Sponsored by Allied Piano & Finish LLC
By Gregory Cheng, RPT
As a piano technician, it is important to be prepared for all situations - including caring for Piano Life Saver Systems. Make your life easy by having a dedicated kit that will augment your regular service kit and equip you to make efficient, although rarely required repairs.
The kit consists of:
A complete Grand System (G6PS-38) - Not Pictured
Dampp-Chaser Field Replacement Kit
Dampp-Chaser Spare Parts Kit
UHP-48 (Includes 48 Dampp-Chaser Pads, clean sleeves)
PT 8oz Case (Includes 12 bottles of 8oz bottles of Pad Treatment)
Full charged small electric drill driver
Backup battery for when you forget to charge your drill
¼ Inch nut driver bit
Drill extension bit
Piano Life Saver Customer Literature
AC Outlet detector
Moving pad (not pictured)
The Field Replacement Kit
This kit includes a water sensor probe, smart bracket, two-light panel, and the single-light cube for the H-5 humidistat. This kit provides one of each type of accessory for the H-5 humidistat to diagnose issues in the field. The ability to diagnose issues in the field eliminates callback appointments saving you time and money.
The Spare Parts Kit
This kit includes four flex brackets and screws; four hanger brackets and screws; two dehumidifier rod clips and screws; two standoff clips; three universal tank heater bar clips; velcro; two pin-pegs; clamp/screw/wing nut for fill tube.
The combination of these two kits is a great starting point for diagnosing and repairing ninety percent of the issues you may come across. Use items from these kits for replacement of a faulty or damaged part. Charge the customer for the part and replenish your parts by reordering, or if it is a warranty replacement, confirm with Dampp-Chaser and replenish your stock.
Additional rods, humidistats, and various upright parts would fill in the last ten percent of problems you may encounter. I recommend keeping a full grand system on hand. This will provide you with all the necessary parts for repairs or replacements on a grand system and most of an upright system. Once you use a part from the system, be sure to replace it to keep your kit stocked. The other advantage to having a complete grand system with you is the fact that you are ready to install one at the drop of a hat.
You can easily find out what to charge the customer for the repair part by creating an account with Alliedpiano.com. Each part listing on the website shows both the technician cost and suggested retail price for your convenience. Parts and systems can only be viewed by those with a technician account. Piano owner customers cannot see these and are limited to what they can purchase from Allied Piano.
Most of your clients with Piano Life Saver Systems will only need maintenance. Replacing tank liners, clean sleeves, pads, and selling pad treatment to customers should be a regular part of service. A box of pad treatment, UHP-48, and tank liners have a permanent spot behind my driver seat.
All systems use ¼ inch hex screws with a Phillips head. Using a magnetic ¼ nut driver bit in a drill driver is the most convenient way to install these hex screws. A Phillips screwdriver can work in a pinch, but you will eliminate the risk of slipping and damaging screw heads by using a nut driver. The driver bit extension is also useful when you are installing the clips and other deeper screws. The red drill in the parts photo is a Milwaukee flexible drill driver with a replaceable battery. Having three batteries in rotation helps. One on the charger, one in the drill, and one fully charged back up in the kit.
A small tape ruler and chalk or masking tape is essential for parts placement in grands and uprights. Laying out your install before drilling only takes a few minutes and speeds up the process while leaving a much nicer looking install.
Zip ties are a wonderful thing when it comes to wire and cable management. Dampp-Chaser provides more than enough wire and hose clamps. Go the extra mile to tie up slack in the wires or bundle wires together before clamping them to the underside of the grand or inside the cabinet of an upright. This will leave a professional and clean install. There is nothing more unsightly than a beautiful piano with exposed wires hanging down.
Piano Life Saver literature is great to have on hand when you are selling a system. You may not be able to sell and install a system on the same day but leaving a customer with something to read over is helpful. The care and maintenance guides are available here.
The AC voltage indicator determines whether an outlet is providing power or not. Carrying a AC multimeter is overkill but will do the same job. This AC volt indicator is small and compact, lightens the kit and will help you determine if it is the outlet, Humidistat, or heater bar that is causing the problem (if there is one).
Placing a moving pad under or in front the piano makes for a more comfortable work area. You are also “claiming” your work space. Additionally, it will help keep you clean in some unfortunate situations.
Working under or inside pianos can be difficult and hard to see. These flashlight gloves may look like they came right out of a sci-fi novel but their usefulness compared to a flashlight or headlamp is far superior. With the lights right on your fingertips you can always see exactly what you are working on.