Who says online polls are unscientific? 

As I write this column just a day after businessman Donald Trump was elected U.S. president in a wave that almost nobody saw coming, I have to boast that there was at least one poll that got it right: the online survey at Snipsmag.com. 

For two months, we asked website visitors which candidate they wanted to win the White House: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton or Trump. An overwhelming 70 percent of the 700 who voted supported the Manhattan billionaire.

I must say I didn’t think the actual election would show Trump come anywhere close to winning, so the fact that the election results were similar to our poll — albeit with a much closer margin — is impressive.

So what do you think Trump’s win means for the construction industry in general or sheet metal/HVAC in particular? A rollback of regulations, such as the new overtime law or regional efficiency standards? Email me and let me know.


Proposed code changes good for sheet metal industry

In September, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials met for its 87th annual conference and the first of three 2018 code hearings. On the docket were the code changes already approved by the technical committees for the uniform plumbing code and the uniform mechanical code.

Mechanical code change proposal No. 72 dominated the discussion. After a motion to kill the amendment failed by an overwhelming majority, a 5-foot limitation of flexible duct in residential new construction was one step closer to reality.

The amendment is supported by energy-efficiency proponents and is based on years of research and a growing awareness of airflow problems that are directly related to the unrestricted use of flexible ducts. ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) research has both confirmed and quantified the adverse effects of using excessive amounts of flexible ducts. Failing to install the shortest possible length of flexible ducts leads to compression and excessive bends that dramatically increase friction loss.

An example of excess lengths would be using 12 to 15 feet — or more — of flexible duct between connections that are 10 feet apart.

ASHRAE has published recommended flexible duct restrictions in its fundamentals handbook and the advanced energy design guides, but the codes have not yet caught up. Building codes have traditionally dealt with building safety, but in recent years they have dedicated equal attention to energy efficiency. The proposed restriction of flexible duct in the 2018 UMC could signal the end of an era and the beginning of a new era, where quality and performance requirements override lowest cost and convenience.

Chris Van Rite

Vice president of sales

M&M Manufacturing Co.

Fort Worth, Texas

A bad example

Just received the October issue and saw the picture on page 4 and again on page 18 of the lady looking at a sheet metal ell. If that ell accidently falls and lands, according to Murphy’s Law, she could lose a toe or two.

I cringe when I see installers/service people wearing sneakers, sandals, shorts, etc., while working on our HVACR equipment. As a plus, she does have an orange vest on.

Tom Schaefer

Safety manager

Upstate Systems

Buffalo, New York