While wrapping up a service call, there are several items a technician should check before leaving the job. Although it may be easy to overlook some of these items, taking the time to complete them can pay off in the long run.

This not only creates a professional image with customers, but also may save the technician a return trip to the job at a later time.

Here are some of the “little things” a technician should remember to do.

  • Check for refrigerant leaks on any service valves where service gauges were installed.
  • Many times the packing around older service valves leaks. If left unchecked, the refrigerant will leak out and the service technician will be called out to repair the problem.

    It is easy for a tech to overlook this. Many times, the last thing a technician will do is remove the gauges, and since the primary fault has been repaired, the packing problem may not be considered.

    This is also true with Schrader valves. The packing around the cores can leak and must be checked before leaving the job.

    It is also good practice to replace any caps removed or found missing during a service call, including those used to cover any service valve stems or access ports. These caps can help prevent refrigerant leakage at the stem or port, as well as keeping them in good condition. Exposed stems or ports could rust.

  • Always replace any access panels and all the screws removed during service.
  • On many systems, several panels may need to be removed during service. A technician should always replace all access panels and all screws when completed. It is the mark of a careless technician to fail to do this.

  • 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 is unprofessional to leave a worksite with old parts scattered around. It also presents a safety hazard for future technicians.

    If during a repair procedure, any items, such as furniture or cabinets, were moved to gain access to the system, make sure they are returned to their original positions.

  • 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 and maintenance. If left unmarked, the next technician will not know what type of refrigerant or oil is in the system. Or, even worse, the tech may assume that 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 when reaching that temperature.
  • This may not always be practical, but should be done wherever possible. It could help prevent a return service call for a defective temperature control or a cooler that is either too cold or too warm.

    Completing these items on every service call may take a little extra time, but it will increase the professional image of both the tech and the company. And, equally important, it will reduce callbacks to service the same problem, thus keeping the customer happy.

    Marchese is the owner of Arctic-Air Refrigeration, Pittsburgh, PA.

    Publication date: 05/14/2001