The air conditioning at my son’s preschool wasn’t working yesterday (a transformer blew down the street, and something got fried in school’s AC system). So, how did it get fixed? 1. A well-meaning parent who does renovation went everywhere with volt meter, including tracing wires through the dusty attic. He was able to figure out that the transformer providing power to the thermostat was fried, and probably the relay as well. But he didn’t have the parts. 2. So, the teachers put a call into PSE&G, saying that the damage was the result of the power surge from the transformer. They came by and put in a new transformer and relay, but still couldn’t get it to work. They wouldn’t even look at the wiring on the condenser because it was on a roof. (Wimps—all you had to do was go over a fire escape railing and it was right there). 3. Finally, the teacher found the contact information for the service company the school has a contract with—they came by, but said that the previous guys (the parent and PSE&G) had completely screwed up the wiring and they couldn’t figure it out. So they left. (Wimps.) This is where I come in. Since it was my day off, I went through the whole system. Turns out, in checking the connections, the well-meaning parent had re-connected the thermostat to the system completely wrong. Once I got that straightened out, I was able to get the blower working again. Yay, moving air, but it was still lukewarm. The condenser would kick in when jumped, but it wasn’t getting the 24v from the relay. So I called the service contract people, told them of my progress, so he came out again. He still couldn’t figure out why the condenser on the roof wasn’t getting 24v—he claimed there was a short in the wire. Of course, when I asked him to check if 24v was even being sent along that line, they said, “whaddya know, no it’s not, but we can’t figure it out because we don’t understand the relay PSE&G put in.” So I got another guy from PSE&G out again—he looked over the wiring for the relay, and the wiring to the condenser, couldn’t figure it out. He said there must be a short in the wire to the condenser. Of course, he won’t check the wiring at the condenser because it is on the roof. I said, well, if the short is the problem, why wasn’t the relay delivering 24v to the condenser—could you explain to me how this thermostat/relay setup you have provides 24v to the condenser?” Well, no, he couldn’t, so he went to work studying the whole setup again. By this time it is 1:00 in the afternoon. At about this time, a guy we called the previous night—the electrician “fixer” employed by one of the larger developers in Jersey City—shows up. I tell him the situation, he tells the PSE&G guy “no problem, you can go, I’ll handle it.” In about five minutes, he determines that, in fact, the wiring to the condenser on the roof is fine (he opened it at both ends, applied voltmeter to one end, get no current—duh, why could any of the three previous guys do that? Next time I’ll just bring my own meter). So, lo and behold, the reason the condenser wasn’t working was the contact. He puts in a new contact, so now 24v fires up the condenser. Of course, the relay wasn’t sending it along, so he looks at that. Well, what do you know, PSE&G had wired the relay in wrong, so he switches a couple wires around, and presto, condenser now responds to thermostat. Cold air starts flowing. The lessons? The well meaning parent was reckless in not following the wiring diagram to reconnect the system; the service contract guy was a tard—he was more interested in blaming it on someone else than fixing the system; the folks from PSE&G were idiots—all they did was swap in parts, incorrectly (two separate guys, they couldn’t figure it out). The only guy that knew what he was doing was the last guy. I put myself a distant second. I put PSE&G and the service contract company way, way last. How does anything get fixed?????