Service & Maintenance

Troubleshooting Power Problems on HVAC Equipment

A variable frequency drive (VFD) fails to vary the discharge-air fan speed. A motor overheats and fails prematurely. While each troubleshooting problem in an HVAC system presents its own unique set of circumstances, HVAC professionals may recognize such problems as possible power quality issues.
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Btu Buddy 98: Compressor With Internal Leak

Bob has received a call from the dispatcher about a system that is not cooling. The job is a small building with a 5-ton cooling unit. Bob went to the outdoor unit. It was running and all appeared normal. He went to the truck to get his gauges, and when he got back, he noticed that the compressor didn’t seem to be running.
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Troubleshooting Challenge: A Tavern Owner's Request for a Second Opinion

This month’s troubleshooting situation involves an under-counter refrigeration unit in a commercial application. The first technician explained to the customer that the compressor needed to be replaced. After that technician left, the customer called the office to request a second opinion.
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Btu Buddy 97: Defective Compressor or Four-Way Valve Problem?

Bob has been sent on a service call where the customer is complaining about her power bill. She thinks that the heat pump may be the problem. Her power bill is much higher than last year. She explained this to Bob and he started by asking a question, “Does the auxiliary heat light come on very often on your thermostat?”
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Air Conditioning Coil Cleaning

Air conditioning coil cleaning is an important air conditioning maintenance procedure that sometimes takes some patience, and usually takes a lot of water. First, you have to make some common sense evaluations.
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Btu Buddy 96: Motor and Circuit Protection

Bob and Btu Buddy were on a service call yesterday where the compressor motor was running overloaded due to internal load; the bearings were dragging or worn. Btu Buddy told Bob, “Motor overload protection and circuit protection are subjects that need to be discussed later.” They’ve gotten together today for that discussion.
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Troubleshooting Challenge: A Rooftop Unit That Won't Shut Down

In this month’s troubleshooting situation, our customer has called to say that the older package unit that heats and cools his office is managing to warm up the area, but then seems to cool down too much before providing heat again. When you arrive, the first thing you note is that the indoor blower motor is operating, and you check the fan switch setting on the thermostat.
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Btu Buddy 95: Compressor Motor Overload

Bob got a call from the dispatcher to go to an office building that has a 3-ton heat pump compressor that has been shutting off after startup. The fan would continue to run. The building maintenance man said that he had observed the shutting down of the compressor several times.
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HVAC and Plumbing Tips for Building Maintenance

Here are some tips for HVAC and plumbing systems maintenance in commercial buildings that will help mechanical contractors and their customers save time and money.
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Btu Buddy 94: A Heat Pump That's Not Getting Up to Temperature

Bob has gone on a service call where the customer is complaining that her house is not getting up to temperature. The house was heated with a heat pump with three stages of auxiliary strip heat. Bob removed the panel to the strip heat and found one of the units was not pulling current.
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NEWSMakers: Jason Vogelbaugh

Jason Vogelbaugh of Alpha Controls drops in to the NEWSMakers podcast to discuss his role with the company, the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance, and current energy-efficiency projects being worked on. Posted on Sept. 26.

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