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Service Question

chuck shaw
chuck shaw Member Posts: 584
As a service tech, what would you rather see in an Installation/Service Manual, a trouble shooting check list, or a flow chart, and why. Work with the idea that both would have the same information, and get you to the same place troubleshooting.


Chuck Shaw


  • Pinball
    Pinball Member Posts: 249

    I like the troubleshooting guide. Most flow charts I've seen don't have possible causes or solutions. If you can work those items into a flow chart, then it would'nt really matter.
    If your thinking about changing the Munchkin Manual, I like it the way it is. Especially coupled with the tech support from the MFG. JMHO

  • Al Letellier_9
    Al Letellier_9 Member Posts: 929
    trouble shoooting

    Chuck, what's wrong with having both? For electrical, we get schematics and a ladder diaghram, why can't we have both for sys ops. How much more would it cost the manufacturers to print one more page? Everyone's brain works differently and we all have those days when it's foggy between the ears, so it would be a help to look at things from different perspectives. My 2 cents worth.

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  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    I agree with Al...

    That is what I was going to say, why not both?

    Personally I like flow/logic diagrams but as Pinball Al said, there is the lack of space for causes and solutions. Everyone's mind works differently. Some are more visual and others are more logical and at different times.

    Personally I see both as being supplemental to one-another. The graphic tree of a logic diagram can get to the problem sooner and a checklist can illustrate more depth.

    My $0.02

  • Chuck Shaw_2
    Chuck Shaw_2 Member Posts: 68
    Exactly the kind of information

    Thanks Al and Al and Brad!!! This is exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for. I like the idea of having both. I would really love to hear from as many people as possible on this.

    Thanks again,

  • Ron Schroeder
    Ron Schroeder Member Posts: 998

  • Plumdog_2
    Plumdog_2 Member Posts: 873

  • I would like to

    see more detailed information as to operating sequences and tie it into a good ladder diagram with more detail as to internal relays and electrical continuity so that a tech can trace a circuit from beginning to end. When you look at many control company and manufacturers troubleshooting information it is not complete. I often take what they have and rewrite it so that it is more comprehensive and detailed.

    Honeywell will for instance give you the complete internal diagram of their modules. Most other s do not do that.

    I have often tried to get that detail from different manufactueres and they are hesitant to give that information.

    There should be no limit to what is made available to a service tech or installer as it is all important when trying to diagnos a problem. Many times service problems are related to incorrect installation procedures or just plain poor installation.

    I feel that you need both but make it able to tie into a good diagram. I also like Weil McLain manuals as they show actual pictures of the controls and relate them to thier positions in the equipment. It makes it much easier to follow that way.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    I too prefer both.

    Not only do different peoples' brains work differently, I'd swear that the same brain works differently on different days and in different situations.

    Besides that some troubles are simple cause-and-effect, while others are complex and interrelated.

    When both a simple troubleshooting guide and a flowchart are provided, I usually start with the guide looking for something stupid that I overlooked on the "bad" day or a simple cause-effect problem. If nothing applies or works, I proceed to the flowchart.

    A normal operational sequence with timing should also be provided for all but the simplest equipment.
  • Anna Conda
    Anna Conda Member Posts: 122

    Agree, I prefer both. A flowchart shows me what to check and in what order. Nobody's memory is perfect and its easy to forget simple steps. You can sit there scratching your head thinking "well that's not it, what now?" and a flowchart answers that question. A troubleshooting chart then tells me how to check it (do I need a special tool or instrument? Is there a procedure that I need to follow?), what I'm checking for, and how to correct the problem. There's more room for details in a chart. I see the two as complimentary to each other. If I had to make a choice, I'd say the troubleshooting chart is the better of the two, but I think having both is best.
  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317

    I agree with the rest,ideally both. I think a sequence of operation should be included on the door along with the schematic and wiring diagram. I refer to the literature and flow chart next. The flow chart can be used as a written sequence of operation but the most valuable info is what's there when you get there. Putting the setting of the pressure switch on the switch is something I wish more manufacturers would do. I teach taking an inducer reading on all clean and checks and writing that down then seeing what the pressure switch makes at and writing that down. Really helps when fixing multiple brands. If it's a negative pressure gas valve a picture on how to test gas pressure helps allot. Like Timmie, I like the WM picture with the flowchart idea.
  • Mike T., Swampeast MO
    Mike T., Swampeast MO Member Posts: 6,928

    Bravo Tim!

    I learned to read schematics by "playing" with my commercial mechanical pinball machine as a kid. The manual was incredible--every circuit involving a "cascade" of relays (many of them) was separately drawn in each possible position/combination. Especially interesting were the circuits for scorekeeping and the motor-driven, multi-layer sequencing wheel with many, many contacts which in turn affected which relays entered the cascades.

    My original IBM PC came with wonderful documentation--I knew what that thing did from the moment I flipped the big red switch.

    An original "cocktail table" version of a Pac Man in my bar still had good enough instructions for me to give it a sex change to Ms. Pac Man, add some "enhancement" chips and still keep it running to this day.

    Documentation with modern computers is a bad joke. At best you get instructions on adding memory or an accessory card--AFTER you find it buried in a file on the hard drive and then print out... The modern touch-screen countertop games in the bar also have a joke for a manual--you have to replace entire assemblies/boards--and even then you're often guessing what's at fault.

    As devices have become more complex, I find most instructions/service manuals/troublshooting guides getting "dumber" and increasingly less useful.
  • S Ebels
    S Ebels Member Posts: 2,322

    I think you have your answer Chuck. I'll gladly pay more for a Munckin/whatever to help any manufacturer provide concise, well documented and complete manuals for field service and installation.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997

    I also agree with Tim, the more information you can put in the hand's of the tech on site the better. I just wish their was a way to attach a service manual to the system where the owner's wouldn't see and remove it. I've never understood why they take them, read them and then lose the manual...:(
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