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I want to run this by the forum participants for your oppinions

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by elkimmeg, Apr 20, 2006.

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  1. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    My date with the state review board is next Wed. I am taken a back from the responses received from hearth,com members, 20 plus and counting. I am formulating my appeal.
    Debating whether to sit back and take it all in or be aggressive and point out what I bring to the table.
    The aggressive side:
    State code requires chimneys to be cleaned and inspected prior to installation of a new wood stove. Yet the state does not mention or license qualified trades, or persons for this inspection. There are national certifications of Chimney Sweeps, but they are not recognized in MA. Did you know that a construction supervisor’s license is required for solid fuel burning appliance installations? What about the certified Chimney sweep trained and certified for performing that service but is not a licensed supervisor?
    I ask who would you prefer, person trained to perform that function or some with a construction supervisor’s license that does not have a clue? Same exist for pellet stoves, a trained and certified installer or an un informed person with a construction supervisor’s license. (PS Harry and Shane I need the names of chimney sweep organizations that certify installers)

    Recently, I have discovered un supervised masonry work being done by un licenses immigrant labor.
    Critical life and safety work building fireboxes are in question. In many instances solid core masonry blocks are being substituted with hollow core blocks. I think it time the state addresses this issue, as I believe this practice is more wide spread than they know. What is your ruling or stand concerning this situation?

    The state is so concerned about energy code yet they have not addressed known installation flaws. Ceiling returns are the least efficient way to distribute heat.
    Yet code does not mention locations. If returns or supplies were located high and low uniform heating could occur. As it stands now the ceiling return is returning the hottest air back to the unit. It never is drawn downward. Industry and the EPA has proven that locating your HVAC unit in the attic area, outside the insulation envelope l looses up to 25% heat not transmitted to the living space Codes are also ambiguous as to who is qualified to install HVAC systems. Language mentions licensed installers, but do not state who is qualified to install burners or sheet metal work?

    WE all are experiencing escalating heating fuel cost. Solid fuel burning appliances are now vogue. In my town, I have requested the board of health to regulate emission ordinates. Like many other states ,our town will be adopting the EPA standards for clean wood stove burning. There exist a loop hole, OWB boilers, are smoke belching polluting beast. I have reviewed the regulations from the state of Wisconsin and others, that address the smoke pollution issues. Upon my recommendations we will be adopting codes for cleaner environment. In our small town there are already 3 OWB’s. My question to you is what is the state doing to address these issues?

    I can walk threw a new home doing a rough mechanical inspection and figure out the proper amount of baseboard heat required to heat a room. I can spot an overload situation at the beginning of a zone run, knowing the last room of the zone will never heat sufficiently. I have failed HVAC systems, knowing reduction of the transmission ducts lacked reduction necessary to increase static pressure at the end of the run. I can determine the load volume required for every room and whether the boiler is sized correctly or zoned right.

    I stand before you educating you from field experiences. Every seminar I have given has accomplished the same. I am auditioning, proving I have educated myself beyond conventional methods. My knowledge and influence transcends far beyond our state borders, to as far away as New Zealand. You have received a sampling of letters sent to you attesting to this. Proof is, I have taken my knowledge and made the world a safer cleaner place to live. I made a choice, I put family finances ahead of attending seminars which I am not paid to attend.

    Just wondering here should I get letters from my state rep and senators in support of my job. If I push the envelope a bit I may be able to get a letter from the govenor

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  2. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Nov 23, 2005
    northern massachusetts
    i agree with dylan, but don't think you'll get a response in time for the meeting.
    also be aggressive. if you sit back they will tell you the easiest solution for them. if you fight for your right. you'll come off to them as a go getter and that your not lazy and didn't get your points because you didn't feel like it.

    best of luck
  3. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    I'm building an addition on the senator's home. This senator has direct feed into the gov's office. Many predict he will soon be running for gov. Pretty powerful ally to have. I am also good friends with the State rep, Both of these guys needed in roads to the town I grew up in. where my family resides. I introduced them to some contacts, and I must say they were beneficial to them winning the election.
  4. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Nov 23, 2005
    northern massachusetts
    bingo. a direct hit.
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Nov 17, 2005
    Western Mass.
    Personally, I would have a number of tricks up my sleeve, but not pull out all the stops until I felt out the situation. They may look at all your knowledge as a threat - for instance, they might see you as a policeman (code enforcer) who wants to make laws. My guess is they don't want policemen to make laws.

    They probably will respond to a few basic descriptions of your work and self-education in these matter - you don't want their eyes to glaze over as you spout more than they can take in.

    In some of these cases, the less said the better. Did they or anyone else give you ideas on exactly what this appeal is about? Usually there are some kind of guidelines as to what they want and how it gets presented. You might show up with 1/2 hour of material, and they may give you 5 minutes.

    I think you have to be focused on exactly what they want....not what YOU WANT TO GIVE THEM, but what they are looking for. Sorry if that sounds a little muddy.

    So have your weapons ready, but don't pull out all the stops unless heavy artillery is called for.
  6. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    There is another reason I monitor this forum It is a great group participants. Insightfull advice and I vallue your oppinions and judgements. I have taken in all prespectives and will try to apply them as the situation unfolds. Thanks all.

    Dylan biggest thing I can do to shave strokes off my score is to keep my head down on simple chip shots.
    I have to eliminate stupid shots. Still very early in the season still finding my swing rythum
  7. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

    Dec 27, 2005
    Western Massachusetts
    tough one, Elk.......
    First, i was certified to install pellets stoves by the Pellet Fuel Institute......8 hours of class time, 3 hours or so of test. Im also a member of the MHBA, the Home Builders Association. They can put an average Joe through a class and get him through the Construction Supervisors test fairly quickly, but since its an open-book test in MA, I question whether having that ConSuper certification is worth a whole lot...all they really teach is where to find the info in the Mass Code Manual. Id rather have the guy like yourself who is out there to do a good job, seen alot of stuff, and has a great workable knowledge. In fact, I wonder why you really bother to be an inspector at all...certainly not a money-making proposition, and likely can cause alot of bad will.

    As for your hearing....I would implore you NOT to get aggressive with these folks. Most of the politicos dont cater well to it, and like to think of themselves as THE big fish in their small pond, be it as it may. I think you should stick with your strengths...the fact you know what you speak of, and that strongest motivator...the fact that you are right. If it all goes to heck in a handbasket and you end up getting railroaded, at least you can look in the mirror in the morning, smile, and say that you did the best job you could, and would do the same thing again, if it were to occur. Thats really what we all have to strive for, isnt it? If at the end of the day, you can honestly say you worked your hardest and did the best you could, nothing, and I mean NOTHING can detract from that. you still can have a bunch of PO'd people, because youre only human, but at least YOU DID YOUR BEST. No matter what happens, hold your head high....you definitely hold the moral high ground here. Rules are always made, and frequently not followed, and thats wrong, but its also the way it is.

    I feel whatever the outcome of your hearing, you will present yourself well, factually, and will communicate your vast knowledge of code. If the outcome is detrimental, then so be it, and start the new chapter in your life. Hopefully a small part of it will continue to be here at Hearthnet, attempting to help those who frequently sorely need it.

    Good luck!
  8. crow

    crow New Member

    Dec 4, 2005
    Don't know who said it first, but " forewarned is forearmed."
    I agree with everyone's take on the situation you're facing Elk.
    You'll have all your ducks in a row, and if the situation warrants it , you'll be ready to come out shootin'...

    On the same ticket , you don't need to kill an ant with a hand grenade.
    Feel out the situation as much as possible before hand. Think about those things that are most important to convey.

    Craig is right to caution about possible time constraints and formats in which what you have to say gets heard.
    When your position is more secure , then you can continue to work as you have, to continue the implementation of public safety. When you're on the inside , you stand a better chance of helping to direct revision and change .

    Also, you can NEVER have too much support. Call in every letter of reference from anyone who's opinion matters. You'll have it if you need it. As you always say: better safe than sorry.

    We'll be pulling for you.
    I know you'll keep us posted.
  9. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    Harry my Materials lumber supplier is Chase building supply. Not the cheapest not home cheapo. I have been doing business with them for the past 25 years. Everybody know my name. I like all employees. Even my wife is impressed with their friendlyness, when we were picking out paint. Sure their cost of 2/4's might pay a little more but who wants to load 3 carts to push threw checkout. Convient to drive the truck up to the lifts and load the pk truck. My time equaly money plus a delivery service to my jobs. I can bring in a stock list and have a printout of cost. They really help with my estimates. Point being, these family run businees, should not be run out of Business by behemouth box stores. It's up to the local community to support them. I have a loyalty expressed here towards VC, but I have same thought process concerning supporting local hardware stores or building suppliers. If I worked in your area we also would be on first name basis. Again I have read many of your post all informative and helpfull a Credit to your business and characture. Do your self a favor and end your participation in the price gouging post. You are being sucked in and baited. Your own advice hold your head high take the high road. And thanks as I value your support
  10. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Nov 19, 2005
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Elk, you need to create the win win situation. In order to get you friends in high places to do what you want, you need to show them what they get in return. Show them how they can toot their own horn on how for the enviroment they are. It's all about the next campain.
  11. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    The post about OWB and adopting the EPA clean air wood stove leglisation on a local level, is a start. I am hoping to push it to a higher to the state level. I think it is a win win situation. One, it will not hurt existing installations grandfathered, two, It will spur new interest is sales so there should bemanufacturer's support,
    So much so, one has expressed a rebate program for replacements of older stoves. Like Warren said, it is a popular stand for politicians. They can claim to be environmentally friendly.

    OWB situation may be different, A couple of factors, we do not have to deal with no local manufactures in Ma., that I know of.
    Not a huge industry presence either in our state.

    The federal level I do have some connections to Senator Ted Kennedy. but that would be a reach. The federal government already has the EPA regs in place available to states to adopt . The other connection is our Republican Gov, who is in in good staid with our current Pres, and Maybe running of federal office himself soon. Mo has presented a good case for third party participation. In our state
    Ma., we will have a good third party candidate running for the vacant gov's office. If he pitched for EPA regs as an environmentally friendly policy, at some point it would be recognised. He may not win but the message could. I lost my election for board of health,
    yet I am working on one of my objectives, to get the board to adopt regs for cleaner burning stoves. Even-though I lost, I may be able to deliver one of my promises. Over a life time oF being a fair honest person one makes connections. To me money is not life's motivation. I have helped a lot of people and every now and then, it becomes a time to call in a favor. I think the timing is Now.

    ON the federal level, about the best one can hope for, is to have someone like Ted Kennedy, drop a dime to the EPA and question the OWB situation.
  12. Sundeep Arole

    Sundeep Arole New Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Framingham, MA
    Elk my personal thought is it hurts more then helps to drop big political names. They might know you, but that doesn't automatically mean that they can vouch for your credentials. Further, you never know the political leanings of the review board members. If they don't like the polititians you mention they will project that dislike on you - they don't know you, and when you mention a big name like Teddy - that is all about you they will remember. If someone I otherwise didn't know came to me a job interview and dropped Teddy Kennedy's name, you can bet that after the interview when I am discussing the candidate with my colleagues I would say - "Yea, let's talk about Joe, the buddy of the senator from Chapaquitic." Not exactly the reaction Joe would have liked.
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