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Porters, Handymen, and Doorman, or PHD's Blog
  Questions For Supers - 1151 to 1200  

"The school of ignorance is the most expensive school but some will learn in no other." -William Shakespeare


questions page navigationgo to most recent question frequently asked questions  ask a question  questions by category

  last update on Saturday August 30, 2008 12:02 PM PT     January 2008

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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.

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



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  Question #1200: I live in a rent stabilized apartment in NYC. Is it legal for the landlord to include a clause in the lease whereby he does NOT have to replace/repair the existing refrigerator? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: New York State rent guidelines on rent stabilization is very clear. your landlord can do what he wants to alter the lease, but the lease and his responsibilities are still quite clear; Landlord has to provide the tenant with a working refrigerator of the same type and size when the lease was signed. Peter Grech

  Question #1199: I have been living in a 2 apartment private house for 2 years. Last year my lease stated that the first floor tenant will be responsible for 1/2 the gas heat charges as incurred by balanced billing to second floor tenant. Hence the lease said that they would provide hot water. I had signed it not realizing what I did. Now they want me to put the Con Edison bill to the house in my name and I pay the bill albeit I have my own Con Edison bill too. Is this legal? What do I do? I have not signed the lease that is post dated 7/1/08 and I received 7/19/08. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Your question is better asked to and answered by an attorney. Peter Grech

  Question #1198: In a one bedroom apartment, which might have about 800 sq. ft., lives a family of six: parents, three adult children (over 21 y/o) and one 12 y/o child. Are there any per. sq. ft. occupancy restrictions that should apply? In addition to the overcrowding, the apartment is cluttered by the father's tools and equipment that he uses for his illegal (not licensed and not taxed) construction work. Where to seek help in resolving the problem of a overcrowded apartment, which is among the other, a potential fire hazard? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: The code is clear on this issue. Each tenant - occupied apartment in a dwelling shall have a livable area of not less then 80 sq feet each. So divide the 80 sq feet into the 800 livable sq feet and you will see that up to ten people can live there under the code. Note also, 2 people can have one child under the age of 4 and the child does not come in under the 80 sq foot rule until it turns 4 yrs old. Housing Maintenance Code, 27-2075 (a) (1) and (2). Peter Grech

  Question #1197: Is a doorman obligated to work a double shift, if the doorman for the following shift doesn't show up? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: The answer is Yes unless that doorman has an emergency like he has to pick up a child from school etc. It is the responsibility of the super to make every effort to have coverage in the building. If you are a union building you should ask your union rep this question. Peter Grech

  Question #1196: I have heard about air pollution control license that superintendents should have it, where could I have more information? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: The so-called air pollution control license is required of anyone who operates a heavy fuel (#6 oil) boiler by the NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). To get the license, one has to take an approved 20-hour course and pay a small fee. The license is good for life. Dick Koral

  Question #1195: If a super is operating a kitchen renovation business, advertising himself as a contractor, but does not have the proper license, and insurance. to operate, can the co-op, after asking him to present these papers, and he failing to do so, can he be dismissed, should he continue to operate his business. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: I agree with all the other answers to this question unless the super is doing kitchens in the building. If the super is doing kitchen renovations in your building then he needs the proper insurance to do it. If he fails to provide the insurance for your building, then the board can stop the work. If the super is doing kitchen work in other buildings that have nothing to do with your building, then really its between the super and that building and the customer. Peter Grech

Answer/Comment: Why do you protest being asked not to operate illegally, with customers unprotected when you don't have insurance, etc.? The laws requiring licensure protects both you and your customers (and, in this case, the housing company, too.) Dick Koral

Answer/Comment: Frankly it is none of yours, or the coop's business, whether or not the superintendent is licensed or not. And unless you are part of the coop board, it remains none of your business.  It might be the coop's business, IF, the superintendent is conducting work, when he should be on duty, or if he is doing work for the coop. It certainly would be the business of the DOB or Dept of Consumer Affairs. William Aristovulos

  Question #1194: Where can you go to check, if you suspect that a Super, is operating an oil burner, without an oil burner license? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: If your building has number six oil, then the super needs to have his Cert of Fitness from the Fire Dept for that burner. The cert of fitness must be on file and copy or original posted in boiler room. If your boiler uses number 2 or number 4 oil no permit, license or cert of fitness is required. Peter Grech

Answer/Comment: First of all, not every boiler needs a license. (That question has been thoroughly covered in these pages) Before one goes into an accusatory mode, please do the research and investigate whether your building's boiler needs a license or not. William Aristovulos

  Question #1193: I live in a pre war building on the UWS (Upper West Side) in Manhattan. The Board and residents are very concerned about conserving energy. I hear there are thermostats one can put on hot water radiators in individual residences. I understand these thermostats then give residents more options than on/off, or worse, on with windows open! I have looked at your FAQ's, and on Google and need some suggestions about these thermostats.

PS. It would be good if you had a SEARCH box on your website, where one could type in keywords. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Wow, what timing for your question! Please see # 1192 below for Joe Lambert's great answer. Also if you click on our "sitemap" on our website you will find a site specific search box. William Aristovulos

Answer/Comment: The device you seek is a TRV (thermostatic radiator valve) which attaches to each radiator. You can set the desired room temperature as you wish. However, if the window is left open, it will not save any energy. Dick Koral

  Question #1192: I have a 6 floor coop with 30 units. The perimeter fin-tube is a one pipe steam system. Some of the tenants complain of not getting heat, while others are too hot during the winter. I’ve replaced all the air relief valves at the fin-tubes and when steam does reach the fin-tube, it does heat up. The mains that run vertically should be vented, right? And I should be able to find a vent at the top of each of these mains. Is it possible that the mains vents are concealed within the wall? The building is of prewar vintage... around 1939...Post your answer

Answer/Comment: There are many possibilities and solutions to your problem.  See first  the location of all of the radiators that do not get hot, it may be due to one riser not getting enough steam.  If they are isolated within the system, it may be that the individual pipe to the fin tube, or the tube itself, is not sloped correctly, or it may be the air vent on the fin tube.  The vents on top of the riser will probably only effect the upper floors.

As for heating too much, you can get a smaller vent, a manual 'vari-vent', or what I like, are the automatic temperature controlled vents.  These will all reduce the amount of air let out, which controls the amount of steam let in.

Sometimes these problems are hard to find and take time.  Water hammer is a good indicator of where problems may be. Many reasons for uneven heating.  Look to see if there is a pattern to the radiators that are not heating, it could be due to one or two risers that are having drainage problems.  Then go back to the basement and see if there is a place where water will block the steam.  If not, then look to the slope of the fin-tubes and branch piping itself.  You can also increase the size of the vent on the fin-tube itself, air out = steam in.

Again, for too-hot fin-tubes, consider a thermostatic air vent that will automatically modulate the amount of air out based on room temp.  By reducing the amount of steam in these areas, allows more to go to the colder areas.

There are many potential issues with old buildings and uneven (and $$ wasting) systems, and you may want to consider paying a professional to do some work to solve the problem. Joe Lambert

editors note: Joe Lambert has been a long standing expert contributor to these pages.

  Question #1191: Does a universal type EPA refrigerant handling license include transportation vehicles like ThermoKing trailer units? Post your answer

Answer/Comment:  I do believe that the universal EPA license allows you to buy, handle and use refrigerant for any type of equipment. The only adjunct or additional license you need, is for a high pressure refrigerant like 410A, which once you have acquired the universal license, it is quite simple to obtain. William Aristovulos

  Question #1190: Does my landlord need a permit to renovate my apartment? I live in a 3 story, 4 apartment walkup in Brooklyn. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Certain types of work are regulated by the DOB (Department of Buildings) NYC and require a permit. Their website  has an easy to read guide that explains when you need a permit. In general, if you remove a wall, construct a wall, add a light fixture or receptacle, do any kind of plumbing beyond the trap of a fixture... you need a permit for that work. Most everything else is 'decorative' and can be done without one, including replacing a plumbing fixtures, hanging a cabinet, setting tile, installing new flooring and painting a wall.


Question #1189: Looking to find information about the type of licenses required to be a superintendent in an apartment building in New Jersey. Apartment building has 120 apartments. Tenants are concerned that the superintendent is not certified to be a superintendent living in the building. Let me explain further.  Our superintendent of many years passed on and our apartment building simply moved the "porter" up to the position of  "superintendent".  We know that he is not qualified.  He has mentioned to many tenants his concern that he does not have the black seal boilers license.  He has asked people to help him obtain one.  I believe he does not read or write the English language that well or not at all. Can you please help by letting us know what is required to be a full fledge superintendent in New Jersey in an apartment building of 120 apartments. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: I Goggled "black seal boiler license - New Jersey" and found many schools that offer the qualifying course. If you call a few, you may find one that offers the course in the new super's native language! Dick Koral

  Question #1188: I am a N.Y.C.Local#1 Plumbing Mechanic, with 12 years on the job. I am looking for info. on how to start this process, and the necessary permits and licenses needed, and how to obtain them. I currently hold permits from the F.D.N.Y. the NYC Dept of Health, OSHA, and other credentials issued by the U.A Plumbers Local#1 training facility. Your input would be greatly appreciated. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: I must of missed the "meat" of this question. How to start.. what process?

  Question #1187: My window broke due to heavy winds, who's responsibility is it to have it replaced? I live in a 3 family house. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Unfortunately you need to refer to your lease or contract for the answer. From where I sit, It seems to me that this should be your landlord's responsibility.  However there are agreements, particularly in smaller buildings, were you are held responsible for all maintenance and upkeep. William Aristovulos

  Question #1186: I am a shareholder in my mom's non-union building. The coop is a good employer, giving benefits, including HMO health plans, and paying $15/hr to doormen. A union employee recently bought an apartment, and held a meeting between staff and shareholders, to advocate unionizing. (The men all signed up. They are psyched, I think unrealistically, because they don't realize that the Pension Fund offers very little in real dollars, after 25 years, and nothing if still employed. Also POS plans are not always better than HMOs.) He complained that the Board would not provide current costs, but he declined to provide the Union's employer-contribution amounts for comparison with the cost of upgrading without the union. He said these amounts were transparent on the union website, but I cannot find them. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Try calling the Realty Advisory Board at 212.889.4100 or the Union at 212.388.3800 for the amounts you are requesting. The benefits they would receiving are health, dental, eyeglasses and prescriptions, which in the long run for a family of four is quite a lot. After 25 years of service they are entitled to retire. What ages are your employees now? Maybe in 25 years they would be eligible to receive such monies. Curt Bergeest

  Question #1185: In an 8 story coop apartment building with about 90 Flushometers, the installer of 3 basement pressure tanks recommended 50 psi at the pumps. Flushometers sometimes flushed by themselves, sometimes continuously, and sometimes the toilets overflowed to varying degrees. Three measures I as super, used were, changing Flushometers and parts, including vacuum breaker inserts, if they did flush spontaneously; lowering adjustment on supply-valves so no overflow would occur unless a blockage is present; changing some Rex supply-valves to Sloan valves, which have a spring-loaded check device inside, to prevent suction due to system pressure-drops; and the main one: raised pressure at pumps/tanks to 60-80 psi. Now the only time we have had spontaneous flushing lately is after a water-shutoff. Any further ideas are of interest.
Post your answer



  Question #1184: Recently the super from my building placed the garbage cans inside our building instead of leaving them on the sidewalk in front of our building as usual. Our building is very small having only 5 floors with 2 apartments per floor. Especially with this hot and humid weather there is bad odor. also, this is an invite for roaches and other disgusting insects. In addition the garbage cans are right next to an apartment which belongs to a couple that has a 2 year old daughter. It is really disgusting to even look at and everyone in our building is very upset. My question is can he do this? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Have you talked with the super on this issue? Have you talked with the building owner? You will find that most Super's will understand your point, if it is a logical one. To me this is one. Curt Bergeest

  Question #1183: If I am operating an air conditioning chiller with my refrigeration license do I have to be in view of the machine or in the building? I can't seem to get a clear ruling on that. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Technically you do have to be in clear view of the machine(s), especially in larger commercial installations.  However in residential systems, you can be in the building. Please note in the old days when these systems were not automatic, a person holding a certificate of fitness had to be in the room, when the machine was in operation. With the advent of computerized control, remote site monitoring, etc. It became easier to remotely control and monitor these systems.  However the Fire Department still wants a certificate of fitness holding person at least present in the building, when the machine(s) is operating. William aristovulos

  Question #1182: As Supt of a coop, I recommend to shareholders, whenever a toilet is replaced (if the wall is opened for plumbing), that the original Rex flushometer toilet be replaced by a tank-toilet. This is to avoid spontaneous flushing, especially when water is restored after a shutdown. Many people prefer flushometers, understandably, but some make the change. Does anyone have other suggestions or concerns in this regard? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: When you make the change to tanks, try using a flood preventer water supply line. Try using a dual flush toilet, 2 buttons one for urine, and one for larger waste. Try this link: , this is a 4" flush valve by Champion ( American Standard ) Curt Bergeest 

  Question #1181: I have a window unit air conditioner that is 6 or 7 years old; it runs quiet and still puts out cool air; however, why does the air it puts out make the whole room smell like a skunk was in the room? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Try cleaning the filter. Also clean the metal grill work behind the air filter, but be careful not to bend the fins. Also wash the interior toward the back out, there is a drain hole located in the back that sometimes algae builds up and could cause a smell. Curt Bergeest

  Question #1180: What could the reason for a used stove I installed that the pilot on the burner lit but the pilot on the oven did not? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: I recently had the same problem until I noticed that there was a separate heating element for the stove that is run by electricity. Edward Rios

  Question #1179: With regard to boiler inspection, what does the tri-annual refer to? Post your answer

Answer/Comment:  With regard to a tri-annual, this is a test of the combustion efficiency of your boiler system. The building pays a fee, and the test is conducted in the presence of Fire Department Inspector. According to my boiler service company, any boiler(s) with a firing rate of 20gpm (Gallons Per Minute) regardless of the fuel number and I also believe any #6 boiler, regardless of the firing rate, are candidates for the test. William Aristovulos

  Question #1178: My landlord forbids me to install air conditioner. however, its not specifically stated (actually not written) in the contract. It only says i cannot damage his property. Installing a vent hose through the window would be a destruction? Does he have the right to forbid a portable A/C? My electric usage is not included in the rent. Post your answer



  Question #1177: Is there a conflict of interest in the management company of a coop building to contract out work such as landscaping to the building super? Would this depend on whether the management company is actually contracting with the super vs. simply paying him more to do the additional work. Also, how would this work out if the super also owns shares in the coop? I would appreciate people's input on this. Thanks. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: The conflict of interest is not the super being contracted or being paid to do additional work on the landscaping, but rather that the super is a shareholder. That said, there needs to be an understanding about this additional work (landscaping). Is the landscaping to be done on the supers spare time (that is work outside his normal work hours) or is he to to the landscaping during his work hours. Once this issue is cleared up, there should be no issues. If the super is to do the landscaping separate from his duties and on his time, and if he does perform the work on "company time" then it this is not a conflict of interest but rather an issue of theft by the super. Peter Grech

  Question #1176: Is having a superintendent mandatory in a multiple dwelling building? Or, is it the absence of one illegal? I live in a 17 unit pre-war rent stabilized building. There is no super. The landlord lives in the building but is away to work from 6 am-midnight. He can address problems only in the weekends if you find him. His son can address problems from 9-11 am if you find him available. In a few words there is no superintendent service during the day but only if you make an appointment with the landlord for the weekend 1-2 weeks ahead. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Codes is quite clear. No super is needed if the landlord lives in the building and he or he has some one provide, janitorial services and repairs. Peter Grech

  Question #1175: How can I get my standpipe license and number 6 boiler license? Post your answer

Answer/Comment:  Join the STA, we will help you. STA School Curt Bergeest 

  Question #1174: I own a 2 family home and my newest tenant refuses to give me a copy of the for their unit. Does he have the right to not give me a copy, when even the utility switches are in his unit that control the whole house? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: I assume its a copy of the key/keys to the apartment that you are talking about. If so, what does the lease say? If the lease says copies of keys to the apartment are to be given to the landlord, then yes he/she has to give you copies. If the lease does not mention this, then NO he doesn't have to. If there is no lease, then you send him a certified letter demanding copies of keys to the apartment and give him /her 30 days to do so. Peter Grech

  Question #1173: Can floors be soundproofed? And If so, how? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Floors can be soundproofed, but would cost many thousands of dollars. Floors can be made to lessen noise to some degree. Getting carpeting with a good heavy under matting works very well. You can also put sound proofing boards or panels, on the ceiling of the apartment below. Peter Grech

  Question #1172: I have been a superintendent for 8 years with this management, I have two buildings - 1 with 15 families and the other with 16 families. The buildings are ten blocks from each other. I make 741.00 after taxes. I pay all my utilities. I have a three bedroom apartment in a basement and for this they are saying after eight years that I have to prepare apartments for rent. Meaning I have to clean them out, plaster, prime and paint apartments, install cabinets in kitchens, sinks in bathrooms, take out garbage, sweep and mop buildings inside and outside surrounding building. My question is, is it fair what I get paid. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: You asked is this fair, not much in life is fair. There is no doubt that your work load has been added to. You need to make a deal for more money as best as you can, for the increase of work load. I wouldn't fight them if they don't give you more money, I would suggest finding another job. Yes I know this is easier said then done. Your choices would be if they don't give you more money: A) look for another job and take it, but in the mean time do what they ask. B) Don't do it and get fired. C) fight them and still get fired. Unless they are reasonable, you may have to either live with it or leave. Peter Grech

Answer/Comment:  Unfortunately, you did not indicate what "I make 741.00 after taxes" weekly? or Monthly? If you are getting that weekly, then I am sorry to say you have a pretty good deal, especially if you are non-union!  I mean come on, you only have 32 units! How often do you get an empty? And you have a three bedroom, even if it is in the basement.  Now to be fair, if your pay is monthly, well then, it is not a good deal, but typical of what a non-union  super gets. I also have to concur with my esteemed colleague's points above. William Aristovulos

  Question #1171: Is the landlord of a six-family rental building in New York City required to provide his tenants with heat/hot water, or is it legal for him to install six separate hot water heaters and gas heat for the tenant to be responsible for, and to have the tenant pay for the heat/hot water? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: This would all depend on what kind of lease you have... rent stabilized lease, rent control, or what is coined "free market". Also it would depend on what is said in the lease as the landlords responsibilities and what the tenants responsibilities are. Always refer to the lease first, it is the governing document. Peter Grech

  Question #1170: Someone out of laziness, as always, threw a metal drape rod down the compactor chute. It got jammed. While clearing it, I reached in and pricked my finger with an insulin needle. Went to the ER right away, got a tetanus shot and also was ordered to take an AIDS test. Now, what are my rights? Should I hire an attorney, sue, let it go by? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: First of all, make sure you have copies of the hospital visit. Secondly you need to write a incident report stating exactly what happened and when. This report goes to your manager and keep a copy. Guess you have to wait to find out if you got sick as a result of the incident. Then go from there. Sorry I don't have better advice. Peter Grech

  Question #1169: How can a superintendent get help when he is treated like a dog by board members? Why can't we get help? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Are you Union? Try calling the RAB or the Union. What kind of help are you looking for? Curt Bergeest

  Question #1168: What would be the limit of system refrigeration tonnage requiring refrigeration operator at the site? We have two (2) chillers installed, each with 80-ton capacity, serving the entire building. They could be inline at the same time. Do we need a refrigeration operator at the site 24 hours a day? Are there any exceptions if each compressor is less than 15 HP? The FDNY code is not clear on this. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: From what I've learned from my instructor as well as from my job experience I would say any unit over 100 tons would require an operator. But 2 80 ton units would still be considered under 100 tons, also bear in mind that fact that the unit is supplying an entire building having someone to monitor your units saves money, because remember its not only the units that need monitoring but your cooling towers, your supply water pumps as well as your condenser pumps, motorized valves and your fans as well as their motors and belts. Keeping someone 24 hours, well that depends - is your system on 24hrs? Otherwise hire people to monitor your system during your peak hours. Roberto Cardona

  Question #1167: Is it a New York City law that a closed room without a window must have a working vent? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: This question has been asked many times. The answer is: a room has to have either a door and a window, two doors, or only three walls, or one door and a vent. Peter Grech

  Question #1166: In a building of 32 units the hot water in the bathroom shower of 2 apartments is not as hot as it use to be. Can you help me find the problem? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: I would need more information than what you have supplied. For instance, are the bathrooms on the same riser? Is one apartment affected or the entire line/rise effected? Do you have a hot water return line or is it end use? Post your answer

  Question #1165: I never lived in the top floor of a pre-war low-rise walk-up building facing northeast in Manhattan. So I frankly could have questions: water leakage on ceiling, mold, too cold in winter - are these things common occurrences? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: These are common occurrences in buildings with poor or no preventive maintenance for the roof and outer walls. Note; even with good maintenance practices a leak could develop. Just less common. Lastly a good landlord would solve the issue fast and repair the areas fast before mold can begin to grow. Peter Grech

  Question #1164: I used to live in a 3 level apartment complex and it was noticeable hotter upstairs than it was on the lower levels. As a result, our electricity bill for the summer months was outrageous, but then practically nothing in the winter. Is this normal (I assumed it was and got in a big argument with my girlfriend over it)? I realize that it tends to even out over the course of a year, but could you give me an approximate difference in electric costs between a first floor and top floor apartment in summer months? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Put it to you this way: top floor apartments are hotter because heat rises; top floor apartments have the roof - depending on condition and age, the roof insulation may be old, damaged or even nonexistent, so therefore you have the heat from the sun. If the roof is black, that's even worse, some roofs now come silver to reflect heat from the sun. So yes, top floor apartments are hotter in summer and cooler in winter, thus you consume more electricity trying to keep it cool versus an apartment on the first floor. Remember, heat rises. Roofs absorb heat. Peter Grech

  Question #1163: I am a live-in super and have recently taken ill with doctors notes for time off. I returned to work and got hurt, now I am off because of injuries. A few days later I was presented with a termination letter; work was not progressive enough, the co-op board was not happy with my performance. I am now laid up in bed with 30 days to vacate. Are they allowed to do this? Post your answer



  Question #1162: I live in a 5-story apartment building, in the basement apartment. The boiler (which is located in a maintenance unit across the hall) recently burst and water leaked through our walls, causing water to fill our bedroom with water up to our shins. The landlord says he is not responsible for any damages. I saw on the Department of Buildings website that there is an open and active violation for the boiler. Is the landlord responsible for any damages (especially because of this violation), and is he required to fix the faulty wall? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: The landlord may or may not be responsible for your personal effects and property, you need to read the lease. However, any structural damage to the apartments such as floors, walls, doors etc., the landlord is responsible to repair or replace. Peter Grech

  Question #1161: How do you get a adjustment manual or adjust a Moen faucet #67315. Post your answer

Answer/Comment: This link should help you. Joseph Shkreli

  Question #1160: I started working as a concierge at a  new condo building. Was wondering how long does it take for the building to become a union building. Does the super send an application or do the employees. I was told it takes about 3 years, is that true? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: it may take that much time, even more - sometimes less. Remember the owners of the building do not have to agree to your building going union. So if they don't, it will take longer time. I suggest you find out who the shop steward is on your block and ask him/her this question. By the way: no, the super does not have to begin the process. Some one on staff has to organize the staff and have a vote to unionize. Once you have a majority, then you contact the union. Peter Grech

Question #1159: The Department of Buildings requires a certificate of fitness for the operator of a boiler/burner if the fuel oil is heated. #4 oil requires preheat by electric heaters. Does the operator need a certificate of fitness when operating a heating plant firing #4 fuel oil? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: No. Only number six oil requires a certificate of fitness to operate low pressure heavy oil. The Buildings Department requires a license only when high pressure steam is produced, regardless of the fuel type. Pre-heated oil in this case means oil that is preheated and circulated around the system and back to the tank. It does not mean preheat before it is burned. That is my understanding. Peter Grech

  Question #1158: What are the five certifications I need for an apartment maintenance job in New York City? Post your answer



  Question #1157: I have a GE Profile Quiet Power II dishwasher. Recently, we noticed after the wash and dry cycles have completed, a level of water remains in the bottom of the washer, and the dishes are soaking wet. Any suggestions? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Look under your sink and see if the drain line hose is looped up. The hose should go from the other side of the cabinet up, and then down toward the sink drain pipes. If this is OK, then maybe your impeller is not working, in which case you have to call a service company. A good company is Preway. Curt Bergeest

Answer/Comment: Check the drain strainer at the bottom of the washer. make sure it's not clogged. Ken Botte

Answer/Comment: Most likely you have some food or other material stuck in the drain. Clean the drain and it should be fine. Peter Grech

  Question #1156: The vent in my kitchen (in my rented studio apartment) does not appear to work.  How can I check it? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Hold a dollar bill up to the vent, if it is sucked up to and sticks to the vent, it works. Ken Botte

Answer/Comment: Place a single toilet paper square over the vent and if it sticks, then it's working. If, when you let it go it does not stay in place (stick), the vent is not working. Peter Grech

  Question #1155: I have a tenant on the 6th floor, and they have a air conditioner in the fire escape window. Is it a fire hazard? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Yes, this is a fire code and building code violation. Nothing is to block the fire escape window, and nothing is to block, or block in part, the path of the fire escape. Thus, if there were two windows on the fire escape and one had the a/c unit, that a/c unit is still partially blocking the fire escape. Peter Grech

  Question #1154: Regarding the Housing Maintenance Code & Multiple Dwelling Law requiring a janitor to reside in a building, if a super leaves for a country house on Friday after work and returns before his day starts on Monday morning, and is on call over the weekend, is he in violation of these laws? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: No. Ken Botte

Answer/Comment: No, he is not. The code states that, as long as there is a 24 hour on call assistance. Also, if the building has other staff such as doorman or porter, etc., there also is no problem. Peter Grech

  Question #1153: Is a permit required to replace a water heater in Staten Island? What is a good price to pay someone to just install a new water heater. Already own a new 40 gallon gas water heater. Also, If I have someone to install the new water heater, how do I dispose of the old one, and would I need a permit after installation for this? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: While I do not know what Staten Island requires in permits etc, most likely you will NOT need a permit to replace an existing hot water heater as long as it is electric. If it is gas you may need it, as well as a licensed plumber. Even if it is electric you may be required to hire a licensed plumber though. I would ask this question of the store you purchased the hot water heater from - they should know. How much? I have no clue. Mostly that would depend on how much re-plumbing is required. If it is just a matter of disconnecting the old heater and installing the new one on the existing lines without change to the pipes, i would think about $150.00 or so would be about right. Call your sanitation department and ask about disposal of the hot water heater. Most likely it will be treated as a metal object and would need to be put out with recycling. Peter Grech, GBOC


 Question #1152: I have a multiple dwelling with carpeting in the hallway and on the wooden stairs. The building has 7 tenants and is in a brownstone built in 1872. The fire department says that I have to remove the carpeting. Obviously the halls will look terrible and I would have more noise.  Can I get a company to spray the carpeting so it is fireproof? What law pertains to this? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: This question is better asked of the Fire Department. Your violation should state the code number and the wording. If you did not get a violation, then you should call the Fire Dept and ask about fireproofing the carpets. The fire codes come under the Administrative Code (as do all codes.). Administrative code 27-4266 refers to flame proofing of decorations. I am unable to find anything specifically on flame proofing of carpets. I do know that carpets in public hallways are supposed to have a "fire rating". I do not know the fire rate of carpets. Best guess is about 3 hrs. You might want to ask a carpet store these questions also. Sorry can be of more help, but the fire codes are not clear on this issue. Peter Grech, GBOC

  Question #1151: How to renew boiler or burner air pollution license? Post your answer

Answer/Comment: Usually, the City of New York will send you a renewal from.  All you would have to do is pay the fee and they will mail you your new C.O.F. (Certificate of Fitness) Unless your certificate is expired (more than one year) or have a new address. Then your going to have to take a trip to 9 Metro Tech Center, Brooklyn, NY. and retake the test. Edward Rios