Articles by Bill Johnson

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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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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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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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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Btu Buddy 93: Pneumatic Controls Review

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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Btu Buddy 92: Pneumatic Control System

The customer’s complaint on this call was an overall overheating of his building. The manager told Bob, “We arrived this morning and the entire building was hot and keeps getting hotter.” He led Bob to the basement where there was a boiler. Bob found that the system had pneumatic controls.
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Btu Buddy 91: Underground Refrigerant Leak - Part 2

Bob’s service call yesterday involved a leaking underground refrigerant piping system. Bob replaced the refrigerant lines, leak tested the lines, and left them yesterday afternoon under 150 psig of pressure. He has now returned to the job the next day to see if the pressure held and to check for moisture in the system.
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Btu Buddy 90: Underground Refrigerant Leak

Bob was called to a job that had a no cooling complaint. This was a new customer and Bob wanted it to be a good experience for the customer. It was a small stand-alone store building with a 3-ton cooling only unit. Bob determined this was a low charge problem. He installed his gauges and discovered the unit did not have any refrigerant in it.
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Btu Buddy 89: Condenser Under Water

The dispatcher called Bob and sent him to a job that really sounded like a problem. There had been a hard rain and a customer had a condensing unit that had been under water that morning due to high water from a creek behind his house. The owners were on a fixed income and wanted to get the repair at the best possible price.
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Btu Buddy 88: Follow-Up on a Dirty Water Cooled Condenser

Bob has been on a job at a convention center with a 100-ton water cooled condenser. The owners are anxious for Bob to get the a/c back on, but Bob said the tubes must be cleaned before the unit will run. He has called the shop and asked for a helper and a tube cleaning machine to help him get the unit running as fast as possible.
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