#electrical

Tech Tips:

Understanding 240-Volt Circuits
It can be useful to think of a multimeter as a “voltage drop” tool. Bryan covers the concept here in an excellent class that I highly recommend. This concept was a big help to me as I began to truly learn how to use a multimeter.  A meter reads the voltage differential between two points. […]
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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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Understanding Relays With the 90-340
Relays can be used for many different control applications, including controlling fans, blowers, other relays, or contactors, valves, dampers, pumps, and much more. A 90-340 is a very common, versatile relay that many techs have on their truck. So, we will use it as an example. A relay is just a remotely controlled switch that […]
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What is a GFI?
First off, the correct acronym for a GFI (ground fault interrupter) is “GFCI” (ground fault circuit interrupter). The purpose is to act as a safety device to protect from electrical shock. GFCIs are important components of electrical safety. GFCIs can be built into outlets, circuit breakers, and even extension cords. We generally use them for […]
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What are Dry and Wet Contacts?
I was talking about dry contacts with one of my techs, and he looked at me like I had three heads—and one of them was on fire. So, I figured it would be good to cover the difference between wet and dry contacts in a tech tip. Basically, “dry” contacts are switches with no shared […]
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Motor Speed – The Basics
How does a typical single phase motor know how fast to run? Typical induction motors are dependent of the electrical cycle rate of the entering power (measured in hertz) for their speed. Our power in the US makes one complete rotation from positive electrical peak to positive peak 60 times per second or 60hz (50hz […]
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Ohms/Continuity Basics
Some quick basics – An ohmmeter is used to measure the resistance to electrical flow between two points. The ohmmeter is most commonly used to check continuity. Continuity is not a “measurement” as much as it is a yes/no statement. To say there is continuity is to say that there is a good electrical path […]
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What Makes an Autotransformer Different?
The definition of a transformer is a device that changes the voltages in an alternating current circuit. You may have heard of an autotransformer or a buck-boost transformer, and these terms are usually used for the same type of device; they just highlight different aspects. A transformer does not need to be a buck-boost to […]
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Lockout/Tagout Basics
DISCLAIMER: HVAC School is NOT an official OSHA safety training resource! Although we provide safety tips in good faith, our website is not a substitute for safety training from an authorized OSHA training source. Locking out and tagging equipment is one of the most basic safety procedures in general industry and maintenance work, especially in […]
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Videos:

Don’t Overfill Refrigerant Recovery Cylinders The Easy Way
In this video we review the HVAC School app tank fill calculator and how to use it to prevent the overfilling of refrigerant recovery cylinders.
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Something You May Want to Consider on Every Call
There are a few important things that I suggest checking on every service call to reduce callbacks and increase customer satisfaction. One of them that often gets missed is preventing wire rub outs. One of my area managers and experienced tech Jesse Claerbout shot a video showing the simple step he takes to prevent major […]
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Motor Tap Battle
In this video we cover Basic Motor Wiring Run, Common and Start legs Multi Speed motors and whether the speed taps are common, run or start The location of a thermal overload in a multi speed blower motor If you have an iPhone, subscribe to the podcast HERE, and if you have an Android phone, […]
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Podcasts:

History of AWG – Short #186
 In this short podcast, Bryan explains the history of AWG, or American wire gauge, which is the sizing system we use for conductors in the United States. Wires weren't standardized before the 18th century (1700s). As fencing, telegraph, and electrical wires started coming out, there was a need for a standardized system. In England, […]
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Analog vs. Digital Sine – Short #179
 In this short podcast, Bryan breaks down the differences between analog and digital sine waves. Analog readings deal with an unlimited number of values; they are very precise and can have any number of decimals. As a result, the alternating current (AC) analog sine readings have very smooth curves when we read them on […]
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Wiring Refrigerated Cases w/ Nathan & Phil
 Phil Barr and Nathan Orr join the podcast to talk about wiring refrigerated cases in commercial spaces, including convenience stores and supermarkets. Cases may be medium-temp (or high-temp, in some cases) or low-temp. Medium-temp cases can typically defrost on their own during the off cycle, and low-temp cases may have electric or hot-gas defrost […]
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Grounding and Bonding Myths Podcast
In this podcast episode, Bryan talks about grounding and some common misunderstandings related to ground, neutral, ground rods, and lightning. The common phrase that “current goes to ground” is a myth. The transformer (or the power source) that feeds a building creates a potential difference in charges (voltage); current is the motion of electrons between […]
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High Voltage A/C Electrical Class
This podcast is a high voltage A/C electrical class that Bryan gave to some of the Kalos apprentices. The high voltage journey begins with basic electrical theory. Basically, a difference in charge is needed for electrons to move and generate power. Motors, which are inductive loads, are the greatest users of power that we will […]
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