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Old 01-01-2012, 08:36 AM   #1
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Just back from visiting family in FL and thought I'd share a couple of random pics of AC and/or heat pump condensers installed on platforms to protect them from tropical storm surges. Seems like these would be a real PITA to service. Imagine getting a call to fix one of these on a July day when the temp is 98 degrees and the dewpoint in the upper 70s, not a breath of wind coming off the gulf.... baking in the direct and reflected sun 12 feet in the air on a rickety platform. Do you guys get hazardous duty pay for that?





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Old 01-01-2012, 08:58 AM   #2
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Looks like a good place for OSHA to show up and make an easy $10K.

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Old 01-01-2012, 09:11 AM   #3
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At least the units are still there. Put them at ground level and chances are they'll be scrapped before they need servicing.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:37 AM   #4
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I don't know what the code calls for down there but the condensers seem to be set at various heights from ground level all the way up to the top of the pilings. Many of these platforms seem to have been constructed without decent access for a repair tech. Some others are better. There are also still some single story block homes (built in the 50s and 60s) grandfathered from the newer requirements to build on pilings. Most of those AC units are at ground level or on short platforms.
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:39 AM   #5
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want to trade service calls... .....looking at yours wondering can you get the compressor out..imagine doing a condenser fan with the sun banging the side of that home...
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by raylo32 View Post
I don't know what the code calls for down there but the condensers seem to be set at various heights from ground level all the way up to the top of the pilings. Many of these platforms seem to have been constructed without decent access for a repair tech. Some others are better. There are also still some single story block homes (built in the 50s and 60s) grandfathered from the newer requirements to build on pilings. Most of those AC units are at ground level or on short platforms.
I'm sure it varies, but in the areas I worked in for many years, everything was based on "Elevation 10", which was an elevation height determined by tidal averages.

Anything structural below elevation 10 had to be either masonry or treated lumber. No mechanical equipment allowed below elevation 10.

Also, in many cases, the only logical place to go was up. No mechanical equipment in front setbacks, none in side setbacks and driveways/under building parking in the back. In hundreds, if not thousands of these buildings, AC units were installed on platforms above the under building access.

Here's a unique one. AC unit is behind the railing enclosure above the garage roof.

The building to the left? On the roof.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:12 AM   #7
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Several perfect examples of why a "right to work" state is were all the hacks and wacks flock to them, you can get away with anything.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:14 AM   #8
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I'm sure it varies, but in the areas I worked in for many years, everything was based on "Elevation 10", which was an elevation height determined by tidal averages.

Anything structural below elevation 10 had to be either masonry or treated lumber. No mechanical equipment allowed below elevation 10.

Also, in many cases, the only logical place to go was up. No mechanical equipment in front setbacks, none in side setbacks and driveways/under building parking in the back. In hundreds, if not thousands of these buildings, AC units were installed on platforms above the under building access.

Here's a unique one. AC unit is behind the railing enclosure above the garage roof.

The building to the left? On the roof.
those don't look bad .........
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raylo32
... Imagine getting a call to fix one of these on a July day when the temp is 98 degrees and the dewpoint in the upper 70s, not a breath of wind coming off the gulf.... baking in the direct and reflected sun 12 feet in the air on a rickety platform. Do you guys get hazardous duty pay for that?
Wimp. When you're in 95 degrees with 95 percent humidity at 3AM, then let's talk.

This was a typical reading at least once ever August where I grew up.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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I lived on Oak Island, NC for three years, non-elevated condensing units were the exception to the rule. Some of the platforms are constructed just large enough to fully envelop the bottom of the unit, leaving you nowhere to stand besides your ladder. It certainly made for some interesting compressor changeouts.

That last pic with nine units under the edge of the building looks just like the condos down the road from my old place. What a mess!
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Old 01-01-2012, 12:50 PM   #11
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Not to quibble but essentially no place ever sees "95 degrees, 95% humidity". All the really humid areas like the gulf coast will be at essentially 100% humidity before the sun comes in the summer with temp and dew point up to perhaps the low or mid 80s. During the heat of the day with the dew point the same the humidity will be in the 70% range. Dewpoints will go a tad higher during a tropical storm like mid/upper 80s. But "95 degrees, 95% humidity", which equals a dew point of 93 degrees, just doesn't happen around here. Not to say it has never happened somewhere sometime, but I have never seen anything close.... and I have lived in New Orleans and other Gulf Coast areas.

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Wimp. When you're in 95 degrees with 95 percent humidity at 3AM, then let's talk.

This was a typical reading at least once ever August where I grew up.
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Old 01-01-2012, 02:49 PM   #12
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Near Paducah KY.

That was the night that forced my dad to install the AC. He had built the house the previous year. We moved in in Nov. When this weather came up the concept of saving some money by delaying installing the AC compressors and coils was defeated by a declaration by my mom.

As to details, I'm just going by what the local weather reports said. Paducah is somewhat surrounded by the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, and Clark's Rivers. With two large man made lakes tossed in. I've been on the Gulf coast and yes the have high humidity sustained for long periods, the Paducah area always seemed to have at least one brutal week every summer in August when the winds die down and you think you're breathing hot water.

Then there was that time I took a week off one June and for a mental change of pace went down to help my dad re-roof the house. Temperature got to over 100 every day that week. Sheesh.
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Old 01-01-2012, 04:33 PM   #13
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Several perfect examples of why a "right to work" state is were all the hacks and wacks flock to them, you can get away with anything.
Hack & Wack has a nice ring to it.
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:43 PM   #14
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Several perfect examples of why a "right to work" state is were all the hacks and wacks flock to them, you can get away with anything.
Everytime I see one of those "theres no substitute for union craftmanship "
shirts on some guy at menards or any of the local supply houses I have a really hard time keeping from laughing!
Cobbling/butchering knows no borders amongst the trades!
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Old 01-02-2012, 02:59 AM   #15
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Several perfect examples of why a "right to work" state is were all the hacks and wacks flock to them, you can get away with anything.
So in a fully unionized state the electrician or HVAC union guy would refuse to do work as specified on a set of engineered approved plans?

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