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Size ’em right Paul McDonald


Roughing it, above the floor Patricia Diamente


Finding comfort with load calculations Carol Fey


35Summertime is a great time to address

hydronic heating and cooling systems, so be sure to check out our second 2011 serving of all things hydronic, Wet Heat Applications & Technology, WHAT. So WHAT are you waiting for? Dive right in!

Designing residential systems Scott Martorano



Rooftop chiller replacement David Janzen



30ANNUAL VEHICLE REPORT Part 1: Service Vans Howard J. Elmer




Canadian country music sensation Paul Brandt has been topping the charts with hits since 1996. Paul recently swapped his guitar for a hammer, and his cowboy boots for work boots, as part of the upcoming Build it Forward television series on CMT. Adam Freill

Handling IAQ in office buildings Gord Cooke

20REFRIGERATION Maximizing evaporator coil efficiency Phil Boudreau

34ASK ROGER Boosting sales in a slowdown Roger Grochmal

42HYDRONICS Pumped up on manifolds Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr

83MARKETING Word of mouth: It still works Doug MacMillan

P R O D U C T S 28,106Plumbing 56,76,78Hydronics 90,105,108HVAC/R 109Stuff you need

112WORLD VIEW You’re in the app zone Jeff Patchell

D E PA R T M E N T S 04From the editor’s desk 06,40News 16Profile: Kevin Fullan

109Calendar 110The Info Page 114By the numbers


On the cover: Canadian country music legend Paul Brandt is building it forwar d with his new show on CMT. Photo: Courtesy of Paul Brandt

FROM Content Media Group Inc. 19 – 1525 Cornwall Road Oakville, ON L6J 0B2 CANADA Tel: 905.465.2919 Fax: 905.465.2913 July/August 2011 Issue Published 6 times per year. Editor: Adam Freill, ext. 224 Assistant Editor: David Janzen, ext. 225 National Accounts Manager: Laura Goodwin, ext. 221 Controller: Liz Mills Art Direction: JJM Graphic Ltd. Circulation Manager: Shila Naik (905) 272-4175 Publisher: Bruce Meacock, ext. 222 PM:41536047 ISSN 1916-0674 MB (Print) ISSN 1906-0682 MB (Online)

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I’m not sure if summer started out the same in your neighbourhood, but out our way, just west of Toronto, the only people in very high demand early in the season were roofing crews. We had a number of stormy days with high winds and driving rain, so roofs were sprouting blue tarps all over the place . On the mechanical side, we hit a bit of a lull. It’s not that there isn’t any business, there is. It’s just not as busy as desired for the contr actors and suppliers with whom I’ve spoken. But most are optimistic. There are projects on the horizon that have been specified out and are just w aiting to get the shovel in the ground, and the weather change has brought the cooling season, which should get the A/C sector rolling as well. Adding to the optimism is the latest CMHC housing report that predicts a stabilization of housing starts in the 180,000 to 185,000 unit r ange for the next year or two – numbers that they report match demogr aphic fundamentals. In addition to this respectable and viable level of new housing construction, existing home sales are up considerably this year, and those figures are expected to rise again next year. Homes for sale help drive renovation spending. Sellers need to bring their product up to a level that will attract a buyer, and buyers always want to put their own touch on what they’ve bought, both of which help drive the installation of kitchens, bathrooms, furnaces, boilers, and the like. And while we are on the renovation front, there’s a bit more good news. The federal government has announced a reinstatement of $400 million for the ecoEnergy Retrofit – Homes program, a program that was a boon to the mechanical sector previously (see news on page 6), so that should help matters considerably as we aim to enjoy the summertime sizzle . So fire up the van, get the tools ready, and in the meantime enjoy our latest edition, including a look at all things hydronic, our Wet Heat Applications and Technology supplement that starts on page 35.

Notice: Mechanical Business is published for owners, managers and decision makers with mechanical contracting fir ms and the sector's supply chain partners in Canada. While ever y effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Mechanical Business, Content Media Group Inc., its staff, directors, officers and shareholders (‘The Publisher’) assume no liability, obligation or responsibility for adver tised claims, for errors and/or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Manufacturers’ instructions take precedence over published editorial. The publisher reserves the right to publish a printed correction in a subsequent issue for editorial errors, omissions and oversights. Subscriptions are available for $90 plus taxes in Canada and the U.S. Single copies are $15.00. Outside Canada and the U.S., the rates are $150.00 (annual) and $25.00 (single copy).

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From time to time, Content Media Group Inc. makes subscribers’ names available to reputable companies whose products or ser vices may be of interest to readers. If you would like your name excluded from these mailings, please notify the publisher. © Copyright 2011. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission of the publisher. Proud members of:

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Submissions: Copyright in material submitted to the magazine and accepted for publication remains with the author, but Mechanical Business and its licensees may freely reproduce it in print, electronic or other for ms. Mechanical Business also reserves the right to edit said submitted materials to suit the editorial needs and mandate of the publication.



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Energy rebates are back The federal government has finally released details of the $400 million EcoEnergy Retrofit – Homes program that was revived as part of the 2011 budget delivered in June. The program provides up to $5,000 in rebates to Canadian homeowners for renovations completed between June 6, 2011 and March 31, 2012.

From left, Flavia Ceschin and Jo Fallon, of the Lightouse Program for Grieving Children, accept a $1,000 Care to Share cheque from AtlasCare’s Michael Grochmal.

Under the new rules, NRCan requires all participants to register with them prior to a pre-retrofit evaluation. Homeowners with preretrofit evaluations from the previous program can use those evaluations, but will need to register with NRCan.

Celebrating a year of giving AtlasCare’s Care to Share charity program has marked its one-year anniversary. The Ontario-based HVAC firm has donated $1,000 a month to not-for-profit organizations through its Care to Share progr am over the past year. Recipients of the funds are chosen randomly from a list of nominations each month submitted to the company. “The quality of the nominations has astounded us,” says Roger Grochmal, AtlasCare president and Mechanical Business contributor. Registered charities can be nominated online at the AtlasCare website, and past benefitting organizations include the Halton Women’s Place, PAL Reading Service Inc. and the ErinoaksKids Centre for Treatment and Development.

The program applies only to equipment purchased and installed after June 6, 2011, and the government may terminate the progr am prior to March 31, if the full $400 million is exhausted prior to that date . A grant table and full program details can be found on the NRCan website.

Youth let their skills shine

Ontario’s next generation of trades people put their skills to the test in May. More than 1,800 secondary and post-secondary students made their way to Waterloo, Ont., to compete in the Skills Canada – Ontario competition. Adam Bradshaw (pictured) from Toronto’s Central Technical School won the gold medal in the secondary-level plumbing competition. Other mechanical notables included Jeremy Nicholson from George Brown College, who won gold in the post-secondary sheet metal category, and Tyler Radkowski from Bramalea Secondary School in Brampton, Ont., who took gold in the secondary-level refrigeration competition.


Building commissioning standards revised


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Canada has a set of new national building commissioning standards. CSA Standards announced the launch of its Z320 Building Commissioning standard in May. The standard applies to new construction and retrofit projects, and is intended to provide the industry with a process for documenting and achieving improved system performance in buildings, including healthier IAQ. To support use of the standard, NRCan's Office of Energy Efficiency has funded the development of a web-based electronic checksheet application. Stakeholders providing funds for the development of the new standard include the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada, Defence Construction Canada, Public Works and Government Services Canada and the Construction Association of Canada.

HRAI gains eastern and western affiliates

Milwaukee tools on tour “This is by far the most exciting launch of my career ,” said John Myers, vice-president sales and marketing for Milw aukee Electric Tool Canada (pictured) at a tour stop at The Fastening House in Mississauga, Ont., in May. The company has been travelling across Canada promoting its RedLithium line of products to contractors and business owners.

Production resumes at General Wire Spring After more than three months of job action, employees have returned to work at General Wire Spring Company in McKees Rocks, Penn. In early June, General Wire Spring Company, parent company of General Pipe Cleaners, and the United Steel Workers reached an agreement to end the 14week strike that affected approximately 100 employees. David Silverman, executive vice-president of global sales, expressed gratitude to the company’s customers for their patience “during this difficult time in [the] company’ s history.”

Two new chapters have been added to HRAI’s roster. Now in the fold is an affiliated association from the Grey-Bruce region of Ontario, as well as another from Calgary, Alta. In addition to the formation of the two new chapters, a Prairie Regional Council was also established this spring to oversee activities in Alberta and Saskatchewan. “Geographically, the Prairie region separates HRAI members with vast distances, making it difficult for them to all come together for regional meetings ,” explains Julie Berdin, HRAI Contractors Division board member for Calgary. “The formation of a chapter in Calgary could be a model used to start chapters in other major cities within this region, while the formation of a Prairie Regional Council allows members across Alberta and Saskatchewan to voice their concerns regarding issues in the HVACR industry.” In Ontario, Tom Ramage, president of the newly formed Grey-Bruce chapter, explained, “The Grey-Bruce region is a diverse and vibrant region with a strong market force that supports local businesses,” which was part of the motiviation to establish a chapter in the Owen Sound area.

Feeling crude’s effects “The economy has enough behind it to keep going, but lower crude prices would certainly stimulate growth,” said Alex Carrick, chief economist of CanaData, at CIPH’s Industrial Pipe, Valves and Fitting Council networking luncheon. A group of about 60 industry members met in Oakville , Ont., in May, for the session, where guests heard from Carrick, who presented an in-depth look at North America’s economic status, underscoring the effects of the oil industry on the marketplace . “Inflation has moved higher because of commodity prices, especially for gasoline, which is 33 per cent higher than a year ago,” he said. The Looking to hire? council will meet next in November. Check out MB’s online career

section, home of the latest industry job postings.

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† Standard Gas or available Diesel engines. Projected best in class fuel economy based on competitive data available at the time of testing using Ford drive-cycle tests (in accordance with the guidelines of the Society of Automotive Engineers’ Standard J132 *Conventional towing up to 16,000 lbs, or up to 24,400 lbs. on F-450 when properly equipped with 5th wheel/goose neck. Class is Full-size Pickups over 8500 lbs. GVWR vs. 2011 competitive models. ‡Max horsepower & torque based on Super Duty Diese

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


7,070 lbs. payload

DUTY 400 horsepower ‡

LB FT 800 of torque

24,400 lbs. towing

ard J1321) of comparably equipped 2011 Ford vs. 2011 Competitive models. u Maximum payload of 7,070 lbs. (3,207 kg) on F-350 DRW Regular Cab 4x2 when properly equipped. Class is Full-size Pickups over 8500 lbs. GVWR vs. 2011 competitive models. uty Diesel engine.



Tool company partners up HGTV host and friend of Mechanical Business, Bryan Baeumler, has signed a twoyear endorsement agreement with Stanley Black & Decker. Baeumler, who was featured in the November/December 2010 issue of Mechanical Business, is best known for his Gemini-a ward winning television series Disaster DIY.

Don Park president Peter Olierook (right) took up a front-line checkout position during the company’s Sunrise to Sunset sale in Hamilton, Ont. Stewart Hardacre, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada was after some ducting.

Making a difference from sunrise to sunset

Permits and starts up

“They all thought I was crazy when I suggested an all-day sale,” said Peter Olierook, Don Park president and CEO at the company’s third annual Sunrise to Sunset sale held in late June. “But really, it’s a day to have fun, and to raise some support for Habitat for Humanity. Our customers and employees have a great time.” The event ran at Don Park locations across Ontario, where vendors, Habitat for Humanity representatives, food and contests were on site for customers. “Our work would not be possible without the help of companies like Don Park and organizations like CIPH,” said Stewart Hardacre, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada.

Rising 20.9 per cent to $6.4 billion in May, the value of building permits in Canada rebounded from a 21.5 per cent decline in April. Municipalities approved 17,022 new dwellings in May, which is up 10.8 per cent from the previous month. In the non-residential category, building permits rose 50.9 per cent to $2.7 billion. The most recent housing start figures are also showing gains. In May the CMHC reported the seasonally adjusted annual rate of housing starts at 183,600 units, which is up from April’s 178,700 count.

Water closets face installation rejection A number of water closet installs have been rejected in Canada due to code interpretations regarding how the units are secured to the floor. Some water closet models bolt to the floor flange, while others are designed to connect to just the floor itself . As toilet mounting options evolve, the new designs are not alw ays aligning with the interpretation of the 2010 national plumbing code, which implies that each water closet need be attached to a floor flange. However, some models in the market are designed to be bolted directly to the floor. In response, CIPH has requested interim changes be made to the 2010 NPC to include wording that accommodates models that are designed to be fasted solely to the floor, while still meeting all CSA B45.1-08 criteria.

Noble event attracts thousands Approximately 6,000 industry personnel attended Noble’s 2011 trade show, held at the company’s head office and distribution centre in late May. Unika Hypolite (at left in photo), part of the crew at the Uponor booth, was kept hopping with an endless stream of contractors and visitors during the one-day show. Uponor was one of the 160 companies that exhibited at the event.


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© 2011 Masco Canada Limited.


Touch it on. Or go hands-free.




Touch2O.xt™ Technology for the bath. A simple touch anywhere on the spout or handle turns the water on and off. For an even cleaner experience, when your hand moves close to the faucet, Touch2O.xt Technology intuitively activates the flow of water. On display exclusively at trade locations. Another way that Delta is more than just a faucet. For more information, scan the QR code or visit



B&B Trade Distribution recognized B&B Trade Distribution recently received Enertech Manufacturing’s Quarter Million Dollar Club award for sales in excess of $250,000. Tom Boutette, B&B Trade Distribution president, accepted the award from Ron Wright of Enertech on behalf of B&B Trade at Enertech’s distributor meeting this spring. B&B Trade Distribution has five locations across Ontario, and recently opened a 25,000 sq. ft. distribution centre in Oakville.

EnerWorks sale now official EnerWorks and Provision Solar have closed the deal to sell 100 per cent of EnerWorks shares to Provision Solar. The company will continue to operate under the EnerWorks banner and is led by its general manager, Suni Ball. EnerWorks develops and manufactures solar water heating appliances for residential, commercial and industrial markets and has facilities in Woodstock Ont.

HVAC/R student named Orvil L. Davie winner HRAI has awarded $1,000 to a trade student in Ottawa. Roger Trottier, a Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Technician student at Algonquin College is the institute’s latest Orvil L. Davie Memorial Fund recipient. His studies wrap-up in August, and Trottier says he is going to pursue a career in the HVAC/R industry because of the broad skill-set it requires.


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Gary Boettcher of Independent Supply Company presents Roger Trottier with his award at the company’s Ottawa branch in early June.


Movers & Shakers

Dobbin Sales reps two new brands Dobbin Sales has added Sunroc water coolers to its lineup of commercial plumbing products . This follows the recent addition of Neo Valves to the portfolio of the ownership group of Dobbin Sales Ltd. The two companies will continue to operate separately, but will share office and warehouse locations in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Dobbin also reps Neo Valves in markets across Canada.

Go ahead, call us easy.

We’re getting used to it. With

B&B Trade gains geothermal line

wall-mounting bracket, Vigör

B&B Trade Distribution Centre is now the sole Ontario distributor for Hydron Module , an Enertech Manufacturing geothermal product brand.

to install and balance. Strong,

4” top and side ports and new

from vänEE is fast and flexible

powerful and efficient, it’s the

ideal ventilation solution for

Granby acquires boiler manufacturer

any small space.

Now that’s easy.

Steel tank and oil-fired furnace manufacturer, Granby Industries has acquired Pensotti North America (now Pensotti LLC), a manufacturer of boilers and panel r adiators. Sales, manufacturing and customer service for Pensotti will continue from its Brewer, Maine location.

HeatLink enhances market presence Manufacturer’s agency Allan Forrest Sales is now repping HeatLink products in Alberta. HeatLink manufactures products for the hydronic heating and potable w ater distribution industries.

E.S. Gallagher picks up Aprilaire Aprilaire has appointed E. S. Gallagher Sales Ltd. as its representative for Ontario. Aprilaire offers a lineup of IAQ and home comfort products, including humidifiers, air cleaners and thermostats. E.S. Gallagher can be reached by phone at 800-430-6754.

Venstar enters Canadian market Venstar, a thermostat and energy management systems supplier, is expanding its product line into the Canadian market through an exclusive distribution agreement with Trane Canada Co. Both the commercial and residential series of Venstar HVAC products are available at sales locations across the country.

Visit to learn more.

Perfection. Cubed. M e c h a n i c a l

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People in the news S.A. Armstrong Limited has named ALEXANDER G. VAN DER WEERD chief executive officer. He previously served as president, Americas with Belimo Holding AG, and spent 18 years with Carrier Corp.

Uponor has named BILL GRAY vicepresident of sales for Uponor North America. Bill previously was general manager of Uponor Ltd. in Canada, with responsibility for all of Uponor’s Canadian operations. In his new role, he will be based in Apple Valley, Minn., and will continue to lead the company’s sales efforts in Canada and the U.S.

Moen Canada has announced three new territory managers within its wholesale division: (from left to right) JOHN FARINA, TONY HOGAN and RYAN WRIGHT. Each will be responsible for an area in B.C., with Farina overseeing the Lower Mainland, Hogan managing Vancouver Island and Wright administering the province’s interior region. E. S. Gallagher Sales Ltd. has appointed RYAN CARR sales representative for Southwestern Ontario. He brings three years of HVAC experience with him to his new role.

ROBERT EMMELL, a 17-year sales veteran, has joined Wolf Steel Ltd. as North American HVAC sales manager. The company markets HVAC products under the Napoleon brand. Novanni Stainless Inc. has appointed RINO CARONE commercial product co-ordinator. With a background in mechanical engineering design, he brings more than nine years of experience in sales, manufacturing and civil design to his new role.


Belimo has made multiple personnel additions to its customer service and technical support departments. (from left to right) TAMMY-LYNN MARRELLI has joined the company as bilingual customer service manager, and EDITH ROCHELEAU-RODRIGUEZ has taken a bilingual customer service representative position. RICK MOHAMMED is now the company’s senior technical support representative, and KEVIN JEANNOTTE and MUKTHR KARIMI have come to the company serving as bilingual technical support reps .

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Pro Kontrol has added PATRICK DUMAS as a technical representative. He will manage a department within the company’s projects division.

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KEVIN BACHAND (left) has joined B&B Trade Distribution Centre as purchasing manager. BRIAN HIBBERT (bottom left) has also come to the company and will lead its London, Ont. warehouse team as warehouse manager. The company has also appointed KEN BARTLEY to outside sales rep for the Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge territory.

RICK BOUVIER and CHRISTINE HAFFEY have joined Ontarioheadquartered HVAC distributor Redmond/Williams. Bouvier is serving in a dealer support position and Haffey is a sales coordinator, supporting outside sales staff and product managers.

EcoStor2™ SC Solar Indirect System DoubleWall Single Coil Gas Backup Models

EcoStor™ SC Solar Indirect System Single-Wall Single Coil Electric Backup Models

• Uses gas burner for backup when solar energy does not meet hot water demand • Electronic temperature sensor in upper portion of tank allows maximum use of solar power • Double wall heat exchanger located in lower portion of tank optimizes heating performance and provides protection between surrounding water and heating fluid • Atmospheric venting provides easy replacement for existing water heaters

• Single-wall heat exchanger provides fast and efficient water heating from the solar collector • Available with single or dual electric element for backup • Dual element models can provide a full tank of hot water when solar heating is not available

• For open system applications where water from a solar collector is pumped into tank • Directly heats the potable water (no internal heat exchanger coil) • Alternate collector supply and return connections provided for installation flexibility

EcoStor2™ SC Solar Indirect System DoubleWall Single Coil Electric Backup Models • Double-wall heat exchanger allows heated water from a solar collector to flow through the coil and provides additional protection required in certain municipalities and applications • Available with single or dual electric element for backup • Dual element models can provide a full tank of hot water when solar heating is not available

EcoStor2™ SC Solar Indirect System Double-Wall Single Coil Power Vent Gas Backup Models • Same design features as atmospheric vent models but with a powerful, quiet blower motor for venting flexibility

All EcoStor™ models feature an Integrated Mixing Device that allows for higher stored water temperatures and sensor wires for solar thermistor connections. With so many types of solar water heating solutions to choose from, Bradford White is now the center of

EcoStor™ DC Solar Indirect System Dual Coil Heat Exchanger Backup Models

EcoStor2™ SC Solar Indirect System Double-Wall Single Coil Eco-Defender Gas Backup Models

• Dual heat exchanger design provides superior installation flexibility • Allows combination heat source systems to operate independently or simultaneously • Top heat exchanger coil is single-wall; lower heat exchanger coil is double-wall • Typical applications: solar, boiler, wood burner, geothermal or space heating

• Uses the Eco-Defender Safety System® Ultra Low NOx gas burner as backup when solar energy does not meet hot water demand • State-of-the-art radiant burner reduces NOx emissions by 75% • Incorporates the latest advances in technology to meet the most stringent air quality requirements for allowable NOx emissions in the country

Solar Saver® Models


Built to be the Best™ ©2010, Bradford White Corporation. All rights reserved.


your solar system! For full details on the entire line of Bradford White solar water heaters, ask your Bradford White representative or wholesaler for the Solar Water Heating Solutions Brochure.

To Find A Wholesaler Call




Fostering an appreciation of PVF Recently appointed CIPH chair Kevin Fullan has a great appreciation of the importance of the systems and infrastructure that’s behind the scenes, but is absolutely necessary to maintain the quality standard of living that many Canadians take for granted. Among the goals he has set for his year at the helm of the national plumbing and heating organization is to raise the profile of products that are often hidden or overlooked in structures, and to cast a spotlight on the vital role that the PVF sector plays in the lives of Canadians . How did you get started in the industry?

Q A Q A Q A Q A 16

I started with CCTF as the manager for Eastern Canada. I switched careers from the hydraulic and pneumatic world into the PVF world. CCTF was a division of Emco, and I liked that it was a Canadian-owned company. And it was a management opportunity with further potential. How was the transition from the hydraulic sector? It was relatively easy. I came from smaller diameter piping... and there were a lot of valve products. I had an understanding of the concepts of piping, so that made it a little easier. What do you enjoy most about the industry? The diversity of it. We serve a lot of different markets, and it seems like there is something new every week. We work from the waterworks business to petrochemical in the oil patch, to plumbing systems, so it is a diverse industry. Tell me about Flocor, and your role with the company.

its name from Mueller Flow Control in January of this year].


What motivated you to get so involved at CIPH?


As the incoming chair, what are the top three things that you’d like to see accomplished during your tenure?

. The biggest motivation for me is to raise the profile of PVF. When I first started going to meetings, I could probably count on one hand the number of PVF people who were at those meetings. Changes can be more effective when initiated from the inside rather than the outside, so I started to get involved. We now have PVF meetings a couple times a year.

. 1. To raise the profile of CIPH through the newly-formed PR committee. 2. To continue to raise the profile of the PVF sector. One of the things that I w ant to see happen is more involvement in PVF outside of Ontario. 3. To make CIPH more of an international organization. There are more and more international companies making products that our members distribute. International manufacturers are a fact of life.


We are a nation-wide pipe, valve and fitting distributor. We have 17 locations across Canada. We are a regionally-managed company, with five regions. I like to think that I just steer the ship and allow the regional managers to do their job. What’s the biggest challenge that you’ve guided the company through? The IT conversion that we just finished is certainly the biggest challenge that we’ve had since I’ve been with the company. Compared to it, our recent rebranding was a piece of cake [Ed. Note: Flocor changed

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FAST FACTS: Kevin is a die-hard Maple Leaf fan, but tries to keep his enthusiasm in check due to lack of success since 1967 – the last time the Leafs won the Stanley Cup. Kevin is a voracious reader. It is not unusual for him to have three books on the go at any one time. Kevin still plays men’s industrial league hockey. He’s a true team player, switching from forward to defence as the team needs.

Name: Kevin Fullan Titles: Vice-president and general manager, Flocor Kevin is a member at Burlington Location: Stoney Creek, Ont. Golf & Country Club. Age: 56 on July 13th Born in: Toronto Resides in: Burlington, Ont. Joined the industry in: 1995 Association involvement: CIPH, MCAC, CASA, IPVF Council Family: Wife, Cynthia (28 years in December), and daughters Genevieve and Laurelle Education: St. Mike’s in Toronto, Cornell University 0 8 . 1 1

Photo: Dave Chidley


Ask your Raypak distributor/rep about Raypak XFyre™ — our modulating, condensing boiler that achieves 94% Thermal Efficiency at full fire, and up to 99% part load.


By Gord Cooke

Handling commercial This spring our office has had a little rash of calls regarding indoor air quality issues in offices. Two of them highlight many of the common characteristics of the challenges HVAC contractors face in maintaining productive workspaces for their clients. Gord Cooke is a professional engineer who has spent 20 years helping builders and HVAC contractors implement innovative technologies into highperformance homes. He has particular expertise in IAQ and air flow management in houses, and can be contacted at




WORKING WITH TOOLS The best use of measurement tools is often in a comparative mode – the difference between inside and out, the difference between areas where occupants are complaining and where they aren’t, the difference between office spaces and the adjacent warehouse or production facility.


We had a client contact us about an overcrowded and very busy mini “call centre” operation plunked into the middle of much larger general office space. Four hundred square feet housed eight people, with eight computers, a server, communications equipment and hundreds of paper case files stacked nearby.

and then the addition of a ductless mini-split to the area, trials of different filtering options on the main system and numerous attempts at thermostat control – many of these in an attempt to restrict “fiddling” by occupants.

Almost since the operation started over three years ago, workers have expressed concern about the hot, stuffy, dusty environment where they are prone to headaches, eye irritation and stuffed up sinuses. Many describe their head as “feeling heavy.” Absenteeism rates are very high and the issue has been a fixture at the monthly health and safety meetings.

It is the occupants and their activities that are often the source of the IAQ issues. People are often looking for external causes, but in office spaces it is often the people themselves that are generating the heat, dust, volatiles and odours.

Of course, the employer and the servicing HVAC contractor have tried adjustments, starting with increased air conditioning capacity from the main system,


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This case had some familiar themes common with many cases we have been involved with.

The biggest issue is still often “just” temperature and humidity control. As many as 60 per cent of office IAQ complaints are, in fact, associated with an inability to control temperatures and humidity within the normal human comfort ranges. This task is magnified in this example because the sedentary, or at least stationary, workers are very sensitive to the amount of cold air that is being blown around to overcome the heat output from the electronics equipment and the people themselves. In this office in March, the A/C units were running full out and two of the workers have little space heaters running under their desks to keep their feet and legs warm.

• Levels of IAQ • Additional sources of IAQ training CASE #2


PROBLEMS WITH REPURPOSING A recent case of ours was in a very large, threestorey complex that had formerly housed a single company but had just been totally refurbished and repurposed for smaller companies to lease space. The first tenants on the main floor suddenly started to experience very annoying odours, and then three of the 12 tenants found many days when they couldn’t be at work at all. The source of the original odours was tracked down to the leasehold improvements of other tenants moving into the building. This included painting, addition of fixtures, displays, cabinetry and warehouse materials. The workers and staff in the units where work was being done were not affected. However, even when this initial work was ended, those from the other unit who had become sensitized, never felt comfortable working in the building again. During the investigation it was found that there were 12 identical rooftop HVAC/R units, each serving quadrants of the building on separate floors. Each one had a fresh air, economizer section and was controlled by a thermostat in each of the quadrants, although not necessarily to a specific rental unit. This case highlighted common factors of many IAQ investigations, such as: Indoor air quality pollutants in one space can affect people more in adjacent spaces than the people in the source area. Some IAQ issues are sudden in onset, and can be linked to specific activities in and around the workspace. Even when the contaminant source is identified and isolated, people who have become sensitized may react to even very low levels of contaminants. Using “generic” HVAC equipment or HVAC equipment that has been repurposed is often not sufficient in commercial applications. SOLUTIONS

CUES AND CLUES TO POTENTIAL IAQ CONCERNS Use your nose. Many commercial buildings will have strong, distinctive odours from office equipment, personnel and some that are not immediately obvious to occupants because their noses have become accustomed to the odour or they accept the odour as part of the job. Good HVAC technicians should recognize the value of their “fresh” nose and document or report odour to building managers. “Wetting” events in buildings, such as roof leaks, plumbing problems, standing water on the roof or in drain pans, poor maintenance procedures that continually wet surfaces and pervasive musty odours are all important clues to potential biological contaminants in a building and should be investigated. Dust staining or discoloration of ceiling diffusers or adjacent ceiling tiles, unusual or changing dust accumulation of air handler filters, “ghosting” on walls or ceilings may all be signs of airborne pollutants. Fine dust stains often indicate airflow patterns and pressure differences between different areas of a building that could lead to IAQ issues. Pressure differences within buildings are important and technicians should be able to measure them using a manometer or simply by being able to “feel” changes across opening doors or at wall penetrations. Listen and act on the clues offered by occupants. Persistent complaints about temperature or humidity levels, even if measurements indicate all is well, may indicate air quality symptoms that are mimicking thermal comfort issues.


The two sample cases point out some great opportunities for HVAC contractors who are ready to listen and respond to their clients needs. Specifically, adding or modifying equipment to get thorough, consistent control of temperature and humidity levels is often the first step in any IAQ resolution. Air conditioning season can come much earlier in commercial spaces with a lot of indoor heat sources. Specialized equipment that can manage temperatures throughout the year may be needed. Recognizing the pollutant sources and pathways, with simple measurement tools, directs the most cost effective solutions. This can include isolating pollutant sources from occupants through air sealing and managing pressures, and relocating or isolating specific heat sources, like electronic equipment, so the load can be targeted with specific types of HVAC/R equipment. Certainly, matching ventilation loads and equipment with the specific needs of the clients being served has to be given a much higher priority. So while many indoor air quality complaints are solved by fixing temperature control, the proper sizing and distribution of fresh air is usually the next most common solution to office IAQ issues.

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By Phil Boudreau


ith rising energy costs, some equipment owners are starting to look for ways to cut down on their energy consumption. For many companies, the mechanical equipment represents a very significant portion of their plant operating costs. Reducing energy consumption by only a few percentage points can amount to several thousands of dollars in savings. Contractors who are able to accurately identify opportunities for energy savings, and promote these to equipment owners will surely have no problems finding new business. But what, and where, are these opportunities? Actually, there are many places to find energy savings. My past experience leads me to believe that there are many oversized systems, improperly matched systems and even inadequately maintained systems that are costing equipment owners a boatload of money to operate. Let’s focus on opportunities to provide better matching of the evaporator and refrigeration compressor, along with proper evaporator design, location and maintenance.



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Phil Boudreau, is the Ontario sales manager for Bitzer Canada Inc. and also provides training and technical support for Bitzer’ s clientele. Phil is also a refrigeration instructor at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario. Phil may be contacted at

COST-SAVING OPPORTUNITIES Looking for areas that hold potential for improved efficiency? Here are a few things to consider: • Better capacity control techniques • Better air distribution in refrigerated spaces • Better positioning of HVAC equipment • Power factor correction • Improved defrost cycles • Better balancing of heat exchangers to compressors • More effective maintenance programs.

A BRIEF LESSON ON SYSTEM BALANCING When refrigeration equipment is selected, a load calculation is typically performed first. Whether using software or calculating by hand, one of the most important factors that is taken into consideration is the required room or process temperature. However, it is also important to consider the required humidity. Table 1 (page 22) can be used to determine the humidity requirements for different types of products. Note that in order to achieve a lower humidity, a higher air-to-evaporator temperature difference (TD) is required. Conversely, if a higher humidity is required, then these components must be designed for a lower TD. Although lower humidity requirements tend to increase energy consumption, there are many systems in the field that unnecessarily operate at higher TDs. continues on page 22

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continued from page 20

For example, produce coolers should be designed in such a way as to maintain adequate moisture in the product. According to Table 1, a TD of seven to nine degrees Fahrenheit is desirable. This is, of course, assuming that the cooler is properly sealed and has a good vapour barrier in place.

EVAPORATOR POSITIONING Ideally, keep evaporator coils away from door openings that are adjacent to other areas that are held at a higher temperature and/or humidity. The reason for this is that warm, humid air is drawn directly into the coil. The greater latent load on the coil will lead to additional moisture or frost on the fins.

If the system has only one evaporator connected to a compressor, the suction If the evaporator is designed to match the compressor pressure will decrease. In turn, the coil will get even colder and remove more at a higher TD, the room relative humidity will be lower. moisture from the air. As this condition worsens, the compressor is placed at risk due The lower humidity will to the potential for liquid slugging. tend to extract Table 1 If there are multiple coils connected moisture from the to a compressor, the effect may not Recommended Temperature Differences (T.D.) For Perishable Products produce. This reduces seem to be as severe as the overall both the weight and T.D. APPROX. DESCRIPTON RH suction pressure may not decrease quality of the product. by a very large amount. But even if Results in a minimum amount of moisture evaporation during So in order to achieve a storage. Includes vegetables, produce, flowers and only one evaporator is not able to 7-9ºF 90% higher humidity, a unpackaged ice. These products require a fairly high RH level. safely evaporate all liquid refrigerant, larger evaporator is Quick-chill rooms are usually designed for high RH also. the same risk to the compressor required. However, the will be present. Includes general storage and convenience store coolers that kW per ton will be

lower because the system will be more efficient. Generally speaking, it is good practice to design for the highest possible suction pressure and the lowest possible condensing pressure possible.





Includes beer, wine, pharmaceuticals, potatoes and onions, tough-skin fruits such as melons and short-term packaged products. These products require (or can tolerate) a moderate relative humidity.


Includes preparation and cutting rooms, beer warehouses, candy storage, film storage and loading docks. These applications require low relative humidity or are unaffected by humidity.


are used to store packaged meats and vegetables, fruits and similar products.

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A better approach is to have the evaporator coils throw the air towards the door openings. By the time the air returns to the back of the coil, it will be somewhat preconditioned and reduce the amount of moisture collection or frost build-up on the fins.

DEFROSTING AND ENERGY CONSUMPTION Defrost time intervals and durations vary with the application type. Defrost schemes should be set up in such a way as to ensure that the coil remains relatively clear of frost for most of the running cycle. As frost builds up on the fins, it reduces capacity in a couple of ways. Frost is basically a combination of frozen water droplets and pockets of air. Frost actually provides an insulating barrier across the surface of the fins. Additionally, this frost occupies space between the fins where the air passes through. As frost builds up, the insulating value, evaporating TD and energy consumption all increase. In some applications, such as with freezers that operate much colder than the typical 0°F holding freezer, it may be necessary to select an evaporator that utilizes fewer fins per inch (perhaps three or four). In high temperature applications where the latent load is quite large, wider fin spacing is also recommended. This is to prevent the space between the fins from becoming plugged with water.

KEEPING COILS FREE OF DIRT AND DEBRIS Coil cleanliness is equally as important as all of the points mentioned earlier. Dirty coils force the compressor to draw lower suction pressures and low mass flow rates. A lower mass flow rate in this context also means less available capacity. As the saturated suction temperature of a given compressor decreases, its kW per ton increases and the efficiency decreases. It is interesting to note that a decreasing suction pressure has a more noticeable effect than an increasing discharge pressure. A 1°F equivalent drop in suction pressure reduces compressor capacity by twice as much than if the discharge pressure were to increase by the same amount. This is why proper suction line sizing and evaporator selection are so important. Although our focus has been on the effects of evaporator coil sizing and operating parameters on overall system efficiency as it applies to refrigeration systems, several of the statements listed here also apply to commercial/industrial air conditioning units and process systems involving the cooling and dehumidification of air as well. When looking for opportunities in the field, never overlook the potential for upgrading and maintaining evaporators in such a way as to save the equipment owner money. At this point in time, it may not seem like a very important point for equipment owners to upgrade equipment or improve their maintenance programs. However, it is certain to get their attention in the future as energy costs continue to climb. The most proactive contractors will be the ones who will capitalize on this opportunity.

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Setting a new standard for energy efficient, clean air homes M e c h a n i c a l

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By Paul McDonald



hen it comes to sizing a water heater, whether residential or commercial, there are many things to be considered, such as fuel source, space limitations, but the most important factor is to determine the actual hot water needs. When sizing a single family residential application, the requirements of the whole family need to be taken into consideration. This is usually averaged as a family of four, and based on showerhead flow and/or bathtub fill. Then you add for dishwashers, clothes washers, and any additional volume requirements that things such as soaker tubs can present. In commercial residential applications, like apartments, the number of showers or baths, and the flow rate of the shower head or tub

spout will be where to start. Again, if soaker or whirlpool tubs are included, that demand must be considered as well. And if washing machines are involved – whether on-site as single apartment units or in a common laundry room – those need to be factored for, too. If laundry is offsite, that load will not have to be considered. There are many nonresidential commercial applications that have different requirements. Arenas are not the same as restaurants; motels and hotels differ from schools or athletic clubs. Every application is different and has its own unique requirements. There are many applications where either tankless or tank-type products would be appropriate, however,

SIZING COMMERCIAL EQUIPMENT No two commercial applications are the same. Is it residential condo? Is it non-residential? Commercial needs can be for schools or dormitories, arenas or sports clubs, processing plants or dairy barns, restaurants or hotels. The key is determining actual load requirement and how quickly that load is required. For example, an arena with a Zamboni needs a large dump of very hot water once an hour, but also requires tempered water for showers – usually dotted along the outer wall of the arena. It may be more appropriate to install a large volume tank-type heater for the Zamboni, but point-of-use units near the showers.

assess it as though it is a new application until you learn otherwise. If there have been no changes to the site, then direct replacement is often appropriate. Once you’ve calculated the required volume and flow rate, size for the current need. Not for what was needed in the past, nor for what may be in the future, but for the present need.

Also factoring in is whether it is a new application or a replacement. The parameters of use may have changed, so


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Paul McDonald is the director, of sales and marketing for Bradford White-Canada Inc. He can be reached at

there are applications where one might be a better fit than the other. When selecting a product, the characteristics of that product cannot be ignored. Does it require a large gas supply line? Is its recovery fast enough? What is the true stand-by loss of the appliance? Keep in mind, there is no stand-by loss with tankless, and stand-by losses on most tank-type heaters is less than one degree Fahrenheit per hour. Tankless delivers continuous hot water without ever running out, and can fire at rates of up to 199 continued on page 26

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WATER HEATERS continued from page 24 MBH. Some commercial tankless units can fire at higher rates. The flow rate on tankless equipment is determined by the temperature of the incoming cold water, and the temperature required at the end use. This can reduce the flow to the fixture. It should not be a problem with showers operating at less than two gallons per minute, but multiple shower applications may be a different story. Whether traditional tank-type or tankless, there really should not be any difference in the approach to sizing . The end result is to supply all the hot w ater that is required by the customer.

TANKLESS FOR HOME USE Like any application, actual hot water requirements have to be considered when sizing tankless equipment. Just like tanktype heaters, tankless heaters are excellent products when applied correctly. In most residential applications a tankless heater will be able to provide the hot water required.

To properly size a residential tank-style water heater, an assessment of numerous factors will be necessary. Most home builders will install a heater based on assumptions of the average family size and the appliances in the home. Most heaters end up in the 40 to 50 gallon (U.S.) range. If a family is bigger than average there may be a requirement for a larger draw, and the heater might need to be upgraded.

Changes to the home also factor into possible alterations to DHW supply appliances. If there is an addition, like putting a new bathroom into a renovated basement, or if a standard tub is replaced with a soaker tub/whirlpool, or if body showers are added, the requirements for hot water increase. The tank may have to be upgraded. A tankless strategy may also Too large a unit can be inefficient. If too be investigated. large a tank-type water heater is installed,

Don’t oversize

there will be too much water in storage, and consequently it will take more energy to bring up the temperature after a draw.

To provide water at 140°F, similar to a tank-type heater, a tankless heater would provide a flow of around three gallons per minute (based on a 180 MBH firing rate). This is certainly enough to provide hot water to a shower and most fixtures in an average household. If the setting on the heater was lowered to 105°F (most showers operate at 100°F to 105°F), the flow would be around 4.5 gpm. This would certainly allow for use of more than one fixture at a time. Tankless heaters operate on demand, and require a minimum flow to fire. When they do fire, they fire in a set firing pattern, beginning around 15 MBH up to 180 MBH. There are other sizes available, but 180,000 BTUH is common. In some cases the flow, and therefore supplied temperature may not be enough to fill a large soaker tub in a timely fashion, since many tub spouts operate at seven to 11 gpm of flow. In these scenarios a second tankless may be required, or a storage-type heater may be more suitable.

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One of the considerations when sizing for a tankless heater is the temperature of the incoming ground water. In Canada, ground water temperatures can be anywhere from 38°F to 60°F. In the southern Ontario region, 40°F is usually the lowest we’ll see.

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Also, as families age, toddlers become teenagers and the immediate hot water requirement becomes greater.




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All tank-type water heaters, regardless of manufacturer, are considerably more efficient today than in the past. The differential on gas valves now ranges from approximately seven to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The tighter the differential, the more efficient the recovery. When water is drawn from the tank, cold water is provided to replenish the volume. Obviously this cold water, when mixed with the hot, will cool the tank down. Once the temperature has cooled down to the low point set on the valve, the valve will fire and warm the water up to the higher set point. This is the differential. In general, the tank only has to raise the temperature from seven to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. At the same time, all manufacturers make heaters that meet very stringent insulation guidelines, and most provide products greater than the minimum required. Stand-by temperature loss on most heaters is now less than one degree Fahrenheit per hour. This means the tank will not fire for large periods of time when not in use.

Distributed by:



Designed to clear 1-1/4” to four-inch clogged lines with compressed air, the Kinetic Water Ram from General Pipe Cleaners uses no electricity or carbon-dioxide gas to operate. It features a pressure gauge, a four-inch tapered rubber cone, a set of five tapered rubber plugs and a caulking hose.

www. To engage water flow through Brizo’s Venuto pull-down kitchen faucet, users can either touch the handle or spout, or use its handle. Available in chrome or stainless finishes, it offers a flow rate of 2.2 gpm. It is equipped with a magnetic docking system for attaching the sprayer to the spout.


InSinkErator’s Evolution Excel food waste disposer measures 13-1/2” tall and has a 40-ounce grind chamber capacity. The 120 V, 60 Hz unit has a single-phase motor that operates at up to 1,725 rpm. It weighs 25-1/2 pounds and has permanently-lubricated upper and lower bearings.


Featuring balanced piston design, Apollo’s 36E series of water pressure reducing valves are available in 15 to 75 psi, and 75 to 150 psi models. They are offered in 1/2”, 3/4” and one-inch sizes. The valves are designed to function with a maximum supply pressure of 400 psig and with fluid temperatures up to 180°F (82°C).

Axion’s faucet-mounted eyePOD eyewashing device is designed for use in medical offices, educational facilities and laboratories. It features a thermostatic shutoff if water temperatures rise above 100°F and operates between 30 and 90 psi. The unit comes with a standard 55/64-27 threaded connector, as well as three additional adaptors.




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COMMERCIAL VEHICLE ROUNDUP – PART 1 he headline for our Roundup this year has to be the entry of Nissan into the commercial market with its all new NV; a van with a pickup-like front end that they say combines truck comfort and drivability with a cargo van’s capacity and security.


This NV line-up features an NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD. Built as a classic body on frame, these trucks support rising payloads with either a standard height roof (available on all models) or a high roof available on the NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD. Of concern this year, of course, are rising gas prices. These have spawned several fuel-saving initiatives from GM and Ford. On the alternative fuel front, Ford is offering natural gas as an option for Transit Connect, E-Series vans and F-Series Super Duty trucks. Over at Dodge, Ram has taken the Caravan into its fleet portfolio and tricked it out with a new V6 engine and expanded capacities, as well as bringing back the “Tradesman” name in its 1500 pickup, which we will get into when we look at the pickup truck lineups in Part 2 of our vehicle report, coming in the next issue of Mechanical Business.



Ford’s Transit Connect is small but fuel efficient with its twolitre Duratec I4 engine. It’s also largely unchanged from last year – with the exception of an all-electric , zero emission van shown at the Work Truck Show. With a range of up to 130 km it’s being aimed at fleets with well-defined, predictable daily routes. Vehicles are currently being tested this year. No date is set for release yet.

Cab style:


138”, 176”

Cab styles:

Van, Cutaway

Engine sizes:


Engine size:

2L Duratec I4

Power (hp/torque)


Max. Payload:

1,600 lb.

Max. Towing capacity:


Van interior:

167.9 cu. ft.

Door opening:

Rear Height 52.1”

Cargo space dimensions: Dimensions:

Height 59.1” Width 48.1” Length 72.6”

Length: 180.6” Width: 70.7”

225/286, 255/350, 235/440, 305/420

Max. Payload:

3,220, 3,580 or 4,020 lb.

Max. Towing capacity:

6,500, 7,400 or 10,000 lb.

Van interior:

212 to 278”

Door opening:

N/A FORD E-SERIES CARGO VAN E-150 TO E-450 N/A 2011 is the 50th anniversary of the E-series that started service 216 to 261” as the Econoline back in 1961. Commerative badges will be

Cargo space dimensions: Length:

79.4” offered this year.


Ford has also added the E450 to the cuta way chassis’ available as well as making standard (and a vailable) a series of safety features including: airbags, driver and front passenger, side door intrusion beams, AdvanceTrac with RSC (Roll Stability Control), four-wheel disc ABS and Tire Pressure Monitoring System.

Mercedes has taken Sprinter back under its wing and is offering the same diesel-powered vans that were previously marketed by Wheelbases: Dodge. The chief change is the dealer and Cab style: service network. Engine size:

144”, 170” Van body 3L V6 turbodiesel

Power (hp/torque):


Max. Payload:

5,375 lb.

Max. Towing capacity:

5,000 lb.

Van interior: Door opening:

547 cu.ft. max. Side sliding door 51.2” wide

Cargo space dimensions: Height: 65” (standard roof) and 76.4” (high-roof) Width between wheel arches: Dimensions:

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4.6L V8, 5.4L V8, 6L Diesel, 6.8L V10

Power (hp/torque):



Howard J Elmer

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Width: 79.3” Length: max. 289”

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MORE EUROPEAN COMMERCIAL TO COME? Mercedes did it with the Sprinter. Ford did it with the Transit. Will it be long before Chrysler pulls in a bit of European inspiration for its commercial van offerings?

Automotive journalists in Canada and the U.S. have been talking about the potential for a Fiat van or two to make their way across the ocean to be rebranded as part of the Dodge lineup, and it looks like that possibility could become reality as early as the 2013 model year , if their sources are accurate.

• 2011 commercial vans DODGE RAM CARGO VAN

Dodge is now offering a cargo van as part of its Ram brand. This new Ram Cargo Van features solid sliding-door and rear quarter window privacy panels. All vans get an aluminum rear floor and 144 cubic feet of cargo space. With the new Pentastar V6 engine the Ram C/V offers 1,800 lb. of cargo payload and towing of up 3,600 lb. This engine makes 283hp and 260 lb.-ft. of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. A driver-selectable fuel economizer mode is also included.



Cab style:

Van 3.6L V6


Power (hp/torque):


Cab style:

Max. Payload:

1,800 lb.

Engine size:

Max. Towing capacity: Van interior:

3,600 lb. 143.8 cu.ft. max.

Door opening:


Cargo space dimensions:Height: 46.16” Width: 49.03” Dimensions:

Length: 202.8” Width: 78.7”

Chevy Express Cargo Van 2500 & 3500 Wheelbase:

135” 155”

Cab styles:

Regular, Extended

Engine sizes:

4.8L, 5.3L, 6L V8, Durmax 6.6L V8 turbo-diesel

Power (hp/torque): Max. Payload:

258/334, 301/325, 323/373, 260/525 4,187 lb.

Max. Towing capacity: Van interior:

10,000 lb. 319.9 cu. ft.

Chevy Express Cargo Van 1500 Wheelbase:


Cab style:


Engine sizes: Power (hp/torque):

4.3L V6, 4.8L V8, 5.3L V8, 2,329 lb.

Max. Towing capacity:

6,800 lb.

Van interior:


Door opening:

Cargo space dimensions:


Van interior:

239.7 cu.ft. N/A 270.4 cu. ft.

Width between wheel wells:


Cargo space dimensions:



Width between wheel wells:

Length: 239 to 284” Width: 79.4”

The two most likely models to land in North America are the full-sized Fiat Ducato and the smaller Fiat Doblo. The Ducato could take on the larger commercial offerings of Ford, GM and Mercedes, while the Doblo would be lined up against the Ford Transit and Nissan NV line.


Engine size: Power (hp/torque):

4L V6, 5.6L V8 261/281, 317/385

As we stated right off, Max. Payload: 3,858 lb. Nissan is the big news Max. Towing Capacity: 9,000lb this year with an all-new Van interior: N/A entry into the commerStandard Roof: 234.1 cu. ft. cial/fleet business. This full-size van has High Roof: 323.1 cu. ft. three standard-roof body Door opening: Rear width 61.6” configurations, NV1500, Cargo Space Dimensions: Length: 150.2” Width: 70.2” NV2500 and NV3500, Dimensions: Length: max 240.6” Width: 79.9” while a high roof is available on the NV2500 and NV3500. Its standard 4L V6 is a decent compromise between fuel efficiency and power, however a 5.6L V8 is an option. With its pickup-like design there is no “doghouse” intruding into the cab, freeing up space under the instrument panel and between the seats . I’ve driven the NV and found the cab to ha ve good visibility with the corners of the vehicle well defined. The mirrors are large, the steering precise and the turning radius reasonably tight. A nice new van option to check out.

195/260, 258/334, 301/325

Max. Payload:

Door opening:



146.1” Van body

N/A 52.7

Length: 224” Width: 79.4”


General Motor’s vans are benefiting from the engineering work done on the HD pickups this year – such as adding the Duramax 6.6L turbo diesel to the 3500-series. Also, the 4.8L V8 becomes the standard engine on 2500 passenger vans with the 135-inch wheelbase. Also available now is a locking rear differential on all models . StabiliTrak is standard on all van models.

Howard J. Elmer is a PowerSports editor, writer and author, based in Brampton, Ont. He has a transportation, newspaper and radio background, and is a member of the Truck Writers of North America, the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada and the creator of the Canadian Truck King Challenge.

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Patricia Diamente

Roughing it, above the floor


ven for seasoned professionals, relocating a bathtub drain even just a few inches can be a pain: literally in the back and figuratively in the wallet.

Patricia Diamente is the vice-president of brand marketing with MAAX Bath. She can be reached at

SPECIAL, BUT NO LONGER SPECIAL REQUEST Why haven't you heard of this, pardon the pun, groundbreaking advance in bathroom technology? First, understand that it is not really new, just new to the mass market.

If you are lucky enough not to need a jackhammer or sledgehammer to open access to buried wastewater lines, the prospect of cutting wood subflooring, boring through floor joists and mending pipes still looms to eat up your valuable time and wear your patience.

"AFR has existed for as long as I can remember, but it was always a special request or special order from a client," says Hubert Doré, of MAAX Bath Inc. "It is only in the past decade that some manufacturers have been integrating it and promoting as a standard feature in their professional product lines."

Many people know of only one easier alternative – rerouting the waste piping atop floor and enclosing the piping.

Not surprisingly then, some tradesmen, wholesalers and retailers still think of AFR tubs as exceptions to the rule rather than the mainstream game-changers they are. By simply extending a tub's legs to leave three inches of ground clearance for the free flow of piping underneath, then adding a side panel façade to hide the suspension, a new world of possibilities is open to builders, remodelers and consumers.

It surprises even some in the plumbing trade to learn a third option exists that offers installation versatility and ease without compromising looks: bathtubs and shower tubs with built-in above-floor roughs (AFR).

TO AFR OR NOT TO AFR, THAT IS THE QUESTION As the earlier reference to backbreaking work suggests, AFR baths and tub showers are an ideal solution for installation on concrete slabs, such as in basements or condos, when the current drain location may not be ideal, nor easy to change. As long as the floor drain is somewhere under the footprint of an AFR tub, piping can usually be routed without problem from the tub bottom to the waste egress. In recent years, a greater variety of decking and paneling options as well as tub finishes have been introduced to increase appeal to the eye and the touch. However, note that some AFR tubs may have higher side clearance or shallower water capacity than a standard tub because of the raised bottom. Before deciding to go the AFR route, it would be best to take into account who will be using the tub, any mobility issues of the users,


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and how the tub will be used. Will it be for long soaks or quick cleanings? And most AFR tubs will be made of lightweight gel coat acrylic or fibreglass. They won't last an eternity like old-fashion cast iron tubs, but they also won't cost or weigh as much.

with Roger Grochmal

A disciplined approach to sales & marketing It seems we’re making a comeback, but the market is still a little shaky out ther e. How have you changed your marketing and sales tactics to deal with this new landscape? Fred L., Hamilton, Ont.

Roger Grochmal is the president of AtlasCare in Oakville, Ont. To submit a question about your company, business practices, or the industry in general, send an e-mail to Mechanical Business Magazine’s editor, Adam Freill, adam.freill@

As we continue to power through the effects of the recent recession, the subject of finding new business to keep everyone busy dominates our thinking every day. As my son likes to say, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” The phones just don’t ring as much as they used to. We came through a period when prospects would seek us out so they could take adv antage of rebates and tax credits. We became soft. We stopped being aggressive or creative in our advertising. A lot of us stopped advertising altogether.

contractors can afford to advertise effectively in a market the size of Toronto, however we can all afford a very effective website. It really levels the playing field. Google Analytics can provide a report any time you want on the effectiveness of your website. It can tell you how many visitors there were, what pages they looked at, how much time they spent, and what they responded to when they filled out a request form.

We’re in a new world. It’s time to go and get the business, not wait for it to come to us.

Measure, analyze, act An advertising executive once told me, “Only half of advertising works. The problem is we don’t know which half.” As an engineer and a fairly analytical guy, this always bothered me. So I took to measuring the effectiveness of every bit of advertising that we do. For example, I determined that telephone directory advertising was costing us, on average, about $10,000 for every customer we generated from that medium. I have now taken that expense down to $0. That’s right, $0. People still find us, but they get our phone number using internet search engines.


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The biggest challenge we faced was converting a team of sales people from “farmers” into “hunters.” A good farmer will manage an existing relationship and acquire all the business that comes at them from people who know your company. It’s a whole different story with “warm” leads, or when it becomes necessary to gener ate business from people who don’t know you, or your company, at all – the dreaded cold call. This takes a different set of skills and habits, but don’t worry, they are skills that can be learned. Beyond getting comfortable with those skills though, is the discipline required to spend a set amount of time every day on business generation. It can be done, but it takes effort. In addition to a renewed level of commitment to business development, we also took a very different direction with marketing and advertising. We have committed a significant part of our marketing budget to our website. Very few

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For someone like me, this is music to my ears. It allows me to measure the effectiveness of my advertising and promotions (via an increase in website activity) and also the company that does the work for me. Our service provider has lead targets to achieve, and then it’s up to our team to close the business. Our customer acquisition cost has dropped into a good range, and our business this spring is up over last year with no net increase in advertising spending. And given that 50 per cent of our revenues in this period came from new customers, I would hate to think where our business would be if we hadn’t made these changes.

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F E AT U R E S 44ZONING Improving efficiency and comfort Randy Baerg


52RADIANT COOLING Warm spaces, cool solutions Jean-Marie Breault and Jerry Leyte

The heat hand-off specialists


Sizing up the industry’s workhorse John Vastyan

MIXING IT UP with manifolds


Mixing it up, and other advancements Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr

Ian Van Leeuwen Dave Janzen

64QUIZ Test your hydronics I.Q. David Hughes and Warren Hyde

Advancements are all on-board 60CONTROLS

The logic of modulation David A. George

68SNOWMELT – PART II Putting snowmelt to work John Vastyan

72BETWEEN JOIST HEATING Upsides of the underside Eric Riml

P R O D U C T S 56,76,78Hydronics

D E PA R T M E N T S 38Welcome 40WHAT News 50Find the Fix

On the cover: An avid outdoorsman, hydronics specialist Ian Van Leeuwen took over his father’s plumbing business in 2006. Photo: Nat Caron Photography

Content Media Group Inc. 19 – 1525 Cornwall Road Oakville, Ontario L6J 0B2 CANADA Tel: 905.465.2919 Fax: 905.465.2913 Editor: Adam Freill, ext. 224 National Accounts Manager: Laura Goodwin, Ext. 221 Assistant Editor: David Janzen, ext. 225 Controller: Liz Mills Art Direction: JJM Graphic Ltd. Circulation Manager: Shila Naik (905) 272-4175 Publisher: Bruce Meacock, ext. 222 PM:41536047 ISSN 1916-0674 MB (Print) ISSN 1906-0682 MB (Online)




Beautiful, on the inside too Beautiful Heat is official. And it should be a good thing for the industry . The goal of this marketing program is to raise consumer awareness of hydronic heating, and to get end users seeking out the comfort of hydronic heat. But while it is important to ensure there is pull-through demand, the industry cannot forget to preach to the choir once in a while – if for no other reason than to ensure that everyone is singing the same tune. The success of a marketing program lies with properly defining a targeted audience, and with researching and delivering an approach that generates buy-in. But that buy-in won’t go very far if those who will deliver the service and comfort systems don’t ha ve buy-in themselves. At the launch event for Beautiful Heat, the question of marketing the progr am to the industry, at the contractor level, was raised – something that was not part of the original program, but is now on the r adar. Success in raising the sector’s share of the heating market is going to land squarely on the shoulders of those expected to deliver systems that live up to the marketing hype , hydronic contractors. And a good internal (trade) communications program will go a long way to keeping everyone singing the same tune. Until next time,


Notice: Mechanical Business is published for owners, managers and decision makers with mechanical contracting fir ms and the sector's supply chain partners in Canada. While ever y effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information, Mechanical Business, Content Media Group Inc., its staff, directors, officers and shareholders (‘The Publisher’) assume no liability, obligation or responsibility for adver tised claims, for errors and/or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Manufacturers’ instructions take precedence over published editorial. The publisher reserves the right to publish a printed correction in a subsequent issue for editorial errors, omissions and oversights.

Adam Freill, Editor

© Copyright 2011. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without prior written permission of the publisher.

Look to Runtal for INSPIRED RADIANT heating solutions. Comfort, style, durability, versatility and ENERGY EFFICIENCY are the hallmarks of residential and commercial building spaces designed the Runtal way. The worldwide LEADER in standard and custom designed radiators for over 50 YEARS our ENGINEERING ASSISTANCE takes the guess work out of every job. And when it comes to off-the-shelf solutions, you can rely on our IN-STOCK solutions.

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THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE. A simple change in a swimmer’s stroke can make hard work easier. ITT Bell & Gossett ecocircTM domestic hot water, undersink instant hot water and heating circulators deliver the perfect balance of performance and simplicity. • Simple spherical motor design means no shaft and no seal. • Highly efficient, electronically commutated/permanent magnet (EC/PM) motor. • Maintenance-free operation. • Simple to install. • Reliable, affordable and pay for themselves quickly. The answer is simple: if efficiency works harder you don’t have to. ITT Bell & Gossett ecocirc circulators provide the best in efficiency, return on investment, ease of use and reliability. For more information, contact your Bell & Gossett Representative or visit

ITT is the largest pump manufacturer in the world providing system solutions for commercial and residential HVAC, water supply and wastewater applications. ITT maintains one of the industry’s most extensive sales and service organizations to ensure you get the advice and support you need to successfully install, operate and maintain your systems. Bell & Gossett | Goulds Pumps | A-C Fire Pump © 2011 ITT Corporation


Mandating double-walled heat exchangers, for now


Heat exchangers are under the magnifying glass in Western Canada. The City of Vancouver recently published a bulletin requiring the use of double-wall heat exchangers in all systems with visible leak path to potable water, except for those that match a listed exception, which would itself require a backflow preventer. And the province’s code officials and plumbing inspectors also r aised safety concerns about single-wall heat exchangers during a recent teleconference. They are concerned that single-wall heat exchangers do not provide adequate protection against leaks and cross contamination in potable water systems, whether it’s connected to a hydronic heating, or solar thermal system.

Beautiful Heat campaign closer to launch Beautiful Heat, a collaborative hydronic marketing program, is all-systems-go. Beautiful Heat Inc. unveiled its board and participating members at an official launch event in May. The program aims to increase market awareness and growth of hydronic heating technology in Canada by appealing directly to consumers. According to media spokesperson Theresa Kane, the goal is to triple hydronic heating marketshare to 15 per cent. Eleven heating equipment manufacturers are backing the initiative, along with the support of the Canadian Hydronics Council and CIPH. The consumer marketing plan will start this fall.

Taco HQ adds office space Taco held a ground-breaking ceremony at its Cr anston, RI, head office in early June. The company is putting $18 million into a 24,000 sq. ft. expansion consisting of new office space and an updated educational facility. The company’s new Innovation and Development Center will be the site of hands-on training and education in both classroom and laboratory settings, as well as provide space for conferences and business meetings. “With this ambitious project under way, Taco is committing itself further to the growth and success of our employees , our customers and our industry,” said John Hazen White Jr., Taco president and CEO. Taco expects the project to be completed in the fall of 2012.



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In B.C., the 2001 national plumbing code is currently used, which is part of the problem, since backflow and cross-connection updates have since been made with the release of the 2010 national plumbing codes. In response to the City of Vancouver’s bulletin, CIPH has asked that the city recall the bulletin, citing that there is no conclusive evidence that single-w all unit failures have ever led to injury or death. Kevin Wong, who sits on the B.64 committee at CIPH says that the 2010 B.64 codes released last November adequately address backflow and cross-connection concerns. “And this doesn’t just affect hydronic heating and solar applications,” he says. “We are seeing issues with cisterns and greywater systems as well. So until they adopt the 2010 codes, the industry’s hands are basically tied.”




AIR SEPARATOR • HYDRAULIC SEPARATOR DIRT SEPARATOR • LOW LOSS HEADER Over the past couple years we have had unprecedented requests to develop a hydraulic separator with real air elimination and dirt separation capabilities. You know, the features, benefits, and efficiencies of a Spirovent® and what has made it the industry standard that others are still trying to match. Not empty vessels with baffle plates, no optional baskets of random material, and certainly not simple empty vertical headers with an air vent stuck on top.

We Heard You. Spirotherm is proud to introduce the Spirovent Quad, a true hydraulic separator with world class Spirovent and Spirotrap® features in a low loss header. Years of research, development, and testing in many of the world’s hydronic capitals have resulted in a product you can trust, and the one you asked for. We don’t compromise on design so you don’t have to compromise your installations. Since the original design almost 40 years ago, we have tested all the ways to appease the cost reduction gurus, and shortcuts just won’t meet our standards. When you buy and install a Spirovent, you get a world class product backed by a family owned and operated company with factory trained representatives across North America.

The Spirovent Quad is available in the following configurations and construction: 1” thru 11⁄2” in Brass with Female Threads or Sweat Connections and the ability to use different size connections on each side to simplify your piping. 2” through 12” in Steel with Male Threads through 4” or Flanged Connections through 12” in standard ASME construction. All models include the full Spirotube® elements, problem free integral Spirotop® vent head and blow down valve.

A Spiro Enterprises Company Spirotherm, Inc. 25 N. Brandon Drive Glendale Heights, IL 60139 ©2010 Spirotherm, Inc.


630-307-2662 630-307-3773


MIXING IT UP with manifolds T

he manifold is an important part of the distribution system in hydronics. Generally, the manifold splits the flow from the heat or cooling source, and divides it into multiple branches. That’s the basic function. Let’s look at ways to mix it up though... from functionality, to performance, to comfort. Over the years, manifold designs and features have been driven by requests from system designers, suppliers and installers. While a simple means to split the flows is useful, creative thinkers have wrestled with the question of, “Why not expand on that concept?” So today it is possible to find manifolds with a wide array of accessories. They come equipped with multiple ports and connections. And it is also possible to mix and match tube sizes on the ports of a single manifold. And the ability to use various tube attachment fittings is also possible. When connecting PEX or composite tube, options are

generally the use of crimp or compression attachment fittings. If needed, a copper sweat adapter can be used on threaded R-20 manifold ports. Top-of-the-line manifolds are loaded with features like air vents, temperature gauges, isolation valves, flow meters or flow setters, and attached mounting hardware. Powder coated wall cabinets are another popular option that can dress up any installation. One of the more recent advancements in this realm is the addition of a mixing device. By equipping the manifold with a mixing valve, high-temperature water can be sent from the boiler directly to the manifold. This mixing valve could be a basic thermostatic valve, or a valve with an actuator added on. With an actuator attached, the valve can be operated by an electrical signal. Many newer mod-con boilers have the ability to control mixing valve actuators located at the manifold, meaning that the valve could be operated via an indoor, outdoor, or a combination indoor/outdoor input signal, for example. This would allow the adjustment of the supply fluid temperature to the loops to happen right at the point of use. How’s that for convenient?

PUMPED UP A variation on the mixing device at the manifold would be to include a circulation pump as well. This provides some nice benefits. In addition to providing the mixed temperature, the pump will be sized to the load connected to it. This is more practical for performance and adjustability, and provides some redundancy. These mixer-manifolds can be equipped with pressure differential valves to compensate for zones opening and closing. Some brands include a small primary/ secondary feature in the assembly. To optimize performance and efficiency, a delta-t (temperature differential) or delta-P (pressure differential) circulator could be used. With a delta-P circulator, the pressure bypass would be eliminated, and the circulator would adjust to changing loads with the on-board control logic included in the pump. With an ECM motor powering the circulator, electrical consumption can be reduced. And for those looking to keep it neat and tidy in the mechanical room, some of these mixing stations include the electronic controls mounted inside the cabinet.





by Bob ‘Hot Rod’ Rohr

PRO TIP Sure, you could build your own manifolds. If you like sweating joints, using tee-pulling tools, and have lots of time on your hands, go for it. For a clean, labour-saving, money-making, and tried and tested approach, check out pre-manufactured options though.


PRE-MADE, MAKE-YOUR-OWN There are a wide assortment of manifolds available on the market today. And many manufacturers of pre-formed copper tube manifolds will customize their products to fit your application. As such, pre-made manifolds are available with the isolation valves and appropriate fittings to match the job you are on. But if pre-made just isn’t for you, don’t feel as though you have to go with the made-for-you products that are on the market. Some installers still build their own manifolds. All they need are a stick of copper tube and a tee-pulling tool. And there’s no shortage of hand, electric and cordless tee-pulling tools available to help you create your masterpiece.

Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr has been a plumbing, radiant heat and solar contractor and installer for 30 years. A long-time RPA member and columnist, he is manager of training and education with Caleffi North America. You can reach Hot Rod at

THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT With the manifold’s output regulated at the point of use, multiple manifolds could supply different temperatures within the building. This would allow the installer to run multiple different temperature zones. Perhaps a high-temperature manifold could be installed for fin-tube or panel radiators at one location, while additional manifolds could run reduced-tem-

ZONING FOR HARMONY Did you know that one of the most contentious issues in an office environment is the inability to modulate indoor temperatures for individual workers? Zoning goes a long way to making people happier at work – and at home too!

perature fluid for low-temperature zones like in-floor heating. The variations are endless for blending temperatures and balancing flow rates at the manifold. This is how to achieve maximum comfort for customers.





System design

ZONING IN ON comfort and efficiency



ZONE STRATEGY A big part of planning is deciding which areas should and should not be separated into individual zones. The building owner and occupants should be consulted to help determine how to assign zoning. When creating a zone plan, consider these important points: 1. Identify areas that require different room temperature, schedules or usage. 2. Identify areas with different heat gain or loss input. 3. Strike a balance between the benefits of zoning versus the cost of zoning. 4. Avoid micro-zoning. Very small zones can create small random loads on the boiler, which can lead to short-cycling, reducing the boiler’s efficiency and reliability. 5. Deploy a good control strategy, such as zone synchronization.

t used to be enough that a hot water, or ‘hydronic’, heating system had a boiler, some pipes running through the building, some heat emitters and a single thermostat to turn it all on and off. While it delivered heat, it resulted in varying complaints from occupants about temperature control and cost. Central heating was no longer providing the desired comfort or efficiency. With advances in techniques and technology came a better way to customize the delivery of heat, a better way known as zoning. In modern systems, zoning has become a common practice. Separating piping and heat emitters, and installing thermostats into zones within the building, allows for independent, controlled heat delivery into the individual areas. Systems can be designed to accommodate multiple zones, which make the control and operation of heating each zone very flexible, allowing for more customized temperature control. Zoning provides many benefits including improved comfort and improved efficiency through better control of heat delivery. According to ASHRAE, zoning can improve efficiency by 15 to 30 per cent over a central control.

By Randy Baerg Randy Baerg is a customer support specialist with tekmar Control Systems. He has spent the past 10 years supporting and teaching contractors and designers to get the best performance out of their systems. He can be reached at customerservice@

There are six basic types of heat emitters: radiant floors, both high and low mass; fancoils; fin-tube convectors; radiators; and baseboards (commercial cast iron). All these types can be zoned by running separate supply and return piping to the heat emitter, or group of emitters. The flow of hot water to the individual zone is controlled by turning a pump or circulator on and off, or by opening and closing a zone valve(s). Both methods of zoning, using either pumps or valves, can work well. When using pumps, turning the pump on or off controls the flow. Size the pump to provide the required flow rate (GPM) given the head loss of each zone. Each zone will also require a check valve; many of the newer pumps have these built right in. When using valves, a valve that is open or closed controls the flow. Size the valve for the piping and the flow volume required. Valves can be fast-acting motor type or slow-acting thermal type. Make sure that the flow rate (GPM) is at or below the Cv rating of the valve. Systems using zone valves still require pumps. A basic system can use a single continued on page 46

ZONING WITH VALVES With zone valves, if only a few micro-zones are open, then only a small fraction of the pump’s total flow rate is required. With a standard pump this can lead to excessive noise, too high a fluid velocity, and premature valve and pump failure. There are two solutions to this.

The Cv rating is the maximum GPM flow rate at a one psi pressure drop.

The first is to install a pressure differential bypass valve. It monitors the pump pressure and modulates position to accommodate the variation in zone loads on the pump. The lower the required flow rate for the zones the more it opens to bypass flow from the supply to the return piping. The other option is to use a newer style of pump that can adapt its output to variations in the zone load. These types of pumps eliminate the need for the bypass valve and use less electricity as well.








FLYWHEEL EFFECT When the thermostat turns off the zone, even though the flow of hot water is stopped to the heat emitters, they will still be at an elevated temperature and will continue to emit heat to the space for some time. Emitters with higher mass, such as radiant floors or cast iron rads, have more stored energy, and as such will give off heat for a longer time as they cool. This is often referred to as the flywheel effect, and can lead to the zone overshooting the set temperature. The thermostats that are chosen to control the zones should take this into account in their operation, and should be equipped with features that help prevent overshooting, such as adjustable heat cycles and proportional-integral (PI) logic.

system pump. Alternatively, there may be zone valves grouped together, usually based on piping, proximity and/or supply temperature. This group of zones, perhaps in a remote manifold, is then served by a “zone group pump.” The system or zone group pump will need to operate whenever any zone calls for heat. Size the pump to provide the flow rate (GPM) required by the zones. Now that the system has been separated into individual zones we can control the delivery of heat independently. This is

typically done through the installation of a zone thermostat. The temperature within the space can be controlled and adjusted to allow for personal customization, such as comfort, varying usage and different schedules. It also allows the thermostat to shut down heat flow when the room is experiencing over-heating due to solar or internal heat gain. Many modern hydronic thermostats have features like Proportional - Integral (PI) logic and adjustable or “automatic heat

cycle” lengths. This allows the thermostat to pulse the heat on and off within the cycle to provide more even room temperature with less over (and under) shoot. These thermostats are most often wired to a control that provides power for the thermostats and the zones. The zone control will power the zone pump on, or power the zone valve open, whenever the zone thermostat calls for heat. These controls simplify and speed up the wiring and installation, and also make troubleshooting much easier. They usually have LEDs to indicate power and zone operation, and may provide additional outputs for system and zone group pumps, boiler calls, and communication to other devices. There are many other features available in modern controls that can help a zoned system work even better. Features like outdoor reset, indoor temperature feedback and zone synchronization can optimize the operation of the heating system for greater efficiency and reliability.

Save time and save money. That’s what HPSI hydronic manifolds do.

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We take the guess work and manifold fabrication time out of every job, leaving you time to get the system up and running smoothly ... and on to the next project. Every CSA-certified HPSI panel is predesigned, pre-assembled and fully tested to meet your specifications. Whether you choose one of our many standard-engineered stations, or a custom design, our panel systems give you professional looking results and no manifoldrelated call-backs to worry about.

Talk to us before your next project, and be sure to visit us online. HPSI – Hydronic Panel Systems Inc. 12A – 50 Paxman Rd. Toronto, ON M9C 1B7 Tel: (416) 845-2587 Fax: (416) 622-5127 46





INDOOR TEMPERATURE FEEDBACK & ZONE SYNCHRONIZATION Advanced control features help optimize system operation. Outdoor reset considers the outdoor climate and lowers the water supply temperature during warmer weather and raises it during colder weather. Much of the year the supply temperature will be lower than full design temperature. This better matches the delivery of heat in relation to the heat loss, reducing fuel consumption and improving comfort. Indoor temperature feedback takes this concept one step further by allowing individual thermostats to communicate

Hydronic WEB


to the boiler reset control to further optimize/lower the supply water temperature. Zone synchronization can be found in advanced communicating thermostats. The call of all zones can be synchronized together with matched cycle lengths and harmonized start times. This provides a larger and less random load on the boiler, which can greatly reduce boiler short cycling, thus mitigating the negative effects of micro-zoning.



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Contractors who regularly visit the Camus website know exactly what they can expect to find. Everything. Every product in the Camus portfolio is cleanly and clearly presented. Detailed technical specifications for every boiler are provided and complete Engineering Submittal Sheets are available for easy download. Information on the company’s Camus Certified program, links to participating Green Programs, FAQ’s and an easy-to-use rep finder round out this user-friendly website. Be sure to visit today. Telephone 1 800 289 3797

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w w w. c a m u s - h y d r o n i c s . c o m WHAT




Heat exchangers


The heat hand-off specialists


FLOW PATTERNS There are three typical flow arrangements to consider with heat exchangers, parallel, counter and cross flow. Parallel and counter flow patterns are both inline flow patterns where two fluid streams flow in the same plane. Cross flow uses two different planes of fluid flow. PARALLEL In this heat exchanger, two fluids enter the exchanger at the same end, and travel in parallel to one another in the same direction to the other side. In this case, the two fluids enter the unit from the same end with a large temperature difference. As the fluids transfer heat from the hotter fluid to the cooler one, their temperatures start to approach one another. COUNTER

Typically, a boiler provides heat via closed-loop pipes and tubing to radiators, baseboards, fan coils or radiant loops and panels to any number of enclosed spaces. But what if heat’s also needed for a pool or spa? Or for a domestic water tank or snowmelt loop? Or, in an industrial setting, process heat? In cases like these, the closed-loop source fluids can’t be allowed to mix with open-loops or, in some instances, chemical or antifreeze solutions. Heat exchangers were invented for applications like these.

Two fluids enter the HX from opposite directions and travel against one another. Because the cooler fluid exits the counter flow heat exchanger at the end where the hot fluid enters the heat exchanger, the cooler fluid will approach the inlet temperature of the hot fluid. Counter flow heat exchangers are the most efficient of the three types.

THE SIZING GAME According to Taco’s Gary Brougham, heat exchanger sizing is now most often performed with

CROSS In this type of heat exchanger, the fluids travel perpendicular to one another through the exchanger. One fluid flows through tubes, and the second fluid passes around the tubes at 90° angles. These units are usually found in applications where one of the fluids changes state. An example is a steam system's condenser, where the steam exiting the turbine enters the condenser shell side, and the cool water flowing in the tubes absorbs the heat from the steam, condensing it into water.

specialized software. “Typically, specifiers or installers will first need to know flow, temperature in and temperature out, with five of six inputs to size a heat exchanger properly,” he says. These can be summarized as: Side A – flow

Side B – flow

Side A – temperature in

Side B – temperature in

Side A – temperature out

Side B – temperature out

“Invariably, one of these inputs will ‘float,’” says Brougham. Some additional information that will help ensure that a proper size unit is selected include the pressure drop and fouling factor. Knowing the allowable pressure drop is very important, particularly in hydronic applications when dealing with relatively low head circulators. The fouling factor is the degree of contamination the transfer medium can undergo and still perform as specified.





By John Vastyan John Vastyan is president of Common Ground, a trade communications firm based in Manheim, Penn., that specializes in the hydronics, radiant heat, plumbing and HVAC industries.

MAKING A SELECTION “To select the right heat exchanger for an application, installers will need to know what kind of heat exchanger is best for the job,” says Gary Brougham, applications engineer for Taco Canada. “For instance, at one jobsite a titanium heat exchanger could best serve water quality issues, while stainless steel heat exchangers may be best suited to fan coil or snowmelt systems that contain a glycol antifreeze mix.” Heat exchangers are classified according to flow pattern (see sidebar) and construction. The key types of heat exchangers are plate type, which includes brazed plate and plate and frame units; and shell and tube heat exchangers that can either be U-tube, or straight-tube. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

KEEPING THE WORKHORSE RELIABLE Fouling and scale are two of the most common problems faced with the use of heat exchangers. Some water or fluid sources contain high mineral content or pollutants that, when they come in contact with a heated surface, will deposit layers on HX surfaces, reducing heat transfer performance. When this happens, heat exchangers should be cleaned. For large scale operations, water treatment such as purification, addition of chemicals and testing will help to minimize fouling. Another concern is corrosion. Knowing in advance what type of fluid will pass through the HX will help to avoid corrosion issues. According to Taco’s Gary Brougham, the presence of chlorine and the infiltration of salty brine into well water are among the most common water quality issues that can challenge the performance of heat exchangers. “Nine times out of 10, if there are problems with a heat exchanger, water quality is the issue to deal with,” affirms Wade Roberts of Roberts Technical Services.

PLATE The most common type of heat exchanger includes corrugated plates mounted and fastened together within a frame. Plate HXers – gasketed, brazed or welded – are ideal for applications where temperature and pressure demands are not that high, and where there’s minimal particulate debris or mineral content within the fluids. Brazed plate heat exchangers are the most widely used device for isolating hydronic heating circuits. Units typically range in size from 15 to 1,200 MBH (with 140°F supply). The amount of heat transferred is dependent on the delta T. It also depends on the other key variable, the volume of fluid moving through both sides of the heat exchanger. Brazed heat exchangers are compact and lightweight. They’re ideal for applications like swimming pools, spas, radiant floors, domestic hot water and snow and ice melting. “I prefer plate heat exchangers for whenever they can be used,” says hydronics expert Wade Roberts, president of Hamilton, Ontario-based Roberts Technical Services, a specialty wholesaler. “With just one cubic foot of heat exchanger, you can accomplish 1 million BTUs of heat transfer, or more. That’s a lot of performance in such a small space.” Roberts’s company recently supplied a heat exchanger for a home where non-barrier radiant tubing was installed. To provide heat, and to separate the radiant fluid from the boiler’s closed-loop fluid stream, the contractor repairing the system installed a brazed plate HX. In this way, oxygen-contaminated radiant heat fluids were isolated.

PLATE AND FRAME These heat exchangers consist of a number of corrugated stainless steel plates assembled in a frame and bolted between two pressure plates, one of which is fixed and the other adjustable.

SHELL AND TUBE, OR U- AND STRAIGHT-TUBE Consisting of stainless steel tubes inside a carbon steel shell, these heat exchangers are ideal for commercial and industrial applications with extremely high flow rates, temperatures and pressure loads. “They’re also recommended for handling contaminated liquids with particles that would normally clog-up the small channels of plate-type heat exchangers” adds Brougham. “Shell and tube heat exchangers require more ‘real estate’ in the mechanical area, but if it’s known that water quality issues will mean routine maintenance, they’re best suited for it.”





Condensing Confusion

Answer and win! NOW EVEN EASIER TO WIN! We’ve changed the format for our find the fix puzzle to make it even easier to win. Just send us your answer key to this month’s puzzle, by August 25 and you could find yourself holding a shiny new M12 Hammer Drill, courtesy of Milwaukee Electric Tool. Send get your answers to and the sub-compact cordless tool could be yours.

Congratulations to Peter Wesoly, a service technician with Shipton's Heating & Cooling Ltd. in Hamilton, Ont., our March/April winner. He’s the proud new owner of a Milwaukee M12 Hammer Drill. Be sure to pick up the next edition of Mechanical Business to see who claims the next prize, and for the next edition of Find the Fix!

The owners of a new 5,000 sq. ft., two-storey have decided on a hydronically heated home. They are looking for infloor heat for the basement, and a hot water air handler with air conditioning for the rest of the house. The total heat loss is about 119,000 BTUH. Their contractor has selected a wall-hung 95 per cent efficient modulating condensing boiler to save space, and add an 80 gallon indirect on priority to supply their DHW needs. A simple piping arrangement is designed that allows for future expansion for a small pool, or maybe some snowmelt for the driveway.


The near boiler pipe size should be 1-1/2” – Bigger is always better. 1-1/4” – Because you have some left over from another job. 1” – The same size as the boiler connections. It doesn’t matter, just use a pump with higher head.

2. Assuming a starting temperature of 50°F, the 80-gallon tank will take approximately how long to get to 140°F before it shuts off? a) 10 minutes. b) 25 minutes under normal priority load. c) 1 hour. d) About 40 minutes if the boiler is running at 95% efficiency. 3. What would be the size of the piping going to the air handler to get maximum output at a 20°F delta T? a) 3/4” – Same size as the fittings. b) 1/2” since it is a high output air handler. c) 1” is fine. d) 1-1/2” since you are trying to get 133,000 BTUHs out of it. e) It doesn’t matter if the main boiler piping is sized right.





4. The proper sized pump for the boiler would be: a) About 12 gpm and enough head to overcome the loss in the system. b) About 12 gpm and 12 feet of head. c) Whatever the manufacturer recommends. d) A three-speed pump set on high, that’s always worked in the past. 5. The boiler has two temperature settings, one for DHW and one for heating that can be reset. The infloor heating doesn’t need a mixing valve because: a) The thermostat shuts off early if the floor gets too warm. b) The outdoor reset will keep the temperature to the floor low enough. c) You should always have mixing valves on a threetemperature job like this. d) The owner didn’t pay enough for the mixing because the builder made you cut your price to get the job. e) Why does the floor care what temperature water you send to it, with this piping set up, you may never even get water to the floor.

Looking for the answers? The answer key for the May/June quiz is: 1-A, 2-B, 3-E, 4-D, 5-B If you need the quiz, check it out in our issue archive at Jeff House is an experienced industry professional and hydronics trainer. He handles the sales territory from the Niagara region to the Greater Toronto Area for Jess-Don Dunford, a manufacturers’ rep in Ontario. He can be reached at

Radiant Cooling

C solar MBATING gain in atriums G

lass is not a very good insulator, typically landing around an R2 (RSI 0.35), and the price of materials goes up exponentially as it gets towards R4 (RSI 0.7), so addressing solar loss and gains due to windows is a reality if comfort is the goal. That’s where a good radiant system can come to the rescue. For buildings that want to ensure that occupants can see the majestic scenery (or blue sky), radiant floor heating and cooling is often chosen, since it has the ability to turn situations of “too hot” or “too cold” around, making it pleasant to enjoy the view. In summer, sunny windows with large surfaces become infrared emitters that behave like radiant heating surfaces. Radiant floor cooling can be used to absorb this infrared heat to counterbalance its effect, and to re-establish local comfort. An atrium typically has a large proportion of outside glass, from floor to ceiling, perhaps two floors high, or higher. A person in the space has a large “vision angle” of the glass. The greater this vision



By Jean-Marie Breault and Jerry Leyte

RADIANT IN ACTION IN MONTREAL SITE STUDY: LONGUEUIL-MONTREAL CAMPUS ATRIUM OF UNIVERSITY OF SHERBROOKE The Site: The new Longueuil Campus at the University of Sherbrooke, which officially opened in February 2010, is a unique vertical campus located on Montreal’s South shore. Recognized for its design, it was awarded one of the top 10 Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence in 2007. The building was completed in the fall of 2009 and includes an impressive glass atrium that connects the campus building to the adjacent ATM Bus Station and Longueuil Metro Station. The $125-million complex accommodates 3,000 students, with classrooms, labs and offices for several faculties, including medicine, engineering and law. The System: Incorporating radiant heating and cooling into the atrium area of the Longueuil Campus at the University of Sherbrooke presented a few challenges. The system has to accommodate high winter loads along the windy south shore, and also sufficiently deal with summer humidity conditions, and strong summer solar load. The atrium is all glass on the south and north walls, as well as the roof and the top portion of the east wall. A total of 8,760 ft2 of radiant floor space was used to heat and cool this atrium area. Radiant loops of 5/8” tubing provide 26 BTUH/ft2 of radiant floor heating and up to 12 BTUH/ft2 of radiant floor cooling while maintaining an operative temperature of 72 to 75°F (22 to 24°C). The radiant design was optimized for condensing boilers using a low radiant supply water temperature of 115 °F. The system was also optimized for mechanical chillers with the least amount of chilling load using a relatively high chilled water temperature of 55°F.



angle, the more heat (radiant gain) the person will experience. As they move away from the window, the angle from which they receive heat from the window is reduced, as is the amount of radiant gain they experience.


Radiant floor cooling (and heating) also has a large â&#x20AC;&#x153;vision angleâ&#x20AC;?. Since the person is standing directly on the cooling element, the cool floor will absorb both body heat, as well as the heat from the window, making them feel cooler. Because radiant gains are higher closer to the window, the use of perimeter radiant floor cooling is more efficient than cooling floor areas inside the perimeter area.


A second factor has to do with the greater surface temperature difference. A warm window versus a cool floor produces more radiant exchange, enabling more radiant cooling power.



The heat transfer coefficient is higher for the portion of the floor that is closer to the base of the glass. It is advantageous to design, especially for atriums, with extra water flow and cooler water along the walls to enable the hydronic power to absorb this heat, with closer attention to glass corners. Radiant cooling slabs with thin concrete toppings can react quickly, and can even transport the morning heat from one side of the building to the other cooler side. Thicker concrete will also absorb direct solar heat, and lots of it, but the hydronic system will take that heat away, which could enable the use of a smaller chiller.


ZZZIXMLWVXJHQHUDOFRP More on Radiant Cooling on page 54





C solar MBATING gain in atriums continued

Jean-Marie Breault, Ing, P.Eng., is an applications engineer, technical services, with Uponor Ltd. and Jerry Leyte P.Eng., MASc., is the company’s commercial sales engineer, for radiant heating and cooling in Canada. They can be reached at or

HANDLING RADIANT LOADS Typically, radiant cooling loads of 12 to 14 BTUH/ ft2 can be met with supply water temps (SWT) of 55 to 58°F. For areas with high solar gain, such as atriums, cooling loads of 25 to 32 BTUH/ ft2 can be reached.

Direct Solar Loads

Several techniques and technologies can be used to optimize radiant cooling systems. 1- The use of outside doors with air locks (or air curtains). These minimize the amount of unconditioned air that enters the space and will help to control humidity levels. 2- Multiple zoning of the radiant system. This makes it possible to deliver different water temperatures to handle different operating conditions at the same time, such as dealing with areas experiencing solar gain and those without solar gain. 3- Use a tube spacing of between six and nine inches. Tighter tube spacing allows for higher cooling SWT and also minimizes the effect of cold spots – especially in areas with high occupancy. 4- Incorporate controls as part of the BMS (Building Management System), and allow for gradual increases in the ventilation ambient temperature set point along the floor. During the day, the thermostats can gradually reset from an operative temperature of 70°F in the morning to 78°F at the end of the day. This is typical of radiant cooling operations, where the technique of creating a greater and greater differential between the floor surface temperature and the operative temperature increases the radiant cooling effect.

RISING AIR AND STRATIFICATION A warm window panel will cause rising air currents at its boundary surface, which will cause hot air stratification towards the ceiling, unless ventilation is present to exhaust it or cool it. It is also worth noting that if this floor is also providing radiant heating in the winter, it will advantageously counteract the downward cool air drafts along the cold windows to quickly re-establish comfort, and even heat the glass to reduce these downdrafts.

5- Consider the floor coverings. These can greatly affect the amount of cooling capacity of a radiant floor. For example, a polished concrete floor will allow double the cooling capacity of that same floor covered with commercial grade carpet. 6- Ensure that your control system can maintain a surface temperature that is two or three degrees (F) above the dew point temperature of the air. This prevents the possibility of condensation on the cooled surface. 7- Keep the radiant tubing in the floor within two or three inches of the surface. Doing this will ensure a fast response time for the slab. If the tubing is buried too deeply, it increases the chances of overcooling the slab to get the desired surface temperature. Overcooling would increase the condensation potential.





ADDRESSING NATURAL VENTILATION A good control system is required to watch over opening windows, where natural ventilation will bring high-humidity air. Dew point sensors can be used to turn off the radiant cooling system, when necessary, to avoid condensation on the floor.

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HYDRONIC High-efficiency boiler Triangle Tube’s Challenger boiler features a cast aluminum heat exchanger with separate copper boiler and DHW waterways. It is available in three models sized between 84,000 and 124,000 BTUH, is rated 96 per cent AFUE, and has direct-spark ignition. The unit has one-inch NPT inlet and outlet connections.


Geothermal heat pump Featuring an ECM blower motor, the HydroHeat Mega-Tek geothermal heat pump from GeoSystems comes standard in upflow or back-return configurations. The unit is available in four to six ton sizes and features a two-stage compressor. It operates with flow rates up to 14 gpm and is rated up to 4.2 COP efficient.

Polypropylene pipe Constructed using more than 98 per cent polypropylene, Climatherm piping from Aquatherm Inc., is available in 1/2” to 24” diameter sizes. It is designed to be joined using heat fusion, and offers an insulation Rvalue of one. The pipe is compatible with the tools and fittings used with the company’s Greenpipe products.



Condensing commercial boiler Lochinvar’s Crest condensing boiler offers a turndown ratio up to 25:1 and is available in 1.5 to 3.5 million BTUH models. Depending on system demand, the unit can operate at flow rates between 20 gpm and 350 gpm. It offers thermal efficiencies up to 99 per cent.

Answers: 1d, 2a, 3b, 4b, 5a, 6d, 7b, 8d, 9a



Combo heater The Combi1 series of residential gas-fired combination space heating/DHW tanks from Bradford White-Canada Inc. are available in atmospheric- or power-vented models. Sized up to 76,000 BTUH, the 45 and 72 gal. units feature an integrated mixing device for water temperature adjustment. They offer up to 10 gpm of flow with less than five feet of head loss through the heat exchanger. Propane models are also available.

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By David Janzen

Photo: Nat Caron Photography

Whether it involves work or play, for Ian Van Leeuwen of Division 15 Plumbing in Barrie, Ont., being outdoors is a big part of life. When he’s not busy with a work-related project, you’ll find this plumber and hydronics specialist deep in the woods hunting, fishing or camping. In a recent solar thermal install in Northern Ontario near Lake Nipissing, his job site also happened to be his family’s favourite spot for camping, Restoule Provincial Park. We caught up with Ian before he ventured out in response to his next call of the wild.

Name: Ian Van Leeuwen Company: Division 15 Plumbing Inc. Title: President Resides in: Lisle, Ont. Age: 42 Family: Wife, Raychel, daughters Brittnee and Morgan, and son Dylan Pet: Dog named Dexter In the mechanical industry since: 1987 Trade School: Conestoga College



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What brought you to the trades? “My father Jack. He used to bring me along when I was young to help him.” Favourite thing about the job: “You are always meeting new people, and there’s always lots of variety in the work.” Time behind the wheel per day: Up to four hours. Kilometres logged per day: 20 to 400 Service vehicles: Dodge and GM cargo vans and half-tons Any area you like to get dispatched to, and why: “The further north the better. I am not big on city tr affic.” Recent job: “Restoule Provincial Park, which is south of North Bay. We installed a comfort station with washrooms, laundry facility, general exhaust, and seven Buderus domestic hot water solar panels that supplemented three Bosch 300,000 BTUH instantaneous water heaters.” WINTER WORK Were there any interesting challenges working up north? “Cold weather was a challenge as it started in November and went through the winter. The general contractor devised a plan for temporary heat that involved us installing floor heating in the new concrete slab (about 1,100 sq. ft.) and utilizing a portable diesel-powered boiler. These boilers are usually used for ground thaw applications. This allowed them to pour the slab when it was negative 22 degrees outside and kept the project warm throughout the winter. The floor tubing was abandoned in the slab after the cold weather left.” What often gets overlooked when estimating a project? “Allowing enough labour to install the system correctly.” What have you seen, on the efficiency front, that can be improved? “I see a lot of residential and some commercial hydronic sys-

tems that have been installed with all the latest technologies. Most of them are not insulated to maximize efficiency and very few have proper filtration or chemical treatment to protect the equipment so it can run more efficiently. And proper system balancing is key.” What advice can you offer to make hydronic installs go smoother? “Pre-job planning, consisting of a thorough review of shop drawings, labour hours allowed, and cut sheets for equipment with everyone involved.” Favourite tool in your toolbox: Milwaukee Sawzall

Favourite car: Magnum P.I.’s red Ferrari 308 GTS

Golf, walk or ride? Walk Any complimentary rounds of golf after plumbing Mad River Golf Club? “No, no free rounds of golf at all.” Favourite local haunt for lunch: C.W. Coops in Angus, Ont., for chicken wings

Favourite band: Alexisonfire

Favourite food: Bacon Last book you read: The Snow Ball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder

Best concert you ever attended? AC/DC, For Those About To Rock

If you were granted one wish: “I would wish for a cure for cancer to be found.”

Favourite movie: Red Dawn

Biggest pet peeve: “Government waste.”

Favourite fishing spot: Key River, Georgian Bay

What radio station do you listen to during the day? Rock 95, Barrie

Spinning tackle or fly-fishing? Spinning tackle

One place in the world you would like to visit? “Machu Picchu mountain in Peru. It looks amazing!”

Best place to go camping: Restoule Provincial Park Tent, or tent trailer? “We did a decade in the tent, but have recently upgraded to a travel trailer.”

If you could have lunch with any celebrity, who would it be? Warren Buffett One word that describes you: Quiet

Favourite sport: Hockey. “I play goalie.”

The best advice somebody has given you is: “Live each day to the fullest.”

Favourite outdoor activity, aside from hunting, fishing and camping: Golfing

If I had a million dollars... “I wouldn’t be self-employed.”

Favourite golf course: Tangle Creek Golf Club, Barrie

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a... “plumber.”

Favourite golfer: Tiger Woods W H A T

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Advancements are all on-board

On-board boiler control technology has made dramatic advancements in a few short years. Controls have become smarter, leaping out of the dark ages and into an era of complex boiler operation. In fact, smart boiler controls have advanced beyond boiler operation and into related operations, such as the management of multiple boilers, boiler pump and system pump control, domestic hot water production, and more.

Watching from the outside

Follow the leader

Outdoor reset changes the setpoint temperature based on outside air temperature. As the outside temperature drops, a reset curve in the control logic will increase the setpoint temperature. This puts higher water temperature in the heating system to offset the greater heat loss created by the lower outside air temperature.

Multiple boiler operation was a logical next step in onboard boiler control. In most commercial applications, multiple boilers, or banks of boilers, are installed. This provides boiler redundancy to deliver a level of safety against total system shutdown if the boiler in a large, single boiler system were to go off line. Often referred to as “cascade,” the boilers will be wired together, or “daisy-chained.” One boiler will be assigned the task of group leader. If there is a building automation system, it will communicate with the lead boiler. Appropriate sensors required for boiler operation or group operation will be connected to the leader. The actions of the group will be decided by the leader.

LOGIC, TIMES 3 PID logic is employed to control the modu-

The follower boilers will fire upon a call for heat directly from the leader. Depend-

lation of combustion systems. PID combines

ing on the programming, the follower boiler will fire at a given input rate that is

proportional, integral and derivative logic

chosen by the leader or by its own on-board logic. Typically, the leader and the

into a set of directions for the boiler to op-

follower boilers will take turns being the first one to come on each day. This oper-


ation gives equal cycle time to all the boilers over a long period of time.

Proportional is the difference between the actual water temperature and the target temperature, or setpoint. Integral is the difference between the actual water temperature and the setpoint over time. Derivative is the rate at which change is occurring in the difference between the actual water temperature and the setpoint. These three ways of calculating the boiler’s modulation rate work together to achieve control that is more accurate than any single calculation. More on Boiler Controls on page 62





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continued from page 60

by David George David George is a product manager at Lochinvar. He can be reached via e-mail at

Making priorities With domestic hot water prioritization (DHW), a boiler is piped to an indirect water heater as


Partnering with professionals to create better human environments.

Our Mission:

an addition to the space heating system.

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An indirect water heater is, in essence, a storage tank for potable hot water. Inside the tanks is a coil of copper or stainless steel tube. Heated water from the space heating system passes through the coil, transferring heat into the potable water. The control logic will monitor the space heating system and the DHW system. If the DHW system needs heat, the control will shut off flow to the space heating system, direct flow over to the indirect tank, and fire the boiler for appropriate heating. Typically, the boiler will fire at a high input rate with a high setpoint temperature. The idea is to quickly satisfy the domestic water needs and get back to the job of space heating.

CONTROLS GETTING SMARTER Modern controls can now manage more operations beyond the boilerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s internal operations. Night setback is a popular cost saving function built into many boiler controls. As the name implies, this allows the control to alter the setpoint during hours and days when the building is unoccupied. The boiler will fire at a lesser rate, or shut off entirely, which saves fuel costs. In addition to operating the boiler, an advanced control program can reach out beyond the boiler to control the operation of other related devices in the system. The most obvious is pump control. Within the scope of operation are coordinating the firing of the boiler and the flowing of water with the pump, turning the pump on or off in time with the call for heat. More advanced controls can modulate variable speed pumps in synchronization with the modulation rate of the boiler. In addition to improved boiler control, operational data, such as hours of main burner operation, can be captured at low or high input rates. Controls can also record the number of attempted ignitions and the number of successful ignitions. The control can now count the firing time, the firing cycles, and inform the customer that the boiler is due for service.

Al Crawford, General Contractor (Pinnacle)

Simply Innovative With almost 20 years of radiant Hydronics experience, Al Crawford is an expert when it comes to installing radiant heating systems. And when it comes to working with customers, Al’s philosophy has always been to do it once and do it right. That’s why Al prefers Uponor radiant heating systems when it comes to working with his homebuilder customers. Innovation is at the heart of Uponor’s offerings. And teaming up with innovative thinkers, like Al Crawford of Pinnacle Home Environment Solutions is just another example of how Uponor partners with professionals. That’s because at Uponor, we offer Simply More.

Radiant Ready 30E™, Fast Trak™

Test Your Hydronics IQ STEP UP TO THE TEE AND TRY TO ACE THE QUIZ! In honour of this year’s RBC Canadian Open at the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver, B.C., and just because summer lands enough of us at golf courses, we’ve consulted with our in-house hydronics course designers and laid out a challenging nine-hole circuit that we are sure will have you calling for a mulligan in no time. We should mention that our championship isn’t running with a $5.2 million prize purse like the PGA event, but who can put a price tag on superior knowledge? Feel free to brag if you make the cut! Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club, Vancouver, B.C.

The answers can be found on page 56.

The Front Nine 1

From the following types of antifreeze which one used in hydronic heating systems would be considered least harmful to the environment.


a) Grooved and clamped b) Threaded c) Butt welded d) Soldered

a) Methyl hydrate b) Ethylene c) Isopropyl d) Propylene


Which of the following components would not be found on a condensing boiler?


A boiler’s net rating is best described by which of the following terms? a) BTUH available to the burner b) BTUH available at the boiler outlet c) BTUH available at the heat emitters d) BTUH lost up the stack




What two things must be calculated when sizing a circulator? a) Total flow rate and the head loss through the longest loop b) Total head loss and the flow through the longest loop c) Total flow rate and the total height of the building d) Total height of the building and the flow through the closest loop

a) Draft hood b) Fan c) Drain d) Air proving switch


Which one of the pipe joining methods listed below is typically used on heating systems with steel pipes two inch and smaller in size?


Which standard is the installation code for hydronic heating systems? a) CAN/CSA B-149.1 b) ASME Pressure Vessel Code c) National Plumbing Code of Canada d) CAN/CSA B-214


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continued from page 64

9 A three-wire zone valve has an end switch. What is the

What is recommended when in-

7 stalling a fin-tube heat emitter

function of this end switch?

below the circuit supply?

a) It closes when the valve is open to initiate operation of other devices b) It closes to power the valve open to send heat to the zone c) It opens when the valve opens to initiate operation of other devices d) It opens when the valve closes to send heat to the zone

a) One mono-flow tee, on the return side b) Two mono-flow tees, on supply and return c) One mono-flow tee, on the supply side d) No mono-flow tees are required

So, is there a new trophy in the display case? 9 out of 9 correct – Aces! Way to let the Big Dog eat! 7 or 8 correct – Nice work, but you bogeyed the last couple holes. 5 or 6 correct – You might want to hit the range to work on that stroke. 4 or below – See you at the mini-putt, after you’re done studying, of course.

8 If multiple zone valves begin to close,

what happens to the circulators’ pump performance? a) Lower pressure, higher flow rate b) Higher pressure, higher flow rate c) Lower pressure, lower flow rate d) Higher pressure, lower flow rate

With thanks to Dave Hughes (far right), chair of the Plumber and Gasfitter Programs at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and Warren Hyde (right), a Plumbing and Hydronics professor at Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ont.

• Primary loop with pump and the choice of 1 to 6 secondary zone pumps all within one wall mounted station • “NEW” Circuitry allows each zone to be set, supplying either high or low temperature output from a condensing boiler • Boiler supply and return is available in either bottom left or bottom right side of the station • All field settings can be adjusted using jumpers • Upgraded Grundfos pumps available

Contact us at: Tel: 800.708.1051 10683-214 Street, Edmonton, AB






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By John Vastyan

A LOOK AT COMPONENTS AND LAYOUT Typical snowmelts employ tubing buried in a concrete slab. Most use either synthetic rubber or cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). Both types of tubing have a long history of performance and longevity in high temperature applications. Typically, 1/2" inside diameter (ID) to 3/4" ID will be seen in a snowmelt system. The tubing ties into the supply and return piping via twin distribution manifolds. The layout is usually easiest if these manifold pairs are located together next to the zone, or area to be snowmelted. Manifolds can be located away from the zone, but this will require more tubing to get to and from the manifold pair. Tubing lengths vary according to manifold placement.

This is Part 2 of our 2 part look at snowmelt systems. Part 1, Warming up to snowmelt technology, can be found in the May/June 2011 edition of Mechanical Business, available online at

Tubing is spaced six to 12 inches on centre and circulates water that’s been heated in the 110 to 140°F range. Tube spacing is varied according to the degree of snowmelting required. The more snowfall that needs to be melted at a faster rate, the closer the spacing of tubes. And more material over the top of the tubing will increase resistance to heat transfer, requiring a higher supply water temperature.


any snowmelts are operated only when there is ice or snow. These systems switch on in the presence of precipitation when the ambient temperature is below 35°F. This setup is less costly to operate than systems with more control options, but they take longer to melt precipitation because they must first increase the slab temperature. These on-off operated snowmelt systems use sensors to detect precipitation when temperatures fall below a 35°F to 38°F setpoint. Because these controls are relatively simple, their cost is relatively low.

THE APPLICATIONS Common snowmelt applications include: Helipads. Hospital helipads are excellent opportunities to add snowmelt. With space becoming more and more precious, many hospitals are forced to install helipads on rooftops. These can become extremely dangerous when coated with ice and snow. Stairs. Of course, stairs can be dangerous. With snowmelt, pedestrians can use steps safely. The

After precipitation and temperature conditions are met, the system will operate until precipitation stops. Most controls will continue to operate the snowmelt for a period of four to six hours after precipitation has ended, ensuring an ice-free surface. Twist timers can also be used in parallel with the snowmelting control to allow some manual control. If it’s known that a winter storm is approaching, the system can be started several hours before its arrival to reduce system lag time. Or, conversely if snow happens to drift onto the snowmelting surface, but does not engage the precipitation sensor, the system can be started manually. continued on page 70





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In order to help systems respond faster, some systems are idled, or operated at a reduced output until precipitation is sensed in that 35 to 38°F range, at which point the system is operated at full output. These systems allow for a faster system response. No snow or ice accumulates with these systems. Sophisticated controls can be used to sense slab temperature, outdoor temperature and precipitation. These controls are more costly than on-off controls but allow for much greater system control.

spacing of tubes for stairs varies according to application, but they’re usually installed with two lengths of tubing in the tread and one in the riser. Car washes. Water is always present in car washes. Using snowmelt, property owners can keep car washes open and ice-free. The control strategy for car washes is simple. Either air temperature or slab temperature is monitored. If the temperature of the slab or the air drops below 35°F, the system is activated. When temperatures exceed 35°F, the system is disabled.

These usually have settings for warm- and cold-weather shutdown and slab idle temperature. Cold weather shutdown is necessary because snowmelt systems cease to be effective below about 0°F. We simply cannot provide enough energy below 0°F to get the job done. Yet, this is rarely a challenge because snow below 0°F contains very little water.

Sidewalks. Convenient and more inviting to passersby, sidewalk snowmelts can increase business and decrease liability. Customers are more likely to shop stores with clear sidewalks, free from ice and snow and chemicals. Hospital entrances. Because they are usually considered Class III systems, tube spacing for hospital entrance ramps are usually set closely at six-inches, on centre. Further, these systems are idled, or operated at a reduced output, to decrease system lag time. When sensors detect precipitation, the system is then operated at full output.

OPERATING COST$ Snowmelts themselves are not that expensive to operate since they’re activated only occasionally. The biggest cost incurred with a snowmelt system is the up-front cost.

Parking garage ramps. Snowmelting systems ensure cars driving in off the street can safely negotiate parking garage ramps. One note of caution: be sure to place sensors for these controls where they can detect snowfall, or precipitation and temperature. If the sensor is placed improperly, it could be snowing but the system would never know.

Glycol antifreeze is required for all systems because system fluid is either dormant, or could go dormant for a period of time. And relatively large pumps may be required to move slushy water-glycol mixture on initial system start-up. Add to those the extra expenses of the larger heat sources (versus a low-temp hydronic application) required to deliver the 100 to 300 BTUH per square foot, and the supply and return piping required to get the energy from the boiler to the manifolds for the tubing buried in the slab, plus all the other relevant costs, and a snowmelt system can easily cost between $6 and $12 per square foot.

Loading Docks. Moving goods is important work, even during winter months, and a snowmelt system reduces the need for employees to be manning tractors and shovels.

The cheapest system to operate is an on-off snowmelt. These systems are only used five or 10 times a year.

Large Area “hot pads.” Instead of melting an entire area, which can sometimes be too large and therefore cost prohibitive, smaller areas can be created where snow can be deposited for melting. This technique is often used for airport runways and large parking lots. Typically, tubing for hot pad slabs is spaced at four to six-inches on centre, to accommodate a large amount of snow. Hot pads are usually operated manually, activated whenever the need arises.

Idled systems, because they operate any time the temperature is below 38°F, cost more to operate. These systems typically consume up to 100 BTUH per square foot whenever they are idling and up to 300 BTUH per square foot during full operation. Some applications, such as those at hospitals, may have waste heat from steam or condensate that may be readily available, which can be used to reduce or eliminate energy costs.

John Vastyan owns Common Ground, a trade communications firm based in Manheim, PA. He has researched and written about plumbing and mechanical, HVAC, solar, geothermal and radiant heat systems for decades.






By Eric Riml Eric Riml works as a hydronic designer for Cronkhite Supply in Calgary, Alberta. He can be reached at

Matching the method to the application

I’ve long believed that customers should be offered more than just a heated basement slab to go with their highly versatile boiler system. One of the nicest things to offer a homeowner, especially if they are building a new home and are already familiar with the joys of radiant floors, is radiant throughout the home. There are four ways to heat a suspended floor, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.



While this method seems like a big undertaking, it certainly has its benefits. First, it benefits from the efficiency of having a heated mass. Your equipment has more to heat, allowing it long, efficient firing cycles. Because of the conductivity of the mass, you can keep your water temperatures within condensing range (below 130°F even in cold climates), also adding to efficiency.

When you’re selling hydronic heating, don’t just settle for slab and hot water. Add some “Wow” to your client’s home by adding some in-wall heating behind the shower tile, or a heated towel warmer. Considering the money they are already spending, these are small but noticeable additions that set your client’s home (and you as an installer), above and apart from others.

As a side effect, concrete floors act as great sound barriers. And labour costs ar e kept to a minimum, because of the ease of la ying out the pipe above floor using nice, wide 12” spacing. Cost is on the downside as well though, since concrete is expensive. Also worth mentioning is that a lot of moisture is released as concrete dries, so it must be le ft to dry thoroughly before expensive, moisture-absorbing, easily-warped things like hardwood floors and built-in wood cabinetry are installed.




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2 The downside of the mass itself is the possibility of r apid outdoor temperature changes not being matched by the slow-reacting floor temperature. This limitation can lead to indoor temperature swings, from too hot to not quite warm enough. Last, overpours aren’t something you can add after the house has been designed, because the floor must be engineered to support the weight of the concrete, and the extra floor thickness added by the concrete must be accounted for in doorway heights and wall stud plates. Thus, while the benefits are high, the cost and inflexibility of the installation is high to match. continued on page 74



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JOIST HEATING continued from page 72

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ABOVE-FLOOR PANELS Panels consisting of a plywood base, grooves for pipe, and heat transfer plates built into the surface are becoming increasingly popular because of the ease and cleanliness of their installation.

The typical method of heating suspended floors is by running back-andforth loops of pipe through the joist spaces, and incr easing the heat transfer to and across the floor using metal plates. Most of the plates now offered save the contractor the inconvenience of mounting the pipe with thousands of J-clips, because the pipe can be snapped into the plates themselves.

There’s very little drilling, no messy concrete, no moisture issues, only a 1/2” (or less) increase in floor thickness, and you can keep the water temperature almost as low as with overpours. Unfortunately, there’s also a high materials price tag, especially when compared to underfloor installations. Although the individual panel prices don’t look like much, when you add up just how many you’ll need, the final total can be surprising. However, the flexibility offered by such an install can be quite attractive. If you want to add floor heating halfway into the project, it can be done and still ha ve most of the benefits of an overpour. The downside is the low mass, which couples with a low water temperature and can lead to cycling of your equipment, and a warm/not-warm cycling of your floor. Then again, the disadvantages of mass are absent, too. Finally, while there is a risk that the f looring installers pierce the pipe with their nails, at least the abo ve-floor piping is visible to them during their install.

BELOW FLOOR SUSPENDED PIPE WITH FIN (HOT BOX STYLE) An interesting approach to floor heating is to create a “hot box” using the whole joist cavity, where suspended pipe and heat distribution fins heat the air, which in turn heats the adjacent space. Because the whole cavity is hot, heat is evenly distributed to the floor above. Insulation beneath the pipe assembly encourages heat to move upwards to the floor above. This method eliminates the risk of damaging the sub-f loor, or having your piping damaged by nails. There’s also far less labour required to install it, due to less drilling and single pipe runs instead of loops. On the downside, water temperatures as high as 180°F are sometimes required to produce the desired floor heat, which prevents your heating appliance from condensing, thus limiting your efficiency to 85 per cent. Although innovative, the “hot box” style takes away some of the benefit of using water as a transfer medium, because air,


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While it’s possible to warm floors without use of plates, I don’t recommend it – to get the floor to feel warm, you might need overly-high water temperatures. Water temperatures above 150°F can damage the glues in the plywood sub-floor. And there is still a risk that the homeo wners won’t feel that the floors are all that warm, which is what they paid for. Finally, without plates, some noticeable “striping” can occur, where the floor feels hot, warm, hot, as one moves across the floor surface, due to proximity to the pipe. The major downside of in-joist installations is the amount of labour required. A lot of drilling and moving up and down ladders is required to run pipe through all the joists, and all the w ork is overhead. And you have to work around all the wiring, piping, ducting, and an ything else that fills up the joist spaces, unless you are lucky enough to be the first one to install materials. Last, the flooring installers may drive nails through the pipe that they can’t see, leading to leaks.

which doesn’t hold nearly as much heat by volume, is used as an intermediary between pipe and floor. It’s also worth mentioning that if there’s anything in the joist space that you don’t want heated, you have to protect it or have it relocated. 1


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HYDRONIC In-line pumps Taco’s 1900 VFD series of in-line pumps offer flow rates between 10 and 250 gpm. The units feature permanently sealed, grease-lubricated ball bearings and are designed for single- or three-phase applications. Available in 1/4 hp to 7.5 hp models, the pumps are rated to maximum operating pressures of 175 psi and maximum operating temperatures of 300°F (149°C).

Featuring a wet-back heat transfer design, Series 400 fire-tube commercial boilers from Hurst come in 1 million to 50 million BTUH sizes. Steam or water models are available, weighing between 3,500 and 103,000 lbs. For steam applications, boilers are rated for pressures up to 350 psi. Water models are rated up to 160 psi.



In-line filter Designed to remove magnetic and non-magnetic contaminants from system fluid, the Total Filter TF1 from Fernox is designed to be installed horizontally or vertically into existing pipes. It is rated to operate with fluid temperatures up to 257°F (125°C) and flow rates up to 13 gpm.

Low-flow radiator Available in two- and four-pipe models, Jaga-Canada’s Briza radiator offers heating output up to 29,623 BTUH at a 165°F ewt, and a sensible net cooling capacity up to 8,409 BTUH at a 45°F ewt. Two-pipe units offer flow rates between 0.72 and 3.17 gpm, and the four-pipe units have flow rates between 0.63 and 2.8 gpm.


Hydronic underlay Therma-Floor by Maxxon is a gypsum underlayment designed to pour over hydronic tubing, or electric heating cables. It is designed to be poured to a minimum of 3/4” above the tubing. The material offers a thermal resistance of R-0.2 at a one-inch thickness. At 85°F it has a specific heat rating of 0.224 BTU/lb. x °F.





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WEB Reviews

HPS Controls

Sinus North America

The HPS Controls website offers contractors detailed product information for all products available, including the latest products offered by HPS Controls. Installers and specifiers can easily access technical and detailed information with complete and printable instruction manuals. Certified hydronic heating designs are now offered by an on-site certified hydronic designer. A gallery of installation photos is also available, with links supplying further information. Quickly find wholesalers in Canada and the USA, along with links at

Sinus North America’s website is a helpful tool for heating installers, manufacturers, consultants and engineers. The site features easy-to-access detailed information on manifolds, hydronic junctions, hydronic units and customized solutions. An optimized search function and product menu structure makes finding product information quick and easy. Further productspecific information is given on the respective sub-pages. Simulation and demonstration videos are also available to display the function of complex hydronic components.

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Wilo Canada

tekmar Controls

Be it the CAD Library, Product Selection Software, or logo’d hats and shirts from the Wilo Store, the Wilo Canada website is a treasure trove of information for contractors. Learn more about efficiency and sustainability, and how it relates to you and your customers. And get an early sneak-peak at new Wilo products being introduced into the North American market – many for the first time ever! At Wilo, we are “Pumpen Intelligenz”.

Your reliable source for HVAC information, tekmar Controls specializes in hydronic heating and cooling control solutions for contractors, designers, engineers, and home and building owners. Search any product to learn more about its specifications, features and benefits. The HVAC Pro section offers many resources including a technical and promotional library, FAQs, articles, and stencils. New to the site, try an interactive demo of the newest touchscreen thermostat, available this August.

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HYDRONIC Variable-speed circulator The Magna 32-100 variable-speed wet-rotor circulator from Grundfos operates at a maximum working pressure of 143 psi and has a head rating between zero and 34 feet. The 230 V unit is designed to pump fluid with a minimum temperature of 35°F (2°C) to a maximum temperature of 200°F (95°C) at flow rates up to 52 gpm.


Air separator Watts Canada’s AS-MB microbubble air separator features forged-brass body construction and is rated for flow rates up to 19 gpm. It is designed to withstand petroleum-based cleaners and glycol anti-freeze, and is rated for fluid temperatures up to 240°F (116°C). The threaded, flanged or sweat models are available in 3/4” to 1-1/4” sizes.


Manifold station Equipped with a circulator, Hydronic Panel System’s manifold station includes supply and return manifolds with shut off valves, a control module, pressure and temperature gauges, fill, drain and isolating valves, and an automatic air vent. The panels are available in several configurations, offering control of systems with three to 14 loops.


Wall-hung boiler The Mascot II boiler from Laars features a built-in expansion tank, air elimination vent and three-speed circulator. The wall-hung unit is rated up to 95 per cent AFUE, has a five-to-one turndown ratio, and is sized up to 125,000 BTUH. It has a stainless steel heat exchanger and 1/2” gas connections.




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Geothermal fittings ProRadiant GeoFusion fittings from Viega include a variety of brass-to-polyethylene adaptors, and one-piece moulded reducers in 3/4” to two-inch sizes. Designed for ground-source heat exchange applications, the fittings are rated to operate at pressures up to 160 psi at 73°F. Available components include header assemblies, swivel adaptors and elbow connectors


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HYDRONIC Condensing boilers Vantage condensing boilers from Fulton are available in 2 million to 6 million BTUH sizes, with water capacities ranging between 147 and 480 gallons. The units have ratings up to 96.9 thermal efficiency and are available in dual-fuel burning configurations, including natural gas/propane, natural gas/No. 2 oil, and propane/No. 2 oil.

Fuel economizer Intellidyne’s IntelliCon-LCH light commercial water heating system fuel economizer is designed for use with systems up to 2.5 million BTUH. The control monitors and manages a hydronic system’s burner cycle to help reduce fuel consumption. It is rated to operate in temperatures between -10°F and 120°F (-23°C and 49°C).



Electrically powered circulators for hydronic heating were first introduced in the early 1930s.

Time is Money! Vacuum tube solar collector Viessmann’s Vitosol 200-T solar thermal collector is available in 20-tube/22 sq. ft., or 30-tube/33 sq. ft. models. It is rated to a maximum working pressure of 87 psig and maximum temperature of 563°F (295°C) in periods when no heat is being drawn by the heat transfer medium. The unit is designed for rooftop, wall and freestanding installations.


Tankless boilers Direct-vented NH series tankless boilers from Noritz are rated up to 83 per cent AFUE. At a 30°F temperature rise, they offer an 11 gpm flow rate with 15 feet of head loss. The units are available with outputs up to 163,100 BTUH and have one-inch supply and return connections.



Cascade Units

• From 10.7 gpm to 1,722 gpm • Pipe distances are constructed to fit all current pump groups • Fast and hassle-free installation

Hydronic Junctions • From 17.4 gpm to 1,320 gpm • Available as set including insulation for small-build • Optimal hydronic conditions in every operating state

• Up to 6 heating boilers • From 30,8 gpm to 151,5 gpm • Fits for all current heating boiler models

complete product range and further detailed information on Sinus North America • 321 Shoemaker St. • Kitchener, ON N2E 3B3 Phone: 5 19-7 48-67 88 • Fax: 5 19-7 48-48 11


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HYDRONIC Air and dirt separators Caleffi’s 546 series of DiscalDirt air and dirt separators can operate at a maximum flow capacity of 25 gpm. Featuring brass body construction, the units are rated to a maximum working pressure of 150 psi, and to a 230°F (110°C) maximum fluid temperature. They are available in 3/4”, 1” or 1-1/4” sizes.


High-efficiency system Consisting of a boiler, a heat recovery ventilator, a furnace and an indirect water heater, the Matrix heating/cooling system from NTI offers hydronic heating up to 125,000 BTUH. The boiler portion is rated 92.7 AFUE, includes a 12 to 15 psi pressure regulator and offers six-to-one combustion modulation.

Wall-hung boiler Featuring an extruded aluminum heat exchanger, the XPak boiler from Raypak Canada is rated up to 92.6 per AFUE. It is available in sizes up to 119,500 BTUH, includes a three-speed circulator, and can be horizontally or vertically vented. The gas-fired unit offers up to a 4.4:1 turndown ratio and 6.2 gpm flow rates.



Snowmelt system control

Pre-assembled package The Radiant Ready 30E pre-wired, pre-piped hydronic panel from Uponor features a 30,000 BTUH electric boiler that can accommodate up to 12 zones. The unit also includes an expansion tank, circulator, air vent, isolation and pressure-relief valves, a distribution manifold, and a thermostat. The system has a maximum working pressure of 30 psi and is rated to a maximum operating temperature of 185°F (85°C).

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tekmar’s 665 snowmelt control is designed for single-zone snowmelt systems. It displays outdoor air temperatures between -67 and 149°F (-55 and 65°C) and slab-sensor temperatures between -58 and 167°F (-50 and 75°C). Depending on sensor model choice, the system can be set to automatically start when snow is detected. A variety of the company’s outdoor snow/ice detectors are compatible with the control.

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Commercial boiler performance beyond your expectations. UP TO 99% EFFICIENCY · UP TO 25:1 TURNDOWN 1.5 MILLION TO 3.5 MILLION BTU/HR 30 GPM TO 350 GPM FLOW RATES DIRECT-VENTING UP TO 100 FEET

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Systems, S ystems, be bells lls aand nd whistles hi l

Taco is a leader in advanced hydronic equipment and systems for leading-edge commercial and institutional building projec ts. We develop and manufac ture a wide r ange of pumps, heat exchanger s, air-dir t separ ator s, expansion tank s and valves - plus unique sys tems like iWorX™, LoadMatch® and LOFlo™ Injec tion Pumping.

Taco of fer s all the exceptional produc ts and systems, backed by advanced sof tware progr ams and technical exper tise that engineer s, mechanical fir ms and building owner s are looking for.

TACO CANADA LTD T . 8450 Laawson w Ro Road, Milton, ON L9T 0 J 8 Teel.. 905-564-9422 Fax.. 905-564-9436 www

Marketing with DOUG MACMILLAN

Old school

marketing still works, too.


nline advertising. Search engine optimization. Social media. Blogs. Few marketing conversations these days don’t revolve around how emerging media channels are influencing consumer buying habits... and what we need to do to stay in the game . There is no question it is essential that we understand how these marketing tactics can put our brands in front of more and more qualified customers , quickly and for a low cost. The risk is in forgetting the age-old marketing solutions that remain relevant, even essential, in today’s somewhat impersonal mixed media world.

The old rules still apply Since the earliest days of capitalism, word of mouth continues to rank as the most effective marketing tool we have. By a wide margin, usually. Delighted customers tell friends and neighbours they’re delighted. Word gets around you’re delightful. The phone rings. Paying careful attention to existing clients is a cornerstone of good marketing, yet too often we hear from customers that they feel taken for granted. We’re too busy courting new ones to check in. The first step here is proper follow through – do what you say you’ll do, seek genuine input on your performance and most of all, fix mistakes confidently and quickly. When it comes to maintaining good relationships, personal letters and hand-written cards remain marketing gold. Every year or so, a simple “thanks” goes a long way. Toss in a $5 Tim’s card and you’ll make someone’s day for a fraction of the cost and effort it takes to set up Google Adwords.

Follow up A couple of years ago we surveyed contractors and roughly two-thirds of them said they didn’t do an effective job of following up on leads. Seriously? Someone says, “Sure, I could be interested,” and we’re not all over that prospect like a dog on a bone? Whether from a home show or a web form, a lead should be nurtured with more attention than a new brochure or company Facebook page. Be creative, and plan at least five different ways to follow-up any lead within a year before you write ‘em off.

Dress for success Back in the day, the repairman who arrived at the door was a gentleman - dressed all snappy, and so wholesome that customers might be blinded by the sun’s reflection off those pearly white teeth. A clean and professional company uniform says a lot about a company’s values and how much you care about the customer. Invest in the best uniforms in town, brand them well, and you’ll be seen as the best brand in town. The same goes for trucks - dress them snappy, fly the logo strong, and keep them clean and sparkling.

Make the basement work for you Very few clever contractors have taken full advantage of the basement billboard – the appliance(s) that you’re responsible for. Small stickers are a good step, but great big stickers with marketing messages, contact info, reminders and space for maintenance updates get noticed faster in a crisis – or by those new homeowners who just moved into their new (and unexplored) neighbourhood. Impress them so much, there will be no reason to Google “heating contractors” just because they bought a house with an old clunker you’ve been dying to replace. And don’t forget the furnace switch plate. Low hanging fruit, that. Direct mail An interesting phenomenon of the past decade is that the junk is shifting from the mailbox to the inbox. Take the opportunity to stand out by employing traditional direct mail strategies - well targeted, well crafted offers dropped straight into the home. Doug MacMillan is president of MacMillan Marketing Group in Guelph, Ont. To reach him, e-mail

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anadian country music superstar Paul Brandt is better known for having a guitar in his hands than a hammer or wr ench, but the Calgaryarea resident didn’t hesitate to get involved in the construction trades when an opportunity arose to make a positive impact on the lives of people facing challenges, here in Canada as well as abroad. His new show, Build it Forward, which puts people who are trying to work their way out of poverty and debt into their own homes, is scheduled to hit the airwaves in August on CMT in Canada. “My wife and I were watching Extreme Home Makeover one night. We turned the T V off and were just chatting about how great it would be to be a part of something like that where we help families that were at risk of homelessness,” said Brandt during a recent interview. The next morning he headed to Nashville to work on some of his upcoming music pr ojects. “I opened my e-mail when I landed,” he recalls, “and I had an e-mail from one of the vice-presidents from Country Music Television in Canada, and all the e-mail said was, ‘Do you want to do a T V show where you build houses for people?’” With that much of a coincidence being har d to ignore, he started to put a few phone calls out. A shor t time later, his wife Liz asked, “If we are going to do this building show, what if we asked the families if they

Photos: Courtesy Paul Brandt

By Adam Freill


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would be willing to go to a country where this kind of poverty was happening, and maybe build a house or work on a project for somebody else first? And if they did that we could help them get into a house here.” With that concept in place, par tners started to get on-board. “Within six months, we raised a little over $1.4 million towards this initiative. Now we have this television show that’s just being finished up to be aired in August and September on Country Music Television,” reports the singer. Partners in the project include Habitat for Humanity and Samaritan’s Purse. “Samaritan’s Purse was our developing world partner, and we worked with Habitat for Humanity specifically through their Calgary chapter,” explains Brandt.

On the homefront Paul lives with his wife Liz, and his children Joseph (almost 3) and Lily (6-months-old) in a 100-year-old farmhouse in near Calgary that he and his wife renovated extensively. “I had to have my steam shower put in there. I really enjoy that. So we tried to keep the old flair of the home, while adding a little bit of modern fixtures to what we were doing. My wife has great vision for that kind of stuff.”

Families on the show were identified through Habitat for Humanity as having 35 per cent of their income, or more, going towards paying rent. “They were stuck in a cycle of poverty that they would never be able to get out of,” says Brandt.

About the artist Paul Brandt is a Canadian country music artist who grew up in Calgary. A pediatric RN at the time of his big break, he made his mark on the country music charts with the single My Heart Has a History, in 1996. That song made him the first male Canadian country singer to reach to the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in the United States since Hank Snow. That first single was a number 1 hit in Canada, as was his debut album, Calm Before The Storm. He followed that with hits I Do, which he wrote for his friend's wedding, I Meant to Do That and Take It from Me.

The singer started his own label, Brand-T Records in the early 2000s. Each of his albums released on his own label has earned an Album of the Year award. Small Towns & Big Dreams won at the 2002 Canadian Country Music Association awards, This Time Around followed suit at the 2005 CCMAs, A Gift won the Gospel Music Association of Canada Seasonal Recording of the Year in 2007, and Risk took the Country Recording of the Year award at the 2008 Junos.

The families travelled with Paul and his wife to three different areas, two in Mexico and one in Haiti. “Part of Habitat’s model is 500 hours of sweat equity that goes towards the down payment of their house. Habitat agreed for some of those sweat equity hours to come from this Developing World experience, either building roads or infrastructure, or houses,” says Brandt. “It was a life-changing experience for everyone involved.”

Is Paul a home handyman? “I am not a handy guy at all,” confesses the country music star. “I love to learn new things, and I love to work hard, but I think one of my biggest challenges in my life so far was when my wife set her mind on buying a 100-year-old farmhouse and we had to renovate the whole thing. It has been a comedy of errors.” He does profess to swing a mean sledgehammer for demolition work though.

The builds for the show took place just outside Calgary, and involved local organizations and companies donating time, efforts and materials.

“We had a lot of help from some pretty amazing builders and craftsmen to get the home back to where we wanted it to be. “In the developing world, I got my hands on a jackhammer for a while, and we worked on some plumbing issues for one of the orphanages in Haiti. We ended up chipping through the concrete and removing their old sewage system and putting in some new lines for them.”

Photo: Chris Bolin/Calgary Stampede

“Some were big businesses, but some were momand-pop, and they donated all of their ser vices, to frame the houses, or to put in the HVAC, or whatever their part was. It was amazing,” says Brandt.

A Royal serenade

From left: Country artist Paul Brandt and Laureen Harper, wife of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, meet Prince William during the Calgary Stampede.

Paul Brandt performed for The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton, during the Royal couple’s stop at the Calgary Stampede, part of their recent tour of Canada. Among the songs that Brandt pulled out of his musical repertoire for the momentous occasion was the first public performance of his new song, Give It Away – which is also the theme song to Build it Forward.

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By Carol Fey


Carol Fey is a technical trainer who has worked as a heating mechanic in Antarctica and has published six books for the HVAC/R industry. She can be reached at, or visit her website,

WHY A LOAD CALC IS GOOD FOR YOU There are several reasons why doing load calcs is of benefit to a contractor. Consumer expectations of the HVAC/R industry are much higher than in days past, and they often go online to research their major purchases.Your customers know a lot about what you’re supposed to be doing, including proper equipment selection.

he phrase “load calc” can make those in the HVAC/R industry shiver with dread. “Oh, no, please, not math! No, no, don’t make me try to use a new computer program! I’ve been doing this for years – I know what size equipment to put in! And if I don’t, my supplier does!” Years back, when energy was cheap and plentiful, load calcs (heat loss calculations) were optional. There was a good reason for avoiding them – they were difficult and time-consuming. All of this has changed. Some jurisdictions now require them, and with the cost of energy continuing to trend upward, more and more will likely start demanding them as well. Load calcs have become just plain good business for HVAC/R professionals. Thankfully, a load calc has become easy to do with a (usually free) computer program. With today’s load calc programs, you can easily size equipment “right on” to save your client money in equipment and energy, and to win more jobs over your competition.


WHAT IS A LOAD CALCULATION? A load calc determines just how much heating and cooling is needed for a specific house or building. It has been refined to make sure there are sufficient built-in safety factors to cover the heating and cooling needs of any building in any climate. So long as you input reasonably correct data, you will have a sound recommendation. The load refers to how many BTUHs of heating, or tons of air conditioning, that the equipment must be able to produce in order to keep the building comfortable. continues on page 88


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Presenting the client with a load calculation can make you instantly look smart and thorough. And you will have numbers to back up your recommendations, giving you an edge over your competition. The residential HVAC/R industry has historically over-sized equipment, “Just to be safe.” But super-sizing has led to unnecessarily high equipment costs, high energy bills, erratic temperature control, short cycling and excessive noise. Reducing equipment and duct costs increases competitiveness and addresses these issues. A load calc often proves that replacement equipment can be smaller than expected. This smaller sizing costs less for both equipment and fuel. This is good because over-sized equipment is known for short cycling and wasting energy. The new equipment will also likely be quieter. Once conducted, don’t overlook the benefit of sharing the heat-loss calculations with your customer. Doing so can help reduce call-backs, especially with high-efficiency furnaces where lower supply temperatures sometimes lead customers to fear that they don’t have enough heat.


continued from page 86

Before user-friendly computer programs, performing a load calculation was time consuming. It required taking a lot of measurements with a tape measure, and doing math. Although the math was simple addition and multiplication, there was a lot of it, even with a calculator.

THE TIMES HAVE CHANGED User-friendly computer programs have made it easy to perform load calcs. Best of all, it may be possible to get one at no charge from an equipment distributor. Most are fairly intuitive, so it should be possible to become comfortable with it in a few hours on your own, or with the help of your distributor.

You could spend a full day in class learning all the types of data you would need to collect. These included the dimensions of the individual rooms, which direction the building faces, what it’s made of, the amount and type of insulation, the number and size of windows and doors – and which direction they face – the outdoor design temperatures, and many other factors.

Load calc programs help contractors identify what to look for in a building. The program will ask for the exact information that is needed. Data can be entered for both the entire building, and for individual rooms. For dimensions, simply fill in the blanks. The math is done instantly. If a correction is needed, simply change the entry.

Now, it is as simple as firing up a computer and filling in the blanks.


Besides easy-to-use programs, an improvement over days past is the availability of laser measuring devices. It is now possible to stand in one place to take all of the measurements, instead of wrestling a tape measure from wall-to-wall. For such items as the composition of the roof, walls and floors, and type of windows and glass, dropdown lists usually allow for the selection of a best answer. Exact information is preferable, but is not always required.




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COUNTS, SOMETIMES When putting information into a load calc, don’t guess instead of getting the correct information. Go inside the building and take measurements. Look at what is actually there. The customer will be impressed at your thoroughness. Ask the homeowner questions about things they may know but you don’t, such as how much insulation is in the walls. Even if they don’t know, they will be impressed that you are considering many factors before making recommendations.





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And if you can’t find particular information, such as the type of insulation, you can take an educated guess based on the age of the building. Or, try running the program for several possibilities. Sometimes the final results of the load calc won’t be significantly affected by varying one factor. When applying load calc results, don’t be tempted to improve upon the program by making the design temperatures more extreme. By definition, the design temperature covers 99 per cent, not 100 per cent, of the temperature range. A load calc program asks you to simply enter the location of the job. It then determines – based on factual data – the low and high temperatures that the equipment will need to accommodate. So if the program says that your heating design temperature is -17°C, but you remember when it got down to -23°C, don’t “correct” it.

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Web integrated thermostat

Copper line sets EZ-Roll copper line sets from Kamco, a division of Great Lakes Copper Inc., are available in custom lengths and include forged brass fittings pressure rated for use with R410A. Suction lines are available in 5/8” to 1-1/8” sizes, and liquid lines are offered in 5/16” to 1/2” sizes. Insulation thickness ranges between 3/8” and one-inch.


Featuring a colour touch screen, ecobee’s Smart Thermostat can be controlled remotely from a mobile device via the company’s iPhone or iPad Touch app. Users can also access a personal web portal to view system data and adjust settings. Web connectivity allows for software upgrades to be automatically downloaded to the unit.


Electronic actuators Belimo grooved two-way and three-way butterfly valves range in size from two-inches to 12" and feature fail-safe or non-spring actuators. The 24 VAC/DC units provide 310 inchpounds of force, have a 15-second run-time, and rotate up to 90 degrees.


Refrigeration control The 16E09-101 electronic temperature controller from White-Rodgers is designed for refrigeration and/or heating applications. It can operate with voltages ranging from 24 to 240 VAC and offers a temperature setpoint range between -40°F to 220°F (-40°C to 104°C). The unit includes a NTC sensor with 7.5 -foot. leads.

Residential split-system With available cooling capacities between 1.5 and five tons, the GSZ/SSZ series of air conditioners from Napoleon Heating and Cooling are rated up to 14.5 SEER. The units feature a factory-installed filter dryer and use R-410A refrigerant.


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By Scott Martorano

Residential sprinklers:



ll indications are that the percentage of newly constructed residential occupancies being protected with automatic sprinklers will continue to grow. This is due in a large part to revisions to building codes and the efforts of groups and organizations that have been providing education to home builders and others to help get sprinkler ordinances instituted within their communities.


Residential sprinklers are fundamentally different from standard and quick response sprinklers. Residential sprinklers are installed to provide for an increased level of life safety for building occupants . The objective is to prevent a room â&#x20AC;&#x153;flashoverâ&#x20AC;? for at least 10 minutes. This provides the occupants time to evacuate. NFPA 13D requires that the water supply for these occupancies be available for at least 10 minutes. That being said, the hydraulic design in NFPA 13D and 13R makes use of the same fundamental concepts as a commercial sprinkler system continued on page 94


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Selecting the proper pipe size is an essential part of any hydraulically calculated sprinkler system. From a design point of view, selecting the smallest size pipe that can efficiently allow the required flow of water reduces both material and installation cost. Most sprinkler systems today are hydraulically calculated using computer software but there are some general rules of thumb that can be used for estimating and evaluating the efficiency of the computer calculated system. The amount of available water volume (flow) and residual pressure will be the primary measure of what size piping will be used within the project. If the selection of a pipe size that causes more friction loss than can be supported by the water supply occurs, the system will likely be modified to incorporate a larger pipe size. In general, pipe size will increase by one size when the friction loss equals 0.25 to 0.3 psi per foot.

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SPRINKLERS designed in accordance with NFPA 13. The available water supply will be the primary factor in the selection of much of the equipment used on the project. The water supply will be evaluated to determine the available water pressure and volume (gpm). The only difference is instead of selecting the hydraulically most demanding rectangular area, the hydraulically most demanding two (13D) or four (13R) sprinklers will be selected for the calculation.

continued from page 92

THE DESIGN CRITERIA Residential sprinklers can be applied and installed under three NFPA standards, NFPA 13, 13R and 13D. The original intent and goal of 13D and 13R was to provide sprinkler protection at a minimal cost to eliminate a potential installation deterrent for owners and builders. Because of the significant differences between the three types of occupancies covered by these standards and the need to optimize the requirement of 13D and 13R to reduce cost, substantial changes exist between the water supply and the discharge density requirements.

The goal of residential sprinkler systems since their inception has been to allow the highest quality residential sprinkler system to be installed at a cost that does not deter the end user. Due to the much smaller design area and the very low flows required for residential sprinklers the w ater supply requirements will be substantially less than those required for commercial systems, and the pipe sizes used will be much smaller as well. Designing the most efficient piping network hydraulically allows the contractor to successfully bid and profit from the installation. The selection of residential sprinklers can, and does in many cases, boil down to the hydraulic characteristics of the sprinklers.

THE HYDRAULICS OF IT ALL It is important to understand that the principles of hydraulics are universal. The laws that govern the movement of water through a sprinkler orifice are the same for all contractors, building owners and manufacturers. There are some fundamentals that are common to all residential sprinklers. • First, the minimum operating pressure shall be the UL listed pressure or 7 psi (0.5 bar). If the sprinkler is UL listed for a higher pressure than 7 psi (0.5 bar), the higher pressure shall be used in the calculations. • Second, the minimum discharge densities for residential sprinklers are defined with the installation standards and within UL 1626. All manufacturers must conform to the same requirements. • Finally, as stated above, the principles used to determine required flow, pressure and K factors in hydraulic calculations are universal.


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THE RIGHT FLOW FOR THE DENSITY The term density refers to the volume or amount of water that will be discharged (flow) within a specific area. In the case of residential sprinklers NFPA 13D and 13R require a minimum discharge density of 0.05 gpm/ft2 (2.04 mm/min). When residential sprinklers are used in a building being designed to NFPA 13 the discharge density is required to be 0.1 gpm/ft2 (4.07 mm/min).

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The UL listed flows and coverage areas are provided on the sprinkler technical datasheet. The installer is required to use this information and interpolation is not allowed. Having a basic knowledge of how densities can be determined mathematically can provide an installer with a greater understanding of why and how the installation rules are developed. Flow and coverage area determine the density. To determine what flow (gpm) is required in order to deliver the required density, the area of coverage in square feet is multiplied by the required density for the applicable installation standard.

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To solve for the K factor: K = Q/P0.5 Where: Q = Flow

Evaluating these characteristic is accomplished using a simple algebraic formula to solve for flow, pressure or the K factor. This formula is not limited to residential sprinklers and can be used with other types of sprinklers as well. Within the formula, if two of the variables are identified the third can be solved for. Any basic calculator with a square root function can be used to calculate the unknown variable.

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The ability to achieve the best flow and the minimum 7 psi (0.5 bar) or listed starting pressure is based on the amount of water being discharged (flow) and K factor of the sprinkler. Flow, operating pressure and the K factor are all related.

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To solve for pressure: P = (Q/K)2

The goal of the sprinkler designer is to select the residential sprinkler that will provide the required flow at the lowest starting pressure possible, based on the UL listing or the minimum 7 psi (0.5 bar).

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To solve for flow: Q = K x P0.5

For example, if a system is being P = Pressure designed in accordance with NFPA 13D K = K factor or 13R, and if the area of coverage for the sprinkler is 12 ft by 12 ft (3.7 m by 3.7 m), 144 ft2 (13.4 m2 ), we would multiply 144 by 0.05 (for metric, multiply 13.4 x 2.04) to produce a theoretical required flow of 7.2 gpm (27.3 l/min).

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Planning for the Next Generation Between education sessions, award ceremonies, and off-site excursions, attendees of this year’s HRAI AGM will have a full-time job keeping up with the schedule. Taking place at the White Oaks Conference Resort in scenic Niagara-onthe-Lake, Ont., the three-day event offers contractors, manufacturers and wholesalers a wide range of learning and networking opportunities. This year’s theme is “Planning for the Next Generation,” and several of the speakers will talk about sustainable technology and business practices. Special guest and keynote speaker Michael “Pinball” Clemons, a CFL Hall of Fame member, has been invited to kick-off the event with his seminar about the importance of teamwork.

Photos courtesy of the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce

When: August 25-27, 2011 Where: White Oaks Conference Resort, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. Details:

Sustainable and renewable technology continue to be hot topics in the industry, and for contractors seeking solar thermal information, HRAI’s Renewable Energy Task Team will be on hand to go over solar thermal fundamentals. The goal of the session is to help contractors decide if solar thermal is a good fit for their business. Robert Swartman from Solcan


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will also be addressing the benefits of solar thermal in his Solar Thermal Applications seminar on Thursday, August 25, where he will discuss a variety of applications, and share installation tips. In addition to technically-oriented sessions, HRAI has a number of business related seminars scheduled. One of the key sessions at this year’s event aims to clarify the WSIB Work Reintegration policies that took effect just before the new year. Douglas

• Sessions at a glance Paolini from the Office of the Employer Advisor will walk attendees through the changes, helping employers to understand what actions they are responsible for, and how to avoid costly penalties. He will also go over what the WSIB expects of employees in the return-to-work process.

9:00 - 11:00 a.m. • HRAI Contractors Division AGM/Democratic Assembly • HRAI Wholesalers Division AGM/Congress • HRAI Manufacturers Division AGM

10:30 - 11:45 a.m. • Ultraviolet Lights in HVAC Systems • How Internet Marketing Can Increase Your Sales • Next Generation Refrigerants 11:00 – noon • Controls Section Meeting

Saturday, August 27 7:45 - 9:00 a.m. • HRAI Breakfast: HVACR Career Industry Promotion

1:15 - 3:30 p.m. • Heating & Air Conditioning Section Meeting 1:15 - 2:30 p.m. • Geothermal Applications • Keeping Customers for Life • Building Integrated Photovoltaics • Building Information Modeling (BIM)

10:45 – noon • HRAI National Assembly

9:00 - 10:15 a.m. • Comfort & Control in Hydronic & HVAC Systems • Competency Training for Managers & Supervisors

2:45 - 4:00 p.m. • Solar Thermal Applications • Returning to Work - WSIB Work Reintegration • The Heat Pumps’ Future in HVAC • ISO 50001, the New Energy Management Systems Standard

2:00 - 3:00 p.m. • Harnessing Social Media • HRAI Board Meeting

9:00 - 10:45 a.m. • Refrigeration Section Meeting • Indoor Air Quality Section Meeting

Friday, August 26 7:15 - 8:45 a.m. • HRAI AGM Breakfast

Seminars at a glance Thursday, August 25 7:15 - 8:45 a.m. • Opening Breakfast with Michael “Pinball” Clemons

1:15 - 3:30 p.m. • HRAI’s New Strategic Plan

3:15 - 5:15 p.m.. • Contractors Division Board Meeting • Wholesalers Division Board Meeting • Manufacturers Division Board Meeting 6:30 – midnight • Chairs’ Reception & Banquet



f you see Time2Renew on your label, that means your subscription is nearing the end of your free one-year subscription and we need to hear from you to re-activate it. As always, subscriptions are free of charge for mechanical professionals like you. Simply go to, click on Subscription Services, renew for another year and enjoy uninterrupted delivery of Mechanical Business!

DON’T MISS A SINGLE ISSUE! Check your label to continue checking out the latest the industry has to offer.

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When: September 14-17, 2011 Where: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City seminars, LaRoche tackles work-related stress through humour, challenging the audience to find ways to be more optimistic. Photos courtesy of the Government of Quebec

Mechanical Rendezvous in Quebec Back by popular demand, Gregg Schoppman of FMI Management Consulting, takes his message of estimation best practices to this year’s MCAC conference in Quebec City. Schoppman will talk about margins, the pros and cons of software, and discuss manpower. Schoppman will also host a session on succession planning during the four-day event. Mechanical contractors at the conference will also have the opportunity to hear from international stress management consultant and keynote speaker, Lorreta LaRoche. She writes a weekly “Get a Life” column and is a faculty member at the Mind/Body Medical Institute in Boston. During her energetic

The Red Seal Program will also be discussed at this year’s event. Joe Black, of the Canadian Council of Directors of Apprenticeship Training (CCDA), will talk about strengthening the program itself and the relationship between skilled tradespeople and industry stakeholders. In addition to the MCAC sessions, the Mechanical Service Contractors of Canada (MSCC) is hosting a one-day seminar titled Increasing Your Maintenance Base to Grow Profits. The session, which runs on Wednesday, September 14, will be presented by Steve Smith of ACCO Engineered Systems, and will provide contractors a forum to discuss industry challenges and partake in educational sessions. For more conference information, or to register, visit

Schedule at a glance


Wednesday, September 14 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. • MSCC Exectuive Committee Meeting 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m • CMCEF Trustees Meeting 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. • Service Contractors One-Day Forum: Growing Profits Noon – 5:00 p.m. • CIPH Board of Directors Meeting 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. First-timers Reception 6:15– 10:00 p.m. • Opening Social – Welcome to Quebec City

Friday, September 16 7:30 – 10:00 a.m. • Suppliers Innovation Showcase 8:00 – 8:30 a.m. • Annual general meeting 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. • Associate council meeting 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. • Open Shop Contractors’ Meeting • Unionized Contractors’ Meeting

Thursday, September 15 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. • Opening Breakfast 9:15 – 10:45 a.m. • Strengthening the Red Seal Program 9:15 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. • Dedicated CMMTQ Session 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. • Tour of Quebec City 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. • CDI versus Traditional Surety Bonds 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. • Hockey night in Quebec City

Saturday, September 17 7:30 – 9:00 a.m. • Awards Breakfast 9:00 – 10:30 a.m. • Estimating for Advantage 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. • Who Will Run Your Business When You’re Gone? 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. • Board of Directors Meeting 6:45 – 7:30 p.m. • Chairman’s Reception

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By David Janzen


Street Sky

Help on the ground Lifting rooftop systems 38 storeys can be a major challenge, but getting the okay from the City of Mississauga to block traffic removed at least one more headache for Glen Thompson, the crane crew and the Johnson Controls team on lift-day.


hen 15,000 pounds of HVAC equipment needs to be transported to the top of a 38-storey high-rise, stairs or the elevator won’t do. Such was the case this spring at Mississauga’s One Park Tower, after the condominium’s original 350-ton screw chiller failed last year. A new system was ordered for the three-year-old building, and lift-day for the equipment took place in early April.


The project took months of planning and collabor ation between the building owner (Brookfield Residential Services Ltd.), installing contractor Johnson Controls, and project management firm, Terra Energy Management Services Inc. Glen Thompson, operations manager for Terra, was on-site the day of the lift and said it’s satisfying to see weeks of detailed planning come together. “Considering we couldn’t lift until 9 a.m., and were done by 11:15 a.m., I don’t think it could have gone any better,” he said. That isn’t to say the project didn’t ha ve its challenges. First off, if the wind blew steady above 20 kilometres per hour, then the crane couldn’t be in operation for safety reasons. Secondly, once a component reached the roof, the installers only had a few spare inches of clear ance to wheel the pieces into position beneath the roof ’s siding panels. Threading the needle with a 14-foot, 5,000 lb. piece of equipment is not an easy task. “We lost one day to the wind, so it was definitely a concern,” said Thompson. “So I’m glad that it held off for that morning.”

The Site


High Rise: One Park Tower Location: Mississauga, Ont. Age: Incorporated in 2008 Occupancy: 1,500 in 514 suites Height: 38 storeys

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The group, along with the direction of Al Butterfield, installation manager for Johnson Controls, utilized Ibeams with rolling chain-pulleys to move the hefty components to their final resting place, a newlycontinued on page 104

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continued from page 102

constructed 9-1/2 foot by 22-foot chiller room.


After travelling 440 vertical feet to the roof, each on separate trips, the evaporator, condenser, refrigerant canisters and driveline had to individually be set on dollies, rolled about eight feet horizontally into the roof enclosure, then hoisted by chain-pulley another five vertical feet over a concrete pier, placed back on dollies, then rolled the last 15 feet into the chiller room for assembly . By mid-May, just weeks after the crane lift, the new cooling tower was up and running, providing One Park Tower’s 1,500 tenants with updated climate control. “This project was successful because of the group’s collective expertise and the fact that everything was planned out so thoroughly,” said Thompson. “I’ve been involved with hundreds of lifts, but this one is definitely the highest.”

Model: York centrifugal chiller with variable speed drive Capacity: 350 tons Flow rates (gpm): Condenser 1,200 / Evaporator 800 EWT (°F): Condenser 85 / Evaporator 52.5 LWT (°F): Condenser 93 / Evaporator 42 Circuit passes: Condenser 2 / Evaporator 3 Water volume (gal.): Condenser 114 / Evaporator 112 Working pressure: 150 psig Refrigerant: R-134A Efficiency (kW/Ton): 0.61 Operating weight: 17,885 lb.

THE LOAD – BY THE NUMBERS Driveline: 3,498 lb. Condenser: 5,484 lb. Evaporator: 5,503 lb. Refrigerant: 876 lb. Lift Total: 15,361 lb. Height: 440 feet Lift Duration: 2 hours, 15 minutes

THE CRANE Crane: Mammoet 650 ton Rig: 160 ft. main boom with a 290 ft. luffing jib plus attachments Setup: Street level with a sideways super-lift attachment for increased lift capacity Max lifting height: 500 ft. (with attachments) Company: Ward Crane Rentals Ltd. 104

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York’s Latitude [mc]2 series of split-system air conditioners are available in 13 and 14.5 SEER models. The units are available in 1.5 to five-ton sizes and feature microchannel coil construction. Cabinets measure up to 40” tall, 33-1/2” wide and 33-1/2” in depth.


Packaged units Goodman’s CPG series of gas/electric commercial packaged units feature galvanized-steel cabinets and a built-in filter rack. They are available in sizes up to 20 tons and weigh up to 2,390 lbs. The units use R-410A refrigerant, are rated up to 13 SEER, and provide airflow up to 7,000 cfm.


More than 10 parameters can be simultaneously measured remotely with the HG3 HVAC/R system analyzer from Fieldpiece Instruments. By attaching one of the company’s accessory heads to the transmitter, the device can wirelessly measure readings up to 100 ft. away. The unit comes with a temperature accessory head, software, dry and wet bulb thermocouples, a data transfer cable and a carrying case.

Custom made fluid-to-air coils from Madok Manufacturing Ltd. are designed for replacement and new-construction applications that use water, water/glycol mixtures or refrigerants. Coils are available between one and 12 rows deep with finned face dimensions manufactured in six-inch to 60" heights, and up to 144" lengths.


The LX series of split-system condensing units from Coleman have 3/8” liquid-line connections and 7/8” to 3/4” vapour-line connections, depending on the model. The 13 to 14.5 SEER units are available in 1.5 to five-ton sizes. Depending on the model, units have a 1/8 or 1/4 hp fan motor, providing up to 3,700 cfm of airflow.

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Join The Green Scene

Woodford’s RB67 freezeless commercial wall hydrant is designed for tilt-up wall construction applications and installs into a six-inch diameter opening. It is rated to a maximum operating pressure of 125 psi. The unit’s lift-and-latch door is designed to stay open while the hydrant is in use.


BrassCraft’s metal PEX cover tube with a flange features a chrome finish. It is designed for PEX connections using a standard PEX crimp ring and copper pipe. The cover tube, including the shoulder portion, measures 3-1/2” long, and the flange is 2-1/2” in diameter.


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

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

The Elevate pull-down kitchen faucet with soap dispenser from Price Pfister features an adjustable spout, offering three height positions. It is designed to be installed without a deck plate in two-hole configurations, or with a deck plate in four-hole situations. It offers a 70-inch pull-out hose and its spout can swivel 360degrees. It is available in stainless steel finish.



The Bath Drain Company WATCO MANUFACTURING COMPANY 1220 South Powell Road, Independence, MO 64057-2724 Phone 816-796-3900 • FAX 816-796-0875


A Division of WCM Industries, Inc.


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Featuring separate supply and waste pipes, Bradley’s Halo eye/face wash station delivers water at a 4.8 gpm flow rate. It is available with plastic or stainless steel bowl covers. Flow can be activated by pressing the unit’s push-handle when the cover is open, or by using an optional foot pedal. It is available in wall-mounted and pedestalmounted models, as well as combination units with a shower.


Dahl Brothers Canada’s mini-ball valves with cold expansion connections feature brass body construction and are available with connections for PEX-A pipe sized from 3/8” to 3/4”. Depending on the model, they offer straight or angled valve patterns. Offerings include dual outlet stops, supply stops, finishing valves and dual shutoff stops.


The Dynamic Professional sump pump series from Novo Water Conditioning are available with either “piggy-back” vertical- or tethered-style float switches. The pumps come in 1/4, 1/3 and 1/2 hp sizes with 1-1/4” or 11/2” NPT discharge outlets, and include a 10-foot power cord.


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The quick draw challenge Q

uick question, you’ve got a boatload of screws to put in and you have to grab for a tool, which do you go for, the impact driver or the drill-driver?

Designed for R-410A air-cooled or water-cooled applications, the GSD8 series of scroll compressors from Bitzer are available in 15 to 40 hp models. The units offer cooling capacities up to 40 tons and are available with optional oil heaters, discharge gas temperature sensors, and suction and discharge shut-off valves.

The right answer is, “It depends on the task at hand.”


If you are looking at a high-torque application, or when working with multiple fastenings, or there just isn’t a lot of space for the tool to fit (pipe joints in the PVF sector come to mind), the impact driver has the edge. And they tend to be a bit lighter too, which can be helpful come the end of the day. On the downside, impact drivers use hex chucks, so you’ll have to put the standard drill bits a way with this tool. Also the hex bits can be a bit on the brittle side , so dense material can cause the bits to snap. And the tools are not equipped with an adjustable clutch. If there’s only one tool you can bring with you, a drill-driver is one of the best choices you can make. It can use hex or standard bits, and has a huge range of uses. They may struggle a bit with high-torque tasks, but they are perfect for standard fastening needs, or just as a powerful screwdriver.

Sponsored by Milwaukee Electric Tool – a proud partner with Mechanical Business. Look for video tips, tools and reviews at Be sure to visit for your chance to win valuable Milwaukee products and merchandise!


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Ruud’s RHGL series of commercial air handlers use R410A refrigerant and are available in sizes up to 20 tons. Evaporator coils in each unit feature copper tubes with aluminum fins and are leak-tested up to 450 psig. Designed for horizontal or vertical installation, they offer airflow up to 8,000 cfm and come standard with one to five horsepower motors.


Lifebreath EasyAir Grilles from Airia Brands are available in several models, with round diameter sizes ranging between four and eight inches. The rectangular hinged Kitchen Grille model measures 11-1/2” by 7-1/2” and features a washable aluminum filter. Models are available for ceiling and wall applications.



EVENTS Manual tube cutter Requiring only a 1/2” of clearance to make a cut, the Tight Spaces tubing cutter from Lenox features a non-slip grip. It is constructed of grooved cast aluminum with stainless steel interior parts, and is available in 1/2”, 3/4” and 1” sizes.


2 0 1 1 Ride for Habitat August 20, 2011 Various locations in Ontario HRAI Conference August 25-27, 2011 Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Handheld CO2 meter Measuring and displaying CO2 levels between zero and 5,000 ppm, the Comfort Chek 500 from Bacharach is also equipped with temperature and relative humidity sensors. The 7.1 oz unit measures temperatures between 14°F and 140°F, and non-condensing relative humidity between zero and 95 per cent. The handheld unit can store up to 26,000 data points, and has a USB output for data transfer.

World Plumbing Conference 2011 September 7-11, 2011 Edinburgh, Scotland OPIA 2011 September 11-14, 2011 Burlington, Ont.


Cross-line laser Featuring a detachable magnetic mount, the Bosch GLL240 cross-line laser is designed for levelling and aligning purposes. It projects visible horizontal and vertical lines, independently or together, onto surfaces up to 30 feet away with 1/8” accuracy. Powered by three AA batteries, the eight-ounce device is supplied with a carrying case.


MCAC Conference September 14-17, 2011 Quebec City, Que. COHA Ontario September 15-16, 2011 Niagara Falls, Ont. CIPH Ontario Golf Tournament September 20, 2011 Brantford, Ont.

Laser temperature meter

IIDEX/NeoCon Canada 2011 September 22-24, 2011 Toronto, Ont.

Featuring a back-lit display, Milwaukee Electric Tool’s 2265-20 laser Temp-Gun offers surface-temperature readings between -22 to 662°F (-30 to 350°C). It is designed to be accurate within 1.5 per cent. The unit displays temperature values to one-tenth of a degree, and is powered by three AA batteries.

Greenbuild International Expo 2011 October 4-7, 2011 Toronto, Ont.


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A Wee Bit of Fun

Jeff Patchell


oilet talk, electronic games and social media often go hand-in-hand, but there are a growing number of applications that aim to make use of technology beyond pure entertainment. One such app we recently came across is called “Thirsty Pete,” which addresses the issue of hydr ation. It was developed in the U.K., and while we have the greatest of respect for our British friends, I was a little surprised at first that this app was initiated there – I don’t know about you, but when I think about monitoring w ater use, I tend to think of more arid locales, like here in Australia.

Failure to keep Pete hydrated makes him unhappy and ultimately causes him to evaporate. (Oooh that’s nasty!) The app rewards the player for keeping Thirsty Pete alive and healthy as long as possible, and includes tips and advice on how the user can stay well hydr ated too. Despite water being the most important macro nutrient we consume, not to mention an essential component of all body organs and fundamental to basic vital functions, on average, people in the U.K. are not drinking enough water daily, and it wouldn’t be surprising if they are not the only ones . Thus, Thirsty Pete exists for the good of mankind!


This new app asks, “Are you drinking enough water?” The app’s development has been funded by Danone Waters, a global marketer of bottled water – but let’s not criticise them for that. Putting a spotlight on the issue of hydration has a noble enough foundation. This “Hydration for Health Initiative” iPhone app (Thirsty Pete) has been created for people of all ages, and it might hold just enough cool-factor to appeal to kids.

All this wee talk got me thinking about how a plumbing business might be able to take advantage of this initiative.

THE PEE CHECK In addition to the game element of the app, it also includes a “Wee Checker” where users can see how hydrated they are by comparing the colour of their urine.

In a world where brand reputation and recognition are costly to build and maintain, small businesses need all the marketing assistance they can get. Maybe Thirsty Pete is a small but relevant way to endear your brand to the families of your customers – something that goes beyond the standard fridge magnet. Why not print up a small card with a picture from the app and detail of how to link to the free app site, for the customer’s kids to use on mom or dad’s iPhone or computer?

The aim of Thirsty Pete is to teach users about the physical and mental benefits of regular hydration. It’s a simple, but healthy, marketing idea, The character, Thirsty Pete, is a and it is one that won’t cost you a bundle. friendly water droplet that lives on Thirsty Pete is available for free download an iPhone. To at: keep Pete alive, the user must feed him glasses of water. (Remember the tamagotchi craze of Short-term consequences of dehydration include impaired physical and cognitive the ’90s?) These performance, headaches and raised heart rate. Long-term, not drinking enough water is associated with a range of serious conditions such as kidney stones and glasses can urinary tract infections. only be obtained by correctly answering questions about Jeff Patchell is managing director of Connection Magazines Pty Ltd. water and hydration. He operates, an online plumbing industry knowledge bank.



The reasons to choose Noritz are adding up.

A history of excellence. Leading innovation, premium engineering and superior manufacturing technology have been the trademark of Noritz products for years. And that history of excellence continues today in products you can trust to perform in the most demanding environments.

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Become a Noritz PROCard member today! Register now at and start reaping the benefits of Noritz quality.

Noritz tankless water heaters Worth a closer look. 877-636-6748

Compiled by Mechanical Business


$46 BILLION The amount homeowners in Canada are expected to spend on home renovations this year.




Portion of Canadian homeowners who keep cooling temperatures at 22°C or lower.

Canadian homeowners planning to make renovations within the next two years.



The average number of times a person will flush a toilet over the course of their life. Even at 4.8 litres per flush, that amounts to 672,000 litres for each of us. And only 42% Canadian homes have low-volume toilets.





Annual savings on cooling costs by upgrading from 10 SEER to 14 SEER equipment.

Amount of Canadians whose purchase of energy-efficient home upgrades will be influenced by a tax cr edit. More than one-quarter of those are targeting their HVAC/R systems.

LOW-FLOW A GO-GO 63% Canadian households with low-flow shower heads. Sources: StatsCan, Direct Energy, WaterSense, Angus Reid, BMO, Sloan PM# 41536047 Postmaster: Please send all address changes or undeliverable copies to: Mechanical Business, 19 – 1525 Cornwall Road, Oakville, ON L6J 0B2


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The all new Flush Clicker® Lav Drain


The Evolution continues.


Introducing the new Flush Clicker® Lavatory Drain, our newest addition to the growing family of Clicker® Lav Drains. Using the same dependable Clicker® Mechanism that OS&B™ invented 20 years ago, and also available in our new Polished Nickel PVD Finish, our new Flush design Clicker® Lav Drain offers a modern and clean aesthetic. For more information contact your OS&B™ Representative or log onto



Clicker® and its guise are Registered Trademarks of Oakville Stamping & Bending Limited.

12" Wide Trench Drain Just Got a Whole Lot Easier

Introducing the New Dead Level DX 12" Trench Drain TM


ustomers who have used our unique Dead Level™ Trench Drain system call it the best trench drain ever. And understandably so. The Dead Level™ system cuts installation time by more than half, and makes floating, pinching, and misalignment things of the past. Now we’ve made a great product even better. Dead Level™ Trench Drain is now available 12” wide. With radiused bottoms and smooth interiors, the new DX channels generate maximum hydraulic flow. For additional information, click on over to

A Watts Water Technologies Company

July/August 2011  

Building it forward with country music star Paul Brandt; A chilling HVAC lift; Water heater sizing -- with tanks and without; The head excha...

July/August 2011  

Building it forward with country music star Paul Brandt; A chilling HVAC lift; Water heater sizing -- with tanks and without; The head excha...