Becoming A Diagnostic Tyrannosaurus.

Head GearsThe Most Important Diagnostic Tool You Own Is…You.

Understand this; you are the diagnostic tool.
Fancy true RMS meters, electronic gauge sets, digital manometers, electronic wet-bulb thermometers (just to name a few) are awesome tools…for gathering data. Data you can’t gather with your eyes, ears, and hands. We know what you’re thinking;

What the $%@& are they talking about? Read on, grasshopper.

Take the first step towards finding your inner diagnostic tyrannosaurus.


First, Learn to Listen-
Listen to what the customer is telling you. Remember, they live with the system, you don’t. (unless you have so many call-backs they set up a room for you…that would be a bad thing)
Listen to the sound of a scroll compressor, a reciprocating compressor, and a screw compressor, they have characteristic sounds all their own. Learn their language and they will tell you a lot, Grasshopper.

Second, Learn to Feel=
No. I’m not talking about getting in touch with your inner-self, your feminine side, or some other foofy, namby-pamby thing like that. I’m talking about temperatures. What a liquid line should feel like on a hot day. Or, even better, what it shouldn’t feel like. What should the oil sump of a compressor feel like? If it doesn’t feel the way it should, why doesn’t it?

Third, Learn to See.
Pay attention to your surroundings, learning what matters, and what doesn’t. Does the system have a double suction riser? Is there low ambient control? Does it need either? Why? Remember, irrelevant information clouds your thinking, slows you down, and worse, it sends you down the wrong diagnostic path.

The first steps in fine tuning yourself are-
• Pay attention to your surroundings.
• Listen to the customer.
• Never assume anything.
• Continuously add information from previous jobs to your mental data-base.

We’re not saying you don’t need quality test instruments, or that you can diagnose systems with some old chicken bones and a magic eight-ball.
But, if you read our weekly posts, you’ll become a Bad-Ass, Bipedal, Diagnostic Tyrannosaurus Machine!

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Patrick is Zen HVAC’s diagnostic and training guy.

Patrick started in the trade the day he left technical school and never looked back.

He’s served in various technical and training roles in the HVAC industry but specializes in system troubleshooting and diagnostics, retro commissioning, and technical training.

His moto: If I can understand it, anybody can.

Patrick uses the Zen common sense approach to teach

Patrick’s Likes- His Wife, kids and dog. Old pickup trucks. Hiking. The industrial Revolution.

Patrick’s Dislikes- Taking work too seriously. Anything unintuitive. Emoticons :(

Patrick’s Favorite famous person- Theodore Roosevelt “I am only an average man, But I work harder at it than the average man”

Famous Patrick Quote- “Well, that was stupid of me”

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