May 26, 2019

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category.

When To Shower, Morning or Night: A Plumber’s Perspective

Recently the NY Times published an article making the case for the best time of day for your daily shower. The piece discussed the pros and cons of morning versus evening. All the important issues were discussed: cleanliness, how long to shower, proper water temperature, post-workout routine, insomnia after late showers, environmental concerns, and even baths.

We heard from a clinical psychologist, a dermatologist, the CEO from The Alliance for Water Efficiency, and even some random New York marketers and writers. But since the subject was showering, The Times thought it was important to get a plumber’s perspective. Fred Smith Plumbing’s own Phil Kraus weighed in on this debate.

Not surprisingly, Phil said it all starts with water. An important consideration is the quality of New York City water and its chlorine content, which can be an irritant. “If you have allergies or sensitive skin, or are concerned about the quality of your water, you may want to have it tested,” says Phil. Boasting more than a century of experience with NYC water, Fred Smith Plumbing partners with the premier water treatment expert in the country: Culligan Water. So clean, pure water is our business.

Life in Manhattan high-rises presents other possibilities for showering times. If off-peak hours fit your schedule, that can be a good option. Phil notes that midday, for instance, might provide you with a hotter shower and more dependable water pressure.

Day, night, or anytime, your daily shower is an important ritual. Weigh your own pros and cons, but don’t forget the plumber’s perspective!

UPDATE: Water Tank Compliance for Drinking Water Safety

Last month, we reported about compliance issues regarding regulations on cleaning and inspecting rooftop water tanks.  It appears that compliance may get a little tougher starting in June.

As first reported in the New York Times on April 18, city health officials are considering stronger oversight for regulations of rooftop water tanks.  The NYC Board of Health is scheduled to vote on the new regulations on June 9.  The proposed regulations would require building owners to submit annual inspection records directly to the city.  Currently, building owners are only required to make records available to the Board of Health on request and only going back five years.

Also, building owners are required to post a public notice that the results of the inspection are available for the residents upon request.  This notice is to be posted in an easily accessible location for the residents and empowers the residents themselves to take part in the enforcement of the inspection provisions.

Initially, health officials were satisfied with the current oversight.  But surveys conducted by the health department have found that 60% of building owners are not in compliance.  Some City Council members are calling for stricter oversight.  Even Public Advocate Letitia James is asking for random field testing.

Health officials insist there is no risk to the public.  A statement from the department stated: “Though there is no evidence that drinking water tanks pose a meaningful risk to public health, we are proposing these additional actions to help reassure New Yorker’s that the city’s drinking water is safe and encourage greater compliance with the Health Code.”

Much of the recent hysteria on this issue began in January with an investigation conducted by the New York Times that found some contamination of tanks.  But health officials were quick to criticize the investigation citing 534 clean samples taken over the past several decades.

Most of the residential cooperative and condominium buildings that Fred Smith services maintain and clean their roof tanks regularly. Perhaps an increased effort on the part of the Health Department to randomly check NYC buildings for compliance with the annual inspection requirement would be sufficient.

Whatever the City decides about tougher requirements, it is important to remember that contaminants may enter the roof tanks between annual inspections and cleanings.  For those tenants who want a final barrier of protection of their drinking water, we recommend installing a simple point-of- use water filtration devise at the kitchen faucet. For buildings interested in a whole building solution, that is available as well. Our Culligan affiliate can help tenants with cost effective drinking water filtration solutions.

We will continue to monitor this important issue.  Check back frequently as we update this blog with the latest developments.

By Philip Kraus – President – Fred Smith Plumbing & Heating Co.