Lesson 5. HVAC Tool List

Lesson 5.  HVAC Tool List

HVAC Service work can require some specialized HVAC Tools.  Following is a list of the basics.  More exotic tools may be required for commercial systems and refrigeration work.  Most technicians will want to own their tools.  Most employers require you to own you hand tools and will furnish tools such as recovery machines, vacuum pumps and oxy acetylene welding rigs.  Some union shops require the employers to furnish all tools, but don’t rely on this.  If you don’t have the tools of the trade, you might not have a job.   Many companies will replace hand tools worn out on the job.  Many companies will also allow you to purchase limited tools using a payroll deduction plan.  Start accumulating tools as you can and make sure you understand the tool policy when negotiating your next job.
Refrigeration Tools
• Manifold and Gauges:  This is the basic tool used to diagnose, adjust or charge a system with refrigerant.  One gauge measures the pressure on the low or suction side between the evaporator and close to the suction of the compressor.  The second gauge connects to the high side also called the liquid side at the discharge from the condenser going to the expansion device.  Most units have Schrader valves (similar to tire stem valves) or service valves to facilitate connection.  The manifold connects the gauges, manifold valves and refrigerant hoses.  Modern electronic gauge sets also include digital thermometers to measure the temperature of the suction and liquid line.  This allows the digital gauge set to electronically calculate and display superheat and subcooling used in diagnosing proper refrigerant charge.
• Vacuum Pump:  Used to pull a vacuum on a refrigerant system that has been opened to the atmosphere.  Pulling a vacuum removes moisture that will create an acid and eat away the insulation on compressor motor windings if allowed to remain.
• Micron Gauge.  Used to alert you when you have pulled a 5” vacuum during evacuation of a system.
• Refrigerant recovery machine.   Recovering refrigerant vs. releasing to the atmosphere is required by Federal Law EPA section 608.
• Oil pump. Refrigerant Used to add refrigerant oil to a system.
• Oxygen / acetylene welding rig.  Used to braze copper refrigerant pipe.
• Prestolite torch.  Used to solder copper pipe
• Scale:  Accurate measurement of refrigerant drums by weight is required.
• Ratcheting valve stem wrenches used to open service valves.
• Leak detectors.  Used to find refrigerant leaks
• Copper tubing cutter
• Tube bender, ¼”, 3/8”, ½”
• Tube flaring and swaging tool.  Used where flare fittings are used.
• 50’ water hose and spray nozzle.  For cleaning condensers.
• Schrader valve core remover.
• Nitrogen gauge 400 psi.  Use nitrogen to purge copper refrigerant pipe during brazing.  Purging with an inert gas prevents contaminants.  May also be used to clear condensate drain clogs.
• (2) Dry bulb/ wet bulb thermometer, (humidity stick) Testo brand.  Accurate measurement of dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures are required to calculate system capacity.  One thermometer for supply air and one thermometer for return air to take simultaneous measurement.  A long stem thermometer is required to insert into ducts.
• Magnahelic or digital manometer.  Used to measure static pressure and calculate pressure drop across components.  Can also be used to calculate air flow quantity in systems.
• Air Velometer, 4” vane.  Used to measure air velocity and calculate correct air flow.
• Carbon monoxide tester.  Used to check for CO leaks.
• Thermometer.  Non contact with laser pointer for dry bulb
• Thermometer, dry bulb.  Used for measuring ambient outside air dry bulb temperature.
Sheet Metal Tools
• Tin snips, right, left and straight.  Snip handles are color coded to indicate use.  Red, blue and yellow.
• Awl.  Used to place a mark on sheet metal
Hand Tools
• Cordless drill and hex nut drivers.  Used to drive and remove screws and drill test holes.
• Nut drivers ¼” to 5/16”.  Used for hex head screws.
• Drill bit set
• Universal bit.  Used for test holes
• Screw drivers, flat
• Screw drivers, Phillips
• Flashlight
• Measure tapes
• Pliers, channelock
• Pliers, needle nose
• Allen wrench set
• Crescent wrench, 6”
• Crescent wrench, 10”
• Pipe wrench, 10”
• Pipe wrench ,18”
• 50’ extension cord and light
• 50’ rope.  Used when working on a roof.
• Torpedo level
• Wire brush.  Used to clean blowers
• 12” wheel puller.  Used to pull slower wheels
• Utility knife
• Hacksaw
• Open end/box wrench set
• Socket set ½” drive
• Socket set 3/8” drive
• Hammer, ballpeen
• Step ladders
• Extension ladder
• Fin combs
• Multimeter, Fieldpiece with detachable amp clamp
• Wire strippers
• Lineman pliers
• Wiring terminal kit
• Fuse puller
• Soldering gun
• Sand cloth for cleaning copper pipe joints
• Flux and brushes for soldering and brazing copper pipe.
• Coil cleaner for cleaning condenser and evaporator coils
• Electrical tape
• Duct tape
• Aluminum duct tape
• Pipe joint compound and Teflon tape
• Hard hat
• Lockout tag kit
• Safety glasses
• Safety shoes
• Gloves
• Fire extinguisher
• First aid kit

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  1. Heather says:

    I actually ponder the reasons why you labeled this particular post, “HVAC Tool List”.
    Regardless I actually loved the post!Many thanks,Florene

  2. Sam says:

    That’s very helpful; I wish I had this info before getting into the HVAC business. The only tool missing would be the all important pick up truck lol.

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