Refrigeration technicians are required to be knowledgeable of many different technologies and system designs. At times this can be quite an overwhelming task.

With the various technologies and system designs in our industry, it is quite difficult for technicians to be initially proficient with all the different systems they come across. A good technician will seek knowledge and will research and study any technology unfamiliar to him. This requires extra time and effort, but it is this extra effort that separates an average technician from the master technician. The master technician will seek the knowledge he needs to be better at his job. He will find the answers to his questions.

Seeking knowledge requires a technician to research the unfamiliar technology and learn how it operates and, if necessary, how to troubleshoot it. There are several ways to research this necessary information. One of the better ways is to contact the manufacturer of the product.

Many manufacturers have tech support available to answer any questions from the field. If this is not an option, a technician can contact the company who distributes the product locally. Such places usually have a product support person available to answer questions about a particular product. If these two options are not available, do not overlook asking a fellow technician who may be familiar with the system or part in question.

There is also another useful resource for a technician and that is the Internet. Researching this way can be very efficient.

There is one important aspect to using many of these options: A technician must ask for help, and for some this may be difficult. Some technicians are not comfortable asking questions or asking for help. This becomes a major handicap for them. Rather than finding the correct answer, they guess at the answer or experiment with the system to try and find the answer. This usually does not work out well. Unnecessary parts are changed on the system or much time is wasted on the system trying to find the root cause of the problem.

A good technician will find the answers to a question before attempting to guess at what is the system problem. Finding the answers to a question may not always be easy, but it is better than replacing unnecessary parts or experimenting on a particular system.

There may be several reasons why a technician may not ask for help when it is needed, but a good technician must overcome these reasons and ask the questions that need to be asked. A technician should never be afraid to ask such questions. It is truly not possible for any technician to master every system or technology he may come across. All technicians, even the master technicians, need to ask questions and there is no reason to hold back. We learn by asking questions.

Joe Marchese is owner of Coldtronics of Pittsburgh. He can be reached at 412-734-4433,, or

Publication date: 02/06/2006