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I'm going to do it again... HVAC Guys... why are *they* the most...

Old 04-30-2011, 09:03 AM
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Default I'm going to do it again... HVAC Guys... why are *they* the most...

aggressive and "protective to the point of rude" when it comes to asking questions and help?

Seriously... I was just reading some old HVAC threads here on THT and as nasty as SOME electricians can be and some plumbers can be, the HVAC guys, specifically AC guys... what is it about THAT trade that makes them the way they are? What about it makes them the most threatened?

Sort of like talking to a toll collector about EZ-Pass or SunPass... ?? (asking?)

Or is it just a cult type thing?

I mean really... you can't even ask them if they prefer to charge a system via liquid or gas or just some "preference" questions... why is that.

P.S. THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ALL OF THEM!!! THERE ARE SOME VERY NICE HVAC GUYS HERE!!!
Old 04-30-2011, 09:34 AM
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Must be a NJ thing.

I have never experience anything like you are referring with the HVAC guys.
Old 04-30-2011, 09:38 AM
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Few years back I was staying in a condo in Destin @ Christmas and the AC went out around noon. HVAC guys came in minutes after call, worked all day... we even fed them Christmas dinner and they were about as nice as one could ask.
Old 04-30-2011, 10:11 AM
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Pete sounds like you caught somebody who grew up on the NJ loading docks.
I did refrigeration and AC for half my life till retirement and worked with all kinds of companies who installed my equipment. I ran a couple plants with amonia refrigeration. If I had a question for any of the techs if they didn't know the answer they'de find it for me somehow. Never had one give me a hard time.
Old 04-30-2011, 10:22 AM
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Nah, not a NJ thing (although I totally understand that!)... just looking at some of the HVAC threads on THT!
Old 04-30-2011, 10:34 AM
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F_________YOU!












Pete, what are you specifically talking about? The way we answer a question? or our public demeanor?

Personally, I really enjoy helping people out. However, there's very little a novice should do with their AC systems themselves beyond changing their air filters. Properly servicing an AC system is a "pyramid" of steps. 99.9% of the public wouldn't have the tools and/or equipment to do the job properly. 50% (I'm being kind) of the guys in the business don't do service properly. More than 50% of the pros don't size and install equipment properly.

If you asked me how to clean out your condensate drain, I could probably tell you (it depends on how it's piped). Problem is, your drain shouldn't be clogged if the system is installed and serviced properly. I can't tell you from here how to make your system right. My answer would be to call a trained professional to service and evaluate your system. Then, you have to hope the pro knows how and cares enough to do it right.

Another problem is, people don't want to pay to do it right. I had more doctors and lawyers that felt nothing I did should cost more than $100. Or, I'd have a customer that was "handy" and would work on the system himself. After about 3 or 4 years of self service, the handy customer would have the system so messed up, that I'd have to spend a day straightening it out. Of course the handy customer would then baulk at the bill and say "I could have done that". Many times, tradesman are in a lose/lose situation and need to have thicker skin.

Old 04-30-2011, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by davedowneast View Post
F_________YOU!












Pete, what are you specifically talking about? The way we answer a question? or our public demeanor?

Personally, I really enjoy helping people out. However, there's very little a novice should do with their AC systems themselves beyond changing their air filters. Properly servicing an AC system is a "pyramid" of steps. 99.9% of the public wouldn't have the tools and/or equipment to do the job properly. 50% (I'm being kind) of the guys in the business don't do service properly. More than 50% of the pros don't size and install equipment properly.

If you asked me how to clean out your condensate drain, I could probably tell you (it depends on how it's piped). Problem is, your drain shouldn't be clogged if the system is installed and serviced properly. I can't tell you from here how to make your system right. My answer would be to call a trained professional to service and evaluate your system. Then, you have to hope the pro knows how and cares enough to do it right.

Another problem is, people don't want to pay to do it right. I had more doctors and lawyers that felt nothing I did should cost more than $100. Or, I'd have a customer that was "handy" and would work on the system himself. After about 3 or 4 years of self service, the handy customer would have the system so messed up, that I'd have to spend a day straightening it out. Of course the handy customer would then baulk at the bill and say "I could have done that". Many times, tradesman are in a lose/lose situation and need to have thicker skin.
I agree with you! But there comes a time when the 10% of us that DO have the ability to understand how to do it RIGHT get fed up with the 90% (that's my experience!) of the "pros" that DO NOT KNOW OR WANT TO DO IT RIGHT... and want to do it themselves. Pure and simple. I'm tired of dealing with people that don't know the basics of the basics.

So... like on this forum, I seek out those that DO know how to do it.

Then when you find those that do know how to help you, they won't because they think you're too stupid to understand the suction from the liquid line or how to read pressure or how to read vacuum. I ESPECIALLY love it when they tell you how it's illegal for YOU to work or buy R22 (or similar), yet get offend when you ask them what kind of recovery machine they have on their truck (because they don't own one!!).

I've been studying a few trade text books and teaching myself the basics... and I've learned that you're 50% number isn't even close. In my experience, 99% don't know what they are doing. They don't know how to braze, they don't know how to vac down a system, they don't know how to charge, they don't know how to size, they don't know ANYTHING about the proper lineset sizing, and they don't know what they don't know!!!

My interest in this started with wanting to learn more about about why some tech feel it is ok to dam-near slug the system by sending liquid when they shouldn't. And then I went on to learn more from there...

I still don't know everything, but I'm learning, and I'd love to find other people so I can learn more!

Pete
Old 04-30-2011, 12:05 PM
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HVAC is one of the last protected trades..even I, as a state licensed building contractor, can't buy anything at most a/c supply houses.
Old 04-30-2011, 12:07 PM
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Pete, I understand your frustration. Think how frustrating it is for someone that really does know what he's doing and has to compete against those that don't have a clue.

Yes, I have a 2 stage vac pump, recovery tanks and even know that you can pull too much vacuum on a system. I also have nitrogen in my truck for brazing and pressure test.

It does require a certification from the EPA to handle refrigerants, mine is dated 1994. I was cleaning out my storage this past week and threw out my diplomas from the oil heat institute, several HVAC schools, ACCA master certification in duct design, equipment loads, heat pump specialist, certification in gas piping, the list goes on.

My PM box is full of questions and answers about HVAC, feel free to ask.

I'll be mowing the lawn.
Old 04-30-2011, 02:01 PM
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I may go get an epidural steroid injection next week. I wonder if I could persuade the doctor to tell me exactly where to stick the needle? I mean really, stick a needle in, push the syringe. How hard can it be? Please no comments about where I can stick the needle. I don't understand why they wouldn't tell me which lumbar region needs treatment. I really could use their years of studying/practicing knowledge to save me some money. Why should I pay? I believe some people in this world have mentalities better suited to barter, not capitalism.

People that expect all this free advise, are you willing to give up your salary and give away your specialty? Where do you do all your volunteering? Hospitals? Old folks homes? Big brother mentoring? I think that is great. One question though, how do you pay for food and shelter? Inheritance? Must be nice.
Old 04-30-2011, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by davedowneast View Post
Pete, I understand your frustration. Think how frustrating it is for someone that really does know what he's doing and has to compete against those that don't have a clue.

Yes, I have a 2 stage vac pump, recovery tanks and even know that you can pull too much vacuum on a system. I also have nitrogen in my truck for brazing and pressure test.

It does require a certification from the EPA to handle refrigerants, mine is dated 1994. I was cleaning out my storage this past week and threw out my diplomas from the oil heat institute, several HVAC schools, ACCA master certification in duct design, equipment loads, heat pump specialist, certification in gas piping, the list goes on.

My PM box is full of questions and answers about HVAC, feel free to ask.

I'll be mowing the lawn.
I appreciate the offer of help! So far I'm just learning...

Originally Posted by baypro21 View Post
I may go get an epidural steroid injection next week. I wonder if I could persuade the doctor to tell me exactly where to stick the needle? I mean really, stick a needle in, push the syringe. How hard can it be? Please no comments about where I can stick the needle. I don't understand why they wouldn't tell me which lumbar region needs treatment. I really could use their years of studying/practicing knowledge to save me some money. Why should I pay? I believe some people in this world have mentalities better suited to barter, not capitalism.

People that expect all this free advise, are you willing to give up your salary and give away your specialty? Where do you do all your volunteering? Hospitals? Old folks homes? Big brother mentoring? I think that is great. One question though, how do you pay for food and shelter? Inheritance? Must be nice.
If you think a medical doctor takes the same level of training as an HVAC person, that might explain why you wouldn't understand the differences between the two topics. :tht_r ulez: Enough said there.
Old 04-30-2011, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by billinstuart View Post
HVAC is one of the last protected trades..even I, as a state licensed building contractor, can't buy anything at most a/c supply houses.
You can get almost any refrigerant if you sign off that you're only buying it resell it. The myth that the "pros" like to profess is that it's illegal for you BUY it. It is NOT. It is illegal for you to "dispense it".
Old 04-30-2011, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
You can get almost any refrigerant if you sign off that you're only buying it resell it. The myth that the "pros" like to profess is that it's illegal for you BUY it. It is NOT. It is illegal for you to "dispense it".
Maybe..but the only way I got some R22 to top off my systems that leak a few ounces per year is to buy it on the black market. Technically, you can't add refrigerant to a leaky system, but many just plain leak a little.

Frankly, I don't want to do my own a/c work. It should be left to the pros. however, I would like to be able to buy a duct damper motor for my own house without being made to feel like a criminal.
Old 04-30-2011, 02:21 PM
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Pete - carefully read my explanation again, you missed my point by a long shot.

So, giving away information at the expense of supporting your family has something to do with amount of school/training time?? My learning never ends, does 26 years of school/training give me a by with respect to the knowledge hoarding? Or probably anything an HVAC pro says will not be good enough? There, I hit the nail on the head.
Old 04-30-2011, 02:26 PM
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Petey - you are wrong again. From the EPA website:

The Refrigerant Sales Restriction

The following questions and answers provide information about the restriction on sales of refrigerant to Section 608 or 609 certified technicians. A table summarizing this sales restriction is found here.
What does the sales restriction cover?

This sales restriction covers all CFC and HCFC refrigerants contained in bulk containers (such as cylinders, cans or drums). Refrigerant blends containing HCFCs (such as FRIGC FR-12, Free Zone, Hot Shot® or R-414B, GHG-X4 or R-414A, Freeze 12) are also covered under this sales restriction.
This sales restriction does not cover refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment or components containing an ozone-depleting refrigerant (such as components of residential split systems containing HCFC-22, also called R-22). Nor does the restriction cover the retail sale of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances containing CFC or HCFC refrigerants (such as window air conditioners).
However, as of January 1, 2010, EPA banned the import and production of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances and appliance components that are pre-charged with R-22. More information on EPA's rule banning the sale of pre-charged appliances and appliance components is found here.
EPA has previously banned the sale and distribution of refrigeration and air-conditioning appliances containing CFCs (such as R-12), under the Nonessential Products Ban.
What type of certification is required to purchase refrigerant?

The following people can buy any type of ozone-depleting refrigerant under this sales restriction (for instance, R-11, R-12, R-123, R-22), except for "small cans" containing less than 20 pounds of R-12:
  • Technicians certified to service stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment by a Section 608 EPA-certified testing organization; and
  • Employers of a Section 608 certified technician (or the employer's authorized representative) if the employer provides the wholesaler with written evidence that he or she employs at least one properly certified technician.
The following people can buy refrigerant found acceptable for use in a motor vehicle air conditioner (MVAC), including "small cans" containing less than 20 pounds of R-12:
Old 04-30-2011, 02:32 PM
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Pete - on a side note. I like you, if we were neighbors we could surely be friends. I love your confrontational style. I've got a good buddy, we are both confrontational by nature. We fight like brothers. We call each other out constantly. It gets bad sometimes and our wives tell us to grow up. What fun is that??

Old 04-30-2011, 02:33 PM
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That may be what the site says, but the people making the stuff will sell me all I want provided I resell it.

Me asking you for advice on HVAC doesn't take food out of your family's mouth since I doubt you service my area.
Old 04-30-2011, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by baypro21 View Post
Pete - on a side note. I like you, if we were neighbors we could surely be friends. I love your confrontational style. I've got a good buddy, we are both confrontational by nature. We fight like brothers. We call each other out constantly. It gets bad sometimes and our wives tell us to grow up. What fun is that??

Fair enough! I've driven through your state twice in the past 30 days. Friendly folks!
Old 04-30-2011, 02:56 PM
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It's been my experience that the tradesman who either will not answer a
question, or do so with an attitude, are the ones who either don't know what
they're doing in the first place, or are going to do a quick half assed job so they
can move on to the next pidgeon. I had an electrician over after a lightning
strike fried something. He looked around for 10 minutes and informed me I
had to re-wire the 2nd floor and attic to get rid of the knob and tube because
that's where the problem was and it would cost AT LEAST 9K. When I started
to ask him why he knew the problem was that, he copped an attitude so I told
him I was getting a second opinion. He told me the "service call" was $100 and
I told him to F-Off. After about 30 minutes of troubleshooting it myself, I figured
out that a GFI in the downstairs bathroom was blown. $10 later and I was good to
go. That was 15 years ago and we're having the old wiring pulled now and brought
up to current code. Estimated cost 5K.
Old 04-30-2011, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by OldPete View Post
That may be what the site says, but the people making the stuff will sell me all I want provided I resell it.
Pete, if you can buy it, fine. Send me your address and the name of who selling it, I can get $10K each for turning you in. Obviously I really wouldn't and don't even care, just a word to the wise. It happened to WalMart and their attorneys couldn't fight it.

Seriously, I would not advertise on the internet that someone is selling R-22 to you.

As far as giving answers to specific questions, I have no problem. I certainly can't teach you everything I know about HVAC on the inernet. My fist school was a 5 week immersion in oil burner service. I also spent 2 years riding with a licensed tech as an apprentice. I have 100's of hrs of formal training and almost 30 years experience. I also was licensed in solar design and installation and certified by the RPA for radiant heat design and installation. You can read books for the rest of your life, but it will only take you so far. Even the books can be wrong, I know because I taught.

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