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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Maintenance During Major Repairs
  Every contractor is different. I get that. We don't all need to do everything the same way or include the same services with repairs, but there are some “best practices” that can save you a lot of heartache before, during, and after you make a big repair. Catch it During Diagnosis Let's say you […]
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Compressor Mass Flow – Some Thought Experiments
In order to wrap my head around diagnostic issues, it helps me engage in thought experiments where I think of more extreme examples of an issue or situation or consider the ideal to find the “edges” of a concept. Once I find the extreme edges, I can begin to sort down to a more exact […]
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Why Compression Ratio Matters
In HVAC/R, we are in the business of moving BTUs of heat, and we move BTUs via pounds of refrigerant. The more pounds we move, the more BTUs we move. In a single-stage HVAC/R compressor, the compression chamber maintains the same volume no matter the compression ratio. The thing that changes is the number of […]
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Compressors and Pumps
Let's go with dictionary definitions of each one first. pump noun 1. A mechanical device using suction or pressure to raise or move liquids, compress gases, or force air into inflatable objects such as tires. compressor noun 1. an instrument or device for compressing something. Both compressors and pumps move fluids, and a fluid: Yields or […]
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Uncommon Start and Run
I walked into my first real job interview in the HVAC trade. The manager was a guy named Ernie, and he walked me out to the warehouse. Quick warning: guys named Ernie are tough. Don't mess with a dude named Ernie. He walked up to a box, snatched a pen out of his shirt pocket, […]
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Compressor Performance Analysis
This article is written by a regular contributor, experienced rack refrigeration tech, and RSES CM Jeremy Smith. Thanks, Jeremy. Also, there is a podcast out about what kills compressors HERE. A technique that you can use to diagnose compressor problems and help differentiate them from other possible issues is compressor performance analysis. Manufacturers do extensive […]
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HVAC/R Refrigerant Cycle Basics
This is a basic overview of the refrigeration circuit and how it works. It isn't a COMPLETE description by any means, but it is designed to assist a new technician or HVAC/R apprentice in understanding the fundamentals. First, let's address some areas of possible confusion:  The word “condenser” can mean two different things. Many in […]
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Ever Hear of Copper Plating Inside the Compressor?
First off, I want to thank Ulises Palacios for taking these photos. He is in the habit of cutting open the compressors he replaces to see why they failed (when possible). I think that's pretty boss. So, why would the compressor have copper plating on the inside? They certainly aren't manufactured that way. The short […]
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