Bradley Sparks Sustainability Dialogue at Green Manufacturing Summit

Bradley Sparks Sustainability Dialogue at Green Manufacturing Summit
• Top 100 Contractors Listing •
march 2009
vol. 10, no. 3
system drives
energy efficiency
at Harris
Circle 1 on Reader Reply Card
Better for the environment. Safer for drinking water.
Navigator Thermostatic Mixing Valves comply with
all new lead-free requirements while maintaining
the quality you have come to expect from Bradley.
The Navigator unique single valve design, ease of
installation and reliability haven’t changed, Bradley
just got the lead out. Get the lead out of your projects,
specify Bradley’s Navigator thermostatic mixing valves.
>:C;07<[email protected]/[email protected]==;/[email protected]
:3<=F•:[email protected];7::A•>/@B7B7=<A
[email protected]/2:[email protected]>1=;
&[email protected]/2:3Gj eeeP`ORZSgQ]`^Q][^`]RcQbab[d
% ! # ! '
Circle 2 on Reader Reply Card
CA AB 1953 defines lead-free
as less than 0.25%
Phc News — MARCH 2009
On the Cover
Ground-source heat pumps have long delivered
optimum efficiency and environmental
benefits. When the St. Cloud, Minnesota
Municipal Athletic Center needed a new ice
arena, the planners deemed that a chiller
system utilizing ground-source technology
could reduce energy usage drastically and
eliminate 300,000 lbs. of greenhouse gasses
a year to freeze the ice. Story on page 44.
plumbing & hydronic contractor news
Tom M. Brown, Jr.
50 Radiant cooling goes to the mat
When Wal-Mart planned its fifth-generation high-efficiency store for Las Vegas, it needed a means of cooling
that met its goal of 45% energy savings. Radiant cooling via Climate Mat filled the bill.
64 Laars marks 60+ years
A better means of heat exchange grew from a concept in
1948 to a thriving industry for Laars Engineering, developing copper-tube boilers that astounded old-timers with
their small size and high efficiency.
Tapping the Earth — pg. 44
HOYT CORBETT: Developing American
solar thermal products . . . . . . . .18
DAN HOLOHAN: Notes from AHR . . . . .22
PAUL ROHRS: Using electrical relays . .26
BRISTOL STICKNEY: Primary loop solution
for solar system dilemma . . . . . .30
ELLEN ROHR: Read any good books? . .34
RICHARD DITOMA: “Free” estimates aren’t
free for you . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
MORRIS BESCHLOSS: PVF sector takes on
manic-depressive aspect . . . . . . .39
Field Reports
St. Paul athletic center goes green
with geothermal energy . . . . . . .44
Radiant cooling for Wal-Mart store . .50
Contractor finds “gold” in solvent
cement that glows in ultraviolet . .68
Posh hotel restores old pipes in place
via coating system . . . . . . . . . . .70
In the News
Drainline Transport first PERC job . . .6
The Pulse: Solar training; cutting PEX;
diesel fuel prices down . . . . . . . .8
IRWIN Tools awards Navy surgeon custom
chopper for Vise-Grip surgery story .10
Sioux Chief buys REHAU fitting biz . .12
Movers & Shakers . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
NKBA clears confusion . . . . . . . . . .54
Track your trucks . . . . . . . . . . . . .62
Tool Crib; Product News . . . . . . .56-60
The Wall: Crazy instructions for
Japanese public toilets . . . . . . . .69
Code Update
National Green Standard ICC-700
approved as ANS . . . . . . . . . . . .11
NSF certifies low-lead products . . . .16
From the Editors
New lead regulations; boon
or boondoggle? . . . . . . . . . . . . .74
Circle 3 on Reader Reply Card
What’s this? — pg. 63
Chief Editor
John Mesenbrink
Managing Editor
James Schaible
Contributing Editors
Mary Jo Martin
Mark Bruno
Richard DiToma
Morris R. Beschloss
Paul Rohrs
Dan Holohan
Ellen Rohr
Production Manager
Cate C. Brown
Administrative Assistant
Debbie Newberg
Editorial Offices
1838 Techny Court
Northbrook, IL 60062
Phone: 847/564-1127
Fax: 847/564-1264,
[email protected]
Sales Offices
David Schulte, Publisher
Midwest, Southeast,
Eastern Canada
1838 Techny Court
Northbrook, IL 60062
Fax: 847/564-1264
[email protected]
Brad Burnside, East
1838 Techny Court
Northbrook, IL 60062
Fax: 847/564-1264
[email protected]
Diane Spangler, West, Texas
Diane Spangler
P.O. Box 9802
Fountain Valley, CA 92728
Fax: 714/839-6777
[email protected]
Direct subscription
inquiries to:
Cynthia Lewis
Creative Data Services
519 E. Briarcliff Road
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
[email protected]
630-739-0900 x203
Fax: 630-739-7648
TMB Publishing, Inc.
Tom M. Brown Jr., President
The mod-con boiler with
everything you need
In the Box
RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX, the knight is engineered to
the highest standard, with up to 98% low temperature efficiency, full modulation with 5:1 turndown,
and a lineup of built-in features UNMATCHED BY
Outdoor Reset Control with Sensor
LCD Display Uses Words, Not Codes
Cascading Sequencer for up to 8 Boilers
3-Pump Control
Programmable System
Efficiency Optimizers
0-10 VDC Input
PC / Pocket PC Software Capable
ASME Stainless Steel Heat Exchanger
Boiler Circulating Pump (models 50-285)
5 NEW Wall-Mount Models
50,000 to 210,000 Btu/Hr
PVC Venting up to 100 Ft.
Natural to LP Conversion Kit
Condensate Removal System
10 Floor-standing and Wall-Mount Models
from 50,000 to 285,000 Btu/Hr
3 0 0 M a d d o x S i m p s o n P a r k w a y, L e b a n o n, T N 3 7 0 9 0
Circle 4 on Reader Reply Card
w w
Phc News — MARCH 2009
PERC identifies Drainline Transport as first project
CHICAGO — The newly-named
Coalition, (PERC) formed through a
Memorandum of Understanding
(MoU), has identified Drainline
Transport as its first research project.
The Coalition is comprised of five
industry organizations seeking to
conduct much-needed research in a
number of areas. Representing the
Coalition on the initial conference
call to establish the first project were:
Mary Ann Dickinson, Alliance for
Water Efficiency (AWE); Pete De
Marco, International Association of
Plumbing & Mechanical Officials
(IAPMO); Jay Peters, International
Code Council (ICC); Ike Casey,
Contractors Association (PHCC); and
Manufacturers Institute (PMI).
IAPMO’s Pete DeMarco will serve as
project coordinator for this inaugural
research study and will also chair the
Technical Committee assigned to the
project. Each of the five member
associations of PERC has named a representative to this committee. The
first order of business is to define the
parameters of the project.
With the enactment of the Energy
Policy Act of 1992, all water closets
(toilets) manufactured in or imported
into the United States were required
to flush no more than a maximum
average of 1.6 US gallons, effective
January 1, 1994 for residential models and January 1, 1997 for all models. At that time, concern for drainline transport efficacy was voiced by
many in the plumbing trade and
those in various professional associations. However, early reporting and
research on 1.6 gallon per flush (gpf)
water closet models focused primarily on the flush efficacy of the various
water closet models on the market in
response to significant consumer
complaints about poor flush performance. Intermittent and anecdotal
complaints of drainline transport
problems were not thoroughly
researched and largely attributed to
older or faulty sanitary drain lines.
Since then, water closet manufacturers have made great strides in
improving flushing performance.
Recently, the need to find additional
efficiencies on water consuming
plumbing fixtures has resulted in the
creation of voluntary specifications
that eliminate another 20% from the
flush discharge volume of water closets,
bringing consumption down to a maximum average of 1.28 gpf. These toilets
are known as High Efficiency Toilets
(HETs). Some water closet manufactur-
ers are now voluntarily offering models
that flush at 1.0 gpf. This activity has
rightfully raised the debate of drainline
carry efficacy anew. Many plumbing
experts are concerned that we are at or
approaching a “tipping point” where a
significant number of sanitary waste
systems will be affected by drainline
transport problems, especially in larger
commercial systems that have long
horizontal runs to the sewer. Recently,
drainline transport problems in Europe
and Australia have been reported, further raising concerns.
Looking forward, newer technologies, such as non-water consuming and
High Efficiency urinals (HEUs), lower
flow rate faucets and increasingly efficient water consuming appliances will
further reduce the amount of water
discharged into sanitary waste systems. Grey water reuse systems, a system that collects discharged water
from lavatory basins, clothes washers,
bathtubs and shower fixtures for reuse,
usually for irrigation purposes, is
another emerging technology that significantly reduces waste water in residential sanitary drainage systems. Yet,
to date, an extensive research project
of sufficient scope to be able to determine if significant problems could
arise regarding drain line transport has
yet to be conducted.
Bradley sparks sustainability dialogue at Green Manufacturing Summit
MENOMONEE FALLS, WIS. — In a quest to
“green” and enhance their company’s
manufacturing processes, nearly 200
Milwaukee-area executives attended
the 2nd Annual Green Manufacturing
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. The
Summit gathered architects, engineers, and business and community
leaders who shared sustainable strategies proven to make their processes
more efficient and productive, while reducing
utility costs.
“For 88 years, Bradley
has designed and manufactured water- and
plumbing technologies
and fixtures that have
helped green our customer’s facilities,” said
Bradley Corp. “Our longstanding green philosophy continues to drive
us to further explore
innovative sustainable
Panelists (l-r) Bill Holahan, University of Wisconsin- strategies with fellow
Milwaukee; Kim Marotta, MillerCoors; Mike Sipek, Bradley industry leaders —
Corp.; Richard Meeusen, Badger Meter, and Ann Beier, The especially at a time
City of Milwaukee, discuss water efficiency strategies during when companies are
a panel discussion at the Green Manufacturing Summit.
looking for new ways to
adapt to — and prosper
in — a leaner and greener economy.”
Summit, presented by Bradley Corp.,
manufacturer of efficient plumbing
A common theme of the Summit,
solutions, in partnership with
which was held in Milwaukee, was
Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy and the
how operational savings from reduc-
ing use of energy, water and other
natural resources offsets the initial
investment of becoming green.
“Green is not just environmental sustainability,” said Jon Dommisse,
director of new product development
and marketing, Bradley Corp. “Green
is business sustainability too.”
Keynote speaker, Kim Marotta, vice
Responsibility, MillerCoors, presented a variety of sustainable strategies
implemented by the prominent brewing company. Marotta examined
MillerCoors’ water, energy and carbon
footprint reductions throughout its
supply chain, along with other environmental sustainability efforts.
Next, a dynamic panel discussion
focused on ways companies can
reduce their corporate water footprint
and employ other water usage and efficiency strategies. The distinguished
panelists included: Ann Beier, director,
The City of Milwaukee’s Office of
Environmental Sustainability; William
Holahan; professor and chair of the
economics department, University of
Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Kim Marotta,
MillerCoors; Richard Meeusen, chairman and CEO, Badger Meter, Inc.; and
Mike Sipek, Bradley Corp.
In brief
Mestek Inc. announces
sales partnership
WESTFIELD, MASS. — Mestek Inc., a
manufacturer of over 30 specialty
heating, ventilating and air conditioning products, announced a new
sales partnership with the SweeneyRogers Corporation, headquartered
in Raynham, Mass. This partnership
is designed to further strengthen
Mestek’s product distribution and
customer support throughout the
entire Northeast region.
Watts announces
online 3D CAD program
released an online 3D CAD drawing
program, available in their
Engineer Resource Center at or
on applicable product detail pages.
The architectural, engineering
and contracting communities will
be able to preview and download
the new 3D, as well as 2D CAD files,
in a variety of industry formats,
including Revit, ACIS, DWF, STP, DWG,
JPEG, and PDF.
Watts’ new 3D files are designed for
use in most popular building information modeling (B.I.M) applications.
Arrow Industries
acquires Duratrac
BREA, CALIF. — Arrow Industries
announced the acquisition of
Duratrac Inc., a leading manufacturer of gas connectors for the residential and commercial markets,
in an all cash purchase of Duratrac
Inc.’s assets from its parent company Dura Global. Duratrac Inc.
headquarters are in Henderson,
Nevada, with additional warehouses in southern California and
For more details go to www.dura
Energy Saving Products
back in business
27, Energy Saving Products’ manufacturing facilities and offices were
destroyed by fire. Luckily, the fire
occurred after hours when no one
was in the building. By February 4,
the company had moved into a temporary facility in Edmonton and was
expected to have its product line
available for shipping.
More photos and information on
the fire at
Circle 5 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Tool Tips
Inside the trade
What we’re hearing
with Hackman
Solar training partnership key to solar business
BOULDER, COLO. — There’s a light at
the end of the job-loss tunnel.
Contractors feeling the pain of this
economy’s ‘construction obstruction’ can learn how to successfully
realize the promise of the Obama
Administration’s Clean Energy
Economy at the Conergy-American
Solar Energy Society’s (ASES’)
SOLAR SUCCESS! training event,
May 11-14, 2009. It is co-located at
the 38th annual SOLAR 2009 conference in Buffalo, N.Y. Register at
President Barack Obama committed to investing $15 billion a year to
create conditions that will double the
amount of renewable energy produced in America in the next three
years. The investments create fertile
ground for thousands of businesses
and entrepreneurs to engage in
renewable energy innovations that
make solar affordable.
“The SOLAR SUCCESS! workshop is designed to provide essen-
tial industry insight to those interested in breaking into the business
and contributing to the momentum
of our new Clean Energy Economy,”
said Donald Chung, managing
director of Distribution for Conergy
Americas, a full-service wholesale
distributor serving a network of
over 1,000 solar energy dealers and
installers across the U.S. “The solar
industry has been growing at a clip
of over 30% per year and is projected to maintain that growth over the
next few years.
“While the construction industry
has been heavily affected by the
current economic downturn, the
solar industry has been growing at
a clip of over 30% per year and is
projected to maintain that growth
over the next few years. Never has
this industry held more promise for
those looking to diversify and build
their businesses — or parlay their
expertise into rewarding career
Current prices
U.S. average
East Coast
New England
Central Atlantic
Lower Atlantic
Gulf Coast
Rocky Mountain
West Coast
fi fifififififi fififi
U.S. average
East Coast
New England
Central Atlantic
Lower Atlantic
Gulf Coast
Rocky Mountain
West Coast
fififififififi fififi
$1.54/ lb.
**Aluminum $0.58/ lb.
Prices valid as of 2/23/09. Fuel information courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy Arrows indicate change from previous issue.
* Copper prices according to ** Aluminum prices according to
Cutting PEX
and plastic tubing
ool Tips feature trade tips from
Lee “HACKMAN” Breton, marketing services manager for
LENOX, team HACKMAN event manager
and car cutter extraordinaire. Every
month, HACKMAN shares insight from
his 25+ years in the tool industry.
PEX plastic tubing now
accounts for more than 30%
of all potable water piping in
North America, and that
number is only growing.
With the increase usage of
PEX and plastic tubing, more
tradesmen are finding the
need to purchase plastic
tube cutters. There are several manufacturers and
styles of tube cutters with a
significant range in quality.
As with most tools, it is
important to use the right tool for the
job. One of the most important things
to consider when picking up a cutter
is that it needs to be the right size for
the job. Using a cutter that is too
small or large can lead to jagged edges
and connections that are not flush.
A high quality cutter is designed
with stainless steel blades that
require less force to make a cut, leaving a straight flush end. Cutters with
stainless steel blades stay sharp
longer and provide an excellent
value. Rubberized handles allow for a
comfortable grip and confident cutting even in wet and dirty environments. Another design feature to
look for in a cutter is a conveniently
located locking latch that allows for
true one-handed operation of the
spring loaded cutter.
A large diameter plastic pipe cutter usually has a ratcheting design.
The easiest-to-use models are
designed for one handed operation
to allow for easy opening by pulling
both handles apart to quickly start
the next cut.
I have always been an advocate for
the best quality products; they provide long life, easy to use, and they
surely give you the best value for your
money. If you have any questions or
comments for HACKMAN, email him at
[email protected] or visit
Training Center
FBC Building Solutions offers on-site,
plumbing training programs
CLEVELAND — Even the most
experienced plumbing contractor can benefit from training that
provides detailed installation
tips, guidelines and updated
code information for the installation of FlowGuard Gold and
Corzan CPVC pipe and fittings.
FBC Building Solutions provides free, customized training
to both novice and experienced
plumbing installers – on-site and
on-demand. Sessions are held at
the contractor’s own facility and
combine in-depth presentations
and open discussion with handson installation practice. This
customized training is scheduled
at the contractor’s convenience
and requires no travel, keeping
training budgets low.
Training also includes details
on the latest products from FBC
Building Solutions and shares
best practices for residential
and commercial plumbing
installations. Installers who successfully complete the free
training program will receive an
updated training certificate,
which may be required in some
To learn about this program
and to schedule a session at
your facility email fbcbuilding
[email protected]
Circle 6 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
U.S. Navy surgeon awarded
custom-built chopper
LAS VEGAS — IRWIN Industrial Tools,
a Newell Rubbermaid company and
maker of the IRWIN VISE-GRIP,
announced that Dr. Bryan Fox of
Chesapeake, Va., was selected as the
winner of the “Tell Us Your IRWIN
VISE-GRIP Story” promotion. Dr.
Fox, an orthopedic surgeon for the
United States Navy, was honored for
using an IRWIN VISE-GRIP to perform spinal surgery during Operation
Iraqi Freedom.
A member of the U.S. Navy for
more than 25 years, Dr. Fox found a
unique use for his VISE-GRIP as a
spine surgeon on the battlefield in
the Middle East. In the heat of battle,
Dr. Fox needed to perform emergency spinal surgery on a soldier who
had a combination of screws and rods
that had been implanted into his
infected spine. Complicating the
medical challenges at hand, Dr. Fox
did not have access to the specialized
tools necessary to deal with the soldier’s different spine implants. Dr.
Fox did, however, have access to a
pair of VISE-GRIP locking pliers. He
sterilized his VISE-GRIP tools and
used them to remove the rods and
screws from the soldier’s infected
spine, effectively saving his life.
As the winner of the “Tell Us
Your Vise-Grip Story” promotion,
Dr. Fox was awarded an IRWIN VISEGRIP custom-branded chopper valued at $25,000 built by East Coast
Custom Cycles.
IRWIN received more than 850 stories describing how consumers used
VISE-GRIP tools in different situations
ranging from spine surgery to car repair
during the “Tell Us Your VISE-GRIP
Story” promotion. Fifty submissions
were selected as finalists and consumers voted to select the best three
entries. The winner was selected from
the top three finalists by a panel of
judges made up of industry
experts in education, training, retail, motorsports and
The other finalists for the
“Tell Us Your Vise-Grip
Story” promotion were Paul
Schraps of San Rafael, Calif.,
and Paul Smith of Valley Center,
Calif., who won second and third place,
respectively. Schraps shared how he
held his truck’s exhaust system together while driving his mother to receive
cancer treatments in Mexico. Those
same VISE-GRIP locking pliers are still
holding Schraps’ exhaust system
together 28 years later. Smith lost a
brake line during the grueling Baja 500,
and he used his VISE-GRIP locking pliers to maintain power on his remaining
brakes to finish the difficult race.
For more info,
Don’t miss regional PHCC conventions
Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co.® Rainwater
Harvesting Products for Commercial
and Residential Applications
Rainwater harvesting technology is simple to install, operate,
and maintain. It is convenient in the sense that it provides
water at the point of consumption and operating costs are
negligible. Water collected from the roof
catchment is available for use in
non-potable applications such as:
Since rainwater is collected using
existing structures, i.e., the roof,
rainwater harvesting has few
negative environmental impacts
compared to other water supply
project technologies.
of rainwater harvesting, to see our selection of
rainwater harvesting products and
packages, or to download our catalog,
In Cooperation with WISY AG and Rainwater Management Solutions (RMS)
Circle 7 on Reader Reply Card
HARRISBURG, PA. — The PlumbingHeating-Cooling
Associations (PHCC) of Pennsylvania
and New Jersey will hold their 2009
Annual Trade Show & Convention on
May 14th through May 16th at the Split
Rock Resort and Expo Center in the
Pocono’s, on Lake Harmony.
The central event to the three-day
convention is the one-day trade show
scheduled for Friday, May 15.
Attendees also can observe the competitive
Contest. Free and timely seminars
are available to all area contractors
and guests. Seminars will include
code, business and educational seminars, and will feature the new
GreenPlumbers seminar. For more
Palm Beach Assoc. gears for its trade show
Beach Association of the PHCC will hold
their 21st Annual Plumbing Trade
Show on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at
the South Florida Fairgrounds Expo,
West Palm Beach, Fla.
The show features hundred of vendors with industry related wares.
Over a thousand participants attend
the show geared toward the plumbing
and HVAC contractors. The show highlights are the plumbing apprentice
competition and hundreds of door
prizes given out throughout the
evening. Attendees have a chance to
network with PHC contractors who
work in their like trade, as well as
learn from hands on demonstrations
with hundreds of exhibitors from
around the country.
This show is regarded as “The
Largest Plumbing Trade Show in the
State.” Due to the economic times,
officials are expecting a record
turnout in attendance, and an even
larger turnout of exhibitors.
Admission is free. For more details
go to
ALERT: Credit card scam prevalent
in distribution channels
Manufacturers would like to advise all
distribution partners to increase
awareness in fraudulent credit card
order scam. Over the past few
months, manufacturers have seen
increased instances of credit card
fraud and they encourage distributors
to take proactive steps to verify any
credit cards as the payment method
in order to minimize the cost and
exposure to distributors.
Be aware of these conditions when
a customer looking for request for
quote via e-mail or fax with SQE, SQ,
and SQ Flex product. The most common requests come in asking for all of
these product types on one request.
Each case has been very similar as an
order comes into a partner using a
credit card for purchase. The initial
run of the credit card comes back
approved. However, once the customer’s credit card is ran for the full
amount (after shipment) the card is
declined because it has been stolen.
If someone you don’t know is purchasing a large amount of product
using a credit card, make sure you
validate the credit card by calling the
credit card company and/or running
the credit card for the full amount
before the product ships.
Phc News — MARCH 2009
National Green Building Standard approved
WASHINGTON — The National Green
Building Standard, known as ICC-700,
was approved as an American National
Standard. The new Standard provides
guidance for safe and sustainable building practices for residential construction, including both new and renovated
single-family to high-rise residential
buildings. This is the first and only
green standard that is consistent and
coordinated with the Code Council’s
family of I-Codes and standards.
Code Council Board president Adolf
Zubia said, “ICC-700 provides a benchmark for green building in the residential market, serving as a new and
needed starting point for comprehensive approaches to green residential
Code Council CEO Richard P. Weiland
said, “In concert with energy codes
such as the International Energy
Conservation Code, and rating systems
such as the LEED Green Building Rating
System, Energy Star, the CHPS Criteria,
Green Globes or similar programs,
application of ICC-700 can contribute to
greater energy, water and resource efficiency along with reduced long-term
costs to consumers and to our planet.”
The International Code Council and
National Association of Home Builders
developed the Standard with broad
input from several thousand stakeholders, ranging from code officials and
other building professionals to the
entire spectrum of the green building
community. This new standard provides a practical route to green, sustainable and high-performance construction, especially in communities
with little if any green/sustainable
buildings or guidelines to build green.
Key provisions include:
• Land conservation
• Rainwater collection
• Construction of smaller homes to
conserve resources
• Energy performance starting at
15% above the baseline requirements
of the 2006 International Energy
Conservation Code
WELD-ON solvent
cements and primers
to meet emission limits
COMPTON, CALIF. — IPS Corporation is
one of the first in the solvent cement
manufacturing industry to offer all of
its WELD-ON products in environmentally-responsible,
(volatile organic compound)
formulations. By the
end of March 2009,
all WELD-ON solvent
and cleaners
most stringent VOC emission limits in the United
States — Rule 1168/316A, established
by California’s South Coast Air
For more info,
Circle 8 on Reader Reply Card
• The use of low VOC (Volatile
Organic Compound) materials and
detached garages or carports to
improve indoor environmental quality
• Homeowner education on proper
maintenance and operation to maintain its green status throughout its life
Sioux Chief to purchase
fittings business from REHAU
LEESBURG, VA. — REHAU announced
the purchase of its North American fittings business for PEX plumbing systems by Sioux Chief Mfg. Co. Inc. This
will include transition of REHAU’s
existing fittings inventory and associated certifications, as well as the licensing of the technology, to Sioux Chief.
“With a solid three-generation footing in the plumbing industry, we’re
excited to be expanding into the manufacture and supply of complete fitting
systems by assuming REHAU’s proven,
high-quality line of compression sleeve
fittings,” said Ed Ismert, vice president
of sales and marketing at Sioux Chief.
“Building on REHAU’s established rep-
utation for quality and service in the
industry, we anticipate a seamless
transition into providing the complete
range and support of plumbing fittings
formerly available from REHAU.”
Sioux Chief’s manufacture and supply of REHAU’s former fitting systems
line also promotes REHAU’s continued development of cross-linked polyethylene (PEXa) pipe for North
American plumbing applications.
Production and distribution of the
PEXa pipe will be managed out of
REHAU’s plant in Cullman, Ala.,
where development is also underway
for both current and longer-range
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Grundfos earns ‘Green Dot’ award
LOS ANGELES — Grundfos Pumps was
awarded “Honorable Mention” in services products for the entry titled,
“MAGNA Circulator Pump.” The jury
selected winners from thousands of
entries from over 25 countries.
The Green Dot Awards
strive to reward and promote forward-thinking businesses that create environmentally
products or services, and
to reward revolutionary
green proposals.
Businesses and organizations have become
especially aware of the impact
that their practices have on the wellbeing of the planet and many are
acting to adopt more sustainable
attitudes. The purpose of Green Dot
is to reward those who practice
excellence in environmental responsibility.
Although the Green Dot Awards
are worthy onto themselves, they are
also a consumer guide to excellence
in environmentally-sustainable practices. A business
with a Green Dot Award
is a business that can be
trusted by consumers
with stewardship of the
environment. Recognition
from the Green Dot
Awards allows businesses
to promote their products
and services as items that are manufactured and delivered in an environmentally friendly manner.
NATE launches
Reusable Test Caps
ARLINGTON, VA. — North American
Technician Excellence (NATE) has
launched its new consumer Web site,, reaffirming
the organization’s commitment to
both consumers and contractors that
employ NATE-certified technicians.
The new site is part of an extensive online marketing program
designed to attract consumers
through helpful and informative
content, while raising awareness of
NATE and the value of certification.
Dedicated sections address frequently asked questions about heating and cooling needs and provide
homeowners with resources related
to installation and maintenance.
The site also features NATE’s
Consumer Contractor Connection
(C3), a locator directing consumers to
the nearest residential and/or light
commercial heating, ventilation, airconditioning
(HVAC/R) contractor that employs a
high percentage of NATE-certified technicians. A local map pinpoints
Quality Circle Contractors (those
with 80 percent or more certified
technicians) and Recommended
Contractors (those with at least 50
percent certified technicians), connecting consumers to NATE-certified
contractors with a simple click.
InSinkErator honors Dave Weiner for 50 years of service
CHICAGO — Dave Weiner, CEO of
Marketing Support, Inc. (MSI), an
integrated marketing agency, recently
was honored by InSinkErator for 50
years of service to the company.
InSinkErator and its various busi-
Circle 9 on Reader Reply Card
InSinkErator president Jerry Ryder congratulates Dave Weiner (l).
ness groups on advertising and public relations programs since 1958
and InSinkErator president Jerry
Ryder recently hosted a surprise
reception to honor Weiner, inviting
many of his former and current
industry associates.
“InSinkErator was a wonderful
company to work with, from the
beginning of my career,” Weiner said.
“The culture and attitude were
unequaled. Back in the 1950s and
1960s when the disposer was trying
to gain traction as a kitchen convenience, we focused on the plumbing
contractor. It was challenging work
because there were at least 10 other
brands competing in the marketplace
at the time, and InSinkErator was not
the industry leader it is today.”
Dom De Luise wanted hot water, so he came to the experts.
One Eternal Hybrid with a demand pump recirculation system was
able to replace three old 50 gallon tanks. Dom is now doing his
part as a concerned Californian to conserve energy and
water without losing heat. With PVC venting and easy
recirculation, Eternal can land the staring role in your next job.
See more stories like this at
Circle 10 on Reader Reply Card
WaterSense to label first commercial product
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s)
WaterSense announced its first
product labeling effort for commercial building products with the
release of a draft specification for
high-efficiency flushing urinals.
Urinals are the first commercial
product slated for WaterSense labeling. The EPA estimates that about
80% of the estimated 12 million urinals in use in the United States are
old and inefficient.
WaterSense has developed a draft
specification for labeling those urinals that are 50% more efficient than
the current federal standard of 1.0
gallons per flush (gpf).
To ensure adequate performance,
urinals must comply with existing
standards for flushing urinals and
need to be tested for trap seal
restoration and flush effectiveness
before they can earn the WaterSense label.
Under lav protectors
meet ADA/IBC
Handy-Shield MAXX from Plumberex Specialty Products Inc. eliminates potential liability. Superior
PVC insulation material is properly
marked with an easy-to-read identification label that verifies ASTM
E-84 test results required for compliance under IBC code testing
standards. The product will
include the same great system
with a longer tail piece design and
a “universal fit” limiting the number of SKUs your inventory. This
product is designed to fit 11/2" sch.
40 traps and braided stainless
steel water supply con nect ors. The soft PVC insulation material has a flame of 25 and a smoke
of 450 meeting today’s Inter national Building Codes.
For more information, visit
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Is Maryland looking lead-free?
ANNAPOLIS — Legislation is being presented in Maryland that would dramatically reduce the allowable lead
content in piping and fittings that
deliver water for human consumption. Hot on the heels of the State of
California’s low lead legislation
(AB1953), Maryland’s House of
Representatives has drafted House
Bill 357, a lead-free facsimile of the
California statute.
Entitled “Business Occupations
and Professions — Plumbers — Lead-
Free Material,” the draft legislation
requires piping and fittings for
portable water delivery to be “LeadFree,” which is defined as containing
no more than 0.25% lead, as calculated by a weighted average of those surfaces that come in contact with water.
The Bill will go into law January 1,
2011 if enacted.
For updates on the Maryland leadfree initiative as well as other pertinent lead-related initiatives, visit
Visit to vote for ‘Hero’ finalists
announced the top 10 finalists in the
LENOX Extra Mile Hero Contest.
In 2008, LENOX officially kicked
off the LENOX Extra Mile Hero
Program with NASCAR driver Jeff
Burton, driver of the No. 31 LENOX
Industrial Tools RCR Chevrolet, by
asking customers to submit stories of
people they considered heroes; users
and suppliers of industrial tools who
go the extra mile for their community. A professional and VIP judging
panel read through more than 600
nominations before selecting the 10
finalists. Each of the 10 finalists won
$3,100 with a matching gift going to
their charity of choice.
The next phase of the contest,
“America Votes,” is now live. America
can vote on which of the finalists they
think will make the best LENOX
Extra Mile Hero by going to to cast their
vote. The finalist who receives the
most votes will not only carry the
honor of being the LENOX Extra Mile
Hero, but they also win the Grand
Prize of $31,000 as well as an additional $31,000 to be donated to their
charity of choice. Voting runs through
April 30, 2009.
But that’s not all! If Burton wins the
LENOX Industrial Tools 301 NASCAR
Sprint Cup Series race scheduled for
June 28, 2009, LENOX will increase
the grand prize to $1 million for the
winner to split equally with their
charity of choice. The Grand Prize
winner will be announced at the 2009
LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New
Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Rotobrush wins ‘Patriotic Employer Award’
International LLC, an indoor air quality manufacturer, was awarded the
Patriotic Employer Award by the
National Committee of Employer
Support of the Guard and Reserve
tative, nominated his company for the
award. “They are very understanding
about me having to leave for my weekend drills, and more. They make sure
to support the troops, and even those
that are with the company that are no
(ESGR). The award is given to employers
with policies and practices supportive
of their employees’ participation in the
National Guard and Reserve.
Robert Yates, a specialist in the
Texas Army National Guard, and
Rotobrush technical support represen-
longer in the service,” said Yates,
describing his Rotobrush family. Yates
is in Echo Company 2-149th AVN in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom
and is currently serving his second
tour of duty in Iraq with plans to
return to Rotobrush.
Ferguson showrooms
honor plumbers
Circle 11 on Reader Reply Card
NEWPORT, NEWS, VA. — Ferguson, a
wholesale distributor of plumbing
supplies, honored plumbers during
the month of February, hosting
National Plumber’s Appreciation
Month in all Ferguson showrooms.
Ferguson showrooms across the
country hosted a variety of specialty
events to educate plumbers on products and thank them for their business. For those not previously affiliated with Ferguson this is an excellent
opportunity to meet the showroom
staff and learn about product offerings
and how Ferguson Showrooms can
help their businesses.
For more information, visit
It’s durable. It’s reliable. It’s
versatile. There’s nothing like it
in the world for pressing tubing
up to 4". A new lithium ion battery
delivers twice as many presses
per charge. A sleek design and
270° barrel rotation increases
access to tight spots. And the
The Emerson logo is a trademark and service mark of Emerson Electric Co. ©2008, RIDGID, Inc.
five second cycle time increases
productivity. RIDGID RP 330 B –
get a handle on one today.
Learn more and schedule
demonstrations: 800.769.7743
R P 3 3 0
The ultimate pressing
Circle 12 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Cooper B-Line announces ‘2008 Rep of the Year’
NSF offers certification for
low lead plumbing products
ANN ARBOR, MICH. — NSF International
announced that Kohler, Moen and
Price Pfister have become the first
faucet companies to have certain
plumbing products comply with the
Certification allows manufacturers to
demonstrate compliance with new
state laws, established to help protect
the public from exposure to lead, well
ahead of the January 1, 2010, deadline.
The new section of NSF/ANSI
Standard 61, Annex G: Weighted
Average Lead Content Evaluation
Procedure to a 0.25 Percent Lead
Requirement includes the recently
enacted legislation in California and
Vermont that mandates a maximum
weighted average lead content
requirement of ≤ 0.25 percent. Other
states are also considering low lead
HIGHLAND, ILL. — Cooper B-Line, a
division of Cooper Industries, recently honored PMI Sales and Marketing
with its 2008 “Rep of the Year” award.
The award honors the manufacturer’s
choice of “Best in Class” for a regional sales agency.
Based in Houston, PMI has been a
top performer for Cooper B-Line for
content legislation. The new lead
requirements apply to manufacturers
of faucets, valves, water fittings and
other products that come in contact
with drinking water. Compliance with
NSF/ANSI Standard 61, the American
National standard for drinking water
products, is also required.
NSF/ANSI Standard 61: Drinking
Water System Components — Health
Effects was updated in December to
incorporate requirements for use
when the ≤ 0.25 percent lead content
requirement must be met, in addition
to current chemical extraction
requirements of the standard.
Compliance is determined by a
weighted average calculation involving the maximum percent lead content of material specifications and
wetted surface areas.
several years, and a major factor in
many recent successes. Most notably,
PMI has functioned as an essential
partner in the competitive Houston
market, where Cooper B-Line
achieved significant market penetration this past year.
“This award is about more than
just sales growth,” said Tammy
sales/mechanical-alternate channels
at Cooper B-Line. “It rewards an
agency that drives us to become a
better manufacturer. We have developed a partnership where market
dynamics, market intelligence and
new opportunities are openly shared
and explored. We are thankful to
have PMI as part of the team.”
PMI was a top performing agency
for Cooper B-Line in 2008, converting
several new STAFDA accounts, which
generated significant incremental volume. Additionally, as a Cooper B-Line
consignment partner, PMI provides
operational and logistical support for
the company.
RIDGID announces 2nd
annual video contest
Stand Tall with SloanStone !
Installation and service
24 volt
Solenoid valve
Shut-off valve
Control module
Installation, under-the-lid adjustments and maintenance
can be done while standing. SloanStone’s one-piece
frame and pre-plumbed components make it the fastest
installed solid-surface sink on the market to maximize
your profit.
soap tray
Optical aerator
For further information on SloanStone sensor-operated
solid-surface sink’s exclusive features like a 3-year
warranty, visit Value Alliance Club
points are available.
w w w. s l o a n v a l v e . c o m
Circle 13 on Reader Reply Card
Lid latch
ELYRIA, OHIO — RIDGID announced its
second annual RIDGID video contest
that challenges contestants to creatively show the RIDGID logo in their
videos. The winners will be
announced on September 11, 2009 at
the RIDGID Roundup Customer Event
at the company headquarters in
Elyria, Ohio.
The RIDGID “Luck of the Draw”
contest runs from February 16, 2009
to July 31, 2009. RIDGID tool users
are invited to record and post an
original one- to four-minute video
that features the RIDGID logo and two
of three mystery elements that will
be given to contestants upon registering through the website at
RIDGID will choose five finalist
videos, which will be posted on the
RIDGID Web site for voting. Videos
will be judged based on persuasiveness, creativity and entertainment
value. Five finalists will receive an
all-expense paid trip to attend the
RIDGID Roundup Customer Event,
where the winner will be
announced. The grand prize winner
will receive $2,500 in RIDGID tools of
their choosing.
Multi-Turn Series
America’s #1 stop for
over 60 years.
NEW PushConnect
As the leading manufacturer of water stops for over 60 years,
Just push it on. Compatible with
PEX, CPVC and copper. Dual
O-rings help provide a secure,
watertight connection.
BrassCraft has the stop to meet your every need. Made in the USA,
each stop is manufactured from heavy-duty brass, forming a solid
body, without seams or brazed joints. Every stop provides reliable,
leak-free operation and years of durable watertight performance.
Better selection. Superior engineering. Exceptional performance.
Qualities you’ve come to expect from BrassCraft – the brand that
KT Series ¼ - Turn Ball Stop
Simply the best stop
money can buy.
sets the standard for quality and innovation. Ask for it by name.
G2 Series ¼ - Turn Stop
Leading edge ¼ - turn design.
Available with SureConnect ®
Committed to Quality, Driven by Innovation.
To see the full line of BrassCraft water products visit:
©2009 Brass-Craft Mfg.
Circle 14 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
‘Americanizing’ solar thermal: Settling
on products and practices for ‘the big push’
olar thermal, with a likely big
push from the new Obama
administration, has a huge
opportunity ahead. Now that energy dependence is an obvious
national security issue, many of us
believe that this is the time for the
big push for solar thermal and,
along with it, integrated hydronics.
The challenge is to “do it right” or
to suffer the consequences of
squandering this epic opportunity.
As solar thermal products go
through an inevitable evolution to
the North American market, products, practices and price points will
change. Products are evolving very
rapidly. This has happened before;
radiant floor heating went through
a similar evolution.
I have been in the hydronic heating industry since the mid-1980s,
first as a hydronic contractor, later
as president of a national distributor of hydronic radiant heating and
now as a product designer and
inventor. I have shared in the
excitement as waves of new products and methods were introduced
into the North American market.
Typically, high quality, expensive
products from Europe that are
introduced into North America are
based on the methods and practices
that work in the European market.
When American contractors get
these products they need to be
adapted to our practices, methods
and pricing.
The first wave of hydronic radiant
floor heating from Europe included:
European threads on the ends of
manifolds, brass manifolds with
adjustable flow meters, manifold
mounted actuators on every loop,
and Euro-style fittings with an insert,
split ring and nut. These products
are still used and are very high quality, but this way of doing things can
be expensive. Many American contractors and suppliers looked around
for other ways to do things, using
materials they were familiar with.
Soon, copper manifolds, standard-
contributing writer
ized American fittings, zoning by
manifold rather than by loop and balancing by using digital thermometers
instead of flow meters became common. All of these changes reduced
costs and made radiant heating systems available in a variety of price
Sometimes these changes from
European practices went too far and,
Phc News — MARCH 2009
combined with the lack of specific
product training, could and did produce some really bad systems. Many
of us recognized this as a threat to
the growth of radiant floor heating.
Those of us who were early members
of the Radiant Panel Association
stepped in and produced “Standard
Guidelines for the Design and
Installation of Radiant Heating
Systems.” I was the chairman of the
Radiant Panel Association (RPA)
Standards Committee that produced
this document.
It is logical that solar thermal will
go through a similar evolution here
in North America. I am an inventor
and product designer for a company
that builds modular hydronic products, primarily for the residential
market. I try to strike a workable balance between adapting to, and influencing, American practices with the
products I design. Here are some
thoughts on the near future of this
1. There will be many more solar
pump stations to choose from, many
of them made in North America. They
will have North American threads, fittings, piping and components.
2. In the use of evacuated tubes, a
complex competition is developing
between U-tube and heat pipe-based
designs. U-tubes are simple and inexpensive to produce, but they are difficult to drain back. This means that
they should be designed to closely
match the load and should have a
mechanism to “dump” extra heat,
since they can’t be easily drained
back to turn off the production of hot
fluids. Typical strategies involve running some fin tube in a crawl space or
under the collectors, with a
changeover valve that is temperature
activated. Future U-tubes will likely
have heat dump capabilities built into
them or will have self-regulating adaptive coatings. These will make them
extremely easy to use.
Evacuated tubes using heat pipes
are more complex than the U-tube
design. The top of each heat pipe is
usually fitted into a copper “well,”
which serves as a receptacle that is
built into the manifold. The fit
between the heat pipe and the well
must be maintained over time or efficiency declines. Some products do
this better than others do. Many good
and proven products exist. Most heat
pipe designs allow for the use of drainback systems.
Think about how practices should
and will settle out between these two
evacuated tube technologies if we get
the “big push.” Think about thousands of new installers. These will not
be the knowledgeable, “artisanal”
installers we have today for high-end
custom homes. They will be volume
installers. They will want predictable,
repeatable, get-in-get-out fast and
profitable products. Is it more foolproof to rely on installers doing a heat
pipe drainback system with the correct slope and installation components or a U-tube system with a correctly operating heat dump? Which
way will result in the fewest failures?
Will economics drive one over the
other? Will it be driven by region or
by who has the most convincing
training? Those of us who really care
about the future of this industry will
have to speak up.
3. For hydronic heating to take
advantage of this will require components that easily assemble into a system that integrates with solar thermal. This means that pump stations
will work as solar pump stations,
while also serving as the connection
point for backup heat, for injecting
(Turn to Americanizing... page 20.)
Compact 3.5 gallon
bucket with tear tab lid
Oil-free 350 GPH pump
with a 25' power cord.
Pump made in USA.
1 quart Flow-Aide
5' hoses with male/female
connections extends
drain line 10'
Flow-Aide Descaler Kit for Tankless Water Heaters
In just a few months, scale can reduce the efficiency of tankless
water heaters. Whitlam now offers a biodegradable solution for
restoring flow to the system by safely dissolving lime, scale and
rust. Our kit has everything you need, and it’s environment-friendly
and safe for potable water lines.
Commercial systems need Flow-Aide every 3 months and residential
every year, so Flow-Aide gets you back to your customers more often.
Got a web site? Call us for a free graphic link that shows customers
how important regular descaling is for tankless systems.
w w w. f l o w a i d e . c o m
1 - 8 0 0 - 3 21 - 8 3 5 8
Flow-Aide is non-corrosive, safe to handle and biodegradable with a BOD value of 16 mg/l. This normally allows the solution
to be water-flushed down sewers and through septic systems. Check local ordinances and regulations prior to disposal.
© 2009 Whitlam Plumb-Pro
Circle 16 on Reader Reply Card
Noritz America names
new president
— Hisashi Uryu, the
former president of
Noritz’s highly successful Hong Kong division,
has been named president of Noritz America
PRIER Products names president
GRANDVIEW, MO. — PRIER Products has
promoted Nicholas P. Manning to president. Manning becomes the active
president, providing the direction for
PRIER in the day-to-day business
activities while continuing to direct
the sales and marketing department.
Joseph E. Poskin, CEO, is turning over
the reigns to Manning, as he turns to
focus on business development.
Webstone appoints
regional sales manager
Harvel appoints national sales
manager — plumbing products
Company Inc. appointed Grant Dow to
Western regional sales manager, and
will hold responsibilities for all Western
United States and Western Provinces of
Canada. Dow’s duties will include sales
enhancement, training, new product
launches and rep management. Dow
brings experience in sales management
and is a licensed plumbing contractor,
as well as an IAPMO member.
EASTON, PA. — Harvel
Plastics, Inc., appointed
national sales manager
for its PVC and CPVC
plumbing products division. He will be responBoushell
sible for building relationships with customers, suppliers and reps throughout
Harvel’s U.S./Canadian markets.
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Kevin Schwalb joins PHCC as
Government Relations director
FALLS CHURCH, VA. — The PlumbingHeating-Cooling Contractors —
announced that Kevin Schwalb has
joined its staff as director of
Government Relations. Kevin brings
to the position a strong background
in the federal government and construction-related trade associations.
Egan Co. appoints board member
MINNEAPOLIS — The Egan Company
board of directors has appointed Jack
Galvin as a new board member. “We
are excited about the added dimension Jack will bring to the company as
a member of the Board,” said Jim
Malecha, president.
Galvin joined Egan Company in
2003 as vice president of electrical
pre-construction and business development. He will continue to serve in
that capacity at the company.
(Continued from page 19.)
solar heated fluids directly into the
heating system, for distributing heat
to heating zones and for distributing
to or drawing from solar storage, as
necessary. These forms of combined
hydronic heating and solar thermal
systems have been variously called
SDI, solar direct injection or, in
recent excellent articles, Bristol
Stickney referred to them as direct
active solar heating. (See Bristol’s column on page 30.)
As an inventor, I have been happily working on centralized products
to solve this problem. I am sure that
others are also. In order to optimize
efficiency, we are going to need inexpensive but sophisticated controls
that can direct the thermal traffic of
all these many choices. So, for example, we need a control that can predict which use is best at which time
of day and that prioritizes the different components to achieve this. If
the control can predict that foregoing backup heat might only result in
a small temperature drop, many people might choose to save this energy.
A number of controls currently do a
lot of these things. The good news is
that a lot of smart people are working on it and that programmable
devices have come down in cost.
Each of us needs to think through
the choices such a control should be
able to make and to demand controls
that make those choices from the
If manufacturers don’t respond,
contractors may resort to open
source programmable IP-based controls and switches with widely varying results that may not be good for
the industry.
4. Finally, for this “big push” to be
successful, we need to eradicate the
certification delays that are barriers to
adopting the best products and practices. The long backlogs for testing and
certifying solar thermal products need
to be rectified. Solar thermal manufacturers are innovating at a faster
rate than can be certified.
Hoyt Corbett is an inventor and
consultant. He has designed new
solar pump stations for Precision
Hydronic Products of Portland, Ore.
He may be contacted at inventivede
[email protected]
Circle 17 on Reader Reply Card
* Editor’s note: We would encourage installers and designers to
review all the products available and
base their decision on what is best for
their client and application.
ECAST™ Products
from Chicago Faucets
ECAST, from Chicago Faucets, is the line of durable, high-quality brass
faucets that are designed and manufactured with less than one quarter
of one percent (0.25%) total lead content by weighted average. These
products are intended for installation where state laws and local codes
mandate lead content levels or where lead content is a concern.
Visit for more information.
Conservation & Sustainability
Chicago Faucets commitment to water conservation and sustainability
is highlighted. The brochure focuses on Chicago Faucets’ extensive
product offering of components and fixtures designed to assist
in maximizing water conservation. Selecting low-consumption,
energy saving Chicago Faucet products as new or replacement
fittings can help earn green building rating points toward a facility’s
LEED certification.
Electronic Products
From the unparalleled HyTronic™, to the
affordable E-Tronic™, Chicago Faucets
has set a new reliability standard for
electronic faucets. Chicago Faucets’
complete electronic faucet line is featured
in a new brochure that shows how
intelligent design, durability and reliable
performance are indeed possible with
an electronic sensor-operated faucet.
Chicago Faucets Electronic Products…
advanced technology you can count on.
Cartridge Brochure Tells the
Inside Story
Chicago Faucets has developed a
cartridge brochure designed to tell
the story of the heart of our faucets.
An overview of cartridge categories,
complemented by a listing of Chicago
Faucets most popular cartridges, is
included. While there are imitations,
there is no substitute for the quality of
a genuine Chicago Faucets Cartridge.
Circle 22 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
It’s great to be here
Sixteen impressions
contributing writer
Those companies
that make big,
heavy, cast-iron
boilers still make
them, and better
than ever, but
there’s so much
more to them now!
went to the big AHR show in Chicago in January as sort
of a roving TV guy, thanks to the good folks at this
magazine. They came up with this idea of doing an
Internet event called, “Holopalooza ’09” (and, gosh, I wish
I had thought of that name!). I was to do 15 booth interviews with manufacturers who had paid for the time; these
would run on in February over the course of
three days. You can now watch the programs at your
leisure by going to the archives. It’s free and
(trust me), it’s fun.
I came away from that show with 16 strong impressions
that I want to share with you, but first, I have to tell you
about why this particular event was so good for me.
First, it was happening on my 59th birthday, and The
Lovely Marianne got to join me on the trip. TLM chose to
sleep in like a hamster at our fancy hotel and shop all day
on Michigan Avenue rather than go to the show, which
was fine because this made her very happy. When TLM is
happy, all around her are happy. Vice versa also applies, so
thanks to the folks at TMB.
The other reason why this show was so good for me was
that I got to learn. I love people and I like to chat, and
when I’m in the first aisle of any tradeshow, I get yakking
with the people in that aisle, many of whom have been to
my seminars over the years, or just know me from my
magazine columns. I start talking and listening and the
hours fly by. I never get to the last aisle of any show, and
I never get to spend much time with the manufacturers to
see what they’re showing this year. And even if I had the
time, I wouldn’t want to use too much of theirs. I’m always
sensitive to how much of their face time I’m taking away
from the time they could be spending with potential customers. After all, that’s why the manufacturers are at that
show, and they’re paying big bucks for the privilege. I
understand and respect that.
But this Holopalozza ’09 thing put me face to face with 15
wonderful manufacturers over the course of two days, and I
had the luxury of time to ask them anything I wanted. And
since we were filming each interview three times (for the
sake of the film editors), I got to ask the same things, with
follow-up questions, three times. I was in heaven.
So in order, here are the good people I got to spend time
with at this year’s AHR, and the impressions with which
they left me.
• ECR International: Maggie Reed Lutz, who is the greatgranddaughter of Earle C. Reed, one of the grandpas of the
hydronics industry, told me about freewatt®, ECR’s microCHP. I’ve watched freewatt grow from its infancy over the
past few years and I love what it has become. The idea of
getting much of your heat efficiently while generating the
electricity you’ll ever need in your own home for free,
intrigues me. I think all the political, economic and environmental forces are pointing straight in freewatt’s direction right now. My impression is that freewatt is going to
be huge in our market. Look into it.
• Taco: Taco recently acquired all the assets of Innovex
Systems, a controls company that will make your jaw go
slack with its capabilities. Johnny White, Taco’s owner,
commented that this takes Taco out of the business of selling cast iron by the pound. I loved the way he said that
and I love the way he looks at the world and this business.
My impression was that Taco is no longer the company
that we’ve always known. It’s much, much more now.
• Bradford White: Jason Fifer showed me what
Bradford White is doing with solar and ultra-high efficiency. The D.O.E. just released their final requirements for
Energy Star® ratings on water heaters, and Bradford White
was ready for them. The water heater, which for so many
years has sat unnoticed in so many American homes, is
finally getting the attention it deserves because of what
companies like Bradford White are developing. I was so
impressed with how well Bradford White has prepared for
this new market. Smart people.
• Weil-McLain: I first saw W-M’s Ultra boiler when it was
brand new. I was touring their place in Michigan City, Ind.,
with a bunch of contractor friends, many of whom were
seeing an aluminum, modulating-condensing boiler for the
first time. Most of us were still thinking of W-M as a grand
old American company that makes big, heavy, cast-iron
boilers. Yet there was the Ultra in its pretty package. We
had to start changing our thinking about this company. At
the show, John Resso, showed me the Ultra 3, and what WM is doing with their CG line. To me, they’re still a grand old
American company, but my impression from the show
was that they’ve got both feet firmly in the future.
• Anvil International: These folks are one of the largest
manufacturer of piping connections and support systems,
including Gruvlok® couplings, fittings and valves, pipe hangers and hardware, strut and fittings and engineered hangers;
there’s a lot more to those things than meets the eye.
I love people who are passionate about what they do,
and Anvil’s Scott Laird spent nearly an hour educating me
in a most delightful way. This guy burns white-hot with
enthusiasm. And when we were done looking at the piping
products, Scott showed me their design services software,
which can animate an entire boiler room from two-dimensional drawings. It was like watching a video game. We
could turn the room this way and that, and see what was
serviceable and what might not be serviceable. What a
great service for mechanical contractors to have, and what
a boon for the service people who will follow. Great stuff!
• Viega: Our friends at Viega have been around for many
years, and I’ve enjoyed watching what they’ve done every
step of the way. Wal-Mart is now going green and Viega just
did the radiant heating-and-cooling system for the enormous store Wal-Mart is opening in Las Vegas. Robert Hall,
who is from Georgia (our accents met somewhere in
Maryland), showed me photos and samples of the equipment that Viega provided for that job. They came up with
a new way of delivering the tubing. Working from CAD drawings, Viega designed what I can only describe as a radiant
rug. Picture long lines of tubing already affixed to the perpendicular tie-down strips and rolled up like a huge, sixfoot-wide carpet. The tubing is charged with air pressure
and sealed at the factory, and you can test its integrity all
the while the job is going on. I think this is brilliant. It saves
an enormous amount of installation time, and let’s face it,
that’s where the money is with radiant. This is going to
change the radiant industry.
• Bosch Thermotechnology/Buderus: Bosch is the parent
company of Buderus, and Ed Sullivan had a lot to show me.
I was especially taken with their solar equipment because I
had seen (and fallen in love with) much of it at the Frankfurt
(Turn to Holopalooza ’09, page 24.)
Perfect Replacements
Replacing cast iron boilers
has never been so easy:
I Flexible piping options for easy gas
and water connections
I Can be vented with standard PVC pipe
The ideal replacement
boiler to sell:
I Fuel savings with AFUE up to 95%
I Low water side pressure drop
means less pumping power –
saving electricity
I Modulation or set input combustion
America’s Hottest Boiler Value!
85 Middle Road, Dunkirk, NY 14048
716-366-5500 G
Gas & Oil-Fired Hot Water & Steam Boilers / Electric Boilers / Hydronic Controls / Indirect-Fired
Water Heaters / Gas and Oil-Fired Furnaces / Ductless Mini-Split Air-Conditioning Systems
/ VPAC’s & VPHP’s / Replacement PTAC Chassis
Circle 23 on Reader Reply Card
Holopalooza ’09
(Continued from page 22.)
show in 2007. It’s so good to see all
this smart stuff coming to America. Ed
also showed me an oil-fired, modulating-condensing boiler that uses a special burner to literally vaporize the oil,
making it burn blue. Bosch is a worldclass, innovative company, and they
continue to impress me.
• Heat Transfer Products: Dave
Davis is the company’s CEO and I
have always loved his intensity. It
was great to be able to spend that
much time with him. He showed me
their new high-efficiency boilers,
some of which can vent up to 250
feet away. Imagine that. And he
showed me how they’ve combining
domesticwater heating with solar, and all within the same tank. This was so impressive, and it shows how HTP continues
to think inside the tank and outside
the box. And such intensity!
• Burnham Hydronics: Another of
those old, grand American companies
that many think of as makers of
things cast iron. Dan Kelbaugh, who
practically explodes into flame with
his enthusiasm, took me on a tour of
what Burnham is offering, not only
with cast iron, but also with aluminum and stainless steel. They have
small but powerful boilers that you
can hang on the wall, and others that
you can stack one on top of the other
to create enormous outputs in tiny
spaces. And yet, they still have those
glorious, cast-iron beauties, all of
which are running at superb efficiencies these days. My impression?
These folks have it all.
• Webstone: Delightful because
they look at contractors’ problems
and then design solutions to those
problems. They manage to integrate
so much convenience, and so much
solidity, into each product. Fernando
Mireles showed me their offering and I
Phc News — MARCH 2009
kept thinking to myself, “I wish I had
thought of that product, and that one,
and that one.” I smacked myself in the
forehead so many times when I was in
their booth that I was getting silly. I
love what these guys bring to the
hydronics industry. It’s all so smart,
and so very well made. I can’t wait to
see what they come up with next.
• Caleffi North America: Mark
Olson and Hot Rod showed me
around the Caleffi booth and the
thing that impressed me most was
how they’ve listened to their customers. In the center of their booth
was a skid filled with stuff. It looked
like something the setup crew from
McCormick Place had forgotten to
unload, but it wasn’t. What was on
that skid was a complete solar package, ready to install. It even included
the glycol. Mark and H.R. explained
how they had picked contractor’s
brains, and then came up with the
idea of delivering everything needed
for the job on one carefully packaged
The Easy
Pipe Support System
Circle 24 on Reader Reply Card
skid. They’re doing for solar what the
container people have done for shipping. And (are you ready for this?)
they base what’s on that skid not on
some complicated BTU formula, but
on the number of people that will be
living in the house. My impression?
These people are brilliant.
• Laing Thermotech: I’ve long
known Laing for their DHW recirculation pumps, and I’ve always appreciated how much water these tiny units
can save. That’s especially important
in this ever-greening world of ours.
There’s more to this company,
though, and Bob Hutslar showed me
their new ECM pumps, which have a
lot of neat features for the contractors
when it comes to service. He also
showed me a tiny electric boiler that
I think would be perfect for any retrofit job, especially those radiant retrofits. The quality of everything in that
booth impressed me.
• Uponor: I can’t think of any radiant tubing company that just wants to
just sell PEX by the foot these days.
Like it or not, PEX has become a commodity and I think that Uponor, a
company that has cranked out more
PEX than most over the years, knows
this. They are now solidly into the
radiant cooling market and I love to
see that because it just makes sense.
It’s a business with such huge potential, and it calls for smart controls.
What Ingrid, Julius and Jeff showed
me was so impressive. They have a
new line of wireless-remote thermostats and brilliant controls that do
amazing things. They’re branching
out into a whole new business and
their stuff is not only smart, but also
physically beautiful. Uponor is not
just about PEX these days. Not by a
long shot.
• Lochinvar: They have always
knocked me out with their burner
technology, along with the efficiencies
and enormous loads they manage to
get out of relatively small boilers and
water heaters — that fit through standard doorways. But more and more,
what has impressed me about
Lochinvar is what they do with controls. Stirling Boston showed me
some touch-screen panels that are so
intuitive, so easy to use, so well
thought-out, and so, well, verbal!
(They all speak to me in plain
English). I think that what Apple is to
computers, Lochinvar is to boilerand water-heater controls. I left their
booth shaking my head and smiling.
Absolutely delighted.
• Legend Hydronics: Walter Jann
showed me some radiant cooling panels that replace the standard panels in
a drop ceiling. Each easily connects
with PEX to the next, and the next,
and they make no noise at all. And
(Turn to Holohan, page 28.)
The one
pump I need
on my truck.
“The Service Pump’s in a
class by itself.”
Scott’s business is built on service,
so it follows that he loves the new
Taco 0010 3-speed Service Pump.
Now he can quickly replace any residential pump he might encounter,
regardless of type, style, or age, or
flange orientation (thanks to our
universal 4-bolt flange). And with
three speeds, he can easily match
the performance of the pump he’s
replacing. A removable, extra large
Integral Flow Check (IFC®) maximizes
flow, and a custom high tension
spring prevents gravity flow, even
in the tallest buildings. An extra
roomy capacitor box and dual
electrical knock-outs make wiring
a snap.
No call-backs.
Scott sleeps better knowing that
Taco reliability and performance are
built in to every 3-Speed Service
Pump....and so will you.
Check it out.
Why not put a couple of Taco
3-Speed Service Pumps in your
truck now? Next service call, you’ll
thank Scott for the hot tip.
Scott O’Brien
Independent Service Contractor
O’Brien Heating and A/C
Circle 25 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Incorporate relays into your job
An Olympic caliber relay for heating
contributing writer
Handing off a baton in
any competitive relay
requires teamwork,
and the generalpurpose relays
discussed can pull a
team of hydronic
components together
so that proper
operation and
switching can occur.
ave you ever run into a situation where voltages
were “butting heads” against each other, causing
circuit breakers to trip or “letting the smoke out”
of a transformer? You are saying to yourself,
“Self, I am a mechanical contractor, not an
I agree with that statement, but there may
come a time in your hydronic career when you
will need to troubleshoot or incorporate relays to
isolate power or to send existing power where
you want it, when you want it. A relay might be
the answer to the questions you have about
switching power.
A relay is an electrical switch that opens and
closes under the control of another electrical circuit. In the original form, the switch is operated
by an electromagnet to open or close one or Figure 2
many sets of contacts. These contacts, whether
normally open (NO) or normally closed (NC),
can switch power or just close a circuit, providing continuity.
This article will talk about relays, explain why they are
useful and give examples of how you can incorporate
relays into your jobs to achieve specific results. For our
discussion, we are going to talk about double-pole doublethrow (DPDT) relays, mostly because I have the Visio
stencils from Tekmar that make it easy for me to illustrate
relay operation.
Figure 1 illustrates what a DPDT may look like. The
type of relay you need may
vary. There are several types,
Figure 1
such as solid-state and icecube relays. Relays come in
a wide variety of “poles and
throws” as with a single-pole
single throw (SPST), triplepole triple-throw (TPTT) or
the DPDT, which I already
mentioned. To order the correct relay, you must specify
the coil voltage. When the
proper voltage is present at
the coil, it becomes an electromagnet and pulls in the
contactor arms. These arms
should be viewed as connecting bridges that allow electrical current to the desired
flow path.
Figure 2 is a mechanical representation of a DPDT
relay. As this is a 24V coil relay, the coil needs to be energized with 24V (ac) on terminals 7 and 2. Terminals 1 and
8 allow us to switch power through the relay when normally closed (NC). Terminal 1 illustrates a 120V (ac)
source, allowing power through the relay and exiting on
terminal 4. Additionally, with the coil still closed, we can
switch 24V (ac) power from terminal 8 on through to terminal 5. Again, this is while the coil is not energized. Upon
energizing the coil, the normally open (NO) contacts now
close and the 24V (ac) power that was exiting the NC terminal 5 opens; terminal 6 closes and allows the 24V (ac)
on through. Conversely, the 120V (ac) power that was
exiting terminal 4 now opens and can only exit via terminal 3, which is now closed. So, with the closing of a coil,
we can switch voltages through a relay and make normally open contacts close.
Maybe you want to turn on a light, start a timer, actuate
A mechanical representation of a DPDT relay; examples of
switching different voltages from NO to NC.
a solenoid or switch heat sources when your thermostat
calls for heat. You can accomplish this with a simple and
inexpensive relay. For instance, we just finished updating
a system for a gentleman with a multi-zone system of radiant floor heat. This system was being heated by a residential water heater and hadn’t worked properly from its
A standard residential water heater has two 4.5kw elements that fire non-simultaneously, as an upper and lower
thermostat controls power to each element. This homeowner was not getting enough heat when the temperature
Figure 3
How to use a DPDT relay to actuate a boiler TT call for heat.
was below 32 F, as the 15,358.50 Btu fell short of the load.
1kw = 3,413 Btu, so one 4.5kw element 5 3,413 Btu
=15,358.50 Btu. The homeowner called an electrician,
who wired the elements for simultaneous firing, but there
was still not enough heat at 30,717 Btu.
Now it was our turn. After a simple heat loss and budget meeting, the homeowner contracted us to install an
electric boiler. The water heater did not have contacts to
receive a call for heat, so I needed to provide them to the
boiler. What to do? The answer is a simple DPDT (ice(Don’t overlook... Page 28.)
Circle 26 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Don’t overlook relay systems in your next job
(Continued from page 26.)
cube) relay to send a call for heat to
the boiler TT. Thermostats in the residence were feeding a signal to contactors that would then energize
120V (ac) to a space-heating pump.
Why not use that to our advantage?
I bought a simple relay with a 120V
(ac) coil. Anytime the thermostats
called for heat and sent power to the
space heating circulator, that same
power would close the 120V coil on
my relay and make the normally open
contacts close, providing the necessary switch I needed to signal my new
electric boiler. See Figure 3.
The boiler's internal controls
would tell the boiler whether it needed to send power to its elements and
could run continually, until the
water temperature reached its set-
point or satisfied the call for heat. As
long as a thermostat was calling for
heat and as long as the circulator
was energized, the boiler had its call
for heat. You will note that I am not
switching power in this scenario. I
am only using terminals 1 and 3 to
complete a boiler TT circuit. When
the coil closes and the normally
open terminal 3 closes, it allows me
to have continuity and to complete
the call for heat to my boiler.
Be sure to observe the coil voltages
and contact ratings. Whether you are
using 24V, 120V or even 240V to energize the coil, check and see the maximum amp rating for the power you
want to switch. Improper or insufficient power can damage the coil. If the
voltage to the coil fluctuates, it can
make the relay “chatter” or arc, mak-
ing it susceptible to damage.
Handing off a baton in any competitive relay requires teamwork, and the
general-purpose relays discussed today
can pull a team of hydronic components together so that proper operation
and switching can occur. In any successful relay, however, cooperation is
essential and every member or, in this
case, every component, must work
together in unison to achieve their goal.
I hope these illustrations have been
helpful in navigating the current as
the coils open and close. Next month,
I plan to pass off the baton to heating
professionals across the country and
illustrate how to navigate hydronic
systems with the help of relays.
Paul Rohrs welcomes your comments. Contact Paul at [email protected]
Stimulus package strengthens position for geothermal, efficient HVAC systems
Hydronics TM
Stabilization Act of 2008, it provides
an uncapped credit through 2016 for
residential investments in geothermal
heat pumps, as well as an uncapped
10-percent investment tax credit for
commercial installations through
2016. By including geothermal heat
pump systems within the definition of
“energy property,” the Economic
Stabilization Act also allows for a fiveyear depreciation period for commercial systems placed in service after
October 3, 2008.
The Act contains long-term tax
incentives to encourage the use of
high-efficiency HVAC and renewable
energy technologies, including systems like RAUGEO, in both residential and commercial applications. It
follows last October’s Emergency
Economic Stabilization Act of 2008,
H.R. 1424, which also includes both
commercial and residential incentives for high-efficiency HVAC and
renewable energy technology use.
Along with the Emergency Economic
U. S . G R E E
LEESBURG, VA. — REHAU announced
that its RAUGEO ground loop heat
exchange system qualifies for use
under the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act. The $787 billion
plan, which aims to create 3.5 million
American jobs while also improving
the nation’s infrastructure and services, includes the use of $288 billion
for tax relief, $144 billion for state
and locality support, and approximately $111 billion for infrastructure
and scientific development.
ISO 9001:2000
Solar pumping stations manufactured with or
without heat exchanger
Heat exchanger easily removed for repair,
cleaning or replacement
Contractor friendly/simple installation
Available with/without pumps
Factory tested & fully warranted
OEM inquiries welcome for customized models
Circle 27 on Reader Reply Card
Made in the USA.
U. S . G R E E
Patent Pending Components
Division of JL indus trie s, inc.
6730 NE 79th Court - Portland, OR 97218
Phone:(503) 445-4188 - FAX: (503) 445-4187
(Continued from page 24.)
since they do away with the need for
large ductwork in a building, a builder
can add an additional floor of space to
a 10-story building (smart thinking
about benefits, and not just features).
Walter also showed me a couple of
very unique and clever flooring systems that will make any radiant contactor smile. Save time, save money
and laugh at the recession. I love positive people!
So that’s 15 impressions. I
promised you 16. Here’s the last one:
• I’ve been writing for HVAC trade
magazines since 1988, and at one
time or another, I’ve been in most of
them. Last September, I moved over
to this fine magazine with its big,
bold, colorful pages. At the same
time, I also began writing for this
magazine’s sister publication, The
Wholesaler. I moved because I liked
what I saw, and I never looked back.
I have had so much fun during the
past six months. The people at TMB
came up with this concept of
Holopalooza ’09, laughing all the way.
It was inventive, fun, and it worked.
They gave me two of the most educational days I have ever had in my
career. They put me with enthusiastic
and creative people who know their
products inside and out, and who love
to tell about them.
They brought it all together
remarkably fast, and with such great
spirit. They dreamed it up, coordinated it, sold it and put together an outstanding film crew. It was all so wonderfully professional. They kept us all
moving through a very crowded AHR
show floor, on time, and on target,
and not once did we stop laughing. I
had a ball.
These are, without a doubt, the best
magazine people I have ever worked
with in my career as a freelance
writer. They make things happen, and
they make it fun.
It is so very good to be here!
Call for quotation
P r e c i s i o n H yd ro n ic P ro du c t s
Last month in Dan Holohan’s
column “Imagine,” Dan was
describing the radiator system in
the Dakota, a building in New York
City. “Each radiator has two pipes.
The supply pipe is 11/2" in diameter and the return pipe measures
11/2".” The measurement should
have stated, “Each radiator has
two pipes. The supply pipe is 11/2"
in diameter and the return pipe
measures 11/4".”
The measurement was inadvertently changed during the editing
process. Phc News regrets the error.
La^[email protected];8‡€ˆ8=K8bl8ma^8eZm^lm8ab`a¦
OaZm8p^8]hgÁm8f^Zg8bl8[b`8lbs^—8Zl8ma^[email protected]
[email protected];8‡€ˆ8=K8bl8^Zlr8mh8l^kob\^8Zg]8M’K’¦
:hl\a8HkhLZgde^ll½[email protected];8‡€ˆ8=K
Dhg]hg]^kkr—[email protected]ˆˆƒ
Circle 28 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Bristol’s six principles of good solar hydronic design
Part 9: The primary check-loop flow center
ny time a homeowner or builder starts thinking
about adding solar heat collectors the thought
process invariably proceeds along the same lines.
First, they think about a solar water heater with one or
two collectors. Then they wonder whether some of that
heat could be used to heat their floors. If so, then maybe
a few more collectors would be worthwhile. Then they
wonder how hard it would be to hook up some baseboards
to the solar heat. Then, how about the spa or pool or an
ice-melt zone? What if we do some of it now and some of
it in the future? Every new question requires a change of
design, different piping connections, different components, different temperatures and different controls.
In 1997, after going through this same process with
dozens of different projects, I decided to try to standardize what I was doing to make it easier to add, delete and
change components. The key to doing this is to make
things modular so that they can be plugged in or
unplugged as the clients change their minds, without
requiring any serious re-engineering. I began building all
my designs around a “flow center,” where all of the circulation pumps plug into a modified primary loop with two
pipe connections and could just as easily be unplugged.
These days, I have been making the transition to the
European-style “flow separator” systems, but my original
concept (and the modular controls that go with it) is still
valid after more than a decade and well over a hundred
installations later. Let’s take a closer look at this time-tested primary check-loop solar heating system concept.
contributing writer
In this series of articles, I have been
making the case that the key ingredients for solar/hydronic design and
installation can be divided into six
categories, listed below, roughly in
order of their importance.
The success of any solar hydronic home heating installation
depends on the often-conflicting
balance between any of these six
principles. Finding the balance
between them defines the art of
solar heating design.
The “solar combi-system” dilemma
Multiple heat sources and multiple heating loads can be
connected in a bewildering variety of different ways. In our
region, the most typical solar-hydronic combi-system
includes (1) a solar heat collector array, (2) a gas boiler
backup, (3) a domestic water heater and (4) a radiant heated floor. I think of this application as combi-system 101,
since I have duplicated these features so many times. There
are only four items — two heat sources and two heat loads.
Yet, if you present these requirements to three different
solar heating suppliers, you will get three very different
with tees, motorized
valves and pumps in all
different locations and
some often cryptic
control strategies (or
none at all) to complete the confusion.
This will lead to the
solar nightmare scenario as seen in Figure
1, where three different
installers with three
different piping diagrams tried one after
the other to assemble
Figure 1. A spaghetti piping dia- this
gram manifested.
solar heating system
in a small house near
Santa Fe — and failed. The bottom of the wall-hung boiler is just visible at the top and two domestic hot water
tanks are on either side. I took this photo in 2008, just
before installers from my company, Cedar Mountain Solar,
removed most of this piping and reconnected it to a flow
center, as we always do, and added our control system that
goes with the flow center piping.
Primary loop “flow center” solution
In past years, the primary loop, using closely spaced tees,
has been more popular in commercial buildings than in residential. But I found that it has consistent advantages in
solar combi-systems as well, and most of our installations
Figure 2. Primary/secondary piping for two heat sources and
two heating loads.
are residential. The primary loop offers a plug-in capability
where any secondary loop can be connected with only two
pipes to any heat sources and other heat loads. The residential solar combi-system is not unlike the multiple boilers
and multiple loads found in small commercial applications.
A solar heat array is like an individual boiler that is out
of our control but somewhat predictable. It can be put to
good use when it is behaving well during the sunny hours
and bypassed with another boiler when it is behaving
badly. When regarded in this way, a solar array can be
plugged into the primary loop just like any other multiple
boiler but with extra controls to accommodate its independent nature. Why do we put up with a boiler that acts
this way? Because the fuel it “burns” is free.
The diagram in Figure 2 shows the configuration that
has become my basic standard piping configuration for
more than a decade for combi-system 101. There are a
number of additional benefits when using this system in
real-world installations. It provides the ability to extend
the primary loop through attic or crawl spaces to remote
areas of a building to pick up or deliver heat from other
mechanical rooms. This is especially useful in many
remodel situations. It allows expansion from the 101 system to additional heating sources and more heating jobs
with just the addition of another double-tee connection
point. When using the same piping layout on every job,
the installers require less training and, with the repeated
practice, achieve better consistency.
Primary loop modifications:
heat exchanger and check valve
Step back for a moment and review our real objectives for
solar heat. We want to deliver solar heat to any job that
needs heat, giving solar heat priority whenever it is available. If we intercept it and use it immediately as it arrives,
(Turn to Six principles, Page 32.)
All Slant/Fin BOBCAT boilers have a unique heat exchanger with one inch
diameter waterways designed in America for American homes.
High Efficiency—93% AFUE
Patented, advanced design, large diameter, aluminum tube
and plate heat exchanger
2 Models, 4:1 Modulation
30,000 to 120,000 Btuh input and 50,000 to 200,000 Btuh input
Floor Standing or Wall hung
Natural or LP Gas
Schedule 40 CPVC or stainless steel for vent pipe—
up to 100' equivalent length
Self cleaning no maintenance required
Quiet operation
Environmentally friendly—Low NOx
12 year limited warranty and 5 year parts and labor warranty
Built-in digital control board with
outdoor reset included
The one inch wide waterway tubes
allow for easier water flow and are
less susceptible to mineral buildup
and dissolved solids in the water.
Model No. B-200A
Slant/Fin Corporation • Greenvale, NY 11548
The next generation of hydronic heating
Model No. B-120A
Circle 29 on Reader Reply Card
Six principles
(Continued from page 30.)
the energy loss associated with heat
storage, extra pumping and multiple
heat exchangers is eliminated. If solar
heat is used directly (instead of stored)
as soon as it arrives, the delivered solar
thermal efficiency is maximized.
Figure 2 shows how I have modified
the common primary loop with a heat
exchanger and some swing check
valves in order to more fully meet
these objectives. The location of the
heat exchanger allows all the cool
return fluid to absorb solar heat
before reaching the backup boiler. If
the solar circulator is not running,
primary fluid passes through the heat
exchanger with no temperature
change. The control system then
allows the boiler to do the required
heating. Solar preheating of the boiler
is also easily achieved.
The swing check valves are
straight-through flow types and offer
little resistance to the flow in the primary loop. They allow each sec-
ondary pump, independently or in
concert with the others, to induce
one-way flow around the primary
loop without the need for a dedicated
primary pump. When allowed to do so
by the thermostatic controls, any secondary pump may be used to circulate through the solar heat exchanger
to deliver solar heat directly to its
heating job. Spring check valves in
every secondary loop prevent
unwanted creeping flow, unless that
secondary pump is running.
Solar heat can be delivered directly for storage in the DHW tank or
directly for storage in the mass of the
radiant warm floors. As I mentioned
in an earlier article, two-stage room
thermostats can be used to distribute
solar heat to the coolest rooms and
control the heat storage temperature
of the mass floors within a comfort
Figure 3 shows a Cedar Mountain
Solar installation in Taos, N.M. that is
similar in size and scope to the unfortunate project seen in Figure 1.
Notice the comparative simplicity
offered by the check-loop flow center.
Phc News — MARCH 2009
The solar collectors feeding heat to
the system in Figure 3 can be seen
mounted vertically on the exterior
wall of the building shown in Figure 4.
The photo in Figure 3 includes a view
of the solar heat exchanger (lower
left), the boiler connection (upper
left), the HRF mass floor secondary
loop (bottom) and an air separator at
the top. You can also make out our
control system in a gray box with
three Tekmar digital temperature
controls on it and some Taco relay
boxes to control the pumps and zone
Temperature sequencing
Heat sources are sequenced along
the primary loop in order of increasing temperature production, and heat
loads are placed in order of declining
temperature requirements. This is
important in any simple primary loop
system, because the cool return fluid
mixes with the hot supply fluid at
every secondary connection. So, the
DHW gets its heat before continuing
around the loop to the HRF mass
floor. A baseboard secondary would
Circle 30 on Reader Reply Card
Figure 3. A non-spaghetti primary/secondary installation.
be placed before the HRF tap, and
swimming pool heat can be taken
after the HRF connection.
Piping variations
Stub-outs may be placed anywhere
(Turn to Solar Design, page 38.)
Circle 31 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
A great book beckons
A genuine and passionate love
hen our son Max was just a baby, I started reading to him. Kids, generally, love to be read to and
Max certainly did. Of course, he memorized his
favorites and heaven forbid I would skip one word of
Donald and the Magic Mailbox.
Isn’t it a miracle when a kid learns to read? For the most
part, all you have to do is read to them and they will pick
it up. School helps, too. What a thrill as he sounded out
One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. I love to read and
so hoped that Max would love it, too.
We started to take turns on more challenging books. He
would read one page, I would read the next. We plowed
through every Berenstain Bears book and laughed out loud
at Captain Underpants. Then, we read the C.S.Lewis
books about Narnia. We swapped pages and read all seven.
I remember how sad we were when we turned the last
page, and the adventure came to an end.
When Max was a teenager, he read, all by himself The
Perfect Storm by Sebastian Junger. He developed a taste
for a well-written non-fiction adventure story. For a long
time, Max wouldn’t choose reading as an activity until all
other activities had been explored — TV, basketball,
music, video games…then, he would curl up with a good
story. Now, as a young adult, he is rarely without a book.
What a gift it is, to be able to read. Unfortunately, not
everyone who can read, does read. I kept after it with Max,
always looking for a book that might ignite the flame. It’s
a nice thing to do…share a good book when you come
across one. My sister Gail is a voracious reader. She
“screens” books for me, passing on her very favorites.
Books I read have to pass this test: The writing is great or
the message is worthwhile. I am fine with one or the other.
A great book beckons. If I walk past a book I am in the
middle of, sitting on my nightstand, and I long for it — if I
wish I could stop everything and read it straight through
to the end — then it is a winner. I no longer feel compelled
to finish every book I start. If I am not sold by page 50, the
audition is over.
Are you behind on your reading? Why not exercise your
gift? Reading leads to thinking leads to learning…and
opens every door. If you are not a great reader, find something really interesting to read. You’ll get better. Keep a
dictionary handy, or Google loaded up on your browser.
Clean up misunderstood words and…
contributing writer
Encourage reading at
your company. You have
a wonderful opportunity,
responsibility, to develop
the skills of the people
who work with you.
“Read something every day that no one else is reading. Think
something no one else is thinking. It is bad for the mind to
always be a part of unanimity.” ~ Christopher Morley
Magazines count. Some of my favorite writers write,
wrote, for magazines. P.J. Rourke, Steven King, Tom Wolfe,
Dan Holohan. Phc News absolutely counts. Newspapers
don’t count. They are full of too much bad news and too
little good writing. I will make an exception for the New
York Times if you skip the front page.
Encourage reading at your company. You have a wonderful opportunity, responsibility, to develop the skills of
the people who work with you. Recently Max joined an
online book club. They read the book-of-the-month and
then post comments about it on their Facebook pages. You
could make reading cool. You could help team members
learn valuable life-enhancing strategies. At the very least,
you could practice reading skills and have some fun.
Here are some ideas for getting the book club started:
• Make it optional…make it worthwhile! This is not
mandatory training. This is a chance to learn and share
and help each other be more successful. Meet for 45 min-
utes…at lunch time or right before or after work.
• Start on time. Set the timer so you know when times
up. Pick up where you left off last time.
• What to read? Start with non-fiction. So many people
didn’t learn basic life skills from their parents. You can
make a powerful difference in your employees’ lives. Ask
team members for book club book suggestions. If you need
some ideas, here are a few of my picks…
Financial Freedom:
• Maybe they don’t want a lecture on debt reduction
from bossy old you. However, it is hard to resist the parable of The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason.
This book was written during the depression and the strategy works as well today as it did then, and thousands of
years ago…the setting for the story.
• Rich people teach their kids strategies that help them
be successful. Rich Dad Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki
shares empowering financial advice…particularly about
real estate investing. One of his better, lesser known
books: CashFlow Quadrant: Rich Dad’s Guide to
Financial Freedom.
Better Living:
• Every couple of months, I go to the Davis Correctional
Facility in Holdenville, Oklahoma and spend time with
Randy Mackenzie and his Commercial Cleaning class. His
students learn how to buff floors and use a power washer.
Even better, they learn business and life skills. One of the
inmates recommended a rockin’ good book to me. Mentor:
The Kid & The CEO by Tom Pace. No one gets ahead without some help. This is a lovely story about a troubled kid
finding and becoming a mentor.
• Stephanie Culp has a great 5-Point Plan for making
things less complicated. Streamlining Your Life is a thin
book, but overflowing with really simple, fun ways to
reduce the mess and stress.
Communicating with family, friends and customers:
• Jeffrey Gitomer is fun, likes to swear and has a sharp
wit. Beyond the packaging, his advice is timeless and
sound. Check out his Little Teal Book of Trust…how to
earn it, grow it and keep it to become a trusted advisor in
sales, business and life.
• You can’t go wrong with the classic by Dale Carnegie,
How to Win Friends and Influence People.
• Buy copies of the Book Club selection books for your
team. When they are finished, they can pass the books on
to friends and family members.
• Break the book up into bit-sized pieces. Read chapter
one. Read the first three pages. And welcome folks to the
book club even if they get behind. Don’t make it one more
thing to do and lose. Make it a safe place to explore and win.
You keep up on the reading. Share with those who have read
the homework and encourage everyone to just keep after it.
Read one page. Read one paragraph. Bring thoughts to class.
• Have three compelling discussion points ready. Write
them on the dry erase board in the lunch room or training
area the day before book club. Have some fun with this.
For instance…
“Robert Kiyosaki loves real estate investing. If you could buy
a piece of property anywhere on earth, where would it be?”
• Let the books lead the exploration. The best part
about book club is that the author isn’t there. You all get
to speculate and share ideas. No boss required…this is a
meeting of equals.
• Check out supporting resources. Is the author doing a
(Turn to Bare Bones Biz, Page 42.)
The New Standard in Water Efficiency
The World’s First TRUE Dual-Flush
Electronic Flushometer
The new Sloan ECOS® Dual-Flush Flushometer
is the first electronic valve of its kind. Advanced
Sensor Technology allows for hands-free
operation while still delivering water-saving
dual-flush performance. The valve senses the
user’s proximity and duration and delivers the
proper flush volume based on these factors.
Intuitive dual-flush override buttons ensure
efficiency. Whether flushed manually or
automatically, the new Sloan ECOS offers
unequaled efficiency and reliable performance.
• Smart dual-flush sensing technology delivers
appropriate flush volume – automatically
• Ground-breaking water efficiency
• Intuitive dual-flush override buttons
• State-of-the-art sensor eliminates false flushing
For more information, go to
Generating Efficiency Through Technology
w w w. s l o a n v a l v e . c o m
Patent Pending
Circle 32 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Calculate your operating costs
Should contractors charge for estimates?
s a contractor, you hold an advantageous position in
the consumer/contractor relationship. You have
knowledge of your trade, as well as the experience of
a consumer since you also buy the products and services of
other vendors, both in your business and private life. This
gives you the ability to envision the consumer/contractor
relationship from both sides of the counter. But having ability, and utilizing it properly, are two different things.
As a person in business, you should be aware that you
incur costs to be in business because you know you have
bills to pay. Unfortunately, most contractors aren’t quite
sure of the amount of those costs and relative proportion
to the services they perform because they do not know
how to correctly identify and calculate their true cost of
operation. Then there are those ignoramuses who claim
they have no overhead cost. That’s because they don’t
know the definition of overhead cost. Like the proverbial
ostrich who plants his head in the sand, they leave their
butts in the air to be kicked by passersby.
As a consumer, I recently needed the services of three
other types of contractors to spruce up a rental property
that had been vacated by my long-term tenants. I started
looking for these contractors from my own contacts, as
well as the advertising media. My intent, like most consumers, was to get the best quality job at the lowest price
for the best quality. After 39 years in the construction
industry, and more as a consumer, I know how to determine top quality, its related cost, and how to use my
knowledge as both a contractor and consumer.
contributing writer
Then there are those
ignoramuses who claim
they have no overhead cost.
That’s because they don’t
know the definition of
overhead cost. Like the
proverbial ostrich who
plants his head in the sand,
they leave their butts in the
air to be kicked by passersby.
Free estimates are expensive
In my investigation I found some peculiarities. Of the
many available painting services, I called two that I had
used in the past and three from ads. For flooring contactors, I called four from ads. The third type was more of a
specialty contractor and I only found two businesses performing that specialty in my area. The oddity begins with
all offering free estimates, including the two with no competition other than each other.
I understand (but, don’t agree with) the painting and
flooring contractors thinking they have to give free estimates because they have much competition. In my opinion, they’re dead wrong. But I am dumbfounded that both
specialty contractors with no competition other than each
other also chose to offer free estimates.
Before calling any of the contractors, I made a list of
questions to ask each contractor on the phone and at the
building in question (should they decide to visit the site)
regarding my needs and the services they could provide. I
then put myself in the mode of acting like an ignorant consumer who knew nothing about the construction industry.
Armed with my persona of innocence and not taking
advantage of any of those contractors (after all, they’re the
ones who offered free estimates) I called each of them.
I called five painters. One said he would call back, but
never did. This makes me wonder why he spends money
on advertising. Three painting contractors gave me minimum price phone estimates sight unseen. The last one
told me he had to see the job before quoting a price.
In my mind, due to my phone interview of each, I concluded, with the exception of the one who didn’t call back,
that they were all comparable. And since my time is valuable, I only made appointments with the painting contractor with the lowest estimate and the one who said he
had to see the job. I could call the others after meeting
these two if I felt that the situation warranted it.
Since painting must be done often in the life of a building rental, price is a major concern to landlords. It’s not
like plumbing, heating, cooling and electric systems which
may have some maintenance expense but when done correctly last for much longer periods of time. As for the flooring and specialty contractors their work should also last
longer than the painting contractor’s.
The four flooring contractors all said they had to see the
building before quoting prices. They made appointments
with me.
The two specialty contractors both gave me comparable
minimum phone estimates. After taking into consideration their phone styles and answers to my questions, I
made an appointment with the contractor who addressed
my phone inquiries in a better manner.
Before making any appointments, I asked each contractor if there was any charge for the visit. They all proudly
and quickly said “no.” Fear, low self-esteem and stupidity
are powerful negative traits. They are the only reasons
anyone would quickly give away his/her (hopefully) educated professional opinion at no charge. After all, it cost
them time and money to learn the complexities of their
respective fields of expertise, to be in business and to give
their opinion.
Pride should never come into play if they don’t recover
the costs of their estimates. Any fool can give his/her services away for no compensation while paying the costs
associated with those estimates. So while they proudly put
forth the image of confidence when answering the question, the word “proudly” should be replaced with “cowardly, timidly and stupidly.”
My conversations with each contractor led me to believe
that the quality of service I would receive from each of them
would be comparable and sufficient to satisfy my needs.
Ten contractors gave me free estimates for three potential jobs — four painting contractors, four flooring contractors and two specialty contractors. At best, 70% of the
contractors would incur tangible and intangible costs they
did not have a chance of recovering because I only needed three contractors.
The cost of free estimates
Tangible costs are those for which you see a definite
expense, which you pay directly. A gallon of gas costs $2.00
to $4.00 in recent past. By multiplying the gallons used by
the cost per gallon, you can arrive at one of the tangible
costs contractors incur to visit a site and give a not-so-free
(to them) estimate.
An intangible cost is one which costs money in a less
obvious way. With regards to the contractor giving free
estimates, every estimate that he spends time and doesn’t
get the job keeps him from performing another estimate or
service that could bring money into his business.
If contractors signed up 100% of the estimates they gave
and brought revenue into their businesses, they could
recoup the estimate costs by including them in the prices
quoted for the proposed tasks. But no contractor who
quotes properly profitable selling prices gets every job.
That’s due to two facts. First, there are many moronic contractors out there charging lower prices that are often
below their real costs. Second, the pool of consumers not
only consists of value buyers, but also price buyers, and
window shoppers who may purchase nothing.
The average travel time in my county, inclusive of plotting the route and driving, is 30 minutes. When you add to
(Turn to Estimates:, Page 71.)
Circle 33 on Reader Reply Card
Solar design
(Continued from page 32.)
along the primary loop to accommodate additional heating sources or
heating loads. (e.g., hot tubs, heated
pools, wood boilers, ground source
heat pumps, hot water fan convectors, etc.) Typical bypass valves, isolation valves and boiler drain locations for easy maintenance are not
all shown in Figure 2, but some of
these can be seen in Figure 3. Air
vents in actual installations may
need to be located at high points in
the piping, especially where flow is
diverted downward. Loops may be
mounted on vertical walls or suspended horizontally below the ceiling. Swing checks must never be
mounted in the flow-downward position. Three-way thermo-mechanical
mixing is provided at any secondary
where plastic pipe is employed. No
plastic pipe is ever used anywhere
near the solar loop or the solar heat
Control variations
The example control system seen
in Figure 3 uses Tekmar controllers
(Models 152 and 155) to send solar
heat to the DHW tank, turn off the
boiler when the solar is hot enough,
control two-stage heat banking in the
warm mass floors and control overheating in the solar collectors during
periods of low heat demand.
Without changing the piping, different functions can be accomplished simply by adding different
controls. For example, if the DHW
tank was oversized, solar heat can be
removed from it for floor heating at
night. This is an optional control
that we often install, especially
where baseboard convectors are
Phc News — MARCH 2009
involved. Also, I have mentioned
night sky radiant cooling (NSRC) in
my previous articles; this can be
used to cool the tank or the mass
floors by adding a cooling control
that runs the appropriate pumps at
night. I hope to discuss controls in
more detail in the future.
Flow center systems are evolving
The check-loop flow center is
something that any experienced
mechanical installer can build from
scratch with easily accessible components from local suppliers. Lately,
more European companies such as
Caleffi, PAW, Oventrop and others
have been offering pre-assembled
pump stations, manifolds and flow
separators that can be configured to
do the same job as my old check-loop
system. The time savings in labor can
be remarkable when using this new
modular equipment and so, I have
Figure 4. Wall-mounted solar collectors
heat the primary loop shown in Figure 3.
been gradually changing over, as project budgets allow.
Bristol Stickney, partner and technical director at Cedar Mountain
Solar Systems in Santa Fe, N.M., has
been designing, manufacturing,
engineering, repairing and installing
solar hydronic heating systems for
more than 30 years.
• Unlimited Supply of Hot Water
• Sleek Design Saves Space
• Saves Energy and Reduces Your Electric Bills
• Proven Reliability Backed by a Three Year Warranty
Simply the Best
Circle 34 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Extremes forming in construction’s PVF sub-sector
PVF & economic analyst
ith President Barack Obama
having been in office well
into the first 100 days as this
is written, I’m already confused as to
where this newly minted administration is heading.
As the general economy continues
to deleverage, with consumer demand
deflating at a record pace, I have
stepped up my PVF sector contacts to
determine what cracks, if any, are
forming in the façade of the prime
sub-sector of the plumbing, heating,
cooling, piping industry that is proudly keeping its head above water.
What I’m finding is the emergence
of two extremes. Power is red hot,
while commercial development has
literally ground to a standstill.
Power generation construction and
maintenance has reached levels
never before experienced in that sector. Although industrial as well as residential demand for power availability
has been impacted by the growing
recessionary shrinkage, increasing
lack of availability could create record
blackouts and brownouts as the
demand factor returns to normal levels in the next year.
The gap between potential supply
and demand is almost certain to
reach record levels before remedial
action is able to close the gap of future
productive capability versus the
potential upshot in demand.
In the meantime, a major shutdown
of drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico,
oil sands conversion in Canada and
the Bakken Belt development are in
severe remission.
Although the breakeven point in oil
production may be debatable, it is
certainly well above the mid-40s
level, where it seems stuck as the first
quarter of 2009 winds down.
The Obama Administration seems
so captivated by renewable energy, climate control, environmental extremism and tighter cafe standards that
domestic drilling for offshore oil, shale
conversion and natural gas exploration
is all but forgotten. This sub sector of
oil production, refining and transmission is in a virtual holding pattern.
Also in a state of suspended animation is the commercial sector of hotels,
motels, high-rise apartment buildings,
shopping malls and condominium
construction. Since this important segment of the construction industry is
dependent on developers who take out
huge loans to make these developments happen, they’re caught in the
credit squeeze of banks and other
financial institutions who are calling
such loans, even if the loan interest
has been paid up to date. This is a
problem of a moribund banking system, attempting to protect its balance
sheets, choked with mortgage-backed
securities and its derivatives.
This puts much of the pipe, valve,
fitting sector’s rejuvenation on the
back of “power.” It’s no exaggeration
to exclaim “How goes the electric
power industry this year, so goes the
pipe valve fitting business.”
Also questionable is the continued
dynamics of exports, of which twothirds are industrial products. Although
the slowdown in world trade undermining this huge $2-trillion sector
(one-seventh of America’s total gross
domestic product 2007) is inevitable,
an even greater danger could be the
resurgence of Protectionism.
Will “Buy American” recreate
visions of Smoot Hawley?
For the first time in decades, the
patriotic slogan, “Buy American,” is
cropping up in the prospective Super
Stimulus Bill. The $75-billion committed to infrastructural projects carries with it the provision that would
exclude foreign-made component
materials or finished products in any
project funded by the U.S. govern-
Circle 35 on Reader Reply Card
ment. This dictum opens up the
specter of Smoot Hawley by one side
of the debate, and the reaction of “It’s
about time” by those who have seen
increasing manufacturing jobs fleeing
American shores.
Free traders argue that lower-cost
products that meet domestic quality
standards should not be prohibited.
This point of view prevailed during the
Bush administration, which led to a
major acceleration of imported producer and consumer goods by America’s
business sector, as well as by individual
consumers. On the other hand, it is
being vehemently opposed by
American-based manufacturers and
labor unions, who see America’s industrial base frittering away.
Opponents of “Buy America” restrictions point to Smoot-Hawley legislation
of the early 1930s, which ignited trade
wars and accelerated the downward
spiral of the Depression in its early
years. It’s up to the American people
(Turn to PVF Pulse, page 42.)
$ '! ,(
$ '!
% &'" '
$ ()!
'& * )(
PVF Pulse
(Continued from page 39.)
and their representatives to make the final judgment
as to which way to go.
Asia’s leading industrial
powers headed for major
economic contraction
China, Japan and South Korea, the three-pronged
Southeast Asian growth triumvirate of the past 20
Radiant Panel Association
9 DVD’s
Siegenthaler and Bean
John Siegenthaler
Jeff Persons
David Yates
Mark Eatherton
George Royce
Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr
Robert Bean
Peter Biondo
$30 ea.
(all 9 DVDs)
ask about the RPA
Member Discount
online at
Circle 36 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
years, are headed for a major letdown.
The Japanese finance ministry is forecasting a
1.8% contraction for the year ending March 31 and
a 2% downturn for the following fiscal year. The
Bank of Japan doesn’t even begin to see a return to
growth until well into 2010.
South Korea’s outlook is equally pessimistic. It has
just experienced its first year-on-year quarterly
growth decline since the Asian financial crisis of 1997
— 98. A gross domestic product decline of 3.4% in the
fourth quarter followed an even more precipitous
decline of 5.6% in the previous quarter. This is South
Korea’s first half-year sequential decline since 2003.
Exports from Asia’s fourth biggest economy slumped
11.9% in the final quarter, with semi-conductor shipments being the most hard-hit.
China remains solidly in the black but is facing a
possible one-third downturn from its estimated 10%
economic growth in all of 2008, which cooled off
dramatically in the last quarter. China is desperately attempting to make up for its loss in exports by
converting its hundreds of millions of agricultural
tenants into more urbanized consumers. On the
success of this metamorphosis may rest the Asian
titan’s driving force behind a worldwide second half
2009 economic recovery.
U.S. leads world productivity
Despite a slowdown in world productivity in 2008,
output per hour worked in the U.S. increased slightly, by 1.7%, up from 1.5% in 2007, according to the
latest annual productivity report issued by The
Conference Board, the global business membership
and research organization. The most recent productivity advances have been realized, however,
through rapid layoffs, suggesting that the productivity of remaining workers and firms is actually
U.S. productivity growth is expected to slow to 0.5%
in 2009 but may improve during the second half of the
year. “This will provide an opportunity for improved
competitiveness of U.S. firms when the recovery
starts,” said Bart van Ark, vice president and chief
economist of The Conference Board. The Conference
Board quarterly gross domestic product forecast suggests that the U.S. may reach the trough of the recession by mid-2009. Innovation remains a crucial trigger for growth and recovery, the report noted. “But it
requires continued investment in capital and labor —
not just job cuts — which is a big challenge in the current economic climate,” van Ark added.
The Conference Board’s productivity report
shows that world productivity growth slowed
sharply in 2008 and is set to decelerate further this
year as the global recession deepens. Global output
per hour worked rose by 2.3% in 2008, down from
3.7% in 2007. It is expected to slow further to 1.8%
in 2009 — the weakest productivity growth since
2001. This dramatic deterioration in the production
efficiency of goods and services reduces the potential to raise wages, reduce prices and support an
increase in living standards, the report warns.
Europe suffered a dramatic slowdown in productivity growth, with many European firms slow to
reduce headcount in response to falling output.
Productivity growth across the 27-member
European Union fell from 1.3% in 2007 to just 0.2%
in 2008 and is expected to come to a complete halt
in 2009. The gloomy prediction comes a week
before The Conference Board launches a new,
monthly Euro Area Leading Economic Index, which
will signal forthcoming peaks and troughs in the
business cycle of the 16-nation bloc.
The effects of the deteriorating world economy on
productivity across emerging economies differed
widely, depending on each country’s exposure to
international trade and global finance, dependence
on natural resources and the fiscal resources at the
government’s disposal. Brazil, for example, benefited from the commodity boom and improved export
performance early in the year and saw productivity
growth increase from 2.3% to 3.7%. In contrast,
China’s productivity growth fell from 12.1% to 7.7%
as a result of a drop in exports and investment.
Developing nations face cash scarcity
If the world is to have a chance to snap out of its
recessionary lethargy this year, much of the push
has to come from companies in the developing
nations that have been the globe’s fastest-growing
economies in the past decade.
The world’s financial investment centers have
scrupulously avoided risk for the past year, choosing
instead to seek the safe haven of U.S. Treasury debt.
This has literally denuded the once well-heeled
investor; who previously provided companies in
developing nations with a backbone of investment
capital needed for a comeback and growth.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Company estimates that
such companies need to refinance more that $200
billion in external debt in 2009. The largest borrowing needs emanate from companies in financially
embattled Russia, Turkey, Mexico, South Korea and
the United Arab Emirates.
As the global credit crunch put a headlock on the
world in general, the aforementioned countries have
sunk to the bottom of the list of potential borrowers,
with international capital sources closed to them.
This means that these companies must turn to
indigenous providers to meet their growing obligations. Barring that, they may try to renegotiate with
their creditors, seek government’s aid or face default.
In its report, J.P. Morgan listed 17 companies in
emerging markets that could go into default this
year. Those at risk of technical default include
Russian steel giant OAO Severstal.
In a further sign of borrowers’ degenerating financial health, Fitch ratings downgraded the credit ratings of 88 emerging market companies in the fourth
quarter of 2008; the most in at least seven years. n
Bare Bones Biz
My nephew Jackson is seven. He loves it when I
read to him. He can read a bit but he will only
choose reading when all other activities have been
exhausted. I’ll keep after him.
(Continued from page 34.)
book signing at a local book store? Is there a cool
website with online discussions about the book?
Maybe your team could write the author a letter…and share insights or inspired action.
• Keep it going. Take a break now and then. Then,
start up fresh with a new book. Come to Book Club
with no expectations and love and acceptance in
your heart.
Morris R. Beschloss, a 52-year veteran of the
pipe, valves and fittings industry, serves as PVF
and economic analyst for Phc News.
“Happy is he who has laid up in his youth, and held
fast in all fortune, a genuine and passionate love for
reading.” ~Rufus Choate
Ready to break FREE? Reach me at 417/753.1111
or at [email protected] You can also join
in on our free “We love solving problems”
Teleseminars at
Press technology...
the inside story.
Why use Press Fittings
over Sweat Fittings?
ProPress 1/2" to 2" fittings.
In the study below it took 75% less
time to install a typical restaurant
bathroom with press technology
over sweating fittings. This will allow
for jobs to be completed quicker, on
time or ahead of schedule.
EPDM seal Fitting bead
Press Fittings vs. Sweat Fittings
Sweat Fittings
Press Fittings
An unpressed
with the Smart
Connect feature
allows liquids
and/or air to pass
by the sealing
element during
pressure test.
MCAA Labor Hours
ProPress fitting
Note: MCAA labor calculators were utilized in the labor estimate
Only Viega ProPress fittings and
valves offer the Smart Connect®
feature, a quick and easy way
to identify connections that
need pressing.
During pressure testing, water or
air flows past the sealing element
indicating an unpressed fitting. The
Smart Connect feature has assured
millions of leak-free connections for
water and gas applications. ProPress
is approved for potable water, fuel gas,
marine and stainless steel applications.
Viega ProPress fittings carry a 50-year
warranty for copper.
For more information see our
white paper on back or contact
us at 1-800-976-9819.
Pressed connection is pressed in front of, on top of, and behind
the seal making a gas or water-tight seal. The Smart Connect
feature is sealed during pressing.
ProPress XL-C 2-1/2" to 4" fittings.
Stainless steel
grip ring
The stainless
steel grip ring is
pressed, forcing
the grip ring
teeth against
the tube, making
a high-strength
XL-C fitting
Viega... The global leader in plumbing and heating systems.
W W W . V I E G A . C O M
1 - 8 0 0 - 9 7 6 - 9 8 1 9
Circle 37 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
2009 Top 100 Contractors
GeoExchange system Harris Companies’ Rx in down economy
he overwhelming topic of discussion in this year’s Top 100
was the economy. Of the
respondents to the Top 100 survey,
similar stories were of reduced backlog, decreased profit margins, increased competition for bids, and for
some, layoffs were inevitable.
In the midst of this seemingly bottomless recession, plummeting stock
original to the facility and was
installed in 1972 (Torrey Arena), the
other was part of the 1997 addition
(Ritsche Arena). The 1972 arena was
in poor condition, needed repair and
was not operating efficiently. In addition, the original arena floor was built
using galvanized piping that circulated brine through the floor causing
severe degradation in heat transfer
New rink floor
The new rink was designed using a
state-of-the-art floor design that maximizes heat transfer to create a high
quality skating surface, while using
substantially less energy. The new
floor utilizes a below-grade thermal
storage buffer to create thermal storage capacity, sustain consistent glycol
temperatures, and minimize the risk
of ice loss related to a loss of cooling.
The floor contains three circuits to
provide only the amount of flow needed to maintain ice quality, saving
cooling capacity and pump energy.
The floor is constructed using highdensity polyethylene pipe (HDPE) piping that was installed using fusion
welding to create a seamless piping
assembly that is resistant to leaks and
friction loss. The floor contains more
than 19 miles of 1" HDPE and more
than 600' of 6" HDPE pipe. Added insulation under the thermal storage
buffer, around the header and along
the side boards prevent loss of capacity to the surrounding areas.
GeoExchange ground source
heat pump system
Contractors prepare for the GeoExchange well-field installation, adjacent to the MAC.
markets, stimulus packages and consumer confidence likened to the fat kid
at the high school dance, some residential/commercial contractors were
transformed into service and repair. In
spite of all the negativity, Phc News
highlights a geothermal success story
of St. Paul, Minn.-based Harris
Companies — No. 17 on the 2009 Top
100 Listing. (See listing on page 46.)
In a time of tight budgets and soaring energy costs, the St. Cloud
Municipal Athletic Center (MAC) has
found a way to go “green” and save
taxpayer dollars in the process. With
the installation of a new GeoExchange system, the MAC uses the
earth to maintain the arena ice and
heat their facility. By installing this
sustainable technology, the MAC will
save enough electricity to power over
30 homes, enough gas to heat over 80
homes and reduce greenhouse gas
emissions by an amount equal to the
removal of more than 100 cars from
the road each year.
This project originated after the 2007
Fall Minnesota Ice Arena Manager’s
Association (MIAMA) meeting where
Harris Companies presented information on improving energy efficiency in
ice arenas. Following that presentation,
Todd Bissett — St. Cloud Municipal
Athletic Complex (MAC) arena manager, asked for a follow-up visit.
The MAC has two arenas, one was
and effectiveness. The MAC staff felt
that they could justify a chiller
replacement with energy savings but
did not think the floor could be
replaced due to budget constraints.
Harris Companies met with the
arena staff and conducted a preliminary review of the facility and found
that the project, including the new
floor, would be feasible. The final contract was approved by the City Council
and signed in early June 2008. The
new floor was installed and skating
resumed in late September 2008,
while the remainder of the project was
completed in November 2008.
The MAC staff has a new arena floor
in the Torrey Arena, a high efficiency
TRAK International GeoExchange
(ground source heat pump — GSHP)
“chiller plant,” a new Web-enabled and
integrated building automation system
(BAS) installed by Harris Controls, and
improved system operation. The MAC
team, the City of St. Cloud, and the citizens of St. Cloud now have a high-performance “green” arena that will
reduce gas usage by 95% and electric
usage by 30%. Nearly 4,000,000 gallons
of water usage will be eliminated along
with the yearly elimination of 300,000
pounds of greenhouse gases.
The first phase of the project
involved the demolition of the Torrey
arena floor, the chiller room, pumps
and evaporative condenser.
The heart of the new installation is
the TRAK International GeoExchange
Ground Source Heat Pump System.
heat pumps dedicated to the load loop,
which provides 145ºF hot water that is
integrated into the existing hot water
and domestic hot water systems.
The system was custom designed
by TRAK to meet the needs of both
ice rinks. The Ritsche Arena (1997)
Vilter flooded chiller system was left
in place, but tied into the new TRAK
system so that it could remain as a
back-up system and provide additional capacity if needed during peak load
conditions. During construction of
the project, the new Torrey Arena
floor was initially cooled using the
Ritsche Arena Vilter Chiller System.
The TRAK heat pumps were custom
built by Midwest Fabrication and
Supply of Zumbrota, Minn., for this
application. The heat pumps are high
efficiency industrial grade heat pumps
that are designed for the specific facility where they will be installed. They
include on-board direct digital controls
and electronic expansion valves.
The well-field was installed under
the existing parking lot and consists of
more than 6500' of vertical boreholes.
The circulating pumps were installed
with variable frequency drives to allow
reduced flow through the circulating
loops. A fluid cooler was added to the
system to allow for additional heat
Piping connects to the heart of the GeoExchange system.
The system has four 60-ton heat
pumps dedicated to the Source Loop
providing 12-15 degree chilled glycol
for the arena floors and two 60-ton
rejection and free cooling during cold
winter months when it is possible to
circulate chilled glycol through the
(Turn to GeoExchange, page 71.)
Rheem Greens
Rheem Residential Water Heaters
Rising fuel costs and global warming make the headlines daily.
Homeowners are looking for new ways to cut costs and reduce their
carbon footprint. Rheem offers an array of green choices – from the
ENERGY STAR® gas tank and tankless water heaters – to long-lasting
solar systems and the non-metallic Marathon.
PowerVent™ Gas
Water Heaters
Tankless Gas
Water Heaters
for Endless
Hot Water
• Featuring the Guardian
FVIR System
• Energy saving, compact,
space saving design
• Environmentally
friendly low NOx and
ultra low NOx burners
• Indoor direct vent,
outdoor and indoor
power vent models with
remote control
• Self-cleaning –
reduces fuel costs
• Self diagnostic program
• Ask about
qualifying models
Call 1-800-621-5622
Circle 70 on Reader Reply Card
• NEW! Qualifies for
up to a 30% federal
energy tax credit
Call 1-866-720-2076
Circle 71 on Reader Reply Card
Electric – Most
Durable Water
Heater Ever Made
Water Heating
Systems Powered
by the Sun
• High efficiency design
and a lightweight tank
that won’t corrode
• High efficiency,
low energy costs
• Simple, reliable
thermosiphon systems
• Seamless polybutene
tank – impervious to
rust and corrosion
• Storage tanks, heat
exchangers and
electric storage
water heaters
• Lifetime limited tank
Call 1-800-621-5622
Circle 72 on Reader Reply Card
Call 1-800-621-5622
Circle 73 on Reader Reply Card
Rheem Water Heating
101 Bell Road • Montgomery, AL 36117-4305
800-621-5622 • • [email protected]
Circle 38 on Reader Reply Card
2009 TOP 100
City, State
1. EMCOR Group, Inc.
Norwalk, CT
51. W.G. Tomko Inc.
2. Comfort Systems, USA
Houston, TX
52. Monterey Mechanical Co.
3. ARS/Rescue Rooter
Memphis, TN
53. Great Lakes Plumbing & Heating
4. ACCO Engineered Systems Inc.*
Glendale, CA
54. Grunau Co. Inc.*
6. McKinstry
7. Kinetics*
Irvine, CA
Seattle, WA
Union City, CA
8. Roto-Rooter
Cincinnati, Ohio
9. TDIndustries
Dallas, TX
10. Limbach Facility Services
Pittsburgh, PA
11. Hill Mechanical Group
Franklin Park, IL
12. BMW Constructors Inc.
Indianapolis, IN
13. J.H. Kelly LLC
14. John E. Green Co.
15. Mr. Rooter*
Longview, WA
Highland Park, MI
Waco, TX
16. Murphy Company
St. Louis, MO
17. Harris Companies
Saint Paul, MN
18. Midwest Mechanical Group
55. Nashville Machine Co.Inc.
60. Herman Goldner Co. Inc.
61. Hill York Corp.
62. Wayne Automatic Fire Sprinklers Inc.
63. BCH Mechanical Inc.
64. Beutler Corporation*
65. Lee Company
67. McDaniel Fire Systems Inc.*
68. CCI Mechanical Inc.
69. East Coast Fire Protection Inc.*
Richmond, VA
70. Advance Mechanical Systems Inc.*
21. Ivey Mechanical
Kosciusko, MS
71. Martin Peterson Co. Inc.*
22. Metropolitan Mechanical Contractors*
Eden Prairie, MN
72. Freitag-Weinhardt Inc.*
23. U.S. Engineering Co.
Kansas City, MO
73. W.A. Botting Co.*
26. Fresh Meadow Mechanical Corp.*
Appleton, WI
Fresh Meadows, NY
27. Harder Mechanical Contractors*
Portland, OR
28. W.E.Bowers*
Beltsville, MD
29. McKenny’s Inc. Mech. Contractors*
30. Environmental Air Systems
Atlanta, GA
Greensboro, NC
31. MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions
Seattle, WA
32. RK Mechanical Inc.
Denver, CO
33. Fire & Life Safety American
34. Titan Contracting/The Horn Cos.*
35. Sauer Inc.*
36. Egan Companies
74. Rock Hill Mechanical Corp.
$40M to $59.9M
25. AZCO Inc.*
Melbourne, FL
Richmond, VA
77. J&A Mechanical Inc.*
78. Residential Services Group Inc.*
79. Upchurch Plumbing Inc.
80. Johnson & Jordan
81. Postler & Jaeckle Corp.*
Ashland, VA
87. Goyette Mechanical Co.
38. Mechanical Inc.
Freeport, IL
88. Nash Inc.
40. NewMech Companies*
41. Brandt Engineering*
42. P1 Group*
St. Paul, MN
Dallas, TX
Lenexa, KS
43. Joule' Industrial Contractors
Gibbstown, NJ
44. Critchfield Mechanical Inc.*
Menlo Park, CA
45. John W. Danforth Co.
Tonawanda, NY
46. A.O. Reed & Co.*
San Diego, CA
47. Pierce Associates Inc.*
Alexandria, VA
48. Dorvin D. Leis Co. Inc.*
Kahului, HI
49. RCR Plumbing and Mechanical, Inc.*
50. Murray Company
Riverside, CA
Rancho Dominguez, CA
Mukilteo, WA
Philadelphia, PA
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Ocoee, FL
Largo, FL
McClellan, CA
Franklin, TN
Des Moines, IA
Porter, IN
Salt Lake City, UT
Richmond, VA
Mt. Prospect, IL
Kenosha, WI
Terre Haute, IN
Woodinville, WA
St. Louis, MO
Cordova, TN
Dayton, OH
Greenwood, MS
Scarborough, ME
Rochester, NY
82. Delcard Assoc. Inc./Mechanical Contractors New Castle, DE
86. R M Mechanical Inc.
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Earth City, MO
Bensenville, IL
37. VSC Corp.
39. Snelson Companies Inc.*
Nashville, TN
76. Ewing-Doherty Mechanical Inc.
85. Gem Plumbing & Heating
Brooklyn Park, MN
Oak Creek, WI
Countryside, IL
Pittsburgh, PA
Chicago, IL
75. Scheck Industries*
83. Sagamore Plumbing & Heating Inc.
Owensboro, KY
Oakland, CA
St. Paul, MN
20. ColonialWebb Contractors
24. Coastal Mechanical Svc.
Finleyville, PA
57. NewMech Cos.*
66. Baker Group
Fond Du Lac, WI
City, State
Houston, TX
59. University Mechanical Contractors Inc.
Overland Park, MO
Phc News — MARCH 2009
56. Letsos Company
58. Jarrell Contracting Co. Inc.
$60 million to $99.9 million
5. Southland Industries
19. J.F. Ahern Co.
$100 million to $199.9 million
‘the list’
89. Dual Temp Co.
$20 million to $39.9 million
$200 million to $399.9 million
$400 million+
90. Cullum Constructors Inc.
91. Durr Mechanical Construction, Inc.
Weymouth, MA
Brookline, NH
Lincoln, RI
Boise, ID
Flint, MI
Coleman, FL
Allentown, PA
North Charleston, SC
New York, NY
92. Peterson Mechanical Inc.
Sonoma, CA
93. Comfort Engineers Inc.
Durham, NC
94. James Craft & Son Inc.
York Haven, PA
95. CJ Erickson Plumbing Co.
Alsip, IL
96. DiGesare Mechanical Inc.
Schenectady, NY
97. H&H Industries Inc.
98. Cecchin Plumbing & Heating
99. R.T. Moore Company Inc.
100. Campito Plumbing & Heating inc.
Madison, WI
Bloomingdale, IL
Indianapolis, IN
Latham, NY
* Editor’s Estimate
Circle 39 on Reader Reply Card
2009 TOP 100
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Top contractors by region
Biggest Gainers
Company %/change
1. Environmental Air . . .110%
1. ACCO Engineered Systems Inc. . . . . .Glendale, CA (4)
2. Southland Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Irvine, CA (5)
3. McKinstry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Seattle, WA (6)
4. Kinetics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Union City, CA (7)
5. J.H. Kelly LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Longview, WA (13)
6. Harder Mechanical Contractors . . .Portland, OR (27)
7. MacDonald-Miller Facility Solutions . .Seattle, WA (31)
8. RK Mechanical Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Denver, CO (32)
9. Snelson Cos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sedro-Woolley, WA (39)
10. Critchfield Mechanical Inc. . . . .Menlo Park, CA (44)
2. Fire & Life Safety . . .82.4%
3. Rock Hill Mech. . . . .60.7%
4. Upchurch Plg. . . . . .55.4%
5. Mechanical Inc. . . . .52.6%
6. BCH Mechanical . . . . . .40.5%
7. W.G. Tomko . . . . . . .34.6%
8. RK Mechanical . . . . .30.0%
1. Roto-Rooter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Cincinnati, OH (8)
2. Hill Mechanical Group . . . . . . .Franklin Park, IL (11)
3. BMW Constructors Inc. . . . . . . . .Indianapolis, IN (12)
4. John E. Green Co. . . . . . . . . . .Highland Park, MI (14)
5. Murphy Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .St. Louis, MO (16)
6. Harris Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . .Saint Paul, MN (17)
7. Midwest Mechanical Group . .Overland Park, MO (18)
8. J.F. Ahern Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Fond Du Lac, WI (19)
9. Metropolitan Mechanical . . . . . .Eden Prairie, MN (22)
10. U.S. Engineering Co. . . . . . . . . .Kansas City, MO (23)
9. ARS/Rescue Rooter . . .29.6%
10. BMW Constructors .29.5%
11. Great Lakes Plg. . . . . . .25.0%
12. McKinstry . . . . . . .22.7%
13. Comfort Eng. Inc. . .20.0%
1. Comfort Systems, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . .Houston, TX (2)
2. ARS/Rescue Rooter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Memphis, TN (3)
3. TDIndustries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dallas, TX (9)
4. Mr. Rooter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Waco, TX (15)
5. Ivey Mechanical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Kosciusko, MS (21)
6. Coastal Mechanical Svc. . . . . . . . .Melbourne, FL (24)
7. McKenny’s Inc. Mech. Contractors . . .Atlanta, GA (29)
8. Environmental Air Systems . . . . .Greensboro, NC (30)
9. Titan Contracting/The Horn Co. . .Owensboro, KY (34)
10. Brandt Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dallas, TX (41)
14. Comfort Systems . . .19.73%
15. Murphy Co. . . . . . .19.72%
16. Monterey Mech. . . . .18.9%
17. Jarrell Cont. . . . . . .17.2%
18. Sagamore Plg. . . . .16.2%
19. Harris Cos. . . . . . . .15.3%
20. John W. Danforth . .13.6%
1. EMCOR Group, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . .Norwalk, CT (1)
2. Limbach Facility Services . . . . . .Pittsburgh, PA (10)
3. ColonialWebb Contractors . . . . . .Richmond, VA (20)
4. Fresh Meadows Mech. . . . . .Fresh Meadows, NY (26)
5. W.E. Bowers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Beltsville, MD (28)
6. Fire & Life Safety American . . . . .Richmond, VA (33)
7. Sauer Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pittsburgh, PA (35)
8. VSC Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ashland, VA (37)
9. Joule Industrial Contractors . . . .Gibbstown, NJ (43)
10. John W. Danforth Co. . . . . . . . .Tonawanda, NY (45)
(Numbers in parentheses denote overall ranking in Top 100 Contractor listings)
Revenue spent by category
Based on voluntary responses
1. Roto-Rooter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$350,000,000
2. Comfort Systems, USA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$216,388,000
3. Southland Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$119,000,000
4. ColonialWebb Contractors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$77,000,000
5. W.G. Tomko Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$65,000,000
6. Ewing-Doherty Mechanical Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$57,829,000
7. John E. Green Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$55,000,000
8. Midwest Mechanical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .54,700,000
9. U.S. Engineering Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$53,531,355
10. Environmental Air Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$50,000,000
1. Hill Mechanical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$76,000,000
2. Mechanical Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$61,020,000
3. Midwest Mech. Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$56,700,000
4. Harris Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$50,000,000
5. RK Mechanical Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$44,979,871
6. John W. Danforth Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$40,000,000
7. Johnson & Jordan . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$29,816,500
8. Murray Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$24,000,000
9. John E. Green Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$20,000,000
10. Campito Plumbing & Heating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$19,400,000
1. Southland Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$186,000,000
2. BMW Constructors Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$172,000,000
3. John E. Green Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$155,000,000
4. Murphy Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$92,787,682
5. U.S. Engineering Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$53,531,355
6. Hill York Corp. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$85,000,000
7. J.H. Kelly LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$72,400,000
8. NewMech Cos. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$67,305,000
9. Midwest Mechanical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$65,000,000
10. Hill Mechanical Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$64,000,000
Waste/Wastewater Treatment Company
1. Monterey Mechanical Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$74,550,000
2. J.F. Ahern Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$35,040,000
3. John W. Danforth Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$31,000,000
4. University Mechanical Contractors Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$13,000,000
5. Murray Company . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$12,000,000
6. Durr Mechanical Construction Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10,739,914
7. John E. Green Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$10,000,000
8. Baker Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,088,488
9. Ivey Mechanical . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000,000
10. Harris Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000,000
Introducing the Latest Generation of Regulators from Watts
The X65B Cartridge Style Regulator
ur legacy of quality and innovation continues with our new X65B cartridge style
high-performance water pressure reducing valve.
The X65B is available as a complete, ready-to-install regulator, or as a separate
cartridge assembly and Rough-in Kit consisting of a bronze body with integral strainer.
Save time and money by installing the X65B Rough-in Kit during the construction
phase. Then, simply add a cartridge assembly after system startup to completely
eliminate the need for jumper kits while protecting the downstream plumbing system.
The X65B also delivers superior flow performance with lower fall off pressure
than the competition while reducing flow noise with its engineered seat design.
For additional information, visit our web site at
Circle 40 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Is radiant cooling right for your next project?
ave you considered exploring
radiant cooling for benefits
such as increased comfort,
increased efficiency, LEED credits,
improved acoustics and reduced
maintenance but been stymied by
high first costs? Climate Mat by Viega
provides radiant tubing in pre-configured and scalable modules — significantly reducing the labor and first
costs associated with radiant heating
and cooling projects. Climate Mat was
recently chosen for installation in several Wal-Mart stores, and may be an
option for your next project.
Wal-Mart’s HE.5 is a rectangular
configuration divided into six discrete
space conditioning zones. The refrigerated grocery zone has no cooling
load, while the 81,500 ft.2 merchandising zone has a cooling load of 13
Btu/h-ft.2, and the 29,500 ft.2 of
considered but did not offer the performance of radiant cooling.
Radiant cooling innovation
Though radiant cooling was a perfect fit for energy performance, first
costs were a concern. Value-engi-
The Wal-Mart solution
As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, Wal-Mart has
developed a line of high efficiency
(HE) stores. The fifth generation prototype of this effort, an “HE.5” store,
was opened in Las Vegas in March of
2008. Las Vegas’ hot, dry climate (IECC
climate zone 3B) means moderate
heating loads, large sensible cooling
loads, low latent loads, and excellent
potential for radiant cooling.
Wal-Mart set an aggressive goal of
achieving 45% energy savings with the
HE.5. Though many technologies and
systems were employed to achieve
this goal in areas such as lighting,
refrigeration, and the building envelope, the radiant cooling system is the
project’s cornerstone energy efficiency technology.
Installers using Climate Mat were able to lay roughly six times the feet of tubing on
a per person basis versus using traditional installation methods.
checkout area requires 30 Btu/h-ft2.
Variable loads and infiltration
requirements posed a challenge to
engineers in their design and specification of a comfortable, affordable,
and energy efficient system.
Traditional, air-only systems were
neering the radiant system was a top
priority, and radiant tubing circuits
were seen as a savings opportunity.
A typical labor crew can lay and tie
1,000-1,250 linear feet of tubing per
person in an 8-hour day. With
approximately 200,000 linear feet of
Races Are Won In the Pits
Choose the Right Crew
• Complete Parts Inventory
• Same Day Shipping
• Technical Expertise
Your Complete Source
for Backflow Parts
& Accessories
(800) 458-3492
Circle 41 on Reader Reply Card
tubing, the man hours required for a
traditional installation were cost
To provide an answer to budget
challenges, the project team turned
to Climate Mat, a scalable, pre-configured tubing module developed by
Viega that could be installed quickly.
Instead of manually laying, tying, and
suspending individual lengths of tubing, Climate Mat enabled the installation contractor to simply roll out the
tubing on the compacted gravel base
and pour the 4" slab directly on top.
Because the sections are delivered to
the job site pressurized and with
pressure taps, the installation contractor could easily confirm that
there were no tubing leaks.
Climate Mat was installed in sections composed of six circuits. Each
section contained 2,600 linear feet of
½" diameter tubing. Spacer strips
were used to maintain a fixed spacing
of the tubing per design. To hold the
mat in place during the concrete
pour, stakes were used in the spacer
strips at two foot intervals. Section
terminations were heat-fused into
floor-recessed manifolds. (Since completion of the HE.5, Climate Mat is
now provided as a design-build solution with wall-mounted manifolds.
Sections are available in 6' widths, up
to 190 feet in length, with tubing in 6"
or 9" on-center spacing.)
Labor savings in using the Climate
Mat versus traditional methods were
on the order of 118 man hours per
(Turn to Radiant Cooling, page 52.)
Radiant Cooling Benefits
• Pre-cooling to minimize
operation during peak power
• 50% annual savings in cooling energy; and
• Reduced maintenance (minimized use of VAVs).
Climate Mat Benefits
• Minimized balancing;
• 80% reduction in installation
• Pressurized sections remove
concerns about installing punctured tubing;
• Can be installed in 4" slabs;
• Can be used to provide
space heating and/or cooling;
• Sizing customized to project: length to 190', width, 6" or
9" tubing spacing, 6' width;
• Free design support from
Viega for specification of spacing, sizing, flow rates, and supply temperatures based on zone
loads; and
• Contributed to 60-75%
reduction in radiant first-costs.
Built to be the Best
©2009, Bradford White Corporation. All rights reserved.
Circle 42 on Reader Reply Card
Radiant cooling
(Continued from page 50.)
10,000 ft2 of floor area. Further time
and labor savings were experienced in
the commissioning of the system,
because balancing requirements were
The Climate Mat is standardized at a
width of 6 feet. The length will be
determined by design. For 1/2-inch
diameter tubing, the length shall not
exceed 190 feet; and for 5/8-inch diameter tubing the length shall not exceed
240 feet.
minimized due to Climate Mat’s fixed
spacing and uniform section lengths.
Overall, the radiant cooling system
with Climate Mat saved approximately 60-75% in first costs versus a traditional radiant system.
Radiant cooling system operation
Building energy simulations concluded that pre-cooling the slab during off-peak hours would maximize
energy savings, resulting in 50% less
electricity than an air-only system,
while maintaining comfort and
avoiding slab condensation. These
electricity savings do not include
savings from using pumps versus
fans. Because transferring heat with
water is a much more efficient
process than moving heat with air,
the energy savings with the radiant
cooling system are expected to be
even greater once pump and fan
energy are considered.
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Operational data collected by NREL
show that “the radiant floor is performing better than expected.”
Monitored slab surface and supply
and return temperatures have indicated that there is further potential
for radiant system energy savings
through reduced flow rates and/or
increased supply temperatures.
With intelligent design, radiant
cooling can be specified across many
climate zones. However, radiant cooling excels in hot dry climates, especially for applications that have large
cooling loads and hard flooring surfaces. Areas that have high electricity/TOU rates and peak power pricing
provide favorable economics for
faster paybacks and operational savings. If looking for extra LEED points,
or specifying a radiant cooling or
heating system, ask for Climate Mat
to deliver an on-time solution at
reduced first costs.
Inside the job
• Location: Las Vegas
• Function: “Big box” retail
• Conditioned area: 102,000 ft2
• Cooling Load: 13-30 Btu/h∙ft2
• Base cooling system: Air-only
• Base cooling system peak
power: 35 kW
• Base cooling system COP: 7
• Base cooling system annual
energy use: 84 MWh
• Specified cooling system:
Climate Mat slab radiant cooling with
indirect evaporative cooling; overhead VAVs as needed to provide ventilation and supplemental cooling
• Radiant cooling system peak
power: 41 kW
• Radiant cooling system effective COP: 14
• Radiant cooling system annual
energy use: 43 MWh
• 95%+ AFUE
• 4 Residential sizes (80,000 to 210,000 BTU)
• 3 Commercial sizes (285,000 to 500,000 BTU)
• Natural or propane gas, factory-mounted options
• Connections on top of unit
The NeoTherm residential condensing boiler is the latest technological advancement in home
heating from Laars Heating Systems. Respected the world over, Laars represents 60 plus years
of design and engineering innovation for residential, commercial and industrial space and
water heating applications.
• Stainless steel heat exchanger
You can be sure that no company stands behind its products as well as Laars or offers the
extensive support staff, the field technicians and network of service personnel that you’ll find
with Laars Heating Systems. From giant boilers for hotels, stadiums, schools and casinos
to the reliable heating system in your home, Laars is the name to trust.
• Qualifies for energy rebates
• Rated for alcove and closet installations
• Large user interface and display
• Perfect for radiant and baseboard heating
• 12 year limited warranty
The compact NeoTherm can vent up to 100' in PVC piping (using outside air for
combustion), which keeps installation costs low. The competitive price and ultra-high
efficiency make NeoTherm perfect for baseboard and radiant floor heating.
NeoTherm is everything a modern boiler should be… easy-to-use, easy on the
environment, powerful and compact. It's the perfect choice for today's
demanding homeowner.
Built to be the Best™
©2008, LAARS Heating Systems. All rights reserved.
Circle 43 on Reader Reply Card
with the Home Guard Max
water powered back-up system. With no electricity or batteries required, the
Max takes over seamlessly when your primary sump pump fails.
Comes fully assembled for a fast, easy and trouble-free installation. The Max’s
small footprint allows for installation in even the smallest of applications.
With superior performance and discharge capacity, it uses less water and
costs less to operate. Submersible sump pump sold separately.
You will sleep well tonight knowing you are protected by the Max.
For more information on the Home Guard Max, and other Zoeller Pump
Company products, please visit
N C E 193 9
Circle 44 on Reader Reply Card
NKBA dispels misconceptions about K/B show
HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. — In response to
a growing number of misconceptions
concerning the upcoming 2009
Kitchen/Bath Industry Show &
Conference (K/BIS), the National
Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA)
and Nielsen Business Media have
decided to clear any confusion
regarding attendance and exhibitors
at the show. As nearly all other industry shows have experienced a decline
in exhibitors and attendees in recent
years, false impressions have begun
to spread about an equally steep
reduction in numbers for K/BIS 2009.
This is simply untrue.
“Are there some exhibitors that
have pulled out of K/BIS 2009? Yes,”
said NKBA CEO Don Sciolaro, “but contrary to recent misconceptions, the
vast majority of the large exhibitors
will be exhibiting at K/BIS again this
year.” To name just a few, this list
includes Whirlpool, Kohler, LG, Moen,
TOTO, MasterBrand, Armstrong, GE,
Delta, Gerber, TurboChef, Merillat,
Viking, Panasonic, Vent-a-Hood,
Sears, Dacor, and Rohl, in addition to
many, many others.
“This year, K/BIS will once again be
the premier event for the entire
kitchen and bath industry,” said
Brian Pagel, vice president of the
Kitchen and Bath Group for Nielsen
Business Media, producer of K/BIS.
“With 700 exhibitors and coexhibitors showing their products
across 400,000 square feet of exhibit
space in the Georgia World Congress
Center in Atlanta, K/BIS 2009 is a
must-attend event for any serious
kitchen and bath professional.”
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Challenging economy
can’t slow AHR ’09
WESTPORT, CONN. — Despite the turbulent economy, the 61st AHR Expo, held
at Chicago’s McCormick Place from
January 26-28, was among its biggest
and best events of all-time. More than
54,000 registered HVAC/R professionals
(including nearly 35,000 attendees and
over 19,000 exhibitor personnel) filled
the aisles looking for the latest products
and technologies on display from more
than 1,900 exhibiting companies during the industry’s largest HVAC/R event.
The 2009 Show was larger than last
year’s show and ranks second largest
behind the 2006 Chicago show, in
terms of number of exhibiting companies (1,911). Other figures included:
• 34,973 attendees
• 19,095 exhibitor personnel
• 5,383 international attendees
• 383 exhibiting companies from
outside the United States.
Circle 45 on Reader Reply Card
Industry Calendar
sponsored by
• 18-20 — WQA, Chicago
• 19-21 — QSC Power Meeting XXX,
Daytona Beach, Fla.
1-3 — K/BIS, Atlanta
16 — PHCC-GLA, Long Beach, Calif.
17-21 — NAOHSM, Hershey, Pa.
29-30 — RPA Conference, Utica, N.Y.
• 16-18 — QSC Power Meeting XXXI,
Colorado Springs, Colo.
• 21-24 — PHCC Show, New Orleans
Tell Us Your Preference and
We’ll Give You 5 Bucks!
Dear Plumbing Contractor:
We’re looking for your preferences! Fill out and FAX this page to 877-358-8089, and we’ll send
you either a $5.00 Starbucks Card, or $5.00 cash. You MUST be a licensed plumbing
contractor to participate, and you can only fill out a sheet once. Accountability Information
Management, Inc. is a market research company based in Palatine, Illinois. Thanks in advance
for your help! (If you prefer, you can go to to fill out this survey).
PART 1. For the following Plumbing Products, please read the category,
and then fill in the blanks by writing in the name of the brand that first
comes to your mind, in the order that they come to you. If only one comes to
your mind as a preference, just fill in that one. If you are not involved with the
type of product, check the “Not Involved” box. If you have no single BRAND
preference, check the appropriate box.
1. ___________________________ 1. ___________________________
2. ___________________________ 2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________ 3. ___________________________
c Not involved
c No preference
c Not involved
c No preference
Kitchen Faucets
Bathroom Sinks
1. ___________________________ 1. ___________________________
To i l e t s
2. ___________________________ 2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________ 3. ___________________________
c Not involved
c No preference
c Not involved
c No preference
1. ___________________________ 1. ___________________________
2. ___________________________ 2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________ 3. ___________________________
c Not involved
c No preference
c Not involved
c No preference
Kitchen Sinks
1. ___________________________ 1. ___________________________
Showerheads (Showers)
2. ___________________________ 2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________ 3. ___________________________
c Not involved
c No preference
c Not involved
c No preference
1. ___________________________ 1. ___________________________
2. ___________________________ 2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________ 3. ___________________________
c Not involved
c No preference
c Not involved
c No preference
Bathroom Faucets
1. ___________________________ 1. ___________________________
Bathroom Accessories
Fill out, cut and FAX to 877-358-8089
2. ___________________________ 2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________ 3. ___________________________
c Not involved
c No preference
c Not involved
c No preference
1. ___________________________ 1. ___________________________
2. ___________________________ 2. ___________________________
3. ___________________________ 3. ___________________________
c Not involved
c No preference
c Not involved
c No preference
PART 2. For the following questions, please answer each one by checking
7. Please tell us specifically why you prefer your TOP brand of products?
the appropriate boxes, or filling in the required information. If you want the $5,
be sure to fill in your information, and check the appropriate box. THANK YOU!
1. What best describes the type of company you work for?
c Plumbing Contractor c Mechanical Contractor c General Contractor
c Other ____________________________________________
2. How many contractors work in your company? ____________________
3. What is the estimated constructed value of
projects your company is involved with annually? $ ___________ per year
4. Please assign a percentage for the type of projects your company handles
(total should be 100%).
8. Please list the TOP three sources you use to gather product information.
Please be specific (e.g., if you say “magazines” tell us which one(s), or if
you say Internet, tell us which websites)
TOP SOURCE _________________________________________
#2 _________________________________________
#3 _________________________________________
Send me my $5 c in cash, or c a Starbucks Card.
Residental (single family) ___________% Commercial __________%
I am a licensed plumber in the state of _____________, and
Residential (multi-family) ___________% Industrial ___________
my license number is: _____________________________________
5. How much is new construction versus MRO (maintenance)?
Name ________________________________________________
New Construction/rehab _____________% MRO ____________%
Title _________________________________________________
6. What is your level of involvement in the selection/specification of the
products in this survey? (check all the boxes that apply to you)
c Estimate c Recommend c Purchase
c Specify c Install c None c Other _____________________
Company _____________________________________________
Address ______________________________________________
City __________________________ State _________ Zip _______
e-mail _______________________________________________
Fill out and FAX this page to 877-358-8089
Phone ______________________ FAX ______________________
Circle 46 on Reader Reply Card
Presented by
Phc News — MARCH 2009
★ Phc News tool of the month ★
Stop flooding with Flood-Guard
Gas-actuated fastening system
Prevent basement flooding and messy
floors with Flood-Guard®. Available
for 2", 3" and 4" floor drains, the
Flood-Guard operates like a check
valve to seal off water back-up caused
by overloaded sewers. Water flows
normally through the drain until the
sewer begins to back up. Then the
Flood-Guard float rises to seal off the
drain opening until the water recedes.
General Pipe Cleaners, a div. of
General Wire Spring.
Circle 101 on Reader Reply Card
Tool management software
Basic Tool Manager, a low-cost tool
manager based on bar code technolo-
CSST Cutter makes smooth cuts to CSST
The new Model 151-CSST cutter is now available for making clean, smooth cuts
to CSST. The Model 151-CSST cutter is designed with floating nylon guide wheels
so that it runs on the corrugations of the track while cutting the flexible gas tubing. Uses a quick-acting mechanism that allows the cutter to rapidly adjust from
3/8" to " dia. CSST. The tubing cutter also utilizes the proven X-CEL™ feature of a
larger, ergonomic knob, which gives users a more firm grip that allows them to
apply more force to cut through tubing faster and easier. RIDGID.
Circle 100 on Reader Reply Card
Electric tongue jack for trailers
gy, helps contractors reduce tool loss
and save time tracking down tools for
their jobs. Overhead savings is dramatic; pay your people to be on the
job, not to search for tools. Dynamic
Systems (DSI).
systems without wasting any dye.
Each kit features the BEZ-50 dye injector assembly, an A/C hose/coupler with
check valve and 1/4" flare low-loss fitting, one BigEZ dye cartridge and a
purge fitting. Spectronics Corp.
The new Model CT features unique
variable speed motor control that
gives the operator maximum cable
control and exceptional cleaning
power from 75 to 350 RPM with constant torque. Professionally engineered to clean 3/4" – 21/2" dia. drain
lines up to 50 ft., the Model CT is the
counter-top drain cleaner to count on
for top performance. 1/5 HP, 90 volt DC
motor provides quiet, powerful and
dependable operation. Standard unit
features a hand-tighten Jacobs chuck.
Also available with a 2-way auto cable
feed that keeps hands off rotating
cable as it advances and retrieves
cable with the push of a lever. Electric
Eel Mfg. Co., Inc.
Hooking trailers to tow vehicles just
got easier thanks to the new Electric
Tongue Jack. Designed to reduce the
physical exertion
associated with
manual jacks, the
Electric Tongue is
available in two
models. The Base
Model, which fits
couplers with a 2"
opening, comes
with a non-telescoping foot that
works with a
motor to lift the
trailer. The deluxe model is for
use on trailers
with a 21/2" coupler opening and
includes a manual
telescoping foot,
which saves on
battery life and
consumption and
extends the life of
the motor. Simply
pull a pin, let the foot collapse down,
re-insert the pin and lift the trailer off
the ball using the electric motor.
Valley, a division of Thule Towing
Systems North America.
Circle 103 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 104 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 105 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 102 on Reader Reply Card
Dye injection kit
Two new BigEZ™ dye injection kits
allow technicians to add the precise
amount of fluorescent dye into AC&R
Counter-top drain cleaning machine
The new GX 120-ME system frees
installation professionals from the
constraints of batteries or cords.
Completely gas driven for high mobility, the tool is ideal for fast, productive fastening on concrete, plastered
masonry, sand-lime block, concrete
block and steel. Combines direct fastening technology with the latest electronically controlled gas injection
technique. Speeds up jobs by eliminating drilling and delivering consistent, reliable fastening. A keyless,
adjustable and removable nosepiece
speeds the job and the slim, streamlined design allows fastening even in
tight corners. Hilti.
Circle 106 on Reader Reply Card
Corded PEX expander tool
The ProPEX® 201 corded expander
tool is a good solution for efficient,
cost-effective, commercial-sized 2"
PEX applications. With its 6' power
cord, the
110-volt unit
makes fast, easy
ProPEX connections
hePEX™ tubing for
plumbing and radiant
applications. With a
self-contained, pistol-grip
for easy handling, kit includes the
tool, 2" H-series expander head, lubricant and operation manual, all in a
heavy-duty carrying case. Uponor
Circle 107 on Reader Reply Card
Chiseling hammer
The SDS-max MHE 56 chiseling hammer is used for precision removal and
chipping of concrete and stone. The
tool’s D support handle and compact
design — only 18" long and less than
17 lb — gives users more control over
the tool, while the 14 amp motor provides powerful operation. Metabo.
Circle 108 on Reader Reply Card
1=<[email protected]
/[email protected]=AA
/;[email protected]
The Stanley® VIRAX® P20+ cordless pressing tool has 360˚ head rotation and a narrow profile
to get into tight spots. It also features a four-second cycle time, jaw stabilization technology, a
seriously attractive retail price and an ironclad, full lifetime warranty. Take one for a spin. Call
+1 800-827-7558 or visit for a free on-site demo and complete warranty details.
Circle 55 on Reader Reply Card
© 2008 The Stanley Works
Phc News — MARCH 2009
★ Phc News product of the month ★
Undermount stainless steel sinks
Specifically designed for trade applications of countertop fabrication. The
new Eston Series line of versatile and
functional stainless steel sinks specifically addresses the need for aggressive value engineering. The line is
available in five models of the most
popular sink designs, including rectangular single bowl, D-bowl, 50/50,
60/40, and 70/30 double bowl. Sink
models are available individually
boxed or on bulk nested pallets for
high volume production shops or job
sites. Houzer, Inc.
Circle 110 on Reader Reply Card
InFlow in cast iron
The proven InFlow™ inline testing
system now comes in cast iron as well
as PVC and ABS.
Reduces costs and
saves labor; no
need for inflatable
test devices. Stays
in the pipe after the
test, no additional
materials or labor
are needed; can be
used as a cleanout
opening like any
other tee. Controls
drain-down after
the test is complete. Holds a water
test to 20 PSI; an air test to 5 PSI. A
safe, clean alternative to traditional
testing methods for testing DWV systems. Ideal for testing in commercial
applications. Sioux Chief.
Pressure independent control valve
The OPTIFLO valve combines an externally adjustable automatic balance
valve and a full modulating control valve to
provide full modulating control with
100% valve authority. Provides a desired flow
(±5% of setting) regardless
of fluctuations in system
pressure. Available in
sizes from 1/2" to 11/4" at
flow rates from .3 GPM
through 13.2 GPM; provides great flexibility if the system is changed after
initial installation. No need to calculate valve authority, as the valve/actuator combination ensure 100%
authority at all times. Bell & Gossett.
Circle 115 on Reader Reply Card
SureConnect dishwasher kit
Electric snowmelting
HeatWeave is introducing its electric snowmelting line of both mats and cables
called ProMelt. All mats and cables have a single-point connection and the mats
are available in 2 ft. and 3 ft. widths. Many control options are available, and the
manufacturer offers free design assistance. Reduces the chances of slip-and-fall
incidences on customers’ property, and eliminates damage to driveways, sidewalks, landscaping or vehicle paint from salt and snow removal equipment. No
mechanical room is necessary with the all-electric ProMelt system. Simple to
install; no annual maintenance as there would be in a hydronic system. Many
control options feature automatic operation. HeatWave, a div. of Watts Radiant.
Circle 109 on Reader Reply Card
Vitorond oil/gas commercial boiler
The new VD2A series of the Vitorond
200 commercial oil-/gas-fired sectional cast iron boiler offers proven technology with enhanced performance
The SureConnect’s® unique lockable
housing allows installers to see, feel
and hear the connection; simply push
and lock the mechanism by hand.
Allows the installer
to walk away
with confidence and
avoid those
repeat efforts
that must often be
done in cramped and poorly lit conditions. Features double O-ring protection made from Viton® and nitrile that
assures a leak-free connection. The
Speedi Plumb® PLUS dishwasher hose
features tough polymer-coated fibers
tightly braided around a strong PVC
inner hose. The combination is a corrosion resistant, highly flexible water
connector. BrassCraft.
Circle 116 on Reader Reply Card
Commercial electric water heaters
New Gold Series, Gold Xi and Custom
Xi models include innovative features
Circle 111 on Reader Reply Card
Zero clearance grease duct
New 3G Series space-saving grease
duct is UL Listed for zero clearance to
Features 3" of
ceramic fiber insulation between the
stainless steel flue
and the outer casing. This reduces
shaft size requirement, yet carries
the UL2221 and
While made with
the same quality
and materials as
the 4G Series
introduced several
years ago, 3G has
an outer diameter 2" smaller. MetalFab, Inc.
Four improved versions of the company’s ceramic cartridge have been
added. Lines affected include short
stem models with an exposed cap
design and long stem models with a
concealed cap design. Improvements
are a tighter-fitting stem retainer clip
to help reduce stem displacement and
shear, plus a redesigned internal stem
stop to further insure precise 90°
open/close operation and reduce
potential breakage from applied
forces. The seal washer retainer was
redesigned with color-coded identification to improve its retention to the
brass sleeve. Chicago Faucets.
and a competitive price. ThermControl low-temperature protection
is now integrated, eliminating the
need to add this component during
installation. Return water distribution
is redesigned for increased reliability
and long-life operation. Utilizes a
triple-pass heat exchanger surface for
operation with modulating water temperatures. The rated input is 144 to
1285 kW. Approved for Category I
and III Venting Systems. Viessmann.
for enhanced performance and reliability. Gold Series DRE incorporates
several new features, including the
addition of Goldenrod® elements as a
standard feature on all DRE models.
This element resists scale build-up of
up to five times that of a standard element.. A.O. Smith.
Circle 112 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 113 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 114 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 117 on Reader Reply Card
Ceramic cartridges
Circle 56 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
★ Phc News product of the month ★
Solar collector coating
Thurmalox® 250 solar collector coating, a selective black silicone-based
heat resistant coating, is easy to apply
to flat solar panels and withstands
weather and repeated thermal cycling.
Selectively absorbs more than 90% of
the sun’s visible and infrared wavelengths, which contain the most heat
energy. Easy to apply, dries for handling in 30 mins., won’t peel or flake.
Dampney Company, Inc.
Grooved copper system
Grooved copper system requires only
a wrench for assembly on grooved
end pipe, eliminating conventional
soldering and brazing. Gruvlok® CTS
Copper System fittings mate directly
to copper tube, providing a rigid and
durable locked-in connection for tube
size ranging from 2" to 8" dia., and
because there’s a union at every joint,
fast assembly is assured. Anvil® Intl.
Circle 124 on Reader Reply Card
Water & sewage control panels
Circle 119 on Reader Reply Card
Tankless water heater
The 920 ES series, at 225,000 BtuH,
offers the highest flow rate of all the
heaters, delivering 9.2 gallons of hot
water every minute,
at a 45° rise, for as
long as needed. Both
models in the 920 ES
series can also be
linked, or cascaded
together, to deliver
even more hot water,
up to 36.8 GPM in a
four-unit cascade.
Because the 920 ES
series has both modulating and condensing technology, the heaters deliver all that water at an ultra-high thermal efficiency of 94%. Bosch
Support speeds installing fixtures
The Labor Saver® Fixture Support, figure number 0710, has been designed to
speed up the installation process by using a one-piece rigid frame, pre-assembled steel construction. The new oxbow symmetrically designed fixture support
allows room for waste piping and features horizontal and vertical adjustability
for different installation conditions. The design also allows for narrow wall and
metal stud configurations. Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co.
Circle 118 on Reader Reply Card
Pressure reducing valve
Circle 120 on Reader Reply Card
Automatic air vents
The EZ Series™ Simplex Demand/TD
panel is designed to control one single
phase pump in
installations. It features a digital display on the inside
of the front cover
for programming
and system monitoring, including;
float status, elapsed
time pump run,
cycle counter, alarm
counts (high water
and power fail), float
error count and auxiliary alarm
counter. TD models also display;
timer override count, on time, and off
time. In addition, duplex models are
available for alternating pump control. SJE-Rhombus.
Circle 125 on Reader Reply Card
New X65B cartridge style high-performance water pressure reducing valve
is designed to reduce incoming water
pressure to a sensible level to protect
Featuring advanced cross-linked
polyethylene technology, FlowGuard
Flex piping
The modern high-efficiency equipment used in today’s hydronic systems requires highly reliable air
venting technology to
ensure peak operating
efficiency and provide years of trouble-free service. A
broad line of products ranges from
simple manual air
vents commonly installed
at the top of
heat emitters
to float-type air
vents that provide fully automatic air release.
Compact designs can be mounted
within heat emitter enclosures, and
larger “high-capacity” vents mount
where high-volume air venting is
needed. Caleffi.
Thermal compressible polyolefin
foam insulation is stabile and has a
durable skin that’s moisture proof;
resists microorganisms. Can be diecut to specification and supplied with
an adhesive backing . In 7 thicknesses: 1/8" to 2"; densities from 1.8 to 24
lb./cu.ft. and exhibit <5% change in
thermal stability in 24 hrs. @158°F.
Interstate Specialty Products, Inc.
plumbing system components and
reduce water consumption. The X65B
features a rough-in kit consisting of a
bronze body with integral strainer
designed to save time and money by
eliminating the use of expensive
jumper kits. The unique strainer
assembly is utilized during the construction phase and is easily replaced
at a later time with a permanent
spring cartridge assembly. Watts.
Flex PEX piping provides unprecedented protection against chlorine and UV
light degradation with its innovative
3-layer design. Outperforms other PEX
plumbing alternatives for hot and cold
potable water systems; extra layers of
protection resist chlorine degradation. Provides up to six months of UV
protection, depending on storage conditions. Lubrizol.
Circle 121 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 122 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 123 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 126 on Reader Reply Card
Thermal insulation
Vehicle tracking key to business success
PS tracking is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. With a
flailing economy, many companies find it difficult to think about
making an investment in a fleet management system. However, the return
on investment companies see after
installing the system ensures it is the
smartest business decision to make
right now. By simply adding an extra
service call each day, saving a couple
gallons of gas a week, and reducing
the amount of overtime being paid,
companies can see thousands of dollars in savings a month.
Karl’s Plumbing & Heating in Forest
Hills, N.Y. understands the benefits of
fleet tracking. They have been a customer of Vehicle Tracking Solutions
(VTS) for five years, during which they
was able to recover a stolen vehicle
carrying thousands of dollars worth of
equipment. In addition, over the past
six months, owner Brian Karl figures
he has saved about $3,000 because of
his GPS tracking system. More efficient
routing and lower payroll costs are
large contributors to this savings.
“A system from Vehicle Tracking
Solutions is definitely worth the investment,” said Brian Karl. “It will prove to
be a money saving tool, because you
will always know where your employees are and where they are stopping.”
Over the past few years, the GPS
tracking technology has dramatically
evolved. GPS systems are no longer
used to simply locate a vehicle- they
are used as a management tool to help
a company operate more effectively
and efficiently. With the advancement of the technology comes
reduced pricing, as well. Most companies will find it completely affordable
to implement a GPS tracking system,
especially when the return on investment is so high. The majority of companies will see that the system has
paid for itself within a few months.
Vehicle Tracking Solutions now
offers a service to accurately track
whenever a vehicle exceeds posted
speed limits, which is a first in the
industry. Normally, a company can
set up “high speed thresholds” which
will alert users when a vehicle
exceeds that threshold. This is helpful
when a vehicle is speeding on a highway, but it does not help when a vehicle is barreling down a residential
street at 40 mph. With the new true
speed notification system from VTS,
customers are alerted whenever a
vehicle exceeds posted speed limits,
accurately monitoring the most egregious of speeding violations: those
Connect with Confidence
Choose Dormont Gas Connectors
Only Dormont offers a full line of gas appliance
connectors that offer the security and value of …
• SAFE INSTALLATIONS of more than 100 million
gas connectors over 35 years
• EVERY connector is 100% leak tested
• WORLD CLASS SERVICE and factory-based
technical support
Whatever the installation - Appliances, Tankless Water
Heaters, Gas Log Sets, etc. - ask for Dormont every time...
and connect with confidence.
A Subsidiary of Watts Water Technologies, Inc.
Circle 57 on Reader Reply Card
Phc News — MARCH 2009
which occur in residential areas.
GPS providers like Vehicle Tracking
Solutions also allow customer to send
messages and directions through
their software to their drivers’
Garmin personal navigation devices
(PNDs). This direct communication
through the fleet management software will allow companies to cut
down on cell phone bills, and instead
of being tied up on the phone with
their driver trying to find out where
he is, your dispatcher will be available
to take calls from your customers.
These advancements in fleet tracking help add to the overall efficiency
of a company, allowing them to dramatically reduce their operating
expenses while improving their customer service.
When looking for a GPS tracking
provider, understand that they are
not all built the same. There are a few
key questions you need to answer
before you sign a contract.
1. Is the company a reseller of
someone else’s technology, or have
they developed their own software?
Understand that resellers will not
be able to complete any software customization, and typically cannot offer
the support and service that a software developer can.
2. What type of mapping does the
company use, and how often are the
maps updated? Is there a cost for map
Providers like Vehicle Tracking
Solutions use top-of-the-line mapping
from Microsoft Virtual Earth, which is
updated annually at no charge to customers.
3. How often does the real time
tracking update?
A GPS provider should offer an
option of rapid update at no extra
charge, which will allow you to see a
vehicle’s updated location every 10
seconds in the event of an emergency
or vehicle theft.
4. Does the company offer automatic email reports and exception-based
text notifications?
These features are essential when
managing a fleet. Having access to
real time and historical information
will allow you to manage your fleet in
the most effective way possible.
5. Are there any activation fees or
overage fees you may incur on your
cellular bill?
Make sure the GPS provider is up
front with monthly costs, and that
there won’t be any hidden fees when
you get your first bill. Carefully
review your contract to make sure all
billing policies are stated.
6. How much training and technical
support does the company provide?
Are there additional costs associated
with training and support?
Understand that there is a learning
Phc News — MARCH 2009
curve involved when implementing a
system like GPS tracking. You want to
make sure that your provider is not
charging you for every question you
ask, and every refresher course your
employees need. Find out up front if
training and technical support is
included in your contract.
Exaktime offers
tracking system
LOS ANGELES — Exaktime Inc.
announced FastTrakker, a new solution to the problem of tracking
dozens or hundreds of work activities
(cost codes) to every employee and
work site. Using FastTrakker, businesses get accurate information on
exactly how many hours workers
spend on different tasks, resulting in
better project estimating, compliance
with government regulations and
stronger business decision-making.
FastTrakker is a handheld device
that each worker carries with them
to quickly clock in for any of 1,000
activities (cost codes) at any number
of work sites. The latest addition to
The JobClock System, FastTrakker
adds highly-detailed information to
companies’ time and attendance
FastTrakker is used with Exaktime’s
JobClock System, a time and attendance system designed specifically for
the field. A rugged, battery-powered
JobClock stays at every job site all
day, seven days a week. With
FastTrakker, using a thumbwheel and
LCD menu display that shows activities
in either English or Spanish, workers
easily select a cost code. Then they
touch the FastTrakker to the JobClock
to clock in for the selected activity. To
begin another activity, workers simply
choose a different cost code and touch
the FastTrakker to the JobClock
again. The JobClock System keeps
track of every activity at every location for every worker, and workers can
move freely between job sites.
The JobClock System takes the
guesswork out of payroll by eliminating the use of handwritten timecards
and tracking attendance as it happens
with 100% accuracy, resulting in
increased profits and faster payroll
For more info, visit www.exak
7. Does the system provide accurate speed notifications so residential speeding violations can be
Vehicle Tracking Solutions’ true
speed notification system will allow
you to decrease fuel consumption,
protect your safety record and com-
pany reputation, and reduce unnecessary wear and tear on your fleet.
8. Does the system contain a vehicle maintenance program to keep
track of oil changes, inspections, and
other maintenance issues?
A well-maintained fleet will last
much longer than one which is over-
due on routine maintenance. Take
advantage of a GPS system which
keeps track of your vehicle maintenance issues automatically.
To find out more about Vehicle
Tracking Solutions, www.vehicle
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Laars celebrates more than 60 years of innovation
n 1942, and as the war raged overseas, Avy Lewis Miller was commissioned by the U.S. government to convert a civilian gas appliance company — Mission Appliance
Corporation in Los Angeles — into a
manufacturing plant producing generators to fire anti-aircraft guns and
sheet metal shell casings for 105mm
In the early 50s, the swimming pool
industry blossomed in Southern
California. The Laars copper tube
design was ideally suited to the task of
heating a large volume of pool water
quickly and economically. For the pool
owner, a heated pool meant more comfortable swimming, a longer swimming
season, and a better value on invest-
n’t want to test it. But Avy stepped in
reassuringly. The AGA guys still didn’t
want to activate the boiler in the
room; we were told to start it in the
hallway. All of them backed up to a
distance of 25 feet or so when we
started it up! It worked flawlessly.”
Six or eight months later, AGA gave
the Laars system their enthusiastic
stamp of approval. In fact, one of
AGA’s sales supervisors, Guy Muto,
soon joined Laars as their first sales
professional. During an interview
about 20 years ago, Muto recalled of a
time shortly into his tenure there,
that “I was finally making it. I hadn’t
made so many beans in all my life. At
last, I was able to change my diet.”
Three wheeled buggy
& high-seas Shanghai
Bill Root, vice president of sales and marketing for Laars, says with the backing of
Bradford White, we developed a wave of new, cutting-edge technology.
artillery Howitzers to replace casings
made of brass.
Shortly after the war ended, Avy
Miller — a registered professional
engineer — turned his attention to
technology he was most interested in:
It was in a southern California
garage in 1948 that the quiet, unassuming scientist and inventor began to
develop an idea he had to improve the
transfer of heat between metals. Later
that same year, and with $25,000 —
his entire savings — Avy Miller started
Laars Engineering, a fledgling consulting firm that eventually focused its
entire effort in developing his new concept for a commercial boiler.
Miller’s crucible idea
Miller’s revolutionary design was
based on the principle that water could
be heated rapidly through a finned
copper tube heat exchanger exposed
to gas flames. The technique he experimented with virtually eliminated the
scaling and electrolytic corrosion that
shortened the life of the cast iron and
steel tube boilers used for commercial
heating and hot water supply.
The post-war ‘boom’ economy was
a time of eager growth and exploration for industrial firms large and
small. It was during those crucible
years that Avy Miller became a leading pioneer in the water heating and
hydronics industry.
ment. Laars grew and prospered as
Avy Miller turned the attention of his
firm to adapt the copper tube boiler to
this water heating application.
The copper fin tube concept —
quickly becoming dominant in the
pool heater market — was applied to
large, high volume water heating systems for industry. Miller knew that
boilers using finned copper tube heat
exchangers could also be adapted for
multiple housing, restaurants, car
washes and commercial laundries.
Anecdotes of post-war growth
“It was a time of robust growth,”
recalled Marlin Freel, and engineer
who joined Laars during those years.
He and another engineer, Leonard
Rice, recall working tirelessly, refining Laars’ heat transfer system.
Mike Pyle was a shop superintendent for the firm from ’53 to ’55. In a
1985 interview, he recalled a time
when the handful of Laars employees
invited the top 20 to 30 SoCal executives and salesmen of the American
Gas Association to a luncheon to
explain the workings of their new
water heater technology.
“They were very suspicious of it,”
Pyle said. “We told them that the
102,000 Btu model we had with us
could replace much larger cast iron or
steel equipment. They couldn’t
believe that such a small heater could
hold so many Btus. Initially, they did-
Muto recalled that, during the early
50s, there were five or six engineers
working for Laars. “Miller had many
offers to sell his copper fin tube concepts and design to large manufacturers, but he refused them all; he wanted
to bring them to fruition. I was always
amazed at what he and five or six engineers could accomplish in short order.
The speed and quality of product
development was amazing. Heck, if
you wanted a buggy with three wheels
and four horns, they’d develop it!”
Chuck Barbara recalled meeting several Laars national account distributors at a trade convention in Florida.
They pleaded with him to join them
for a bon voyage party aboard a luxury
liner, bound for a cruise to the
Bahamas. What Barbara didn’t know
was that they had an ulterior motive:
to detain and “Shanghai” him, giving
them the time to convince him to join
the Laars sales team.
Aboard the docked ship, Barbara
alerted at the ship’s first whistle, but
was assured that the ship would give
several whistles before casting off.
“When I got back on deck, the ship
was already moving out to sea,” re
remembered. “I went to the ship’s
captain, an old and very indignant
Dutchman who thought I was a jokester. He was about to confine me to a
certain area of the ship, but eventually I was able to get them to lower a
small, motorized boat that took me
back to port. The weather was pretty
ugly and the seas were real choppy . .
. but that event changed the course of
my life professionally.”
Following his narrow escape from
the Bahamian cruise, Barbara joined
the Laars sales force in 1956.
“Working with Avy Miller was one of
the high points of my entire business
life,” he said. “Avy was one of the
finest individuals and one of the most
fair men I’ve ever had the pleasure of
working for.
Standards of industry
developed; training
“In addition to the copper fin tube
technology that was setting the standard for heat transfer, Laars was also
the forerunner of new techniques such
as the kilovolt system and other special fittings that protected the heater
from overheating,” added Barbara.
“These advances became the accepted
standard of quality in the industry.”
It was during this time that
Barbara, Freel, Rice and others began
to hold training clinics that — like the
technology that was being developed
by Laars — put the company “on the
map” nationally. Trainer Al Shaver
said of those early years, “People from
all over the country were invited to
participate in the two-day swimming
pool heater clinics; they became one
of the truly unique aspects of our culture, defining who we were. The success of our outreach in the industry
was amazing to see.”
Engineering by Teledyne in 1966 provided further growth through substantial investment in plant equipment
and the adoption of automated and
semi-automatic manufacturing techniques which allowed the company to
respond rapidly to the demands of the
marketplace. Although a number of
other copper tube boilers were available at the time, Laars remained the
dominant force, both in reputation
and sales volume.
The company next expanded into
residential hydronic heating with gas
and oil boilers. Continued product
innovation also resulted in the development of the new commercial water
heaters; these products represented a
breakthrough in state-of-the-art technology, with the highest energy efficiency and lowest environmental emissions available. Research and development contracts with various universities, the Gas Research Institute,
Battelle, and Southern California’s
South Coast Air Quality Management
District further advanced the company’s growth and diversification efforts.
Growth & diversification
Teledyne eventually merged with
Allegheny Ludlom Steel, and became
Allegheny Teledyne Industries.
In 1996, Teledyne Laars acquired
Jandy Industries, a company that
dominates the valve, electronic controls and water features markets in
the pool industry. The 1998 acquisition of Trianco-Heatmaker added
high efficiency sealed combustion
systems to their heating technology
base of gas and oil-fired boilers and
(Turn to Boiler... page 66.)
All the hot water heaters in the world with PVC venting that are 98% efficient.
Condensing 98 Tankless Water Heater
Where technology meets ecology.
800.519.8794 s
Circle 62 on Reader Reply Card
Boiler innovation
(Continued from page 64.)
water heaters for residential and commercial use.
In late 1999, Allegheny Teledyne
spun off the Teledyne Laars and
Teledyne Waterpik. The new
Waterpik Technologies, Inc. included
the divisions for personal health care,
and pool products and heating systems — formerly Teledyne Laars.
This was the genesis of Laars Heating
Systems Company.
Bradford White
( was purchased by the
Bradford White Corporation. The
acquisition by Bradford White
Corporation greatly expanded Laars’
scope and marketplace. Recently,
Laars completed full consolidation of
all manufacturing at its Rochester, N.H.
plant; and with facilities in Canada,
Laars is optimally poised for the future.
Laars’ high-efficiency, high-performance and condensing boiler lines,
and their commercial water heater
systems, are today recognized industry-wide as leading technology. The
range of coverage is amazing — from
50,000 to 5 million Btu.
In the last three years, with capital
funding from Bradford White, its
research and development efforts
have expanded dramatically. Laars
has introduced 20 new high-performance products into the marketplace
since 2005, including the fan-assisted
copper tube Pennant line, and the
low-mass Rheos and Rheos+ systems.
One of the newest systems in the
Laars lineup includes the NeoTherm,
which now includes floor-standing
models with 85, 105, 150, 210, 285,
400 & 500 MBH capacities. Laars will
follow these models with the release
of the volume water heating models
(199, 285, 400 & 500 MBH) and wall
hung hydronic models with 85, 105,
150, and 210 MBtu input ranges.
Laars is also now working on an
entirely new line of commercial condensing boilers in the 750 and 1,000
MBH sizes . . . and substantially
beyond. “We’d like more than anything to share our excitement about
this new technology,” said Root. “But
our audience will just have to wait for
the surprise. We won’t disappoint
The hydronic industry’s
innovations leader
“With the backing of Bradford
White, we developed a wave of new,
cutting-edge technology that’s stranded competitors. The tsunami of product development came as a welcome
surprise to many of our customers,”
Phc News — MARCH 2009
said Bill Root, vice president of sales
and marketing for Laars.
“For years — although we had
some fine products on the market —
we watched as other firms took the
lead on the ‘innovations’ front. In the
past couple of years, we’ve introduced
more 25 new commercial models,
now seen by contractors and consulting engineers as among the most
advanced boilers available today.”
The crown jewels of the company’s
current product lineup are the Rheos+
boilers/volume water heaters, the
largest Btu capacity condensing boiler
built in the U.S. And yet it can slide
through a standard, 36-inch doorway.
The high efficiency, fully-modulating Rheos+ commercial boiler/water
heater provides industrial grade performance for hydronic and volume
water applications with up to 98%
combustion efficiency and infinite
variability of modulation between
Phc News — MARCH 2009
100% and 25% of the input rate to precisely meet heating load needs
between 1.2 to 2.4 million Btus. So,
for example, their 2.4 million Btu boiler easily modulates down to 600 MBH.
The ultra-high efficiency of the
Rheos+ cuts operating costs as much
as 50 percent over conventional nonmodulating systems — saving tens of
thousands of dollars over the life of the
equipment with payback on initial cost
usually seen in just a few years.
Rheos+ accomplishes the extraordinary efficiency with advanced combustion design, combining two internal heat exchangers — one copper,
one stainless steel — and a sophisticated mixing system that permits
condensation on the stainless heat
for capacities from 500 to 5,000
MBH. Rheos and Pennant pool
heaters can be configured together
or separately to deliver the precise
response to water heating demand to
optimize efficiency for any pool
heating application.
Are you thoroughly satisfied with
the commercial hydronic or pool
heating equipment you install? If not,
you owe it to yourself and your customers to see what the innovations
leader has to offer.
The Laars lineage is strong, with
new strength, deeply rooted in 60
years of focused product innovation.
The heart of Avy Miller’s early product designs still beats in the newest
and most advanced hydronic and
volume water heating products on
the market today with firm commitment to what the market needs —
& Trade Show
HERSHEY, PA • MAY 17-21, 2009
A technician examines the inner workings of a Laars boiler.
exchanger, exclusively. It also has an
internal water mixing system to allow
minimum 60ºF inlet temperatures
and a built-in BAS interface. And,
with its compact, through-the-door,
fully-condensing, sealed combustion
design and NOx emission levels of less
than 10ppm, the boiler is truly an
innovative breakthrough for commercial heating needs.
Another gem in the commercial
boiler/water heater collection is the
Pennant series. This equipment provides one of the most flexible modular
designs in the industry. Pennant boilers, water heaters and pool heaters
rank among the most versatile and
environmentally friendly systems
available on the market. The fanassisted units are easy to use and easy
to install and maintain in commercial
hydronic and hot water applications
from 500 to 2,000 MBTU/hour, and
work effectively in altitudes up to
10,000 feet — even in harsh environments from — 40° to +140°F.
We can’t ignore the firm’s wellrooted commercial pool heater line
• EDUCATION, TRAINING and DISPLAYS to provide the knowledge,
technology and products that will lead us into a BRIGHT FUTURE.
• Always the industry’s GREATEST NETWORKING opportunity.
• When the work and learning are done, IMAGINE THE FUN.
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Solvent cement helps contractor from costly plumbing leaks
f a product can help us avoid
even one leak, it is worth the
investment,” said Rudy
Camarillo, project manager for
TDIndustries for his experience with
innovative FlowGuard Glow fluorescent solvent cement. The product
glows blue under ultraviolet light, easily facilitating solvent cement joint
inspections on the job site.
As an employee-owned company,
Dallas-based mechanical contractor
identify both dry fits and inadequately solvent cemented joints, and that
definitely caught our attention.”
Dry fits or joints with insufficient
solvent cement represent one of the
leading challenges to a successful
CPVC piping installation. Especially on
large projects where there are hundreds of joints, it is more likely that a
fitting could be overlooked and not
properly fitted with solvent cement.
The one-step FlowGuard Glow sol-
one entire floor, we went back with
the black light and checked their
work. At first the installers were confused and wondered what we were
doing. But once we discovered the
first dry fitting on that floor, they realized what was happening. On that
same floor we also found two joints
that were not completely solvent
cemented. From that point on, there
seemed to be a greater level of
accountability. Everyone was more
alert and focused on doing the job
right the first time because they knew
they were being double checked.”
“We found the product to be very
easy to use,” said Camarillo. “As soon
as you hit the fitting with the black
light, you can immediately see the
solvent cement, even if there are windows nearby or plenty of natural light.
It really stood out easily to minimize
the amount of time necessary to
recheck the entire site.”
As a result of its success at 1900
McKinney, FlowGuard Glow solvent
cement is now being written into all of
TDIndustries’ submittals, and all team
members have been directed to utilize
the new technology in the future.
“This product performed to the
same high standards that we have
come to expect from all FlowGuard
associated with soldering.
The company has been a loyal
FlowGuard Gold pipe and fittings
supporter since the 1990s. Although
other CPVC piping systems have since
been introduced to the market,
TDIndustries prefers FlowGuard
Gold CPVC pipe and fittings because of
the tremendous technical support
they receive.
“When we find a product we like
and trust, we run with it,” said
Camarillo. “We have received
tremendous technical support from
the local FlowGuard representative in
combination with a proven, highquality product.”
As a result of the company’s satisfaction with FlowGuard Gold pipe
and fittings, the company also started
using larger-diameter Corzan pipe
and fittings in recent years on its larger commercial projects. Corzan pipe
and fittings are made utilizing the
same patented CPVC technology as
FlowGuard Gold systems.
“It was during a training session at
FlowGuard Gold University in
Cleveland when we first got our hands
on the FlowGuard Glow product and
had a chance to see how it worked,”
said Camarillo. “We quickly gravitated to the product because it solved a
As a result of the TDIndustries’ satisfaction with FlowGuard Gold pipe and fittings,
the company also started using larger-diameter Corzan pipe and fittings.
TDIndustries — No. 9 on the Top 100
Contractors listing — has successfully
communicated to its employees the
value of identifying cost-effective products, technologies and procedures. So
when new FlowGuard Glow solvent
cement came on the market, it wasn’t
long before TDIndustries senior design
coordinator Mark Gerstner decided to
put it to the test in the field.
TDIndustries was just starting the
plumbing work at 1900 McKinney, a
26-story, upscale apartment complex
located in downtown Dallas. The allconcrete, 230-unit project with spectacular views of downtown Dallas and
the affluent Victory area featured
units with monthly rents upwards of
$3,000. That meant a significant
potential liability in property damage
should any type of water leak occur.
“Most of our work is very vertical in
nature and is seldom a garden style
design,” said Camarillo. “We do a lot
of multi-family projects, apartments
and hotels, all of which have numerous levels. So if there is a leak, the
problem is magnified, because several
floors could be damaged. We heard
that FlowGuard Glow solvent cement
was a valuable inspection tool to help
vent cement glows fluorescent blue
under ultraviolet light, making it easier for installers to easily and quickly
inspect joints with a UV-A light kit
and confirm that a joint has sufficient
solvent cement.
“We’ve been using FlowGuard Gold
CPVC pipe and fittings since the mid
1990s and know the system is highquality and reliable,” said Camarillo.
“But even the best system can be subject to problems if it’s not installed
properly. With FlowGuard Glow solvent cement, it’s easier to spot problems before they occur. We previously had situations where construction
was nearly finished before we realized
there was an improperly joined fitting. By that time, it’s a very expensive problem to fix, because you’re
ripping out sheet rock and getting in
the way of the other trades. With
FlowGuard Glow solvent cement, it’s
easy to see the issue immediately.”
“When we first tested the new solvent cement, we didn’t tell the
installers that we were using the new
product on the 1900 McKinney project,” said Camarillo. “It looks and
works the same as traditional onestep CPVC solvent cement, so they didn’t know. After they had completed
Contractors check for dry fits or joints for insufficient solvent cement, which can be
a challenge to a successful CPVC piping installation.
Gold products,” said Gerstner. “We
were not disappointed.”
Gerstner noted that TDIndustries,
which was founded in 1946 and has
since grown to become one of
America’s premier facilities service
and specialty construction companies, had previously been a loyal supporter of copper until the 1990s when
there was an increased incidence of
copper pipe theft from the job site. In
addition, Gerstner noted the fire risk
real problem.”
Gerstner added, “I no longer have
to guess about the quality of our end
product. As an employee-owned
company, the money we save by
identifying installation issues before
they manifest themselves as water
leaks translates into more working
capital for the company and a
greater return for me. So the advantages this product delivers are very
Phc News — MARCH 2009
an Holohan’s Web site,, features a message board
called “The Wall” where hydronic heating professionals post questions and offer answers of all kinds regarding hydronic heating systems. Dan has kindly allowed Phc News to reprint some of the more interesting postings here each month. This section will surely whet your curiosity, so log on to the web site and click on “The Wall” for a treasure trove of
useful and just plain interesting information.
Q: Good morning fellow wetheads. I
know this isn’t REALLY the forum for
this, but I figure a lot of you are
plumbers in addition to heating men.
We have a customer with a VERY old
American Standard tub filler. It is
worn pretty badly internally. Someone, prior to us,
tried to cut new
seats into it and
there isn’t much
left for the faucet
washer to seal
against. The customer would like
to keep the style
of the bathroom.
Is anyone aware
of a faucet that
would be somewhat similar, or adaptable? Or what
can you think of creatively that we
could offer to her? We’ve thought
about taking the valve into a weld
shop and having the seat area built up
with brazing, then tapping it for a new
faucet seat. That would probably
mean that it would need to be re-plated. We’ve thought of trying to
machine out the internals and somehow getting modern internals into it.
We’ve looked at Strom, Sign of the
Crab and Restoration Hardware to
see if they have anything similar. No
dice. Any input would be awesome.
— Luke Lefever
A: What a pretty old tub faucet,
although probably non-code complying in regard to the placement of the
spout. Does it have removable valve
seats, which someone could adapt
from some other model? Al ternatively, a listing could be placed
on e-bay with a very high reserve, and
identified as “looking for this,”
instead of “for sale.”
— Nicholas Bonham-Carter
A: Unless that tub filler has a PRV on
supplies, those valves and filler are
illegal by all plumbing codes.
— rjbphd
A: Seen that type before. As you
know, they take really large washers.
I would think a talented machinist
could create another tapping inside
for a more common seat without
damaging the plating any farther,
unless the integral portions have been
cut away.
— Dave
A: “New York Replacement Parts ”
probably has them in stock. If not
phone: 845/473-6700, toll free: 1866/473-6711 or fax 845/473-6768
NYRP A Complete Plumbing and
Heating Supply Company will make
them for you.
— Bob Young
Just an observation: Instructions
on operating a Japanese toilet: This
is a photo that was taken of the user
instruction guide for a public toilet
in Japan.
— Michael Bourque
A: Those things are all over Japan.
And they work. And the companies
that make them are kind enough to
print the instructions in English.
What’s not to like?
— Steamhead
A: Having used those toilets in
Japan, and being in the process of
remodeling the master bath I have
purchased a Toto Washlet 300 toilet
seat with pretty much all the bells and
whistles. I don’t know, maybe it will
make me whistle. Utterly decadent,
but we’ll see how it goes...or we’ll see
how I go on it ;) I did hold the line and
did not get the top of the line unit
which automatically raises the toilet
seat when you stand before it. I will
only go so far, after all!
— Jack
A: I put one in for a customer last
year. He had seen it in Japan while
traveling. The wife reports that he
uses it all the time & loves it. She
doesn’t care for the wash & dry feature, just the self closing part. Enjoy!
— C. Schenk
Q: Have you ever heard of a mixing
valve on a water heater? I looked at a
job today, and they had a mixing
valve on their [gas] water heater. It’s a
brand new water heater, or domestic
hot water only. Does anyone know
why you would do this? I’m going to
put a water softener on the water
heater. I’m in Park City, Utah. The
house is at 6,500 ft. I’ve found that if
you turn water heaters up too high
without a high temp relief valve, they
will drip or blow out the standard
relief valve. Most water is really hard.
— Ted Keane
A: Ted, it may be for bacteria
growth. What state are you in? In
some states — not Mass. yet — the
water heater is to be above 140°F to
curb bacteria growth and the water to
the faucet is to be 120°F so you use a
mixing valve. What type of water
heater are we talking about, electric,
gas or indirect?
— Charlie
A: I see more and more manufacturers including mixing valves with
the tank. Bradford white has shipped
mixers with many models — the
CombiCor, for example. Most, if not
all, homes in Park City have water
meters with backflow preventers built
into the yoke. This was enacted may
years ago so the city could qualify for
federal grant money to make water
distribution upgrades. The DHW thermal expansion tank needs to be properly sized to the tank(s) capacity. If it
has one, be sure it hasn’t water
logged. If it doesn’t have one, it needs
to be installed. The relief may seep
when increasing the temperature as is
has more thermal expansion. PC
water, in winter can drop into the 30s.
Taking that to 140, 160 or higher — a
large ∅T — requires a properly sized
expansion tank.
— Hot Rod
Q: Is it allowable to support electrical wiring from overhead gas supply
piping? I have seen many instances
where cable TV and telephone cables
have been run along gas piping and
fastened to it by tywraps or clamps,
using the pipe for support. Doesn’t
seem quite right to me, but I am curious if it violates any codes?
— Mike Kusiak
A: Codes never allow you to attach
your wires or pipes to mine. What if I
have to remove or move my pipe or
even work on it, what supports
yours? Let alone, magnetic interference or heat transmission.
— Heat Kits Inc.
A: 2008 NEC, 725.24, for Class 1, 2
& 3 - “...shall be supported by the
building structure...” — this doesn’t
mean indirectly. All other wiring
installation typically falls under
110.12, which mandates “neat and
workman-like”, which the 2008 NEC
Handbook explicitly illustrates in the
commentary that “improperly supported” would usually fall under this
requirement (page 43). Special cases
exist where short lengths of cables
may be unsupported, such as wiring
to a light fixture laid in a suspended
ceiling grid, some fished retrofit work,
etc. Overhead service conductors
have their own specific installation
requirements (Art. 225, 230, etc.)
Personally, I wouldn’t depend on the
Fuel Gas Code, but rather use the NEC
since it’s more likely that the electrical trade guy used the gas pipe for
(inappropriate) support, and not the
fitter that used the wiring for support
(but somebody has probably tried!).
Bottom line; cut the cr*p, move the
wire. It”s taken longer to research it
than to fix it.
— Bob D.
Q: Responded to a no-heat call on
Friday and I didn’t get all of the particulars but the people at this church
heard a loud bang and later realized
that they had no more heat. This is a
Peerless 211A-04, and even with fairly modern controls and safeties, it
seems the main gas valve opened and
filled the chamber with gas and must
have experienced a delayed or intermittent ignition because it eventually
ignited and blew the insulation out
and de-formed the boiler jacket. (No
idea at this point what happened to
the pilot flame throughout this
sequence.) They want a price on a
high-efficiency. We’ll get them a price
on a Knight XL today.
— Paul Rohrs
A: It might be worthwhile to have an
asbestos air test performed. The gaskets between the sections might have
been compromised. Fortunately for
them, the combustion air penetrations
probably relieved the concussion, otherwise the steeple might have been
blown off. Proceed with caution. An air
test will run around $300.00.
— Mark Eatherton
A: They might still benefit from fixing this not-so-old 211. Probably no
new sections would be needed-maybe
only gaskets. My 211-a has electronic
ignition which would be an easy
retrofit, along with the Peerless “Modu-Pack” hi-lo burner system for better
efficiency. Many code problems might
be reduced by a repair, rather than a
replacement. One thing is certain, if
they cannot have simple maintenance performed, like having the
pilot/burner cleaned every year, they
should not have a more complicated
hi-efficiency boiler.
— Nicholas Bonham-Carter
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Seattle hotel relies on pipe restoration technology
t The Fairmont Olympic,
Seattle’s premier luxury hotel,
everything is secondary to its
exceptional levels of guest service. So
when faced with the disruptive problem of recurrent pinhole leaks in their
domestic water system, hotel opera-
of the problem, but the only certainty
seemed to be that the problem was
getting worse.”
Gault was familiar with past ePIPE
projects completed by ACE DuraFlo.
“Based on our evaluation, ACE was the
only company with the certifications,
solid references and
past hotel experience
Fairmont the confidence to move forward with the ePIPE
project.” Once the
decision was made
to go with ePIPE, the
challenge became
how to complete
the work with a
minimum impact
on guest services,
on a very tight
time-line, and without a significant
effect on revenue.
Project tailored
to fit
Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel faced a
recurrent pinhole leaks in their domestic
tions and management agreed that a
problem so serious required the best
possible solution. David Gault, director of engineering, was charged with
the responsibility of finding a solution
to the problem. That solution led him
to ACE DuraFlo’s technology, referred
to as ePIPE®, which covers application
to metallic and non-metallic pipes as
small as 3/8" in diameter. The patented ePIPE method restores pipes “inplace” avoiding the typical destruction, interruption and a host of other
inconveniences that are often associated with a traditional repipe. The
types of pipes that can be restored
include those carrying potable water,
natural gas, heating and cooling systems and fire suppression systems.
Gault’s research included the
extraction of pipe samples, which
were sent for metallurgical examination by a corrosion engineer. “We
were trying to understand the nature
The Fairmont, as
to royalty, dignitaries and celebrities, only the very
best will do. To tailor this project to a
5 Diamond level,
ACE went to great
lengths to disguise
the evidence that a
major renovation
project was taking
disruptive problem of place in the midst
water system...
of occupied guest
areas. Outside, a
sound deflecting wall was built and
painted to hide the compressor and to
minimize noise for the street level
boutiques. Inside, “decorative hose
socks and hangers” were manufactured to match corridor wallpaper so
that air hoses could be hung like a
scalloped work of art.
Operationally, the restoration schedule was set for the winter low season
and was developed on a Thursday to
Tuesday cycle so that the Olympic
could actually sell out 100% of their
rooms on their two busiest (and most
valuable) nights of the week. As well,
the ePIPE project had to be scheduled
around special holiday events, holiday
street use restrictions and a bathroom
renovation that was also taking place.
The best laid plans
Adding an element of difficulty to
the project was some of the worst winter weather that Seattle had ever seen.
A December storm knocked out power
for days to more than one million residents in Washington and the downtown core of Seattle was one of the few
areas to remain operational. “MidDecember is typically a lower occupancy period and we had scheduled to
restore a block of 60 rooms over that
period,” explained Gault.
“But when the power went
out, the city’s hotels immediately sold out. The ACE
crew instantly went into
overtime mode and quickly
returned 30 of those rooms
to our inventory for an
unexpected four night sellout.”
This would not be the last
schedule adjustment for
the project. With software
giant Microsoft hosting
their mammoth Comdex
conference in Seattle, the
city was once again oversold. With the certainty of a
week-long sellout, every
additional room-night sold
makes a significant contribution to the bottom line.
Fairmont contacted ACE
management to discuss an
adjustment to the schedule
for the 30 rooms to be
restored that week, without
an option to extend the
completion date! With
some collaboration and a
few creative adjustments
the schedule was revised to ...and it was
return those rooms to
inventory. Altogether, ACE DuraFlo
was able to adjust and give back a total
of some 250 room-nights during
unscheduled sellouts over the course of
the project.
A job well done
The flexibility of the ePIPE technolo-
gy allowed ACE to successfully complete the project with no extensions
to the original schedule. As a token of
appreciation, Fairmont management
hosted an appreciation luncheon for
the ACE crew and management at the
end of the project. According to general manager Dennis Clark, “With a
ACE DuraFlo’s ePIPE system to the rescue.
project of this magnitude, we try plan
for every conceivable problem, and
then prepare to handle the inevitable
guest complaints — but the phone
never rang! We truly appreciate the
care and commitment which the ACE
DuraFlo crew showed to complete
this important project.”
ePIPE for your toolbox
It has been 10 years since ACE DuraFlo introduced their method of epoxy lining small diameter pipes. Today, restoration of pressurized pipes is now recognized by the nation’s major model code officials, International Association
of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) and the International Code
Council, Evaluation Services (ICC-ES). Further afield, the ACE process is also
approved in Canada, Europe, Mexico and Asia.
In addition to developing the technology, ACE has built a network of franchisees and affiliates in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico and Asia.
ACE’s, onsite, in-place restoration program features multiple market entry
points starting with the miniE® program, a full residential package and a full
commercial package.
By developing multi level marketing and application programs ACE has
been able to team up with companies like Mr. Rooter® and American Leak
Detection®, both of whom have added ePIPE to their field of service.
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Estimates: should contractors charge for them?
(Continued from page 36.)
that time another 30 minutes for
speaking with the consumer at the
potential job location, minimally one
hour of the contractor’s time per estimate is spent by the contractor
(including his/her associated costs)
and gone forever.
If a contractor wants to put in a 40hour workweek so that he/she can
work to live rather than live to work,
he/she will only have a maximum of
35 hours to perform free estimates
and/or paying jobs. A one-person
business will have less because that
person also must perform administrative business duties.
In the contracting business, the overhead expense for a person in a vehicle
for each of those hours is minimally
$75.00 without that person’s salary. On
that basis, 10, one-hour estimates minimally give a contractor $750.00 in
overhead cost. In a year, the contractor
who only does estimates for his company could accrue over $128,000.00 in
overhead expenses.
With regard to the 10 contractors I
called, seven didn’t, and couldn’t, get
the job. If they had the intelligence,
courage and confidence to tell me
that they would charge me a $75.00
fee for the estimate, they could have
recovered the expenses they imposed
upon themselves by offering free estimates. And they would have placed
me in a position to make a decision. I
could choose to pay for my window
shopping and/or do less window shopping. Regarding my decision to buy, I
could choose to “excrete or remove
myself from the commode.” Either
choice would cost all 10 contractors
less money.
When contractors charge a fee for
their estimates, consumers would not
be so willing to call every contractor
under the sun. This would, in turn,
lower the competition of every contractor for any project, while it
increased the contractor’s opportunities to get each job. The point I am
making is that there is no such thing
as free estimates. If contractors don’t
charge consumers for the costs they
incur to deliver their expert opinions
and valuable ideas, consumers will
keep window shopping at the contractors’ expense.
Systems (FAS) dehumidification unit
that contained a desiccant wheel that
was recharged by heat generated
from a 750,000 Btu natural gas hot
water boiler in the unit. The hot loop
piping was extended to this unit in
order to use waste heat generated
from maintaining the ice to recharge
the desiccant wheel.
A heat recovery air handling unit
for the Torrey Arena that had used
hot refrigerant gas from the chiller
was converted to use hot water that is
heated with waste heat from the
TRAK heat pump plant.
(Continued from page 44.)
fluid cooler and eliminate the need
for mechanical cooling.
The existing dehumidification unit
for Torrey Arena was retrofitted in
the field to convert the existing
refrigerant and hot water coils to
chilled water and hot water coils. In
addition, a new high efficiency motor
and variable frequency drive were
installed. The unit uses excess cooling from the rink floor supply and
waste heat to efficiently maintain
rink humidity levels.
The Ritsche Arena used a Fresh Air
The question
Should contractors charge for estimates? Many do. But many contractors
see this as a dilemma. They are fearful
that if they charge for estimates they
will lose work. But that’s not a certainty. However, if they don’t charge, they
surely will lose money. If they never try
to charge, they’ll never know if it’s possible. And if they persist in giving (notso-free) free estimates, they shoot
themselves in the foot by placing themselves in a competitive arena of fools.
Giving prices over the phone is no
less detrimental. If they don’t give the
lowest phone price, they probably
won’t get an opportunity to land the
job. But giving prices for a service
when they haven’t seen the conditions of the potential job could be
fraught with financial peril. If they do
give the lowest phone price and try to
increase it after they see the circumstances regarding the job, they may
tick the consumer off and not get the
job anyway. In which case, they
would still minimally have the cost of
traveling, inspecting and estimating.
Should contractors charge for estimates? That’s not the question that
can solve the quandary. How do you
charge consumers for their window
shopping? That’s the question!
The answer
First, you must develop a higher
testosterone level than the frightened
dopes that really don’t belong in the
contracting business because they are
the people who create and/or support
Building automation system
The Torrey Arena was built in 1972
stupid business practices such as “free
estimates.” There is not one of them
who wouldn’t rather charge a fee for
their estimating service. They are just
too ignorant, fearful and stupid to do it.
Next: 1) correctly calculate your
costs per hour; 2) determine your
average travel time to the consumer
to inspect potential jobs inclusive of
the time you spend performing the
inspection; 3) multiply your hourly
cost by your average travel time to
perform the estimate/inspection; and
4) minimally charge the consumer
that amount so the consumer pays
the cost you incur for their window
shopping consumption.
I call this a service call charge.
Done properly, you will discover that
this is the smart way to handle estimates. It gives you the opportunity to
recover the costs you incur through
consumer window shopping. After
trying it and realizing you can recover those costs associated with estimates, your testosterone level will
rise. Then, you will have the opportunity to muster the courage and confidence to charge more than it cost you
so you can make a profit above your
cost of those estimates.
If the consumer gives you the job at
that visit, you can apply the service
call charge to the job. In calculating
the price you quote for the task you
must always include all travel times
including the travel time for the estimate. After all, it’s a cost that is only
incurred because of that consumer’s
window shopping. Therefore, it
should be charged to that consumer.
By applying the service call charge
to the job, you have given the consumer an opportunistic financial benefit. They will envision the fact the
service call charge will pay in part for
the service you perform for them if
they choose to use your business.
That’s a win-win situation. If you
don’t get job, you minimally recover
with pneumatic controls for the temperature control system. Several
years ago, the pneumatic control system was abandoned and replaced
with stand-alone electric controls.
Most of the valves and actuators were
retrofitted in some way, but several
were left without any control and
remained that way until this project
was completed. Ritsche Arena was
built in 1997 and used electromechanical controls for the Vilter
Chiller plant and KMC Controls
Direct Digital Controls (DDC) for the
arena temperature control.
This project replaces all of the
stand-alone controls in the Torrey
Arena, integrates both the existing
your costs. If you do get the job, the
consumer pays for the price of the job
not the service call charge.
Before deciding whether or not to
charge a fee for estimates, look in the
mirror and pose the following question to yourself. “Would I like to
charge consumers a fee to recover the
cost of my resources that are spent on
consumer window shopping?” Think
about it before answering.
If your answer is no, then keep wallowing in your own self-inflicted misery. I believe all of you would rather get
paid. It’s the only thing that makes
smart financial sense (and cents). And
I know the only thing stopping you is
fear. I can show you how to do it. That
would take care of the factors associated with ignorance. But you have to
have the courage to face your fears and
suppress foolish tendencies. You hold
your future in your own hands. You are
the only person who can decide to
keep doing the wrong thing and stop
yourself from succeeding, or start
yourself down the road to success, less
stress and more financial security.
If you need help with any of my contracting business theories and methods, give me a call at 845/639-5050.
As always, I wish you good health
and much prosperity.
KMC Controls in the Ritsche Arena,
and the new KMC Controls for the
TRAK heat pump plant and Vilter
Plant into one system. The project
also included the addition of CO2 sensors for the Torrey Arena make-up air
units so that they only operate & ventilate when the building occupancy
requires additional outdoor air.
The BAS uses a Web-enabled graphical user interface to allow the arena
staff to monitor the system, adjust
schedules and operate the building
from anywhere internet access is
available. The BAS includes energy
management functions to monitor
and control the arenas energy use in
the facility.
Tax credit changes in stimulus package
affect high efficiency water heaters
ASHLAND CITY, TENN. — New tax credit
changes in The American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act of 2009 affect
A. O. Smith water heating products.
Under the revised law, the previous
tax credit of $300 has been converted
to 30% of the total installed cost,
including labor, with a cap of $1,500
through 2010. For water heaters
installed from Jan. 1 through Feb. 16,
2009, the water heater must have at
least a .80 Energy Factor (EF) rating or
90% thermal efficiency to qualify for
the latest tax credit. Beginning Feb.
Phc News — MARCH 2009
17, the water heater must have at
least a .82 EF rating or 90% thermal
efficiency to qualify. The credit is subject to a combined $1500 maximum
per homeowner for all improvements
eligible under the new law. The $1500
credit is a cap on the combined
amount that can be taken in tax years
2009 and 2010.
“By encouraging the installation of
high efficiency water heaters, the government is addressing a long-term
energy conservation challenge while
consumers begin to save immediately
on their utility bills,” said David
Chisolm, A.O. Smith water heater
brand manager.
The A.O. Smith Vertex™ product
line and the tankless product line
both qualify for the $1,500 tax credit.
To qualify, units must be placed into
service between Jan. 1, 2009, and
Dec. 31, 2010. For additional information, visit
BACK TO THE 1920’s
Mon - Fri: 9:00-5:30 • Saturday: 9:30-3:00
Circle 184 on Reader Reply Card
Showroom: 1-847-255-0421 • 1-800-331-0421
540 S. Arthur Ave.
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Get more BANG for your advertising buck with a display
advertisement in Phc News! See page 4 for your nearest
advertising sales representative and start
reaching YOUR target audience!
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Circle 181 on Reader Reply Card
Finally—You Can Get Control of Your Business!
Includes fully integrated:
• NO Lease or Rental Fee
• LOW Processing Rates
• NO Hidden Costs
Free NURIT 8000
wireless terminal
(a $1,300 value)
• Swipe all transactions & save money
• New merchant
accounts 99% approved
• Transfer existing CC A/C to us
and reduce fees
• Multiple platforms First Data,
Global, Paymentech
Now in our 10th Year of helping Contractors to be more productive and more profitable
Circle 183 on Reader Reply Card
773-416-8526 • 773-935-VISA
Email • [email protected]
Merchant Services
Wells Fargo Bank
Cash paid for your inventory.
Plumbing, AC, furnace, appliances
and/or??? Call Sam 925-256-8700
or email: [email protected]
Visit us online at
Classified advertisement
rates start at $140 per
column inch, with rates
adjusted for extra insertions.
Call Debbie Newberg
at 847-564-1127
to place your ad.
Phc News — MARCH 2009
Is it time to ‘get the lead out’?
cy? What are the testing methods? Are the testing
an, I reprocedures where they need to be? What happens
when other chemicals are tested in the water —
when that
other than the testing of straight filtered water —
term meant a string
such as chloramines? Does this become another
of classic Led Zepavenue of “big business”? What constitutes trace levpelin songs was
els of lead? Let’s face it, I’m all for clean drinking
about to be played
water and the health of the populace; but I am interon the local radio station. In this industry, that term
ested to know what you honestly think about this.
now has morphed into something a little more sigDoes this become an extraordinarily new chalnificant. It’s time to go lead-free in plumbing fixtures.
lenge for manufacturers to go through proper comAccording to NSF, the NSF/ANSI Standard 61 was
pliance channels? I’d imagine that they have to
revised in December 2008 to established requirechange their entire manufacturing processes. Does
ments for use when a 0.25% lead content requirement
this translate to more $$$ for them when they do
needs to be met in addition to current chemical
turn around these new fixtures?
extraction requirements of the standard. The requireAnd, can “lead-free” plumbing fixtures or devices
ments were placed in Annex G — Weighted Average
leach lead? NSF states that any plumbing device or
Lead Content Evaluation Procedure to a 0.25% Lead
fixture that contains lead and is in contact with the
Requirement. Also, mandatory language placing
water is a potential source of contamination. Brass
restrictions on the use of lead as an intentional addifittings and plumbing fixtures, containing 8% or less
tive in water contact materials was added to Section 3.
lead, have been found to contribute high lead levels
A request was made to add these requirements to
for a considerable period of time after their installathe standard to allow manufacturers the option of
tion, even in cases where these devices are in conbeing certified to a lead content standard, such as
tact with relatively non-corrosive waters. The
California’s Health & Safety Code (Section 116875)
amount of lead that may leach into the water from
commonly known as AB1953. That law, which goes
a brass faucet or fixture is not solely related to the
into effect January 1, 2010, applies to any pipe, pipe
amount of lead contained in the alloy. The amount
of plumbing fitting, or fixture intended to convey or
of lead leaching from a brass alloy is greatly infludispense water for human consumption through
enced by the manufacturing process.
drinking or cooking. A similar law has been enacted
Furthermore, what good does it to have all your
in Vermont and is also to take effect January 1, 2010.
bathroom’s plumbing fixtures, for example, leadLet’s applaud the codes for trying to make the
free when the existing city/building/residence
drinking water safer. But I’ve heard some grumblings
infrastructure still isn’t? I realize that there are a
in the industry as to whether this is fair legislation or,
lot questions here, but again, I am interested to
perhaps, over-legislation. Is this just more bureaucraknow your thoughts on this.
Advertisers’ Index
Bare Bones Biz ................................66
Bavco ...............................................50
Bell & Gossett..................................76
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing............9
Bradford White ................................51
BrassCraft ........................................17
Burnham Hydronics..........................2
Chicago Faucets ..............................21
Contractor Page...............................55
Dormont Mfg....................................62
Dunkirk Boilers ...............................23
Eternal Hybrid Water Heater..........13
General Pipe Cleaners, a div. of
General Wire Spring ....................37
Heat Flo ...........................................32 .............................63
Hubbard Enterprises HOLDRITE ........47
Insulation Solutions ........................14
Kolbi Pipe Markers.....................insert
John Guest.......................................12
LAARS Heating System Co. ..............52
Letter to the editor
Dear John:
I admit up front that we have a vested interest in the
green movement, and that I 100% agree with your urging
to visit the Mobile Green Classroom to see what’s new.
What I worry about is that thought leaders like you, with
an excellent forum (Phc News), seem to overlook existing
technologies that have always been green and have
improved over the years. Chillers and boilers make up the
heart of a hydronic HVAC system in commercial settings
and these, now shrunken, approaches are readily available for large residential and light commercial applications. Along with that, the distribution elements (radiant
of all sorts, fan coils, chilled beams, etc.) offer ever greater
options to designers and builders alike to maximize comfort, IAQ and efficiency at the same time.
Open any “New Products” section and count how many
forced air accessories are being introduced just to compensate for this inefficient HVAC approach.
I enjoy your “In Our Opinion” section and trust that
this e-mail has been of some use to your green thoughts.
Michael Scharing
Hydronika, Inc.
Next issue...
• K/BIS Show Issue
• Greening the Kitchen & Bath
• Franchising
Liberty Pumps .................................33
Murray Corp ....................................11
Navien America ...............................65
New Age Casting..............................39
PHCC Show Long Beach.................61
Pick Up Equipment .........................20
Pipe Props........................................24
Precision Hydronics ........................28
Radiant Panel Association ..............42
Ridgid Tool Co. ................................15
Slant/Fin ..........................................31
Sloan Valve ................................16, 35
Smith Mfg. Co., Jay R......................10
Stanley Virax ...................................57
Stiebel Eltron...................................38
Ultra Fin...........................................54
Viega ................................................43
Watts ................................................49
Webstone Co., Inc. ............................4
Weil McLain .......................................7
Weldbend...................................40, 41
Whitlam, J.C....................................19
Woodford Mfg. Co............................59
Zoeller ..............................................53
Phc News (USPS number 022-074) is published 12 times yearly by TMB Publishing Inc., 1838 Techny Ct. Northbrook, IL 60062; tel. 847/564-1127; fax 847/564-1264. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, photocopying, electronic recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of TMB Publishing Inc. Phc News is delivered free of
charge to qualified subscribers in the U.S. and Canada. Others: U.S., U.S. Poss. and Canada, $100/yr.; two-year annual subscription rate U.S. and Canada, $155; other countries, $200/yr. or $300 for two year
(U.S. funds) plus $20 surface postage. Single copies, $15.
Application to mail at Periodicals Postage Rates is pending at Northbrook, IL and additional mailing offices.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Plumbing & Hydronic Contractor News, Creative Data Services, 519 E. Briarcliff Road, Bolingbrook, IL 60440. [email protected]
Publications mail agreement No. 41499518: Return undeliverable Canadian adresses to PO Box 503, RPO West Beaver Creek, Richmond Hill ON L4B 4R6
Circle 1 on Reader Reply Card
Circle 59 on Reader Reply Card
What gives you
maximum performance
in all three speeds?
The three-speed family of wet rotor circulators from Bell & Gossett.
The addition of the new NRF-25 gives you an even wider range of hydraulic capabilities for residential and
light commercial heating systems. The complete line of maintenance-free circulators includes cast iron,
bronze and stainless steel models, with variable speed and zone controls. The new NRF-25 features:
Circle 60 on Reader Reply Card
Was this manual useful for you? yes no
Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Download PDF