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Thread: Can someone recommend gauges?

  1. #1
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    Can someone recommend gauges?

    I知 still a helper and I知 looking for a set of smart pressure gauges that can better help me troubleshoot units I maintain. I see testo has a cool set of smart gauges I could buy. What are the best gauges that could help me troubleshoot or check units?

  2. #2
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    I really like the fieldpiece smart probes but knowledge of theory and practice will help you diagnose problems and the probes will give you the measurements you need. They can't diagnose a system

    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk

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  4. #3
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    yup, if you don't have a solid understanding of superheat and subcooling, smart gauges aren't gonna help you. all they do is present the information in one spot.

    the thing that helped me when I first started was when an instructor explained that the only thing superheat and subcooling tell you is how much refrigerant is in the evaporator and condenser.

    the higher your subcooling value, the more liquid refrigerant is in the condenser.

    the lower your superheat value, the more liquid refrigerant is in your evaporator.

    that is a very basic explanation, but if you keep that in mind, it will help you troubleshoot systems.

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  6. #4
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    Get a set of Analogs. Your starting out, there a lot of tools you can buy for the cost of digitals!

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  8. #5
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    The best set of gauges for you right now is two sets of basic analog gauge manifold sets with 3' hoses. Make sure ALL the hoses are all yellow so that you have to physically verify where each one goes every single time you connect them. Get both H & L side hoses on each manifold with ends to prevent refrigerant loss and both center hoses without that feature.

    Get a handful of paper folding P/T charts. Put one in your pocket, one with your tools, and keep the rest in the truck for after you lose the first two. Don't use a phone app and don't tell me you can't find the paper ones. If not; send me your address by PM and I will make sure you have them.

    Get am amp-clamp VOM which will also do temperature.

    With those four things, plus your hands and your brain, you can diagnosis and troubleshoot anything you are likely to encounter.

    Do all the calculations you need by hand. Do not rely on a machine - YOU have to do it yourself, manually, to imprint it all on your brain.

    Pay attention to units and systems which are running properly. Touch them, feel the lines, feel the air temps going in and out. Pay attention to how they sound, how they vibrate, everything about them. And later when units are misbehaving - you will know it.

    Pay sharp attention to what those around you do and say. Ask them to explain anything they do or say that you don't understand. And I mean: Really Understand. There is someone on this forum who says: "If you cannot explain what you are doing as a process - you don't know what you are doing." I think a General Motors engineer said it first - but it's 100% accurate. If they can't tell you how and why they are doing something - they don't know what they are doing. Be very careful of what such people tell you.

    The best tool you will ever own is your own mind. And you already have it - owned free and clear. Make it work at it's best for you by exercising it - early, long, and often - do not allow a automated machine to stunt it's growth and development.

    PHM
    ----------



    Quote Originally Posted by Rusty Capacitor View Post
    I’m still a helper and I’m looking for a set of smart pressure gauges that can better help me troubleshoot units I maintain. I see testo has a cool set of smart gauges I could buy. What are the best gauges that could help me troubleshoot or check units?
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

  9. #6
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    The old school advantage of analog gauges is the physical location of the needles.
    You can tell a lot at a glance and not even need to think about the numbers on initial connection.

    Just like a clock, looking at the position of the hands will tell you enough.
    But with a digital clock, look at the numbers and if you have to add the 20-30 timing minutes to the number......with an analog clock you have a better concept of time/motion.

    Besides you have to learn CW and CCW rotation......I am surprised that this challenge has not presented itself in today digital everything world.

    I would get a simple set for the R-22 range and another for R410A range and not interchange them from one type of unit to another.

    Also there are some hacked systems with nasty oil, gas and sludge you may not want to run thru a digital gauge.

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  11. #7
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    "Pay attention to units and systems which are running properly. Touch them, feel the lines, feel the air temps going in and out. Pay attention to how they sound, how they vibrate, everything about them. And later when units are misbehaving - you will know it."

    Sage advice -

  12. #8
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    I agree w/ the advise that's been given. Also get a digital thermometer to attach to the SL/LL to see that SH/SC.Make sure you get the one w/ the decimal point,as in 45.6*F/45.5*F.

    Also get (download/print) the Sporlan Form#10-135, titled "USING THE P/T CARD AS A SERVICE TOOL''

    It is a Good Read!

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  14. #9
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    I suggest the yellow jacket brute 2 we beat them to death running high head to test units twice a day. they hold up over a year and a basic k type will get you your temps. no battery's no concern over how much they cost etc. I also highly recommend the magnehelic guage over ALmost all digital manometers. never fails. That's just me I value cost to function and ease of use ratios.

  15. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    The best set of gauges for you right now is two sets of basic analog gauge manifold sets with 3' hoses. Make sure ALL the hoses are all yellow so that you have to physically verify where each one goes every single time you connect them. Get both H & L side hoses on each manifold with ends to prevent refrigerant loss and both center hoses without that feature.

    Get a handful of paper folding P/T charts. Put one in your pocket, one with your tools, and keep the rest in the truck for after you lose the first two. Don't use a phone app and don't tell me you can't find the paper ones. If not; send me your address by PM and I will make sure you have them.

    Get am amp-clamp VOM which will also do temperature.

    With those four things, plus your hands and your brain, you can diagnosis and troubleshoot anything you are likely to encounter.

    Do all the calculations you need by hand. Do not rely on a machine - YOU have to do it yourself, manually, to imprint it all on your brain.

    Pay attention to units and systems which are running properly. Touch them, feel the lines, feel the air temps going in and out. Pay attention to how they sound, how they vibrate, everything about them. And later when units are misbehaving - you will know it.

    Pay sharp attention to what those around you do and say. Ask them to explain anything they do or say that you don't understand. And I mean: Really Understand. There is someone on this forum who says: "If you cannot explain what you are doing as a process - you don't know what you are doing." I think a General Motors engineer said it first - but it's 100% accurate. If they can't tell you how and why they are doing something - they don't know what they are doing. Be very careful of what such people tell you.

    The best tool you will ever own is your own mind. And you already have it - owned free and clear. Make it work at it's best for you by exercising it - early, long, and often - do not allow a automated machine to stunt it's growth and development.

    PHM
    ----------
    Amen

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  17. #11
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    I知 a huge fan of the JB 4port And YJ 4 port titan manifolds . Both of these I put low loss hoses on..cooper Atkins for temp and humidity readings...All for commercial useage..
    I also like my Testo 550 quite a bit For residential. But if the batteries die out... no problem, I have my manual ones as mentioned.

    I did not get my Testo until after 5 years in the field, FYI! Some guys barely last 6 months..

    I like the 4 ports because I can vacuum down a system rather quickly using the large port..And Schraders removed using the no loss tool, no issues with it ..

  18. #12
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    What in the name of xxx are smart gauges?
    " The more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know"

  19. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by RLJN View Post
    The old school advantage of analog gauges is the physical location of the needles.
    You can tell a lot at a glance and not even need to think about the numbers on initial connection.

    Just like a clock, looking at the position of the hands will tell you enough.
    But with a digital clock, look at the numbers and if you have to add the 20-30 timing minutes to the number......with an analog clock you have a better concept of time/motion.

    Besides you have to learn CW and CCW rotation......I am surprised that this challenge has not presented itself in today digital everything world.

    I would get a simple set for the R-22 range and another for R410A range and not interchange them from one type of unit to another.

    Also there are some hacked systems with nasty oil, gas and sludge you may not want to run thru a digital gauge.
    undrdsooooood first half
    " The more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know"

  20. #14
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    Im 60years old ,I used Analog gauges and a Fluke temp probe for 30 years.Now I have digital gauges,But I still use Analog gauges on occasion.I learned to carry a PT chart and calculate SH and SC the old fashioned way.So now,Im lazy.I let the digitals do the calculating.Young guys starting out need Analog gauges to start out with.This way they understand What SH and SC are, and how it is calculated.

  21. #15
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    Digital thermometer but analog gauge. I don't get that argument. testo 449 comes with no temp clamps. Start there. Reading numbers on a screen just like the digital thermometer. Reading a needle has nothing to do with understanding what the reading is. Pressure and saturation temps on a analog gauge face or on a digital gauge face. It's the same thing. There is no rite of passage going from analog to digital one day.

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  23. #16
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    The difference is that a digital thermometer tells you one thing: the temperature. I can't tell you have many times I have been told a system has negative suction superheat by someone wielding digital gauges. <g>

    It's not the digital display thing that I'm concerned with - although there is no reason for that lad to spend a stack of money on them right now either - it's the auto-calc features that trip guys up. And the infinite confidence they seem to induce in people. <g>

    PHM
    ----------



    Quote Originally Posted by itsiceman View Post
    Digital thermometer but analog gauge. I don't get that argument. testo 449 comes with no temp clamps. Start there. Reading numbers on a screen just like the digital thermometer. Reading a needle has nothing to do with understanding what the reading is. Pressure and saturation temps on a analog gauge face or on a digital gauge face. It's the same thing. There is no rite of passage going from analog to digital one day.
    PHM
    --------
    The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of Thinking

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  25. #17
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    I fully agree you really need to understand the numbers digital or analog isn't going to make much difference on that.
    I was working on a unit with a friend (another tech) and he looked at my gauges on measure quick saw that the head pressure is lower than measure quick predicted do he said isn't it under charged? But you didn't pay any attention to that three degrees of superheat and high suction pressure.
    So essentially he looked at half of the information he would have had with only a cheap set of mechanical guages eaven though he had line temperatures, return and supply wet and dry bulb temperatures, ambient temperature in the shade entering the condenser, calculated superheat and subcooling, compression ratio, enthalpy split, temperature split.
    I think the saying is couldn't see the forest through the trees.
    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    The difference is that a digital thermometer tells you one thing: the temperature. I can't tell you have many times I have been told a system has negative suction superheat by someone wielding digital gauges. <g>

    It's not the digital display thing that I'm concerned with - although there is no reason for that lad to spend a stack of money on them right now either - it's the auto-calc features that trip guys up. And the infinite confidence they seem to induce in people. <g>

    PHM
    ----------
    Sent from the Okie state usin Tapatalk

  26. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poodle Head Mikey View Post
    The difference is that a digital thermometer tells you one thing: the temperature. I can't tell you have many times I have been told a system has negative suction superheat by someone wielding digital gauges. <g>

    It's not the digital display thing that I'm concerned with - although there is no reason for that lad to spend a stack of money on them right now either - it's the auto-calc features that trip guys up. And the infinite confidence they seem to induce in people. <g>

    PHM
    ----------
    PHM a testo 449 displays psi and saturation temps just like a analog gauge. That's it. SH or SC calculations would need optional temperature clamps.

  27. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy88 View Post
    I suggest the yellow jacket brute 2 we beat them to death running high head to test units twice a day. they hold up over a year and a basic k type will get you your temps. no battery's no concern over how much they cost etc. I also highly recommend the magnehelic guage over ALmost all digital manometers. never fails. That's just me I value cost to function and ease of use ratios.
    Magnahelic; crack plant and refinery approved.
    " The more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know"

  28. #20
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    smart gauges? what, do they have shielded wire to sense temp at unit access port? and just a display screen you have to scroll thru? are analog gauges that bad , inaccurate, that one is unable to charge or diagnose a system??? For an A/C unit? critical process chillers maybe.
    " The more I learn the more I realize how much I don't know"

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