well we did finish. We brazed in the second compressor, cleaned the unit, threw on a new contactor and dual-run capacitor for good meaasure (didn't want to go back on this one), and recharged. The AC ran perfectly after that. *this part of the story wasn't so funny, so I left it out*

    @ jultzya - Yep, the manufacturer paid for the second compressor. The original compressor had been running against closed valves for two years. The new "owners" of the home were foreigners and had only just realized that things weren't working. I am not a compressor guru by any stretch. But I can't imagine that compressor was in good condition after two years of that.

    The other tech with me agreed it would stay between us, I just owe him two "keep-yer-mouth-shutz"...he's got 'em! Well, he just recently used one. But that's another story.

  7. #7
    Originally posted by ryan_the_furnace_guy
    *this part of the story wasn't so funny, so I left it out*
    I'm sorry but I don't feel like ANY part of this story is even sorta funny.

    You have techs covering for other techs mistakes...
    You have a manufacture EATING a new compressor due to an INSTALLER error.

    You have improper diagnosis...
    You have illegal venting of refrigerant.

    You have a client that has spent money for operational cost for a non-working unit for 2 years...

    So what part was funny again?

    I'll go for new tech training on what not to do, but not funny!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Seabeck, WA
    Posts
    1,870
    Well, in 1995 (?) I found a unit in the same situation. It had been running for about a month with the service valves still closed from the install.
    I replaced the compressor even though it ran ok after I evacuated the system and charged it.
    My boss was unhappy with me, after all $ are hard to come by; but my ethics couldn't allow me to walk away and have a customer with a 1 month old compressor that had aged 10+ years.
    At the end we had a customer who would loudly sing praises about our business and its ethics.
    ps. I believe my boss warrantied the compressor from Janitrol. No big loss I suppose, They had been replacing those asperas anyway.
    Live for yourself and ask no one to live for you.

  9. #9
    Originally posted by jultzya
    Originally posted by ryan_the_furnace_guy
    *this part of the story wasn't so funny, so I left it out*
    I'm sorry but I don't feel like ANY part of this story is even sorta funny.

    You have techs covering for other techs mistakes...
    You have a manufacture EATING a new compressor due to an INSTALLER error.

    You have improper diagnosis...
    You have illegal venting of refrigerant.

    You have a client that has spent money for operational cost for a non-working unit for 2 years...

    So what part was funny again?
    The part where my face was almost blown off. I guess it warranted a little "nervous laughter" at the time. I try to have a sense of humor about things. Sure it was an unfortunate situation, but if you can't laugh at a thing like that.........on some level.........?

    This wasn't a case of a "tech covering for another tech". It was a case of a coworker sticking by another coworker because things happen periodically.

    This wasn't a case of misdiagnose of illegal refrigerant discharge. Accidental discharge is clearly referred to as legal by the EPA. If you are going to be like that, at least get YOUR facts straight.

    [Edited by ryan_the_furnace_guy on 10-13-2005 at 06:25 AM]

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,172
    Yeah lighten up, sheesh. Things do happen. There are just times where you or no one can expect something to be the way it is, for example, the valves being closed.
    Saddle Up!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Crooksville, Ohio
    Posts
    77
    Hmmmmmmmmm... Wonder what the Delta T was after the initial installation?
    All Seasons Heating & Cooling

  12. #12
    Originally posted by ryan_the_furnace_guy
    Originally posted by jultzya
    Originally posted by ryan_the_furnace_guy
    *this part of the story wasn't so funny, so I left it out*
    I'm sorry but I don't feel like ANY part of this story is even sorta funny.

    You have techs covering for other techs mistakes...
    You have a manufacture EATING a new compressor due to an INSTALLER error.

    You have improper diagnosis...
    You have illegal venting of refrigerant.

    You have a client that has spent money for operational cost for a non-working unit for 2 years...

    So what part was funny again?
    This wasn't a case of a "tech covering for another tech". It was a case of a coworker sticking by another coworker because things happen periodically.
    Then what is the below comment for? Looks like covering up for the other ones mistakes to me. I would rather have my employees just tell me the truth! There are no reasons for a cover-up!

    The other tech with me agreed it would stay between us, I just owe him two "keep-yer-mouth-shutz"...he's got 'em! Well, he just recently used one. But that's another story.
    This wasn't a case of misdiagnose of illegal refrigerant discharge. Accidental discharge is clearly referred to as legal by the EPA. If you are going to be like that, at least get YOUR facts straight.
    My thoughts are straight. Maybe I should have numbered them for you, as they were two different items...

    1) You have techs covering for other techs mistakes...
    2) You have a manufacture EATING a new compressor due to an INSTALLER error.

    3) You have improper diagnosis...
    4) You have illegal venting of refrigerant.

    5) You have a client that has spent money for operational cost for a non-working unit for 2 years...

    Oh well, I guess this is one of those..... you just had to have been there moments.

  13. #13
    He who is without sin let him cast the first stone. I thought it was a funny story.

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