Monday, April 16, 2018

Motion Sensors Another case of Green Technology Wasting Energy .

One of my customers has a large warehouse where they store oil products and Forklifts are used to shuttle items around and into and out of trucks.

The electrical outfit they hired to install the new lighting  to save energy put in the Energy Code required motion sensors on the new T8 fluorescent light fixtures which are designed to shut the lights off to save energy but in the long run they have cost energy because they where set too low a time on which turns the fluorescent bulbs on many times a day and shortens their lives.
I have had to change the bulbs at least 6 times in the warehouse compared to warehouse down street
where same exact lights have not ben changed. thats a major waste of energy all those bulbs being made and life shortened

The reason is fluorescent bulbs are designed to only operate for so many cycles due to surge of power which turns them on the timers where set for in some cases only 1 minute which means every time
a fork lift operator came by the lights tuned on and off in some cases up to 50 or more times a day
and since the bulbs only have a cycle rating of  5000-7000 times on and off  poof bulbs needed changed every 3-4 months . I have since changed them up to max allowed 30 minutes in high use areas and now lights turn on maybe 6-8 times a day and bulbs are lasting much longer. and in long run staying on longer saves more power than constant on and off surging of the power. .

Once again Green Technology has proven to be a waste because there where no instructions  to set timers to type of lighting and the union electrical outfit that did the work could care less how or why they did the work. which is a shame most time union electrical work is excellent this company's work was sub par.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Deadly Carbon Monoxide Condition avoided because an alarm was not ignored.

One of the IT guys I used recently called and asked me about doing monitoring on a Very  exclusive High End large home  used as a weekend hunting lodge out in the middle of no where in Armstrong County Pa.

It had installed a very high end Elk Security and Automation System which needed some tender care and programming with the automation and person who installed it and company are no longer in Business. Panel was a mess and needed cleaned up.

He had it all figured out except the Macurco CO Detector kept going off.
I went out and changed the detector to a new System Sensor CO1224T  since the Macurco piece was past its  10 year expiration date .

I did not sense any issues in basement some times you can, asked if she was getting headaches flu symptoms she said no. So I installed the System Sensor unit  Since Macurco unit was past its expiration maybe it was reason it was falsing seen it before and later that evening it went off. Owner was not going to be there overnight which was good and told her I would be out in morning to test
I bought a CO hand held monitor  made by UEI $200.00  from local heating supply house as I have had issues like this in past and since they did not want a lot of people around this place and it was
propane calling and having fire dept all over place was not an option. So I went out that morning and as soon as I walked in home after calibrating the unit started getting readings it topped out at 20PPM .

Not a good situation . The person who installed the combo hot water heat and domestic hot water for sink and  heating part of  system which was hot water under floor piping  takes for ever to respond so my IT guy knew some one local and they responded with in the hour.

Sure enough his meter was reading even higher than mine by time he got there.

before the boiler was even opened found a couple issues Rubber Fern-co couplers used on the plastic exhaust line manufacturer does not recommend using them can come loose and deteriorate should be a solid glued coupler .Then outside a grill was in front of pipes blocking air flow and to make matters worse a homemade plate drilled full of holes  was used as a screen to keep birds out a screen is made by manufacturer specifically for unit but was not used .

Then the condensate tray which collect's the water produced when heat is condensed  because furnace is 95% efficient was full and not draining fully another potential of CO along with couplers one of which was leaking.  There was also potential that heating  exchange core which has coils for domestic hot water  and hot water for heating pipe  was cracked and leaking was going to be a expensive day for customer but I saved their lives Thats all that counted. This furnace was put in around 2004 and since its well water that feeds it it required special treatment system which if it was not working properly could have lead to this early failure . and since it was put in before the 2004
Uniform state wide ICC Construction Code went into effect there was little inspections done.
Shame this owner paid for and did not receive what he paid for.

Needless to say some lesson learned never ignore a CO detector it could be the end for you.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

When I Really Needed AAA Service They Really let me down becuse too many Stupid fools not prepared for Winter Driving

This past Monday MLK Birthday and a Holiday so not as many people working or on the road  I was on my way to Burgetsstown to handle an emergency call one of my customers who rents a building to a Pipeline construction company . They had a problem with the outside electrical outlets used to plug in trucks to keep the engines from freezing up it is 17 Degrees out -5 wind chill  . I get on US 22/30 and at Oakdale exit my truck dies out the fuel pump went out. No Problem pull out my AAA Plus card at 1:30 PM  and call and they tell me might be hour or 2  fine I tell them I am properly dressed have emergency heat packs ,blanket   and food and drink .
Great dispatcher tells me have you on priority tow list wish every one else was like you stay warm and safe. Now I have to be extremely careful in cold weather I have 2 plates and 7 screws in my foot so I had on Arctic Pack Boots  as a precaution I am also a cancer survivor as well as other health issues. I should have been put to front of list and dispatch knew this.
90 +minutes go by call AAA  sorry they say 3 calls ahead of you seems others are having issues and instead of being properly prepared they are not need rescued be at least another 90 minutes OK I can hold out but if its going to be longer let me know will have some one come pick me up or walk 2 mile to some where safe. Another 90 + minutes go by they tell me 8PM before they can get to me why they did not tell me this sooner would have called wife or friend earlier.
In worst case asked for police to pick me up and get me some where safe who where already overwhelmed  by unprepared motorists. Luckily my wife who was busy at church came and got me at 5: 30 PM and brought me hot coffee and some food. The driver showed up at 6:15 and finally got a tow to garage which was already closed so now I loose a 2nd day of work customer goes another day with out trucks being kept heated  thanks To AAA
The driver was very nice Younger man and he was telling me all the people he had to go rescue past few days and how many of them not properly clothed no emergency supplies  , even a mother with here kids who where in there shorts from basketball practice and had dead battery and freaked out because they where going to freeze to death instead of insisting her kids put on sweat pants and have a blanket in the vehicle. Its winter time we always have winter and cold weather and bad roads  and so may people do not prepare do not have on snow tires do not have good battery's do not carry or know how to use jumper cables do not even have a pair of gloves when needed. Expecting AAA and 911 to bail their ass out of a bad situation.
I gave the driver a $30.00 tip for taking care of me after all it was the holiday and he appreciated it because he said he rarely ever gets tipped by those who expect him to be there 10 minutes after they break down.
I appreciate the drivers what they and dispatchers go thru but those dispatchers should have been upfront and said you are looking at 4 hr delay for help can we get you some where  safe and thats where AA failed in its duty to me as a member  . I have heard from many others after what I went thru and they say they have dropped AAA and gone to other plans due to same poor response time.
I only use AA when I absolutely need them never call for jump or battery service or Tire service unless no one is around or I can not get a lug nut loose. However others quickly use up all there tows and service in 6 months pathetic AAA allows it to go on. I will be looking for a better plan as well.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

My Total and Complete Disgust with Honeywell ADI and tthe Vista Series panels and Total Connect 2

I have been a loyal  Ademco/Honeywell Products dealer since 1979 when I installed my first 1028 Ademco Panel I bought at the defunct New Brite Industries which I will not shed a tear over.

I have used other products over years but Ademco / Honeywell has been my go to panel  all these years.

So Honeywell comes out with this fantastic program called Total Connect and my customers love it they can now get direct to there cell phones and PC's the events going on with there systems. Arming and disarming ,doors not to be opened etc . My commercial customers in particular relies on it heavily to know whats going on at their businesses when they are not there.

So when Total Connect 2 came out and offered even more information as to the individual ID who opened and exact zones that triggered etc.  my customers really wanted it.

But there's a catch you need the Vista128 or 250  BPT and 32 ,128 or 250 FBPT Turbo Panels to do this. You can not just pop in a chip like you do on Vista 15P and 20P

 Especially since you can no longer do Total Connect 1 on older panels that where not already registered with programs  I have had a lot of  commercial customers with High end Vista Panels  want to upgrade to Total Connect 2 since they announced the phase out of TC1 and upgrading to TC2  but they have been waiting for a sale on the panels which go $400-800
Honeywell keeps pushing TC2 but does not do anything to help the small business folks who are most of my customers family owned   business with 4-200 employees

The problem being also is trying to get your hands on one as it seems the local ADI Branch does not have them in stock always 1-5 days out .

The other issue withTC2 for my commercial customers whose panels are partitioned they only get information for partition one not the others while other manufacturers panels can do multi partition information.  Honeywell salesman when TC 2 came out promised this would be available and its been 5 years and still not available and will probably have to change panels again when it does finally come out.

Then you have days like I have today a customers TC 2 panel was damaged with water when a sprinkler line burst and of course local ADI branch does not have in stock I will have to temp install an old vista 32FB I keep for emergency's  and then install the turbo when it comes in customer can not be with out security.

Thats the other rub before ADI there where independent supply houses carried Ademco products but then Ademco formed ADI in 80s  and you can only get from ADI no longer from independents oh ya there's that guy on line if you want to pay more who resales Honeywell stuff.

How f#@!^g embarrassing. I had to tell my customer oh sorry cant get you a new panel for couple days .

When I know I can walk into most supply houses and they have at least 1 or 2 panels  of each kind sitting on the shelf.

At this point there is every day more and more that other manufacturers panels are becoming more attractive  and my dropping the Honeywell line all together  which is a shame when you consider I have over 400 commercial customers. But if thats what I have to do thats what I will do the customer always comes first1#

To make matters worse the panel never showed up till well past 2pm because instead of sending UPS the stock comes LTL less than load by common carrier i got home that night after well after 9pm


 I am going to start using NX8 and Concord  panels enough horse shit with Honeywell


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Escape Rooms they are all the rage. But are they safe? Some thoughts before you try one.

Yes the new Escape  room fad is taking off across the country where you get locked into a room with friends and you have to decrypt locks  of all types to escape in 60 minutes and win a prize usually a T Shirt. They even have portable escape trailers which they bring to events but just how safe are they ?

Here are some of my concerns and questions when it comes to these escape rooms 

1# What if a fire breaks out? is their an emergency evacuation plan in place?

 2# What if  some one has a medical emergency ? is staff trained in First Aid and CPR do they have a First Aid Kit and AED available ?

  3# Can the person operating the complex be made aware you need out ? are they observing you thru a camera or other means to make sure everyone is safe  also is there an emergency release and stop button should some one get claustrophobic or other medical issue. ?

 4# If its a permanent type attraction in a building are there Sprinkler System and or Smoke Alarms which automatically power down and unlock all devices? What about a Carbon monoxide alert?

 5# Are the rooms professionally designed and locks etc certified by a 3rd party agency for safety?

6# Are there emergency procedures in place in case a lock system jams even if they are magnets all hardware can and will fail.? 

 7 # From what I have seen some places have full fire detection and protection to nothing at all

Some are approved by local inspectors some are not .

Thats why you need to be vigilant when it comes to going to and participating in one of these escape rooms . 

If your an AHJ with one of these facilities in your jurisdiction are you even aware of it especially with these trailer units taken to events should you be notified when they are in your community

Yes lots of questions need answered about these rooms because public safety is at risk if its not being done correctly

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Slob Electrician who cares not to do his job correctly put lives at risk and caused headaches because he mis-wired a Duct Detector on Fire Alarm

Yes it is absolutely amazing the number of so called professional electricians there are in the field who could care less about how they do their job and who they put at risk.

Take a call  I got from a fellow alarm dealer who was having issues at a supermarket where he took over the servicing of the fire alarm after it was constantly false alarming every time power went out.
Every time  this happened lives where put at risk this community uses volunteers this means men and women having to leave what they are doing and rushing to the fire hall to get geared up and then  rushing to the store not knowing what they are going to find.  This happened several times and resulted in the threat of fines if not fixed. Thats when my friend was asked to find cause of the false alarms since he only did the Burglar Alarm at the time, and an electrician with a dubious reputation put in the fire alarm. 


He mainly does Burglar alarms and has some knowledge of  fire systems but this one was baffling him.
He checked out the fire panel which was tied to contact on his burglar alarm which should not have been done that way since this is a required system , but at time he did not know it was a code violation. So something else was going on and it had him baffled . Thats when he called me.

First thing we did was take the simple one zone  fire system off the burglar alarm system panel and instead installed a proper supervised Silent Knight 5104B Fire Alarm Dialer to make system legal. I then tested panel dropped power to it and no false alarms so had to be something in the field wiring .
 So we started tracing all the lines and where they went to..

Thats when I spotted wires running back along some duct work used to exhaust heat build up in attic  and found a duct detector which was improperly wired .
Duct detectors sense smoke in duct work and shut down the air  handler to keep it from spreading while also notifying building occupants to the problem. 
As you can see the wiring on the detector is wired to the supervisory terminals of the Duct Detector 3&13
instead of the Alarm Contacts 4&5  where it should be.
Supervisory is used to advise if there is a problem with the detector like a power failure or detector has stopped working . Which in this case every time power dropped to detector the supervisory contacts closed and caused a false alarm .this does not happen when properly wired to alarm contacts.

Now the other problem is the electrician never wired in the remote control station for the detector either so it cant be reset if it trips and also shows when it has activated something we have ordered and will install in the future at the site.

This just goes to show once again the amount of slobs their are doing their trade and not caring who they put at risk. The general overall wiring in the store is a mess also which management was shown and told about as well. Its a dam shame you pay good money for proper work and get results like this.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Firefighters Novelty Item which could become a real concern to Firefighters and Public Safety

So I am shopping at my favorite discount store 380 discount and I see these really neat Firefighters novelty and bought a couple dozen of them  very cheap to give to customers and firefighting friends

Its a Model Pull Station that when you pull it is actually a light.
 And as you can see its a realistic looking pull station with a really bright flash light pretty cool even gave one to local Fire marshal who said thats really neat he was going to give it to his daughter and then it hits him . Maybe this is not such a cool thing to give to a kid ? Because whats to stop a young kid from thinking all pull stations which look like this Edwards Pull station light up and there are plenty of them out there . Yes he has a very valid concern. A young child could very easily associate the 2 and you have a bunch of false alarms being created.  So while it is a neat novelty item keep in mind how it is gong to be used in many cases its just going to end up in a firefighters collection  but it could end up in a young  child's hands.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Type 1 Diabetes I was Diagnosed with it in 2016 and I have Reversed it. Yes It can be done It takes commitment

In October of 2016 all of a sudden while on my way to 380 discount in Plum Boro I started losing my vision everything was getting blurry. I carefully made it home and after knowing my A1C level was up to pre diabetes level  tested my blood sugar and maxed out my father in laws meter .
My wife took me to St Margaret UPMC hospital and there my sugar level was 620  very dangerous my A1c Was 14 and I was diagnosed with type 1.5 Diabetes which is now a new form of diabetes being recognized in older adults  and put on 15 units of Insulin and 500 mg  pill of  Metformin .

I was looking at a life time of misery and decided right then and there to reverse it. Revers it you say its impossible once your on insulin and that is nothing more than a myth .

Since I was already knocking sugar out of my diet since going thru Stage IV Colon Cancer. not adding it to coffee or cereal etc and limiting sugary drinks .  I knew it was no good but had no ideal it was wrecking my body so almost cold turkey I gave it up and started drinking my ice tea with no sugar in it  or Water and I also avoided using Diet Products since I am not allowed them after liver surgery after half was taken from cancer invading it.
It ends up last thing you want to do if you are a diabetic is use diet products study's are finding they actually cause more issues than they help.
 I basically follow a low carb Ketogenic Diet

My breakfast is a bowl of Oatmeal with either a banana or  other cut up fruit  and lunch is  some raw vegetables with a sandwich on wheat bread not white as white bread is not good .  and sometimes 2 cookies

Dinner again plenty of vegetables  which I do like  and what ever meat    or I will have a salad with ham or steak etc on it.  Desert 1 small piece of cake or pie or scoop of ice cream

So I have a small amount of sugar .

The big thing was the in between snacks and not eating a meal between bed. For a snack I have peanuts or mat snack like a small beef jerky .

So all this good diet watching my sugar intake exercising regularly which I do anyways at age of 57
I went from  215 pounds on a 6 ft frame to 185 pounds brought my blood sugars down to around a hundred when I test before meals and an A1C of 5.5
I am off the insulin and feeling better  in many ways but still deal with side effects the Chemo and cancer did to me.

Seems all my life I was fighting off the effects of diabetes from what Drs. tell me and more I think back yes there where many signs but since my A1c did not reflect it it was never caught or I would have changed my habit long time ago.

I want to thank all the Dr.s, Nurses and staff at UPMC St Margret and Presbyterian and Montifiore
hospitals and Lawrenceville family health center as they have all been fantastic in seeing me thru 2 health crisis.

Along with the great news I am off insulin I also got great news from my oncologist I am now 10 years out from Stage IV Cancer and still no evidence of recurrence NED   Thank you God and UPMC