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Boiler licensing

jonny88
jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
Good morning.I was speaking with a member on this board and he brought up a very interesting idea.Should there be a seperate license for boiler and Hvac installers.Every day I see horrendous boiler rooms.Instead of having to carry a gazillion plumbing licenses wouldnt it be nice to adhere to ny plumbing code as per code book and quit all the b/s games.My latest application the board wants pics of plumbing work but not boiler work.I dont know but me for one would like to see strict requirements for boiler installs like they do in NYC.Here they look for backflow Co2 alarms and liner bada bing bada boom.Oh and gas test.I can see only positives as customer wont get Mr in and out in one day.My sister in Italy is mandated to have her boiler serviced and calibrated each year.A log is kept so if she sells house these logs must be produced.Food for thought.
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Comments

  • Robert O'Connor_12
    Robert O'Connor_12 Member Posts: 724
    They have this in NJ. Good idea & about time!
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Rather than pay for and take another test I would rather see inspectors trained to know what they are looking at. Rarely do I ever see an inspector look in the manual (much like many installers). If the inspectors have no clue of how a system works, how are they able to pass or fail it? They should hire semi-retired techs who know what to look for. JMHO
    jonny88
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,480
    About 5 years ago we did a $500,000 piping job in a town in MA. I won't name it but it was near Foxboro where the deflate gate Patriots play. Some towns here have mechanical permits, some do not. Some call sheet metal permits mechanical permits. The further you go east in MA you will find mechanical permits in some towns, sometimes enforced sometimes not--crazy. If you do large jobs here you will find out.

    But back to the story which is true. We didn't know going in that we needed a mech. permit. The permit fee was over 25K. I went to the customer and told them the fee. They made a check out payable to the town and I trucked it down to the town hall with the permit application. I talked to the inspector, he was a really nice guy. This was in a large mfg. plant that made paper products.

    When it was time for inspection I met the inspector outside and walked him in the building. As we walked I explained the job, high pressure steam boilers in the boiler room.

    When we walked past the cardboard corrigators he said, "WOW, those are really nice boilers" I was speechless. He didn't have a clue what he was looking at. Needless to say we passed the inspection with flying colors That's what $25,000 buys I guess
    SWEIjonny88RobGron
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,215

    About 5 years ago we did a $500,000 piping job in a town in MA. I won't name it but it was near Foxboro where the deflate gate Patriots play. Some towns here have mechanical permits, some do not. Some call sheet metal permits mechanical permits. The further you go east in MA you will find mechanical permits in some towns, sometimes enforced sometimes not--crazy. If you do large jobs here you will find out.

    But back to the story which is true. We didn't know going in that we needed a mech. permit. The permit fee was over 25K. I went to the customer and told them the fee. They made a check out payable to the town and I trucked it down to the town hall with the permit application. I talked to the inspector, he was a really nice guy. This was in a large mfg. plant that made paper products.

    When it was time for inspection I met the inspector outside and walked him in the building. As we walked I explained the job, high pressure steam boilers in the boiler room.

    When we walked past the cardboard corrigators he said, "WOW, those are really nice boilers" I was speechless. He didn't have a clue what he was looking at. Needless to say we passed the inspection with flying colors That's what $25,000 buys I guess

    :o


    Job I'm on now, I have to get mechanical drawings engineered and stamped for 30' of gas line, a 2 zone minisplit and a slop sink. That.... doesn't impress me very much.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,166
    Mechanical permits have always been on the books, just never enforced until the sheet metal license came along. They are inspected by the same inspector who inspects the framing and the insulation. CT has heating licensing. Nothing much about steam boilers in either the test or the training books.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,166
    Far western MA where I grew up is also very strict about the codes and permitting. In between there and Boston not so much.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,657

    About 5 years ago we did a $500,000 piping job in a town in MA. I won't name it but it was near Foxboro where the deflate gate Patriots play. Some towns here have mechanical permits, some do not. Some call sheet metal permits mechanical permits. The further you go east in MA you will find mechanical permits in some towns, sometimes enforced sometimes not--crazy. If you do large jobs here you will find out.

    But back to the story which is true. We didn't know going in that we needed a mech. permit. The permit fee was over 25K. I went to the customer and told them the fee. They made a check out payable to the town and I trucked it down to the town hall with the permit application. I talked to the inspector, he was a really nice guy. This was in a large mfg. plant that made paper products.

    When it was time for inspection I met the inspector outside and walked him in the building. As we walked I explained the job, high pressure steam boilers in the boiler room.

    When we walked past the cardboard corrigators he said, "WOW, those are really nice boilers" I was speechless. He didn't have a clue what he was looking at. Needless to say we passed the inspection with flying colors That's what $25,000 buys I guess

    Stories like that bear out the fact that permits are more about local revenue for bigger government and less than if the job was done properly... :#
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,480
    only in the great state of MA. Try installing a large gas/oil burner with a new boiler for example. to do it legally in MA you need electrical, gas, oil and sheet metal permits, a letter of availability from the gas company, then go to Boston for the high pressure gas approval, get the gas drawing stamped by an engineer and don't forget the state boiler inspection and fees. I'm sure I forgot something.

    Enough already!!
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,166
    But Ed our stuff is way better than what I see in upstate NY and other regions with little to no codes.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    Interesting Charlie,in apt buildings in NYC inspections can be tough which is a good thing I guess.
    Charlie from wmass
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,166
    jonny88 Tough inspection make better trades people. NYC is in it's own legal for codes, even in Mass we say "wow they got strict code!"
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Timco
    Timco Member Posts: 3,025
    Licenses to operate are the biggest joke. (housing inspections, ongoing pressure vessel inspections)

    Just cleaned and refurbished a 500K steamer that had no working LWCO, (bottom tapping clogged 100%) no working gauge (clogged, broke right off), the pressuretrol was clogged (runaway), relief drips, and a new cert of operation (license) for the boiler.
    Just a guy running some pipes.
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    Bear in mind NYC is different to Long Island and Upstate where things are more lax.NYC has its own license including all 5 boroughs and that exam is a tough one.Had the pleasure of working with a lic plumber for 10 years in the city .He got his lic at 26.Some people are born with a gift .He was never afraid to tackle anything and never panicked sometimes in extreme situations.Anyone with that lic gets my respect.
    Robert O'Connor_12
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    This could end being a hard thread to have many people agreeing, because there are way to many states and cites with there own codes or lack of….As said before my mindset is based on my area, Boston…I just got used to the code,and thats it…I as well as all plumbers have the right to submit proposed changes or petition the board,should I wish to argue a point….never have….like it or not I lived with it….here its not only a code its the law….Do, i think there should be a special steam boiler,or water boiler or for that matter any boiler lic….appositely NOT……But if you can’t do it DONT….
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    A local company came to fix my friends bar ice maker. They sent a 24 year old kid who looked confused and over his head,had to call the boss 3 times to ask questions…Ended up telling my friend there was to much freon in it….they charged him 325.00 …and he did not even have a license….Shame on them
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 8,480

    Charlie from wmass Posts: 3,155Member ✭✭✭

    May 8



    But Ed our stuff is way better than what I see in upstate NY and other regions with little to no codes.

    Well I certainly agree with that, I have seen some Albany area work and it was pretty sad.

    I am all for codes and inspections. I just wish things could get simplified a little and take the confusion out. A little over regulated.

    What's happening this summer June 15 I believe is you don't need to go to Boston for high pressure gas approvals, it will all be handled by the local inspector. This should simplify things for the contractor, just don't know if the part time local inspectors in many towns are up for this. I assume they know this is coming.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Code enforcement is the real problem. Unlicensed, unisured, and in increasing frequency, UNDOCUMENTED "tradesmen" are running amok in NYC and Long Island. Some towns and villages ARE aggressively finding these guys and seizing trucks, tools, et cetera, but they are the exception, not the rule. When I packed it in and went to work for another contractor, I meet a nice enough young man from South America who happened to be working in the commercial bldg next to us doing plumbing and heating renovations, gas work. We parked next to each other and I got to know him better over almost a year.

    He HAD: NO license to do plumbing, heating, or contracting
    NO Insurance
    NO DRIVERS LICENSE
    No Green card or work visa ( he had overstayed it)
    A BRAND NEW VAN
    A BRAND NEW SUV
    A BIGGER MORTGAGE than I!!!!!!
    A wife and child who Were citizens

    I tried in vain to get him working toward legitimacy, a renewed work visa, work on the books so he could get a license eventually, et al. What he told me, after the end of the year, is that it really didn't pay for him to bother with any of that because he was doing better than I was....and he was right. Remember in Goodfellas when Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) was describing how he grew up "in the life" (Mafia) To paraphrase: "....guys that followed the rules and worked for a living were schnooks....suckers." Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    jonny88Charlie from wmass
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    Hatterasguy i hate to say it but I think what you say is the truth in my opinion.Everyone has their hand out.We had a super in a building I wont say the name of it but its on Colombus circle in the city.For a riser shutdown he wanted 3k which he got.Not bad for turning a valve which he sent a maintenance worker to do.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    edited May 2015
    jonny88 said:

    Hatterasguy i hate to say it but I think what you say is the truth in my opinion.Everyone has their hand out.We had a super in a building I wont say the name of it but its on Colombus circle in the city.For a riser shutdown he wanted 3k which he got.Not bad for turning a valve which he sent a maintenance worker to do.

    Just to clarify, I "disliked" because I as well think it's wrong. It's called extortion. I had to buy Redskins tickets for an inspector once. Long story!
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850

    If you agree with the post, you "like" it.

    You do not "dislike" a post where you agree with the content.

    That was a difficult post. If I said I liked it, it might sound like I approved of the practice so I chose to clarify.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,492
    It is extortion, it's also the way it's been done forever. In almost every large city, there's someone that has to be greased, to make things smoother for you. It's not right, or fair, but it's a fact. Every time they take down one of the scumbags, they have to stop somewhere in the investigation, or they'd wind up at the Whitehouse. They stop with taking care of those that have fallen "out of favor".
  • ron
    ron Member Posts: 143
    do not involve gov't and politicians with licensing,
    like the story in response #4 all that licensing money is doing is going into the pocket of some bureaucrat who does not care about job quality safety and customer benefit.

    let the industry regulate and push knowledge out to those doing the work and let competition and quality of installation be the driving factor.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    ron said:

    let the industry regulate and push knowledge out to those doing the work and let competition and quality of installation be the driving factor.

    Back to the guild system?
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,166
    Upstate New York lets the industry self regulate. No thanks. I will continue to believe in government run inspections. I will also be aware they are human. Solid codes written for safety are better than codes developed to maximize profits.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • ron
    ron Member Posts: 143
    is code the same as licensing?

    ok poor wording on my part, dont let industry be in total control. have some kind of check and balance however i dont necessarily agree on the initial thought of separate licensing because wont that cost be passed on to the customer? and like with anyone having a license or cert. its no guarantee to a job done right.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,166
    But it is more of a guarantee than no license at all. It would also have a form of punishment that gets a persons attention if they do a bad job, as with suspension of license, fines, and being put out of business. There are plenty who do bad work and stay in business I am aware of this, but the informed consumer in MA can look up a contractor and see if they have any penalties against them or if their license exists or is in good standing.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Charles is correct. When a plumber gets called before the Board of Plumbing Examiners, he could be suspended, fined or revoked and will have an eye kept on his activity within that municipality. Unlicensed and uninsured guys, generally have NOTHING to take away from them. Some Consumer Affairs agencies will ATLEAST seize their trucks and tools. I wish they would ALL do this. It would clean up the industry in short order. Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,700
    I don't worry about what other guys do, I worry about what I do.
    Seizing trucks and tools? Sounds like the Gestapo. What ever happen to BUYER BEWARE. Why do you want to expand government into boiler rooms and bathrooms. I understand the health and safety aspect don't get me wrong. But more licensing is not the answer as can easily be seen by the stories here. I did a job where I took out a heat pump and ran a new gas line and installed the furnace and A/C. The inspector came and walked around the back and looked at the A/C and said " I used to live in this neighbor hood " and left. Never went into the house.
    Harvey Ramer
  • 4Johnpipe
    4Johnpipe Member Posts: 479
    In New Jersey we have laws that actually have teeth for unlicensed contractors performing work. They face up to $10,000.00 fines and jail time. The state has really cracked down after Super Storm Sandy and we get updates at our monthly State league meetings of actual convictions.
    My problem with unlicensed entities performing work they shouldn't is primarily monetary. They don't carry the $30,000.00 or more a year insurances and they put peoples lives in danger. I've seen it far too often to not take notice!
    LANGAN'S PLUMBING & HEATING LLC
    Considerate People, Considerate Service, Consider It Done!
    732-751-1560
    email: [email protected]
    www.langansplumbing.com
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,665
    "In almost every large city, there's someone that has to be greased, to make things smoother for you. It's not right, or fair, but it's a fact."

    Not a heating problem, but long ago a friend of mine wanted to open a new restaurant in a jurisdiction I will not name. She had two insoluble problems.

    1.) The board of health insisted on shiny ceramic tile in the kitchen for health reasons. The OSHA insisted on dull ceramic tile in the kitchen so employees did not slip.

    2.) There had to be a septic tank as no municipal sewers were available. (I may get this backwards.) The plumbing inspector said the tank had to be some size. The sanitary inspector said it had to be another size. She did not want any problems, so she had the larger size installed and the other inspector failed it as it was "too big."

    She asked her lawyer what to do and the lawyer said who to bribe and how much.
    RobGSWEI
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Uncle John: Believe me....NOT a big gov't guy....not expansion of govt, just stricter enforcement of plumbing, gas and health/sanitary codes. When an individual regularly (everyday!) Flouts (did I spell that right. Ha ha? ) the MINIMUM health, plumbing and fuel gas codes, he endangers ALL of us including unsuspecting neighbors. Look at all the recent gas explosions in NYC and Long Island from jack-leg gasfitters.. Hook up that van, seize the tools! Get a license, get insurance! Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,700
    All that is well and good. But in order to get a gas fitters license here in DC you have to work under a master plumber for I think its 5 years and show documentation, pay stubs and so forth. So in order for me to get a permit for a gas appliance I have to get a friend to pull it. Never mind that I been in the trade for 40 years and have installed thousands of gas appliances. I can't even sit for the test. If the local powers that be were actually serious about safety they would open the test up for anybody to take. The more people certified the better right? But it's a old boy net work at least down here.
    Harvey Ramer
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    I hear ya. Whether you like it or not, POLITICS usually rule the day....everywhere. The only way to change these situations is to get involved in organizations that can influence policy change. The PHCC is a prime example. Some municipalities HAVE addressed your specific problem: unlicensed Plumbers making simple gas connections, i.e., an appliance swap out with a "restricted plumber" license. While I believe ONLY an LMP (licensed master plumber) or the the employees under his supervision should be the ONLY ones touching ANY gas piping, we can't ignore that guys are running around doing it anyway, so It makes sense to get control of and some training for them. A HVAC license to install ANY heating equipment is a common sense idea. A good boiler man should be allowed (after passing a written and practical ) to disconnect/reconnect gas and oil appliances and make basic electrical connections...they're doing it anyway. Get em licensed. The only way commonsense solutions will be put in to place is if guys like us
    DO (not just talk) something about it and get involved. A recent example of this success is a good industry friend of mine who is an LMP that runs a highly successful backflow testing company. He got tired of the lawn sprinkler guys doing/and in many cases NOT doing the proper testing and repair of the devices. He got involved. He got together with like-minded LMPS and they got a law passed in their AHJ that now REQUIRES all testing, repair, and installs are do be under an LMP or his employ. This process took about 5 yrs and alot of effort, but they did it! Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
    jonny88
  • j a_2
    j a_2 Member Posts: 1,796
    Personally, I think opening up agreements for others who did not earn there license, as required by state laws.is a bit unfair to those that did it the hard way….The reason many of us worked so hard at it is because we knew it gave us the ability to earn a decent salary…and support our families…Buy opening it up to others will take work away,and possibly lead to more takeaways,if that makes sense…Up here I am forbidden to work at a union site, however those same union guys come out after work and bid small local jobs on there own, bit unfair I think…They can afford to bid them lower and work on the cheap,because there day job pays bennies….There all union strong or a least pretend to be, till the almighty dollar changes things….This all makes no difference to me at my age, and will never affect the food on my table…I say give nothing away,keep it small and keep it all..You earned it….Years back we as plumbers did all drain cleaning,,,,, work got better and it slipped into the hands of these drain cleaning companies who now make a lot of money…Thinking back I may have done better without a license….Those that have a lic. here know what I am talking about
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    I'm with you, brother! But just like the illegal alien issue, they're here to stay, irrespective of how all of our relatives emigrated here LEGALLY thru Ellis Island. Its flat our WRONG, but No one is going to send em back. Let's work with THIS present, immovable situation....all the horses dun run outta the barn a loooong time ago ...let's. Round em up and break em in the right way...Mad Dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Patchogue Phil_2
    Patchogue Phil_2 Member Posts: 303
    Jonny said 》》》》》
    We had a super in a building I wont say the name of it but its on Colombus circle in the city.For a riser shutdown he wanted 3k which he got.Not bad for turning a valve which he sent a maintenance worker to do.

    《《《《《

    Maybe I am confused? The contractor had to pay the bldg super $3k, to turn off a water valve? Why didn't the contractor turn off that valve himself ?
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 3,471
    Phil: that's they way it works in many nyc
    Buildings. Same with elevator operators. ..u want a load lifted? PAY ME! Mad dog
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    Phil if you worked in the building you would know.First of it is all union employed which is not a problem with me.Unless you work for the building you dont touch anything.What if I closed the valve.Now I have 80 apartments on that line.Lets say mr joe leaves kitchen sink faucet open as he has no water and goes to work .I then open riser.Mr Joe left stopper in sink and flood happens.I am talking about 40 million dollar apartments,hope you got insurance.
    You have to play by their rule or you get thrown out simple.
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    Do you build the three grand extortion into your bid?
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    luckily I was working for a company at the time.Bottom line the bill goes to customer somehow.
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