More Comments on MORE BASICS

Here are a few more comments from contractors on this subject. I think these comments really sum up what the original post, MORE BASICS, was all about.

We need to be able to admit that we CANNOT all know everything about every manufacturer out there and do justice to the customer.  We also have to realize that whatever brand product we choose to sell, we need to make sure we are thoroughly trained on that product so we can take care of our customer.

I think this comment was very well put:

If the homeowner wants to look over my shoulder, that’s fine. I talk out the problem, out loud, ask them to pass me tools, hold the light or go make the coffee. I find most of them happy to participate and at the same time, gain an appreciation of the complexity the Tech has to deal with. Or, they become bewildered and realize they are paying for slowing you down and then leave you alone. I’m good either way. If I am stumped, I tell the customer that I have a backlog of work to do (true), will get back to him shortly, (same day) and will consult with a colleague regarding his particular problem. That way it doesn’t cost him while I scratch my head and consult. I can also get to the long wait list of jobs. By admitting that you don’t know everything, you may lose an occasional customer but most appreciate the honesty.

Great business philosophy — Taking care of “business”:

 I feel the need to comment on this one…   I own a small family HVAC company, I have repeatedly said (for over 30 yrs) that I will gladly service everything I sell. I usually stock more parts for those furnaces than some of the supply houses.

I have also stated many times that I prefer not to work on other companies equipment, mainly because I have neither the training or the parts and I really dislike learning when someone is really wanting a working unit.
I really is a simple philosophy……Master what I can and don’t fake it if I don’t know it. Customers will appreciate the honesty and remember it when the time comes for something else.

And one more from the manufacturer tech support side:

I have been a tech for 30 years and only on the distribution side for the last 4. Nowhere has it become more apparent than here, on the distribution side, of a tech changing parts or blaming the equipment first, followed by a more thorough diagnostic second. Regardless of the technician’s skill level in the field, a homeowner looks at the tech as an expert and the tech is under pressure to respond in kind, whether he understands what he is working on or not.

I always fall back to the old adage, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

I hope we all can add a few more mental tools to our toolbox in 2015!

All I can do is encourage everyone to get as much training as possible or you will be “left behind” because the technology in our industry is changing very rapidly.  We are no longer “cave men dragging dinosaur dung to our cave and waiting for lightning to start a fire.” We need to have the tools and the training to use those tools as we go into 2015 and beyond. I ENCOURAGE ALL OF YOU TO SEEK OUT TRAINING, either from manufacturers, organizations like R.S.E.S.,  community colleges or your local union hall.

We also need to keep the customer in mind and, when we encounter a product that we know we have “no clue how it works or how to fix it” that we are able to tell them them, up front,  and recommend they call the original installer or go the the manufacturer’s web site to find a contractor who can help them.  Yes — it may mean lost business, but in the long run, it will come back because honesty always pays off!

Wishing  you all an EDUCATED and PRODUCTIVE 2015!


About yorkcentraltechtalk

I have been in the HVAC industry most of my life. I worked 25 years for contractors on anything from residential to large commercial boilers and power burners. For the past 23+ years I had been employed by York International UPG Division ( a division of Johnson Controls) as a Technical support/Service Manager but I am now retired. One of my goals has always been to "educate" dealers and contractors. The reason for starting this blog was to share some knowledge, thoughts, ideas, etc with anyone who takes the time to read it. The contents of this blog are my own opinions, thoughts, experiences and should not be construed as those of Johnson Controls York UPG in any way. I hope you find this a help. I always welcome comments and suggestions for postings and will do my best to address any thoughts, questions, or topics you may want to hear about. Thanks for taking the time to read my postings! Mike Bishop
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5 Responses to More Comments on MORE BASICS

  1. Pete Singh says:

    Well I have been Tech for last 15 years got my education and training from trade school. It doesn’t mean I know everything in HVAC . If I get stuck on the job I always call Tech support and they troubleshoot over the phone but I have another Tech support who has 35years behind the trade , he actually comes on the job site to help me to troubleshoot the problem ( of course I have to pay him) . This way you don’t keep the customer waiting in cold winter months .
    Hands on training is the best teacher. In my area Stockton Ca, the gas company (Pacific Gas & Electric) they offer free classes in the evening for 3 hrs. I learned troubleshooting ECM motors, duct sizing and quality maintenance and quality installalation .
    My philosophy is if not broken Don’t Fix it. This way you I keep the customer happy and I mention to him that this particular part might last you 3 months or 3years.

    • Pete — if everyone would get “continuing education” like you do and are not afraid to admit they don’t know everything, our industry would be a much better place.
      Thanks for your comments.

      • kathyzurek says:

        Mike- I am on Gull Lake, in Brainerd, Minnesota and can’t find ANYONE that knows how to keep my two York furnances running in Brainerd! I’ve called York, they gave me your phone number but you’re retired. I’ve had this furnance serviced over 12 times in the last few years and it’s less than 5 years old. I’d NEVER buy a York furnance again! Thank God we have two furnances and one usually keeps running…today it’s holding at 66 degrees but it’s 3- so that won’t hold forever. Who do we call? No one seems to know a darn thing at York, nor do they care. We are wondering if it’s an install problem. They ran a 3″ pipe at least 60′ to vent it outside, seems like a long run. They have cleaned heat sensors, replaced pressure switches, limit switches, blowers, motors, (might not have correct names here) you name it they have done it. What do we do? Only option left is to buy new furnances and replace the 5 year old Yorks, and again they won’t be YORKS! HELP someone – Mike we need you!

      • Kathy — your local distributor is Ferguson Supply in Duluth. You should call them first to see if they have someone in your area to assist you. If they cannot help — call 877-874-7378 and follow the prompts to Consumer relation.

  2. Herbert Massat says:

    Hi Mike,i have a simelar 6/09 i purchased a YP9C o8oB12 MP11A Ser.#WOE980 5497. We live in a HUD approved Mfg.Home and told theOfficemanager I worked 27 Yr. in HVACR for S & C Electric Co. and want to take out the old Furnace but you take away. The installation was fast and profesional,when i asked him to leakcheck the gasline he refused, did not smell gas and all parts are factory adjusted.I have a simpson #2795 Multimeter &Thermocouple,Manometer and Hand tools to do it myself.Did not even bother to change the Gasvalve,since it is a downflow.In 2012 i had to replace the imbalanced squirelcage, the motormounts are ajoke [electrical gromets] Very satisfied with the overall performance.Herb M.

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