Articles by Bill Johnson

Btu Buddy 67: Was the Charge Really Low?

By Bill Johnson
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The dispatcher sends Bob to a new customer for a routine system tune-up. The system is a 3-ton cooling unit with a capillary tube metering device. After checking the system, Bob determines that its low-side symptoms show a low charge. Btu Buddy, however, suggests that he consider other possible causes.
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Btu Buddy 66: Spring Startup for Water-Cooled Systems

By Bill Johnson
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Bob and Btu Buddy meet for lunch in a restaurant so they can discuss water-cooled systems. Btu Buddy tells him about the pros and cons of air-cooled and water-cooled equipment. Bob then asks how to start up a water-cooled system in the spring and be assured that it will provide good service all summer.
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Btu Buddy 65: Chiller With High Head Pressure

By Bill Johnson
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The day is scorching hot and Bob gets a call to go to an office building because the air conditioning system is off. It is a water-cooled chiller located in the basement with the water tower on the roof of the building. Btu Buddy assists Bob as he finds that the condenser tubes are dirty and require cleaning.
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Btu Buddy 64: Charging an Overcharged System

By Bill Johnson
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Bob receives a call from the dispatcher that a system is not cooling properly. It is a small office with a 4-ton unit that uses a capillary tube metering device. Bob discovers that the system had been overcharged. With Btu Buddy's help, Bob then proceeds to properly charge the system.
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Btu Buddy 63: Cleaning and Filling a Hot Water System

By Bill Johnson
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This article is a continuation of “Btu Buddy 62: An Overheated Boiler” from the May 19, 2008 issue. After Bob talks with Sid, the water treatment expert, Btu Buddy assists Bob in cleaning and filling the system.
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Btu Buddy 62: An Overheated Boiler

By Bill Johnson
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The spring is beginning to bring warmer weather when Bob gets a call from the dispatcher that a small apartment building is overheating. The building is heated with an old boiler that is running really hot. Btu Buddy helps Bob track down the problem.
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Btu Buddy 61: Servicing an Old Oil Furnace

By Bill Johnson
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The dispatcher calls Bob about servicing an old oil furnace. The customer is old and is adamant that he doesn’t want a new furnace, so Bob does not try to get him to upgrade to a new model. He tells the customer that he will see that he gets the most out of the old furnace that he can.
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Btu Buddy 60: High Head Pressure and Power Consumption

By Bill Johnson
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Bob and Btu Buddy get together for lunch and talk about why high head pressure seems to drive up the power consumption of a compressor. Bob remarks that the problem “doesn’t seem to happen in the cooling season, only in the heating season. What is the difference and why is this happening?”
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Btu Buddy 59: High Power Bills With a Heat Pump

By Bill Johnson
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Bob is called to a new customer’s home with a 5-ton heat pump that is experiencing power bills that are considerably higher than the same months last year. Btu Buddy assists Bob in diagnosing the problem.
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Btu Buddy 58: Combustion Air for a Gas Furnace

By Bill Johnson
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The dispatcher calls and tells Bob that yet another person is describing an unusual smell when the furnace runs for a long period of time. Bob talks to the homeowner, checks out the furnace, and finds that it is backdrafting slightly. With the help of Btu Buddy, he tracks down the draft problem.
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