Market Refrigeration Tool Bag Overview
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Perhaps the most diverse tool group is the wrenches. In market refrigeration, the Kalos techs use service wrenches, crescent wrenches, Allen wrenches, and ratchet wrenches. Service wrenches are critical for working on service valves, which are quite common in grocery refrigeration. Crescent wrenches are best for tightening objects; Thomas keeps two on him so that he can use one as a backup. Allen wrenches work well for some service valves, hand blades, electrical components, and valve orifices. Adjustable wrenches are excellent for adapting to various TXV sizes.
It’s best to have adjustable wrenches that can adapt to a wide variety of valves, as you will be working with lots of those in market refrigeration. Brad keeps 9/16” and 5/8” ratchet wrenches, which will work for almost all compressor head bolts and TXV screens, respectively.
When it comes to screwdrivers, Brad recommends keeping 8-in-1 or 10-in-1 combo pack screwdrivers with varied head sizes. The most common sizes you’ll probably need to use are 1/4” and 5/16”. Nut drivers, another important tool, also come in combo packs that contain various sizes. Those nut drivers go on an impact drill, which works for the relatively limited use of drills in grocery refrigeration. Brad also keeps 1/2” and 9/16” sockets in his toolbag; Eric keeps those two socket sizes, a 7/16” socket, and an 11/32” socket. Eric also keeps locking extensions for his drill.
Market refrigeration has quite a few electronic components, so our techs always carry a durable multimeter on them. Wiring is a major component of grocery refrigeration, so our techs also keep wire strippers, wire crimpers, and Channellock pliers.
We also keep cool technology in our bags, including thermal cameras. Those cameras can help us locate issues with the check valve and electrical components. Eric keeps a diagnostic toolkit in his bag, including the Fieldpiece Joblink set as seen HERE. He also uses the Testo 605i as seen HERE.
Our cell phones also perform several vital functions for a tech, such as calling tech support and looking up manuals. Even though we want to avoid using cell phones for purposes that might distract us, they are the key to critical information about our work.
On top of tools, we also keep a few miscellaneous items in our bags, such as extra small parts or fasteners. These may include Schrader cores, screws, crimp connectors, cable ties, and caps. We also keep tape, jumpers, type K thermocouples, flashlights, and tape measures in our bags. Eric keeps valve stems in his bag, too, which are uncommonly used but VERY useful when they are needed.
All of those tools help our techs get through a vast majority of their diagnoses and small repairs.
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