Rigar wrote:do you have any idea how big the boiler was that has been removed???
....off the top of my head-it had to be 1.5 m btu
...obviously its already for a boiler(s)....so thats good!
...did you say the chimney has a long horizontal run??
...besides being 50 tall?
You must be a student of my Rules
note 4 and 6 - but keep reading you will find more
1. Have all your price quotes end with the numbers 666.
2. When the woman of the house comes downstairs to see how you’re doing, smile sweetly and say, "That's a lovely dress you're wearing, Mrs. Cleaver."
3. Replace a steam boiler, but don't flush out the old wet returns.
4. Never perform a heat loss calculation. Heat loss calculations are only for people who have had no real world experience. It's always better to guess.
5. Get either of these vanity license plates: ICHEATU or ROBUBLND
6. Base the size of the new boiler on what's already there. You don't know who sized that boiler but, hey, he was probably right. Right?
7. When doing your estimate, punch big holes in the sheetrock wall with a rubber mallet. When asked what you're doing, tell your customer you're checking the "R" value of the insulation.
8. Cut a hole in his roof to check the attic insulation.
9. Plan on starting the job at 4 AM, but don't tell the customer you'll be doing this.
10. When unsure, size the replacement boiler by the Looksalotlike Method. Just turn to your partner and say, "This house looks a lot like that house we worked in last year, doesn't it?" When he nods, use the same boiler.
11. When bleeding a radiator, let that black, nasty water squirt where it will, especially if the folks have beige rugs.
12. If you have more than three air blockages in the same radiator, install a small plastic tube in place of the radiator air vent. Drill a hole through the side of the house and push the loose end of the small plastic tube through the hole. Leave it like that.
13. If the home owner asks what makes the system water black, tell him the blackness is caused by six known carcinogens.
14. Stand in front of the old water heater and ask the customer if he knows how many cylinders it has.
15. Remember that there is no problem that can't be overcome with brute force and ignorance.
16. Make your primary tool the hammer. Then treat every problem as though it were a nail.
17. When you put something back together, make sure you wind up with at least five extra parts.
18. Always throw away extra parts.
19. When in doubt about a circulator's size, use the "Next Size Method" of selection.
20. If you have a choice between a "regular" circulator and a high-velocity, always go for the high-velocity. The higher the better.
21. Sell the customer an indirect domestic hot water heater and tell him he doesn't have to pay you for the burner.
22. Always leave old parts with the customer. After all, this is what folks expect from their auto mechanics, isn't it? And remember, "old parts" includes the old boiler, water heater and that valuable asbestos insulation.
23. On atmospheric gas boilers, always install the draft hood within two inches of the top of the boiler.
24. Explain that the boiler you're quoting on uses only square Btus. This is very good because, unlike the round Btus that were used in the old days of round boilers, square Btus are much easier to stack. That means you can get more of them in the boiler. And naturally, that leads to greater efficiency.
25. When asked if you've had any commercial or industrial or institutional experience, smile proudly and tell your customer that the warden always assigned you to bleed all the radiators in your cell block.
26. Remember, all copper tubing, brass fittings and copper tanks should always be removed from the job site. Charge an appropriate amount for this recycling service.
27. Size your pump head to the height of the building instead of the friction loss through the longest circuit. For instance, if you're working in a three-story building, use a pump with at least a 30 foot head.
28. Talk about lifetime warranties to customers who are in their eighties.
29. If you can, increase every radiator by at least two sizes.
30. Try to use the same circulator on every job, both residential and commercial. This makes it so much easier to stock the parts. Pick a real big circulator, though.
31. Go to court and legally change your name to Norman Bates. Then specialize in hotel and motel work.
32. If you should by some crazy chance oversize a circulator, make sure you throttle it with a gate valve.
33. Always install at least ten 3/4" zones off one 3/4" manifold. Don't worry about the flow rate, the water will figure out what to do on its own.
34. Strip threads whenever possible.
35. Remove the handles from all valves and take them with you. Bend the stems if you can.
36. Take the muffler off your truck.
37. Install thermostatic radiator valves on loop systems. Don't use any bypasses within the radiator enclosure.
38. Get a facial tattoo.
39. Pierce your eyebrow.
40. Replace an old steam boiler, but leave the old, one-pipe-steam air vents as is. They're probably still okay. After all, they're only 60 years old.
41. Wait until they put the baby to sleep before you start cutting and threading pipe. The same reasoning, of course, applies to the use of the SawsAll.
42. Raise the water temperature to 200 degrees when you can't get a down-fed convector supplied by diverter tees hot. When that doesn't work, raise the water temperature to 220 degrees.
43. Ignore the arrows on heating equipment. You can force the water to go the way you want it to go if you use a big enough pump.
44. Before you install a check valve, ask your customer which way is vertical and which way is horizontal.
45. Install automatic air vents in places where people never go. Do the same with oil-lubricated circulators.
46. Base the size of the replacement boiler on the size of the nozzle in the oil burner.
47. If it's a gas-fired boiler, base the size of the replacement on what you clocked off the gas meter.
48. If you're using an air-scoop, install it right up against an elbow. It won't work, but it will look mighty fine!
49. Use gauge glasses on steel compression tanks and leave the gauge valves open all the time.
50. If the manufacturer tells you to use SAE-20, non-detergent oil, use STP or used motor oil instead. When these lubricants are not available, use olive oil, which you'll find in the kitchen cabinet.
51. Screw down the caps on all automatic air vents. Seal them with Lock-Tite.
52. Reduce the outlet on all steam boilers by a minimum of two sizes.
53. Never use a steam header. Pipe directly from the boiler to the main.
54. Install all your circulators on the return side of the boiler, pumping right at the compression tank.
55. Blow off the low-water cutoff only when cement forms in the gauge glass.
56. Wear an I Love Satan baseball cap.
57. Don't use valves or unions around the automatic water feeder on a steam boiler.
58. Feed every automatic water feeder on every steam boiler with hot water. The hotter the better.
59. Never skim a steam boiler.
60. To clean a steam boiler, build up about 10 psi and pop the relief valve. That'll do it!
61. Let the dog out of the house.
62. Step on the prize rose bush. Spill oil on it if you can.
63. Use motorized zone valves on a gravity-return steam system.
64. Use motorized zone valves on a pumped-return steam system, but make sure you don't put a vacuum breaker on the boiler.
65. Use lots of teflon tape and make sure you put it right down to the end of the fitting so pieces of it can break off and float through the system.
66. Back your truck over Junior's ten-speed. He shouldn't have left it in the garage in the first place.
67. Put a live ferret in the duct work of a scorched air system.
68. If the steam boiler manufacturer tells you to use two outlets, use one and reduce it by at least two sizes.
69. Use malleable fitting instead of cast-iron fittings on steam boiler replacements, and then think about the guy who will hit those fittings with a sledge hammer long after you're dead. He'll certainly be thinking about you when the sledge bounces off his forehead.
70. Wear two watches on each wrist, and then ask the customer what time it is.
71. Use 1-1/4" equalizers on gravity-return steam boilers.
72. Tell your customer you can't start the job on Wednesday because that's when you'll be meeting with your parole officer.
73. Let your customer's five-year-old son play with your torch.
74. If you bleed a radiator and you don't get any air, just keep on bleeding. The air is probably in there somewhere. Don't get discouraged if you still don't get any air after a few hours. Just keep bleeding.
75. Never install a throttling valve on a condensate pump's discharge line.
76. Feed boiler chemicals directly into the suction side of all pump's. Triple the quantity recommended by the chemical company.
77. Tell the customer your Hooked On Phonics tapes haven't arrived yet, and then ask him to read the boiler installation instructions to you.
78. Oversize everything except steam piping. Undersize steam piping.
79. During your coffee break, use the tip of your cigarette to burn your belly hair.
80. Have your barber buzz-cut a pentagram onto the back of your head.
81. When the customer is talking to you, find a scab on your arm or leg and pick it until it bleeds.
82. Size all piping by the "Hole Method." Just fill the hole in the radiator with a pipe, and then run the line back to the boiler, picking up other radiators along the way but always maintaining the original hole's size.
83. Run as much baseboard as you want on a single loop. When it doesn't heat, install a 100 HP pump. That'll do 'er!
84. Install a new boiler, get paid, and then tell the home owner the American Nazi Party owns the company that made the boiler.
85. Never balance a hydronic heating system. If you oversize everything enough, balancing becomes unnecessary.
86. Whenever possible, install gauges and thermometers upside-down and backwards.
87. Show up on the job wearing a pink hat from the North American Man-Boy Love Association. Smile a silly grin.
88. If your customer has a white dog, let it play in the soot.
89. If you're left alone in the house with their cat, clamp your channel locks on the little bugger's tail and marvel as it bounces off the walls like a fuzzy basketball.
90. Put what's in the cat's litter box into the combustion chamber and let 'er rip!
91. Use Soot Sticks.
92. Tell your customer you can't start his job on Monday because that's the day you're having your anal warts removed.
93. Don't use isolation valves. Isolation valves cost money.
94. Carry a dead rat with you. Walk upstairs with it while the folks are eating lunch and ask, "Did you know you had these down there?"
95. When the customer calls for a price, stick him into your Voice Mail system for a half-hour or so.
96. While you have your customer in Voice Mail, let him listen to a directory listing every person in the company except the one he wants to speak to.
97. Hire a salesman named Taddeus Lyziquizokoquiski and force your customers to punch Tad's name into your Voice Mail system. Then, cut them off because they forgot to hit the # key after successfully typing Lyziquizokoquiski.
98. If you have a showroom, hang lots of signs that say, IF YOU BREAK IT, YOU BOUGHT IT! and WE PROSECUTE SHOPLIFTERS!!! THIS MEANS YOU!!!!
99.If the steam system bangs, tell your customer it's supposed to bang. After all, it's steam, right?
100. Turn a diverter tee system into a loop system by removing the diverter tees and connecting all the radiators together.
101. Install gate and check valves, but remove the gates and flappers first.
102. Clean the boiler with a tree sprayer. Just pop the flue pipe and spray all that crap down into the combustion chamber. Make sure you leave it there.
103. Install a fresh flounder between the boiler and the boiler jacket. Do this only if you're reasonably sure you're not going to be paid.
104. If you're really sure you're not going to get paid, install a piece of plate glass on top of the chimney. This is for the enjoyment of those who will follow you.
105. Pop every relief valve you come across.
106. Never clean the water side of a boiler after you've installed it.
107. If a relief valve drips, plug it.
108. If the chemical manufacturer tells you to use one can of the stuff, use five.
109. Install a dehumidifier in the duct work of a scorched air system.
110. Seal leaking steam boilers with oatmeal.
111. If you're installing a new relief valve, pipe it to the outdoors where it can discharge, freeze and then blow up the building.
112. Feel free to drop safety relief valves on the concrete floor. They're tough; they can take it.
113. Put a few nickels in the copper tubing before you solder it all together. Make bets with your partner as to where they'll wind up.
114. Install a backflow preventer on every domestic hot water system, but leave out the thermal expansion tank.
115. Make sure the people you hire to answer your phone think they're doing your customers a favor by picking up within the first 25 rings.
116. The people who answer your phone should always ask the customer, "What is this in reference to?" in the most accusing manner possible.
117. If your customers don't know the correct names for the things that are either banging or smoking or leaking in their homes, the people who answer your phone should make them feel like idiots.
118. The people who answer your phone should always say, "Well, how are we supposed to help you if you don't know the proper names of the equipment. Hmmmm?"
119. Never tell your customers about water heater anode rods in water heaters. It's so much better to sell them a new water heater every four years. Screw the environment, we can always get another one.
120. Write, "Joe, whatever you do, don't install it this way!" on the installation instructions, and then leave them where the customer can find them after you're gone.
121. Tell your wholesaler you can buy things cheaper at Home Depot, and then ask him to help you size somebody's heating system.
122. Listen to the Howard Stern Show while you're in the customer's house. Believe it or not, some people don't like him.
123. Listen to the Rush Limbaugh Show while you're in the customer's house. Believe it or not, some people don't like him.
124. Use a radio station for your "on-hold" music. That way, your potential customers can listen to your competitor's ads while they're waiting for you to get around to them.
125. If you don't want to use a radio station for your on-hold music, play some spooky New Age stuff instead. You know, whales mating or toilets flushing. Something appropriate.
126. Go upstairs to bleed the radiators and adjust the thermostat's anticipator only after you've gotten as grimy as a mud wrestler.
127. Lay the phone on your desk and say to your partner, "That jerk with the boiler problem wants to talk to you." Make sure you speak loudly enough for the customer to hear you.
128. Put a jumper on the TT terminals and leave it there forever. (This works especially well for fuel oil companies.)
129. Paint your name on the side of your truck in big letters, and then park it in front of some sleazy topless bar at rush hour.
130. While you're installing the new boiler, tell your customer your company's going to be on 60 Minutes next week.
131. Smoke lots of cigarettes in the customer's house. And don't forget to crush the butts out on their floors.
132. Deposit the cigarette butts you don't crush on their basement floor in the water side of the boiler.
133. Spit a lot.
134. Eat burritos for breakfast, pork and beans for lunch and chili for dinner.
135. Belch the Brady Bunch theme song while you're bleeding the radiator in the baby's room.
136. Chew tobacco. Spit for distance.
137. Talk about cocks, nipples and joints whenever the homeowner's teen-aged daughter walks by.
138. When a customer asks you how long you've been in business, look at your watch and ask him, "Under which name?"
139. Park in the customer's driveway. Leak oil on it if you can.
140. Throw all your garbage on their lawn.
141. If a neighbor stops by and wants to know what you're doing, tell him to mind his own friggin' business.
142. Get a nose ring.
143. Bathe irregularly.
144. Pack two pounds of grunge under your fingernails.
145. Cultivate a butt crack you could park a mountain bike in and display it proudly.
146. Drink a six-pack of Fosters with lunch to help wash down the pork and beans.
147. At lunchtime, use their oil- or gas-burner to toast your cheese sandwich.
148. Set fire to some wood and insulation while soldering those fittings.
149. Arrive in the morning with a gallon of Thunderbird and a live chicken. Ask the customer if it's alright to keep these things in their refrigerator until lunch time.
150. Curse like a drill instructor.
151. Don't wipe your feet.
152. Undersize your wiring.
153. Replace all their fuses with copper pennies.
154. When asked how soon you can finish the job, say, "Well, I'd really like to get it all done before my sentencing hearing."
155. Memorize a few of Redd Foxx's old routines and recite them to your customer's children.
156. Store all your PEX plastic tubing where the sun can shine on it all the time.
157. Never vacuum or wrap the old boiler before dragging it across the customer's living room carpet.
158. If they ask you about under-floor radiant heat, tell them it doesn't work - never has and never will.
159. Don't bother reading the manufacturer's installation instructions. Manufacturers know nothing about the real world.
160. Pour oil into their salt water fish tank and leave a Post-It note declaring, Joseph Hazelwood Was Here!
161. Never ask anyone for technical advice. If you don't know something, guess.
162. Don't worry about what that new, high-efficiency boiler might do to that old ceramic chimney. That old chimney's worked fine for years, and it will probably work fine with this boiler too.
163. On steam jobs, set the pressuretrol as high as possible. High pressure is good! It makes the steam move faster. Besides, you have to show the customer a good head of steam, right?
164. Never use multiple boilers. Just use one, and make sure you over-size and over-fire it.
165. Hire helpers with lots of DWI convictions. They deserve a second chance.
166. Never consider using a copper boiler, they're much too small.
167. Use the customer's bathroom and pee in their baseboard.
168. Rummage in their medicine cabinet while you're in there.
169. Whip your dirty hands on their fancy towels.
170. Leave the seat up.
171. Squirt some ketchup in the toilet.
172. Don't flush.
173. If they have a basement workbench, borrow their tools. Don't return them. Later on, call them up and complain about the quality.
174. Play head-banger music on your boom box all the while you're working. Set the volume knob on 11.
175. Always feed a hot water boiler directly into the circulator's suction flange. Make sure the circulator is on the return side of the boiler.
176. Split a hot water loop system, but use only one common purge valve.
177. Pour Miracle Grow into the humidifier of a scorched air system.
178. Always screw the draft regulator closed.
179. Bypass any type of outdoor reset control you come across. Those things are much too exotic. If you can't figure out how to bypass the damn thing, just clip all the wires.
180. If you're forced to install an outdoor reset control, make sure you place the sensor on the south side of the building and as close to the clothes dryer vent as possible. Go back a week later and bypass the sucker.
181. Never check the pressure in a pre-charged compression tank. The guy at the factory already did that. Never adjust the pressure for a building taller than two stories either.
182. If you're going to be late for your appointment, don't call.
183. When you finally do show up for your appointment, tell them you're late because you had to stop by the VD clinic for your weekly check-up.
184. When troubleshooting, never look any further than the obvious.
185. Drive across your customer's lawn. Do the neighbor while you're at it.
186. Let your customer pay by credit card, and then use the account number to ship them stuff from the Home Shopping Network.
187. Block their driveway if you can't actually park in it.
188. Tell your customer Charles Manson is your first cousin and that you think he got a raw deal. Then whistle Helter Skelter while you're installing their new water heater.
189. Before you start the burner for the first time, ask the woman of the house if she has a fire extinguisher...and if she has flood insurance.
190. Always wear a Rambo knife on your belt. Let your hand wander toward it if they start asking too many technical questions.
191. Install thermostatic radiator valves in place of the old radiator supply valves on all one-pipe steam systems.
192. Write your proposal in long-hand, and make sure you misspell at least ten words, spill coffee on it and burn a few cigarette holes in it. Then send it to your customer with postage due.
193. Wear an Adolph Hitler tee shirt.
194. Never use tissues if you have a cold. Instead, place your thumb over one nostril and blow. See how far you can make the snot fly.
195. Wire the burner in series with the basement light switch.
196. If you're doing a steam job, disclaim all responsibility from the git-go.
197. Ask your customer's eleven-year-old daughter for a date.
198. Tell the customer that everyone who works for your company is an idiot - except you, of course.
199. Wire the thermostat in series with the automatic garage door opener.
200. Never wash your truck, and never organize the stuff in the back, it will just get disorganized again.
201. Scratch the words, Dirt Test, Do Not Wash! into the mud on the back door of your truck.
202. Crack your windshield in four or five places and never get it fixed.
203. Get either of these vanity license plates: BN2BURN or YRMAMA.
204. Dump your truck's ashtray in front of your customer's house every afternoon.
205. If the oil burner won't start, press the reset button ten times. Then adjust the burner and get the home owner to hit the button for the eleventh time. Have him put some Coppertone on first.
206. When your competitors go to flat rate pricing, stick with time and material - and then lower your price.
207. Never read anything on your own time.
208. Bend all your PEX plastic tubing on a 2" radius.
209. If your customer tells you the other guy can do it cheaper, drop your price again. Keep dropping your price until you get every job. And don't worry about losing money on the individual jobs. You'll probably make it up on volume.
210. Practice the fine art of Puff-Back Pyrotechnics.
211. Never shave more frequently than every third day.
212. When you finally do shave, cut yourself in at least five places.
213. Stick wads of bloody toilet paper on your shaving cuts and leave them there all day.
214. Put a copy of Hustler magazine on your dashboard. Leave it open to the centerfold.
215. Always raise the gas pressure. A big flame is a pretty flame.
216. Over-size atmospheric gas boilers and then plug half the tubes with corks or rolled-up newspaper.
217. Make sure you have a Will Work For Sex bumper sticker on your truck.
218. Smoke DiNaopli cigars in your customer's house...if you can find some that are old and stinky enough.
219. Tell the home owner that the last guy to work on the job was a real slob. Who knows? It might have been your partner.
220. Never hang pipes straight - unless they're steam pipes or drainage pipes, that is.
221. When you're giving an estimate on a new boiler, walk first to the washing machine, stare at it for a while, make a face like Benny on LA Law and say, "Gee, this must be old. I didn't know Whirlpool use to make boilers."
222. Quote the neighbor half the price you're currently charging your customer.
223. Install your flow-control valves sideways or upside-down.
224. Always remember that your time isn't worth anything.
225. Park your truck in Home Depot's lot every morning so the world can see where a real professional heating contractor shops.
226. Stand on the circulator when you need to reach something above the boiler.
227. Create a No. 10 smoke whenever possible.
227. Get either of these vanity license plates: DIYUPSCM or BTMYBIG1
229. When checking stack temperatures, don't bother with a thermometer, just spit on the flue. If should sizzles.
230. To check draft, hold your lit cigarette next to the sight port. If the smoke goes in, that's good enough. If the smoke doesn't go in, increase the firing rate.
231. If you have to change a circulator bearing assembly, don't drain the system, catch it on the fly. Make sure the water's red hot first.
232. When you're quoting a radiant-floor heating job, engage your customer in a discussion about oxygen-diffusion corrosion. Make sure you get him real scared.
233. Never get a signed ticket.
234. Include a 15% gratuity on all your invoices. You deserve it, right?
235. Sell boilers with tankless coils.
236. Feed a hot tub from a tankless coil.
237. Teach the ten-year-old how to make water squirt out of the automatic air vents.
238. Install a radiant-floor heating system in a slab, but don't insulate the perimeter. Then go back and visit the job in January...just to see how nice the tulips are blooming.
239. Sell boilers that maintain 190 degrees year round, especially if you work for an oil company.
240. Install a boiler in an old, gravity hot water system without a boiler bypass line.
241. Never look beyond the boiler if that's all you're there to replace.
242. When you're draining an old boiler, dump the dirty water in the customer's toilet or sink. Make sure it's real hot if you're going to dump it in the toilet.
243. Never ask your customers if they're comfortable.
244. Sell those deluge shower heads.
245. Install flow-control valves and circulators on old gravity-hot water systems and watch the fuel bills double.
246. If they see rust in their domestic hot water after you've had the system off for a while, tell them it's coming from all the lead in their plumbing pipes.
247. Ask your customer how much money he made last year.
248. Never disconnect anything electrical. Real men work HOT!
249. If you don't understand controls, don't worry about it. Nobody understands controls.
250. Never learn how to size anything on your own. Let the manufacturer's rep do it for you.
251. Always supply 3/4" baseboard with 1/2" copper tubing.
252. When you're installing a new clock thermostat, tell your customer about the three home owners on the other side of town who got electrocuted with this particular model.
253. If their new clock thermostat was made in Minnesota, tell them they have to set it an hour behind (or an hour ahead, or whatever. You can figure it out.)
254. Be the low bidder on every job.
255. Don't use diverter tees, just crimp the copper tubing between two standard tees. It works just as well.
256. Tell your customers that all toilets and urinals are now required by a new law to have bladder tanks, and that you can only flush if you have a full bladder.
257. Get either of these vanity license plates: NOSKILZ or OVRSIZIT
258. Buy boilers that can't be cleaned.
259. Buy boilers that come with instructions written in a foreign language by people with multiple PhDs.
260. Use globe valves on every hot water heating job.
261. If you don't understand how something works, tell your customer it's a piece of crap.
262. Never install a boiler that's physically smaller than the one you're removing. Always buy bigger.
263. Buy products that have no local parts stock.
264. Buy the heaviest equipment you can possibly find, and then try to get it into the basement.
265. If you're going to pump the dirty water out of a heating system, make sure it winds up either in the customer's flower bed or on their new concrete driveway.
266. Don't bother adjusting the flame after you're done installing the boiler. There's no time, and somebody at the burner factory probably already adjusted it.
267.Sell the cheapest equipment you can find.
268. If the customer wants to buy quality, talk him out of it.
269. Don't advertise your company's services. It's a waste of money, especially when business is bad.
270. Never consider new technology. New technology is scary.
271. Blow 100 psi of compressed air into the duct work of a scorched air system.
272. Change an old furnace without first covering the registers.
273. Accuse your supplier of giving you the wrong price on every job.
274. Demand to be served first when you're waiting at a wholesaler's counter. Cut ahead of all the home owners. They'll probably never be your customers anyway.
275. Do some heating work for your mother-in-law.
276. When your customer asks you what the difference is between this item and that item, tell him, "Ten bucks."
277. If the product was made in Europe, tell your customer it's no good.
278. Never pay your bills on time. Remember, 120 days is much better than a 2% discount.
279. Tell your customer your prices are higher than your competitors because you use metric screwdrivers.
280. If you're selling a radiant-floor heating system, make sure you quote at least ten times as much for the controls as the people will be paying for the house.
281. And on those radiant-floor heating jobs, always install the first row of tubes right up against the wall so the rug installer can more easily drive nails through it.
282. Never use gauges to set up the burner. Just crank it way up and then back off a bit.
283. Recite limericks while you're working. Begin with that really cool one about the man from Nantucket.
284. Ask your customer where you live.
285. Twist the little knob on top of the flow-control valve. Try to control the flow with it.
286. If you're doing a staple-up, radiant-floor job in a bathroom, make sure you install the tubing right next to the toilet's wax gasket.
287. If your customer pays by check, demand to see three forms of photo identification before you leave their home.
288. Wear a lot of radical political buttons on your shirt.
289. Pick a wedgie at least once every ten minutes.
290. If you can spill fuel oil around the burner, by all means, do so.
291. Put a handful of styrofoam peanuts into the copper tubing before you solder it.
292. Get either of these phone numbers: 1-800-SCREWUP or 1-800-DUMMIES.
293. If you break something that contains mercury, kick the mercury under the boiler.
294. Make certain all your steel pipe is as rusty as possible.
295. Set the domestic hot water temperature at 211 degrees.
296. Read the obituary column every day. Call the folks on the day of the funeral and ask if they'd like you to stop by to look at their domestic hot water...now they won't be needing as much.
297. Call again a week after the funeral and ask if they'd like to have the house zoned...now that they won't be needing as much living space.
298. If they have the Mercedes parked in the driveway, sit on the hood during your coffee break.
299. If the Mercedes is open, make yourself comfortable on the leather upholstery.
300. Reset all their radio buttons from PBS, classical and adult-contemporary to head-banger stations.
301. Turn the volume knob to 12 and imagine how surprised they'll be when they first turn the key.
302. Help yourself to whatever's in your customer's fridge. Write a nasty message in their Cool Whip.
303. Cross-connect their icemaker with their baseboard loop system.
304. Set the pressuretrol cut-in setting at 2 psi on your one-pipe steam systems, and then watch how all the air vents stop venting.
305. Never use mixing valves. Just put a globe valve between the hot and cold lines. A globe valve is good enough for those cheapskates.
306. Pick your nose while your customer's talking to you.
307. Eat it.
308. After you install the equipment, never call that customer again. It's always best to let sleeping dogs lie.
309. Put a day-glow orange, 3" X 5" company sticker on every telephone in your customer's house. Use the kind of sticker that has that NASA-approved glue.
310. If you're having a casual conversation with the woman of the house, ask her what sort of birth control she and her husband use. Then comment on it.
311. Bounce the new cast-iron boiler down the steps like a basketball. Even though they're sixty years old, those steps will probably hold up.
312. Do some co-op advertising with a local massage parlor.
313. Use a 3/4" drill bit for all 3/4" pipe and a 1/2" bit for all 1/2" pipe. Then run the system from ice cold to 220 degrees and listen to the cool sound it makes.
314. If possible, position all valve handles so that they're within an inch of a red hot flue pipe.
315. Dry fire the boiler until it glows. Then add ice water.
316. If the boiler jacket is dirty, clean it with a rag soaked in fuel oil.
317. Practice Creative Flame Impingement.
318. If you see what looks like asbestos, just knock it out of the way. Those stories about asbestos being dangerous are a crock. Look at all the old-timers who used to throw asbestos around like snowballs. They're still alive, right?
319. Use lead solder. Those stories you heard about lead are also a crock. Look at all the lead they put in pencils!
320. Show the customer some fiberglass insulation and tell him it's highly carcinogenic.
321. Never perform an efficiency test. It takes too much time, and besides, customers don't know what those numbers mean anyway.
322. Set up a hot water zone off a steam boiler, and then raise the steam pressure to 5 psi. Watch what happens to your circulator when that hot water hits it.
323. When your prospective customer asks why you sell this particular brand of boiler, say, Because most of my customers are cheap bastards.
324. Install the boiler close enough to the wall so as to make removal of the tankless coil, burner, controls and/or circulator a physical impossibility.
325. If the baseboard covers won't go back on, kick them until they do.
326. Install baseboard radiation in a bathroom. Stand back and watch it rust. It only takes a few minutes for it to start.
327. Install baseboard radiation everywhere there's a wall, and then run it at 200 degrees.
328. Wear a thick gold chain and with a No. 1 Stud charm. Make sure the charm is as big as a dinner plate.
329. Lean on your customer's vinyl siding with your greasy hands.
330. Pee in their bushes.
331. Install the natural gas supply line directly behind the motors on your commercial pumps. That way, if you have to change a coupler or a bearing assembly, you'll get an opportunity to move the gas line.
332. Whenever possible, bury pipes in concrete. If you can, use concrete that has a high percentage of cinder ash.
333. Drop your used, plastic sandwich wrapper into your customer's fuel oil tank. This is a guaranteed source of future service business.
334. Dent the boiler jacket and the water heater in as many places as possible. Say, Whoops! when you do it.
335. When you're bleeding the radiator in the bedroom, go through your customer's drawers and closets.
336. Screw all electrical controls on the boiler jacket. Pick the hottest spot you can find.
337. Unplug every appliance in the basement and don't plug them back in.
338. Change the settings on their washer and dryer.
339. Pour a little oil in their washing machine.
340. Use stack switches.
341. When they ask how long the warranty lasts, look at your watch.
342. Ask your customer if it's okay to use their phone, and then call either a 900 phone-sex line or Fiji.
343. Never ground any wiring, it takes too long and it costs too much.
344. And make sure you snap the ground prong off all your extension cord plugs.
345. Write your customer's phone number in public toilets under the lead, For a good time call...
346. Sit on the white bedspread while you're bleeding that bedroom radiator.
347. Remove the one-pipe steam air vents and leave them off. That should give them more heat, right? More humidity, too!
348. Base your prices on the type of car they drive. Nice car, high prices. Crummy car, lower prices. If they drive a BMW, refuse to work for them under any circumstances.
349. If you see an air vent with a lot of white crud around it, give it a violent twist with your channel locks - just to see if it's working.
350. Work for lawyers.
351. If you see a valve with mold growing out of the stem, try to open it. If it's already open, try to close it.
352. Work for cooperative apartment buildings.
353. Agree to attend the board meeting of any cooperative apartment building to answer questions about their heating system.
354. If you see a soldered fitting with green stuff all around it, hit it a good shot with the back end of a claw hammer.
355. Use the customer's washing machine hose to drain his steel compression tank. Then make sure you put the hose back where you found it.
356. Use a three-pound hammer to rap anything that's old and made of cast iron.
357. Put an OFF THE PIGS! bumper sticker on your truck and then cruise the state highway at 95 mph.
358. If the top six inches of the washing machine hose has expanded to the size of a water balloon, poke it with your screwdriver.
359. If the customer asks when you'll be done, say, "Well, it depends on how many more stupid questions you plan on asking me."
360. Remove the identification tags from everything in the basement.
361. If the woman of the house offers you a cup of coffee, ask her if she has any Irish whiskey and whip cream to go with it.
362. Always leave at least five empty beer bottles in your truck cab.
363. Put a few bags of microwave popcorn in the horizontal portion of the flue pipe before leaving the job.
364. Never clean a steam boiler when you're through working on it. Add chemicals instead. It doesn't matter what kind. Use whatever's cheapest.
365. When five o'clock comes, leave the job, even if they don't have any heat. Always remember, tomorrow's another day, and you're nobody's slave.
366. Ask the customer if you can borrow a roach clip.
367. Park your truck in such a way as to block as much traffic as possible. When you do this, make sure the other drivers can read your name on the truck.
368. Don't spend money on business cards. Buy a stamp and a stamp pad and use scrap paper cut to the appropriate size.
369. If the woman of the house tells you she's too hot, tell her she wouldn't be if she lost a few tons.
370. Always remember, it can't be done.
371. Always remember, we've always done it this way.
372. Always remember, it will never work.
373. If it won't fit, jam it, slam it, ram it and cram it. Don't let dimensions stand in your way.
374. Tell your customer the new condensate pump will suck the condensate back through those partially clogged return lines.
375. Never cut pipe if you can avoid it, make it up with whatever fittings are available.
376. Tell the customer you have to leave early so you can study for your drug test.
377. After you've replaced five or six pressuretrols on that steam job, blame the manufacturer. They probably made a bad batch.
378. Whatever you do, don't clean the pigtail that's sitting between the boiler and the pressuretrol. You might find the answer to your problem there.
379. Cultivate the habit of gasping and saying, "Uh oh!" at inappropriate times.
380. Cut people off while you're driving the company truck. Give them the finger too. They're probably not customers anyway.
381. Always use a long nipple to connect the Hartford Loop to the wet return on a steam system.
382. Never carry a spare tire.
383. Play Andrew Dice Clay tapes over your two-way radio.
384. Use automobile antifreeze in every heating system.
385. Put your vibrating beeper in your front pants pocket and then ask the woman of the house to go upstairs and call you.
386. Bribe the plumbing inspector. Unless, of course, he routinely accepts bribes, in which case, don't bribe the plumbing inspector.
387. Make up an advertising handbill for your company. Hire a kid to dump 2,000 copies throughout your local nature preserve.
388. Install steam pressure reducing valves with the same size pipe at the inlet and outlet.
389. Always wear your baseball cap sideways, or if that's not practical, backwards.
390. Insult every manufacturer's rep you can find. You'll never need those guys anyway.
391. Work without permits.
392. Cultivate a massive beer belly. Wear T-shirts that reveal its splendor. Stuff your navel with a quarter-pound of dryer lint.
393. Dope a leaking boiler.
394. Scratch in all the right places. Do it often.
395. Keep a can of Cruex on top of your toolbox.
396. Fill the heating system with toxic antifreeze and then cross-connect it to the potable water system.
397. Add Arm & Hammer baking soda to every steam boiler.
398. Bring your dog on the job. Let him take a good dump in the basement.
399. Add a bottle of soap bubbles to a steam boilers. Raise the pressure to 7 psi.
400. If you take out a convector on a hot water system that has diverter tees, make sure you leave the tees in line. Just cap the branches.
401. Throttle one-pipe steam supply valves.
402. If a boiler should crack, shrug your shoulders and accept that it was probably JUST ONE OF THOSE THINGS. Then, replace the boiler, putting everything back exactly as you found it. It probably won't happen again.
403. Never shine your shoes.
404. Keep six, dirty hypodermic needles in your tool box.
405. Drip solder on everything and never clean it up.
406. Smear a quarter-inch of flux on the boiler room doorknob.
407. Never get a brake job.
408. To prevent steam boiler surging, close the valves on the gauge glass.
409. Install all relief valves, especially T&P relief valves, on 12" nipples.
410. Let your nose hair grow long enough to braid.
411. Stencil the Cocaine Hot Line's phone number on your tool box.
412. Use the fastest-venting steam vent you can find. Put one on every radiator in the house.
413. Connect 100 feet of baseboard radiation to two diverter tees set six inches apart. When it doesn't work, install a bigger pump.
414. If the customer has a small dog, say, a dachshund, try to drip some solder on its back.
415. Never insulate steam or hot water pipes that run though frigid crawl spaces. Insulation costs too much.
416. Use a bucket trap to drip the outlet side of a steam pressure reducing valve station, then watch what happens when the steam's superheat on the downstream side of the PRV boils the trap's prime water.
417. Tell the people to install the clothes dryer in the same room as the boiler and water heater.
418. Tell them they can save energy if they let the clothes dryer vent right into the room.
419. Remove all steam main vents and replace them with pipe plugs. Pipe plugs are cheaper, and they rarely leak.
420. Tell your customer to store the gasoline for the lawn mower next to the boiler. It will stay warmer there during the winter.
421. Vent as many fuel burning appliances as possible into a single chimney. Your only limitation should be the amount of space you have to punch the various flues through the brick.
422. If the people build a dormer on their house, never raise the chimney to clear the top of the dormer.
423. Leave the job for a lunch break. When your customer asks where you're going, tell him you have to go home to catch a rerun of This Old House because you can't remember how that guy told you to do it.
424. Turn the reducing elbow that connects the steam header to the equalizer on its side.
425. If the customer needs a new steam boiler, tell him he has to replace the entire system.
426. Put BUY AMERICAN stickers on all your European-made heating equipment.
427. Never wear safety glasses. You can always grow new eyes.
428. Take the batteries out of your customers' smoke detectors. They'll never notice, and you can probably use those batteries to run stuff in your own house.
429. Plug the low-water cutoff's blow-off valve.
430. Direct vent the boiler into the prized rhododendron bush.
431. Remove the blow-off valve from the low-water cutoff and pipe the bottom of the cutoff into the boiler's wet return.
432. Level a hot water boiler with cardboard shims. Never level a steam boiler.
433. Never use swing joints in the steam boiler's header piping. Swing joints cost too much and they look stupid.
434. If the steam boiler has two supply tappings, make sure you connect all your take-offs for your steam mains between them.
435. Pipe all your steam boilers with copper and DWV fittings. Your customer doesn't know any better anyway. And don't forget to use soft solder.
436. Go to the Home Depot. Make a list of the brands they sell, and then offer those same products to your customers, making sure your price is higher, of course.
437. Never use main vents in a steam system. They're too much trouble to install and they're probably going to leak anyway.
438. Leave your wholesale invoices for the equipment you're using lying around the job.
439. If you see something you don't understand in an old steam system, feel free to rip it out. If you don't understand it, it can't possibly be important.
440. Throttle pumps on their suction side.
441. Stick a toy pistol under your belt and jerk your head around a lot while you're working.
442. Drop your fitting brush into a pipe hole in the sheetrock. Then cut out a five-square-foot section of wall and tell the customer, "Boy, I hope you know someone who can tape and spackle!"
443. Do all your math calculations on the customer's wall. Use a black Magic Marker.
444. Don't bother checking thermostatic radiator traps. Even though they were installed when Herbert Hoover was president, they're probably still working just fine.
445. Don't use a chimney cap. It interferes with the formation of grackles.
446. Move the steam boiler to the other side of the building. Don't change any of the piping.
447. Tell your customer you used to live next door to Jeffrey Dahmer, and that you thought he was a pretty good cook.
448. Install one of those funky, home-made, water-storage containers on the side of your next replacement steam boiler.
449. Use one big steam trap for the entire building. Don't bother installing steam traps at the ends of mains, the base of risers and at the radiators. You can get by with just one trap if it's big enough. If you're wondering why the guy before you didn't do this, it's probably because he was stupid.
450. Feed five oil burners off one 3/8" oil line.
451. Tell your customer you're going to retire and dissolve the business right after you're finished with this job.
452. Add a condensate- or boiler-feed pump to a gravity return steam system and don't install any steam traps.
453. Have a manufacturer's rep do the engineering on a job, and then buy all the stuff from his competitor. The competitor's bound to be cheaper because he didn't have to do any of the engineering.
454. Take the fill caps off buried fuel oil tanks and take them with you when you leave the job so the rain water can more easily mingle with the oil.
455. Take out a steam boiler that's as big as a Greyhound bus and install a replacement that's as small as a Yugo. Don't worry, nothing will change.
456. Connect all your wires to your pipes. Use twist ties to keep them in place.
457. Pipe an elbow right at the suction of that base-mounted pump.
458. Instead of using one full-size steam boiler, use ten little ones.
459. Pipe those ten little boilers with a single common header and a single common return.
460. Then fire just a few of those ten little boilers.
461. Don't be concerned, the return water is smart enough to know it's supposed to enter just the boilers that are on, not those that are off.
462. Take steam boilers out of pits. The people who put them in pits did so only because they owned shovels and had lots of time on their hands.
463. Use the old condensate pump with the new steam boiler.
464. If you're not sure whether or not a pipe is hot, touch it with your tongue.
465. Never clean strainers.
466. Underestimate the tubing on a radiant floor heating job, and then run the system at high temperature to compensate.
467. Believe the salesman when he tells you you're the first person in America to have that particular problem with this particular product.
468. Install all your zone valves backwards.
469. Abandon the vacuum pump on all large, two-pipe steam systems. The building probably didn't need that pump in the first place. Those old-timers probably installed that pump because they had extra money laying around.
470. Install multiple zone valves with a high-head circulator. The valves make such a cool banging noise when one closes while another is still calling.
471. Turn your commercial circulators sideways and let the oil cups face the wall.
472. If you see a centrifugal pump that's off but spinning backwards, turn it on.
473. Whenever possible, cavitate your pumps.
474. Change pump couplers, but never check motor mounts.
475. If you're not sure which way a pump coupler is spinning, stick your finger in the hole to find out.
476. Use full-flange gaskets on your circulators, but don't cut holes in them. The water will eventually work its way through, you'll see.
477. Install diaphragm expansion tanks with the water inlet on the bottom and the air inlet on the top.
478. Install two steel compression tanks in different places on the same system.
479. Don't use check valves on the discharge side of multiple pump installations.
480. Bypass the gas meter.
481. Give an old oil tank new life by using it as a compression tank in a hot water system.
482. Don't use an air separator. The air will figure a way out of the system on its own.
483. Leave the plugs in the steam boiler's mud leg tappings. Never install blow-down valves in these tappings. Valves cost money.
484. If there's a primary pump and a stand-by pump, run them both at the same time.
485. Never align pump couplers.
486. Never use vibration isolators with base-mounted pumps.
487. Leave pump shaft couplings exposed on base-mounted pumps so they can suck your customer in by his necktie and spin him around like the fishing line on a Weed Whacker.
488. Remove all spring-type pump couplers and replace them with the solid kind of coupler that can't possibly break should the pump bearings size. This is a great way to sell new motors as well.
489.Get either of these vanity license plates: ILY2U or FEMLXSWT.
490. Always install steam traps in places where they are not needed.
491. Support inline circulators by putting angle iron under the motor. Watch what happens when the pipe expands.
492. Call your customer at 3 AM on the first day of the job and accuse him of stealing your box wrench. When he denies it, say you're sorry and tell him to c'mon down to the bar and you'll buy him a shooter and a brewski.
493. Never check the pH of heating system water.
494. If the return lines are clogged on a steam system, remove a radiator from the top floor and pour in five gallons of Draino. That will clear it every time.
495. Engage your prospective customer in a discussion regarding the pros and cons of boiler push nipples vs. rubber section gaskets. Don't be surprised if he decides to buy a furnace by the time you're through.
496. In the fall, park your truck with its white-hot catalytic converter directly over the biggest pile of leaves you can find in front of your customer's house.
497. Never slow down when the roads are icy. Speed up instead. Watch how everyone gives you the right of way.
498. Look for natural gas leaks with a Bic lighter.
499. Put on a pair of L.L. Bean hip waders before starting work on the water heater.
500. Before you light the burner for the first time, ask your customer if he's ever seen the movie, Backdraft.
501. Install in-slab, radiant-floor heat in the Marina area of San Francisco. Watch the leaks help to put out the fires after the next earthquake.
502. Put everyone on hold for as long as possible, then hang up on them, but always while you're speaking. That way, they'll think they got cut off.
503. Go to court and legally change your name to Joey Buttafuoco. Then offer a 25% discount to all females under the age of fifteen.
504. Allow for no combustion air whatsoever, except that which comes down the fireplace chimney, of course.
505. When you replace a steam boiler, make sure your new water line is lower than your old water line. That way, you'll get to turn wet returns into steam lines and listen to the cool banging sound they make when you start the system.
506. Direct vent the boiler into the air-conditioning ductwork.
507. Get a swastika tattoo.
508. Line-size steam traps.
509. Wear a plaid bandanna on your head.
510. Buy a parrot and teach it to squawk, MORE GROG, WENCH! Take it with you on every job.
511. Get either of these vanity license plates: OVRCHRG or IMAKAFLD.
512. Park in front of your customer's house the night before you start their job. Fix it so your truck alarm goes off every 15 minutes throughout the night.
513. Reverse any two leads an all three-phase motors.
514. Install the emergency burner switch upside down.
515. If a threaded joint leaks, seal it with a hammer and chisel.
516. Remove the cover from the radiator in the baby's room. Show the woman of the house the dust. Tell her it's asbestos.
517. If your customer complains about burner or boiler noise, tell them they're hearing the sound of high efficiency.
518. Use an electronic night set-back thermostat on any old steam system.
519. Never consider using a 4-way valve or outdoor reset on that hot water job. Way too exotic!
520. Put your replacement steam boilers up on about four feet of cinder blocks.
521. Install radiant-floor heating in a sunroom and control it with a air-temperature thermostat.
522. Find a two-pipe, gravity-return steam heating system and raise its pressure. Stand back and marvel as all the water backs out of the boiler and winds up in the top floor radiators.
523. Install a two-pipe, hot water system without balancing valves.
524. Weld the near-boiler piping on large replacement steam boilers, leaving no room whatsoever for expansion and contraction. Then mark your calendar for the same day next year. That's about when the folks will be needing a new boiler.
525. Do a radiant-floor, staple up job using PEX plastic tubing. Use steel staples and make sure they're real tight against the oxygen diffusion barrier.
526. Wear more gold chains than Mr. T. Gold chains make it so much easier to convince your customer that your prices are competitive.
527. Bullhead tees whenever possible in both steam and hot water systems.
528. Size a radiant-floor heating system based on an actual I=B=R, ASHRAE or ACCA heat loss calculation.
529. Practice Creative Flatulence.
530. When building a Hartford Loop on a steam boiler, bring the close nipple into the equalizer right at the center of the gauge glass.
531. Sell your customer a kick-space heater and don't mention the nifty noises most of them make. Let it be a surprise.
532. Install that kick-space heater so that it discharges right into the refrigerator's hot air outlet.
533. Do a few chin-ups on those 1/2" copper lines you'll find down in the basement. It pays to stay in shape.
534. Never drip steam risers.
535. Loosen all pipe hangers.
536. Size your replacement steam boilers by doing a heat loss calculation on the building.
537. Whenever possible, burn all oil burner end cones. Never replace them.
538. Find yourself a real old building, something built around, say, 1910, and then size a replacement steam boiler for it. Now, go to the boiler manufacturer's catalog and select a boiler based on their "Net Rating" column. Lots of luck trying to get those end-of-main radiators hot.
539. Fill a coffee can with urine and pour it into your customer's one-pipe steam system before you start it up.
540. Remove the steel rods from around all gauge glasses.
541. Always call your customers collect.
542. Leave Speedy Dry all over the floor.
543. Tell your customer he has to change the water in his hot water heating system every summer and winter.
544. Explain how summer water isn't hot enough to work during the winter.
545. Explain how winter water is too cool to be of any use in heating their domestic hot water during the summer.
546. Stick your right hand in a jar of Vaseline, and then go shake hands with that new customer.
547. Stop work in the middle of the afternoon. Go upstairs and ask if it's okay to watch Oprah.
548. Order the boiler for natural gas, and then hook it up to propane.
549. Remove the whistles from the vent pipes of all fuel oil tanks.
550. Test your customer's 50-year-old, buried fuel oil tank to see if it's sound. Use compressed air. About 100 psi should do it.
551. Set up your answering machine so that it takes no message longer than four seconds in duration.
552. Drain a big commercial hot water heating system without first letting any air into those steel compression tanks. Make bets on which one will collapse first.
553. Pipe two steam boilers next to each other. Use just one, but leave the piping to the other one wide open. Watch how often the "off" boiler floods.
554. Connect two commercial steam boilers on the return side. Use a single condensate pump and then notice how the water is intelligent enough to go only into the boiler that needs it. Amazing, isn't it?
555. Hook the building's heat-timing device's temperature sensor to a cold water line instead of a steam main.
556. Take the sensor off the cold water pipe and hook it up to a sewer line.
557. Now move it from the sewer line to a gas main. That should save them some gas, right?
558. After you've installed the new boiler and the people call to say they're too cold, tell them to put on some sweaters.
559. When the circulator fails, tell the home owner to open the flow-control valve. Have him use a big wrench.
560. When the little circulator won't start, tell the home owner to stick a screwdriver into the electric motor and give it a twist. You know, like the manufacturer tells you to do.
561. Pour a little gasoline into the fuel oil tank. About a gallon should do it.
562. Tape a Fourth of July sparkler to the oil burner's nozzle assembly. Light it off, stick it down the blast tube, let the customer take a peek. Then tell him he needs a new boiler.
562. Raise the water line in a horizontal, fire-tube steam boiler by six inches or so.
563. Fiddle with the quick hook-up fittings on a steam boiler's automatic water feeder so that it maintains a "normal" water line at about the two-thirds-full mark on the gauge glass.
564. Wear a purple work uniform and sing the theme song from Barney.
565. Ask your customer to co-sign a loan for a jet ski.
566. Grow yourself one of those bodacious beer bellies and then wear trousers with a 32" waist. Wear them real low.
567. Work in New York City and wear a cowboy hat.
568. Work in San Francisco and wear a cowboy hat.
569. Never signal before turning.
570. Always turn left from the right lane. And vice versa, of course.
571. Cut into funeral processions. Make darn sure they can see the name on your truck.
572. Just keep smiling all the time - Like Jack Nicholson in The Shining.