Articles by Joe Marchese

Ice Breaker: First Steps of Service Calls

By Joe Marchese
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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

By Joe Marchese
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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

By Joe Marchese
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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

By Joe Marchese
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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

By Joe Marchese
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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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Ice Breaker: Reading Ladder Diagrams

By Joe Marchese
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Being able to efficiently interpret ladder (line) diagrams is an important part of electrically troubleshooting many HVACR systems. These diagrams are drawn in such a format that it is quite easy to understand the electrical configuration of the system.
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Ice Breaker: How Automatic Expansion Valves Work

By Joe Marchese
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The automatic expansion valve (AXV) is similar in construction and appearance to the commonly used thermostatic expansion valve (TXV). However, the metering devices operate much differently.
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Ice Breaker: Replacing Cap Tubes

By Joe Marchese
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A popular metering device used on many fractional horsepower refrigeration systems is the cap tube. But one field problem encountered with this type of metering device is that it can become plugged with system debris, causing a restriction.
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Ice Breaker: Work Smarter, Not Harder

By Joe Marchese
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Technicians need to work smarter, not harder. One major difference between an inexperienced tech and an experienced one is that the experienced tech works smarter. Here are some ways a technician can work smarter and become more efficient.
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Ice Breaker: Refrigerant Numbering System Explained

By Joe Marchese
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There are many different types of refrigerant used in our industry today. They are produced by several different manufacturers and have numerous ways of identification. One proper method of identification is referring to a refrigerant by its ANSI/ASHRAE designation.
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