Tag Archives: TruTechTools

Teenage mutant Ninja TruTechs?

Yes, that’s right, TruTech turns 13 years old today! And like many 13 year olds, we are being introspective about who we are, where we came from and where we are headed.

As the title hints; we try to have fun with the work we do and not get too, too serious about ourselves.

Just like a child grows so much over an 8 year time span, a lot has happened since 2012 when we made our last birthday update blog post (on our fifth anniversary).

James C. Bergmann

Let’s start by remembering one of our founders, James (Jim) C. Bergmann who passed away in 2016. He was a kind and generous man, who, along with his son, James (Jim) L. Bergmann initiated the customer focussed and educational aspects of TruTech which continue to shape the way we do business today. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, Jim.

TruTechTools Staff Photo June 2019

Staying on the topic of people, we are so grateful to our loyal employees, now numbering 15 fulltime and 2 part time. While all are unique individuals, they come together everyday with their minds set on helping our customers. From having the right stock of products available for fast shipments, to complete answers to all sorts of questions, to an easy to navigate website, prompt calibrations, in-depth technical resources, quick refunds and RMAs, to clear marketing messages and more. Our staff really want to make it fast and easy for our customers to work at a higher level.

In 2014, Jim Sr. sold his interest in the company to Eric Preston while Bill Spohn added to his interest by buying Jim Jr.’s shares. Since 2009, Eric, now VP and General Manager, provides guidance and direction for the bulk of the employees while as President & CEO, Bill provides strategic direction, networking connections and manages marketing. Eric and Bill work synergistically building TruTech into a better company every day. Jim Jr., better known as simply Jim Bergmann, has moved through a couple of companies incrementally increasing his influence on the HVAC diagnostic world. Now at his current company, MeasureQuick, Jim and his team have created the one and only multi-brand wireless tool platform that can stream data and run diagnostics to help all HVACR technicians work at a higher level.

TruTechTools Expansions: 2012, 2105, 2019

As our business grew, we continued to add staff, products lines (now almost 90!) and many, many products. Accommodating all this growth required expanding, then moving our facilities, as shown in the image above. It’s really amazing to think back to our first sale on April 23, 2007 was a single testo 905-T1 (version 1) Stick Thermometer shipped from a spare bedroom in Jim Sr.’s house.

INC 5000 Awards

We continue to be humbled that our progress as a business has not gone without notice. In addition to receiving awards, like the INC 5000 awards shown above, in 2019, Eric and Bill were nominated as Entrepreneurs of the Year by Ernst & Young. Our efforts on behalf of our customers continue to earn us high praise in our third party managed customer reviews: Facebook, Google Reviews and Shopper Approved.

HVAC Social Media Influencers
Bryan Orr, Zack Psioda, Gary McCreadie, Stephen Rardon, Mike Mayberry

Starting in about 2016, we’ve enjoyed great relationships with a number of social media influencers in the HVAC trade. Each one has their own style, followers, channels and methods. The variety is pretty intense. From Facebook pages, to Podcasts, to videos, to livestreams to Instagram posts and more, one thing they all share is a passion for learning, educating and sharing what they know. If you get a chance check out and follow some of our leading partners: Bryan Orr, Zack Psioda, Gary McCreadie, Stephen Rardon and Mike Mayberry.

Not to be left behind by the podcast generation, and at the encouragement of Bryan Orr, TruTech owner, Bill Spohn, started hosting two podcasts in 2017: RESTalk for RESNET and Building HVAC Science for TruTech.

On left new logo (2019) on right original logo from 2007

Another outward change we made was to redesign our trusty logo which served us so well for more than a decade. The new logo incorporates elements of the old one, but allows for a more compact delivery in new media. We added the tagline Quality Tools, Essential Support in 2016.

We have multiple definitions for the three blue Ts in the logo besides TruTechTools:

  • They are pillars of a blue collar workforce helping to support and benefit a green world.
  • They represent the three important groups of people for us: Customers, Employees, Vendors & Industry Colleagues
  • They stand for three things that we hope our efforts achieve through the work done by our customers: C-H-EE: Comfort, Health and Energy Efficiency (see vision and mission below)
  • They represent the three customer groups we focus on HVAC/R technicians, Building Performance technicians and Air Quality for Consumers
  • We also like the way the number of letters in our name stack up in an integral Pythagorean ratio of 3:4:5: Tru (3) Tech (4) Tools (5)

We have also recently crafted our Vision and Mission and Brand Promise:

  • Vision: All people live and work in Comfortable, Healthy, Safe and Energy Efficient homes and buildings.
  • Mission: Provide quality diagnostic tools and training for HVACR and Building Performance technicians to succeed in fulfilling our vision.
  • Brand Promise: Making it fast and easy for techs to work at a higher level.

As we think about where we are headed, it’s impossible to ignore the impact that the CoronaVirus Pandemic has had and will continue to have on the world, including the world of HVAC. Perhaps you’ll be reading this 1 or 2 or 5 years down the road and the impacts will be well understood and accepted.

At this point, we really don’t know.

From our vantage point at this moment on April 23, 2020, we do know we won’t change the principles by which we operate. That is to take care of people; people in our families, our company, our community, our customers and our vendors.

For it is with this spirit of care for others we were founded, and with this spirit we will continue to serve and thrive.

Until next time.

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Our Mission

calibration video

TruTech Tools delivers authoritative knowledge to HVAC and Building Performance contractors.

As a leading distributor of test instruments, we help customers first realize, then solve their problems by helping them understand how, when and where to make make measurements through offering a hand-picked array of the best products enhanced with free webinars, training materials, downloads, guides with written and telephone support.
We connect you to your industry via networking and participation in trade shows, technical conferences and committees where we forge the future via advocacy.
We are fiercely passionate about doing it right the first time. We want to see people better understand their job and become more efficient, successful and profitable in what they do.
Offering most resources free of charge, we hope customers appreciate our efforts and honor us with their business.
TruTech Tools: Making Measurement Science Work!

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16+16 Level I Infrared Thermographer Course

Themography Certification

Finally, you can earn Level I Thermography Certification without missing an entire week of work!

Our 16+16 course is a two-part, ASNT compliant program which combines 16-hours of classroom and hands-on education with 16-hours of online learning.  This unique approach allows you to complete your Level I training without missing a week of work or incurring added travel costs.

 16-hour Classroom & Hands-on Training

Our classroom segments combine theory and application discussions with hands-on camera experiments. From thermodynamics to proper level and span settings, we take a step-by-step approach to teaching the “how and why” behind each action. Through hands-on exercises you’ll learn the importance of proper camera settings and how to collect, capture, and diagnose thermal findings.

16-hour Online Learning Program

Using an ASNT compliant program which has successfully trained thousands of thermographers worldwide, our online segment features narrated presentations, self-directed activities, and practice quizzes designed to supplement our classroom training. The online program and accompanying printed book include the learning materials required for you to remotely complete the theory portion of Level I training.

Get Started

The online segment can be completed before, during, or after your classroom training.

Hands-on Training

This component is key to our program, as it provides an opportunity for you to experiment with different infrared cameras through instructor lead, hands-on exercises. You’ll learn about the power of heat transfer, reflectance, and emissivity as you discover what it takes to capture a quality thermal image. By the end of the two days you will be able to properly setup, focus, and capture infrared images using a thermal imager.

Demo Cameras Provided by FLIR®, FLUKE® and TESTO®

During training you have the opportunity to demo infrared cameras from today’s leading manufacturers. Discover the benefits of features such as high resolution detectors, digital camera integration, and Wi-fi capability. This is a great opportunity to try different thermal imagers before deciding which to buy.

Level I Certified Infrared Thermographer Exam Included

Students who successfully complete the online and hands-on training components are eligible to take a final written exam to earn Level I Certification through Infraspection Institute®. Exam may be completed in-class or online (PC with web camera required).

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Filed under Energy Audit, Home Performance, New Product Release, Thermal Imaging, Training, Uncategorized

Get FREE OnLine Training from RETROTEC-$300 value – Limited time offer – BPI CEUs

That’s right, RETROTEC is offering a special promotion that nets you FREE OnLINE Blower Door and DucTester training worth $300! Also earn BPI CEUs!

This offer is only good for qualifying purchases* from TruTech Tools made by December 31, 21012.

See course descriptions, below.

* A qualifying purchase includes a COMPLETE RETROTEC blower door or COMPLETE DucTester system. (Systems sold without digital manometers do not qualify.)




Level 1 – The Science of Air Leakage in BuildingsBPI Recognized for 3.5 CEU Credits
Acquire a solid understanding of the role that air leakage plays in buildings. The principles we will discuss apply to residential houses, the duct systems in those houses, apartment buildings, office buildings, commercial buildings, industrial buildings, and other large buildings and/or structures covering a multiplicity of uses.Since air leakage simultaneously affects energy conservation, air quality, building integrity and even safety, it is the goal of this Level 1 training to provide a basic understanding of the building science that affects that interplay, what measurements can be made, and how the results are of value.Level 2 goes on to teach how to make measurements on residential houses while Level 3 does the same for large buildings.

Level 2 Using Residential Air Leakage Measurement EquipmentBPI Recognized for 3.0 CEU Credits
Grasp the basic functionality of the DM-2 digital gauge, blower door system, and smoke puffer accessories. Learn and completely understand the sensitive differential pressure gauges used in measuring and diagnosing air leakage in residential buildings. Learn how door fans (blower doors) work and how to use them effectively. Quantify duct leakage and locate problems.


1. Purchase a qualifying product. (See above*)

2. Within 24 hours, TruTech will send you a link to the training site plus your username and password.

3. You will see Air Tightness Testing Level 1 and Level 2 as available courses.You can now begin the coursework. Take the quizzes when you are ready. An average grade of 85% is required to pass. Certificates will be issued upon course completion to students who received an average of 85% in both a Level 1 and a Level 2 course.


Filed under Blower Doors, BPI CEUs, Duct Leakage Testing, Training

What’s HOT in the TOOL world! – Bill Spohn to speak at ACCA Western-PA meeting – Oct. 4

Bill Spohn from TruTech Tools will be demonstrating what’s new in the world of HVACR tools and test instruments.

Also presenting will be representatives from Ritchie/Yellow Jacket, Hilti Tools, and United Rentals.
And meet the “Student of the Month” from Triangle Tech!

Mark your calendar and be sure to join us!

Peter’s Place
1199 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA 15017
(Exit 55 off I79N or I79S)

3:00 pm – Board Meeting
5:30 – 6:00 pm – Social Hour (cash bar)
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Guest Speakers
7:00 pm – Social Hour restarts (cash bar)
7:00 pm Dinner – $40.00 (cash, check, credit card)

Dinner Selection: Prime Rib or Virginia Spots

RSVP: 724-779-1860 (phone or fax) – NO cancellations after October 2

SEE ACCA W-PA October 2012 meeting notice FOR SIGN UP FORM AND MORE DETAILS.

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Filed under A/C and Heat Pump Products, Airflow, Combustion Analysis, Customer benefits, Energy Audit, Refrigeration Products, Training, Uncategorized

Slides from the Four Part AC Performance Series

Here are the slides used during our four part series on AC System Performance.
We have also included a link to the recorded videos.

THE Total A/C System Performance Series

With sky-rocketing energy costs, restricted capital/replacement budgets, and the omnipresent concern for the bottom line, it is now more critical than ever to achieve the highest performance out of A/C and heat pump systems. You might think this is easier said than done, but that is not necessarily true! TruTech will get you there with a clear understanding of the concepts.

Based on our popular national live, national trainings and presentations and 3 years’ worth of results from thousands of contractor tests, TruTech Tools, LTD is proud to present a NEW four part series to help contractors, auditors and utility personnel learn how to:

  • measure system performance
  • increase system efficiency
  • reduce electrical consumption
  • shave peak loads
  • extend equipment service life
  • increase customer comfort and satisfaction
  • all while expanding sales, profitability and service contract opportunities

For a FREE copy of an A/C Applications Guide click HERE.


A/C System Performance Testing-  Part 1: The Big Picture

Understanding the problem and justifying the need for a System Performance approach. What are the market drivers? The A/C system has several sub-systems and each must be understood and working in harmony with the others to achieve optimum performance.

Target audience: contractors, auditors and utility personnel


SLIDES: Part 1 – The BIG picture AC Performance Series


A/C System Performance Testing-  Part 2:  AirFlow

Understanding proper AirFlow set up and measurement is at the core of AC System performance.

Target audience: contractors, auditors and utility personnel

SLIDES: Part 2 -AirFlow- AC Performance Series

A/C System Performance Testing- Part 3: Refrigerant Charge
Beyond AirFlow the other key factor to optimizing A/C System Performance is understanding how to determine, measure and set the proper refrigerant charge in a system and measurement is at the core of AC System performance. Proper evacuation equipment and processes are critical to achieving the highest system efficiency.
Target audience: contractors, and utility personnel

SLIDES: Part 3 – Refrigerant Charge – AC Performance Series

A/C System Performance Testing- Part 4: Capacity Testing

The HVAC industry sells capacity (cooling tons), but how often is actually measured in the field? Using proper tools and techniques and a few calculations or appropriate software, technicians can now accurately measure cooling tons in minutes.
Target audience: contractors, auditors and utility personnel

SLIDES:  Part 4 -Capacity Testing- AC Performance Series

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500 Microns in 51 Seconds

YES YOU CAN! Check out Jim’s VIDEO on how to attach and use TruTech’s new RapidEvac Kit.

  • Pull a Vacuum 10x faster
  • Stay organized and productive
  • Stop Compressor Failures in their Tracks
  • Save Time and Labor Costs

These kits include the best of the best so you can have the right tools at your fingertips everytime. Learn more about RapidEvac Kits HERE.

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Testo 550 Refrigeration System Analyzer

2016 UPDATE:

Testo has upgraded the products available. You will find the latest here, with special prices, special kits and free shipping from TruTech Tools!


TruTech Tools is proud to announce the introduction of the Testo 550 Refrigeration System Analyzer!

The Testo 550 is one of the newest and most innovative products ever manufactured at this price point for Testo. Visit us to place your pre-order for this exciting product.


The Testo 550 was engineered to be a perfect balance of features, benefits and value. Features of the 550 include high accuracy pressure transducers, low mass temperature sensors, 3-way manifold configuration and magnifying sight glass. These allow a service technician to easily evaluate both sides of the refrigeration system while displaying pressures, saturation temperatures, superheat and subcooling. All of this is packed into a rugged, compact and affordable package that will fit any technician’s budget.

Lower initial cost and low-cost of ownership
Keeping high quality standards in the forefront, Testo engineers had a daunting task to make the 550 more cost competitive without compromising the quality of the measurement. The outcome was a product that has fewer parts for quicker assembly, a redesign of the temperature sensors to make them more robust (while less expensive) and a more compact design.

Easy-to-use interface
The 550 has a separate button for almost everything – nine of them to be exact. More keys means eliminating the need to always scroll through multiple menus and sub menus to get to configuration settings. There is a power key for power, and back light key for the display, a setup key for easy configuration, mode keys for different modes, a refrigerant key to select over 31 onboard refrigerant profiles, min/max/mean key for quick system analysis, zero key for the pressure transducers and arrow keys to make selections.

Easy-to-read display
The 550 has a brighter and better defined display than previous models. Decimal points and other display characters have been enlarged for easy viewing from a distance.

Integrated hose holder and hook
The 550 has 3 brass integrated hose parks that are positional by the user to the back or front of the instrument. Residential technicians that typically set their gauges on the ground can now do so without fear of dirt, moisture or other potential system contaminates picked up by the hose parks entering the refrigeration hoses when they are in the stored position. A relief machined into the end of the hose park allows room for the Schrader depressor and a positive seal that will keep moisture from entering the hoses in the parked position. The hook is integrated into the 550 and designed so it can easily be stored if kept in an instrument case or tool bag.

User configurable units of measure
This can be very helpful if you come across foreign equipment that may not have specifications in English units of measure. The 550 can easily be configured to measure pressure and temperature in System International (SI) or the English customary system, eliminating time and error in converting to the desired units of measure.

Vacuum displayed in inches of mercury
Automatic change of units when the 550 goes into a vacuum allows the technician to easily determine when proper recovery levels are met or to set pressure switches in systems that operate below atmospheric pressure in refrigeration applications. While the 550 is rated for use in vacuum, Testo recommends the use of an auxiliary micron gauge during evacuation. The 550 does read and indicate vacuum, but does not have the resolution to display vacuum in microns.

Simultaneous measurement of superheat and subcooling
With dual temperature sensor porting standard, the 550 can be used with a second optional probe for charging and troubleshooting without the need to move the temperature sensor. Watching both sides of the system while charging allows the technician to spot problems like a faulty expansion valve at system startup before the system is overcharged. When performing any diagnostic testing, both sides of the system must be evaluated before adjustments to the charge or mechanical repairs are made.

Pressure Sensors
The Testo 550 utilizes dual ceramic thick film pressure transducers or pressure-measuring sensors, with a pressure range of -14.7 to 580 psig. Ceramic pressure-measuring cells have a measuring accuracy and repeatability that is stable over a very long time; therefore frequent calibration is not needed. The high and low side sensors are matched and selected for an operating range that will provide the highest accuracy for their desired measuring range, allowing accurate pressure measurement over the full range on either side. The pressure transducers are calibrated in regards to their zero points, coefficient of thermal expansion, and sensitivity so they can be used in wide ranges of temperatures as extra-high precision pressure transducers. Ceramic pressure transducers are designed so the pressure sensitive part is exposed directly to the refrigerant. Thanks to excellent chemical resistance, ceramic pressure transducers do not require additional protection from oils, refrigerants, or acids and additionally will withstand the shocks from normal to rough handling without ever affecting the sensor calibration. While traditional gauges require frequent trips to a calibration house to assure their accuracy (often a procedure never performed), the calibration of the pressure transducers in the Testo 550 is only recommended annually.

Altitude compensation adjustment
Like all manufacturers of digital refrigeration gauges, Testo uses a relative pressure transducer that is zeroed to atmospheric pressure. While relative pressure transducers are a very cost-effective solution, they, like bourdon tube gauges, require adjustment when used above sea level. Because the work site atmospheric pressure is typically not the same as pressure at sea level for standard air conditions compensation for barometric pressure needs to be considered for critical charging applications. In the configuration menu, the technician can now input actual barometric pressure in inches of mercury and compensate for pressure measured above sea level or that caused by changing weather conditions. This allows for a technician in an area of the country like California to work as accurately at 7000 ft as at sea level without the need for altitude corrected pressure temperature charts.

Standing pressure test with temperature compensation
During initial commissioning or after repair, a standing pressure test is required to verify system tightness over a prescribed time period. The 550 incorporates a timed and temperature compensated pressure drop test that allows the user to see the initial pressure, final pressure and the difference over time. No more marking you gauge position, tapping the gauge and measuring the time with a stop watch.

Min/Max/Mean function
When charging a system, hunting is a common problem during low loads. With the min/max/mean function in the Testo 550, the technician can easily determine what the average superheat is and verify that the system is not intermittently flooding. Pressure switch cutouts both high and low can be verified quickly and easily.

Temperature measurement
The Testo 550 uses NTC thermistors for temperature measurement with a range of -58 to 302°F. The NTC thermistor has several advantages over K type thermocouples including temperature sensitivity, electrical noise immunity, and a lower replacement cost (about 1/4 of the cost). The clamp probe has also gone through an extensive redesign to be easier to use, more robust, and lower cost. With a 1-3/8″ capacity, the standard clamp probe will easily fit around all lines on residential heat pumps and air conditioning equipment. Utilizing low mass electrically shielded thermistors, the 550 clamp probes have excellent response time and temperature measurement characteristics.

Delta Temperature Calculation
Using the Delta Temperature mode and a second temperature probe, system components like reversing valves and refrigerant liquid line dryers can easily be evaluated for excessive temperature drops and or leakage which will result in capacity losses and other associated problems. System approach can quickly be determined, by measuring liquid line temperatures and outdoor air to properly charge a system, and temperature across refrigeration coils can be verified to fall within manufacturers’ specifications.

Replaceable valve assembly
Easy to service with basic hand tools, the piston and valve packing assembly are field replaceable. The valve handle can easily be removed by pulling the retaining spring clip with a small screw driver to gain access to the valve assembly.

Leak tested
Every unit is leak tested with helium to ensure tightness. By performing this procedure we can insure that the 550 will work in both pressure and vacuum without leaks.

Oil, moisture and impact resistance
The Testo 550 is designed to withstand rigors of day-to-day service and replace the gauges that you now carry. Designed to withstand exposure to POE and mineral oils as well as refrigerant the case will not easily discolor or degrade. Because the keys can be pressed in flush, the unit easily wipes clean with a shop rag. With a rubberized housing, aluminum block and brass valves hose parks and connections the 550 is one of the most durable instruments Testo has developed.

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