Contractor’s Work Tools
What can’t be missing from your tool case on a customer visit?
From manifold sets, numerous wrenches, pliers and pipe cutters, among countless other instruments, there are so many materials the contractor takes to his job that he must be prepared to know the correct use of each one of them. Therefore, we list some items that can’t be missing from the contractor’s tool case.
Márcio Luiz de Moraes, electronics technician, in Goiás, has worked in the refrigeration field for more than 35 years. He carries with him a “basic” tool case containing flat and Phillips screwdrivers, pen electric voltage tester, pliers, ammeters, digital thermometer, capacimeter, multimeter, and other materials. While in his tool case (which there are many), he has fixed and milled screwdriver sets, manifold and digital scales, flaring and swaging tools, screw gun, nitrogen cylinder, welding set, lock ring pliers and rings of various sizes, among other things. However, he points out the vacuum pump as the most important tool in his opinion: “I find the vacuum pump to be indispensable because it causes dehydration and removes non-condensable vapors that greatly alter the pressure and consequently the system’s performance. System dehydration is essential because water reacts chemically with the oil collaborating with corrosion and deterioration of the internal components, greatly reducing the equipment’s useful life”, he affirms.
The technician Márcio Moraes also says that to this day he still owns a toolkit that he received from Embraco for recognition in the fourth phase of the Top Accreditation Program 2000, where he won second place and the silver category certification in the Midwest Region. Regarding customer service, he prefers ensuring service satisfaction to having to return to redo the work. “I have a motto: Do it right the first time! The material and time that would be spent in a possible second rework under warranty, I use it in another service call, and then the profit is greater, since there is no loss of time or materials. As a windfall, customer satisfaction and a recommendation are by far the best advertisement”, giving this tip.
Another widely used tool by contractors is the gas torch that welds tubing where the refrigerant flows. In addition to being indispensable, care must be taken to not cause explosions, when sparks come in contact with a possible gas leak. Therefore, it’s important to handle this in an open environment and choose a good brand, avoiding very inexpensive equipment. There are torches based on acetylene or common cooking gas, the latter is recommended for welding in refrigerators.
Did You Know?
The Phillips head screws and screwdrivers are named after the engineer Henry F. Phillips, an American businessman born in Portland, Oregon, in 1890.
The importance of the screw design, also called crosshead, is in its self-centering property. In 1934, Philips refined and patented the design itself and had as one of his first customers, in 1937, General Motors for its Cadillac assembly lines.
The multimeter, also called volt/ohm meter or VOM, is a device that measures the electrical components of the refrigerator to identify possible problems in voltage, current and resistance.
Thermometers are useful for checking operation of the cooling system – its cooling speed or temperature time adjustment.
Besides the tools accumulated over many years of work, the contractor also needs a good stock of disposable materials such as R-22, R-134A and R-404A refrigerants to replace possible losses and damages occurred to the system. They should always have lubricants on hand to avoid locked moving parts and for general maintenance; compressor oil and various types of grease are used in refrigeration systems.
See in the table below some work tools used by contractors: