Ice Breaker: Just Read the Material!

January 14, 2008
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Many of the systems and replacement components used in our industry will come with some type of literature supplied by the manufacturer. This literature will usually contain useful information for a technician and it should not be tossed aside.

A technician should always read this information, especially if he is not completely confident in the operation or installation of the component. Even technicians who are quite competent in the application of the system and/or component should read this literature. Manufacturers occasionally update their systems and components, and this literature will include revised information that will be useful for even the most experienced technician. This may seem like a very basic concept, but if you surveyed most technicians in our field, you will find that they simply do not read this literature.

Reading the product information can help a technician in many ways. It can help prevent costly mistakes while installing systems and/or replacing components. The instructions included in the literature will educate a technician in the proper method of installing the system/component. It is much better to install these items correctly the first time rather than discovering after the fact that it was done wrong. An incorrectly installed component could easily lead to other system problems. The technician may not only need to reinstall the component, but also replace any damaged components caused by the incorrect installation.

For example, a technician is replacing a capillary tube on a reach-in cooler. The original capillary tube is not available so a replacement capillary must be used. Many replacement capillary tubes will not have the same inside diameter as the original, so the replacement capillary tube will need to be cut to length in order to achieve the correct capacity.

A technician will need to read the material in order to determine the correct capillary tube length. Not reading the material and installing the wrong length of capillary tube will surely lead to some type of system problem. The technician will then need to remove the replacement capillary tube and re-install a correctly sized capillary tube. This will cause the technician to waste time and material to correct the problem.

The product literature is also a great reference for future maintenance or repairs. Many times the manufacturer will include useful maintenance guidelines that can help a technician in developing a good maintenance program to keep the system operating with minimal downtime and peak operating efficiencies. This literature may also include troubleshooting tips or charts to assist a technician in future repairs. This will allow him to more easily troubleshoot problems with the system and/or component.

Technicians should always save the product literature - a great place is in some type of binder or folder. Literature on products that are serviced frequently by a technician should be kept in the service vehicle. Other product information that is not used so often can be kept back at the shop for reference when needed. Start collecting your product literature today. It can save you time and frustration on service calls in the future.

Take the time needed to read the material. This is a must for any technician who wants to save both time and material on any installation or service call.

Publication Date: 01/14/2008

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