contact

mission jobs calendar ask questions newsletter links classes articles sitemap

PROMOTING EXCELLENCE IN NYC MULTI-FAMILY BUILDING OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE

site at a glance
homepage
sitemap
what's new?
sta school
member enrollment
events calendar
meeting directions
STA Shop
current weather
building codes
ny times news
find
sitemap
search site
contact us
chapters
newsletter
membership
questions
super questions
faqs
ask a question
events
 
sponsors
jobs
maintenance jobs
resumes
situations-wanted
management jobs
education
sta education services
continuing ed
glossaries
research
tip of the month
writing
newsletter archives
articles
one super life
blogs
book suggestions
book reviews
glossaries
dictionary/thesaurus
helpful links
2009 membership
vendor member list
maintenance links
nyc links
more nyc links
neighborhoods
local papers
supers blogs
nyc transit info
energy
conserving resources
real estate
nyc site of the week
helpful numbers
site info
press releases
mission
history
bylaws
in the media
your privacy
terms of service
ad rates
donate
 
misc.
building fund
download toolbar
supers' blogs
photo archives
membership form
jokes
nyc weather
classified ads
about paypal
for web novices
sponsors
game room
tools bought/sold
fundraising
donations
vendor member list
blogs
Porters, Handymen, and Doorman, or PHD's Blog
 
  Questions For Supers - 550 to 599  
 

 

 

 
 

"Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information on it."  -- Samuel Johnson

 
       
 

frequently asked questions  ask a question  questions by category

 
  last update on Sunday February 03, 2008 12:53 PM PT  
     
  The information given on these question and answer pages has been carefully checked and is believed to be accurate; however, no responsibility is assumed for inaccuracies. All answers sent in and published on these pages are the sole opinions of the authors and do not represent any legal, medical, or professional advice.

The Supers Technical Association reserves the right to make changes to any and all content without notice, and to edit all questions and answers received for accuracy or clarity, or for any other purpose.

Although the Supers Technical Association believes the content to be accurate, complete, and current, the Supers Technical Association makes no warranty as to its accuracy or completeness of the content. It is your responsibility to verify any information before relying on it. The content of this site may also include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. From time to time changes will be made, without prior notice, to the content herein.

Do not construe any answers we give as legally binding in any way. We don't practice law and do NOT dispense legal advice.

 
     
  QUESTIONS POSTED  
     
  Question #599: I live in a 1950's co-op in Hudson County, NJ. The previous management company verbally allowed me to install a small in-sink garbage disposal unit. New management wants to fine me for having it without documentation. Are there any laws regarding in-sink garbage disposals? Post your answer

Answer: Sorry I have no knowledge of New Jersey building codes. May I recommend asking a licensed plumber from your area. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #598: I was wondering when the school for superintendents starts, because I would like to enroll myself there, and what do I need to qualify? Post your answer

Answer: It depends on which school you're thinking of enrolling in. Go to our Continuing Education page for a short list of schools featuring classes in building superintendency skills. We also, as a technical association, offer many workshops, sometimes as an extra meeting of the month, or as we're doing this month with our building violations workshop, as the main attraction of our regular meetings. Members always get a certificate for their attendance at these workshops, and when you add them all up, will take you a long way toward your goal of becoming a knowledgeable and skilled superintendent.

Answer: There is a union school for superintendents only for Local 32BJ members and their affiliates. Also, see the Real Estate Education Center for superintendent and facilities management classes. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #597: I have two boilers fed off of oil which generate steam in the winter for heating, and hot water through a coil for the summer. Is there a way that I can change parameters on the boiler settings, ie, steam set point, boiler temperature, to reduce my fuel consumption when only making hot water in the summer? Post your answer

Answer: Yes, there are ways to improve your system efficiency. I would need more information about your equipment and therefore it would be better if you spoke to me directly. My office number is 212-982-4803. Jeff Eichenwald

Answer: If your boiler produces hot water from a coil that is INSIDE the boiler, during summer operations, it should NOT be producing steam. So changing the set points for steam during summer operations is not necessary.  IF you are producing steam in this type of boiler/coil arrangement then you have a problem.  Try reducing the temperature of the hot water output from the Hoby valve or other mixing device. 5 degrees decrease yields about 3% reduced oil consumption. (3% is a raw number). PGrech, gboc.net

 
  Question #596: Re: Question #577 - Why hasn't anyone answered the question. The super and the assistant super are provided apartments. Do we have to provide one to the porter? Post your answer

Answer: I'm a super in Great Neck and am not aware of any regulations requiring a live-in porter. Each village has their own specific rules regarding live in supers and/or others and if information regarding these situations is needed, I'm sure a phone call to the building department would provide an answer. However, it's possible that a building has a policy requiring a live-in porter and if that's the case, the building has to abide by that and give the new porter an apartment.

Answer: New York State codes require someone to live on the premises or within 200 feet of the premises - usually it is the superintendent. You do not have to provide housing for an assistant superintendent or porter. In some cases where the premises are very large, the assistant super is provided with an apartment, but only in very large buildings. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #595: What phone number do I call to find out about my pension fund benefits in New York City? Post your answer

Answer: If you're a member of Local 32BJ, see their website.


 
  Question #594: The only two windows in my living room are fire escape windows. If I install an air conditioner in one window, what can I do to prevent push-in burglaries? As far as I know it's illegal to permanently bolt anything to a window that's facing a fire escape. Post your answer

Answer: Come to any of the three meetings of the STA in April. A representative of the NYC/FD will be there to answer your question.


 
  Question #593: I am a tenant in a rent stabilized apartment who installed, at my own expense, approved security window gates while living in my apartment.  If I move, can I remove them or do they become a permanent fixture of the apartment? Post your answer

Answer: Real Estate Law states that anything that is bolted or attached to a unit becomes a part of that unit and belongs to the landlord - that's the short version. In actuality, most people just remove them before they move out without hassle. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #592:  I live in Brooklyn in a 43 apartment building. Some of us are rent controlled. We were told the super works 8A.M. - 4P.M. and no Saturdays or Sundays. The super doesn't answer his phone. Is there anything we can do? Post your answer

Answer: Supers are human too. Unless its a bona fide emergency, you will have to wait until Monday. Try giving a better xmas gratuity, that usually motivates some supers to go above the call of duty. John G.


 
  Question #591: How do I get a #6 oil burner boiler c of f? Post your answer

Answer: Go to our Certificates of Fitness and Exams page and read the similar questions, and their answers. There are also links there to more info on the Fire Department web site.


 
  Question #590: What is the smallest bathroom room size according to New York State Code in a residence with just a toilet and sink. Post your answer

Answer: Just a bowl and sink with enough space to fit them in, sit on the bowl and close the door without getting off the bowl, that's it. Bathroom sizes are not determined by square foot. Also the question is, what year was it built? New construction, or major renovations to bathroom must meet ADA laws: bath room doors 36 inch or wider, enough for a wheel chair to pass, sinks that permit wheel chairs etc. In the old laws, bath tubs could be in the kitchen and just a lavatory for sink and bowl in the apartment or even down the hall. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #589: We are dissatisfied with the current managing agent for our building, but delighted with the "super super" he brought with him when he began managing our building. Is there any way (aside from personal persuasion) that the managing agent could force the super to leave if we replace the managing agent? Basically, at this point we are tolerating the managing agent because we love our super so much. Post your answer

Answer: The Super and the Management Agency are separate entities. There are limited super jobs and the "Super Super" will let you know if he/she will stay if there is a change in management agencies. Remember, communication is the key, Those who do not ask may not receive. Richard Feuerstein

Answer: Manager and Super aren't married to each other, they can and often do go separate ways, and the only ways I can think of for the former manager to persuade the current super to leave his building is if he made him a better job offer (an offer too good to refuse), or if he has a means of coercion, like some dirt on him of an ethical nature, etc., (an offer he can't refuse). Glen Stoltz

Answer: It's the board who decides who is terminated or not. That includes the management company as well as super and staff. If the management company is terminated, they will need the super, not to mention they do not want to make waves at first bat. My experience has been, its easier to change management companies than supers. Managers come and go, but good supers stay. When you are ready let me know, I can recommend two great management companies as well as help you interview them and others. I keep a list of good and bad companies. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #588: Our landlord is having a man who is not a licensed plumber to do the repairs on our hot, cold and mixing valves on our shower. This strikes me as a very bad idea. Are there any regulations regarding who a landlord can have do repairs? Post your answer

Answer: This question has been asked and answered before (see Categorized Questions page for the appropriate category, or do a Google website search). Most plumbing jobs inside the walls require a licensed plumber as per NYC building (plumbing) codes. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #587: My landlord told me that there is a leak under my tub creating a problem in my neighbor's bedroom. She wants to send a handyman to rip up the tub to repair the problem. I'm afraid the job will be too big for anyone other than a plumber. I suspect she's cutting corners and does not want to pay for a plumber. Should I insist on a licensed plumber? Post your answer

Answer: See the answer to Question #588.


 
  Question #586: I know somebody that wants to sell me their 2 apartment units in a building, but they are both rent controlled/stabilized. My intentions were to move my families in them. Is there any way these tenants can be evicted? What if I convert the unit into a co-op, would I have the right to do that and evict them or are they stuck there forever, as someone has already told me? Post your answer

Answer: This is a question for a housing lawyer. John G.


 
  Question #585: I live in Downtown Brooklyn in a privately owned multiple dwelling (3 units, 4 floors). The landlord is never around and may not come by for weeks at a time. What are the requirements by law? Is he required to have a super or attendant in the building. I feel like there should be someone here always, as he lives in another borough, at least 1 hour away by car? Post your answer

Answer: New York City and New York State laws only require a super or such on call 24/7 if the building has more then 6 and 8 apartments respectively. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #584: I am having a baby in a few months and live in an older apartment building in Brooklyn. I am wondering how I check the lead levels in the apartment from paint and such. Post your answer

Answer: You can buy a test kit from a good hardware store. Or you can spend money and have a environmental company come in and do the testing. First choice is much cheaper. John


 
  Question #583: Does anyone know of a rubbish removal service that will take out large items such as non-functional (disconnected) water heaters and old cast-iron radiators? Post your answer

Answer: Yes I do know of someone who would remove those items. Email me at pikcstick@yahoo.com.


 
  Question #582: I am interested in attending Supers Association meetings in the Bronx, Manhattan or Brooklyn. Do these groups have regular meetings in the summer? Post your answer

Answer: Yes, meetings continue all summer long. Check out the latest Newsletter on the website for dates, or see the Calendar page. John


 
  Question #581: What is the best way to find people who purchase #4 oil and #6 oil? Are supers usually the decision makers when purchasing heating oil? Post your answer

Answer: No, supers do not usually choose the vendor. They only make the orders. Look up management companies, or go to IREM and NYARM which are associations for property managers. John


 
  Question #580: I want to become a super and have no experience. Where do I start and what qualifications do I need? Post your answer

Answer: See the answer to Question #464 and all the other pertinent answers to questions on the categorized questions Supers & Management page.


 
  Question #579: Re: Question #576, so can you legally put an a/c in the window with the fire escape if it is the only option (if you don't want to put in a ceiling fan)? I have no children. Post your answer

Answer:


 
  Question #578: I am a tenant in an apartment, and I want to post my name on the mailbox, but the super keeps removing it. I have no problems with the landlord, and I let the landlord know about this situation. He promised to talk to the super, but the super is still removing my name from the mailbox. What do you suggest I do? Post your answer

Answer: Report him to the US Post Office. He is in violation of tampering with US Post Office business and property, and could be arrested. I would warn him before you notify the Post Office. Eugene Marabello


 
  Question #577:  I live in a 145 unit co-op in Nassau County. The board agreed to rent out the porter's apartment because the porter owns his own home. If this porter leaves his job for any reason, do we have to empty that apartment and make it available to the new porter? The tenants currently have a one year lease, but they are well liked and interested in renewing their lease. Are we required by law to provide the porter with an apartment on the premises?  Post your answer

Answer:


 
  Question #576: My bedroom has only one window and it exits to a fire escape. I have tried to air condition the room from an air conditioner unit in the living room, but it is not effective (too far away and the a/c unit is too small). Can I still install the window AC unit in my bedroom window as long as it is not bolted down (I don't have any children)? If not, what would you recommend to air condition my bedroom other than those expensive portable AC's or evaporative coolers? Post your answer

Answer: Try a good ceiling fan. A ceiling fan would help draw some of the air conditioning from the living room. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #575: The apartment building I live in is in a U shape. Across from my window, 20 feet away, there is a very noisy a/c. The neighbor is very uncooperative. The owner plays an innocent. What should I do? Do I have any rights? Post your answer

Answer: Yes, you have the right to quiet and enjoyment of your apartment. The DEP is the agency to call if you have a noise complaint. What you can do depends on if you live in a rental or a condo/co-op. Call the managing agent first with the complaint, then the DEP. There is something called cityproof windows that will soundproof your apartment. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #574: Does the New York State Energy Code require at least R-30 for cathedral ceilings in a one family home? Just renovated and the contractor put in R-19. Wish I knew there was a choice for the better insulation. Post your answer

Answer:


 
  Question #573: I've been a super for a very short time and I don't know much about the rules of the job. In the building where I work, tenants and other people hang out and play music in front. My landlord wants me to make them stop, he wants me to confront them. I spoke to them many times but it seems to not work. I want to know what should I do? Post your answer

Answer: Superintendents are not cops! If a confrontation turns ugly you have no special protection under the law. Ask the landlord to post a permanent sign stating his policy of NO LOITERING. NO RADIO PLAYING. ETC. You can call the local Police Precinct to report noise or unruly behavior. I suggest you do so anonymously. Also, visit your local precinct and ask to speak with a community concerns officer for advice.


 
  Question #572: I live in a condo apartment in Queens. I would like to change all my windows to vinyl windows as my current windows are too old. I heard that vinyl windows may not be accepted by most co-ops due to the fire code. I want to know whether I can use it for my condo apartment. If I change to use vinyl windows, will the condo management request me to change it back? Also, will I get any trouble from the fire department if I use vinyl windows? Post your answer

Answer: Just ask the managing agent that question: "Does the building permit vinyl window replacements?" Most probably you would have to get the Condo Board's permission to do this, as well as fill out an alteration or construction agreement. As for vinyl windows being against Fire Department Code, I have not heard this. This would be an issue with the manufacturer - to give you New York City Code-accepted windows. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #571: Is it a violation to have window gates and child guards on the same windows? Post your answer

Answer:


 
  Question #570: Does workers comp cover an employee working after hours for a resident of the condo association? Post your answer

Answer: NO. Workers comp only covers workers for work done at or on the job. If worker went to the hardware store for building issues and got injured /she is covered but working in apartments after or before work hours or on his/her day off is NOT covered by workers comp and so a lawsuit may have merits. Note: if the apartment owner has workers comp insurance for work done in the apartment, then the worker would be covered under that insurance. PGrech, gboc.net

Answer: If the owner has a homeowners insurance policy in New York it will include workers comp.


 
  Question #569: We have four apartment buildings, with four separate boilers for four heating systems. Each apartment building has 28 units each. In winter, some apartments are too cold and some are too hot. How can we solve this problem, to control the temperature more evenly among the different units? Is there any technology nowadays to solve this problem? Post your answer

Answer: The quick answer is yes, there are ways to balance the heating in a building. How this is done depends upon many variables, most dependent on how the building is heated in the first place (hot water, one or two pipe steam, etc.) Your next step is to call in a professional (you can e-mail me) to do an initial survey and give you some ideas of what can be done. Joe Lambert www.leonardpowers.com


 
  Question #568: I have just installed a new downdraft blower motor with a new Jenn Air range. I installed the blower motor to the hardwood floor under the range, as directed. However, there are fairly significant vibrations in the floor around the stove when the range downdraft fan is on. How would I best solve this problem? Post your answer

Answer: It is not uncommon to get vibrations from these blowers. You need to mount the blower on a vibration absorbent material. Rubber works very well. Installing a rubber pad under the blower will eliminate the vibration by 80 to 95% and bring it to a tolerable level. If this does not eliminate or greatly reduce the vibration, then you have a defective blower. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #567: I'm a super but I want to get my #6 boiler certificate. In the building I work for there is a #4 boiler, but I want the #6 certificate just to have. Are there any schools online where I can take this course or are there any schools in the Bronx I can go to, please let me know. Post your answer

Answer: I hope you'll hear from others who have taken particular courses, but in the meantime, see our Continuing Education page for some good starter ideas.


 
  Question #566: Re: Question #547: As a super, I have always operated under the assumption that the only duty not legal for an unlicensed locksmith to perform within my own building is that of breaking into a locked apartment in the absence of the owner. Certainly to change locks or cylinders, install new locks, make keys, or break in with the owner/resident's authorization, are things I consider to be legal. I would like to know other opinions about that. Post your answer

Answer: The law is quite clear: only a licensed person or one working under a licensed smith can install new locks, make keys, or gain entrance to an apartment with the consent of the owner. Repairs to locks and changing existing cylinders are also under the same law. However, the law allows repairing or changing of cylinders as a maintenance activity. Keep in mind, it allows but does not consent. PGrech, gboc.net

A NYC locksmith license is NOT required for the installation of a new lock. Otherwise, every carpenter that installs a new door would also have to acquire his own license. Rick Duskiewicz


 
  Question #565: I need to install an air conditioner in a room where both windows open onto the fire escape. I plan to put Fire Department-approved gates on one window and want to install the air conditioner high in the second, with a stationary gate. Is this to Code? Post your answer

Answer: No, this is not to code. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #564: Is the landlord responsible for my having access to the electrical fuse box? I live on the top floor of a 2 family home, and the fuse box is in a non-approved basement apartment that I do not have access to. Every time the electricity goes out, we have to pray that the tenant is home, if not we have to wait until she or the landlady gets around to letting us in to remedy the situation. What are my rights? Post your answer

Answer: All tenants have the right to access their own fuse boxes. If they don't, then there must be someone who can within a reasonable time. Call HPD and find out your rights. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #563: I have an odd question to ask, but I'm not sure where to start. I just moved into a building, and the super is often drunk and expresses rather aggressive ideas about and to those who bother him. I recorded some tonight. These words are quite frightening for someone who just received a mortgage for a co-op AND lives next door to the super. So - my question - where do I begin to lodge a complaint - with the managing agent? Post your answer

Answer: Yes the managing agent would be the logical place to start. Try to get a sense of how much he knows about the problem - there must have been previous complaints about this person. Quite possibly there is fear of retribution (lawsuit, etc.) on the part of the manager and the owners & board alike. Intimidation can do funny things. It's probably a very delicate situation for all, and it may be that hard evidence was scant or nonexistent - now you may have it IF it can be used. Tread carefully, but if you're sure this is a bad guy for the building, don't let intimidation of any kind stop you. If you need an outside consultant to help, try gboc.net. Glen Stoltz


 
  Question #562: Is it possible to evict a rent controlled tenant based on their repeated unauthorized entry into the boiler room? Post your answer

Answer: I doubt it. However you CAN press charges of trespassing if the boiler room door has signs posted, "Authorized Personnel Only - Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted". Call the police if the signs are on the door. PS. The boiler room door should be locked. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #561: Our super was suspended for over 6 weeks. What can we do? Post your answer

Answer: A six week suspension is very uncommon in this field. Usually a one or two week suspension is more than enough. There is probably more to it than it appears to be. What can you do? Find out the facts. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #560: I own a co-op in Queens. The previous owner had installed an air conditioner in a window next to a fire escape. Management is now demanding immediate removal, as the conditioner unit cannot exceed the windowsill. I cannot find the building code to verify the regulation. If true, all new air conditioners appear to exceed the window sill, so can anyone suggest a solution? Post your answer

Answer: I have not heard of that new code. Under Local Law 11 of 98 and its amendments, AC units that go 10 inches or more past the window sill have to be installed by having extended legs that support the unit against the building or have metal bars that hold it from the inside. What you are saying I have not heard and if this is the case them 90 percent of the current a/c units are now illegal. PGrech, gboc.net

Answer: If you have a case for a slide-in unit installed in the apartment the landlord could be right. Victor Guzman


 
  Question #559: I live in a 3 family brownstone co-op in Brooklyn, which shares a common wall with the 3 family co-op next door. The new owners next door have started to build a roof deck and have cut 6 12'' x 12" holes into the top of the common wall in order to anchor concrete pilings into the wall which will hold up metal beams. The beams will only extend half way across the pilings so they are claiming that they do not have to ask our permission and is completely legal. The holes for the pilings extend completely across the wall so I think that they are wrong. Does anyone know the laws for common walls or where I can look it up without involving a lawyer? Post your answer

Answer: Not everything that is Code is published. The fastest way to do this is to call Department of Buildings and request a building inspector to come and inspect it. I am sure they have filed the proper papers and have a building permit - if not they are in deep doodoo. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #558: I would like to know if the landlord is supposed to provide window screens if I don't have central air conditioning in my apartment? Post your answer

Answer: Window screens, if they were not installed prior to you moving in, are NOT required of the landlord to provide and/or maintain. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #557: I see that it's been stated here that there is no required license for supers, but there must be some skills or programs they must pass right? I live in a poorly maintained building, and people wonder why we don't have a porter or a handyman, what the responsibilities of the super are, and although you have told others that they should contact the building management for such questions, what do we do when the building management chooses to ignore us and our questions, who do we turn to then? Post your answer

Answer: There are plenty of good courses available to take, but there are absolutely none required to have been taken and passed before hiring someone for a super's position. As for who to complain to about your poorly maintained building, you can try calling the City's 311 line, or call HPD and ask them for advice. It's a tough situation when the property management company doesn't respond in a timely fashion to complaints, but sometimes they can be forced to do so with some outside pressure.


 
  Question #556: I work in a high class 47 unit building as the super. Would like to know what labor unions will benefit me and my porter? Post your answer

Answer: Local 32BJ is the only one I know of for New York City.


 
 
Question #555: My boyfriend is trying to find a school to go for classes to get his Boiler's Certificate. I wanted to know where is the best place to go for night classes since he works during the day? I heard about a school in Brooklyn but I am not sure. Post your answer

Answer: Check out the New York City College of Technology. PGrech, gboc.net

Answer: Try any or all of the schools on our Continuing Education Page.


 
  Question #554: I am planning to have the stucco coating on two, non-street facing sides of my building replaced. I need to know if a permit from the Department of Buildings is required for this work. Post your answer

Answer: Yes a permit is required. The contractor can easily obtain the permit. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #553:  I am disabled. Am I legally responsible to bring my bagged trash from the 4th floor down to the alley below the 1st floor? Sometimes the elevator works, sometimes it doesn't. Post your answer

Answer: ADA rules don't eliminate your responsibility as the lease holder to have your own household garbage removed. Perhaps the good neighbor policy would work, where your neighbors can help you in these times. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #552: I am currently engaged in replacing the first flight of stairs (wood) in my building with metal. We have already made our contractor selection and have plans prepared by an architect and approved by DOB. What I am uncertain of is what documents I should require from the contractor to insure competence, qualification and of course liability. Budget is very tight. Appreciate all responses. If dialogue is preferred: 212-222-9760. Thanks in advance. Post your answer

Answer: The architect's role is to make the plans, and to screen the contractors. The architect is not the only person who can qualify and check references. Money is tight. Can you risk not paying a fee for the architect to do this? As for liability: the contractor must have the necessary insurance to do the work, Workers comp and liability insurance. Don't forget the warranty. Lastly, see if the Better Business Bureau can help you with information on your contractor. PGrech, gboc.net


 
  Question #551a: I got a job as a Supt./Handyman in a small office building. I have run into my first problem and it's driving me nuts! A Sloan flushometer is leaking from the vacuum breaker. I've changed the vacuum breaker and spud; but every time I flush, the water leaks out from the perforations at the top of the flush tube (into which is inserted the rubber vacuum breaker). I've tried putting a 1 1/2" gasket on top, applied string around the flush tube, tightened the nut till it couldn't go any more. Nevertheless, every time I flush the water leaks out of the perforations at the top of the flush tube. Can anybody assist - please! I need to keep this job. Post your answer

Answer: If you have a control stop and it works, perhaps you might try to cut the flow down. If your water pressure is very high, it's possible that the water is backing up in the vacuum breaker and being forced behind the sleeve and out the orifices. Is the rubber sleeve the correct one for the unit? I have never experienced this kind of problem. Good Luck! Gene Marabello

Question #551b: Gene, Thanks for reply - I now understand the process which causes the water to leak from the holes at the top of the pipe; it's water backing up between the rubber piece and the flush tube.

Now I understand why Sloan installation instructions specifies the length of the flush tube! It's possible that my flush tube is too short (it's full length is only about 4").

I'm already sure the rubber piece is correct. I'm going to try adjusting the close-valve. If that doesn't work, I REALLY don't want to break open the wall, etc. to raise the height of a flushometer that's been there for a million years. Would I cause problems if I eliminated the vacuum breaker completely and put a straight tail piece from base of flushometer into the toilet spud? Post your answer

Answer:  Gene - Just thought you'd like to know how the problem was resolved. The hardware store gave me a universal replacement part for the rubber sleeve. I went back to the hardware store where the owner was adamant that this was the correct part for my Sloan flushometer. I had to agree that it looked exactly like the old one which I was replacing. However, after much anguish, I went to a different hardware store and got a rubber sleeve replacement part that was manufactured by the company (Sloan). Even thought all the sleeves looked alike to me, once I put on the Sloan replacement part, the job worked like a Swiss clock - no leaks. David L. Taylor


 
  Question #550: I'm a superintendent in a newly constructed building in Manhattan. The building has 120 units. Tenants are asking me to install their air conditioners for them. Is this my responsibility? There is enough work around the building to keep me busy other than this kind of work. Can I call on a law or similar? Post your answer

Answer: I don't think there's a law on this, but if you're in the union you can ask if there is a union rule on it. If not a union member, it depends on whether or not it's in your written job description, if you have one. If you don't have a written job description then it's no doubt completely up for negotiation. Without knowing more details, it sounds like it would be beyond your daily responsibilities, and one that either the tenants themselves or your management company should pay you extra for.

Answer: Is the air conditioner a window unit; I would not let one of my staff members install an air conditioner in the apartment window. If that unit ever fell out of the window and hurt someone, or worse killed them, the building would be responsible. If it's a sleeve unit, all that's required is the old one be pulled out and the new one pushed in. Mike Mac

Answer: Installing AC units IS NOT normally the job of the superintendent. If you do install them because you are told it is, or because you want to make money doing it, you must follow LL.11/98. PGrech, gboc.net