PLUMBERS and CHEMISTS: match made in heaven

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    • #273772
      Anonymous

      I am speaking as a chemist that paid my way through college by doing plumbing. I think the two professions should work closer together, esp in this era of fears and often unfounded paranoia by the public over water quality, contaminants in groundwater, and in the plumbing materials you use.
      To that end, I am starting a part-time venture to do water quality testing in the NY area, but work ONLY through plumbers, and discuss WITH THE LICENSED PLUMBER what filtration is best for a particular client. the Chemical Manufacturing Assoc’s motto is “better living through chemistry”. The plumbing credo has always been “to protect the health of the nation”. Not just can we work together to ensure safe drinking water, but develop safer solvents to use for PVC piping, new advances in metallurgy, etc. Chemists try to respond to the needs of those they produce for. Its common that plumbers complain about some problems associated with new piping materials, but it would be more productive to write to the companies that produce it and give them positive feedback on how to make their products better. When I test a material in the lab, we try to simulate real-world scenarios, but its impossible. Weird things happen in the field that no one forsee. I myself would not realize that if I hadn’t worked in plumbing through college.

      Rich

      [Edited by Richard on 29 October 2000]

    • #288510

      Richard, I also feel that working with the trades is a great idea. I would like to see an apprentice program established for the water treatment industry. You see it takes many years of working with the products in different situations to know what works best for an individual water treatment application. I have 15 years in the business and still learn something new every day working for Osmonics as a field service engineer. Yes, I have made horrendous mistakes but have learned from all of them. Just like it takes many years for an apprentice to experience the situations that they will fall back on in the years after there apprenticeship. I don’t feel that the public is as paranoid as you say about there water. I think the public has pretty firm knowledge in what type of water problems they have. The problem is that there are just so many different treatments and new technologies for the consumer to make a clear decision. The media is responsible for most of this paranoia not the water treatment people we don’t want this going on either if you think about this it actually hurts the business. Sometimes the best treatment is no treatment at all you can create more trouble then good sometimes. Some states are rethinking what types of water treatment they will allow the DIY to install in there homes with good reasons. I believe that the individual can make these choices on there own if they are educated in the different technologies. This is where I feel the Internet makes a huge difference. Consumers can now get vital information they need to make good decisions. Concentrate some of your energy on writing and posting your chemistry knowledge so consumers can understand what options are out there.

      Respectfully David F. Walling

    • #288511

      I am very glad to hear you say that. Once I tested someones water, and the water they had going through a carbon filter was in was shape than the unfiltered. I explained that if they don’t maintain their filters properly, its worse than having no filter what so ever. In the lab, we use a millipore system, which is a .45 micron filter with UV lamp to eliminate bacterial elements, but then again, we are producing substrates, so such practices are necessary.

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