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Thread: Shutting down natural gas water heater for 2 to 3 weeks

  1. #16
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    When one surfer hippie proves lung disease from his Santa Cruz beach shack water heater, California will pass a proposition that will go federal in 3 years.

    We legislate lead from the US manufacturers, but never open a container of poison from China at the port. So how CAN they compete? Our manufacturers are not the dodo's, its the feds who do not protect them with our "one world of trade". Good on them, IF they pay to inspect the imports to standard. No one has the balls to turn a few thousand containers around - that would get some attention, and suddenly the incoming parts would be costing the same as the US version.


    Thus, despite all the outsourcers’ talk of booming markets in China and other low-income countries, Aeppel writes of a heater manufacturer returning production from China back to Kentucky to cut the cost of shipping to its American customers. And of electronics outsourcer par excellence Emerson bringing Asian production to Mexico and back to the United States to save on supplying their “North American” (read “overwhelmingly U.S.”) customers. And of a pump-maker transferring foundry work to Indiana from China “because the cost of transport overseas” – to U.S. customers – “was the straw that broke the camel’s back.” And so on.

    It would have been nice had the piece also observed that the idea of moving factories thousands of miles from their customers didn’t come out of nowhere. Rather, U.S. trade policy made this strategy a no-brainer – at least until the oil price spike. Moreover, the need to junk today’s outsourcing-friendly trade arrangements remains as strong as ever. After all, China in particular has ruthlessly sought to monopolize ever more of the world’s manufacturing. Will Beijing really sit back and let a trifle like haywire global energy markets stand in its way?


    Source: “Stung by Soaring Transport Costs, Factories Bring Jobs Home Again,” by Timothy J. Aeppel, The Wall Street Journal, June 13, 2008
    Trying to persuade locked-out workers in Canada to accept a sharp cut in pay, Caterpillar Inc. is citing lower wages elsewhere. But instead of pointing to the usual models of cheap and pliant labor, such as China or Mexico, it is using a more surprising example: the U.S.

    Wage and benefit costs at a Caterpillar rail-equipment plant in LaGrange, Ill., are less than half of those at the company's locomotive-assembly plant in London, Ontario, Caterpillar says.

    The big equipment maker's stance illustrates how U.S. manufacturing, until recently given up for dead by many Americans, has become more competitive globally. Though ...

    This from last week, 3 major factories relocating to the US because of transportation, fuel cost and even labor costs in other countries including China, mexico and Canada.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...208038646.html
    Last edited by ballvalve; 01-09-2012 at 11:50 AM.

  2. #17
    DIY Senior Member Runs with bison's Avatar
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    Let me explain it to you: they (corporate geniuses who now run our tax policies and have done such a great job of zero f'ing growth over the last decade while blowing a huge hole in our budgets) gave away all of our manufacturing tech to the Chinese a decade ago. We (as ordered by our conservative corporate masters) were teaching them how to make things using tech they didn't yet have. Their govt. is way smarter than ours and light years ahead of our idiotically selfish and short-sighted corporate bozos. They think Sun Tzu, our guys are more like Yosemite Sam. The Chinese insisted that to sell into their markets we: 1. Had to build the plant there (not in neighboring countries either...killed some of our projects.) 2. Had to staff it (including engineers, supv. etc.) with Chinese. 3. They had 51% ownership. 4. We gave them the tech. 5. Their design institutes built the equipment. 6. We had to teach the design institutes the basic so that they could do step 5 (they were f'ing clueless, because they had no experience with stuff that was industry standard to us.)

    It was a deal I would have laughed at and walked away from. But not our wheeler-dealer smartest-guy-in-the-room types (they loved their Enron!) They drank the kool-aid. Within about three years the same dumb-asses at my company threw away $2 billion of our our $5 billion of net worth in similarly cock-eyed ventures around the globe. (They were stupid in a multi-cultural way.)

    You are mixing your bases. California doesn't have authority over imports, the Feds do. If Cali did you can bet they would be hard as hell on the Chinese. Their reach is limited to what happens in the border of their state. California would have everyone working for a living wage, you'll never see than in any conservative state. Conservative states are fond of slave wages. They are trying to figure out how to pay folks like the chinese, while getting U.S. efficiency out of them.

    Thank God for Soc. Sec. and Medicare because corporate retirement and health benefits are mostly gone. U.S. companies have fucked this nation over good. Outside investment savings? HA! Negative returns for a decade or more. U.S. retirement investing is all set up to reward banksters and hedgefund managers. Rip off of the century.

    Regulated free markets work. Unregulated ones don't...hence the past decade. Unregulated free markets drive toward giant monopolies and enrich the wealthiest while taking from everyone else. And that is all we've seen for the past 12 years. Yes, I include the current administration in this as they've continued the same business conservative Bush policies that got us into this mess.

  3. #18
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ballvalve View Post
    How many homeowners died of of legionnaires disease from hot water heaters this year?. Your home heater is not a Holiday Inn ballroom with miles of mouldy ducts and dirty filters.

    And if its so, those folks that throw money in the toilet for tankless heaters should drop like flies since their water is always in cooling off stage in the pipes and heat exchanger.

    There are millions of homes with 'open' - mine included and countless others I have installed- radiant heat systems where the hot water is constantly cooling to 50 or 60 degrees, being reheated, and often making it to fixtures at 115'. Havent had any lung, heart, asthma, disease or sudden deaths reported.

    So they took the lead out of valves, now the gov will make us keep our water at 150' f to "save" us.

    And here is the beginning of the BULL$%&^ dreaded OSHA wants us to test, never shut off a circulator pump, and eventually ban flow thu heaters. Just what we need.

    http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/otm/leg.../hotwater.html

    They actually want the water in a hot water line to NEVER drop under 122f. Go for that plumbers!
    In a tankless 100% of the water is purged and replaced with much colder (==less contaminated) water on every draw. With any tankless the temp drops well below the prime growth temps for legionella within a couple hours of the last draw. This is a VERY different scenario from maintaining a large volume with a large surface area at 115F, where the volume of water is almost never purged in one go, and stagnates at temps for many hours at a time with no flow.

    In most residences the hot water distribution system spends most of the time below the prime breeding temps for legionella too. The prescription for higher temp distribution temps would only be relevant for systems where flows are higher in frequency and the temps of the water in the plumbing falls into the range between flows. At 50C/122F the legionella isn't killed, but it colonies can't grow.

    The open system radiant floor situation has real potential for problems if allowed to stagnate. Open systems are only allowed in MA if controlled for a minimum guaranteed flow every hour, even outside of the heating season. It's much tougher for cultures to get established and grow if the water is moving, and while a purging flow pattern during the off season can be guaranteed by design in an open system it isn't always. I'm sure there are open systems that should be condemned as a health hazard, but I'm just as sure that many or most will never have a problem. Simply asserting that there haven't been any lung, heart, asthma, disease or sudden deaths reported is small comfort, given the pervasiveness of Murphy's Law. (How often can you identify the exact source when you get sick?)

    I'm skeptical about the "millions of homes" number for open radiant systems. Really? Millions? Do tell! If 2% of the homes in the US have radiant floors, and 2% of those are radiant systems it's still less than 200K homes, and I suspect the real numbers are lower than that. The majority of heating systems in the US use ducted hot air distribution, and all hydronic systems combined comprise at most half of the rest. Most estimates put all hydronic systems (not counting steam) combined at between 3-7% of all heating systems (trending downward over the past decades) with radiant floors being a small fraction of that. Radiant systems would have to compromise a large fraction of the radiant heating systems to number in the millions. In 2010 all hydronic systems combined (including steam) comprised well under 10% of the US market for new construction. See: http://www.census.gov/const/C25Ann/s...heatsystem.pdf http://www.census.gov/construction/c...heatsystem.pdf Where is the case for "millions of homes" with open systems? Tens of thousands, maybe, but even that may be an order of magnitude too high.

    People who are at risk for contracting legionella from contaminated systems are people who are already have compromised health, particularly those with pulmonary issues. Quitting smoking will lower the risk by a greater degree than maintaining tank temps at 50C or higher. Purging the distribution pluming with 60C/140F temps a few times per year is enough to kill off any colonies that get started. (With many staple-up radiant open systems that will happen regularly as a matter of course during the heating season, not so much for slabs.)

  4. #19
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    he
    The majority of heating systems in the US use ducted hot air distribution, and all hydronic systems combined comprise at most half of the rest. Most estimates put all hydronic systems (not counting steam) combined at between 3-7% of all heating systems (trending downward over the past decades) with radiant floors being a small fraction of that.
    The so called "L" disease was discovered in ducted hot air systems, and i still feel "sick" house syndrome when I spend time in older ducted homes. Take a look at the crap in the old pipes, you'll never duct anything again. I started out stupid, all caps, removing asbestos wrapped pipes in basements of midwest homes for my uncle, and no one ever heard of a mask then. coughed up black crap all night. Probably heading for the asbestos lawsuit sleazebags soon, although my uncle in his 80's is still healthy.

    I heat one house electrically, open radiant, and when at rest it sits at 150'f, so i suppose that jolt give the germs a pause. But when circulating, the temp of course falls near 120 and 115. Maybe I'll drop a pile of my silver dimes into the heater next time I open it. Or hang them on the anode.

    But all in all, I think we are on a witch hunt that may lead to another round of regs that finish off housing altogether. But where are all the dead people with appropriately names "swamp" coolers? ever live in a swamp?



    Runs with bison
    Let me explain it to you: they (corporate geniuses who now run our tax policies and have done such a great job of zero f'ing growth over the last decade while blowing a huge hole in our budgets) gave away all of our manufacturing tech to the Chinese a decade ago. We (as ordered by our conservative corporate masters) were teaching them how to make things using tech they didn't yet have. Their govt. is way smarter than ours and light years ahead of our idiotically selfish and short-sighted corporate bozos. They think Sun Tzu, our guys are more like Yosemite Sam. The Chinese insisted that to sell into their markets we: 1. Had to build the plant there (not in neighboring countries either...killed some of our projects.) 2. Had to staff it (including engineers, supv. etc.) with Chinese. 3. They had 51% ownership. 4. We gave them the tech. 5. Their design institutes built the equipment. 6. We had to teach the design institutes the basic so that they could do step 5 (they were f'ing clueless, because they had no experience with stuff that was industry standard to us.)
    Look, I agree completely with the corporate greed, lack of guard of our knowledge base, and base stupidity of selling and giving away our hard won MFG. systems. But we started with the JAPANESE, to "rebuild" them - screw them, let them eat cake. Then the Marshall plan that gave Germany the machines to sell parts to Iran and Pakistan to build the bomb.

    Then we PAID the Russians for their nuclear clean up, the richest and poorest nation all rolled up in one.

    The bean counters at the big industries that sold our knowledge to the chinese should be strung up by the nuts. But in their defense, if we had not, the germans or italians or french would have done it anyway.

    And we build schools in Afassisthan, while being shot at. Here at home our teachers are on food stamps and havent had a job in years. And i know many teachers, and 2/3rds of them could'nt find their way out of a paper bag. And all the metal and wood shops went away because baby johnny might cut his finger. What the hell good is knowledge of kicking a ball around a field to a 25 year old unemployed dope?

    On the upside, industry REALLY is coming home, and even the japs are starting to rethink that little rock they sit on, ready to fall under water. Honda is moving most production here. BMW EXPORTS from the USA.

    And the USA still beats all hands down for manufacturing output and capacity. The next time that moron that runs Iran gives a speech, rather than throw a shoe, lets put a cruise missile up his navel.
    Last edited by ballvalve; 01-10-2012 at 12:08 PM.

  5. #20
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Sorry to read about your asbestos exposure, and if it's affecting your lungs it probably makes you more susceptible to legionella (amonst other things) than most.

    Ducted air distribution may be a major method of spreading legionella in some well publicized outbreaks, but getting the legionella into that air isn't likely in most residential systems. Ducted air with humidifiers or routed where there's condensation potential can be major mold spreaders though. Showering in legionella contaminated water would a real risk for the susceptible. The fact that you park the system water at 150F is probably highly protective in your open system- the tank can't become contaminated, and will in fact kill any legionella that finds it's way in, even if the radiant loops run near the critical temp range. In the off season temp of the water feeding through the floor is probably well under the critical temperature range. And if it's plumbed as a flow-through that guarantees that all radiant loops get fresh water during hot water draws, the risk of stagnating water growing anything in side loops is small.

    The risk from parking the heater at 100-110F for only a few weeks is also pretty tiny, if it's normally set to 130F or more. It takes more than a couple of weeks for a colony to become established, and cranking the temp back up to 130F would slowly kill anything that got started. It's the folks that run their tanks at 110F forever to save on standby losses that are more likely to get something going. Extensive time stagnating at colony growth temps and never reaching killing temp is the issue. But even those folks may be at low risk if they're generally healthy, don't smoke, and tub-soak rather than shower.

  6. #21
    General Engineering Contractor ballvalve's Avatar
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    I think most of us had big asbestos exposure in our youth, even if only from contaminated mica insulation and basement pipes. I had the double indemnity of having a immigrant mens suit making family [talk about a lost US trade] that added a drycleaning plant with miles of steam pipes and asbestos insulation. Dont show any signs of lung issues and the rest of the gang made 80 years without a cough and smoking Camels like kids chew gum. Seems like the MFG. and mining process was the killer, and dry mining drilling in the older days. By the time it got to us it was partially bound.

    Its all a health crapshoot. Seen non smokers for life get tongue cancer, and another non smoker that never worked near any toxins had lungs that the doctors said looked like she smoked for 80 years. Woody Allen got it right when he said I'll never go to a gym because god gave us a definitive number of heartbeats at the factory... why squander them.

    I especially find it humourous to see the throngs of joggers along roadways and in the hearts of polluted cities. I'll risk a fog nozzle in my shower anyday over that. And when did the bicyclists decide that they have the right of way in the center of my lane of a rural hiway? Keep thinking about mounting a water fire extinguisher in the right side door in order to give a life saving lesson.

  7. #22
    In the trades Dana's Avatar
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    Sure it's a crapshoot, but sometimes the odds can be calculated.

    The risks of asbestos exposure resulting in mesothelioma has better studied & known odds than most things, even down to proximity to intersections where asbestos from brake linings are higher, when exposed as a child when growth factors are higher, etc. Most of us had SOME exposure, but BIG exposure is mostly limited to occupational exposures from mining, processing, installing, or removing asbestos materials. Installing pipe & boiler insulation had less associated exposure than the demolition & removal of same. Different asbestos types have different risks too. Getting it out of brake linings was the rigth thing to do, and cost effective. Stripping it from steam pipes in a school (rather than an encapsulate & monitor approach), maybe not.

    Just 'cuz uncle Jeff made it to 98 smoking a pack a day doesn't mean any individual would beat the odds in the same way. Prior to 1850 lung cancer was extremely rare, and even in well-industrialized coal-fired 1850-1900 (prior to widespread cigarette use) MDs could spend a whole career and see but a handful of cases. Yes, non smokers get lung cancer, but their odds of avoiding it look a heluva lot better than smokers.

    The urban air quality has much-improved since the Clean Air Act (if you disagree, visit any industrial Asian city, many of which have pollution levels comparable to 1950s industrial cities in the US.) Jogging in traffic and biking down the center line of a 50mph road should have a Darwin effect, but strangely that species continues to thrive...

    There's ample evidence that Woody Allen got it wrong too, even on the lifetime heartbeat count: Periodic aerobic exercise at high heart rates causes most people's resting heart rate to drop, reducing the total number of heartbeats per day. A little bit of gym time goes a long way, and it takes a seriously endorphin-addicted gym rat/runner to actually INCREASE the total daily heart beat count. But they're not as entertaining as Woody Allen. :-)

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