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Articles by Jim Johnson

Troubleshooting Challenge: A Furnace That's Not Heating the Whole House

In this troubleshooting situation, we have a customer who is complaining about one of the bedrooms in their home, specifically that the gas furnace doesn’t warm the room properly. When you arrive, you find that the bedroom in question is the furthest from the furnace, and that the duct system is an extended plenum system.
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Troubleshooting Challenge: A Soda Vending Machine That's Not Performing Properly ... Sometimes

This month’s problem piece of equipment is a soda vending machine. The complaint from the customer, who has positioned the unit outside their small motel, is that while the soda seems to be properly cooled during the middle of the day, there are times when the product is warmer than desired.
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Troubleshooting Challenge: A Reach-In Refrigerator That's Not Keeping Food Cool

In this issue’s troubleshooting situation, the problem unit we’re facing is a reach-in refrigerator in a restaurant and the customer’s description of the problem is that they discovered spoiled food in the cabinet when they arrived early in the morning prior to opening.
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Troubleshooting Challenge: A Comfort Cooling System That's Not Gettin' Down

This time around we have a customer who has called to say that it’s warmer than it should be in their home. When you arrive you find a nine-year-old package unit, and you determine in a short time that, electrically, everything is as it should be, which means that what you have is a unit that is running, but is not cooling enough.
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Troubleshooting Challenge: A Gas Furnace That's Heating Intermittently

After your evaluation of the equipment, you’re leaning toward the diagnosis that the motor is failing and you double-check two things. Your troubleshooting question: Which component was replaced, eliminating the intermittent equipment operation failures?
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Troubleshooting Challenge: An Uncomfortable Customer

This month’s troubleshooting situation centers around a very recently installed heating and cooling system, and a customer who has called to complain that certain rooms in the house “just don’t seem to be getting enough air.”
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Troubleshooting Challenge: A Furnace With a Flashing Fault Code

In this month’s troubleshooting situation, we find ourselves dealing with a condensing furnace, and the customer has called to say that “there’s no heat at all.” It’s a relatively small unit, rated at only 40,000 Btu, but it is equipped with an LED readout system that flashes a fault code in the event of a breakdown.
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Troubleshooting Challenge: A Heat Pump That's Not Cooling at All

It’s the middle of July, and a customer calls to say that the unit that heats and cools their small office “isn’t cooling at all.” When you arrive, you find a 230-V, eight-year-old, rooftop package unit heat pump with three-phase compressor. After an evaluation of the system, you'll be asked a three-part troubleshooting question.
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Service Management Excellence

Many service managers move into the position without a great deal of opportunity for training and preparation in the areas of communication skills, customer service, dealing with different personalities, or managing people. This excerpt from a new E-book discusses how to be an effective manager.
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Troubleshooting With Jim Johnson: A Gas Furnace Follow-Up Service Call

In this column, Jim Johnson of Technical Training Associates presents a specific HVACR equipment problem and invites readers to submit their diagnosis. From those who submit the correct answer by the deadline, there will be a prize drawing. Here is a furnace problem.
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2014 SMACNA Annual Convention

Views from the 2014 SMACNA Annual Convention in San Antonio.


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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NEWS 10-20-14 cover

2014 October 20

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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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2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

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