Thursday, December 2, 2010

Wow I just realized Plumbing is confusing to most.

What do you mean, "that needs an adapter" it is 1/2" and I am connecting to 1/2"? I am amazed when I looked at how many different threads and pipe types there are, I grew up knowing/learning this stuff. Plumbing is more confusing than Funeral , Wedding, Graduation and other ceremonial things, (all of which confuse me). First let me defend my vocation, many excuses exist for this confusing esoteric stuff.
I will begin by saying things develop, names need to as a result, then ways are needed to prevent some pipes from getting connected to other pipes. Let me jump to the point, Threaded pipe is screwed together and uses a tapered thread to cause a tight seal. Thermal Plastic pipe such as PVC,ABS,CPVC are all joined using a solvent that heats the pipe as it cures. PVC Glue is a misnomer. I am working on a video that will expose all this esoteric nomenclature including all these weird threads and 5/16 and 7/8 threads as well as CTS, IPS, NPT, Tube VS Pipe, hose VS tube, pressure VS non pressure, metallic VS nonmetallic, Gas VS Water, waste VS Potable, Exterior VS interior only, old VS new, good VS bad, So stay tuned for the rest of the story

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Survival and water

Pop Culture is not about survival, it is of excess luxury.  Politics are not about survival, instead about what we want to hear (excluding responsibilities). Loans were about an alleged value, not about survival, the money was about image, excess and luxury.  Still we are in very abundant wealth in spite of the "Bad economy"  One might ask "How do you know ? " I say this because I see people buying worthless food at the store, I pods, flat screens, beer, coke (both kinds), auto chrome, DVD's daily even if only a buck to rent.  NO ONE is in need of water.  One might say, no one should be, right?  Right!  but Billions are, and 10,000 people a day are dying because.  So, Survival in based on clean water and sanitation, yet we still fail to see the value of water, ( I am saying we take it for granted).  Do not think that it is our god/government  given right to have enough water to waste and disrespect?  Ever heard the saying "you don't miss your water till the well runs dry"?  do you think that saying just came from a constant stream of flowing hot and cold water?  What the hell am I saying here?  you can turn on the faucet and water comes out.... no problem, right?    I think if everyone knew the available information about water (as much as they know about sports teams or sitcoms) they would be writing as I am, or at the least, using water differently.  Too bad the Bible doesn't say it is a sin to abuse water as it does sex.  If it did, people would be voting differently.  I say this because I think water and sex are equal in importance to life's existence.     Disrespect for either is trouble. 
  Did you know that pharmaceuticals are in all our tap water?  400 points of sewage disposal are dumped into the Colorado River before California drinks it?   Zebra Mussels (shell fish) are lining walls of water mains?  Regional Government bodies use general tax funds to fund water systems to allow growth, but water sustainability has fallen behind growth? and the ability of the utility to clean it or Nature to clean it has reached/passed the safe point?  
   In a word, CONSERVATION is what I am writing about, thank you.
  Greg has Water on his mind.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Plumbing VS Entertainment

  I can save most homeowners or Building owners many times more than they spend on a ball game or monthly cable bill in a few min. of their time with good advice or a minimal service call .  They would also gain the knowledge too keep to use over and over if the need arose.  The reason I can't  do this in practice, is because Plumbing is a "God given right" and people feel entitled to working, hot n cold water to use/waste, and all the other water/Plumbing services that go, or should I say come with being an American.  "Why all of a sudden should I need to replace my water heater, it's been working fine for 9 years".  Someone once said to me "doesn't the city have to fix that" when I told them the water main to their house was broken and I wanted $400. to fix it.  I look in his garage and I see a new car, new Harley, Jet Skies, Bicycles ($1000.00 ones) Big screen TV in the living room , he is leaving on vacation to Europe tomorrow and he can't afford an over priced plumber bill.  What I am saying is people put money into things that are fun and make them look good like hair doos and chrome rims on the truck, but feel it is an necessary thing to maintain the plumbing!  The very thing that separates us form "Emerging countries" where thousands of people die every day due to poor sanitation and no plumbing.  I am suggesting that it is not People Magazine (Brad & Jen) that separate us from sickness and death from fecal matter, it is the safe and clean working plumbing system and the Toilet Bowl.  Not the fantasy's of glamor and the Supper Bowl.   
  America's water distribution and sewage collection systems are also in poor shape.  Estimates are in the tens of Billions of dollars to fix our very old pipes/systems.  I know some people keep the cable service and let the plumbing go un maintained as well as cities build Stadiums and let the raw sewage flood the streets and water ways into the ocean.  Just Google the water contamination from sewage spills, the American Water Works has a lot on the issue.   But that is someone Else's  concern  not yours, right. 
    I am sorry if I have bothered you with the facts, I feel better now, I am going to click publish and feel even better.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What do you want,efficiency,or low cost,,or Green?

Energy factors are one thing, initial cost is yet another, and long term savings are often too deferred. Now "Green," there is a buzz word! I will set you straight on the uncertain choice of which is best. For today, I'll limit this to the subject of HOT WATER.

 First, I'll identify some products as potentially green, providing installation is done right and application is correct.

I will start with my favorite: solar hot water.  Many types of systems exist. If you live in a sunny region, then it is a no brainier look into Solar. Solar fraction is the nut to crack! (how much of your total need is provided by the sun)  Electric back up is often a good choice (electricity is generally more efficient than gas, but it costs more!).

If you have a new construction project your choices  are different than retrofitting an existing building.  Two water heaters  for a large spread out house will be better than one ( no circulation pump needed for instant hot water at distant fixture).  If the heat is solar (free) then heat loss is not an issue, but otherwise heat loss is an issue, and circulation pumps increase heat loss.    One form of Heat loss is from the surface area of  tank-type water heaters, that is the advantage tankless systems have over them.  Behavior is an issue in green success. For example, tankless systems can be green, but may end up using more gas to heat the endless showers that the users take - because they can!   Tankless units cost more to install and require flushing maintenance prolonging the pay back period.  Sometimes, the long term savings (pay back) is longer than the salesman says.  This goes for solar or anything else.  Regular tank type water heating either gas or electric is usually the cheapest, fastest deal, with no pay back. Although installed correctly, they can be "green" (the product itself isn't everything).

Heat pump water heating in some applications is the absolute best. Water heaters each have an efficiency rating. The higher the number the bette.r   GE makes a unit having an efficiency rating of 2.35!  Tankless water heaters are about .85 (less than half the efficiency).

This GE unit costs about as much as a tankless unit, uses electricity as a back up power, and requires a warm location to pull its heat from.  In return for taking the heat, it gives cold air as a by-product (free AC)! It dehumidifies as well.  If no sun and no gas are present this is a very good option.

Green is not just a buzz word, it is a means to a return on investment (ROI), usually taking longer than the cheapest quickest fix, but not always.  The heat pump I installed at Ramona Laund yer Mutt (a place people go to wash their dog)  was cheaper than solar or to install gas pipe to a gas water heater. "Green as hell" I say, and cheap too.  I expect a ROI in just two years.  Just plain smart, (green).  I have to say it again 2.35 energy factor!  And, most likely it will last 25 years,   leaving 20 plus years of free water heating.

Most importantly, a licensed Green Plumber USA installed this after evaluating options from an educated perspective. Heat requirements (load), budget, green product rebate, fuel available, and customers wishes were all in the choice.

So what do you want? Efficiency, low cost, or green?

Water on your Bill.

We get a bill, we pay it. If we know enough about it , we can call and object/correct an overcharge. We can see the charges on a credit card statement and admit to having bought the items, or see an error. We can't if we don't understand the statement. We can't budget or manage a statement that we don't understand. Do you understand your water bill ? I mean the specific charges, not just the over due amount! What if the price for gas at the filling station was as confusing as a water/sewer bill? Thinking you could get a better price up the street, you would learn the lingo and start shopping. Your water bill is "negotiable" did you know that? Yeah, you negotiate your behavior and fixtures and your bill reduces! It is all about YOU!

Your responsibility is to first understand the pie chart, so to speak, of the bill.
  • First is the "CCF" you might have, AKA one hundred cubic feet of water. Also 748 Gallons. 
  • The sewer fees may be per volume of water used, or a flat fee, or you may not have a sewer fee. (Approx. 21% of the USA uses a "Private Sewage Disposal System") AKA a septic system. 
  • Water use can be listed as "Gallons Per Day" or GPD. Often compared to "same time last month" or "last year at same time." 
Seasonal use is relevant. For example: outdoor water use can be 1/2 of the water bill, and "household" use be only 1/2 of the entire bill. This is a "seasonal use." Why waste money on a water bill that is "over charging" you! Get with the budget and start learning, because water bills are going UP.

Your water utility has a Conservation Department or person that will help you for free. That phone call is the first step in correcting your "over charges." Don't be a sucker (of water); be a responsible consumer and save the wasted money, so you can send me a tip in my Tip Jar at my Website.

Thank you for your concern about our water and your money.

Greg ,
A Licensed Green Plumber USA

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The largest water waste is ignored!

Do you know the difference between "Household water use" and "Residential water use?"  Figures vary regionally, however nationally are averaged by the American  Water Works Assoc. (AWWA) and the EPA, among others.  Residential water use is water that has been measured to supply residences.

Household water use is the sum total of water use fixtures WITHIN the house.  The Residential figure includes outdoor water use and household water use combined (about 50/50) .

AWWA states that approx. 50% Residential water use is "Outdoor water use"  AWWA  and EPA along with Irrigation Assoc. of America figure approx. 30 % of spray irrigation water is lost to wind and misting!. Most irrigation systems when audited fall below 50% uniform distribution efficiency and that means 50% wasted!
Let me "recap" that for you.  50% is outdoor and 50% of that is lost to mist and other losses.  If 50% of 50% is outdoor loss, then 25% of Residential use is wasted outdoors.  This is what I call an "Elephant " in the landscape.  Plumbing manufacturers use household figures to "weight " the fixture savings they have designed!  Pie charts become "statistical monkeys"   for social political and commercial gain.  A figure of 27% toilet use with a 20% savings due to the manufacturer's design sounds more important than 20% of the actual 13% of "Residential" water use.  Same goes for all household water use fixtures!  Meanwhile, the Elephant is dancing in the yard without an audience!

One of the reasons for the excessive amount of misting in irrigation systems is that the systems are often exposed to the full street water main pressure of 120 psi or more, while they should only be getting 80 psi or less.

I have proposed a plumbing code change that would change the location of any required pressure regulator from at-the-building (which, obviously, only protects the building), to at-the-meter, which will provide the proper regulated pressure to the building and the outdoor systems. This will also reduce the stress and "hammer" effects on the water main from the meter to the house and irrigation valves. Keeping that line pressure at 80 psi or less reduces the possibility of damage and leaks - which get really annoying and expensive when it's located under your driveway,  sidewalk, or favorite planter area.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What is "Green" who is "Green" Oh give me a break

Prejudging or grouping "green things" together in oneness is Just that!  Does someone who wants to save a buck on electric bills think a republican vice pres. is responsible for dead fish in Sacramento Ca.? (Smelt) ?  Is Al Gore a man of conviction or a demigod socialist?  Will we all burn up in hell ? The media will sell/tell you anything...

Let me start off by saying I have a photovoltaic solar system at my house that makes my electric meter go backwards, (sometimes), as a result my electric bill is lowered.  My system will pay for its self in another 6 yrs. at the current price of electricity. (7 yrs. total) the remainder of the systems life I will get "free" electricity.  This is Green, pun intended.  I also have a solar thermal system at my house, making such hot water, that I need to cover one of the two panels from April to Oct. so the system doesent over heat.  this system will be paid for in heating savings in about the same amount of time as the PV system.  This is also green.  The remaining 20 yrs. of  the 90% hot water I get from the sun will be "free"/ "green"  The HE "green" washer and dryer I got uses less water and power than a "regular" set and I save money there too!  I drive a very high MPG van for my job, it gets 20+ mpg unlike my old gas guzzler 5 mpg! DUH!  I am schooled and trained to engineer plumbing systems that are green, by GreenplumbersUSA.  Waste heat recovery is green sometimes, tankless waterheaters can save energy.

Greenwashing is wrong; I am trained not to do that, I am Green.  Not all things smart, are green, and not all things green are smart.  Have you seen "Smart Water"  I will match wits with a bottle of water any day, and win, for bottled water is neither green, nor smart.  3.5% of the Greenhouse gasses are man made, the rest are made by our green planet, including cow intestinal gases!

On that note, I leave you to your thoughts on what/who is green.
  Greg Chick a licesned GreenPlumberUSA.

Friday, February 26, 2010

I am going to be a "Father"

Let me start by defining "father".  The International Assoc. of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) is the code body world wide.  This code body is accepting my code proposal for upcoming publication.  I have been thinking about this plumbing issue since I was a Teenager! and a newly licensed contractor!  I am now 54 yrs. old and  I am getting my "Baby".  I am assured my child will do well and save millions! probably save a human life.  Thousands of contractors will know my child, but more importantly I am assured good will come.  I am planning another child as well.  Next one will live directly next to the first for life and they will have  replacements to follow their footsteps.  A third is planned as well, I am not really a family man or anything, but  I am ambitious.
  Keep watching for the names of my "children" and the deeds they will achieve . 

Sunday, February 14, 2010

World Plumbing day

The world Plumbing Council has declared March 11 2010 the first annual WPD.  This is the same month with World Water Day  (22nd.).  One might ask why, just Google , 8 to 10,000 people die daily from dirty water.  No they aren't Americans, mostly not white, so "what the hell",  "I got my plate full"  The world is shrinking, boarders are not what they were fences aren't either.  more than 1/2 the world is in dire need of water daily.  Sanitation waste removal is equally needed (when water is used it comes out dirty)  The AWWA stated in a report that 40% of Americas water dist. systems had a cross connection with sewer/E Coli.   Na sayers can factually say "we Americans use less water to day than in 1973!"  True to a point, that means "Per capita"  Population has grown to a point that we use 30% more.  Rain is not increasing, lakes not growing.  only 2% of the fresh drinkable water on earth is available (not frozen in glacier)  AWWA report also stated 30% of water we have harvested and intended for use is unaccounted for!  lost is transport to your town.  Some alarmists and some nay sayers debate "Climate Change"  The facts about water are not debateable, facts as they are, ignorance is the only buffer we have.  Walk for water is a new social awareness program, check it out.  Oh and respect for all is the theme of my message, not dooms day or anything else. 
  Thank you for allowing me to share my convictions, now read up and get your own.