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Mechanical Department highlights

Tablet computers have streamlined technicians receiving work orders and completing SchoolDude paperwork

Rather than receiving work orders just once a day, HVAC and plumbing technicians are now able to receive them throughout the duty day as well as enter their hours, job status and comments, and “complete” the WO. Computers are still provided in Shop offices for use by the technicians as needed.

Six experienced plumbing techs hired to replace retires and resignees

The Plumbing Shop endured more than usual turnover in 2015-16, however with a value-added result as the newly employed practiced technicians were able to hit the ground running with no learning curve downtime. With the Shop fully staffed, training all personnel on backflow testing was made possible.

Backflow prevention PM conducted in-house saves the District $90,000 annually

Previously the testing, inspecting, and repair work was performed by vendors only as needed and not on a PM schedule. Fewer reactive work requests are expected (2.2% so far in 2015-16) and the District will save approximately $90,000 annually. All plumbers are now trained and are certified to conduct these tasks.

Initiated new PM program for hot water heaters

The Plumbing Shop launched a new preventive maintenance program that annually tests pressure relief valve; checks that burners and pumps are operational; and flushes the tank.

Vandalized mechanical equipment on a rooftop

Plumbing Shop increased preventive maintenance work 22%

As demonstrated from the last two PM related Highlights, the Plumbing Shop was able to perform 149 more PM work orders over the previous year, a 22% increase. In addition, reactive WOs dropped by 2.2%.

Fire sprinkler PM work on a consistent upward course

Reactive fire sprinkler work orders decreased by 38.4% in 2015-16 while PM work increased 4.6%, consistent with its historical upward climb. While the District’s physical growth is the reason for some increase in preventive maintenance work orders, the newly hired sprinkler technician (a licensed and Certified Fire Sprinkler Inspector) is credited for assuming some of the PM testing, inspecting, and repairing previously performed by an outside vendor. His goal is to build up to eliminating the contractor entirely.

HVAC Shop is taking over water treatment PM for water-cooled chillers and boilers from contractors

Three technicians are exclusively assigned to this work that is 100% completed District-wide for boilers and has started with water-cooled chillers. The PM necessitates chemically treating and monitoring the water systems in chillers and boilers to prevent corrosion and microbicides (including algae) and nitrate accumulation. The annual estimated savings over paying vendors is $185,000. The transition away from contractors will be completed in the 2016-17 FY.

Upgraded evaporative coolers, air washers, refrigerated cooling, and heating units at select sites

As much of this equipment is installed on rooftops, it is regularly imperiled by intense sun, pounding rain, snow, hail, and gale winds. While preventive maintenance can argue with Mother Nature, she eventually wins and the equipment must be replaced. Upgrades in 2015-16 include: a new chiller at the APS Data Center; replacement of two air washers and refurbishment of 80 cooling units at La Cueva High  School; air washers refurbished at Longfellow Elementary School; and replacement of heating and refrigerated air units at Del Norte High School’s Performing Arts Center and Sandia High School’s administrative building. Eventually, all aspen type evaporative coolers will be phased out and replaced with MasterCool type coolers.

Department Manager participated in the design of VRF and DDC HVAC systems at new construction sites

Heating and cooling variable refrigerant flow systems and direct digital controls (low voltage electronics on heating and cooling systems individually operated via the APS Intranet) save energy, service needs, repair time, and costs. VRF and DDC systems are the new standard for all new or replacement projects and installations and in 2015-16 included: Rio Grande High School 9th Grade Academy; the gyms and classroom wings at Monzano and Valley High Schools; rebuild of Mountain View Elementary School; new classroom additions at Atrisco, Reginald Chavez, and Comanche Elementary Schools as well as Ernie Pyle Middle School and Aztec Special Education Complex; and the Northwest Family School currently under construction on Albuquerque’s west side.

New plumbing installation in classroomInstalled programmable t-stats curb heating costs

The Mechanical Department installed 300 plus (valued at $100 per unit) programmable thermostats in portable classrooms provided by the Gas Company of New Mexico at no cost to APS for replacing inefficient manual controls that ran year round. The heating and cooling systems are now pre-programmed on schedule: On at 6:30 AM and off at 4:40 PM with a possible temperature range only between 68-72°. An override button allows a teacher to turn heating or cooling on for one hour (every hour) after 4:40 PM.

Cleaned out sewer sanitary lines and storm drains at select schools

Utilizing the jetter previously used only for emergencies, high pressure washed systems to prevent backups (a common result of connecting a new system to an existing system) at Collect Park and Wherry Elementary Schools as well as Valley High School.

Replaced multi-zone heating and cooling units at Eldorado High School’s administrative building

The antiquated and timeworn unit that outlived its projected lifespan was replaced with an energy efficient system that provides considerably more comfort and requires less maintenance.

Relief fans PM terminated, but in this case it’s a good thing

The preventive maintenance conducted on evaporative cooling and kitchen hood relief fans was ceased as a benefit was not evident. The work is now performed only on an as-needed basis saving time to address more advantageous tasks.