Service Technicians pride themselves on their ability to correctly diagnose and repair mechanical systems encountered on the job. Discretion however as they say is the better part of valor, and sometimes service techs need to use discretion when they encounter a tricky diagnosis. As a consumer, have you ever had a situation whereby you can clearly see that a service person whom you have hired is having difficulty with your car/pool/refrigerator/hvac system etc.? You probably have and if so, what thoughts were likely going through your mind? Typically, not good ones. As a technician, you don’t want to start changing suspect parts until you get the system running because you don’t learn anything and it leaves a bad taste in the consumer’s mouth. So what should you do?
Call for help! Some manufacturers who market direct to contractors have technical experts locally on staff that can provide assistance. Still others have some type of in-house technical support staff available by phone. You may also find that manufacturers have FAQ sites on the website to help technicians. Still others have begun linking their products to technical literature for faster troubleshooting. You can scan product labels with your smart phone or QR code reader and link directly to the specific model’s information on the company’s online literature library. Available documents might include installation instructions, charging charts, replacement parts list, wiring diagrams and more. Having a list of these websites and phone numbers at your disposal can help you quickly reach assistance if you are having difficulty with a diagnosis or repair.
Other sources can include your supervisor or coworkers, as well as distribution houses who sell the brand of equipment you are working on. The point is, you don’t have to – indeed you can’t possibly – know it all. Even the most experienced techs have questions and it is always better to ask for help than to waste time working on a problem and not resolving it. The key to calling for help is to be organized and prepared with information such as the model and serial number, running suction and discharge pressures, amount of superheat at the evaporator outlet and compressor inlet, subcooling readings at the outlet of the condenser, ambient temperature, voltage and amperage readings etc. A well organized service ticket, either electronic or hard copy, will require this information be recorded as part of the diagnostic. By incorporating these tips you will be the hero in the end – and you will enhance the professionalism of both yourself and your company!
Courtesy of ACH & R News – Troubleshooting Difficult Systems