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Servicing Gas-Fired Equipment: Avoid Call-Backs, Save Time and Money with the Proper Troubleshooting Tools

Servicing Gas-Fired Equipment:

Avoid Call-Backs, Save Time and Money with the Proper Troubleshooting Tools

We need the right tools for the job.  We want to do the job right, avoid call-backs to a service call we thought was already completed, and we want to perform work better than the other guy so that we can build a solid reputation and make good money doing good job.  

We are going to introduce three key tools that will help you get a leg up on the competition:

1) Digital Manometer

2) Multimeter

3) Digital Analyzer

Trust me here when I say that not all service use these three tools, and even fewer service techs use these tools properly.  
If you use these three tools, and use them well, then you will notice a gain in customer satisfaction because you work will improve, your time spent at each job will decrease, and this will help you grow your business.
‍Uei Test Instruments Model EM201B
‍Uei Model EM201B

Tool: Digital Manometer

Goal: Measuring Gas Pressures in water columns (W.C.); take measurements at the Supply (static) & Gas Valve (manifold) to assure gas-fired appliance needs are met.

Why use a Manometer:

Many times a technician assumes gas pressure is “good” all the while without a numerical value from a measuring tool, you may never discover the cause of the issue.  When working with expensive parts and high performance appliances, you want to make measurements according to the manufacturer’s recommendation or you will be ‘shooting from the hip’ as they say.  If you’re blind to what the true cause of an issue might be, then troubleshooting will take you longer and cost you money. We suggest Uei Test Instruments Model EM201B.

Rating plates - show the appliance’s requirements. Look for: 1) Max. /Min. Inlet Gas Pressure as well as 2) Manifold Pressure.
Supply – make sure supply pipe and regulator(s) are providing acceptable range of gas pressure – measured in inches of water column (W.C.)
Manifold – verifies if gas valve is operating within acceptable operation limits – measured in inches of water column (W.C.) NOTE: perform this while appliance is fired ON

Multimeter: UEi Model DL479

Tool: Multimeter

Goal: Measure electrical readings at your appliance.  Sensors like thermistors, and electrical wires that send signal to a computer (CPU) or other circuitry.

Why use a Multimeter:

You want a multimeter that can test for amps and volts AC and DC, Resistance (Ω), DC microamps (µA), Capacitance (µF), and Temperature (for thermocouple probe). 

Features to looks for: Data hold, Min/Max, Manual ranging option, Backlight, a worklight can be a huge benefit, Low battery indicator, Auto power off (saves battery), Auto calibration, and Magnetic mounting (frees up hands for working).  Buying a good multimeter is a good investment, so compare and look for rich features that will allow you to work faster and more accurately.

UEi model C157 Eagle X Xtended Life Combustion Analyzer w/ NO1

Tool: Digital Analyzer 

Goal with a Digital Analyzer is to assure your appliance’s heat exchanger is burning its fuel clean.  

Why use a Digital Analyzer:

A Digital Analyzer accomplishes this in many ways by measuring: differential flue temperature, Carbon Dioxide (CO2) levels, flue & ambient carbon monoxide (CO) levels, Differential Pressure, and Nitric Oxide (NO1) levels.  Also, you will want a Digital Analyzer that calculates: Oxygen, efficiency, Excess air, CO air free.  Follow the appliances service manual, install manual, or contact the manufacturer for proper analyzer procedures.

‍Tuning a gas-fired heat exchanger

Tuning a gas-fired heat exchanger

Tuning a gas-fired heat exchanger is a must-do maintenance to perform in order to keep your gas powered appliance (tankless water heater, boiler, commercial water heater, furnace, etc.) working at optimal performance over time.  We suggest the UEi model C157 Eagle X Xtended Life Combustion Analyzer w/ NO1.

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Kevin Parham
June 16, 2017