Articles by Joe Marchese

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: Troubleshooting Potential Relays

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

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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Ice Breaker: Reading Ladder Diagrams

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

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

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

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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NEWSMakers: Chris Mathis

Chris Mathis, president of Mathis Consulting Co. and vice chair of ASHRAE’s residential ad hoc committee, talks about ASHRAE’s exploration into the residential market. Posted on Oct. 17.

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EFFICIENCY STANDARDS

DOE has denied AHRI’s petition for reconsideration of walk-in standards. Is it getting harder to reach consensus on efficiency standards?
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