Reading, Writing, Repairing

I’m one who has spent a long time in this industry. I went to Ferris State College in 1963 and 1964, and my dad Harry Bentz taught there during that time and for a period of about 15 years.

One thing that you should note that Paul Arthur stated was “We’re compressing the program to get in as much theory as we can.” My dad used to say that the hands-on stuff, such as opening and closing service valves, or any of the common tool skills can be learned on the job. Theory, on the other hand, is “book learning”! It is core material that allows you to understand what is going on in that system, and consequently to be a service tech, and not a parts changer. When a new refrigerant comes out (as they are today), the tech will check the PT chart, look at the unique characteristics of it, and he is ready to work on the system. He knows, as an example, that high head pressure has more to do with the condenser refrigerant condensing temp to ambient temperature difference than the simple head pressure numbers can express, and it’s on an instinctive level.

Employers for the most part are in the business for making money. That is not to say that there are not some very good employers out there that are contributing a great deal toward their employees’ education. It is generally, however, based on the minimum that they need to hold the particular position, and not to educate them to a flexible level where they are able to hold a variety of positions.

Where this will end up is anybody’s guess. I would bet, however that the time will come when the going price for the true top tech, considering some of the recently added responsibilities, will raise a few eyebrows!

Walt Bentz

Tech Service Advisor and Service Coordinator

The Goodin Company

Minneapolis, MN

The Best of Both Worlds

I just received my [June 12] copy ofThe Newsand as usual I took a quick look through for any late-breaking information. I noticed an article by Robert A. Jones on page 10. What caught my eye was the wonderful graphics but also the note with the heading, “Use Head Pressure Controls” on page 11. Then I had to read on.

Now I do not argue with Mr. Jones’ comments when taken at face value. However, I do offer another way of getting the best of both worlds; proper defrost and energy savings.

First of all, the most important ingredient for proper gas defrost is mass flow, not temperature. The more refrigerant passing through the defrosting coil, the faster the defrost cycle. Defrosting can indeed be done at very low head pressure — if liquid pumping is used to contain flash gas in the main liquid header.

Of course, the liquid from the defrosting coil needs to be returned back to the receiver leaving the remaining coils to be fed normally through the liquid pump. Now the customer has a stable defrost that does not affect the non-defrosting coils. There is more to this part of the story, but that is another story.

Randy Bynum

U.S. Energy Controls

San Jose, CA

Worthwhile Reading

I have read more than a few articles regarding the problems with air conditioning condensate and how to properly handle air conditioning condensate. All of these articles were written by Warren Trent, P.E., and Curtis Trent, Ph.D., of Trent Technologies, Inc. The articles have appeared in this magazine and another that we subscribe to (Engineered Systems). Yes, all of their articles mention their product.

The fact of the matter is this: The Trents present the best information on a subject that is all too often overlooked. I have learned a great deal of practical information that I use nearly every day in working on air conditioning service and handling indoor air quality (IAQ) problems.

The articles they write and their publications are qualified, well documented, and very informative. They cover many aspects of condensate control that reach far beyond the topic of a fluidic flow control device.

I welcome the chance to read and learn from their expertise and knowledge. I don’t care if they design and market the CostGard condensate control device. The product is one part of a solution to a many-faceted problem.

Doug Rupp

Climate Makers, Inc.

Maplewood MN