ShopTalk

KEEN GIVEAWAY

You’ve landed in the right place! Enter to win your own pair of Logandale KEEN Utility boots and I will build them for you! Mechanical Hub is traveling to Portland, Oregon to KEEN Utility headquarters to see behind the scenes, learn all about what goes into the design and build of all their boots and Read more

You’ve landed in the right place! Enter to win your own pair of Logandale KEEN Utility boots and I will build them for you!

Mechanical Hub is traveling to Portland, Oregon to KEEN Utility headquarters to see behind the scenes, learn all about what goes into the design and build of all their boots and to top it all off we will be building a pair of the U.S. Made Logandale boots!

ENTER BELOW BY LEAVING YOUR NAME AND SHOE SIZE IN THE COMMENT SECTION. An email address is required to leave a comment. GOOD LUCK!

Entries accepted until 11:59pm Eastern Time Sunday, August 4th.

Robocalls

Robocalls may be the most annoying use of modern technology ever. Long gone are the days of quickly answering the phone on the first ring with hope that new business was waiting on the other end of the line. In service businesses like plumbing and HVAC our phones are the lifeline we rely on to Read more

Robocalls may be the most annoying use of modern technology ever. Long gone are the days of quickly answering the phone on the first ring with hope that new business was waiting on the other end of the line. In service businesses like plumbing and HVAC our phones are the lifeline we rely on to generate income daily but the incessant barrage of spam calls generated by computers is a huge waste of time.

The reality for millions of Americans is that we receive way too many robocalls on a daily basis. Nearly 48 billion robocalls were made in the US last year, and they certainly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

What are Robocalls and how do they work?

Computer software leverages voice over internet protocol (VOIP) to quickly and cheaply call you. A computer-generated number comes up on your phone, which is often made to appear similar to yours to prompt you to answer. This technique, known as spoofing, disguises the true identity of the call origin and instead makes it show up as an unknown or generic number (like 123456789). Many times now my iPhone has identified incoming calls as “Russia”, I probably don’t have to tell you that I quickly end those.

Robocalls can also show up as real numbers that belong to someone else. That means if you ignore the call but dial it back later, you might reach someone who has no idea their number was misused.

What is the FCC doing about robocalls?

Good news: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking major steps to reduce the amount of illegal and unwanted calls for what seems like the first time. On June 6, 2019, the FCC unanimously passed a new measure that would help block robocalls. The ruling would allow carrier companies (like T-Mobile and Verizon) to automatically block illegal and unwanted calls before they reach consumers’ phones. Previously, carriers were allowed to block certain calls — but only after a subscriber agreed to opt in. Under the new measure, carriers can now do so without the consumers’ permission.

Like most things that seem too good to be true, there may be a catch: Carrier companies are not required to provide blocking services free of charge, meaning you might have to pay extra for it. Also, automated calls from legitimate companies (like reminders from your dentist’s office or an airline) may be blocked too.

Don’t want to rely on the government to handle the issue? There are some things you can do to stop the calls on your own.

The first thing you can do to stop robocalls is not answer any unknown numbers. Seems easy enough but also goes against everything we know as business owners, after all we rely on those incoming calls for new business.

  • If you answer a robocall, you’ll be put onto a VIP list of people that the scammers know are more likely to pick up. Then, you could actually be passed onto a real person who may try to solicit information from you or trick you into buying something.
  • If you are receiving robocalls you can file a complaint with the FCC, noting the time & date of the call, the number that appeared, a description of the message, and your number. This is a huge time suck and not likely to be something I would do but it is an official process so if you’re up for  it click the link above.
  • There’s always the National Do Not Call Registry (DNC) which makes it illegal for telemarketers to call you. By no means is it fullproof but its an easy process.
  • Download a robocall blocking app from a third party or your cellular carrier, most are free with a paid premium option.
  • Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” function on you phone. This is something I do regularly while on the job. With the iPhone I can set it so that my phone wont ring while locked unless someone from my contact list is calling. I find this to be one of the most useful of all options.

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How to stop robocalls on iPhones

By using Apple’s Do Not Disturb feature, you’ll only be notified for calls and texts from your contacts. All other numbers will be silenced and delivered in the background. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Go to Settings →
  2. Do Not Disturb →
  3. Allow Call From →
  4. Select “All Contacts”

How to stop robocalls on Androids

Similar to iPhones, Android phones have a similar Do Not Disturb feature that silences sounds and other notifications from any number outside of your contacts. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Go to Sound →
  2. Do Not Disturb →
  3. Exceptions →
  4. Select “Calls From Contacts”

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Here are some of the best Robocall Blocking apps:

Hiya: An app that blocks any numbers and texts you want to avoid by using crowd-sourced data. Other services include blocking calls, blacklisting unwanted phone numbers, reverse searching incoming call information, and receiving spam alerts. Available on iOS and Android for free.

Verizon Call Filter: An app that blocks and silences unwanted calls for Verizon customers based on risk level. Available on iOS and Android for free.

RoboKiller: When someone calls you and their number is verified as spam from RoboKiller’s database, your phone won’t ring. Instead you will get a number that notifies you someone has been blocked. The difference between this spam blocking app and others is that it answers the call with a pre-recorded message, wasting the scammer’s time. Available on iOS and Android with a 7-day free trial, then $4 a month or $30 a year.

T-Mobile Scam Block: A default-off tool that prevents T-Mobile customers from receiving scam calls. Activate from your T-Mobile account, in the latest Name ID app, or dial #622# from your T-Mobile phone. Offered to customers at no extra cost.

Sprint Premium Caller ID: A service that allows Sprint customers to identify unknown callers by name and get warnings on spam calls. Activate from your Sprint account for $3 a month.

 

 

Hilti NPR-32A Press Tool

Hilti Copper Press Tool Last week marked the third annual Hilti Innovation day for members of the media, including social media influencers. This was my third time attending the event and I can say it will go down as one of the best they’ve hosted. New tools, an inside look at what’s coming and lots Read more

Hilti Copper Press Tool

Last week marked the third annual Hilti Innovation day for members of the media, including social media influencers. This was my third time attending the event and I can say it will go down as one of the best they’ve hosted. New tools, an inside look at what’s coming and lots of product engineers and managers eager to hear what people are saying about the brand and others. Some notable introductions were the new 36V reciprocating saw, an eager beast of a tool surprisingly compact given its power and even more refined than most 18/20V saws already on the market. In addition to the recip Hilti is launching their most powerful cordless grinders and even a wet/dry electric corded concrete saw capable of gas saw performance nonetheless but without the fumes. Lasers, new batteries and some wicked firestop products were also announced but the main attraction for MH was the announcement of their first copper press tool.

Hilti’s new press tool (NPR-32A) will be sold as a bare tool (I’ve been told it’s $1269), jaws sold separately. Standard size jaws like the RIDGID RP340 or M18 jaws will fit this tool.

The NPR-32A is currently going thru third party ASTM testing to meet multiple fitting manufacturer’s specs, I’m told this is the only press tool to have the certification testing in North America.

It may look familiar, Klauke manufactures it but according to Hilti it’s not the exact tool you’ll see with other branding. Other tools with similar housing, features and action have been labeled NIBCO, Greenlee and Klauke [the manufacturer’s name].

They’re only listing copper fittings, size 1/2”-4” for piping systems. When I asked about MegaPress they didn’t say no but reiterated that it will press copper. It’s a 32kn (7200lb) tool putting it in the same class as the M18 or RP340 for pressing force.


The NPR 32-A22 is backed by Hilti’s 20-2-1 year warranty – 20 years of repair or replacement of defective parts; two years no cost repair including wear and tear; and a guaranteed one-day turn-around on repairs. Coverage is extended for the press tool to include free calibration at 15K press intervals. To see more from us and others who attended the event click the #hiltiinnovation tag for posts and videos on Instagram.

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32Kn (7200lb) full size press tool.

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Perez who? That was my first reaction when I was asked what I thought about some ridiculous thing going around IG. I couldn’t believe it myself until I actually looked up this Perez Hilton person when told that he had posted on his Instagram account that “Plumbers in Los Angeles are the biggest SCAM!!!” See Read more

Perez who? That was my first reaction when I was asked what I thought about some ridiculous thing going around IG. I couldn’t believe it myself until I actually looked up this Perez Hilton person when told that he had posted on his Instagram account that “Plumbers in Los Angeles are the biggest SCAM!!!”

See for yourself, here’s a screenshot of his post for all of his 800K plus followers to see.

Perez Hilton posts on Instagram that all plumbers are scammers, calls for Government intervention.

It should be known that I didn’t even know who this guy (Perez Hilton) was until yesterday, so I may not be the best person to judge his actions. Apparently he makes his money *blogging celebrity gossip and outing alleged closeted celebrities; sounds like a real peach. Nonetheless, I am however a self employed plumbing and heating contractor, not working in L.A. but, I wouldn’t have to dig deep from experience to say there are a lot of people that would probably agree with such an asinine, uneducated statement such as his.

When faced with a plumbing problem today most people approach the challenge knowing they’ve likely got two options; the first being to hire a professional to take care of it, second would be YouTube and plenty of misinformed ideas from non-pros willingly tutoring in hopes of counting another view for their channel. I guess you could add option 1.5 in the case of the c-list celebrity and turn to your audience of many and lie and cry your way through it.

The tables soon turned on Hilton in the comment section of the post though and some were not pretty. My close friend John Thompson [@ogplumbgod] chimed in pretty quick with the “Have you ever sacrificed time away from your family to pay the bills?” and “Have you ever dug a trench full of shit?” questions that were just a part of his longer comment. If you want to see John’s and the over 1700 comments on the post click here. While you’re there give my friend John a follow!

I don’t want to get into the depths of what it takes to run a successful business as it pertains to pricing structures for service work. That’s something I admittedly continue to learn every day. I will say this though, this guy’s tantrum is just louder than the similar conversations being had every day by homeowners, general contractors and building owners. Plumbers are not inexpensive, nor should we be. If you want your problem fixed by a professional, the right way the first time then you’re going to have to pay the going rate. I joked in my comment to this idiot that $260 for a plumber was cheap, asking if he had a Groupon or something. When is the last time that dweeb’s Dr. told him upfront what a visit and procedure was going to cost? Maybe if said doctor did we’d be talking about the high price of medical care instead of the seemingly normal price for a plumbing service call in Los Angeles?

Here’s what I posted in response to this great big bucket of idiocy. Shameless plug, if you’re not already please give us a follow too! @mechanicalhub

Tradies unite against Hilton

*Source: Wikipedia

Pocket Guide for ProPress I remember back when I first started in the trade as an apprentice my first journeyman handed me a Tyler Pipe pocket guide for reference of fitting take-offs, make-ups etc. That was an incredibly useful tool and was nearly worn out by the time I memorized the most used measurements. I Read more

Pocket Guide for ProPress

I remember back when I first started in the trade as an apprentice my first journeyman handed me a Tyler Pipe pocket guide for reference of fitting take-offs, make-ups etc. That was an incredibly useful tool and was nearly worn out by the time I memorized the most used measurements. I may not have a use for that book daily today but I definitely have referenced the Viega pocket guide for ProPress fittings many times over the years.

I would imagine there are printed copies available but I’ve included the link to Viega’s download page for the pocket guide and many other literature items they offer. Plain and simple, the ProPress guide is useful for quick reference of sealing element spec’s, fitting spacing, spacing from existing soldered joints and clearances when soldering near a press fitting.

I hope you find this useful, if you’re not using Viega brand press fittings check with the manufacturer of your preferred brand for similar info.

Viega Download Page: https://bit.ly/2v8J4xq

Also available for your mobile device is Viega’s Toolbox app: