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DP short lesson on tempered glass in aquariums



For many years, I was a wholesale sales rep for window manufacturers.  I sold
to contractors and building supply yards, rarely direct to the end user.
During that time, I learned some things about glass. 

Regarding tempered glass:

- it can NOT be cut; if you try to do so, it will break in to small pieces
that are usually much less lethal than regular (annealed) glass.  

- tempered glass costs more than regular annealed, particularly if it is a
special size.  Like most things on a wholesale level, the cost drops if you
order a quantity of the same size.  We made standard sized storm doors and
would buy huge racks of a few different sizes of glass and kept our cost and
sell price down.  If one of my contractors needed to replace a piece of glass
in one of our standard sized storm doors, it was much cheaper than if I had to
order a special sized piece of another size.

- tempered glass is stronger than annealed.  Don't quote me on this, but it
seems like I saw the number of 4x stronger.  I imagine that the larger the
aquarium is, the more concern empty weight and the avoidance of broken glass
is, so it seems logical that it is more likely to have tempered glass, even
though the initial cost goes up.  Once a guy on the assembly line demonstrated
this to me by pounding the tempered glass in a patio door with a hammer.  It
didn't break, but do NOT try this at home with you 150 gallon aquarium!  ;-) 

- when glass is tempered, it will have an emblem indicating that in one
corner, usually the lower.  If you have a storm door or entry door with glass
that has been made int the last 20 years or so, go look at that to see what
the emblem looks like.  Federal law requires that storm doors and entry doors
have safety glazing.  That might also mean safety laminated glass or
Plexiglas, but it is usually tempered.  It is also possible that the original
glass was replaced with regular annealed and the emblem is not there.  No
reputable glass shop or knowledgeable person would do this because of the
safety issues and huge fines possible.

BTW, I am willing to privately help anyone on our lists that is thinking about
replacing their current windows.  No, I am not going to make any money out of
it (unless you are here in the Indiana area).  There are a lot of costly
mistakes made by end users when they deal with some of these blue-suede shoe,
slick-willy type retail salesmen.
I know, I use to sell to them.  There are a lot of folks out there GROSSLY
over paying for replacement windows.  I've seen many instances of folks paying
an average of $1,000 per opening for inferior windows when one of my good
contractors would have provided better quality for $450 average.  Please don't
flame me too bad for this last paragraph.  

Chuck Church
Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-2067
USA

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