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canuckPlumBbob
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Discussion Starter #1
One of the last areas of the trade that havent even touched.
How long did it take for you guys to get this type of work and did you ask for it or was it given to you?
I dont want to get complacent in my career and i want to keep leaning, thinking of just tossing it out to my manager an see what he thinks.
I Iike where i work so i see it as an investment in future skill.
 

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One of the last areas of the trade that havent even touched.
How long did it take for you guys to get this type of work and did you ask for it or was it given to you?
I dont want to get complacent in my career and i want to keep leaning, thinking of just tossing it out to my manager an see what he thinks.
I Iike where i work so i see it as an investment in future skill.

when I started plumbing I ended up bouncing around to several companies and learned new or different ways from each place I worked and each mechanic I worked with...
I think I was lucky to start out in new construction, a set of 40 condo units, I was able to see and watch a house built from the foundation up, it let me see ALL the mechanical systems go in and how they were layed out and installed, this let me actually see how they worked...
I think this helped down the line when renovations or repairs were needed and I can visualize the piping or how it should be...
heating systems and boilers where part of the new construction phase and I helped install and run heat..
and in time I did it on my own..
each company did boilers a little different and learning when and where certain ways of installation were needed..from hydronic to steam, baseboard, radiant,kick heaters....
there is alot to learn before you attempt it on your own...
if you dont get it where you work now, and I dont know your end game if you want your own business, but sometimes bouncing around from companies is the best way to learn different aspects of plumbing...but thats a personal call you have to make..
my best advice to you is to buy up all the books a Dan Holohan puts out, they are great and written with some humor but very down to earth and understandable to the common person...here is a link to his website, but buy the books, they cover all aspects of heating and all the old systems you come across..
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...om/about-us/&usg=AOvVaw1pWI380SFA2LoM9o_pMwsw
 

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when I started plumbing I ended up bouncing around to several companies and learned new or different ways from each place I worked and each mechanic I worked with...
I think I was lucky to start out in new construction, a set of 40 condo units, I was able to see and watch a house built from the foundation up, it let me see ALL the mechanical systems go in and how they were layed out and installed, this let me actually see how they worked...
I think this helped down the line when renovations or repairs were needed and I can visualize the piping or how it should be...
heating systems and boilers where part of the new construction phase and I helped install and run heat..
and in time I did it on my own..
each company did boilers a little different and learning when and where certain ways of installation were needed..from hydronic to steam, baseboard, radiant,kick heaters....
there is alot to learn before you attempt it on your own...
if you dont get it where you work now, and I dont know your end game if you want your own business, but sometimes bouncing around from companies is the best way to learn different aspects of plumbing...but thats a personal call you have to make..
my best advice to you is to buy up all the books a Dan Holohan puts out, they are great and written with some humor but very down to earth and understandable to the common person...here is a link to his website, but buy the books, they cover all aspects of heating and all the old systems you come across..
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...om/about-us/&usg=AOvVaw1pWI380SFA2LoM9o_pMwsw
Any other plumbing related favorite book recommendations would be appreciated.

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when I started plumbing I ended up bouncing around to several companies and learned new or different ways from each place I worked and each mechanic I worked with...
I think I was lucky to start out in new construction, a set of 40 condo units, I was able to see and watch a house built from the foundation up, it let me see ALL the mechanical systems go in and how they were layed out and installed, this let me actually see how they worked...
I think this helped down the line when renovations or repairs were needed and I can visualize the piping or how it should be...
heating systems and boilers where part of the new construction phase and I helped install and run heat..
and in time I did it on my own..
each company did boilers a little different and learning when and where certain ways of installation were needed..from hydronic to steam, baseboard, radiant,kick heaters....
there is alot to learn before you attempt it on your own...
if you dont get it where you work now, and I dont know your end game if you want your own business, but sometimes bouncing around from companies is the best way to learn different aspects of plumbing...but thats a personal call you have to make..
my best advice to you is to buy up all the books a Dan Holohan puts out, they are great and written with some humor but very down to earth and understandable to the common person...here is a link to his website, but buy the books, they cover all aspects of heating and all the old systems you come across..
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct...om/about-us/&usg=AOvVaw1pWI380SFA2LoM9o_pMwsw
Holy **** this website got tons of books!

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Any other plumbing related favorite book recommendations would be appreciated.

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Dan Holohan covers almost everything you will need to know, and I like the way he writes, its done in a way that you understand whats going on, he has a way of explaining that catches on fast, many other books from other authors sound like engineering boring reading...you will be impressed by Dans books..they cover all those little secret tricks and trouble shooting tips you really need....and his books cover any type of heating you will come across...I bought his books 30 years ago, so I dont know how much of the new exotic technology is covered in any new books, if he has written anything new in the last years...
I have used his books to trouble shoot some crazy heating systems I never saw before, some of the older systems from 60 to 100 years ago can be a bit wacky to say the least...
 

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Dan Holohan covers almost everything you will need to know, and I like the way he writes, its done in a way that you understand whats going on, he has a way of explaining that catches on fast, many other books from other authors sound like engineering boring reading...you will be impressed by Dans books..they cover all those little secret tricks and trouble shooting tips you really need....and his books cover any type of heating you will come across...I bought his books 30 years ago, so I dont know how much of the new exotic technology is covered in any new books, if he has written anything new in the last years...
Thanks man!

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I Second Dan holohan's books are amazing.. I've been getting one book for my bday every year for last year.. tons of information.. and thanks to him hes helped me diagnose some problems along the way.. particular steam heating..

We have very few buildings left in my city with steam heat but we had pleasure of servicing a couple... and with help of dan I fixed a problem they had been dealing with for years..
 

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4th year apprentice
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Keep asking questions. In my experience some guys will see it as weakness and assume that you don't know anything about anything else. Usually they are the ones who are insecure and aren't very good plumbers anyway, but some guys will be honored that you ask their advice and took interest and they'll soon be telling you more than you want to know. When you find one of them, hold on to him. Stay in touch when you move on. A six pack in thanks for a particularly enlightening day goes a long way.

And moving on is good advice too. A new company exposes you to new ideas. They don't yet know your strengths and more importantly your weaknesses, so have no preconceived apprehension about letting you try some new things. You have to prove yourself first with what you do know, but that's not too hard.

Keep in mind that some guys are excellent at what they do, but just cannot teach very well, and some you can learn best by what NOT to do. There used to be an old commercial that said "You can learn a lot from a dummy." So true.
 

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Keep asking questions. In my experience some guys will see it as weakness and assume that you don't know anything about anything else. Usually they are the ones who are insecure and aren't very good plumbers anyway, but some guys will be honored that you ask their advice and took interest and they'll soon be telling you more than you want to know. When you find one of them, hold on to him. Stay in touch when you move on. A six pack in thanks for a particularly enlightening day goes a long way.

And moving on is good advice too. A new company exposes you to new ideas. They don't yet know your strengths and more importantly your weaknesses, so have no preconceived apprehension about letting you try some new things. You have to prove yourself first with what you do know, but that's not too hard.

Keep in mind that some guys are excellent at what they do, but just cannot teach very well, and some you can learn best by what NOT to do. There used to be an old commercial that said "You can learn a lot from a dummy." So true.



I am still learning..you cant know everything about everything....and thats for existing stuff. now bring in all the new high tech stuff and you need a freaking electrical engineering degree to deal with all the computers and sensor crap in todays fixtures and boilers/heating equipment..
 

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Keep asking questions. In my experience some guys will see it as weakness and assume that you don't know anything about anything else. Usually they are the ones who are insecure and aren't very good plumbers anyway, but some guys will be honored that you ask their advice and took interest and they'll soon be telling you more than you want to know. When you find one of them, hold on to him. Stay in touch when you move on. A six pack in thanks for a particularly enlightening day goes a long way.

And moving on is good advice too. A new company exposes you to new ideas. They don't yet know your strengths and more importantly your weaknesses, so have no preconceived apprehension about letting you try some new things. You have to prove yourself first with what you do know, but that's not too hard.

Keep in mind that some guys are excellent at what they do, but just cannot teach very well, and some you can learn best by what NOT to do. There used to be an old commercial that said "You can learn a lot from a dummy." So true.
In my career every time the union asked me if I wanted to go something I wasn't familiar I did, residential, commercial, schools, industrial pipe fitting, oil refineries, hospitals, high rise, gas fitting, heating, steam fitting in paper mills, Installing gas lines in dozen of mines etc I said yes. Every other year I'd be in class learning and passing tickets. Sure I'm not a master in anything but I learned a lot more than the rest of them. I have earned 6 trade certificates in 2 provinces plus my master plumber so I consider that a total of 7.

It was go damn funny when I saw those snickering residential champions run circles around me doing that type of work. It was my turn to laugh when they ran out of work and showed up at the paper mill clueless of how to change out 2 ton spools while I was going there for every shut down and new mill addition for the last 20 years.
 

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canuckPlumBbob
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874 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Iv jumped ships to get different experiance.
Third company in 8 years now.
I left on good terms on my own will purly to get different work. I want leaving again to be the last case senerio.
And tbh the next person i work for is myself if that choice is made.
We got a boiler guy hes pushing 60.
I will look into the links an books that have been posted.
I did alot of reading up on hydronics when i was studying for my exam, i think the website was calleffi.
But yeah did the res new construction, commercial, institutional and all the standard service call stuff and lots of turd herding. So i guess im just getting bord and thats when i know i need to educate myself with somthing else.
It seems like employers for the most part will just go out to seek an individual that already has a certain skill instead of paying someone to fumble an make mistakes to learn which i get, its buissness its about the $
So i guess im just waiting for the starting QB to get injured to get called up to the show
 

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I have a boiler license but it is our state's lowest class (class I or III). It is good for hotel/restaurant boiler/water heaters but limited to btu's. I think the class allows me to work on bigger ones but no experience so I don't.

I would love to ride with someone for a day or 5 and be a helper but no time. Several guys on this forum have offered but always too far away.
 

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I had to take a written and verbal test with three inspectors to get a ticket to take out permits. If a permit is not submitted for two years the exam must be repeated.
 

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under may masters license I believe ( the last time I looked) I can install up to 400,000 btu..then you need another license or something..I never went that big, so I never looked into it, running smaller boilers in parralell is how many go, saves energy...
 

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Pornstar, Service Plumber
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under may masters license I believe ( the last time I looked) I can install up to 400,000 btu..then you need another license or something..I never went that big, so I never looked into it, running smaller boilers in parralell is how many go, saves energy...
YUP.

And if one fails they ain't totally phucked.
 

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NJ Master Plumber
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I was lucky enough to learn the fundamentals of boilers steam and hydronic during my apprenticeship at my first plumbing job. My old boss was a good plumber but an excellent boiler guy as well. Working directly with him was a great way to learn.

Dan H is a excellent source like others said. I also found that most manufacturers have classes on their equipment. Sometimes supply houses have courses to. It would be silly for your boss not to try to train you in boilers as well. Also try to learn some electric because a good amount of the time boilers wont run its electric related. Ask to start running with a guy who services them.

Something I've noticed is its hard to get initial training for boilers because it's not profitable to send a mechanic & helper on a no heat service call but ultimately that's how most end up learning it.
 

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under may masters license I believe ( the last time I looked) I can install up to 400,000 btu..then you need another license or something..I never went that big, so I never looked into it, running smaller boilers in parralell is how many go, saves energy...

16 unit condo customer of mine has LONG needed to replace their 50/60 year old boiler. I told them they need to set aside $75K+. And to get a quote from their boiler maintenance company. Sales reps that I have me all recommended smaller boilers in parallel. One of these days when they have the money.........................
 

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Seems like I have a similar resume as @Tango. I’ve had the opportunity to learn many different aspects of the trade. Commercial boilers and DHW systems make up the lion’s share of what I do these days. There’s big money to be made in boilers especially in multi-residential buildings like apartments buildings and condos. The equipment is expensive and a reasonable markup of 15%-20% on equipment and materials can be a huge springboard to make a job very profitable. So if your boss has a guy doing boilers now but he’s getting a little long on the tooth, he should definitely consider letting you get some experience so you can keep the ball rolling when he inevitably retires. I will also echo what many of the others have said, I highly recommend anything by Holohan. You’ll also want to have a good foundation of basic electrical. This is a great little book for helping with that stuff.
Audel HVAC Fundamentals, Volume 1 : Heating Systems, Furnaces and Boilers (Paperback)--by James E. Brumbaugh [2004 Edition] Audel HVAC Fundamentals, Volume 1 : Heating Systems, Furnaces and Boilers (Paperback)--by James E. Brumbaugh [2004 Edition]: James E. Brumbaugh: Amazon.com: Books
 
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