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MAGICAL THINKING

Jackmartin
Jackmartin Member Posts: 172
I want to ask the people that read this forum a question that drives me to distraction, magical thinking. The type of thought process some ,supposedly experts, do on a daily basis. Example: the guy goes into the boiler room scratch’s his head because the system is not something he is familiar with so “ fixes it “by changing it to something he thinks he understands. The upshot Is now ,nothing works and he gives the lame excuse — Well it’s really old and you should upgrade. What about trying to educate yourself so you do understand or Heavens Forbid ,admit the system has you stumped and he is going to call in someone more knowledgeable. This happened two years ago on our a/ c system. We have an insurance plan that covers all the equipment in our home and the system developed a leak. I was going to repair it ,considering I installed it twenty years ago, when my better half insisted we go with the insurance. They send some wet behind the ears apprentice who proceeds to tell me after two hours ,I had a leak because I used ACR pipe instead of tubing, too many silfossed joints. Well, I have to admit I tossed this kid out on his ear and repaired It myself. This child was using magical thinking ,he didn’t know what was wrong so he grasped on the most outlandish problem he could think of, to add insult to injury; before he bounced on his ear ,he tells me the only way to repair the system is to repipe in tubing? Good Lord. Stay Well and Be Blessed Jack

Comments

  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 14,552
    That is a training issue more often than not, it goes against his boss or company. Managers need to do ride alongs with their employees from time to time to see where training is needed.
    Don't we all start out wet behind the ears? :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    HVACNUTSTEVEusaPASolid_Fuel_Man
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 15,328
    See it all the time, @Jackmartin . I want it to be so, so it must be so...
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England.
    Hoffman Equipped System (all original except boiler), Weil-Mclain 580, 2.75 gph Carlin, Vapourstat 0.5 -- 6.0 ounces per square inch
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 348
    When I was still working and I came upon a piece of equipment that I was not familiar with, instead of blowing smoke up someones a*s, I would call the shop to see if we had anyone experienced with that type of equipment and have them come to that job site. If time allowed I would stay and get educated on that piece of equipment. Since the equipment I worked on and serviced were larger steam/hot water boilers there was very little "margin for error" and guessing was not an option. Guessing could cost you your life. If you don't have experience with a particular piece of equipment do not experiment. Ask for help.

    As for the service companies out there do not send an inexperienced person to fix anything until they are properly trained.

    My advice for newer guys, read and study everything pertaining to the equipment that you are supposed to work on and I mean "everything" and don't be afraid to ask for assistance.

    I knew too many guys that were just parts changers and had no idea what they were doing. What a shame
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,790
    When I first started, it was for a commercial contractor. The supervisor gave me 2 cases of 8x8 air filters to change in all the offices. 4 hours later I go back to him and say, "Man, it's hard to line up the screw holes with the ceiling tiles sandwiched between transition duct and the return grills." I put the filters in the supply registers. The Supervisor and maintenance guys were howling. I needed a little guidance I guess, but I should have been thinking before doing. Occam's Razor. Magical thinking is just that. An illusion. 
    SuperTech
  • Grallert
    Grallert Member Posts: 490
    Age and experience.
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 433
    Here is real magical thinking.

    I started in the business as a plumber and much later in life I became a consultant and author.

    My brother may he rest in peace was top notch oil sevice technician in residential, commercial and industrial oil and gas burners.

    Both my brother and I carried tech manuals, trouble shooting guides and installation instructions for the various equipment we serviced in boxes on the passenger seats of our vehicles.

    Here is the magical thing and it happened vial land line or cell phone, through the magic of phonecom we called each other when the poop hit the fan. Between the two of us no problem ever went unresolved.

    Remember the phone is a very magical tool and the reference data kept in the vehicle is the magic of print.

    Jake
    ratioBillyOEdTheHeaterMan
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,423
    I see this all the time. Techs override outdoor reset, freeze stats, dampers and you name it until they make the system so simple that they can understand it.
    The technicians I respect the most are the ones that call and say, "do you have a minute, I wanted to run something by you..." These guys are super sharp, they just know 2 brains are better than one.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    SuperTech
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,480
    The problem now is most of the trade schools have been closed, no more wood or metal shop in high school. The kids are playing video game or playing on their phones and not interested and all us old guys are long in the tooth.

    Too bad, but this is only the begining.
    gennadySuperTech
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 806

    The problem now is most of the trade schools have been closed, no more wood or metal shop in high school. The kids are playing video game or playing on their phones and not interested and all us old guys are long in the tooth.

    Too bad, but this is only the begining.

    Whole heating service trade becomes a niche market.
  • BillyO
    BillyO Member Posts: 261

    Here is real magical thinking.

    I started in the business as a plumber and much later in life I became a consultant and author.

    My brother may he rest in peace was top notch oil sevice technician in residential, commercial and industrial oil and gas burners.

    Both my brother and I carried tech manuals, trouble shooting guides and installation instructions for the various equipment we serviced in boxes on the passenger seats of our vehicles.

    Here is the magical thing and it happened vial land line or cell phone, through the magic of phonecom we called each other when the poop hit the fan. Between the two of us no problem ever went unresolved.

    Remember the phone is a very magical tool and the reference data kept in the vehicle is the magic of print.

    Jake

    you are 100% correct, if you know how to use the resources , you have all the information needed to fix anything right in the palm of your hand
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 1,792
    edited September 2020
    The things we remember.

    @dopey27177 said: Both my brother and I carried tech manuals, trouble shooting guides and installation instructions for the various equipment we serviced in boxes on the passenger seats of our vehicles.

    This discussion reminded me of a salesman for a company I worked for went to an apartment complex to try to get the oil account. It was about 11:00 am and about 23° when the salesman noticed a Burner Repair truck close to Building #5 boiler room. That reminded him to promote the expert burner service technicians we employed.
    ... long story short... at 11:00 PM the building manager of the complex called the salesman on his cell phone and told him the mechanics that were working on the boiler all day just asked "Do you know anybody else that knows about these things?"

    By midnight I was there and found a cracked porcelain on one very clean ignitor, a combustion chamber full of oil (Reset only once LOL), and a new-fangled flame retention burner that I was not familiar with. (I was a lot younger then)

    I replaced the porcelain, got 2 fire extinguishers ready, Opened the air adjustment wide, loosened wires from the main oil valves, and instructed the building manager to remove all combustible material from the front of the boiler room that also doubled as tenant storage. He said how far, I said at least 20 feet. I need to keep this lane clear because the flame from the flame sight glass opening might shoot out that far.

    The thing was... I m not sure how to adjust these electrodes and the only thing I had in my "Box of Books" on the passenger seat was a similar model of that burner that was the next size smaller. So I was confident with my guess at the electrode setting.

    So the burner lit off, The flame shot out (only 6 feet) from the flame sight door. I removed the high fire and low fire wires to the fuel solenoid valves and waited for the chamber to burn off, adding a little low fire fuel as needed. Within 2 hours the flame was under control.

    The next day I sent one of our commercial technicians to properly set up the electrodes and the air/oil mixture, fuel pressure, and do a complete maintenance.

    I'm not sure I would have been comfortable with burning off the saturation, or leaving the burner operational if I did not have that "box of books" on my passenger seat.
    Edward Young
    Retired HVAC Contractor from So. Jersey Shore.
    Cleaned & services first oil heating system at age 16
    Specialized in Oil Heat and Hydronics where the competition did Gas Warm Air

    If you make an expensive repair and the same problem happens, What will you check next?
    CLambBillyO
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