I'm not about to be an egomaniac as my boss was equally culpable in this caper, but this goes to show how important the details are. It also shows that assume really does make an ass of u and me.
The job was a no cooling call, which means that an air-conditioner is on the fritz and nearly always with grumpy customers in tow. Let's face it, we can bundle up a little more, but we can only take off so much before we risk being arrested. Jokes aside, there was a problem. How big I wanted it to be was up to me.
So I go to this house and find the A-coil iced up and charging the system impossible, but a well timed call from my boss suggesting that I turn the furnace on to thaw it out. Who knew, my boss is a genius. Well then, onward we go. The homeowner is ticked and told twice by another company's techs that he's going to have to buy a new coil and he'd be better off replacing the system entirely. The problem is that it's only six years old and not even through half of its life. Despite my cajoling, he's convinced this is going to cost big bucks. I tell him not to worry, but we need to do a leak search.
I have a Harbor Freight refrigerant leak detector that cost me $80 a couple years ago and despite needing repair on the switch, works very well. The first thing I did was to turn on the device and walk toward the outdoor unit and barely pointing the sensor, it started to beep quickly. When I made it to the service valves, the device screamed; BINGO. Guess what, found the problem. It was because the installer overheated the service valves as per usual. Opening the covers revealed that a well-meaning tech tried to band aid the problem with Leak Lock, but the leak remained unlocked and continued to bedevil the homeowner for 3 years.
After confirming this, I went ahead and traipsed to the basement, detector in hand and found no leaks at the A-coil. This was, according to the homeowner, going to cost almost $2000 to fix, for a 6 year old A/C. This was crazy. Now I'm not perfect myself, but this is a reminder that as techs we can't just go and condemn parts. We need to gather evidence and prove this to the customer. He or she is the one paying the bills. Speaking of bills...
My fix was replacing the service valve caps with sealing ones (O rings), recharging the system with R-22 and the leak search. All told this was about $260.00 to save an A/C, not mention the customer's wallet. Again, this was taking the time, having the right attitude (even at beer thirty) to help your customer out and actually giving a care about them. Everyone wants good customer service and everyone deserves it, but we should all be willing to give it too. Our work is a reflection on us and should be to glorify our Creator. Making our boss and company look good won't hurt either. Blessings in Christ.