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  • ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

    !
    Last edited by Big Jim; 05-13-2009, 10:01 AM.

  • #2
    Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

    Jim, we've had that here for awhile. The frustrating thing we run into is with homeowners having to update to current code to pass inspection causing much higher prices in some cases.

    Ex: Old water heater on the floor of the garage. Now it's gotta' go on a stand even if it's electric. Built shelves over top of the electric heater? Now they have to go.

    Customer: "What the heck are you talking about? We just want the tank replaced. It's in the same place it's been for 30 years! Same as the last one!"

    Here, nothing can be grandfathered.

    I had a replacement in a closet one time. Two things that I ran into.

    1) They changed the energy requirements on water heaters. So some mfg. put on thicker insulation. No secret, we've all seen this.

    2) The IPC code here at the time stated there "must be 1" clearance from combustible and noncombustible material around the heater".

    In the closet they had a "tall" model. NO MANUFACTURER MADE ONE WITH 1" CLEARANCE ANYMORE.

    There was not another place anywhere in the house that you could get this amount of clearance. I could get a tall model in the closet by removing the door casing with only 1/2" clearance left.

    So the city would require an aquahut type enclosure. But there is not one stamped & approved for electric water heaters so......

    They would want me to get the Nat. Gas Co. to set a meter, run gas piping, test and inspect it, install the hut & heater, have it inspected, release the meter, then light & test. Because of 1/2".

    Checked with the inspector, head of inspections, and the code interpretation officer with the state.


    Last CE class I took NC is considering removing permits for water heater replacement.

    J.C.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

      It can be a good thing when "common sense" is instituted.

      J.C.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

        I'm all for more Code Enforcement but.....

        Does the State of Florida understand the number of water heaters that get replaced on a dailey basis? To have each one permited and inspected by the state is going to require several hundred full time inspectors with a fleet of vehicles just to get this done.

        Who has to meet the inspector?

        What about the ones that get turned down?

        Who pays for the return visit?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

          Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
          I'm all for more Code Enforcement but.....

          Does the State of Florida understand the number of water heaters that get replaced on a dailey basis? To have each one permited and inspected by the state is going to require several hundred full time inspectors with a fleet of vehicles just to get this done.

          Who has to meet the inspector?

          What about the ones that get turned down?

          Who pays for the return visit?
          It's been a mess here in my opinion. In one area if I have a gas heater in a garage they require me to insulate the lines all the way to the top of the heater regardless of blocking the vent or heat from it. In another area if I do this they will fail it because of blocking the vent and heat from it.

          At one time they required all gas heaters in garages to be on a stand. Then FVIR's came along and they said it could be on the floor. Then they said that electrics & FVIR's must be 18" above ignition source. Now they say mfg. recommendation.

          All this going on in different areas with different interpretations with changes at any point in the year. And most of the time you cannot get a ruling or definite answer. So odds are.... you will fail inspection every time.

          Meanwhile, the hacks/handymen just keep on installing without a worry or inspection in the world.

          By the way, I've been looking and requesting info on electric water heaters as the point of origin/ignition in damage cases for some time and can't find anything.

          Any statistics out there vs. gas?

          Thanks.

          J.C.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

            it's been the law here for as long as i can ever remember.

            unless they document each water heater, just like they do cars. they will never be able to trace the hundreds of heaters sold daily in a large city, never mind the entire state.
            make the seller, retailer document every heater sold and fill out a form that's sent into the local building department. a drivers licence, contractors license, and job address would be required and then it's traceable. add an additional $50 to each heaters cost that is a pre-paid inspection fee. at least the city would have the funds to use and employ the necessary inspectors to pursue the code enforcement.

            rick.
            phoebe it is

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

              In situations where more work is required to bring the heater up to code because an inspector is not allowed to use common sense, many customers will just go buy there own heater and have their handyman, or cousins, friend who once worked as a helper to install it, or just do it themselves. Word will spread and many will not even call a plumber when they need to replace their WH.

              I like the idea of requiring a plumbing license to purchase a water heater. Cut out the do it yourself crowd completely.

              Lenny

              Pronounced A-Bear Drain Care

              I know, it doesn't make sense.


              http://www.hebertdraincare.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

                Originally posted by HebertDrainCare View Post
                In situations where more work is required to bring the heater up to code because an inspector is not allowed to use common sense, many customers will just go buy there own heater and have their handyman, or cousins, friend who once worked as a helper to install it, or just do it themselves. Word will spread and many will not even call a plumber when they need to replace their WH.

                I like the idea of requiring a plumbing license to purchase a water heater. Cut out the do it yourself crowd completely.
                That's exactly what's happening here with your first paragraph. The only way to fix it is to require license to purchase a water heater.

                Can you buy a large HVAC unit without the proper licenses? Curious.

                J.C.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

                  How many improperly installed water heaters actually kill people?

                  Sure, they do millions of dollars in damages but I would equate the odds to getting struck by lightning, maybe less than that

                  I don't think we need to create a bigger government to enforce building codes. Like JC said, just put some some legislation in to add licensing.

                  This is fun I should stay home from work everyday to hang out here

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

                    I like the idea of requiring a plumbing license to purchase a water heater. Cut out the do it yourself crowd completely.
                    I agree with the reasoning behind this but I'm not sure its doable.

                    I think Rick's suggestion would head this off (the unlicensed Handyman) and still allow those who are capable of doing the work for THEMSELVES on their own property but meet code requirements. And since the permit/inspection fee is paid up front the PI is aware of the work and will be knocking on the door to do their required inspection. If it fails and the work required to bring it into compliance is beyond the HO then a licensed plumber would be necessary. If the HO hacked it up and it makes extra work for the plumber (which it will invariably do) too bad for the HO, he's out that much more for not knowing his limitations.

                    It would create an administrative logjam no doubt, but it would help ensure peoples safety AND more than likely create more work for legit plumbers, as the mere fact that they have to deal with inspections and meeting code requirements will turn most people away to let their fingers do the dialing to their local plumber. You in effect force their hand into using a plumber, but you don't take away their right to do it for themselves.

                    If you exclude people from replacing their own WH, then you would have to say they can't do basic electrical work like replace a bad switch or receptacle too, as those tasks pose as much risk to safety as the WH does.
                    Last edited by Bob D.; 02-14-2009, 11:11 AM. Reason: fixed some typos
                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

                      Staying home PC? My scheduled work got screwed up and I'm glad. I've been blowing what looks like silicone out of my nose for 2 days now.

                      J.C.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

                        Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                        Staying home PC? My scheduled work got screwed up and I'm glad. I've been blowing what looks like silicone out of my nose for 2 days now.

                        J.C.
                        I'm calling it a Mental Health Day

                        So far, it seems to be working

                        TMI on the nose thing

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

                          Im hard at work in the office!!!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

                            Originally posted by wrench spinner View Post
                            Im hard at work in the office!!!
                            You suck you chair adjusting, tilted desk, hippie.

                            J.C.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: ATTN: Fla. Plumbers

                              Originally posted by JCsPlumbing View Post
                              You suck you chair adjusting, tilted desk, hippie.

                              J.C.
                              That reminds me its time for a haircut!

                              Comment

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