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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This happened a couple weeks ago, but I have been extremely busy and I didn't get around to posting about it.

I went to a call scheduled by a nice lady to put a filter that she bought in for her house. She lives downtown, city water meter. I get there and she lets me in and shows me a large cardboard box. I opened it and it is a large double cartridge sediment filter...very large and commercial grade, I am guessing it costs around $300-400. I am not sure exactly why they want it, since they are on cirty water, but there is SOME sediment in the city water and I will put in whatever filter she wants.

I ask her where the water service is and she shows me to the basement. I get down there and see that there are TWO water services....two shut off valves, two PRVS serviced by TWO different water meters. Suddenly her husband comes down to the basement and the fun starts...

"Why are there two water services?" I ask.

"One is for our level, and one is for an upstairs apartment, they have separate utilities."

"WHy is there only one water heater then?" I ask.

"Oh, well one of them leaked, so I tied the other water heater to service the other hot water lines. Also, when you put the filter in, we want you to tie the two water services together too." He explains.

"Ok, well I can't do that unless we remove one of the water meters and have the entire house services by one meter." I explain.

"Why?" He asks.

"Because its the law, you can't have two different utilities tied together, you either have to have them completey separate or under one meter."

"But why?" He asks again.

"Because, there are two meters, you can't tie them together, you have to have them separate or we have to remove one of them." I explain again. "Actually, you have already violated that by tieing the two water heaters together. DId you get a permit for this water heater work?" I ask.

"Yes, I got a permit," He says.

"well, like I said we have to remove one meter now that you have tied the systems together." I say.

"We don't want that, we want to keep the utilites separate for the apartment. I am an engineer, and I don't see why we can't just tie the systems together and keep both meters." He is talking arrogantly down to me now.

I realized that he doesn't have any concept of the illegality of tying the two water meters together or he may even know what he is doing, and he is purposely trying to get his tenant to pay for half his water use.
:furious:I lost my temper at this point, now that I realize "he's an engineer":rolleyes: and he thinks I am an idiot and has no respect for the law, the plumbing codes or my license.
I told him right there,
"Ok, I am not working for you then. I am a licensed plumber and I know what the laws are, and I don't CARE if you are engineer, and I don't believe you got a permit for tying those heaters together. I am out of here."

I walked to my truck, got in a drove away. What a jerk. I was tempted to call the City Inspections department and report the situation but I doubt they could do anything. Just another engineer know-it-all.:rolleyes:
 

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Best thing you could of done! Wouldn't hurt to call the AHJ anyhow...:whistling2:

Like the refs say, if I see it I call it!!!



I walked to my truck, got in a drove away. What a jerk. I was tempted to call the City Inspections department and report the situation but I doubt they could do anything. Just another engineer know-it-all.:rolleyes:
 

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Muck me?
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I dont blame you for walking out. its good to see that you didnt just take the job because "money is money"
 

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Water Whisperer
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Maybe you were talking to the tenant who was trying to screw with the owner on the top floor....:laughing:
 

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Always Something
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That right there, is one of the main reasons I didn't persue a career in electrical engineering. I just hated the company, bunch of type A's that think they are above everyone and everything. In meetings we would have, I would spend hours explaining how another engineer was wrong....didn't even matter though. To this day I have so little patience for that shyit....you stuck around longer than I would have. However I would have reported it. Landlords can get into alot of trouble for that stuff.
 

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Time to drop a dime on that smart ass. I'll bet the water heater is tied into the tenant's meter. In thirty five years I've had lots of people question my charges but I can remember only two who wanted to argue over technical issues with me. One was a doctor and the other a lawyer.
 

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residential service
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Ok, I'll be the dummy. Who pays for two water taps for the same house or was it simply one service that was split to two meters? Is this common for the meters to be located inside the dwelling's basement? Who reads the meter and how do they do it if noone is at home when he comes? Not that anybody probably reads the meter anyway, I find them all the time that are so covered with dirt and crap that there is no way anyone has read it for years.
 

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Ok, I'll be the dummy. Who pays for two water taps for the same house or was it simply one service that was split to two meters? Is this common for the meters to be located inside the dwelling's basement? Who reads the meter and how do they do it if noone is at home when he comes? Not that anybody probably reads the meter anyway, I find them all the time that are so covered with dirt and crap that there is no way anyone has read it for years.
All meters here are inside the building, all of them have a remote sensor on them so that the water dept meter reader simply drives by and shoots the sensor to get a reading. Condo buildings will have a bank of meters inside the building assigned to each unit, or they will have a single large meter with a series of deduct meters for each unit, depending on the age of the building.
 

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I just installed two water meters last week. One for a front four plex apartment and one for a duplex in the back. Water meters here are installed in the basement but they are capable of being read remotely from the outside. It's just a basic two wire set up that goes from the meter to the outside of the building, the city can read it from there.
 

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residential service
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Hmm, well there you go. Meters here are in the ground at the street usually with a round iron cover. Very occasionally I will find an additional meter located in a garage serving an irrigation system. Water and sewer are all tied together here with the sewer fees being calculated based on the water usage. Come to think of it, everyone who has an irrigation system here but no second meter is overpaying on there sewer fees which are outrageous here by the way.
 

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Hmm, well there you go. Meters here are in the ground at the street usually with a round iron cover. Very occasionally I will find an additional meter located in a garage serving an irrigation system. Water and sewer are all tied together here with the sewer fees being calculated based on the water usage. Come to think of it, everyone who has an irrigation system here but no second meter is overpaying on there sewer fees which are outrageous here by the way.
I doubt that your water services have to be 5' underground either, things vary based on the surrounding conditions.
 

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Always Something
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18" here and you'd be hardpressed to find one past 14".
 

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residential service
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I doubt that your water services have to be 5' underground either, things vary based on the surrounding conditions.
You are correct. 12" is the frost line here. I'm replacing about 125' of water service tomorrow and all I will need will be a walk behind trencher, a 5' x1.25" rod to drive under the sidewalk, a sledge to drive it with, some pipe and fittings, and my rotory hammer to get through the foundation wall. I will probably do it by myself and be done in 8 hrs or less.
 

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Professional Bullshioter
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Generally, down here all meters are outside in a vault. The municipality wants to be able to pull the meter (for non-payment) without entering the premises. All of our meters have a dual check built in to the loop.

I think you did the right thing. I would definetely drop the dime.

If you put the filter on the HO's meter outlet it would create enough pressure drop to make all the hot water used to be fed through the renters meter.

Maybe this is what the engineer was angling for with the stupid large filter set-up. He might just be smarter than you thought. Or not;)
 

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waterheaterzone.com
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Generally, down here all meters are outside in a vault. The municipality wants to be able to pull the meter (for non-payment) without entering the premises. All of our meters have a dual check built in to the loop.

I think you did the right thing. I would definetely drop the dime.

If you put the filter on the HO's meter outlet it would create enough pressure drop to make all the hot water used to be fed through the renters meter.

Maybe this is what the engineer was angling for with the stupid large filter set-up. He might just be smarter than you thought. Or not;)
I realized this immediately after I left. When I told him what he did was illegal, that is when he started talking down to me. I think he knows exactly what he is doing, and trying to milk the tenants for all there worth.
Do I call the city inspectors about this? What are they going to do? They can't enter his basement to see the bad work without a warrant, can they? I'd call, but I seriously doubt anything will be done about it.
 

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Professional Bullshioter
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I realized this immediately after I left. When I told him what he did was illegal, that is when he started talking down to me. I think he knows exactly what he is doing, and trying to milk the tenants for all there worth.
Do I call the city inspectors about this? What are they going to do? They can't enter his basement to see the bad work without a warrant, can they? I'd call, but I seriously doubt anything will be done about it.
You are correct. Pretty easy to get a warrant over the phone. Then the guys is paying fines and court costs as well as having the work corrected.

Some inspectors jump at this kind of thing. Some see a mountain of future paperwork and say fuggettaboutit. Once you drop the dime it's off your conscience. Might give the renter a jingle and let him be the d!ck.
 
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