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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
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    2,190

    luskys and cooked

    Luskys, i agree, 2 years is not enough time to take someone with no background and teach them so much in so little time. I think the fundamentals get pasted over at 70 MPH trying to go some where they can't get to. So I am with you about solid fundamentals and the details/ specialized stuff will unfold.

    Hey Cooked, the definition of volunteer is your reward is in heaven, not here, well a little if satisfaction counts. You Texan's know that!

    Hey, Where are you Dangling Wrangler?
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  2. #15
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    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western, MO
    Posts
    871
    Why do we still need to know all the EPA dates or what % the old equipment had to do? This is what we need to do now.

    Why not teach the students how to do it right?

    You might not like my answer, but a lot of the teachers weren't taught proper diagnosis and repair.

    I don't feel the new stuff is all that advance in design. Split it into sections and work on the section that needs repaired. What do I care that it has four control boards on it if it has a restriction. If it has a short in the low voltage, does it matter if it's 22 or 410?

    jim
    Common sense isn't very common anymore.

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    354
    i'll give you a good example, last year i went to the TACO complete boiler 2 day seminar in rhode island, that class was a waste of time. you'd figure they would have a actual boiler set up! with a working boiler! with the new advanced controls! gues what NO, that class was almost 2 days of b.s. theory! what a waste of money. any co. that sends there guys to a training class and they don't have real equipment, you are wasting your time! this is american education system, theory and no practical hands on training. why, easy education is big buisness. is this every school no, but too mmany. i live near this jr. college there running some classes on geo thermal, all theory, the chances of people getting out of there knowing any thing is slim. i can go on and on.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    644
    I am a student at a community college. Good thing is we get theory and hands on because we have a bunch of different equipment. Still don't think we get enough hands on in real world situations. Best class I had was an electrical class. the instructor would show us what we needed to wire up and we had motors, contactors, etc. in the lab and each had to wire stuff up and make it work. Then we would have to rig it so it didn't work and switch stations and figure out the problem with the other guy's set up. Not really real world but a lot better than just learning wiring diagrams. We did the same with heat pumps and furnaces.

    Found out that some people just don't have the mindset for trouble shooting. There was a group of guys huddled around one unit trying to find out what the problem was one of which was an electrician. They were testing all kinds of stuff with their meter. After about an hour, I walked over and asked them what the problem was. I reached down, reset the flame roll-out switch and it started right up. I knew what it likely was just by observing what it was doing. I had read the chapter about safety controls and start up sequence from the book. apparently they hadn't.

    It's one thing to install, its another to trouble shoot. But I had to know the theory to trouble shoot. If I didn't know the start up order and how the thing worked, I would have been testing things and not knowing what it was supposed to be just like them. Just a newbie but it seems to me like theory is a lot more important in troubleshooting than anything else. How else are you going to find the problem if you don't know how everything works and what exactly it is doing and why? Still find a lot of stuff that I was never taught about, but if seems like if you know the theory it makes the diagnosis a lot easier.

  5. #18
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    Jul 2011
    Posts
    354

    Hmm

    Quote Originally Posted by dijit View Post
    I am a student at a community college. Good thing is we get theory and hands on because we have a bunch of different equipment. Still don't think we get enough hands on in real world situations. Best class I had was an electrical class. the instructor would show us what we needed to wire up and we had motors, contactors, etc. in the lab and each had to wire stuff up and make it work. Then we would have to rig it so it didn't work and switch stations and figure out the problem with the other guy's set up. Not really real world but a lot better than just learning wiring diagrams. We did the same with heat pumps and furnaces.

    Found out that some people just don't have the mindset for trouble shooting. There was a group of guys huddled around one unit trying to find out what the problem was one of which was an electrician. They were testing all kinds of stuff with their meter. After about an hour, I walked over and asked them what the problem was. I reached down, reset the flame roll-out switch and it started right up. I knew what it likely was just by observing what it was doing. I had read the chapter about safety controls and start up sequence from the book. apparently they hadn't.

    It's one thing to install, its another to trouble shoot. But I had to know the theory to trouble shoot. If I didn't know the start up order and how the thing worked, I would have been testing things and not knowing what it was supposed to be just like them. Just a newbie but it seems to me like theory is a lot more important in troubleshooting than anything else. How else are you going to find the problem if you don't know how everything works and what exactly it is doing and why? Still find a lot of stuff that I was never taught about, but if seems like if you know the theory it makes the diagnosis a lot easier.
    when i was talking about theory, i was talking pure theory, no labs, and no equipment! that's how a lot of places teach! no labs and no equipment!

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Houston area
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    1,493
    Quote Originally Posted by jim147 View Post
    Why do we still need to know all the EPA dates or what % the old equipment had to do? ....You don't, with a caveat.... This is what we need to do now ....Maybe.....
    Why not teach the students how to do it right? ...Totally agreed but you can't teach intuition, some get it and some don't, but intuition can be learned.....
    You might not like my answer, but a lot of the teachers weren't taught proper diagnosis and repair .....I do like your answer.....
    I don't feel the new stuff is all that advance in design ....It's not, with exceptions..... Split it into sections and work on the section that needs repaired. What do I care that it has four control boards on it if it has a restriction. If it has a short in the low voltage, does it matter if it's 22 or 410?

    jim
    And Jim, this is not a diatribe against you but I will address your points.

    I'm gonna make a long winded explanation of things the way they look in my microsm of the universe. In the long golf course of my career with all the sand traps, water hazards and crappy greens I have learned 2 or 3 things, I hope you guys care to read.

    With a typical student in a class you cannot know what they know. Did they grow up working on their own cars and fixing what was broke because of economic necessity? Do they have a true desire in understanding our physical world and what makes it tick? Or, are they in some HVAC class because it sounds cool and don't know a Reed and Prince screwdriver from a hammer? It really doesn't matter if you really want to know. A good teacher can see through the BS. You come to me with your stupid saggy britches and talkin' smack and looking like an idiot then I have no desire to train you the nuances of complex systems and let you into million dollar homes and businesses. You come to me with a good attitude and thirst for knowlege and I will pour my heart out. HVAC is surely the most scientifically complicated of all the building trades and it takes years, even decades, to become top gun. But you gotta start somewhere and the fundamentals are paramount. I have taught engineers HVAC theory who couldn't change a light bulb but had intimate knowlege of multi-variable calculus or could solve a 5th order polynomial without a calculator. Those are sometimes the guys designing the equipment you install. I have also taught engineers who built their own V8 racing motors. Each presents a different challenge but I always preferred the later.

    To Jim, the EPA dates have absolutely nothing to do with diagnosing a system but the history and evolution of the equipment is priceless. It's provides a deeper understanding of your latitude and longitude on the HVAC map.

    As I mentioned above, I don't really believe intuition can be taught but rather learned through being inquisitive. In the realm of HVAC either you wanna learn or you don't. If I don't know something I should it'll bug me to no end and I will turn every stone until I find out. Not every human is like that and that's okay. Some are artists or musicians or philosophers. You gotta go with your God given gifts.

    All these newbie techs need to be taught the fundamentals if they want to even have a chance at this. They need to have their minds clear and spongelike. I remember stuff from class 30 years ago that I still pull out today. The classes you take are not, and never will be, the last word. They simply mean you have the ability to learn and inquire.

    The new stuff is not rocket science by any means. Yeah Yeah Yeah, it's got control boards and communication protocols and all that jazz but you DO NOT have to be an engineer to digest it all. The control stuff is no more complicated than a modern car which when boiled down is nothing more than a bunch of parameter sensors and a glorified programmable logic controller and not really that complicated. And R22 / R410, who cares? If I can teach you one those refrigerants I can teach you a dozen others as long as you understand the basic thermo and physics.

    Having said all this I must throw in the element of time. Looking back, we all grow wiser and more rounded as the clock ticks. Sometimes it seems I have seen everything under the sun but a new sun rises every morning. Our life experiences out there on the beat make us good techs capable of knocking down 100K or more.

    For the new guys out of school I'd suggest a couple of years on the install crew on everything from residential to the biggest projects you can find. Find the project engineer, ask questions, ask more questions. Ask why? Ask somebody else why? Don't come off as a know it all smart ass because you went to Devry tech school or the University of Phoenix online. Exhibit humility and a true desire to know and you'll have those guys buying YOU lunch.

    And if you're wondering I am an engineer....
    The picture in my avatar is of the Houston Ship Channel and was taken from my backyard. I like to sit outside and slap mosquitos while watching countless supertankers, barges and cargo ships of every shape and size carry all sorts of deadly toxins to and fro. It's really beautiful at times.....just don't eat the three eyed fish....

    `. .` .>(((>

    `... `. .` .>(((>

    .` .>(((>

    LMAOSHMSFOAIDMT

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    354
    one follow up. last year i took a 3 hour seminar given by wales-darby. s supply firm, offices in nj/ny,they held it at a hotel training room, they start you off with a great dinner, than 3 hours of intense training which included 4 training stations. the trainer a guy named gerry, great knowledgable guy, had 2 helpers from the co. it was a controls class. i got more out of that 3 hour class than the 2 day class at TACO up in rhode island, that class stunk! a lot has to do with the teacher,lab set up, and obviously a slightly motivated class. another place where i took training was at buderus, school in new hamshire,londenderry,by manchester, 1st class good school if you can get there.

  8. #21
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    Jun 2010
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    2,190

    Cooked, good remarks except

    I would take issue with the kid talking smack.

    I am an OACA member (occupational advisory committee) for the only HVAC program in Philly schools, in the most challenging school according to published crime/ violence numbers. I usually go to our meetings 2 hours early so I can be in classroom with the seniors and see what is happening. I have found that the kids that "talk smack" are the brighter ones who are bored and find interesting ways of entertaining themselves. Thing is I find these kids kind of entertaining. I have had a couple of conversations that the teacher would be on the carpet for if he were to say what I have said. I think that is part of the problem, in this world of politically correct, we are not doing them any favors by being concerned about their self-esteem and not speaking WITH ( not to) them like you would a new kid on the job. How is this preparing them for the real world?

    Somehow I think you would come to the same conclusion as I have and don't think you would you would reject him because he had baggy drawers. These smart ones want to succeed and will do what it takes to fit in, once someone has shared the rules of engagement with them. I think they are hilarious, and wish I could find the time to do more instructing.

    I like thes's remarks about how even he as a seasoned guy finds the hands-on necessary to really absorb the material. We are hands-on people that's why were are doing what we are doing
    You have got to learn from other people's mistakes! Because God knows you don't live long enough to make them all yourself !!!!!!!!

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Litchfield,Il
    Posts
    565
    I totally agree with the hands on approach. You can write and write theory on the board and most including myself will be still on page one trying to get it to sink in and process.
    Now if you show me what high and low static pressure is and how to test for it and the down fall effects of it . Show me Subcooling and Superheat and what causes it to be low and high and what are common diagnosis of each. It would sink in.
    There are always the kids that just don't learn as fast so when the subject and demostration is done and the instructor askes "any questions" 9 times out of 10 the kid will be to embarassed to speak up. When the lesson is done each kid needs to go through it in teams so they may speak up with their colleages or even the Instructor should offer answers to questions after class.
    If your not getting the results you desire then change. People change from either desperation or inspiration.

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,317
    Basic theory and a solid grounding in sequence of operation are critical for becoming an accomplished troubleshooter. If you don't know how it works, you won't know exactly what's wrong when attempting to troubleshoot.

    I tell my apprentice all the time: learn how it works CORRECTLY. Then, the moment it doesn't, often the problem will jump right out and scream "Here I am!".
    • 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.

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Moore, Oklahoma, United States
    Posts
    4,186
    I actually looked into switching from TV/Appliance repair (my current profession) to doing HVAC work. The problem is I would have to start out doing installs (like everybody else). Entry level install work is a "young man's game". Wages are relatively low, not enough to support a family on. Work requires a lot of physical labor, not something your typical 40yr old can do as well as a guy 1/2 that age. This is the reason I think you don't get too many service technicians interested in the building science aspect of things. Most started out as "tin knockers" and learned the trade as they go.

    Electrically HVAC isn't any more complicated than today's HDTV's or computerized appliances. I can handle the electrical side of it. The A/C's I've repaired have all been electrical problems. I would need to learn more on the refrigerant side, I understand the theory but lack real world knowledge.

    I applied at for a HVAC contractor, the boss said my "theory test" (he gave out a standard written test to all applicants) was good. I just couldn't work for $8/hr as an installer for several years until i made it to service technician.

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    354

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by 54regcab View Post
    I actually looked into switching from TV/Appliance repair (my current profession) to doing HVAC work. The problem is I would have to start out doing installs (like everybody else). Entry level install work is a "young man's game". Wages are relatively low, not enough to support a family on. Work requires a lot of physical labor, not something your typical 40yr old can do as well as a guy 1/2 that age. This is the reason I think you don't get too many service technicians interested in the building science aspect of things. Most started out as "tin knockers" and learned the trade as they go.

    Electrically HVAC isn't any more complicated than today's HDTV's or computerized appliances. I can handle the electrical side of it. The A/C's I've repaired have all been electrical problems. I would need to learn more on the refrigerant side, I understand the theory but lack real world knowledge.

    I applied at for a HVAC contractor, the boss said my "theory test" (he gave out a standard written test to all applicants) was good. I just couldn't work for $8/hr as an installer for several years until i made it to service technician.
    that's the reason getting people into this trade and keeping them is so difficult.

  13. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Houston area
    Posts
    1,493
    Quote Originally Posted by genduct View Post
    I would take issue with the kid talking smack.

    I am an OACA member (occupational advisory committee) for the only HVAC program in Philly schools, in the most challenging school according to published crime/ violence numbers. I usually go to our meetings 2 hours early so I can be in classroom with the seniors and see what is happening. I have found that the kids that "talk smack" are the brighter ones who are bored and find interesting ways of entertaining themselves. Thing is I find these kids kind of entertaining. I have had a couple of conversations that the teacher would be on the carpet for if he were to say what I have said. I think that is part of the problem, in this world of politically correct, we are not doing them any favors by being concerned about their self-esteem and not speaking WITH ( not to) them like you would a new kid on the job. How is this preparing them for the real world?

    Somehow I think you would come to the same conclusion as I have and don't think you would you would reject him because he had baggy drawers. These smart ones want to succeed and will do what it takes to fit in, once someone has shared the rules of engagement with them. I think they are hilarious, and wish I could find the time to do more instructing.

    I like thes's remarks about how even he as a seasoned guy finds the hands-on necessary to really absorb the material. We are hands-on people that's why were are doing what we are doing
    Wow, genduct, God bless you sir.

    After some thought, I guess what I meant to say was something along the lines of mastery of the King's English and appearance. For better or for worse, right or wrong, I simply cannot understand how someone who is unkempt in grooming, dress and verbal acuity can ever make it in this type of business.

    However you have made me think even harder about the proposition of reaching out to those same kids down here, the ones who need a chance and some direction. (Dang you)

    For the record I have been volunteering for food banks and homeless men's shelters for many years. I find it fulfilling.

    Back to the HVAC schools. Don't get me wrong, I went to one in 1981 - 1983. I bought a set of tools, I still use some of them. The schools lay the foundation to those eager to learn. The good stuff has to come years later.

    And thes, I'd highly reccomend attending every factory school and seminar you can. It will make you better.

    I gotta go, I have a meeting but I'd love to continue this discussion later.
    The picture in my avatar is of the Houston Ship Channel and was taken from my backyard. I like to sit outside and slap mosquitos while watching countless supertankers, barges and cargo ships of every shape and size carry all sorts of deadly toxins to and fro. It's really beautiful at times.....just don't eat the three eyed fish....

    `. .` .>(((>

    `... `. .` .>(((>

    .` .>(((>

    LMAOSHMSFOAIDMT

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