Restaurant plumbing corrections

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by spconstruction, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Well, this was fun!:rolleyes:
  2. dj2

    dj2 Member

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    Tom Sawyer,

    It's funny you mentioned Einstein, because he also said this: “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”
  3. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    And that is relevant here why? This has nothing to do with truth or knowledge. It has to do with breaking the law and a bunch of non licensed diy'ers getting their panties in a bunch when they get called out for it. Terry is 100% right here. We have rules, laws and regulations for a reason.
  4. kcodyjr

    kcodyjr New Member

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    Original Poster, you're obviously doing commercial work without a license. If you have any decency, stop now. A plumbing error in a restaurant could potentially poison thousands of people. If that happened, you would rightly deserve a decade long stay in substandard state housing, with very substandard neighbors, and all the unpleasant things they'd do to you day and night.

    That said, the general holier-than-thou attitude is a legitimate gripe. Even in this excessively liberal state, I can pay double the license fee for extra scrutiny and do my own electrical work, including main panels. There's no good reason that shouldn't apply to plumbing, even gas fitting, although I'd feel better with triple fees and scrutiny in that case. Up to code is up to code, it doesn't start producing magical protective fairy farts just because the work was performed by an Anointed Hand.

    I'm a 16 year I.T. professional. You don't hear us bitching about stolen work when someone botches their own upgrade, we just collect our hourly fee for straightening it out and laugh all the way to the bank. If computer techs did business the way some plumbers seem to, we'd throw a hissy fit every time someone wiped off their own monitor.

    I'm talking about owner-occupied residences, which IMO includes the situation when one unlicensed neighbor asks another for help without pay. Commercial work is a whole different ball of wax, and an amateur simply shouldn't be screwing with it. In any field.
  5. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    Someone botching their software/hardware upgrade ain't gonna have the possibility of polluting the potable water supply and possibly killing a bunch of innocent folks. Part of the problem here is that the average unlicensed homeowner has no clue about back flow and cross connection. Nor do a lot of them realize that I permitted and I inspected work can and will lead to the insurance company not honoring your claim when you screw something up and damage your home and possibly your neighbors in the process. Lets not forget what happens when you go to sell your home and the inspector finds all the sub-standard work you did on the cheap. Fixing computers and plumbing are about as far apart as you can get.
  6. craigpump

    craigpump Member

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    I dont really care what he does within his own home, its his health. However, I would report him to the state in a heartbeat for doing commercial work without the proper license, and any inspector that would let him do that work without a license should be reported as well.

    As for doing IT work at home, I see your point but I haven't heard of anyone's health being affected by doing their own upgrades.
  7. kcodyjr

    kcodyjr New Member

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    Modern meters have backflow preventers. I would consider that, or a detailed picture of the new work filed with the permit application, a perfectly sensible prerequisite to letting a homeowner mess with their internal plumbing.

    Who said anything about sub-standard work? I said a homeowner should be able to get the permit and do it themselves. That certainly implies passing inspection. Trying to imply that DIY must always equal substandard isn't helping your case, it's making you seem hotheaded and immune to reason.

    Everyone thinks their specialty is somehow special. It isn't.

    I haven't spent my career fixing people's desktop PC's any more than you've spent yours changing out handles on sillcocks.

    A data center installation is equally likely to cause a fire or poison people as a plumbing screwup. We've got lots of equipment packed into tight spaces, lots of current in and heat out. Cable jackets aren't made of potable materials. Sometimes there's water cooling. There's nearly always AC, and it's usually way under spec for the amount of heat the computers produce.

    Invariably, the ugliest part of the room is the piping for the AC. The installers just never seem to bother with making their stuff neat.

    And how about the dangers inherent in computers themselves? Someone can so easily leak personal information and f**k up their credit for life, which damages the economy for everyone and makes all of our money worth less. Should we then require computing licenses for people to shop on Amazon? Why not, their ignorance is screwing it up bigtime for everyone else!

    The rational answer is that aversion is not the only, nor always the best, way to manage risk.

    Every discipline has risks, and things that can go horribly wrong, in ways that can affect others. Plumbing is not special in this regard.

    For historical reference on this tendency of specialists to think they're special, see this:

    http://www.spacefuture.com/vehicles/how_the_west_wasnt_won_nafa.shtml
  8. kcodyjr

    kcodyjr New Member

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    Screw up the heat management, and parts start to cook and outgas just like any other electrical appliance. Nothing they emit is good for you. Granted it has to be a chronic issue to give you cancer, but there's enough clueless pimply faced gaming addicts to create a problem population.

    It used to be, connecting the wrong peripheral could put the power supply into a near overload condition that would mess with every light and fan in the house, but modern power factor chips have solved that.

    I'll grant you, long chain of relatively unlikely events to result in a health issue. Let's look at the risks with plumbing.

    I see three classes of health issue possible:

    a) contamination of supply due to cross-connection plus a backflow event

    b) contamination of supply due to improper materials selection

    c) contamination of interior air due to improper drain venting

    To make any of that happen, specific well-understood mistakes have to be made. I don't see the point of writing a book about that here; it's all over the forums if one spends some time searching for it. Point is, the hazards are understood and could so easily be written down into a small pamphlet, but plumbers don't want that happening any more than restauranteurs want people cooking at home.
  9. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    d) Fill sewer lines with grease.

    Some restaurants are required to have $20,000 grease traps installed to capture the grease before it heads down-line and blocks the sewer lines. Those require cleaning.

    There are many ways to cross connect in a restaurant. And many of the larger meters don't have check valves. And even so, that has not been considered enough to prevent a cross connection, it's more to prevent so much siphoning down when the city works on a broken line.
    They make backflow preventers for that purpose. Some are reduced pressure back flow devices that need yearly testing.

    Check valves on water meters. That's a new thing, and not everybody has those.
    New homes have vacuum breakers on outside faucets and have raised the air break on tub spouts. The distance between the end of spout and overflow level. Think old claw foot tubs.

    Most IT people I know have been to college and have a degree for that. My brother Clare did.
    So what you are saying is there needs to be education? I agree with that :)
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    We have drawings of the proper way, and people still look at those and want to cheat on the layout.
    It's more than a few words and pictures. They have to understand the underlying logic before they buy into it.

    A job I looked at in Seattle, previous DIY had used Studor Vents on everything, but buried them in the walls without access or venting to the room. A big No-no. Having something doesn't make it right.
    I can take a hammer and pound nails all day long. I hand it to someone else, and they're bending nails left and right. There are different levels of knowledge and skill.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  11. kcodyjr

    kcodyjr New Member

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    There are some would-be DIYers whose tool skills top out at intermediate spork. You do have a point there.

    That's no reason to flatly bar the rest of us, when an already-mandatory inspection can easily distinguish decent DIYer from backyard terrorist.
  12. kcodyjr

    kcodyjr New Member

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    Chelmsford, MA
    I was right up front that this clown should not be screwing around at a restaurant, of all places. If Tom wants to knock him on his duff, I'll be happy to hold him. Just so that's crystal clear.

    Good to know. Yet another reason not to mess around with the most sensitive commercial plumbing use case imaginable.

    Yeah, really. People don't eat at heavy industrial and sewage treatment plants.

    I could take the opportunity to improve my knowledge by asking about double check valves, and what's the change of air break distance, and why is any distance beyond "above the max flood level" meaningful, and what are the likely screwup points in a restaurant that might or might not occur in a home... but I think I'd rather stay on the education topic generally.

    Most software developers seem to. Most systems administrators do not; we view a degree as proof that a candidate knows how to sit still and BS for four years, which is nice, but not central to their job function. We're more impressed with track record, depth of knowledge, and the ability to think on one's feet. Consequently, the back-room I.T. department is still very much a guild trade, but we do it without such ridiculous barriers to entry.

    Make it reasonably accessible, and I'll buy into it.

    It shouldn't take a 4 years as an apprentice plus four years as a journeyman to work on my own stuff. On the flip side, I'm sure it should take that long before I ought to be working on the kitchen of a high rise hotel. Not everyone interested in acquiring a skill wants to do it for a living, but everyone acquiring any skill wants to use it to their own benefit, directly or indirectly.

    If it's a matter of taking a course or three, passing practical and written tests at the end, and then I get a limited license good only for getting permits on premises I reside in, sign me right the hell up please.

    That said, it's not the licensing requirements that prevent water-contaminating incidents, it's the inspection process proving that code requirements have been complied with independently of the profit motive. I can appreciate their workload only allows limited time showing homeowners what they did wrong, and I'm all for schemes to dissuade the true morons. Simply locking out not-for-a-living folks is unreasonable.
  13. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    I've been working on computers since 1985.
    When I took AutoCad classes at the Vo-Tech, the instructor had me help the architects lean the program. I've done some web page work. Looks pretty basic to today's standards now. I work with a server with about seven domains running off of it. But heck, I feel lost at times. I'm setting up a new shopping cart this month that I haven't made visible yet. It's going to take me some time to figure that one out too.
    What I'm saying is; to do things really right, it takes years before you even know the question to ask.
    Before you can think of the question, you can't even begin to know what comes next. You don't know enough about the trades to go there right now about how quickly it can be understood and learned. You haven't learned the questions yet.

    And I don't know the right questions to ask about software.
  14. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    quote; Commercial work is a whole different ball of wax, and an amateur simply shouldn't be screwing with it.

    I am glad you added this line, because he IS working on commercial job, so your rants about "homeowner doing it himself" do NOT apply here. A homeowner can do things that destroy his house and nobody would care, but that is an entirely different situation that doing it in a commercial building where he could affect customers or other establishments. NOT all "modern meters" have check valves and even when they do, they are NOT an approved anti contamination device, just as check valves and double checks are NOT.

    quote; why is any distance beyond "above the max flood level" meaningful,

    1. They have to consider what could be done IN THE FUTURE, not just now
    2. There are conditions which can induce a negative pressure, and the resulting suction CAN pull water across the "max flood level of the fixture".
    3. Testing laboratories, such as Chicago's Cabrini Street, can induce conditions which may not ALWAYS occur, but can under specific situations, but since they CANNOT tell in advance when, or if, those conditions will occur they write the codes to cover them, even if YOU think the restrictions are "ludicrous".
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013
  15. kcodyjr

    kcodyjr New Member

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    It takes years to learn the questions by watching a master at work, especially if the apprentice is expected to learn the last lesson before being given credit for the first one. If the subject matter can be presented in an orderly fashion, knowledge transfer takes far less time, and more importantly, intermediate certifications become possible.

    Thing is, all the questions have been asked by now, and at that point, more structured and targeted learning becomes possible. Regardless of what's actually being taught, I've neither seen nor heard a good reason why it's got to be done in such a slow, exclusionist way. I can only see two lousy reasons in fact; either union-like institutional protectionism, or sheer lack of effort in the knowledge management department.

    Put another way, the first time a nuclear bomb was built, it was the job of the brightest scientific minds in all of history. The second time, it was the job of a skilled machinist. By the thousandth, it was essentially the job of factory line workers.


    Setting up shopping carts is not the stuff of beginners, I don't care how glitzy the framework kit tries to make it.

    So, forgive me, but, BS. If you've gotten as far as you have, then you knew enough simply to ask the question that's in front of you.

    That's the essence of DIY, in any subject, right there: exposing the questions, finding the answers, and applying them. The fact that I could have set that shopping cart up in 1/10 the time does not in any way invalidate your thus-far successful efforts to learn it yourself.

    The difference between fields, and the reason plumbers and electricians get so much flak, is in how those questions get answered.

    If I ask a car mechanic about replacing some obscure part, generally he'll answer if the question seems specific enough to demonstrate some degree of knowledge. "How do I change the brakes" is a bad question, better suited for a well written how-to document; "Why does it matter what direction the pad shims go in" is an example of a good question.

    If I ask a nuclear physicist what mischief could be done with the americium sample in a smoke detector, I've little doubt he'll jump at the chance to talk about his 9th level blackbelt nerd-fu and how he used some in high school to vaporize the water in the girls' lavatory.

    If I ask a Marine Corps sniper about shooting bad guys while hidden in the bush, he'll probably try to introduce me to a recruiter if he's active or recent, and he'll no doubt regale me with war stories if he's older.

    But, ask a plumber about the simplest of alterations, you'll get some version of "If you have to ask, you don't know enough to know."

    It doesn't take an aberrant personality to feel like such an answer is really just financial self-defense. Right or wrong, that encourages people to just give it a try, hey maybe it'll work, what do the experts know anyway. This can't be good for anyone. Even putting all that aside, there's a certain lack of diplomacy that understandably puts people off.

    Today, I joined a discussion that had become more about DIYers generally than the specific, ill-wrought plumbing question it started as. I did so because I was in a bad mood on the topic anyway, and seeing the sparks just set me off. Perhaps I picked an ambiguous place to do so; the original poster was, after all, breaking the law, and well deserving of a dressing-down. That doesn't justify a whole lot of people hearing what they wanted to hear, though. I never said anything about doing sub-code work, yet I was accused of advocating that. I never said the code requirements were "ludicrous", yet that suggestion was made as well.

    One last time so my position is understood. Code requirements exist for good reason and should be rigidly adhered to in all circumstances. Work done for commercial purposes, or serving more than one residence, should always be done by a fully licensed professional. Homeowners should be allowed, in every state, to perform work within their own property, subject to every other requirement of permits and inspections, without having to obtain a full-blown commercial plumber's license. They indeed should be spanked till their butts are red for failing to pull a permit.

    And most importantly, those willing to learn shouldn't be shot down just for asking questions, or (full circle here) subjected to rants about DIYers generally that should have been directed at the specific example of an idiot hack playing around in a restaurant.
  16. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

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    Compared to plumbing, nuclear bombs are child's play. Just think for a second about the hundreds of thousands of different parts and materials that plumbers work with both new and a hundred years old. And we need to know the science and the theory behind it all too. It's why plumbing is a profession and being a contractor is a trade.
  17. Caduceus

    Caduceus Master Plumber

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    I didn't read through all of the posts because after the first page I realized that a very important fact had not yet been brought up and it was one of the first things that entered my mind. The OP mentioned praise from the inspector. Why wouldn't the inspector require the license? In California doesn't pulling the permit indicate that an inspection is required and by who? To file a plumbing plan here, the plumber's license number must be present on the plan and it's checked for validity. If a journeyman and apprentices are on the job, cards are required to be shown on site. Inspectors who have known me for years still ask for my card to keep everybody honest.
    By not asking to see the license and conducting the inspection anyways, the inspector is just as guilty as the unlicensed installer because he/she should know better.
  18. spconstruction

    spconstruction In the Trades

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    Lol, come to San Diego, let's see if you can knock me up! Chumps. Passed all my corrections! Little faggots
  19. spconstruction

    spconstruction In the Trades

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    BTW ya sound like bitches talking about their boyfriend's. Faggots with beer bellys, overweight, crippled fools who know just to plumb your ass with a test ball. Inflate it to 30lbs and see if you can handle it. This thread been nothing but 2lbs of lard! Lol fools.
  20. tlarson

    tlarson New Member

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    OP: No regular on this site will be surprised that someone who is so willing and eager to break the law with impunity would respond as you have. Hopefully you will go away and never come back.
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