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  1. #1
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    Hot Side, Cold Side

    I was just wondering how common it is for technicians to do both hot and cold sides of commercial food service?
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  2. #2
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  3. #3
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    Oct 2008
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    The only reason I don't do cold side anymore is because I left the field to work in-house. Where I'm at now, not all of our crew is trained on refrigeration and don't have the EPA certification. That and because we have a completely separate shop which does HVAC.

    The truth be told though, our HOT side crew is SO much more capable at doing our job than those guys. It's sad.
    Several years ago I had to fix our own shop Reznor heater (that we called HVAC to fix) because they proved to be incapable of demonstrating basic troubleshooting skills to do so. After their bumbling with it for five weeks by ordering unnecessary parts, I fixed it in forty-five minutes and required NO new parts that they said it needed.

    Fast forward to just YESTERDAY:
    My co-worker's son is young and learning as an HVAC tech. His dad said his son has been assigned to clean ice machines. So, yesterday I had lunch with his son and asked how he's being told to clean ice machines.
    "Oh, they give me a bottle with green fluid in it to pour into the machine".

    Upon discussing this further, I realized that he didn't know what that green stuff is...except that it says "ice machine cleaner" on the label. That was it. That's all he was told to use.
    Our lunch turned into my explaining limescale, what that green fluid REALLY is...and that the NEXT step is to properly sanitize the machine.

    I know you weren't looking for my sob story, so thanks for reading anyway. IF I was still working for an actual service company, I expect that a majority of us would do both - hot AND cold.

    With you being a one man show working in a school system, I guess YOU'RE IT...RIGHT?
    ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °

    "You never know what others don't know." -

    If I can't laugh at myself...then I'll laugh at YOU! -

  4. #4
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    Oct 2011
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    I did cold side as a profession and did hot side if I was on site and I got a "While you're here, can you take a look at....?"
    Officially, Down for the count

    YOU HAVE TO GET OFF YOUR ASS TO GET ON YOUR FEET

    I know enough to know, I don't know enough
    Liberalism-Ideas so good they mandate them

  5. #5
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    Oct 2012
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    Its bound to happen it's all about temperature to a degree. I would say most start out on the cold side, and end up picking up hot side equipment on the job as you go. Just like 2sac mentioned
    Sent from the van with the a/c on.

  6. #6
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    May 2016
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    Southern California
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    Working for an equipment manufacturer of cold only equipment so zero experience on the hot side. I have to admit I'm a bit afraid of the hot side. I used to be scared of electricity but here I am with my meter every day a. Maybe one day when I get cold down and need some new challenge I'll look into it.

  7. #7
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    Jan 2016
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    We have maybe 50 total techs and I’d say 50% do both. Some new hires only do hot and they stay that way for the most part. The ones we hire that do cold always end up doing hot eventually.

    Originally, the office I work out of was the only office in our company that did any cold side. We kind of have a niche in the area and we’re known for fixing anything mechanical. When we opened the other offices we had similar intentions but it just didn’t take right away. Eventually those other offices started picking up the cold side.

    Unfortunately there isn’t a pay discrepancy between the two. If you can fix both hot and cold equipment you get paid the same as a guy that only does hotside. It’s a bunch of BS if you ask me but it is what it is.

  8. #8
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    Apr 2016
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    Missouri
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    I have been doing it for two years now, figure if it is the kitchen I can fix it. ( or give it my best shot)


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by VanMan812 View Post
    We have maybe 50 total techs and I’d say 50% do both. Some new hires only do hot and they stay that way for the most part. The ones we hire that do cold always end up doing hot eventually.

    Originally, the office I work out of was the only office in our company that did any cold side. We kind of have a niche in the area and we’re known for fixing anything mechanical. When we opened the other offices we had similar intentions but it just didn’t take right away. Eventually those other offices started picking up the cold side.

    Unfortunately there isn’t a pay discrepancy between the two. If you can fix both hot and cold equipment you get paid the same as a guy that only does hotside. It’s a bunch of BS if you ask me but it is what it is.
    That's interesting that there isn't a pay discrepancy between the two. I wonder if it's because those of us that do both sides are rare and companies don't appreciate our experience and all that we know. I know I feel like I'm worth more than the HVAC guys at my school district who get paid the same as I do and, if needed, I could do their job. But, if needed, they couldn't do mine. None of them know anything about refrigeration, much less anything about hot side equipment. It kind of chaps my a$$.
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

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  11. #10
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    Sep 2002
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    I fix anything in a restaurant , the cold , the hot , the water lines , the outlets , the lights , clogged toilets , hood fans , leaky faucets , margarita machine , frozen yogurt machine

    Yes im never home ….

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  13. #11
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    Jun 2006
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    I am also willing to repair anything I am asked to. Same list as snapper.

    However, I have found with hot side equipment if you are not factory authorized you cannot get any factory support.

    And when I tried to become authorized, I am always told they already have enough certified techs in my area.

  14. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snapperhead View Post
    I fix anything in a restaurant , the cold , the hot , the water lines , the outlets , the lights , clogged toilets , hood fans , leaky faucets , margarita machine , frozen yogurt machine

    Yes im never home ….
    I went to work for Whataburger back in 2011. They are a privately owned fast food chain based out of San Antonio with over 800 restaurants scattered across the southern US. They have close to 100 restaurants in the greater Houston area where I worked. They have their own maintenance department. Like you, we took care of everything and I mean everything in, around, on top of and under the restaurants! They're a great company to work for and the pay was outstanding, especially with all the overtime. The service trucks had almost every part on it you would need and they supplied all their own parts. Rarely did I need to acquire a part from a parts supplier. I only lasted with them for 8 months because I got tired of not being home, so I quit. The restaurants are open 24/7 and only close for Christmas. No sooner than I would lay my head on the pillow, I'd get a call and I'm not talking about a call around the corner. I'm talking sometimes two hours away! Several times I worked 24 hours straight. That's why I feel so fortunate to work for a school district now. My drive to work is 3 minutes from my house. I go in at 5:30 AM and I'm home by 2:35 PM. The best part is I still have my sanity!
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  15. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SandShark View Post
    That's interesting that there isn't a pay discrepancy between the two. I wonder if it's because those of us that do both sides are rare and companies don't appreciate our experience and all that we know. I know I feel like I'm worth more than the HVAC guys at my school district who get paid the same as I do and, if needed, I could do their job. But, if needed, they couldn't do mine. None of them know anything about refrigeration, much less anything about hot side equipment. It kind of chaps my a$$.
    This topic came up in conversation at a supply house recently. There was a commercial HVAC tech bragging that he works on all brands of RTU’s. He was going on and on about how his boss can send him on anything and that’s why he’s paid so well. I chimed in and asked how many total manufacturers equipment he works on and he could come up with 8 brands. I told him I have over 950 manufacturers in my system right now. Steam, gas, electric, refrigeration, commercial/industrial laundry, HVAC, etc etc and each brand has dozens of types of equipment and models. I work on it all and if someday my boss sends me to work on a grain combine or an elevator I will be expected to fix it. The tech says “I bet you get paid pretty well!” but sadly he and I probably make the same wage.

    And what I think that comes down to is in the general scope of things, plumbers and electricians and HVAC techs all get paid a very similar rate. And the kitchen guys just get thrown into that mixing bowl and get paid the same.



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