Service & Maintenance

Troubleshooting Challenge: A Tavern Owner's Request for a Second Opinion

By Jim Johnson
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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?

By Bill Johnson
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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

By Mike Taitano
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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

By Bill Johnson
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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

By Jim Johnson
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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

By Bill Johnson
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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

By Robert Boyll
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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

By Bill Johnson
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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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Troubleshooting Challenge: A Heat Pump That's Not Operating

By Jim Johnson
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This troubleshooting situation is a look ahead to the upcoming cooling season. Our customer has called to say that their heat pump “isn’t cooling at all,” and while the outdoor temperature is only in the mid 80’s, it’s quite uncomfortable in the house. You find that the underlying reason is that the compressor and outdoor fan motor aren’t operating.
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Btu Buddy 93: Pneumatic Controls Review

By Bill Johnson
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Bob and Btu Buddy have gotten together for a review of their last service call, which involved a control system that Bob was not very familiar with - pneumatic controls. Bob asked, “Why would anyone want to use air as the power source to operate the controls for a building?”
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