Not Hot For HETs

Your article on high-efficiency water closets (“HETs Are Hot,”March 2010) seems to me to come very close to boosterism and fails on the responsibilities of in-depth reporting to the trade. The Lunt Marymor Co. likes to think of itself as staying on the leading edge of green technology in the plumbing industry. However, relying on your HET article would lead us badly astray concerning HET performance.

We agree that all the manufacturers who are scoring 350 and above on the MaP test are providing products to the marketplace that reliably and consistently clear the bowl of solids. Your article fails to look beyond this one key factor in performance. There are other factors that the end consumer will find important; in particular, how the product performs in returning clear water to the bowl after the flush (“backflush”) and in minimizing “skid marks.”

On these points, all products are definitely not the same. Those that perform poorly will certainly cause consumer grumbling and, in the end, will not be green products because the consumer will frequently double flush.

The article’s implied enthusiasm for ultra-HET technology (0.8 gpf) has got the cart well ahead of the horse. We’ve been field testing Brand X 0.8 gpf here in our office for three weeks. This is perhaps the 10th HET we’ve run through our office in the last 18 months. Brand X receives frequent complaints about clogging. When it doesn’t clog, it frequently returns brown water to the bowl in the backflush, and its small drop zone leads to constant brushing.

The amount of double-flushing that this water closet requires to maintain a clean bowl should rate it closer to 1.6 gpf. It receives a big thumbs down from our staff of 20 who have all taken turns testing its performance.

Leigh Marymor
Lunt Marymor Co.
Emeryville, Calif.

Trouble With Tool Tips

I have an issue with the first-place tool tip in your March 2010 issue (“No Drywall Repair Needed”). The tip recommends that instead of repairing the drywall, simply install a heat register. The problem is that Sheetrock is used as a fire barrier. By installing a heat register, you are breaching the fire protection. If a fire does start in that room, it quickly has access to the floor/ceiling joists, which will help spread the fire to the rest of the home.

It also weakens that floor or ceiling, making it more dangerous for firefighters. Mr. Rodriguez may be held liable for the spread of the fire and to anyone injured or killed due to this breach.  

Lee Brown
County of Sierra
Downieville, Calif.

I was reading your Tool Tips section and was curious about the“No-Stick Solution”in your November 2009 issue. Vaseline used with PVC is rated “not compatible,” as you can see DeVito did not mention the type of pipe he was using, perhaps it was metal. But if it was PVC, it may create problems in the future.

Gary L. Boushell
Harvel Plastics
Easton, Pa.