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Sal Santamaura

Sal Santamaura

Joined on August 12, 2009

Last Post on July 16, 2014

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In my opinion...

@ July 16, 2014 11:12 AM in Earthquake gas shutoff protocol're taking the wrong approach.  After a temblor is no time to be checking 181 gas meters with a stopwatch.  Instead, do what I did at my home down here in the south.  Have a State of California-approved automatic earthquake shutoff valve installed on each meter.  See this page

for more details.

Since these condo units are attached to each other, gas leak hazards in any one affect all the others.  Therefore, it seems reasonable to mandate the equipment and have your homeowners association coordinate this project, perhaps by means of a special assessment.  Unit owner grumbling you'll get now will probably change to praise when (not if) the next 'big one' hits.

I think it would be interesting...

@ July 8, 2014 11:30 AM in What do you think of this new product? know how well that adhesive ages while sitting on a shelf.  There's quite a potential for "explosive" results if it fails while the product is in use, with substantial lateral dispersion of "stuff."

Traditional plungers seem more than adequate.  I'd not be inclined to purchase this new widget, but would probably find the late-night TV ad for it amusing.  :)

Use UL-rated CO alarms...

@ June 14, 2014 12:05 PM in Carbon Monoxide Issues - HELP!

...only to meet code requirements.  Don't rely on them.

You wrote:

"...when the exhaust had failed, we had a very low level of CO (less than 20 ppm) in our house for a long time, until it was finally high enough to be detected by our monitors."

That's because UL and the first-responder community want it that way.  As Jean-David Beyer suggested on November 29, you should have a real, low-level CO detector.  A good one is made by CO Experts and available directly to you from this source:

The current model comes with a built-in lithium battery and can simply sit on its stand -- no wall mounting necessary.  Order one now.  I've had them in our home since first reading here about the deficiencies of UL-rated units around a dozen years ago.

I'm not even close to being a peer...

@ May 22, 2014 12:04 PM in Peer review please...

...Mark, but am curious about your post.  Number 2 on Its list of advantages includes:

             "...reducing the effects of alleged global warming."

Implicit in your use of "alleged" is rejection of global warming's reality.  The overwhelming preponderance of scientists (other than those working for fossil fuel corporations) who've evaluated the data agree not only that temperature integrated over our planet's surface has been rising and continues to rise at an ever increasing rate, but that the clear cause is human activities releasing CO2 into the atmosphere.

If you don't accept us as the cause of global warming, how can number 5 in the list

             "Significant reductions in carbon foot printing of all connected loads."

be an advantage?  :)

How about this guy?

@ March 31, 2014 12:00 PM in Hydronic radiant heating subtleties

That would make Dan...

@ March 6, 2014 4:13 PM in Opportunity Knocks

the Holohan household's Rubricator in Chief.

Thanks Paul.

@ February 7, 2014 1:52 AM in Radiant Heat in the Northwest

Are those forced air systems required to run fan-only for ventilation when no heat calls occur over an extended period, such as during shoulder seasons?

Interesting post -- some additional research

@ January 28, 2014 9:47 PM in Radiant Heat in the Northwest

Paul, I found your statement

"You'll also have to ventilate the residence to the WA State energy code to provide .35 air changes per hour, but that's another story."

intriguing, so looked into it further.  I located and reviewed Chapter 51-11R-WAC, Residential Provisions.  References to air changes per hour mostly concerned tightening envelopes, specifying maximum allowable values of 4 or 5.  The only place I saw mention of whole house ventilation invoked Section M1507.3 of the International Residential Code, which addresses ventilation rates for kitchen and bathroom exhausts.

Undoubtedly, I've missed or misread interrelated provisions in the WA State Energy Code, International Residential Code and other controlling documents which lead you to imply that a very tight new home in your state, using hydronic radiant heat, *must* have continuous mechanical ventilation which maintains a minimum of 0.35 air changes per hour.  Would you please point out those code sections?  Also, do they require such mechanical ventilation even if mandatory blower-door testing shows a natural ventilation rate just low enough to meet the 4/5 air changes per hour specification?  Do newly constructed homes with forced air heat "automatically" cause enough air exchange due to pressurizing the envelope that they're exempt from the 0.35 requirement?

Thanks in advance for your follow up.

Firefox (26.0) on my Windows laptop...

@ January 13, 2014 1:15 PM in This is interesting

...gave no such warning when I ordered last year or just now when clicking on the link.

Scroll to the top of this page...

@ January 2, 2014 11:47 AM in Rinnai Recall from 2008!

...and click on "Find a Contractor."  Plug in your Zip Code and the answer(s) will be provided.

Available and not too expensive

@ December 10, 2013 11:54 AM in This is interesting

"George Kerr sells them to anyone off his CO Experts website (his price has gone waaaaay up!). I heard he was going to market his monitors through Graingers but I don't see them on their website."

I bought mine here:

Ordering was simple, price (after the 'Coupon Code' discount) about the same as what I paid the last two times.

"The gubbermint introduced legislation (HR1796, which passed the House) to outlaw the manufacture, sale or distribution of unlisted CO alarms...Then the gubbermint outlaws that additional protection"

Fortunately, passage of a bill by the House alone does not a law make.  :-)


@ December 10, 2013 11:46 AM in This is interesting

"Why aren't the good listed CO alarms easily available?"

Because no such thing exists.  :)   If an alarm qualifies for listing, it's by definition not "good," except maybe to meet ridiculous codes that mandate its installation.

I'll never forget...

@ August 19, 2013 11:15 AM in Need writing help?

...the Help Wanted ad my then-local newspaper in Yonkers, New York ran sometime around the late 1960s.  It sought a "poof reader."  :-)

Small world

@ June 24, 2013 2:03 PM in Blast from the past - superheated boiler explodes

In 1962 I was nine years old and completely oblivious to things in the news like that explosion.

Years later, during the summer between junior and senior of my college electrical engineering education, I had a job with IBM doing field work.  Almost a week of it was spent in the computer room of New York Telephone's 5030 Broadway facility.  We reconfigured their IBM 360 mainframe + peripherals billing system.  The amount of heavy cabling to and from tape drives that I dragged and repaired under raised flooring was astounding.  Chain-based line printers too.  There was never any mention of the 1962 explosion.

With a two year advantage...

@ June 21, 2013 7:43 PM in Dumb

...over my 38 (in August), I'll defer to that judgement.  Nonetheless, in your position, I'd leave a copy of the April Consumer Reports issue on the coffee table.  Open to the reliability records page that include Volkswagen.  :-)

Loud rock playing...

@ June 21, 2013 4:07 PM in Dumb because the brand's preponderant customer demographic seems to like that experience.  We older folks who had Volkswagen products in our younger years, as well as those who read Consumer Reports reliability records, know better and don't buy them. :-)

Interesting idea...

@ June 21, 2013 12:09 PM in is this where we fall behind other countries?

...but I have a few questions and a comment.

*  It appears to be permanently attached to the gear.  How much does it weigh and what is the impact on airborne fuel consumption of always carrying that additional weight?
*  In use during taxi, it draws power from the aircraft's electrical system, i.e. APU.  How much additional fuel is consumed by the APU as a result?
*  Regulatory agency certification of something like this will require a long and expensive effort by the airframe manufacturers and/or carriers.  Who will pay for that?

It will be interesting to see what the Air France analysis shows with respect to these factors.

Do those German wholesalers sell...

@ June 12, 2013 2:41 PM in How the Europeans do it?

...metallic pipe, valves and fittings made in China?  Or is there a domestic German supply base still manufacturing high quality versions?  :-)

I don't know about other countries but...

@ April 13, 2013 11:22 AM in is this where we fall behind other countries?'s been this way in the US for at least 30 years.  As an avid photo hobbyist, i sent several snail-mail suggestions to Kodak in the 80s.  They were returned with a release form I had to sign before anyone at the company would even read them. Unless I gave up any right to compensation should my ideas be implemented, into the trash they would go.  Given the ease of sending email and even greater litigiousness today, I suspect it's easier to totally refuse inputs from outside a corporation.  The formalization of "not invented here."  :)

I don't think the response would have been any different if you had written about battery fires.  That's a personal opinion, not one derived from my status as a Boeing retiree.  ;-)

PS  Expanded use of tugs for taxi is really an operational concept of potential use to the air carriers, not an airframe manufacturer.  However, they're probably too busy with bankruptcy and merger lawyers to bother thinking about your idea.

Viewing using Firefox 14.0.1...

@ August 23, 2012 2:17 PM in Testing

...only the larger font test worked.  Color test s also larger, but black.

Which town...

@ August 18, 2012 12:17 PM in In case you were wondering,,,, New Hampshire is it?  Do you know if others are considering adoption?

Regardless of future funding...

@ July 30, 2012 11:43 PM in The AWESOME power of Mother Nature...

...what's significant is the work done and conclusion reached.  I regret mentioning the irony of how it was funded;  this is too important for distractions.
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