November 2018 Print

Disclaimer Note

Chapters are not authorized to speak for the Society.

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This Month's Meeting

November Technical Meeting

November 13, 2018
11:30 AM MST - 1:00 PM MST

Legends Sports Pub
677 S. 200 W.
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Venue website

Main Presentation:

This month our presentation will be by Joe Stagg discussing calculating and sizing domestic hot water recirculation pumps and balancing valves.

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President's Report

by Brad Welch

I was folding towels the other day and realized I was conflicted about what is the proper way to fold them.  I was raised to fold the longest edge in half first, then each fold after that is perpendicular to the previous fold.  This is how I have been folding towels all my life.  It occurred to me that there might be a better way to fold it.  You could fold the short edge in half first, then the next wo folds can be the long edge.  Let me explain each fold approach in more detail.

Option 1: Fold the long edge in half first.

  • This is the way I was trained to do it and I have been doing it this way my whole towel folding life.  This seems like the proper way to fold a towel.
  • The towels generally all end up the correct size and shape to stack nicely on the linen closet shelf.
  • Alternating fold directions help the towel stay folded when being handled (moving the towel rom where you folded it to the linen closet).

Option 2: Fold the short edge in half first.

  • This method goes against my towel folding instincts and just does not feel right.
  • Towels end up the same size as Option 1 so they still stack and fit on the linen closet shelf properly.
  • The last two folds are the same direction so folding is slightly faster because you don’t have to alternate the last fold.
  • The big advantage to this option is when you are ready to put the towel on your towel rack you really only have to undo one fold, the first two folds remain in place.

So, what does it matter?  The end result is the same if you consider the end result as the towel sitting on the shelf in the linen closet.  However, there is one more step that is largely effected by how you fold the towel.  This step is when you take the folded towel out of the linen closet and put it on your towel rack to be ready for use. 

When you do this for Option 1, you have to fully unfold the towel, then fold the short edge in half so it will hang on the towel rack.  When you do this for Option 2 you really only need to undo the last fold, the first two folds can remain in place.  Because of this feature I am trying to change by natural towel folding tendencies to start using Option 2.  It takes intentional behavior modification to not just naturally go with Option 1.  If I am not thinking about it when folding towels, I end up using Option 1.  However, whenever I replace my towels and hang the new ones on the rack, I am grateful I used Option 2.

Are you wondering why I am going on and on about folding towels?  As I was having this internal debate, I realized that I go through this a lot in plumbing design.  Sometimes we do things just because that is the way we were taught to do them.  This is not a bad thing because these things usually work.  We are very hesitant to change anything that has been proven to work over the years.  However, I would like to remind us all to keep an open mind to different ways of doing thing.  There might be a more efficient way of doing things that can get us the same result and still be a little less painful.

As you go about your designs, just keep my towels in mind.  Think about why you are doing something the way you are doing it.  Is there another way to do it that could make it easier or quicker?  This is not even just about doing different design.  I am not saying we need to always be using the newest products.  This is more about our processes, not our end results.  What steps to we take to complete a design?  Where can be save time while still improving accuracy?

I have a spreadsheet I use for keeping track of site visit observations.  I recently made a slight change in how that spreadsheet was organized.  This change made a huge difference in how much effort it takes to keep this spreadsheet organized.  The new format has all the same information, it is just easier to keep updated and clearer for the contractor on what has not yet been addressed.  If I just kept doing this the way I have always done it, I would still be spending too much time keeping the information updated and organized.

I am always looking for the small things that can improve the efficiency and accuracy of how I do things.  Do you have anything you have done that made a big difference in how efficient you can be?  What is your favorite effort-saving tool?  I would really love it if you could share with us all.

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Special Announcements

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VP Technical Article

by Nick Allred

As I start to write this article, it is the day before election day and by the time you read this, it’ll be too late to remind you to vote.  I do hope that you did vote, and voted like your life, freedom, rights, future and legacy depends on it!  But this got me thinking a bit about doing what is right, not necessarily on a political level but on a human level.  Doing what is right regarding how we as individuals act to and in reaction of other people.  When I am kind and helpful to another person, regardless of how I may gain from the action, I’m doing what is right.

This reminds me of a story that I heard.  Somewhere in Tennessee, a guy named Scott was a manufacturer’s rep (he said he sold hammers and nails for a living) and had become friends with one of his clients.  They invited each other into their homes, spent time outside of work together along with their wives.  Well, one day Scott got a call that his friend’s wife just went into labor.  This wasn’t good news because it was six weeks early.  And Scott was asked to come to the hospital to help pray over the baby.  When Scott got to the hospital and parked, he asked himself what his intentions were.  And he couldn’t answer the question.  Was he going so he would look good to his friend and his friend would buy more stuff from him?  Because the friend could have easily purchased more from Scott and put another $100,000+ in his pocket.  Or was he going to bring some peace on comfort to a family in a tough time?  In this dilemma, Scott said a prayer for himself and he said that he believes he got an answer in the form of this thought.  There are right reasons to do the wrong thing, but there are no wrong reasons to do the right thing.

As I strive to become a better person, and usually falling short in some way or another, I’m open to the idea of having to answer to some sort of God figure for how I lived my life and more importantly how I treated the people around me, if I did what is right.  In the grand scheme of things, does my doing what is right depend on the other person’s place of birth?  Their religious beliefs?  Their political views?  Who they love?  I believe that I, that we should do what is right, regardless of the similarities or differences of the other people involved or how we may gain from it.  Because doing what is right helps to make me, make us better people, a better society, a better country, a better humanity.  A better humanity?  That doesn’t sound right but you know what I mean.

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Special Announcement

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VP Legislative Article

by Gavin Mehraban

It’s November. The time of year to give Thanks. The time of year for family, warmth, food, comfort, love, support, etc. I wish each of you a happy, healthy and prosperous end to the year. Stay safe and spend time with those you love. I am a big fan of Thanksgiving, because it gives us a chance to just be…

No presents, no crazy nights out on the town, no flower arrangements, no costly decorations (Well some people go overboard, but that will happen either way). Just a time to sit around with family, friends and loved ones and share what you are thankful for. I challenge each of you to really sit back and think about that for a bit. What are you thankful for? Is it your System Syzer Calculator? Is it your Ductilator? Or is it your health? Is it your kids? There can be many things. There may not be so may either. But take a moment and reflect on the last year. Examine those challenges. Those changes. Those Difficulties. Then examine what came of them? Did you break down and fall apart? Did you have support throughout? I hope each of you have something to be thankful for.

I am thankful for you. Thank you for reading my articles each month and for letting me spew my jargon and my opinions without argument, without rebuttal. Thank you for liking or hating my work. Either way I made a statement.

Thank you for being Engineers, designers, owners and those that have built infrastructure, supported growth in economic ways, designed to be energy efficient, plumbed to use less water, to waste less and to grow more.

Thank you for lessons learned. Those lessons have helped me grow, no matter how detrimental those lessons were or are. I personally am having an up and down year. I have had a lot to be thankful for and a lot to be upset about. However, here I am trying to build rhetoric to prove to me and hopefully some of you, that growth is inevitable. Change is inevitable. Conflict is inevitable. Let us work to support that growth by being better designers and learning from challenges in past projects, etc. Let us work to be each-others crutch when change is happening. Let’s share ideas, thoughts, feelings to let our network know that we are a network, we are not alone. Let us work to welcome healthy conflict and not fear it. All these items we can hopefully work past or learn a different way to get the answer.

Thank you all for being part of ASPE and providing your thoughts, feedback and network to allow us all to participate in something bigger.

Happy Thanksgiving to all. Be kind. Be thoughtful. Be Thankful. Be Safe.


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Special Announcement

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Affiliate Liaison Article

by Kyle Sorenson

And then there were FIVE!  Look at those characters!  Big props go out to the ASPE Intermountain Board for representing at the costume contest this year.  What a great time to get out and have some fun with your fellow engineers.  I already have my costume for next year and I am looking forward to see more participants!  Our local chapter as well as ASPE National is always trying to increasing member participation.  If you have any ideas on improvements to this contest or other event ideas, please contact the board.

I hope everyone enjoyed their Halloween and didn't get to big of a belly ache eating all that candy that you work so hard for Trick or Treating.  Who am I kidding…...we just steal from the kids!  I know we embarrassed the heck out of our daughter at her school parade.  Nothing like a redneck alien abduction and an 8 foot tall inflatable gorilla costume to really make her face turn red.  Check it out. HAHHA, that picture just cracks me up.  Sadly, Halloween is gone and now it is time for CHRISTMAS!    Wait……!  THANKSGIVING!

Thanksgiving is just a little over a week away!  YEOWSA!  Who is ready? I am getting there.  We are planning way to many different dishes this year…...gonna be eating leftovers for weeks! It is always a great time.!.  Nothing like getting together with the family you can stand, watching some good ol American Football and CHOWING DOWN!  What traditions to you and your family have?  One of the newest ones we have in our family is making a Thankful Hand Turkey Tree.  Everyone makes a hand turkey out of paper, decorates it and then writes one thing they are thankful for and we throw it up on the tree. It is a great way to look back on the prior year and relive the day, almost like a journal. I have attached our last year turkey tree for your viewing pleasure.  This is also a great way to get a jump on putting up your christmas tree as well also pictured below. Some people even do it for Halloween and get a really good jump on the holidays.

Either way, I hope everyone enjoys the holidays and has a very safe Thanksgiving.  I would have to say that one of my favorite ASPE Intermountain Thanksgiving Traditions is post a recipe for anyone that is looking for a little change or variety in their food spread.  Please see my 2018 selection below!

Cheesy Bacon Cornbread Dressing

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Member Spotlight

Steven Shields

I am a recent mechanical engineering graduate from the University of Utah. Throughout my college career, I worked full time as an Assistant Building Engineer for the property management firm Hamilton Partners. I was responsible for all the mechanical systems and equipment for 4 commercial high rise office towers, including: fire life safety systems, water treatment systems for mechanical equipment, and HVAC and plumbing systems. I am a new mechanical engineer at VBFA and I am hoping to use my last 10 years of experience working on these systems to help me become a better designer of these systems. My wife and I have been married for 9 years. We have 3 boys ages 5, 3, and 1. We enjoy all the outdoor activities Utah has to offer. Wakeboarding, wake surfing, and tubing are some of our favorites. Lake Powell is our favorite Utah destination. I am looking forward to being a part of the engineering and ASPE community

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AYP Article

by Mauro Artica

This month has been full of excitement. ASPE together with Van Boerum and Frank Associates are sponsoring an indoor soccer team for all ASPE members and VBFA employees who wish to participate. It is not too late to join. We had our first game tonight and lost 6 to 8. It is not a bad start for a bunch of engineers playing together for the first time. I personally had a great time spending time with friends outside of work, and I kept reminding everyone that we will likely get better as we play more games. If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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Special Announcement

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