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  Questions For Supers - 850 to 899  
 

 

last update on Sunday March 15, 2009 10:39 PM PT

 
 

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

 
       
 

last update on Sunday March 15, 2009 10:39 PM PT

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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

Post Your Question Here

 
  Question #899: Where can I find woodworking classes in the city? Post your answer

Answer: You should probably consider a self-taught class in Googling first, then check out the woodworking classes you find.

 
  Question #898: What is the difference between Engineer's Blue Seal and Engineer's Red Seal? And if I have this, where can I look for a job. In two more weeks I am starting the school for Black seal (NJ). Post your answer

Answer: Since you are about to start school for the black seal, its best that you ask your instructor on those differences, as well as where to find a job. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: The difference is mainly in the size capacity of the plant that you can oversee.  For more detailed info, go to http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/lsse/laws/boiler_law.html#90-3.7 Pete Torro
 

 
 
Question #897: I have become a board member of my co-op recently, and have pledged to rid our building of an annoying problem of water hammer in our heating system. I have been told recently that this may have been a bold statement and that the causes of such an annoyance can be many fold and difficult - if not impossible - to resolve. I along with our new super have found out that there has NEVER been regular maintenance on the entire system, including, pumps, water feeds, traps and elements. It has become our opinion, along with that of a new management company, that we may need to replace the entire 45+ year old system. Is it correct that a problem like water hammer may be unsolvable?  I refuse to believe this. Post your answer

Answer: You are correct in your deduction that the causes of water hammering are many fold. It is solvable however, with certain corrections. Of course total replacement of the system MIGHT solve it. Be cautious however, that depending on who does the plumbing work is very important. Some plumbers might simply replace “in kind” and in fact rebuild the same problems right back in! You need to retain a heating engineer, not a plumber or your heating repair company, to go over your entire system and make recommendations.

Water hammering often is very hard to track down, since due to harmonics and vibrations, might occur far from the actual cause or originating point. As you already have observed, water hammering can be caused by improper pipe and radiator pitch, pipe size, number of bends, air valve sizing and malfunctioning, malfunctioning steam traps, and the granddaddy of all water hammering, excessive water level in the boiler! I would recommend, under the guidance of a heating engineer, systematically address and solve each problem, in financial and feasibly based steps. After each step is attained, reassess you water hammering problem to see if has been solved.
William Aristovulos

I agree completely with what Mr. Aristovulos has written. I write only to point out what is the basic cause of water hammer: the implosion of steam, rising in the system, upon coming in contact with a pool of cold condensate that never drained properly. Chances are that the main line in the basement is sagging, creating a puddle, and that many of the radiators in the apartments are not draining properly back into the system (if you have a one-pipe system) or the steam traps need replacing on each radiator or convector. They are guaranteed for no more than five years. Dick Koral

 
  Question #896: Would anybody know, or know where to find out, which states / cities accept or have a reciprocity for the New York City Refrigeration Engineers Certificate (COQ)? I am looking to move out of NYC and would like to know where the license is accepted. Post your answer

Answer: Your engineer's license is good in New York City but to my knowledge I don't believe it's a requirement in any other state. But on the other hand your universal certification is good, and very necessary if you apply for a job in another state. Roberto Cardona

 
  Question #895: Where can I find the requirements for the "gold seal" license for Elizabeth New Jersey? Post your answer

Answer: You would need to contact the city of Elizabeth New Jersey. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: Check here for answers to previous similar questions.

 
  Question #894: A friend of mine informed me that she had a problem with her landlord. The reason for the problem was that all the pipes in the building froze and everything backed up and oozed into her apartment via the sink, bath and toilet. The landlord refused to turn the water off until the next day when the plumber would arrive, so in the meantime her apartment kept getting flooded with undesirable stuff. Where does she stand with this problem? I really would be grateful for your view. Post your answer

Answer: You are asking a legal question, not a technical one. An attorney experienced in landlord-tenant law will probably make mincemeat out of that landlord. Dick Koral

 
  Question #893: I was a super for this company for 15 months and got fired without cause, now the company wants me out in a month, what should I do. Post your answer

Answer: If you are non-union, you don't have much choice but to move. I would ask for a reference, and if you need time, ask for another month. I am sorry to bring you this news, but you don't have many options. IF you don't move, they will stick rent on to you and file for eviction. If that happens, your reference of 15 years in nonexistent. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: Also read answers to other, similar questions here in the FAQs pages.

 
  Question #892: I own a one-bedroom Condo apartment. I have a small room (additional room) in my living room which is the size of a walk-in closet (6'x 8'). I used that as a big closet before, then changed to use it as a small study room now. As I used this as a closet before, I don't feel it's a problem to have this additional closet home. Now I want to sell my apartment. I'm not sure if I have to lock down this small room before selling my apartment? This is a Condo apartment. Does the management have the right to get involved in buying/selling our own properties? I mean they will come to check the apartment before any transaction. Post your answer

Answer: The definitive answer will be in the offering plan. However, it's a 99.9% chance that the answer is NO, the management will not inspect your apartment or get involved other than facilitating the paperwork for the sale. The work done in your apartment was cosmetic and not structural. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #891: Sludge in a fuel oil tank would be indicated by which: low/high vacuum gauge reading or low/high preheater temperature? Post your answer

Answer: Indications of sludge in the oil tank will be evident when you have to clean the filters and strainer more often, as well as poor burner performance. The high vacuum reading is also an indicator, but this also just indicates that the strainer / filter is dirty. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #890:  My condominium has one unit where the owner has installed a metal enclosure (bars) to replace what should be either screens or windows. Does that constitute a fire hazard and a fire code violation? Post your answer

Answer: Fire Codes are specific to the building. As long as there is TWO means of egress (two ways to get out of the apartment) then it should meet the fire code. If the window had a fire escape then this would be a violation. Also the bars maybe a violation of the condo rules and bylaws. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #889: Where can I get the Z-00 practice test? Post your answer

Answer: There is no practice test for Z-00. For those that don't know what the Z-00 is, it is the FDNY designation for city-wide sprinkler and standpipe Certificate of Fitness. Z-00 is not a Certificate of Fitness, and is NOT renewable. It is the hardest test of all sprinkler and standpipe tests, as it is citywide and is consolidated and without address. The study material is about 120 pages. If you would like study material, let me know your email address and I will email it to you. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #888: What is the benefit of using number 6 oil over using number 4 oil for a 96 unit building? Post your answer

Answer: ECONOMICS is the answer!  Even though more equipment is required to pre-heat #6 fuel to liquefy it for use in your boiler, overall it is still less expensive to use than #4 fuel oil.  There are two economic factors involved. First is the cost of #6 is lower than any other grade of fuel oil (attributed to the fact it needs less refining) The second economic factor is that #6 fuel oil gives off more BTU’s (British Thermal Units) per gallon of oil during the combustion process then #4 does. In short, it gives more heat value for less money. William Aristovulos

 
  Question #887: What do I need to do to get the residential fire safety license (HVAC)?. Do you know any schools that have HVAC classes? Post your answer

Answer: To the best of my knowledge there is no such thing as - or anything even close to - a residential fire safety license. As for HVAC which is Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning, there are many schools. New York City College of Technology is one. But HVAC and the "residential fire safety license" (which does not exist as far as I know) would be totally different. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #886: I recently had a guest burn himself severely, after taking a shower, on a steam riser in my apartment, claiming that he didn't know what a steam riser was. Is the landlord required by law to cover the steam risers? Post your answer

Answer: Unfortunately for your guest, I do not think that it is your landlord's responsibility for protecting you (or your guest for that matter) from the steam riser. The steam riser, is in fact the heat source for heating your bathroom.  I believe, your landlord is no more responsible for protecting a person from a steam pipe, than he is responsible for you accidentally burning yourself on your stove. I could be wrong on this however, and I would welcome someone to answer this question that might have a stronger understanding of a landlord's responsibility level. William Aristovulos

 
  Question #885: Can anyone tell me what the licensure requirements are to becoming a super? Post your answer

Answer: Licenses that supers should have: #6 heavy oil burners, sprinkler, standpipe. Those three are the most common and STA now has classes for all three licenses. New York City Administrative Code states that all supers must be certified competent. STA will be giving classes that will be HPD approved for competency soon. Go to our webpage on classes and workshops. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: Read the Frequently Asked Questions page.

 
  Question #884: I live on the top floor of my co-op building.  Isn't it a fire hazard to leave the roof door open? Post your answer

Answer: NO. In fact it is a fire violation if you LOCK the roof door with any type of lock that prevents access onto the roof. There are ways to lock the roof door from the outside while still leaving it accessible to residents to get onto the roof. Most buildings put an alarm on the door for security (Fire Department-approved type) to announce (ring) when some one opens the door. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #883: My husband & I are on-site resident managers of an apartment complex. We show apartments, receive rent money, deal with any tenant issue, take work orders. In trade for all that we pay no rent. Can we still use rent for tax deductions even though we pay no rent but they do not pay us either? Post your answer

Answer: You would need to consult with your accountant on this, but I believe the answer will be no, you have to actually pay rent. Note: by your reasoning, would the landlord then be able to add the cost of the apartment as payment for work done by you and then give you a W2? Don't rock the boat on this. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
 
Question #882: I had my air conditioning EPA license stolen. How do I get another one? Post your answer

Answer: Get in touch with the person or entity that originally issued your license to find out how to get a copy. Glen Stoltz

 
  Question #881: I rent the top floor apartment in a 6 story pre-war building. When showering during "peak" hours, the water temperature constantly and instantly shifts from ice cold to scalding hot. I have received minor burns. My building super repeatedly tells me that this is "impossible" because no other tenant complains and we all share the same water. He was been to check the water himself (at an off-peak time) and so didn't experience the problem. I can't convince him that this is a real, dangerous problem. I want an anti-scald device installed but if my super insists there is no problem, how can I arrange this without violating my lease and assuming the cost myself? Post your answer

Answer: If your hot water is provided by the building's boiler, this problem might be caused by the boiler's mixing valve. If the temperature of the mixing valve is set too high, the valve will be confused, and the result will be extreme hot and cold water patterns. All your super needs to do in this case is to decrease the temperature on the boiler's mixing valve. SA

Answer:  Assuming there is a hot water circulating pump in your building, it might need service. A circulating pump in the system, may or may not exist (many buildings the size of yours do not have one). In addition, it is possible the hot, cold and diverter stems in your shower body need to be rebuilt. A loose or deformed washer could result in the problems you are experiencing by moving while the water is flowing, thus causing the temperature fluctuations. It is important that during the rebuilding process, water is "blown" through the open shower body by turning on the supply shut off valves slightly to clear any wayward bits of washer or even "forgotten" stem washer screws, that may also cause the temperature swings. William Aristovulos

Answer: Among other advice you may get here, one thing you can do is you can go over the super's head and straight to management. It may or may not work but it's worth a shot, and if the super won't listen and try to help, it may be your only recourse, besides asking other tenants if they have the same problem and if they do to ask them to help you put in a request together. Glen Stoltz

 
 
Question #880: When my washing machine drains, the toilet and bathtub fill with water and won't drain. What is the problem - clogged or frozen pipes, and how do I fix it? The washing machine runs fine. Post your answer

Answer: Problem is you have a stoppage - or part stoppage - in the drain line. Have a qualified person snake out the lines. Washing machines dump a large volume of water at one time, so if the drain is partially clogged it will back up into the lowest / nearest opening, which is the tub in your case. John

 
  Question #879: I have a resident in my building who's claiming that the soot on his walls, around heating vents, on electrical plates and on plastic fixtures and containers, is caused by the building. No other apartment has this problem. The resident burns candles all day long and occasionally incense. I believe this is where the soot comes from. Has anyone had a similar claim and what was the outcome. Post your answer

Answer: I have never been in your building but I'll agree that candles and incense do release a lot of soot which can be hazardous to one's health. If you like you can perform a small experiment: light a candle and hold a kitchen knife a few inches over the flame and you will see the soot on the blade of the knife yourself. Roberto Cardona

 
  Question #878: I am at my wits end. I have a neighbor whose girlfriend is home all day and runs a washing machine at least 2-3 times a day, and the spin cycle vibrates my entire apartment. This has been going on 2 years. I work evenings and I like my time off, and my question is: Are there any code requirements as to insulation, padding, or noise absorbing material that must be placed under the machine? She does know it bothers me, is all I'll say here. Thanks for any advice! Post your answer

Answer: Besides other responses you may get here, you may also want to ask your question on the forum at tenant.net to see what kind of response you get. Tenant.net is much more geared to this kind of question.

Nope. No code for that issue. However in most leases, washers and dryers are not permitted in apartments. Also you have the right to quiet and enjoyment of your apartment (within reason). Your best step is first bring it to the attention of the super (in writing), if nothing changes, then bring it to the attention of the managing agent (in writing). That should cure the issue. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #877: Does anyone know the code or law stating the maximum allowable temperature that water or steam can be drained at? Post your answer

Answer: Not sure what you mean by temp drained at, however it is code that no water with a temperature of 100 degrees F or higher can be drained or dumped into the city main sewer. This would include condensate from steam. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
   Question #876: What is a plumbing slip? Post your answer

Answer: Internal Pipe Swivel Connection (Female). Same as Slip Joint, 1/2" IPS Faucet, 7/8" IPS Toilet. (Go to Google, enter plumbing slip, find first item from Jackson Mfg. Co., a glossary of plumbing terms). Dick Koral

 
  Question #875: Our building would like to plan carefully for our super's retirement, making sure we respect his long service but also getting ready for a replacement. Are there any available resources to consult? Post your answer

Answer: You may wish to consult with Peter Grech at Grech Building Operations Consulting. He has over 30 years experience as a super and also experience in consulting for management companies, co-op and condo boards as well as individual owners. Glen Stoltz

 
  Question #874: I just moved into a building and the super was able to get the kitchen upgraded, even though the landlord at first said no. The super put in a new counter top and floor, put in a medicine cabinet in the bathroom and a special shower connection.  He also put in some extra cabinets (which we bought) in the kitchen. He also hung two pictures in the living room.  What compensation should I give him for this.  Also, the guy who does the painting painted the apartment a light cream color instead of plain white. What should I compensate the painter. Thanks for the info. Post your answer

Answer: This is an impossible situation - you're asking readers to give an opinion on what the work is worth without seeing the space or the work, and you don't even give us the size of the apartment, either in bedrooms/baths or square feet. However, if you put a gun to my head and I HAD to guess, I'd say $300-500 for the labor, and the same amount or more for the painting (depending of course on the size of the space being painted).

 
  Question #873: I live in a 6-floors condo apartment building in Queens, NY. As one of my two kids has asthma, we cannot install carpet at home. Our downstairs talent always hit the ceiling, even if we only dropped something on the floor in the afternoon.  I feel very stressed about this.  I would like to know: do I have to install the carpet (there is a 70% carpet required in the condo regulations) if I have a doctor's letter to show my son's health problem? Also, is there any regulation protecting residents from noise-making from downstairs? Post your answer

Answer: You would need to discuss it with your management agent. I would get the letter from the doctor, bring it with you when you talk to the managing agent and see what happens. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #872: I would like to know if you could tell me a few schools in New York that offer certificate courses in Building Super. I would like to become one, where could I begin? Post your answer

Answer: One place to start would be to browse the links on our Continuing Education page, here.

Answer: NYC College of Technology, Environmental Control Technology Department, 718-260-5160 for one-year credit certificate in building superintendency. Dick Koral

 
  Question #871: What is the best method of removing contact paper from walls without leaving a residue? Post your answer

Answer: Steam it off. No matter which way, some residue will be left. But steam is the best way to remove it. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #870:  I am experiencing a high incidence of failure of kitchen sink 1.5 x 12 in. semi-cast p-traps rusting out in building about 12 years old. Is this the expected life span of these traps? Post your answer

Answer: This is an answer from an industry source: First, I'd like to thank you for inquiring with www.faucetdepot.com for your faucet and fixture needs. They're normally expected to last longer than that. Sounds like something in your water is not reacting properly to the type of material of your p-traps. You may want to go with a more durable metal. Trim by Design model# TBD432 is a suggestion. If you have any further questions, feel free to give us a call at 888-328-2389. Dick Koral

 
  Question #869: Our building wants to begin using B20 fuel and we are considering using Metro Fuel of Brooklyn for its competitive prices.  We do not know their reputation for service and their policy is not to give references.  Does anyone know if they are reliable and reasonably priced for boiler service? Post your answer

Answer:

 
  Question #868: Can apartment entry doors be non-automatic closing, or is that against fire code?  The doors themselves are metal fire doors, but is it okay if they don't automatically close behind you as you leave? Post your answer

Answer: It is both fire code and housing maintenance code that the front door to an apartment be self closing. (as you say, automatic closing). Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #867: An apartment owner in the co-op I work for had combined two apartments recently. When I went in to do some work I found that the door to the second apartment had been covered with sheetrock from the inside. I questioned the owner as I felt this might be a hazard. The owner said the plans were approved by the Department of Buildings and produced a Letter of Completion. So, can I assume the buildings department is OK with this? Post your answer

Answer: You answered your own question. If the Buildings Department signs off on it, then it's legal. Just make sure that closing off that door was on the approved plans, and not something that was done AFTER the Building Department signed off on it. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #866: What could be the cause of black soot coming out of my home heating oil vents? Post your answer

Answer: Not quite sure what you mean by the heating vent. If soot is seen, this is a sign that your boiler needs cleaning, as well as the burner needs adjustment. Soot is a by-product of burning oil, due to INCOMPLETE (poor) combustion. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
 
Question #865: I am the super of a hundred unit complex and my question is on a steam heating system. My boiler uses about ten gallons of water per cycle. Is that excessive? Post your answer

Answer: Yes it is. The boiler is a closed loop system, so every ounce of water converted to steam should return back to the boiler. It is obvious that you have a leak either on the steam side or the return side. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #864: I live in the Bronx & I don't have a GED yet, but I'd seriously love to become a superintendent; moreover, I'll like STA to please help me find a training program that will provide me with superintendent material. Post your answer

Answer: STA will be starting a Supers Certification Program very soon, in conjunction with HPD. You can get what details we have so far in the January issue of Super!, and look for more information coming out soon - check back on this website and the newsletter often. You'll find a short list of other programs in the City on our Continuing Education page, all of which teach certain skills needed by most supers. Also, since you're in the Bronx, there is at least one free program in that borough where you can learn some skills on boilers and electrical, find info here.

Answer: The certification program mentioned above is only for current supers who can demonstrate super skills and thus take a shortcut to certifications. Non-experienced persons will have to take the full courses at HPD. HPD has a great beginner's program for "super-wannabees". However, STA is about to conduct classes for "preparing to take New York Fire Department Certificate of Fitness in Heavy Oil Burners and Standpipe and Sprinklers. These will be of benefit to you. STA will also soon embark on internship and career guidance, but that step is 9 or so months away.  Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #863: I am a new member and would like to know if there is building maintenance software that can help me on my job to keep tenant records, complaint follow ups, etc. Post your answer

Answer: There is much to choose from. On the low end, QuickBooks by Intuit has (or had) something called Customer Manager, which could be adapted to managing tenant records, complaints, work orders, etc., for a small building. Intuit also has software designed specifically for property management, go to their website to learn about it further. On the high end, you could use a browser-based application like BuildingLink.com, BookingCenter, ResidentDirect, Realeum or Yardi’s Enterprise Voyager.  In a wide mid-range of prices and features there are many choices, things called Mr. Landlord, TenantFile, PropertyBoss, RentManager, and many others which may or may not be suitable for your needs. The best thing to do is research several and do a trial run to see what will work for you. Some will allow you to download the software and try it a set number of times for free. Glen Stoltz

 
 
Question #862: Does a superintendent pay any bills for his super position? Post your answer

Answer: Not exactly sure what you mean by if a super pays for any bills in his position but, most super do not pay for electric, gas, basic cable, garage, uniforms, office phone, cell phone, appliance repair or replacement in the apartment, painting of the apartment. So other than personal items, anything building or apartment related, in most cases the super does not pay for. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: Some do, many don't. It depends entirely on the situation in question - the number of units, what responsibilities does the super have along with many other variables. Also click here for answers to similar questions. Glen Stoltz

 
  Question #861: I have a question about my windows. My windows are about 30-40 yrs old and were NEVER installed properly. They don't close properly or lock at ALL Since the latches don't line up, there is about a 1-2" gap, so they cannot be locked. Now the windows don't stay open when opened, and when closed, a breeze comes in. I asked the landlord about this and he says it would be a capital improvement to fix them. I said they were never installed right in the first place, they don't lock at all (a safety issue), or stay open at all, which someone told me is a fire hazard as well. What is the deal, is the landlord responsible for replacing them or would I be responsible for some of the cost?  The other BIG part that worries me is, I have seen the type of work done by the people he hires, and I do NOT want those people doing any work on my apartment. Since it is all substandard work done by unlicensed, illegal workers, and also he never gets building permits for work he has done. Last time when his "workers" painted the stairway, they didn't clean, sweep or dust at all, just painted over big clumps of dirt and anything that was in the way. A 12 year old could have done a 100% better job - not an exaggeration. MY sink & counter were replaced 2 years ago, needs to be replaced again since they did not seal it properly and the counter has rotted out. This is what I am afraid of for my windows. Help! Post your answer

Answer: Although probably all readers may have an opinion about your situation, and some of us more than one, what we THINK doesn't really matter. These kinds of landlords are almost impossible to work with, and your only recourse may be a complaint (or many) to HPD or other city agency, or housing court. Call 311 to find out which agency you should start with. Some landlords respond appropriately to a threatening letter from a lawyer. You also might want to ask your question on the forum at tenant.net. Many very experienced and knowledgeable (and quite opinionated) types read this forum and give their ideas and opinions based on past experiences in and out of court, hearsay, knowledge of the law, and other criteria. Glen Stoltz

 
  Question #860: A superintendent in New York is thinking of accepting a superintendent position in New Jersey. He was told his low pressure boiler license from FDNY in New York is no good in New Jersey.  Does anyone know who in NJ to contact about getting a boiler license in their state? Post your answer

Answer: Read the questions and answers on our Licenses, Exams, Certificates of Fitness page to find the answer you're looking for.

 
  Question #859: I moved into an apartment 4 months ago and recently had a clogged sink and called the landlord, and he told me that I had to call a plumber and have the problem repaired at my cost. He states that it is in my lease to pay for maintenance for the sinks, toilet and tub if anything occurs. I was told by a friend that I don't have to pay for it that it is the landlord's problem. Who do I believe? Post your answer

Answer: Neither, necessarily. You should read and go by what is contained in your lease. If you didn't read it before you signed it, you certainly should have, but read it now. The answers to all of these types of questions should be spelled out there, and you and the landlord will have to abide by the terms of the lease unless you both agree to renegotiate. As always when it comes to matters of the law, don't take our word for any of this, we are NOT attorneys. Please be smart and consult one. Glen Stoltz

 
  Question #858:  Are there architectural or other coatings which, when applied to wood beams in an apartment, would make those beams fire resistant to conform with the New York City building codes, as opposed to covering such a beam with sheetrock? Post your answer

Answer: Yes there are coatings which can make wood beams fire resistant. Whether or not using them helps to conform specifically to New York City building codes isn't readily clear from this particular website, but you can start at www.albi.com to get more info. Google "fireproof architectural coating" for other websites. Glen Stoltz

 
  Question #857: Our apartment building is installing new wall plates / switch plates that are insulated on the back and include attached child safety plugs. Does this meet electrical and fire safety code? Post your answer

Answer: It's not really clear what your concern is about. If you are referring to the potential flammability of the insulating material on the plates, then all one has to do is check for a UL certification stamp on the item itself or the packaging it comes in. This would certainly give it a clean bill of approval, as far as fire code. William Aristovulos

 
  Question #856: I presently have my RMR-Q99 operating Engineer, P-99, & many other licenses and am working in the field. Looking for a school that offers HIGH PRESSURE Licenses in NYC - is there at least one? Post your answer

Answer: Check on BoilerRoom.com and HeatingHelp.com, for starters and Google "high pressure steam class" or similar.

 
  Question #855: When a resident above runs the water, the resident below gets a very loud hissing / squealing / pressure related noise from the pipes.  Is something wrong with the pressure of the water that is causing this?  Is there anything that can be done to correct it? Post your answer

Answer: Most of the time this noise results from a loose washer in one or more of the sink or tub faucets. This is the least expensive and should be checked first. If it is not the washers, then it can be that the pipes are so loose that they vibrate with the pressure when the faucets are open. This problem is not so easy to remedy. Call a plumber to see what his opinion is after the washers have been replaced. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #854: I know I can get yesterday's degree day from a newspaper but I don't get papers often. At what website can I find degree days for the past day, and if possible for the month or even longer. Post your answer

Answer: You can get degree day information for dates going back to at least 1994 at EnergyCap.com, among others. Google "degree day data" and you'll be surprised and amazed at the extent of the information that is available.

 
 
Question #853: I was in the union a few years ago and no one told me until after the building was sold that the contract was not signed. I have not gotten a raise in 4 years, no bonus, no Christmas or vacation pay. If anyone knows what I should do please let me know. Also please let me know what a superintendent's average pay might be for a part-time super. Post your answer

Answer: You need to talk to the union and see what your options are and what the union position is. You should also ask the new building owner what is going on, and for a raise and vacation pay. Not sure which one you should do first. Which ever you do, be prepared for the worst, you never know what the landlord has in mind. Last option is to just sit and take it, and look for another job. Three options with no win-win situation. Peter Grech, GBOC

 
  Question #852: Can someone give me their opinion on the best lumber yard / building supplies outfit that delivers in New York City. My criteria are price, ease of ordering, well-stocked and reasonable delivery fees. Post your answer

Answer: Price is the hardest part. You will always pay a little more in Manhattan. The lumber yards all seem to be competitive on price. Try Dykes Lumber at 348 W. 44 St., and Metropolitan Lumber with several locations in Manhattan and Queens. Peter Grech, GBOC

Answer: When searching for flooring also consider Lumber Liquidators in Manhattan at 30 E. 18th Street (Union Square). Keith Williams

 
  Question #851: I live on the first floor of a 12 unit apartment building. I hear EVERYTHING in the apartment above me. Are they required to have carpeting? Post your answer

Answer: 99% yes. Whether it is a co-op, condo or rental, most likely the governing lease would have that 80% of the apartment must be carpeted. Check your own lease and see if that clause is there. Then write a letter to management. John G

 
  Question #850: Trying to get any info to obtain a boilers / black seal and air pollution control license for New York and New Jersey for my boyfriend who is trying to get a job at the NYC Board of Ed. He needs to obtain it within as little time as possible. Any contact information would be greatly appreciated. Post your answer

Answer: Read answers to similar questions here.