New backflow preventer testing requirements for Minnesota

-  The Minnesota State Plumbing Code used to require a dual check valve with an intermediate atmospheric vent as the lowest level of allowable protection for the water supply line to a boiler. These devices were commonly called “9D” valves, but the new plumbing code doesn’t mention this type of device at all; per section 603. . The other common place that a homeowner might have a testable backflow prevention device is on the water supply piping to a steam or hot water boiler.  Despite this, the city of Minneapolis is allowing the old non-testable dual check valves on 1 and 2 family residential buildings, and I heard a rumor that this section of the MN state plumbing code might get amended to no longer require testable backflow preventers. 5. 10, boilers must be protected by either a testable double check valve backflow prevention assembly, or an RPZ valve (pictured above). See the Minneapolis memo on backflow preventers for boilers ..More

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Melted vinyl siding caused by reflected sunlight

- . For more information on melted vinyl siding from the National Association of Home Builders, click here: Sunlight Reflected from Double-Paned Low-E Windows, and Damage to Vinyl Siding and Other Materials ..More

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Door repair: how to fix a door that doesn’t latch

- The fix for this was to move the strike just a little bit away from the door. . See below. This was good from an air leakage perspective, as the weatherstripping made a very tight seal, but with the weatherstripping pushing against the latch, my kids couldn’t open the door from the outside. The problem with my strike plate was that I installed it just a hair too close to the frame, making it so my door latched too tightly. It was too tight. For this example, I’ve taken photos of the strike plate on a new exterior door that I installed at my own house ..More

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Air conditioner maintenance for homeowners

- . This tends to pull in debris such as dirt, grass clippings, dryer lint, cottonwood seeds, and everything else in the air… except for love. When they operate, the fans suck air in on all of the open sides. Inspect all sides of your outdoor unit and clean the coils off annually, or as needed. Condensing coils also need to be cleaned regularly ..More

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State of the Union, 2016

- As good as Lisa is, she can still only talk to one person at a time. I was also able to convince my sister Mindy to start working for us full-time this year, mostly to answer the phones, emails, and schedule inspections. . This should dramatically cut down on the number of phone calls that go to voicemail. We began training our newest inspector at the end of last year, and also hired our first female home inspector this year. I’ve decided that this is the year that we renew our dedication to outstanding customer service, thanks to inspiration from the book Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. They’re both fantastic guys, and I’m proud to have them on our team. She’ll begin training with us in February. Company growth: We added two new home inspectors to our team last year, Bill Oelrich and Dustin Wiebold ..More

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