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  • Thursday, April 13, 2023 11:05 AM | Anonymous

    Toilet flange extension kits save time and money on the job site.

    Have you remodeled a bathroom recently? If so, maybe you’ve noticed problems with the toilet.

    To get more specific: Is it rocking noisily when the homeowner takes a seat? Or maybe they've noticed water pooling at the base. Perhaps the flooring surrounding the toilet feels soft. Or water spots have appeared on the ceiling located directly below the toilet.

    If any of these problems are present, chances are the toilet flange (also called a closet flange) was installed incorrectly. Most likely, the installation was done by someone lacking the necessary professional skills and experience, causing more damage on top of a poor installation that will need to be fixed later.

    Mike Mistovich, owner of L&M Plumbing
    Mike Mistovich, owner of L&M Plumbing of Youngstown, Ohio, replaces a toilet flange.

    Master Plumber Mike Mistovich, sole owner and operator of L&M Plumbing of Youngstown, Ohio, knows this pain. His shop often receives service calls from homeowners who have noticed their toilets are rocking in their bathroom — usually around six months after they've completed a renovation.

    "In our area, many remodelers tend to do much of the work on construction projects themselves, avoiding contract work with plumbers or electricians to save money,” says Mistovich, who has 19-plus years of experience specializing in residential plumbing and drain services. “That, in turn, can lead to incorrect installation and negligence."

    The problem? When a remodeler builds the floor up in a bathroom, the upgraded floor inevitably impacts the toilet flange height, according to Mistovich. Best practices call for the flange to be installed flush with or atop the finished floor. Placing it beneath a tile floor will cause drainage issues — especially leaks.

    In addition, a toilet flange sitting below the tile will create instability for the user over time. Toilet flanges are essential in securing the toilet to the floor; if compromised, rocking and leaks will soon result, absolutely spoiling a newly renovated bathroom.

    "A toilet is like a piece of furniture and should be mounted on the floor properly," advises Mistovich, who relies on Oatey's Set-Rite Toilet Flange Extension Kits to raise toilet flanges during or after a remodel. "That’s why I always have my flange extenders with me to correct an improper toilet flange height during repairs.”

    Oatey Set-Rite Toilet Flange Extension Kits

    The Oatey Set-Rite Toilet Flange Extension Kits include spacers in four different sizes, plus six self-tapping screws that complete the installation. For professionals like Mistovich, extending any existing flange is much easier than installing a new one.

    "I can pop the spacers in and secure them to the floor, or even to old flanges," says Mistovich, who finds the kits’ versatility to be very useful.

    “It's a quick repair that homeowners appreciate,” he continues. “For me, easy installation is the most important benefit. It usually doesn't require pulling up the old flange or any subfloor restoration, which saves time and money.”

    Oatey Set-Rite Toilet Flange Extension Kits allow users to easily extend the toilet flange surface above the finished floor for optimum sealing with a standard wax ring. The kits can be used on existing PVC, ABS, cast iron and stainless steel flange rings. Spacers can also be combined to meet the desired height, while a foam rubber gasket seals the spacers to the new flange.

    While Youngstown has no shortage of blue-collar workers with professional-level skills, it does help to have a reliable, seasoned service plumber just a phone call away. Having worked in plumbing for nearly two decades, Mistovich is no stranger to Oatey products. And he can always count on Oatey Set-Rite Toilet Flange Extension Kits to provide a watertight solution for raising a toilet flange — whether as part of a simple fixture repair or a full bath remodel.

    Article courtesy of:

  • Thursday, April 13, 2023 10:52 AM | Anonymous

    Tort Reform in Florida

    Earlier this month members of the Florida House of Representatives introduced a tort reform bill, H.B. 837. Since then, both the Florida House of Representatives and Florida Senate have passed the provisions. The bill was officially signed into law Friday, March 24, 2023 by Gov. Ron DeSantis and will become effective on or around July 1, 2023. This bill makes significant changes to the Florida Insurance landscape.

    Key provisions in the bill:

    • Repeals one-way attorney fee provisions. This could result in claimants owing the carrier's defense costs.
    • Reduces the statute of limitations from four years to two years excluding medical malpractice claims.
    • Changes Florida’s comparative negligence system from a “pure” comparative negligence system to a “modified” system so that a plaintiff who is more at-fault for their injuries may generally not recover damages.
    • Eliminates fee multipliers, which have allowed plaintiffs’ attorneys to use a multiplier on top of a “Lodestar” fee thereby securing higher fees when they prevail in litigation.
    • Policy limits equal damage limits. The claimants will be entitled to a prorated share, as determined by the court or arbitrator in the case.
    • No more attorney-client privilege on treating physicians for plaintiffs. There is no attorney-client privilege when a communication is relevant to the lawyer’s act of referring the client for treatment by a health care provider.
    • Medical costs must be real. If the injured party has health care insurance, the amount paid by insurance should be explained and damages should not be based on unsupported medical estimates.
    • Letters of protection. All letters of protection, would be divulged in the personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit proceedings. Doctors’ bills would have to be itemized and must include procedure codes where possible.
    • Bad-faith claims. Mere negligence would not be sufficient to sustain a bad-faith action. It requires a good faith effort for a claimant to furnish information.

    As a result, plaintiffs’ attorneys have been filing lawsuits in the thousands prior to the July 1st effective date.

    -Information provided by BKS Partners, 3/29/2023

    Click Here for HB 873 Bill

    Resources and more information:

  • Wednesday, March 29, 2023 11:08 AM | Anonymous

    From jetters to high-speed drain cleaning machines, here’s a rundown of the type of work each tool is best suited for

    Drain cleaning with ease and efficiency starts with selecting the right tools for the job. With the type of drain cleaning options on the market continuing to grow, understanding the difference in drain cleaning machines and how to select the best option for the job is essential.

    Currently, there are four main categories of drain cleaning equipment: jetters, sectional machines, drum machines and high-speed drain cleaners. Understanding when it’s best to use each can be the difference between a frustrating day on the job and being able to clear a drain quickly. 

    Here’s a breakdown of the basics of each type of machine, their best uses and some things to keep in mind when using each: 


    Jetters utilize high-pressure water to clear a drainline and are effective at removing grease and soft blockages. The addition of a powerful nozzle can also help cut through roots quickly while cleaning out a root-infested line. There are four types of jetters — electric, portable gas-powered, trailer/rack-mounted and sink. 

    Things to consider: 

    Subscribe: If you don't want to bring your iPad into the bathroom, we can send you a magazine subscription for free!

    • If you are in a building and cannot leave the power unit outside, you will have to use an electric jetter. With electric-powered jetters, the amount of pressure you can generate is also limited, making them best for smaller lines and ideal for sink and tub drains.  
    • The portable gas-powered jetter can operate at high psi and flow rates, but the tradeoff for that added power is that they are heavier and must be operated outdoors because of the exhaust. However, since many drains are accessed from inside a building, detachable hose reels and remotes allow for gas-powered jetters to be kept outside while working on a line indoors. They are ideal for commercial and industrial applications.
    • A trailer- or rack-mounted jetter can be used on a wide range of lines at high pressures and high flow rates. They are ideal for mainline city sewer drains and laterals. This type of jetter requires water reservoirs as a buffer against outpacing the water supply that can be found on the job site.
    • While not a standard in the industry yet, a new trend is the introduction of new, smaller sink jetters. These generally only work well on small sink lines because of their low psi and flow.  However, they are convenient because they are easy to carry in and out of a job and might be another good option to consider for drain cleaning projects.

    Sectional Machines 

    Sectional drain cleaning machines work by coupling sections of cable, typically of 7 ½-foot or 15-foot lengths, together one at a time and feeding them down a pipe to scour the inside as they spin. This allows a user to take only the necessary amount of cable to a job site. Sectional machines also have a smaller profile than other drain cleaning machines that service similar size pipes. This is an advantage for the technician if they need to access a cleanout in a cramped workspace such as a crawlspace.  A benefit of a sectional machine is that if a cable kinks or breaks, you are only out that section of cable and not the complete cable. They are effective at cleaning roots, blockages and heavy debris. 

    Things to consider: 

    • All sectional machines operate in the 400-700 rpm range. To create the rotation, sectional machines feature a hand-operated clutch that causes a set of jaws to clamp down on the cable when engaged. When the clutch is released, rotation of the cable stops immediately. This element of control on the cable is particularly beloved by sectional machine advocates.
    • Different types of sectional machines will have different capacities in terms of the size of drain they can clean. This is a result of both clutch jaw sizes and motor power; they must work in conjunction. A large capacity set of jaws does no good if there is a weak motor to power the unit. Likewise, having an overly powerful motor for smaller cable sizes can increase the risk of damaging the cable.

    Drum Machines 

    Drum machines operate in a similar manner to sectional machines with the main difference being that the entire 100 feet or more of cable is stored on the machine and must be brought to every job. Where sectional machines focus on speed and rpm to cut through roots, drum machines rely on the torque the cable builds up to break through blockages. It comes down to personal preference on whether you prefer a drum or sectional machine. Drum machines are effective at cleaning roots, blockages and heavy debris. 

    Things to consider: 

    • Drum machines often feature an integrated transport cart with stair climbers that can help transport the full length of cable.
    • Autofeed technology is common in drum machines that can help automatically feed and retract the cable, thus reducing user fatigue.
    • Drums can be fully or partially enclosed, which keeps debris from getting around the workspace.  This is why drum machines are popular in finished basements.

    High-Speed Drain Cleaners 

    High-speed drain cleaning machines thrive on speed, not torque. They clear drainlines wall to wall with the use of specialty chain knockers and allow for a camera to be in-pipe simultaneously. This is the newest type of drain cleaning machine option. They are effective at clearing scale, grease, sludge and soft blockages.

    Related: Examining Drain Clog Culprits

    Things to consider: 

    • There is a learning curve when switching from traditional drain cleaning cable to high-speed cable. Understanding speed and finesse is key to having the machine last. Keeping water running and cleaning from downstream are also important to note as this keeps the end of the cable spinning as freely as possible. One more important piece of information for models requiring a drill is drill settings: Be sure to follow the recommended settings in the manual so the drill and high-speed cable work most safely and effectively.
    • Two basic types of chain knockers to invest in initially are standard and carbide chain knockers. Standard chain knockers are ideal for softer-walled pipes (such as PVC) and soft blockages like grease. Carbide chain knockers can be used in harder-walled pipes (such as cast iron) to clean smaller roots as well as scale. 
    • High-speed drain cleaning is not effective on heavy, dense roots or harder substances that require torque to break through. A jetter, drum or sectional machine are more effective for these blockages.  

    Each of these drain cleaning tool options has benefits and drawbacks. Knowledge of the basic differences of each, paired with your professional experience, will ensure selection of the most appropriate tool for any blockage you face.  

    Article Courtesy of:  Alex Meyer / Plumbers Magazine

    March 29, 2023

    About the Author 

    Alex Meyer is a product manager for RIDGID, a part of Emerson’s professional tools portfolio that also includes the Greenlee brand. RIDGID is a global manufacturer of more than 300 dependable and innovative tools, trusted by professional trades in over 100 countries. Learn more at

  • Thursday, January 12, 2023 9:54 AM | Anonymous

    OSHA audits can happen at any time, sometimes with little or no advance warning.

    Because you never know for sure when an inspector will show up at your place of business, it’s imperative to be ready at all times.

    1) Know what to expect.

    First things first: If an inspector does arrive at your place of business, ask them to show you their credentials. If they are unable to do so, or if you have any concerns at all, don’t hesitate to call the area OSHA director for confirmation.

    Once the inspector arrives, it’s OK to put them in a waiting room or conference room for a few minutes while you alert others, informing them that an audit is taking place.

    Most OSHA inspectors will begin with a quick huddle or conference, during which they should explain the reason for their presence. It can be helpful to know whether it’s a random inspection, or a response to some specific complaint or incident.

    When talking with your inspector, always be professional and polite but don’t overshare or volunteer more information than is requested.

    2) Know your rights.

    Be advised of certain rights you have as a business owner. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to consult your attorney. A few specific rights to note:

    You have a right to keep all employee interviews private, as opposed to having interviews conducted in front of the entire team.

    You have the right to keep the inspection during a reasonable timeframe (that is, during your normal operating hours). You should not have to stay late, or ask employees to stay late, to accommodate the inspector.

    Your inspector should keep trade secrets as such, handling photos and documents with discretion.

    3) Assign a point person.

    Someone at your company should be responsible for meeting with the inspector and guiding them through your facility. This might be the business owner, a safety officer, or someone else. Just make sure it’s someone who knows where all relevant company policies and documents are kept.

    Additionally, it might be wise to select a backup person, just in case the normal point person is out sick when the inspector comes knocking.

    4) Be diligent in training.

    One of the best ways to prepare for surprise inspections is to make sure employees are regularly trained on how to assess, mitigate, and respond to hazards at the job site.

    Also be sure that there is evidence of your training throughout the workplace, specifically that up-to-date OSHA signage is prominently displayed.

    Finally, be sure to keep good records of your training and have them readily available when the inspector shows up.

    5) Perform audits of your own.

    One last way to be ready for inspections is to hold inspections of your own. Perform routine audits of your workplace and all equipment. Interview employees about safety protocols. Double check your signage. Be vigilant, ensuring you find and address any issues before the inspector comes calling.

    Article courtesy of:, Amanda E. Clark

  • Tuesday, January 10, 2023 3:02 PM | Anonymous

    Workforce Program Wins in FY23 Budget

    Just after midnight on Tuesday, Dec. 20, Congressional leadership released the text of the FY2023 omnibus spending bill, which will fund federal government operations through Sept.30, 2023.

    The 4,155-page spending bill comes in at over $1.6 trillion, split between $772 billion in non-defense spending and $858 billion for the military. The Senate will vote first on the legislation before sending it to the House and, upon passage, it will arrive at the White House in time for the president’s signature before the current continuing resolution funding government expires at midnight on Friday, Dec. 23.

    PHCC legislative affairs worked tirelessly since late summer for inclusion of the National Apprenticeship Act in the final spending package. They also advocated for the inclusion of the JOBS Act, which would funnel Pell Grant monies to short-term job training programs that would create another avenue to careers in the HVAC space. However, neither the JOBS Act nor the National Apprenticeship Act was included in the final spending bill due to pressure to minimize non-defense legislative priorities.

    HOWEVER, there have been substantial increases in workforce funding expected to benefit newcomers to the plumbing and HVAC trades. The Department of Labor’s registered apprenticeship program will be funded at $285 million, its highest level of funding ever. Additionally, Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) grants will be funded at over $2.9 billion, providing money to fund training programs in high-demand fields such as HVAC and plumbing (the article below is for PHCC state executives wanting to learn more about how they can leverage WIOA). Perkins Career and Technical Education grants will be funded at $3.5 billion, helping secondary school students explore the building trades as a career option.

    By Mark Valentini, Director of Legislative Affairs

  • Monday, November 28, 2022 5:27 PM | Anonymous

    PHCC National is always working on your behalf! Recent or upcoming legislative/regulatory events:

    Nov. 15 — PHCC Legislative Affairs meets with office of Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to discuss National Apprenticeship Act.

    Nov. 17 — PHCC Legislative Affairs meets with Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee staff to discuss National Apprenticeship Act.

    Nov. 18 — PHCC Legislative Affairs meets with offices of Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM) to discuss National Apprenticeship Act.

    Nov. 18 — Oral arguments in HARDI et al v. EPA challenging EPA authority to mandate reusable refrigerant cylinders. PHCC is a party to this lawsuit.

    Nov. 24 - 25 — PHCC Offices Closed for Thanksgiving

    Nov. 29 — PHCC Legislative Affairs meets with office of Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) to discuss the National Apprenticeship Act.

    Nov. 30 — PHCC Legislative Affairs meets with Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) to discuss ratification of Kigali Amendment and impact on HVAC industry.

  • Tuesday, August 16, 2022 2:58 PM | Anonymous

    Inflation Reduction Act: The Tradeoffs Aren’t Worth It

    On August 11, 2022, the PHCC National Board of Directors voted to oppose the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the watered-down version of the Build Back Better plan. 

    Nonetheless, the House of Representatives voted to approve the bill on Friday evening on a 220-207 partisan vote, after the Senate approved the bill the prior week on a 51-50 vote with Vice President Kamala Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. The President is expected to sign the bill into law today.

    PHCC legislative staff is looking through the 700+ page bill to understand its full impact on contractors. Below is what has been learned about the pros and cons of this bill thus far.

    What we like:

    • There are tax incentives for contractors that perform work improving the energy efficiency of their customers’ homes and businesses, and tax credits have been increased for homeowners and business owners that invest in energy-efficient HVAC systems.
    • Restrictions that limited those tax benefits only to those consumers that hired a contractor that uses apprentices and pays prevailing wage have been lifted, meaning customers can hire any qualified contractor to perform the work and be able to claim it on their tax returns.
    • It intends to streamline the permitting process for oil and gas exploration, which means Americans can theoretically start leveraging more American resources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and reduce energy costs.
    • Upon the President’s signage, PHCC will keep you up to speed on how you and your customers can take advantage of these tax incentives. PHCC does not offer tax advice and you are highly encouraged to consult with a tax professional.

    Tradeoffs that did not make this legislation worthy of our support:

    • There are over $6 billion in taxes on natural gas exploration, and financial incentives for state governments and utilities to initiate or expedite plans to decarbonize their economies. In short, natural gas will become more expensive and Washington has promised state governments will save money by moving quickly to ban natural gas. Ratepayers’ gas bills will increase.
    • Tax incentives for consumers who get a new furnace or A/C unit are much more heavily weighted towards those who seek to fully electrify their homes. This means the legislation picks winners and losers. The consumers who get the full tax benefits of improving their homes’ efficiency are those who have the means to electrify their homes. Consumers that swap out their old HVAC system for a gas-fired system or electric resistance heat system, even if those systems meet efficiency requirements, will get a lesser credit assuming they qualify.
    • A last-minute deal before this legislation passed the Senate extends the cap limiting business loss write offs for the next two years. Any tax benefit contractors may receive from performing qualified work on improving the energy efficiency of customers’ properties will likely be offset by the limit on loss write offs.

    PHCC determined that the incentives to accelerate energy policies alone were sufficient to warrant opposition and believes it is impiortant to maintain access to natural gas as a kep part of a balanced energy portfolio for consumers. This legislation's prevention of contractors from minimizing business losses during a period of grave economic uncertainty makes the IRA even more unpalatable.

    Thank you to those members who responded to PHCC’s call to action last week and remember you can have your voice heard again on Tuesday, November 8.

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