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Can Manufacturers Specs Be a Crutch? (Podcast)

Bert and Bryan discuss the commonly repeated phrase, “refer to manufacturer's specs,” in HVAC work. They discuss when referring to the manufacturer's specs works and when it feels like a crutch.

Sometimes, you need to read the manufacturer's specs so that you can use the correct kits and components if specific parts or tools are necessary. Without knowing the specific product numbers given in the specs, you wouldn't be able to do the job properly. The manufacturer's literature can also explain equipment performance under certain conditions. In very specific applications, including VRF/VRV systems, you will want to be aware of specific procedures. Manufacturer specs also provide vital information for installations; while manufacturer literature can help with troubleshooting, the manual isn't always always as trustworthy for servicing equipment.

However, manufacturer specifications can also be outdated or incorrect. For example, many manufacturers refer to outdated evacuation methods in their literature; they use information based on poor vacuum pumps. Many manufacturers also recommend doing triple evacuation, but a deep evacuation can usually suffice without needing to do a triple evacuation. Manufacturers also aren't aware of products like Nylog that don't contaminate the system, so manufacturers advise NEVER to use thread sealants.

Overall, you must understand your equipment and use the manufacturer's specs to help you understand the equipment. If you use them as a step-by-step guide for servicing, then you may be using those manuals as a crutch. Some techs also use the specs to justify certain charges and services, which Bryan finds quite annoying.

Bert and Bryan also discuss:

  • Technician profitability
  • Advanced functions in the Ecobee thermostat manual
  • Flare leaks
  • Nitrogen usage
  • Understanding applications and misapplications
  • Customers, equipment failures, and spending money
  • Charging the customer “according to manufacturer specifications”

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

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