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Troubleshooting and Commissioning Q&A

In this podcast episode, Kaleb, Joe, Eric, and Bryan answer some troubleshooting and commissioning questions from Facebook.

Whether we're talking about troubleshooting, commissioning, or any other HVAC/R task, the best training is on-the-job training. Meetings, educational videos, and quizzes also help to a lesser extent, but bypassing training altogether is a mistake. Senior techs can also become better diagnosticians when they teach others. “The Diagnostic Game” is an especially useful tool to help teach newbies how to troubleshoot a system.

However, training is something that is ultimately what you make of it. When you consider external training, you must consider the value of that training. (For example, NOVAR training would be useless for a residential tech but critical for a grocery refrigeration tech.) You also want to make sure your training makes you a valuable job candidate and that you stay motivated throughout training.

When it comes to diagnosis, you can't truly diagnose the equipment until you know how it operates under normal conditions. Until you become familiar with normal equipment operation, you're essentially relying on trial-and-error. Getting the answer correct is only part of the equation; you also need to know why the answer is what it is when troubleshooting.

Kaleb, Joe, Eric, and Bryan also discuss:

  • Leaving subcooling just shy of the target value
  • Balancing the charge during a hot pull down
  • How much can we expect techs to do training on their own time?
  • Just-in-time education
  • The relationship between training and pay raises
  • “Understand before you do”
  • Replacing parts on a unit with a failed compressor
  • Megohmmeters and multimeters
  • The Kalos residential commissioning process
  • Troubleshooting no-cool calls
  • Inspecting customers' homes
  • Communicating with customers
  • Money-losers for residential companies
  • Classroom training vs. field experience
  • Fluid dynamics in ductwork

Learn more about Refrigeration Technologies HERE.

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One response to “Troubleshooting and Commissioning Q&A”

  1. Great stuff guys but I disagree with a comment about Goodman systems having pistons in them that are 14 SEER. That is not exactly accurate. Many northern states still have a minimum 13 SEER requirement. Therefore, Goodman seeks there ARUF air handlers matched with a GSZseries heat pump or a GSX AC straight cool. These systems rated 13 or 14 SEER will show a model number that says it is a 14 SEER. However, Goodman will also back me up that the only way to ha e a true 14 SEER system you must use a TXV or EEV. All 16 SEER and higher systems come with a factory installed TXV as well as 14 SEER systems 4 or 5 ton. 3.5 and below come with a piston to accommodate 13 SEER requirements but it’s up to the contractor to install the TXV in the field. When you apply for rebates through the electrical company for a 14 SEER you may be asked to show that the unit is equipped with a TXV. Anyway, just food for thought and I have rambled enough. Thanks.

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