While some might think it a bit crass to say so, once an HVACR technician completes a repair in order to get  a piece of equipment back on line, the end result of that process is getting paid. Yes, getting paid is the last element of the service call process, so we should just accept it. It’s just the way things work. When somebody goes to a doctor for a health care issue, the doctor, in the end, gets paid. The same thing happens when we go to a restaurant for dinner. Once we finish eating, the restaurant gets paid. And, so it goes with the grocery store, phone company, etc…..

 Am I saying that the only reason somebody does any type of work or provides any type of service is that their only interest is making money? No, I’m not. I’m a firm believer in the concept that making money is really just a by-product of accomplishing a chosen mission within a chosen profession, whether it’s having groceries on hand for a customer to purchase, providing them with a meal, phone service, providing health care, or repairing HVACR equipment. We all do what we do because it provides us with the satisfaction of doing something for somebody else; something we do well…something that the person we’re doing it for either cannot, or chooses not to, do for themselves.

But, it still all comes down to getting paid….as long as you’re doing the right thing and providing value in exchange for the money you’re being paid. And, to provide value as an HVACR technician, getting to that final result requires three steps:

Step One: Know the fundamental things you need to know, such as the electrical, refrigeration, and air flow processes related to the proper operation of an HVACR system. What happens to the refrigerant as far as the change of state during the heat transfer process? How do the components of a refrigeration system work together to accomplish that change of state and maintain the necessary pressure differential in order for the system to work? How does current flow in an electrical circuit? What is the function of a switch and load? Why does a comfort cooling system require 400 CFM per ton in order to operate properly?

Step Two: Apply the fundamental things you know to the troubleshooting process when working on any particular type of equipment. If you know how to read a schematic diagram, you can apply that skill to accomplsh the general process of tracking down the source of the problem and isolating the failed component because you have an overall understanding of the sequence of operation of the equipment. If you understand what your refrigeration system operating pressures should be in the event that equipment is operating normally, you’ll recognize a problem when you see it. If you understand that a refrigeration system in any equipment can only operate properly when the air flow through both the indoor and outdoor coil is correct, you’ll understand the basic concept of balance, and you’ll recognize what effect an imbalance between the refrigeration and air flow systems on the operation of equipment.

Step Three: Know what to do when your general understanding of the fundamentals isn’t enough. If you’re trying to determine whether or not a printed circuit board is the reason behnd the failure of equipment to operate, know how to obtain specific troubleshooting information from the manufacturer, and know how to interpret that information so you can use it to effectively troubleshoot and replace the right component…..and not replace the wrong one. If you are evaluating the operation of a given refrigeration system, obtain the manufacturer’s charging charts, and know how to use them in order to tell whether or not the system is opertaing properly.

 And, once you’ve successfully completed the above steps to accomplish your chosen mission of reparing HVACR equipment, be prepared to accept the by-product of your effectively and professionally accomplishing your mission, and get paid.

Learn from yesterday….Live for today……Look forward to tomorrow.

Jim

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