What does “RES” mean on a contactor or relay?
Go to your truck, pick up a contactor, and look at it closely. You may find some interesting ratings you never noticed—things like terminal ambient temperature ratings and torque specs. One reading you may overlook is the RES AMPACITY of the contactor or relay. The RES rating is the RESISTIVE LOAD AMPACITY (amperage capacity) or rating. […]
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The Unexpected Result of Series Circuits
When I teach electrical basics, we do this exercise where we sit down and connect a 10-watt bulb to a power supply and through a switch. It's a SUPER SIMPLE circuit—the kind you might have learned about in a high school science class. But then I grab another 10-watt bulb and tell them to connect […]
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The Friction Rate Chart (and What it Means)
A lot of proper duct design comes down to an understanding of available static pressure and friction rate. We've covered this topic several times on this site and the podcast, but I wanted to focus on this ACCA chart specifically (shown above). If you want a deep dive, I highly recommend listening to my podcast […]
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Low Airflow – Beyond the Obvious
Every now and then, a tech will call me and give me the same story of woe. They're working on a system and have the following readings: Low superheat Low suction pressure Low head pressure They'll reassure me that the system airflow is correct. So, what could possibly be wrong? I'll ask how they could […]
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Hit Your Spots
When I was younger, I used to play and watch golf quite often. My father enjoys golf, and he would take me with him on many of his Saturday morning rounds. As a kid, it was all about DISTANCE. All I cared about was how far I could whack the ball with a driver—ESPECIALLY when […]
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The Basic Residential Maintenance for a Heat Pump / Electric System
I need to warn you… The following list is the actual process we use at the company I own for our typical “standard” residential maintenance. I'm sure you will find some things you do differently. Take it for what it is, and I'm happy to get any feedback you may have. Read the call notes, […]
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Better Temperature Measurements
I am in the midst of testing the accuracy and repeatability of different types of airflow measurements for techs in search of the most practical methods for different applications. A commonly taught method for measuring airflow is the temperature rise method, where you use a heat source that produces a set number of BTU/h, such […]
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Technician Head Trash
It's Friday at 6 PM. The schedule is clear, as far as you can tell. Other guys have been getting cleared right and left, so you call in standby. Five minutes pass. Ten minutes pass. You check in again, and sure as &%$#, there it is! You get sent across town to another call that […]
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Switch Voltage
On an energized, intact circuit, you will read voltage across an OPEN switch when testing with a voltmeter. However, you probably won't read significant voltage across a CLOSED switch. Both sides of a closed switch are electrically identical (or at least very close). Therefore, there should be no movement of electrons between the leads of […]
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