April 15, 2014

The Glass Mystery At Lindy’s Diner

By Paul Bieber

Lindy’s Diner in Keene, New Hampshire has a problem with glass.  We’ll go there in a minute.  Lindy’s is famous for three things, their food, the wonderful waitresses and their control over the elections in New Hampshire and the United States.  (The waitresses all wear t-shirts with the saying, “Hot, fast and cheap”.  I hope they are talking about the food.)  According to the owner, Nancy, there has not been a candidate elected to any office, from President of the US, to the local school committee, who has not had breakfast at Lindy’s in the last twenty years.  100% sure to lose if you don’t go to Lindy’s.  If you were running for office, would you go against those odds?

The 2014 election season is starting and some folks are talking about 2016.  And the parade has started at Lindys.  Just the other day, my wife and I were having breakfast there and a Republican candidate for US Senate came in and spoke to each person there.  Very interesting actually.  This is local politics at its best.

But, what is this glass mystery?  I couldn’t help notice that one of the large windows in the front of Lindy’s was covered in duct tape on the inner lite of an IG unit.  Nancy asked me to take a look at it and give my advice.  She knew a glass expert when she saw one.  There was a run from the bottom to about three-quarters of the way up.  Annealed glass.  No impact points.  The run started below the sight line, and in fact, upon closer inspection, it looked like there was a screw in the inside wooden stop, just about where the run started.

I asked Nancy if this had happened before.  She said it had.  In fact, this same window broke a month after it was installed about a year ago, and the installer replaced it, splitting the cost with Nancy.  And now it is broken again.  It didn’t take a glass expert long to explain to Nancy that the screw point had put pressure on the glass and that is what caused the break.

Nancy asked if she should replace it again and I explained to her the advantage of changing to an aluminum store front instead of her old wooden one.  Energy savings up the wazoo, less condensation running down the glass, easier maintenance and cleaning, and with proper installation, no chance of this type of breakage again.

I gave her the names of two local glaziers who are really good with commercial work and went back to the world’s best homemade cinnamon raisin toast. 

If you are called to do a replacement at an old store front, don’t take the easy way out and just do the replacement.  Take the time to explain the benefits of a retrofit to thermally broken aluminum.  It is our job to teach our customers about energy savings and maintenance benefits.  We can’t take the easy way out and just do the replacement.  Selling the advantages of Low-E should be basic in every estimate you give.  Talk to your distributor and fabricator to get sales literature to leave with your quotes.  Learn it yourself, train your entire staff.  We’ll all be better off for it.