Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 30

Thread: Hot Side, Cold Side

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    571
    Post Likes

    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    19,379
    Post Likes
    .
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    In a kitchen with my head stuck in an oven
    Posts
    1,569
    Post Likes
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    10,293
    Post Likes
    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
    Why is it that those who complain the most contribute the least?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    riverside calif
    Posts
    623
    Post Likes
    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
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    48
    Post Likes
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The triangle in the Keystone
    Posts
    1,294
    Post Likes
    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
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    10
    Post Likes
    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)


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    571
    Post Likes
    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.

  10. Likes Turtleman liked this post.
  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,459
    Post Likes
    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 ….

  12. Likes Turtleman, HVAC_Marc liked this post.
  13. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    681
    Post Likes
    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
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    571
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    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
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    The triangle in the Keystone
    Posts
    1,294
    Post Likes
    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.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    10,293
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by VanMan812 View Post
    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.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    No union for hot side guys. Last shop I worked for hot side wages topped out at 60% of journeymans wages.
    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
    Why is it that those who complain the most contribute the least?

  17. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    571
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by VanMan812 View Post
    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.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Yeah, I hear you. What's also sad about that is we have no leverage. I know I don't. As much as my boss thinks the world of me, or so she tells me, if I asked for more money or less days for the same money, she would tell me it was nice knowing you.

    A situation came up today that involves the Director of Maintenance, who I don't fall under, but his boss is my boss's boss. Because none of the maintenance staff know anything about refrigeration, I was volunteered to take care of the school district ice machines when I first started working there almost 8 years ago, along with taking care of the all the kitchen ice machines and equipment. I reluctantly accepted because I was new and I didn't want to make any waves. Keep in mind, I get absolutely no help from the maintenance staff. My department, Nutrition Services, is the red-headed stepchild of the school district.

    This is just one example of the help I don't get. I had to install 1/4" aluminum plate over the existing damaged insulated floor panels in two freezers a few years ago. I had to empty one freezer's products into the other freezer by myself. After I installed the new floor, I had to move the contents of both freezers back into the freezer that I had just finished the floor. When I finished the floor in the other freezer, I had to move back its contents. Again, that's just one example.

    Anyway, last year, I talked to my boss about giving maintenance back their ice machines. I told her your kitchens are my primary responsibility and I am only one person. Maintenance has HVAC technicians who should be doing those ice machines. She agreed, so I emailed the Director of Maintenance, with a copy to my boss, telling him that I would no longer be servicing the district's ice machines. He never responded, but I didn't care because the boss had my back.

    Fast forward to today. Late this afternoon, my boss emails me letting me know that the D of M is going to the CFO to tell her that "he needs my expertise" and that I need to service and maintain their ice machines. I about came unglued. I haven't responded. I'm thinking about going to Human Resources if my boss doesn't step up to the plate and take my side. I'll have to think about it, though. Needless to say, I'm not a happy camper right now.

    The life of a commercial kitchen equipment technician who does both hot side and cold side. Ain't it great!
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

  18. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    19,379
    Post Likes
    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 ….
    X2 I charge the same rate if they want me to empty the trash.

  19. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Chicagoland Area
    Posts
    10,293
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by VTP99 View Post
    X2 I charge the same rate if they want me to empty the trash.
    I was working on an ice machine at a TGIFridays one day and one of the cooks was washing dishes right behind me. He says to me. "You should be washing dishes like I do" I told him, "You want to pay me $40 and hour to wash dishes? I'll wash dishes"

    I didn't mean that to be derogatory, but I'm sure that's how it came out. The reality is, I have a price for everything I do. I will work for free and I will work for money. It all depends on the customer.
    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
    Why is it that those who complain the most contribute the least?

  20. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sea to Sky
    Posts
    4,062
    Post Likes
    Quote Originally Posted by SandShark View Post
    Yeah, I hear you. What's also sad about that is we have no leverage. I know I don't. As much as my boss thinks the world of me, or so she tells me, if I asked for more money or less days for the same money, she would tell me it was nice knowing you.

    A situation came up today that involves the Director of Maintenance, who I don't fall under, but his boss is my boss's boss. Because none of the maintenance staff know anything about refrigeration, I was volunteered to take care of the school district ice machines when I first started working there almost 8 years ago, along with taking care of the all the kitchen ice machines and equipment. I reluctantly accepted because I was new and I didn't want to make any waves. Keep in mind, I get absolutely no help from the maintenance staff. My department, Nutrition Services, is the red-headed stepchild of the school district.

    This is just one example of the help I don't get. I had to install 1/4" aluminum plate over the existing damaged insulated floor panels in two freezers a few years ago. I had to empty one freezer's products into the other freezer by myself. After I installed the new floor, I had to move the contents of both freezers back into the freezer that I had just finished the floor. When I finished the floor in the other freezer, I had to move back its contents. Again, that's just one example.

    Anyway, last year, I talked to my boss about giving maintenance back their ice machines. I told her your kitchens are my primary responsibility and I am only one person. Maintenance has HVAC technicians who should be doing those ice machines. She agreed, so I emailed the Director of Maintenance, with a copy to my boss, telling him that I would no longer be servicing the district's ice machines. He never responded, but I didn't care because the boss had my back.

    Fast forward to today. Late this afternoon, my boss emails me letting me know that the D of M is going to the CFO to tell her that "he needs my expertise" and that I need to service and maintain their ice machines. I about came unglued. I haven't responded. I'm thinking about going to Human Resources if my boss doesn't step up to the plate and take my side. I'll have to think about it, though. Needless to say, I'm not a happy camper right now.

    The life of a commercial kitchen equipment technician who does both hot side and cold side. Ain't it great!
    You should figure out how many hours per year labour you spend on their machines and multiply that by your total wage package. Then add in cost of all materials and supplies for maintenance and mark up that up by 25 percent. Then take that total number and multiply x 1.5 for negotiation room.

    Present that as a service contract with a dollar amount charged to the other department's budget for you to continue to service their machines. Put on a disclaimer that all additional repairs and capital costs are still are chargeable to the other department's budget.

    Since it sounds like you can knock those out anyway without impacting your hours too much, tell your boss to present this option and that you want an equivalent hourly wage increase if it is accepted.

    It will go one of two ways.....the other department head will realize his free gravy train is over since I doubt his budget is getting dinged for your work and he will fold like a cheap tent and get his guys to do the work, or you will get a handsome raise for doing what you are already doing.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  21. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Sea to Sky
    Posts
    4,062
    Post Likes
    Here, I fixed that for you.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2sac View Post

    I didn't mean that to be derogatory, but I'm sure that's how it came out. The reality is, I have a price for everything I do. I will work for free and I will work for money. It all depends on how hot is the female customer.


    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk

  22. Likes 2sac liked this post.
  23. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    SE Texas
    Posts
    571
    Post Likes
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by BALloyd View Post
    You should figure out how many hours per year labour you spend on their machines and multiply that by your total wage package. Then add in cost of all materials and supplies for maintenance and mark up that up by 25 percent. Then take that total number and multiply x 1.5 for negotiation room.

    Present that as a service contract with a dollar amount charged to the other department's budget for you to continue to service their machines. Put on a disclaimer that all additional repairs and capital costs are still are chargeable to the other department's budget.

    Since it sounds like you can knock those out anyway without impacting your hours too much, tell your boss to present this option and that you want an equivalent hourly wage increase if it is accepted.

    It will go one of two ways.....the other department head will realize his free gravy train is over since I doubt his budget is getting dinged for your work and he will fold like a cheap tent and get his guys to do the work, or you will get a handsome raise for doing what you are already doing.

    Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
    I like your thinking. Appreciate the feedback.
    With your chrome heart shining in the sun, long may you run.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •