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Voice of Reason
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52,192 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
[shameless self-promotion]

I haven't been posting here much lately. I've been busy.

In an attempt to not stand still in my retirement, I decided that I wanted to become licensed in air conditioning & refrigeration repair & service. It's not completely frivolous, since I installed and upgraded my own AC system. In doing that I had difficulty obtaining parts and materials I needed, even though I had a licensed friend helping me. It wasn't easy for him to get off work to go buy parts for me. I got most of what I needed from eBay, but it was still a hassle to not be licensed.

The main licensing I was after is for section 608, which covers all refrigeration equipment except motor vehicle systems, which is 609. Since it's sometimes convenient to get things at auto parts stores, I tested for 609 as well. I also passed the PM (Preventative Maintenance) and R-410A certifications. I intend to follow through on IAQ & Green certifications soon.

The 608 exam was required to be proctored. I went to an AC supply house here in Las Vegas for that. The test had 4 sections.

1. Core - Questions regarding general EPA regulations for charging & evacuating regulated refrigerants.
2. Type I - Questions specific to medium & high pressure refrigeration equipment using up to 5 pounds of refrigerant.
3. Type II - Questions specific to medium & high pressure refrigeration equipment using more than 5 pounds of refrigerant.
4. Type III - Questions specific to low pressure refrigeration equipment, such as commercial chillers with R-123 typically used to cool hotels, office buildings, hospitals, etc.

Anyway, I got my proctored test scores today. I passed all sections! :dance:

I'll order certificates for everything I passed to put them on a wall someplace in my house, and I'll also order wallet cards for 608 & 609 licenses to always have with me to show to vendors.

[/shameless self-promotion]

 

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Voice of Reason
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52,192 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Good luck!
Oh, I don't intend to do refrigeration work professionally. This is just something I wanted to do for myself. I'm retired and installing AC units to too much like work.
 

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Voice of Reason
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52,192 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
What did you use to study for these test??
I first studied material I found around the Internet, put out by ESCO Institute, and prepared for ESCO's 608 Universal exam. That included a 2 hour class video designed specifically to help technicians cram for the 608 exam, as well as a reference book. ESCO also has practice tests online.

http://www.escoinst.com/PracticeExams.aspx

Then I decided that I wanted to certify through Mainstream Engineering because they had so many other certification opportunities, so I got their study guide software.

I can PM the materials to you if you need them.
 

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Clinton, Louisiana
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1,889 Posts
Thanks, I went to school for A/C work over 30 years ago. These EPA test came up after I went to school. I saved the info you provided.
 

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Registered
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9,587 Posts
...............Were you able to achieve certification without attending any class room training because you're already a professional engineer ? Also , If you want to earn $$$ with your new certs , You should start a consulting HVAC bizz , where you go to a person's home and diagnose their problems , write up the parts and estimated labor necessary for repairs and recommend repairmen to do the actual work ! IF , you can find 3 or 4 honest repairmen who will work with you , there is mucho potential to make some very significant money ! Especially , If you set up a listing on A's List . , fordy:thumb:
 

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Voice of Reason
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52,192 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
...............Were you able to achieve certification without attending any class room training because you're already a professional engineer ?
No, I didn't get any consideration for that. But classroom isn't required. You just need to pass a 4-part 100-question exam taken in front of a proctor. The 608 exam cost me about $110 to take, and came with a free wallet card of the license.

By the way, the EPA license never expires. It's a one-time thing.
 

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Voice of Reason
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52,192 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, I went to school for A/C work over 30 years ago. These EPA test came up after I went to school. I saved the info you provided.
Just so you know, I'm not as skilled as I wish I was in silver soldering copper lines. The friend who helped me this spring is excellent, and he learned it in trade school. I can weld steel and do soft soldering ok, but high temperature brazing isn't something I've had a lot of experience with.

Silver solder is a lot more important today than it was 30 years ago. Back then residential AC systems used R-22. Soft solder is satisfactory for the pressures R-22 runs at. But today they've gone pretty much totally to R-410A, which runs at a lot higher pressures. You really can't get by without using silver solder on R-410A systems.

By your training, you may have more of an advantage than you know in today's market.
 

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Premium Member
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3,866 Posts
I was very good at brazing but not so good with TIG due to the fine motor skills required for it. Decided to give up welding classes when I found out that I had severe early onset arthritis and carpal tunnel syndrome. I found out that brazing was the easiest weld for me.
 
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