Repairing refrigeration systems can be challenging at times. The case is running high, it’s full of food, and the customer needs it repaired ASAP. Now it’s up to you to find the problem and get the case temperature down to normal levels — not always an easy task and not always without some complications. Sometimes the issue is finding the problem, and other times, it is making the repair. Both can be problematic and a major challenge for any technician.
When faced with a problem that seems difficult to determine, dive into it and find the issue. Don’t be the technician who walks away or turns it over to another technician. Stay with it, do the research, and get the help you need to find the problem. There is no shame in asking other technicians, wholesalers, or manufacturers for help in solving the problem. This is common practice in our trade, and we all do it. Resolving the problem will only make you a better technician, and the next time you’re faced with a similar problem, you’ll know better how to approach it.
Sometimes, identifying the problem is easy, but the major challenge is getting it repaired. Not all refrigeration systems are built the same. Although the basic cycle is the same, there are numerous designs and accessories used, coupled with the fact that manufacturers use many different vendors to build their systems. So having all the parts you need for all the systems you service may not be possible, especially with refrigerants today — there are so many different refrigerants on the market, how does a technician carry them all?
Here is a relatively common scenario: You need to change a fan motor on a system. Pretty easy to diagnose, but you are faced with some challenges replacing it. You go to your local wholesaler to pick up the motor, but they don’t have the exact replacement — they can order one, but it will take a few days. You check with some other wholesalers, and they, too, do not have the exact replacement. Your wholesaler does have something that is close — a motor that matches the original motor’s horsepower rating, rpm, voltage, and rotation — but the motor mount is different. So now you are faced with a choice: tell the customer they need to wait or modify the motor’s mounting and get it done.
This type of scenario separates one technician from another.
Some technicians will tell the customer they need to wait and then let the customer either lose the food or else find a way to move it to another case. Other technicians will look into the option of modifying the mounting and getting the motor installed. Depending on the exact mounting requirements, it may not be possible, but a good technician would be able to make the call and, if possible, get it installed.
So the next time you are faced with a difficult situation, be the technician who takes on the challenge to solve the problem and get it done. It will make you a better technician, and it will gain you the respect of both your company and your customers.
Publication date: 11/5/2018