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Old 07-23-2011, 11:07 AM   #1
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Buying tools for new graduate


I'd like to buy a set of tools for my daughter who is setting out to do air conditioning work after school. I'd like good quality test equipment including:
Manifold gauges (4 hose)
Clamp on thermometer for SH SC
Leak detector
She will be working with a well known HVAC company. This will be a suprise gift for her.
What do you recommend I get for her?
What brands should I avoid?

D
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:24 PM   #2
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Buying tools for new graduate


I like CPS gauges and do not buy the fancy smancy digital gauges and overpriced Fluke instruments. Great if you are an industrial electrician and need the extra protection etc. Been using CPS manifolds and gauges for over 30 yrs. I like Bacharach electronic leak detectors and Cooper and Testo and UEI for digital meters, manometers. You can buy a good quality UEI multitester for 2/3 the price of a Fluke and add a Cooper or UEI clamp on k type thermocouple clamp to do super heat etc to that meter. Fluke is good but won't make her any smarter or teach her the fundamentals of superheat/subcool. Same goes with those electronic gauges. Better to learn it the old school way with a chart and basic gauges. Download the catalog and check them out.

http://www.cpsproducts.com/catalogs.html

http://www.ueitest.com/index.html
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Last edited by yuri; 07-23-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:38 PM   #3
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Buying tools for new graduate


We'll convert you to digital one of these days yuri. Even Beenthere bought the fieldpiece SMAN3 manifold. Includes 2 clamp ons (which are $80 each) inlcudes built in micron gauge($200) includes wet bulb and dry bulb thermometers ($20 each). All that plus the digital manifold for $400,the same price as just the accessories.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:44 PM   #4
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Buying tools for new graduate


Giving an old man like me a Blackberry or any other hard to read digital unit is a bit of a circus. I do think newbies learn a lot more fundamentally by using a chart and more basic tools. If you already TRULY understand superheat/subcooling and how TX valves work then some electronic stuff is a nice reward for years of hard work. VERY few techs these days are more than parts changers and that is a shame. Not that I can't afford the electronics but I am about to drop $30-35,000 on a new Ford Escape in a few weeks.
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Old 07-23-2011, 12:59 PM   #5
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Buying tools for new graduate


company supplies everything above the amp probe including a vac pump good set of guages and let her see the company wants for one season....of work
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Old 07-23-2011, 01:56 PM   #6
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Buying tools for new graduate


Quote:
Originally Posted by StahlMaster View Post
I'd like to buy a set of tools for my daughter who is setting out to do air conditioning work after school. I'd like good quality test equipment including:
Manifold gauges (4 hose)
Clamp on thermometer for SH SC
Leak detector
She will be working with a well known HVAC company. This will be a suprise gift for her.
What do you recommend I get for her?
What brands should I avoid?

D

She needs 2 sets of gauges, R22 and R410. Don't want to use one set for both as cross contamination of mineral and polyester oil will occur. Biggles makes a good point. Maybe she won't like the trade so why buy the most expensive tools.
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Old 07-23-2011, 03:04 PM   #7
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Buying tools for new graduate


Wow. I really like the SMAN3 manifold. Looks like an all in one unit.
What, if any, accessories are available for this unit. Are the hoses included?
I'll keep the reciept. I see one on-line for $359.00

D

Last edited by StahlMaster; 07-23-2011 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 07-23-2011, 04:55 PM   #8
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Buying tools for new graduate


Looks like a good unit for experienced techs. She would need 2 of them for AC. My other comment is that when a newbie starts a new job and shows up onsite with experienced Journeymen and brings a lot of shiny expensive name brand electronic gauges etc they SOMETIMES are not taken seriously and can be made fun of or worse. Hopefully that does not happen to her but it happens more often than not. I would recommend she see what the other employees are using and recommend and buy them and try fit in. Tradesmen are a nasty lot to newbies/apprentices because thats the way we all were treated. Not necessarily right but thats the way it is. Newbies usually due PM preventative maintenance calls for quite awhile to get their feet wet and don't necessarily need all the complete kit of tools to start with. Sounds like you care a lot for her and if you have the $$ go for it. Just trying to help her fit in and get a good start.

2 sets of good basic gauges with low loss fittings, a decent multi-tester than can do capacitance checks, clamp type thermometer to work with the multi-tester is all my newbies use. They don't start leak checking until they are qualified to do service work and the Boss sees that so I don't think she needs a leak detector at the start.

Personally I would not like a LARGE unit like that as it would be hard to use in small spaces/in rose bushes etc. Would have to be very careful to not snag those wires on branches etc. Just my opinion.
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Last edited by yuri; 07-23-2011 at 05:10 PM.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:17 PM   #9
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Buying tools for new graduate


For a newb. I would recommend they use analog gauges first, before switching to digitals.
Analog will make them think more. And by having to think/do the math themselves, make them have to reason out what they are seeing.

The SMAN3 are real easy to read, don't need my glasses to read them, and has a back light, great for night calls. And no, the hoses don't come with.

These are good, http://www.yellowjacket.com/node/941
Should also get a cheaper set, for those older, have no idea what garbage maybe be in the system units.

Multimeter, http://www.google.com/products/catal...ed=0CGIQ8wIwAw
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