How to treat your HVAC tech

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Maybe they are trying to learn a few tricks but when you're working on stilts or staging it can become a real distraction and dangerous especially if it's a one or 2 room job and you're using setting type compound...I have no time to chat if you know what I mean...Hanging around for a bit is one thing but all day is quite different....When they bring in a chair and flop down I know it's gonna be a LONG day and more than likely the LAST time I do work for them...LOL...
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Red Green wrote:

I'm glad to show someone who is interested what's going on and explain how their equipment works and what can go wrong. It helps them better maintain it and to know when to call in a service tech. I had one little old gal crawl under her house with me because she wanted to know how her furnace worked.
TDD
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"The Daring Dufas" wrote

Grin, cool! Oh, I got some good news Sunday from an installer. He was there at Lowes and I was looking at the gas water heaters. He was waiting for some to be loaded on his truck for installs and bored. He was happy to talk with a potential client.
I explained we were on the last legs of a 22 year old 50G gas water heater that probably could be repaired and based on here (apparently he ghost reads the place at times) it was probably an element out but it was pretty much better to replace than repair at this age.
As we chatted I found out an assumption was wrong. I had been told by others (who are not hot water specialists) that we had to have a slab poured to raise it. He said no, our current brick and cement block is code spec for here provided it is a proper stable base and I think he said 4 inches required (I may be wrong). It can be higher as you need but not lower. He said he just generally matched to existing gas pipe which is pretty standard normally on height. I jotted down his name so we can request him be the one who does our job (apparently they have 3 who do this). He said he'd be happy to show us how to properly maintain it.
We are right now probably getting 25G. I am looking at a 50G replacement unit. Due to back issues I have, an almost Onsen (Japanese HOT bath soak if I mis-spelled it) for up to 3 hours is a good fix for me. I don't have the space for a true hot tub although we have considered an extension for a smaller 2 seater unit off the back of the house.
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"Red Green" wrote

Yeah, Thats what I was warning the other person about. Showing interest and wandering by every now and again to offer a cup of coffee or whatever seems sensible (Ice water if summer and a hot job etc) is ok.
It's also ok to ask nicely if some special part that you'd like to learn about, if you can watch it. Like, had an electrician here when we first got back from Japan and that horrendous renter damage was still being worked on. I'd always wondered how they got the wires down a wall but never had a chance to see it so I asked him if when he got to one of those spots, if I could watch as i was curious. He was happy to let me watch and I didnt delay him with alot of questions.
It was kinda funny actually as he was quietly watching us from the sunroom where he was working, as we rescreened the wooden portion of the porch with wood shims. He came over to watch one panel as he was fascinated that we do one in about 6 mins once the pieces are all cut. Keeping in mind he's an electrician so not that well versed in screen repair, he was needing to replace his own.
We showed him how we'd precut the top to bottom sections (all the same) then each side to side piece had to be measured because ours arent standard (1 inch or so variations, doesnt show to the eye but it's there). It's a simple nail in top with screen then one side, then stretch and nail bottom then final stretch and nail on remaining side. He said he was about to spend alot of money to have a contractor buddy do his but now that he knew how fast it could be done, he had time to do it himself (he thought it took about an hour per screen, not about 10 mins including cutting time). Showed him the tips to make it easier (like it can be fancy trim wood but make it about 1 inch across and not much less nor much more or it's harder to work with the tightening phase).

It's all in how it's approached I think. I've never hovered over a worker yet. I have always offered that if they hit a spot where they'd like me to help hand tools over, I'd be happy to help and sometimes they hit a spot where that is useful. Like I've been up in the attic holding a flashlight a few times for a worker.

LOL, thats why I generally don't tell them my background. Tends to make them think that. Besides, I don't know everything by a long shot. I had my specialty areas of work (mostly wood working, wall papering and detail painting though I've done bits of everything else except electrical and my plummer skills pretty much devolve to replacing a toilet or sink).

LOL! Yeah, it can get hot up there! I remember whern we had our roof redone in summer. It was 103F in the shade. I filled a plastic empty cat litter bucket with ice and bottled water with a rope on it. They'd lift it when they wanted one then drop it back in the shade of the house. I told'em to just toss the empties in the yard which we'd remove and replace in the bucket as needed.
We were replacing the wallpaper in the kitchen to get the place ready for renting so when they'd come down for a cool off break (required in that heat) they'd watch and ask a few questions. One of the guys started getting wobbly from the heat and the foreman sent him down for a whole hour and then a recheck before allowed back up. Perfect timing as I'm 5ft1inch TALL and had just hit the ceiling part of the measurements for the longer wall and having to climb up and down a step ladder was irritating. He was able to reach (grin). So, he held my little flourescent green yarn bit with the bolt tied to the bottom as I measured those 6 panels off (ceiling not totally square nor are walls dead on plumb, little 1/8th to 1/4 inch adustments here and there). It's like the livingroom where one wall kinda wanders being 5/8 inch lower at one far end from the other but dips a bit in the center. Totally has to be adjusted for with the repeat pattern when wall papering. The kitchen wallpaper has to be replaced again (renter damage) but we are waiting as we are replacing the cabinets so there's no point yet.
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Sounds like you place value on your time, and skills. I can understand that.
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Christopher A. Young
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I'm gonna go with too much work, can't imagine any other explanation. I wasn't even there for the A/C install, SWMBO had more time off work than I did so she took the day off and I got home just as he was finishing taping up the ductwork.
Now maybe *she* was hovering... I dunno. She gets pissed off at me when she's "helping" me do stuff because I give short answers because I'd rather get the job done, then explain anything she doesn't understand later over a beer instead of while I'm balancing on joists in the attic or similar...
nate
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

[...]
Don't forget to ask: "Would you come back after regular working hours and do the job for half the quoted price?"
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HeyBub wrote:

I remember, as a small (physically and age-wise) kid being drafted to help add insulation to the short-headroom parts of the attic, that I thought it was strange that my father and older brother waited until well after dark to start the project. I didn't figure out why until years later. I wonder if, in the parts of the country that follow the HVAC in attic custom, any of them ask to do the work after dark?
-- aem sends...
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I do remember the one time I was working for another company. We had an attic fan installed at the one house, where we were installing air handler in the attic. The fan wasn't wired in, so I'd brought a lamp cord and a couple wire nuts with me. I wired the fan to the side socket of a trouble lamp cord we had up there. Turned the heat setting knobs till the fan started. Within a minute or two, the temperature up there must have dropped ten degrees. Really great.
Of course, we should have been working after sunset.
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