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NYC Council bill being drafted for radiator inspection

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CLamb
CLamb Member Posts: 281
You might recall back in January when a baby was killed by a leak from a steam radiator. According to this article Councilwoman Farah N. Louis is drafting a bill for inspection of steam radiators. I'm thinking that some of you in NYC might give her some advice on what the bill should contain. Perhaps there should be some sort of limit on steam pressure?

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  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
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    I wonder how many million radiators... of how many different types... on how many different types of systems... there are in Manhattan, never mind the rest of New York?

    A tragic event, granted. But only a symptom -- and a minor one at that -- of the overall disfunction of the housing (particularly rental) catastrophe which is present, and which is a largely political problem.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Long Beach Ed
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    Every single loss of life is tragic. But there are literally zillions of steam radiators in New York City. And how many deaths have been attributed to them since the invention of steam heating?? 10? Less?? 
    Mad Dog_2Intplm.
  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,627
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    Consider the income potential at even 5 bucks a radiator. And it will be a lighter burden on the less affluent, more or less inherently. Plus, you know, safety!!!.

    Sounds like an all-around win to me.

  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    And just for the record, we don't really know what happened in that tragic incident. 
    Mad Dog_2Intplm.
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,859
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    There are more than enough laws on the books. 

    Enforcement is needed not more BS Regulations 
    EdTheHeaterManMad Dog_2
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
    edited March 28
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    maybe a part of the inspection can be recording each radiator pressure, with a penalty for overages of 2 psi, payable for each radiator,
    that might get the boiler keeper's attention to dial it down,
    # yeah, fer real
    known to beat dead horses
    EdTheHeaterManMad Dog_2CLambPC7060
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,581
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    Don't these people have anything better to do?
    Mad Dog_2
  • Waher
    Waher Member Posts: 251
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    The only thing they could do is write NYC building code to limit residential steam pressure controls to a 2 PSI maximum cutout with a hefty fine for violating it to encourage building superintendents and service techs/plumbers to not crank the pressure up on the odd chance they might get bagged by an inspector.
    Mad Dog_2CLambPC7060
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    Highly doubtful that something blew apart due to high pressure. If so, 90+ percent of NYC would be in the Hudson and East rivers and the other waterways. There almost certainly, an element of "STUPID" going on over here. Can't fix stupid. Maybe you can regulate stupid. If the regulators aren't stupid themselves. 
    EdTheHeaterManMad Dog_2
  • neilc
    neilc Member Posts: 2,703
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    yeah, but, 5 or 10 psi could open up a bad vent,
    and I kinda remember that was what happened to these kids
    known to beat dead horses
    EBEBRATT-Ed
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,539
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    :) If they had a heat pump they wouldn't need radiators. That's where this is going. :)
    Mad Dog_2Sal SantamauraIronman
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 6,954
    edited March 29
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    The slow and steady death by Reticulated python of Big govt.. More control, more power grab, MO' $$$$$ (follow the $$$!!!). First you label something dangerous, next you regulate & tax it, last you criminalize it....scary. "They" will not listen to us. It was pretty recently that they rejected Dan's input...yeah...what would he know?? Only MORE than any of them combined will ever know about Heat, Energy, practicality and Life!  God Help Us!  Mad Dog 
    clammyIntplm.
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,111
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    Sounds like grand standing to a small audience of know nothings except how to grab some more money from the feds and tax payers . NYC as for getting anything done is close to impossible like having your hands in cuffs behind your back . A waste of time w a energy issue of a ancient grid ,power plants and antiquated gas system plus a battle of semi book smart politicians all edging to fill there pockets on what ever quick energy guru answer they can invest in . It s an amazing the complete lack of common sense or foresight except for personal gain and greed off of the lower working class . Beyond the Peter principal of bull based on fanasty and loop side math but when all done they will be in total control and us there puppets . One day possible some will have had enough and get rid of the old guards and toss them to the sea and start over w a clean slate on all levels . Remember Genghis Khan and history divide and conquer and look at where we are now and exactly how divided we all are on just about every level ? How bout we all just realize that what we see is just our view and everybodies view is different but really all the same and that the vail of perception is what differs us how bout we all just forget about our perception and get on w it ,that means being a human and forgetting what divides us but concentrating on what binds us ? I m not a religious person but as the Bible states do not lay trust wear rust and corruption breed .
    Just some more nys money grabbing bull like flies on garbage at the land fill . Zero good zero result same day . In reality I’m waiting for a big hammer to drop and strike the nail of closure into the lid of the coffin of the free as we all pay for those who cannot control themself who aim to control all and cannot control themselves or there greed . Greed one of the lowest emotions next to selfishness and hate ? How bout respect ,love and concern for others of yeah I must be tripping on mushrooms to think like that get the firing squad I,m ready .
    Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
    Mad Dog_2
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,489
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    I believe this law is in response to the tragic passing of 11 month Binyomin Kuravsky on January 19 of this year. A rusty pipe connected to the radiator split in the middle of the night, filling his room with steam. In 2016, a similar event happened when a steam pipe in a bedroom broke and took the lives of Ibanez 2 and Scylee 1 Ambrose in the Bronx.
    While I hate getting the government involved in anything, I have been lobbying the code administration organizations to get something adopted. I suggested that all radiators and connected piping be looked at yearly and any leaks or rusty fittings replaced. It would only take a few minutes to see if there is an issue. If someone had simply looked at the pipe and repaired the leaks, these children may still be here. Thanks for considering my side of this debate. Happy Easter
    Ray
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    CLambMad Dog_2
  • dko
    dko Member Posts: 600
    edited March 29
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    edit: Bah, can't really comment on this one without political mentions.

    Hope some outspoken folks can steer this towards the right track.
    ratio
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
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    @RayWohlfarth , I'd sort of agree with you in principle. Sort of (there's an underlying political philosophy with which I would never agree). However, the sheer impracticality makes such a requirement a non-starter. The cost, the size of the work force necessary, training that work force so they actually knew what they were looking at... not to mention who bears the cost of repairs which are mandated (rent control, remember -- the landlords can't do it).

    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,962
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    @RayWohlfarth and @Jamie Hall
    In reading and finding some agreement with your above comments. Something came to mind.

    The elevator inspection tags I see on elevators. The health inspection grades at restaurants.

    Gee? Maybe something along those lines for annual inspection of questionable heating systems?
    A open avenue for folks to have building inspectors or -?- to enforce health and safety issues similar to what @Mad Dog_2 was speaking of when years ago @DanHolohan was needing to be heard.
    Fix the controls, fix the leaks and "crank it down". Will they hear us? Will they ever listen?
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,581
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    there isnt enough inspectors to do the inspections.  They cant even handle no heat situations that get complained about. 
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,962
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    SlamDunk said:

    there isnt enough inspectors to do the inspections.  They cant even handle no heat situations that get complained about. 

    Agreed, and to my point. So the bill should have language stating provision for correcting the problem you mention. And your point is a very good point.
    At one time there were not enough inspectors to inspect any of the above mentioned in my previous post.
    Some how it was put into place.
    CLamb
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,489
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    I envisioned the owner or their maintenance staff look over the radiator piping and verify its intact. They could even look at the radiators when they are inside apartment unclogging a toilet. If it's just once a year, I dont see it as being over burdensome for the landlord or owner. It just sickens me that three toddlers died as a result of a leaking pipe. As we all know, black iron pipes should give us plenty of notice they are failing before they actually do fail, especially since you are only running the steam at a couple of psi.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    exqheat
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 281
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    I learned a great deal reading all your comments. Please email the Councilwoman as well. If you have personal experiences include them. The best way to get rid of bad laws is to stop them at the start.
    Intplm.
  • Kickstand55
    Kickstand55 Member Posts: 110
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    I'm with Ray on maintenance. Not many think of issues until it becomes an issue.
    It's unfortunate that bad things occur, but the building owners and/or maintenance people should keep up with things. I see this in private residences.
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,489
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    I was trying to get it put into code. In that way, at least people knowledgeable would get working right and it wouldn't be a political photo op.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
    exqheatCLamb
  • exqheat
    exqheat Member Posts: 185
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    Building owners should tour their apartments with a check list including smoke detectors, domestic hot water temperatures, water leakes, shower mixing valves, toilet drips, Bathtub leaks, faucet drips, electrical extension cords, door locks, radiator piping, valves and vents, etc. Not being proactive is a path to certain failure. Leases should allow for inspection on an annual basis and a law should require documentation, including a signature and telephone number of the tenant home at the time of the check. The Department of Buildings can inspect landlord inspection records ( reetained for three years, when visiting the building. An annual report to the Building Department from the landlord that inspections and necessary repairs were completed can be sent to the Building Department for the buildings' files.
    John Cockerill Exquisite Heat www.exqheat.com Precisions boiler control from indoor reset.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
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    @exqheat you are a wonderful optimist. The building owner, more likely than not, either has many many buildings and is living the life a thousand miles away, or is living in one of the apartments and is working his or her whatnot off just to put food on the table, never mind tracking down tenants who are doing the same thing to inspect their apartments.

    "There ought to be a law" -- that's said a lot. How does that work out?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,230
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    I've been retained by counsel to advise on this tragic incident. I've met and spoken to the parents and I've toured the apartment and system extensively. Obviously my ability to comment here is very limited but I can tell you that this case will very likely make new law. At least that's my guess. If a qualified and knowledgeable committee or individual is the driving part of that process then I'm all for it, because this was an avoidable event.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
    Intplm.CLambWaher
  • RayWohlfarth
    RayWohlfarth Member Posts: 1,489
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    @JohnNY Thank you That's what gets me, it was avoidable. I hope they talk worthy someone knowledgable before enacting a law.
    Ray Wohlfarth
    Boiler Lessons
  • exqheat
    exqheat Member Posts: 185
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    I have been servicing radiators in smaller buildings that are very old. When I get the folks at home they are anxious to have a complete survey, in addition to radiator vets. We fix the radiators but complete the survey in 5 additinal minutes. The tenants recieve the process as a positive proactive concern on the landlords part. I send the reports to the landlord. They are cluless and appreciate the extra effort. They are crisis oriented. Most do not appreciate the need for preventative maintenance. Let's not even talk abour boiler neglect. That is why they have 311. Supers are attending energy management courses in NYC. But not all supers are getting the training. Smaller biulding are the bulk of residents, and not covered by LL97. Maybe we need to upgrade th supers job from mops and garbage with training and certification. They did it for pesticide applicators, and we have not hade one of those incidents since they did in 1970.
    John Cockerill Exquisite Heat www.exqheat.com Precisions boiler control from indoor reset.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,322
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    Good luck, @JohnNY . You're a braver man than I am.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    JohnNY
  • CLamb
    CLamb Member Posts: 281
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    JohnNY said:

    ... Obviously my ability to comment here is very limited but I can tell you that this case will very likely make new law. At least that's my guess. If a qualified and knowledgeable committee or individual is the driving part of that process then I'm all for it, because this was an avoidable event.

    Thank you @JohnNY. The needed for qualified people to form the law is precisely why I posted here in the hopes that some of the qualified people here will let the Council know how to proceed.

    JohnNY
  • Intplm.
    Intplm. Member Posts: 1,962
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    @JohnNY
    I hope you have plenty of help. A lot of like minded folks like yourself to help get the message across.
    JohnNY
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
    edited April 1
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    Good luck getting to any of those radiators. Many New York City apartments are cluttered beyond belief. Whose responsibility will it be to move the clutter to access the radiators? The tenants will never do it. Will the landlord be required to pay someone money to move clutter away from the radiator, to inspect it? And heaven forbid it's not put back exactly the way it was before. The tenants will sue the landlords for all sorts of associated trauma.
  • exqheat
    exqheat Member Posts: 185
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    I have not had that problem. Tenants do not want anyone moving their junk. They are happy to get better heat. The only prpblem when being proactive, is thay will not let you into the appartment. ???? on that one.
    When the heat is better controlled to the better radiated appartments, they then call for help. They then move their "stuff".
    John Cockerill Exquisite Heat www.exqheat.com Precisions boiler control from indoor reset.
  • STEAM DOCTOR
    STEAM DOCTOR Member Posts: 1,973
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    I do not have any data to back up the following. But I would strongly suspect that more kids die due to loose shoelaces getting stuck wheels of their bicycles, then due to steam leaks. Or under inflated bicycle tires. Unfortunately, children and adults, die in all sorts of freak accidents. One has to question where and why start regulating what and how. Typically and unfortunately, nobody bats an eyelash when people die. This was a somewhat sensational death and that is probably the driving force behind this litigation. One would think that many more lives can be saved and improved if that same money was spent elsewhere.
  • guzzinerd
    guzzinerd Member Posts: 233
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    Well, at least they're not trying to ban steam radiators altogether.
    Bryant 245-8 2-pipe steam in a 1930s 6-unit 1-story apt building in the NM mountains.  26 radiators heating up 3800sqf.
  • ariccio
    ariccio Member Posts: 44
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    @JohnNY Thank you That's what gets me, it was avoidable. I hope they talk worthy someone knowledgable before enacting a law.

    I absolutely encourage you to call up the Councilwoman's office and ask for a meeting with her and/or her staff! The worst they can do is say no.

    My work on an airborne pandemic where the relevant institutions and unelected leaders are in flat denial of the basic physics of air itself has taught me way more than I'd ever imagined it would about the sociology of engineering problems in society and the policymaking process therefor.

    Many elected officials do indeed have intelligent and curious staffers advising them on legislation, but they struggle to penetrate the informational milieu of politics and those who are responsible for the problem in the first place. Some people give this phenomenon different names, e.g. "The bubble" or "in the beltway", but it's pretty universal across the country.

    As many have expressed in this thread, elsewhere in this forum, and even across the web, we are struggling to swim upstream against a current of endemic neglect by decisionmakers and (sadly) many of those involved in maintenance of our heating systems. Mr. Holohan has recounted so so many amazing stories of co-ops neglecting traps, residential boilers turned up above 10psi ...and thousands of supers like Screwdriver Willie, well intent, but clueless and too entrenched to accept any different. As long as the electeds are getting their info from people like that, nothing good will come of political efforts.

    I might call myself if I had the credentials/experience to speak authoritatively on the subject, but alas, I do not.
    CLamb