Issue Allstar

Know when to hold ‘em

Kenny Rogers recorded “The Gambler,” a song about poker written by Don Schlitz, in the 70s. The refrain claims, “You’ve got to know when to...more...

The Sultana

I recently took a trip to New Orleans. For a city that is technically 100 miles from the Gulf of Mexico along the Mississippi River,...more...

Solar heat collector variations, Part 2

A Folded Harp is a collector (or pair of collectors) that was designed with the supply and return Header a one end. The parallel risers...more...

Energy disconnect

We have had a turbulent relationship with energy conservation in the U.S. At different times in our country’s history, one could have been looked down...more...

The right tool for the job

You know the feeling. You are in a tight crawlspace with a 20-foot crawl to the hatch. Or, you are on a rooftop, and have...more...

Wasting water

There’s plenty of good news lately on the California drought. Californians are going above and beyond the state’s water-savings goals. Citizens decreased total water use...more...

Steam renovation

The list of steam heating contractors who have installed a completely new steam heating system is not long. By complete, I mean boiler, piping, risers,...more...

File and find it again?

Over the years, I’ve collected an awesome “toolbox” of files—spreadsheets, procedures, articles, marketing ideas, pictures, etc. I bet you have, too. Here’s the problem: it...more...

Questions asked and answered

This commentary presents a sample of emails I receive from contractors about our noble PHC industry, business, my editorials, and my products and/or services related...more...

Vacuum sux

The call came in one morning a few weeks ago.: “My water heater is leaking. Can you come take a look?” the caller asked....more...

A visit to NTI

I first met Steve “Wheels” Wieland almost 20 years ago. I don’t remember exactly how or where we met but most likely it was at...more...

An offer you can't refuse

Recently while perusing the mail, I noticed a postcard from a plumbing contracting business franchise notifying plumbing contractors they were hiring qualified plumbers. Its content...more...

What you need to succeed

TM, a tech, recently sent the following e-mail: “I have appreciated your articles in Phc News magazine on running a business that's profitable. I was...more...

Where is the water line?

We service the steam system in an old apartment building in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The Avondale Apartment Building was built in...more...

Do standard task times exist?

I was wondering what you offer in terms of flat rate books. I am primarily a new construction contractor, but on occasion I do...more...

Matching new technology to old infrastructure

When I first got into the trade almost 30 years ago, the equipment I installed and serviced was pretty straightforward. Truck stock was minimal and...more...

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