October 2021 Newsletter

A Word from our President

by – Cody Hanna-Hanna Heating & Air

Hello everyone,

I would first like to thank Federated insurance for giving us some great information at our last meeting. Please plan to attend our October general meeting. This month’s meeting will be at the Local 441 Plumbers & Pipefitters building located at 1330 E 1st Street North Wichita, KS 67214. Hope to see you all there. Don’t forget to bring your business card for a chance to win $100.

Also, as a reminder we are filling up very quickly for our CEU Code Classes this fall. We only have 1 class with spots left. It is Tuesday November 16th. If you need hours and have not signed up now would be the time to do so before it is full.

Have a great October!

Please feel free to email or call Cody at (316) 945-3481 or cody@hannainc.com with any concerns or questions.

KCCA Christmas Party!!

Wednesday December 15th, 2021 @ 6:15PM

Prairie Pines Festivals
4055 N. Tyler Rd.
Maize, Ks 67101  

KCCA will be paying for a full member and their spouse

We will need you to RSVP by 
December 1st, 2021 
Please RSVP to our secretary, Judy Raaf at 722-8756 or email her at judykccaassn@gmail.com.


We are back to in-person classes, classes will be held @ Ferguson.  Class dates are listed below.  Be on the look out for a seperate email with ALL the information about the classes and what the subjects will be.

The only class that isn’t full is November 16th, please get with Judy to get signed up and this will be the LAST class we offer this year.

Please note the changes:

Classes are back to in-person @ Ferguson

Payments for classes have to be made recieved by the Friday before class is being help (Example: class is on 9/14, payment has to be recieved by 9/10) this is to ensure we have a good head count for food.

The board revised the Tool Scholarship a little. KCCA wants the employee to be working for the KCCA member for 3 months before they are eligible for the $500 tool Scholarship. So in short the employee or employer need to submit application and proof of graduation from one of our local trade school after the employee has worked for them for 3 months.

September’s General Meeting

September’s meeting was small but very informational, thank you to Federated Insurance for hosting and talking to us that were able to make it out to Terradyne.

Hope to see you @ future meetings!! All general meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month except August & December.

2021-2022 Meetings 

October           Local Union @ Local Union

November       Tom Tallon @ BCS

December       Christmas Party

January           WTI @ WTI

February         Stoney w/MABCD 

March             Butler County Community College                       
              @ BCCC in Rose Hill

April                Wichita City Mayor

May                WSU Tech @ WSU Tech

June               Tom Roberts

This list is subjust to change due to speakers not able to make the date we have selected for them.

HVAC Technicians Share Favorite Tools, Ways to Carry Them

Keeping bags organized makes the job easier

BACKPACKER: Michael Flynn likes to have two hands free when he goes into an installation project.

Nothing is more important to a technician in the field than their tool bag. It contains their livelihood. The ACHR NEWS recently spoke with three technicians — representing residential service, commercial service, and installation — about what they carry in their bags.

Michael Flynn HVAC and plumbing lead installer and field supervisor at First Choice Heating and Cooling in Metuchen, New Jersey

ACHR NEWS: What do you carry in your bag?

FLYNN: On the one side, I have two small pliers, a couple of 11-in-1s, and three levels. As far as electrical tools – linesman, diagonal cutters, wire strippers. PVC cutter, electrical testers — contact/non-contact. On the other side, I have a chisel, a couple of ratchets, probably too many drill bits, Allen key set, precision screwdrivers, electrical crimping tool, and my small impact driver.

Honestly, every time I get something new, it goes in the bag. It’s always filling up, but I try to keep it as light as possible because it does add up. And you’re carrying it into a house every day. Luckily for me, it’s only usually twice. I carry it in, I do the install, and I carry it out at the end of the day.

I have a separate case for all the pliers and the big cutters like copper cutters. I originally kept that in the backpack, but then it got way too heavy and I separated it all.

ACHR NEWS: Do you recommend carrying a bag and a case?

FLYNN: 100% yes, especially if you’re doing service. That in and out will kill you if you’re carrying everything in one bag.

ACHR NEWS: Do new guys carry too much or not enough?

FLYNN: A lot of guys carry too much. I’ve seen that. And a lot of guys carry too little. It’s all about how you set it up on the job site that really counts. If you can make one trip for all your tools and have everything you need, that’s fantastic. If you have to go out to the truck for a bunch of stuff, that really takes away from your day.

I actually have everything set up in the bag the way I like it. If something’s missing, I know where to look for it. Organizing is absolutely key. It’s not, “Oh, we’re going to throw everything in and then the next time we’ll put it all in a different place.” No. That can’t happen.

ACHR NEWS: Do you let other guys go into your bag?

FLYNN: Yeah, and I can point them in the exact direction of what pocket it is, where it is, in the front or the back of the bag. As far as using my tools, that’s fine. That’s what I buy them for — to be used. I don’t mind as long as it goes back in the right slot.

ACHR NEWS: What about the bag itself?

FLYNN: I actually traded a Veto Pro Pac XXL for a Veto backpack with a guy on Instagram. I didn’t really use the XXL. That’s the only way I’d go, after that. It works so well. You have two free hands to bring in other stuff.

Dayton Yarbrough Field technician at Hays Heating, Cooling and Plumbing in Phoenix, Arizona

ACHR NEWS: What kind of bag do you carry and what is in it?

YARBROUGH: Veto Pro Pac backpack. I climb to the top of a lot of commercial buildings. It makes it easier to climb up the ladder, rather than having a bag with a shoulder strap and the bag hanging down next to me. I have everything in my bag so I don’t have to make multiple trips to my truck.

My boss at my first job bought me a Pro Pac. Then when I left, he took it back, so I was kind of sad. So I went and bought a Husky bag from Home Depot. It just wasn’t the same. It was an actual tool bag that hung off your shoulder. I had to buy a Veto Pro Pac again. They’re not cheap, but they’re well worth it.

I have my wireless refrigerant charging kit stuffed in that bag somewhere. I have some Allen wrenches in case I need to change a fan motor. I carry a pair of dikes, a pair of wire crimpers, needle-nose pliers, two pairs of channel locks, a small crescent wrench, and a large crescent wrench. I carry PVC cutters, a drain gun, trichometers, fuses — 5-amp and 3-amp, wire nuts, jumpers. I carry multiple bits, all the way from a quarter-inch to 7/8. I carry step-up bits of three different sizes. Phillips bit. Multi-tool that has four different sizes of Philips and flat heads on it, as well as seven different sizes of heads. I carry a flat-tip screwdriver. I also have a 5-amp fuse popper. I’m sure there’s something I’m missing. My meter. I almost forgot that.

It probably weighs about 50 pounds. I carry more now than when I started. I don’t like many trips. The ladders are 30 feet tall. I don’t like climbing up and down ladders more than I have to.

ACHR NEWS: Is there is a tool you recommend to new techs?

YARBROUGH: I tell new techs to get a multitool that has different sizes of Philips and flatheads. You can change thermostats with it, you can use it for control boards, and you can take out screws on a unit if your drill battery dies for some reason. I also recommend a pair of needle nose pliers, a pair of channel locks, and a pair of wire strippers that have a crimper on them. I don’t like to use wire nuts unless I have to. It just makes it look a little more professional.

That’s really the basics of what needs to be carried. All the other stuff is just specialty tools that I tend to carry. I don’t use them half the time, but I’d rather have them and not need them than need them and not have them.

ACHR NEWS: Do you keep everything pretty well organized?

YARBROUGH: My bag is organized. If something is not in the right spot, I kind of freak out. On the front side are all my diagnostic tools, and on the back side are my charging tools for refrigerants, as well as the vacuum gauge and specialty tools. All the additional tools are on the back side. That’s where I keep all the stuff that’s not used for normal applications.

ACHR NEWS: Do you let others take tools out of your bag?

YARBROUGH: Yes, but I always ask if they put it back. I pay for my tools, and I don’t want them to get lost. When I was coming up, I worked with someone who was very strict about where things went in his tool bag. If I asked for something, he would reach in his bag and hand it to me. I try to be pretty laid back.

ACHR NEWS: What is a tool you use that you don’t see other people carrying?

A wireless charging set. When I first started, I was carrying around an actual manifold and hoses. The wireless set-up is lightweight and easy to pack. You don’t have to worry about breaking a gauge. You just hook it up to the unit, turn on your phone, and you have your readings right there.

It’s like the more money you make, the more bills you have. The lighter the bag, the more stuff you’re going to put in it.

Orval Stier Lead service manager at Baxter Comfort Solution in Baxter, Iowa

ACHR NEWS: What do you carry in your bag?

STIER: I have a whole slew of things. I try to carry a small bag so it doesn’t weigh too much. I carry a Fluke multimeter. I also a carry a Fluke clamp meter. I carry a 20-V drill, a 20-V flashlight, a quick bit that goes into my impact. A nutdriver bit, a screwdriver bit, several extensions. One of them is a depth bit for sheet metal. I carry a manometer, a tape measure, a level. I have a tackle box carrier that has miscellaneous screws. I have a magnetic tool that tells me if a motor is running. We do a lot of geothermal, so I carry around four different thermometers, two for checking water temperatures, and two for checking air temperatures. I carry around a pressure gauge for ground-source heat pumps. I do have miscellaneous thermostat wire and 14-gauge wire at the bottom of my bag, as well as fade connectors of different assortments.

I carry around a magnet tray to hold all the bolts and screws from when I’m disassembling things. Those little things are the most important things in my bag. I have a stubby 5/16- and ¼-inch nut driver that comes in very handy.

I have a small and large crescent wrench, two pairs of adjustable pliers, a pair of needle nose pliers, and two sets of crimpers and strippers.

I have so many tools in this bag and it’s not even that big.

ACHR NEWS: What kind of bag do you carry?

STIER: They call it an electrician’s bag, actually. It has an open top and there’s a handle that divides the bag into three sections. My big section in the middle has my drill and my flashlight to keep the weight balanced. One side has my meters and my manometer. The other side has that tackle box. It’s a DeWalt bag. It came built in to the bag. I have pockets on the outside where I keep the pliers and such.

It took me eight years to get to this point. When I first started, I had this big bag. It probably weighed 50 pounds. I could carry everything. I would never have to go to my van, but it was heavy. It was hard to carry up a ladder, and then you had to dig through the thing because you had so much stuff in there. Then I went to almost a tool box. It looked like a giant lunch box with a handle on the top. It was the same deal. I couldn’t find things in an orderly fashion. There were times when I thought I lost tools and they were just at the bottom. It got annoying.

Then I went to a backpack. For me, the backpack didn’t work because when I’m digging into a furnace, I like to be able to just reach over and grab what I need. I don’t like to have to reach into a bunch of different compartments.

One day, I went to the local supply house and said, “I need a bag that I can get to from the top, but that holds a good amount of stuff.” They showed me the smallest electrical bag that had that extra compartment.

It’s easier on my back; I can lift it up ladders no problem. And I can get in and out of the back. Just by looking, I know if my pliers are there, if my drill is there. It’s a nice, easy checklist to not leave tools behind.

I’ve decided it’s smarter to carry fewer tools, but your most used tools. Just know when you’re going to a job if you need something extra and take it with you. This covers 90% of my jobs without a second trip to the van.

ACHR NEWS: Do you have any particular tool that you recommend?

STIER: There are three underrated tools that I carry that I tell my technicians they’ll want to buy. One is a 3-inch long, two-side wrench. One side is a ¼-inch, and one side is 5/16. That gets you out of a pinch when you’re in a really tight spot. The other thing is a meter that has a really strong magnet on it and a light. You get in the spot when you need an extra hand; magnets are just amazing.

And the one thing that I use almost all the time, that I don’t see enough of, is on my meter there are a bunch of lead connectors. You can put needle leads on the end of regular leads and alligator clips. So when I’m testing, I can actually clamp it on inside of trying to get a connector and a lead to touch sufficiently. That cuts down on chasing your tail around more that you should.

Funny Photos

Ignite Safety – Not Flames

It can happen in an instant; one spark, one combustion, or one overheated piece of equipment — a fire can start quickly and often stems from common workplace items or environments. Have you considered the devastating losses a commercial fire could cause your business?

For this year’s National Fire Prevention Week, October 3-9, Federated Insurance encourages employers to conduct fire safety meetings. Vigilant employees who know what to look for could be the reason a blaze doesn’t begin, and it all starts with educating your staff on hazardous fire risks.

A Year-Round Effort

National Fire Prevention Week serves to bring awareness to fire risks, but actively working throughout the year to prevent fires is the name of the game. Though the vast majority of non-residential fires are preventable, understanding the hazards that exist in the first place is where prevention truly starts. Strategies include:
 Conducting employee safety meetings on fire safety and common fire hazards at workplaces.
 Helping employees understand that each and every one of them has a responsibility to take an active role in fire prevention.
 Understanding the risks of not taking action when hazards exist — fires can result in life-changing injuries, death, property damage, smoke-damaged inventory, and lost revenue.
 Implementing regular safety meetings to brush up on safety topics, and staying in the loop with new ones.

Long-term Effects

Have you considered the long-term effects of a fire at your workplace? Forty percent of businesses do not reopen after a fire or other natural disaster.1 Even if you are able to reopen after a fire it will take time, and that may mean you and your employees are out of work until the building can safely be repaired and reopened. Not to mention that a loss of inv entory or equipment can leave you scrambling to recover financially.

In order to help prevent potential property damage and life-changing injuries or death, work with your employees to help them understand the ramifications of a workplace fire. If you haven’t already, utilize Federated’s resources, available through mySHIELD®, to create a fire prevention plan. And keep in mind that teaching your employees about fire safety is one thing, but helping them realize the responsibility they each have in protecting their workplace can be just as important.

Work with your employees now to have successful fire safety meetings. The more information they have in their arsenal, the better they will be at detecting potential hazards and stopping a fire before it starts. Federated Insurance clients can access a variety of fire prevention risk management resources, including employee training posters, sample industry -specific fire hazard checklists, and more by logging in to mySHIELD.

1. Insurance Information Institute. FEMA Information. www.iii.org/article/when-disaster-strikes-preparation-response-andrecovery. Accessed July 20, 2021.

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