As a 35-year veteran in the HVAC trade, Steve Fischer is celebrated as SUPCO’s very first TradeFox technician product inventor. 


His inventions mark some of our most popular TradeFox™ products and include the Magjumper™, the Flame Sensor Cleaner, the Fuse PROs, and the extendable Filter Pullers.

 

A Minnesota native, Steve's creative, technical mind started at six years old when he built a remote control car by himself.  When he started his HVAC career working on boiler controls, he kept running across jumper wires popping off and shorting out. On thermostat subbases, he would need to unscrew wires and twist the jumpers on to get a call for heat or cooling. “So I decided to tape a magnet to an alligator clip and started using this rough prototype on all sorts of controls.” Steve showed his idea to his business partner, Steve Melby and the two worked up many different prototypes before settling on the final Magjumper™ design.


Another job annoyance Steve faced was cleaning flame sensors. “I kept reaching for sand cloth to clean them but I soon realized it was leaving a residue that was acting as an insulator and burning onto the flame rod so it wasn’t getting a good signal. I thought about using a canister to spin around the rod, and my partner Steve added bristles to it which wouldn’t leave a residue.” The FSC10 has become a staple addition to many technicians’ keychains.

 

Steve invented the BRK3 and BRK5 Fuse PROs because he was wasting his job time making trips to the gas station for fuses. He developed the Fuse PRO to take the place of the fuse during low voltage circuit testing until the short is identified. 

 

And, the extendable filter pullers? “I was tired of my clothes getting dirty reaching for filters,” Steve said. “Plus, with the magnetic tip, it doubles as a magnetic reach tool.” SUPCO manufactures Steve’s filter pullers in 18” and 48” versions.


Despite having prototypes in hand, Steve faced challenges. “It’s hard to know how to find someone who is interested in your idea, how to go about manufacturing it, or how to know how much it will cost. There’s no real outlet to bring an idea to.” By working with SUPCO, Steve was able to have his products manufactured and marketed to a global network of HVAC wholesaler-distributors.

 

Steve’s advice for all the HVAC inventors out there: If you have an idea – even if you think it’s small - don’t sit on it. Sometimes things that cost just a couple of dollars can make a big impact on the job.”


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