Jan. 25th, 2017

lobbying

Jan. 25th, 2017 03:03 pm
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Today I went to the State House, along with a large group of other people, and met my State Senator and State Representative.

In Massachusetts the State Senate wants Massachusetts to take the lead on improving energy policy to address climate disruption. But all such legislation dies in the House of Representative. The Rep was supportive of his constituents' concerns, but utterly dismissive of the chance of getting any legislation passed. "If it costs the utility companies money, it's not happening." I get the feeling that he introduces, co-sponsors, and votes for pro-climate legislation to humor the people who vote for him, but regard the effort as otherwise futile.

Apparently this is because leaders in the House listen to the utility companies more than they listen to the people of Massachusetts. There is one Rep in particular, from Winthrop. The utility companies have him totally by the ear. He puts progressive energy legislation to death for them.

Have you been to Winthrop? It's right on the beach. The ironic thing is that global warming is going to destroy Winthrop. People who own property in Winthrop should be freaking out about climate change, and asking "is there anything we can do?" But the people of Winthrop do not know, or do not care.

plumbing

Jan. 25th, 2017 06:25 pm
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Hank English the Plumber was highly recommended by friends so I called him when the hot water heater in the house needed to be replaced.

I think Hank thinks I am a sucker. An ignorant female who will pay twice as much as needed because I don't know better.

He did say, after installing the hot water heater, that I probably needed a water pressure regulator. I'm like, huh? We haven't had damage to fixtures or appliances, or toilets acting weird, or anything like that, to date. So I blew off his proposal to come back and test the pressure and install the regulator.

Now the hot water heater has an intermittent problem. I don't understand why the problem would relate to the water pressure. The tenant was able to observe the flame go out. It seems to me that there would be two different systems within the hot water heater: Water moves through; and gas is burned. I don't comprehend how anything about the water pressure would impact the gas burning.

But, OK, let's grant that the house needs a new water pressure regulator. We come to the issue of how much this would cost. Hank quoted an outrageous-sounding $850. A water pressure regulator, if I'm looking at the right thing online, is a $70 item. OK, so then there is labor. According to this DIY page, material costs are less than $100 and time required is one to two hours. Let's say the materials are $100 and Hank and his son work for 2 hours and are each paid $100 per hour. That's on the high side. That comes to $500. I don't see how he even begins to approach $850 in his quote.

And then there's the issue, if this doesn't fix the problem with the hot water heater flame, as I suspect... wtf brand new hot water heater?

If you're local to the house I own (and you know who you are) can you recommend a plumber who can give a second opinion?

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