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Letters to the editor

Where are the gas pressure, draft readings?

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA — Not to be critical of Mark Eatherton's work as I have been reading it with enjoyment and sharing his articles with my staff, students and industry colleagues for a long time. But in the early stages of the multi-part series on combustion, (Properly commissioning gas-fired high-efficiency equipment, May-September 2011) he always talked about and stated the gas pressure readings, draft, temperatures and now, for whatever reason, he has have dropped the gas pressure readings and draft readings, especially in Part 5 (September 2011, p. 46, or at

The omission of all the information is typically why so many contractors and technicians fail to fully grasp the whole combustion testing. The second is that the equipment is believed to be sold and installed as you state, plug-and-play, which is just so wrong! In that we agree. The problem is that in days past we had to do so much of the assembly. It was understood that it was our job to conduct the set up, and we also had a better idea of combustion since we learned so much from having to place burners, baffles, adjust drafts, etc. Some of that has been lost.

I trust that my comments about showing us all the data that we need to truly appreciate the written words and thank you for taking the time to share so much of your knowledge with others.

mailto:[email protected]

Mark Eatherton responds: Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Many times, multiple part articles are written in one fell swoop, and then chopped and edited to fit the magazine’s maximum allowable word format. Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened here, and you are correct for calling me out on it. In my mind’s eye, I mentioned it at the beginning of the articles, and let it go at that, when in reality, I should have brought it back up again in later articles.

In general (and I am sure you've experienced the same thing in the field) when I come across something that is normal, I rarely make mention of it or note it because it was normal. It's the anomalies that get our attention.

I am in the process of doing up the last part of the series of articles, and I will make it a point to go back and re-address the critical need to check for gas pressures and, where applicable, stack pressures. I very much appreciate you, my readers, and the magazine loves to hear from you as well.

Keep up the good work and feel free to contact me at any time with any question.

Industry shouldn’t aid BPI in corrupt process

MT. PROSPECT, ILL. — I read with interest your recent blog where you appropriately ranted about the obvious lack of transparency, and incompetence of NREL, the DOE and BPI. Of course you are right in all that you stated and intimated.

I want to thank you for the media support, which is always invaluable.

The only thing I would have changed in the blog [is this]. A teleconference meeting of the Ad Hoc Workforce Guidelines Committee [was] scheduled for Wednesday, September 8th at which time I will ask the group to refrain from aiding BPI by sending their subject matter experts. Sending our SMEs aids a corrupt process and serves to further enhance a monopolistic, government-sanctioned exclusionary policy that can only hurt the industries involved.

For your information, BPI approved training and certification for BPI Building Analyst/Energy Auditor Training is a five-day class for $2,395. In 40 hours you are an expert (SME) in window installation, insulation, air sealing, combustion testing, use of a blower door and duct blaster, energy and water consumption analysis, air flow, heat gain and heat loss calculation and many other subjects.

Remember the movie "The Matrix?" In just 40 hours I can plug you into a computer and upload to your brain all the knowledge in the world for a mere $2,395.

This is BPI's course description: "Our intensive HomeStar Building Analyst/Envelope Combo course that combines our BPI Building Analyst Training and Envelope Training into a concise program — all in one short week! Includes everything you need for BPI Certification: classroom instruction, hands-on field training, BPI Written Exams, and BPI field exams. Please bring a non-graphing calculator and a wireless Internet-ready laptop PC with Windows operating system and Internet Explorer for your written exam."

In the long run, it is all about money. Imagine having the U.S. Government, with the stroke of a pen, eliminate the competition. Nice deal, but I don't think I’d want it.

[email protected]

Let's point BPI in the right direction

FALLS CHURCH, VA. — Thanks for a great article and blog on this issue. As you know we have been fighting this with our industry partners and others. If you need any information from us please feel free to contact me, Director of Government Affairs Mark Riso ([email protected]) or Vice President of Technical Services Chuck White ([email protected]).

This morning I am writing to my counterparts in the trade associations we work most closely with and will urge them to get key people to apply as subject matter experts. Chuck White will pull together a team of our members and get them to apply as SMEs.