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johnmcq

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  1. EDI started offering training, certification and test kits last year -- http://www.exterior-design-inst.com/chi ... ining.html. I can't vouch for the training or the kits and don't know what research or standards they are based on. But the marketplace has begun to respond.
  2. Possibly a surge arrestor with an indicator light to show when it's been fried?
  3. Preston's Guide, which goes by model numbers, lists various Williamson 1114-07-* models from 1968 to 1981. I can't make out the last digit of the model # in your pic, which would narrow it down. The serial makes me think '78.
  4. " ... If the pipe is not hot then the problem is either the tank itself (not likely) or the heating system is pulling heat out of the tank more quickly than it can be replaced. ... " I was thinking along those lines, too. Can the water heater keep up with the space-heating demands of the house? The biggest unit I see on the Apollo site puts out about 60,000 BTUs. That's not much for both heat and domestic hot water in a place where temps have been dropping into the teens and single digits. Is this type of heating system common in your area? I never see 'em.
  5. johnmcq

    Furnace Age

    Preston's Guide lists Clare HEHF-80B (B, not gas furnaces from 1991 through 1996. An estimate of 15 years seems reasonable unless you have info to the contrary.
  6. Generally speaking, municipalities and sewer authorities forbid pumping sump discharge into the sanitary system. They want to avoid flooding the sewer plant as well as paying to treat groundwater. I'd check with the local municipality on any regs regarding discharge to streets, sidewalks and the homeowner's own property. As previously noted, the neighbor won't be too happy if you make your problem his.
  7. I ran across my first "Clow Gasteam Radiator" today, in the basement of a 1944 Philadelphia rowhouse. (Pic below.) Does anybody see these regularly? Any particular issues I should know about? As with any unvented or "lung-vented" gas appliance, I'm assuming that moisture output and other combustion products are among any concerns. The units burn natural gas to boil water in a free-standing steam radiator. The homeowner supplies the water occasionally through a fill port near the burner. Clow produced both vented and unvented models for residential, commercial and industrial use. Google turns up brochures and ads dating as far back as the early 1920s. A couple of sources point out that Jerry's apartment in "Seinfeld" was heated with Gasteam radiators. Cool stuff. Unfortunately, I didn't know most of this when the client and agent asked Wazzat? A learning experience was had by all. Download Attachment: IMG_0057.JPG 53.87 KB
  8. Another nice thing about the Streamlights (I have an Ultrastinger and a Stinger LED) is you can get 'em fixed for free at the factory. Last week I dropped by Streamlight HQ in Eagleville, PA, to drop off both for repairs -- the light module in the 2-yr-old LED, the switch and lens in the 4-yr-old Ultra. The counter man took both, no questions asked, and handed them back 10 minutes later with all defective parts replaced -- free. Whoa. Nice warranty.
  9. Sun Nuclear 1027's: http://www.sunnuclear.com/radon/1027/1027.asp. $595 retail from the manufacturer. Used models sometimes out there for a couple/few hundred less. You don't need to buy the printer to get the data out or to produce reports. I have four 1027's. They're sturdy, reliable, easy to operate and meet EPA standards. Low overhead (annual calibration).
  10. Is the question whether it's sometimes OK to double tap before the main service disconnect (assuming we're looking at a main disconnect)? I thought those taps before the main were always a no-no because there would be no disconnect or overcurrent protection for whatever is downstream of the second taps. And someone might fatally assume that flipping the main disconnect had shut off everything in the house. If I'm missing something, I'll just go back to lurking ... []
  11. Greetings, all. I've been enjoying the informative discussions on this board and thought I'd throw in my $.02 about CMC and energy audits. I've taken CMC's "Home Energy Tune-Up" class [http://www.hometuneup.com/] and know, oh, a dozen other Pa. home inspectors who have, too. To my knowledge, none of us is making money doing Tune-Ups, which are targeted at owners of existing homes 10 years or older. The Tune-Ups are a tough sell to homeowners, and I won't even try to sell them with a home inspection -- something CMC pitches to home inspectors as a natural combination. Yeah, sure. Which is not to say the class is not worthwhile. I had already been adding comments about air leaks and the efficiency of heating & cooling systems and insulation in my reports. I learned a lot more in the class, and more still when I picked up a copy of Krigger and Dorsi's "Residential Energy," a great book that was recommend during the class and which I believe is required reading for the BPI and Resnet training. As for BPI and Resnet, they've done a great job persuading government organizations that it's not an "energy audit" unless it's done by people with their training and certifications. But I find their approach a bit of overkill -- at least for the market that Tune-Ups address. You don't need blower doors, duct blasters, IR cameras and combustion analyzers to identify a whole bunch of major energy improvements possible in the typical existing home. Tune-Ups flag all those potential improvements, tell you what they'll cost, how much you will save each year and how long it takes for the payback. All very sensible -- except that homeowners tend to focus on short-term up-front costs and don't wanna hear about savings 5 or 10 years down the line. It also makes me wonder why they would be more willing to cough up extra hundreds of dollars for a full-blown Resnet/BPI audit. I'm hoping that the Tune-Up approach will catch on, but Resnet and BPI seem to be winning the fight for hearts and minds. -- John
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