FALLS CHURCH, Va. — The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association (PHCC) Educational Foundation will host the second annual HVAC Apprentice Contest, Oct. 8-9 in New Orleans.

The contest will feature 12 of the nation’s top HVAC apprentices in a hands-on competition that comprises six events: brazing, where contestants assemble a refrigeration circuit with components following a drawing; refrigerant recovery and identification; a written knowledge test; an opportunity to take readings on a working package unit; electrical troubleshooting; and basic electrical skills and wiring.

“The contest really set the bar for what we should know,” said 2013 winner Tyler Plueger, a field technician with Downey Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning in Downey, California. “And, while it was a bit of an eye-opener in some areas, it also helped confirm some things I already knew.”

In addition to the actual contest, contestants have the opportunity to attend special educational seminars at CONNECT, complete with peer-to-peer networking and exposure to the latest technologies and products available.

The tool package Plueger received as the contest winner is the more practical part of his victory.

“Especially in the HVAC industry, where things change so quickly with the technology, having those up-to-date tools makes my job so much easier,” he said.

Plueger estimates the tool package he took home — which included power tools, diagnostic equipment, and some small hand tools — is worth $1,500-$2,000.

The contest is open to third-, fourth-, and fifth-year HVAC apprentices. Apprentices who have previously competed and placed first, second, or third place are ineligible.

For more information, visit phccweb.org.

Publication date: 5/26/2014 

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