Articles by Joe Marchese

Ice Breaker: Technician Certification

February 1, 2010
Certifications offer many benefits to a technician. First, taking a certification exam demonstrates that a technician is serious about his trade and, more importantly, if passed, that he has achieved a high level of expertise. Certifications can also be used as a self-check to identify areas of weakness or strength.
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Ice Breaker: Multiple Evacuations

January 11, 2010
One contaminant that must be removed from a refrigeration system before refrigerant can be added is water vapor. If water vapor is left trapped in a system, it can lead to some serious problems. Technicians will typically reduce the system’s pressure to about 500 microns to remove this water vapor.
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Ice Breaker: Don't Be Afraid to Ask Why

December 7, 2009
There are several ways we can get answers to our questions. The easiest way is to just ask someone who has more experience with the system or component. However, if an answer does not make sense or is unclear, we should not just simply accept it as fact, but should ask it again or ask “why.”
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Ice Breaker: Testing Thermistors

November 2, 2009
Thermistors are one type of temperature sensor used on electronic control systems. Technicians servicing these control systems need to be able to test the operation and accuracy of these sensors. A defective thermistor can easily cause a controller to not operate correctly.
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Ice Breaker: Talking Oil Separators

October 5, 2009
An oil separator is an accessory used on some larger refrigeration systems to help limit the amount of oil in circulation. It is typically used on low temperature applications where the refrigerant’s mass flow rate is low. But it could be used on any system.
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Ice Breaker: First Steps of Service Calls

September 7, 2009
Troubleshooting a refrigeration system is all about gathering information and using that information to determine the cause of a problem. Technicians are always measuring voltages, amperages, pressures, and various temperatures to help them find a problem. Besides these important measurements, there are other pieces of information that can assist a technician.
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Ice Breaker: Starting a Stuck Recip Compressor

August 3, 2009
One of the common problems found while troubleshooting reciprocating compressors is that they simply fail to start. This could be the result of many different causes, both electrical and mechanical. One common mechanical cause is a stuck piston. Mechanically the piston cannot overcome an internal resistance to move.
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Ice Breaker: Troubleshooting Potential Relays

July 6, 2009
Many low and medium temperature single-phase compressors require some type of external relay to assist in the starting of its motor. The purpose of this relay is to remove the motor’s start winding, start capacitor, or both, from the circuit once the motor is running.
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Ice Breaker: Evaporator Superheat Explained

June 1, 2009
In a properly operating system, the refrigerant will be in a superheated state from the last section of the evaporator to the first section of the condenser. Technicians can measure the superheat condition anywhere along this path. One common location is at the outlet of the evaporator.
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Ice Breaker: Ask Why the Failure Happened

May 11, 2009
A service technician should not only fix the problem but also, to the best of his ability, ensure the system operates reliably. This means once a technician identifies the system problem, he should try to discover why the failure occurred and what can be done to prevent it from happening again.
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