Articles by Joe Marchese

Ice Breaker: Technician Certification

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

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

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

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

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

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

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: Evaporator Superheat Explained

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

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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Scenes from the 2014 World Energy Engineering Congress in Washington, D.C.

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NEWSMakers: John Lanier

John Lanier of North American Technician Excellence (NATE) stops by the NEWS’ booth at the AHR Expo to discuss NATE’s presence at the show, what’s coming up in 2015, and much more. Posted on Feb. 20.

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