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MAY 2018



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MAY 2018 / VOL. 92 NO. 3






SYSTEM DESIGN THE 3.2 MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION Despite everything the radiant industry does to shoot itself in the foot, radiant systems still come out on top. By Robert Bean

22 SERVICE VEHICLE REPORT DEMAND PROMPTS FREQUENT UPDATES Manufacturers continue to tweak work trucks and vans for optimum performance and economy. By Jil McIntosh



BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT GOING GREEN Canada’s marijuana industry won’t leave HVAC contractors in the smoke. By Jillian Morgan





MAY 2018 / VOL. 92 NO. 3



KITCHEN SHOWCASE BEYOND AESTHETICS Accessible home design fuels an evolution of the kitchen for homeowners and of installation practices for plumbing contractors. By Jillian Morgan

CONTROLS COMMON ISSUES & INSTALLATION ERRORS–PART III More often than not, if control systems do not perform as needed, something happened on the installation or programming side of things. By Mike Miller




SHOW REPORT THE BUZZ ON CMPX 2018 Exposition delivers with new products, education sessions and networking opportunities.



HEAT PUMPS OUT OF THIN AIR Take a look at air-to-water heat pump systems. By John Siegenthaler

HVAC/R SOUND AND VIBRATION IN WATERSOURCE HEAT PUMPS Internal design and proper installation are key to avoiding intrusive acoustics. By Karl Washburn



MAY 2018 | HPAC


< UPFRONT MY MONCTON EXPERIENCE EARLIER THIS MONTH I HEADED TO THE MECHANICAL ELECTRICAL ELECTRONIC TECHNOLOGY SHOW, otherwise known as MEET. It was my first time at the event after hearing about it and writing about it for years. This show consistently receives great reviews from exhibitors and attendees alike. What is it about MEET that prompts the kudos? It may be the engaged audience or the East Coast pace, or a combination of factors. Whatever it is I can’t disagree–this medium-size show has a certain cachet. Some attendees had to head home earlier than they normally would before the floodwaters in Fredericton, Saint John and the surrounding area left them stranded. In fact, the closure of the Trans-Canada Highway was a first. As Fredericton and other cities across Canada struggle to contend with extreme weather events, the National Research Council is working to address how codes and standards would be updated to deal with the results of climate change. Philip Rizcallah was on the MEET seminar agenda to share NRC’s progress on development of the National Guideline for Wildland Urban Interface Design; its new approach to codes and standards; and other initiatives. Rizcallah, who is executive director of NRC, drew a standing room crowd. Interest in designing for the future is high.

HPAC MAGAZINE 111 Gordon Baker Road, Suite 400, Toronto, ON M2H 3R1 TEL: 416.442.5600 FAX: 416.510.5140 EDITOR Kerry Turner (416) 510-5218 ASSISTANT EDITOR Jillian Morgan (416) 510-5201 ASSOCIATE David Skene (416) 510-6884 PUBLISHER ACCOUNT Vince Naccarato (416) 510-5118 MANAGER MEDIA DESIGNER Emily Sun ACCOUNT Kim Rossiter (416) 510-6794 COORDINATOR CIRCULATION MANAGER Urszula Grzyb (416) 442-5600 ext. 3537

PUBLISHER Peter Leonard (416) 510-6847 VICE PRESIDENT Tim Dimopoulos (416) 510-5100 t COO Ted Markle PRESIDENT & CEO Mike Fredericks

PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40065710 Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning (established 1925) is published 7 times per year by Annex Publishing & Printing Inc. HPAC Magazine is the leading Canadian business publication for the owner/manager of mechanical contracting businesses and their supply partners. ISSN: 0017-9418 (Print) ISSN 2371-8536 (Online) Contents Copyright © 2018 by Annex Publishing & Printing Inc. may not be reprinted without permission. SUBSCRIBER SERVICES: To subscribe, renew your subscription or to change your address or information please visit us at

Left: The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) Innovation Award went to Bosch Thermotechnology Greentherm 9000 tankless water heaters. At the awards presentation: Thomas Geneau and Khuzema Janoowalla of Shoreline Mechanical Sales, Mike Pattersonshow chair, George Bell of Shoreline Mechanical Sales. Right: Filtration Plus took home the ACME Innovation Award, for its Sensor 360 filtration monitoring technology. (l to r) Mike Stewart and Dave Kerr of Filtration Plus, Norm Caissie of Imperial Manufacturing and Jarid Wilson of Filtration Plus. Other award winners were Stelpro, winner of the EFC Award for its Maestro Smart Controller Thermostat and Axis Lighting (IES Innovation Award) for its Stencil product.

“We have an idea what the future might look like, why don’t we build for that,” said speaker Chris Mathias of Mathias Consulting Company. “Building envelope decisions will live with the home, usually for a hundred years or more.” Mathias noted that the biggest issue in future building performance is that people do not want to change how they do things. With attendees flocking to see new technologies at MEET, one would hope change is actually not so daunting for people. Things slowed down on the last afternoon, likely weather related, but the show floor was transformed into an opportunity for wholesalers, manufacturers, distributors and associated industry colleagues and competitors to catch up. All in all the show had a great vibe.

Subscription Price per year: $43.00 (plus tax) CDN; Outside Canada per year: $84.50 US; Elsewhere: 1 year $92.50; 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: From time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods: Tel: 416-442-5600 ext. 3552, Fax: 416-510-6875 or 416442-2191; E-mail:; or by mail: 111 Gordon Baker Rd., Suite 400, Toronto ON M2H 3R1 Annex Privacy Officer Tel: 800-668-2374 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. NOTICE: HPAC Magazine, Annex Publishing & Printing Inc., their staff, officers, directors and shareholders (hence known as the “Publisher”) assume no liability, obligations, or responsibility for claims arising from advertised products. The Publisher also reserves the right to limit liability for editorial errors, omissions and oversights to a printed correction in a subsequent issue. HPAC Magazine’s editorial is written for management level mechanical industry personnel who have documented training in the mechanical fields in which they work. Manufacturers’ printed instructions, datasheets and notices always take precedence to published editorial statements.

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NrCAN will develop a model national building energy code by 2020 to aid provincial and territorial adoption. It will also set out energy performance requirements for existing buildings and steps to achieve net-zero energy for new buildings by 2030.

Amendments to Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations will roll out across product categories starting in 2019 as part of the Pan-Canadian Framework. Debbie Scharf, director of NRCan’s equipment division, led a two-part talk on the framework at a recent HRAI manufacturers division symposium in Toronto, ON. Other symposium topics included flammable refrigerants, HFCs, GreenON rebates, heat pump retrofits and Europe’s DecarbHeat Initiative. Space heating and cold climate heat pump adoption aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Canada’s residential, commercial and institutional buildings. The department has identified barriers in this market transformation for commercial furnaces, ground source heat pumps, cold climate air source heat pumps and gas heat pumps, including: high up-front costs, limited product availability, supply chain confidence and lack of commercial models in Canada. NRCan plans to submit a space and water heating roadmap to energy ministers in summer 2018. To view affected product categories under Amendments 14, 15 and 16 visit Philippe Chemouny, manager of the Montreal Protocol at Environment and Climate Change Canada, discussed the phase-down of HFCs at the symposium. Amendments to federal ozone-depleting substances and 8

HPAC | MAY 2018

Four sectors are targeted under product-specific controls: refrigeration and air conditioning systems, mobile air conditioning systems and foam and aerosol products.

halocarbon alternatives came into force April 18, 2018. As part of the regulations, product-specific controls will be established with regards to the import and manufacture of products/systems that contain HFCs. In 2019, importers of bulk HFCs will be issued individual annual consumption allowances, which authorize the HFC import. Evelyn Lundhild, senior manager at Independent Electricity System Operator provided an update on GreenON rebates. Contractors under the Save on Energy Heating and Cooling Incentive are required to sign the GreenON rebates contract. For air source heat pumps installed in electrically heated homes, there is one program. GreenON rebates program includes homes with oil or propane heating. There is only one air source or ground source heat pump rebate per home. Rebates for air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps are for existing detached, semi-detached and row townhomes. New custom homes are also eligible. HPACMAG.COM


The joint partnership is the first collaboration of its kind in Canada, according to RioCan.

ENWAVE’S LAKE WATER COOLING SYSTEM EXPANDS TO TORONTO’S DOWNTOWN WEST A thermal energy storage facility will be constructed as part of Enwave Energy’s Deep Lake Water Cooling (DLWC) system. The DLWC system utilizes a reservoir of chilled water at the bottom of

Lake Ontario as an alternative source of air conditioning for office buildings in Toronto, ON. Enwave, Allied Properties and RioCan will develop the facility, to be housed at The Well, a residential, commercial and retail development by RioCan and Allied, located in the city’s downtown West. This partnership aims to provide the first low-carbon cooling and heating option for the community. Two six-million-litre tanks, located under The Well, will store temperature-controlled water fed by the DLWC system. The Well features over one million square feet of office space, 500,000 square feet of retail and food service space, and 1,800 residential units.

MANITOBA HEALTH-CARE FACILITIES RECEIVE FUNDING FOR HVAC, PUMP UPGRADES The Manitoba government has approved over 120 health-care facility maintenance projects across the province, totaling nearly $30 million in funding. Projects include: • Mould remediation, vacuum pump upgrades/replacement and a water booster upgrade. • Sprinkler installation • HVAC upgrades and associated building controls system modernization The province expects 44 projects to be completed in 2018. Other projects that will begin later this year sprinkler system installtion and fire safety equipment uprgrades.

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MAY 2018 | HPAC


2018-04-13 1:24 PM


HUMBER COLLEGE SECOND ANNUAL HVAC CAREER FAIR A SUCCESS Humber College’s second annual HVAC career fair attracted a crowd of students and soon-to-be graduates to network with potential employers. The fair is offered exclusively to the college’s HVAC/R Technician and Technology programs, as well as its Sustainable Energy and Building Technology programs. About 200 students attended the event, in addition to 27 employers – up from 13 compared to the college’s first career fair.

Left: A number of booths were staffed by Humber HVAC/R graduates, including The Master Group, Wolseley and Next Supply. Right: Humber is one of two Ontario colleges that offers an Advanced Diploma in HVAC/R.

“It’s a lot of diverse groups of people,” said Amanda Browning, HVAC and hydronic inside sales representative at Noble. “Everybody’s looking for something different. We’re here to show them that there’s a technician side, there’s a wholesale side and there’s really anything you can do in the industry.” Businesses were able to promote their brand and career options while getting to know students on an informal basis. Employers made use of Humber’s offices the following week to interview candidates. As a result, a number of students have landed part-time, full-time and summer jobs, according to Alan Gaunt, professor of HVAC at Humber. “Its intimidating at first being a first year student,” said Tyler Woon, a first year HVAC/R student. “But all the companies are really helping out with the application process and what to do to build a career.” Humber’s School of Applied Technology and its Academic and Career Success Centre organized the fair, held at the Learning Resource Common at Humber North Campus in Toronto, ON. SOME ONTARIO BUILDING OWNERS MUST REPORT WATER USE BY JULY 2018 Ontario building owners may need to benchmark energy and water use annually. Commercial, industrial and multi-unit residential buildings 250,000 square feet or larger are required to submit a report 10

HPAC | MAY 2018

using ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. The first deadline to submit is July 1, 2018. Other details are required, such as gross floor area and number of occupants. The province aims for requirements to be fully phased in by 2020. In that time, it will include more buildings, eventually reaching those 50,000 square feet and larger. Phase one of the regulation, Reporting of Energy Consumption and Water Use, was launched in January 2018. It aims to help building owners benchmark property energy and water use, identify ways to reduce energy and water use, compare performance and measure improvements over time. Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement mandatory benchmarking and disclosure legislation. ONLINE REBATES AND HOME IMPROVEMENT INCENTIVES ANNOUNCED FOR ALBERTA Energy Efficiency Alberta has announced new incentives and rebates as part of its energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. A $75 rebate on furnaces with ECM fans was recently added. Homeowners can upload a copy of the receipt online and receive a rebate cheque within six to eight weeks. In addition, homeowners can receive up to $1,000 in rebates for tankless hot water heaters, and can choose a contractor to install energy-efficient products in their home. Rebates are also available for drain-water heat–recovery equipment. CCA CHAIR ZEY EMIR FOCUSED ON EFFICIENCY, DIVERSITY Zey Emir has been appointed chair of the 2018 Canadian Construction Association (CCA) board of directors. She takes over the position from Chris McNally. Emir is president of Revay and Asso- Emir is a professional ciates Limited, a dispute resolution engineer and holds and project management provider to an MBA from McGill University. the construction industry in Canada and internationally. In her address during the CCA annual general meeting, Emir discussed her priorities for her term at the association, which turns 100 this year. “In the coming year, we will be reviewing the governance of the CCA in order to improve our effectiveness and maximize our efficiency leading into the next 100 years,” said Emir. “This includes being open to diversity and representation that reflects our industry.” HPACMAG.COM

CSA AMENDS F280-12 STANDARD, PUBLIC REVIEW PERIOD CLOSED After being extended to March 18, 2018, the public review period for recent amendments to CSA standard 5280-12 has closed. Amendments to the standard (determining the required capacity of residential space heating and cooling appliances) include: • Revised ventilation sensible heat gain calculation formula • Updated default SHGC values • Updated default SHGC values • Updated Annex D of the standard • Updated Annex E of the standard

The Plumbing Skill Area at the 2017 Skills Canada National Competition in Winnipeg, MB.

SKILLS CANADA NATIONAL COMPETITION HEADS TO EDMONTON Over 40 skilled trade and technology competitions, representing six sectors, will take place at this year’s Skills Canada National Competition (SCNC). SCNC will be held from June 4 to 5, 2018 at the Edmonton Expo Centre in Edmonton, AB. It brings together over 550 youth from all regions of Canada. The competition aims to provide hands-on work experience and raise awareness about skilled trade and technology sectors. Students must compete at local, regional and provincial/territorial events in order to represent their province or territory at SCNC. SCNC is open to the public on competition days. It will offer 50 Try-A-Trade and Technology activities for visiting youth, a “Career Zone” and an essential skills forum. The opening and closing ceremonies promise a crowd of 2,000. Interactive demonstrations by various stakeholder groups and celebrities will be held on the Essential Skills Stage.

TECHNOLOGY, PROGRESS AND PHYN PLUS AT 2018 UPONOR CONVENTION Phyn Plus, a smart water monitoring system, will be sold and serviced exclusively through the Uponor Pro Squad. The system, a To remain an Uponor Pro Squad member in good standing, certain joint venture with U.S.program requirements must based manufacturer Belkin be met tied to sales, customer International, was a high- satisfaction and service delivery. light of Uponor’s 2018 convention. Industry professionals from across the United States and Canada joined the company for the event in Las Vegas, NV from April 5 to 6, 2018. Nearly 200 Canadians attended the event – themed “The Quest for Progress” to align with the company’s new brand campaign: “We mean progress.” Uponor is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. It featured 22 education sessions, a product showcase and a keynote address by global futurist and author Jack Uldrich on the role of technology in the industry. Uponor Pro Squad is only available in Toronto, ON at this time. The company said it plans to expand to additional markets in Canada in late 2018/early 2019. There are five authorized Pro Squad members in Ontario with over 50 potential members throughout Canada. Authorized installers will receive training to sell, install and service Phyn. Both Uponor and Phyn will provide ongoing plumbing and technical support. Plumbers across Canada who are interested in becoming an authorized Pro Squad member when it is available in their area can visit SMOKE DETECTORS MALFUNCTION Kidde has recalled two of its dual-sensor smoke alarms due to risk of failure to alert consumers to a fire. The recall involves models PI2010 (AC/hardwired) and PI9010 (DC/battery powered) with the date code September 10, 2016 through October 13, 2017. About 40,000 of the photoelectric and ionization alarms were sold in Canada. A yellow cap left on during the manufacturing process can cover one of the two smoke sensors and compromise the smoke alarm’s ability to detect smoke, reported the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The recall was in conjunction with Health Canada.

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MAY 2018 | HPAC



OTTAWA BACKFLOW PREVENTION PROGRAM IN EFFECT Ottawa has rolled out a backflow prevention program to prevent contaminated water from buildings entering the city’s drinking water system. Under by-law number 2013-360, the program came into effect January 1, 2018 and is scheduled to roll out over a 10-year period. Properties with severe risks will be addressed by December 2020, and properties with moderate risks by December 2025. Between 2018 and 2027, based on severity of the hazard, all affected property owners will be required to hire a qualified person to conduct site surveys, install premise isolation backflow devices and test backflow devices.
Qualifications and training needed to conduct site surveys, install backflow devices and test devices are established in the Canadian Standards Association B64.10 standards.

At this year’s sixth annual Research Summit, an announcement will be made about collaboration with ASHRAE’s archival research publication, Science and Technology for the Built Environment.

ASHRAE CONFERENCE TRACKS FOCUS ON BUILDING PERFORMANCE, DESIGN The 2018 ASHRAE Annual Conference technical program will offer educational tracks on design and performance optimization for buildings. The conference will be held June 23-27, 2018 at the Hilton AmericasHouston hotel and the George R. Brown Convention Centre in Houston, TX. ASHRAE Learning Institute will offer two full-day seminars and eight half-day courses. Those interested in ASHRAE certification exams must apply by June 5, 2018.

ALBERTA UPDATES BUILDING CODES TO ALIGN WITH PAN-CANADIAN FRAMEWORK The next editions of the Alberta building, fire and energy codes will be updated to the 2015 national code editions, including the 2017 interim changes to the 2011 National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB). The elevating devices codes will also be updated to the currently published 2013 edition. Municipal Affairs, the National Research Council and Alberta’s Safety Codes Council, including the elevating, building and fire sub-councils, will review code content and complete the publications. There is now an added incentive for making the NECB 2015 (including the 2017 interim changes) the new required standard as part of the Pan-Canadian Framework, which aims to achieve Net-Zero Energy Ready Buildings by 2030. NECB 2017 aims to reduce overall thermal transmittance of roofs, fenestration and doors, losses through thermal bridging in building assemblies and the allowable percentage of skylight area. It also introduces more stringent requirements for energy recovery systems and interior and exterior lighting requirements. NECB 2011 is currently the required standard in Alberta until updated by the NECB 2015 edition. Further details on dates, training and costs will be made available throughout the year as the codes are developed and updated.

ONTARIO RESTRICTS DOOR-TODOOR SALES OF HVAC, PLUMBING PRODUCTS AND SERVICES The Ontario government has banned unsolicited door-to-door and in-home sales of certain household appliances under the Consumer Protection Act. Effective March 1, 2018, restricted products and services include: furnaces, air conditioners, air cleaners, air purifiers, water heaters, water treatment devices, water purifiers, water filters, water softeners and duct cleaning services. Any product or service that performs one or more of these product functions, such as an HVAC system, is also restricted. The provincial government has granted exceptions in cases where the consumer has a contract in place with the business or initiated the transaction. Businesses will also be required to keep records for three years if a new contract is signed, including how contact with the consumer was made. Under the new rules, a 10-day cooling off period will be applied in which a consumer can cancel a contract without reason or penalty. Rules for water heat suppliers will no longer be required as a result of the new rules, including verification calls for supplier-initiated contracts. Effective May 1, 2018 suppliers must provide disclosures in consumer agreements using the updated, mandatory cover page. All contracts for restricted products will require the consumer to sign the new cover page and the contract for the product or service before any work begins, also effective May 1, 2018. If a consumer calls for a repair or maintenance, businesses may only leave information about product and service offerings – unless the business has a written contract in place with the

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HPAC | MAY 2018


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consumer and secures the consumer’s approval in advance of the visit to solicit a contract. An overview of the new rules can be seen at

NRCAN CLARIFIES TESTING FOR OUTDOOR AIR SYSTEMS Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) has issued a clarification concerning the requirements for make-up air large air conditioners and direct expansion outdoor dedicated air systems under

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Canada’s Energy Efficiency Regulations. NRCan defines a large air conditioner as a commercial or industrial unitary air conditioner with a cooling capacity of at least 19 kW but less than 223 kW. The definition does not include single package vertical air conditioners. The department stated that direct expansion outdoor air systems designed to provide only 100 per cent outdoor air to the conditioned space can not be tested using the current standards. NRCan will not be taking enforcement action pertaining to the minimum and testing at these requirements, but will instead require that an energy efficiency report be submitted by the manufacturer, dealer or certification agency. CIPH WELCOMES NEW PMAC PROGRAM MANAGER Akshay Sharma has joined the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH) as program manager for the Plumbing and Akshay Sharma Mechanical Advisory Council (PMAC). Sharma will assist in managing, coordinating, planning and providing support to the council on projects. “We are delighted to have Akshay join the CIPH team. With his research experience in fluid flow analysis and a strong grasp in data interpretation and visualization, he brings a contemporary approach to CIPH,” said Ralph Suppa, president and general manager at CIPH. Sharma is a chemical engineering graduate with a certificate in energy management from Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology in Toronto, ON. He recently received his certified associate in project management certification from the Project Management Institute.

HPAC | MAY 2018

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GEOTHERMAL HEAT PUMP TECHNOLOGY REBATES OFFERED BY NB POWER NB Power has included geotherUp to $5,000 in incentives mal heat pump technology among will be provided to a range of energy efficiency and homeowners through renewable energy incentives. the program for energyefficient home upgrades, The news was welcomed by the including geothermal. Canadian GeoExchange Coalition (CGC), an industry association for renewable heat pump technology. “This type of program is critically important to advanced renewable-and-energy-efficiency technology like ours,” said Ted Kantrowitz, CGC CEO. “GeoExchange technology has one of its longest-running and largest Canadian manufacturers in Petit-Codiac, NB and many New Brunswickers have proven what an effective decarbonisation tool the GeoExchange investment can be.” In order to receive the incentive for installation of a geothermal heat pump system through the new program, energy audits must be conducted, ENERGY STAR-certified heat pumps must be specified and systems must earn CGC System Certification.

PTAC UNITS RECALLED IN U.S. AND CANADA Goodman Company has recalled its packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps. About 3,400 The recalled units are beige and the brand name is printed were sold in Canada. The outdoor fan motors on most of the units’ control covers. The model number can overheat, posing burn and serial number are located and fire hazards. The recall on a label behind the front was in conjunction with cover of the unit. Health Canada.Consumers can contact Goodman for a free repair kit. Commercial owners are being contacted directly. This recall involves Goodman, Amana, York International and Energy Knight branded packaged terminal air conditioners and heat pumps (PTACs). Models that begin with the following prefixes are included in this recall: EKTC15, EKTH15, PMC15, PMH12, PMH15, PTC15, PTH12, PTH15, UCYB15 and UCYH15. Only units with the first four digits of the serial numbers in the range between 1001 and 1709 are affected. HPACMAG.COM

SOLAR CANADA ADDS KEYNOTES, PROGRAM UPDATES Solar Canada 2018 conference and exposition will feature 100 exhibitors and sponsors, new sessions, speakers and two consecutive days of networking. The conference, held at the BMO Centre in Calgary, AB from June 20-21, 2018, will focus on the impact of policy and regulatory markets, as well as a consumer-driven demand for renewable energy. A series of three pre-conference workshops will be held on June 19, 2018.

WATER POSES HAZARD IN GARBAGE DISPOSALS InSinkErator has recalled its single outlet SinkTop switch accessory for garbage disposals. Water was found to get into the power module, posing a fire hazard. About 28 of the accessories were sold in Canada. The recall by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was in conjunction with Health Canada. The model numbers are 76703, STS-SOSN, 78251 and 74300, and can be found on the back of the power module. Garbage disposals activated by a wall switch are not affected by this recall. Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled switches and can contact InSinkErator for a free SinkTop switch replacement. HRAI NAMES NEW PRESIDENT Sandy MacLeod, former COO of print at Star Media Group, will take over as president of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) at the end of June 2018. He succeeds Warren Heeley who announced his retirement in August 2017. A native of Nova Scotia, MacLeod has led numerous business units across Canada and has been involved with several associations in the communications industry. His roles include president of the North American Division of the International News Media Association, media research lead for Vividata and chair of Advertising Standards Canada.

MAY 2018 | HPAC




Dear Whole-House, Single-Zone Forced Air HVAC, I am weary of roasting master bedrooms, freezing basements and endless uneven heating complaints thanks to you. You defy upgrading without significant cost. Your creaking joints at midnight and wooden return air ducts full of pipes, wires, and piles of dirt have annoyed innumerable forced air families for too long. You are so 1960s; our time together is running out! I am so sorry to turn my back on you, but you let me down. Yours truly, Ian McTeer–on the road to the ductless camp.


fter learning about the latest computer technology during a school visit to the Ontario Science Centre in the 1980s my youngest son asked me if we were getting a fax machine. Hardly computer literate myself in those days, I told him “No, I cannot think of a reason why we’d ever need one.” Little did I know that by 1997 when I started working as a field service representative, the fax machine would become one of my go-to tools for communicating with my customers. Once the plain paper fax connected to my computer came into our office, I set about faxing service bulletins, meeting notifications, new product information and submittals all over Ontario and other parts of Canada. And, yes, we had a home fax machine for many years. Admittedly, I thought about ductless mini splits in the same way as the fax machine at first exposure: how much use could they possibly be? I could understand going ductless for cooling in Europe and Asia where basements and ductwork are relatively unknown, but not in Canada where ductwork rules.


HPAC | MAY 2018

MY HEART WAS BROKEN I have mentioned in previous columns how so many houses built in the late 1960s, maybe even to this day, have what could best be described as second rate forced air HVAC systems. Poorly designed, too often improperly installed, and rarely ever properly commissioned, many single-zone ducted systems delivered inconsistent heating and cooling throughout their structures. My beloved forced air systems were failing homeowners and my equipment. Often, once-upon-a-time acceptable duct systems, originally designed for the 65 per cent AFUE furnaces of yesteryear, caused modern-day condensing gas furnaces to stumble and choke. The 95 per cent AFUE thoroughbreds, very common in the field today, too often fail to deliver advertised comfort and efficiency. Higher than expected utility bills combined with excessive service calls is now the norm for too many consumers. Some contractors fail to recognize the severe limitations of existing ductwork while the door-to-door box-changers simply do not care. Taking the time to interview a prospective customer, learning which rooms are comfortable

or not is helpful in determining what repairs to the existing system might be necessary. A simple rule of thumb still applies: If you cannot heat a room, you will never cool it. By 2001, I saw my first ductless system in operation. Installed in a master bedroom, the 9,000 Btu/h unit supplemented the existing cooling system that could not keep up with the load on the hottest days. The customer's large house had a single zone, single stage heating and cooling system that failed to keep the second floor cool; however, the system did a decent job on the first floor but turned the basement into a meat locker. Later on, I saw a ductless unit installed in an addition to a restaurant dining room (Figure 1); my barber got a ductless unit; the family dentist went ductless; and eventually at my company’s office, our second floor meeting room got a ductless unit to deal with all the hot air produced in there (Figure 2).

RESIDENTIAL MINI-SPLIT HEAT PUMP APPLICATION OPPORTUNITIES In today’s HVAC world, the word “efficiency” rings a familiar, highly desirable bell with most consumers, maybe even more-so than “low price” in some cases. Selling an AHRI rated 20 SEER cooling system along with a 95 per cent AFUE two-stage ECM equipped gas furnace into a retrofit application rings the efficiency bell several times compared to the original system, or does it? Think about buying the most efficient car in the world only to find that all the paved roads have turned into rutted HPACMAG.COM

Cooling head at the top of the stairwell will spill too much needed cool air downstairs reducing second floor comfort. First floor unit’s temperature sensor may be affected and “decide” not to engage first floor cooling when needed. Location is the key to comfort and efficiency.

cow paths due to shoddy engineering and lack of maintenance. Navigating around potholes and spinning your wheels through mud puddles will knock your car’s efficiency numbers back into the Stone Age. In the same vein, trying to force air through the ductwork equivalent to that of an oversized soda straw runs riot over any efficiency claims. Consider this: an ECM blower, relegated to serve in a second

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rate system, will only use more watts than advertised simply by trying to deliver its programmed volume of air at a higher (and annoying) velocity. Not to mention short cycling due to oversizing, limit tripping, pressure switch hiccups, and so on. The residential sales professional must ask some important comfort questions: 1. Are you unhappy with the level of comfort in your home provided by the current HVAC system? 2. Are there any cold spots, hot spots depending on the season? 3. Is the system noisy? 4. Are you less likely to use the cooling unit due to high costs? Should the customer answer be “Yes” to all, then how will an ECM equipped furnace solve all these customer concerns? Remembering that an ECM ramps up to maintain programmed airflow in a restricted duct system, offering a conventional ECM equipped furnace provides no solutions to any of these questions. Soda straw air handling systems will require some expensive renovations before the advertised efficiency of even the best AHRI rated gas furnace and cooling unit can be delivered to the consumer; and it is likely still a single zone system.

Continued on p18

MAY 2018 | HPAC


2018-04-23 11:11 AM


Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5


HPAC | MAY 2018

Or, consider abandoning the existing air handling system in favour of one or more multi-zone ductless heat pumps. As I mentioned in a previous article, technological improvements such as vapour injected scroll and brushless DC (BLDC) twin rotary compressors combined with electronic expansion valves and superior electronics make ductless heat pumps a valid choice for cold climates. In houses with electric baseboards or hydronic heating, ductless heat pumps are the lowest cost and most efficient way to keep the existing system off-line until absolutely necessary. Some heat pumps can even signal the baseboards to operate below balance point. Admittedly, it could be a challenge to find an appropriate location for the indoor evaporator fan coil or “head” in a retrofit application. Line length constraints, challenges in running electrical wiring and providing an easy path for a condensate drain line could eliminate many desirable locations, especially on interior walls. But the high wall heads no longer take precedence when selecting indoor sections. As shown in Figure 3, a four-way cassette connected through the attic could solve a second floor issue. Many systems can work with wall mounted fan coils designed to fit underneath windows (see Figure 4). And a ducted fan coil could be used in an attic, crawlspace, alcove or basement as shown in Figure 5. While abandoning the existing system sounds extreme in a residential retrofit application, there is no point whatsoever slapping a top-of-the-line Energy Star furnace and cooling unit into a half-baked duct system. Instead, promote the least efficient gas furnace and then suggest the installation of an Energy Star ductless heat pump leaving the furnace to run as back-up when necessary. The multi-zone system promises efficient HVAC providing individual zone temperature control and quiet operation. Some mini-split units are meant to work with existing ductwork; however, beware the soda straw system. Just like any other air handler, installers must be certain the air distribution system is adequate to meet manufacturer’s specifications. Without verified data, you cannot trust an existing system.

RENOVATION AND NEW CONSTRUCTION Newly constructed houses and renovation jobs meeting Canada’s latest building code iteration make cold climate multi-zone mini split systems a truly viable HVAC option. Utilizing low or high static recessed air handling units, the entire house can be zoned several times over providing comfort in every area. Ducted air handlers (yes, we still need ducts) installed either vertically or horizontally in a closet or alcove or architecturally designed bulkhead close to the distribution point will

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All air-source outdoor units must be protected from dripping water and strong winds. Some manufacturers provide effective wind guards, but units should not be installed under roof overhangs where roof meltwater is a concern.

Ducted air handler in commercial classroom application.

become the norm in new construction, seems to me. Utilizing small, very short, low-static duct runs extending into one or two rooms should eliminate the need for bulky ducts covered-up by extensive builder-fabricated bulkheads. Outstanding improvements in mini-split technology make this equipment hard to beat as a comfortable, energy efficient and cost competitive residential heating and cooling solution. Consider the evidence: • Variable flow refrigerant technology with inverter driven compressors sip energy while providing just the right amount of cooling or heating at any given time. • Cold climate heat pumps with vapour injection provide adequate heat to well below zero Celsius. • Some units can signal electric baseboard heater operation as needed for below balance point or emergency heat situations. • Effective on-board diagnostics help technicians find and correct problems more easily. • Slim profile low and high static air handlers can be builtinto small bulkheads eliminating attic installations for second floor applications. • Some recessed air handlers have electric heat options. • Several manufacturers have developed recessed air handlers featuring automatic or adjustable static pressure balancing (does not undo the need for good duct design, though). • Other options like built-in condensate pumps and cassette units having a knock-out allowing a connection to outdoor air are available from several manufacturers. • While operating, indoor and outdoor units are typically very quiet even during defrost periods. • Wireless controls – no more fishing thermostat wires! Although, I think I’d use the wired option wherever possible.


Five zone outdoor unit showing control board, outdoor coil, refrigerant controls and connection fittings. 20

HPAC | MAY 2018

No doubt, mini split equipment can be mixed and matched so that, for example, a five zone system might consist of twoheads, one low static recessed unit, and two ceiling cassettes. While flexibility is desirable, it does have its limitations. Manufacturers have rules (written in stone) for unit placement, pipe sizing, piping run and rise, communication wiring, evacuation and dehydration, and condensate disposal. Such tenets must not be overlooked; in other words, they are not flexible beyond the maximums. Indoor heads should be installed where they are serviceable, while recessed units must have a customer-friendly, serviceable air inlet filter. Remember the maintenance rule of thumb: a unit that is difficult to service won’t be serviced. End users must be educated to clean air filters regularly; a yearly preventive maintenance plan should be offered too. HPACMAG.COM

Too many bulkheads; builders hate bulkheads.

HVAC technology, from the days of burning half-trees in the castle fireplace while relaxing in a Queen Anne wingback chair; to coal fired gravity central heating; to oil and gas-fired forced warm air systems, has finally arrived at the nexus of comfort, reliability and efficiency. Builders liked to â&#x20AC;&#x153;hideâ&#x20AC;? the HVAC system from potential homebuyers by tucking furnaces under the basement stairs or obscurely at one end of the basement thus sidelining the simplicity of a central heating system. Such efforts produced convoluted duct systems, approved by plan examiners in

principle, but ultimately did not deliver on desirable HVAC values like comfort and efficiency in practice. While fax machines and single zone forced air systems may have had their day in my world, I am thinking heat pump mini split systems are definitely taking over centre stage. <>


Ian McTeer is an HVAC consultant with 35 years experience in the industry. He was most recently a field rep for Trane Canada DSO. McTeer is a refrigeration mechanic and Class 1 Gas technician.


SINCE 1981

We recycle all elements of the thermostat; plastic, metal, electronics and mercury (which is particularly hazardous).


Do your part and join the more than 1,500 contractors already participating in the program. FOR MORE INFORMATION 1(800) 267-2231, x 224 Email

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2017-02-07 2:05 PM



DEMAND PROMPTS FREQUENT UPDATES Manufacturers continue to tweak work trucks and vans for optimum performance and economy. While some technologies provide only minor improvements on their own, they add up when they are all combined on a vehicle. BY JIL MCINTOSH


rucks are the best-selling segment in Canada, and that is a bonus for those who buy them for work. With so much demand, they are being updated far more frequently than they have in the past. That can increase the price, but the other hand, many trucks are using much less fuel than ever before. And engine improvements, combined with synthetic oil, help space out scheduled maintenance to provide cost savings despite the oil’s higher price tag. While some fuel efficiency technologies provide only minor improvements on their own, they add up when they are all combined on a vehicle. Some automakers use small-displacement turbocharged engines, saving fuel under moderate load and producing power when required (although these can get thirsty when towing). Cylinder deactivation shuts off some cylinders when full power is not needed, while start/stop technology turns off the engine at idle. Improved cooling, friction reduction, electric power steering, and mild hybrid systems also help. Lightweight materials such as high-strength steel, aluminum, and composite materials reduce weight and improve efficiency. However, you seldom get “something for nothing,” and they can increase damage repair costs. Consider all factors when it is time to replace your vehicles. 22

HPAC | MAY 2018



There is a lot happening for 2019: all-new trucks, and other models getting new engines. While full specifications are not yet available, here are the basics on what is coming. All-new heavy-duty trucks tend to arrive a year or two after the half-tons, so be patient if you are waiting on the heftier version. Chevrolet Silverado 1 – The all-new model has a longer wheelbase, but it is up to 200 kg. lighter. The bed is wider, has a high-strength steel floor, and contains available locking bins. There are still 5.3-L and 6.2-L V8 choices, but they are a completely new design, and their sophisticated cylinder deactivation can run combinations from one to eight pistons. A new Duramax 3.0-L inline six-cylinder diesel is coming, and it and the 6.2-litre use a 10-speed automatic transmission. GMC Sierra 2 – The Silverado’s sibling is also all-new, and will offer the same powertrain options as Chevrolet. A MultiPro Tailgate with six functions and positions, including second-tier loading and a standing workstation, will be available. Alongside the standard steel bed, the Sierra will offer an industry-exclusive version with carbon fibre panels, although it is unlikely to end up in very many fleets. Ford F-150 – Along with a mild facelift, the 2019 F-150 adds an all-new 2.7-L EcoBoost V6 engine making 400 lb-ft of torque, and 3.0-L Power Stroke V6 diesel engine making 440 lb-ft of torque, both with 10-speed automatic transmissions. Consumers can only get the diesel in top-level trims, but fleets can in all levels of SuperCrew, and SuperCab with 6.5-ft. bed. Also new are low-speed adaptive cruise control, and emergency braking with pedestrian detection. HPACMAG.COM




> In spite of all the available add-ons, many contractors think simple is good. “We need a threequarter-ton long-box with crew cab, and that’s all that matters,” says Ken Swann, president of Interwest Mechanical Ltd. in Saskatoon, SK. “We need to be able to take a minimum crew of four, and we sometimes haul trailers with it. It has to have Bluetooth, because the guys need to be able to talk on their cell phones. The work trucks all come standard with air, tilt and cruise, and that’s about all we need. Any time you start looking at options, you’re increasing the cost of the vehicle.” > Tom Coleman, asset manager for G.J. Cahill & Company Ltd. in St. John’s, NL, doubles down on safety. “We buy work trucks, but I like to have backup alarms and cameras. Some people say it makes drivers complacent, but I like it. And rearview defrosters should be standard in pickup trucks. Sometimes they steam up and you can’t see out the back. I also like heated mirrors, because it’s good to have clear mirrors for safety.”


Ford Ranger 3 – The Ranger returns as a midsize truck, carrying a 2.3-L EcoBoost four-cylinder with 10-speed automatic transmission. It will come in SuperCab or SuperCrew configuration. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 4 – There are new styling cues, more cabin storage including lockable compartments, and connected fleet management. Available in rear- or allwheel drive, the Sprinter will offer 2.1-L four-cylinder or 3.0-L V6 diesel engines. A gasoline engine will also be added. There are five tonnages, three body lengths, and two roof heights. Ram 1500 5 – The all-new Ram is larger but lighter and boasts a stronger frame, and maximum towing capacity of 12,750 lbs. It uses a new 3.6-L V6 or 5.7-L V8. Both are available with a mild hybrid eTorque system that provides a burst of extra torque when needed, and start/stop capacity. The battery recharges with regenerative braking and doesn’t need plugging in. The 3.0-L V6 EcoDiesel is expected to return later in the model year. HPACMAG.COM

Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra 1500 – These mechanical twins include a 4.3-L V6, 5.3-L V8, or 6.2-L V8, and can tow up to 12,500 lbs. An available eAssist feature is a mild hybrid system for extra fuel-free power. Chevrolet Silverado HD/GMC Sierra HD 6 – The heavyduty models use a 6.0-L V8 gas engine, or 6.6-L V8 Duramax diesel making 910 lb-ft of torque. Maximum conventional towing is 14,500 lbs.


Continued on p24 MAY 2018 | HPAC


< SERVICE VEHICLE REPORT 2018 MODELS | FULL-SIZE TRUCKS Ford F-150 – Five engines are available: naturally-aspirated 3.3-L V6 and 5.0-L V8, and turbocharged 2.7-L V6, 3.5-L V6, and a high-output 3.5-L V6 that makes 510 lb-ft of torque. The truck’s all-aluminum body (with steel frame) is unique to Ford. Ford Super Duty 7 – The F-250, F-350 and F-450 offer a 6.2-L V8 gas engine, or 6.7-L V8 PowerStroke diesel making 935 lb-ft of torque. Conventional towing maxes out at 21,000 lbs. Ram 1500 – Engine choices are a 3.6-L V6, 5.7-L V8, or 3.0-L V6 EcoDiesel that makes 420 lb-ft of torque. Maximum towing is 10,640 lbs. The optional air suspension improves the ride and auto-levels a loaded truck, but its weight cuts into payload. Ram Heavy-Duty 8 – The 2500 and 3500 gasoline choices are a 5.7-L or 6.4-L V8. There is also a 6.7-L inline-six Cummins diesel that makes 800 or 930 lb-ft of torque, depending on which automatic transmission it has. You can also get a stick shift, which drops the torque to 660 lb-ft. Nissan Titan 9 – A rearview camera is now standard on all models. The Titan uses a 5.6-L V8 and can tow up to 9,760 lbs. Bumper-to-bumper warranty is five-years/160,000-km on Titan and Titan XD. Nissan Titan XD (shown on p3) – Nissan says the XD “bridges the gap” between half-ton and three-quarter ton trucks. It uses a 5.6-L V8 gas engine, or 5.0-L V8 Cummins diesel. Maximum towing is 12,030 lbs. That is less than some half-tons, but the XD tows its highest weights with far more ease. Toyota Tundra 10 – One trim level offers a 4.6-L V8; all others use a 5.7-L V8 making 401 lb-ft of torque. Maximum towing capacity is 9,700 lbs. All 2018 models come with several new standard safety features, including lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, and emergency braking.






Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon– Three available engines are a 2.5-L four-cylinder, 3.6-L V6, and 2.8-L Duramax fourcylinder diesel. Maximum trailering with the diesel is 7,700 lbs. It comes in Extended, or Crew Cab with two box lengths. 24

HPAC | MAY 2018

Honda Ridgeline – The SUV-based Ridgeline is light-duty, but could work for service calls. It has considerable storage space, including a locking under-bed trunk. It uses a 3.5-L V6 and all-wheel drive, and can tow up to 5,000 lbs. HPACMAG.COM


Nissan Frontier – Available with 2.5-L four-cylinder or 4.0-L V6, and manual or automatic transmissions. Configurations are King Cab or Crew Cab, and maximum towing capacity is 6,710 lbs.

Toyota Tacoma – Available in Access or Double Cab models, the Tacoma offers a 2.7-L four-cylinder or 3.5-L V6, with automatic or manual transmission. Maximum V6 towing capacity is 6,500 lbs.

FULL-SIZE VANS Chevrolet Express/GMC Savana – Available in 2500 or 3500, these mechanical twins use a 4.8-L V8, 6.0-L V8, or 2.8-L four-cylinder Duramax diesel. Top payload is 4,311 lbs, while maximum towing is 10,000 lbs. Ford Transit 1 – Available in 150, 250, 350, and 350 Heavy-Duty, the Transit uses a 3.7-L V6, 3.5-L V6 EcoBoost, or 3.2-L inline-five Power Stroke diesel. Maximum payload is 4,650 lbs, while top towing is 7,500 lbs. Nissan NV 2 – It comes in 1500, 2500 or 3500 configuration, offers two roof heights, and uses a 4.0-L V8 or 5.6-L V8 gas engine. Payload goes up to 3,985 lbs, and towing up to 9,500. It’s covered by a five-year/160,000-km bumper-to-bumper warranty. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3 – Available in 2500 and 3500 configuration, and in rear- or four-wheel drive, the Sprinter comes in three lengths and two roof heights and uses a 3.0-L V6 diesel engine. Maximum payload for the 3500 is 5,574 lbs. Ram ProMaster 4 – The ProMaster comes in three wheelbases and two roof heights. It uses a 3.6-L V6 or new 3.0-L V6 EcoDiesel that replaces the previous four-cylinder diesel. Its frontwheel-drive configuration is unique among competitors and gives a lower step-in. Maximum payload is 4,430 lbs; maximum towing is 5,100 lbs. HPACMAG.COM





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< SERVICE VEHICLE REPORT SMALL VANS Chevrolet City Express – A version of Nissan’s NV200, the City Express uses a 2.0-L four-cylinder engine and continuously-variable transmission (CVT). Maximum payload is 1,500 lbs; towing is not recommended. Ford Transit Connect 1 – Both trim levels use a 2.5-L four-cylinder engine with six-speed automatic. Payload tops out at 1,610 lbs, and it can tow 2,000 lbs. Mercedes-Benz Metris 2 – The only midsize van on the market, the Metris fits in most underground garages. It now comes in two wheelbase lengths, and uses a turbocharged 2.0-L four-cylinder gas engine. Maximum payload is 2,502 lbs, and it can tow up to 5,000 lbs. Nissan NV200 3 – Also badged as the Chevrolet City Express, the NV200 uses a 2.0-L four-cylinder engine with CVT, and has a longer bumper-to-bumper warranty than the GM version.




WHAT CONTRACTORS ARE BUYING “I just get a plain-Jane with air conditioning because it gets pretty hot here in summer, and that’s it,” says Don Grolar, owner of Grolar Mechanical in Yellowknife, NT. He currently uses the Ford E-150 van. “I don’t need a decked-out van, just something that’s going to be reliable. When there’s more stuff, there’s more to go wrong.”


Ram ProMaster City 4 – Ram’s small van uses a 2.4-L four-cylinder engine with nine-speed automatic transmission. Maximum payload is 1,901 lbs, and it can tow up to 2,000 lbs. <>


Adrian Steel’s Drop Down and Grip Lock Ladder Racks are designed with ergonomics and user safety in mind. Whether you’re upfitting a single van or an entire fleet, Adrian Steel has just what you need. Increased efficiency starts now. © Adrian Steel Company 2018, all rights reserved. Adrian Steel Company is an independent equipment manufacturer, prices may vary. Please visit to contact your local distributor for further details.


HPAC | MAY 2018

Jil McIntosh is an automotive writer and reviewer, with a specialty in trucks and commercial vehicles. She writes for numerous outlets including the National Post and, and is a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). Her work can be found at HPACMAG.COM


CARRY YOUR REPUTATION IN THE TRUCKS WITH A BEST-IN-CLASS REPUTATION. F-Series trucks are engineered to make hard things easier. High-strength, military-grade^ aluminum alloy reduces weight to deliver best-in-class towing and hauling capability. And use less fuel when you’re between jobs. Add in our class-exclusive driver-assist features and take condence on the job site to the max. When it comes to choosing your truck, trust the Commercial Vehicle specialists at Ford. Our team is driven to make choosing your truck easier.


2018 F-150


• Best-in-class max. payload†, 3,270 lbs • Best-in-class gas fuel efciency‡ • Best-in-class towing‡‡, 13,200 lbs • Available SYNC® Connect with Wi-Fi hotspot^

• Best-in-class max. towing*, 34,000 lbs • Best-in-class max. payload**, 7,630 lbs • Best-in-class diesel torque***, 935 lb-ft • Best-in-class gas torque****, 430 lb-ft

Vehicle(s) may be shown with optional equipment. *When properly equipped. Maximum towing capacity of 34,000 lbs with 6.7L diesel engine conguration. Class is Full-Size Heavy Duty Pickups over 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation. **When properly equipped. Maximum payload of 7,630 lbs on F-350 DRW Regular Cab 4x2 with 6.2L gas engine conguration. Class is Full-Size Pickups over 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation. ***Maximum diesel torque of 935 lb-ft with standard 6.7L V8 diesel engine 6-speed automatic transmission conguration. Class is Full-Size Pickups over 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation. **** Maximum gas torque of 430 lb-ft on with standard 6.2L V8 gas engine conguration. Class is Full-Size Pickups over 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation. † When properly congured. Maximum payload of 3,270 lbs with available 5.0L V8 engine conguration. Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation. ‡Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs (3,856 kg) versus 2017 and 2018 Competitors. 2018 F-150 4x2 equipped with the 2.7L V6 EcoBoost® and 6-speed SelectShift® automatic transmission, estimated fuel consumption ratings are 11.9L/100-km city, 9.0L/100-km hwy, 10.6L/100-km combined, based on Government of Canada-approved test methods. Actual fuel consumption will vary. ‡‡When properly congured. Maximum towing of 13,200 lbs with available 3.5L V6 EcoBoost engine conguration. Class is Full-Size Pickups under 8,500 lbs. GVWR based on Ford segmentation. ^SYNC Connect: Certain restrictions, 3rd-party terms, or message/data rates may apply. 4G network complimentary 5-year subscription included (after which, fees apply) for remote features excluding Wi-Fi hotspot, activates with vehicle sale date. Requires compatible 4G cellular network connectivity, and is subject to 4G network availability. Evolving technology/cellular networks may affect future functionality. Wi-Fi hotspot includes complimentary wireless data trial that begins at time of activation and expires at the end of 3 months or when 3GB of data is used, whichever comes rst (after which, data plan required). ©2018 Ford Motor Company of Canada, Limited. All rights reserved.


GOING GREEN Canada’s marijuana industry won’t leave HVAC contractors in the smoke. BY JILLIAN MORGAN


s cultivators and consumers await the legalization of recreational marijuana in Canada late summer 2018, opportunities grow for HVAC contractors. In March 2018, there were 97 licensed medical cannabis facilities nationally, more than double the number in March 2017. As more grow operations come online, a high yield of cannabis will be essential – and, like any crop, environmental control is key. Enter the HVAC contractor. “Their product is this plant,” says Paul Stewart, director of sales, marketing and service at Desert Aire, a commercial dehumidification manufacturer based in Germantown, WI. An inability to maintain ideal conditions will affect a producer’s bottom line. For HVAC contractors, this could mean a potential employment stream. Desert Aire entered the cannabis industry four years ago when it received 28

HPAC | MAY 2018

a service call to a grow operation in Colorado (the state legalized recreational cannabis in 2012). In Canada, the company is involved in the development of large-scale cannabis facilities in British Columbia, Ontario, Alberta and New Brunswick, which range in size from 200,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet. “It’s been the fastest-growing market segment that we’ve had,” says Stewart.

WHAT WEED NEEDS Humidity, temperature, ventilation, cooling and lighting are just a few of many factors at play in a grow room operation, and HVAC needs depend on the growth stage of the plant. At the beginning of the grow process, the small cannabis plant is not consuming much moisture and the lights are on for 16 to 18 hours a day. Stewart says this is a sensible load as a result of the lighting, and an air conditioner

may be sufficient. At the flowering stage, a cannabis plant can consume one to two litres of water per day. During this time, the lights are on for 12 hours a day. When the lights are off, heat is reduced. The water – used to move nutrients – is then transpired through the plant’s stomata, resulting in humidity and a latent load. Most buildings operate at 30 to 35 per cent humidity, says Robert Bean. In marijuana facilities, that number can rise up to 65 per cent. Bean is president of Indoor Climate Consultants in Calgary, AB and director of He is also a registered engineering technologist in building construction and a professional licensee (engineering) in HVAC. “Running any kind of building at that high humidity level is a recipe for moisture problems within a building,” says Bean. With high levels of moisture, air disHPACMAG.COM


tribution and homogenous temperature is critical. “What you don’t want to have is microclimates inside of your plant, because those microclimates are not allowing that plant to breathe or give off moisture and it’s just making a breeding ground for mould and mildew,” says Stewart. The best way to control the formation of mould is to make sure air flows through the canopy to absorb moisture off the plant, creating a vapour pressure difference between the air surrounding the plant leaves, says Stewart. “Unlike a building that’s occupied by people, these buildings are growing crops and those crops go through a cycle, therefore the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system goes through a cycle,” says Bean. “It’s dynamic.”’ The majority of grow-operations are large, indoor manufacturing plants. A number of growers, however, have pushed for greenhouse operations. While more environmentally friendly, the product price point is lower and the process more complex. On the other hand, indoor grow operations are more costly to operate. “There is nothing sustainable or

Licensed medical cannabis facilities, March 2018. HPACMAG.COM

green about growing green,” says Bean. He says an indoor cannabis facility uses approximately four to five times more kilowatts per square foot of energy per year than a hospital.

A LOOK AHEAD For many HVAC contractors and manufacturers, the transition into the cannabis industry is a natural progression. Brad McNamee started out in his family’s plumbing and HVAC business at an early age with a focus on industrial operations. Now he is the chief infrastructure officer (CIO) at Cannabis Wheaton Income in Toronto, ON and owner of McNamee Plumbing and Heating in Perth, ON. Cannabis Wheaton Income finances cannabis cultivation facilities, with 16 partnerships across Canada. It currently has manufacturing plant and greenhouse projects underway in British Columbia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. McNamee says another 10 projects are pushing past the finish line and ready to undergo development. The company also provides a range of services in construction manage-

ment, business growth, brand building, legal and cultivation. As CIO, McNamee oversees a team of six people, including engineers and project managers. He is involved in the design of a facility from start to finish – materials, construction, cleanliness, HVAC and power, among other aspects. “If you look back to 2006, 2007 – when manufacturing still existed in this country – we’re kind of heading back towards that in some respects because we need people to maintain and keep these facilities operational,” says McNamee. “It’s very critical to being able to produce good quality cannabis.” A wide variety of systems have been introduced specifically for the marijuana growing application. Trane, Carrier and Johnson Controls are just a few manufacturers offering these products. Trained local contractors who can operate and troubleshoot equipment when something breaks will be successful in this market, notes Stewart. The unique environment of a cannabis facility will also require a contractor with the right skills and knowledge of the specific applications. Growers may even need someone on staff, says Stewart. He adds contractors should understand what the grower is trying to accomplish. Ongoing maintenance contracts will be a significant aspect of the future of marijuana facilities, and job creation will be focused in rural areas, says McNamee. An understanding of refrigeration, explosion-proof industrial facilities, industrial and institutional plumbing, irrigation and, of course, HVAC will give contractors an edge in this field. “The big piece is the contractor that looks at this as an emerging market that’s going to be here to stay,” says Stewart. “It’s not just cannabis. I believe the longer-term viability is going to be in leafy greens and other forms of food products… We’re scratching the surface of that a little bit right now.” <> HPAC would like to thank Brad McNamee for his technical expertise, which helped to shape this article. MAY 2018 | HPAC



THE 3.2 MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION Despite everything the radiant industry does to shoot itself in the foot, radiant systems still come out on top. BY ROBERT BEAN


believe a good chunk of the architectural, building and HVAC industry is unaware that a few years ago California’s Center for the Built Environment (CBE, UC Berkeley) got a big cheque to carry out extensive research on radiant cooling and heating systems.i How big? Try $3.2M USD.ii Those dollars came from the California Energy Commission EPIC/PIER program, industry in-kind support and a CBE industry consortium.iii The motive to invest in this segment is the California Public Utilities Commission Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan, which states that all new non-residential buildings be zero-net-energy by 2030. That gives it only a few years to prepare the California property management and development industry to achieve significant reductions in energy use. So why consider radiant as one of the solutions? Over the past decade or so there have been numerous theoretical reports and case studies on radiant conditioned commercial buildings worldwide.iv The majority have demonstrated radiantbased HVAC systems, along with symbiotic technologies such as dedicated outdoor air systems, offer proven energy reduction strategies. There is also evidence through post occupancy surveys that these systems provide environments perceived to be more comfortable than environments conditioned by air-based HVAC systems.v The CBE has been building an inventory of radiant conditioned buildings from all over the world to demonstrate its growth and acceptance in all climate 30

HPAC | MAY 2018

Figure 1 The CBE has been building an inventory of radiant conditioned buildings worldwide to demonstrate its growth and acceptance in all climate

zones (as shown in Figure 1). One part of the four-year research project was to interview radiant design experts to determine their approaches; and to gather information from a large inventory of buildings and occupants. This data was then analyzed for energy use and the occupants’ perceptions of the indoor environmental quality (IEQ). The inventory was comprised of 60 office buildings with 3,892 respondents. Thirty-four of the buildings were air-based HVAC systems and 26 were radiant-based HVAC systems. It is no surprise that design and control strategies for radiant systems were as different as the number of experts interviewed–demonstrating once again that a fragmented industry is a reflection of its practices. As much as I want to launch into another rant how the radiant industry promotes unnecessary “customization” I will stick to the plot. The abbreviated

version is: the mined data says, despite everything the radiant industry does to shoot itself in the foot, it still comes out on top with lower energy consumption and marginally higher IEQ metrics such as thermal comfort. Many of us with gray hair have known this just from engineering principles, experience and intuition. The trouble is that the big machine of property development has traditionally worked with a model of lowest development cost for extracting the maximum lease rates economically possible. Energy and IEQ did not enter the equation because they did not have to. The people holding the leases paid the utilities passing expenses on to their customers; and staff kept their mouths shut about the environment. Think of the past and present situation this way: when every villager rides a donkey no one knows the difference

Continued on p32 HPACMAG.COM


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< SYSTEM DESIGN until someone shows up with a horse. Today, with enough thoroughbred buildings being built, people are starting to see what kind of asses they have really been occupying for so long. In HPAC March 2018 I talked about the Well Building Program and the Living Building Challenges, and even LEED. All of these programs have given birth to high performance buildings that are starting to establish a new benchmark. The problem we have today is short of massive property destruction from another world war, the inventory of jackass buildings will continue to plague the planet unless they get fixed and repurposed. The good news is we have a new breed to compare them to– we know what the old gray mare now needs to get it up to zero-net-energy. Adam Muggleton and I have learned that property developers are sitting on a gold mine from our Edifice Complex podcast interviews; that is once they understand that each ‘should be’ refurbished building in their portfolios could be home for renewable energy systems and a cash cow for generating income as a utility. That is why Canadians such as Paul Ghezzi from Kontrol Energy Corporation are setting up the infrastructure to facilitate this shift to community-based energy systems.vii This is where radiant systems fit in nicely. Refurbished and new buildings by design will need low loads to meet targets. Those low loads will enhance the efficiency of the boilers and chillers. The pièce de résistance with radiant is how they make those heat engines sing and dance like Broadway stars. You cannot write a better script for an industry known for repeatedly tripping over itself. That is where the CBE research comes in. One of its outcomes is focused on the, “optimization of radiant systems for energy efficiency and comfort.” It intends to do that by developing “practical design and operation tools and guidelines for radiant systems.” Why? Because its experience from the research in completed 32

HPAC | MAY 2018

CURRENT CONCLUSIONS FROM THE RESEARCH 1. Buildings are performing far below the design expectations. Approximately 67 per cent of buildings in the research did not meet ASHRAE Standard 55-Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy. 2. Occupants of radiant and all-air buildings have equal IEQ, with a tendency towards improved temperature satisfaction in radiant buildings. That IEQ in radiant buildings is not clearly better than air-based buildings should be a shocking revelation to the radiant industry. Part of this disconnect has to do with non-optimized, non-standardized systems. I would also speculate it is due in part to poorly commissioned or un-commissioned systems. 3. A randomly selected occupant has a 16 per cent higher chance to have higher comfort in a radiant system versus an all-air system. This is ok but not spectacular. Optimized, standardized and properly commissioned systems should improve this result. 4. Occupants of radiant and all-air buildings have equal acoustic satisfaction (noise and sound privacy). This is shocking to others and myself but points out the sensitivity people have to sound in buildings, regardless of system type. installations to date has demonstrated “that controls and operation of radiant systems can be challenging due to a lack of familiarity within the HVAC design and operations professions.” In other words, when industry insists on experimenting and reinventing the wheel on every project it fulfills its own prophecy with non-optimized, non-standardized systems. Ponder this. If the soufflé of radiant systems in a smorgasbord of buildings can still outperform air systems that are as generic as vanilla ice cream, and if industry got its act together and standardized design processes, control strategies and installation methods, what would happen? That is the 3.2 million dollar question, isn’t it? <> Robert Bean is a Registered Engineering Technologist in building construction (ASET) and a Professional Licensee (Engineering) in HVAC (APEGA). He is president of Indoor Climate Consultants Inc. and director of; a past ASHRAE Distinguished Lecturer; recipient of ASHRAE’s Lou Flagg Award and ASHRAE Distinguished Service Award; and a member of

ASHRAE technical committees 2.1 (Physiology & Human Environment) 6.1 (hydronics), 6.5 (radiant), 7.04 (eXergy) and SSPC 55 (thermal comfort). Bean is also the author of numerous industry courses and seminars covering the building sciences, indoor environmental quality, energy, and radiant-based HVAC systems.


i Research on Radiant Systems Technology at the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) University of California, Berkeley <https://> ii Current Practices for Radiant System Design, Center for the Built Environment, May 2017 < RadiantSystemDesign-May2017.pdf > iii EPIC, Electric Program Investment Charge. PIER, Public Interest Energy Research iv Bean, R. 2012. Très Bien for large scale radiant cooling. HPAC Canada < https://www. > v Karmann, C., Schiavon, S., Graham, L.T., Raftery, P., Bauman, F. 2017. Comparing temperature and acoustic satisfaction in 60 radiant and all-air buildings. Building and Environment 126 (2017) 431–441 < https:// Karmannetall-RadiantAllAir-Oct2017.pdf > vi Online map of radiant system buildings shows projects from around the world. <> vii Paul Ghezzi – Disrupt or Be Disrupted. Edifice Complex Podcast <> HPACMAG.COM



Introducing the YORK® Affinity™ YXT Two-stage Air Conditioner 19 SEER efficiency, QuietDrive™ sound reduction and advanced communicating capability Can be paired with matching variable-speed or standard ECM indoor units Works as part of a complete Affinity™ system or to upgrade an existing system

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SHOWCASE The SpeedClean CoilShot-HD coil cleanser is intended for heavy-duty residential and commercial applications, such as single-pass evaporator coils. The pre-measured tablets are designed for use with the CoilShot condenser-cleaning tool. Each tablet lasts five to 15 minutes, depending the foaming level, and six tablets are included per box.

From Johnson Controls, the YORK YZ magnetic bearing centrifugal chiller features a non-flammable refrigerant, R-1233zd(E), with a GWP of 1. The chiller offers variable speed drive and magnetic bearing technology that features a single moving assembly suspended in a magnetic field. The YZ operates with an entering condenser water temperature of 4.5C. The chiller can operate with condenser temperatures below the evaporator temperatures.

Goodway Technologies’ Ram-Pro XL rotary tube cleaner features TubeGuard bio-film cleaner technology intended to protect tubes against corrosion. The cleaner includes quick connect shafts and brushes, adjustable shaft rotation, integrated water flush, roll bar support and an integrated two-wheel dolly.

A Wi-Fi interface module from Fujitsu General America allows monitoring and control of the company’s Halcyon heating and cooling systems using a smartphone or tablet. With the module, functions of the FGLair app include: on/ off, operation mode, fan speed, louver position, set-temp, room/zone temperatures, a weekly timer, minimum heat, an energy savings program, error display, e-mail notification and child lock. An installer setting allows contractors to perform the following functions: initiate test run, service contact and function setting. 34

HPAC | MAY 2018

Evapco’s eco-Air series of dry and adiabatic products include factory-assembled cooling towers and field erected air-cooled steam condensers. The equipment, intended to limit water use, uses V-coil or flat coil configuration. The series includes eco-Air dry coolers, air cooled condensers and adiabatic coolers and condensers.

The MiniFresh from Nu-Calgon is intended for indoor mini-splits, PTAC and fan coil units. It aims to neutralize odours and keep a unit’s evaporator coil and blower clean. It uses CleanAir technology via a time-release feeder, intended to be placed on top of the return louvres of the unit. Each MiniFresh is designed to treat indoor units up to 12,000 Btus and to last for two to three months. HPACMAG.COM

The Flood Buzz Pro-02 water leak alarm from Archetype monitors air conditioner condensate pans, sounding an alarm when it senses a build-up of condensate. The alarm contains an internal three-year battery and pre-set programming. It will allow moisture or water to build up to 1⁄8 in. before sounding a 110 dB alarm when the water touches two prongs located on the bottom of the device.

Quantech has expanded its QTC3 line of air-cooled scroll chillers. The QTC3 (55 to 225 tons) features full-load and partload efficiencies. Made to order options now include variable speed drive condenser fans and integral pump packages for purchase, shipment and installation. The units are equipped with two independent circuits and feature a brazed plate heat exchanger, microchannel condenser and native building automation communications, including BACnet, Modbus and N2.

Danfoss has extended its range of Z-design micro plate heat exchangers to include custom-size heat exchangers with capacities from 90 kW to 400 kW. The range is optimized for R-410A but can be used with flammables and is compatible with commercial refrigerants. The C118(L)-EZ is a single-circuit evaporator for use in high-efficiency chillers with a capacity of 70 kW to 250 kW. It is available in two versions: 435 psi/30 bar design pressure and 653 psi/45 bar design pressure. There are four models for water-cooled chillers, one for water-cooled heat pumps and four models for air-cooled chillers.

Agility from Trane is a water-cooled centrifugal chiller product line intended for retrofitting existing, space-limited commercial buildings. Agility features a two-stage, speed-optimized compressor, opposing impeller placement and full or part load efficiencies. The chiller is available in the 175-425 ton range. It uses Trane’s Chil evaporators and features R513-A or R-134A low-GWP refrigerants.

SPX Cooling Technologies has released a nine-part video series about its Marley water level control panel. Each video focuses on a single aspect of the panel and features a discussion of various components. Topics include: panel start-up, system testing and troubleshooting techniques. Instructions on proper installation, use and maintenance is also offered.

KeepRite has released its two-sage N4H6 Performance 16 heat pump and N4A7 Performance 17 air conditioner. The heat pump is ENERGY STAR qualified and operates at 70 dBA. It offers 17.5 Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)/13.5 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) cooling efficiency and up to 9.5 Heating Seasonal Performance Factor heating efficiency. The air conditioner offers up to 17 SEER/13 EER cooling efficiency and operates at 71 dBA. HPACMAG.COM

Cielo Breez is a plug and play smart air conditioner controller. It can hang on a wall or on a table next to an AC or heat pump. Breez connects to a home’s Wi-Fi router and controls the AC through IR signals via the Cielo Home app, available for iOS and Android. It is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It includes temperature, humidity and luminosity sensors, a 5V USB adapter and micro USB cable, as well as a wall mounting kit with table stand. It is 70 mm. in length, 22 mm. in width and 131 mm. in height. It has an operating power of 0.5W and includes a 3.5 in. LCD display. MAY 2018 | HPAC





HPAC | MAY 2018




the valve being installed at the tank. re thermostatic mixing valves for plumbing To understand these code requirements, it is or hydronic heating? Well it turns out they important to understand why temperature conare for both. The same valve can be trol is so important in a domestic hot water sysfound in the domestic hot water supply system, tem. A thermostatic mixing valve as well as the control valve for a hydronic heating provides important benefits of application. This makes these important pieces safety and comfort to the building of equipment real workhorses of the meoccupants. Domestic hot water chanical industry, a crossover product potentially exposes building octhat is equally as important for both cupants to two very specific hazsectors. ards: the threat of scalding from Thermostatic mixing valves excessively hot water, and the potenare used in residential, commertial for Legionella bacteria growth. cial and institutional applications Scalding from the exposure to very hot water infor both plumbing and hydronic volves the destruction of skin cells and sometimes heating. The primary function of these the underlying structures of muscle. Scalding can valves is to control the output water temperature produce burns just as damaging as a burn from fire. to either a domestic hot water supply system, or Research has shown that scalding burns from hot provide a low temperature supply to a radiant floor water can occur in just secondsâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;even less for small heating system. Often the exact same physical children with thin tender skin. Also, the slow reaction valve can be used for both applications. time of the elderly and the handicapped make them There are however many different types, sizes and Figure 1 particularly vulnerable to serious hot water burns. configurations of valves that are designed for specific Residential A water temperature of 60C (140F) can cause a applications. On the plumbing side, there are many thermostatic mixing valve third-degree burn on adults in five seconds, and with unique applications that require very specific thermochildren of 0 to five years old in three seconds. To prevent static valves. For most hydronic applications, thermostatic scalding, the solution is to keep the water temperature below valves are typically three-way valves used for small- to me49C. dium-sized projects. Legionnaireâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s disease is a type of pneumonia that is Plumbing code changes adopted in most jurisdictions caused by the common bacterium Legionella. Both the disacross Canada now require the control of hot water temperaease and bacterium were first discovered in 1976, when an ture through the use of thermostatic mixing valves. Water outbreak at an American Legion convention led to 29 deaths. temperatures must not exceed 49C (120F) supplied to all fixWhen Legionella is introduced to a plumbing system, these tures. This requires that a mixing valve certified to CSA bacteria can reproduce rapidly. Water temperatures between Standard CAN/CSA B125-01 must be installed on the hot wa20C (68F) and 49C (115F) in a domestic water system proter distribution line as close as practical to the top of the wavide ideal conditions for bacterial growth. The bacterium exter heater tank and factory set at 49C. ists on the inside of pipes and is frequently found in the scale Where site conditions such as long runs of piping could and sediment of water heater tanks. The most widely accause the water temperature delivered to a faucet to be sigcepted and preferred method of preventing Legionella is to nificantly lower than 49C then a point of use mixing valve cermaintain the hot water system storage temperature continutified to CSA Standard B125-01 must be installed in lieu of

Water temperature

Time for a third degree burn to occur



1 second



2 seconds



5 seconds



15 seconds



1 minute



3 minutes



5 minutes



safe temperature for bathing



Figure 2 Time and Temperature Relationship to Severe Burns

Figure 3 A system mixing valve installed on tank outlet

Figure 4 Residential tank mixing valve kit with temperature gauge


ally at or above 60C (140F) and no lower than 55C (131F). So what should be done? Turn down the water heater to a lower temperature to prevent hazardous scalding, but risk bacteria growth? Turn up the temperature to prevent the potential for Legionella bacteria growth, but risk scalding? Neither is a good choice. It is easy to see now why the plumbing code requires the use of a thermostatic mixing valve. It is the perfect way to combat both of these serious issues and provide the end user with a comfortable and safe hot water supply. The thermostatic mixing valve neutralizes both threats by allowing the water heater to be set to a high enough temperature to reduce the threat of bacteria growth, yet the mixing action maintains the appropriate outlet water temperatures to the fixtures and allows occupants to use the sinks, showers or tub with less fear of scalding. When using a mixing valve, an additional benefit to the end user is more useable hot water capacity. With the water stored at the higher temperature of 60C, and then mixing it down to 49C at the outlet, the result is that there is an increase in the usable hot water supply by approximately 50 per cent versus just keeping the tank set at 49C. This has the effect of turning the capacity of a 40-gallon tank into the equivalent of a 60-gallon tank. This higher amount of delivered hot water from the tank means the end user is less likely to run out of hot water. There are two general types of thermostatic mixing valves used in plumbing systems. A system device is designed to limit the water temperature at the source of hot water for distribution to a supply system and is installed close to the outlet of the water heater. System valves are available in a wide variety of sizes for residential and commercial applications from ž inches to 3 inches. Some manufacturers make residential tank kits that include the mixing valve, connection fittings and flexible cold water bypass line. These kits make it simple to connect to the top of a conventional tank type water heater. A point of use device is designed to limit the water temperature to a single or group of fixtures. This is typically attached directly to the shower, or under the sink, to control the water temperature and provide anti-scald protection. There is a specialty type of emergency thermostatic mixing valve, which is specifically designed to provide tepid water for emergency eyewash or shower drench applications. The current ANSI standard calls for emergency eyewash and drench showers to deliver tepid water for 15 minutes. This assures that a user wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be subjected to very cold water and possibly hypothermia, or very hot scalding water. In hydronic heating applications, a thermostatic mixing valve provides a simple solution for delivering lower supply

Continued on p38 MAY 2018 | HPAC



Figure 5 Thermostatic mixing valve for radiant floor

Figure 6 Two temperature hydronic ystem with thermostatic mixing valve

sufficient flow through the radiant loops. Remember that water will always take the path of least resistance and if the pump is upstream of the thermostatic valve, it will flow right through the valve and not go through the loops.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is also important never to try and make this system work with only one pump for both loads.â&#x20AC;? 38

HPAC | MAY 2018

It is also important never to try and make this system work with only one pump for both loads. Keep the loads separate so both get the proper flow they require. Use spring check valves on both supply lines to prevent thermosiphoning to zones above the mechanical room. To ensure accuracy in adjusting the temperature setting, make sure that the hot water supply temperature to the mixing valve is at least 5C (10F) hotter than the desired temperature of the mixed water.

Continued on p40 HPACMAG.COM


water temperatures to a radiant floor heating system in residential and small commercial applications. Whenever radiant floor heating is combined in the same system with higher temperature distribution systems, such as fan-coils or baseboard radiators, a mixing valve is essential. The mixing valve provides the ability to have the heat source (boiler or water heater) set at a higher temperature to satisfy the high temperature loads and then have the radiant circuit supplied with a lower water temperature through the mixing valve. An example would be the very common hybrid system with radiant floor heating in the basement and a fan coil to heat the upper floors. This is a two temperature system with the high mass radiant floor typically requiring a supply water temperature of between 35C to 45C, and the fan coil requiring a much higher temperature of between 65C to 75C. If you try and supply only one temperature to both areas you will create big problems. With a high supply temperature you will dramatically overheat the floor, causing potential damage or difficult to control heat output. With a low supply temperature you will not get enough heat output from the fan coil. The solution is to divide the system into two circuits with two pumps and one thermostatic mixing valve (see piping diagram in Figure 5). The fan coil will get high temperature water directly from the heat source and the radiant floor will get lower temperature water coming from the thermostatic valve. It is very important to make sure that the circulating pump for the radiant circuit is installed downstream of the mixing valve, otherwise you will not get

Š Architects: JSK; Photographer: HG Esch Photography

140,000 m² OF PREMIUM WORKING CONDITIONS Thanks to a fast, safe and easy to install piping system In the construction of a large-scale project like The Squaire in Frankfurt, you not only count on the highest quality, but also the highest efficiency: a combination effortlessly delivered by Viega. Our high-grade piping systems, ProPress Stainless (according to U.S. standard) for drinking water and piping for heating installations, offer maximum reliability and can be installed with minimum effort. Viega. Connected in quality.

The Squaire, Frankfurt, Germany



HPAC | MAY 2018

Figure 7 Internal view of a thermostatic mixing valve

maintained at the pre-set temperature. Most valves will have a safety feature which shuts off the hot or cold inlet port in the event of a cold or hot water supply failure. The valve will have a mechanical adjustment in the form of a dial or set screw at the top, which permits the user to select the desired outlet water temperature within range of the valve. This will have to be set up at the time of system commissioning and is much easier do if a temperature gauge is installed in the mixed water line downstream of the valve. Some valves on the market are available with a built in thermometer to make set up very easy. So the answer is clear: thermostatic mixing valves are essential for both plumbing and hydronic heating. Make sure you use them properly to protect your customers and protect their floor systems, while providing optimum performance from the hot water supply and the heating system. <> Robert Waters is president of Solar Water Services Inc., which provides training, education and support services to the hydronic industry. He is a mechanical engineering technologist graduate of Humber College and has over 30 years experience in hydronic and solar water heating. He can be reached at HPACMAG.COM


Adding a basement radiant floor heating system to a water heater is a very popular option for many homes. What is not to love about a warm comfortable radiant heated basement? Even with only this single temperature radiant floor heating circuit, it is still very important to have a thermostatic valve. With the code requiring the water heater to be kept at 60C, the water temperature must be mixed down before it enters the floor. Therefore it is essential to install a thermostatic valve upstream of the radiant floor heating pump. The primary function of a thermostatic mixing valve in a heating application is to regulate the water temperature on the supply side of the distribution system, but in many systems it is not the only function of the mixing device. In systems using â&#x20AC;&#x153;conventionalâ&#x20AC;? non-condensing boilers, the thermostatic mixing valve can also ensure that the boiler return temperature remains high enough to prevent sustained flue gas condensation. When utilizing a mixing valve for this purpose, some of the hot supply water mixes with cooler water returning from the distribution system, the blend is directed back to the boiler. The objective is to boost the boiler inlet temperature high enough to prevent flue gas condensation, which usually means above 55C (131F). This return water boosting is never required for a condensing boiler, and with more and more condensing boilers being installed today, this is not an application that will be seen very often anymore. There are three main technologies used for thermostatic mixing valves: wax element technology, bi-metal strip, and liquid filled technology. The most common type seen in residential and small commercial applications, for both plumbing and heating, is the wax element technology. The wax element provides high accuracy, fast response and extremely long life, with few moving parts. A thermostatic mixing valve utilizes three major components for its operation: some sort of spindle or shaft, a thermal element and a return spring. The return spring provides an upward return force to the thermal element. The thermal element acts as a movable unit, which reacts to changes in temperature, opening ports to change the water flowing between the hot and cold water inlets. When tempered water is in use, the thermal element senses the outlet temperature and positions a seat assembly, which controls the flow of hot and cold water supplied to the mixed water port. If the mixed outlet temperature increases, the thermostat will expand, moving the seat assembly to allow more cold water in and at the same time restricting the hot water inlet port. Conversely, if the mixed outlet temperature decreases, the thermostat will contract, allowing the more hot water in and restricting the cold water inlet port. In both cases the mixed outlet water temperature is automatically and continually

PLUMBING PRODUCTS Lochinvar has expanded its Armor commercial condensing water heater line. New models range from 1.25 Btu/hr to 4 million Btu/hr, and are available in indoor or outdoor construction. These models operate at 98 per cent thermal efficiency. The new models feature a low-profile, horizontal heat exchanger and 316 l.

Liberty Pumps’ line of battery backup pump systems, StormCell, features

water tube design. The water heaters

a 12V backup sump pump with professional-grade chargers, an energy

are intended for commercial applica-

efficient DC pump and optional NightEye wireless technology for remote

tions, such as multi-family developments, universities, hotel complexes

monitoring of the pump system from a tablet or smart phone. StormCell

and hospitals.

is available in 10 amp or 25 amp models.

The Carry Light R450PAL tripod vise from Reed Manufacturing is intended for plastic pipe loads. It features aluminum legs and reversible

From Franklin Electric, the FPS PowerSewer

Grohe has launched a behind-the-wall rough in

double-sided bowtie jaws made with neoprene

System is available in 60 in., 72 in., 84 in., and

and series of thermostatic trims for its

and steel. R450PAL includes a cushioned

96 in. basin sizes. It features an internal C-

GrohTherm Smart Control shower system. The

straight cranking handle grip and chain vise,

Channel assembly that releases from the top

trims feature push-turn functionality and incor-

as well as sides on the folding tray. The product

of the unit and isolated pump support. The

porate up to three volume controls for three

weighs 12.5 kg. Its folded length is 44 in., and

float tree is spring loaded and removable with

different outlets. The round and square trims

the O.D. pipe capacity is 10 mm. to 178 mm.

a lift handle. Increased wall thickness, a drop

are available in StarLight Chrome and Moon

for plastic and 10 mm. to 51 mm. for conduit.

inlet and anti-shear discharge via a moulded

White. The round trim is also available in

The nominal pipe capacity is 1⁄8 in. to 6 in. for

external pocket are among other features.

brushed nickel InfinityFinish. The Rapido

plastic and ⁄8 in. to 2 in. for conduit.

PowerSewer uses an FPS anti-siphon check

SmartBox rough-in features water supply inlets


at the bottom of the valve.


The contemporary Beyond Crystal faucet series from THG Paris was de-

From Ridgid, the SeeSnake CS12x

signed by Remi Tessier and pro-

digital recording monitor features dual

duced in collaboration with Bacca-

battery functionality and Wi-Fi connec-

rat. Beyond Crystal is a collection of

tivity. Inspections can be streamed and

bath fittings and accessories with

recorded to an iOS or Android device, and

translucent, rectangular crystal han-

images can be saved to a USB drive. The

dles in Baccarat colours. Each wide-

CS12x features a 12.1 in. contrast dis-

spread faucet features an elongated

play with a resolution of up to

spout. The faucets include a remote-

1024 x 768 pixels.

controlled LED accent and are avail-

able in red, champagne, aqua, blue and clear crystal. 42

HPAC | MAY 2018

continued on p44 HPACMAG.COM

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AquaPLEX is a remarkable new water heater tank material created by alloying 300 and 400 series stainless steels and capturing the benefits of both. Fully pickle-passivated after complete tank fabrication, AquaPLEX is naturally corrosion-proof in potable water regardless of stored water temperature. • Tank walls are solid AquaPLEX. There is no lining, coating, cladding or plating of any kind. Nothing that can erode, crack, delaminate or wear through over time and expose a steel tank to water • No anodes of any type are required. AquaPLEX tanks are unaffected by aqueous or galvanic corrosion so an anode rod has nothing to do. And this means tank life cannot be compromised by insufficient anode rod “reach” or condition • AquaPLEX is immune to chloride-induced stress corrosion cracking; a known failure mode for 304L and 316L stainless steel in hot potable water • AquaPLEX is as much a process as it is a material. Tanks and welds are designed to eliminate crevices and we employ unique fabrication processes to ensure maximum longevity of the tanks


The Townsend fixture collection from American Standard includes a freestanding tub, bathroom sinks and one-piece toilet. Sink configurations include pedestal, above counter and under mount. All three rectangular-

The 540P Series condensing tankless water heater from A.O. Smith fea-

shaped bathroom sinks with ledges include faceted interior lines in the

tures an integrated recirculating pump, which is controlled through a user

basin and are available in a choice of white or linen. The freestanding

interface and multiple pump settings. This model offers a UEF of up to

acrylic bathtub features three-sided design and a finished flat back. It

0.95 and meets ultra-low NOx gas emission standards. It is ENERGY STAR

includes a wide deck ledge with the drain and overflow available in four

qualified and uses up to 199,000 Btu per hour. This product is made with

finishes. The pedestal sink is a 35 in. right height model. The above coun-

commercial-grade materials, such as marine-grade 316L stainless steel,

ter sink version offers a finished back.

and offers a 15-year limited warranty.

The modular outdoor drinking fountain

Zoeller’s Qwik Jon Ultima

and bottle filler from Haws allows for

pump and sewage system is

over 200 configurations. Water is deliv-

designed for free standing

ered by push-button stainless steel

bathrooms in unplumbed lo-

valve assemblies allowing for front ac-

cations. It is powered by a

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½-hp motor and available in

tridge and strainer access. The bottle

multiple configurations. The

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unit is made with ⁄16 in. fabricated phos-

grinder technology and fea-

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tures steel cutters that pro-

finish. Custom colour options are avail-

vide over 70,000 cuts per




RectorSeal’s Check-Flo normally-open backwater valve features a magnetic levitation flapper. Check-Flo model 96894 is intended for the prevention of reverse backwater flow into 4 in. diameter residential building main lines. A polarized magnet is embedded in the valve body bottom,

Geberit’s updated The Choice Is Yours guide for the company’s flush

and the flapper’s hinge pin/sleeve is constructed with stainless steel.

plates and buttons now includes Sigma10 touchless flush plates and ac-

The valve body features a 6 in. diameter transparent access cap, and the

tuators and the Sigma21 series. The guide also features a complete se-

valve’s transparent inspection cover features 12 hex-head bolts. The

lection of remote flush buttons. It is a 64-page colour brochure with actu-

flapper is replaceable. Check-Flo is constructed of ABS plastic and stain-

al-size product photographs of various flush plates.

less steel parts.


HPAC | MAY 2018


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BEYOND AESTHETICS Accessible home design fuels an evolution of the kitchen for homeowners and of installation practices for plumbing contractors. BY JILLIAN MORGAN


niversal design, accessible design, inclusive design and aging in place – it is not just a trend. A barrier-free home goes beyond aesthetics. It accounts for age, ability and the diversity of each person in a home. In the kitchen, efficiency and convenience is key. Demand for aging-inplace design goes hand-in-hand with new, smart technologies that simplify everyday tasks. Still, style should not be compromised. With inclusivity comes personalization, and the future kitchen will do away with minimalist colour schemes. Tried and true favourites – gold, black and copper – emerge to elevate these trends. For plumbing contractors, advances


HPAC | MAY 2018

in installation, a wave of new technology and the growth of universal design introduce new opportunities on the job.

UNIVERSAL DESIGN Aging in place incorporates long-term design elements, says Edyta Drutis, director of marketing for Blanco Canada. She says universal design allows all individuals in a home to “truly engage with their built environment.” Appliances and fixtures that maximize comfort and accessibility in the kitchen, and incorporate the latest technology, are key to inclusive design, although that technology is continuously evolving. Less than five years ago, hands-free faucets were a budding trend with

From Danze, the Foodie Caliente pre-rinse kitchen faucet features a spring-action wand and red hose. Twisting the spray head will alternate between single steady water flow to spray. The line is available in chrome, stainless steel and satin black.

some kinks. Now, touchless operation is commonplace. Products such as Moen’s MotionSense Wave faucets and Pfister’s Stellen faucets with React technology focus on convenience and ease for homeowners. Kohler’s touchless and lever faucet handles aim to allow the user to maintain a neutral body position, use reasonable HPACMAG.COM

Blanco’s Quatrus U 1 Medium ADA/CSA undermount stainless steel sink aims to combine accessibility, function and style.

From Delta Faucet Canada, the black stainless steel finish is warmer and less reflective than traditional stainless steel. It is available for the company’s Trinsic Pro collection.

operating forces and minimize repetitive actions and sustained physical effort. “The next big evolution is voice command,” says Donna Church, marketing and communications manager of Kohler Canada.

INSTALLATION TRENDS To sustain universal design principles, plumbing contractors will be essential. “The role of plumbing both in the design and installation of accessible products is very important,” says George Koutsokostas, product manager at Blanco Canada. Manufacturers must design accessible products in accordance with federal, provincial and municipal standards. Plumbers have the added responsibility of being knowledgeable in the installation of these products, says Koutsokostas. For example, according to the CSA Standards for Accessible design, both hot water and drainpipes are required HPACMAG.COM

Kohler’s Prolific under-mount single-bowl kitchen sink aims to enable multi-tasking, limit the amount of movement and lessen an arm’s reach. Franke Absinthe faucets are offered in polished chrome, polished nickel, satin nickel and matte black finishes. The line includes tall kitchen sink models, prep and bar faucet and wall mount pot fillers. The faucets are CSA approved and include dual spray/steam flow and a 180 or 360 degree swivel range.

to be offset towards to rear of a kitchen sink and not around the clear space. An evolution of standards related to accessible design takes into account ease of installation. Kohler Canada offers two types of faucet installation that aim to simplify the process. Quick Faucet Installation features pre-attached supply lines that are included in all kitchen faucets. The lines are retrofitted to existing plumbing and come with pre-assembled handles, valves, mounting rings and brackets. Versatile Faucet Installation is compatible with one to four-hole sinks.

Continued on p48

Stone Forest copper sinks are hand patinated. The foam filled interior aims to reduce reverberation and enables mounting options, including under-mount, flush mount, partially elevated and above counter. One side of the sink is hammered and the other has a smooth front apron.

MAY 2018 | HPAC



From THG Paris, Collection O showcases the brand’s PVD matte bronze finish.

Motion-sensor Stellen faucets with React technology from Pfister allow the user to pre-set temperature. SmartStop automatically turns the water off after three minutes. A handle-forward design aims to allow installation in tight spaces. From Watermark Designs, the Elan Vital collection can be customized for any height or depth. Pictured is the collection’s pot filler. “Faucet handles already should adhere to ADA standards and be compliant; it’s not a trend now – it’s commonplace,” says Avi Abel, president of Watermark Designs.

Moen kitchen faucets, including MotionSense, feature the company’s Duralock quick-connect system, which aims to make the replacement process more efficienct. It is designed for one-way installation, intended to prevent a backward or incorrect connection.

COOKIE-CUTTER KITCHENS “Consumers are no longer satisfied with cookie-cutter designs, they want personalization in both style and functionality,” says Garry Scott, vice president of marketing and e-commerce at Moen Canada. “We’re also seeing that more consumers are open to experimenting with colour, whether it be mixing the colours of their cabinetry or fixtures.” In regards to fixtures, matte black continues to be a popular option, as it works with just about every style and colour palette, according to Scott. Gold is also becoming a popular choice with homeowners and designers – but it is 48

HPAC | MAY 2018

not just versatility in colour on the rise. “As more people ask for ‘chefs kitchens,’ the role of the faucet becomes much more about dual-functionality and performance,” says Abel. “Pull-down sprays and side sprays are being requested more often.” According to Drutis, the forefront kitchen design trends are based on versatility of design and quality products that stand the test of time. “Canadians are not afraid of modern and contemporary spaces,” says Drutis. “We are seeing the most popular kitchen cabinetry tones now being greys, deep blues, white oak, walnut and, of course, the timeless white.” <>

The ADA compliant Arch kitchen faucet from American Standard features a brass body, swivel spout and colour matched hand spray. It has a spout height of 13-1⁄4 inches with 9-1⁄4 inch clearance. Available in polished chrome or stainless steel (PVD) finishes. HPACMAG.COM


DEE-J Be charmed by this collection: an appealing mix of curves and angles. PRO for PROfessionals and PROjects.




Noble has a total of 43 locations, including Vaughan, in the U.S. and Canada.

NOBLE OPENS NEW ONTARIO BRANCH Noble has opened a new branch in Vaughan West, ON. The company hopes the branch will offer improved access for customers in Vaughan, Brampton, ON and Bolton, ON. Noble Vaughan West is located at 7835 Highway 50, unit 10. Its hours of operation are 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday. Customers can contact the new branch at 905-850-8084.

Based in L’Islet, QC, Ouellet has manufacturing plants in L’Islet, Calgary, AB, Sherbrooke and Nanjing in China.

OUELLET SUBSIDIARY ACQUIRES NORTRON FURNACES TO GROW CUSTOMER BASE Sherbrooke, QC-based Dettson Industries, a subsidiary of Ouellet Canada, has acquired the Nortron by Broan brand of electric furnaces. Dettson will take over 100 per cent of the business from Broan-NuTone Canada. It will be responsible for all activities related to the furnaces, including assembly and distribution. Nortron furnaces will be available to buy from Ouellet’s subsidiaries: Dettson, Ouellet and Global Commander. 50

HPAC | MAY 2018

HITACHI POWER TOOLS REBRANDS IN NORTH AMERICA Hitachi Power Tools has announced a name change to Metabo HPT in North America. The company will transition to its new name in September 2018 with the launch of MultiVolt. The majority of its remaining products, including power tools, fasteners, accessories and outdoor power equipment, will change over after December 2018. “Nothing will change about our brand except the name,” said Joe Leffler, senior vice president of sales, marketing and general management at Hitachi. The original Metabo brand, headquar-

Metabo and Metabo HPT are two distinct brands under the parent company, Hitachi Koki, which will change its name to Koki Holdings in June 2018.

tered in West Chester, PA will remain as a separate brand. continued on p52

ONTARIO AND NOVA SCOTIA COMPANIES AWARDED BY AQUA-TECH Aqua-Tech Sales and Marketing presented a series of awards at its March 2018 sales meeting for Ontario and Atlantic Canada. The awards recognize significant sales of Lochinvar products. Winners are presented with a custom designed, embroidered La-Z-Boy office chair. Award winners include: • D&M Mechanical Sales, Kingston, ON: 2017 Growth Strategy Award for three years of continuous sales growth and 2016 Big Bear Award for highest sales volume in Canada. • Somers Environmental Products, London, ON: 2017 Growth Strategy Award for four years of continuous sales growth. • MacLeod and Grant, Stellarton, NS: 2016 Hunter Award for second highest annual sales volume in Canada. • Aqua-Tech Sales and Marketing, Southern Ontario team: 2017 Big Bear Award for highest sales volume in Canada (pictured here). Aqua-Tech represents Lochinvar branded products across Canada, excluding Quebec. The awards were introduced in 2014, and the Growth Strategy Award was introduced in 2017.


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e-Builder currently manages over $300 billion of construction project value and over 200,000 projects in North America.

TRIMBLE ACQUIRES E-BUILDER TO OFFER DATA-DRIVEN CONSTRUCTION SOLUTION Trimble has acquired Florida-based, privately-held construction management software company e-Builder for $500 million to offer an integrated project delivery solution for owners, program managers and contractors. The combined solution aims to create improved transparency, accountability, faster payments, increased productivity and a competitive advantage, according to Trimble. The ability to convert large volumes of disparate data into workflows and outcomes was another listed benefit. Trimble states that the acquisition will benefit its main areas of focus: civil engineering projects and building/structure construction. “We intend to aggressively bring e-Builder solutions to civil and building contractors and the international market,” said Steven Berglund, president and CEO of Trimble. “We see a significant opportunity in leveraging data and intelligence gained through designconstruct workflows across the full infrastructure lifecycle.” e-Builder measures and manages capital project delivery processes, including planning, design, procurement, construction and operations.

Master opened its Cambridge, ON branch in March, 2018.

THE MASTER GROUP UNVEILS CAMBRIDGE LOCATION The Master Group has opened a new branch in Cambridge, ON at 120 Saltsman Drive–its 10th location in the Greater Toronto Area. The 10,000 square foot space will include HVAC/R inventory and e-xpress pickup, an online ordering service with pick-up directly at the branch warehouse via e-master, the company’s e-commerce portal. The location is managed by Colin Graham, sales representatives include Bradley Cooney and Sasa Momcilovic.

Enel Green Power’s Red Dirt wind farm in Oklahoma, which will utilize the same turbines as the Diamond Vista wind project. Photo: Enel Green Power.

KOHLER PURCHASES WIND POWER FROM U.S. FARM AS PART OF NET ZERO STRATEGY Kohler has entered a 15-year agreement to purchase 100 megawatts of wind power per year from the Diamond Vista wind farm located near Salina, KS. The electricity will be equal to Kohler’s total U.S. and Canadian annual demand. Renewable energy credits from the project aim to reduce the company’s global greenhouse gas emissions by 26 per cent.

“This project is one component of a comprehensive strategy Kohler has created to achieve its overall goal of being net zero in greenhouse gas emissions by 2035,” said Rob Zimmerman, director of sustainability at Kohler. Kohler also plans to increase energy efficiency in its manufacturing processes, buildings and truck fleet. It aims to install onsite renewable energy projects, test and implement new manufacturing technologies and develop new products and materials that require less energy to make. INGERSOLL RAND ACQUIRES ENERGY USAGE SOFTWARE COMPANY Ingersoll Rand has acquired the technology assets and intellectual property of North Carolina-based energy data analytics company, Agilis Energy. The company uses patented, smartmetre energy analytics applications to quantify energy usage patterns. It aims to help commercial, multi-family residential and industrial sector companies achieve annual energy savings. Agilis is used in over 3,300 buildings worldwide across 50 sectors, with a focus in commercial real estate, retail, education, healthcare, municipality, multi-family homes, hospitality, casinos, water treatment, grocery and data centres. The software powers Trane Energy Optics, which uses high interval energy and weather data to provide energy evaluations of buildings, focusing on energy use patterns and behaviours. The tool provides information about continued on p54


HPAC | MAY 2018


< MSN where and how a customer can reduce total building energy use. In other Ingersoll news, the companyhas achieved its goal of 35 per cent greenhouse gas reduction two years ahead of schedule. The company conducted an energy audit of its facilities and upgraded air conditioning systems, building controls and lighting. It also eliminated energy leakage from its compressed air systems. In total, Ingersoll reduced its energy use by 109,00 MMBTU and electricity consumption by 22,000 megawatt-hours. BRADFORD WHITE RELEASES ONLINE QUOTE SYSTEM, NEW DIRECTORY FOR CONTRACTORS Bradford White has launched a joint solution with ServiceWhale, an online marketplace that offers quotes for major home improvement projects. ServiceWhale’s technology will now be available through Bradford White’s online contractor directory. The solution aims to allow the company’s contractors to deliver instant online quotes to homeowners shopping for water heater replacements.

The new contractor finder is for Bradford White’s U.S. and Canadian contracting customers.

ServiceWhale has also redesigned Bradford White’s contractor directory. Each contractor now has a new profile, which can feature Google and Yelp reviews. Contractors can also show personal and company information, photos of previous projects and industry certifications. A paid advanced profile is also available, which will offer access to several lead generation tools for online commu-


HPAC | MAY 2018

nication with homeowners. ServiceWhale will also grant rights to those contractors to implement the quoting platform into their own native websites. Bradford White contractors are encouraged to update their standard free profile in the new directory, and can call 866-977-3897 for assistance.

True North HVAC and Hydronics is based in Tavistock, ON.

TRUE NORTH HVAC AND HYDRONICS BRINGS SKUTTLE PRODUCTS TO CANADIAN MARKET U.S.-based Skuttle has partnered with True North HVAC and Hydronics to offer its indoor air quality products in Canada. Products include flow-thru, fanassisted, drum, under duct, steam (under duct and free standing) and spray humidifiers. High efficiency air cleaning (Merv 8, 11 and Hepa), automatic flushing timers, make up air controls and combustion air diffusers are also offered. For distribution opportunities, contract Truth North HVAC and Hydronics. MITSUBISHI VP JOINS HRAI MANUFACTURERS BOARD Dermot McMorrow has been appointed to the HRAI Manufacturers division board of directors. He will act as chair of the Heating and Air Conditioning Product Section. McMorrow is the vice president and general manager of the HVAC division at Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada. He has been with Mitsubishi Electric since 2007. McMorrow holds professional engineer and chartered engineer designations.

POOL INDUSTRY SHAKEUP: SAS ACQUIRES THREE BRANDS, FORMS NEW DIVISION Specified Air Solutions (SAS) has acquired three major indoor pool dehumidification brands – Dectron, PoolPak and Seresco – to form a new division: Dehumidified Air Solutions (DAS). An additional division under SAS, Dehumidified Air Services (DASV), will combine and expand service and technical support teams for all three acquired brands to create a single national network. DASV will augment the current service divisions of DAS’s authorized manufacturer representatives. Dectron, PoolPak and Seresco will operate as three distinct brands under DAS. MUELLER ACQUIRES ONTARIO MANUFACTURER TO GROW PRODUCT OFFERING Mueller industries has acquired Ontario-based manufacturer DieMold Tool Limited to grow its flow control product offering in the area of pressure plastics. Die-Mold Tool is a manufacturer of plastic PEX and plumbing-related fittings, as well as plastic injection tooling. Mueller, headquartered in Memphis, TN, is an industrial manufacturer specializing in copper and copper alloy. Its products include tubing, fitting, valves and vessels, as well as rods, forgings and extrusions.


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< PEOPLE AD has named Linda Hoff director of decorative brands. Hoff previously held the role of executive director at Luxury Products Group for seven years. She has over 30 years of industry Hoff experience. Barbara VanderMolen has been recognized by The Manufacturing Institute with the Women in Manufacturing STEP (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production) Ahead Award. VanderMolen is the vice president of finance for VanderMolen North America Water Heaters at A.O. Smith. The STEP Ahead Awards honour women who demonstrate excellence and leadership in the manufacturing industry. VanderMolen joined A. O. Smith in 2008 as director of financial planning and analysis for the former Water Products Company. She was recently appointed to the advisory committee of A. O. Smith’s Women’s Resource Network. Lafert North America has appointed Joel Fernandes to the role of sales representative. He has nine years of sales experience in the construction Sagoo and power distribution industry, and Fernandes is a graduate of the University of Toronto. The company has also hired Jesse Sagoo as sales representative. Sagoo brings 12 years of technical sales experience in the power distribution market. He holds an electrical engineering technology designation from Humber College. Bryant Elder has been appointed director of business development for Ice Air. Elder will help lead the company’s sales, and he will be involved in planning, forecasting and managing customer experience processes. Prior to this position, Elder Elder was an area vice president for CSC Serviceworks. Mike Krill has joined Rinnai as region service manager for Western Canada. He previously held the position of region trainer at Rinnai for Western Canada. Krill is a level 3 trainer for the Krill company’s tankless systems, and has experience in HVAC consultation and sales. David Wardleworth has joined Patterson-Kelley as vice president and general manager. Prior to Patterson-Kelley, Wardleworth was the vice president and general man- Wardleworth Shrigley ager at Ergotron. He also held leadership positions in global operations, channel distribution and supply chain. Michael 56

HPAC | MAY 2018

Shrigley is the new vice president of sales and marketing at Patterson-Kelley. He has over 25 years of domestic and international sales management experience, including nearly 12 years at Weil-McLain. Knipex Tools has hired Tony Arena as its sales manager. Arena will oversee sales activities for trade and industrial distribution markets. He has over 15 years of marketing experience in retail and manufacturing industries, specifically paint Arena and hardware distribution channels. Arena specializes in competitive and sales analysis. Knipex also hired Peter Grable as product manager. Grable will oversee the development and execution strategy for new and existing products. Kelly Lessard is the new executive vice president of Winters Canada and the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) division. Dharmesh Bhardwaj has been ap- Lessard pointed vice president of EMEA.


OS&B has appointed Jeff Gartner to the position of Greater Toronto Area (GTA) sales representative. Gartner has years of sales experience in the HVAC and custom glass door industry. He will be responsible for sales representation of OS&B Gartner products for select GTA wholesale accounts. Uponor has appointed Chad Meyer to the newly created position of senior director, Intelligent Water. Meyer will lead the commercialization of Phyn Plus (see p.11), the first product from Uponor’s jointly-owned company, Phyn. He previ- Meyer ously held the position of senior director, product management, at Minnesota-based Solera Holdings – Parts Group. Prior to that, Meyer was the director of product marketing for Epicor in Minnesota. Fujitsu General America has named Joe Vincenti director of sales, VRF products. Vincenti will lead the sales efforts of the company’s Airstage VRF systems throughout North America. Vincenti has held several positions in the HVAC sales, market- Vincenti ing and engineering industry, including national director of sales and commercial sales manager at other major minisplit/VRF manufacturers.


HVAC/R PRODUCTS From Airmaster, the heavy-duty high ambient air circulator for industrial applications features a

Bradford White’s AeroTherm water heater series

30 in. diameter, two-speed non-oscillating fan.

features top water connections, an integrated

The fan is available in pedestal, wall, I-beam and

smart control panel and four operation modes:

vertical mounts. The circulator is intended for

heat pump, hybrid, electric and vacation. It is EN-

operation in areas where air temperature may

ERGY STAR certified with a 3.1 EF and an FHR of

be over 104F. It aims to provide a full service life

94 gal. The water heater is available in 50 and 80

up to 150F. The circulators are suited to high am-

gal. capacities with an operating sound level of

bient temperature applications, such as laun-

55 DBA. It has an operating air temperature

dries, foundries, brick making facilities and glass

range of 35F to 120F.


NCI Canada’s series of bronze valves are avail-

Regal’s GlacAir motor and fan utilizes an axial flux electronically commutated motor design. It

The DST P100 pressure sensor from Danfoss

able in both Class 150 and Class 300. Intend-

is intended for commercial refrigeration appli-

features stainless-steel design and a hermeti-

ed for industrial steam and fluid applications,

cations, such as display cases and reach-in

cally sealed media interface. Intended for re-

the valves range in size from ¼ in. to 3 in. End

coolers. It includes a universal voltage feature.

frigeration and air conditioning applications,

connections are Solder and Threaded. Valve

GlacAir can replace a 4W, 6W or 9W PSC or SP

DST P100 offers MEMS technology, piezoresis-

operations range from 150 to 300 psi saturat-

motor. It has ratings of IP66 and IP67.

tive silicon and optional self-diagnostic fea-

ed steam and 300 to 1000 psi non-shock cold


working pressure.

LG’s first two-stage modulating scroll compressor for unitary residential HVAC applications operates at 66 per cent capacity when demand is low and at full capacity on warmer days. The twoThe 596101BU Cad Cell Eye Bulk Pack from Beckett contains six each

stage compressor design features an accessible

replacement cad cell eyes. The cad cell eyes can be used as replace-

weather-resistant solenoid and an AC connector.

ments on Beckett, Carlin and Wayne oil burners using standard cad cell

It has been tested to meet single-speed scroll


compressors’ reliability standards.

From Goodway Technologies comes ScaleBreak descaling chemicals and accessories, available for industrial applications. This product is biodegradable and dissolves calcium, lime, rust and hard mineral deposits from passages in water-cooled or heated equipment, such as chiller tubes,

HeatLink’s TMP-Multi pre-fabricated panels share a primary loop. The pan-

flywheels, boiler tubes and heat exchang-

els feature an optional primary pump, up to 6 secondary circuits, electrical

ers. Scalebreak can be used on steel, iron,

wiring, thermometers and isolation valves on all circuits. High temperature

brass, copper, plastic and rubber. Custom

circuits can be used for fan coils, DHW tanks or baseboards. Low tempera-

formulations for unique applications are also available. This product is

ture circuits include a thermostatic mixing valve. The panel is intended for

available in 30, 55, 275 and 330-gallon sizes.

residential or small commercial heating projects.


HPAC | MAY 2018



THUNDERSTRUCK Sorting through the finer points of AC and DC voltages


e all know, young or old, what comes to mind when we see the word Thunderstruck: AC/DC. This serves two purposes here, one is that the band is awesome and two, it is a good segue into the next Electricity 101 topic: AC versus DC voltage. We will delve deeper into voltage, a topic mentioned in HPAC March 2018 (available online at Some readers may not know that I am not a total nerd. I grew up in rural Alberta and what that meant was motorbikes and snowmobiles (I date myself saying snowmobiles and not sleds). What that meant is we fixed a lot of stuff, including motors, suspension tracks, or whatever broke down. I later transitioned to cars. This led me down the dark path of drag racingâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;a sport that will take every penny from you and give nothing back but adrenaline and late nights. I occasionally helped a friend who had a blown alcohol dragster. Now that was a car to work on. One day we were trying to find out why we had a dead cylinder so we were testing the spark plug. To do that you take the spark plug out and keep the plug wire attached to it. Normally the spark plug is placed on the engine so it has a route to ground (as discussed in March) but this car rumbled too 60

HPAC | MAY 2018


much. Someone had to hold the plug down on the engine so the circuit could close and we would have current flow. I chose to hold the plug wire as it is usually the safest place to hold onto. Not this time. When the voltage gets higher and higher it is able to, for lack of a better term, jump from place to place to place. In this case the voltage came out in a crack in the spark plug wire. I got shocked. As we turned the engine over, the distributor put 30,000 volts DC out to that wire. It did not go out the spark plug to ground it went through me to ground. As it hit me I let go and proceeded to yelp and start walking. As I walked I got lower and lower until I was almost falling over. It hurt a lot. Thankfully it was a lot of voltage with not a lot of current so it was not going to kill me. This scenario illustrates two things: DC voltage and high voltage. A car has a battery and a battery is always DC voltage. DC stands for direct current meaning that the current can only flow in one direction. You have a positive and a negativeâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;that is it. The voltage does not alternate. When you have a DC voltage the voltage is constant, meaning it does not go above and below 0 as AC voltage does. A car ignition and all of its HPACMAG.COM

Figure 1

other parts run from 12VDC (the battery) and in the case of the ignition the 12VDC gets up converted by the use of a coil (transformer), to about 30,000 volts. It needs a high voltage to jump the gap in the spark plug. Have you ever wondered why power lines are spaced the way they are? The spacing ensures the voltage does not jump from one line to another. The higher the voltage the farther the spacing needs to be. This is also the same reason why a shock from static can go so far. As we said in the March article, voltage is the force pushing so the harder we push the farther it can jump. The most common DC item that we know of is a battery. All batteries are DC voltage regardless of their chemistry. DC voltage is not normally used to power anything in the mechanical room but all electronics at their heart use DC. Most electronics nowadays have gone from 5VDC all the way down to 1.8 or even 1.2 for use in cell phones. The lower the voltage the lower the current draw from the device is and so the longer the battery lasts. AC voltage is a term we commonly hear in mechanical rooms. DC stays in the controls but AC is what does the main powering and switches numerous things on or off. The term AC stands for alternating current. The voltage goes above and below 0v a set number of times. In North America we use 120Vac at the frequency of 60Hz for most residential uses. 60Hz means that the voltage goes from positive to negative 60 times per second. To throw a tiny wrench into this, 120Vac is actually 170v peak on the positive side and 170v peak on the negative side. When we say 120Vac this is actually the Root Mean Square or RMS voltage. To recap, 120Vac is actually a 170v peak-to-peak wave that crosses 0v 60 times per second. When a volt meter is put on the wires to measure AC it is actually measuring RMS voltage. That is why you see 120Vac and not 170Vac. What other voltages do we see in the mechanical room? Well the other common one would be 24VAC. This voltage is usually called “control voltage.” I find it funny that control guys do not like to work with 120Vac and electricians do not like to work with 24Vac. The principle is the same for each voltage. But where does the 24Vac come from? The good HPACMAG.COM

Figure 2 Root Mean Square voltage

thing about AC voltage is that it can be stepped up or stepped down very easily by transformers. We will talk more about transformers in HPAC August, for now know that you can step up or step down voltage with transformers. That is where we get the 24Vac. We are using a step down transformer, which means we connect 120Vac to incoming and 24Vac comes out the other side. We use 24Vac for many things inside the mechanical room, valves are a big one, powering controls is another and probably the one you know the most is powering thermostats. Another voltage you may hear is 208 or 240 single phase. This is more complex. This is where our nemesis three-phase comes into play. Let’s start with 240Vac. When power comes into a house there is normally two 120Vac phases. These “phases” are brought to the house so you can have different circuits and not all items are running off one circuit. If you have too much running on one circuit it can overload the lines and start a fire. Phase is probably a term you have heard before. It is basically the voltage coming in on one wire at a certain frequency with respect to where it crosses 0. So, are you ready? From the two phases of 120Vac each coming into a house you can build other voltages. These voltages coming in are exactly 180 degrees OUT of phase, which means that when phase one is at +120V the other phase is at -120V. This doubles the voltage and gives us 240Vac. I am not going to get into the math, but trust me this is what happens. This is how you get 240Vac in a house or building. If you are in an office building or a special house you may have three-phase also coming in. All three phases coming into the building are only 120 degrees out of phase (three phases X 120 degrees = 360 degrees). If you use two of those phases you get 208Vac. Figure 3 shows that when phase one is at the top phase two is not quite all the way at its lowest. That is why we get 208 instead of 240. Now the big difference with 120Vac and 208-240Vac is that essentially 120Vac only is made up of one hot line, a neutral and a ground. For 208-240Vac the voltage is made up of two hot lines and a ground, and a neutral depending on Continued on p62 MAY 2018 | HPAC



Figure 3 Three phases entering a building

a few factors. You have probably seen on most pumps that they are rated for 208-240, this means that they are ok to run from 208Vac (made up from three-phase power) or 240Vac (made from two separate 120Vac coming in) so keep that in mind next time you look at a pump. If you used your volt meter on the 208Vac or 240Vac and tested from hot to ground you would see 120Vac. If you then test from the other hot line you will also see 120Vac, but if you measure from hot one to hot two you will see 208 or 230240Vac depending on phases. Keep in mind this is a generalization and there are a few other ways to come up with these configurations. Always fol-

low the wiring guidelines in your area when starting to play around with 120Vac or higher–it can kill you. Always read and follow the warning labels, they are there for a reason. <> Curtis Bennett C.E.T is product development manager with HBX Control Systems Inc. in Calgary, AB. HBX Control Systems was formed by Bennett and Tom Hermann in 2002. Its control systems are designed, engineered and manufactured in Canada to accommodate a range of hydronic heating and cooling needs commonly found in residential, commercial and industrial design applications.



The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) offers a variety of residential and commercial courses. The Small Commercial Heat Loss & Heat Gain Calculations course is developed for HVAC technicians and designers. This three-day course instructs participants in proper calculation of small commercial heat gains and heat losses, and applies to buildings of up to three storeys and 600 sq. metres per storey. For scheduling opportunities, tel. 800.267.2231 ext. 237, or e-mail

Construction Education Council

CEC’s National Seminar Program offers over 160 seminars. Areas of interest run from supervisory training, estimation, project management, commissioning, safety, leadership and communication, productivity, business management, and service, to name a few. Where applicable the courses have been Gold Seal Accredited. The majority of listed programs are ½ day to two days in duration. To determine if a seminar has been scheduled in your area, tel. 613.232.5169.

Hydronics Training

The Canadian Hydronics Council (CHC) has partnered with NAIT and British Columbia Institute of Technology to provide course blocks toward CHC certification for hydronic system designers and installers. At NAIT students can register for online or paper-based learning and have nine months to complete each block. 62

HPAC | MAY 2018

TECA Quality First Training

TECA’s Quality First training programs are developed by the industry, for the industry, setting minimum standards for the residential and light commercial heating, ventilating and cooling trade in BC. Courses provide contractors with the information they need to install equipment that operates safely and comfortably at rated efficiencies.

Dollars to $ense Energy Management Workshops

Since 1997, over 30,000 representatives of industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) organizations have enrolled in the Dollars to $ense energy management workshops. In 2016, the material was completely remodeled and updated; it is now presented in 30 modules, which can easily be used as building blocks for organizations that have limited resources or that wish to focus on specific topics.

International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA)

HRAI will be providing IGSHPA training courses for geothermal heat pump system designers and installers in Ontario. The courses are in support of the recently established GreenON Low Carbon Technologies Incentive Program requirements, using IGSHPA certified trainers. The IGSPHA Accredited Geothermal Installer course covers ground-source heat pumps systems, while IGSPHA Certified Residential Geothermal Designer course will train attendees on how to properly design a residential geothermal heat pump. Contact Angie Mantei by e-mail: HPACMAG.COM

Budge that sludge with MagnaClean Commercial™ dirt filters by ADEY® Problem - Magnetite Also known as iron oxide sludge, magnetite is the unavoidable result of oxidation inside untreated hydronic systems. It can:

• Accumulate within ECM circulator’s, leading to potential and costly pump failure!

• Settle in the base of heat exchangers, creating an area of low flow, causing them to overheat and crack!

Solution - MagnaClean dirt filter! This range of CRN approved commercial dirt filters use high-grade neodymium magnets to target the removal of magnetite and are available to suit 2", 3", 4", 6" & 8" pipe sizes. Used together with ADEY’s MC3+™ Cleaner and MC1+™ Protector, total system health is ensured. For more details call our Business Development Director, Tom Tonkins toll free on +1 844 378 0442, or email Office: +1 412 406 8292


Individually removable magnets for easier and safer servicing

< HYDRONICS heat pumps in cold climate applications. This advantage became the focus of utility incentive programs during the 1980s. The utilities viewed geothermal heat pumps as a means of “quality load growth.” The ability to increase electrical energy sales while reducing the peak demands associated with electric resistance heat to back up early generation air source heat pumps during cold weather. While the COP advantage of geothermal heat pumps generally remains true, the “COP gap” has been steadily closing due to refinements in “cold climate” airsource heat pump technology. The difference in annual space heating cost between a heat pump with a

OUT OF THIN AIR Take a look at air-to-water heat pump systems. BY JOHN SIEGENTHALER


radiant panel manifold radiant panel mainfoldstation station11


radiant panel manifold radiant panel mainfoldstation station22





geothermal heat pump systems. eat pumps are destined to The predominant “pitch” for using carve out an increasing pergeothermal heat pumps is the ability to centage of future residential operate at higher coefficients of perforand light commercial HVAC market. mance (COPs) relative to air source This trend is based on the convergence of market drivers such as increasing electrical generation by utility scale photovoltaics and wind turbines, government renewable energy targets, growing interest in net zero buildings, and implementation of programs to reduce carbon emissions produced by burning fossil fuels. (ZVH1) Heat pumps can be applied in many (ZVC1) OFF situations where low temperature heat is freely available and a load is present to accept that heat at a higher temper(ZVH2) ature. Heat pumps are used for space heating, domestic water heating, heat recovery ventilation, and even recovering useful heat from sewer effluent. Most heat pumps used for space (ZVC2) OFF heating also have the ability to provide cooling and dehumidification. Thus, se- HEATING MODE lecting a heat pump for space heating (P2) entire system filled with propylene glycol often displaces the need for a separate antifreeze solution cooling system, as would be required spring check for hydronic systems using boilers.




EVERYONE LOVES GEO Geothermal heat pumps that extract heat from ground water, or buried earth loops, have become the “darling” of the North American HVAC market. Government incentive programs, in both Canada and the U.S., now offer generous rebates or tax credits that significantly lower the installed cost of 64

HPAC | MAY 2018

(S3) temperature sensors

(P1) air-to-water heat pump (HP)

(S2) outdoor temperature sensor


heated buffer tank

flexible connectors

Figure 1


HEAT PUMPS + HYDRONICS I am a firm believer that no heating technology, no matter how energy efficient, will gain and retain market share if it fails to deliver excellent comfort. Heat pumps that deliver heat using forced air distribution systems are saddled with many of the comfort compromises as other forced air distribution HPACMAG.COM




All piping piping and and components All components conveyingchilled chilledwater watermust mustbe conveying be insulated and vaporsealed sealed insulated and vapour


COOLING MODE entire system filled with propylene glycol antifreeze solution




seasonal average COP of 3.5 versus a different heat pump with a season average COP of say 2.5 shrinks in direct proportion to the building’s design heating load. I recently ran an analysis of two heat pumps: A geothermal heat pump with an assumed seasonal average COP of 4.0, and a cold climate air-to-water heat pump with a seasonal average COP of 2.5. Both heat pumps were assumed to supply heat to an energy efficient house in a cold upstate NY climate of 6720 heat degree days. The design heating load of the house was 18,000 Btu/hr. The electrical energy saved by the higher COP heat pump over the other heat pump was about 3.7 MMBtu/h (1 MMBtu = 1,000,000 Btu). With electricity priced at $0.13/kwhr, the annual savings in heating energy was about $142. That is far less than what most people spend for a year of cell phone service. The geothermal heat pump with the higher COP does reduce space heating cost. However, the question that remains is: Can the significantly higher installation cost of the geothermal heat pump be amortized by the savings it produces over the life of the equipment? Without the subsidies now available for geothermal heat pumps, and when competing against unsubsidized low-ambient air-source heat pumps, the economic viability of the higher performance/high price system remains dubious. Using local costs in upstate NY I find the simple payback of the higher cost system well beyond an estimated 25 year life cycle.


spring check valve



(S1) (S3) temperature sensors

(P1) air-to-water heat pump (HP)

flexible connectors

systems. These include potential for temperature stratification, drafts, building pressurization that increases air leakage, the sound of forced air delivery, and dust accumulation within ducting. Good HVAC hygiene such as duct cleaning, use of HEPA filters or electronic air cleaners can reduce dust issues, but the physiological comfort mismatch between a forced air delivery systems versus properly designed radiant panel systems remains. So, how do you put together the combination of: • High energy efficiency in cold climate applications • Renewably sourced electricity • Superior comfort • Unsubsidized economic sustainability? One solution where these desirable traits converge is a low-ambient air-towater heat pump combined with a low temperature radiant panel distribution system. Current generation low-ambient air-


heated buffer tank

Figure 2

to-water heat pumps can extract useable heat from outdoor air at temperatures down to -8F, (-22C). That heat can be transferred to a steam of water or antifreeze solution, and supplied to a hydronic radiant panel distribution system at temperatures up to 130F (54C). During warm weather the same heat pump can produce chilled water or antifreeze solution down to temperatures of 42F (5.5C). That fluid can be passed through the cooling coils of one or more air handlers to cool and dehumidify interior space. A Basic System Configuration: Figure 1 shows a piping schematic for an air-to-water heat pump system that provides zoned heating using radiant panels, and zoned cooling/dehumidification using small air handlers. Both zones must operate in the same mode (e.g., heating or cooling) at the same time. Flow to all heating and cooling zones is provided by a single

Continued on p66 MAY 2018 | HPAC



CHILLING OUT Figure 2 shows the system in cooling mode. Chilled antifreeze solution from the heat pump or buffer tank is delivered to one or both of the zoned air handlers, while the radiant panel zones remain off. During cooling operation the temperature of the buffer tank is maintained between and upper and lower limit by a setpoint controller. A typical temperature 66

HPAC | MAY 2018

240 VAC 15 amp circuit L1 L2


240/120 VAC 30 amp circuit heat pump disconnect switch

L1 L2






120 VAC / 15amp circuit


main switch


(MS) L1 L2 L N

closed = cool open = heat 1


closed = ON open = OFF




(R1-1) (R2-1)

(AH1) L1

service switch





variable-speed pressure-regulated circulator that automatically changes speed to maintain constant differential pressure regardless of which zone(s) are operating. During heating operation, the fluid temperature in the buffer tank is determined by an outdoor reset controller. The maximum target water temperature at the mid-height sensor (S1) in the buffer tank is 110F, corresponding to an outdoor temperature of 0F. The minimum target water temperature at sensor (S1) is 80F, corresponding to an outdoor temperature of 52.5F or higher. Outdoor reset control of the buffer tank temperature allows the system to meet the heating load of the building while maintaining the lowest possible water temperature required of the heat pump. This maximizes its coefficient of performance. The buffer tank is shown in a â&#x20AC;&#x153;threepipeâ&#x20AC;? configuration. This allows heated or chilled fluid from the heat pump to go directly to the load without first passing through the buffer tank. At the same time it couples the thermal mass of the lower portion of the tank to the heat pump to prevent short cycling. This piping also allows the buffer tank to provide hydraulic separation between the heat pump circulator (P1) and the load circulator (P2). The piping is optimized to preserve stratification during heating mode operation. The entire system is filled with a 30 per cent solution of inhibited propylene glycol antifreeze.


Mode selection switch

transformer 120/24 VAC

24 VAC

(RC) (R1)

L2 G




(AH2) L1

service switch






(R2) (ZVH1)








(ZVC1) (ZVH2) M

G Y thermostat




(ZVC2) (ORC) R


(S1) (S2)





(S3) sensor

Figure 3

range would be between 45F and 60F. All piping carrying chilled fluid must be insulated and vapor sealed to prevent condensation. Migration of chilled water into the radiant panel zones is prevented by a combination of a closed zone valve on the supply pipe and a check valve on the return side piping. Figure 3 shows one way to wire electrical controls for the system. The mode selection switch determines if the system operates in heating, cooling, or remains off. The

temperature in each zone is monitored by a heating/cooling thermostat. In cooling mode the zone thermostats turn on their respective air handlers, and open their associated zone valves. The distribution circulator is also turned on. A demand for cooling from either zone also turns on a setpoint controller that operates the heat pump to maintain the buffer tank temperature within a suitable temperature range for cooling.

Continued on p68 HPACMAG.COM

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< HYDRONICS DESCRIPTION OF OPERATION The following is a description of operation for the system shown in Figures 1, 2, and 3. Specific makes and models of heat pumps may require slightly different wiring to enable operation in heating or cooling modes. Always verify the specific wiring requirements for the heat pump being used, and ensure it is coordinated with the balance of system wiring. Power supply: The air-to-water heat pump and circulator (P1) are powered by a dedicated 240/120Vac 30 amp circuit. The heat pump disconnect switch (HPDS) must be closed to provide power to the heat pump. The remainder of the control system is powered by 120Vac/15 amp circuit. The main switch (MS) must be closed to provide power to the control system. Both fan-coils are powered by a dedicated 240Vac/15 amp circuit. The service switch for each air handler must be closed for that air handler to operate. Heating mode: The mode selection switch (MSS) must be set for heating. This passes 24Vac to the RH terminal in each thermostat. Whenever either thermostat (T1, T2) demands heat, 24Vac is passed from the thermostat’s W terminal to the associated heating zone valve (ZVH1 or ZVH2). When the zone valve reaches its fully open position, its internal end switch closes, passing 24Vac to relay coil (R1). Relay contact (R1-1) closes to pass 120Vac to circulator (P2). Relay contact (R1-2) closes to pass 24Vac to the outdoor reset controller (ODR). The (ODR) measures outdoor temperature at sensor (S2), and uses this temperature, along with its settings, to calculate the target supply water temperature for the buffer tank. It then measures the temperature of the buffer tank at sensor (S1). If the temperature at (S1) is more than 6F below the target temperature, the (ODR) closes its relay contact. This completes a circuit between terminals 1 and 2 in the heat pump, enabling it in heating mode. The heat pump (HP) turns on circulator (P1) and verifies adequate flow through the heat pump. After a short time delay, the heat pump turns on it compressor. The heat pump continues to operate until the temperature at sensor (S1) is 6F above the target temperature calculated by the (ODR), or neither thermostat calls for heat, or the heat pump reaches its internal high-limit setting. Note: Neither air handler operates in heating mode, regardless of the fan switch setting on the thermostats. Cooling mode: The mode selection switch (MSS) must be set for cooling. This passes 24Vac to relay coil (RC). Normally open contacts (RC-1) and (RC-2) close, allowing 24Vac from the air handlers to pass to the RC terminal in each thermostat (T1, T2). Whenever either thermostat calls for cooling, 24Vac is passed from the thermostat’s Y terminal to the associated cooling zone valve (ZVC1 or ZVC2). When the zone valve reaches its fully open position, its internal end switch closes, passing 24Vac to relay coil (R2). Relay contact (R2-1) closes to pass 120Vac to circulator (P2). Relay contact (R2-2) 68

HPAC | MAY 2018

“Can the significantly higher installation cost of the geothermal heat pump be amortized by the savings it produces over the life of the equipment?” closes to pass 24Vac to the cooling setpoint controller (SPC). The cooling setpoint controller measures the temperature of the buffer tank at sensor (S3). If this temperature is 60F or higher, the (SPC) relay contact closes, completing a circuit between terminals 1 and 2 on the heat pump (HP) enabling it to operate. Relay contact (R2-3) closes between terminals 3 and 4 in the heat pump (HP), switching it to cooling mode. The heat pump (HP) turns on circulator (P1) and verifies adequate flow through the heat pump. The heat pump compressor turns on it compressor and operates in chiller mode. This continues until the temperature at sensor (S3) drops to 45F, or until neither zone thermostat calls for cooling, or until the heat pump reaches in internal low-limit setting. The blowers in the air handlers can be manually turned on at the thermostats when the mode selection switch (MSS) is set to cooling. The blowers will operate automatically whenever either cooling zone is active. Distribution: Circulator (P2) is a variable speed pressureregulated circulator that is set for the required differential pressure when both heating zones, or both cooling zones, are operating. It will automatically reduce speed to maintain a constant differential pressure when only one heating zone, or one cooling zone is operating. Automatic flow balancing valves with present flow rates, are installed on both heating zone circuits and both cooling zone circuits. Low-ambient air-to-water heat pumps can fill a unique niche for heating and cooling of residential and light commercial buildings. Although their COPs are not necessarily as high as geothermal heat pumps, their installation cost is substantially less. They’re especially well suited as heating sources for low temperature radiant panel distribution systems. I recommend that you take a good look at how they might fit into your business model. <> John Siegenthaler, P.E., is a mechanical engineering graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a licensed professional engineer. He has over 34 years experience in designing modern hydronic heating systems. Siegenthaler’s latest book is Heating with Renewable Energy (see for more information). HPACMAG.COM


ClearFire-LC 12,000 MBtu/h hydronic conFrom Bell & Gossett, the e3 whole house po-

densing boiler from Cleaver-Brooks is available

From Ipex, the System 636 flue gas venting

table water circulator features electronically

in sizes ranging from 4,000 MBtu/hr to 12,000

system is offered in PVC and CPVC. PVC is rat-

communicated motor design. It recirculates

MBtu/h. It features an integrated premix gas

ed for flue gas temperatures of up to and in-

hot water through a dedicated return line in-

burner and linkageless control. ClearFire-CE

cluding 65C. CPVC is rated for flue gas tem-

stalled between the end of the hot water sup-

(CFC-E) boiler ranges in size from 500 to 2,000

peratures up to and including 90C. Both are

ply pipe and the water heater. The circulator

MBtu/h. CFC-E features dual temperature re-

made to Sch. 40 dimensions. PVC is white in

runs off of 10 watts and offers variable speed.

turn. The condensing boilers are engineered in

colour and CPVC is grey in colour. Sizes for PVC

Available options include a built-in thermostat,

a high-mass firetube design and utilize extend-

range from 1-½ in. to 6 in., and 1-½ in. to 8 in.

plug-in timer and plug/cord.

ed-heating surface AluFer tubes.

for CPVC.

The 5517 Series Discal brass air separa-

From Webstone, the vertical mount air separator and

tor can be installed in horizontal or verti-

optional isolation accessories can be placed beneath

cal pipes with its rotating collar. The

a wall hung boiler or upright in the system supply line.

separator is available for ¾ in. or 1 in.

It is available in ¾ in. or 1 in. with MIP, FIP, sweat, or

pipe sizes with sweat, press or NPT male

press connections. Isolation accessories include full

connections. It features automatic air

port ball valves and isolator uni-flanged ball valves. It

removal and a removable top.

includes G1 union connections.

The Sentinel Pro remote monitoring system from Sensaphone monitors 12 digital or analog status conditions for HVAC equipment, boilers, The Froling PE1 residential wood pellet boiler is

chillers, refrigeration and cold storage units. It

completely insulated and wired. Filling is auto-

also monitors up to 64 Modbus registers. The

Press transition ball valves from Nibco connect

mated with an external suction turbine. The ash

sensors monitor, humidity, pressure, pH, con-

copper piping to PEX. Available configurations

that accumulates is conveyed into the ashcan

ductivity and water leakage. For remote loca-

include: press by PEX, union threaded, union

where it can be emptied. A speed-regulated in-

tions without Internet or Ethernet connectivity,

solder and union male. The press end features

duced draught fan and lambda control come

a 4G cellular system is available. This system

a leak detection system. The valves are dezinc-

standard. Froling systems offer control of the

communicates through AT&T or Verizon net-

ification-resistant, rated up to 250-psi cold

home heating system with up to four storage

works. Remote monitoring systems send alerts

working pressure and include a blowout-proof

tanks, eight hot water tanks and 18 heating cir-

via phone, e-mail or text. All sensor readings

stem. Sizes range from ½ in. to 1 in.


are saved in the cloud.


MAY 2018 | HPAC





s noted in Part I and Part II of this series (see HPAC February and March 2018), control systems are often blamed when something is not operating as expected. More often than not, if control systems do not perform as needed, something happened on the installation or programming side of things. There is absolutely nothing that will minimize downtime and troubleshooting more than getting the system installed right the first time. Nothing will ever replace the need for solid training and acquiring an understanding of the product itself, along with the installation and troubleshooting side of things, in advance of working with the product. Having discussed some challenges surrounding sensors in the first column and then controlled device sizing and piping requirements in the second, the focus here is on the controllers outputs, the wiring of sensors, and control signals and communication. In addition, there will be a review of some basic setup requirements to be kept in mind when using multiple controllers that may not communicate with one another in a system.

OUTPUTS ON CONTROLLERS When a controller indicates it is running an output, but the output does not seem to be responding, one of the following four issues may be the cause. 1. Bad internal controller relay If the controller output is a dry contact, you can disconnect the wiring to the terminals and then use a meter with resistance option in ohms to verify the relay is indeed functioning by checking for resistance across the outputs. If the output is supposed to be on, the resistance should be 0 ohms (short circuit) when testing. Most commonly that is what you will find. Then you know the relay is good and you will need to investigate issues 2 and 3. If the resistance turns out to be infinite, then we know the relay is not made when it supposed to be. In this case call the manufacturer for further support, a product exchange or repair procedures. If the controller’s output is a powered output by either 24Vac or 120Vac, check for power with a voltage meter across the output terminal and the common or negative pole (-) of the transformer if 24Vac if low voltage or 120Vac to Neutral (N) if line voltage. Same as above, if voltage required is verified, the relay in the control is good and we will need to identify other reasons. 70

HPAC | MAY 2018

Figure 1 Signal Wiring Examples

2. Not enough wire insulation removed Sometimes not enough insulation was stripped off the wire entering the terminal block on the controller, preventing power or conductivity from being passed on to the actual device being controlled. This does not happen a lot, but I have seen it a few times. You will quickly identify that when removing the wire from the terminal and you see where the terminal screw pinched the insulation of the wiring. If that is the case, simply remove more insulation from the wire. 3. Wire between controller’s output and device is broken Once we establish the control’s output terminal is working and it is reaching the wiring itself, look and see if something is worn within the wiring itself. Follow the same procedure as in 1 and check for resistance or power as explained earlier, right at the device itself. If you can still verify the conductivity, the problem very likely lies within the last option in this category. 4. Actual device is damaged or malfunctioning Give the device one last test by eliminating everything else. Using short leads, power it directly, straight off a power source. If this still does not turn on the device, then it is likely requiring replacement. If it suddenly works the most likely case is something skipped or missed in the steps above.

WIRING OF SENSORS, CONTROL SIGNALS, COMMUNICATION 1. Wiring of sensors We covered some potential challenges using sensors in the first part of this three-part series, but HPACMAG.COM

this is an important subject and calls for some pointers. First and foremost, read the manufacturer’s sensor wiring requirements. Some may want you to use shielded cable, most, however, are happy with twisted pair or low voltage thermostat (LVT) cable. Always pay attention to the recommended American Wire Gauge (AWG) sizes and distances those sensors can be extended to. If shielded wiring is required, then connect only the two conductor wire to the sensor itself and trim back the shield layer to the wire insulation length. On the controller end of the wiring, terminate the 2 conductor wire to the appropriate sensor input terminals and terminal the shield layer to the ground terminal or common within the controller. Sensor wiring should never run alongside any power-carrying wiring. It may cross power-carrying wiring, but again, it can never be tied to and run in parallel right next to power-carrying wiring as it may induce voltage or current and interfere with the accuracy of the sensors used. 2. Control signals First identify what the control signal needs to be. The more common ones are dry contact enable or powered signals. Dry contact enable is just that–a wire and a switch. The switch could come from another controller or a thermostat for example. Powered signals are usually much of the same, except for here, power is introduced into the circuit. Some controller inputs must see power applied and some can range between 20Vac and 240Vac. Please always refer to the control manufacturers literature to be sure. 24Vac would be more common than not. To introduce power, look at the demand input as if it were a relay coil, your call for heat a switch and the power supply the source. Some other controllers require modulating control signals and those could include any of the variable voltage (0-10Vdc, 2-10Vdc) or variable current (0-20mA or 4-20mA) or resistive (0-135 ohm). Those are always polarity sensitive. Make sure you verify the polarity twice before terminating. 3. Communication This is another very important detail to consider. Different controllers have different requirements. Some require a two wire connection that IS polarity sensitive, where other two wire communication connections require no polar sensitivity. Again, always refer to the manufacturers wiring instructions. Where polarity is a requirement, the terminals will be clearly marked using their own label. Best practice would suggest that you should always use the same color code for the respective terminal throughout the entire control system to minimize the chance of error. Communication wiring is amongst the most critical to get right. Failure of getting this nailed down can cause hours or days of troubleshooting to find the culprit wiring in a system. Some folks may call wiring stand-alone controllers together via enable switches, similar to the example given above for the “powered control signal” wiring, as “communication”, but HPACMAG.COM

those are nothing more than “enable” switches that switch power from one controller to an input on the next. In that example, the “On/Off Call” in the middle example in Figure 1 would be replaced by the enable terminals from the controller wanting to enable to next.

SETUP OF CONTROLS In the final topic of this series, I want to talk about the importance of settings across multiple stand-alone controllers. Always make sure that one controller's setting is not prohibiting the operation of another. Always understand what the system needs to accomplish. When multiples are used, for example in systems with multiple mixed water temperatures, it is not uncommon to have two or maybe even more stand-alone mixing controllers with one main plant controller looking after the generation equipment. Making sure that those controllers are setup with respect to their controls needs is very important. For this example, the mixing controllers operate mixing devices for their respective system loops. Their generation loop sensors are often monitoring the generation loops return temperature. It is therefore very critical to understand that the mixing controllers generation return temperature limits are adjusted to a different value than that of the generation equipment controllers loop limits. As an example, in boiler plants the boiler controller could have a boiler minimum temperature limit programmed for 140F on the supply (if non-condensing boilers are used) while the mixing controllers minimum boiler return limits need to be set to 120F for the same example to avoid a scenario where the boiler plant is maintaining the minimum while the mixing controllers won’t allow operation of their mixing devices until their limits are satisfied. This is just one example, but one that I have come across too many times before that I felt it was worth mentioning here. Another critical setting in some of the more complex communicating system controllers are schedules and scenes. Many building automation systems are not going to operate until a schedule is setup for it and the systems operation tied to it. In other words, unless a control look is applied to a schedule, it may sit there dormant waiting to be assigned. In conclusion, this three part series provides pointers to help readers when working with control systems. You may come across other control system challenges, which could be the subjects of future articles. Let me know. <> Mike Miller is director of sales, commercial building services, Canada with Taco Inc. and a past chair of the Canadian Hydronics Council (CHC). He can be reached at MAY 2018 | HPAC



HVAC/R contractor attendance was up 12.8 per cent and plumbing contractors was up 18.3 per cent.


Exposition delivers with new products, education sessions and networking opportunities.


t 15,029 registered attendees, CMPX 2018 organizers have reported that several attendee categories were up significantly with HVAC/R contractor attendance up 12.8 per cent and plumbing contractors up 18.3 per cent. The increases were attributed in part to special marketing efforts to build the contractor attendees, including those directed at wholesalers across Canada, particularly the CMPX bus program. There were 43 pick-up locations where wholesalers offered bus transportation to the show over the three days, resulting in steady traffic over the three days. Increases were also seen in wholesaler, government and service/maintenance attendees.

LEARNING FORUM AND SEMINARS Eleven Learning Forum sessions were arranged with daily themes. Attendance 72

HPAC | MAY 2018

was strong with several sessions attracting standing room only crowds. Low lead plumbing adoption was the focus of a seminar led by Kevin Ernst, general manager at OS&B. In â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lead Update: Valves and Relevant Standards,â&#x20AC;? Ernst discussed low lead plumbing requirements in Canada. There are currently no federal regulations relating to lead content in plumbing products in Canada. A model National Plumbing Code (NPC) was released in 2015, to be adopted provincially or territorially. New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Prince Edward Island have adopted the NPC 2015. Quebec, Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia have published their own codes substantially similar to NPC 2015. Also in the plumbing realm, Andrew Quattrociocchi, deputy chief building official of the Township of Oro Medonte, ON, shared tips to prepare for a plumbing in-

Wednesday closed out with Steve Goldie from NEXT talking about Online SMART Monitoring. Following his session, Goldie continued the discussion with Edwin Korschewitz and Edison Basanande of Regos Mechanical.

In a standing room only session, Parminder Sandhu from the Green Ontario Fund talked about opportunities with the Green Ontario Fund and how contractors can get involved. HPACMAG.COM

spection and discussed common mistakes. The talk, titled “Plumbing – From the Eyes of a Plumbing Inspector – a Pictographic Journey,” was intended for contractors and generalist inspectors who review plumbing in houses and small buildings. Quattrociocchi discussed vent pipe installation, exposed piping, laundry standpipes, approved solvents, backwater valves, expansion tanks, mixing valves and admittance valves, among other inspection issues. Jason Jackson, who is president of the Canadian Water Quality Association and professor and coordinator at Fleming College in Peterborough, ON, gave a talk on the changing face of water treatment. “Water Quality at the Tap” covered code changes and implications for building operators, homeowners and small facilities. Cross connections, stagnant water, poor flow and temperature control and complacent management, maintenance and repair all contribute to low water quality, according to Jackson. When performing a risk assessment, Jackson shared several plumbing considerations, such as cross connections, air gaps, backflow prevention and flood level rims. In keeping with the theme, the future of mechanicals, An-

dre Patenaude, who is director of food retail and growth strategy at Emerson, discussed industry trends and drivers, natural refrigerant options and regulations. As a result of national Net Zero Energy goals and the Kigali Amendment, Patenaude said natural refrigerants such as CO2 and ammonia are gaining traction. Unlike CO2, ammonia has been subject to Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations due to toxicity. According to Patenaude, other trends include A2L synthetics and cold thermal storage. On the industrial side, more large commercial heat pumps are using CO2 instead of natural gas. As of now, Patenaude said Canada is taking a conservative approach to the Kigali Amendment – but the industry should prepare for refrigerant shortages and rising prices. The event concluded with a draw for a service van (see sidebar). Jointly produced since 1972 by HRAI and CIPH, The Canadian Mechanical & Plumbing Exposition national trade show and Learning Forum for the mechanicals industry includes the air-conditioning, heating, plumbing, waterworks, water quality, piping, refrigeration and ventilation industries. <>

WINNER’S CIRCLE AT CMPX The CMPX “Win A Van” contest draw closed the three-day event. The prize van is a GMC Savana with custom racking interior by Farmbro. The winner, Mike Cliffe, is a mechanic at Sensible Heating & Air Conditioning in Brampton, ON. Show delegates headed to HPAC’s booth on March 21 or 22 for a chance to win testo’s 317-3 CO monitor and Viega’s flameless press technology system. Tim Koebel of Koebel Heating, Cooling and Mechanical in Montrose, ON is now the proud owner of testo’s pocket-sized CO monitor. Shawn Bushey of Modern Niagara in Toronto now has Viega’s flameless press technology system in his tool arsenal. The Heating Systems Gauntlet, held by HPACMAG.COM

HRAI, challenged 23 Southern Ontario students over two days. Seven secondary school students were tasked with the installation and set-up of a humidifier and thermostat. The winners are: • First place: Bryce Sellers from Elmira District Secondary School • Second place: Lucas D’Annibale from College Avenue Secondary School • Third place: Josh Bigelow from Westlane Secondary School Sixteen post-secondary students were challenged to install an HRV or ERV, as well as commission a furnace to ensure total functionality. The winners are: • First place: Calvin Burgess from George Brown College • Second place: Robert Bratton from Georgian College • Third place: Zach Hiltz from Centennial College Other students from these schools participated, as well as students from Central Technical Secondary School, North American Trade Schools (Lon-

don, ON branch) and HiMark Occupational Institution.

John Siegenthaler (rear centre) with the winners of HPAC’s book draw. Each winner received either Heating With Renewable Energy and Modern Hydronic Heating signed textbooks. At the RSES Canada annual meeting, society president Barry Hawse presents the HRAI Award to Andrew Boileau, CMS. Boileau achieved the highest mark on the RSES-Canada Heating Specialist Exam in 2017. MAY 2018 | HPAC




OPIA Annual Meeting and Educational Seminar June 10-12

The national apprenticeship conference will be held at the Fairmont Queen Elisabeth in Montreal, QC.

OPIA’s 88th Annual Meeting and Educational Seminar will be held at the Holiday Inn and Suites Parkway Conference Centre in St. Catharines, ON.

CIPH ABC June 17-19 The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating will hold its annual business conference in Whistler, BC.

Solar Canada Conference and Exposition June 20-21

ASHRAE Annual Conference June 23-27

CASA Annual Conference June 24-26

The 2018 ASHRAE Annual Conference will be held at the Hilton Americas-Houston Hotel in Houston, TX.

The 57th CASA Annual Conference will be held at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown, PE.

ASPE Convention September 28-October 3

RSES Annual Conference October 9-12

The American Society of Plumbing Engineers will meet in Atlanta, GA.

RSES will hold its annual conference at the Crowne Plaza in Albuquerque, NM.

HRAI AGM October 14-16

Chillventa October 16-18

CIPHEX West November 7-8

The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada will hold its 50th annual meeting and conference at the Paradisus Playa del Carmen in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

Chillventa, a trade show of components, systems and plant for the refrigeration, air conditioning, ventilation and heat pump segments, will be held at the Exhibition Centre in Nuremburg, Germany.

The Calgary tradeshow will feature a full conference program and product showcase. It will be co-located with BUILDEX Calgary.

AHRI Annual Meeting November 11-13

The Buildings Show November 28-30

AHRI will hold its annual meeting at the JW Marriott Tuscon Starr Pass Resort and Spa in Tuscon, AZ.

The 30th anniversary of the Buildings Show will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, ON.

The 2018 Solar Canada Conference and Exposition will be held at the BMO Centre in Calgary, AB.

MCA CANADA 77TH NATIONAL CONFERENCE September 19-22 The Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada heads to the Westin Resort & Spa in Whistler, BC for its 2018 conference.

Supporting Women in Trades Conference November 7-8 The Canadian Apprenticeship Forum inaugural Supporting Women in Trades Conference will be held at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront in Halifax, NS.

Planning an event? Send the details to 74

HPAC | MAY 2018



Master 79

Adrian 26 p. 7 14 p. 2 59 27 Franklin p. 9 31 43 49 p. 4 Tamas Hydronic 53 19

The Whalen p. 17 p. 41

Thermostat Recovery 21

Hood 21 ICP - 55 39

Johnson 33 67

Liberty 45 p. 51 57 80


Looking for products and wholesalers? You can find it all at

Click on Buyer’s Guide HPACMAG.COM BuyersGuideHalfPage.indd 1

MAY 2018 | HPAC


2016-10-06 8:45 AM


SOUND AND VIBRATION IN WATER-SOURCE HEAT PUMPS Internal design and proper installation are key to avoiding intrusive acoustics. BY KARL WASHBURN


ynamic power is used to move air and refrigerant in HVAC/R equipment. One unavoidable result of this dynamic application of power is sound and vibration. In a water-source heat pump (WSHP), both the compressor and supply fan generate sound and vibration, challenging the manufacturer, contractor/installer and builder/architect to provide an environment substantially free of intrusive sound and vibration.

SOUND AND VIBRATION: THE BASICS Vibration is the repeated squeezing and stretching of material. If the material is a fluid, the vibration becomes sound. Vibration and sound transport energy through materials from one place to another. But they do not transport material, and the energy moves in waves. Like other types of energy transport, sound and vibration continue until they 76

HPAC | MAY 2018

are blocked or dissipated. Because it travels in waves, sound can turn corners and squeeze through gapsâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;important attributes in controlling equipment sound and vibration. Human hearing strongly influences ways we quantify sound. We can sense sound across an astounding range of amplitudes. The quietest sound most humans can hear is about 20 micropascals, while the threshold of hearing pain is about 20 pascals, a scale of one million. Rather than carry around lots of zeros, scientists express sound in decibels (dB). Named after Alexander Graham Bell, dBs convert powers of 10 into sums of 10, similar to the Richter scale for earthquakes. By convention, the threshold of human hearing is set to 0 dB, and pain occurs around 120 dB. Because the dB can be used for almost anything (pressure, power and even voltage), it is a source of tremen-

dous confusion, which affects the HVAC/R industry. The important thing to remember is a dB is always a relative measure. To know which type of dB is referenced, you must know what it is relative to, for example, pascals for sound pressure or watts for sound power. Another aspect of human hearing lies in our changing sensitivity across frequencies (pitches). Our ears are insensitive to sound at low frequencies, sensitive in mid-frequencies and taper off at very high frequencies. Since microphones and sound meters do not discriminate with frequency, the A-weighting scale is often applied to sound measurements. A-weighting is a frequency filter that emulates human ears. A-weighting can result in different dB levels compared to unweighted levels. When A-weighting is applied, it should be marked dBA or dB(A). Without this marking, confusion can result. HPACMAG.COM

A 12.5-ton unit with a total sound power level of 86 dB (re 1 pW) has a Noise Criteria rating of NC52 in a live room (such as a grocery store) and an NC47 rating in a dead room (such as a medical waiting room).

SOUND AND VIBRATION: WATER-SOURCE HEAT PUMPS The compressor and supply fan are the two primary sources of sound and vibration in WHSPs. As compressors turn, any residual imbalance results in vibration. All compressors release high-pressure pulses of refrigerant, another source of sound and vibration. Most of the sound emanates from the canister housing the compressor, while vibration comes through the feet of the compressor and the tubing carrying refrigerant. Supply fan blades individually push small slugs of air to raise air pressure in a plenum. This repeated pushing, along with turbulence that forms in and around the fan, generates sound. In most configurations, a WSHP air inlet faces into the occupied space and conditioned air is released through one or more grilles. Usually the inlet is where compressor sound escapes, and the outlet is where fan sound esHPACMAG.COM

capes. There are many configurations, so this may not be true for all of them. To reduce equipment sound, it must be blocked, absorbed or both. In a WHSP, the compressor casing is designed to contain (block) sound. Additionally, some inlet door designs include a layer of sound-absorbing material that helps reduce the remaining sound that escapes the housing. Likewise, the pressure plenum is designed to block line-of-sight between the fan and discharge grille, and soundabsorbing material lines the plenum to further reduce sound. Even with these features, the unit radiates sound. The installation must completely seal around the unit; even a small gap will defeat a wall’s sound-blocking capacity. Mounting the compressor on soft isolators greatly reduces compressor vibration. Even so, vibration gets into the unit’s housing. It is critical that no part of the housing be allowed to touch the walls. Flexible duct collars are needed to separate the inlet and discharge grilles from the unit. In more sensitive applications, the housing

should ride on additional isolators to reduce vibration at the floor.

RATING WSHP SOUND North American manufacturers rate WSHP sound using the American Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) Standard 260. This standard specifies how to measure sound power levels, denoted LW, emanating from the air inlet, air outlet and housing. Sound power levels measured in compliance with AHRI 260 are listed in 8 octave bands, from 63 Hz (very low frequency) to 8,000 Hz (very high frequency). The dB levels in the unit’s technical specification are not the dBs we are accustomed to. These are dBs relative to 1 picowatt of power, not pressure. Furthermore, the levels are not A-weighted. They might seem very high at low frequencies (63 Hz and 125 Hz). If the technical guide does not express sound power levels in compliance to AHRI 260, then you cannot be certain how sound levels were measured. Always insist on receiving this information as part of a submittal.

Continued on p78 MAY 2018 | HPAC


< HVAC/R SOUND POWER, SOUND PRESSURE AND NOISE CRITERIA Sound power is not what human ears hear; it is what equipment generates. That power is converted to sound pressure as it propagates out to the room. What is important to people, is what they hear. Not only do our ears colour sound, the acoustical environment greatly influences the amplitudes and frequencies we hear. One common way of expressing this complexity within the built environment is the Noise Criteria, or NC rating. This one-number metric roughly determines whether a given

sound environment will be intrusive to normal listeners. NC ratings are driven by the equipment’s sound power level, but they result from the effect of the room in which the sound is contained and the non-uniform way humans hear. Because NC ratings relate to how people feel about sound, they are sometimes used as de facto HVAC/R equipment requirements. For example, the city of Toronto, ON, sets limits on NC ratings for new multi-resident construction (Tarion Builder's Bulletin No. 19). More importantly, although there

SOUND VOCABULARY Sound – Sound is a compressional vibration that propagates in an elastic medium. Sound pressure – Sound pressure relates to the sound a human will experience. Sound pressure level depends on both the source and the environment, making it situation dependent. Pascal – The International System of Units (SI) derived unit for pressure is the pascal. It is equivalent to one newton per square meter. Micropascal – 1 pascal is equal to 1,000,000 micropascals. Sound power – Sound power relates and depends only on the source of sound. In the case of equipment, sound power is the sound equipment generates. Unlike sound pressure, it is not situation dependent. Watt – A watt is a measure of electrical power. As an amplifier processes sound, the output is measured in watts. Picowatt – A picowatt is equal to one trillionth of a watt. Vibration – Vibration is the repeated squeezing and stretching of material. Vibration isolation – Vibration isolation is the process of isolating an object, such as a piece of equipment, from the source of vibrations. Decibels (dB) – Named after Alexander Graham Bell, a decibel is the unit scientists use to measure sound amplitude. A-weighting scale – A-weighting is a frequency filter that emulates human ears. dBA or dB(A) – dBA or dB(A) is a single number rating typically used to quantify sound as it is perceived by humans. When A-weighting is applied, it should be marked dBA or dB(A). Frequency – Frequency describes the number of waves that pass a fixed place in a given amount of time. The frequency of sound is its pitch. Hertz – Hertz (Hz) is the SI derived unit of frequency and is defined as one cycle per second. Octave band – An octave band is a frequency band where the highest frequency is twice the lowest frequency. Noise Criteria – The Noise Criteria (NC) rating is a one-number metric that roughly determines whether a given sound environment will be intrusive to normal listeners. Air-conditioning Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) – The AHRI Technical Committee on Sound (TCoS) has responsibility for standards related to sound.


HPAC | MAY 2018

is an accepted way of calculating NC rating, there is no standard method for measuring it in the built environment. This leaves the equipment manufacturer, who has no direct control over NC rating, in a bind. If you see an NC rating in the technical specification, there is no way of knowing how it was measured or whether it is reliable. If your project depends on an NC rating, then you must use AHRI 260-compliant sound levels, along with an acoustical model of the room and any ductwork, to estimate it. An acoustical consultant can be invaluable in such a situation.

CALL IN THE EXPERTS All HVAC/R equipment generates sound and vibration, which manufacturers work to minimize. Because WSHPs share the same space with occupants, their internal design and proper installation are key to avoiding intrusive sound and vibration. Although we interact directly with sound and vibration, they may seem mysterious and hard to describe. There are specific ways to express the amount and type of sound emanating from HVAC/R equipment. When you specify equipment, insist on receiving sound power levels properly certified to AHRI 260. When faced with an NC rating requirement, remember it must be calculated from the unit’s sound power levels and acoustical attributes of the room. No manufacturer can guarantee an NC rating, making the assistance of an acoustical consultant during design invaluable. <> Karl Washburn, INCE Bd. Cert., is principal engineer with Johnson Controls, Inc. Washburn presented a session on sound and vibration at the launch of Johnson Controls’ vertical stacked water-source heat pump sound room in Ajax, ON. The condo-style room containing two working demos, allows customers to experience sound performance. HPACMAG.COM






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