Final Steps of a Service Call
Attention to detail at the conclusion of a repair can be as important as the repair itself
To prevent unnecessary return visits (aka callbacks) for your company or future issues for your customers, here are some helpful items to remember when completing a repair. It can be easy to overlook some of these items, but taking the extra time to complete them before leaving the call can pay off in the long run.
One major item to check before leaving a job is a refrigerant leak on any service valves, where service gauges were installed. In many cases, the packing around older service valves leaks. If left unchecked, the refrigerant will leak out, and you will be called out again to repair the problem. It’s very easy to overlook this item. Many times, the last thing you will do is remove your gauges, and since you’ve already repaired the fault, you may not be looking for this potential problem.
This is also true with Schrader valves. The packing around the core can leak and must be checked before leaving the job. It’s also a very good practice to replace any caps that were removed during a service call or that were missing, including those used to cover any service valve stems or access ports. These caps can help prevent a refrigerant leak at the stem or port as well as keep them in good condition. Exposed stems or ports could rust and would then not be operable in the future.
When working with replacement refrigerants, be sure to mark the system with the new refrigerant and oil type. This will become important for future service or maintenance. If left unmarked, the next technician on the job will not know what type of refrigerant or oil is in the system or, even worse, may assume the original refrigerant is still in the system.
Verify that the temperature control is properly set and, if possible, make sure the system cycles off on temperature. This may not always be practical, but it should be done when possible as it could help prevent a return service call for a defective temperature control or a cooler that is either too cold or too warm.
If repairing an ice machine, make sure to wait for at least one complete cycle — it’s better to wait for two, if you can — before leaving the job to make sure the system is working properly. Failure to watch for at least one complete cycle could potentially cause you to miss an issue with the operation of the machine.
Always leave your work area clean. This includes removing all defective parts, empty refrigerant cylinders, old filters, and other debris from the work area. It’s truly unprofessional to leave a work site with old parts scattered around, and it also presents a safety hazard for future technicians. If any items, such as furniture or cabinets, were moved to gain access to the system during the repair procedure, make sure they are returned to their original positions.
Completing these tasks on every service call may take a little extra time, but it will increase the professional image of you and your service company. And, it also will reduce return callbacks for the same system, thus keeping your customers happy, which is equally important.
Publication date: 6/5/2017