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/.

Dead Men Tales: Plastics!

HeatingHelp
HeatingHelp Posts: 437
edited September 7 in THE MAIN WALL


Plastics!

There’s a scene in The Graduate where Mr. McGuire says to Benjamin, “I want to say one word to you...Plastics!...There’s a great future in plastics.” This was around the time that Thomas Engel invented PEX. In this episode, Dan Holohan shares how plastics entered the HVAC industry and how not everyone was as enthusiastic about it as Mr. McGuire.

Listen and subscribe story here.

Thank you to our sponsor SupplyHouse.com.

Comments

  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,656
    In the late 70's my wholesale supplier's rep would stop occasionally.
    Herbie had been the the business many years.
    He told me of the introduction of PVC to the industry in the 60's.

    Of course plumbers/pipefitters were not taking to some piping that just anyone could glue together. Cast iron and copper were the only products in use for DWV and it took skill to install.

    The company (that beige colored PVC) factory rep was telling Herbie that the trades had not to worry, because this new revolutionary product would never be sold in the retail market.....only thru wholesale houses....so there! :*

    Dan, your story has much more truth than mine.
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 15,368
    Thanks, @JUGHNE
    Retired and loving it.
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,417
    I remember when my grandfather commented on ABS and PVC pipe and fittings were introduced to the wholesale market..."now anyone with a hacksaw and a can of glue will be doing plumbing". He was sorta correct.
  • jep
    jep Member Posts: 7
    Chicago required threaded iron pipe and lead services from the street into the 80s. Only when Congress banned lead pipes in 1986, did the city have to change the code. Sewer lines are still clay tile or cast iron . . . no plastic . . . . the trees are flourishing. When my friends move into a new condo or house, they almost always insist on new bathrooms and kitchens . . . there is still plenty of work for plumbers!
  • dopey27177
    dopey27177 Member Posts: 703
    In a world where things should be built like granite we come to the thing called plastic.

    There are many kinds of plastics some of them are hard like granite and some are as soft as a babies behind. But plastic is used on so many things each with it's own formula suited for the need.

    But I remember when plastic was bakalite and used on telephones and other items that needed to be made cheaply and have a relatively long life.

    Plastic to me many instances means some things are fluid like a politician that changes their mind many times for self betterment.

    So much for plastic in humans but remember many plastics are good and some are used in high temperature furnaces to produce energy, not like a politician.

    Jake
  • cowdog
    cowdog Member Posts: 38


    But I remember when plastic was bakalite and used on telephones and other items that needed to be made cheaply and have a relatively long life.

    ABS and polycarbonate plastics, used on modern cellphones are several times tougher than bakalite.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,656
    That may be, but my 50 year old, wall hung rotary dial phone in the garage has outlived more than 10 cell phones.....and it still works. ;)

    In some old movies a desk phone was often used as a murder weapon to beat someone to death,
    wouldn't happen today.
    PC7060
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 3,590
    Bakelite is very durable in a lot of ways like chemical and temperature and abrasion but it is brittle, so it has to be applied properly like any other material. Being a thermoset it can be more difficult to mold.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,656
    A story from a long gone WW2 vet. He had returned and was working in the electrical field. He had gotten a new screwdriver that did not have the standard wooden handle. It was the new plastic something.
    He was showing it off to another worker who thought it was glass and not worth a damn. The other worker took it and slammed it down on concrete, certain it would shatter. Instead it bounced back up and almost took his eye out.
    New technology can be dangerous. FWIW
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,680
    jep said:

    Chicago required threaded iron pipe and lead services from the street into the 80s. Only when Congress banned lead pipes in 1986, did the city have to change the code. Sewer lines are still clay tile or cast iron . . . no plastic . . . . the trees are flourishing. When my friends move into a new condo or house, they almost always insist on new bathrooms and kitchens . . . there is still plenty of work for plumbers!

    Anyone familiar with "transite"? Asbestos cement for water supply in 70s? Is it considered bad?