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Refrigeration Mechanic

Class Specifications – G.25
Lead Refrigeration Mechanic – 8254
Refrigeration Mechanic – 8227
Apprentice Refrigeration Mechanic – 8209

November, 2004

Series Concept

To perform skilled journey level work in the installation, repair and maintenance of refrigeration systems, absorption chillers, process coolers, air conditioning, gas fired and electric heaters, heat exchangers, cooling towers, balanced load and related systems and equipment used in building and facility environmental conditioning, growth chambers, freezers and coolers, constant temperature animal facilities, and a variety of lab and experimental chambers and other equipment; to prepare estimates, and plan and manage own projects within allotted budgets; and to perform related work as required.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Lead Refrigeration Mechanic is a full journey level classification performing skilled work in Refrigeration in accordance with the techniques of the trade based on the completion of a recognized apprenticeship or its equivalent. This classification is distinguished from other classification which may perform limited elements of carpentry by the scope of work and level of skill required. Positions in this “Lead” capacity function in a lead capacity for a group of employees working on a project or on a regular assigned basis. The Lead Worker does not have full formal supervisory authority for staff assigned to projects; however, in order to complete projects/assignment must be able to schedule and control the daily working arrangements for a specified group of employees. As a lead for these employees the incumbent can perform the following duties: keeps management appraised of overall project performance (i.e., staffing or resource needs, completion dates, changes/delays in scheduling, etc.); distributes and reviews work performed on a daily basis; informal problem-solving; schedules or approves daily work schedule based on project needs; provides general input on employee’s performance to higher-level manager/supervisor; and refers and provides information to a higher-level manager/supervisor regarding issues or concerns which may result in a disciplinary action on an employee assigned to their project.

Refrigeration Mechanic is a full journey level classification performing skilled work in accordance with the techniques of the trade, based on completion of a recognized apprenticeship or its equivalent. This classification is distinguished from other classifications which may perform limited related work by the scope of work and level of skill required within this specialty, including comprehensive repair, maintenance, overhaul and retrofit on systems up to 2,000 ton capacity. Positions at this level may direct the work of less skilled helpers on projects and train apprentices; and may work independently or in conjunction with other crafts.

Apprentice Refrigeration Mechanic is the entry level of this skilled craft series. Incumbents at this level attend apprenticeship classroom training outside of work hours, and learn on the job under the direction of journey level employees and supervisors, while performing increasingly responsible elements of the work in a limited capacity. Incumbents are required to demonstrate mastery of each stage of the apprenticeship prior to moving to the next stage, and failure to do so may result in termination from the apprenticeship program.

Examples of Duties

The following duties are intended to illustrate examples of duties typically performed by incumbents in this classification. Individual incumbents may not perform all of the duties listed, nor are all of the duties an incumbent will perform necessarily listed.

  • Analyzes and troubleshoots systems and equipment to identify and resolve operating problems and malfunctions;
  • Installs, repairs, services and overhauls centrifugal, screw, scroll and reciprocating compressors and pumps used in refrigeration, chiller and related systems;
  • Services, maintains, repairs and overhauls lithium bromide and other absorption chillers; adjusts process controls and regulation;
  • Evaluates systems for and repairs leakages to maintain vacuum, high pressure, or low pressure conditions and contain gases and liquids; performs skilled repair to plumbing, piping, valves, tubing and other components; applies charge or vacuum;
  • Repairs, services and maintains package and split system HVAC units, gas fired heaters, electric heat and related systems and equipment;
  • Programs and adjusts PLC and micro-processor based controllers regulating temperature, light cycle, humidity and other parameters;
  • Installs, repairs, maintains and services a wide variety of controlled storage, laboratory and experimental systems and equipment including balanced load chambers, growth chambers, refrigerators, ultra low temperature freezers and related;
  • Maintains, repairs and regulates chemical conditions in cooling towers;
  • Provides emergency service to ensure safety of animals and preservation of experimental materials such as plants, microbes, food, agricultural and other products;
  • Uses personal protective gear such as respiratory protection and eye protection, and places or erects barricades, warning signs and devices to protect self and others;
  • Directs the work of unskilled and semi-skilled helpers assisting in projects, assuring that proper safety practices are followed;
  • Provides on the job training to apprentices;
  • Works aerially from ladders, stairs, boom trucks; underground, and in confined spaces
  • Operates a variety of tools and equipment including pneumatic, electric, and hand tools, and testing apparatus;
  • Coordinates work with customers, project managers, other crafts, and inspectors; inspects job sites and reviews detailed plans, drawings and oral directions to plan work;
  • Prepares detailed estimates including labor and materials, and prepares lists of materials;
  • Assists other crafts as needed;
  • Maintains tools and equipment;
  • Maintains current knowledge of equipment and materials through self-study and training;
  • Prepares and maintains a variety of records and paperwork regarding work performed.

Knowledge and Skills Required

Knowledge of:

  • Operating principles, operation, testing, maintenance and repair of refrigeration, chiller, process cooling, air conditioning and gas-fired and electric heating systems and equipment.
  • Methods, materials, tools and equipment used in the installation, repair and maintenance of refrigeration, chilling, air-conditioning and heating equipment up to 550 tons in capacity, including absorption chillers, pumps, condensers, heat exchangers, cooling towers, reciprocating, centrifugal and screw type compressors, thermostats, electrical, pneumatic and PLC and micro-processor based controls.
  • Specialized testing, calibration and other instruments used in the trade.
  • Safety and safe working practices related to the work including handling, protective gear, and personal including techniques for working in areas containing hazardous materials including pathogens, PCB’s, radioactivity, and other hazards.
  • Federal, state and local codes and regulations pertaining to refrigerant chemical handling and control.
  • Job planning and basic estimating.
  • Math required for testing, system evaluation and recordkeeping.

Skill in:

  • Installing, repairing and maintaining a wide variety of air conditioning, refrigeration, absorption chillers, heating and related systems and equipment.
  • Fabricating and installing special HVACR systems and equipment for laboratory and other experimental conditions.
  • Conducting specialized testing of refrigerant systems, balanced load constant temperature systems, and other HVACR related equipment.
  • Reading and interpreting plans, diagrams, drawings, instructions, and related technical materials.
  • Operating and maintaining hand and power tools, testing devices and equipment used in the trade.
  • Setting and adjusting computer-based environmental controls.
  • Establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with those contacted in the course of the work such as customers, project managers, inspectors, and other crafts, including assisting others and working cooperatively.
  • Maintaining records related to work performed including use of computers.
  • Planning and directing the work of semi-skilled and apprentice workers, and providing instruction and on-the-job training.

Illustrative Education and Experience

A typical way of acquiring the above required knowledge and skills would be equivalent to:

Certificate of completion of a recognized apprenticeship, accredited trade school, or the equivalent amount of experience and training comparable to journey level crafts status as a refrigeration mechanic. A Credentials Committee will determine equivalency of alternate training/experience approaches.

Other Requirements

Must possess a valid California driver’s license and have a satisfactory driving record. Must be willing/able to work overtime, shifts and/or emergency call-in according to the needs of the unit to which assigned.