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  1. #1
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    Jul 2018
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    Confused Startup Technician > Service Technician

    Hey guys,

    So I got my first job in the field as a helper for a startup technician. Here are the details:
    • Company is strictly commercial only
    • We primarily do new construction startups. After the installers are done, me and the other 2 techs go and start them up.
    • 10% of our work is warranty service/maintenance calls.
    • The owners are planning to get more into the maintenance/service side of things. Not sure how successful that will be.
    • I am still in tech school but will be graduating in 2 months, I will get my EPA around the time of my graduation.


    Anyways, here are my questions:
    1. Is this a good position to be in if my end goal is Commercial Service?
    2. How long should I stick with this company before trying to find a job as a regular service technician? Or should I wait and see if the owners can drum up more service calls?
    3. Do you have any advice for someone starting out as a commercial startup technician?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    columbus, OH
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    IMO a start up helper is an ideal gig for a new tech. Look at transformer pins, static pressures, motor wiring. Amp drawls, any and all manufacture start up procedures and ect ect ect.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. Likes asanta27 liked this post
  4. #3
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    Jul 2018
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the reply Core_d.

    How long should I stay in startups before trying to transition to service?

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Bay Area California
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    Stick with it for as long as you can. I only say this because getting a job in this trade with no experience is often difficult. Once you have 3-5 years experience, then it is real easy to find work.
    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 " ??

  6. #5
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    Jul 2018
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by BBeerme View Post
    Stick with it for as long as you can. I only say this because getting a job in this trade with no experience is often difficult. Once you have 3-5 years experience, then it is real easy to find work.
    Thanks BBeerme. So stay in startups with this company for a minimum of 3 years before trying to transition to service at a different company? (assuming my current employer isn't successful at getting more service contracts)

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    columbus, OH
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    I am not aware of any company that does installs and not service. Alot of companies may prefer it this way but, you really cant have one without the other.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Tell me some more -

    True start-ups - with EVERY POSSIBLE THING checked and then written down on a start-up-report - are a very valuable learning experience.

    Show start-ups - turning on the power and then checking the ones that don't run - is a waste of your time.

    What, exactly, does "a start-up" consist of in your experience so far?

    PHM
    ----------


    Quote Originally Posted by asanta27 View Post
    Hey guys,

    So I got my first job in the field as a helper for a startup technician. Here are the details:
    • Company is strictly commercial only
    • We primarily do new construction startups. After the installers are done, me and the other 2 techs go and start them up.
    • 10% of our work is warranty service/maintenance calls.
    • The owners are planning to get more into the maintenance/service side of things. Not sure how successful that will be.
    • I am still in tech school but will be graduating in 2 months, I will get my EPA around the time of my graduation.


    Anyways, here are my questions:
    1. Is this a good position to be in if my end goal is Commercial Service?
    2. How long should I stick with this company before trying to find a job as a regular service technician? Or should I wait and see if the owners can drum up more service calls?
    3. Do you have any advice for someone starting out as a commercial startup technician?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    I used to do the opposite.

    I use to do start-up and service for companies that did install only. I find construction boring and they considered anything beyond installation as too much trouble for their abilities.

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



    Quote Originally Posted by Core_d View Post
    I am not aware of any company that does installs and not service. Alot of companies may prefer it this way but, you really cant have one without the other.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.

  10. #9
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    Jul 2018
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    Thread Starter
    During my first week, we have installed smoke detectors on a few units with annunciators, wired some thermostats, wired an economizer, inspected/fixed some swamp coolers, wired a drive, charged a couple units and did some air balancing.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    I used to do the opposite.

    I use to do start-up and service for companies that did install only. I find construction boring and they considered anything beyond installation as too much trouble for their abilities.

    PHM
    -----------
    I imagine alot of companies feel this way, service is a necessary evil.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Well, what I was trying to say, was to stick with the company for as long as you can. Just for the experience. Transition to service as soon as you can. There is a lot to learn, and the one's who continue their studies on their own time typically end up very well in this trade.

    Pretty funny, almost started a thread titled:
    I feel like a rookie today.

    You see, yesterday was Friday. And when I was a rookie, I had no money. So while my friends were out partying on Friday eve, I was cleaning and straightening out the work truck. Which is what was doing yesterday eve. There were things that I knew were on the truck, but couldn't find. So I cracked a beer and spent a couple of hours dicking around with the work truck.

    Those memories of being a rookie kept flooding back . . . LOL . . . Can't remember that happening before.

    For you, spend a half hour EVERY day on this site, and consider that your ongoing education. You'll be amazed at what you will learn. Heck, in the beginning, you probably won't even understand at least a third of the technical stuff. But the continuation of learning is what is required to be better than the average in this trade; which, by the way, isn't difficult to do!


    Quote Originally Posted by asanta27 View Post
    Thanks BBeerme. So stay in startups with this company for a minimum of 3 years before trying to transition to service at a different company? (assuming my current employer isn't successful at getting more service contracts)
    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. Likes SkullMonkey, DeHeatify liked this post
  14. #12
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    Now there's a good one to follow up on. Meaning, did you save the paperwork? If the econo doesn't work, could you troubleshoot it to determine which component was bad or not wired proper?

    Seriously. I'll bet more than half the guys in this trade cannot walk up to the wide variety of econo's and properly troubleshoot them. Below are folders I carry in the truck, notice there is one for economizers. There's a lot of them out there that don't work, and those are good repairs for the owners of them.

    Name:  20181013_110557.jpg
Views: 417
Size:  192.7 KB


    Quote Originally Posted by asanta27 View Post
    During my first week, we have installed smoke detectors on a few units with annunciators, wired some thermostats, wired an economizer, inspected/fixed some swamp coolers, wired a drive, charged a couple units and did some air balancing.
    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 " ??

  15. Likes Core_d liked this post
  16. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    WV
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    Startup Technician > Service Technician

    Quote Originally Posted by BBeerme View Post
    learning is what is required to be better than the average in this trade; which, by the way, isn't difficult to do!
    This is true! !!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  17. Likes Core_d liked this post
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