Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Comments from the collective on what sets the "BAR"?

Gordy
Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
Looking at input on what sets the bar, and what are the limiting factors for installations on setting it.

The bar meaning is what all consumers should get from their comfort system contractor.

Comments

  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    Because budgets very, I would answer the question as follows:

    The contractor should communicate very effectively what the proposal includes, what it excludes, and what the customer can expect once the work is complete.

    Assuming that happens, they should get a sense of satisfaction when the job is complete.

    If a customer isn't profusely thanking us when we're leaving, - it's not a success.

    Communication, as with all things, is key. We contractors are task oriented, as it should be. If the task is wrong, good communication won't help. But ignoring the communication aspects can lead to a good job going sour...
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    P.S. @Gordy , I am inspired by your large and/or long nipple inventory project. Trying to organize myself, in such a way that they can be transported, and easily inventoried for restocking. Any more help or photos from your set up much appreciated!
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,673
    I agree with @hot rod and @RI_SteamWorks. Hard to top that.

    Where's the post on Gordy's pipe organization? I haven't come up with a solution yet either but it wasn't an issue until we started doing steam.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • Danny Scully
    Danny Scully Member Posts: 1,329
    edited January 2017
    Wasn't that @Gordo?
    New England SteamWorks
  • New England SteamWorks
    New England SteamWorks Member Posts: 1,429
    > @Danny Scully said:
    > Wasn't that @Gordo

    Oops! Yes, @Gordo !
    New England SteamWorks
    Service, Installation, & Restoration of Steam Heating Systems
    newenglandsteamworks.com
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 6,959
    hot rod said:

    I think it needs to be a sloped bar.
    There is no reason a customer shopping for a system with a tight budget should not get the same quality of installations the trophy home customer.

    The bar should be a code compliant, safe, load calculated, efficient systems installed in a professional manner. Regardless if it is the economy sheetmetal box furnace, or top of the line German hydronics.

    I agree with the sloped bar concept.
    I think the biggest challenge and void in the system is the "code compliant" part.

    We have well written codes governing electrical sizing, plumbing, insulation , windows, structural loads, you name it....

    When it come to residential heating and cooling there is almost nothing in the code and what does exist does not make much sense. I have seen countless code required high efficiency boilers that are oversized by 100%-400% and attached to high temp emitters. The frustration is that in many cases the AHJ and the policy makers are completely unaware that these systems will never achieve much more than 80% net efficiency.

    As much as I dislike adding layers to an already over regulated system, I think if the code is going to require high efficiency boilers (whole other subject) , a heat loss calculation and a worksheet showing that the emitters will support the boilers efficiency and that the boiler is properly sized should be part of the package.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    A sloped bar. I like that answer. Price point plays a huge role in the system. From meh to wow. The limiting factor being the budget the installer is faced with. Good, better, and best come to mind. All involving the basic concepts. Code compliant, reliability, efficiency, and safety.

    Frankly it takes more finess to give a budget friendly system to meet the above constraints. Being the installer has the aptitude to meet the lower, and upper end of the bar.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,004
    I suppose this is why trade guilds, unions and associations like the RPA, etc have sprung up over the years. A group decides that the industry should be well trained for code compliance, design criteria and workmanship in their trade.

    Certainly there are different interpretations of workmanship, but legal and code compliant should be the one norm.
    Appropriate design is starting to be enforced more with required load calc in many areas. Some may say that requirement is too much "big brother"

    Nobody likes excessive government, but the health and safety of the public requires more that the honor system, sadly.

    Keep in mind codes are usually considered what is a minimum.

    Being professional, again has many definitions, I agree that explaining the job and options to the customer should be another must do.

    And getting paid a fair wage, another pet peeve :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Gordy
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 11,966

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    njtommyZman
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,004
    ChrisJ said:


    Now there is a bar that needs to be set.

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    ChrisJ
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    It's a different industry in my eyes. How many here could be given any one client, and perform the job exactly as the other 5,10,or 100 installers even with the collective here on this site.

    Yet still have the outcome that covers the set of laws of a good, better, or best installation. Code, safety,efficiency, and design. All performed with the utmost professionalism.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,218
    Unfortunately, the codes and inspectors haven't caught up with modern technology of mod-cons etc. it will take some time.

    There is still way too many hack jobs going on.

    All jobs should meet code.

    Not everyone can afford a Caddy, sometime you can only give them a Ford Focus, but it should be sized right and installed to code.
    ZmanNew England SteamWorks
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,673
    When inspectors look at our jobs they have no idea what they're looking at unless it's a cast iron boiler.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
    New England SteamWorksSolid_Fuel_ManRich_49
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Well it's a good thing men like you do!
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,218
    HAHA. I won't mention the town but it's near Foxboro where the Patriots are winning tonight.

    We did 1/2 million $ piping job including some boilers. The "Mechanical Permit" cost was 27K (no lie)

    This plant manufactured cardboard.

    When the inspector came to inspect we were walking through the plant to get to the boiler room. We walked past the cardboard corrugating machines which were huge.

    He said "wow, those are nice boilers"

    We hadden't even gotten to the boiler room yet

    Steve MinnichCLambRich_49
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Yikes!.......
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,241
    EBEBRATT.ED. Maybe you should have just stopped there! :*
    Rick
    kcopp
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,427
    HR:
    "There is no reason a customer shopping for a system with a tight budget should not get the same quality of installations the trophy home customer."

    So are you saying a budget customer should get the same as a trophy home system?

    I'm sure that I might be long dead and gone before any hydronic system is installed to a code that requires isolation valves, purge valves, air elimination, proper near-boiler piping, pipe insulation, etc. Let's not forget an energy-savings OD strategy. Almost 90% of the service work I see has errors (and usually significant errors) in the boiler piping and headers. Even basic systems should have required minimum standards and piping practices.


    Rich_49
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,673
    I believe, at some point, the Radiant Professionals Alliance will impact how local and national codes are written. Until then, the forced air guys will provide us with plenty of opportunities for re-pipes and updated control strategies.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,004

    HR:
    "There is no reason a customer shopping for a system with a tight budget should not get the same quality of installations the trophy home customer."

    So are you saying a budget customer should get the same as a trophy home system?

    I'm sure that I might be long dead and gone before any hydronic system is installed to a code that requires isolation valves, purge valves, air elimination, proper near-boiler piping, pipe insulation, etc. Let's not forget an energy-savings OD strategy. Almost 90% of the service work I see has errors (and usually significant errors) in the boiler piping and headers. Even basic systems should have required minimum standards and piping practices.


    Workmanship and code compliance should be the same for the trophy home as the first time homebuyer on a tight budget, is my point..

    Say for example you are an HVAC contractor, the customer cannot afford a state of the art V brand hydronic radiant package. Wouldn't you do the same quality work if it turned into a cast boiler and fin tube job.

    Actually I know know the answer to that :)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    Right, there's a minimum all clients get from me- pumping away, fed right, iso valves, Spiro, etc. Whether it's a modcon or dinosaur. The budget is  in the equipment.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,218
    But some people have little or no money.

    Putting in a bunch of extra isolation valves costs a bit of money (pro press valves are pricy) and the valves are probably not code required. (this is just an example)

    I am all for extra valves, we all know they will probably pay for themselves over the life of the equipment........not everyone gets a Caddy.
    Solid_Fuel_Man
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,218
    @rick in Alaska Your right. Should have stopped there. That was a few years back and once in a while I still think about the cost of the permit $$$$$$$ and the fact that he didn't know what he was looking at.

    I was kind of taken aback. Wanted to say something like " are you kidding, is that what I get for 27K" but he was a nice guy (incompetent) and he approved the job so I kept my mouth shut
    rick in Alaska
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    I guess it comes down to if you will own it after installation. What makes your servicing components easier?

    Here is what i see. Giving what should be required could throw you out of the saddle of a job to a bidder that could care less about giving the customer a compitent system installation. Or at the very least does not know what one is. They are cheap.

    Until that playing field is leveled which I do not see happening any time soon. Your saving grace is the bar you set, and can show to other potential clients. If that costs to much, or is not good enough then it's probably a job you would not want.
    Steve Minnichrick in Alaska
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited January 2017
    Until " everyone" is on board with what is, and should be required top to bottom it will continue to be a mess.

    Cost has little to do with the hack other than giving the customer less, and putting more in the hacks pocket. We have all seen expensive, equipment, and components thrown together in a chaotic manner that defies the odds that it could even function.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,218
    @Gordy , that's how you regulate the type of customers you work for, by setting your own standards for the installations you do. Everyone is free to do that as they see fit

    Doesn't mean (IMHO) that a lesser job is a hack job if the workmanship is good and the job works well, it just has less bells & whistles, is code compliant and safe.

    Question: Not trying to stir things up (yes I am). But what about an oversized boiler? The job gets inspected, meets code, perfectly safe, neat and clean.

    How many people here could agree on what pick-up factor to use. 100 installers probably 30 different answers
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,217
    I like this topic.
    The fact of the matter is, there is enough variety of product out there, allowing you to tailor a system for most customers' budgets. Through proper product selection and system design, you can even beat your competitions prices without sacrificing system quality, and still have a higher profit margin than they bid on.

    The bar is in safety, knowledge and workmanship. It should remain the same whether you are building a state of the art project or installing an economy system.
    Gordy
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,218
    @Harvey Ramer said "The bar is in safety, knowledge and workmanship", I agree with that.

    However, some may say that for instance, that not installing isolation valves would be poor workmanship.

    It's a matter of opinion

    Hatterasguy
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,673
    This is about as "low" as my comfort zone will allow. I added the 3rd pic just to show that we piped the discharge of the relief valve. Like Bob Bona said, pumping away, air sep, and some sort of isolating valves although just a little less on this one.


    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
    Gordy
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    I would say not putting in some reliable way (or retaining decent valves) to isolate the boiler/purge is not so much bad workmanship, it's just shortsighted, to have to deal with a headache for the next 20 something yrs.
    Gordy
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,218
    @Stephen Minnich Perfectly acceptable in my opinion. Valves in the right spots, drain, purge, Isolate boiler from the system, change pump etc.

    Could have even omitted the ball valve on the supply coming out of the boiler, and drained a gallon out to change the circ.
    Bob Bona_4
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,673
    Ed - not sure I follow? There's only a valve above the pump. Just below it is a vertical air sep.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Like I said if you think about yourself having to service your own work. Even if it is someone else, a competitor who does it. Maybe your example will sink in, and just maybe you will have to service their work another day, and that example you set will come around.
    Bob Bona_4
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 10,218
    @Stephen Minnich

    My mistake!! Thought it was a ball valve
    Steve Minnich