Dave Yates (GrandPAH)
Joined on December 3, 2006
Last Post on August 2, 2009
@ August 2, 2009 10:09 AM in Ductless heat Pumps that actually HeatNot sure I can understand the sniping taking place between posts! Daikin, Mitsu & Fuji all make very good units & there's more than enough room for all to play. Sales are increasing exponentially each year & we sell a ton of minis ourselves. Imagine you were a potential consumer visiting here who was contemplating a mini instead of replacing their low-SEER clunker central system. Sales presentations based on tearing down other equipment brands or competitors typically fail to sway consumers. Promoting Inverter technology is good for everyone & it doesn't matter to me which of those three brands my customers want. I'll promote the Inverter model every time. Bottom line - I'm looking out for my customer's best fit that will save them the most energy while delivering comfort and reliability. Better hold onto your hats because all of the central system mfgrs have Inverter models being beta tested in real-world conditions. That's going to create a fundamental shift in the overall market. You want a real eye-opener? Research window units (I did for a Consumers' Digest article) and check out their SEER & EER & decible ratings. Check out Haier Energy Star rated models if no others. I attempted to persuade the editors to include mini-splits, but it was an A/C-only article & the window units had it all over the mini A/C-only models - at a fraction of the cost and with features that would surprise most contractors (like me) who have ignored what we often called "window-shakers".
@ August 2, 2009 8:21 AM in Cash for ClunkersI was there with Dan & his crew. Dan kept telling the film crew to concentrate on the students, not him. The flooring contractor had punctured several loops & had refused to return to help the students. The project had stalled. Two of the students researched on-line and on the same night read an article in Contractor and contacted me by e-mail asking if I'd visit to lend a hand. I agreed and asked what products they'd used. Warmboard. Knowing Warmboard does cad drawings for installs, I contacted them. Sure enough they had and sent me copies. They asked If I knew the student contractor advisor for the project - Dan Foley! I contacted Dan and it became a reunion assist at U of MD. Once Pappa located the general location, we let the students begin taking up the hardwood. After about an hour (Dan & his crew were helping the students in the outdoor mechanical room.) of beating on the floor with a hammer & chisel, the student resigned himself to using a circular saw as we'd suggested in the beginning(G). Tubing turned out to be punctured under built-in & immovable cabinets, so those loops were cut off and a straight-through splice was made. That they were able to pull it together and get that SD entry finished was nothing short of a miracle! That they almost won was too cool for words. As for the CfC incentive? You get nothing for your trade-in except the CfC cash. In our case, our Jimmy is worth what we'd get anyway. It's paid for & it runs just fine. Don't like the mileage, but we will probably wait to see what kind of mileage US cars can muster. Our big three missed the American desire for fuel-efficient vehicles and willingness to pay for hybrids by a planetary light-year. I've got mixed feelings about this thinly disguisded bailout & wonder what's going to happen when the 3-billion is gone - by next week if the pace of sales keeps up. I also wonder - looking forward - what's going to happen at the end of 2010 when the 30% or max of $1,500.00 runs out for owners who upgrade their buildings energy efficiency. The mileage requirements for CfC is, IMHO, a farce. Way too low. The only shame for those buying a Prius should be on the part of those within the big three who ignored the rising tide and forged ahead producing gas guzzlers. The American public voted with their wallets and Toyota sales soared. US ingenuity is second to none when faced with a crisis. There's no reason why the big three can't produce vehicles that surpass in both mileage and quality. Really doesn't go against the US work force no matter whose vehicle you purchase if the vehicles are built in the US. They all have pieces & parts brought in from foreign countries (including the big 3) and then get assembled inside the US by US workers.
@ July 31, 2009 8:52 PM in Ductless heat Pumps that actually Heat22-SEER is getting left in the dust. Time to catch up(G). 28-SEER with 10- to 12-HSPF units that are good below zero-F for 80% or more of heating cap are rapidly becoming the norm. Hard to keep up with all the changes(G)!
@ July 31, 2009 6:55 PM in Cash for ClunkersWe're back looking at the fuel efficient Prius again(G). The 2010 solar model. But, looking at other cars too and checking those fuel stickers for projected costs to fill-er-up for a year - at today's cost per gallon - like that's gonna be a cost frozen in time!!! Got me to thinking (a dangerous thing, so my spouse is fond of reminding me - after I goof up) that the Feds need a check-up from the neck-up. If they're willing to give me $4,500 to buy a vehicle that must only achieve 21-MPG (pedestrian mileage compared to many models available) to meet the max, which would save me less than $500.00 per year on gas - then what's a modcon worth if it cuts fuel consumption by up to 70% and has the potential to save the average homeowner $1,350.00 to $3,100.00 per year (if annual heating costs are $4,500.00)??? Seriously, most folks spend a whole lot more on fuel consumption to drive their furnaces, boilers & water heaters than they do on fuel to drive their cars & SUVs. Think of the ROI if the Feds were willing to invest in buildings' fuel consumption the way they are for vehicles. Boggles the imagination.
@ July 19, 2009 10:28 PM in Mothers (Dan H.)Dan, Hard to express adequately the feelings. Our conversations about our moms has been more comforting than you may know and not a day has gone by that I haven't felt supported by what you've said about and done for your mom. We will all be truly blessed if we are loved so well by our children. Love to all, Dave, Lois & family
@ July 16, 2009 5:13 PM in Who are you?I was a wet head. But I've been forced to become something I'm not - the director of Harry Potter movies! I'm being inundated with pleas from teenagers from around the world looking for a part in the next movie! As if that's not weird enough, some now are giving me the devil for allowing the movie to stray from the book's story-line.
@ July 10, 2009 10:36 PM in Can tax credits be transferred?Any of you know about, or hear of, any ability to assign, or transfer, federal tax credits? A presenter in a solar class stated they can be transferred - as in a non-profit being able to transfer the tax credit to someone who can benefit from it. Sounds fishy to me and I haven't been able to find any info. The instructor suggested contacting a tax accountant.
@ June 21, 2009 4:57 PM in Expert WitnessesWe went through a nasty experience with a 2%er that had millions to toss around. They had three ex-spurts: plumber; mechanical engineer; and a surveyor. I had a few too - other mechanical contractors - my direct competitors - who didn't charge a dime to drop the dime on the ex-spurts. Strike 1: The plumber not only lied under oath and changed his story more than a few times, it was revealed he'd prostituted himself for $400 an hour, which caused all the other ex-spurts (less that $200 an hour each) and lawyers to gasp for air(G). It was abundantly obvious to everyone in the room that he'd sold himself down the river for the cash and would have parroted anything they wanted him to say. Strike two: The mechanical engineer had utilized flawed math in his calculations. When our lawyer pointed out the facts, it was obvious he had repeated the same error 1,250-times, which threw off reality by a wide margin. He had done a 5'-long cad drawing - I had done one on graph paper in pencil - to show the elevations. His drawing was tossed out and the court accepted mine as being the one factual. Strike three: The surveyor had shot grade from the wrong elevation and had relied on the corrupt plumber to tell him the depth of the sewer line as it related to the wrong elevation within the building. Three strikes & they were out, but the next part was priceless - the property owners were caught in a lie and revealed they'd plotted from day-1 on how they were going to get out of paying us. He who laughs last: I was last to testify and there was one loose end to wrap up that dealt with the tenant's lease. The tenant was suing the landlords - the owners I was fighting. I had the tenants' lawyer ask me the question necessary to give me the opening I needed to cinch their case against the owners. "Don't get him started!" interrupted the owners' lawyer, but it was too late. I drove in that final nail. Full judgment for us, but we didn't get paid! As crazy as it was and as lopsided as was the testimony, they appealed. A jury trial would have cost us many thousands of dollars and the 2%ers with the millions wouldn't have missed the money spent with lawyers. Their bill for ex-spurts? $40K! Mine? $0.00(G) All over a bill for less than $4K. Wasn't worth the time and money - I'd already made fools of them, their witnesses, the lawyers who represented them and received full judgment - twice - Magistrate and arbitration. It was time to move on, get back to work and focus on looking ahead. You should join the RPA if you're not yet a member. If their expert witness is an upstanding RPA member and your design is acceptable, then I'd find out who they are and reel them in with a subpoena if the opponents don't call for testimony. All's fair in love and war.
@ June 19, 2009 6:59 PM in Crude language (Dan H.)This rich soup we all get to taste is flavored by each morsel that's added. The 'head chef' is in charge of ensuring nothing that would sour its taste gets added! The menu is as diverse as it gets and the diners deserve the best.
@ June 19, 2009 6:26 PM in Crude language (Dan H.)Good points & this post had me thinking back to the wild-west days on The Wall. At my advanced age, the memory ain't exactly to be trusted, but seems to me we had some raucus knock-down dragged-out dust-ups that, at times, got mighty confrontational with more than a few in-your-face dialogs. All, as I recall, without a single profane word tossed in to inflame the already burning inferno of rhetoric. Ahhhhhh, those were the days(G). I also recall when the "free speech" line of responsible civility was crossed and, in addition, porn was tossed in and The Wall was taken down until our host could have it rebuilt with some safeguards built in. A few hollered "censorship" while the rest lamented the loss caused by ignorance and lack of civility. It's been a lively evolution and most folks grew (matured?) along with The Wall. Gone are the wild-west bar-room days with their shoot-em-up dust-ups, but in their place we have a vastly expanded family where an industry-unique blending takes place across the lines of homeowners/DIYers/and professionals. Personally, I'm more than ok with the changes. It is, after all, our hosts' home we're visiting.
@ June 11, 2009 5:52 PM in Help in locating David Yates, the director?Already sent her that link and a number of others from mags & video shows that did interviews with the more handsome Yates fellow & suggested she contact the interviewers to seek their help. I did have to put in a plug for us PHVAC & solar contractors and explained that we perform magic that's functional, not fictional, and that our work saves lives, conserves energy and with all the green stuff imaginable. Food for the brain, inspiration for the soul.
@ May 26, 2009 7:58 AM in Oceanfront Problem In NCNo question in my mind. We've installed hundreds of these very efficient and quiet systems. Given the cost you mentioned and the issues with the existing duct system and, perhaps most importantly, the humidity issues - mini-splits using inverter (variable-speed) technology offer the best solution to the issues you've mentioned. Many come with a dehumidification setting that will extract the moisture while maintaining set temperature within a degree or two. Properly installed, they will be quieter than your existing ducted system. You'll also have zoning by default, which will allow you to save even more money. 13-SEER? Left in the dust with nothing but mini-split tail-lights waaaaayyyyy off in the distance! Inverter + ultra-high efficiencies - the best of both worlds.
@ May 25, 2009 10:56 PM in Meghan in Senegal (Dan H.)doing you both proud. It's been fun seeing them grow up into outstanding members of society.
@ May 25, 2009 10:55 PM in Happy Birthday to TLM - Alan R. MercurioYou deserve nothing less. Happy b-day & belated well-wishes. Just back from a loonnnggg work weekend & catching up.
@ May 22, 2009 3:53 PM in My neighbor needs prayers....................Mad DogCount us in on that chain of prayers. Our youngest is doing bio-med research this summer & loves the challenge. Who's a thunk it - he has my gift of mechanical abilities and worked with us for many summers - a natural. But, he's being drawn to the bio thing like a moth to a light. He said the other day that he wants to do research on cancer.
@ May 17, 2009 10:21 PM in Happy Birthday John White - Alan R. MercurioNo idea how they can remember so many dates - I'm lucky if I can remember my own name! Happy birthday Johnny & best wishes.
@ May 2, 2009 9:04 AM in American made productsbook recommendation. His is one of several I purchased last year. I'm re-reading HF&C & it's even more interesting because we're well past the election and far enough into the new administration to compare what's happening to what he said we need to be doing with respect to our carbon-based economy. Do I agree blindly with whatever he suggests? Of course not, but I like reading columns, articles and books that challenge my preconcieved notions or beliefs or that bring out in better detail my emerging thoughts about where we are or should be headed - a clarifier. As an aside, there are 200 more family farms in our area than there were five years ago. Fresh, local & healthy produce, meats & grains are making a comeback - foods that didn't travel 1,000-miles to get on a plate.
@ April 19, 2009 10:15 PM in water to water geo, no tax credit?The legislator who wrote PA's alt energy bill is one of our customers. We've been trying to find a mutual date when we can sit down to go over some ideas on how to fix that issue. One that intrigued him was my suggestion the contractors' installed systems be benchmarked with before & after energy usage and utility bills. The contractors shorting the geo side will rise to the surface. What to do with them? Three strikes & you're out of the running for participation with PA's program/incentives until the contractor attends training and passes a test. Pull another three flubbed system installs & get permanently banned. PA's new Attorneys General contractor licensing can be brought to bear to prosecute fraudulent installs & six of them would give them reason to go after the bum. Time - it all takes time.
@ April 14, 2009 5:38 AM in From a soldier (GrandPAH)I attended a Fallen Warrior ceremony last night, one of our own is headed home. We got a phone call around 2300 a C-17 (Air force's second largest transport aircraft) was coming in with a casket on board, we were asked to send two "bodies". I know "bodies" sounds harsh or perhaps indifferent but it's the way we talk around here, maybe it is a way of separating the emotion from the reality... we use the term "bodies" for everything, "I need two "bodies" to go pick up trash" or "send a body over to help with... whatever..." ect ect. Tonight it was two "bodies" for Fallen Warrior detail, it seemed ill placed and somehow inappropriate. We asked the airmen if anyone wanted to go, some grumbled (I believe it was in how it was asked of them that caused the grumbles). I wanted to go but gave others a chance to volunteer first... one airmen stepped up and I voiced my desire to go. The C-17 wasn't due down till 0150 so we had some time to wait. The time passed disturbingly mundanely... check email... answer questions on the radio... eat... about 0125 I checked out a truck and radio (2-way type), my young airman and I headed down to the C-17 parking area. It took us a while to find out where the C-17 was going to park and figure out where folks were meeting to set up the detail. As we waited for the C-17 I realized just how busy this place is. It's the US military's gateway to the middle east, I watched a commercial 747 being loaded with pallet after pallet of cargo, a C-130 load up a crew of army folks in full battle rattle, rifles, baggage and gear... headed in to who knows where. We had a B-1 IFE (In Flight Emergency) in with 1 engine shut down... this place never rests. By now a pretty large group of people were standing around the edge of the C-17 parking area and our bird landed right on time 0150, it taxied to it's parking spot and had engines shut down by 0200. I began to realize at this point why we had been asked to only send two "bodies", there were perhaps 50 people standing around waiting to be a part of this. We walked en-mass over to the aft end of the C-17, you'd expect that a large group like that would be somewhat loud , but it wasn't... I turned off my radio. We all stopped perhaps 30 yards from the back of the jet... and waited. Waited for it to open... I didn't know what I expected, an honor guard? an empty cargo area with a flag draped casket? The loading ramp whirred open and a K-loader rolled up to it. Then, in a flurry of activity, off rolled 10 pallets of cargo. The crew, obviously a well oiled team, in a matter of minutes unload several tons of cargo... Then it was us. We gathered in a group and got or instructions. Formations seem to be so engrained into our military brains that it doesn't take much talking to get us formed up neatly... our crowd seemed to have grown a bit... our formation was two lines, three people deep, facing each other, starting at the cargo ramp to about 15 yards behind the C-17. A small white van backed up to the end of our line. I could just see inside the cargo area of the jet... there, in stark contrast to the grey paint and aluminum, an aluminum box draped in Red White and Blue. It seemed tiny in the cavernous belly of that jet... We were called to attention... An honor guard of six formed at our center and slowly marched into the awaiting hold. On their return, bearing their tender cargo, we saluted as one. Someone's Son, Daughter, Father, Mother, Sister, or Brother passed before us, placed gently into a small white van, the doors were closed and as one we slowly dropped our salute. As the van pulled away we were dismissed. No fanfare. No speeches. Just a group of brethren gathered at the back of a jet on a busy cargo ramp to say goodbye to someone we didn't know, but loved dearly. All of us thankful that we are where we are, but at the same time heartbroken because we weren't there to stop the bleeding or spot the IED or simply take the place of that anonymous Fallen Warrior in that flag draped box that passed before us.
@ March 25, 2009 4:25 PM in ClimateMaster Geo?..........................(Starch)Same issue here, except CM won't budge re buying elsewhere, so it looks like we'll be switching brands.
@ March 19, 2009 5:52 AM in Night setback in BB systemsmaybe If they're using outdoor reset, then thermostat reset won't work as expected. If not and the boiler bounces off of its upper limit during operation, how quickly does it achieve that upper limit when recovering from thermostat setback? If that's fairly early in the recovery cycle, then they have a number of options: * live with it and learn the reset curve recover time and program accordingly * or - better yet - you can offer to install accessories that effectively oversize the heat emitter side so that recovery can be swift and, as a great side benefit, the overall temp required for maintaining comfort can be much lower - think modcon low. If modcon low, then why not flat panel rads to compliment the BB and look for radiant (not suspended or staple-up) opportunities. * that leads to their second comfort issue and energy use - domestic hot water. Offer up a nice indirect or tankless unit. $olution$
@ March 16, 2009 9:11 PM in Legionnaires' bug at hospitalcodes call for mandatory recirc if the potable hot water exceeds 100'. So, I have to ask, why do open cross-connected potable/hydronic systems with hundreds, if not thousands, of feet of potable combined-use tubing systems get a pass on that requirement??? ME, I'd love nothing more than to join up with you for that class.