Letters to the Editor — April 2017
A Plumber’s Legacy
Editor’s Note: The following is a poem submitted to Plumbing & Mechanical in November 2016.
Remember each day you step outside the door
You’re not alone, you’re part of so much more
A role with greater worth than a sale or a repair
Each customer is a chance to show you care
About their home, your trade and a legacy
That will point towards a future of opportunity
Grow and develop those with passion for the trade
Be a light to follow that will not fade
Mark your workmanship with integrity, tried and true
For those you serve under the red, white and blue
Be proud of the trade you’ve learned
A plumber’s title isn’t given, it’s earned
Across the nation and different brands
A trade united in the work of hands
To pass along and impart
Plumbers share the same heart.
Aramendia Plumbing Heating & Air of North Texas
In defense of my August Tool Tip on lubrication
Editor’s Note: The following letter is in response to an October 2016 Letter to the Editor in which Mark Simone, of Sandpiper Plumbing in Cape Coral, Fla., wrote about an August 2016 Tool Tip from Michael Bayarsky, author of the below letter.
There was a comment in the October 2016 issue in the Letters to the Editor section about my August 2016 tool tip on lubricating push fittings. The reader didn’t like my tool tip on lubricating push fittings since he thought that I was recommending a petroleum-based product, which can’t be used with O-rings since it causes them to swell. My tool tip specifically said to use a wire pulling lubricant but didn’t mention which type of wire pulling lubricant to use. The technical details from the manufacturer’s data sheet can be found here: bit.ly/2kE7o49.
To sum this up, it’s polymer-based (not petroleum-based) and is designed to be used as a lubricant without damaging rubber insulation. I’m sure that it won’t damage rubber O-rings either. The manufacturer of this lubricant doesn’t want rubber insulation to swell inside metal conduit.
Mike’s Auto Designs
Hydronic outdoor temperature reset article ‘Not completely valid’
Editor’s Note: The following letter is in response to the article “Outdoor reset is the ‘smart’ choice” by John Siegenthaler in the June 2016 issue of Plumbing & Mechanical.
There are several technical, practical, and economic reasons that John Siegenthaler’s article in the June 2016 Plumbing and Mechanical advocating the universal use of hydronic outdoor temperature reset is not completely valid.
First, while outdoor temperature setback (also more commonly called outdoor temperature reset) may work well for some continuously occupied buildings whose heating requirements are always inversely proportional to outdoor temperature, such as multifamily buildings, it does not work well or at all for intermittently occupied buildings. The majority of commercial buildings are intermittently occupied, such as offices, schools, retail, and religious buildings.
Second, most intermittently occupied commercial buildings have variable internal heat gains from people, lighting, equipment, and plug loads. Thus, the heating requirements of all spaces are not inversely proportional to outdoor temperature, so outdoor temperature reset of heating hot water will not always satisfy the heating loads in all spaces at all times.
Third, most intermittently occupied buildings are also required by the 2015 IECC or similar building codes to comply with:
C403.2.4.2 Off-hour controls. Each zone shall be provided with thermostatic setback controls that are controlled by either an automatic time clock or programmable control system.
ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2013 has a similar provision:
220.127.116.11.2 Setback Controls. Heating systems shall be equipped with controls configured to automatically restart and temporarily operate the system as required to maintain zone temperatures above an adjustable heating set point at least 10° F below the occupied heating set point.
Outdoor temperature reset or setback varies the water temperature that heats buildings according to outside temperature and the hot water supply temperature is inversely proportional to the heat loss. When it is warmer outside, the temperature of the water flowing through heating pipes is colder. After a building has been set back for a few hours or a few days in colder climates in winter, the temperature in the building usually drops. However, if the outdoor temperature is warm at the time occupancy is restored, with reset the heating hot water temperature will not be warm enough to heat the building in any reasonable amount of time, or at all.
Take for example an office building that has been set back over a weekend with outdoor temperatures in the 40s and 50s. A common indoor setback temperature is 55°. If the outdoor temperature on Monday morning is in the 60s, the hot water supply temperature with reset will not be high enough to bring the 55° building temperature up to comfort conditions for many hours, if at all.
Fourth, the following provisions in ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1 are similar to those in IECC C403.2.5, but allow exceptions to reset for good reason.
18.104.22.168 Chilled- and Hot-Water Temperature Reset Controls. Chilled- and hot-water systems with a design capacity exceeding 300,000 Btu/h supplying chilled or heated water (or both) to comfort conditioning systems shall include controls that automatically reset supply water temperatures by representative building loads (including return water temperature) or by outdoor air temperature.
Where the supply temperature reset controls cannot be implemented without causing improper operation of heating, cooling, humidifying, or dehumidifying systems; and
Hydronic systems, such as those required by Section 22.214.171.124, that use variable flow to reduce pumping energy.
Fifth, there are no provisions or recommendations in the ASHRAE Handbook that are similar to those in IECC C403.2.5. If such a provision had merit for all buildings, it would certainly be included in the ASHRAE Handbook. It is not included.
Sixth, hot water reset controls also assume that all heating zones will be at the same temperature or require the same hot water supply temperature. This means that all zones served always have the same heat losses and heat gains. In a religious building, for example, classrooms that are used every day will receive the same temperature hot water as the worship space and fellowship hall that may only be heated once per week. When those colder spaces call for heat, they may overheat other zones. Each zone in most commercial buildings has different heating requirements.
Seventh, reset does not always work when the boiler is also used to supply domestic hot water. Chapter 47 of the 2011 ASHRAE Handbook says: “In most cases, the boiler is controlled to maintain a constant water temperature, although an outside air thermostat or other control strategies can reset the temperature if the boiler is not used for domestic water heating.”
Eighth, reset may save some heating energy, but it can increase pumping energy. Chapter 46 of the 2007 ASHRAE Handbook says: “This reset is typical for constant-flow systems; resetting the water temperature in variable-flow systems should be carefully studied, because it increases the pumping energy.”
Ninth, there are no published, peer-reviewed papers or articles that support the universal use of reset in hydronic systems or that evaluate the energy savings, if any, in all building types and occupancies.
Larry Spielvogel, P.E., FASHRAE
Bala Cynwyd, Penn.
Editor’s note: The following emails are in response to the February 2017 editorial, “Trump is no friend to small business,” by PM Chief Editor Jen Anesi. They have been lightly edited for grammar and style.
On the verge
I was totally outraged by Morris Beschloss’ article in the February 2017 PM magazine. He is at least as delusional as Trump.
I was on the verge of cancelling my subscription to PM magazine because there didn’t seem to be any counterbalance to his opinion piece and I was assessing what I would lose by canceling when I came across your editorial, which offered some class and a bit of balance. Thank you for that. I believe that you need to write additional editorials that emphasize and expose the realities that naysayers hold dear.
We are way past when coal was king and the days when America was “great.” And we’re not going back to those days. Time changes and we have to move forward to a different world because the old world is gone and all the effort to hold on to the old world will facilitate the development of strife and unhappiness and instability that we can only imagine.
Beschloss is a perfect Trumper; he seems to believe in fake facts. … We need opinion pieces from smart people, not naysayers.
Your Editorial opinion
I’m new to Plumbing & Mechanical and I can’t wait to read your writings in future issues. I know you wrote that on the “eve” of Trumps Inauguration. I’m thinking you’ll keep your opinion for a while, say six months, but after that it will be hard to maintain it. Be honest, you’re a mother and journalist … five weeks later it is amazing what he has done and no telling what he will do for the country and small business. We’re now seeing the harm that Clinton did [to] this [country] years later. Sit back [and] relax … the grown folks got the keys again. Let’s email in 180 days. I’m sure your readers will accept your apology, too. Great job on the NRA Card!
Trump is no friend to small business article
I just finished your editorial on President Trump and yes you should keep your personal politics out of your reporting. You seem very comfortable throwing unsubstantiated numbers around and [I] would caution you to “walk a mile in my shoes.”
What are my shoes? Twenty-five-year HVAC tradesman [and the] current president of [an] employee-owned small business. I have seen the economy at its highs and have definitely seen it at its lows; those of you [who] have ever tried to make payroll when there is no work know what I mean. If you lived through the recession of the early 80s when there was no work and there [were] no jobs, you would know what I mean. NAFTA was/is the great destroyer of the American workforce and Obamacare would have been the stake through the heart. Please do not refer to President Trump as inept; as of your writing, he had not served a day in office, and now after serving just over a month in office, he has made good on many promises and has done exactly what he said he would do and [that is] the reason guys like me put him in the White House in the first place. I would hardly call that inept.
I’ve drawn the conclusion that you liberal journalist types actually think you are smarter than the rest of us but we’ve been through the battle and have the ability to put things in real-life perspective, something that I have yet to see from the left.
And speaking of not smart, I know you want to shout your liberal viewpoints from the rooftops and tell the world how you feel from your journalist bully pulpit, but to alienate what I would consider 90% of your readership is just plain stupid. I’ve got to think that the majority of your readers fit my mold rather than yours.
Anyway, if you ever make it out to the heartland of America and find yourself in Lincoln, look me up, I’ll treat you to some corn-fed beef and we can talk politics all day long. Till then, I hope you can refrain from any more negative, mean-spirited and just plain unsubstantiated claims about our commander in chief.
Your Editorial opinion
Jen, I’m sure no one else has commented on your editorial opinion, but I would just like to say that it’s OK you have your own opinion, but that doesn’t make mine wrong. I think President Donald Trump is going to do a great job. I hated the last eight years of Barack Obama’s administration, but he was our president and I respected him for that. In my opinion, he did nothing but separate the races, religions and the economic classes and cause dissension in America, not to mention [increasing] the national debt up to $19 trillion plus. Our international partners saw him/us as weak.
My opinion: To date, I think President Trump has surrounded himself with very good capable people — people outside the beltway, people that can read and understand a P&L statement. It was definitely time for a change and for America to get back to more traditional fundamentals that are closer to what the constitution was designed to protect.
All lives matter including people coming into this country from other countries. He is just enforcing the laws that are in place and I don’t see anything wrong with that. Well that is my opinion. By the way I am a small business owner and in my opinion we have way too much regulation and taxes and confusion and ridiculous restrictions. We need less of those and more opportunity to expand our businesses and grow. Thanks for listening. Have a great weekend and keep writing.
Your Editorial opinion on our POTUS
As a small business owner for over 20 years, I already feel better about the future of our business with our new president and his cabinet in place. I know that you are entitled to your opinion but honestly, after reading it, I doubt if I will ever bother reading your publication again. I found your attack on our president and the people that elected him extremely offensive and I certainly didn’t expect to read something like that in a plumbing and mechanical trade publication.
Oklahoma City, Okla.
Great job on your opinion piece in Feb PM
I just wanted to drop a quick note to express my appreciation to you for expressing your concerns and insights on the Trump administration. It was particularly interesting that you wrote this piece before Inauguration Day, given all the ‘dysfunction’ identified by others such as John McCain. As you suggest, we all must stay vigilant!
Dana Point, Calif.
Quick response to your PM Opinion
Your opinion article in PM magazine is just that — “your opinion.” You stated that you wanted to keep personal thoughts out of it but you expressed your personal concerns for issues that have not happened yet. You are judging our president based on what is known as industry standards when it comes to contracting and back charging.
You make it sound like Trump takes advantage of small contractors and puts them out of business. I work for a fourth-tier contractor, and every project we work on has high-margin change orders to the owner and back charges for the contractor for work not done in accordance to the contract. You make it sound like the construction industry is fair to everyone and Trump is the exception, putting companies out of business. Every contractor gets back charges for various items.
You need to listen to the message of the people [who] voted for Trump and get on board and support the president and give his administration a chance to move America forward. If things do not work out for the best we vote in a different leader in four years. Please do not use the PM magazine as your personal outlet for fake news and personal opinions. Leave that up to the Hollywood elite.
After reading the Editorial opinion
Ms. Anesi is off base with her opinions about our President Trump, calling Trump an inept leader after only a short 30 days in office. Give the man a chance. Trumpcare versus Obamacare ― really, the plan isn’t even out and she has us paying more, losing jobs, etc. NAFTA — it’s time to get this contract up to date.
And then Anesi’s last slam about Mr. Trump not paying two contractors. If they have a case, then they should go to court. Jen Anesi is no journalist. Sit back and relax, Anesi. Let the country move forward — that’s what we want.
Having just [finished] reading your editorial opinion page, I am [sitting] at my computer in shock. President Trump has met many of his campaign promises in the first 30 days of his administration and perhaps more than President Obama did in his eight years in office.
There is no such thing as Trumpcare and all these studies you [cite] are simply just that — studies. These are folks who write wonderful essays but have very little common sense and of course are paid well for their [thoughts]. I can only state that the Affordable Care Act is not working and needs to be fixed, [but] how you fix it is a bureaucratic mess. The cost of health care has not decreased with the Affordable Care Act — it is only becoming more unaffordable.
President Trump has pledged to renegotiate NAFTA to make it more fair and balanced to the U.S. The fact is, we have had Washington First people make contracts like NAFTA that have killed many jobs in this country off and President Trump wants to bring jobs back to America, so what is the problem with America First instead of bureaucrats [whose philosophies are] Washington First world and my career [sic].
You do not address President Trump’s promise to reduce taxes and reduce most of the ridiculous regulations that stifle small business. I don’t know how [lower] taxes and [fewer] regulations would hurt small business. This country has a problem with out of control governments on all levels — federal, state, and city, all operating on the principal of Crony Capitalism.
I believe that President Trump will do just fine if given a fair chance to govern. It’s not a perfect world and it’s for sure the DNC has shown us that. Let’s stop the Washington First agenda and let’s move on and support our new President.
East Providence, R.I.
February editorial in Plumbing and Mechanical
I enjoy your magazine and usually learn a thing or two with each issue. I am a woman-owned small plumbing business in Madison, Wisc. (When I say small business, I mean five employee or less — not 500.) I have been to Washington to represent the trades.
I am on a mission to get more respect for the trades, including offering classes in high school and [making] financial aid available for the master plumbers, electricians, bakers, [and] HVAC people who take on an apprentice. Why does a philosophy professor have more importance than a plumber? There is honor among the trades.
In the Roman days, the plumber sat next to the king because without clean water there was no civilization. But we talk down the skilled trades. As mothers, guidance counselors and teachers, we need to promote these. You cannot hire a licensed plumber here in Madison. There is a shortage of skilled labor all around. I also struggle with health care for my employees.
While everyone speaks of the people who may be displaced by the repealing or replacing of Obamacare. Nobody is talking about the small business people who are struggling to keep health care for their employees. Since 2010, our group health policy at my company has gone up more than 100%. Today I was given notice that on our renewal it will increase another 15.6%. A single female age 55, no dental [and] no [vision insurance, I’m] now paying $1,302 a month. A month. When I ask why, the insurance companies say Obamacare. The only people that have benefited from this insurance are the subsidized. Once again those paying for the bulk of this healthcare bill are the small business people. Have you gone on the market place and filled out a form to see how much you would pay for health insurance?
Being a plumbing service company, I know only too well that people have to have working plumbing, but that doesn’t mean they can pay for it. So, I also became the bank to many customers, including a fast food chain [that] could not get a capital loan to upgrade the new cappuccino machines. The banks will not lend money because the paperwork for [a] $30,000 [loan] is the same as for a $250,000 [loan]. [It’s] a government regulation gone awry.
I have not heard Trump or his administration say they will drop out of NAFTA. I heard they are going to make sure that NAFTA is followed on all sides — that means the EPA, FDA and minimum wage laws that match ours. That was what was agreed upon, but that is not what was followed. [Foundries are closing] in the U.S. because the cost of becoming compliant with the new administrative laws was too costly so they moved to Mexico, where they did not have to comply. We want fair trade in and fair trade out. We do need to renegotiate this agreement. As with any contract, there is a start and end with a renewal clause. [It’s] just good business to go back and revisit things.
And we as Americans need to start supporting each other. Stop buying by price alone and start buying by made in the U.S. It all starts at home with us.
The subcontractors you are speaking of that worked on the Washington hotel are in dispute of extras above and beyond the contract. You should call them and talk. They filed liens as a formality because they were told that Trump may have to back away from the project. If you read the Washington post article they speak highly of the Trump organization and the payment schedule. A&D the other contractor you [allude] to in your editorial was working for another subcontractor, and they have no formal contract with Trump or the general.
I agree we must keep talking — to each other and to our elected officials. I urge everyone I talk with to please, let’s stop worrying about what party you are with and start working together for a common cause. We all want to be part of a great country that we can all be proud of.
Thanks for letting me rant. And if you can, please talk up the trades. We need to start teaching these in the high schools.
“Trump is no friend...”
I love it and couldn’t agree more. Finally, when it appears the 2006 crash is starting to clear out, it’s time to build on what we’ve gained and not tear down. A healthy population, clean environment, good education and reasonable regulation do wonders for a sound economy. Thank you for speaking up!
East Nassau, N.Y.