Facility Manager Log - Phone Calls And Coordination

I have spent the day trying to find vendors to provide services to my building. It is surprisingly difficult, given how much people complain that the economy is not doing well and that people don't want to work. You would think that vendors would do their best to get new clients. I have not experienced this to get preventive maintenance done on my air conditioning units and for some landscaping work.


Did You Try Turning It Off and On Again?

This morning, one of the rooftop units was not working. The thermostat set point is at 74F. The room has been at 78F all day. I was able to schedule a service call to come troubleshoot the unit. We went up on the roof. The technician opened the side door and checked the control panel for trouble codes. Seeing none, he threw the power switch to off, then back on. The we waited. It seemed to be running. This is a popular diagnostic method in IT, cycling the power on the device. It didn't occur to me to try it.

On the bright side, the problem seemed to be the blower motor. This is usually the issue when the unit reports that it is cooling, yet nothing comes out of the vents. Blower motor replacements are usually a $900 job.

If the maneuver doesn't yield result by tomorrow, then I'll have to call the company to have them send the technician to troubleshoot other causes. The last time I checked, the room went back to 78F after having dropped 1 degree. I think the technician will have to come back tomorrow. I'll be sure to call them first thing in the morning if the room is still warm when we open tomorrow.

Two Other RTUs

There are two other rooftop units that are signaling that they are struggling to cool their rooms. I will need to have them checked out as well. I was hoping the PM would be able to diagnose and repair the problem. However, it turns out they have scheduled the work in four weeks. That's a long time from now. The units will likely fail by then. And, that's roughly the end of the dog days of summer. It has taken too long to get the work done this year. I think next year I'll start in early spring to be ready for summer.

Freezer Troubleshooting

I got a call that there was water on the floor in the men's restroom. That room is adjacent to the kitchen. Checking the kitchen, I noticed that the freezer had water under it. It had tripped the GFCI circuit breaker. This is the second time that freezer has tripped a breaker. Previously, it tripped the breaker at the electrical panel on another circuit. This shows that the problem was not the circuit. For whatever reason the freezer is drawing too many amps and popping breakers. I'm going to have to hire a technician to inspect the freezer.



I had hoped one company would be able to help me install some plants at the front of my building. We had a freeze this winter that killed all of our shrubs. We had the shrubs removed. It took us a while to decide what to plant. We have settled on fire bush and jasmine, or Texas sage and jasmine. So far, I have managed two proposals. One company I cannot hire because of complications with our purchasing policy. The other company's proposal was nearly twice the price. The third proposal needed hasn't happened yet. I contacted the owner of the third company because their main line doesn't answer. I though he would surely send somebody to give me an estimate. Absolutely nothing has happened. So, I've contacted another two vendors who might provide proposals. It won't be too bad if I end up with four proposals.

Wrapping Up

I have been on the phone most of the day, except when I'm here at the computer. The building problems are taking on the properties of a hydra. That reminds, me, I contacted a contractor to repair the outer door that is not closing completely. He'll stop by tomorrow to take a look.

Oh, and I have been trying to contact the original contractor that did our building remodel to see if the defective windows are covered under a warranty. Most of the items are long past their warranty. However, there was a suggestion that builders have a 10 year warranty on installation defects. That is, if they improperly installed a product, they would have to fix the problem. I have not been able to reach them, unfortunately. Their number rings busy. I'll try again tomorrow.

That's it for today's FM Log. More adventures tomorrow.