Tech Tips: Diagnosing a Front Cover Switch

On a recent cold afternoon, I received a call from a frantic service technician. He diagnosed a faulty gas valve in a gas furnace, arrived on the job site with a new gas valve, taken time to ensure the new valve was installed properly, and then observed in horror as the exact same failure to ignite happened with the new valve. Now, let us all be honest with ourselves … after all, nobody is watching … we have all been that technician. We have all experienced the horror of realizing our diagnosis is wrong. Not a good feeling … and far worse if the furnace is in a closet and the homeowner is standing over your shoulder.

After the technician took a few deep breaths and regained composure, we began to go back through the furnace together.

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Tech Tips: Surge Protection

Power surges are commonly blamed when controls go bad on high-end units. I am not sure how often this is an accurate diagnosis versus how often this is just an easy scapegoat for unexplained parts failures. Plus … let us all be honest for a minute and acknowledge that as technicians we have all been guilty of condemning a control board because the system was operating abnormally and we did not understand what was happening … so therefore it must be that fancy looking control board.

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The Key to Helping JB Pumps Last for Years is Oil

Black Gold and Vacuum Pump equal Just Better!

The most important take away from this blog is change. your. oil.

The proper oil in a vacuum pump acts as a blotter and absorbs all of the moisture and non-condensables. As the oil becomes saturated with these contaminants, the efficiency of the pump is dramatically reduced.

Maintaining clean oil in the pump ensures that the pump will operate at peak efficiency and prolong its life.

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Tech Tips: What’s in Your Bag?

When I was first starting out in the HVAC Industry as a new technician, it was a common joke at my first company that you could tell the longer a technician had been in the industry by looking at his tool bag. The joke was that while newbie technicians such as me had a tool bag loaded with tools, the veteran technicians had a mostly empty and worn bag that had a few things here and there in it. Granted, I learned a lot from the senior technicians at that company, but I did not carry that habit with me. If you want to do a job correctly, then you must have the correct tools.

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Series: Learn How To Use The Website Like A Pro – Tip #10 Preferred Store

Once your online account is set up, it’s important to set your preferred storeThis will ensure that each time you place an order, your product will come from your local ECMD branch. Setting your preferred store to your local branch is one way to ensure a seamless experience Continue reading “Series: Learn How To Use The Website Like A Pro – Tip #10 Preferred Store”

Series: Pro Training – Troubleshooting An Inverter Driven Compressor

Pro Training Blog Series

Robert Frost once famously fretted over which two diverging roads in the woods to take. He presented the case of a traveler that has come to a crucial decision that must be made. The same theme often rings true in HVAC diagnosis. The technician finds themselves at a diagnostic crossroads, if you will, and a choice must be made: 

  • The variable-speed blower motor will not run. Is it the board or is it the motor/module? 
  • My inverter system is throwing an error code. The service manual says it could be the compressor or the board. 
  • My HVAC system will not communicate. Is it the indoor control board, the outdoor control board, or the wiring? 

Today I am going to review troubleshooting an inverter compressor and the control that drives it. Often in analyzing service manuals you find flow charts that look like this: 

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Series: Learn How To Use The Website Like A Pro – Tip #9 Managing Users

Once you have an online account set up with East Coast Metal Distributors you can add and manage users right from your dashboard. This allows you to add technicians, sales people, and office staff so they can place orders, check pricing, pay invoices and more.

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Tech Tip: Slime Time in Summertime

A common service call that arrives in the latter days of summer is a clogged drain line. It is par for the course in the Southeastern United States; we have warm temperatures combined with high humidity. Air conditioning systems work to address both the temperature of the home (sensible heat) as well as the humidity of the home (latent heat). As the HVAC system runs it absorbs both heat and humidity from the home into the evaporator section of the unit. The heat is transferred outside via the refrigerant lines and superheated refrigerant while the humidity is transferred outside the home via the HVAC system drain line.

Slime in a drain is a universal problem. It occurs in shower drains, sink drains, and even appliance drains.  There are many variables that can increase the likelihood and frequency in slime forming in the HVAC drain system. However, two key ingredients are always present: food and moisture. Food is provided by dust or dirt that manages to get into the HVAC system. This dust and/or dirt will contain some organic matter which will serve as a food source. This will combine with already present moisture from normal cooling operations and provide a moist environment with a food source. The result will be a slimy gunk that will easily clog the HVAC drain line. The drain lines in an HVAC system are not under any pressure, therefore it does not take a large amount of resistance to block the drainage of condensate.

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From ACHR NEWS: Dealing With Dirty Air Filters During the COVID-19 Pandemic

HVAC technicians follow best practices to ensure contamination is contained.

If face masks protect the air that humans breathe, air filters are certainly the face masks of the HVAC realm — clearing particles from the airstream that a building “breathes” and transmits to those within. While there may not be a run on air filters the way there is on face masks, contractors and manufacturers alike report increased interest from their clients in IAQ since the outbreak of COVID-19.

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Series: Learn How To Use The Website Like A Pro – Tip #8 Order Templates

Do you order the same products over and over again? East Coast Metal Distributors has a solution to better streamline the ordering process for you. Our Order Template feature can help you create a list of products that are tailored to your order habits. Building order templates on our website is easy and helps you save lists of commonly ordered products for easy reference when you need to reorder.

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