How to flush a water heater

Many people are not aware that there is preventative maintenance involved when it comes to water heaters. In this article I will discuss how to flush a water heater. It is important to do this at least once a year to help extend the life of your water heater. Flushing a water heater will help remove the sediment that builds up in in the bottom of the tanks. It is important to know that water heaters were designed to be housed indoors. Although I have seen a few water heaters mounted outside over the years, and it’s not recommended by any manufacturers. They usually are not covered by warranty if they are installed outdoors. Most water heaters will leak enough to destroy the burner. Some people opt to have a drain pain under the water heater to help catch that water that might rust through or leak. Just be warned that a filled water heater contains a lot of water. A little tray will not be able to contain everything if the whole water heater ruptured. An aftermarket water alarm is a handy device that will alert you if it becomes wet. They can be placed inside the drain pan to help monitor if the water heater were to start leaking.

In order to properly flush a water heater. You will need to turn off the heat source. That means you will need to turn off the gas valve or turn off the breaker if it is electric. Your water heater will ruin if you don’t turn it off before emptying it. Next step is to turn off the water fill valve on the inlet pipe. If you don’t have a shut off valve on the water inlet. Then you will need to locate a water main valve that feeds that area or the entire building. You will need to attach a garden hose to the bottom of the water tank. Make sure your hose has the proper seal to prevent leaks and is adequate in length. Direct the hose to a location that will not damage from rusty water and sediment. Open the valve on top of the hose with a screwdriver or pair of pliers.

Once the water heater has emptied. You can close the hose valve, and open the water inlet valve again. Once the water heater is filled again. Then you can light the pilot light, and let water heater resume it’s normal job. Most gas water heaters are difficult to relight once the pilot light is extinguished. It usually takes a few minutes to relight the to pilot light. If you can’t get the water heater back to normal operation or smell gas then you should stop immediately and contact a professional to assist you. I hope this article has helped explain to you what is needed to flush a water heater. Please contact us with any questions or comments at brooksdollar@gmail.com

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How to install security cameras

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With technology prices dropping and crime always present. I recommend everyone installing some security cameras to the exterior of your home to provide some piece of mind. In this article I will write about how to install security cameras.

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The first thing I like to take into consideration when setting up cameras is knowing how many cameras you would like, and if they will need to be wireless or wired. Wireless cameras will need a 120v power outlet next to where you mount the camera. It is important to remember that wireless cameras have a maximum distance for effective broadcasting, and their picture quality diminishes the farther away they get. Wired cameras will need a run of wire from where the camera is mounted to the DVR. I prefer homes with attics or businesses with drop ceilings when putting in wired systems. It is also smart to locate the DVR next to where the router will be located in order to be hardwired in. My three favorite brands to set up are Swann, Night Owl, and Zmodo.

Night Owl WM-8HD10L-4720 8CH W/4CAMERASNight Owl WM-8HD10L-4720 8CH W/4CAMERASNight Owl WM-8HD10L-4720 8CH W/4CAMERASNight Owl Security HD201-86P-B Video Security Camera DVR with 1 TB HDD & 6 x 1080p Wired Infrared, WhiteNight Owl Security HD201-86P-B Video Security Camera DVR with 1 TB HDD & 6 x 1080p Wired Infrared, WhiteNight Owl Security HD201-86P-B Video Security Camera DVR with 1 TB HDD & 6 x 1080p Wired Infrared, WhiteNight Owl Security, 8 Channel 1080 Lite HD Analog Video Security System with 1 TB HDD and 8 x 1080p HD Wired Cameras (White)Night Owl Security, 8 Channel 1080 Lite HD Analog Video Security System with 1 TB HDD and 8 x 1080p HD Wired Cameras (White)Night Owl Security, 8 Channel 1080 Lite HD Analog Video Security System with 1 TB HDD and 8 x 1080p HD Wired Cameras (White)Night Owl CL-HDA30-161022P-B 16 Channel 3MP Extreme HD Video Security System with 2 TB HDD & 8x3MP Bullet Cameras, WhiteNight Owl CL-HDA30-161022P-B 16 Channel 3MP Extreme HD Video Security System with 2 TB HDD & 8x3MP Bullet Cameras, WhiteNight Owl CL-HDA30-161022P-B 16 Channel 3MP Extreme HD Video Security System with 2 TB HDD & 8x3MP Bullet Cameras, WhiteNight Owl Security WMBF-445-720 4 Channel 720p HD Video System Indoor/Outdoor (White)Night Owl Security WMBF-445-720 4 Channel 720p HD Video System Indoor/Outdoor (White)Night Owl Security WMBF-445-720 4 Channel 720p HD Video System Indoor/Outdoor (White)Night Owl 16-Channel 1080p Security System with 1 TB Hard Drive, 8x 1080p Bullet Cameras, and 100 Night VisionNight Owl 16-Channel 1080p Security System with 1 TB Hard Drive, 8x 1080p Bullet Cameras, and 100 Night VisionNight Owl 16-Channel 1080p Security System with 1 TB Hard Drive, 8x 1080p Bullet Cameras, and 100 Night Vision

Although there are numerous advantages of the newer camera systems then the older ones. I think the best feature of the newer security camera systems is that they give you the ability to view your cameras on your smartphone or tablet through their respective apps.  Some of the systems have the ability to notify you when their is motion.  The systems will start recording when there is motion for later viewing. You can go back in the archives of the DVR, and view the cameras whenever there was motion present.

Zmodo 8CH HDMI NVR Simplified PoE Surveillance Video Security Camera System With 8x720p HD Weatherproof Cameras 1TB HD Remote Access Motion DetectionZmodo 8CH HDMI NVR Simplified PoE Surveillance Video Security Camera System With 8x720p HD Weatherproof Cameras 1TB HD Remote Access Motion DetectionZmodo 8CH HDMI NVR Simplified PoE Surveillance Video Security Camera System With 8x720p HD Weatherproof Cameras 1TB HD Remote Access Motion DetectionZmodo Full HD 1080p Simplified PoE Security Camera System w/Repeater, 8 x 2.0 Megapixel IP Outdoor Surveillance Camera, 8CH HDMI NVR and 1TB Hard DriveZmodo Full HD 1080p Simplified PoE Security Camera System w/Repeater, 8 x 2.0 Megapixel IP Outdoor Surveillance Camera, 8CH HDMI NVR and 1TB Hard DriveZmodo Full HD 1080p Simplified PoE Security Camera System w/Repeater, 8 x 2.0 Megapixel IP Outdoor Surveillance Camera, 8CH HDMI NVR and 1TB Hard DriveZmodo 1080p HD NVR WiFi System 4 HD Outdoor and 4 HD Indoor 1.0 Megapixel Wide Angle Wireless Security Camera with 500GB Hard Drive, Intelligent Recording, Smart Motion Detection, Web AccessZmodo 1080p HD NVR WiFi System 4 HD Outdoor and 4 HD Indoor 1.0 Megapixel Wide Angle Wireless Security Camera with 500GB Hard Drive, Intelligent Recording, Smart Motion Detection, Web AccessZmodo 1080p HD NVR WiFi System 4 HD Outdoor and 4 HD Indoor 1.0 Megapixel Wide Angle Wireless Security Camera with 500GB Hard Drive, Intelligent Recording, Smart Motion Detection, Web AccessZmodo 8CH Wireless Security Camera System - 1080P HDMI NVR with 500GB Hard Drive, 4 x 720P HD Wireless Cameras Night Vision - WiFi Easy Installation No Video Cables Needed (Certified Refurbished)Zmodo 8CH Wireless Security Camera System – 1080P HDMI NVR with 500GB Hard Drive, 4 x 720P HD Wireless Cameras Night Vision – WiFi Easy Installation No Video Cables Needed (Certified Refurbished)Zmodo 8CH Wireless Security Camera System - 1080P HDMI NVR with 500GB Hard Drive, 4 x 720P HD Wireless Cameras Night Vision - WiFi Easy Installation No Video Cables Needed (Certified Refurbished)Zmodo Wireless Security Camera System (2 pack) Smart HD WiFi IP Cameras with Night VisionZmodo Wireless Security Camera System (2 pack) Smart HD WiFi IP Cameras with Night VisionZmodo Wireless Security Camera System (2 pack) Smart HD WiFi IP Cameras with Night Vision

It is important to remember that some of the corners of the attic may be hard to squeeze into when running wires for the cameras. I will drill a small hole in the eave of the house for the wire and push a fish tape through the hole to retrieve the wire in the hard to reach spots. This technique will make your life much easier when running the wires. Please email us if you have any questions or concerns, and we can update this article accordingly. dollarmech@gmail.com
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How to wire a home AC thermostat

Many homeowners are handy, but tend to get confused when it comes to their home AC system. In this article I will go over how to wire a home AC thermostat. First you will have to choose a AC thermostat to satisfy your personal needs. Whether you decide on choosing a Programmable or Non Programmable thermostat. They are wired the same way. Some of the newer Smart thermostats have Wifi compatibility so you can control the units with your smartphone or computer while away from the house. These thermostats usually require a Common Wire. So it is smart to look at the existing thermostat wiring if you don’t want to rewire a thermostat wire from the unit to the thermostat. Common wire is usually black, but I have seen different colors used. Common wire is attached to the common side of the 24v transformer that the red wire is attached to.

Thermostat wiring colors

Red – 24v POWER from transformer
Green – Fan
Yellow – Cooling (compressor/outdoor fan)
White – Heating (Gas Furnace or Electrical Heat Strips, Optional)
Orange – Heating (Heat Pump with a Reversing Valve, Optional)
Blue – Heating (Heating on Rheem and Ruud units)
Black – 24v Common from transformer

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When removing the cover of your old home AC thermostat you will see wires coming from the wall. Try to avoid breaking the wires when removing the old thermostat. REMEMBER THAT THE RED WIRE IS HOT!  I recommend disconnecting the power of the unit if you are a novice electrician. You could possibly burn out a small fuse or pop a micro circuit breaker on the transformer.  I tend to replace the thermostats really quickly without disconnecting power, but I have changed hundreds of thermostats and deal with different electrical wires daily. You just have to be careful with where the metal ends of the wire touch. I recommend installing the red wire first to get it out of the way. Going from one thermostat base directly into the other one. Green wire controls the indoor fan. Yellow wire controls the outdoor unit compressor and outdoor fan motor. White wire is usually used for gas furnaces or electrical heating. Orange wire is used for heat pump units, and it activates the reversing valve. Reversing valve changes the flow of the refrigerant. Blue wire is used on some units for heating. Black wire is almost always common. It is attached to the common side of the 24v transformer that the red wire is attached to.

After attaching the wires and reattaching the face plate. It is important to finish the steps in the instructions that came with the home AC thermostat. The newer Smart thermostats will have a series of questions to answer. It is important to answer the questions to the best of your ability. After you are done with the set up questions. I recommend testing the unit in the different modes to ensure that the wiring is correct. I will always test in cooling and heating to prevent a call back.  If you have any questions about your home AC thermostat. Feel free to send us questions at dollarmech@gmail.com

Get your AC ready for summer!

Air conditioners are the most crucial part of the home or business during the summer months. It is imperative to get ready for the coming summer temperatures. In this article I will go over a few things to look at on your Air Conditioner to get your AC ready for summer.

Excelvan M6013 Digital Auto Ranging Capacitance Meter Capacitor Tester Professional 0.01pF to 470000uFExcelvan M6013 Digital Auto Ranging Capacitance Meter Capacitor Tester Professional 0.01pF to 470000uFExcelvan M6013 Digital Auto Ranging Capacitance Meter Capacitor Tester Professional 0.01pF to 470000uFLCD Digital Meter XC6013L Capacitance Capacitor Tester mF uF Circuit Gauge Capacitance Meter TesterLCD Digital Meter XC6013L Capacitance Capacitor Tester mF uF Circuit Gauge Capacitance Meter TesterLCD Digital Meter XC6013L Capacitance Capacitor Tester mF uF Circuit Gauge Capacitance Meter TesterACM03 Digital Clamp Multimeter AC DC Current Voltage Resistance Capacitance Hz Meter Tester NCV FunctionACM03 Digital Clamp Multimeter AC DC Current Voltage Resistance Capacitance Hz Meter Tester NCV FunctionACM03 Digital Clamp Multimeter AC DC Current Voltage Resistance Capacitance Hz Meter Tester NCV Function

Capacitors are one of the most common things that go bad during the summer temperatures. You can prevent this by testing the capacitor Microfarad level by using a multimeter that is equipped with the feature. I recommend testing the indoor fan capacitor and outdoor fan capacitor. You can test the capacitor by removing one side of the circuit on the capacitor. Put the test leads of the multimeter across the top prongs of the capacitor. It should give you a microfarad reading of what the capacitor is rated for. So for example if you have a 12.5 microfarad capacitor. It would be most likely rated for plus or minus 6%.

12.5 x .06 = .75 So the capacitor shouldn’t be lower then 11.75 microfarads. Let’s say you have a capacitor that tested 11.13 microfarads. Then you would want to replace the capacitor with one that is within the range.

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Most home AC’s use Dual run capacitors. These are two capacitors that are built in one. One is used to run the Compressor, and the other is used to run the outdoor fan motor. Capacitors are used in a electrical circuit to boost the amperage. So they can hold a charge when removed from the circuit. It is important to discharge the capacitor by putting a piece of metal between the sets of prongs on the top of the capacitor. I like to use a screwdriver.

Fan motors should be working without any excessive vibrations or bearing sounds. It is important to be careful of bending fan blades.  It is hard to repair a fan blade when a fan blade gets damaged. It is easier to just replace the fan blade with the exact same model of blade.

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Condenser coils get dirty over the years with dust and other things. You can spray off the coils with a garden hose to help remove the dirt. I recommend using a condenser coil cleaner if the coils are really dirty. Most common spray on cleaners will require water for the condenser coils and no water required for the evaporator coils. Since there is a build of condensation on the evap coils during operation that will rinse the chemical cleaners off.

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Most drains will get clogged over time with dirt, animal hair, and a sludge build up. I recommend checking the drains coming off the evap coils. You should clear the piping with water or compressed nitrogen if there is a clog. I like to use the drain dawg kit that has a long hose attached to a nitrogen regulator and tank.

Steps to winterize

Winter is coming!!! Now is time to get your systems ready for the colder temperatures if you haven’t done so already. In this article I will show you steps to winterize your units.  Many people don’t really think about their AC or evaporative coolers much after the summer months, but if you continue to do necessary maintenance steps. Then you can help prolong the life of your units, and that will help you save a few bucks eventually.
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Most units in Arizona that I come across are heat pump units. Meaning that they are built a special way in which they have a reversing valve. That will cause the hot air to blow across your indoor (evap) coils as opposed to usually leaving your outdoor (condenser) coil. Heat pumps usually are enough here in the desert since we only near freezing temperatures in the winter. Some heat pump units will have electrical heater strips as an addition to the heat pump operation. I have attached some examples of reversing valves below.

Brothers Heat Pump Reversing Valve 2.0 TonBrothers Heat Pump Reversing Valve 2.0 TonBrothers Heat Pump Reversing Valve 2.0 TonGoodman 0151M00019SP Goodman Reversing Valve And Coil (B1227316S)Goodman 0151M00019SP Goodman Reversing Valve And Coil (B1227316S)Goodman 0151M00019SP Goodman Reversing Valve And Coil (B1227316S)Goodman 0151R00071SP Reversing Valve (V6-414081-1GD) comes w/ BFKZ-053S Bi-Flow Filter DrierGoodman 0151R00071SP Reversing Valve (V6-414081-1GD) comes w/ BFKZ-053S Bi-Flow Filter DrierGoodman 0151R00071SP Reversing Valve (V6-414081-1GD) comes w/ BFKZ-053S Bi-Flow Filter DrierGoodman B1225017 24V Reversing Valve CoilGoodman B1225017 24V Reversing Valve CoilGoodman B1225017 24V Reversing Valve Coil

There are many other types of heating systems. Another common set up is a gas furnace. They are sometimes built into package units. They are easily identifiable with their need for a gas line hooked up to the unit. You will want to make sure the units engage when you call for heating on your thermostat. If you have a gas system you will want to make sure the gas valve is open. The thermostat should engage the furnace. Which will cause gas to engage and get lit by the igniters. Electrical heat strips should engage if they are equipped. If you have a hydronic system. You will want to make sure the water pump engages and flows the water through your coils.

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It is a good time to inspect the life of the other working parts of your evap cooler when winterizing it. I usually will replace the pads and possibly the belt at the end of the season if they have mineral build up on them. When winterizing I recommend shutting off the water supply, and removing the drain stem to remove the water from the pan. You can keep the fan plugged in if you would like to use it to bring in fresh air still. This is a good practice to follow because freezing water can shorten your machine’s life.

Clean Machine 120V PumpClean Machine 120V PumpClean Machine 120V PumpDial Manufacturing 5218 1 Pint Cooler Cleaner TreatmentDial Manufacturing 5218 1 Pint Cooler Cleaner TreatmentDial Manufacturing 5218 1 Pint Cooler Cleaner Treatment343434DIAL 51795 In-Line Scale CartridgeDIAL 51795 In-Line Scale CartridgeDIAL 51795 In-Line Scale Cartridge

I hope this article has helped you prepare for winter. Please comment or email if you need some help answering questions.

dollarmech@gmail.com

How to make your AC last longer

How to make your AC last longerAbout 12 years ago, I was “Mr Naive” about AC’s. If you would of asked me how they worked. Then I would’ve said something like “PFM” (pure f*cking magic). Since then I have been to several schools that have taught me the ways of how various refrigeration systems run. They have taught me how to best care for pretty much every type of refrigeration machine you can think of. So, I thought I should pass some of that knowledge on to you guys. In this article I will cover some of the most basic things that you can look at to help make your AC last longer.

It is important to remember to safely turn off the power before reaching your hands around the fan blades or handling the electrical wiring.

Things to look at:

Smarthome Google Home 'works with'

Why is my AC leaking water?

People always talk about how Arizona has a dry heat. Well during monsoon season the dry heat becomes a wet heat. Most people don’t even realize how well their air conditioner is working to keep out the humidity until they walk outside of their home. Have you recently asked yourself “why is my AC leaking water?”

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Looking for pinholes of leaking refrigerant on a rusty evap coil last year.

Air Conditioners use the condensation method to remove the moisture from the air in your home. The same thing that runs down your cold drink on a warm day. Is also keeping your home at a comfortable humidity range. This is the water you are seeing when you see water pouring from a drain in the side of your home.

If you have a package unit on top of your home. Then you should see a PVC or copper pipe coming from the unit. It should either run off the roof or into some sort of drain. Continuous water should be directed off your roof. It could progress deterioration of your roof over time.

If you have a split unit then you will usually either have an air handler in your attic or a side closet. These kind of units will usually have PVC or copper drains going through a wall to leak the condensation outside or to a separate drain.

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Installed 2 new split systems earlier this year. Notice the PVC directing the condensation water to a separate drain.
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New Trane Package Unit on top of a custom curb adapter. Notice the PVC connecting to an existing drain.

It is important to remember that these drains can get clogged over time with dust and it can turn into a sludge. These drains really can cause a problem if they get fully clogged, and if they are located inside your attic. They usually will have a secondary pan underneath the air handler if located in the attic. The pan will mostly always have a PVC or copper drain connected from it to the outside. A lot of people will usually not pay attention to the subtle signs that the condensation is leaking through the emergency drain instead of the primary drain. Once the secondary pan gets clogged as well. They tend to fill up after a few gallons. The water will then ruin your drywall and insulation underneath where unit is located. When looking at the side of your home where the drains are located. The lower drain should be your primary passage for the condensation. If your condensation is leaking through the higher drain. Then you can probably guess that your secondary pan is catching the leaking condensation from your air handler. I immediately suggest you go in the attic to inspect the pan.

If your secondary pan has water in it. Then I suggest you immediately turn off your AC unit to stop adding water to the situation.  I suggest you get a Wet/Dry vacuum to put on the outside drain to try to unclog it. Don’t forget to remove the dust filter inside your wet/dry vac before sucking up water. If you cannot unclog it this way then I suggest going into the attic with your wet/dry vac to remove the obstruction from the drain this way. If you can’t get the drain to clear. Then I suggest you suck the water from the pan before working on the drain lines. It may take you a few trips to safely remove the water without too much damage to your insulation and drywall. Once the pan is clear from water. I recommend you using your wet dry vacuum to make sure the line is clear.

Most the time I will cut the drain line, and I will my pressurized nitrogen bottle to blow about 200 psi though the line. This method is the fastest and will usually take care of the problems for me. I then reconnect the drain line with either a shark bite quick connect fitting if it’s copper line, or I will use PVC coupler and glue. Condensation drain lines are usually 3/4″ but I have seen 1/2″ drain lines before.

I have attached some tools that will help you clear condensation drain lines more efficiently.

RIDGID 32975 Model 103 Close Quarters Tubing Cutter, 1/8-inch to 5/8-inch Tube CutterRIDGID 32975 Model 103 Close Quarters Tubing Cutter, 1/8-inch to 5/8-inch Tube CutterRIDGID 32975 Model 103 Close Quarters Tubing Cutter, 1/8-inch to 5/8-inch Tube CutterRIDGID 31632 Model 151 Quick-Acting Tubing Cutter, 1/4-inch to 1-7/8-inch Tube CutterRIDGID 31632 Model 151 Quick-Acting Tubing Cutter, 1/4-inch to 1-7/8-inch Tube CutterRIDGID 31632 Model 151 Quick-Acting Tubing Cutter, 1/4-inch to 1-7/8-inch Tube CutterK-D Tools 2107 Mini Tubing CutterK-D Tools 2107 Mini Tubing CutterK-D Tools 2107 Mini Tubing CutterPipe and Tube Cutter, Ratcheting Hose Cutter, One-hand Fast Pipe Cutting Tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-1/4Pipe and Tube Cutter, Ratcheting Hose Cutter, One-hand Fast Pipe Cutting Tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-1/4Pipe and Tube Cutter, Ratcheting Hose Cutter, One-hand Fast Pipe Cutting Tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-1/4PVC Pipe Cutters By Haisstronica One-hand Fast pipe cutter tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-5/8in(42mm) O.D. PEX, PVC, and PPR PipePVC Pipe Cutters By Haisstronica One-hand Fast pipe cutter tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-5/8in(42mm) O.D. PEX, PVC, and PPR PipePVC Pipe Cutters By Haisstronica One-hand Fast pipe cutter tool with Ratchet Drive for Cutting Less Than 1-5/8in(42mm) O.D. PEX, PVC, and PPR PipeStanley Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 Gallon, 4 HorsepowerStanley Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 Gallon, 4 HorsepowerStanley Wet/Dry Vacuum, 6 Gallon, 4 HorsepowerShop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry VacShop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry VacShop-Vac 2021000 Micro Wet/Dry VacVacmaster 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Portable Wet/Dry Vacuum, VP205Vacmaster 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Portable Wet/Dry Vacuum, VP205Vacmaster 2.5 Gallon, 2 Peak HP, Portable Wet/Dry Vacuum, VP205Vacmaster VFB511B 0201 Beast Series Professional Wet/Dry VacuumVacmaster VFB511B 0201 Beast Series Professional Wet/Dry VacuumVacmaster VFB511B 0201 Beast Series Professional Wet/Dry VacuumUniweld 40040 Nitrogen Sludge Sucker and Blaster Kit with Metal Carrying Stand for 40 Cubic Feet Nitrogen TankUniweld 40040 Nitrogen Sludge Sucker and Blaster Kit with Metal Carrying Stand for 40 Cubic Feet Nitrogen TankUniweld 40040 Nitrogen Sludge Sucker and Blaster Kit with Metal Carrying Stand for 40 Cubic Feet Nitrogen TankDiversiTech CB-2 DrainDawg Condensate Line Drain Cleaning KitDiversiTech CB-2 DrainDawg Condensate Line Drain Cleaning KitDiversiTech CB-2 DrainDawg Condensate Line Drain Cleaning KitNew 20 cu ft Steel Nitrogen Cylinder with CGA580 ValveNew 20 cu ft Steel Nitrogen Cylinder with CGA580 ValveNew 20 cu ft Steel Nitrogen Cylinder with CGA580 ValveFernco 1056-075 Condensate 3/4-Inch plastic or 3/4 and 1-Inch copper Pipe ConnectorFernco 1056-075 Condensate 3/4-Inch plastic or 3/4 and 1-Inch copper Pipe ConnectorFernco 1056-075 Condensate 3/4-Inch plastic or 3/4 and 1-Inch copper Pipe ConnectorPVC Pipe Coupler - Socket / Slip - Schedule 40 - White - 3/4-Inch - Pack of 6PVC Pipe Coupler – Socket / Slip – Schedule 40 – White – 3/4-Inch – Pack of 6PVC Pipe Coupler - Socket / Slip - Schedule 40 - White - 3/4-Inch - Pack of 6SharkBite U016LFA4 Straight Coupling Plumbing Fitting, 3/4 Inch, PEX Fittings, Push-to-Connect, Coupler, Copper, CPVCSharkBite U016LFA4 Straight Coupling Plumbing Fitting, 3/4 Inch, PEX Fittings, Push-to-Connect, Coupler, Copper, CPVCSharkBite U016LFA4 Straight Coupling Plumbing Fitting, 3/4 Inch, PEX Fittings, Push-to-Connect, Coupler, Copper, CPVCSharkBite U3016LFA 3/4-Inch SharkBite Lead Free Repair Slip CouplingSharkBite U3016LFA 3/4-Inch SharkBite Lead Free Repair Slip CouplingSharkBite U3016LFA 3/4-Inch SharkBite Lead Free Repair Slip Coupling

I hope this article has helped you. Please comment or email me if you have any questions.

dollarmech@gmail.com

How to replace a capacitor on an AC

Did your AC stop blowing cold air? Are you dreading to call the AC guy? Did they charge you both arms and legs last time? Fear not! I will show you how to replace a capacitor on your home AC system, and help you save yourself $100-$300 by following these simple instructions. Capacitors are one of the most common things that could go wrong with an AC.

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You will need to have the required tools that I mentioned in my other post.

ALWAYS DISCONNECT THE ELECTRICAL POWER BEFORE OPENING THE UNIT!!!

Please always be cautious of the fan blade, and try not getting shocked from the electricity.

Capacitors will hold a charge after the unit is turned off. So avoid touching both the terminals together at the same time. Until you can safely discharge the capacitor by putting the metal part of a screwdriver across the terminals after the unit is turned off.

First sign that a capacitor will need to be replaced is usually the outdoor fan or compressor will not be kicking on. If your outdoor fan motor blade is stuck still when unit should be energized. Then that is a sign that the outdoor fan motor will need to be replaced. Whenever a motor is replaced. I recommend replacing the capacitor along with it. Most residential units will have single phase voltage. That means that both the outdoor fan motor and compressor will have a capacitor for them. Most residential units will use Dual Run Capacitors which is both capacitors built into one. Three phase motors don’t use capacitors.

If you don’t have a microfarad tester built into your multimeter. Then I recommend getting a separate tester for capacitors. It would be a cool tool to lend to your friend if his capacitor went bad on his unit. You can test a capacitor by taking the wires off the terminals. Then put the tester on the terminals. Your tester should read what the capacitor is rated for. So if your capacitor was a 40 microfarads, and the capacitor was reading 36.4. Then your capacitor is bad and needs to be replaced. The capacitors microfarad readings will need to be whatever the motor calls for plus or minus 6%.

Motor Run Capacitor Round 30 uf MFD 370 Volt VAC 12717Motor Run Capacitor Round 30 uf MFD 370 Volt VAC 12717Motor Run Capacitor Round 30 uf MFD 370 Volt VAC 12717PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455GE Genteq Replacement for Capacitor 30/5 uf 370 volt 97F9833, 370V, 30/5 MFD, Dual Run, Round CapacitorGE Genteq Replacement for Capacitor 30/5 uf 370 volt 97F9833, 370V, 30/5 MFD, Dual Run, Round CapacitorGE Genteq Replacement for Capacitor 30/5 uf 370 volt 97F9833, 370V, 30/5 MFD, Dual Run, Round CapacitorTradePro 40+5 uf MFD 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor Bundle TP-CAP-40/5/440R Condenser Straight Cool/Heat Pump Air Conditioner and Zip TieTradePro 40+5 uf MFD 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor Bundle TP-CAP-40/5/440R Condenser Straight Cool/Heat Pump Air Conditioner and Zip TieTradePro 40+5 uf MFD 370 or 440 Volt Dual Run Round Capacitor Bundle TP-CAP-40/5/440R Condenser Straight Cool/Heat Pump Air Conditioner and Zip Tie40/5 MFD Multi-Purpose 440 or 370 Volt Round Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 40+540/5 MFD Multi-Purpose 440 or 370 Volt Round Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 40+540/5 MFD Multi-Purpose 440 or 370 Volt Round Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 40+5PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455PACKARD TRCD455 Titan Pro 45+5 MFD 370V Round Run Capacitor Replaces PRCD455MARS - Motors & Armatures 12286 40 + 5 uF MFD x 440 VAC Genteq Replacement Dual CapacitorMARS – Motors & Armatures 12286 40 + 5 uF MFD x 440 VAC Genteq Replacement Dual CapacitorMARS - Motors & Armatures 12286 40 + 5 uF MFD x 440 VAC Genteq Replacement Dual Capacitor10 MFD 440 or 370 Volt Oval Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 10 microfarads10 MFD 440 or 370 Volt Oval Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 10 microfarads10 MFD 440 or 370 Volt Oval Run Capacitor Replacement TradePro 10 microfaradsFive Two One Inc CSR-U1 Compressor Saver Hard Start CapacitorFive Two One Inc CSR-U1 Compressor Saver Hard Start CapacitorFive Two One Inc CSR-U1 Compressor Saver Hard Start CapacitorSupco SPP6 Hard Start KitSupco SPP6 Hard Start KitSupco SPP6 Hard Start KitRECTORSEAL 96506 Ks1 Kickstart Hard Start KitRECTORSEAL 96506 Ks1 Kickstart Hard Start KitRECTORSEAL 96506 Ks1 Kickstart Hard Start KitPocket Hose Ultra Expandable, 3X Stronger, 75 FeetPocket Hose Ultra Expandable, 3X Stronger, 75 FeetPocket Hose Ultra Expandable, 3X Stronger, 75 FeetLawnPRO 50’ Expanding Garden Hose. Kink-Free. 5,000 Denier Woven Casing. Copper Fittings. Steel Assembly Clamps. 12 Month Manufacturers Warranty. + Free Storage BagLawnPRO 50’ Expanding Garden Hose. Kink-Free. 5,000 Denier Woven Casing. Copper Fittings. Steel Assembly Clamps. 12 Month Manufacturers Warranty. + Free Storage BagLawnPRO 50’ Expanding Garden Hose. Kink-Free. 5,000 Denier Woven Casing. Copper Fittings. Steel Assembly Clamps. 12 Month Manufacturers Warranty. + Free Storage BagHOAEY 100ft Expanding Hose, Flexible Garden Expandable Water Hose with Pipe Brass Fittings for Car Garden ( 100 Feet )HOAEY 100ft Expanding Hose, Flexible Garden Expandable Water Hose with Pipe Brass Fittings for Car Garden ( 100 Feet )HOAEY 100ft Expanding Hose, Flexible Garden Expandable Water Hose with Pipe Brass Fittings for Car Garden ( 100 Feet )

I know you probably have questions still. So please leave a comment, and I’ll update the article to address them.

How to become a self sufficient AC DIYer

Alot of AC guys will probably get mad at me for sharing information this easily and readily available to the public. I feel that we should all live by the “to give a man a fish, or to teach a man how to fish” philosophy. So I decided to share this information with the masses. This information is meant for people who are pretty “handy” with tools. I don’t recommend doing anything that you feel uncomfortable or unsure about doing. As you may hurt yourself or the machine. I also want you to know that it is illegal to handle refrigerants without your Universal EPA license in the United States. They are fairly easy to obtain. I feel I can give you enough knowledge to safely save yourself a few bucks if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty in the process.

Always becareful when getting on roofs or climbing ladders. You could potentially get really hurt or even die. I am a professional and I fell through a sky light a few months ago while not paying attention to where I was stepping.

After falling through the skylight, and before my seven stitches.

First thing you will need is some of the AC technicians most basic tools. I have attached links to some I approve of getting.

  • Multimeter- these are mainly use to check voltage, continuity, and amps. Getting one with an amp clamp is quick way to check how much amperage motors are drawing. I also recommend getting one that reads microfarads for reading capacitors.
  • Refrigeration gauges- I recommend getting some for R-410A refrigerant. These are the highest pressures you will probably deal with. R-410A is one of the most common refrigerants you will encounter.
  • Screwdrivers-Both flat and phillips various lengths.
  • Channel locks
  • Wire strippers/cutters/terminal crimper
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Power drill or driver with 5/16″ and 1/4″ bits and phillips head bits
  • Tool bag
  • Ladder- to get on top of whatever roof you are trying to access.
  • Rope- to bring parts and tools onto the roof.

I will add some other posts with updates to various simple discrepancies in your system that you may encounter.

Klein Tools 55421BP-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer BackpackKlein Tools 55421BP-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer BackpackKlein Tools 55421BP-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer BackpackKlein Tools 5541610-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer 10-Inch ToteKlein Tools 5541610-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer 10-Inch ToteKlein Tools 5541610-14 Tradesman Pro Organizer 10-Inch ToteFieldpiece SC260 Compact Clamp Multimeter with True RMSFieldpiece SC260 Compact Clamp Multimeter with True RMSFieldpiece SC260 Compact Clamp Multimeter with True RMSFieldpiece HS36 Expandable Autoranging True RMS Stick Multimeter w/BacklightFieldpiece HS36 Expandable Autoranging True RMS Stick Multimeter w/BacklightFieldpiece HS36 Expandable Autoranging True RMS Stick Multimeter w/BacklightYellow Jacket 42006 Series 41 Manifold with 3-1/8Yellow Jacket 42006 Series 41 Manifold with 3-1/8Yellow Jacket 42006 Series 41 Manifold with 3-1/8Yellow Jacket 41711 Series 41 Manifold with 2-1/2Yellow Jacket 41711 Series 41 Manifold with 2-1/2Yellow Jacket 41711 Series 41 Manifold with 2-1/2Yellow Jacket 19109 Quick Coupler Sealright CouplerYellow Jacket 19109 Quick Coupler Sealright CouplerYellow Jacket 19109 Quick Coupler Sealright CouplerFieldpiece BG44 Single Strap Bag SystemFieldpiece BG44 Single Strap Bag SystemFieldpiece BG44 Single Strap Bag SystemFIELDPIECE SPK1FIELDPIECE SPK1FIELDPIECE SPK1Fieldpiece ATC1R Pipe-Clamp Thermocouple 1/8-Inch to 3/4-Inch for Refrigeration by FieldpieceFieldpiece ATC1R Pipe-Clamp Thermocouple 1/8-Inch to 3/4-Inch for Refrigeration by FieldpieceFieldpiece ATC1R Pipe-Clamp Thermocouple 1/8-Inch to 3/4-Inch for Refrigeration by FieldpieceKlein Tools J203-7 Journeyman Standard Long-Nose Pliers, 7-InchKlein Tools J203-7 Journeyman Standard Long-Nose Pliers, 7-InchKlein Tools J203-7 Journeyman Standard Long-Nose Pliers, 7-InchIRWIN VISE-GRIP GrooveLock Pliers Set, V-Jaw, 2 Piece, 2078709IRWIN VISE-GRIP GrooveLock Pliers Set, V-Jaw, 2 Piece, 2078709IRWIN VISE-GRIP GrooveLock Pliers Set, V-Jaw, 2 Piece, 2078709Klein Tools 85078 Cushion-Grip Screwdriver Set (8-Piece)Klein Tools 85078 Cushion-Grip Screwdriver Set (8-Piece)Klein Tools 85078 Cushion-Grip Screwdriver Set (8-Piece)

DIY Mini Split AC! The benefits of the newest and easiest way to add HVAC to your existing home.

Mini split sales have been increasing around the world for a few decades. Their popularity is finally getting noticed in the United States. The more I have came across them as an HVAC technician. The more I have been impressed of their quality. They can be pretty simple to install in comparison to the more traditional package and split systems. Which usually in turn means less labor and less costs.

There are a few things to take in consideration when deciding on the mini-split system. First thing is to consider what you will be needing the adding cooling for.  There are 2 types of cooling. The first is comfort cooling, which most systems operate in this fashion. They tend to only care about a specific temperature in mind and tend to run far less than the other kind. Process cooling  is the other type. Process cooling is used for rooms that build large amounts of heat from a variety of sources. Many data centers and grow rooms use process cooling systems due to the amount of heat needed to be removed from the environment.  Process cooling systems tend to be a little bit pricier than the more traditional comfort cooling systems, but they are built with higher quality parts to withstand the abuse of constantly running.

Next you need to decide on how much cooling you will need. For comfort cooling systems most people use the rule of thumb. For every 500 sq ft of space you should have 1 ton of cooling (12,000btus). This also depends on how tall your ceilings are for the room. If you are using a Mini-split for a grow room. I have attached a helpful link to help you determine the btus and cooling you need.

BTU calculator

It is also important to keep in consideration how well your room is insulated. Proper seals around doors and windows can keep your system running less. Which leaves your electricity bill lower.

Many mini split systems use far less electricity than their bigger counterparts. It is important to make sure there is enough room on your electrical circuit panel too.  This is not that easy to determine for the DIYer so I recommend getting an electrician or HVAC guy to help if you need more assistance.  I am available for installs and servicing your mini splits with proper compensation. I have attached a few mini split systems that I would recommend getting for a comfort cooling setup.

LG LSU360HV3 3 TON SINGLE ZONE INVERTER OUTDOOR MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP UNIT 16.1 SEER 208-230/60/1 R-410ALG LSU360HV3 3 TON SINGLE ZONE INVERTER OUTDOOR MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP UNIT 16.1 SEER 208-230/60/1 R-410ALG LSU360HV3 3 TON SINGLE ZONE INVERTER OUTDOOR MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP UNIT 16.1 SEER 208-230/60/1 R-410AFrigidaire Ductless Wall Mount Mini Split Inverter Air Conditioner with Heat Pump, 22000 BTU (2 Ton), 20 SEER 230 VAC, Full SetFrigidaire Ductless Wall Mount Mini Split Inverter Air Conditioner with Heat Pump, 22000 BTU (2 Ton), 20 SEER 230 VAC, Full SetFrigidaire Ductless Wall Mount Mini Split Inverter Air Conditioner with Heat Pump, 22000 BTU (2 Ton), 20 SEER 230 VAC, Full SetLG LMU187HV/LMN097HVT 1-1/2 TONLG LMU187HV/LMN097HVT 1-1/2 TONLG LMU187HV/LMN097HVT 1-1/2 TONPIONEER Air Conditioner Inverter+ Ductless Wall Mount Mini Split System Air Conditioner & Heat Pump Full Set, 12000 BTU 230VPIONEER Air Conditioner Inverter+ Ductless Wall Mount Mini Split System Air Conditioner & Heat Pump Full Set, 12000 BTU 230VPIONEER Air Conditioner Inverter+ Ductless Wall Mount Mini Split System Air Conditioner & Heat Pump Full Set, 12000 BTU 230V9,000 BTU Innova Ductless Mini-split Air Conditioner – Inverter SEER 15.2 – Cooling & Heating – Dehumidifier – 115v/60hz - Pre Charged Condenser - Ultra Quiet - 16 Feet Line Set + Accessories9,000 BTU Innova Ductless Mini-split Air Conditioner – Inverter SEER 15.2 – Cooling & Heating – Dehumidifier – 115v/60hz – Pre Charged Condenser – Ultra Quiet – 16 Feet Line Set + Accessories9,000 BTU Innova Ductless Mini-split Air Conditioner – Inverter SEER 15.2 – Cooling & Heating – Dehumidifier – 115v/60hz - Pre Charged Condenser - Ultra Quiet - 16 Feet Line Set + AccessoriesMRCOOL DIY 24K BTU 16 SEER Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump w/ WiFiMRCOOL DIY 24K BTU 16 SEER Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump w/ WiFiMRCOOL DIY 24K BTU 16 SEER Ductless Mini-Split Heat Pump w/ WiFiFRIEDRICH M12YJ FRIEDRICH DUCTLESS MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP SYSTEM 12000 BTU 230 VOLT 21.5 SEER (1/EA)FRIEDRICH M12YJ FRIEDRICH DUCTLESS MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP SYSTEM 12000 BTU 230 VOLT 21.5 SEER (1/EA)FRIEDRICH M12YJ FRIEDRICH DUCTLESS MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP SYSTEM 12000 BTU 230 VOLT 21.5 SEER (1/EA)Marketing Holders AC-GUARD A/C Security Mini-Split CageMarketing Holders AC-GUARD A/C Security Mini-Split CageMarketing Holders AC-GUARD A/C Security Mini-Split Cage

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