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M e c h a n i c a l

TA B L E

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CONTENTS O F

22THE COOLING REPORT Heat pumps are becoming a more viable option for cooling down in the summer (without freezing in the winter), while the evolving nature of controls continues to affect air conditioning systems. Dave Bowden

Sophisticated yet practical 48KITCHEN AND BATH TRENDS Chrome may still be king, but the faucets sporting the finish have come a long way since the days of old, as have the rest of the fixtures in the two most expensive rooms in a typical home. Adam Freill

OIL FURNACES: Fielding consumers' questions

58OIL HEAT It is not uncommon for homeowners to contact manufacturers for information about their product offerings. John Crozier

Boiler Controls 101 82WATER HEATER EFFICIENCIES HEAT UP As a new efficiency standard comes into effect in British Columbia this September, the rest of Canada may also feel the effects of the push for higher efficiencies. Glenda Rye

72HYDRONICS Boiler controls are used to improve system efficiency and comfort, and represent a key component in preserving equipment lifespan. Randy Baerg

On the cover: When’s he’s not pumping iron, Kyle Lumsden, president of Calgary’s Clearview Plumbing and Heating, is giving back. His business selects one local charity each month and donates $1,000 to a worthy cause. Photo: Brian Buchsdruecker


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TA B L E F E AT U R E S 38THE HST

CONTENTS O F

P E R S O N A L I T I E S 26

PLUMBING Cleanouts: Plumbing’s unsung heroes Roger Uuemae Most people don’t notice cleanouts – at least not until their drain clogs and a plumber is on site trying to find an access point.

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REFRIGERATION Oil and oil separators Phil Boudreau Examining the purpose and efficiency of oil separators, including where and when to install them.

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HYDRONICS Pumping to please the pocketbook Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr Major advances are being seen in small circulator offerings. Technology is becoming more affordable and available, and this technology is seeping into the circulator pump market.

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ASK ROGER Putting out your own shingle Roger Grochmal Striking out on your own is a very big decision that most technicians in our industry face at some point in their careers. Consider the risks, rewards and hard work involved.

66

High Performance HVAC Managing moisture Gord Cooke The most sustainable practice of all is to ensure buildings last forever. To do this, we have to keep them dry.

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MARKETING It’s not whether to give; it’s how to give Doug MacMillan There truly is a business advantage to being known as a company that cares.

89

WORLD VIEW Green jobs and you Jeff Patchell Environmental concerns and climate change have brought about many changes in the way we work, and in the requirements of our clients.

Adding value to your operation Rino Bellavia

42EVENT IN PICTURES CMXCIPHEX

46ROAD WARRIOR Kyle Lumsden

52COOLING Solar: It’s not just for heating anymore Lucio Mesquita

56FIND THE FIX Time to Do the Math

77TOOL TIP Taking a look at multimeters

84FIRE

P R O D U C T S 62,68HVAC 76Hydronics. 86Plumbing 88Stuff you need

PROTECTION Sprinklers: Saving lives and property Paul Tomas and Sean Pearce M e c h a n i c a l

D E PA R T M E N T S 09From the editor’s desk 10News 20Profile: Jim Howells 78The Info Page 81Calendar 90By the numbers B u s i n e s s

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FROM Content Media Group Inc. 19 – 1525 Cornwall Road Oakville, ON L6J 0B2 CANADA Tel: 905.465.2919 Fax: 905.465.2913 www.mechanicalbusiness.com May.June 2010 Issue Published 6 times per year. Editor: Adam Freill, ext. 224 adam.freill@mechanicalbusiness.com U.S. Sales Manager: David Gerchen (314) 878-3939 david.gerchen@mechanicalbusiness.com Controller: Liz Mills, ext. 221 liz.mills@mechanicalbusiness.com Assistant Editor: Dave Bowden, ext. 225 dave.bowden@mechanicalbusiness.com Art Direction: JJM Graphic Ltd. davem@jjmgraphic.com Circulation Manager: Shila Naik (905) 272-4175 shila.naik@mechanicalbusiness.com Publisher: Bruce Meacock, ext. 222 bruce.meacock@mechanicalbusiness.com PM:41536047 ISSN 1916-0674 MB (Print) ISSN 1906-0682 MB (Online)

Postmaster – Please send all address changes or undeliverable copies to: Mechanical Business, 19 – 1525 Cornwall Road, Oakville, ON L6J 0B2. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Publications Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage towards our mailing costs.

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 forms. Mechanical Business also reserves the right to edit said submitted materials to suit the editorial needs and mandate of the publication. Notice: Mechanical Business is published for owners, managers and decision makers with mechanical contracting firms and the sector's supply chain partners in Canada. While every 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 advertised 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 $94.50 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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Blindsided, but quietly Anybody else out there feel like they’ve had the rug pulled out from under them? By now, you surely have heard that the federal government has decided to conclude the ecoEnergy Retrofit – Homes program (see News, page 11). While we all knew the program would not live on forever, the fashion in which it was discontinued has left many in the industry scratching their heads, and/or scrambling to deal with customers who are turning to them for answers that are anything but forthcoming. In the weeks following the posting on NRCan’s website – I hesitate to say announcement, since the notification was posted quietly on the website as Canadians were heading into a long weekend, with no advanced notice given to stakeholders – answers regarding future programs and existing complementary programs are still in short supply. In the days and weeks following the cancellation, I started to notice just how many contracting firms include mention of the ecoEnergy Retrofit – Homes grants in their marketing materials. I’ve seen flyers suggesting customers, “Call today” to arrange for an ecoEnergy evaluation. Weeks later, my local paper still has ads pushing the program. And I’ve heard radio ads promoting ecoEnergy grants on the local dial. Hopefully customers will be understanding as you try to explain that the program was ended abruptly, and that they are no longer eligible for the federal funding (and some of the matching provincial and territorial grants) that were mentioned in your ad. But reputational damage may ensue. So what’s one to do? Accept the fact that the landscape has changed, but know that you have the ability to push for change as well. A good first step is to contact your industry associations to help them as they fight on your behalf. And don’t forget to send a letter expressing your opinion to your local member of parliament. (Find your MP at www.parl.gc.ca.) Until next time,

Adam Freill, Editor

From time to time, Content Media Group Inc. makes subscribers’ names available to reputable companies whose products or services may be of interest to readers. If you would like your name excluded from these mailings, please notify the publisher. © Copyright 2010. 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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06.10

News www.mechanicalbusiness.com

HRAI presents CMS award HVI honours Rick Olmstead The Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) recently awarded its 2010 HVI Distinguished Service Award to Rick Olmstead of Venmar Ventilation. “Dedicated, innovative and driven are the words I would use to describe Rick,” said HVI chairman Jim Boldt. Olmstead currently serves as the organization’s marketing council chairman. hvi.org

HRAI recently presented the CMS award to two recipients at the RSES annual general meeting. Gary Struhar (on right in picture) was honoured for obtaining the highest mark in Canada on the 2008 CMS dynamic compression examination, while Mike Podd received the distinction for obtaining the highest mark in Canada on the 2009 commercial refrigeration examination. hrai.ca rsescanada.com

Energy Star standard for ERVs and HRVs There is a new Energy Star specification for ERVs and HRVs. Manufacturers whose products meet or exceed the new standard, can now affix the blue Energy Star logo to their products. The standard’s specification requirements can be found in full on the NRCan website.

COHA heats up Charlottetown

oee.nrcan-rncan.gc.ca

Oilheat 2010, the national annual conference of the Canadian Oil Heat Association (COHA) will take place in Charlottetown, P.E.I., from June 16 to 18. Featuring two days of seminars and presenters, participants are encouraged to look to the future of oil heat. This year’s theme is, “It’s your future. Be there.” Among the industry experts set to speak at this year’s event are Gary Bischof, keynote speaker and president of Iriving Oil Commerical GP, and Mechanical Business’ own Adam Freill, who will discuss ways in which companies can work with newspapers and media. The event wraps up on June 18 with a chance for participants to take in the sites – and a little golf – on the island. symposium.coha.ca

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CMCEF recently held its Middle Management Conference in Toronto. The three day conference, held at the Westin Harbour Castle, brought together managers from across the country to discuss industry trends and issues facing project managers, owners, estimators and supervisors. In addition to session leaders Tim Wentz and Tom Williams, Al Prowse and Bernard Tamasy delivered updates on BIM, Mike Hafling presented scheduling tips and Jim Baston reminded delegates of the importance of ongoing customer relationships. MCA Toronto and Victaulic hosted networking receptions following the daily sessions. cmcef.org

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As reported in Mechanical Business’ E-News, Refrigerant Management Canada (RMC) recently revamped its website. To read more about the new site, see the April edition of MB E-News on our website, www.mechanicalbusiness.com, or visit the RMC site at the web address below. refrigerantmanagement.ca

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CIPH convenes on the Rock CIPH will ship out to Newfoundland and Labrador this summer for its annual business conference, to be held in St. John’s from June 27 to 30. This year’s nautical location lends itself to the meeting’s theme, “Harbouring opportunities in a sea of change.” In addition to hosting CIPH’s 78th annual general meeting, the conference will include the hydronics luncheon, the agents’ council meeting and a host of social activities, including golf trips and whale watching. ciph.com

HIP holds membership drive The Healthy Indoors Partnership (HIP), an industry association that aims to bring IAQ stakeholders together and increase indoor air awareness, recently held a membership drive to outline its plans for 2010 and inform potential members of its mandate. Hosted by Mechanical Business’ own Roger Grochmal (pictured) at his AtlasCare facility, the meeting featured a presentation from HIP president Craig Jobber, who outlined the group’s planned marketing strategies for the coming year. The launch of an IAQ public awareness campaign, a roundtable series, training and an eventual conference and trade show were among the ideas discussed. healthyindoorspartnership.ca

Oatey names new agents Oatey Canada SCS Co. recently announced the appointment of Equipco Ltd. as its agent in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Ryan Bristow is responsible for Manitoba and Northwestern Ontario and can be reached at 204-772-4341. Blair Clute is responsible for Saskatchewan and can be reached at 306209-1367. oateyscs.com equipcoltd.com

Government scraps ecoEnergy retrofit program As reported in a recent edition of the Mechanical Business E-Newsletter, the federal government has announced that it will suspend the ecoEnergy Retrofit – Homes program. The program, which launched in 2007 and provided grants of up to $5,000 for Canadians looking to make their homes more energy efficient, was expected to continue beyond March 2011. “Effective March 31, 2010, the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program is no longer accepting bookings for pre-retrofit evaluations,” the notice said. Those who scheduled evaluations remain eligible for grants, but must complete post-retrofit evaluations by March 31, 2011 in order to receive funding.

“The federal government timed the announcement to try and curtail any discussion and feedback from stakeholders.” HRAI president Warren Heeley

The move came as a surprise to stakeholders and other observers, as the government increased funding to the program as recently as the March 4 federal budget. “Due to unprecedented demand under the ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes program, the government is allocating a further $80 million to support additional retrofits by Canadian homeowners,” the budget read. The sudden nature of the government’s decision to pull the program has sparked a backlash among stakeholders. “We are convinced that the federal government timed the announcement to try and curtail any discussion and feedback from Continues on page 15

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Ken Webster receives Carlson-Holohan award Ken Webster, director of sales and marketing for Viessmann Canada, was recently awarded the Carlson-Holohan industry award for excellence. The accolade, presented to Webster at the CMX-CIPHEX trade show, is presented biennially to persons who represent the best of the hydronic heating industry based on criteria that include contributions to system design integrity, marketing of steam and hot water systems, and humanitarian works. The award is named after late hydronics industry instructor Gil Carlson, who served as director of technical services for Bell & Gossett and taught an estimated 175,000 students, along with hydronics writer and teacher Dan Holohan. viessmann.ca

Milwaukee teams with Uponor Milwaukee Electric Tool Company recently announced a partnership with Uponor to develop tools designed for installing Uponor’s ProPEX fitting system. As a result of the partnership, Milwaukee will add M12 and M18 ProPEX expansion tools to its roster of tools designed for the plumbing and heating trades later this year. milwaukeetool.com uponor.ca

Continued from page 11

stakeholders in advance of its release, ” HRAI president Warren Heeley wrote in a memo to members on April 1. “Our members have made significant investments in advertising, sales campaigns, and inventories of specific high efficiency products,” CIPH president Ralph Suppa wrote in an open letter to Minister of Natural Resources Christian Paradis. While many provinces offer their own programs, designed to match the federal rebates, it remains unclear whether or not those programs will continue now that the federal program has ended. “No decisions yet,” said Dave Burdeniuk, manager of communications with SaskEnergy, which administers Saskatchewan’s rebate program. A notice on the website of Ontario’s ministry of energy and infrastructure indicated that the “sudden nature of the federal announcement to cancel” the program has left the future of its provincial program likewise in flux. However, Ontario has committed to continue funding 50 “It’s a partnership per cent of new preonly in words if retrofit audits, “until there’s no such time a decision consultation.” is made and notice Donald Dodge, given.”

Conserve

Wolverine Tube becomes Great Lakes Copper Wolverine Tube (Canada) Inc. recently changed its name to Great Lakes Copper Inc. The London, Ont.-based plant of Wolverine Tube Inc. was sold to a group of Canadian private investors in July 2008, precipitating the name change. “Given our greater penetration in the U.S. market, we felt that a name change would help differentiate our business from that of our former owner,” said president Don Wellington. Contact information is 1010 Clarke Rd., London, Ont., N5Y 5S6. Tel.: 800-265-9271 and Fax: 519-455-9238.

Donald Dodge, Nova Scotia program administration officer for Conserve Nova Scotia, acknowledged that the government will continue processing applications through its HOT2000 software, but said he was nonetheless “surprised that they pulled the plug as quickly as they did.” Nova Scotia, like other provinces that offer rebates independent of those previously offered by the federal government, will continue its program despite the ecoEnergy cancellation. oee.nrcan.gc.ca

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People in the news www.mechanicalbusiness.com MARC HALTER was recently appointed Wilo Canada’s district sales manager for the Greater Toronto Area. His 17plus years of experience in the pump industry include 12 years as a sales manager in the GTA. He brings an extensive knowledge of residential and commercial HVAC, groundwater and industrial pumps to the position.

Giant Water Heaters recently named LARRY DEAN director of business development for the Ontario market. He brings more than 30 years of experience in the plumbing and HVAC industry to the position and will focus on business development across all channels throughout Ontario.

Goodman Canada recently named PHIL SARICH as its new branch manager in Saskatoon. He previously owned his own HVAC contracting business, which specialized in forced air and furnace replacement. He brings nearly 30 years of industry experience to the position. Uponor recently announced the hiring of JASON WOODMAN as western regional sales manager. His responsibilities will include demand planning, distribution management and field technical support. He brings 20 years of experience in account management, marketing and training to the position.

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FRANÇOIS DESCHÊNES was recently appointed vice-president and general manager of Deschênes & Fils Ltd., a division of Deschênes Group Inc. that specializes in the distribution of plumbing and heating materials. He joined Deschênes in 2000 after managing his own business in the technology sector. JOHN HEAD was recently appointed sales manager at HPG Sales. He brings 30 years of hydronic sales and engineering experience to the position. He is also a member of CIPH, the Canadian Boiler Society and the Canadian Hydronics Council.

1

2

4

Along with its recent name change from Wolverine Tube (Canada) Inc. to Great Lakes Copper Inc., the company also recently made a number of personnel announcements. JEAN NOELTING (1) is the acting CEO. He has been in the industry since his acquisition of Wolverine Tube (Canada) in July 2008. DON WELLINGTON (2) has been promoted to president of the company. Previously serving as chief operating officer, he started in the mailroom at Wolverine Tube in 1963. PIERRE GRAVEL (3) was promoted from national sales manager to vice-president of sales. He brings 26 years of industry experience to the position. The company has also hired JOHN DERMODY (4) as its new national sales manager for HVAC and Kamco products. He previously worked in distribution and HVAC sales in Illinois. Jaga Climate Systems recently hired CHRISTOPHER MAKAREWICZ to serve as national engineering HVAC system advisor. He will provide technical services and project support on Jaga installations. Makarewicz has experience in project management and consultation support on large construction projects.

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06.10

Movers and Shakers www.mechanicalbusiness.com

Emerson names new full line wholesaler Thermal Resources Inc. recently became a full-line wholesaler for Emerson Climate Technologies, adding the company’s Copeland brand to its inventory. Thermal Resources Inc. has branches in London and Sarnia, Ont. emersoncanada.ca

Arkema’s Forane® 427A, 407A, 407C and 410A: The right options for R-22 Arkema has the HFC refrigerant nt line that provides the HVACR industry with better solutionss for retrofitting and replacing R-22 systems. For retrofitting... Forane®427A A has similar operating pressures, ance characteristics to R-22, for flow rates and other performance use in a wide range of air-conditioning ditioning and refrigeration applications. Forane®407A & 407C refrigerants are elyy match el matc ma tch h th thee cooling cool co olin ingg Copeland-approved and closely capacity and flow rates of R-22; 2; 407A for lower refrigeration temperatues and d 407C for mid-high temperature applications. For replacement... Forane®410A 0A is a FC-125, 50/50 blend of HFC-32 and HFC-125, a. It is the both manufactured by Arkema. d by most replacement for R-22 accepted w AC systems. air-conditioning OEMs for new

Zurn names reps Zurn recently announced a number of changes to its lineup of manufacturer’s reps. Ancamna Sales is now representing all Zurn products lines in ® New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Par Four Plumbing Products Inc. is covering all Zurn representation in Newfoundland. Cardinal Sales has assumed all aspects of Zurn product representation in the Greater Toronto Area. The three were referred to as “regional distributors” in the January/February issue of Mechanical Business but are, in fact, manufacturers’ reps. We regret the error. In other Zurn news, Quadra Sales Inc. will represent all Zurn Industries Ltd. products, except Zurn Pex, in Manitoba and Thunder Bay, Ont. Spruce Marketing will continue representing Zurn Pex products in those regions. In the Kingston/Ottawa region, CanAqua International will cover the customer base east of Belleville, Ont. Customers from Belleville westward will be serviced by Cardinal Sales. zurn.com

Flir merges divisions Flir recently merged its commercial vision systems and thermography divisions into one unit, called commercial systems. Led by Andy Teich, former head of commercial vision systems, the new division “will continue to focus on the large potential for growth in commercial and industrial markets,” the company said.

For more information call 905-331-5500 ext. 230 or 1-800-567-5726 www.forane-na.com

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Refrigerant Services expands

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Refrigerant Services recently moved into a larger location. Spurred by expansion, operations manager Devon Thomas said the “bigger and better” free standing facility will feature 12,000 sq. ft. of warehouse space and 4,000 sq. ft. of office space. Contact info is 15 Williams Ave., Dartmouth, N.S., B3B 1X3. Tel.: 902-468-4997 and Fax: 902-468-5102. rscool.com

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The Ultra-Efficient, Ultra-Flexible, Ultra-Green eF Series® from Bradford White Powerful and proven performers, eF Series commercial water heaters are known for incredible delivery and super fast recovery. They are also the perfect choice for building managers and business owners that want to “Go Green.” Eco-Friendly eF models offer remarkable efficiency ratings - as high as 99.1%! The newest version, a 100 - gallon, 399,999 BTU/Hr powerhouse, gives you the highest output so far - 521 gallons of hot water in the first hour of use!

eF installers will benefit from extremely versatile venting options. These flexible water heaters can be vented vertically or horizontally and are approved for unbalanced, direct vent closed combustion applications. Just as importantly, building occupants will appreciate the Ultra-quiet operation of all eF Series models. At Bradford White, we believe in giving you a feature-packed, premium product at the best possible price. We proudly build quality and value into each and every product we manufacture. And remember ask your wholesaler for Bradford White. If he doesn't carry it, ask him why!

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06.10

Profile www.mechanicalbusiness.com

Oil running deep in his veins A self-confessed fan of the underdog, Jim Howells has spent almost 45 years promoting the oil heat industry, first on the wholesale front, and more recently at the association level, attracting and retaining members in the Canadian Oil Heat Association (COHA). We caught up with him at the COHA office in Markham, Ont., to chat about what makes him tick.

Q A Q A

Q A

How did you get started in the industry? I served six years in the Royal Engineers. I was on the mechanical plant/equipment side. After that, I joined a wholesaler and helped them start a heating department. We came to Canada in 1974.

Q A

Tell me about your career. Who did you work for, and in what capacity? I landed on a Monday, and the week before I had read the Toronto Star in my hometown in England, and there was a job offer in HVAC. It was for Braukman Valves, a German company. I called them on the Tuesday, and I had the job by Tuesday afternoon. In the early ‘80s, I went to work for Eneroil. They had a condensing add-on feature for an oil furnace. I was working as an agent until ‘99. How did you end up working within COHA?

Q A

What do you enjoy most about the industry? We are the underdog. We were when I started with Burmah Oil in 1966. When I was in the midst of launching the early stuff with Eneroil, the government came out with the Canadian Oil Substitution Program (COSP). It has always been the underdog. Any interesting jobs/projects that you’ve been involved with? I did the marketing launch of the Eneroil furnace, the Hunter Comforter.

Q

Who have been some of your mentors over the years?

A

Grant Chisolm, an independent Sunoco oil dealer down in Lucknow, Ont. He was one of the first guys I met selling, and he introduced me to COHA. He was the chair for a few years before me. We had a super relationship.

I first joined COHA in 1984 as a member of Hunter. I served on the marketing board for seven years, and was chairman for four. I was chairman of COHA for one year.

Bio Name: Jim Howells Age: 69 (You can send him birthday wishes on June 16) Born in: Birmingham, England Currently resides in: Oshawa, Ont. Family: Wife Julia, two daughters Carolyn (45) and Susan (40), and five grandchildren Joined the industry: 1966 Retired: 2003, but still active in COHA Education: English high school, military service (Royal Engineers) and the school of life Hobbies: Grandchildren, science – “I go to science fairs and read a lot about it” – and reading

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Q

What are some of the benefits of COHA membership?

A

We now represent something approaching 80 per cent of the oil heat industry in Canada. We have 95 per cent of the manufacturing. We are providing training. Whenever oil heat is brought up or questioned, COHA is the voice of the oil heat industry. It has taken 27 years, but we actually help drive the direction of the oil heat industry.

FAST FACTS • Jim works out several times a week. • Became a Canadian citizen in 1979. • Volunteers his time helping teach reading to adults. • Aston Villa is his team to root for in the Premier League.


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THE COOLING REPORT

b y Dave B o wd en

Cooling down in summer without freezing in winter

One size no longer has to fit all With the introduction of inverter and variable refrigerant flow technology, gone are the days of “one size fits all” heat pumps.

or most of the country, the “cooling” season is far too short. Though this provides Canadians with a deep appreciation for spring and summer, it can also pose a challenge for cooling with heat pumps.

F

Until recently, there were two options when sizing a heat pump for much of the Canadian marketplace. It could be sized for cooling, requiring an auxiliary source for heating during the winter, or sized for heating, leaving them oversized for the cooling season and opening the door to humidification issues. But recent advances in inverter and variable refrigerant flow technology have made heat pumps a more viable option for cooling down in the summer, without freezing in the winter.

“This technology gives the system not only the ability to operate at very low ambient temperatures, but it allows you to, on a linear basis, control the capacity of the heating and cooling cycles,” says Anton Wolmarans, general manager of the HVAC division at Mitsubishi Electric. “So what that means is you can now size these units more toward the heating requirement, and they’ll adjust the compressor speed, volume and capacity downwards in the summer months.” Rob Robertson, HVAC training manager with LG Electronics Canada, adds that the benefits of such advances extend beyond heat pumps. “On the ductless side, contractors will be able to supply ductless systems that will require smaller outdoor units for a larger number of evaporators. A lot of times, you had to put a 9,000 BTU head in on a

Mini split system Panasonic’s mini split air conditioners are inverter-equipped and run on R410A. Cooling capacities in the line range from 8,900 to 20,800 BTUH. Heating capacity ranges from 12,500 to 23,400 BTUH. All models are between 16.5 and 17.0 SEER. The units also feature a remote control.

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Split system

Condensing unit

Ranging in size from 0.5 to five tonnes, Goodman’s 13-SEER VSX13 air conditioners have cooling capacities between 18,000 and 60,000 BTUH. Running on R410A precharged for 15-foot lines, the split system features a louvered metal guard designed to protect the copper tube/aluminum fin coil from damage.

Offering up to 16.5 SEER efficiency, the Rheem 14 AJM outdoor condensing unit features cooling capacities that range from 18,600 to 61,500 BTUH (1.5 to five tons). The unit features condenser coils constructed with copper tubing and aluminum fins, and the grille and motor mount are designed to minimize fan noise.

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• On e s i z e n o l o n g e r fit s all • R ep lacem en t r efr iger an t s room that would take, say, 6,000 BTUs. Variable refrigerant flow will allow that capacity to go on to a different machine,” he explains. It’s no coincidence that improved heat pump efficiency has emerged as governments continue demanding higher standards. Robertson and Wolmarans agree that the market for products with inverters and variable refrigerant flow will continue to grow over the next five to 10 years. “As far as what comes next, there are so many options to consider, but the safe bets include higher efficiency, alternative heat transfer technologies, better compressors and better (more efficient) equipment control,” adds Andy Armstrong, director of North American marketing for unitary products at Johnson Controls.

The parties to the Montreal Protocol have already turned their attention to a phase down and eventual phase out of HFCs, including R410A, leaving the industry looking to non-fluorocarbon replacements. “Carbon dioxide will be the next big player,” predicts Robertson. Wolmarans suspects he’s right, but cautions that more testing and development will be needed before it becomes a viable option. “There’s still some work to be done, according to my understanding, on the efficiencies of CO2 products,” he said. “But it’s already becoming publicly sold in Asian countries and probably will start making its way into Europe and perhaps that will be the flavour of the future.”

Replacement refrigerants will be replaced... eventually

While CO2 has emerged as a top contender, Armstrong says it remains too early to tell which refrigerants will replace HFCs.

Half a year after R22 was officially phased out, R410A has emerged as its primary successor for the space cooling market. Though no one expects it to go anywhere any time soon, no one’s recommending you get too used to it, either. “HFCs are going to be with us for a while; there is no question on that, but it is clear there will continue to be pressure for other options,” says Armstrong.

“Like the transition out of R22, there will be a great deal of debate regarding the options, and what direction we should move as an industry. That decision will be weighted heavily by the time window between now and the time that HFCs are no longer in use,” he says. “The longer that window, the harder it will be to predict the eventual solution.”

The Cooling Report continues on page 24

Air conditioner With models ranging between 14.5 and 15 SEER, Coleman LX Series air conditioners operate with R410A refrigerant. Available in two- through five-ton sizes, the units have variable-speed motors and feature microchannel technology. They come equipped with a compressor blanket and swept-wing fan blade.

colemanac.com

Side-discharge condensing unit

Ductless unit

The Quiet Breeze side-discharge condensing unit runs on R410A and is designed to work with most A and H 24volt coils. All models are 13-SEER and range in cooling capacity from 12,000 to 24,000 BTUH and in sound-rating from 54 to 58 dba.

LG’s R28AWN-10 ductless unit comes precharged with 1,800 grams of R410A. It has a maximum cooling capacity of 31,390 BTUH and a maximum heating capacity of 40,940 BTUH. It has an operating temperature range between -10ºC and 48ºC for cooling, and from -10ºC to 24ºC for heating.

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lg.com/ca


THE COOLING REPORT CON’T continued from page 23

Continued education keeps you in control As controls for cooling and heating systems become less mechanical and increasingly digital, so too must contractors.

Forced-air heat pump

“To get the efficiencies that the government wants, everybody’s going to electronic controls,” Robertson says.

Featuring an inverter-driven compressor, Mitsubishi Electric’s Zuba-Central forced-air heat pump has a cooling capacity of 34,000 BTUH, input of 2,865 watts and is rated 15 SEER for cooling. It has an indoor operating temperature range of 19ºC to 32ºC (66ºF to 90ºF) and an outdoor operating temperature range of -18ºC to 46ºC (0ºF to 115ºF).

Between electronic controls that evolve rapidly and the computer-savvy customers who increasingly demand digital options, he says electronic fluency is no longer optional. “If I were a contractor today, I would look at ensuring that I took as many courses as possible to stay ahead. It’s very incremental, but suddenly in two years, if you look back, we’ll have gone a long away.”

mitsubishielectric.ca

“I think if you do not stay on top of those electronic controls as far as the heat pump goes and the new technologies, the inverters, you’ll pretty much put yourself out of luck for the future,” agrees Wolmarans. While electronic controls can pose a new challenge to contractors accustomed to working mechanically, it can also open the door to increased sales opportunities. Robertson points out that new controls mean new products and services to sell. “Even if you’re not selling some of the new high-end product, make sure you understand the product, and how your customers could benefit from having them in their home,” adds Armstrong.

Security a threat?

Ductless split Napoleon’s ductless split is a 17-SEER system that runs on R410A and uses inverter technology. It has a cooling capacity of 24,000 BTUH and a heating capacity of 28,000 BTUH. The indoor unit measures 52” wide, 16” deep and 12” high, while the outdoor unit measures 40” wide, 17” deep and 34” high.

napoleonheatingandair.com

Contractors who don’t adapt to changing technology not only risk losing business to other contractors, but to other industries. “I believe that if contractors don’t step up to the plate and become more technically savvy, the alarm companies are going to step up and take over a lot of our industry,” says Rob Robertson. He points out that alarm companies are already well versed in the types of electronic controls that will become increasingly commonplace as smart homes come online in the next few years. If mechanical contractors aren’t up to speed on electronic control systems, alarm companies could be called in to troubleshoot. “So that revenue for preventative maintenance, which is very important to the mechanical industry, may be lost if people don’t become more tech savvy,” he warns. “We haven't begun to feel the impact of smart metering and they are already gearing up for it.”

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Heat pump Modulating anywhere from 40 to 118 per cent of capacity, the Frigidaire iQ Drive heat pump offers cooling capacities of 10,000 to 52,000 BTUH at 35ºC (95ºF) and heating capacities of 6,000 to 49,200 BTUH at 8ºC (47ºF). Using inverter-driven rotary technology to achieve up to 22 SEER, it operates at sound levels as low as 59 decibels.

fujitsugeneral.com


PLUMBING

Photos: Walter Siegmund

b y R o ger U u em ae

Cleanouts:

PLUMBING’S UNSUNG HEROES

Cleanouts are the unsung heroes in the plumbing system. The reality is, most people don’t notice them well, at least not until their drain clogs and – plumber is on site trying to find an access point. Having done plumbing service, I can appreciate the importance of cleanouts. Most of them probably never get used, and this is a good thing. In general, this indicates that the drainage system has been assembled correctly with good slope and the people using the system are not abusing it by discharging inappropriate waste products or overloading drainage pipes, causing blockages. Over the years, in any building, cleanouts can get covered or removed. The chances of this happening are pretty good when a building is being renovated. And it doesn’t matter whether it is a minor or major renovation. Even in brand new buildings, cleanouts can easily be covered by other finish trades. Carpet or tile could be placed on top of the cleanouts that were installed. Once they are covered, unless there was an accurate as-built drawing, it won’t be easy to find them in an emergency situation. Cleanouts that are installed at the base of rainwater leaders, soil and waste stacks can also be covered, and if there is an access door on the wall that’s painted the same colour as the wall, in many cases it would go unnoticed. Even though you’ve done the cleanout installation correctly, don’t be surprised if you get a call from the inspector asking where your cleanouts are. It’s always a good idea to be on site for your final inspection.

PASSING INSPECTION

WHEN DETERMINING IF A CLEANOUT IS ACCESSIBLE, HERE ARE SOME OF THE QUESTIONS I ASK MYSELF: • CAN IT BE ACCESSED BY REMOVING SCREWS? • DOES DRYWALL HAVE TO BE REMOVED? • IS THERE ANY DEMOLITION OF THE BUILDING REQUIRED? • CAN IT BE REACHED BY MOVING A REASONABLE AMOUNT OF FURNITURE?

During a final plumbing inspection, there are two considerations that an inspector is on the lookout for. 1. Do you have to break anything to get to the actual cleanout? If access doors or decorative covers are attached with screws, Velcro, spring loaded panels or anything else along those lines, I am satisfied that the intent of the code as far as accessibility is met. To my knowledge, there are no rules stating that cleanouts have to be labelled. 2. Is it reasonable that someone with a drain cleaning machine could gain access to the location of the cleanout? While the cleanout might be installed to meet code, as an inspector I have to apply some common sense and consider how the plumber might service the cleanout when necessary. For example, cleanouts in dangerous situations, such as in a location high off the ground, where solid footing is not available, would not be acceptable. continued on page 28

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PLUMBING

Join The Green Scene

continued from page 26

SO, WHERE SHOULD THEY GO? Most codes usually have a catch-all section stating that cleanouts should be provided to permit cleaning of the entire system, and then include more specific rules. In general, cleanouts should be installed: • As close as possible to the inside wall where any drains leave a building; • At the base of a soil stack, waste stack or rainwater leader; • On the downstream side of an interceptor; • On the upstream side and directly over a running trap; and • On a fixture drain serving a kitchen sink. It is important to install cleanouts the same size as the pipes that they are serving, at least up to the point of 4” pipes. It would not be easy to clear a blockage in a 4” drain if the access was a 1-1/4” cleanout. The cleaning cable that could be inserted into the 1-1/4” opening would be too small in diameter and would either break or get all twisted and jam up in the 4” pipe. Worse, it could break off completely. Now we would have a new problem, and haven’t solved the existing one.

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Generally, cleanouts on horizontal drains should not be more than 15 metres (50 feet) apart. It is my understanding that this rule was placed into effect as most drain-clearing equipment didn’t have motors capable of rotating cables that were more than 15 metres long.

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FLUSH PLEASE This may be obvious, but cleanouts that are installed in floors should be flush with the finished floor where there is any pedestrian or vehicular traffic. For example, tow motors used in warehouses can put a lot of stress on cleanouts. To prevent cleanouts from being damaged, and in turn damaging the drain below, the cleanout can be installed independently below the finished floor. Then an access door can be installed in the floor. This way, any heavy weight will bear on the access door. 0 6 . 1 0

Today, I am sure you could easily clear up to 30 metres (100 feet), and probably longer, with the equipment that is available. However, it is an advantage to have the cleanouts closer together. You can check from cleanout to cleanout to help pinpoint where the problem is. And with the shorter drain cables, there is not as much of a load placed on the electric motor, particularly in situations where there is heavy grease involved.

By Definition Cleanout: A fitting access in a drainage system or venting system that is installed to provide access for cleaning and inspection, and that is provided with a readily replaceable air-tight cover.


• F l u s h p l e a s e • I n co r p o r at in g clean o u t s in t h e kit ch en

Protecting the cleanout

Incorporating cleanouts in the kitchen

One common problem I see on final inspections is that the cleanouts that are installed in the concrete floor get covered with a thin film of concrete “juice” as a result of using the power trowel.

Kitchen sinks get a lot of attention. Because there is food and grease associated with their use, it is presumed that there would be more maintenance required. In a commercial kitchen, the benefits of multiple cleanouts far out weigh the initial cost of the cleanout installation. The maximum distance between cleanouts on a kitchen sink drain in the National Plumbing Code is six metres, regardless of the size of the drain. A cleanout is required on the downstream side of the trap that serves a kitchen sink. Some plumbers will install a union p-trap on the kitchen sink. It is important to double check with your inspector to see if this is acceptable.

Aside from hiding the cleanout cover, the cement gets onto the screws and into the threads. Once these fine threads get cement in them, they normally get damaged beyond repair. A simple precaution is to put masking tape over the concrete covers, to protect them when the concrete is being placed. Watch out for the type of masking tape used though. Some of the high tack tapes, if left on too long, are almost impossible to get off (without a single edge razor blade and a lot of elbow grease).

DRAIN GRATE, OR CLEANOUT? In a few cases I have seen a floor drain grate installed where a cleanout cover in the floor should be. Most of the time when this happens it is because a different crew is installing the finishing and they make an honest mistake. Usually I would detect the missing trap on a final inspection when looking for the functioning trap seal primer.

Roger Uuemae is a licensed plumber, an instructor with the Ontario Plumbing Inspector’s Association, and has been employed as a plumbing inspector with the City of Mississauga for the past 20 years. www.opia.info

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REFRIGERATION

b y P h il J. B o u d r eau

&

OIL OIL SEPARATORS The necessity of oil

All moving components within a compressor must be adequately lubricated. This is the reason that all refrigerating compressors discharge a certain amount of oil out to the system. The amount of oil discharged is dependent on a number of factors, including compressor type and efficiency, miscibility of the refrigerant and oil combination, as well as the operating pressures and temperatures.

Oil Separators Oil return becomes more complicated at lower temperatures, which is why many low-temperature systems are equipped with oil separators. The purpose of the oil separator is to separate the oil from the refrigerant, and to send it back to the compressor. This also yields higher heat transfer coefficients in the evaporator and condenser. It is very important to note, however, that oil separators should not be considered to be 100 per cent efficient, and should be applied with caution. If a system is known to have an oil return problem, it is not considered good practice to simply place an oil separator in the discharge line without considering the long-term effects.

Installation Notes: When the system design, operating conditions and piping layout permit, the oil separator may be omitted. Oil separators are not used in most medium- to hightemperature or air conditioning systems. In low-temperature systems, the oil becomes more viscous in the evaporator and may be more difficult to return to the compressor.

Defrost cycles will often bring oil back to the compressor when they are of a sufficient length and at frequent intervals. Periods of heavy loading will also help get the oil back to the compressor. These two scenarios may put the compressor at risk. Because oil separators are not usually 100 per cent efficient, just think of an oil separator as a component to bridge the gaps between defrost cycles and/or periods of heavy loading.

It is important to note that rapid return of the oil during a fully loaded start-up or perhaps after defrost can be very dangerous to the compressor and must be dealt with through good piping practice, and the use of safety components such as a suction accumulator.

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S

mall amounts of oil circulating throughout a refrigeration system will provide some lubrication to moving parts. Since the oil affects heat transfer, manufacturers of components must take this circulating oil into consideration during their design processes. When an excessive amount of oil is permitted to circulate throughout the system, heat transfer within heat exchangers will be lowered. Since oil travels better at higher temperatures, it travels up discharge risers with relative ease. When miscible refrigerant and oil combinations are used, oil movement in the liquid line is practically guaranteed. In the evaporator, the refrigerant evaporates at a low temperature. Oil tends to drop out of the cool refrigerant vapour and may rest in the evaporator and suction lines. These must be sized to ensure proper oil movement toward the compressor.

[

When piping is oversized, the refrigerant velocity is low and oil may log or collect in the low side. A similar problem occurs when the refrigerant and oil are not miscible with each other. Oil separators may prove beneficial. continued on page 32


REFRIGERATION continued from page 30

TYPES OF

SEPARATORS Mesh Pad Separators

Impingement-Screen Separators Impingement type oil separators use a reduction in velocity, rapid change of direction and impingement on a screen to remove oil from the refrigerant. These separators typically have efficiencies that are lower than 80 to 85 per cent.

Mesh pad separators incorporate a steel mesh pad that removes oil through a reduction of velocity and impingement on the mesh pad material. These separators often operate at a lower pressure drop than conventional impingement separator designs and are often used on larger refrigeration systems. Oil separators similar to the mesh pad design may also utilize a steel wool material.

The oil/refrigerant mixture enters the shell and passes through a screen where large oil droplets are removed first. Due to the comparatively large volume of the shell, the velocity is reduced and the refrigerant expands. The oil droplets, which are heavier than the refrigerant vapour, tend to drop out of the mixture as the refrigerant rapidly changes direction and travels towards the screened outlet.

Coalescing Separators Coalescing units incorporate a very fine glass-fibre, or similar element, which is used to remove the oil from the refrigerant.

Helical Separators Helical oil separators contain a helicalshaped steel or similar element which, is similar in appearance to an auger. Inside the oil separator the refrigerant and oil travel downwards through the shell in a helical flow pattern. The larger droplets of oil are separated through centrifugal force and accumulate on a screen, which rests near the outer wall of the shellâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interior. The oil then runs down this screen and into the reservoir. A baffle isolates the separation chamber from the reservoir. The purpose of the baffle is to keep the oil in the bottom of the separator so that it cannot be re-entrained by the refrigerant stream. According to at least one manufacturer of helical oil separators, separation efficiencies approaching 99 per cent can be achieved using this technology. Due to its design, pressure drop through the separator is minimal. Some coalescing also takes place in the helical separator at the outlet screen to assist in oil separation.

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In a coalescing separator, the smaller droplets of oil group together, forming larger drops. This happens because the refrigerant/oil mixture is forced through a complex network of glass fibres. The vapour refrigerant then makes its way out of the shell while the oil gradually drains down a mesh or screen, which encases the coalescing element. Think of the coalescing separator as one which tends to â&#x20AC;&#x153;filterâ&#x20AC;? out the oil. Coalescing oil separators are considered to be the most efficient of the four categories. This is why coalescing oil separators are often used on ultralow-temperature systems where refrigerant and oil charge is critical, and oil return becomes very complicated. With this design, all of the discharge vapour must travel through the coalescing element. For this reason, a fairly substantial pressure drop will exist across the oil separator. Furthermore, pressure drop will increase as solid contaminants accumulate within the glass fibre network. Phil Boudreau provides sales, training and technical support for Bitzer Canada Inc., and is the instructor of a refrigeration course at Humber College in Toronto. He can be contacted at pboudreau@bitzer.ca.


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Warranties vary according to specific product. Some restrictions apply. See your KeepRite distributor for complete details. Use the handy distributor locator to find the distributor nearest you. ©2010 International Comfort Products, LLC


HYDRONICS

b y B o b ‘Ho t R o d ’ R o h r

Pumping persuasions to please the pocketbook

e talked about pumps in a recent issue, focusing on proper placement in relation to the boiler and expansion vessel. Seeing as pumps are a very hot — pun intended — topic, let’s take a look deeper into the well.

W

Major advances are being seen in small circulator offerings. With the ECM (electronically commutated motor), top technology is becoming more affordable and available. And this technology is seeping into the circulator pump market. We have seen variable speed drives and high efficiency motors available on larger pump offerings for some time now. For the past several years, variable speed well pumps have been available. Installers and dealers I have spoken with are pleased with their performance, not to mention the cost of operation savings that ECM pumps offer.

H

NOT S ’ D O OT R

EPAD

n told I’ve bee ately 30 per im approx he electrical t cent of onsumed c energy e is used to es id ak worldw mps. So it m e h pu power incorporate t o sense t gh efficiency h t i latest h nto pumps, bo i motors d small. n large a

ASK (AND ASK AND ASK), AND YE SHALL RECEIVE For years now we have asked, why not offer ECM technology on small wet rotor circ pumps? I understand there is a considerable cost involved in modifying a European circulator to the U.S. and Canadian markets. Obtaining the proper listings and certification alone takes time and money. The numbers have to work out before the manufacturers are willing to make the investment. Furthermore, I imagine the small wet rotor circulator market on this continent is a fraction of what is sold and installed in Europe, and for the rest of the global 230V users. But attending expos like ISH in Germany and Mostra in Italy has whet our appetites for highly efficient pumps and circulators. I have brochures I gathered at ISH Frankfurt back in 1992 showing high efficiency pumps at the large pump manufacturers’ booths.

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 & education with Caleffi North America. You can reach Hot Rod at bob.rohr@caleffi.com.

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Good things sometimes come slowly, however. With more and more installers on this side of the pond seeing, either in person or online, this technology, the question often repeated was, "When can we have it over in North America?" continued on page 36 B u s i n e s s

0 6 . 1 0


Zero or even below, the Woodford 65/67 series commercial wall hydrants will tolerate any temperatures without freezing. All drain automatically, even with a hose attached. The 67 models include an ASSE Standard 1052 approved backflow preventer connection…and all come with Woodford quality, durability, and the ability to tolerate anything Mother Nature can throw at them.

WOODFORD 65/67 SERIES FREEZELESS WALL HYDRANTS

Model 67 Freezeless Wall Hydrant with backflow prevention The ASSE 1052 approved double check is field testable. Designed to complement modern architecture. The Model 65 offers the same features with an ASSE 1019 vacuum breaker.

RB67 Round Box Freezeless Wall Hydrant Fits through standard 6" diameter cored hole. Supplied with a ASSE 1052 approved double check backflow preventer that is field testable. Designed especially for tilt-up wall construction. Also available as the RB65 with ASSE 1019 approved vacuum breaker.

B67 Freezeless Wall Hydrant with double check backflow protection A rectangular version of our RB67, with backflow prevention. Also offered as the B65.

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HYDRONICS continued from page 34

H

’S N O T D O R T O

EPAD

I guess if you ask long enough the question gets answered with actual product.

t G migh & B f i a er I wond ay with r f M C he E or enter t irculat c t n i o d price p bells an it r e w e f e with promot t u b , s cy whistle efficien r e e h s n based o rs. numbe

Currently Wilo, Laing and Grundfos have small wet rotor ECM offerings, and with the B&G/Laing acquisition, expect to see Bell & Gossett entering into the race.

I have had several prototype samples from various manufacturers in my shop on a number of systems for several years, and I’ve pushed them to their limits. Even under high solar temperature conditions, I’m pleased to say the circs I’ve tested work as promised. So now that we have these new toys to play with in our systems, we may stop whining about not getting the latest and greatest the pump people have to offer – well for a little while anyway. Just when I thought we reached pump euphoria, someone shot me pictures of even more unique micro pumps from a recent Expo in Italy. These super small sized circs allow placement right at the heat emitter – with power consumption lower than some Christmas tree bulbs!

PUMPED ON TRAINING Seize the opportunity to attend some factory or dealer training on these newest pump offerings when it presents itself. All of the major pump manufacturers offer training, whether that’s at their training facilities, at trade shows, or as part of their travelling demos. And many manufacturers have wisely chosen to use former hydronic contractors to take the message to the trade. Having the training and information coming from someone who has “walked the walk, and talked the talk,” brings more “believe-ability” to the product and the technology. One of the more impressive training tools that I’ve experienced in my travels is the Wilo “Brain Box.” This is a crowd pleaser, since it clearly shows how much energy we can save through the use of high-efficiency pumps. If a Brain Box is in your area anytime soon, drop everything and attend the seminar. I think we have been over pumping our hydronic designs for quite some time. When you see how much energy these high efficiency pumps can move in the form of hydronic fluid, you will be amazed.

Stay tuned, it’s going to get even more interesting.

DESIGN FOR NORTH AMERICA Most installers who have made the switch to high efficiency pumping will echo this finding. Moving the load with half or less energy consumption brings a smile to an installer’s face and the consumer’s pocketbook. Hop onboard the high efficiency hydronics movement!

From the perspective of someone who works with this technology on a daily basis, I would appeal to all of the manufacturers to build these pumps to match the needs of this market as well as they can. In the past, some European-based pump companies seemed to struggle with the wiring connections we work with here. We need a means to install liquid tight conduit to the junction box – and enough room inside the box to get the connections “made.” And while I am still on my soapbox, I’d like to put in a good word for including indicator lights on all small circulators. Trust me, we will pay the extra buck or two for an indicator lamp.

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THE HST

b y R in o B ellavia

ADDING VALUE TO YOUR

OPERATION HST Alert

Effective July 1, B.C. and Ontario provincial sales taxes will be harmonized with the federal goods and services tax (GST). These new federally administered taxes will be 12 per cent in B.C. and 13 per cent in Ontario, of which the provincial portions will be seven and eight per cent, respectively. These two provinces will join Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland & Labrador, which already have harmonized sales tax systems.

hile addressing taxes likely isn’t high on the 2010 priority list for many of Canada’s mechanical contractors, those in British Columbia and Ontario might want to start planning now in order to realize the most value from the incoming harmonized sales tax.

W

TD Economics estimates the move to a harmonized sales tax will reduce the amount of taxes businesses in B.C. and Ontario pay on inputs by $6.9 billion. As well, there will be an additional $650 million saved in compliance costs. This can be big value for mechanical contractors. The HST is a value-added tax, like the GST, ensuring that only the value contributed by each manufacturer is taxed by allowing the business to claim tax credits for the HST it pays on most inputs. The HST will only be an added cost on the final sale of a mechanical contractor’s goods and services to a person who is not entitled to either an input tax credit (ITC) or rebate (such as the consumer). B.C. and Ontario businesses currently pay provincial sales tax on many expenses, including equipment supplied and installed into real property, installation tools, fixtures, office equipment, certain software and hardware, promotion materials, delivery vehicles, and more. Mechanical contractors cannot recover this provincial sales tax as they do with the GST, thus it becomes an added cost of doing business. With the harmonized sales tax, however, while mechanical contractors will have to pay higher HST on these items, entitlement to ITCs should allow for the recovery of most, if not all, of these tax payments, resulting in lower overall costs. continued on page 40

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Rino Bellavia is a partner of BDO Canada LLP (www.bdo.ca) and the leader of the firm’s large market region indirect tax practice. You can reach Rino in BDO’s Burlington office at 905633-4905 or rBellavia@bdo.ca.

POTENTIAL RECOVERY OF PST FROM INVENTORY Mechanical contractors typically have to pay the PST on their inventory purchases of materials and equipment that are to be supplied and installed into the customer’s real property. To the extent that these items remain in inventory as of June 30, 2010, and will be incorporated into real property and thus subject to HST, mechanical contractors may be entitled to file a transitional rebate claim with the provincial government to recover the PST paid on this inventory. The rebate is only available on inventory that will be used on certain real property contracts (e.g., to repair or improve residential real property under a contract to which the HST applies). The rebate of the PST is not available on inventory to be used in non-residential housing contracts. Mechanical contractors should plan to perform an inventory count of items eligible for the rebate and file the rebate form on or before December 31, 2010.


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Whether you’re creating a quiet, comfort controlled room, or simply want to heat or cool an area without expensive ductwork, our innovative designs and flexible product configurations suit every application.

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LG’s energy efficient inverter technology enables variable speeds instead of a constant speed found in conventional AC units. And, it’s incredibly quiet.

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The LG ArtCool™ products allow owners to customize the look and feel of the unit in their home. From the ArtCool Pic model that allows custom artwork or photos or the ArtCool Mirror with its changeable panels and incredibly modern design. LG offers many design options for the most discerning home owner.

Operate up to four indoor units, each with a remote control, from a single outdoor condensing unit. LG’s FlexMulti Split System gives you extra design flexibility and makes installation easier.

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THE HST continued from page 38

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FIRST AND ONLY program of its kind in North America

There are other HST benefits for mechanical contractors as well. Mechanical contractors will no longer be required to file two sales tax returns. Only the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) will administer and collect the HST and audit taxpayers. Of course, along with the added value of lower material costs and fewer compliance requirements, harmonization also presents certain new challenges. Thus it will be particularly important for B.C. and Ontario’s mechanical contractors to take the necessary steps in order to realize the most value possible from the transition to the new tax system.

SPECIAL PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS FOR LARGE FIRMS Mechanical contractors with annual taxable sales above $10 million (i.e. “large business”) will not be able to reap all of the benefits of input tax credits for several years. They are temporarily restricted from recovering the provincial component of the HST for certain expenditures. These expenditures include energy not directly used in the manufacturing process, telecommunication services (other than internet and toll-free numbers), road vehicles less than 3,000 kilograms, vehicle parts and fuel, and meals and entertainment.

ADDRESSING THE IMPACT

Regardless of the size of the business, every mechanical contractor in B.C. and Ontario should determine the potential financial impact of harmonization. Here are a few areas that might warrant consideration:

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Accounting systems Determine what’s involved in converting accounting systems to ensure compliance (e.g., charge and remit appropriate HST and claim appropriate ITCs). As well, investigate what modifications may be required for invoices, sales receipts, purchase orders and expense reports. Existing agreements Assess the impact of harmonization on current and planned contracts, and on other agreements, including leases, credit notes and discounts. Suppliers may be required to begin collecting the HST as early as May 1 on transactions that relate to the post-July 1 period. Payment terms Previously, mechanical contractors typically would have only collected the five per cent GST on most sales. They will now be required to collect HST from customers. When this is a “cash on delivery” arrangement, mechanical contractors will collect HST on the requisite portion of the payment. HST payments may become a cash flow issue, since businesses may have to wait for invoice payments despite already B u s i n e s s

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having remitted the 12 or 13 per cent HST portion of those payments to the Canada Revenue Agency. It might be a good idea to review payment terms and invoice timing. Time major expenditures It will also be important to review the timing of any planned capital acquisitions or major expenditures. It may be worthwhile delaying these purchases until after July 1 to ensure the provincial portion of the tax paid qualifies for ITCs. Inter-provincial sales and purchases Mechanical contractors that sell interprovincially will have to assess the tax implications of these transactions. The government has issued proposed new “place of supply” rules that will apply when goods are sold inter-provincially. Supplying to governments While the federal government does not currently pay PST on taxable supplies, and neither the B.C. nor Ontario governments pay GST on supplies, this immunity will change as of July 1 when the B.C., Ontario and federal governments will be required to pay the GST and the provincial portion of the HST on supplies.


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What: CMX/CIPHEX Show 2010 Who: Presented by CIPH/HRAI Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre When: Thursday March 25 – Saturday March 27 Attendees: 14,400 (including exhibitors) Exhibitors: 500 The biennial CMX-CIPHEX tradeshow kicked off with a bang this year, as CIPH hosted its traditional gala evening in support of Habitat for Humanity. Comedian Ron James performed for guests at the Fairmont Royal York, helping raise more than $25,000 for the charity. The evening’s success was a precursor for the rest of the show, as 14,400 people registered to take in more than 500 exhibits and 30 informative seminars. Mechanical Business was on hand at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to meet readers, take in the seminars and capture all the action. 2

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1. The exhibition floor at this year’s CMX/CIPHEX show was packed with exhibitors and visitors. 2. HRAI president Warren Heeley presents show Ed Seaward with a plaque commemorating five years as show chair. 3. The CMX/CIPHEX tradeshow committee welcomes visitors. 4. John Hammill (left) of Moen Canada and Martin Deschenes of Groupe Deschenes (right) flank comedian Ron James at the opening gala. 5. Mechanical Business columnist and president of Air Solutions, Gord Cooke talks HVAC during one of the many learning seminars. 6. The winners and participants in the Skills Canada-Ontario Heating Systems competition. 7. Jamie Shipley of CMHC discusses radon in homes.

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8. Jerry Fairborn (Moen) and his wife Tory. 9. CIPH chair Martin Deschenes (left) and HRAI chair Gerry Cellucci cut the ribbon to open the show. 10. Playing with fire at the Thermadyne/TurboTorch booth. 11. HRAI president Warren Heeley (left) and Syed Ahmed of Nissan Canada draw the winning name of Helene Gagnon, who took home a 2010 Nissan Titan. 12. From left to right, Vaso Roknic Chamberlain, Eric Jean-Louis and Andy Fyntikatis won the gold, silver and bronze medals, respectively, in HRAI’s 2010 Masters Skills Triathlon. 13. Dave Tayler (left), of the HVACR Heritage Centre Canada, presents Norm Fraser with his HVACR Pioneer plaque. 14. Arnold Knapp of the Canadian Copper and Brass Development Association. 15. Interest was high as contractors and visitors jammed the entrances as the show got underway. 16. Don Wellington cuts the tube to mark the changing of Wolverine Tube’s name to Great Lakes Copper. Helping him out are Warren Heeley (HRAI), Stephen Knapp (CCBDA) and Jean Noelting. 17. Marilyn Stroud (left) and Brent Cornelissen (right) take a few tips from world record yo-yoist “Fast Eddy” McDonald in the OS&B booth. 18. Comedian Ron James connects with Kevin Fullan. 19. Harald Prell introduces a presentation on Viessmann technology. 20. Show chair Ed Seaward announces the show is open.

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ROAD WARRIOR

If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be? “Lance Armstrong.”

Photos: Brian Buchsdruecker

Name: Kyle Lumsden Company: Clearview Plumbing & Heating Title: President Trade School: British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Age: 38 Lives in: Calgary, AB Family: Wife Melanie, daughter Ainsley (5) and son Bronson (8 months)

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Favourite car: Nissan GTR

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by Dave Bowden How long have you been in the mechanical trades? “Almost 20 years now.”

Favourite movie: “The Hurt Locker – best movie I have ever seen.”

What’s your favourite thing about the job? “Solving people’s problems.”

Favourite business-related websites: “Contractor Talk (www.contractortalk.com), and a close second would be Sales Practice (www.salespractice.com).”

Kilometres logged per day: “At least 100.” What brought you to the trades? “I wanted to combine customer service with technical service. I love meeting people and was always good at fixing stuff.” Time behind the wheel per day (when you were behind the wheel): “In Calgary, at least three hours of travel. Audio books were my friends.” What makes and models of service vehicles do you use? “GMCs, Sprinters and Hinos, all with 14-foot boxes, which have custom shelves and thousands of parts.” Any area you like to get dispatched to, and why? “All areas. All customers get the same service and we love them all.” Fondest memory on the job? “We recently helped a customer in the winter with a cracked heat exchanger. With the help of the supplier and the city of Calgary, we were able to supply a free furnace to a single mother with kids, who could not afford a new furnace. This is what is important.” Favourite tool in your toolbox: “Multimeter and ratcheting pipe cutter with plastic wheel. Great for no mess at the job site.” Favourite band/performer: Metallica Best concert you ever attended? Iron Maiden Favourite magazines (other than Mechanical Business): Profit and Calgary Business Favourite cartoon as a kid: Bugs Bunny Favourite sport: “Weightlifting and bike racing – Le Tour de France.” Favourite place to hang out: “On the golf course.”

Favourite website to browse during spare time: “Crossfit (www.crossfit.com) and Ninja Video (www.ninjavideo.net).” What do you like to do in your spare time? “Lift weights and golf.” Last book you read: “Three books, actually. Robin Sharma’s ‘The Greatness Guide’; another one called ‘50th Law’ – I’m not a huge hip hop fan, but it’s a great book; and ‘The Checklist Manifesto,’ which is all about being more efficient by using checklists.” Play any sports? “I played football and field hockey.”

Community contributor Lumsden’s Clearview Plumbing runs a charity donation program through its website. Each month, it solicits the names of local Calgary non-profit organizations, then holds a draw and awards one lucky charity with $1,000. If you’re in the Calgary area, you can nominate a charity at his website: www.clearviewplumbing.ca If you were granted one wish, what would it be? “I wish I could help all the charities we meet every month and write a cheque for all the money that they need.” If you could be an animal, what would you be? “I would be a lion, he is the king of the jungle. A beaver is a close second: a Canadian icon, and a hard, industrious worker.”

Favourite outdoor activity: “Golfing and training outside.”

What is one place in the world you would like to visit and why? “China. I wonder what is going on over there. I want to see the Great Wall of China.”

Favourite drive-thru restaurant (and what do you order): “Starbucks: venti bold, black.” (That’s a large dark roast coffee, with no cream or sugar.)

Farthest place you ever travelled from home: “Costa Rica.”

Favourite local haunt for lunch: “My desk. It’s usually steak and green vegetables.” Favourite food: “Steak – lots and lots!”

Biggest pet peeves: “Negativity. We are given one shot. Make every day your absolute best.” M e c h a n i c a l

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KITCHEN & BATH TRENDS

Sophisticated yet practical

b y A d am Fr eill

CHROME SHINES ON When it comes to finishes in the world of faucets, Tim McDonough of Moen Canada puts it bluntly, “Chrome is still king.” Stainless steel or brushed nickel rank second in popularity, and other finish options, such as oil-rubbed bronze and antique pewter, maintain a share of the market, but chrome continues to be the finish of choice. “I think that is because it is definitely durable. It looks great and it can be easily co-ordinated. It goes with everything,” says Maeve Grady of Masco Canada.

hrome may still be king, but the faucets sporting the finish have come a long way since the days of old, as have the rest of the fixtures in the two most expensive rooms in a typical home. While you can still find rather modest designs at your local plumbing supply shop, like the two-handle fixed-spout kitchen faucet, consumer demand and design knowledge are pushing the envelope of product development in both the kitchen and the bathroom.

Kohler

C

Hot buttons for consumers today are products that offer clean, functional style, while delivering performance and durability. From single-hole faucets, to water-saving options that are high on performance, to electronic controls in the shower and at the sink, there are plenty of kitchen and bath products vying for the attention of modern consumers.

BUILDERS’ CROWN JEWELS

Tim McDonough, vice-president, wholesale marketing and brand development with Moen Canada, agrees. He says that builders are making moves to woo homebuyers, and kitchens and baths are where many are making their play. “We are seeing more builders going with the first upgrade as their standard. They need to differentiate themselves from the builder down the street.” Continued on page 50

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Delta Faucet

With the home builder market still experiencing some volatility, builders are trying to differentiate themselves and attract buyers to their offerings. “In some cases,” says Steve Dunn, trade channel manager with Masco Canada, “it is by using the faucet. We are noticing a marked increase where they are using a kitchen faucet as the jewelry of the home.”


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THIS IS 0NE VERY RESPONSIVE FAUCET.

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KITCHEN & BATH TRENDS CON’T Continued from page 48

“Touch technology is something that builders are starting to use as their signature piece,” says Dunn.

Of course, for those who don’t have a single-hole sink but still want to refresh the look of their kitchen, there is the option of putting in escutcheons, which are available for most single-hole faucets.

Most Canadians have accepted low-flow toilets and low-flow faucets, but in some applications the only thing a lower flow of water does is eat up time. Take, for example, filling a large pot to make pasta. Enter the pot filler. Because these are specialized to a particular task, they do not have to conform to the lower flow rates of their kitchen and lavatory cousins. As such, flow rates in excess of 20 litres per minute are offered. “The increased flow rate on our pot filler came right out of our consumer research,” says Tim McDonough of Moen Canada.

In the bathroom, wall-mounted faucets are a growing option that many builders are exploring to help them stand out. “So we have wall-mounted faucets, fourinch seated, single-hole, the choice is really up to the builder or the designer,” adds Dunn.

For kitchens where a pot filler is not in the cards, there are additional options in the marketplace that won’t require tearing through existing walls. “Delta offers a pull-out with two stream options,” explains Masco Canada’s Maeve Grady. “There’s a 1.5 gpm stream, but if you click the button on the pullout, it goes to 2.0 gpm, so if you are filling a large pot you can click to the higher stream, and it will go a little faster.”

SINGLE-HOLE STYLE ON THE RISE When it comes to faucet styles, one cannot help but notice the number of single-hole offerings that have entered the marketplace over the past few years. “Single-hole faucets provide a clean, modern look, and that is definitely very popular at the moment,” says Maeve Grady of Masco Canada. “Consumers want plain looks, whether that’s in the kitchen or bath,” says Moen Canada’s Tim McDonough. “Going

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GOING DIGITAL Once quite complicated – and sometimes costly – electronics are now part of the mainstream, and that has manufacturers looking at incorporating them into wet environments at an accelerated pace. Consumers have their Blackberry and their iPod, and now their shower, tub or faucet is part of their digital environment as well.

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Moen

POT FILLERS ADD FUNCTIONALITY

American Standard Brands

And where once a pull-out faucet was an extravagance, many homebuyers are seeing that style as a given, prompting some builders to push the stakes even further by adding electronics to their kitchen masterpieces.

with one-hole faucets in the kitchen, with the handle on the side, does that.”


HAND-HELD ADDITIONS “In every area of our lives, electronics are really huge. They are making our lives easier, and that’s happening in faucets as well,” says Maeve Grady of Masco Canada. “With people aging in their homes, we think this is going to become more and more popular.” “The first electronics that went into the home were highly complex. They may have needed another trade involved, like an electrician, and may not have been as reliable. All that has changed as technology has evolved,” adds Steve Dunn of Masco Canada.

Moen

With more cocooning and staycations happening, having a bathroom experience that fosters relaxation is taking priority with consumers. Four-piece bathrooms are becoming more and more prevalent, and those most sought after come equipped with a large tub and soothing shower, both of which are being outfitted with hand-held showers. “I see four-piece Roman tub sets growing in popularity,” says Moen Canada’s Tim McDonough. “And cleaning that large tub can be difficult,” adds Maeve Grady of Masco Canada. “If you have the four-hole, you have a pull-out, hand-held shower, which makes rinsing down the tub really easy. It is all about convenience and functionality.”

Options in digital include hard-wired, batterypowered, and even technology that requires neither battery nor wiring. “Kohler’s Insight faucets combine adaptive infrared technology with regenerative power,” explains the company’s marketing and communications manager, Donna Church.

BOTTLE FILLING STATION

“The key word today is value. That’s what consumers are demanding. They want to know how long this faucet is going to last,” says Tim McDonough of Moen Canada. “They look at price, durability and looks.” And price does not mean that homeowners are not willing to spend, just that the spending needs to make sense in the buyer’s eyes. “A lot of people are willing to invest more, because they are going to use it more,” explains Maeve Grady of Masco Canada. “People may spend a few hundred dollars on a fancy mixer and use it once or twice a year. You might use a faucet 30 or 40 times in a busy day.” “Consumers are looking for value when making their purchasing decisions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean cheap,” adds Donna Church, manager of marketing and communications with Kohler Canada. “Homeowners and designers are still willing to invest in their kitchen and bathroom, but they are making smarter decisions and taking into consideration timeless style and low-maintenance products that will not break down or need replacing.”

Hansfgrohe

SPENDING AT HOME With the economy not entirely out of the woods, consumers are being a bit more watchful of where their dollars are going. While that has been hard on some industries, such as travel and tourism, it has been beneficial to the renovation trades as homeowners who have opted to stay home during their vacation have turned their interests, and their wallets, to projects around the house.

Elkay’s new EZH20TM bottle filling station provides a rapid fill of filtered water to quench thirst and minimize plastic bottle waste in the environment.

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1-2200 Speers Road, Oakville ON L6L 2X8 905-465-9858 or 1-800-661-1795 www.novanni.ca M e c h a n i c a l

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COOLING

b y L u cio M esq u it a

Solar:

Solar cooling can be achieved through two very distinct methods. One is using photovoltaic (PV) panels to produce electricity. The electricity can then be used to run the compressors of the AC system. Usually we do not call this option a solar air-conditioning system as it is basically just a solar electricity system (for the same reason we would not say that someone has a solar PV toaster system in their house). The second option is to generate heat through solar thermal

IT’S NOT JUST FOR HEATING ANYMORE collectors using the heat to drive one of several thermally driven air conditioning options. HOW SOLAR THERMAL COOLING WORKS In most cases, solar thermal cooling consists of putting together two technologies that have been around for more than a century: solar thermal collectors and heat-driven cooling machines. Both technologies have evolved considerably over the past 30 years and, more importantly, significant research has been directed at making them work well as a system. Heat is produced using solar collectors. Those can be flat plate, vacuum tube or concentrating collectors. The issue of solar collector performance versus operating temperature (see “Efficiency drops and temperature requirements” sidebar) is important because most heat-driven cooling technologies require higher driving temperatures to operate, or perform better at higher temperatures. The most common heat-driven AC technologies are desiccant open cycles, absorption and adsorption

Going the PV route is usually more expensive than the solar thermal option, but final numbers always depend on current government incentives and policies, which can tip the scales one way or the other. Regardless of which technology is used, solar cooling, combined with solar heating, will continue to represent an important option in the fight against climate change.

ABSORPTION liquid, using exchangers with some type of liquid desiccant sprayed on their surfaces. Solar heat is used to regenerate the desiccant so the system can be used continuously. Liquid desiccant systems are particularly interesting because the regeneration can be done at temperatures as low as 60°C (140°F). COPs usually range from 0.5 to 1.0, depending strongly on the ambient air temperature and humidity.

Absorption chillers are well known in the refrigeration industry, and very large units offering 200 tons of refrigeration or more have been available for many years, in both direct-fired gas and low-pressure steam models. In recent years, an effort has been made to develop smaller hotwater driven units that can be effectively powered by solar thermal collectors. Yazaki, a company with products continued on page 54

DESICCANT DESICCANT ADVANCEMENTS

Desiccant units are used mostly where humidity control is important, as in some year-round ice hockey arenas and grocery stores. They can be solid, using rotor wheels of solid desiccant material, or

In North America, AIL Research in New Jersey has been developing desiccant technology for the past 15 years, and the technology is close to becoming commercially available. A few prototypes have been installed, including a recent one in an American Air Force base in Panama City, Fla., and another one at Queen’s University, in Kingston, Ont. Menerga, a German manufacturer of air handling units and dehumidifiers for swimming pools, has also developed and installed a few liquid desiccant systems, but those are not yet available in North America. Munters

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0U[YVK\JPUNV\Y,ULYN`:[HY:[\KKLK3PUL\W Mitsubishi Electric is shining bright for 2010 with the introduction of fourteen – yes, fourteen – new Energy Star certified units. You now have a world of options when it comes to specifying highly efficient heating and cooling systems for your clients. Also available for 2010 is a new, smaller-sized 6000 Btu/h indoor unit, extended heating operation range down to -25°C and a new, improved 6-year parts/10-year compressor extended warranty.

>L»YL[OPURPUNIS\LILJH\ZL^L^HU[`V\[V[OPURNYLLU Visit ^^^ZTHY[/=(*JH for more information.

+<*;,+ +<*;3,:::730;:@:;,4: ;/052 .9,,5 *When installed by an Authorized HVAC Installer.


COOLING CON’T

• C o m b in in g syst em s t o b e co st - effective

COMBINING SYSTEMS TO BE COST-EFFECTIVE

continued from page 52

available in North America, has units as small as five tons. One of their chillers was installed at the Olympic Village in Vancouver, with Viessmann vacuum tube collectors.

Most businesses in the mechanical trade have heard of, or had an opportunity to work with, solar water heaters. And it makes sense, since the technology is one of the most costeffective options to add renewable energy to a building.

ADSORPTION

CANADIAN ENERY USE

Most absorption chillers require heat from 80°C (175°F) to 93°C (200°F) to run. Typical COPs are between 0.65 and 0.8 for single-effect machines. One option for absorption chillers is to use double-effect chillers. Those are much more efficient, with COPs close to 1.4, but require driving temperatures around 165°C (330°F), attainable only with concentrating Another option is to use adsorption chillers. When compared to absorption chillers, adsorption units are slightly less efficient (COPs are usually around 0.6), bulkier and more expensive. However, they can run at lower temperatures, in some cases as low as 130°F (54°C), and are very reliable. Mayekawa/Mycom of Japan and Power Partners of the U.S. both have products available in North America. In 2008, a large adsorption system with 300 tons of capacity and 20,000 square feet of Enerworks flat plate collectors was installed in a warehouse in Asheville, N.C.

HOMES

COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS

• 63% is for space heating • 17.8% is used to heat water • 1.9% is for space cooling

• 50.2% is for space heating • 8.3% is for domestic hot water • 6.6% is for space cooling

Although the energy numbers for space cooling do not look very significant, it might behoove us to keep in mind that in order to reach high levels of renewable energy in our buildings, we will need to have solar thermal systems providing not only DHW, but also space heating and cooling. It is difficult for solar space heating systems to be cost-effective if they only operate at full capacity for a few months of the year. It makes a lot of sense for many climates in Canada to have combined systems that provide space heating in the winter and space cooling in the summer. Moreover, space cooling can also be a significant issue in terms of peak electricity load during the summer, particularly in Southern Ontario and Manitoba, where there is significant use of air conditioners.

By Definition COP, or coefficient of performance, is a measure of how efficient a cooling machine is. It is defined as the ratio of cooling provided by energy spent. So, a COP of 0.7 for a thermally driven chiller means that for every BTU of heat spent, 0.7 BTU of cooling is provided.

University of Minnesota

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The essential feature of solar collectors is that their efficiency drops with increasing temperature. This means that operating a collector at 60°C (140°F) will always be more efficient than operating the same collector at 82°C (180°F). Flat plate collectors are usually cheaper up front, but suffer a steeper decline in efficiency with temperature. Vacuum tube models are more expensive, and some models do not use roof space very effectively â&#x20AC;&#x201C; because of potentially large gaps between the many tubes that make up each collector â&#x20AC;&#x201C; however they do perform well at high temperatures. Concentrating collectors can reach very high temperatures, but can be awkward to install, are more maintenance intensive if solar tracking is required, and do not use diffuse radiation well â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the radiation available during cloudy periods.

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Cobalt Engineering

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Lucio Mesquita is the owner of Thermosol Consulting, and has been in the solar thermal industry for 19 years. During this time he worked on more than 180 commercial solar thermal projects. He is an expert in solar cooling, having written his PhD thesis on the topic, and represents Canada in the International Energy Agency Solar Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Task. He can be reached at l.mesquita@thermosolconsulting.com.

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This Month’s Quiz:

Zone 1 2 gpm @ 10’

THE PROBLEM INSTALLATION

1-1/2” primary loop

This recent job was installed in a large service bay with approximately 11,000 sq. ft. of in-floor heating. The system was working and delivering heat to the area, however, boiler software caused numerous lockouts. Once the boiler was reprogrammed, other issues appeared. If Zone 1 called, the boiler would short cycle, so an anti-short cycle device was added. When Zone 2 called, all four secondary circulators would fire, and the temperature to each manifold was different. The last manifold in the line would see temperatures almost 30°F lower than the first. So, what caused the short cycling? What was the supply temperature at each circuit if the supply started at 115°F? And, do you see any other conflicts? Remember, this system ran this past winter and there were no complaints of being cold. The dimensions are from fitting to fitting.

Zone 2 10 gpm @34’ All supply/return piping is 1”

How would you fix this? Send us your solution by June 23 for your chance to win a Laser TEMP-GUN M12 Cordless Thermometer from Milwaukee Electric Tool.

1-1/2”

Zone 2 10 gpm @ 35’

Zone 2 11 gpm @ 21’

Zone 2 11gpm @ 12’

Boiler Pump 20 gpm @ 22’ 30ºF delta T

Mod/Con 399M input

Answer and win! ARE YOU A HYDRONICS HOT SHOT? Send us your solution to this month’s puzzle and you could find yourself with something to test your level of cool (or hot) – a Laser TEMP-GUN M12 Cordless Thermometer, courtesy of Milwaukee Electric Tool.

Get your fix online For more puzzles from our archives, visit us on the web, www.mechanicalbusiness.com.

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The March/April Quiz: THE PROBLEM:

THE FIX: Sometimes we just need to go back to the basics. The boiler by-

This house had a cast iron mid-efficient boiler, and two zones of copper-fin tube radiators throughout the house on the exterior walls. Although the rads were warm and seemed to keep up in warmer weather, when it got cold the house couldn’t get above 62°F. A heat loss calculation showed that the home required about 64,000 BTUH, and the new boiler had an output of more than 80,000 BTUH.

pass valve (globe valve) was wide open, so although there was heat in the rads, the majority of the hot water produced returned to the boiler. The thermostats were never satisfied and the boiler ran off the limit switch.

Zone 1 Zone 2

Global Valve

The homeowner was very disappointed with hydronic heat and stated that they would have retrofitted to forced air if that option wasn’t so expensive. Thankfully, the corrective action was nowhere near that costly. Once the system was properly balanced – with an almost-closed valve – the heat was on. Additional options for this system could have been to add a thermostatic valve and/or a variable delta T circulator. With the comfort returned and the fuel bill reduced, now the homeowner is looking at adding floor warming to the kitchen and dining rooms, and a ductless split for air conditioning in the upstairs rooms. With the open concept living room, it will be cool comfort downstairs as well.

THE FIX WILL BE IN – NEXT TIME

Jeff House is an experienced industry professional and hydronics trainer, and handles the Golden Horseshoe territory for Jess-Don Dunford, a manufacturers’ rep in Ontario. He can be reached at jhouse@jessdondunford.com.

Watch for the corrections and explanations put forth by Jeff House of Jess-Don Dunford in the next edition of Mechanical Business, along with a whole new system to critique. Can’t wait that long? Then check out the answer key on our website, www.mechanicalbusiness.com. No fair cheating on the contest though, so the fix will go online June 24th.

IntelliCon - FA ®

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Save 10-20% on your home heating costs and help save the planet in the process. Guaranteed! IntelliCon - HW+ ®

GUARANTEED Intellidyne microprocessor-controlled economizers provide savings based on real time dynamic load analysis. Affording less pollution, continued comfort, and verifiable energy reduction.

Hot Water Heating System Fuel Economizer for systems rated up to 300,000 BTU. 303 Sunnyside Boulevard, Suite 75 Plainview, NY 11803-1508, USA Office: (516) 676-0777 • Fax: (516) 676-2640 www.intellidynellc.com

For installation information, contact your local heating specialist or Intellidyne at 866-216-0777.

Me chanical

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MB’S TOP 7

b y Jo h n C r o zier

OIL FURNACES: Fielding consumer questions rom the point of view of a homeowner, buying a new furnace is a pretty big deal. Few will buy more than two or three of them during their lifetimes. It isn’t unusual to see 20- to 30-year spans between oil furnace replacements, therefore, any decision made has intrinsic long-term consequences.

F

With the importance of this buying decision, it is not uncommon for homeowners to contact manufacturers for information about their product offerings, or about their own furnaces and heating systems in general. Manufacturers generally encourage homeowners to discuss their concerns with their installation or service contractors, since they are the ones who are in the best position to evaluate the furnace as an essential component within the heating system, but we still like to assist where we can. As such, we have assembled a smattering of homeowner inquiries, and our typical responses. Feel free to use these for your own reference, or better yet, share them with your customers. They may answer a question that they were hesitant to ask.

2 1

I DON’T USE MY FURNACE VERY MUCH. DO I REALLY NEED AN ANNUAL SERVICING?

bsolutely! The procedure is very important and it is referenced in the B139 Installation Code for Oil-Burning Equipment. While it may be true that the cottage furnace doesn’t get quite the same workout as the one in your home, the elements of an annual inspection are essential. An annual inspection and servicing includes more than the furnace itself. It also includes ensuring that the fuel delivery system from the tank to the burner is in good shape, as well as verifying that the chimney or venting system is in safe condition. Annual servicing keeps your furnace running with optimal efficiency, and more importantly, operating safely.

A

3

THE FURNACE RECOMMENDED BY MY CONTRACTOR SEEMS A BIT SMALL COMPARED TO MY OLD ONE. WILL THE NEW ONE WORK OK?

e are always somewhat amused by the homeowner’s assumption that having never seen the home, we would have more insight than the local heating contractor. We usually point out that newer furnaces generally have higher operating efficiencies than older furnaces.

W

We also suggest that they think back to any home improvements that might have been completed since the last furnace installation, such as additional insulation, replacement windows or doors, and so forth. There is a very good chance that the heating requirements of the home have diminished since the last furnace choice. It is safe to say that a furnace model and size that is based on a contractor’s heat-loss calculation trumps the opinion of an armchair critic, every time.

WHICH IS BETTER, DIRECT-DRIVE OR BELT-DRIVE?

his is another question that we usually refer back to the contractor. The most appealing aspect of a belt-drive blower is the ability to achieve reasonably precise airflow rates. This can be advantageous if dealing with older, graduated-trunk supply air duct systems. Generally, direct-drive systems tend to use less electricity than their belt-driven counterparts. In modern extended plenum duct systems, direct drive blowers tend to operate a little more quietly than belt-drive systems. Direct-drive blowers with multiple speed motors provide more flexibility for systems with both heating and air conditioning requirements.

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Every Moment Deserves Coleman Comfort!

I’M BUILDING A DECK AND THE FURNACE VENT IS IN THE WAY. CAN I RUN MY SIDEWALL VENTED FURNACE UP A CHIMNEY? idewall venting can be a project-saver in many cases, but it does have its limitations.

S

There are two main categories of sidewall vented oil furnaces, the ones that are vented by a power venter, such as the ones manufactured by Field Controls or Tjernlund, and the ones that operate on a balanced flue basis, where the combustion air and venting requirements are self-contained within the furnace oil burner assembly.

Coleman HVAC products, with a full lineup including:

Echelon Furnace Highest Efficient Gas Furnace in Canada with up to 98% efficiency:

Both types of systems have their restrictions with respect to clearances to windows, doors, mechanical air inlets, etc. The power-vented systems can sometimes be adapted to chimney use. It is worthwhile to first consult with a heating contractor to find out whether there are any building or local code regulations addressing the matter, or if there are practical considerations that might prevent the change. Balanced-flue type furnaces are not often certified for field conversions from sidewall-vent to chimney-vent. Most have strict provisions for specific manufacturer-supplied venting kits, and most have restricted allowable lengths. Unfortunately, the answer is usually: “Redesign the deck” or “Replace the furnace.”

5

MY NEW FURNACE SEEMS AWFULLY NOISY COMPARED TO MY OLD ONE. CAN I SLOW DOWN THE FAN?

his question is usually answered by referring the consumer back to the contractor. Furnace circulating fans can usually be slowed down to an acceptable level, but it should be done by, or under the supervision of, a heating contractor.

T

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Furnaces are designed to operate within a specific temperature-rise range. Since most homeowners do not have duct thermometers at their disposal, they may do more harm than good if they try fan adjustments on their own. A system temperature rise of 85°F, ± 15° was quite common with older oil furnaces. In the effort to boost AFUE efficiency, 85°F tends to be the upper end of the range for oil furnaces manufactured today.

LX Furnace The TM9X Furnace is a single stage gas furnace which:

• Qualifies for ecoENERGY rebates with its high efficiency X-13 motor • Has 95.5% efficiency rating • Matches up with the LX Series Air Conditioner for a cost effective high quality system

Most oil furnaces have multiple firing rates. If the furnace can’t operate quietly because of the fan speed necessary, reducing the firing rate may be an option, since that also reduces the airflow necessary to maintain an ideal system temperature rise, but check the furnace installation manuals before making any adjustments.

continued on page 60

Please visit us at www.colemanac.com, or call Toll Free:

1-800-668-2389 ext. 5486 M e c h a n i c a l

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MB’S TOP 7 CON’T continued from page 59

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WHY DO I GET “COMBUSTION SMELLS” WHEN THE FURNACE IS RUNNING?

ith almost all such calls, we recommend that the homeowner contact a furnace service contractor. It isn’t always clear what the homeowner identifies as being a “combustion smell.” We have heard that description applied to everything from the odours from a furnace cycle with a burned out circulating fan motor, to the odours associated with a downdrafting chimney. Homeowners are generally ill-equipped to track down odours via telephone advice.

W

We always recommend immediate action on the part of the homeowner, just in case the odours are the result of a hole in the heat exchanger, or a faulty venting system. Any products of combustion should be readily drawn up the chimney if there is sufficient draft. There will be a greater tendency for circulated air to be drawn into the heat exchanger than the other way around. There is, however, a brief period at the start of the burner cycle when the heat exchanger will be under positive pressure.

“QUALIFIES for ENHANCED PROVINCIAL and FEDERAL REBATES”

7

I SMELL OIL AROUND MY FURNACE. WHY IS THAT?

o. 2 furnace oil has a distinctive odour, but it isn’t always easy to isolate the source. Along with referring them to their service contractor, we usually encourage homeowners to take a cursory look for leaks around the fuel delivery system from the oil tank to the oil burner assembly, but we always recommend that repairs be left to the professionals. One can imagine the nightmare of a homeowner breaking a fitting while trying to repair it on his own.

HYPER EFFICIENT • Up to 97% Steady State • ECM Equipped

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If an oil leak is not spotted anywhere along the observable portions of the oil line or lines, the homeowner will definitely have to depend on a professional to look before and beyond the oil line/fuel unit connection.

REMARKABLY COMFORTABLE

The problem could be associated with the oil tank vent. The oil fill pipe and vent pipe should be carefully examined.

• True Air Modulation • Two Stage Dehumidification

The problem could also be with the oil burner assembly. Oil could be pooling in the burner air tube, or housing. If fuel spilled and leaked into the floor around the furnace, a lengthy cleaning process will be necessary. And if oil was absorbed by insulation within the furnace, the insulation will have to be removed and replaced. Many would recommend replacement of the furnace.

www.KerrEnergySystems.com

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John Crozier is a technical service representative with ECR International Co. He can be reached at JohCro@ECRInternational.com.

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Gas Furnace Goodman’s GMVC95 twostage, variable-speed furnace features a dual-diameter tubular heat exchanger and a variable-speed circulator motor. It has a 46,000 to 115,000 BTUH range, a silicon nitride igniter system, an electronic control board with self-diagnostics and the company’s ComfortNet communication system.

goodmanmfg.com

Humidity-sensing fans Rated at 1.5 sones, the QTRE100H fan from Broan is compatible with four-inch duct connectors and offers 100 CFM. Designed for use over bathtubs and showers, it has housing dimensions of 11-1/4" by 10-3/8" by 7-5/8" and fits two-inch by eight-inch construction. It also features a 12-7/8” by 13-3/4” grille.

Chiller

broan.ca

York’s YCWL chiller uses scroll compressors that are designed for water-cooled duty. The chiller is designed for retrofit and new applications, and will fit through a standard three-foot door. Running on R410A, it is available in models ranging from 50 to 200 tons of refrigeration (175 to 700 kW).

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Duct smoke detector Designed for use in applications requiring a remote test, the 2251BR photoelectric detector from System Sensor works in conjunction with the company’s NEMA DNRW InnovairFlex detector housing. It has a temperature range of -20°C to 70°C (-4°F to 158°F) and plugin sample tubes designed to be installed from the front or the back without requiring tools.

Duct takeoff The Airtight Duct Takeoff from Don Park features a 1-1/2” mounting flange, screw pilot holes and a 1/8"-thick, double-sided adhesive gasket. Designed for installation in tight spaces, it has a height of 3.5” and is available in diameters ranging from 4” to 14”.

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with Roger Grochmal

Putting out your own shingle I’d like to strike out on my own, with a single truck, my tools and my skills, but I know better than to assume all I need is a white van and a company name. How much does it take to start up a contracting business, and what are the hidden costs and responsibilities I risk overlooking?

Got what it takes?

Robert W., Kitchener, Ont.

This is a very big decision that most technicians in our industry face at some point in their careers. Almost every contracting business I know of started this way. It’s very exciting. There are a lot of risks, many rewards and definitely a lot of hard work.

First, do you love what you do and can you fulfill a real need in the market? Second, do you have the will to serve – do you really like people and do you have the honesty and integrity to build solid relationships?

You will need liability insurance both for your truck and for the business. The usual recommended minimum amount today is at least $2 million. You will need a bookkeeper to keep track of

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your financial transactions and help you with filings for various government tax remittances. This includes workers’ compensation, health tax, CPP and income taxes. You will be required to collect and remit GST once you exceed $30,000 in annual revenue. Ontario and British Columbia will have new rules when the HST is introduced this summer. (see pg. 38.)

You will need to find a supplier(s) you can begin building a relationship with. Don’t expect to get credit right off the bat. It has to be earned over If you only want to be your own time. Be preboss, that’s not good enough. And Choose your pared to shell in fact, owning your own business customers wisely out some cash means you will have lots of bosses: Initially, you are going to want to up front. they’re called customers. take on all the customers you can to help your bottom line. Resist I know it sounds that urge. Make sure you choose daunting. Just remember, no one can your customers carefully and ensure Where to start go it alone. You will prices are clear up front, deposits Becoming a member of a conneed legal and financial are obtained where appropriate tractor’s association (I belong to advisors as well as and everyone understands the payexpertise on a host of HRAI) is a great place to begin. ment terms. There are a lot of peosubjects. Becoming a member is not costple out there who prey on small ly and they can provide you with contractors with no intention of Once you are in busia number of member discounts paying. One bad debt could wipe ness, your time is no for key things you need every you right out. longer your own. You day, such as gasoline and are now on call 24/7 mobile phones. Chapter meetevery day of the year. I ings are a good place to meet bought a small business once where the owner admitted he had never suppliers, network with your taken a vacation longer than four days in his 40 peers and keep up-to-date years in business. This was his reality. All of a sudabout the latest issues that affect den, taking an on-call shift once every few weeks in what you do every day. your old job doesn’t seem so bad.

The list of requirements to operate in the HVAC industry is considerable. We are one of the most regulated industries around. In addition to your gas fitter’s licence, some municipalities require a master heating licence and/or a heating contractor’s licence. You will also have to be registered with the gas authority in your province, which is TSSA in Ontario. Municipalities may require you to pull permits for heating, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing work. You will need an ODP ticket to handle refrigerant – and don’t forget the requirements for transportation of dangerous goods, and weights and measures for selling refrigerant.

The cold reality is half of business startups don’t last five years. Ask yourself two questions before you decide to strike out on your own.

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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@mechanicalbusiness.com. 0 6 . 1 0


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MANAGING MOISTURE WHAT CAN A CONTRACTOR DO? Advocate and encourage air sealing of both building enclosures and duct systems within buildings to better control the flow of air and moisture. Ensure all sources of liquid water leaks are controlled. Proper drainage of buildings, basements, and of course, drain pans and condensate lines is critical. Provide the capacity to add humidity in the winter. Provide the capacity to dehumidify in spring, summer and fall. I stress spring because this is a critical period when soils are wet and cold, the air is cool and damp, and traditional air conditioners and dehumidifiers are not designed for these conditions. Provide for controlled, year-round whole-building ventilation, as well as spot ventilation in high moisture areas like bathrooms and kitchens. With respect to whole-building ventilation, in most climate zones in Canada ERVs are helpful in maintaining the moisture balance. Design and provide much better control strategies.

YEAR-ROUND OPPORTUNITIES We only started air conditioning the majority of buildings about 25 years ago, and we only started using basements as living space about 25 to 30 years ago. While the biggest opportunity for HVAC contractors used to be in finding, selling and maintaining humidification equipment for winter, there is now a great opportunity for finding the right dehumidification solutions for summer.

n the previous issue, during the discussion of energy recovery ventilators and how they managed moisture differently than other ventilation strategies, I challenged readers and all contractors to have a wider and deeper understanding of moisture in buildings, and how the burden of controlling moisture is changing. After all, moisture, primarily in its liquid form, is the number one threat to the longevity of building materials.

I

We are all being challenged to build or renovate more efficient, healthier and comfortable â&#x20AC;&#x153;greenâ&#x20AC;? buildings.Yet the most sustainable practice of all is to ensure buildings last forever. To do this we have to keep them dry, and if they do get wet we have to get them dry quickly. Every trade contractor plays a role in this and HVAC contractors are no exception. They are most often tasked with managing relative humidity levels. In the past, this was mostly about adding humidity in the winter, but for the many reasons outlined below, controlling humidity now is more about maintaining a moisture balance. Enough to avoid occupant complaints of dry skin, electric shocks and to avoid excessive shrinking, cracking or warping of building components and yet not too much so as to cause excessive condensation on windows in winter and mould in basements in summer. All contractors need to rise to the fundamental challenge of controlling moisture in buildings. It is more critical than ever before. Fortunately, there are more technologies available than ever before. On every call, look to narrow the band of humidity control and improve the moisture balance.

Modern complications W

e have always wanted and needed a moisture balance and that balancing act has changed and gotten more complicated because of the many changes in buildings over the past 25 to 30 years. We used to build really leaky houses which, due to stack and wind effects, would leak a disproportionate amount of air on cold or windy winter days. This resulted in overly dry houses. Better air sealing techniques have reduced this natural winter drying potential. Now, we build much bigger houses with fewer people in them. The average square footage per person has nearly tripled over the past 50 years. From a moisture management perspective

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• M o d e r n c o m p licat io n s • A u t o m at io n

CONSIDER AUTOMATION We have much higher expectations with respect to comfort and relative humidity. A narrower band of control is required to meet the expectations of building occupants, both residentially and commercially. Yet occupants have less time and interest in understanding, adjusting and maintaining equipment. This presents opportunities for more automated controls that are more sophisticated internally but seen as simpler for occupants.

Gord Cooke is a professional engineer who has spent 20 years helping builders and HVAC contractors implement innovative technologies into high-performance homes. He has particular expertise in IAQ and air flow management in houses, and can be contacted at gcooke@airsolutions.ca.

HOW MUCH MOISTURE IS IN THE AIR? In a typical 2,000 sq. ft. home with a basement, At 20°C and 40% RH there is 5.22 litres of water evaporated in the air. At 20°C and 60% RH there is 7.83 litres of water evaporated in the air.

it means we need to add more moisture in winter and remove more in summer. We also live in houses differently. We spend far more time indoors. We shower and clean more often, we have a much wider range of cultures with different cooking styles, we like to bring plants and pets inside, and we have more belongings, more stuff. This tends to add far more moisture per person to buildings. Construction has also changed. Years ago, we were not building 365 days per year, and it used to take longer to build, so we used to have longer to acclimatize wood flooring and other finishes before nailing them down. Moreover, we used to use more “natural” products that had similar drying rates and were less prone to moisture damage. Examples include the change from solid wood sheathing and subfloors to plywood and OSB and plaster/lathe to drywall. These facts complicate the balancing of moisture levels for at least the first two years in a new building, and in the long term as well. It requires maintenance of a narrower band of humidity levels between summer and winter to ensure dissimilar materials expand and contract less throughout the year. It used to be quite common for our buildings to go from 20 per cent relative humidity (RH) in the winter to over 60 per cent in the summer. A band of 35 to 50 per cent is now far more appropriate for modern building materials, finishes and furnishings. Building to much higher levels of energy efficiency, including double or triple the amount of insulation in wall and attic cavities, is also creating challenges. The positive trend for efficiency has a dramatic impact on the drying potential of building assemblies. The heat that used to escape through assemblies had the ability to dry out materials that got wet. This is no longer the case. New buildings and building materials are more susceptible to moisture damage and have less opportunity to dry if they do get wet. Again it means HVAC contractors have to help maintain a much narrower band of humidity and provide the ability for dehumidification year round.

M e c h a n i c a l

LOSING A COUPLE LITRES To get the air in a “wet” house at 60 per cent relative humidity dehumidified down to a comfortable 40 per cent RH requires the removal of only 1.5 litres of water. Of course this is too simplistic a statement because simultaneously occupants are creating moisture – as much as six litres per day for a family of four. Moisture is also held within furniture, furnishings and the building itself, as much as eight litres per day, and there are highly variable rates of natural infiltration of air that tend to reduce moisture levels in winter and add to it in summer. Thus over the course of a day in a typical house there is the potential for both the production and removal or movement of 20 to 40 litres per day of moisture in vapour form. This is highly variable from day to day, and from season to season. This is the challenge to HVAC contractors and presents great opportunities.

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Gas vent system Designed for category I, II, III, and IV gas appliances, SGV/DGV special gas vent systems from HeatFab are made from a stainless steel alloy and are designed for compatibility with 316, 304, 430 and other grades of stainless steel. The SGV features 3” and 4” single-wall diameters, while the DGV features 3/5” and 4/7” double-wall diameters.

heatfab.com

Zone control module Uponor’s Climate Control Zoning system operates based on feedback from wireless thermostats. The battery-powered thermostats measure the mean radiant temperature (MRT) in the zone. The base unit is designed for installation near the manifold to allow for wiring of the manifold zone actuators. It can support up to 12 zone thermostats and/or up to 14 zone actuators.

uponor.com

Control system Comprising house controls, thermostats and accessories, tekmar’s tekNet control system uses two-way communication designed to enable such features as indoor feedback, zone synchronization, and shared schedules and scenes. The line’s tekmar2 thermostats require two wires for power and communication, feature indoor and outdoor temperature display, and can be set back using a central schedule.

tekmarcontrols.com

Natural gas and electricity are the most common types of energy used for home heating, accounting for 80% of all the energy consumed by Canadian households.

Forced air oil furnace With a firing range between 79,000 and 120,000 BTUH, Newmac’s NL2 forced-air oil furnace is designed to handle up to 3.5 tons of air conditioning. Its blower assembly options include belt, direct or VSM dc motor technology. It is approved for use with Beckett, Riello and Carlin burners.

newmacfurnaces.com

Rear breech oil furnace Olsen’s BMLV 80B RF lowboy rear breach oil furnaces have efficiency ratings of 85 per cent AFUE and come with Riello burners. Featuring an ECM variable speed motor, they have an output of 76,500 BTUH. At 0.5 WC, its maximum CFM is 1,380.

ecrinternational.ca

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by Doug MacMillan

ATIONS PLE N AS DO

E

The recent economic downturn has had an effect on homeowners and HVAC contractors alike. Unfortunately, the charitable sector has seen significant challenges as private and corporate giving becomes less of a priority for those who may have been more inclined to support their communities during better times. There is absolutely no doubt that doing good is good for business. More and more, consumers are making buying decisions based on a company’s commitment to its community. In fact, numerous recent studies point to an increase in the number of Canadians who say they would rather support a company that gives back. Business owners need to look past the “warm fuzzies” to the bottom line benefits – and there truly is a business advantage to being known as a company that cares. The challenge comes when deciding what and how you want to support your community. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) – as trendy as that may sound – is an important principle of good business. Like any other smart business practice, a strategic plan helps guide the way.

Building your CSR plan

1.

Let your customers and employees decide where it goes. There are hundreds of

This past year, a Canadian HVAC contractor I know made a point of giving more generously than ever to his community because he knows times are tough. This spring, that company launched a web-based program inviting the community to nominate a registered non-profit to receive one of the company’s monthly $1,000 “charity cheques.” Local organizations will spread the word to their stakeholders to get online and nominate, and media profile should be high. For $12,000 per year, the marketing value will be phenomenal.

worthwhile causes, and we cannot support them all. Often, the hardest part about charitable giving is deciding where to give. Without clear parameters, we tend to say “yes” on an ad hoc basis. Why not set up an employee committee to decide, or invite customers in for a focus group to have them frame out your strategy?

2.

Give time. As much as funds are needed, giving your time can be as valuable a gift. More than two-thirds of Canadian businesses support employee volunteering. Is yours one of them? And it’s a great HR strategy because it builds confidence and skills in your people.

3.

Get creative. Consider fronting a community-wide event such as an “Amazing Race” or the City’s Biggest Scavenger Hunt, or whatever else your team

Doug MacMillan is president of MacMillan Marketing Group in Guelph, Ont. To reach him, e-mail dmac@macmillanmarketing.com.

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dreams up. Your company will provide prizes and publicity, but these events raise money by having participants raise pledges, so corporate investments can be reduced. You’re showing leadership, getting great PR, but not giving up most of the funds that will be raised.

4. 5.

Support your employees. By supporting the causes that are important to your employees, it sends a positive message that you care about what matters most to them. When you share in your employees’ passion, they are more likely to share in yours. Have fun. Regardless of how you choose to support your community, be passionate about your choices. Charitable giving shouldn’t feel like a chore or “another expense.” It should be a positive way to make your community a better place. And if your efforts get you some attention along the way, there’s nothing better than that.


&

Literature

Web Reviews

INFRA-RED HEATING: RE-VERBER-RAY TECHNOLOGY

RETHINK CENTRAL HEATING & COOLING Think Zuba-Central. Rethink everything you know about wholehome, year-round comfort. Made for Canada only, Zuba-Central replaces traditional furnace & air conditioning units with one quiet, lightweight, highly efficient ducted heat pump system that can save your customers space and significant annual energy costs. And thanks to features like H²i technology, Zuba-Central can heat down to -30°C and beyond.

The DX-2 Series single input tube-type infra-red heaters offer standard control of a heated space while the HL-2 Series twostage will offer additional control and energy savings. Contact us today for information on the complete Re-Verber-Ray product line. Call 1-800-387-4778 or visit our website.

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w w w. z u b a - c e n t r a l . c a

NEW! TRIN & STOR INDIRECT WATER HEATERS AND STORAGE TANKS

BOILER TECH SUPPORT Topog-E® Gasket Company formulates and mixes its own rubber, and manufactures superior molded rubber handhole and manhole gaskets for steam, hot water boilers, water heaters, softeners, deaerators, make-up tanks, and other selected pressure vessels. Topog-E® Gaskets seal quickly, completely, preventing seepage, corrosion and pitting. Contact us for a free Technical Specification & Usage Guide for information about boiler maintenance safety.

With superior performance, pristine quality and ultra efficiency, Trin & Stor is the most comprehensive line of indirect water heaters and storage tanks available on the market. Available in a wide-range of sizes, you can rest assured knowing you always have the right product for any residential or commercial application.

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w w w. t o p o g - e . c o m

THE BLITZ IS ON

SOLAR WATER HEATING SOLUTIONS

Featuring the Icon System intelligent gas control, Triflex Medium Duty commercial electric water heater, eF Series ultra high efficiency residential water heaters, EverHot tankless water heaters and more, Bradford White - Canada’s Blitz 2010 line up features great new products and innovations for plumbing professionals.

w w w. b r a d f o rd w h i t e . c o m

Built to be the best, Bradford White - Canada’s innovative line of water heaters feature EcoFriendly Solar products that save money and conserve energy. This focus on Eco-Friendly Solutions has allowed us to offer one of the most extensive solar water heating lines for any solar heating application.

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HYDRONICS

b y R an d y B aer g

Boiler Controls 101 I

n a thermostat controlled system, the boiler is fired whenever the room temperature drops below a setpoint, then shuts off after the room is satisfied. With a single target to go by, usually 180°F, the boiler runs at its maximum setting without regard to how much heat is required. While this works to some degree, consider efficiency and boiler reliability. How many miles to the gallon would your car get if your only method of control was to accelerate until moving too fast, then slam on the brakes to stop? Boiler controls are used to improve system efficiency and comfort. They are also a key component in preserving equipment lifespan. Intelligent algorithms, temperature sensing and control over key components in the system can allow a boiler control to improve cycle lengths, make use of residual heat, and operate the system at lower temperatures for much of the year. continued on page 74

HOW TO CHOOSE A GOOD CONTROL First, the control needs to work with your mechanical layout. Some contractors start with an application drawing provided by the control manufacturer, making control selection and wiring a simple task. You might be surprised at what you can find by searching control manufacturer websites, or by asking for an application brochure at your local wholesaler. By installing the components according to pre-designed drawings, you can eliminate guesswork, saving time and money. If you are working on an existing system, here are some questions you need to answer before selecting a suitable control:

BEYOND BUILT-IN CONTROLS Using a built-in boiler control will save energy, but if you want the best in fuel efficiency and reliability, consider controls that provide zone synchronization and indoor feedback. You will also need to consider the thermostat side of the system. Do the homeowners want a setback schedule? Will the zones operate independently or share schedules and cooling zones? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to consider these requirements before selecting a boiler and a control package.

Randy Baerg is a technical support specialist for tekmar Control Systems. He can be reached at customerservice@tekmarcontrols.com.

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1. What system components will require control? (On/off or modulating boiler, circulators, zoning devices, etc.) 2. Are multiple water temperatures in the system? (If so, then one or more mixing devices needs controlling.) 3. Will the boiler control interact with the thermostats or simply receive a demand? 4. What kind of wiring is available to retrofit the thermostats? 5. What kind of access features do the home/building owners want or need? When you have this information available, your local wholesaler or manufacturerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s representative can help you select the most suitable control.


HYDRONICS Choices range from the basic, outdoor reset boiler control to communicating controls that operate one or more boilers, DHW, mixing, zones and even setpoint devices. Some even allow for remote monitoring and adjustment through a web browser or a building automation system.

BOILER CONTROL FEATURE GUIDE Outdoor reset (weather compensation) As the outdoor temperature changes, the control adjusts supply water temperatures to match what the building actually requires. For the majority of the heating season, this saves energy by reducing heat loss caused by target temperatures that are too high.

Indoor temperature feedback By 2012, all boilers installed in the U.S. will have some form of reset control. The most basic outdoor reset boiler control will require a connection to an outdoor sensor as well as a sensor strapped to the boiler supply piping. This allows the control to adjust the supply temperature based on the current outdoor temperature to save energy.

Communicating systems can include thermostats that provide indoor temperature feedback to the boiler control. When occupant activities, lighting or the sun add heat to the building, the control can lower supply water temperatures even further to compensate. Systems with this feature recover faster when the source of additional heat gain is absent by providing constant flow at a lower temperature, instead of shutting down completely.

Domestic hot water priority Indirect water heaters provide a great way to take advantage of the higher efficiency provided by modern boilers. During a call for DHW, a boiler control will increase the

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

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• B o i l er c o n t r o l f e at u r e gu id e • Tip s Boiler control tips supply water temperature to the DHW target. If the DHW tank and space heating system require additional heat at the same time, priority allows the DHW tank to be satisfied first.

Automatic differential Boiler short cycling can be a source of premature equipment failure plus it wastes a great deal of energy. Controls with the automatic differential feature continually adjust the differential to better match the current heating load. This helps prevent boiler short cycling.

Zone synchronization Today’s heating systems are commonly divided into multiple zones. With standard thermostats, zones call randomly, increasing the likelihood of boiler short cycling. Networked thermostats can synchronize zone start times to prevent individual zones from cycling the boiler on and off randomly.

Boiler and zone post purge Purging circulates water through the system for a set amount of time after the heat demands are satisfied. This extracts residual heat from the boiler that would otherwise be lost.

High-efficiency condensing boilers only reach peak AFUE ratings when operating at lower temperatures. To get the best efficiency, select a system with outdoor reset and indoor feedback to provide the lowest feasible operating temperatures. If you have an older, cast iron boiler, beware of the return temperature limitations when combining the boiler with an in-floor radiant, snow melting or other lower temperature system. Some form of return protection with mixing is a must. In modern hydronic systems, the prevention of short cycling is made easier with such features as automatic differential and zone synchronization. Another good way to prevent short cycling is to ensure that the rate of heat transfer out to the system is similar to the rate of heat generation. When a boiler reaches its target quickly because heat isn’t getting out to the system fast enough, it is forced to shut off. Accurate sizing, the use of low loss headers, and primary secondary piping methods can help correct this problem. And keep in mind, when using a built-in boiler reset control the defaults may have been set-up for a very different mechanical system or design condition. Check the settings carefully and make sure they match to the needs of your system.

Warm Customers are Happy Customers When you recommend a Newmac furnace, you are recommending the best. Our high-quality, efficient furnaces have been providing consistent heat and comfort to home owners since 1974. NL/NV SERIES

WFA-70 Rear Breech Wood Fired Furnace

Low Boy Oil Fired Forced Air Furnaces

Features • Average Wood Output 70,000 btu/h

• Thermostatically Controlled Forced Draft System for Fast heat output

• CSA B415 Compliant

• Unique Stainless Steel Secondary Air System delivers Super-heated air into firebox igniting wood gases which increases efficiency while reducing wood consumption

• Efficiency 83.9% • Tested to EPA standard • Surpasses EPA standard • Replaceable 7” Stainless Steel Stack Assembly

• Engineered Stainless Steel System designed to increase firebox temperature to burn particulates, carbon monoxide and smoke resulting in cleaner air and very low emission rates

• Preheated Primary and Secondary Air

New!

Low Emission Wood Furnace

• Lower Primary Air Inlet for minimum Clean Burning Combustion • Primary Air Damper Control for Adjustable burn rates

Head Office P.O. Box 9, Debert Nova Scotia, B0M 1G0 Phone: 902-662-3840 | Fax: 902-662-2581 Email: newmac@newmacfurnaces.com

NBR SERIES Oil Fired Boilers

• Secondary Air Timer extends coal bed heat output time

Ontario Office P.O. Box 545, Woodstock Ontario, N4V 1P8 Phone: 519-539-6147 | Fax: 519-539-0048 Email: newmac@newmacfurnaces.com

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CL SERIES Combination Wood/Coal and Oil Furnaces*

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Zone 2 OFF

Zone 1

ON

H

C

H

PB4A

Power

CAUTION

MIX

When wiring

Thermostat to Terminal Strip:

DO NOT CROSS terminals C and R This will cause damage to 24V transformer in this powerbox.

CAUTION Before servicing disconnect power supply.

Triple-pass oil-fired boiler UL

99K4

LISTED

UL

99K4

FOR INDOOR USE ONLY

IMPEDANCE PROTECTED

Class F US

Type UPS 15-58 FC 115 V 1 PH 60 Hz 10 uF P 1 (w) .55 60 .66 80 .75 87

P/N: 59896341 P1 PC: 0315 US

|1/1 (A)

The Vitorond 100 triple-pass oil-fired boiler from Viessmann ranges in input from 91,000 to 245,000 BTUH, and in output from 80,000 to 215,000 BTUH, with an AFUE rating of 87 per cent. It features 3-1/2” insulation designed to reduce standby losses and can be equipped with Beckett or Riello burners.

Class F IMPEDANCE PROTECTED

99K4

UL

C US LISTED MAX. FlUID TEMPÛ)

FOR INDOOR USE ONLY LISTED

UL

99K4

Part # DRS2OLAY Rev.3

P/N: 59896341 P1 PC: 0315

MADE IN CANADA

C US LISTED

Amps: Maximum 15

Conforms to Std CAN/CSA C22.2 No. 14 Conforms to Standard UL 508

MAX. FlUID TEMPÛ)

Serial #: XXX-XXXX Phase/Freq: 1/60 Cycles Max Temp: 100C/212F

Volts: 120/24 VAC

P 1 (w) .55 60 .66 80 .75 87

AVERTISSEMENT!!! Consulter le manual avant l’usage MODEL #: TMP050DP D.O.M: Jan 27, 2010 Max Pres: 125psi/862kPa

|1/1 (A)

3189472

Type UPS 15-58 FC 115 V 1 PH 60 Hz 10 uF

HeatLink Group Inc. 4603E - 13th Street NE Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2E 6M3 Phone: (403) 250-3432 Fax: (403) 250-1155 www.heatlinkgroup.com

WARNING!!! Consult Manual Before Use

viessmann.ca

Zone control panels

Radiator valve control

Heatlink’s Mechanical Room in a Box is a line of enclosed, prefabricated, pre-engineered and prewired zone control panels, designed to reduce installation time. The line includes mixing panels; pump mixing panels; isolation panels; traditional and tankless water heater panels; solar panels; snowmelt panels; combination panels; and panels with manifold options.

Consisting of a saturated vapourcharge bellow and a setting dial, valve-mounted operators from Danfoss are designed to eliminate the need for tools and reduce installation time. The operators attach to the company’s RA 2000 thermostatic radiator valves with a snap-on action.

heatlink.ca

danfoss.com

Hydronic boiler control

Water heaters Featuring 304-litre stainless steel heat exchanger coils, Lochinvar’s Squire water heaters are available in both solar and indirect models. Capacities range from 114 to 450 litres (30 to 119 gallons). Solar models have two coils, one at the bottom of the tank providing the primary heat source and one at the top, which connects to the boiler.

lochinvar.com 76

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The Aquatrol AQ25142B hydronic boiler control from Honeywell can control up to 64 heating zones and features selectable DHW priority for four zones of pumps, or two-wire valves. It has a boiler maximum control temperature range of 49ºC to 107ºC (120ºF to 225ºF) and minimum control range of 15ºC to 82ºC (59ºF to 180ºF).

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TOOL TIPS

Meter Talk eed to check the current running through a compressor or rooftop unit? Or maybe you need a quick temperature reading? It’s time to consider a multimeter.

N

Solar pump block Featuring a stainless steel flat plate heat exchanger with two bronze circulators and a solar differential temperature control, Taco’s Solar X-Pump Block can be set up to maintain a setpoint differential between the solar collector and a primary and optional auxiliary storage tank. It can also support a booster pump as part of a drainback system.

taco-hvac.com

When looking for a multimeter, look for a rugged and durable unit that offers a measurement range appropriate to the equipment that you are working on. Check its CAT rating, and find out if the unit measures AC currents, DC currents or both. Also ask if there are accessories that can be added on to extend the functionality of the tool. (See box, below.) If a fork meter’s not the right tool for the job, consider other models, such as a clamp meter, which measures current by passing one conducConsider some of these tor through the accessories, which can probe, or a tradiincrease a meter’s tional probe meter. functionality.

All about extras

No matter which type of meter you choose, ensure that it has an ergonomic feel, can withstand job-related impacts, is Canadian-climate friendly and has a good, clear display. A solid warranty never hurts, either. And consider its power source. You’ll want a unit that is going to be ready to work when you need it, and to have enough power for as long as you need it. A rechargeable unit is a good option, and having an additional battery as a back-up is a smart idea, too.

• • • • • •

True RMS Lo-Z features Built-in flashlight Wire splitter Test leads Belt clip

Micro-bubble air separator With forged brass body construction in flanged, 3/4”, 1" and 1-1/4” FPT sizes, the Series ASMB micro-bubble air separator from Watts features polyphenylsulfone coalescing media designed to withstand petroleum based cleaners, glycol antifreeze and temperatures up to 116°C (240°F). It has an air vent assembly designed for use with glycol systems, or as an anti-vacuum device.

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

wattscanada.ca

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FUELS:

Gas

PLUMBING: COOLING:

Hydronic Oil

Infra-Red

Propane

Sanitary/Fixtures/DHW AC/Comfort Cooling

VENTILATION:

Elec.

Alternative

Piping/Controls

Drain Services

Fire Protection

Refrigeration

IAQ/Air Movement

3) Company Job Sectors – check ALL that apply: Commercial

Residential

Institutional

Industrial

New Construction

Service

4) Are you responsible for recommending, purchasing or specifying mechanical products/services? 5) # of Employees in the Company:

1-4

5-9

10-19

20-49

50-99

Yes

No

100+

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2 12 22 32 42 52 62 72 82 92

3 13 23 33 43 53 63 73 83 93

4 14 24 34 44 54 64 74 84 94

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8 18 28 38 48 58 68 78 88 98

9 19 29 39 49 59 69 79 89 99

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Publisher reserves the right to determine qualification and limit distribution.


Renew Today: Online. Mail. Gerty. It’s your choice.

www.mechanicalbusiness.com Gerty, the Goddess of the nasal whistle, is our telemarketer. Technically speaking, her job is to talk to you to update your free yearly subscription (our auditors require an update from you every 12 months). Realistically, however,

Gerty just likes to talk. And talk. And talk. Oh, she eventually gets around to renewing your free subscription, but it sometimes just takes a while. You see, she has so much to share – her latest needlepoint project, Mrs. Muffles adventures at the Vets, her television ‘stories’ – and so much more. While she’d love to talk to you, we understand that you just might not have as much time. That’s why we include a handy tear-out subscription renewal card in every issue and provide an easy-to-use online form at www.mechanicalbusiness.com.

Gerty’s Got Her Eye On You! (well, at least her good eye).


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Tel: (918) 587-6649 www.topog-e.com

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Tel: (888) 678-8711 www.thermopan.com

C A L E N D A R

COHA Oilheat 2010 June 16-18, 2010 Charlottetown, P.E.I. www.coha.ca Canadian Water Summit June 17, 2010 Toronto, Ont. www.watersummit.ca ASHRAE 2010 Annual Conference June 26-30, 2010 Albuquerque, N.M. www.ashrae.org CIPH ABC June 27-30, 2010 St. John’s, N.L. www.ciph.com

Tel: (719) 574-1101 www.woodfordmfg.com

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Tel: (416) 755-2291 www.armstrongpumps.com

H>C8:&.*H>C8: &.* *-

Tel: (816) 796-3900 www.watcomfg.com

Tel: (877) 836-7772 www.simenorthamerica.com

Tel: (905) 405-8272 www.zurn.com

EVENTS

O F

HRAI AGM August 19-21, 2010 Kananaskis, Alta. www.hrai.ca

CIPHEX West November 3-4, 2010 Calgary, Alta. www.ciphexwest.ca

Plumbing + Hydronics Expo September 15-17, 2010 Baltimore, Md. www.phexpo.com

Construct Canada December 1-3, 2010 Toronto, Ont. www.constructcanada.com

GOT AN EVENT? SPREAD THE WORD!

MCAC Annual Conference September 22-25, 2010 Halifax, N.S. www.mcac.ca

If your organization has a conference, trade show or other event coming up, let Canada’s mechanical community know about it through Mechanical Business’s FREE event listings. Simply send details to adam.freill@mechanicalbusiness.com,

14th Canadian National Conference on Drinking Water October 30-November 2, 2010 Saskatoon, Sask. www.cwwa.ca

and remember to go online to www.mechanicalbusiness.com for more descriptive event details.

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PLUMBING

b y Glen d a R ye

WATER HEATER Efficiencies Heat Up A s of September 1, 2010, B.C. will have a new minimum efficiency regulation for residential water heaters. While the standard will be mandatory in that province, the rest of Canada may also feel the effects of the push for higher efficiencies, since what is mandatory there will be an optional standard for other parts of the country.

The regulation, which will only apply to products manufactured on or after September 1, requires that top-inlet electric storage-type water heaters with a rated volume of 50 to 270 litres have standby losses in watts equal to or less than [25 + (0.20 x V)], where V is the rated volume in U.S. gallons. In the case of a top-inlet electric water heaters with rated volumes of greater than 270 and less than 454 litres, standby loss in watts must be equal to or less than [(0.472 x V) – 48.5].

NOTE:

The test method for electric water heaters is CSA C19-04.

Bottom-inlet electric water heaters will be required to live up to NRCan’s current standby loss maximum, or 40 + (0.20 x V) for those with volumes between 50 and 270 litres, and (0.472 x V) – 33.5 for units with volumes between 270 and 454 litres.

Developing a Standard

0.62 Explained

The increased efficiency requirements for gas and electric water heaters were developed with input from CIPH, working co-operatively with its water heater manufacturer members and the B.C. Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum. The goal was to come up with a practical and workable solution to meet the province’s objective of raising the minimum efficiency requirement for residential water heaters.

In a bulletin updated in 2003, Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) stated that gas water heaters having storage capacities of 75 to 380 litres (20 to 100 U.S. gal.), and not more than 21.97 kw (75,000 BTUH) input, must have a maximum standby loss, or minimum EF, equal to 0.67 - 0.0005 x Volume.

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According to CIPH president and general manager Ralph Suppa, the goal of the regulation change is to reduce green house gas emissions. While

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• 0 . 6 2 Ex p l a i n e d • D e v e l o p in g a st an d ar d Storage-type gas or propane-fired water heaters with a rated storage capacity of 76 to 380 litres and an input of 75,000 BTUH or less must have an EF greater or equal to 0.70 – (0.0005 x V), where V is the rated volume and the test method is CSA P. 04. British Columbia may be the first province to set the higher efficiency ratings as a mandatory minimum, but if NRCan decides to make it a national standard, the rest of the country will have to follow. Although the increased EF does mean an increase in cost, the efficiency improvements could be a selling feature to customers seeking an environmental feel-good message with their purchases. And if the initial purchase and installation cost is offset by the lowered cost to run the product, then it may not be such a hard change to make.

Manufacturers Stepping Up If the national efficiency regulation is set to 0.80 EF, the price increase could be significant, and that is something that could have consumers taking a good hard look at their options when purchasing technology to heat their water. That being said, the major manufacturers of water heaters in Canada will be ready for the new efficiency requirements that are coming this September. According to Paul McDonald of Bradford White-Canada, starting in early July all contractors that sell Bradford White gas water heaters will have the option of purchasing a new style of water heater that meets the efficiency requirements put forth by B.C. It will likely have increased insulation in the tank lining, increased efficiency in the current heat traps and maybe even a new electronic component. Rheem has condensing equipment available, and also offers alternative products, such as wall hung and electric water heaters, that can deliver the efficiency ratings being demanded in B.C. The company also has its Marathon electric water heater, which it says can meet the demands of the increased efficiency requirements. “New products have been designed to meet the new 0.67 EF regulations for B.C., and will meet new Energy Star requirements, says Paul Gharghoury of Rheem Canada.“

NOTE:

“We have seen a very good response to the Energy Star qualified products being sold nationally and are excited about the minimum efficiency requirements for B.C.,” says Kim Laurette, of A.O. Smith, GSW and John Wood. “We have many products available in the market today to support these minimum requirements and with talks of regulating condensing products, are very supportive of the market’s transition to new technologies.”

acknowledging that residential water heaters are only a part of the system as a whole, CIPH believes that regulations in B.C. are a necessary starting point in pushing the efficiency envelope. The government of B.C. has admitted that its vision is to implement a 0.80 EF requirement for residential gas water heaters. The province has announced plans to work with CIPH and industry stakeholders to help develop this standard, allowing the market time to develop products to match efficiency requirements.

Insulation Math Notes R-value and RSI are both units used to calculate thermal resistance of insulation. The conversion between R-value and RSI is an R-value of 1 (hr x ft² x °F)/BTU is equal to an RSI rating of 0.176110 (K x m²)/W. Conversely, 1 (K x m²)/W equals an R-value of 5.678263 (hr x ft² x °F/BTU).

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FIRE PROTECTION

b y P au l To m as an d S ean P ear ce

Saving lives and property with

SPRINKLERS INSPECTION NOTES The Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association (CASA) and stakeholders within the sprinkler industry have been successful in getting the OBC amended to require fire sprinkler systems in all high-rise and multiple-unit residential buildings, four stories and higher, built after April 1 of this year. Previously, residential building codes only required fire sprinklers in underground spaces, like parking garages and common spaces, including party rooms or offices on the first three stories.

ew sprinkler requirements in the province of Ontario are working to improve fire safety and further align the Ontario Building Code (OBC) with the National Building Code of Canada. Until recently, fire sprinklers were required in most Ontario commercial and institutional buildings, from schools to prisons to warehouses, but not in residential high-rises.

N

The 2010 sprinkler requirements apply to new construction, building additions, floors of existing buildings that undergo a change of major occupancy, and floor areas that undergo extensive renovation. The new building code requirements do not apply to single-family homes or retrofit projects yet. In addition, four-story townhouses will be exempt from the code because these types of buildings have specific fire safety features including independent exits and vertical fire separation between units. While specifiers and contractors consider how this new sprinkler requirement will change the way they do business, it may prove beneficial for contractors right across Canada to consider the different types of sprinkler applications, and existing requirements.

SPRINKLER ROUND UP Outside of residential construction, all buildings over 5,000 square feet are required to have a sprinkler system installed by code. There are a number of hazard categories when it comes to fire sprinkler applications. Simply put, the greater chance of a fire due to the materials and equipment in the building, the more hazardous the category classification.

A GREEN CHOICE According to FM Global and the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition, sprinkler systems can reduce the impact to the environment. A recent study suggests sprinkler systems can reduce greenhouse gases by 98 per cent, and reduce the amount of water used to fight a fire by 90 per cent.

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LIGHT HAZARDS This category includes occupancies or portions of other occupancies where the quantity or combustibility of contents is low, and fires with relatively low rates of heat release are expected. Examples of light hazards include institutions such as churches, offices, hospitals and schools or residential buildings. Even though these types of buildings are classified under the same category, every project is unique, therefore every sprinkler system will be different, requiring a specific design. For example, in residential and

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• Spri nk l e r r o u n d u p • Th e r igh t syst em office construction, décor can become an issue. A system has to be designed a specific way that will fit the needs of the occupants when related to the way it will look, but at the same time be designed to do the job it is meant to do – control and/or suppress a fire. Because these facilities often have people coming in and out all day long, quick response sprinklers are often required. Quick response sprinklers respond to fire at lower temperatures and react rapidly, within a minute of detecting smoke or fire, allowing people more time to escape.

ORDINARY HAZARDS This category includes two different groups. The first is occupancies or portions of occupancies where combustibility is low, quantity of combustibles is moderate, stockpiles of combustibles do not exceed eight feet, and fires with moderate rates of heat releases are expected. Examples include parking garages, bakeries and laundromats. The second group includes occupancies where quantity and combustibility of contents is moderate to high, stockpiles of combustibles do not exceed 12 feet, and fires with moderate to high rates of heat releases are expected. This includes repair garages, post offices and tire manufacturing facilities.

EXTRA HAZARDS This includes occupancies where quality and combustibility of contents is very high and flammable and combustible liquids, dust, lint or other materials are present, increasing the probability of rapidly developing fires with high rates of heat releases. This category includes aircraft hangars, metal extruding facilities, and solvent cleaning and paint manufacturing facilities.

Paul Tomas is the national fire protection sales manager at Victaulic. Sean Pearce is the national marketing manager with the Canadian Automatic Sprinkler Association (CASA). For more information about sprinkler systems, contact Paul at ptomas@victaulic.com.

SUSSING OUT THE RIGHT SYSTEM In addition to the different hazard applications, there are different types of sprinkler systems to be aware of. Wet sprinkler systems are the most common type and are placed in typical commercial (and residential) buildings – any building with a heated area, including offices and schools. In a wet system, an integrated network of underground and overhead piping is filled with pressurized water. In the event of a fire, the automatic sprinklers located on the wall or ceiling directly exposed to the heat will open at a pre-determined temperature and allow water to spray onto the fire. As water empties out of the open sprinklers, pressure drops in the piping, activating the device and water source, controlling the fire. A monitored sensor is activated to set off the alarm and notify authorities that a fire exists. Dry sprinkler systems are typically used where wet systems could freeze and fail. Structures that would use dry sprinkler systems include parking garages, unheated warehouses and freezers. The dry system employs automatic sprinklers attached to a piping system pressurized with air or nitrogen instead of water. Deluge and pre-action systems are variations of a dry system, but are more complex due to the electronic sensors and the specially designed pre-action valves. Deluge systems are used where the hazard and risk is great and the fire must be extinguished as quickly as possible to prevent spreading or explosion. A pre-action system contains extra precautions in the design and is intended to prevent accidental discharge of water onto a surrounding property. Pre-action systems are often specified when valuable or irreplaceable property such as fine art, expensive electronics or archival material, is present. Other common facility examples include computer rooms, libraries and museums.

ON THE WEB For more information about sprinkler applications, or to access educational seminars and training programs for installers, visit www.casa-firesprinkler.org/home.

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Drain inspection system Sump pump Liberty Pumps’ 230- and 450-series sump pumps feature 1/3 and 1/2 horsepower motors that draw 5.2 and 7.5 amps, respectively. They have finned aluminum motor housings designed for improved cooling, and a float designed to be used in pits as small as 10” in diameter.

libertypumps.com

For use in lateral lines that exit the building and connect to septic or sewer lines, as well as in roof stacks, the SeeSnake microReel L100 and L100C inspection system from Ridgid features 100 feet of cable and a 25-mm camera head. It is designed to push cable distances of 100 feet in lines from 1-1/2” to 4” in diameter.

ridgid.ca

Freestanding faucet Featuring coaxial technology designed to allow users to preset a bath water temperature, Riobel’s Zendo is a freestanding thermostatic pressure balance single-hole faucet. Available with a handshower, the solid brass faucet also features a 1/2” male inlet NPT and integrated shut-off valve.

riobel.ca

Urinals Featuring hands-free operation via sensor, the EcoVantage Pint urinal from Zurn requires less than half a litre (1/8 gallon) of water per flush. It requires no replacement traps and is available in multiple footprint sizes, including larger footprints designed for retrofit installations.

zurn.com

CPVC distribution system Designed for hot and cold water distribution through mains, laterals and risers, the AquaRise CPVC hot and cold potable water distribution system from Ipex can be used in commercial, industrial and high-rise buildings. It offers IPS diameters ranging from 1/2” to 3” in standard 10-ft. pipe lengths, with 20-foot lengths available for large diameter sizes.

ipexinc.com

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Pulldown kitchen faucet Available in a single-hole mount, Moen’s Arbor pulldown kitchen faucet features an S-shaped handle designed for installation on either side of the faucet and a cover plate for three-hole sink applications. A button on the wand allows users to switch between water flow patterns or pause the flow.

moen.ca

High efficiency urinal Sloan’s WEUS high-efficiency urinal system, distributed by Dobbin Sales in Canada, requires 0.5 litres (0.13 gallons) per flush. The wall hung urinal features a two-inch NPT outlet flange and 3/4” I.P.S. top spud inlet. It features a solarpowered flushometer designed to feed off incandescent or fluorescent light and provide approximately 100 per cent power with 650 illuminance (lux).

sloanvalve.com

Showerhead The Axor Starck showerhead from Hansgrohe is a 28-inch square showerhead designed to be hung directly overhead. The stainless steel head is designed to mount flush with the ceiling and features three different jets, a full laminar jet, a soft rain and a whole-body jet.

hansgrohe.ca

Coupling The Style 107H QuickVic coupling is designed for joining 50 to 200 mm (2” to 8”) standard roll grooved and cut grooved steel pipe. Rated up to 750 psi, it features the company’s GradeEHP gasket material, which has a temperature range of -34°C to 121°C (-30°F to 250°F).

heatfab

®

SGV/DGV

NEW 4X3

TM

STAINLESS STEEL

Special Gas Vent The industry leader in Special Gas Vent introduces new alternative alloy SGV/DGV Special Gas Vent Systems. Available in both Single Wall and Double Wall designs, SGV/DGV features a proprietary stainless steel alloy - 4X3™ that offers superior corrosion resistance at an economical price point. These new systems feature installer-friendly connections and built-in silicone seals, so field applied RTV is not required. • 3 & 4 inch sizes for residential applications • Single Wall / Double Wall Systems • Listed to UL1738 and ULC S-636 5030 Corporate Exchange Blvd. Grand Rapids, MI 49512 Toll Free: 1.800.433.6341

heatfab

®

www.heatfab.com

P.O. Box 526, Depot 1 Hamilton, ON L8L 7X6 Toll Free: 1.888.SELKIRK (735.5475)

victaulic.com M e c h a n i c a l

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Laser distance meter

Recip saw

Extech’s DT300 laser distance meter measures targets up to 50 metres (164 ft.) away with 1.5 mm (0.06") accuracy. In addition to distance, the device is designed to calculate area and volume. It also has a continuous measurement function, min/max distance tracking that updates every 0.5 seconds, and a digital memory that records up to 20 previous measurements.

Available in a 1-1/8” stroke length and 3/4” stroke length, the Sawzall recip saw from Milwaukee has a 12-amp motor and SPM range of zero to 3,000. Measuring 19 inches in length, it weighs seven pounds and features a clutch designed to protect the gears.

milwaukeetool.com

extech.com

Aviation snips Stanley’s FatMAx Xtreme aviation snips are available in three models, left-, right- and centre-cut. They are made with titanium nitradecoated blades designed to keep the tool sharp through 50,000 cycles of 18-gauge cold rolled steel. The snips also feature serrated jaw blades designed to stabilize bite and minimize slippage.

stanleyworks.com

Root cutter General Pipe Cleaners’ MetroRooter root cutting machine has 75 ft. of 5/8” wire, coiled around 49-strand aircraft-type wire rope. Designed to clear roots and stoppages in 3” and 6” pipe and manoeuvre into tight spaces, it also has 100 ft. of 1/2" cable for smaller jobs.

Body harness kit MSA’s Thermatek Kit is a full-body harness kit for high-heat or welding applications. It features Kevlar/Nomexblend webbing, Kevlar stitching in contrasting colours – meant for easier product inspection – and a protective cover on the shock absorber, designed to increase lanyard longevity.

drainbrain.com

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RLDVIEW Jeff Patchell

Green jobs and you Is your job a green job? How does climate change affect the availability of work that you are trained to do? Environmental concerns and climate change have brought about many changes in the way we work, and in the requirements of our clients.

Green, the colour of the future In its Green Jobs Report of September 2008, the International Labor Organization (ILO) says that while there are gainers and losers as the result of the impact of environmentalism, on balance there will be more jobs in green economies.

Will you be affected? You bet! You are working in a highly regulated occupation where you have been examined before you are given a licence to work; work is done to local codes, standard specifications and techniques. The product you use is manufactured to approvals requirements, and your work is inspected.

So, just what is a green job? Simply speaking, the term applies to jobs that reduce the environmental “footprint.” A precise definition used in the ILO is that green jobs are those reorienting consumption and production patterns toward preserving or restoring the quality of the environment.

The industries most affected by climate change policy and the race to reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) are as follows: • • • •

energy supply buildings transport basic industry (iron and steel, aluminum, cement, recycling) • agriculture • forestry

If policy makers provide for a fair and just transition, the shift to the new low-carbon workplace should occur with minimal disruption, however. For plumbers, you work in a premium trade which, over the years, has shown that it can adapt to changes in marketplace, technology and technical regulation. That said, the changes are occurring rapidly and often, so you cannot afford to be complacent.

While the international community continues to debate what should be done, there is so much that we ourselves should be doing to ensure we have the skills and knowledge to be successful in a low-carbon marketplace.

Green jobs are linked to problems of the environment, not specifically or only climate change, even though most initiatives to generate green jobs are strategies aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

The immediate concern is for job losses in affected industries – unless there is an increase in the green jobs for these workers to move into.

While these measures of performance will remain, the standards will likely be revised and the inspection of work completed may be extended to include emissions measurement.

Will there be more or less work? For the next generation, there will probably be more work. Certainly there will be opportunities as buildings are retrofitted to become more energy efficient, clients will be looking for certifications that their products or processes are suitable and adapted to low emissions requirements. All clients will be looking for advice from those they see as specialists in the particular field, and this includes their plumbing and HVAC contractors.

You have the skills to be green. If you choose to be involved in projects that reduce the environmental footprint, then you are taking an active role in green jobs. The more you participate in the training offered by your local plumbing organizations, the better your prospects of being prosperous in the emerging lowcarbon marketplace.

Jeff Patchell is managing director of Connection Magazines Pty Ltd. He has recently launched www.worldplumbinginfo.com, an online plumbing industry knowledge bank. M e c h a n i c a l

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BY THE NUMBERS Compiled by Dave Bowden

GOOD NEWS: WE’RE GETTING RICHER! $6 trillion Canada’s national net worth in 2009

$20 billion Increase versus three months earlier

0.7% Net increase

SMART PHONES, RUDE PEOPLE A recent survey suggests that increased use of electronic devices has led to decreases in workplace etiquette.

91%

Chief information officers

who report etiquette breaches are the same or worse than three years ago

HOLDIN’ TIL WE’RE GOLDEN We’ve all heard that a staggering 80 per cent of Canadians watched at least part of the Olympic gold medal hockey game. A graph recently released by EPCOR, Edmonton’s utility company, suggests that most of us were holding our potty breaks until intermissions.

THE COST OF EFFICIENCY...

$4.5 billion: total cost of federal government’s ecoENERGY program

380 megalitres: amount of water being consumed when the puck dropped 325 megalitres: water being consumed near end of third period 450 megalitres: water consumed between third period and overtime, a 129% spike

SOURCE: Statistics Canada, EPCOR, Robert Half Technology, C.D. Howe Institute. 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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Safety Isn't Just Skin Deep...

Corrosion Resistant Check Valve Construction

Single Access Cover

TM

Top Mounted Straight Tube Check Stainless Steel Retainer Body

Patented Linkage Design

Stainless Steel Piston and Stem Investment Cast Stainless Steel Body

Torsion Spring Design

Uniquely Contoured Check Valve Opening

Stainless Steel Relief Valve Cover Screws

Slotted Pivot Point

Replaceable Check Disc Rubber

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


May/June 2010  

Riding high with Road Warrior Kyle Lumsden; Oil heat Q&A -- fielding customer questions; Moisture management -- keeping structures dry; Pump...

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