DECEMBER, 2016 RPA NEWS
RPA Annual Meeting and Social Event at AHR 2017
The RPA Education Committee, chaired by Max Rohr, and staff have put together another great slate of educational offerings at AHR. All of the RPA classes will be held on Monday, January 30th and the RPA/HIA-C Committee class will be held on Tuesday, January 31st.
For a full list of free educational offerings at AHR, click here: http://ahrexpo.com/education-overview/#education-free
New Member Benefit – Service Roundtable
Service Roundtable is the world's largest private residential contractor alliance group. We are dedicated to providing service contractors with an affordable means to drive new business and get higher sales. We work with business owners, contractors and consultants in the HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical fields to help them grow their business through our 3 key components:
Marketing, Mentoring and Money- the Three M's of Success
Did You Know?
If you've forgotten your access codes to the Members Only site, contact Alan Wald at firstname.lastname@example.org
Plastic Pressure Pipe Design Calculator -- BCD Plastic Pressure Pipe Design Calculator
HydroniX Talk January Show
Password is HXTJAN2017 (case sensitive)
Make sure you have plenty of cold beer and pop corn, and join us then for some lively and topical hydronic conversation.
We are always interested in hearing from potential interviewees with interesting hydronic or energy savings products. Contact Mark Eatherton with any potentials you think our listeners might appreciate. As always, if you miss the live presentation, you can still catch the recorded session at the RPA web site under the Members Only section.
The Value of Being Certified
Our industry establishes the minimum standards of compliance necessary to allow us to sit and take an examination for the purposes of becoming licensed in a given trade. This is done in an effort to provide the highest minimum degree of competency for the consumer who is purchasing a given product or service. Much of it has to do with life, health safety considerations. You wouldn't want a less than qualified person working on your heating equipment, possibly causing a draft problem that could result in death or illness from a carbon monoxide poisoning case. Hence the reason that some local jurisdictions require the competency testing and licensure of certain trades and practices. It is for the protection of the consumer.
Some jurisdictions also require a continuing education element to the licensure process. This is to ensure that we, the trades' people, stay engaged and are aware of all changes in the code, as well as staying abreast of new technologies, and its safe application. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few forward-thinking jurisdictions, most areas do not require the licensure of people installing hydronic heating and cooling equipment.
Times, they are a changing. In the past, there really wasn't a “standard” by which people could gage the competency of a hydronics system installer. This all changed in 2015 with the introduction of the Uniform Solar Energy Hydronics Code. This code was intentionally incorporated into an existing American National Standard formerly known as the Uniform Solar Energy Code. The reason is so that a competing code enforcement authority or local jurisdiction could have the ability to adopt this section of the hydronics code without conflicting with the jurisdictions existing mechanical and plumbing code.
In an effort to raise the bar, and keep this wonderful industry on the positive side of people's opinions, it is necessary to have a means of certification. The Radiant Professionals Alliance, in conjunction with ASSE International has developed such a standard. It is called the ASSE Standard 19210 Hydronic Installer Certification program. It too was developed following rigid American National Standard protocols.
At present, certification is not mandatory, but will become so over the next few years as authorities having jurisdiction begin adopting and enforcing the new USEHC. We will be rolling out classes for the certification of hydronic installers to the ASSE 19210 standard beginning in January of 2017. Keep an eye out for this program coming to a city near you. In next month's article, we will show you the value proposition behind becoming certified, and the benefits to you and your company for doing so. Thank you for your continuing support of RPA initiatives.
Legislative Updates --- Newly Introduced Legislation Promotes Plumbing Research.
RPA Twitter Corner
RPA on Social Media
Tip of the Month
With Winter settling in it brings with it extremely cold weather and wind. If you don't have a newsletter for your customers, you should consider it. It is a common thread among successful businesses. It keeps your company name in the forefront so that when they need service, they think of your name first. Here are some items you can consider putting into your newsletter or using on your social media (Got FaceBook?) channels to your customers.
Cold weather and programmable thermostats. It is suggested that when it gets extremely cold and windy outside, that the “set back” temperatures be bypassed. Most home heating systems are not designed to recover the internal mass of a given structure, especially when it is extremely cold outside. Set the thermostats to HOLD at a given temperature of between 68 and 70 degrees until warmer weather returns. If you get cold, put on a sweater and hope for warmer weather. If the inside temperature continues to drop in your home, you may need to call for service on your heating system.
During extremely cold and windy weather, consider temporarily closing off crawls space vents to keep water lines in the crawl space from being exposed to freezing conditions. Don't forget to unblock them when warmer weather returns. Never block a code required combustion air vent going to fuel fired appliances. Doing so can result in loss of life or property.
In remote plumbing locations within the home, keep the doors leading to the remote room open, and if there is plumbing located in an outside wall, keep the cabinet doors open to avoid freeze potentials coming in from the outside.
If you will be leaving for an extend winter vacation in a sunny climate, ask a friend, relative or neighbor to check up on your home on a daily basis when cold, and every other day when above freezing to make sure it is warm, and that no problems exist. Leave a list of your common service providers so that if there is a problem, it can be addressed immediately to avoid major damages that might occur.
Many people want to know if it is safe to turn the water off at the main shut off where the water enters the home when leaving for vacation. If your hydronic heating system (or steam heating system) has a means of detecting water loss through code approved devices, then it is safe to turn the water off. It is recommended that whomever is home sitting for you know how to turn the water back on if water needs to be replenished manually in a steam boiler, for example.
When a deep snow fall occurs, inspect your flue gas vent termination to ensure that it hasn't become blocked with snow. And keep an eye out on your elderly neighbor's house vents as well. They might not even be aware that their vents are becoming blocked.
Exterior hoses should have been removed from their lawn faucets months ago, but if one was inadvertently missed, disconnect the hose, and bring it inside to allow it to thaw by placing it in a bathtub. When spring comes back around, carefully test the suspect lawn faucet by placing your thumb over the hose bib outlet, and turn the valve handle on. If you hear water running, but it is not building pressure to push your thumb off the spigot, STOP. Your lawn faucet has frozen and broken and is most probably dumping water into your basement or crawl space. Call your plumbing service company to have it replaced.
Always keep fresh batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Replace the batteries in the detectors per the manufacturer, but at a minimum, once per year. Also, check the device for its expiration date. These safety devices must be replaced on occasion.
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