The story that started it all, world-class customer service and always doing the right thing. 


Portrait of the owner, Jason Kihlstadius.
First van and extra large magnet on the side marketing the business.

The Emergency Call Story: A Meat Freezer with $20,000 Worth of Meat & A Flashlight

the story...

If it weren’t for my father I wouldn’t be here. I love you, dad!

Imagine a race against time, where a father and his young son find themselves working on a walk-in cooler housing $20,000 worth of meat. 

The father, the proud owner of a restaurant refrigeration repair company, understands the urgency of replacing the faulty compressor before the meat spoils. 

However, the son, only 10 years old and lacking experience, struggles to keep up with his father’s fast-paced race to save the valuable contents of the cooler. 

This heartwarming story highlights the challenges they face and the unique bond they forge in the process.

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the real meat of the story



So my dad races to get dressed in his work clothes and I ask to go so I get dressed as well...

He rushes me because I’m not moving fast enough and I start regretting the decision to go but I hurry anyways and we get in the van.

We race down to the shop and my dad rushes out of the van scaring me from the lam of the door on his way out just after he tells me to wait in the van, he rushes big lugging a medium-sized but heavy-looking box back to the back of the van.

He hops in the driver seat again and we rush down up and over to the meat distributor where the freezer is thawing fast!

We jump out of the van and speed walk down an alleyway of the downtown area and my father knocks on the back door of the dinge door adjacent to some nasty big blue metal trash cans with the lids closed

but man did they reek!

The owner answers and hurriedly lets us in, he points to the corner of the back of the distribution facility and we rush in that direction.

There is a ladder already propped up there, I open the freezer and my dad screams,

“What the hell are you doing!” “Keep that closed!” oh boy I was in trouble for that.

So he rushes up the ladder and I follow after him while he holds the ladder, when we both get to the top he starts poking around the condensing unit on top of the freezer and then immediately puts his gauge set on it and closes and valve and I see the light bulb come on. He starts racing back down the ladder and comes back with a load of more tools, then again back down the ladder and again back and forth. Eventually, a bunch of equipment sits atop the freezer and then he hands me a flashlight and says hold this tight!

So I do as he says shining on where he is working, I’m used to this, I do this all the time. He hooks up a bunch more equipment and then asks me to flip a switch on the boxes he’s been connecting a bunch of hoses up to and it starts pumping the refrigerant out of the system. While we are waiting he starts assembling the feet to the bottom of the new compressor because this one actually came with new feet.

Once the pump finishes and the refrigerant is out of the system, he tells me to turn it off, then he grabs a fire starter and lights his torch and it scares me so I drop the flashlight. Embarrassed I grab it again with all my might this time. He starts burning something around the compressor until a big POP! Then he starts going again until another big POP! He quickly turns off the torch and then begins to wrestle the old compressor out of the condenser.

Eventually, he gets it disconnected and then sets it aside and asks me to wrap the rope around the rung on the side.

accent heading

So I do and get it positioned like I always do.

He grabs the new compressor and puts it inside the old condensing unit and grabs the torch and a bunch of wet rags and starts re-connecting the copper tubes. He starts to braze the new one in with silver solder and he does it with such precision it’s like an art form.

Eventually, he gets done and the hissing of all the wet rags on the copper makes it change colors and cool down really quickly!

He tells me to unhook the reclaim pump and hook up the vacuum pump to the extension cord, so I do and he connects the gaugeset to the big pump. I turn it on once everything is connected.

Note: This was years ago before we used nitrogen, so nowadays we would add nitrogen to flow while brazing and pressure testing the system but this was years ago so these steps are omitted. Bad practices though!

I digress….

As the vacuum pump is doing its magic, my dad looks at the gauge set and curses a nasty word! $*&K

I knew that wasn’t good, so I goes down and walks into the freezer he told me not to… Uh oh. 

Now he is cursing up a storm and grabs the torches and races down into the freezer. I’m still sitting on the top, and what feels like waiting forever he eventually comes back up to the top and starts the pump again.

Sure enough, it starts pumping again but my dad seems relieved at this point. 

So we wait..

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3.5 ton xr16 Trane heat pump photo after installation. The system is located in Shedd, Oregon.
Trane TAM6 installation in a new construction setting and doing the finish on it in Oregon.