Wouldn’t it be nice to work on a piece of equipment such as an icemaker, and know exactly what had been done to the unit in the past? Equipment logs can help you identify what other service techs have done, or maybe even what you did to the unit last summer during those 12- or 14-hr days.

This type of information can be recorded in a journal that includes complete model and serial numbers, installation date (for warranty validation), what type of work was done, operating specifications, and so on. This notebook can be kept at the machine, on your truck, or back at the office.

This should not take the place of a detailed description of the problem and resolution on your invoice. This type of information is valuable to the customer and may be needed if the repair is to be covered under warranty.

I know this may sound too good to be true. You also may be thinking, “Who has the time to keep up with it?” However, if you look at the time that could be saved, I think you will find that this practice is worth the effort. It is standard operating procedure among maintenance departments that take care of multiple pieces of equipment.


Even if you do not keep a journal, make note of certain items on the unit. These items may be crucial to your ability to service the unit properly.

  • One of these cases is when a remote ice machine has been installed with a line set run of more than 66 ft. On this installation, the refrigerant charge must be adjusted to allow for the longer line sets. It is important that the charge level be noted with a permanent marker to show any adjustments to the original charge.

  • Other times, remote systems may be installed on factory-authorized, non-oem condensers. This charge may be different than a charge for a factory system. In this case, you need to clearly identify the new charge on the charge label.

  • Many systems originally designed for use with R-502 are becoming quite old, so there are more and more conversions taking place. How many times have you been to a unit where, not only are you unsure what the charge is, but you are not able to determine what type of refrigerant has been used?

    It is important to note on the machine that a conversion has taken place, and the type and amount of refrigerant that was used.

    In all of these situations, it is important that we leave information behind for the next tech. Who knows — the next tech may be you.

    Burger is national training manager at Hoshizaki America Inc., 618 Hwy. 74 S., Peachtree City, GA 30269; 800-233-1940; 800-843-1056 (fax).

    Publication date: 03/04/2002