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Being in the hydronic heating industry, I always hear common themes such as "this is how they do it in Europe" and "They've had this in Europe for a long time" in reference to certain pieces of equipment or installation practices that they "finally" bring over here. I also asked a well versed sales rep from a wholesaler one time who had been to Europe what the differences were between Tradesman here and Tradesman there. He said "IN Europe" the Tradesmen are much more specialized; instead of having a plumber that does hydronic heating, gas, plumbing (water lines/drainage), new constructin, service, retrofits, etc, they have guys that pick one or two aspects and learn them inside and out. I confirmed this in one regard as we have a young German machinist at work and he said in Germany where he worked as a Machinist before he came here Machinists specialize in one or two areas of the trade, there as over here they do it all. So it's sort of like having very shallow knowledge over a huge breadth of trade as opposed to deep knowledge about a smaller breadth. Also, what I have been told is in Europe, they have fewer restrictions what you can and can not do as far as installation practices & codes, but they have tighter restrictions on products and product quality from an environmental and durability standpoint. The German fellow did say their education system in his opinion was noticeably better and he also says back home everyone works ALL the time.
Without going to Europe myself and seeing for myself, and I seem to recall reading some of what they do over there in Dan's books and other resources, I'm curious if you have any other accolades of what they do better, in hydronic heating, in Europe (If you've seen it or have some first or second hand information) and even what you think they could do better compared to what we have? I'm not suggesting we have an inferiority complex, or that we are not as good, but it's just interesting to see how different people handle things. I ask this because I seem to find myself on this personal quest for as much knowledge in my trade as possible - I want to be the best. I'm reading books, manuals, & magazines on hydroniic heating & gas fitting daily to try and improve my knowledge and knowhow along with my experience to date in the trade. It certainly compliments my experience nicely when you have the technical side to it but hearing how other people do it is also something that interests me.
Class 'A' Gas Fitter - Certified Hydronic Systems Designer - Journeyman Plumber