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Liberty pumps offers 6 different series of sump pumps to meet your specific pumping needs. All feature energy efficient motor designs that minimize energy consumption. For the absolute best in basement groundwater protection look no further than Liberty Pumps!

8 0 0 . 5 4 3 . 2 5 5 0

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250-Series Copyright Š Liberty Pumps, Inc. 2010 All rights reserved.


One of Americas fastest growing,



VOL. 84 NO. 6

Pumping Power


Capitalize on performance potential by reducing distribution energy. BY JOHN SIEGENTHALER

Practices 16 Testing Change With The Times Understanding worst case depressurization testing. BY JIM BERGMANN



Repeatability Rules


About Our New Look


Industry News


Manufacturer Supplier News



A Science Of Its Own



Options for meeting customers’ snow melt needs. BY MIKE MILLER


The Source

A primer on electronic expansion valves. BY DAVE DEMMA


Technology Simplifies Water Protection

Backflow preventers come of age. BY PETE CHAPMAN




48 Filter Fista Cuffs

And who is this MERV Character? BY ROBERT BEAN


40 Construct Canada & 54 CIPHEX West









STEVE GOLDIE returns next issue


SGV/DGV Special Gas Vent ®

The industry leader in Special Gas Vent introduces new alternative alloy SGV/DGV Special Gas Vent Systems. Available in both Single Wall and Double Wall designs, SGV/DGV features a proprietary stainless steel alloy - 4X3™ that offers superior corrosion resistance at an economical price point. These new systems feature installer-friendly connections and built-in silicone seals, so field applied RTV is not required. NEW • 3 & 4 inch sizes for • Single Wall and • Listed to UL1738 and 4X3 STAINLESS residential applications Double Wall Systems ULC S-636


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EDITOR Kerry Turner (416) 764-1549 ACCOUNT David Skene (416) 764-1590 MANAGER

Practical risk assessment can pay off explains Hank Bulmash.

ACCOUNT John Chiasson 416-764-1557 MANAGER SALES & MARKETING Kim Rossiter (416) 764-1787 COORDINATOR ART DIRECTOR Franca Romano (416) 764-1539 PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Reinhardt (416) 764-3842 CIRCULATION MANAGER Bibi Khan (416) 764-1450 PUBLISHER Peter Leonard (416) 764-1510 EXECUTIVE PUBLISHER Tim Dimopoulos


CONTRIBUTORS Robert Bean, Jim Bergmann, Hank Bulmash, THIS ISSUE: Peter Chapman, Dave Demma, Mark Evans, Mike Miller, Bill Roebuck,John Siegenthaler ROGERS MEDIA INC. PRESIDENT AND CEO Keith Pelley

What to do when solar thermal heat production exceeds demand. BY JOHN SIEGENTHALER






A Changing Landscape Mark Evans looks at a market influence that will rival the baby boomers.

PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40070230, REGISTRATION NO. 10815 Return undeliverable items to: Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning, Circulation Dept., 8th Floor–1 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, ON M4Y 2Y5 Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning (established 1923) is published 7 times per year by Rogers Publishing Limited, a division of Rogers Media Inc. HPAC Magazine is the leading Canadian business publication for the owner/manager of mechanical contracting businesses and their supply partners. ISSN: 0017-9418 Contents Copyright © 2010 by Rogers Publishing Limited, may not be reprinted without permission. SUBSCRIBER SERVICES: To subscribe, renew your subscription or to change your address or information… please visit us at

ABOUT OUR NEW LOOK From its inception as Sanitary Age in the 1920s, Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning has been the essential read for the mechanical industry. The name and the presentation have changed over the years, but the commitment to delivering need to know content to its readers has not. As we enter our 86th year of publication it was appropriate to fit the book with a new look that better reflects the content of the magazine: leading edge, informative, practical and professional. This look is reflected across media and HPAC brands. Visit to see other HPAC products. Upfront returns next issue.

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Subscription Price per year: $40.00 CDN; Outside Canada per year: $80.00 US; Single copy Canada: $5.00 CDN. Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning is published 7 times per year except for occasional combined, expanded or premium issues, which count as two subscription issues. MAIL PREFERENCES: Occasionally we make our subscriber list available to reputable companies whose products or services may be of interest to you. If you do not want your name to be made available please contact us at or update your profile at HPAC Magazine receives unsolicited materials (including letters to the editor, press releases, promotional items and images) from time to time. HPAC Magazine, its affiliates and assignees may use, reproduce, publish, re-publish, distribute, store and archive such unsolicited submissions in whole or in part in any form or medium whatsoever, without compensation of any sort. SNOW MELTING SCIENCE




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FOR EVERY BRADFORD WHITE MAGNUM SERIES COMMERCIAL WATER HEATER YOU INSTALL!* From October 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010, for every Bradford White Commercial Water Heater you install we’ll send you a Best Buy or Future Shop Gift Card.* And when you replace a competitors model, we’ll DOUBLE the value of your gift card!



Name Company Shipping Address City




Invoice #

Model #

Competitor’s rating plate must be submitted along with entry to qualify for double value gift card.

Postal Code

Serial # *Light Duty Electric Models not included.

SUBMIT FORMS BY JANUARY 14, 2011 Send this completed coupon along with the original invoices to: Bradford White-Canada Inc. | 1869 Sismet Road | Mississauga ON, L4W 1W8

RULES: Offer valid on commercial gas or electric models purchased between October 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010. Light Duty Electric Models not included. Offer not valid on products replaced under warranty. Competitor's rating plate must be submitted along with entry to qualify for double value gift card. No mechanically reproduced invoices will be accepted. Only original invoices, submitted in their entirety, will be accepted. Original invoices can be used one time only. Incomplete orders will not be processed. Bradford White-Canada Inc. is not responsible for the lost, late, misdirected, damaged, illegible, incomplete or postage due mail or orders. Sponsor reserves the right to offer substitution of item of equal or greater value if item specified by sponsor becomes unavailable. Please allow 3 to 6 weeks for shipment. Forms must be received by January 14, 2011. Forms received after this date will be void and will not be honored. Offer void where prohibited. Bradford White-Canada Inc. reserves the right to audit all invoices and order forms submitted to question, and/or disqualify purchases/sales made or claimed that are not in accordance with program rules. Any submitted form or order, as determined by Bradford White-Canada Inc., that is not compliant with the rules of this program will not be honored. The decisions of Bradford White-Canada Inc. are final in all matters relating to this program. Copyright 2010, Bradford White Corporation. All Rights Reserved. *Light Duty Electric Models not included.

Industry News

SEE THE LATEST HPAC e-newsletter @ Invitation to Participate

A key element of the Government of Canada’s ecoENERGY for Buildings and Houses program has been updating the 1997 Model National Energy Code for Buildings. The updated code, to be published in 2011, requires that new buildings be at least 25 per cent more energy efficient than those built under the original 1997 code. The public is invited to review and comment on the proposed changes. The review runs until November 26, 2010 and will be accessible on the National Codes Web site of the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC). Input will be reviewed and considered before the final version of the 2011 code is advanced. The code was developed under a joint partnership between NRC and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan). If you are interested in receiving more information, contact Anne Gribbon, secretary to the CCBFC, at 613-993-5569 or by e-mail at

Call for speakers The Canadian Oil Heat Association (COHA) moves back to Ontario with Oilheat 2011. It will be held June 21-22 at White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa in Niagara-on-the- COHA past chair Steve Wilson hands the reins to incoming lake, ON. Speakers who can address the needs of chairman, Russell Noonan of COHA’s diverse member- Noonan Petroleum at Oilheat 2010 in Charlottetown, PE. ship have the opportunity to share their expertise and tap into their creativity by developing an original program for presentation at COHA 2011. E-mail with your proposal by November 26, 2010.

Clarification IssueD Regarding HDPE in geothermal apps A document issued by the Canadian Geoexchange Coalition presents an analysis of the different standards covering high density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe used in the geothermal industry. It is available at: TN-2010-01_HDPE_E_FINAL.pdf

Green Municipal Fund Increases Limits

The ASHRAE 2011 Winter Conference, which is slated for January 29-February 2 at the Las Vegas Hilton, features more than 90 programs and 300 speakers addressing the theme A Safe Bet: Zero-Energy Design. Speakers will highlight the importance of finding the balance in design. Topics include the efficient use of energy in new and existing buildings; refrigeration updates; applications including data centres, laboratories and healthcare facilities; the real cost of zero-energy design; and other topics related to design, standards, codes and professional skills. ASHRAE is launching a sixth certification program in conjunction with the 2011 Winter Conference. This new program targets energy assessors/energy auditors and is appropriate for those individuals who perform energy assessments or audits for commercial, industrial or residential buildings. The International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Expo, held in conjunction with the Winter Conference, will run January 31-February 2 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 6


The maximum loan from the Green Municipal Fund (GMF) has increased to $10 million, compared with $4 million previously, and the grant-to-loan ratio is now 20 per cent, to a maximum of $1  million. The recent updates, announced by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), also establish more flexible ways to disburse loans and grants continued on page 8

Photo Oscar Einzig Photography

Zero-Energy – The Focus At ASHRAE 2011

The 2010 AHR Expo far exceeded pre-show attendance estimates by attracting nearly 45,000 attendees. The 28,582 registered visitors represented a nearly eight per cent increase from the 2005 AHR Expo in Orlando, FL.

© 2010 Masco Canada Limited

Maintenance. Meet Your Match. Delta’s redesigned 81T Series Electronic Flush Valves are loaded with Smart Solutions like our innovative h2opticstM technology, one of the most advanced sensing technologies in the industry today. Designed to limit maintenance hassles, this series features an easy to read battery life indicator, as well as a battery pack that allows for simple access to the batteries without exposing the electronics of the flush valve. all these features make Delta’s 81t Valves ideal for any busy public facility. and they’re backed by a 5-year limited warranty. What more could you ask for?

< Industry News

continued from page 6

facto liability when leaks and spills occur. The Technical Standards and Safety Act (TSSA), 2000 (Section 7.1 regulation) puts the onus on the distributor to ensure that the tank and oilheat system are in compliance with all TSSA regulations before oil is delivered. Given the safety concerns regarding damaged or faulty oil heating tanks and systems, and the limitations of fuel suppliers to monitor the tanks, COHA Ontario asserts that the only way to ensure the timely and proper inspection of oil heating systems is to put the responsibility on the owners of the oil heating systems – as is the case in most other jurisdictions. Chapter Rallies For Change This approach would require a change to TSSA guideThe Ontario Chapter of the Canadian Oil Heat Association lines. It would, however, be consistent with the Canadian (COHA) recently stepped up its lobbying efforts at Queen’s Standards Association’s Ontario installation code for oilPark to discuss the negative impact that a specific section burning equipment (section 13.2.1). of Ontario Regulation (Fuel Oil) 213/01 is having on the The Chapter is organizing a “grass roots” campaign oilheat industry throughout the province. One of the main with its members to encourage them to write letters, as challenges facing oilheat distributors in Ontario is that curwell as meet their Members of Provincial Parliament, to rent regulatory practices leave oilheat distributors with de further influence changes to the Regulation. For more information contact Constance Wrigley-Thomas HERE’S WHAT REAL CONTRACTORS at or ARE SAYING ABOUT OUR NEW M12TM tel. 905-336-8943. and allow more types of initiatives. For example, energyrecovery and net-zero energy projects are now eligible. There is also a new self-screening questionnaire online to help organizations determine if they may be eligible for GMF funding. GMF was established with an endowment of $550  million from the Government of Canada in 2000. It provides grants for sustainable community plans and studies and a combination of grants and below-market loans for capital projects.


CALGARIAN HEADS UP MCAC "In a word, "Professional" best describes the new 12V drill. The tool offers plenty of torque and interchangeable batteries which are both are very, very important in my business. The Laser Temp GunTM was light weight, easy to use and the high contrast display and spot light made it easy to read even in the darkest spots. I've always used MILWAUKEE® tools and the 12V line is another great addition". - John Zdrilich Zed's Heating & Air Conditioning

"Our techs really enjoyed working with the 12V Drill and the Digital Temp Gun. Great design, light weight but sturdy and did everything we asked of them. We would definitely recommend the 12V Drill and Laser Temp GunTM to other mechanical contractors..." - Warren Parkes Active Mechanical Systems



Brad Diggens, president of MJS Mechanical Ltd. in Calgary, AB., is the new chairman of MCA Canada's board of directors. Diggens joined the trade after high school and became a journeyman at Snyder & Boon Ltd. He started MJS Mechanical in 1993. He has sat on, or chaired, a number of committees with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and plumbing industry advisory councils. He is also a director of the Canadian Construction Association. Diggens is currently the chair of CSA's natural gas and propane installation code committee as well as an associated subcommittee on installations and clearances. continued on page 10



Higher cargo compartment. Lower operating costs. Everything else you need in between. Flexibility and functionality are what make the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter the choice of the construction industry. We offer best-in-class cargo capacity, best interior standing height, a maximum side and rear door opening and best-in-class fuel efficiency complements of our BlueTEC V6 diesel engine. And we surrounded it all with the comfort and engineering you’ve come to expect from Mercedes-Benz. In other words the Sprinter has everything you need, for whatever you need it for. For more information, visit

The 2010 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Starting at $42,900.* © 2010 Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. *Price does not include Freight, PDI, dealer Administrative fees, GST or PST.

< Industry News

continued from page 8

NATION'S CAPITAL EQUILIBRIUM PROJECT GETS THE GO AHEAD A South Ottawa development has received $550,000 in funding under the EQuilibrium Communities Initiative to help improve the planning and design of a healthy, energy-efficient and sustainable community. Located within Ottawa’s Chapman Mills Town Centre, Ampersand is planned to be a neighbourhood that includes homes, commercial space and public parks, all within walking distance of rapid transit. Other proposed features of the project, which will be built by the Minto Group, include: affordable purchase prices; reduced storm water run-off through the use of permeable pavements and green roofs; and targeted net-zero energy consumption. The Minto Group will explore options for renewable energy, green financing, and water use reduction and onsite treatment for the project.

Visit HPAC at CIPHEX WEST booth 215

Join The Green Scene

New 2010 Gas Codes The Government of Alberta recently adopted the 2010 Edition of the CSA B149 Gas Code Series. For more information see

Portal Showcases Clean Energy Providers CanmetENERGY has launched the newest version of Canada’s Clean Energy Portal, which features more than 1,100 Canadian companies offering clean energy technologies and services at home and abroad. It also directs visitors to information and tools encouraging environmentally responsible practices and technology innovation to support Canada’s global competitiveness. For more information, visit

Opportunities And Solutions With Online Training The nationally accessible, bilingual e-Energy Training for Building Operations course, was developed with funding

New WatcoFlex Bath Waste ...installs faster/easier TM

Special patent pending PVC flexible tubing. Eliminates four field joints. Innovator overflow parts assemble by hand. No screws. Approved by IAPMO. It’s green. You’ll get used to seeing it. Just ask your wholesaler


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Industry News > from NRCan and provincial utilities by the Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA Canada). BOMA Canada launched the course, which was developed to help building operators reduce energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in commercial and institutional buildings, at its National Conference and Exhibition in Toronto on September 14-16, 2010. The course teaches operations staff to identify energy-saving opportunities and potential solutions in HVAC, lighting, electrical and control systems. It also focuses on the importance of understanding factors such as energy loads and energy use, using tools such as metering and billing protocols. To help contractors close the deal, the course includes modules on how to promote energy efficiency to management, co-workers and tenants.

Guidelines Released For Domestic Reclaimed Water An increased emphasis on the use of domestic reclaimed water systems for residential or commercial locations has prompted policymakers to develop

water reuse and water conservation strategies. The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) participated in the development of the CSA B128 Standard, and gave feedback to Health Canada on the development of Canadian Guidelines for Domestic Reclaimed Water for Use in Toilet and Urinal Flushing, so that consolidated standards, and guidelines can be referenced by any jurisdiction considering greywater policies. This guideline is designed to support the CSA B128 standard – Design, installation and maintenance of nonpotable water systems. CSA B128 is referenced in the 2010 National Plumbing Code. The document can be found at: under Environmental and Workplace Health-Water QualityReclaimed Water.

RPA renamed and relocated The board of directors of the Radiant Panel Association recently approved a name change for the organization. Effective immediately it will be known as the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA). This new name along with the continued on page 12

A system feeder strong enough for industrial use, but made for residential

The GMP residential and light commercial hydronic system feeder is economical yet rugged compact and easy to use. It is ideal for closed-loop space heating, chilled water, snowmelt, radiant heating and process control system. Choose the product that offers you both reliability and performance! AVAILABLE MODELS GMP6

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Prevents floods No direct connection to potable water supply

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Motorcyclists Ride To Build Homes Participants in the first Ride for Habitat, which was co-sponsored by the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) and Habitat for Humanity Canada, take a moment before heading out on the four-hour motorcycle ride on September 19.



< Industry News

continued from page 11

tag line Integrating Energy & Comfort are featured in its redesigned logo. The change was made to “promote a distinct awareness that our direction is toward the integration of efficient, appropriate energy sources and systems with control of the built environment.” The Alliance recently moved its headquarters to 8512 Oswego Rd., Suite 180, Baldwinsville, NY 13027, tel. 315303-4735. RPA has announced that it will hold its annual meeting concurrently with the annual meetings of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) and the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA) on February 15-17 in San Antonio. The

HRAI Annual Meeting Highlights The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) signed a memorandum of understanding during HRAI's annual meeting in August in Kananaskis, AB. Specifically, AHRI and HRAI agreed to provide technical assistance to each other, to present the policy interests of the other to its country's governmental authorities or code bodies, and to promote common policy positions/statements.

three organizations have called the event The 2011 Indoor Air Expo. According to Paul Stalknecht, ACCA president and CEO, “The Indoor Air Expo has grown significantly since ACCA and IAQA have joined together. Adding RPA just made sense, because we are creating the biggest source of education, networking, and learning opportunities available for all of our members. We are thrilled about expanding the expo and having so many contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers in one place at one time.” For more information contact Richard Ware (richard. at ACCA, tel. 703-824-8843, or Diane Chester ( at IAQA, tel. 301-231-­8388.

“This agreement is an important step in solidifying the relationship between two key industry partners. HRAI has had an excellent working relationship with AHRI and its predecessor organizations for more than 30 years,” said HRAI president Warren Heeley. “This MOU will solidify our relationship and better define to our respective members how we support each other in the government affairs and standards-writing areas in each country.” HRAI will hold its 43rd annual meeting at White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa in Niagara-on-the-lake, ON, from August 25-27, 2011.

AHRI president and CEO Stephen Yurek and HRAI chairman Gerry Cellucci (l) sign the MOU while HRAI president Warren Heeley looks on.

It was standing room only for Chris Mitchell’s presentation on Integrating Geothermal Systems.

Incoming HRAI chair Colin Jennings (l) of Carrier Canada Ltd. accepts the gavel from past chair Gerry Cellucci of Yorkland Controls. 12


HRAI board members and delegates took some time out from the busy agenda to enjoy some Wild West exploits at Boundary Ranch. Rear left, Dave Morden (chair - manufacturers division); centre Mark Boncardo, Gerry Cellucci (past chair); front 2nd from left, Ron Robinson (vice chair and chair – contractors division), HRAI chair Colin (Rusty) Jennings, Marc Gendron (vice chair – contractors division), and Keith Werner (secretary/treasurer & chair – wholesalers division).

Industry News > energy management standard will lead to continuous improvements The International Organization for Standardization’s (ISO’s) ISO 50001 standard for energy management systems is in the final draft stage with an anticipated publication date of 2011. As Michael Burke, director of industrial programs at Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), explained, “The adoption of the ISO 50001 standard will lead to continual energy performance improvement by organizations.” The standard will enable organizations of all types and sizes to establish the systems and processes necessary to take a systematic approach to improve energy efficiency, use, consumption and intensity. It will also lead to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts. Canada and 37  other countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, China, Sweden and Spain, are developing the standard and intend to adopt it in whole or part once it is published.

To date, over 400 pages of input from the participating countries have been considered at three international meetings held since 2008. The Canadian Advisory Committee, a 22-member group with representatives from industry, government, utilities and academia, has provided extensive input to each of the early ISO 50001 drafts. The 12-page draft, spelled out the standard’s scope and requirements for energy management systems, including management responsibilities, energy review, energy baseline, energy targets, action plan, implementation and operation, checking performance and management review. A pilot project in Ontario is evaluating the preparedness of Canadian industry for the implementation of the ISO 50001 standard. “The pilot project is taking place at five manufacturing facilities and aims to demonstrate the value proposition of the standard,” says Burke. To request a copy of the draft international standard, contact Jessica Msuya, industrial programs division, NRCan, by e-mail at <>



The Best Radiant Options on the Market Viega is the innovative leader in radiant heating and cooling systems, offering a full line of products for residential, commercial or industrial applications. Viega’s Climate Panel® system is the easiest way to install hydronic radiant floor heating. It can be installed over wood subfloor or concrete and under any type of floor covering. Climate Panel provides more efficient heat and uses less energy than conventional forced-air heating systems. Snap Panel® is another option for residential hydronic floor heating. Snap Panel is a plastic grid fastening system for slab and lightweight concrete pour radiant applications. The unique grid pattern allows installers to lay tubing either straight or diagonally. While Climate Panel or Snap Panel may be more efficient for new construction, Viega also offers Climate Trak® for retrofit applications or for projects where build-up above the subfloor could be a concern. Climate Trak consists of heavy-gauge aluminum panels that



can be stapled directly to the underside of the subflooring. If the application is industrial or commercial, Climate Mat® is the solution to heating or cooling requirements. With a Climate Mat system, contractors may install 20,000 square feet of evenly spaced tubing in an average work day. Installation is simple. The Climate Mat arrives on the jobsite already assembled in a roll. All the installer has to do is unroll it, secure it to the installation surface and pour concrete. In three easy steps, the job is done. Viega custom designs Climate Mats for each floor plan and works alongside contractors to make sure the project is completed successfully. Another unique residential, commercial or industrial option Viega offers is the innovative S-no-Ice® system, which makes snow and ice removal easy. S-no-Ice initiates at the onset of precipitation and is perfect for driveways, parking lots or hospital helipads. Founded in 1899, Viega is the global leader in radiant heating and cooling systems, offering the most innovative and efficient products on the market. For more information contact us at or 1-800-976-9819.




Climate Mat™ is Viega’s newest manufactured system of ProRadiant® heating and cooling. The Climate Mat system enables installers to lay large areas of flooring faster and more efficiently than traditional floor systems. ProRadiant offers comfort, efficiency and versatility. • Reduced installation time. • Patent pending securement method guarantees desired tube spacing. • Pre-pressurized tubing eliminates downtime. • Pre-engineered design takes the guesswork out of installation. • No balancing needed due to same circuit lengths. Viega provides everything needed for a heating and cooling systems solution. This includes components, technical support services, system design and CAD layouts for ease of installation. Discover how Viega’s ProRadiant technology will maximize business profit. | 1-800-976-9819

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Testing Practices Change With The Times Technical standards for the building science and weatherization industry developed by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) are expected to be adopted by its Canadian arm. HVAC contractors will need to understand and implement those standards. BY Jim Bergmann


ather than laws, testing protocols and processes that have been validated and adopted as industry standards govern the HVAC industry. As is the case with the building science trades, it is imperative that HVAC contractors understand and follow them to minimize exposure and liability.

CASE IN POINT Ironically, Worst Case Depressurization Testing, a core test in the building performance world, which has been part of the fuel and gas code in the U.S. for as long as I can remember, is in the appendix as a recommendation, but not part of the code itself. In reality, it is something we should have been doing all along. Worst Case Depressurization Testing is a test that inten-

tionally tries to fail an appliance in operation via flue gas spillage or flame disruption. This test purposely tries to starve the combustion air zone (CAZ) for air to simulate conditions that could be created within the home at any given time. Using a variety of tools including a draft gauge, smoke pencil precision manometer and combustion analyzer, the test, when properly done, will reveal deficiencies in combustion, dilution or ventilation air in the structure. Testing should be performed during every inspection at least annually and whenever any modifications to the home or appliances are made. This includes everything from caulking windows, to remodeling, to changing a fan speed on a furnace or air conditioner. This is not just winter time testing. Hot water tanks can also vent into the home causing CO poisoning if not burning and venting properly. The silver lining to this is twofold. CAZ testing saves lives and generates business when deficiencies within the CAZ are identified and corrected. But before we can identify deficiencies, we need to understand the test.

1. Measure the Base Pressure Start with all exterior doors, windows, and fireplace damper(s) closed. Set all combustion appliances to the pilot setting or turn off the service disconnect, including: boiler, furnace, space-heaters, and water heater. With the home in this configuration, measure and record the base pressure of the combustion appliance zone (CAZ) WRT outside. Beyond the annual inspection, depressurization testing

2. Establish the Worst Case

should be done whenever any modifications to the home

Turn on the dryer and all exhaust fans. Close interior doors that make the CAZ pressure more negative. Turn on the air handler, if present, and leave on to see if the pressure in

or appliances are made.


HPAC | September/october 2010

HVAC DEPRESSURIZATION > FIGURE 1 Combustion Safety Test Action Levels CO Test Result*


Spillage and Draft Test Results

Retrofit Action

0-25 ppm



Proceed with work

26-100 ppm



Recommended that the CO problem be fixed

26-100 ppm


Fails at worst case only

Recommend a service call for the appliance and/or repairs to the home to correct the problem

Fails under natural conditions

Stop Work: Work may not proceed until the system is serviced and the problem is corrected

100-400 ppm


> 400 ppm



Stop Work: Work may not proceed until the system is serviced and the problem is corrected

> 400 ppm


Fails under any condition

Emergency: Shut off fuel to the appliance and have the homeowner to call for service immediately

*CO measurements for undiluted flue gases at steady state

FIGURE 2 CAZ Depressurization Limits Venting Condition

Limit (Pascals)

Orphan natural draft water heater (Including outside chimneys)


Natural draft boiler or furnace commonly vented with water heater


Natural draft boiler or furnace with vent damper commonly vented with water heater


Individual natural draft boiler or furnace


Mechanically assisted draft boiler or furnace commonly vented with water heater


Mechanically assisted draft boiler or furnace alone, or fan assisted DHW alone


Chimney-top draft inducer (fan at chimney top); High static pressure flame retention head oil burner; Sealed combustion appliances


the CAZ becomes more negative, then recheck the door positions. Measure the net change in pressure from the CAZ to outside, correcting for the base pressure. Record the "worst case depressurization" and compare to the CAZ Depressurization Limit Table (see Figure 2).

3. Measure Worst Case Spillage, Draft, CO Fire the appliance with the smallest Btuh capacity first, test for spillage at the draft diverter with a spillage detector, mirror or smoke test, and test for CO at the flue at steady state (if steady-state is not achieved within 10 minutes, take CO readings at the 10 minute mark). If the spillage test fails under worst-case go to step 4. If spillage ends within one minute, test the draft in the connector 1-2' after the diverter or first elbow. Fire all other connected appliances simultaneously and test the draft diverter of each appliance for spillage. Test for CO in all appliances in the flue, before the draft diverter.

4. M  easure Spillage, Draft, CO under Natural Conditions If spillage fails under worst case, turn off the appliance, the

exhaust fans, open the interior doors, and allow the vent to cool before re-testing. Test for CO, spillage, and draft under "natural conditions". Measure the net change in pressure from worst case to natural in the CAZ to confirm the "worst case depressurization" taken in step 2. Repeat for each appliance, allowing the vent to cool between tests.

5. Ambient CO Monitor the ambient CO in the breathing zone during the test procedure and abort the test if ambient CO goes over 35 ppm. Turn off the appliance, ventilate the space, and evacuate the building. The building may be reentered once ambient CO levels have gone below 35 ppm. The appliance must be repaired and the problem corrected prior to completing the combustion safety diagnostics. If the ambient levels exceed 35 ppm during testing under natural conditions, disable the appliance and instruct the homeowner to have the appliance repaired prior to operating it again.

6. Action Levels Make recommendations or complete work order for repairs based on test results and the Combustion Safety Test Action Level Table shown in Figure 1. When CAZ depressurization limits are exceeded under worst-case conditions according to the CAZ Depressurization Limit table, make up air must be provided or other modifications to the building shell or exhaust appliances must be included in the work scope to bring the depressurization within acceptable limits. Worst-case CAZ depressurization limits are shown in Figure 2. (Note a Pascal = 0.004 IWC (Inches Water Column) - a good digital manometer or your combustion analyzer should allow you to easily switch from IWC to Pa.) If the stack CO in any appliance is measured greater than 100 ppm during diagnostic testing, or the ambient CO in the home exceeds 35 ppm during appliance operation, an appliance clean and tune up must be completed as part of the work scope. The homeowner shall be notified of the results of all combustion safety tests. <> Jim Bergmann, an HVAC/R technical specialist and advisor for Testo, is an HVAC instructor. Bergmann can be reached at

Reference: Building Performance Institute (BPI) Combustion Safety Test For Vented Appliances v2/28/05mda

september/october 2010 | HPAC


Zuba-Central Low Ambient Heat Pump System



Mitsubishi Electric’s Zuba-Central is an ENERGY STAR-rated forced-air heat pump designed specifically for the Canadian market. Unlike traditional heat pumps which cannot operate when outdoor temperature gets below 0°C, Zuba-Central offers 100% heating capacity at -15°C. Even when outdoor temperatures go down to -30°C, Zuba-Central can still function at peak efficiency with 75% capacity.

Designed for Canada The secret behind such high heating performance, even under extremely low outdoor temperatures, is our exclusive Hyper-Heat Inverter (H2i) technology. The H2i technology overcomes the shortfall of compressors overheating in cold temperatures for trying to maintain a stable discharge pressure. This gives Zuba-Central the power to maintain a high heating capacity and achieve higher performances without being affected by the cold.

Powerful Savings The Zuba-Central heat pump system, can cut annual home heating and cooling costs by as much as 70% while slashing carbon emissions. Comparing heat pumps’ energy efficiency to other means of heating, even the most efficient gas furnaces only have COP of 0.95 and electric furnaces are 1.0. Not to mention the propane and oil furnaces that goes further down on the list. Zuba-Central’s COP ranges from 1.4 to 3.19, depending on the outside temperature, and it actually gets more efficient as temperatures increase! In an estimated calculation for a typical 2,500 sq. ft. home in Vancouver, it would cost up to $2,967 for heating with electricity annually. Yet with Zuba-Central, the annual heating cost would be as low as $904, saving over $2000 a year! Although actual savings may vary depending on application and rates from different energy providers, the savings are significant.

Quiet, Compact, and User-Friendly: It’s called Mitsubishi Electric Quality Zuba-Central’s outdoor unit runs as low as 52dB(A). With the outdoor unit measuring only 13 inches deep, you can have it installed virtually anywhere alongside the exterior wall without taking up much real-estate. In addition, Zuba-Central now features a new touch-screen thermostat which ensures smoother installations and provides the homeowner with seamless stateof-the-art controllability. It is our commitment to innovation, technology and service – we stand behind every product that bears the Mitsubishi Electric name.




Innovate. Evolve. Advance. Zuba-Central. The revolution in whole-home comfort continues. You already know Zuba-Central as the ground-breaking Canadian innovation in year-round residential HVAC. This year, the evolution continues with impressive improvements, including Energy Star compliance and a new user-friendly digital thermostat. So make the intelligent choice. Give your customers the advanced level of comfort and dramatic savings that only Zuba-Central can provide. Get all the details at


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Electric Canada provides these figures without including obligation or liability. Figures may vary depending on application and energy provider. For complete details visit


Pumping Power A by-the-numbers approach for estimating circulator power requirements.


ne thing I have noticed in over 30 years of dealing with hydronics is that most people focus on the thermal efficiency of the heat source when assessing the quality of a heating system. This includes consumers, as well as those in the trade. Just about everyone knows that high thermal efficiency is good and thus many assume that a highly efficient heat source equates to a good system. This is similar to assuming that a high performance engine always makes the vehicle it is installed in a high performance racing machine. True, a typical Formula One car does have a high performance engine. It also has meticulously designed aerodynamics, a very light but strong transmission and a full slate of details that work as a system to enable that vehicle to be as fast and manoeuvrable as possible. Not many people would take a high performance racing engine, mount it in their garden tractor and show up expecting to be competitive at the next Grand Prix. Unfortunately, the same thinking does 20

HPAC | September/october 2010

not always apply to hydronic heating systems. I have seen many systems installed with modulating/condensing boilers, geothermal heat pumps, or other heat sources that hold the potential for high performance, only to have that potential hobbled by a poorly-designed and often inefficient distribution system. One area in which present day hydronic systems hold significant potential for improvement is in reducing the distribution energy required to move heat from where it is produced to where it is needed. Although distribution system components such as zone valves and electronic controllers use some electrical energy, the vast majority of the distribution energy is used by circulators. This is where the big potential for energy savings lies. Circulators are energy conversion devices. They convert some of the electrical energy required to operate them into mechanical energy called â&#x20AC;&#x153;headâ&#x20AC;? and impart this energy to the fluid flowing through them. The remainder of the electrical input energy is converted to heat. From the standpoint of desired function, circulators should convert as much of the electrical input energy as possible into head rather than heat. After all, we do not install circulators with the intent of using them as heat sources. The ratio of this desired effect (imparting head energy to the fluid), divided by the necessary input effect (electrical wattage to operate the circulator), is called wire-to-water efficiency. It can be expressed mathematically as follows:

Photo Istockphoto


PUMPS > Where: Pmechanical = mechanical power transferred to fluid (watts) f = flow rate (gpm) P = differential pressure across circulator (psi) Formula 2 can also be used to determine the mechanical energy dissipated by any piping component with flow passing through it. Here is an example: A piping circuit constructed of ¾" copper tubing and fittings has an equivalent length of 200 feet. It operates with water at an average temperature of 140F and at a flow rate of 5.0 gpm. Using standard calculation methods, the head loss of this circuit under these conditions is determined Pmechanical to be 10 feet. How much mechanical η = w/wis required to sustain flow through this circuit? power Pelectrical Solution: Before using Formula 2 we must convert the head loss of a circuit into an associated pressure drop using Formula 3.

Pmechanical = 0.4344 x f x ∆ P

Formula 3

( )

P D ∆ P= = Hmechanical ηw/w Pelectrical 144



Pmechanical Pelectrical

Where: nw/w = wire-to-water efficiency Pmechanical = 0.4344 xfx∆P Pmechanical = mechanical power transferred to fluid (watts) Pelectrical = electrical power required to operate D (watts) circulator


( ) 144

To work with this equation, one needs to determine the mechanical power transferred to the fluid. Formula 2 is used to calculate this power based on the flow rate through Pmechanical 61.3the=circulator: D = 10across ηw/w and pressure 4.26 psi ∆ P= = H differential

Where: P = pressure drop due x to fhead P =D 0.4344 x ∆ loss P (psi) mechanical 10 61.3 = 4.26 P==Pmechanical H (feet H∆ =ηw/w head loss of=head) P 144 144 D = densityelectrical of the fluid at average system 3 ∆ temperature P = H D(lb/ft )

( ) ( ) ( )


Pmechanical = 0.4344 144 x f x ∆ P The density of water at 140F is 61.3 lb/ft3. Thus the Pmechanical = 0.4344 x f x ∆ P = 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 pressure drop around the circuit is: ∆P=H D 1440.4344 D x f x61.3 ∆P

( )

= 9.2

( ) ( )

∆ P = H= Pelectrical


= 10 = 4.26 psi ηw/w144

( ) ( )

∆ P = H D = 10 61.3 = 4.26 psi 144required to sustain flow through 144 The mechanical power x f x ∆ Pusing0.4344 the circuit can 0.4344 now be calculated Formula x 2.5 x 4.26

= 0.4344 x f x ∆ P ==0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 ==9.2 Pelectrical = 46 Pmechanical ηw/w 0.20 Pmechanical = 0.4344 x f x ∆ P = 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 = 9.25watt

0.4344 x f x ∆ P Pelectrical 0.4344 = xfx∆P Pelectrical From our= perspective asηenergy consumers, this is a very ηuw/w w/w w x t x low power requirement. To put it in perspective, a small C= Pelectrical 144 144 nightlight draws about four watts when operating. Thus, the 1,000 f x ∆ P to 0.4344 FORMULA 2 mechanical 0.4344 power xneeded maintain in this circuit 5flow x 4.26 P x0.4344 Pelectrical = 0.4344 x f x= ∆ 5 x 4.26 =x 46.2watt = η = 0.20 is P only a bit more than that required by two small night- = 46 w/w electrical ηw/wx 3,000 x 0.14 0.20 Pmechanical = 0.4344 x f x ∆ P t x u =46 lights.CThe lowxmechanical power requirement=$19.32/yr associated =w Pmechanical = 0.4344 x f x ∆ P = 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 = 9.25watt 1,000 continued on page 22 1,000

( ) ( ) ( )

D xfx∆P ∆ P = H 0.4344 P =

C=wxtxu 1,000

september/october 2010 | HPAC




Pmechanical Pelectrical



continued from page 21

efficiency maximum efficiency

Pmechanical = 0.4344 x f x ∆ P 0.25

( )

circulator (wire-to-water) efficiency! (decimal percent)

with moving heat using water rather than air is one of the ∆ P =advantages H D of hydronic systems. inherent 144 of you are probably thinking – is he About now some really stating that I can use a 9.25 watt circulator to move five gpm through a 200 foot long, ¾” piping circuit? The answer is no. 9.25 is the mechanical power required, 61.3 D watts = 10 = 4.26 psi ∆ P = H not the electrical input power to the circulator. That is where 144 144 the previous mention of wire-to-water efficiency comes in. By combining Formulas 1 and 2 we can factor in the overall efficiency of the circulator.


( ) ( )

mechanical Formula 4




= 0.4344 x f x ∆ P = 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 = 9.25watt



0.4344 x f x ∆ P = ηw/w







10 12 14 16 18

flow rate (gpm)

ciency value at that flow rate is just a bit over 22 per cent. This means that the circulator, operating at this flow rate, Notice that Formula 4 is just Formula 2 divided by the 0.4344ofx the f x circulator. ∆ P 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 converts only about 22 per cent of the electrical input wire-to-water efficiency Pelectrical = = = 46.2watt power to mechanical power added to the fluid. The remainOK, so how do you determine efficiency ηw/w the wire-to-water 0.20 ing 78 per cent of the input power is converted to heat. Not of the circulator? Answer: you need to look it up for the very impressive, but nonetheless a reality of dealing with specific circulator being used and at the flow rate that cirthe current generation of small, wet rotor circulators with culator is operating at. w x t x u TheC graph = in Figure 1 plots the wire-to-water efficiency of permanent split capacitor (PSC) motors. If the piping circuit was such that the circulator reprea typical small1,000 wet rotor circulator as a function of flow rate. sented in Figure 1 was forced to operate at four gpm, its This graph was constructed by using several data points of wire-to-water efficiency would only be about 15 per cent. wattage versus flow rate and differential pressure, and then w x t x u 46 x 3,000 x 0.14 converting that data to wire-to-water efficiency versus flow = =$19.32/yr Likewise, if the piping system forces this circulator to operC= ate at 17 gpm, its wire-to-water efficiency would be just rate using the1,000 previous formulas. 1,000 under 10 per cent. This implies that circulators should be matched to piping systems so that the operating point of You can see that the wire-to-water efficiency of a circulathe circulator is as close as possible to the maximum effitor is very dependent on the flow rate through it. For the cirn (1 + i) – 1 ciency point. culator represented in Figure 1, the maximum wire-to-water C total = C year1 efficiency occurs at a flow rate of about 9.3 gpm. The efficontinued on page 24 i







n 20 C total = C year1 (1 + i) – 1 = $19.32 (1 + 0.05) – 1 = $638.84 i 0.05

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HPAC | September/october 2010

6/25/08 9:46:13 AM



tekmarNet®2 Thermostat 528 The easy to use tekmarNet®2 Thermostat 528 could quickly become your favourite • Simple, up or down temperature adjustment • Floor and air temperature control • Dual (indoor and outdoor) temperature display • Non-polarity sensitive, two wire connections to House Controls and Wiring Centres for communication • Default settings fit majority of installations, reducing set-up time Need more reasons to try one? Communication with a tekmarNet®2 House control provides these system benefits: • Improved energy efficiency • Reduced boiler short cycling • Faster recovery times • Reduced temperature swings The 528 is compatible with tekmarNet® User Switches and Timers, making it easy to add one touch, system wide control and central setback schedules. To find out more, download the P523 brochure from or contact your local tekmar representative.

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Lock-it-Up with Lockerbie & Hole Regarded as one of the country’s leading mechanical contractors, Lockerbie & Hole has been helping build Canada since 1898. Lockerbie & Hole has the expertise to undertake a wide variety of projects in the industrial, municipal and institutional market sectors, including three high-profile projects in Edmonton, Alberta that are each using the latest water distribution system from IPEX—AquaRise®.

Lockerbie & Hole is using AquaRise at the University of Alberta’s Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS), a LEED-certified building scheduled to open in 2011. The first of its kind in Canada, CCIS will set the stage for collaborations of research groups within the University faculty. When complete, CCIS will have over 1200 kilometers of plumbing piping, much of which consists of AquaRise. “The CCIS building was the first one where we used AquaRise,” says Elvis Iacobelli, senior commercial purchaser for Lockerbie & Hole. “It was sort of a feeler project for us, and it was the material of choice.” AquaRise is also being used for 1/2, 3/4, and 1 inch piping that make up the recirculated hot water system throughout the new Edmonton Clinic, a joint effort between the University of Alberta and Capital Health. Due to open in 2011, the new $577-million 170,000 square-metre health sciences facility will play a significant role in Alberta’s health reform strategy.



A solid alternative to metal, AquaRise delivers hot and cold potable water in commercial, industrial and high-rise buildings. This CPVC distribution system comes with reduced material costs and saves valuable time and money on job sites. Its proven strength, highly-engineered construction and robust fittings provide long-term performance, pressure rating and corrosion resistance for years of consistent flow and maintenance-free performance.

“With a recirculation system, there is constant pressure in the pipes. That, in addition with softer water, can cause monoxide gas that eats up and pits copper piping, especially at the joints,” says Randy Heibert, Lockerbie & Hole foreman for the Edmonton Clinic South. “That’s why we chose to use AquaRise for all the hot water recirculation lines around the entire perimeter of the new clinic. Plus, it is easier to install than soldering copper.” The third high-profile construction project where Lockerbie & Hole is planning to use AquaRise is the new Edmonton Remand Centre being built in the city’s north end next to the Edmonton Young Offender Centre. The new $620 million facility will replace the 27-year-old remand centre located in downtown Edmonton and will house up to 2,000 inmates to alleviate overcrowding at the current facility when it opens in spring of 2012. Like all IPEX integrated solutions, AquaRise pipe, valves and fittings are designed to function as a system, yet flexible enough to work universally with other products. And since it’s built and backed by IPEX, AquaRise also comes with superior technical support and jobsite trouble-shooting.




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Ask Randy Heibert, Lockerbie & Hole “With a recirculation system, there is constant pressure in the pipes. That, in addition with softer water, can cause monoxide gas that eats up and pits copper piping, especially at the joints. That’s why we chose to use AquaRise® for all the hot ed at gr te in lly fu a AquaRise pofipfee,rs fittings and va lves. er water recirculation lines around the entire perimeter of the system ofe solvent cement and prim is aR y. bl qu A sy assem new clinic. Plus, it is easier to install than soldering copper.” allows for fast, ea ®


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( )

∆P=H D 144


Pelectrical = ∆P=H

( ) ( )

continued from page 22


= 10 61.3 = 4.26 psi 144

Pmechanical ηw/w= That is a big jump in wattage compared to the mechanixu Ptelectrical = w xrequired cal Cpower to maintain flow. It is a direct result of

1,000 0.4344 x f x ∆ P w/w

( )

Dt x u 46 x 3,000 x 0.14 C∆ P==wH x0.4344 x= f x ∆ P 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26=$19.32/yr Pelectrical = 144 = 46.2watt 1,000 ηw/w = 1,0000.20


the circulator being only 20 per cent efficient at converting electrical power into mechanical power and imparting the C x t fluid. x=u0.4344 PCmechanical x f x 0.14 ∆ P=$19.32/yr latter =46 x 3,000 =towthe 1,000 1,000 46.2 watts is in the ballpark of the power used at the speed 1 setting of some small, three-speed wet rotor circulators. ∆ P Unfortunately, = H D there are plenty of systems out there (1144 + flow i) n –and 1 head requirements that have cirsimilar Cwith =very C year1 total culators operatingi at 80 to 100 watts. True, the flow rate will be higher in these circuits, but increasing flow rates typically adds very little to the thermal performance of heat D n = 10 61.3 = 4.26 psi 20 (1 + circuits. i) – 1 Instead, it(1just + 0.05) – 1the operemitters inHsuch adds to C total∆=PC= = $19.32 = $638.84 year1 144 144 i 0.05 ating cost. Why install an 80 to 100 watt circulator when a nominal 46 watt circulator will do the job?

(( ) )





P = =have Pelectrical 0.4344 f x ∆ P annual operating cost: kwhr would theηxfollowing mechanical


) ) ( )(


Pmechanical Px t x u 0.4344 x f x ∆ P = 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 = 9.25watt PC mechanical = w=electrical

0.4344 x f x ∆ P 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 = = = 46.2watt ηw/w 0.20


( ) ( )


Now, back to the 200-foot piping circuit we were discussPmechanical = 0.4344 x f x ∆ P = 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 = 9.25watt ing earlier. Assume that the circulator used in this circuit has a wire-to-water 0.4344 x efficiency f x ∆ P of 20 per cent at the five gpm Pelectrical = flow rate. The electrical ηw/w wattage required by the circulator under such conditions would be:


0.4344 x f x ∆ P 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 = = 46.2w ηw/w= 4.26 psi 0.20 D = 10 61.3

( ) ( )

The total life operating cost of a circulator over an D cycle = 10 61.3 = 4.26 psi ∆P=H w x t x u assumed C = design 144be estimated based on the current 144 life can n 1,000(1 cost, + i) – 1an assumed rate of inflation for annual operating and = C year1 total that cost. The latter iis obviously an educated guess. Use w=for x0.4344 t xthis u =46 0.14 =$19.32/yr xcalculation. f xx3,000 ∆ P =x0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 = 9.25watt Pmechanical C =6 Formula



1,000 1,000 0.4344 x f x ∆ P Pelectrical =6 FORMULA ηw/wn 20 (1(1+ + i) ni) – 1 – 1 = $19.32 (1 + 0.05) – = C C = C total total year1 year1 i i 0.05 0.4344 x f x ∆ P 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 Pelectrical = = = 46.2watt ηw/w 0.20





Where: 20 (1 + i) n – 1cost over a(1period + 0.05)of –n1years ($) = C year1 operating CCtotal = $19.32 = $638.84 total = total i 0.05 Cyear1= operating cost in first year ($) w x t x u C= i = assumed1,000 rate of inflation of annual cost (decimal per cent) n = years over which operating cost is being totaled C = w x t x u =46 x 3,000 x 0.14 =$19.32/yr 1,000 the previously 1,000 For example, discussed circulator that operates on 46 watts for 3,000 hours per year had a first year operating cost of $19.32. If electricity was assumed n + i)cent – 1 per year, the total operating cost of = Catyear1 toCinflate five(1per total this circulator over ia 20 year design life would be:


= 0.4344 x f x ∆ P = 0.4344 x 5 x 4.26 = 9.25watt






mechanical The formulas presented thus far are useful in predicting and comparing the circulator power requirements for varin 20 C total = C year1 (1 + i) – 1 = $19.32 (1 + 0.05) – 1 = $638.84 0.4344Once x f xthe∆ circulator P ous system options. wattage options i 0.05 Pelectrical = are determined, the nextηstep w/w is to determine the costs associated with those options. For fixed speed circulators, This demonstrates that even small circulators can have cost estimates are based on the number of hours the circusignificant life cycle operating cost. lator is assumed to operate annualxoperating Good designers pay close attention to circulator power 0.4344 x f xin∆a year. P The 0.4344 5 x 4.26 = 46.2watt = P = costelectrical can be determined using requirements. The goal is to choose a circulator that can ηw/w Formula 5. 0.20 supply the necessary flow and head, operate at or near FORMULA 5 peak wire-to-water efficiency point and minimize power input while doing so. Use the formulas presented in this article w x t x u to help scrutinize your designs. Doing so will help to keep C= hydronic heating one of the “greenest” options available. 1,000


Where: C = annual w operating cost ($) C = x t x u =46 x 3,000 x 0.14 =$19.32/yr w = wattage of circulator (watts) 1,000 1,000 t = total annual operating time of circulator (hours) u = electrical cost ($/kwhr)



example, a circulator at 45 watts for 3,000 1 = C year1 (1 + i)that– operates C For total per year hours in a location where electricity costs $0.14/ i 26


HPAC | September/october 2010




John Siegenthaler, P.E. is the author of Modern Hydronic Heating. Visit his website at for reference information and software to assist in hydronic system design. He can be reached at Note: The 3rd edition of Modern Hydronic Heating - For Residential and Light Commercial Buildings will be available December 1, 2010.




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A Science Of Its Own There are several different options to deal with the increasingly complex world of snow melting applications once you establish what the customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs are. BY MIKE MILLER


he demand for snow melting is increasing, as are zoned snow melting systems and the necessity for multiple automatic snow/ice detectors. Zoned snow melting systems accommodate higher priority and lower priority zones, as well as different slab surfaces. Snow melting systems should never run without a system controller that was developed and designed specifically for that purpose. The reason for this is that most controls today come with very intense algorithms to make snow melting as efficient as possible. The system should have outdoor temperature guided capability that can override the system from entering snow melting mode if it is too warm outside and mother nature could melt the snow for free, or if the outdoor conditions are so extreme that a given heat source would not have enough capacity to get the job done. Depending on surface covering, some snow melting systems may need to control the rate of slab surface temperature rise to avoid damage to a slab caused by tensile stresses from a cold start. Properly insulated pipe for distribution to and from each snow melt manifold is in all cases required to ensure heat gets to where it is needed. 30


SYSTEM TYPES A manual snow melt system is a system that is enabled and disabled manually by an individual or user. Often, this is the most cost effective system in terms of product/hardware cost, as it can be achieved with a device as simple as an on/off switch. On the other hand there are operational and possibly even safety concerns that could arise from such a system. Operationally, this type of system could quickly become very expensive to operate if disabled too late or worse yet, forgotten about until the fuel bill is in the mail. If turned off too early, it could pose a safety threat as any water from the just melted snow could reform into ice if not completely removed. When enabled too late, the slabâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s pick-up time will increase, as will the running time. This system definitely requires an attentive user. A semi-automatic snow melt system is enabled manually, but disabled automatically based on an adjustable amount of running time. Most controls on the market have this built in as a standard feature. The systems are often enabled by the push of a button on the control or with a momentary push button located remotely from the control. The semi automatic system allows a user to melt the snow as desired and only requires the human interface at the beginning of a snow melting event. Based on a preset but adjustable running time period, the system would disable itself when the time has expired. Setting the right amount of time is the key and often hard to predict. The same operational or safety concerns exist as in the previous option whereby the system could still turn off too late HPACMAG.COM

Snow Melting >

or too early. At least its disable is set and even if it is forgotten about, it wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t run beyond the time set. A fully automatic snow melting system utilizes an automatic snow/ice detector that enables the system upon detection of snow or ice on its surface and disables the system when the snow or ice has been completely removed. Its location is very critical. It should be located in an area where it would be most likely to detect snow accumulation. The detector usually adds to the initial component cost but it helps run the system as economically as possible as the snow melt system only runs while needed. Compared to the manual or semi-automatic snowmelt systems, the automatic sensor addition often pays for itself within months. All of these three different types of systems should run off a slab sensor embedded in the slab for accurate surface temperature control. Setting the right surface temperature for a melting event may change how the system performs. For example, higher melting slab surface temperatures help clear off snow from a surface more quickly, but are more expensive to operate as the temperature difference of slab surface temperature compared to ambient outdoor temperature is greater and therefore the load is greater. Lower melting surface temperatures clear off snow at a slower rate, but the load of the system is decreased as the temperature difference between slab surface and outdoor air is lower. Melting surface temperatures that I personally use for snow melting systems are typically 36F residentially and 38F commercially.

APPLICATION SCENARIOS Some specialized applications are often referred to as snow melting applications but sometimes that may not be the right terminology, as outlined in the following example.

Carwash Applications In car wash applications we are often asked to ensure that ice will never form from the water used in the car wash on a slab surface. It is important that any run off from the water is directed to a floor drain. In those applications, the water frequently splashes across a large slab area. This would not be an application where an automatic snow/ice detector would normally be utilized due to an element of liability attached to the property. Additionally, there is never really a right place for that sensor to be installed. Car wash applications are in fact slab warming applications as the surface temperature of the slabs leading to and coming from the wash bays must be kept above freezing conditions to avoid ice buildup at all times. In those cases, use a single slab sensor or a set of square number of sensors (e.g. 4, 9, 16, 25â&#x20AC;Ś) for averaging purposes on larger slabs. In the previous examples of the different types of snowmelt applications, this one could be classified a manual system, continued on page 32

september/october 2010 | HPAC


< Snow Melting

continued from page 31

â&#x20AC;&#x153;The concerns mentioned regarding manual snow melting systems are true and while the system was the most cost-effective to purchase, it likely becomes the most costly or more critical system to operate.â&#x20AC;? but in reality it would not, as this system is required to run during all business hours. Ideally a timer that is programmed for the business hours would set the melting, or more accurately called, the slab warming time periods. This would be referred to as a fully automatic system specifically for car washes.

Residential Properties

Higher end properties most often suit fully-automatic systems or a combination of fully-automatic and semi-automatic. The combination system is often utilized where there is a higher traffic service area or zone, such as a driveway and sidewalk that uses an automatic snow/ice detector, and a separate zone of snow melting of a patio or deck, or around pools and hot tubs, that would be only run if in use. In this case, there would be two zones, one with automatic snow/ice detector and one with just a slab sensor and some sort of push-button enable device.

Commercial properties will often be zoned.

Manual systems may be appropriate if the owner of the system is attentive to its operation.

Residential snow melting applications can be manual, semi-automatic or fully automatic, or a combination thereof. One would chose a manual system if the user wants to be in full control of the snow melting system. He would need to be attentive to the operation, as he would be the one enabling and disabling the system. The concerns mentioned above regarding manual snow melting systems are true and while the system was the most cost-effective to purchase, it likely becomes the most costly or more critical system to operate. Traditionally, many systems that a customer wants to run manually, end up being semi-automatic, since most controls have the disable feature built in so the system disables itself after a set amount of running time. 32

HPAC | September/october 2010

On the residential and commercial side, high-end properties often have multiples of fully automatic and possibly semi-automatic snow melting zones. Fully-automatic zones may be multiple areas of parking lots, driveways, sidewalks and different exposures or surfaces. Lower traffic areas, such as pools and hot tubs, patios or decks, or loading ramps if commercial, call for a semi-automatic system. Before starting the system design it is very important to evaluate the customerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs and expectations. Snow melting can be a science on its own and there are always other features, functions and benefits to evaluate. Whatever the application, the manufacturers and suppliers specializing in this field can assist you in working through the options. <> Mike Miller is a controls specialist with experience in the manufacturing, distribution and contracting sectors of the industry. He is currently business development manager, controls with Uponor Canada and can be reached at mike.

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< refrigeration

Repeatability Rules Understanding the negative effects of high compression ratio and high suction vapour temperature highlights the value in utilizing an electronic expansion valve (EEV). BY DAVE DEMMA

vapour that is contained within this clearance is referred to as the clearance volume. It affects compressor efficiency in the following way: This vapour remaining in the clearance volume is at discharge pressure. Its presence prevents any new low pressure vapour from entering the cylinder until it can be re-expanded to a pressure slightly lower than the suction pressure. This only occurs as the piston travels downward in its stroke, with the increase in cylinder volume reducing the pressure of the clearance volume vapour. The portion of piston travel dedicated to re-expanding the clearance volume vapour is not doing any useful work and it requires electrical energy to drive the compressor motor to accomplish the re-expansion. This inefficiency results in a corresponding reduction in the compressor’s capacity, reducing the refrigerant mass flow output. Now, the technician can take steps to reduce this inefficiency. The amount of wasted piston travel is directly proportional to the difference between the discharge prescontinued on page 36 Keys To Operating A Refrigeration Or Air conditioning System At PEak Efficiency •

Capacity Killer #1: Excessive Compression Ratio

When the piston reaches the top of its stroke, a distance or clearance remains between the top of the piston and the bottom of the valve plate. It is there as a safety factor to insure that the piston never makes contact with the valve plate. The volume of EEVs have the ability to provide a constant amount

The correct selection and application of the equipment and components in use. Maintaining the suction line pressure drop at an absolute minimum.This begins with correct piping design and piping installation. It is sustained by proper maintenance, ensuring that restricted suction filters, or compressor inlet screens are not contributing to excessive pressure drop. Commissioning…setting all of the system parameters to those specified by the design criteria. Included in this broad point are the elimination of the twin killers of compressor capacity: high compression ratio (ratio between the absolute discharge pressure and the absolute suction pressure), and high suction vapour temperature. A regular schedule of thorough maintenance to ensure that the heat transfer surfaces of the evaporator and condenser are free of efficiency inhibiting dirt/debris/scale.

of superheat at the outlet of the evaporator.


HPAC | September/october 2010

Graphics courtesy Sporlan Division – Parker Hannifin Corporation


he function of the compressor is to take a volume of low pressure vapour and compress it into a high pressure vapour. As such, compressors are nothing more than a volume pump. The total theoretical volume pumping capacity of a compressor in CFM can be calculated with the following equation: pR² x Piston Stroke x # of Pistons x Motor RPM As is the case with any mechanical device, compressors are subject to inefficiencies in operation. Things such as piston ring condition, seating surface on the compressor’s suction and discharge valves, clearance volume and operating conditions will all affect compressor efficiency. Multiplying the theoretical volume pumping capacity by the compressor efficiency will yield the actual volume pumping capacity. While compressors can be rated in CFM, Btuh capacity at a given condition, or even referred to by the horsepower of the motor driving the compressor, it is the refrigerant mass flow in lbs/min that is of greatest relevance. Refrigerant mass flow is a function of the actual volume pumping capacity and the thermodynamic properties of the refrigerant in use, along with the conditions that the system is operating at.

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< refrigeration

continued from page 34

sure and the suction pressure…aka: compression ratio. By reducing the compression ratio (maintaining the lowest possible discharge pressure, and the highest possible suction pressure) the inefficiency from re-expanding the clearance volume vapour will be kept to a minimum. Capacity Killer #2: Excessive Suction Vapour Temperature

With refrigerant mass flow being the relevant capacity rating point in the compressor’s operation, it becomes important to understand how the system operating conditions can have an impact on this value. Note the pressure-enthalpy diagram in Figure 1, where a system operating at -30F suction and 100F condensing has been plotted. The system is shown with the compression cycle starting with suction vapour at 20F (point A) and also 75F (point B, in red). FIGURE 1 PRESSURE ENTHALPY DIAGRAM

The nearly horizontal lines to the right of the saturated vapour line are lines of specific volume measured in ft³/ lb. The specific volume at points 1 and 2 are 2.9489 ft³/lb and 3.3186 ft³/lb respectively. By taking the inverse of the specific volume, the vapour’s specific density in lb/ft³ can be determined (0.33911 and 0.30133 respectively). In layman’s terms this will reveal how many lbs of refrigerant are contained in each ft³ of vapour. This is relevant in determining the compressor’s mass flow capacity. For example: Assuming an eight cylinder compressor with a piston bore/stroke of 3” x 4” operating at 3,600 rpm at 80 per cent efficiency, the actual volume pumping capacity would be: p(1.5 in²) x (4 in) x (8 cyl/rev) x (3,600 rev/min) x (80 per cent efficiency) x (ft³/1728 in³) = 377 cfm The refrigerant mass flow can then be calculated by 36

HPAC | September/october 2010

multiplying the actual cfm and specific density. Using the compressor cfm calculated above, along with the specific density values from the system plotted above, the refrigerant mass flows are 127.84 lb/min and 113.60 lb/min. This represents an approximate 12 per cent reduction in compressor capacity due to higher vapour temperature. How does this relate to electronic expansion valves (EEVs)? Given a liquid’s high density as compared to electronic expansion valve and the large quantity of heat required to change a liquid into the vapour state (latent heat of vapourization), a liquid refrigerant at saturation is a very efficient heat transfer medium. As such, an evaporator that has a mixture of saturated liquid and vapour flowing through its entire length would provide the highest operational efficiency. This is not practical as it would require operating at a 0 degree superheat, which means a high probability of floodback at the compressor inlet. This is great for evaporator efficiency, but not so great for the compressor. A compromise to evaporator efficiency is required to protect the compressor from the damaging effects of floodback. This is achieved by maintaining a marginal superheat condition at the evaporator outlet. Referring to Figure 2, the TEV receives high pressure, high temperature liquid from the receiver and experiences a reduction in pressure when flowing through the TEV’s port. The lower pressure causes some portion of the liquid to flash into a vapour, which reduces the remaining liquid to the corresponding saturation temperature for that pressure. This mixture of saturated liquid and vapour flows through the evaporator tubing, absorbing heat from the refrigerated space, and causing the remaining liquid to boil into a vapour. At some point the last molecule of liquid boils into a vapour, the point of complete vapourizatiion, with the remainder of the evaporator dedicated to superheating the refrigerant vapour. FIGURE 2 REFRIGERANT FLOW IN EVAPORATOR

refrigeration >

Quiet Strength.


Evaporator ratings are determined by their tubing size, fin spacing, overall dimensions of the evaporator coil, and the TD at which they are applied at (with TD being the difference between the air entering the evaporator and the saturation temperature of the refrigerant in the evaporator). Evaporator capacity is proportional to the TD…increase the TD from 10 degrees to 20 degrees, and you will double the evaporator capacity. Of course, these capacities are all based on the evaporator being fully supplied with enough saturated liquid refrigerant to achieve the manufacturer’s rated capacity. It is the TEV’s job to ensure that the evaporator is operating at the manufacturer’s rated capacity and it does so by supplying the evaporator with the necessary amount of saturated liquid refrigerant to meet the varying demands of the refrigerated space load...this is achieved by maintaining a constant superheat at the evaporator outlet. Keep in mind that the portion of the evaporator dedicated to achieving superheat is providing very little heat transfer, so the superheat should be kept at a minimum. For example, on the low temperature system used in example above it would be appropriate to set the superheat somewhere between 4º and 6º…low enough to maximize evaporator efficiency, but high enough to ensure no floodback. Now, what happens to evaporator efficiency when the TEV is set to maintain a high superheat? The tangible result is that the point of complete vapourization moves closer to the outlet of the TEV, resulting in a larger portion of the evaporator dedicated to superheat the vapour….or a smaller portion of the evaporator dedicate to effectively transferring heat from the refrigerated space. Simply put, high superheat reduces the effective size of the evaporator. The evaporator capacity loss from operating at a high superheat will result in excessive temperatures in the refrigerated space. This can be overcome by lowering the suction pressure…operating at a lower saturation temperature in the evaporator. This increases the TD, which will increase evaporator capacity, and will allow the system to operate

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9/17/10 10:39:36 AM


continued from page 37


at the design temperature. The typical supermarket compressor rack will have sufficient backup compressor capacity to achieve this, but at what cost? The high superheat results in a higher vapour temperature at the compressor inlet and a loss in compressor capacity. The lower suction pressure results in a higher compression ratio and a

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loss in compressor capacity. Would it not be a better solution to set the TEV to the desired superheat set point and allow the system to operate at the highest possible suction pressure? Of course it would be and there are a few potential roadblocks to achieving this: 1) There might be a lack of understanding on the technician’s part regarding superheat, and how to set the TEV. 2) The time involved in setting the TEV. In a typical supermarket there might be as many as 100 TEVs. Given the lengthy amount of time required to set all of the TEVs, the technician might settle for achieving design temperatures without setting TEV superheat. 3) The limitations of the TEV. As a mechanical device it has a range of operation that limits its effectiveness at low load conditions. In addition, the performance of a mechanical TEV will offer varying superheat settings as the conditions change…load, ambient, conditions of the entering liquid refrigerant. As the heading infers, it is all about repeatability. “Repeatability of what?” you might ask. The answer to this question brings us to the EEV, with its ability to repeatedly provide a constant amount of superheat, with a minimum of variation and under the extremes of varying ambient and load conditions, at the outlet of the evaporator. To do so will allow the system to maintain maximum efficiency and consistency in performance. A comparison of the EEV’s ability is shown in Figure 3, where its superheat characteristics are contrasted with those of a mechanical TEV, on the same refrigerated display case operated under constant conditions in a labcontrolled environment. Figure 4 shows the comparative results of what percentage of run-time the EEV and TEV were each within a certain +/- value of set-point. Contrast the EEV being within +/- 1º superheat nearly 90 per cent of the time, whereas the mechanical TEV was within +/- 1º superheat a meager 35 per cent of the time. This is quite a contrast between these two valves that have the same function. Watch for more on the EEV in upcoming issues. <>

Dave Demma holds a degree in refrigeration engineering and worked as a journeyman refrigeration technician before moving into the manufacturing sector where he regularly trains contractor and engineering groups. He can be reached at HPACMAG.COM



REHAU Now Distributed by Eden Energy Equipment Eden Energy Equipment is excited to announce that they are a stocking wholesaler of the REHAU radiant heating system (RHS) in Ontario. The REHAU RHS system is fully integrated and ideal for both new construction and retrofit applications. REHAU RHS also provides a safe and reliable way to keep outdoor areas clear of ice and snow with long-term performance and reliability. REHAU RHS is comprised of several signature components that combine to offer unsurpassed comfort, efficiency, application flexibility, and reliability. The signature components of the REHAU RHS are RAUPEX O2 barrier pipe, EVERLOC fittings, PRO-BALANCE Manifolds, and RAUPANEL dry panel heating. In 1968, REHAU pioneered PEX with the introduction of the first PEXa pipes; when you’re dealing with REHAU you’re dealing with an industry leader. For more details, contact us at 1-800-665-3336.


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efficient best practices for the design and construction of higher performance of all types of buildings. Leading green building experts will provide insight into new technologies, cost management strategies and project delivery models. The Green House Under Construction will be the venue for a series of demonstrations and technical updates from manufacturers of energy efficient and green building products. With more than 1,000 exhibits the show features 30 different product categories, technologies and services for the commercial and residential markets. <>


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< plumbing

Technology Simplifies Water Protection Market features and design changes to backflow assemblies contribute to lowering the costs of protecting the potable/drinking water supply. BY PETE CHAPMAN


ater purveyors and plumbing officials understand that they have a legal responsibility and a moral obligation to provide fresh potable drinking water to each user facility through to the last tap. They also understand that there is a real threat to the quality of the drinking water supply due to cross connections and backflow. Approved backflow preventers are recognized and required by all Canadian building/plumbing codes and standards. They must be installed to prevent backflow and to protect the public potable water supply from contamination at the point of supply to the building’s piping system (containment), and to protect the public within a building at each point of use (isolation).

THE COSTS INVOLVED Aside from the initial cost of the backflow preventer itself, there are also the installation costs to consider. These include the space required for the unit(s) within the building. In years past, the containment backflow prevention protection often meant installing (depending on the supply pipe line size) a 2 1/2" to 10" cast iron reduced pressure backflow preventer (RP) on the domestic service line and a similar-sized cast iron double check valve assembly (DC) on the fire sprinkler line. Each of these backflow preventers, depending on supply line size, could be three feet to nine feet long and weigh from 250 to 2,500 pounds. The pressure loss across these was also a consideration. It could be as much as 10 psi to 16 psi loss across the backflow preventer, which could often require an additional pump to maintain adequate designed system pressure. 42

HPAC | September/october 2010

Due to the competitive nature of the backflow prevention business, initial purchase costs of these assemblies have actually decreased. In addition, the size and shape has changed dramatically to drastically reduce the space necessary for installation. In addition, the flow characteristics and pressure loss efficiencies have been improved as well. The newer assemblies also simplify regular maintenance.

SIZE AND CONFIGURATION Traditionally the typical 6" backflow preventer was over five feet long requiring a long rectangular space. Today’s straight inline 6" equivalent unit can be as short as 33", requiring a much smaller rectangular space. And, an “n” shape flow design has been introduced, with the flow pattern that is up and down rather than flowing horizontally straight across. A 6" “n” shape assembly can have an inlet to outlet center-to-center dimension of only 16" and can take up only a three foot square space, which is often easier to accommodate than a five foot rectangular space. All reduced pressure backflow preventers must be installed so that the reduced pressure zone discharge port is situated at the lowest point between the two check valves satisfying the requirement that all of the water within the RP zone completely drains. The RP zone will then never flood during a back-siphonage and/or backpressure situation providing for a “fail safe” protection against backflow. This has meant that traditional reduced pressure backflow preventers must be installed horizontally requiring that large rectangular space. Some of the “n” flow shape reduced pressure units allow installers to loosen two bolts in a centre coupling and rotate the second (downstream) “leg” to achieve an

plumbing >

approved vertical up flow pattern installation. This rotation can be 360 degrees for a up and down flow, up and up flow, up and over flow, and so on, or simply a small offset to accommodate slightly out of true piping alignment without additional fittings.

LOSE THE HEAVYWEIGHTS Even when broken down into components, yesterday’s cast iron bodied backflow preventers required several men and additional equipment to move them, particularly for inside the building installations. A 4" cast iron double check assembly could weigh close to 400 lbs. Today, several manufacturers have introduced stainless steel bodied assemblies and a 4" SS double check can weigh around 80 lbs. This provides for significant installation labour savings and far fewer sore backs.

REDUCED PRESSURE LOSSES A particularly important factor in retrofit installations is the additional pressure drop across an added backflow preventer on a plumbing system. This is especially true of fire sprinkler systems where the drop can render that system poorly or even inoperable, requiring the added expense of a pump to provide adequate pressures. While previous backflow preventer check designs provided good backflow protection, the pressure drop tended to significantly increase as the flow rates increased, hardly the fire sprinkler trade’s preference. Some swing check clapper designs provide lower pressure drop at high flows, but typically experience a spike of pressure drop at low flows, often right at the rate of flow of 90 per cent+ of all fires extinguished in the world - by three sprinkler heads or less, approximately 60 GPM - again not what the fire sprinkler trade wants. The mechanical assists on some of today’s check designs provide for very low, almost flat pressure losses at all flow rates. Another trend is that when available pressure is low and pressure drop across the backflow preventers is critical, system designers are choosing to rely on third party, independent approval agencies’ actual approval performance curves rather than manufacturers’ sales data. These approval agencies approval curves are free and easily available. This ensures a level playing field and accurate pressure loss versus flow information.

MAINTENANCE Testing of backflow preventer assemblies is typically required upon installation and at least annually thereafter. When a certified tester identifies a failed component, that failure is noted and then there is maintenance required to bring the assembly back to within prescribed values. The assembly is then re-tested. Backflow preventers are sophisticated check valves and while they are mechanical devices and are subject to mechanical failure, the most compelling reason for regular maintenance is simply to remove foreign matter or debris from the check valves’ seating areas. This allows for the bubble-tight check sealing required to pass the test. Today’s backflow preventers are, for the most part, easier to maintain than older models. Many 2" and smaller and all 2 1/2" and larger backflow preventers currently provide captured spring cartridges, avoiding previous non-captured spring difficulties and dangers. The captured spring cartridges of all sizes include the “hard” seat and most provide a reversible/replaceable seat disc. The trend for the reversible seat discs is to be made of a silicone rubber composition rather than traditional buna rubber or EPDM. The reason for the change to silicone rubber is that water purveyors increasingly add ammonia to chlorinated water creating a chloramine compound. Chloramines quickly deteriorate buna rubber and EPDM discs. Another advantage of the captured spring cartridges is that they allow easier maintenance without the use of any special tools. Most of today’s backflow preventers can be maintained with standard toolbox tools. Backflow prevention assemblies have a critical role in protecting and preserving today’s diminishing potable/fresh drinking water supply. The best news is that the newer models cost less, take up less space, permit water to flow more efficiently, and are easier and less expensive to work on. <> Pete Chapman has more than 38 years experience in backflow prevention. He is currently general manager - backflow prevention products with Conbraco Industries. Chapman can be reached at For more information on backflow preventers see page 44. september/october 2010 | HPAC


< plumbing

Backflow Q & A



What is backsiphonage?


What factors can cause backsiphonage?


What is backpressure backflow?


What factors can cause a backpressure backflow condition?


What is a cross-connection?


What is the most common form of a cross-connection?


What is potentially dangerous about an unprotected sill cock?

Backsiphonage is the reversal of normal flow in a system caused by a negative pressure (vacuum or partial vacuum) in the supply piping.

Backsiphonage can be created when there is stoppage of the water supply due to nearby firefighting, repairs or breaks in city main, etc. The effect is similar to the sipping of a soda by inhaling through a straw, which induces a flow in the opposite direction.

Backpressure backflow is the reversal of normal flow in a system due to an increase in the downstream pressure above that of the supply pressure.

Backpressure backflow is created whenever the downstream pressure exceeds the supply pressure which is possible in installations such as heating systems, elevated tanks, and pressure-producing systems. An example would be a hot water space-heating boiler operating under 15-20 lbs. pressure coincidental with a reduction of the city water supply below such pressure (or higher in most commercial boilers). As water tends to flow in the direction of least resistance, a backpressure backflow condition would be created and the contaminated boiler water would flow into the potable water supply.

A cross-connection is a direct arrangement of a piping line which allows the potable water supply to be connected to a line which contains a contaminant. An example is the common garden hose attached to a sill cock with the end of the hose lying in a cesspool. Other examples are a garden hose attached to a service sink with the end of the hose submerged in a tub full of detergent, supply lines connected to bottom-fed tanks, supply lines connected to boilers.

Ironically, the ordinary garden hose is the most common offender as it can be easily connected to the potable water supply and used for a variety of potentially dangerous applications.

The purpose of a sill cock is to permit easy attachment of a hose for outside watering purposes. However, a garden hose can be extremely hazardous because they are left submerged in swimming pools, lay in elevated locations (above the sill cock) watering shrubs, chemical sprayers are attached to hoses for weed-killing, etc.; and hoses are often left laying on the ground which may be contaminated with fertilizer, cesspools, and garden chemicals.

HPAC | September/october 2010

plumbing >


What protection is required for sill cocks?


Should a hose bibb vacuum breaker be used on frost-free hydrants?


A hose bibb vacuum breaker should be installed on every sill cock to isolate garden hose applications thus protecting the potable water supply from contamination.

Definitely, providing the device is equipped with means to permit the line to drain after the hydrant is shut off. A “removable” type Hose Bibb Vacuum Breaker could allow the hydrant to be drained, but the possibility exists that users might fail to remove it for draining purposes, thus defeating the benefit of the frost-proof hydrant feature. If the device is of the “Non-Removable” type, be sure it is equipped with means to drain the line to prevent winter freezing.

Can an atmospheric, antisiphon vacuum breaker be installed on a hose bibb? Theoretically yes, but practically no. An antisiphon vacuum breaker must be elevated above the sill cock to operate properly. This would require elevated piping up to the vacuum breaker and down to the sill cock and is normally not a feasible installation. On the other hand, a hose bibb vacuum breaker can be attached directly to the sill cock without plumbing changes and at minor cost. <> This article was extracted with permission from 50 Cross-Connection Questions, Answers & Illustrations Relating to Backflow Prevention Products and Protection of Safe Drinking Water Supply published by Watts, A Watts Water Technologies Company. To see the entire document, visit

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september/october 2010 | HPAC



Filter “Fista Cuffs” And Who Is This MERV Character?

one person in the purchasing department at corporate retail right on down to the dazed teenage store clerk have been educated on indoor air quality and the air filters stocked on the shelves. Even if combative consumers resolve to buy the best of the bunch based entirely on The acronym HVAC is the cause of consumer price, in all likelihood it is still a confusion, particularly when it comes to indoor furnace filter. It will do nothing but protect the furnace – hence environmental quality. BY ROBERT BEAN the most brilliant and appropriate term 'furnace filter.' hen most people see the 'AC' in HVAC they think Consumers though are naive. They think furnace filter means indoor air quality filter. It is one of those unfortunate comfort cooling when in fact they should see conbyproducts from thinking 'AC' means cooling. This retail ditioning of air or 'CA' since the original intent in roulette with HVAC filters happens across North America HVAC included deodorization, de(humidification), on an hourly basis despite housing studies1 associating and decontamination. In fact 'CA' is appropriately the most suitable surrogate for the H and V in HVAC that we should asthma and bronchial responsiveness with ducted heating just bury the acronym. and air conditioning systems.2 The confusion over HVAC and IAQ was evident in what Further, it may come as a surprise to readers that at the I witnessed in the filter aisle at a well-known Canadian time of writing this article, a specific IAQ filtration speciretailer. From this impromptu retail survey I discovered fication remains absent from Canada's F326 Residential that next to money, sex, vacations and kids, a significant Mechanical Ventilation Systems Standard (assumed to amount of marital discord revolves around how much to address IAQ) so if adequate filtration is not specified in the spend on what model of furnace air filter. Have you ever nation’s ventilation standard what do you think the odds seen what happens when two educated but completely illare for the general public roaming the retail aisle to pick a informed people stand arguing in public in front of rows of suitable model when left to their own accord? It is slim in filters with meaningless (to them) descriptions? my books since consumers and industry alike also see furThe folks I observed were not there because they cared nace filters as a type of strainer like some kitchen tool but about protecting their furnace – they were there because with added super powers against odours and gases such of the quality of air in their home. My hunch is that not continued on page 50




Photo Istockphoto


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continued from page 46

as ozone and radon. Air filters are not particle strainers – they are gauntlets and the ability of a filter to create easy or difficult passage through the gauntlet is based on several mechanisms addressing various air borne particulate characteristics including aerodynamic diameters, size, density, and concentrations. So it should not come as any surprise that particulate filters are not designed to address anything but particulate thus the reason they are called particle filters and not gas or odour filters – go figure. Testing for particle filters is voluntary and ratings for inline duct mounted filters for whole-building filtration can be tested to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 52.2-2007, Method of Testing General Ventilation AirCleaning Devices for Removal Efficiency by Particle Size for what is known as a MERV rating. MERV is the acronym for "minimum efficiency reporting value." The test is done with a soufflé of particles with various characteristics measured in sizes ranging from 0.30 to 10.0 microns, which

are measured using sophisticated particle counters and recorded as a differential between the up and down stream sides on the filter. The primary scale goes from 1 to 16 with HEPA and ULPA topping the scale off between 17 and 20. Most so called 'furnace filters' on a good day might have a MERV 4 rating; MERV 8 is minimum for 'healthy home' principles and to have a MERV 12 rating, a filter must be at least 80 per cent efficiency for particles in the 1.0- to 3.0 micron size range and 90 per cent or better in the 3.0- to 10.0 micron range.3 So how big is a micron? Well, a human hair is roughly 60 microns, the allergens your dog distributes on your kid’s bed are about 7 microns and viruses are between 0.1 to 1.0 microns. The particles that are of concern to health professionals are called PM10 indicating particulate matter less than 10 microns. This includes pollen, bacteria and mould spores. These airborne particulate are respirable meaning they can enter our respiratory systems. In the FLIR bSeries HPAC Sep08:3.375x4.875 9/8/08 4:55 PM grouping of PM10- is PM1.0, which can work their way into

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HPAC | September/october 2010 7/29/10 2:41:03 PM

IAQ/HVAC > the deep part of our lungs where oxygen exchanges with carbon dioxide in the blood through the ultra thin membrane of the alveoli. Let's be clear about particulate filters. Particulate filters reduce the airborne particulate and improve the quality of air, but it is beyond the skills of the mechanical industry to state that air filters improve the quality of one's health, even if consumers want to hear it. Only a healthcare professional, such as an allergist, could make such a statement and even if they did it would be based on case studies often lasting a number of years.4 Additionally, the results reported would only apply to those studied with the caveat that outcomes should not be extrapolated and applied to the general population. Unless we are licensed medical practitioners we would be best advised to avoid making statements about people's health and filters. We should focus on the actual outcome of filtration, which is to reduce airborne particulate matter (PM). We should also be doing a better job as an industry pointing out that a nickel a day ($20 per filter/year) is fine if you want to ensure the furnace is filtered but inadequate if indoor air quality particulate is a concern. <>

Robert Bean, R.E.T., P.L. (Eng.), is registered practitioner in building construction engineering technology (ASET) and a professional licensee in mechanical engineering (APEGGA). He consults on issues related to building science, thermal comfort quality, indoor air quality and radiant based HVAC systems. References 1 Jacobs, D.E., Wilson, J., Dixon, S.L., Smith, J., Evens, A., The Relationship of Housing and Population Health: A 30-Year Retrospective Analysis, Environ Health Perspect. 2009 April; 117(4): 597-604. 2 Zock JP, Jarvis D, Luczynska C, Sunyer J, Burney P. European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Housing characteristics, reported mold exposure, and asthma in the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2002;110:285-92. [PubMed: 12170270] 3 ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 52.2-2007, Method of Testing General Ventilation Air-Cleaning Devices for Removal Efficiency by Particle Size 4 Sublett, J.L., Seltzer, J., Burkhead, R., Williams, P.B., Wedner, J., Phipatanakul, W., Air filters and air cleaners: Rostrum by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Indoor Allergen Committee, J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 January; 125(1): 32-38. doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2009.08.036.

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Avenir Software Inc.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s LoopCAD 2010 is designed to enable quick drawing of floorplans and circuit layouts. The program can also be used to determine heat loss calculations using ASHRAE or CSA-F280, as well as to make hydronic calcuHoneywellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s AMX300 mixing valve kit requires a maximum

lations including panel outputs, temperatures, flows and head losses. 3D CAD

of two sweat connections and can be installed in as little

views are also automatically generated as you draw in 2D.

as 15 minutes. The kit includes materials to decrease the number of additional parts needed.

Designed to prevent acidic condensate from corroding drains and sewer systems, the NeutraPal condensate neutralization kit from Axiom Industries Ltd. is suitable for applications up to 1.6 GPH. The kit includes a corrosion-resistant capsule, two mounting clips, two three-inch fill/access openings, six hose clamps and 10 feet of vinyl tubing.

Available in three models, the Triple-Flex ultra high efficiency condensing flexible water tube boilers from Bryan Steam offer inputs ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 MBH. The units feature flexible stainless steel tubes, variable-speed combustion air blowers and easily-removable service panels.

Constructed of 316 stainless steel, the IPVB inline power venter from Exhausto features variable speed and direct drive, a low profile for easy integration and Type B sparkresistant construction. It can be

The PSS control station from HPS Controls has a primary

installed outdoors above a

loop with a pump and the choice of one to six secondary

roof, inside a chimney or

zone pumps all contained within one wall-mounted sta-

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wall-vented applications.

high or low temperature output from a condensing boiler.

Boiler supply and return is available in either the bottom left or bottom right side of the unit.






The ‘PEX-Pal’ is a tubing collector and organizer for radiant heating in-floor installations. The modular two-channel design positions the supply and return pipes at the correct spacing required for connection to the manifolds. Features and Benefits • •

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Fast, organized and cost effective Mounts to decking, rebar, ready-rod, temporary manifold support or wooden forms Completely enclosed design protects the tubing at the floor surface Each channel keeps the supply and return pipes separate and directs them to the correct manifold Modular design allows the installer to add as many loops as required Reversibility of each module allows individual zones to be piped from opposite directions Each module can easily press fit together Maintains a larger bend radius than the manufacturers’ recommended minimum for ¾” and smaller PEX tubing Constructed of high impact strength plastic

GLYCOL FEED SYSTEMS FEATURES AND BENEFITS: • Fast and easy installation • Varying sizes (6 to 100 US gallons) • Adjustable pressures from 5 to125 psig • Plugs into any standard 115 VAC outlet • Eliminates the backflow preventer • Purge/Mix valve on all units • Prevents major floods • Provides leak detection • Low level shut off • and more... Solar models available

CONDENSATE NEUTRALIZATION KITS The ‘NeutraPal’ is ideal for neutralizing condensate from condensing boilers and furnaces operating on natural gas or propane. The condensate is acidic and has the potential to harm the environment and the sewer system.

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< CIPHEX WEST HOURS Wednesday, November 3 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Thursday, November 4 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Exhibitors from across Canada and the U.S. are heading to BMO Centre at Stampede Park in Calgary for Western Canada’s largest exposition for plumbing, HVACR, hydronics and water treatment. CIPHEX West 2010 will take place November 3-4. Show highlights include a program of seminars and workshops, led by industry experts such as Richard Trethewey and John Siegenthaler. In addition to the Gallery of New Products with its juried competition to find the most innovative new products and technologies, a tour of new Eco-Friendly Products has been added to the show. To help them navigate the 27,000 sq. ft. of exhibits, delegates can utilize the My Briefcase feature at to pre-plan their show visit and create a customized floorplan highlighting the exhibitors and products that interest them. For more information and free registration, visit continued on page 56

THE DETAILS The trade show is open to industry members by free pre-registration prior to November 1st. Visitors may register on site for $25.00. Once again, the event will be colocated with the Buildex Calgary show. Visitors to this event will automatically receive free admission to CIPHEX West, expanding the audience to architects, builders, developers, engineers, interior designers, facility managers, property managers and building owners – decisionmakers representing millions of dollars in purchasing power.





MEASURE. DETECT. ILLUMINATE. • Measures up to 200 amps, Wide 0.63” jaw opening • Wide Voltage range to 1000 volts AC/DC • True-RMS for accurate measurement in all applications • Lo-Z measurement to eliminate ghost voltage 2207-21


continued from page 54

SEMINARS All educational sessions will be held in Palomino F. Wednesday, November 3 Solar Combisystems for space heating and domestic hot water – A fusion of renewable energy and state-of-the-art hydronics Speaker: John Siegenthaler, P.E. Time: 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Description: Hydronics technology is the “glue” that holds together nearly all thermally based renewable energy systems. Without proper heat conveyance, none of these heat sources can delivery acceptable performance. Furthermore, a solid understanding of modern hydronics can significantly improve the performance of renewable energy heat sources. John Siegenthaler, P.E. has over 25 of experience in designing modern hydronic heating systems. He is the author of the text Modern Hydronic Heating, and a regular contributor to Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning Magazine (HPAC).

Admission: $25 per person, which includes seminar admission, CIPHEX West 2010 admission, a printed manual for the workshop and a gift certificate redeemable toward the cost of a publication or installer membership from the Canadian Hydronics Council.    Residential Grey Water: Collection, Treatment and Reuse Speaker: Chris Thompson Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.   Chris Thompson is the business development manager at Project Innovations, the Ontario distributor of Brac Greywater Recycling & Rainwater Harvesting systems.  

Be sure to stop by booth 215 to say hello to hpac staff continued on page 60

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HPAC | September/october 2010

Make your own risers – use 1/4" (3/8" OD) SharkBite® PEX tubing with SharkBite® chrome fittings and stops for supply-to-fixture connections. The SharkBite® Connection System now includes a complete range of ¼" (⅜" OD) push-fit fittings and chrome plated stops. Connecting supply lines to fixtures and appliances using these new SharkBite products brings the speed and convenience of push-fit connections to the final phase of your plumbing jobs. Regular and chrome plated fittings are now available, including the newest ½" x ¼" (⅜" OD) SharkBite stop valves. Stops in ½"x ⅜" or ¼" compression sizes are also available. With these new SharkBite push-fittings, stop valves and 5' lengths or 50' coils of ¼" (⅜" OD) PEX tubing it’s easy to make risers the exact length needed for connecting fixtures and appliances. No more problems with flexible lines that are too long or too short. Cut. Push. Done. It’s easy with SharkBite.

Heatguard® Thermostatic Mixing Valves – A Smart Way to Meet Code The Heatguard® 110-D and 115-D deliver water at a maximum of 120°F (49°C) throughout the system and yields safer hot water from all outlets while aiding in preventing the growth of Legionella bacteria in the water heater. With robust, low complexity construction, every valve is tested for performance prior to shipping. Unique adjuster tool minimizes unauthorized tampering with valve setting. The 110-D is available from ½" to 1" sizes, with the 115-D available from ¾" to 1 ¼" for larger domestic or standard commercial applications. Both valves are available in a variety of connection configurations, including SharkBite® push-fit connectors for easy installation. Temperature range of 95-120°F. The Heatguard® 110-D and 115-D are certified to ASSE 1017 and CSA B125.3 and listed by ASSE and IAPMO.



SharkBite® Connection System – Lightning Fast. Won’t Let Go.

SharkBite® Flexible Water Heater Connectors These stainless steel braided connectors make fast work of water heater hot and cold supply line hook-up. The ability to rotate the SharkBite® connector after it is pushed onto the pipe and the flexibility of the braided hose allow connections in tight spaces and without additional fittings. Available in ½" and ¾" sizes in 12", 15", 18" and 24" lengths (24" available with or without Ball Valves). SharkBite® push-fit fittings have been design certified and listed to ASSE 1061/NSF 61 and they meet UPC, IPC and Canadian Plumbing Code requirements.





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continued from page 56

Copper’s Role in Renewable Energy Applications for C-I-I Projects Speaker: Arnold Knapp Time: 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Arnold Knapp is a consultant with the Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association.   B149 – Natural Gas and Propane Installation Code – B149 Speaker: Sidney Manning  Time: 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Sidney Manning is chief plumbing and gas administrator/ inspector with Alberta Municipal Affairs. Manning was with the city of Lethbridge as a Safety Codes Officer for five years before joining Alberta Municipal Affairs in 2009. Sidney is the past president of the Alberta Mechanical Officials Society.  

Thursday, November 4 Interfacing geothermal heat pumps with modern hydronics -– what are the best combinations? Speaker: John Siegenthaler, P.E. Time: 8 a.m. - 11a.m. Description: Hydronics technology is the “glue” that holds together nearly all thermally based renewable energy systems.  Admission: $25 per person, which includes seminar admission, CIPHEX West 2010 admission, a printed publication or CHC Installer Membership.    National Plumbing Code Changes  Speaker: Sidney Manning Time: 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.   Lessons in a lifetime of heating and cooling Speaker: Richard Trethewey Time:  1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Description: Richard Trethewey has been an integral part of the This Old House team since the home improvement show's debut in 1979. Today, he also appears on the Emmy Award-winning show's sister series, Ask This Old House. A licensed master and journeyman plumber in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Trethewey has long been an advocate for professionalism in the building trades.   Making Complex Controls Simple: The Quick & Basic Approach Speaker: Carol Fey Time: 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Carol Fey & Associates and P.I.G. Press were founded in 2000 with the publication of the book Quick & Basic Electricity. Fey had been teaching electricity classes to plumbing and heating contractors in her job as the Honeywell controls rep in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming.


HPAC | September/october 2010


Exhibitor list* A A.M.T.S. Limited A.O. SMITH Accubid Systems ACi Distributing Acudor Acorn Alberta Water Well Drilling Assn All Rep Sales Allied Engineering Allpriser American Standard Amtrol Canada Anvil International AquaMaster Pro Aquatech Sales & Marketing Armstrong Limited Axiom Industries B Barclay Sales Barr Plastics Beaver Plastics Belanger UPT Bibby-Ste-Croix Boshart Industries Bow Plumbing Group Bradford White Canada C Camus Hydronics Canadian Aqualine Sales Canadian Copper & Brass Development Assn Canadian Hydronics Council Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating Canadian Water Quality Assn Can-Cell Industries Cash Acme, Div Reliance Worldwide CCTF Corporation CleanEnergy Conbraco/Apollo Valves Covertech Crane Pumps & Systems Creatherm D Dahl Brothers Canada Danfoss Deflecto Canada Dobbin Sales Driving Force E Ecco Supply

*As available at press time Highlighted exhibitors have advertisements in this issue.

444 115 223 315,450 214 407 E15 549 255 341 637 416 450 149 561 604

406 650 248 526 618 629 405 453

357 639 322 439 441 538 514 309 555 107 643 219 348 430

556 253 541 648 522


Ecotherm Emerson – White Rodgers Engineered Air Equipco Erico Excalibur Water Systems

356 505 361 460,461,560 621 418

F F.E. Myers (Pentair Canada Inc.) Fairview Fittings & Mfg Ford of Canada Foremost International (Contrac) Franke Kindred Canada Frontier Plumbing & Heating Supply G G.F. Thompson Co. Giant Factory Globe Union Canada Green Turtle Technologies Grinnell Mechanical Products (Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products) Grundfos Canada GSW Water Heating – John Wood Water Heaters H H.G. SPEC HBX Control Systems Heat Transfer Products Heatlink Group HPAC Magazine HPS Controls Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute (HRAI) HVACR Heritage Centre Canada Hydromatic

625 355 601 249 245 554

622 349 351 317 E8 532 244

353 553 358 427 215 252

Hydronic Installer Membership What’s in it for you? • CHC links you to customer inquiries • Insight and input into the changing regulations that have an effect on your business • Discounts on CHC training and educational resources




per year

E9 419 457

I IBC Energy Saving Technologies Imperial Manufacturing Group Insinkerator IPEX Inc ITT Residential & Commercial Water

610 452 426 127 105

J,K,L Jaga Canada Climate Systems Jonas Software Kleins Enterprises Lenox Liberty Pumps Little Giant (Franklin Electric) LynCar Products Kinetico Canada

644 647 623 258 256 520 123 259

Application Forms Now Available By Calling


Toll Free: 1800 639.2474 or visit

continued on page 64 september/october 2010 | HPAC


The HeatLink® Potable Water System The HeatLink® Potable Water System features PureLink® PEX-a tubing, the EasyFitTM manifold system, and stainless steel press sleeve connection technology.



The unique HeatLink® PEX-a process is based on a method developed during the 1970s and uses organic peroxide to chemically cross-link the polyethylene during the manufacturing process. The PEX-a process produces a higher degree and greater uniformity in crosslinking, resulting in a product with significantly improved material properties with respect to temperature, pressure, strength and chemical resistance. Press sleeve technology has been used for decades worldwide in plumbing systems, and has also been used extensively for pneumatic and hydraulic applications. HeatLink's superior potable water system carries all necessary approvals for North American installations, and offers significant advantages and benefits in comparison to both copper and most common PEX plumbing systems in use today. Fitting System The HeatLink® Press Sleeve fitting system requires no O-rings, glue, solder, torches or lubricants. The press sleeve system is compatible with both PureLink® and HeatLink® tubing. The Heatlink® Potable Water System comes with a 25 year, limited warranty when installed by a trained licensed plumber using our Press Sleeve and HPP fittings. The Sleeve Press Tool Designed to create a perfect connection, the Press Sleeve Tool has a toggle action handle and is available in four sizes 1/2", 3/4", 1" and 1-1/4". HeatLink's Stainless Steel Press Sleeve An integral part of the system is the Press Sleeve. When the sleeve, tubing and fitting are in place, the press tool secures the connection in one single press, evidenced by a smooth visible W depression ring on the sleeve's surface. HeatLink Press Tool Trade-UP Concerned about the expanding size of your toolbox? Hand in your current crimp, SS clamp, or expansion tools, and trade-UP to the HeatLink® Press Tool. See your rep for details.

Heat Link





Heat Link

Plumbing made simpler

For more information contact your local Wholesaler, HeatLink Rep, or visit:


continued from page 61

M M&RS Controls Corp. M.A. Stewart & Sons MacDuffco Mfg. Inc MAG Tool Mainline Backflow Products Masco Canada Mechanical Business Mechanical Contractors Of Alberta Mechanical Systems 2000 Mifab Milwaukee Electric Tool Mina Canada Mirolin Industries Corp. Moen Mueller Flow Control Multicam Western Canada

E10 354 530 200 415 141 153 E6 606 157 401 E4 227 226 119 352

N NAIT NCI Marketing NEO Valves Niles Steel Tank Nissan Canada NOFP Inc

E11 251 648 455 201 E3

Noritz America Corporation Novanni Stainless Novo Water Conditioning Products NTI/NY Thermal O,P,Q Oatey Canada SCS Co. Ontor Limited OS&B Oventrop Corporation Plumbing & HVAC Product News Plumbline PowerMate/LP International Price Pfister Pro-Fab Empyre Qualitec Distributors Inc Quantum Mechanical Sales Quote Express R Ratech Electronics Reed Manufacturing Company Rehau Industries Inc Rheem Canada Ridgid

404 433 627 431

155 E14 635 161 E1 259 414 515 305 210 301 257

323 422 618 544 445

Rinnai America Roth Industries Rothenberger USA LLC

508 454 456

S SAIT Polytechnic SFA Saniflo Sho Booties Products Sinclair Supply Sinus North America Skills Canada-Alberta Demonstration SlantFin Smillie Mcadams Summerlin Spectrum Sales Agency Stringer Sales/Flexcon Industries Sumner Manufacturing Sustainable Solutions

654 410 448 509 423 600 641 507 260 421 651 327

T Taco (Canada) Tamas Hydronic Systems Inc Taylor Pipe Supports Tegart Services Group Tekmar Control Systems The Novaflex Group Thermadyne Canada â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Turbo Torch Thermal Environmental Comfort Assn Thermal Hydronic Supply Thermo Mfg. Inc Trackem GPS Trans-Atlantic Import Co. Inc Triple H Hydronics Inc Tundra Boiler & Instrumentation

539 548 E5 519 545 250 204 506 552 E12 318 617 101 614

U,V Uponor Urecon UV Dynamics Vantage Marketing Victaulic Viega Viessmann Manufacturing

345 254 417 518 145 657-659 241

W-Z Ward Couplox/Wardflex Watco Mfg WaterBoss Watergroup Waterline Products Watts Industries (Canada) Weil-Mclain Canada Wilo Canada Inc Wolf Steel Woodford & Watco Mfg Zurn Industries Limited

510 222 315 344 523 233 109 135 261 222 314

Be sure to stop by booth 215 to say hello to hpac staff 64

HPAC | September/october 2010

6,520 lbs. payload

lbs. towing *


LB FT 735 of torque

† Standard Gas or available Diesel engines. Projected best in class fuel economy based on competitive data available at the time of testing using Ford drive-cycle tests (in accordance with the guidelines of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Standard J1321) of comparably equipped 2011 Ford vs. 2010 Competitive models. ◆ Maximum payload of 6,520 lbs. (2,957 kg) on F-350 DRW Regular Cab 4x2 when properly equipped. Class is Full-size Pickups over 8500 lbs. GVWR vs. 2010 competitive models. *Conventional towing up to 16,000 lbs, or up to 24,400 lbs. on F-450 when properly equipped with 5th wheel/goose neck. Class is Full-size Pickups over 8500 lbs. GVWR vs. 2010 competitive models. ‡Max horsepower & torque based on Super Duty Diesel engine.

horsepower ‡

DUTY 390



Best in class Fuel Economy, Gas or Diesel†, from two all-new Ford-built engines.

ITT has enhanced its Goulds Pumps line of stainless steel, vertical multi-stage pumps with the introduction of new e-SV™ models. Featuring an innovative hydraulic design and highly efficient motor that significantly lowers lifecycle costs and increases energy savings, the pumps are suited for a wide variety of commercial and industrial applications. The new hydraulic design also provides superior NPSHR levels, and by eliminating the need to remove the motor, maintenance time is significantly reduced. The mechanical seal is also replaceable without the need for pump disassembly, and the ‘O’ ring seat is designed to allow easy disassembly of the outer sleeve. All-stainless steel construction and NSF certification allow the e-SV pump to meet municipalities’ requirements for pure water while providing superior corrosion resistance and easy installation. Other special features of the new e-SV pump include: • Superior pump efficiency that allows greater energy savings with lower horsepower motors. And when combined with ITT’s HydroVar® controller, the e-SV pump offers an additional 10% savings potential from the previous generation pump, and a ‘green’ system solution • E-SV pump’s innovative hydraulic design results in lower NPSHR, reducing piping and elevation expenses by over 20% • Robust design methods targeting an MTBF of 20,000 hours • Expanded pump portfolio allowing pump selection aligned with optimum duty point for greater cost-efficiency • Impeller axial thrust is minimized, resulting in longer bearing life and use of standard motor configurations • Patented i-ALERT™ monitor continually measures vibration to support optimum performance. Available on pumps 10HP and above.


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What to do when you have too much of a good thing. BY JOHN SIEGENTHALER


he most common type of solar thermal system uses a closed-loop circuit between the collector array and storage tank heat exchanger. In some systems that heat exchanger is located within the tank. In other systems an external heat exchanger with two circulators is used. A characteristic of most solar thermal systems is that heat production exceeds the load during warm weather. Imagine a stretch of sunny days with high temperatures of 90F or more. The collectors are adding copious amounts of heat to the antifreeze solution passing through them. By mid-afternoon the storage tank may be approaching 180F. Next, mix in the possibility that the family who lives in the house with this system is on vacation and not using any of the available hot water. It is easy to see this scenario leading to the opening of the tank’s P&T relief valve, resulting in a basement full of steam. Every solar DHW or combi-system (e.g. DHW and space heating) should include a method for dealing with overheating. This is especially true of closed-loop systems using glycol-based antifreeze fluids. Many systems of this type employ a method of routing surplus heat from the collector array to some type of “heat dump” where it can be dissipated to the outdoor environment.

NOCTURNAL COOLING One relatively simple method of cooling a storage tank in a solar domestic water heating system is to circulate the collector loop whenever the collector temperature is a few degrees lower than the tank. In this mode, the collector 68


DIVERSIONARY TACTICS Another approach to heat dumping uses a diverter valve to reroute the hot antifreeze solution returning from the collector array once the storage tank has reached a set upper limit. The schematic in Figure 1 shows this method employed to dump excess heat into a swimming pool via a separate heat exchanger. Notice that a flow switch is used to verify flow of pool water through the heat exchanger during this mode. It obviously makes no sense to pump hot antifreeze through one side of the heat exchanger without pool water flowing through the other side.

OTHER OPTIONS Not every project has a swimming pool to serve as a heat dump. Other possibilities include: passive fin-tube convectors; fan-coils/fluid coolers; external pavements with embedded tubing; earth loops for geothermal heat pumps; and automatic dumping of hot domestic water from the tank. Each of these options has its strengths and limitations. Passive fin-tube convectors can be made from the copper fin-tube elements used in baseboards. Ideally they would be mounted in a shaded area in such a way as to ensure good air circulation through the fins. A typical horizontally mounted residential fin-tube element can dissipate about 250 Btuh per foot of length. This assumes an inlet fluid temperature that is 85F higher than the outdoor air temperature. One downside of such elements is that the spaces between the fins are subject to clogging from wind-borne debris and insects. Bare fin tube elements are not very aesthetically pleasing and are best concealed behind a valence or mounted where appearance is not a concern. HPACMAG.COM

Photo Istockphoto

Heat Dump Options

array serves as a heat emitter rather than a heat collector. The system controller initiates this mode when it determines that the tank temperature is at or above a high limit setting (typically around 180F) and the collector temperature is a few degrees (typically about 10F) lower than this high limit. Once this mode is initiated, the controller operates the collector circulator until the tank cools to a lower setpoint of around 140 to 150F, at which point the heat dump mode ends. Although it may not seem to be the best way to conserve energy (thermal and electrical), nocturnal cooling is an effective way to prevent accelerated chemical degradation of glycol-based collector fluids. Nocturnal cooling is only possible in systems using flat plate solar collectors.

solar > Fan-coils and fluid coolers pack more The question of using the earth loop heat transfer capability into a smaller of a ground source heat pump as a package compared to passive fin-tube solar heat dump often comes up. This elements. Any fan-coil with a sufficient is certainly a possibility when the heat heat transfer capability could be used input to the earth loop does not negas a heat dump. One downside of fanatively impact heat dissipation from coils or fluid coolers is that their blowthe heat pump operating in its cooling Two exterior-mounted fluid coolers serve ers or fans obviously use electrical mode. This is a serious limitation in as the heat dump for a large (nominal energy, which adds to the cost of sys1,800 square foot) collector array. warm climates where heat pump system operation. They also do not work Although neatly installed, this hardware tems are often operating in cooling in a power outage (unless someone adds several thousand dollars to the mode. In my view this approach only manages to pack a DC motor into a installed cost of the system. makes sense in Northern climates fan-coil and provide sufficient battery with minimal cooling loads, or in heatcapacity to operate it). ing-only heat pump systems. Exterior pavements with embedded tubing can absorb In the latter case, any heat retained by the soil around the surplus heat. Pavement areas in shade are certainly more earth loop would improve the capacity and COP of the heat capable than those in direct sun. A system that supplies pump. Unfortunately there is no simple way to predict how snow melting through a heat exchanger could accept heat much of the potential heat input to the earth loop would be from the solar collector array on the primary side of that retained and later used by the heat pump. It would certainly heat exchanger just as it does from a boiler during winter. continued on page 68

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< solar

continued from page 67


so la


co lle ct or

ar r


air vent! w/ shut off valve

solar! circulation! station


! anti-scald! tempering ! valve


flow! switch

spring loaded! check valve

pool heat exchanger


bypass valve! (normally closed)




diverting! valve

solar storage tank

sensor! S3


pool pump

Image courtesy of Caleffi North America

vary from one system to another depending on soil characteristics, subsurface water movement and time between heat input and potential heat extraction. The option of automatic dumping of hot domestic water is effective, but may be a hard pill to swallow in areas where water is scarce or costly. If it is used, the setup is relatively simple. A solenoid valve, rated for use with domestic water, would operate based on a temperature setpoint controller. It would open at a preset upper limit temperature and remain open until the tank temperature has dropped through some differential. It is imperative that the hot water expelled is routed to an area where it will not present a danger. Running 180+ F water directly down a PVC floor drain pipe is not a good idea. An exterior discharge point protected from humans and pets is a better option.

SIZING A SUBSYSTEM To be effective, a heat dumping device must be sized for a “design” level of heat dissipation at a selected inlet fluid temperature, and in the case of convectors, a corresponding outdoor temperature. The required rate of heat dissipation will depend on the total collector area, as well as the efficiency of the collectors at design conditions. The best way to present the sizing procedure is through an example. What follows are the sizing calculations for a modest size solar combi-system. Assume the system uses 10, 4 foot x 8 foot flat plate collectors. The efficiency equation for the collectors is as follows:

η= 0.706 – 0.865



T i – Ta I


HPAC | September/october 2010

Where: n = collector efficiency Ti = collector inlet temperature (ºF) Ta = ambient air temperature (ºF) I = solar radiation intensity (Btuh/ft2) The collectors are operating with a 40 per cent solution of propylene glycol, and at a flow rate of 1 gpm per collector. On a hot summer afternoon when heat dumping is most likely, we will assume a strong solar radiation intensity of 317 Btuh/ft2 (1 kw/m2) and a corresponding outdoor temperature of 90F. The system’s controls are set to operate the diverter valve and start the heat dumping device when the storage tank reaches a temperature of 180F and deactivate when the tank drops to 160F. The least favourable operating conditions for the heat dump device will be when the tank is at the lower end of its operating temperature range. Given that there is a heat exchanger between the fluid and tank fluid, we will Ta Ti –collector η= 0.706the – 0.865 estimate collector Iinlet at about 165F when the tank is at 160F. The collector efficiency under these conditions is:



( ) η= 0.706 – 0.865 165-90 T i – Ta I

η= 0.706 – 0.865






= 0.501(50%)

165-90 of The total heat output the collector array under these η= 0.706 – 0.865 = 0.501(50%) 317

conditions is found by multiplying the gross area of the colT –T η= 0.706array – 0.865 Btu (0.501) 2 lector radiation and efficiency: Q = (Agrossby )(I)Ithe η =solar (320ft ) 317 intensity = 50,820 Btu / hr

( (







2 Q = (A – 0.865 )(I)165-90 η = (320ft ) 317 η= 0.706 gross = 0.501(50%)


hr • ft 2



Btu (0.501) = 50,820 Btu / hr hr • ft 2

Btu 50820 Q outlet temperature from+the collector array can now hr = 165 TThe out = Tin + 2 Q = (Agross)(I) η = (320ft ) 317 fBtu 2 (0.501) = 50,820 Btu / hr3 Btu and [8.01Dc] be determined basedhr •on flow rate, ft the heat output, lb 0.91 B ft • min 50820 8.01 64.0 hr Q 3 Tin + = 165 + Tout =properties: fluid gal • hr ft lb 3 [8.01Dc] f


Tout = Tin +

Q = 165 + [8.01Dc] f





• min 8.01 ft Btu gal • hr 50820

3 8.01 ft • min gal • hr





64.0 lb3 0.91 Btu ft lb˚F




64.0 lb3 0.91 Btu ft lb˚F



gal min

= 175.9˚F

The values of density (D) and specific heat (c) of the 40 per cent propylene glycol solution where looked up for an average collector temperature of about 170F. The criteria for sizing the heat dump device is thus determined as: • Required rate of heat dissipation: 50,820 Btuh



g m

solar > • Corresponding inlet temperature to heat dump device = 175.9F • Corresponding outdoor temperature = 90F The remaining task is to search for a device capable of operating at or close to these conditions. One example discussed earlier was a passive fin-tube element mounted outside in a shaded area. With an output rating of about 250 Btuh under the above conditions, this system would require just over 200 linear feet of fin-tube element. It is thus a possible, but not probable solution. A fan-coil or fluid cooler is a more likely choice for a collector array of this size. The Achilles heel for many of the heat dump options mentioned here is that they require AC power to operate. Thus, a power outage on a hot summer afternoon still allows the collectors to stagnate, with resulting degradation of the glycol antifreeze. Although DC circulators are available that could operate from batteries, DC-powered fan-coils are likely to require a custom order. This adds further complication, cost, and maintenance to the system.





A PARTING THOUGHT Drainback type solar thermal systems do not require a subsystem for heat dumping. When the storage tank reaches a preset upper temperature, the collector circulator turns off, and the water quickly empties from the collector array, and goes back into the tank. Any modern collector with an OG-100 rating from the SRCC (Solar Rating and Certification Corporation) has been tested for stagnation survival and should be able to withstand “dry stagnation” conditions without damage. The collectors in a drainback system would empty during a power outage. Given the added complexity and cost of heat dumping, drainback freeze protection, especially for solar combisystems, makes good sense. <> John Siegenthaler, P.E. is the author of Modern Hydronic Heating. Visit his website at for reference information and software to assist in hydronic system design. He can be reached at


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MANUFACTURERS • distributors • wholesalers • associations

Noble Expands HVAC Holdings Noble, an Ontario distributor of plumbing, heating and industrial supplies, has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of Don Park Inc. in Canada. Don Park specializes in the distribution and manufacturing of heating, ventilation and air conditioning products. Founded in 1972, Don Park operates 14 branches and

ON THE MOVE… Wolseley has relocated its Ontario mechanical branch in Huntsville to 17 Bickley Country Drive, Huntsville, ON P1H 2P5. The mechanical branch in Sudbury has relocated to 420 Second Ave. North, Sudbury, ON P3B 4A4. Telephone and fax numbers for both locations are unchanged. Oatey Canada SCS Co. has moved to 145 Walker Dr., Unit 3 in Brampton, ON L6T 5P5, tel. 905451-1312.

three manufacturing facilities in Ontario. Don Park generates more than $90 million in sales and counts on more than 400 experienced employees. (For additional Don Park news see On The Move and Distribution) “We’re very pleased with this acquisition, which provides us instant market share gain to leverage our recent diversification into the HVAC market. This transaction is exactly in line with our plan to be the leader in specific segments of the commercial and professional market across Canada,” said Noble president, Michael Storfer. “This transaction is also highly complementary to our existing 23 plumbing branches in Ontario and will provide important synergies and growth potential. The combination of plumbing and HVAC allows us to offer a much wider range of products to our diversified industrial, commercial, institutional and professional customers and will give Noble a presence in Ontario markets that we currently do not serve,” added Storfer. The transaction has been finalized and is expected to close late this year.

Training Facility Unveiled Airtechni has moved to 2736 Daniel-Johnson Blvd. in Laval, QC H7P 5Z7. The telephone number is 450-6870034. Don Park Oshawa recently held its grand opening event at its new Oshawa location at 380 Marwood Dr., Oshawa, ON L1H 8B4, tel. 905-433-5521 replaces the Ritson Road location. It features a 15,000 sq. ft., showroom entrance with automated doors and a training facility.

(From left) Charles Mann, Watts Water Technologies (Canada) Inc., vice president of sales and marketing; Dan Bowes, vice president and general manager; and George Darnowski, vice president of operations, at the recent ribbon cutting ceremony for the company’s new state-of-the-art training facility. The facility includes a hands-on backflow testing area and carrier installations in a full-functioning washroom.

New Fixture Brand Launched

(l to r) David White branch manager Don Park, Dave Bergeron, VP operations Don Park; Peter Olierook, president and CEO Don Park; John Gray, Mayor, City of Oshawa; Mary Bone and Kathy Chateauvert, Habitat for Humanity; and Heather Grimoldby-Campbell, manager administration and wholesalers division, HRAI.

The Contrac line of vitreous china plumbing products from Foremost Groups is now available through the wholesale plumbing channel. The company has been manufacturing and distributing private branded vitreous china bathroom fixtures into the North American retail market for over 20 years. The product line is stocked at Foremost’s warehouse at 5970 Chedworth Way, Mississauga, ON. continued on page 74 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 | HPAC



continued from page 73

Royal Expands Pipe Division Royal Group Inc., a division of Georgia Gulf Corporation recently announced the expansion of its Royal Pipe Systems division with the addition of a new pipe facility in Woodbridge, ON. Now operational, the facility produces high performance pressure and sewer pipe up to 24 inches. With the addition of this new facility, Royal Pipe Systems has seven pipe and fittings plants in North America.

Product Leadership Award Goes To Kimberly-Clark Kimberly-Clark Corporation’s high-efficiency filter media has received the 2010 North America Frost & Sullivan Product Leadership of the Year Award. The award recognizes excellence in the development and launch of new products. Kimberly-Clark was cited for showing “innovation” and HVAC industry leadership.

DISTRIBUTION Asta Sales & Marketing has expanded its representation of Zurn product lines to all of Saskatchewan. Asta Sales has represented Zurn in the Saskatoon territory for the past 20 years. Don Park has been named the exclusive distributor of Olympia Chimney Supply in Eastern Canada. Morden National Sales and Marketing (tel. 519-627-0791) in Wallaceburg, ON, is the master distributor for the ECR International line in Canada. David Morden, who was most recently with ECR, is president and CEO of the new company. He is chair of HRAI’s manufacturer division.

MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS Ceralux Industries Inc. has become an OS&B partner company. Bob Fler remains as a partner and vice president of sales and marketing for Ceralux, a distributor of ceramic products from Europe, South America and North America for the Canadian marketplace. Vilco has acquired the residential division of ZCL Composites Inc. Vilco’s president Sylvain Villeneuve has relocated to Nova Scotia. Simpson Manufacturing Co., Inc. recently completed the sale of the assets of its subsidiary, Simpson Dura-Vent Company, Inc., to M&G Dura-Vent, Inc., a wholly-owned, indirect subsidiary of M&G Holding B.V.

American Standard Brands has acquired Safety Tubs, LLC, a privately held U.S. business specializing in the design and manufacturing of walk-in bathtubs. Safety Tubs will operate independently as a subsidiary of American Standard Brands called Safety Tubs Company, LLC and will be part of a dedicated division for assisted living. Carrier Corp. has sold Micro Thermo Technologies, a Quebecbased manufacturer of refrigeration controls for supermarket applications, to Parker Hannifin Corp. Micro Thermo had 2009 revenues of approximately $10 million. This transaction follows Carrier's exit from the North American commercial refrigeration segment. Trimble has acquired the assets of privately-held Accubid Systems. Accubid, which is based in Concord, ON, is a provider of estimating, project management and service management software and services for electrical and mechanical contractors. A.O. Smith Corporation and Takagi Industrial Co. Ltd. of Fuji-city, Shizuoka, Japan, have established a joint venture to market and manufacture tankless water heaters in North America. As part of the joint venture, A.O. Smith will take over the management of Takagi’s existing North American sales and distribution organization, maintaining Takagi’s North American headquarters in Irvine, CA. Aalberts Industries N.V. has acquired Conbraco Industries, which has been family-owned and operated for 82 years. Aalberts is a Dutch company with a compatible line of business. Senior management of Conbraco/Apollo is expected to remain in place and the Conbraco name and brands will remain unchanged. Conbraco Industries operates three manufacturing facilities in South Carolina and its head office is based in Matthews, NC. Acorn Engineering recently acquired fifty per cent ownership of Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co., a division of Smith Industries. The name of the company will remain Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co., a division of Smith Industries, Inc. For the realigned Smith Industries, Don Morris will assume the role of chief executive officer (CEO) of Smith Industries, Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co. division and the Canadian subsidiary. The management teams of both Acorn Engineering and Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co. will remain the same. continued on page 76



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Automated Logic Corporation, a provider of innovative control systems for heating, ventilation, air conditioning, lighting and energy management of buildings, has acquired RCMS Controls, Inc. (RCMS), an independent controls contractor with offices in Wallingford, CT. Automated Logic Corp. is a subsidiary of Carrier Corp., a unit of United Technologies Corp. Granby Industries Limited Partnership (Granby) has finalized its purchase of Parrsboro Metal Fabricators Limited (PMFL), a manufacturer of oil, pellet and woodfired furnaces and boilers.

CIPH ABC At ABC 2010 in St. John’s, NL, the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating recognized a number of volunteers for their industry efforts on behalf of the organization. John Wareham (Usines Giant Factories Inc.) is presented the



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CIPH Order of the Bath by 2009/2010 CIPH Chairman Martin Deschênes (Groupe Deschênes) while his wife Lise looks on. Order of the Bath is a humourous award given to retiring volunteers and allies.

CIPH chairman Martin Deschênes (Group Deschenes) is presented a CIPH Gavel Plaque by incoming CIPH Chairman Russ Morgan of IPEX Inc.

Committing to the future

SEE PEOPLE on page 78 76


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Victaulic Company has promoted Tim Meadows to the position of vice president and general manager of Canada. He has been with Victaulic for 23 years Pinnock and was most recently vice president of sales. Brian Pinnock has been promoted to Canadian sales director and has been with Victaulic 28 years, most recently as divisional sales manager. Pierre Dandurand has been named Eastern Canada regional sales manager.

Dave Studholme has joined Sears as field sales manager, Ontario, oil heating products and services.


Tour & Andersson North America has appointed Mark Hegberg as hydronic training manager. Hegberg brings over 30 years of HVAC hydronic system design and commissioning experience to the TA Hydronic College.


Michael Warne has joined Mech Tech Mktg. Inc. and will be an integral team member in the company’s expansion plans. He has 20 years of national and international management experience in sales, marketing, business development and operations.

Jim Walker has joined Hansen Technologies Corp. as a regional sales manager for Northeastern U.S. and Canada.




Paul McCulloch, technical support supervisor for Fire Safety at Uponor was recently appointed to the residential fire sprinkler design and installation exam development committee by the International Code Council (ICC) Board for International Professional Standards (BIPS). Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada Inc. has promoted Anton Wolmarans to Vice President and General Manager of its Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Division.


Sydney Irvine, who is currently a retail merchandiser with Barclay Sales, will also be taking on the role of outside sales – Vancouver market. Chris Flynn, forFlynn Irvine merly with Barclay Sales Alberta’s Calgary office is returning to its Calgary office in the position of outside sales – Southern Alberta region. HeatLink Group Inc. is pleased to announce the addition of Bob Davis to its U.S. sales team. With the Canadian company’s increased focus on the U.S. market, Davis will develop relationships and sales in the strategic South. Ken Curry has joined Watts Water Technologies (Canada) Inc. as a Drainage Specialist. He will focus on the Trench Drain, Acid Waste, and BLÜCHER Curry Reece Stainless Steel Drainage offerings. Jim Reece joins the team as a sales representative where he will focus on the Powers Thermostatic Mixing Valve offering. Metal-Fab, Inc. has appointed Jim Coffey director of sales for commercial venting products. Previously Coffey was director of sales and marketing for leading manufacturers of commercial refrigeration equipment. EnerWorks recently announced that Mike Noble has rejoined the company in the capacity of vice president, corporate development. His role will focus on the expansion of EnerWorks’ business in multiple strategic market segments and geographies. Noble founded EnerWorks in 1999.


Wolseley Canada’s Barrie branch welcomes Brenda Ogden to its sales team. She has 16 years experience in wholesale, in addition to four years of contracting experience installing residential equipment. Ogden is a Gas Technician 3 instructor.

Desco Plumbing and Heating Supply has named Tim Hoff western regional quotations manager and Melanie PeetWinkfield has joined the company as branch manager in Kitchener, ON.


Designed for hard-to-heat areas, the Cold Blocker infrared gas tube heater from Space-Ray can be mounted at heights ranging from six to 20 feet above the floor and angle-mounted up to 45 degrees. Features include a cast iron U-Tube design, a direct-spark ignition system and a self-contained pull through. Units are available in four different capacities ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 Btuh.

Go Ahead And Vent. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got the answers. In-line draft inducers from Tjernlund Products are designed to boost the draft or exhaust in chimneys serving boilers, water heaters and process equipment. Inducers are available for inputs from 25,000 to

Now Available from Don Park Olympia Chimney Supply Inc. Products* Featuring Forever Flex the All Fuel Stainless Steel Chimney Lining System.

5,300,000 Btuh and feature LED status/diagnostics. Other available accessories include a UC1 universal control and a PS1505 fan-proving switch that interlocks with burner circuits. EasyHeat's HeatBank mats and cables are placed into the sand bed beneath a building's concrete floor slabs. The dual-conductor storage cable is UL Listed for earth thermal storage applications. Each heating zone requires an adjustable sensing thermostat to control floor temperature at an appropriate setting and a pre-set thermostat to ensure heating cable temperature does not exceed design requirements. Nominal output of the cable is 8W per foot.

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continued from page 79 The Legend series of geothermal heat pumps from WaterFurnace International feature single capacity scroll compressors paired with five-speed X13 ECM blower motors (or optional three-speed PSC motors). With an 18.5 energy efficiency ratio (EER) and a 3.8 coefficient of performance (COP), the ENERGY STAR-rated Legend series exceeds ASHRAE 90.1 efficiency standards. The product uses R410A refrigerant and is available in capacities ranging from

The York LX series of gas furnaces from Johnson Controls are 33-inch multi-position units designed for installation in tight spaces, including basements, closets, alcoves, attics, recreation rooms and garages. The series includes single-stage models that feature five-speed, direct-drive, high-efficiency DC motors and two-stage models with variable-speed electronically commu-


tated motors.

Trane’s XC95m fully modulating furnace

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24,000 through 70,000 Btuh.

Honeywell’s E3Point Gas Detector – Improve Energy Efficiency, Performance and Safety e3Point is capable of detecting the widest range of toxic and combustible gases found in commercial building spaces, including co, no2, o2, h2, h2s, ch4 and c3h8. Functioning as a standalone unit with single or dual-gas detection or deployed as a networkable device, the e3Point is ideal for monitoring transport terminals, vehicle parking and maintenance buildings, battery charging areas, commercial kitchens and restaurants, and other interior building areas. honeywell analytics designed e3Point for flexible use and easy installation and maintenance with its friendly userinterface, multiple wiring options, and its patented plug ‘n play sensor technology. this reliable, pre-calibrated sensor monitors its own performance and will provide an indication when it’s ready to be replaced. “For the first time, the building owner can look to one gas monitoring system to satisfy the broadest range of applications where the environment is mission-critical to building performance and life safety,” said Maureen Butler, Marketing Manager for honeywell analytics’ commercial line of gas detection solutions. to stretch your building’s performance, call us now. honeywell analytics. experts in gas detection. For e3Point product details and specifications, call 1-800-563-2967 or visit

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the power of 3 Recommended for single- and twostage gas-fired infrared heating systems, Schwank’s ThermoControl Plus is a multi-zone BMS controller featuring a logic learning processor for heating efficiency. The controller is available as a stand-alone unit, but it can also be integrated into an existing BMS system or fully-monitored remotely from a PC.

E3Point = efficient operations + energy management + economical value. E3Point detects almost every toxic or flammable gas that threaten the security of your building — CO, NO2, O2, H2, H2S, CH4 and C3H8. It can monitor one or two gases simultaneously, through a base station and optional remote sensor. It functions as a standalone unit or fully addressable network device that can connect up to 96 gas monitors, controllers and hybrid wired-wireless system components. E3Point links to almost any BAS including Modbus and BACnet to optimize HVAC, fire, smoke and other critical systems. It works where and how you need it to, from indoor environments to outbuildings, -40 to +122ºF extreme temperatures, analog or digital, wall or duct-mount. E3Point is easy to wire, easy to maintain and easy to operate — everyone from the installing contractor to the maintenance technician will appreciate the plug and play sensor and modular unit design, easy-to-view LCD monitor, and ergonomic design features. To stretch your building’s performance, call us now. Honeywell Analytics. Experts in gas detection.

Caleffi’s iSolar BX is a multifunctional temperature differential controller for solar thermal heating applications. Featuring four relay outputs, five Pt1000 sensor in-

For E3Point product details and specifications, call 1-800-538-0363 or visit © 2010 Honeywell International Inc. All rights reserved.

puts, two flow sensor inputs and an impulse flow meter, the unit is available in 26 predefined configurations.

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GIVING YOUR INSTALL "THE THERMO ADVANTAGE" Since 1992, THERMO Manufacturing has distinguished itself by consistently producing an innovative line of time and labour saving products for the HVAC Industry. In addition to Thermo-Pan®, the company has created an entire family of products to make installations easier and more professional-looking for the contractor. All Thermo products are designed to be simple, cost saving, and functional... hence... the THERMO ADVANTAGE. Thermo Manufacturing offers you an impressive line-up of products, to make your next project installation a snap.




An innovative high-quality “No Noise” sheet metal alternative for constructing return air ducts. Significantly reduces duct noises, labor and requires no shop fabrication. Cost-effective and easy to install, and with airspace creates an R-5 Value.


WORLD'S BEST HANGER STRAP World's best hanger strap. Hanger has 1" adjustment button holes. For 2" x 8" Joist, material locks to 1" roofing nail (button) when pulled down. For 7/16" particle board, material locks to #8 sheet metal screw (button) when pulled down. 2" HDPE Duct Board Hanger supports 50lb per strap. Easy cut with Sears HandiCuts, or sheet metal snips.



RETURN AIR GRILLE DRY WALL FRAMES Custom sizes of precision molded frames! 3 custom styles to suit your needs. Frames come in three styles Standard, Windowed and Filtered. Precision Molded Polypropylene. Safety Edged. All sides and ends. Place grill over frames and screw into precision molded frame holes on finished drywall.

UNIVERSAL MOUNTING BRACKETS Give the quality, professional look to your job with just half the labour. 
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PROFESSIONAL WAY TO RUN LINE SETS! It's the professional way to run your pipe and wire projects. The ThermoThimble™ provides an air tight outside wall penetration by using high-density foam gaskets to keep out air, insects and other pests. It allows you to run electrical, plumbing, and A/C line sets through outside walls while stopping snagging and creating a permanent, air-tight seal through walls, while leaving no ugly holes to patch.

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The KNAACK PowerCrew 15-amp in-box power

Dewalt has launched the Magnetic Tough-

supply has four GCFI-protected electrical out-

Case container in two set configurations,

lets providing 15 amps of power. The power

including the standard 15-piece fastening

source comes via a standard three-prong/

set and the 20-piece Impact Ready drilling/

Milwaukee Electric Tool has introduced

straight blade extension cord. Safety fea-

driving set. Constructed of high impact resis-

REDLITHIUM batteries which are fully

tures include an internal relay and a red LED,

tant material, it fits into usersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; pockets or

compatible with M12 and M18 cordless

which indicates the four outlets have power


products currently available. The new

and are ready to power-up a tool or charger.

technology is designed to operate in ex-

treme temperatures.

Fieldpiece Instruments has introduced the

Malco Max2000 aviation snips feature

HG2 HVAC Guide system analyzer. Data can

moulded thermoplastic grips, which are per-

Testoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pocket PROs are available in 10 dif-

be entered automatically using accessory

manently fitted over full-length steel handle

ferent models for measuring air flow, (IR)

heads or manually using data from other in-

shafts for strength and comfort. Features in-

temperature, humidity, pressure-flow, abso-

struments, such as pressure gauges. The

clude permanent riveted handles, a narrower

lute pressure, material moisture, light and

HVAC Guide stores up to 200 tests that can

grip opening, full length steel handle shafts,

rpm. The instruments feature a wrist strap,

be downloaded to a PC for easy customer

extra long life compression springs and long

belt clip, bright backlit display, auto-off func-

tracking and data organization.

life pivot bolts with locking nuts and pressure

tion and cover to protect the meters against


impact and dirt.



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ull-size pickup trucks and cargo vans â&#x20AC;&#x201C; in fact trucks of any kind â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are the most complex vehicles you can buy, simply because of the vast range of sizes, options and configurations in which they are available. That is why it is best to go to a truck specialist to ensure you get what you need and that the ordering process is done properly. Here are nine key criteria to consider before narrowing down your decision to a specific make and model.




Towing capacity: Do you tow gear to a jobsite using a trailer or haul away debris to a dumpsite? Then consider the towing capabilities and capacity of each model. Also consider the suspension of the truck if you'll be towing regularly. For more tips, General Motors Canada provides a payload and trailering guide at home/overview. Ford has one at com/pdf/brochures/RV_and_Towing_Guide.pdf.


Payload: How much gear do you need to carry? Consider the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) if you have a lot to carry. Check the rated payload capacity (how much weight you can carry). Do you require a light-duty or heavy-duty model? Do you need a half-ton, three-quarter ton or one-ton capacity (typically designated 150/1500, 250/2500 and 350/3500 models)? Take into consideration the fact that you may be adding racking or a bed topper, plus the weight of your crew and your toolboxes. How many components will you be delivering to the jobsite in your own truck and what is the most these could weigh?

Fuel economy: Truck advertisements usually focus on power and torque, which both come at the expense of fuel economy. But the engine with the biggest grunt may produce more power than you really need. Will a V6 engine do the job? Do you really need fourwheel drive? How many miles will your truck travel annually and how much fuel will you require? Getting a truck with only the power you'll typically need can save you big at the pumps. Also consider the benefit of using dual-fuel engines that use E85 fuel (up to 85 per cent ethanol) for additional savings. Some makes offer hybrid gas/electric trucks for even more fuel savings.



Cargo capacity: Analyze what you need to carry. Can you make do with a short cargo bed (typically 5.5 ft. long) or will you need a full-length (8 ft.) bed?



Power: Sometimes you simply need grunt. Engines come in four-, six-, eight- and 10-cylinder versions, in gasoline or diesel. With work trucks, HPACMAG.COM

SERVICE VEHICLES > torque is often a more important factor than fuel economy. And for heavy-duty work around muddy jobsites, top torque ratings at low engine rpms may be a top priority.


2WD vs. 4WD. Four-wheel drive is great for helping you plod through muck and slime on wet jobsites, but if you do not typically do that kind of work, you can save money upfront and reduce your operating costs by selecting a two-wheel drive transmission.


Seating capacity: Do you need room for a crew? Seating capacities can range from two to six, with varying degrees of space and comfort for rear seat passengers. Various makes offer cabs in standard, extended cab, crew, supercrew, double cab, quad cab, king cab and more. You'll find that each manufacturer has a different name for each setup, so compare carefully.


Safety: Modern pickups have just about the same number of safety features as passenger vehicles these days. Some key benefits to look for are ABS, electronic brake force distribution, side-curtain airbags, rollover protection, tire pressure monitoring, traction control, stability control, anti-sway control for towing,

A place for everything and everything in its place.

and so forth. For towing over 1,000-lb. loads, look for trailer brake controls integrated into the truck.


Options: Some trucks can easily be turned into mobile offices. Look for technologies such as Bluetooth connectivity, built-in GPS systems, remote-starting, rear backup cameras, extra power outlets, audio player inputs, built-in toolboxes, an integrated tailgate step, storage spaces for papers and a laptop, and flat work surfaces, many of which can make it easier to do planning and administrative work in your vehicle. <>

Built-in technologies offer onboard convenience

Flexible seating capacity can simplify staff transport.

september/october 2010 | HPAC


< PRODUCTS PLUMBING The Blanco Crystalline is a compact kitchen sink that combines stainless steel with a choice of matte black or white glass elements. While the sink bowls are stainless steel, the faucet ledge and large flat sink cover, which also serves as a cutting board, are made of glass. Crystalline is available in two models; stainless steel with a white glass faucet ledge and cover, and stainless

Caleffi’s DL2 Data Logger links the iSolar

steel with a black glass ledge and cover. The

controller to the internet and provides users

glass faucet deck is to the right of the bowls,

with data such as the quality of energy being

so that it fits on smaller countertops with a

generated by the solar water heating system,

tile backsplash. The sink also features a rel-

over a long period of time from any iSolar dif-

atively shallow bowl depth of seven inches.

ferential temperature controller. Depending

on data logging intervals, the DL2 can store over 10 years of controller data. The DL2 has a built-in Ethernet jack and a SD card slot for accessing stored data. It can be configured and viewed with a standard internet browser via its integrated web interface when connected to a local area network (LAN) router.

Made from 80 per cent recycled content, Acorn Engineering’s stainless steel waterless urinal operates without the need for chemical cartridges. The urinal is wall-mounted and can be ordered with powder coating in a variety of hues.

Goulds Pumps offers a pre-packaged S-Drive Simplex variable speed pump controller, which is pre-packaged in an outdoor NEMA 3R enclosure and is cUL listed to meet Canadian CSA safety standards. Designed for use with both submersible well and



above ground centrifugal pumps in

Geberit’s In-Wall Carrier System for wall-hung

irrigation, agriculture and rural wa-

washbasins utilizes the Duofix III Frame, test-

ter applications, and for building

ed to withstand up to 330 lbs. The carrier

water boosters, the pump is pre-

frame is adjustable for fixture heights from

set for submersible or surface mo-

31½" to 39½". The system is compatible

tor characteristics and pre-wired.

with a variety of two-hole ceramic fixtures.


Rheem has added tankless electric water heaters to its line of water heating products. Capable of providing nearly instantaneous hot water, these products can be installed

Delta Faucet Company has introduced Hydro-

in locations under the sink in kitchens, bath-

Power Technology, an alternative for power-

rooms and other point-of-use areas where

ing electronic faucets. Its lithium ion battery

hot water is needed. Designed for residen-

pack recharges itself with every use and

The Bali thermostatic shower system from

tial, light commercial, recreational and hos-

contains an on/off switch for battery conser-

Graff Faucets comes complete with an eight-

pitality applications, the units feature voltage

vation during seasonal usage. Available on

inch showerhead, handshower and swivel

modulation. Available in six capacities rang-

several commercial models, HydroPower can

body sprays. Featuring delicate Bali collec-

ing from a 3 kW 110 volt model, to a 27 kW

also be retrofitted on all Delta surface mount

tion handles, the system is available in pol-

240 volt model, the units have a copper and

electronic TECK & HDF lavatory faucets.

ished chrome, Steelnox satin nickel and olive

brass heat exchanger.


Unsurpassed Serviceability, First-Rate Performance in a Shorter, Smaller Package • Certified to NSF/ANSI 61-G (No Lead) • Shorter lay length – fits in smaller valve box • Top access to test cocks, shutoff valves, and check assembly – easy to test • Entire flow housing is removable to facilitate check access for cleaning or repair • Easy to winterize by removing wetted components between shutoff valves • Simple design – composite housing and check modules resist corrosion

375XL 350XL

Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Assembly

Double Check Backflow Assembly

Zurn Industries Limited 3544 Nashua Drive, Mississauga, ON L4V 1L2 Phone: (905) 405-8272 Fax: (905) 405-1292 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2010 | HPAC Untitled-4 1

7/29/10WK2:40:34 PM 350XL-375XL p&hpac.indd 1


1/6/10 2:45:09 PM

< Finance

Risk Versus Reward Taking the plunge has its benefits, particularly when the equity is undervalued.


n 2005, taxes on Canadian public company dividends were significantly lowered. The specific tax rates have varied slightly each year since then, but the overall concept has remained the same. If your income is less than $80,000, tax on eligible dividends is very low. Even if your income is over $80,000, the tax on eligible dividends only rises to slightly above the tax on capital gains â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that is, half of your marginal tax rate. For example, right now the Royal Bank pays a dividend of about 3.7 per cent. If you had $100,000 in Royal Bank shares, your dividend income would be $3,700. If you pay tax at a 46 per cent tax rate, you would expect to keep a little over half of that. But with the reduced tax on public company dividends, you would actually retain $2,849 or 77 per cent of the dividend. On the other hand, if you invested $100,000 in a GIC sold by the same bank, you could expect to earn just 1.45 per cent -- or $1,450. After tax you would keep just $783. That means a $100,000 investment in Royal Bank dividend paying stocks would pay you $2,066 more than an investment in its GIC. Earning dividends from Canadian public companies is a


HPAC | September/october 2010

good deal right now. That is especially true since a lot of stock market research shows that most of the superior gains from stock investing come from dividends. Nonetheless, many people are leery of stock investing and choose the GIC alternative. There is one reason for that choice: GICs are guaranteed by the Government of Ontario. If you invest in a GIC, you can be sure you will get the interest and your principal back. On the other hand, you can lose money buying the shares and the dividend can be lowered or even eliminated. Nothing is certain with stocks. Even though the Canadian banking system did well during the financial meltdown, we are all aware that stocks are risky. That does not change. What does change is the perception of risk. For example, in 2008 just before the financial meltdown, GIC rates were 2.7 per cent. That means the Royal has to pay you only half as much today as it did two years ago to entice you to lend it $100,000. The Royal pays less to people who buy its GICs because it can get the money it needs at the lower rate. People are willing to lend at the lower rate because they perceive it is a much safer investment than stocks. In the financial meltdown Royalâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stocks did better than most but still not great. In 2008 before the meltdown, Royal stock was trading at about $45 US. Now it is at $48 US. That is okay, but it has been a wild ride. In February 2009, the shares were down to $22. Many people bailed then and lost a significant amount of money. In 2008, a share of Royal Bank stock paid dividends of $3.34 US. Now it is down to $2.69 US. In 2008, the Royal Bank earned around

Graphic Istockphoto


Finance >

$35 billion US. This year it will be about $30 billion. And remember with all this bad news, the Royal is a success. Many US and foreign banks have disappeared forever and their shareholders lost everything. There are two points to make here. The first is, yes stocks are risky. In fact they are often more risky than people believe they are. The second is determining the level of risk is harder than most people think. It is not something you should depend on market prices to tell you about, which is what economists say you should do.

However, the economist’s answer is: let’s do 10,000 jumps, determine the mean of all those jumps, prepare a normal curve, establish the standard deviation and then work out the risk. Not helpful because you need to know before you jump, not after you have made 10,000 jumps. While the economist’s approach is excellent for explaining the past, it does not tell you in advance that you will die on the 412th jump due to a frayed cord. And as you might expect from this, economists are very good at understanding history, and not so hot at anticipating the future.

“Economists, bankers and regulators all thought things were safe, not because they examined the market, but because nothing bad had happened in so long.” Instead you should be reflecting on whether the markets have valued the risk correctly or not. You can avoid losses when the markets value risk too lightly and you can also make money when the markets over-value risk. This is not easy. It does take a lot of fortitude to go against the prevailing wisdom. On the other hand, no one selling the conventional wisdom cares at all about you. The problem is not that markets are invariably wrong. If that were the case, everyone would ignore them. The problem is that markets are mostly right, or at least right enough. The big share price movements come when they are very wrong, and those moments are hard to understand in advance. We know (in retrospect) that they were wrong in September 2008. We know that financial service companies, including banks had been slowly building up a problem for about eight years and the balloon finally burst in 2008. We also know that the wisest financial minds on the planet all got it wrong. I suspect they erred because of their training. In economics and finance, risk has been reduced to a mathematical concept. The idea is that a risky investment has a higher standard deviation than a non-risky investment. To get the standard deviation you need to have numbers to analyze. In other words, this concept is only useful to determine risk after the fact. What we need to know is how risky is the future. If you plan to jump off a bridge with a bungy cord tied to your ankles, will you live? Knowing the answer to that would influence whether or not you choose to make the jump. That is practical risk assessment.

Which brings us back to the fundamental question. Is the return on Royal Bank stock rich enough to make you feel it is a better bet than a GIC? In other words, is the market for equity expensive or cheap? Robert Shiller, the Yale economist who did predict the housing bubble, pointed out that that long-term investors have historically only done well in the stock market when they bought into a relatively inexpensive market since stock market investing is not bound to deliver high returns. It only does that when you buy at the right time. The people who bought into the market in the summer of 2008 over paid because they saw little risk. No one had been hurt bungy jumping with bank stocks since the 1930s. Economists, bankers and regulators all thought things were safe, not because they examined the market, but because nothing bad had happened in so long. Now all those people and many others have become well aware of the risks. People are avoiding stocks, and that means that prices have fallen. Once prices on strong dividend paying stocks drop below historical norms, it makes sense to consider buying them. The price itself is a clue that the market is overvaluing risk and undervaluing equity. <> Hank Bulmash, CA, MBA, is senior partner with Bulmash Cullemore Chartered Accountants and is president of its consultant subsidiary BusinessLab Inc. He can be reached at september/october 2010 | HPAC


Calendar 2011



ISH 2011


January 31–February 2

March 15-19

April 20-21

The trade show and resource for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration industry will be held at Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.

ISH in Frankfurt am Main is a showcase for innovative bathroom design, energy efficient heating and air-conditioning technology and renewable energies.

Eastern Canada’s mechanical and electrical trade show will be held at Place Bonaventure in Montreal.


IEA Heat Pump Conference

Oilheat 2011

April 26-28

May 16-19

June 21-22, 2011

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show returns to the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.

The 10th International Energy Agency (IEA) Heat Pump Conference will be held at Chinzan-so in Tokyo, Japan.

The Canadian Oil Heat Association will hold its symposium at White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa in Niagara on-the-Lake, ON.

ABC 2011

Intersolar North America

HRAI 43rd Annual Meeting

June 26-29

July 12-14

August 25-27

The Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating is heading to the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, BC for its annual meeting.

The premier platform for the solar industry in North America will be held at the Moscone Center in San Franciso, CA.

The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada will meet at the White Oaks Conference Resort & Spa in Niagara on-the-Lake, ON.



HRAI SkillTech Academy

The Canadian Oil Heat Association (COHA) is offering burner and efficiency training courtesy of R.W. Beckett Canada Ltd. with trainer Steve Lamoureux. Visit or tel. 905-946-0264.

Subsidies and incentives are available for SkillTech’s residential courses, including the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Awareness three-day program.

CMCEF National Seminar Program

LEED Canada Training

The Canadian Mechanical Contracting Education Foundation program includes: commissioning, dispatcher training, change out and project management.

Sign up for one of the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) LEED workshops at or tel. 613-241-1184.

TECA’s Quality First Training Solar Installer Certification Programs Visit or tel. 866-522-6742 for information on Canadian Solar Industries Association (CanSIA) workshops and training courses.

To register for the Thermal Environmental Comfort Association’s (TECA) Quality First training courses, e-mail or call 604-594-5956.

GeoExchange Training Hydronics Training Information on the Canadian Hydronics Council two-day Introduction to Hydronic Heating Installations course is available at or tel. 416-695-0447.


HPAC | september/october 2010

Developed by the Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC), the threeday training program is intended for those involved with the installation of residential geothermal systems.


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september/october 2010 | HPAC



A Changing Landscape The trend to urbanization in Canada will result in significant changes within the mechanical marketplace. BY MARK EVANS



the country's population growth concentrated in 33 metropolitan centres.” This is true as slightly less than half of the national population lives in the metropolitan areas in and around Montreal, Vancouver and Ontario's Golden Horseshoe. The study also highlights that urban sprawl will be a factor in determining the face of our industry moving forward as the communities around these four major urban areas grew by 11 per cent, which is double the national average. Recent data from CMHC shows this to be true as 2009 was the continuation of a trend whereby multiple starts at 94,567 exceeded single family starts of 63,388. When you look at the distribution of multi-family housing in the four major urban areas as opposed to the distribution of single family detached construction, you can see how this affects our industry. As a result of this shift: • Rural areas will be less viable trading areas for installing contractors who fail to upgrade skills and diversify their businesses. • The total number of kitchens and baths installed decreases as multi-family units have less of both on average. • Both the total value and total number of residential gas, oil and propane furnaces and boilers decrease in multiples compared to single family detached. • Building code and plumbing code requirements for multifamily (especially high-rise) construction influence choices in rough-in design, installation and material selection that benefit some manufacturers more than others. How will we survive the evolution of our housing market? I believe we are well prepared for the changes that will set upon us in the next decade. By our nature, Canadians are flexible, intuitive and resourceful. <> During the course of his career in the mechanical industry Mark Evans has worked on the wholesaler and manufacturer side in sales and marketing positions. Contact him at or visit HPACMAG.COM

Photo Istockphoto


hose of us who have been in the business for some time recognize that not so long ago the plumbing, heating and HVAC business in Canada was a much different place. The marketplace and its constituents were far more visible and defined. Most products sold in Canada were produced here. The testing and listing of those products was done by CSA or ULC (for the mostpart). Imported products were the exception rather than the rule. Globalization, as well as NAFTA, have brought change. Most of the obvious changes have had a positive impact. New products, system design and installation methods; more stream-lined and lower cost product approvals; and higher levels of commitment to factory training are all due in part to the entry of foreign manufacturers into the Canadian market. Much has been written about the aging Baby Boomer generation and how they will affect change. As needs change, so does the size, style and function of the housing being built. However, there is another group that has had a less obvious influence on the housing market. Like Germany and Japan, Canada has a sub-replacement fertility rate meaning its total fertility rate is not high enough to replace an area's population. In developed countries sub-replacement fertility occurs when fewer than 2.1 children are born per a woman's lifetime. Canada’s replacement fertility rate is approximately 1.5 as opposed to 2.0 in the United States. Our population continues to grow because of immigration. In the period between 2001 and 2006, Canada’s population grew by 5.4 per cent or 1.6 million people and nearly 1.2 million of those new Canadians were immigrants. This rate was nearly double that of all of the other G8 nations. Most of these new Canadians settled in a major urban centre. So, how does this influence our business? In a CBC news story on the 2006 Census, Anil Arora, then director general of Statistics Canada’s Census Branch, was quoted as saying, “The data suggest the trend toward urbanization in Canada is continuing, with 90 per cent of



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Safety Isn't Just Skin Deep...

Corrosion Resistant Check Valve Construction

Single Access Cover


Top Mounted Straight Tube Check Stainless Steel Retainer Body

Patented Linkage Design

Stainless Steel Piston and Stem Investment Cast Stainless Steel Body

Torsion Spring Design

Uniquely Contoured Check Valve Opening

Stainless Steel Relief Valve Cover Screws

Slotted Pivot Point

Replaceable Check Disc Rubber

Specify Superior Backflow Protection from Watts When it comes to protecting the health and safety of people, why choose anything but the best? The Watts SilverEagleTM Series backflow assemblies incorporate the latest design features to protect against contamination at health hazard cross-connections. The SilverEagle series is the most compact, the lightest and offers the most flexibility of any backflow assembly in the industry. Specify the valve with safety at its core! For additional information and to view the latest SilverEagle approvals, visit our website at or call 1-888-208-8927.