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The benefits of having these logs far outweigh the additional work needed to start and maintain them. Benefits include:
Service logs allow a technician to see if there are any patterns to prior service calls. If, for example, many of the prior service calls were to repair refrigerant leaks, the cause of these repetitive leaks could be determined and repaired in order to prevent similar problems in the future.
If the underlying problem can be diagnosed, it will prevent repeat service calls, thus saving time and money for the customer.
Many times different technicians are called upon to service the same piece of equipment. Having a service log on hand lets technicians communicate with each other more easily. The technician currently on the job can readily see what was done on prior visits and avoid repeating the same steps unnecessarily.
Keeping a written record of maintenance is also important. The maintenance performed can easily be tracked and the service log will serve as a reminder to the technician to perform regular maintenance within the recommended time frames and not overlook any needed tasks or items.
With the ongoing changes regarding refrigerants in our industry, having a written record of the refrigerant used will help you stay within current guidelines and abide by regulations. On larger systems, it will also help track whether excess amounts of refrigerant have been used without finding and repairing a system leak.
The use of service logs can also help to identify the type of refrigerant used if the system has been converted over to any of the newer refrigerants. A service log does not need to be in any specific format. It can simply be an index card, paper tag, or a spiral notebook. Logs should be neatly kept in an accessible area, where they will not become damaged by oil, refrigerant, or other system debris.
The benefits of keeping and maintaining a service log cannot be overstated. The practice will improve your job performance, make your work time more efficient, and enhance the professional image you want for yourself and your company.
Marchese is owner of Arctic-Air Refrigeration, Pittsburgh, PA.
Publication date: 03/05/2001