4 Questions for Dan Foley
ACCA launched its Radiant & Hydronics Council (RHC) last October. We asked the RHC’s chairman, Dan Foley of Foley Mechanical, a few questions:
What are the best reasons for being in the radiant & hydronics field? It’s a growth area in our industry, primarily because of the comfort it provides. Hydronics also ties together the renewable sources of energy that are currently experiencing rapid growth such as solar, geothermal, and bio-fuels (wood).
Why do you feel it was time for this new RHC? It was time for an organization that focused on the contractor. When we contractors are successful and profitable, everyone else in the supply chain benefits. It starts with us.
What would you like to see the RHC accomplish in the next 12 months? We are just laying out the plan for the RHC. One of our goals is to create a certified standard for radiant systems, similar to the existing ACCA standards such as Manual J.
What is the most bizarre thing you have come across during an installation or service call and how did you handle it? I would have to tell you in person as it is not fit to print in a family publication! (In 24 years in this business, I have seen everything.) Some interesting ones you can print:
A stash of old coins hidden in the walls. We found it while cutting open a plaster wall when retrofitting an AC system in an old house. It was turned over to the owner.
A long black snake! I was working on a steam boiler in an old estate with a fieldstone foundation. I noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye. I looked up to see a five-foot black snake slithering through the pipes above my head. I am not particularly afraid of snakes, but this one freaked me out because I was in a cramped space behind the boiler in a tight basement, and the snake was between me and the door. Thankfully, nothing happened – he went on his way and I didn’t see him again.
A fire in the hole. I was working on a boiler when I smelled smoke. The owner came down to the basement, because he smelled it, too, and thought I had done something. I was perplexed, because the boiler was off. Then I saw smoke wafting down the steps. I raced upstairs to see the kitchen ablaze. His wife was boiling a pot of spaghetti noodles when a stack of newspapers next to the range caught on fire. I ran to my truck to grab a fire extinguisher, which I used to knock down the flames a little. By that time, the fire department arrived.
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