Thursday, December 12, 2013

Document Everything!

Today, I got a boiler to work on this morning with the brand name "Munchkin." Seriously, I can't make this stuff up. Anyway, the customer calls because he has poor heat upstairs and too much heat in the basement. There's an air handler that serves the upstairs with in floor heat and baseboards serving the basement. In my 27 years of working on heating systems, I have never seen a Munchkin boiler or TACO zone valves. After much electrical tracing, swapping powerheads, and replacing a thermostat and transformer, the customer has heat. This isn't what this article is really about, but was a start on my day that began yesterday.
Yesterday, I went to another customer's home because she had no hot water. With the thermostat turned most of the way up the water temperature barely made it to 94 degrees.
I verbally indicated, as well as wrote down that the furnace and water heater were vented into an unlined chimney (they didn't have a flex liner as required by code) as well as a leaking dielectric union at the water heater itself. The utility doesn't cover plumbing as of yet, nor venting but are legitimate safety concerns as there was no inspection sticker on any of the equipment. Fast forward to today, I brought in the part and the customer proceeded to chastise me that she didn't need a liner because the chimney was "too old" and that the water heater wasn't leaking. I promptly took photos of the house outside (which I cannot show for privacy reasons) as well as the venting, placement of the furnace and water heater, the absence of their inspection stickers, and the venting which was in 4 inch single wall for the furnace and three inch single wall for the water heater. Both were vented in different sides of the chimney; making placement of a flex liner impossible.

 You can see in this picture to the right that the union has some fresh water leaking and there are no tool markings as I did not try and tighten it. It would have leaked even more if I did and since the utility doesn't cover plumbing, it would have been up to my employer to cover it. The customer, who is 80 years old, elected to tell her contractor son and she read me the riot act because I was supposedly recommending stuff she didn't need. My only response was "not a problem," and then I got these pictures to cover my behind. This, boys and girls, is why I document everything and I mean everything. Maranatha!

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