When good goes bad

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Proper testing of system anti-freeze will help prevent problems down the road

By George Lanthier

In many of my seminars, especially those about hydronics and cold-weather servicing of heating systems, an issue comes up that always surprises me that people don’t know about: how non-toxic or inhibited propylene glycol solutions, or system anti-freeze, can go bad and you may end up with a freezing acid. So it’s time to drop in at B&B Mechanical and see what’s up.

Bubba comes in one Monday morning and finds his Uncle Bruce pouring over some literature on new homes.

‘Hey, what’s up Unk, looking to buy a new house?” questions Bubba.

‘Not really, Bubba,” replies Bruce, ‘I’m thinking of retiring soon and just want to see what’s available.”

‘Retire, really?” asks Bubba. ‘You really going to throw in the towel on the business?”

‘Well, I am going to be 66 this spring and it’s not getting any easier. You know the turnover we’ve had in young guys and it’s like their attitude is the biggest problem. I don’t mind putting money into a fella to learn, it’s just that they don’t want to, or at least the ones we’ve lucked out with don’t. Or maybe luck had nothing to do with it. I was hoping you would take over the business and then it would be your problem,” giggles Bruce.

‘Well, as it turns out, I wanted to talk to you about that and isn’t it funny how things work out?” quips Bubba. ‘See Unk, I’ve got a chance to get on the local fire department and I’m really thinking about it, after all I’ll be 34 this spring and don’t have much put away for the future. Medical keeps going up and, well, I don’t have to tell you. You’ve been great to work for and I’ve learned a lot. On top of that, the owner of Friendly Oil says if I go on the department he will let me work part-time. He won’t take me away from you, but

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