This website was mentioned to me by an associate. "Restroom Critic is here to help responsible people interested in making educated decisions on two fronts: 1) remodeling their current bathrooms 2) visiting local public restrooms in restaurants, bars, coffees shops and fast food chains." There are some pretty excellent reviews and product guides located there as well.
Master Plumber Ronnie Jackson
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
PlumberSurplus.com recently created a new learning center for those interested in learning about plumbing related information and products.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Always discovering new websites on the internet, Water Conditioning and Purification Magazine is a great site I have found to contain a lot of information on the current state of water and purification systems. If you ever have any questions or are curious about things relating to water conditioning and purification they are a great resource.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Three Air Conditioning Systems
I have always thought that homes in the Southwest should have three air conditioning systems.
1. Attic or House Exhaust
2. Evaporative Cooling
3. Central (refrigerant) Cooling Systems
I pick the
If your house is empty all day absorbing and retaining heat but the evening outside air is cooler, then let’s find a way to exchange the air.
Because hot air rises consider an Attic Exhaust Fan drawing cool air through various attic vent openings, but specifically exhausting to the outside. These can be simply installed and some operate with very little energy consumption.
Now then, let’s get the cool outside air into the living space. Evaporative coolers, sometimes called swamp coolers, force outside air indoors via a water soaked filter. When regularly maintained these are affordable and last for years. The incoming air needs to flow through the living space back to the outdoors. By opening windows slightly in various rooms the incoming air flow from the evaporative cooler will seek the path of least resistance, thus the air flow can be directed to rooms needing most cooling first.
If it is still necessary the Central (refrigerant) Cooling System can now operate within a home that the inside air temperature should have lowered by the other two systems. The Evaporative Cooling system should be turned off and windows and doors closed so the Central (refrigerant) Cooling Recirculation System can work as designed without the initial burden of retained heat within the home.
Know that in terms of operating noise, a properly installed Central Cooling System should operate quietly without notice, whereas evaporative coolers have a defined presence of sound and draftiness.
The question that begs to be answered is, after purchasing an exhaust fan, an evaporative cooler and observing the shorter operation time of central cooling system, what is the net cost?
Thursday, June 29, 2006
A Visit to GooglePlex Irvine and an inside look at AdSense Audio with pics!
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Let's Take a Shower
Usually the first five minutes in any hotel room that I'm staying in is reserved for inspecting the plumbing. I generally start with the lavatory because it tells a story of the waste design and that can be verified by looking then at the bathtub. Then the quality of the fixture connections such as stops and supplies. The tub and shower valve get criticized the most. Then the toilet is checked for movement and the level of sound when it's flushed. I've repaired or adjusted many lavatory pop-up assemblies along the way, which are sometimes very easy to adjust without tools.
What I often stare at the longest is the shower head. Sometimes it is near the ceiling and sometimes it's at eye level. It can be small and powerful to large and useless. The "S" shaped shower arm is apparently an afterthought for the eye level version. The hotels with the missing shower heads tell me that probably it had some appeal to the last guest. This happened in San Diego recently, so I call down to the front desk with my complaint and sure enough, shortly thereafter maintenance has arrived with the industries best? Speakman. There was an apology along with the installation for the finish color. Polished Brass was installed instead of chrome temporarily until supplies arrived.
The Speakman brand can be found throughout the hospitality industry and countless institutional settings. By my last (very rough) calculation, there were 53 Speakman shower heads available. This count does not include Hand Showers. The finish selection is wide and many installation configurations prove to satisfy many plumbing or preference issues.
For example the two headed shower head Speakman S-2252-2 produces a wide pattern and provides convincing argument that each head only allows 2.5 gpm. My favorite is the Speakman S-2280-AF Anystream Showerhead because the traditional shower arm is not needed. This wall mounted showerhead has a flange to stabilize the entire assembly.
For some of us the routine shower must be an experience or event rather than a function of daily bodily maintenance. Rain Drop Shower Heads or sometimes called a Shower Cans provide a gentle experience and for some a brief journey in the mind through a Costa Rican Rain Forest.
Monday, May 15, 2006
There is definitely a golden thread that navigates through the successful plumbing contractors in this country. After traveling nationwide I have been able to identify those that the thread passes through. It is those that base there business foundation on the "plumbing sciences". They communicate an incredible confidence in there abilities to install plumbing systems without fault and risk to the end user and community. Because they remain fundamentally diligent and watchful students and scholars committed to excellence.
I had the opportunity to have breakfast last week with a few of these Captains of the Industry. We quickly got to subject of tankless gas water heaters. Most of the discussion focused on apparatus pressure drop ( PSI loss). The concern was the limited publicly available data on tankless gas water heaters concerning apparatus pressure drop as a single unit or in series configuration. Any apparatus in a water distribution system such as meters, valves, backflow devices, tub and shower valves, fittings and piping will have pressure drop (friction loss) factor to consider when designing a system.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
Tankless Gas Water Heaters and Tank Gas Water Heaters
Noritz America called me last week; they are manufactures of tankless gas water heaters. They had executives arriving from Japan with an interest in visiting a Southern California construction site, primarily to look at the application of a Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) gas system. Because I train and certify CSST installers on location I got the phone call. I also represent State Water Heater including the Aurora model made by Noritz. The tankless gas water heater is finally catching on in America. The tank type gas water heater has been an affordable installation for generations, but the energy to maintain a vessel full of water is sometimes not the best household application.
Some issues to investigate when considering a tankless gas water heater...
Higher gas volume and pressure
Effects on the manufactures warranty if a recirculation line is installed
Flue/vent materials should be to the manufactures specifications
Sufficient (combustion) fresh air supply
A few features & benefits of tankless water heaters:
Continuous hot water on demand (tankless water heaters provide a steady flow of hot water whenever and wherever you need).
Compact, space saving design (indoor and outdoor tankless water heaters are just over 2 feet tall, weigh 55 pounds or less, and attach to an interior or exterior wall).
Energy efficient tankless gas water heaters are as the name implies very energy efficient $300 federal energy tax credit on some tankless gas water heaters qualify for tax credit incentives available for a limited time.
Features & Benefits tank type gas water heater:
Is best told in a short story.
Last week my good friend and Pastor was complaining about the cost of replacing his 8 year old 50 gallon gas water heater. Complete job $850.00. So we did some math...
8 years x 365 days = 2920 days $850 divided by 2920 days = $0.30 per day for dutiful appliance service whether you use it or not. Of course add the cost of natural gas necessary to maintain 50 gallons of water at a ready to use temperature of 115 degrees.
Now do some math with the $4000 wide screen TV or $45,000 SUV at less than 5 years service. The tank type gas water heater has always been an affordable appliance when installed correctly with the right application.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Master Plumber Ronnie Jackson
Much of my work week is spent traveling and teaching on plumbing / piping methods and practices. With a building economy at light speed beyond the plumbing industries capability to keep up with a capable labor force... Old dogs like me are in ever popular demand. Currently the hot topics are Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST), PEX and Soldering and Brazing practices. The audience for the most part is the "Plumbing Shop", plumbing wholesale distributors and then the plumbing trade school.
The plumbing industry has changed more in the last 5 years than it has in the last 30 years. Materials and methods are introduced at a pace that assimilation will take decades to fully understand in some arenas. For example the waterless urinal, this is no longer a concept. The product research and development prior to launch has been without fault. The Nay Sayers while put up a gallant and energetic argument are 5 years behind the installation crews trying to keep up with demand. Shall we accept the Think Tank Prophets that claim that the next World War will be fought over water rights? I say lets look at water saving and water filtering concepts that are simple everyday obvious choices. It's sometimes the simple devices/equipment that provide the best service. From traditional carbon and membrane units to under the counter RO systems, Water Saving language is sometimes fighting words is some communities. But in the long run conserving water is a good thing, on the horizon we will surely be challenged to examine our methods of hot water distribution within our living spaces. For example the 10 or 15 minute journey the hot takes straight to the drain before we step into the shower because the water is too cold. The recirculation pumps available now days address many solutions for all types of hot water systems. A recirculation piping system is the best installation, but not the easiest to install in existing construction. A solution (in a traditional series type installation) is a control valve installed under the sink at the fixture furthest from the water heater and then the system uses the existing cold water line to return hot water to the water heater. A pump is installed directly to the hot water discharge on the water heater and completes the task at hand.