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Earthquake Country

Sundays earthquake woke everyone up to the fact that we live in earthquake country. I sat watching the pictures on TV of the mobile homes burning and I asked myself, If they had a automatic earthquake shut off valve would the fire have been prevented? According to the news reports there were many gas leaks, a potential for disaster.
Automatic earthquake shut off valve's would shut the gas off to a building at the gas meter when a earthquake of a specified magnitude strikes. Early automatic earthquake gas shutoff valves were prone to false shutoffs. New automatic earthquake valves are very reliable, in fact I can not remember a false shutoff in the last 20 years that we have installed. To qualify that statement we have regularly installed automatic earthquake valves since the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989.
some insurance companies giving discounts for automatic gas shutoff valves on homeowners insurance.
To learn more about Automatic Earthquake valves check out our web page http://www.plumbingpro.com/gas-line-repair-installation/earthquake-gas-v...

Thanks
George

Home Renovations and Hazardous Chemical Exposure

Home Renovations and Hazardous Chemical Exposure
The last few decades have given us an abundance of DIY instruction, videos and even television channels dedicated to the subject of home renovation. The appearance of the big box hardware stores is directly tied to the popularity of how simple most of these projects can be.
Proceed with Caution
The sweat equity most homeowners earn is something of which to be proud, especially when it proves to increase a home's value, encouraging many to take on flipping houses as a career. However, there are some serious precautions that need to be taken before embarking on a home renovation, especially in bigger or older homes.
Hazardous Chemicals


Asbestos
One of the most dangerous hazardous exposures having emerged from the demolition involved in home renovation. Known to be a human carcinogen, asbestos minerals are composed of long heat resistant fibers that were once spun so they could be woven into the material universally used in home insulation and fireproofing.
The danger exists from breathing in these fibers that easily become airborne. The particles from asbestos when inhaled cause damage to the mesothelium in the lungs, resulting in mesothelioma that may not appear until many decades later. Despite banning this material in all modern construction, older construction is at risk of exposing residents and those performing any work on that construction. Always wear a protective breathing apparatus when dealing with asbestos.
Mercury
Mercury is an inorganic substance used in older thermostats and in light switches that were once used in older homes. While Metallic Mercury doesn't absorb through the skin, it will vaporize even when exposed at room temperature. The scary part is these vapors are odorless and colorless.
The dangers to humans from Mercury exposure are:
- Developmental, affecting the organs in the process of development
- Gastrointestinal, affecting the digestive system
- Renal, affecting the kidneys and urinary tract
- Neurological, affecting the nervous system
- Ocular, affecting the eyes
Lead
Lead is another inorganic substance less commonly used yet still present in the paint, pipes and within the walls in older homes. Historically, lead found in paint chips that babies innocently chewed on was responsible for giving them lead poisoning. Since then, lead content in paint, caulking, ceramic products and pipe solder have been greatly reduced. Older pipes that tend to corrode will release lead particles.
The dangers to humans from Lead exposure are the same as those for Mercury with the addition of the following:
- Cardiovascular, affecting the blood vessels and the heart
- Musculoskeletal, affecting the skeleton and muscles
- Reproductive, affecting newborns and the reproductive system
- Hematological, affecting the forming of blood
Radon
Radon is an odorless, tasteless, invisible, radioactive gas created from the degradation of uranium. It is concentrated in the rocks and soils in the earth and seeps into homes through cracks and breeches in structures located in low-level areas. Radiation exposure from radon can occur through improperly ventilated spaces causing cancer and damaging the lungs.
Given these dangers, permits are required in many counties for remodeling jobs. Involving the permit office and the local health department to engage inspectors is the best way to learn what hazardous exposures are present in your house.

By Brian Turner

Guest Contributer

Brian.Turner752@Gmail.com

For more information: http://www.mesotheliomafund.com

My Trip To Capitol Hill

I just returned from a 3 day meeting at out Nations Capitol where I met with our California’s State Senators and congressmen, the purpose of the trip was to lobby our representatives about needed changes affecting small business.

The legislative conference was held by the Plumbing, Heating, Cooling Association of which I am the current President for the State of California. PHCC is the oldest trade organization in the United States celebrating 135 years .

The top issues are:

·         Repeal of the Death tax, if nothing is done by the first of the year the inheritance tax will rise to 55% of amount inherited, my position is the tax should be eliminated entirely.

·         Lead Paint Rule, The EPA created legislation to protect pregnant women and children from lead paint in older homes.  Originally there was a provision for homeowners to opt out of this requirement, we would like that reinstated, also there is no commercially available kit to test for lead that meets the regulations requirements, that means you have to send paint chips to a lab before you can start work, not a good idea when you have a leaking pipe. In short  the legislation needs to be fine-tuned before they level fines up to $10,000 per day

·         The department of Energy(DOE) continues to develop workforce guidelines for the federal Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) without getting input from the industry that perform the work. The PHCC among other trade groups is requesting a hearing into this practice that has created problems in the past.

It was not all work and no play it was very exciting running all over Capitol Hill meeting with our Senators and Congressmen who actually wanted to see us. I don’t think there is many countries in the world were ordinary citizens would be allowed such privileges.

Bye for now

George

It Finally Happened

It finally happened the first rain in the Bay Area and the first snows in the Sierras, Fall is here and winter is approaching, even if it is a little late this year,since it is almost Thanksgiving.

Since rain has began to fall especially in cities like San Francisco it is important to make sure your sewer lines are free of roots and other debris. The reason that it is so important in San Francisco is the rain water flows from the roof to your house sewer, If the sewer is restricted it could cause a flood in the house or basement.

Speaking of basements don't forget that pump some of you have in your basement or under the house, NOW is a good time to give it a test to make sure it's ready for the winter season

And last but not least give the water heater the once over make sure that if it leaks it won't ruin anything. Remember that more water heaters fail in winter than summer.

If you have any questions about getting ready for winter give us a call at 415-334-0733 or email Info@PlumbingPro.com

HELP WANTED

Help Wanted: Plumber with Service and Repair Experiance

Plumbing jobs pay in different ways, but as a George Salet Plumbing, Inc. employee, you will receive a competitive salary, paid vacations and holidays, training and seminars, health insurance, and you also get to work with a friendly, professional staff! At George Salet Plumbing, plumbing can become a career, instead of just a string of casual-labor projects. This is because we are dedicated to the local San Francisco area, do continual trainings, and look for local, qualified technicians who want to stay in the area.

What we are Looking For Plumbing jobs require experience, and this is what we are currently in search of:

About George Salet Plumbing, Inc

Since 1979, skilled, clean, and honest plumbers have been our trademark at George Salet plumbing. We have been locally owned and operated in the San Francisco and Peninsula area for thirty years. We pride ourselves on providing fast, dependable, and honest service and also make sure that we are incredibly clean when we are in people's homes or businesses. We do everything from small repairs and maintenance to large remodels; so if you are qualified and interested in continued training, honest work, and a friendly environment - give us a call today!

If you fit this description, email us your resume or give us a call. We'll be glad to go over your qualifications and talk to about employment opportunities at George Salet plumbing. All applicants require drug and substance screening before employment is considered. GSP is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

  • Experienced service and repair individuals with a strong work ethic and a current clean D.M.V. record.
  • An experienced remodeling plumber who knows San Francisco code, has a strong work ethic, and a current clean D.M.V. record.

 

Email Resumes to Info@PlumbingPro.com

Sewer Plant Tour

I took a tour of the San Francisco Oceanside Treatment Plant Tuesday with a group of plumbers from the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors association of San Francisco.

If you have never been, what a facility! Most of the plant is underground, in fact some of the roof area is designed to handle hoofed animals from the zoo.

The Plant processes 20 % of the citys sewage, to be exact thats 17 Million gallions of sewage a day in dry weather and up to 60 million gallons in wet weather.

The first thing the tour guide told us was to that the only thing to go down a toilet should be one of the 3 P's (Poo, Pee, and Paper) we have been telling clinents this for years. In fact anything that does go down that shouldn't has to be removed before the sewage can be processed.

The sewage in eleven hours goes though 3 processes before being pumped 4.5 Miles out to sea. in the process the plant creates enough methane gas to make electricity that power 30% of the plant.

One of the things that really impressed me was how clean the whole facility is, it did smell in some areas but not as bad as you might think.

If you would like more information on the sewer plant or a possible tour, go to :http://sfwater.org/index.aspx?page=396

40% Of The World Has No Flush Toilets

OutHouse

It's hard to believe that 40% of the world does not have flush toilets. The biggest concern most people have here in the United States is what color or does it flush well? The truth of the matter is in countries like India there is one toilet for every ten thousand people! that like having four toilets for a game at AT&T Park, imagine the lines, imagine the filth..... The sanitation revolution that started in the 18th century with the introduction of the flush toilet and sewers has, says Frank Rijsberman, ''saved more lives than any innovation in the history of public health or medical science'' Plumbers really do protect the health of the nation

As a Plumber I have often pondered what life would be like in San Francisco without modern toilets and plumbing systems? Out houses in the back yard? How often would we need to move them. I don't think apartment buildings or condos would be allowed, and lets not forget what do we do with the old dishwater. I don't think we as a people could have become so advanced without modern plumbing. Just think what it would be like without clean fresh water, to drink, to wash ourselves, to be used in manufacturing all the goods we use daily. and lets not forget about piping for gas, that we use to heat our homes, cook our food and heat our water. I read that the fog in London was not really fog like we have here in the san Francisco Bay area but really smog from the thousands of wood stoves and fireplaces used in Victorian homes.

Bill Gates is donating 42 million dollars to find a way to bring sanitation to the 40% who don't have toilets. In his quest we may find a better way to deal with the basics of life. We may even find a replacement for toilets as we know them, I hope he succeeds Until then I will continue on as a plumber Protecting the Health of the Nation, one toilet at a time.

George

 

 

8 Simple Ways to Select a Superior Service Company

I Didn't write this this Blog I borrowed it from My friends at Accent Plumbing The information really hits home so I wanted to share it with you.

Enjoy George

Selecting any type of home service company is a frightening prospect for most homeowners. Here’s how to increase the odds that you will make as good of a decision for other industries as you have for plumbing when you selected Accent Plumbing.or George Salet Plumbing <Grin>

This is a different list than you’ll typically see from a consumer magazine or government agency. Few people, for example, want to call three to five companies for an estimate, especially if you need service quickly. People simply want someone who will do a good job at a fair price with the minimum amount of hassle. Almost no one is going to call past customers, check with the licensing board, or investigate the amount of insurance carried. Our list focuses on things you can do quickly and practically.

Use Social Media

Are you social? Asking your friends through Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and other social media sites is a great way to find a social good service company and minimize the odds you will select a poor one. It’s the fastest way to ask a lot of people for a referral. To improve the quality of the information you get, ask your friends and contacts to share their personal experiences.

Use Review Sites

The next best thing to recommendations from friends are public review sites. There are three types of review sites. The first charges you and charges the companies listed. You can pay for this information if you want, but the quality of the reviews is no better than you can find on the second type of review sites, which are the free sites.

Free sites include Yelp! and Google. In Yelp!, simply select your search term and city to see what reviews are available. For Google, search for the type of service and “near” and the town name. If either fails to return enough entries, try another town, a larger town, or the county.

The final type of review sites are known as slam sites. All they carry are negative reviews. A company’s failure to appear on a slam site usually means the company has few customers. Most large companies eventually appear. Some sites even offer a consulting service to “assist” the business owner with his reviews. Think of this as extortion to make bad reviews disappear. The consulting service makes the usefulness of these sites suspicious at best. Plus, the least reputable companies are the ones most like to take advantage of the service. Given that the free review sites include both positive and negative experiences, it’s best to avoid the slam sites.

Look at a Company’s Website

woman questioningOnce you start to zero in on a service company, check out the company’s website. A poor website is not necessarily an indicator of poor quality, but it does show less professionalism and an inattention to details compared to companies with good sites. The complete absence of a website should be a red flag. Most professional companies have websites. Most fly-by-nights do not.

Check for Professional Affiliations and Community Involvement

While you are visiting the company’s website, check for professional affiliations and signs of community involvement. Examples of professional affiliations are membership in a trade association like the National Federation of Independent Businesses or an industry association, the local or national chamber of commerce, and business alliances like the Service Roundtable. These affiliations are signs that the company is committed to professional improvement.

You may or may not find signs of community involvement on the website, but a quick Internet search of the company name and the community or the principal’s name and the community should return service and civic club activities, charitable activities, youth sports sponsorships, and so on. These are companies committed to the community and more sensitive about their reputations.

familyLook for News Articles

Searching for the company under a search engine’s news tab may not reveal much. However, it is likely to uncover companies under pressure from authorities for poor business practices.

Look for Tangible Clues About the Company

Are the company’s trucks professionally marked and clean? If you can recall seeing one of the company’s field service personnel, was he or she wearing a uniform or a dirty pair of jeans and a t-shirt? Did the employee look like someone you want to invite into your home?

Ask Around

While not as efficient as posting a question on social media, call of few trusted friends to ask for recommendations. Call the “centers of influence” you know. Centers of influence are the people who are especially well connected and seem to know everyone in town.

Ask other service companies for their recommendations. Many will only recommend companies to their customers they believe will take good care of them.

Trust Your Intuition

In the end, the company you call will be the one you feel best about. Trust your intuition over anything else.
 

Leaking Water Heater Nearly Kills Family

A hot water heater caused the carbon monoxide build-up that almost caused the deaths of a entire family. Danvers Massachucets Fire inspectors determined that the heater sprung a leak on the hot water side and was trying to keep up with the flow of water, the water heater kept running.Normally this would not be a health issue, but because the flue piping was defective it release carbon monoxide into the home.  Fire Chief Kevin Farrell. said it would be the same as if a car was running in the garage with the doors shut.

Luckly everyone survived however this brings up the reasoning  behind new California state Laws that require carbon monoxide dectectors when any home improvements are completed costing $1000 or more. Carbon Monoxide detectors are required in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms and on every level of a dwelling unit including basements.

A Home Safety Inspection might have prevented this accident, Having your home plumbing and heating systems checked yearly can locate problems before they become emergencies, at George Salet Plumbing we offer a 70 point home safety inspection as part of our annual service agreement. We can also install carbon monoxide detectors for your home.

To read more about this story click here

New Plumbing Codes for Water Heaters

Here in California we have adopted the California 2010 plumbing code as of January 1 2011. One of the many changes is that you can now put your water heater back on the floor as long as it is a Flammable vapor ignition resistant approved water heater, We are now required to protect the water heater from damage by a car in the garage by installing pipe Ballard or other similar devices

Another standing requirement is that water pressure over 80 pounds per square inch must be reduced to 80 psi however the new code requires when a pressure regulator is installed to reduce pressure a properly sized expansion tank to be included in the system.

The new code has addressed many concerns of plumbers and water heater manufactures you see the new water heater that are flamable vapor ignition resistant prevent ignition of flammable vapors better than raising the water heater. and keeping cars from crashing into water heaters just makes sense.

One of the major causes of premature water heater failure is excessive pressure and metal fatigue. the more pressure in a water heater the more the tank expands creating more stress on the tank, by limiting the pressure to 80 psi that reduces the pressure to approximately 1/2 of the maximum operating pressure the tank was designed for,  When you have a pressure regulator installed the pressure goes in but usually cannot go back so when the water heats up it expands creating more pressure this causes the thank to expand, when your turn on the water the pressure drops back to your 80 psi. A expansion tank absorbs the pressure increase when the water heats up so the tank expands and contracts less, helping reduce metal fatigue.

Excessive pressure and expansion tanks are so important that most water heater companies will not warrant leaking water heaters when the pressure exceeds 80 psi

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