Tool Tips: Are You Ready to Win FREE Tools?

Tool Tips: Are You Ready to Win FREE Tools?

If you could share an idea and win a free set of tools, wouldn’t that be great? You heard right. FREE. The Tool Tips Contest is where we share tips and ideas both here in Contracting Business and online, to help you be safe and productive. The best part is that of all the tips we receive, the editorial team will choose one every other month (six times per year) to win $160 worth of hand tools, provided courtesy of our friends at Klein Tools.

Here’s how it works If you’re a service or installation technician, and have an idea or a tip involving the use of a hand or power tool that increases safety, saves money, or improves productivity, post it on www.hvac-talk.com in the Contest! Contest! forum. Be sure to include a good photo depicting the tool and how you use it. You can also send your entry and photo to: Mike Weil, editor-in-chief, Contracting Business, 1300 E. 9th St., Cleveland, OH 44114. Or, e-mail: [email protected]

Be sure to include your real name, company name, city, state and telephone information.

This is important so we can ship the winner their prize. Also, make sure the subject line in your e-mail, or the address line on your envelope says “Tool Tips.”

We’ll publish a number of tips, but only the first place winner wins the prize.

The grand prize tools include a professional tube cutter, 13-in. tinner snips, offset straight aviation snips, duct slitting tool, and a setting hammer.

Note: If the same idea is submitted by more than one technician, the entry with the clearest written description that includes a photo will be given precedence.

Now, on to the tips!


GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Step-down on Metal Buildings

Step-down on Metal Buildings

Sometimes I get on the roof of a metal building to do service to find out there is no 120V electrical outlet for my equipment. I use a step down transformer to make using equipment safer than tying into one leg of power and earth ground. With a transformer you’re able to use a GFCI for safer working conditions. Just be sure to get one rated at the proper VA and voltage you’re working with.

Bret Bunderson, student (Btcstudenthvacr), Janesville WI via HVAC-Talk.com





Test Terminal Jumper

Test Terminal Jumper

I have a lot of Trane Voyager rooftop units on the roof of the property I service. When I do my preventive maintenance, I use an automotive remote starter to jump the test terminals to go through each of the stages. It has nice long leads and good alligator clips and costs less than $10 to buy.

John Culpepper, General Growth Properties,
Austin, TX via HVAC-Talk.com



Condensing Unit Cleaning Tip
Condensing Unit Cleaning Tip
With the new air conditioning condensing units getting so much bigger in size, I’ve been having some problems cleaning them out. Or at least reaching the bottom of the unit. Even with a step ladder I can’t reach the bottom. So I use either a shop vac for loose stuff, or use water and a pair of grill tongs to help with the reach. I realize that not everybody is height challenged, but this tip helps me and several others I’ve told. They now use the same trick.

Tim Steinhauer
Steinhauer Heating and Cooling, LLC




















Simple Wire Wrap Technique
Simple Wire Wrap Technique
Here’s an inexpensive way to make your wires look nice in the box. Wrap them using a cylindrical shaped object.

You can use your Mini Maglite® light, but I just use my 6-in-1 driver tool and wrap the wire around it to make a spiral. This looks better than having extra wire hanging loose or having to tie the wire up.

Amethyst Bush, service technician, Levittown, PA via HVAC-Talk.com











Cool the Burn
This tip involves no hand tools, but I always keep a bottle of burn cream in my tool bag. Whether brazing or accidently rubbing against a hot discharge line, it’s important to keep burn cream handy.

Richard Patty (Chaard), service technician,
All Climate Services via HVAC-Talk

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