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AIR CONDITIONING REPAIRS AND PROBLEMS SOLVED


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Where on earth did you find the tracer gas? We bought the gas from the only source we could find, Airgas and now they charge me $20 / month hazardous gas fee for me to store a non hazardous bottle that is 95% nitrogen. The air we breathe is 89% nitrogen. I have searched for another source without luck.

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It's good to hear your results and process.   I too have this setup.   I purchased the Inficon AST100FG Forming Gas Leak Detector.   The N2H2 mixed gas is also called Forming Gas.   Those squirrelly little hydrogen molecules are great escape artists and thus are good for leak detection.   I also upped my game and bought the Inficon D-TEK Stratus Refrigerant Leak Detector up from my previous D-TEK 3 for refrigerant leak detection.  It can find very small leaks in an already charged system, but not the same as the N2H2.

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On 9/21/2023 at 8:26 AM, Greg S. said:

Yes thank you.

Are they charging you $20 / month hazardous fee for the tank? That's what I fought with them over here in Florida.

When I first acquired my tank, they were up in arms over the Hydrogen.  It seems that 5% Hydrogen is not flammable and is an industry norm.   Maybe press them on this.   But they did make me put an oxygen valve instead of a nitrogen valve and I had to install a Nitrogen adapter.   My battle was over the valve.  No mention of a fee, but then again, I'm in Texas, not Florida.   I purchased from AirGas.

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The AST detects hydrogen.   For this, you are using the detector in the Robinaire LD9TG.   These are similar units - they both detect combustible gasses.    

The Stratus detects 134a and 1234yf.    So, you use forming gas during service, but if it does return, use a regular refrigerant leak detector to check for leaks if needed.   I learned of the Stratus from Tom Lech's youtube page.  He says the top dog of sniffers is the Bacharach H-10 Pro Refrigerant Leak Detector.   However, he also says that the D-TEK Stratus is almost on par with the H-10.  He uses the Stratus for leak detection on Auto AC. 

 

Tom's page:  https://www.youtube.com/@coldfinger459sub0 

He is a great learning resource and makes no money on his channel.  He does this to help the community.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

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      Auto shop owners are always looking for ways to improve production levels. They focus their attention on their technicians and require certain expectations of performance in billable labor hours. While technicians must know what is expected of them, they have a limited amount of control over production levels. When all factors are considered, the only thing a well-trained technician has control over is his or her actual efficiency.
      As a review, technician efficiency is the amount of labor time it takes a technician to complete a job compared to the labor time being billed to the customer. Productivity is the time the technician is billing labor hours compared to the time the technician is physically at the shop. The reality is that a technician can be very efficient, but not productive if the technician has a lot of downtime waiting for parts, waiting too long between jobs, or poor workflow systems.
      But let’s go deeper into what affects production in the typical auto repair shop. As a business coach, one of the biggest reasons for low shop production is not charging the correct labor time. Labor for extensive jobs is often not being billed accurately. Rust, seized bolts, and wrong published labor times are just a few reasons for lost labor dollars.
      Another common problem is not understanding how to bill for jobs that require extensive diagnostic testing, and complicated procedures to arrive at the root cause for an onboard computer problem, electrical issue, or drivability issue. These jobs usually take time to analyze, using sophisticated tools, and by the shop’s top technician. Typically, these jobs are billed at a standard menu labor charge, instead of at a higher labor rate. This results in less billed labor hours than the actual labor time spent. The amount of lost labor hours here can cripple a shop’s overall profit.
      Many shop owners do a great job at calculating their labor rate but may not understand what their true effective labor is, which is their labor sales divided by the total labor hours sold. In many cases, I have seen a shop that has a shop labor rate of over $150.00 per hour, but the actual effective labor rate is around $100. Not good.
      Lastly, technician production can suffer when the service advisors are too busy or not motivated to build relationships with customers, which results in a low sales closing ratio. And let’s not forget that to be productive, a shop needs to have the right systems, the right tools and equipment, an extensive information system, and of course, great leadership.
      The bottom line is this; many factors need to be considered when looking to increase production levels. While it does start with the technician, it doesn’t end there. Consider all the factors above when looking for ways to improve your shop’s labor production.
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