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  1. #53
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    Sep 2002
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    One of my earliest memories is of sitting on the kitchen floor in my parents kitchen when I was maybe 3 years old. I had noted that the back of the refrigerator was hot - but the inside was cold.

    That seemed very very mysterious to my 3 year old brain and so I asked why / how that apparent oddity was possible.

    The non-answer was apparently not acceptable to me so I set out to figure it out on my own. And, to a large extent, for all these decades, I have never yet given up on the quest to know all about how to answer that basic question.

    PHM
    -------------



    Quote Originally Posted by asanta27 View Post
    1. Why did you get into HVAC?
    2. How old were you when you started and how did you start?
    3. How long have you been in the field and what do you do now?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  2. #54
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    In a machine room
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    Ha! I remember wondering why there was hot air coming out from under the fridge and asking about it! Don't remember my age, but my mom says that as soon as I got some toy tools I was taking things apart that she didn't know was possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    One of my earliest memories is of sitting on the kitchen floor in my parents kitchen when I was maybe 3 years old. I had noted that the back of the refrigerator was hot - but the inside was cold.

    That seemed very very mysterious to my 3 year old brain and so I asked why / how that apparent oddity was possible.

    The non-answer was apparently not acceptable to me so I set out to figure it out on my own. And, to a large extent, for all these decades, I have never yet given up on the quest to know all about how to answer that basic question.

    PHM
    -------------
    Worry is a really gross misuse of one's imagination. -- PHM

  3. #55
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill161 View Post
    I got into this industry because of the most important person in my life. My father. That was 45 years ago when he handed me a compressor and said wanna make $150? He showed me the fine points about evacuation,charging,welding and customer relations. I was 12 when I started using the tools. I had been his little helper for years. Dad was an oiler in the pulp mill and it was hard work hauling 5 gallon pails up flights of stairs. He did oil burners as a side business and got noticed by the mill manager who asked him to try for the air conditioning position. He was convinced to do it. Dad became foreman of the HVAC crew till he retired at 57. Kept working after retirement with his own business till he was 89 and health started failing. Had a 75 year old helper to do the bull work and he did the finesse.
    Dad always said,"If you love this job and you get paid well it's the best job in the world". He did it for 60 years. I still love my job after 45 years at age 57 and will keep going as long as the body holds up. BTW my screen name is an homage to my dad.Bill and his employee # was 161
    My father helped my nephew get started in the trade and get his ticket and own business. 3rd generation HVACR mechanic.
    If you were a real tech, you'd solder a relay on that board and call it good to go.

    I do a triple evac with nitro to remove non condensables.

    I use 56% silver on everything except steel.

    Did you really need the " If you were a real tech " ??

  4. #56
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    772
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    I was working at a place and just had my furnace looked at. I made a comment, I wish just once a furnace guy would actually know what he was doing... instead of sitting there (the third guy) and saying I don't know what's wrong with it. Some Smart Alec was reading the paper and said, "why don't you go to School and fix it yourself?" I said if I could I would,,,,, and he says the college up the road has a night class starting next week.... and sure enough I was in it. That was 20 years ago. Still doin it. Still asking myself why on some jobs..... But basically I like figuring things out. And it's a different job every day. I'm still doing it, and my knees are asking why!!!

  5. #57
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Location
    Naramata, BC
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    3
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    1) Did my best to get a good job in my hometown without college. Worked for the city and kept getting laid off. Worked as a garbage man and kept scraping fences in tight alleys. Decided to get a trade, and they offered the HVACR at the local college. Had a family friend in the trade and knew the money was good, and you are seldom working at the same site for too long. Seemed good to me.

    2) Started college at 27 years old. Had a long grind getting work experience early on. Finished school last year at 33 years old.

    3) I have been in the trade for 7 years as of this month. The main thing I have learned is that I thought I knew a lot more when I left my 6 month foundation program than I actually knew in experience. Reading about things on paper is very different than being in the field and knowing how to apply that knowledge.

  6. #58
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    278
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    1. I went into college right out of high school and hated it. My plan was to work in IT but there was way too much competition for me.
    2. I was 18 and a friend of mine got me job working for her father's company doing residential new construction installs.
    3. It's been 20 years and I am currently working as an assistant chief engineer for a large private university in NY

  7. #59
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    8,092
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    A builder I use to cut grass for at his apartments during my high school days introduced me to a service manager of a refrigeration/AC company who was working on his office building. I was mechanically inclined, 17 years of age so the service manager offered me a job as an apprentice at about 75 cents an hour or so. That was in 1962. A service call was $8.50.

    He also required me to go to Columbia Technical Institute for their 2 year HVAC/R course, which I did. Worked in the field for 2 years then got hired on at Johnson Service Company as an application engineer which set my future in HVAC and controls. Vietnam came along, ended up at a base that had tons of pneumatic controls & only me to work on them. Got discharged, opened my own business then ended up working for Honeywell selling, designing control systems of all sorts. Did a lot of work at places such as the White House, CIA, embassies, labs, hospitals & some secret places. It was great.

    Fifty seven years later I'm still at it cept I specialize in trouble shooting - for the main part - to customers who have estates that have every sort of equipment possible. I still love it & mainly look forward to ever day...except for all the paperwork & rules, regulations that are being put in place to run small guys out of business. There is no other business like this business.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  8. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Dayton Oh
    Posts
    1,759
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    I worked for an apartment management company, and one morning my boss said, "we spend to much money on HVAC contractors, so your going to go to school to learn it and save the company money." My first thought was I dont give a rats butt about hvac. At the time i was doing side work building room additions and kitchens etc etc and loved it. I was like sure ill go if your paying but dont expect me to pick this up and be some hero to this company. 9 months later i really liked hvac but wasnt in love with it because i wasnt good at it. about 4 years go by with me in the field and i was starting to really enjoy the challenge and the learning that came with the field. While at the apartment company, I start my own business, build it and build it and build it all on the side (with the consent of the company. actually the company peps were my first customers) unitl it was time for me to leave.

    started about 20-21, now 32.

    Money, I make enough while not making enough.

  9. #61
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    588
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaT View Post
    A builder I use to cut grass for at his apartments during my high school days introduced me to a service manager of a refrigeration/AC company who was working on his office building. I was mechanically inclined, 17 years of age so the service manager offered me a job as an apprentice at about 75 cents an hour or so. That was in 1962. A service call was $8.50.

    He also required me to go to Columbia Technical Institute for their 2 year HVAC/R course, which I did. Worked in the field for 2 years then got hired on at Johnson Service Company as an application engineer which set my future in HVAC and controls. Vietnam came along, ended up at a base that had tons of pneumatic controls & only me to work on them. Got discharged, opened my own business then ended up working for Honeywell selling, designing control systems of all sorts. Did a lot of work at places such as the White House, CIA, embassies, labs, hospitals & some secret places. It was great.

    Fifty seven years later I'm still at it cept I specialize in trouble shooting - for the main part - to customers who have estates that have every sort of equipment possible. I still love it & mainly look forward to ever day...except for all the paperwork & rules, regulations that are being put in place to run small guys out of business. There is no other business like this business.
    Good Stuff D-T. Do you remember the Honeywell 2000 Building Management System of the 70s? Did you install, and or Work it.?

  10. #62
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by lzenglish View Post
    Good Stuff D-T. Do you remember the Honeywell 2000 Building Management System of the 70s? Did you install, and or Work it.?
    The Delta 2000 was actually the first of a series of Honeywell's entrance into the building automation systems & was actually an IBM 3031, I think, mainframe computer. I designed & sold the first leased line automation system (The B.O.S.S) for Honeywell in the DC area which operated off of an amazing 600 Baud. So it was increased to 1200 Baud but required dedicated phone lines. The system was marketed for about two years then Honeywell invented the Delta 1000 which made the 2000 obsolete very quickly. The Delta 1000, which is basically still made, was for the commercial building market & pretty much collapsed my division of Honeywell since it was pretty much advertised as a "black box" approach to building EMS & automation. So the division I worked for - The Commercial Building Controls Group - got closed down with many of my friends laid off. I was already gone as I could read the writing on the wall plus I was not a company man. They did promote me to the field service manager for the DC area but primarily all I did was deal with labor issues between the union steam fitters, many my friends, and the non union electronic technicians that were hired to take care of all the electronics now on the market.

    Honeywell had to go in that black box direction to compete with IBM as IBM did offer a "Magic Black Box" answer to automation control. It was a box that primarily did nothing but duty cycle equipment & pretty much failed in ever way except for marketing.

    Interesting years those were.
    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers it can bribe the public with the public's own money.
    - Alexis de Toqueville, 1835

  11. #63
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Cincinnati, Oh
    Posts
    7,068
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    I grew up super poor. We didn't have money to pay to fix anything. Fixing our tractor, electrical, cars, welding, plumbing, roofing, all that garbage. Me and grandpa.

    Was "homeschooled", had 3 jobs, all part time.
    Ended up telling my dad I wanted to go to school. Said fine, but you gotta keep 2 jobs still. I think I was 15/16

    End of my first year in school, softmore year, my mom, being the old stereotypical jewish mother, tells me if I don't find I don't go to trade school, I'll end up being a completely worthless the rest of my life, and recommended HVAC school.

    Ended up going to a vocational school for HVAC.
    Junior year, ended up quiting my other 2 jobs, working half days, going to school, working 12 hour days on the weekend roughing houses.

    Installed till I was about 26.
    Then moved to service, but still helped install if they were in a bind.

    Turned 32 in august, so 16 years.
    "Better tell the sandman to stay away, because we're gonna be workin on this one all night."

    "Dude, you need more than 2 wires to a condenser to run a 2 stage heatpump."

    "Just get it done son."

    Dad adjusted

  12. #64
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
    Posts
    23,620
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    Quote Originally Posted by hvacvegas View Post
    I grew up super poor. We didn't have money to pay to fix anything. Fixing our tractor, electrical, cars, welding, plumbing, roofing, all that garbage. Me and grandpa.

    Was "homeschooled", had 3 jobs, all part time.
    Ended up telling my dad I wanted to go to school. Said fine, but you gotta keep 2 jobs still. I think I was 15/16

    End of my first year in school, softmore year, my mom, being the old stereotypical jewish mother, tells me if I don't find I don't go to trade school, I'll end up being a completely worthless the rest of my life, and recommended HVAC school.

    Ended up going to a vocational school for HVAC.
    Junior year, ended up quiting my other 2 jobs, working half days, going to school, working 12 hour days on the weekend roughing houses.

    Installed till I was about 26.
    Then moved to service, but still helped install if they were in a bind.

    Turned 32 in august, so 16 years.
    If you were a real tech, you'd solder a relay on that board and call it good to go.

    I do a triple evac with nitro to remove non condensables.

    I use 56% silver on everything except steel.

    Did you really need the " If you were a real tech " ??

  13. #65
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Bay Area California
    Posts
    23,620
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    Not sure what the definition of super poor is, but the food I got as a child was pretty bad. Family even went on welfare for a few years to survive.

    But we struggled and survived. And we are the better for it.

    Not like the painty waist kids of today.

    Or the families who choose not to work at all.
    If you were a real tech, you'd solder a relay on that board and call it good to go.

    I do a triple evac with nitro to remove non condensables.

    I use 56% silver on everything except steel.

    Did you really need the " If you were a real tech " ??

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