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YUL Condos Innovate with Gas

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CONTENTS O F

Celebrating success for 2018

72CMPX 2018 REPORT From the sold-out show floor to busy aisles all three days, and a full seminar schedule, CMPX 2018 will go down in the books as one of the most successful in recent history.

The year of the

HEAT PUMP? 32THE COOLING REPORT

48COVER STORY Before he picked up a microphone to become part of the Blue Jays broadcasting crew, catcher Buck Martinez owned a double play that’s not only part of Blue Jays lore; it is still cited as one of the most spectacular plays in baseball history. Adam Freill

With cooling season upon us, heat pumps are making waves as consumers start to consider HVAC systems that add flexibility for all seasons. Adam Freill

STABILITY

HITS THE MARKET 60PROJECT PROFILE This past March, one of the largest residential properties in downtown Montreal, YUL Condominiums, gained some additional distinction thanks to an innovative central natural gas heating system. Denise Deveau

24COMMERCIAL VEHICLES REVIEW After several years of dramatic model changes, including the arrival of the European influence, the van market has settled down. Howard J. Elmer

On the cover: Blue Jays play-by-play man Buck Martinez is a two-time divisional champion as a player but is perhaps best remembered for one of the most famous double plays in baseball history. Cover photography: Courtesy of Sportsnet.


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Bathtubs taking centre stage Denise Deveau

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S P E C I A L I S T S

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HYDRONICS Seeking a system in balance Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr Just as you need balance in your diet, and your life in general, so too do the mechanical systems you install or work on.

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PLUMBING Aging like a fine wine, well sort of… Fred Bretzke On a commercial site for the first time in a long time, and covered in concrete dust from head to toe, I had to ask myself: Why am I doing this?

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MARKETING Google changing the game again Doug MacMillan Local Services by Google could have the tech giant providing searchers with access to pre-qualified contractors.

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HIGH PERFORMANCE HVAC Reducing the environmental impact of heating Gord Cooke Air conditioning season is an appropriate time to consider heating system choices.

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REFRIGERATION The right tool for the job Phil J. Boudreau Installing and maintaining refrigeration and air conditioning systems not only takes knowledge of these systems, it also requires a good set of tools, and proper tools.

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ASK ROGER Planning to maximize value Roger Grochmal I have written about buying, selling and merging HVAC and plumbing businesses before, but the question keeps coming up.

76QUATTRO’S CORNER Getting above that centre line Andrew Quattrociocchi

80ROAD WARRIOR: Daniel Guest Adam Freill

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The broad appeal of snow and ice melting Lance MacNevin

54PLUMBING

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88CIRCULATORS Hot Wheels and hydronics John Barba

D E P A R T M E N T S 6From the Editor’s Desk 8News 18Profile: Pierre Boucher 84Find the Fix 92The Info Page 93Calendar 94By the Numbers M e c h a n i c a l

P R O D U C T S 32-36,70,71HVAC/R 42,58Plumbing 82Stuff You Need 86Hydronics

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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 2018 Issue Published 6 times per year. Editor: Adam Freill, ext. 224 adam.freill@mechanicalbusiness.com National Sales Manager: Jeff Superle, ext. 221 jeff.superle@mechanicalbusiness.com Controller: Liz Mills liz.mills@mechanicalbusiness.com Office Manager: Caroline Bexfield, ext. 227 caroline.bexfield@mechanicalbusiness.com

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Talking up the industry In travelling the aisles of the recent CMPX show in Toronto (see page 72), attending association chapter events and speaking with a number of readers in the time since CMPX, I’ve noticed a topic that keeps coming up. It’s one that’s worth thinking about regardless of which arm of the mechanical sector that you serve. That’s the need to take a more positive approach in front of customers. How many times have you looked at a set of plans or gone into a jobsite, commercial or residential, and heard (or maybe even said) a statement like, “What was that last guy thinking when he built this?”

Visit us online Want to stay up to date between issues? Be sure to visit our home on the web, mechanicalbusiness. com, for all the latest news, and some exclusives that you won’t find in print.

I know I’ve been guilty of it: Wondering aloud why something was piped a certain way, or why one type of system was selected over another.

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And while there’s nothing wrong with questioning why something was done, especially when you’ve been called in to troubleshoot a system that’s not performing as expected, use of certain language can cast a negative spotlight on everyone in the industry, yourself included. Let’s face it, our industry does some great things; some unheralded great things. I love when Ellen Rohr (that’s Hot Rod’s wife, and one heck of an insightful business person) proclaims that plumbers have saved more lives than doctors. That’s worthy of a superhero’s cape for every tradesperson, but that’s not the image that comes to mind when someone says they are in the plumbing, heating or cooling business. How do we change perception?

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One first, little step, perhaps, could be as simple as not talking badly about the systems you are working on. Same goes for your peers who have been in the door before you. When all a customer hears is how little others, who happen to carry the same licence as you, know about what they are doing, it’s little wonder that they don’t trust anyone in the business. So, rather than n proclaiming that the previous guy didn’t know what th the they were doing, why not start with something l ke, “Don’t wo li like, worry. I’ve seen this kind of issue before, and I’m pretty sure I have a couple of options that will get things working. Let m me go get my tools.”

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.

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In other arenas, the bend of this blade would be assessed a two-minute minor.

What’s the secret of the superior efficiency and quiet operation of Napoleon’s 16 SEER central air conditioner? It’s unique Swet Fan Blade technology. With a distinct shape, aluminum blades and a plated steel hub. The 16 SEER until has a lower vibration level, which leads to a more silent operation. It’s also backed by a 10 year limited compressor and parts warranty, assuring you of summer comfort for years to come. napoleonheatingandcooling.com


06.18

News www.mechanicalbusiness.com

Uponor celebrates progress in Vegas

CIPHEX West announces p seminar lineup

The Phyn Plus and the Uponor Pro Squad attracted considerable attention from the 1,200 attendees, including 200 from Canada, who took part in Taco’s Rick Mayo talks fluid flow at the Uponor’s biennial convention 2018 Uponor convention in Las Vegas. in Las Vegas this past April. Speaking during the opening welcome session, the company’s North American president, Bill Gray, explained that Uponor’s aim is to be the preferred industry partner with the contractors who use their systems. Playing on the event’s theme of “The Quest for Progress,” Gray outlined how strategic partnerships also extend to other manufacturers, citing Milwaukee Tools and Belkin as key industry partners of Uponor’s that help his company “find solutions for customers.” Milwaukee provides pipe expansion tools, and the Phyn Plus water monitoring system is a joint venture between Uponor and Belkin.

Western Canada’s biggest trade show for plumbing, hydronics, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration and water treatment, CIPHEX West, has unveiled ed its lineup of speakers that will be presenting seminars when the event returns to Alberta this fall. Scheduled for November 7 and 8 at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park in Calgary, the event features more than 250 exhibitors, 30,000 sq. ft. of product displays, and a full slate of industry training sessions led by experts from across North America. For the list of speakers, hit the event’s website. ciphexwest.ca

The conference also included the first training session for the Uponor Pro Squad, an initial group of 100 professional plumbing installers trained in the installation of Phyn Plus. The first class includes Richard Trethewey from This Old House (and the first celebrity to grace the cover of Mechanical Business). The Uponor Pro Squad will be expanded as Phyn Plus is rolled out to more cities across North America. uponorpro.ca

Cintas seeks washrooms that wow

Comfort expectations spell opportunity “You have better temperature control in your car than you do in your home,” stated guest speaker Gord Cooke at the March HRAI GTA chapter meeting. Cooke, president of Building Knowledge Canada and a regular Mechanical Business columnist, spoke about some of the challenges and opportunities for contractors that stem from conversations about comfort. “About 80 per cent of air comfort complaints are because of temperature or humidity issues,” he explained, adding that the contractors in the room have solutions that they can bring to these customers. hrai.ca

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Do you know of a washroom that is brag-worthy? If so, nominate it now! Cintas Canada is accepting nominations for the ninth annual Canada’s Best Restroom contest until June 15. “There is great value in providing a positive public washroom experience,” said Candice Raynsford, marketing manager with Cintas Canada. “In addition to showcasing unique, well-designed restrooms, this contest highlights the importance of having a clean, well-stocked facility for a business’ success and reputation.” The contest is open to any nonresidential restroom in Canada that is accessible to the general public. Entries will be judged based on five criteria: cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality and unique design elements. bestrestroom.com/Canada

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Finding generational common ground

Grads hiring students In March, Toronto’s Humber College hosted its second annual HVAC/R career fair. This year’s event doubled in size, attracting 200 students who connected with almost 30 employers, a number of whom are Humber College HVAC and refrigeration program alumni. Following the event, several of the participating employers returned to interview students for part-time, summer and full-time opportunities, hiring a number of the students who took part. The annual career fair is part of the Humber HVAC/R Town Hall series and is facilitated by HVAC/R professor Alan Gaunt in conjunction with Humber Career Services.

ciph.com

MB eyes prompt payments In April, Reg Helwer, the MLA from Brandon West, introduced Bill 218, The Prompt Payments in the Construction Industry Act, in the Manitoba legislature, a move applauded by Manitoba Prompt Payment (MBPP), a coalition of 29 construction unions and associations throughout the province. “We have seen prompt payment legislation come to fruition in Ontario, with the passing of Bill 142, which is Canada’s first piece of prompt payment legislation,” said Brad Mason, spokesperson for MBPP. “Now is the time for Manitoba to act and ensure fairness in our construction industry. Delinquent payments hurt the entire province’s economy while jeopardizing employment and financial security for thousands of workers in our industry.” Trade contractors perform more than 80 per cent of all construction work in Canada, but there is currently no system in place in Manitoba that enforces payment procedures. ntccc.ca

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A young entrepreneur herself, Billan outlined some of the key differences that exist between the generations, as well as the generation that’s following the millennials, but added that there are many similarities that can be built upon as well, suggesting that the similarities are what to focus on when getting members of different generations to work and learn from each other. “Millennials are trying to follow their passion,” she said, adding that businesses that are successful in attracting this generation are companies that “allow them to find purpose and meaning.”

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Aqua-Tech Sales and Marketing recognized a number of companies and reps during its 2018 annual sales meeting, which was held in March. Growth Strategy Awards were presented to Kingston, Ontario’s D&M Mechanical Sales and London, Ontario’s Somers Environmental Products. Big Bear Awards, recognizing agents and sales teams with the highest sales volumes in Canada were presented to D&M Mechanical Sales as well as the Southern Ontario Aqua-Tech Sales and Marketing team. The Hunter Award, presented to the agent or team with the second highest annual sales volume in Canada, went to Atlantic Canada’s MacLeod and Grant Ltd.

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Aqua-Tech recognizes sales leaders

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The Southern Ontario Aqua-Tech sales team.

“There can be four generations in your company right now,” advised Rumeet Billan, president of Viewpoint Leadership and Jobs in Education, as she provided insights into generational differences and working with millennials during the April Rumeet Billan CIPH Ontario Business Luncheon. “So, how do we attract these young people into our businesses? How do we engage? How do we connect?” she quizzed the 140 attendees. “It all comes down to communication.”

A SOPPING SOP PING

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A showcase for plastic pipes The world of plastic pipes will be on full display when the Plastic Pipes pes its XIX Conference and Exhibition hits the Red Rock Resort in in Las Vegas, Nev., from September 24 to 26, 2018. “A total of 80 papers will be delivered at our Las Vegas ki, chair conference,” said Zoran Davidovski, of the conference’s technical program. “Technical innovation is continuously enhancing the way we design, make and install plastic pipe systems.” Among the papers to be presented over the three days are: a look at PEX pipe systems and their capabilities in the field of hot and cold water applications, growth in PVC pipe systems for new and replacement applications, an analysis of integrated recycled HDPE into corrugated piping, and a review of the “Discover: Plastics” multinational awareness campaign launched by The European Plastic Pipes & Fittings Association to champion the suitability of plastic pipe sewer systems.

In February, Kevin Wong was presented with the Joseph K. Seidner Award, recognizing him for his efforts to advance the plumbing landscape in Canada over more than a dozen years of service to the industry. CIPH president and general manager Ralph Suppa (left), and Kevin Ernst, chair of the Plumbing and Mechanical Advisory Council (right) presented Wong with the award. Wong is the 17th recipient of this award, which was established by the CIPH Board of Directors in November 2000 to honour Joe Seidner, the first recipient and an industry leader and friend of CIPH. Seidner passed away in 2003 at the age of 96. ciph.com

ppxix.com

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Kevin Wong receives Seidner Award

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DIGITAL ALERT HVAC Check & Charge

Webster receives CIPH Award of Merit Congratulations go out to Ken Webster, recently retired from Viessmann Manufacturing, on receiving the Award of Merit from the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating. Webster, who sat on the Award of Merit selection committee, was unaware he was nominated by his peers and was surprised to receive the award during a recent Viessmann sales meeting. Webster is pictured here with his wife, Marcia (middle) and CIPH president and general manager, Ralph Suppa (left). viessmann.ca ciph.com

Available for iPhone or Android, the HVAC Check & Charge mobile app from Emerson Climate Technologies provides an on-site refrigerant charge calculator for air conditioning applications. Based on historic sliding cardboard charge calculators, the app allows contractors to easily calculate correct system refrigerant charge for R-22 or R-410A. emersonclimate.com

Refrigerant Management Canada Industry-led environmental care program Refrigerant Management Canada (RMC) has a new home on the web. The organization’s site includes refrigerant disposal request forms, videos, lists of participating wholesalers, and more. hrai.ca/refrigerant-management-canada

When it comes to water, it’s all about pressure. Whether you’re looking for pressure boosting, constant pressure, or pressure regulation, our Little Giant® Inline product portfolio provides the right tools to bring your customer’s challenges under control. Ideal for new or existing applications, your customer will have the water they need when they demand it.

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Heat pump program says no to gas Presenting an update on the Ontario GreenON rebate program during HRAI’s Manufacturer Division Symposium in late February, Evelyn Lundhild (pictured) of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) explained that a decision was made to not include gas-fired furnaces in the current stage of the GreenON Rebates for Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHP) program. Early announcements of the program’s expectations had included these appliances, but Lundhild explained that a review of the resources available to deliver the program led to a decision to not include gas-fired furnaces at this time. Houses that have an air source heat pump installed to replace, or for use in combination with, an oil-fired or propane-fired heating appliance will qualify for these rebates, and homes that are currently heated with electric heat will be offered incentives through the Save On Energy Heating and Cooling Incentive program.

Wholesale buying group hits the desert The 2018 AD Plumbing & PVF Spring Network Meeting attracted over 245 members from Canada and the U.S. to the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa in Palm Desert, Calif. Attendees enjoyed three days of peer networking, best practice sharing, and updates on AD programs, including HR Services, Procurement Services, and eCommerce Solutions. Keynote speaker Doug Lipp, author of Disney U, shared advice about creating cultures of significance with attendees. AD is the largest contractor and industrial products wholesale buying group in North America, with more than 600 independently owned members. adhq.com

saveonenergy.ca hrai.ca

COOL UNDER PRESSURE MECHANICAL HOT TAPPING MACHINE • Hot tap up to 4" valves on steel, galvanized, copper, brass or PVC pipe. • Pressure rated 300 psi for ambient temperatures, 125 psi for steam systems.

DM3MECH in use videos.reedmfgco.com/dm3mech

Inclusion mandated for Alberta apprentices A new bidding policy for construction contractors is designed to ensure apprentices receive work experience on all major Government of Alberta-funded infrastructure and transportation projects. The new policy requires apprentices in 11 construction-related trades to participate on any major public projects in the province that are valued over $15 million, or those that will require at least two years to complete. In addition, sub-contracts of $500,000 or greater will also be required to comply with the new requirement and employ at least one apprentice. Trades subject to the new requirement include: plumbing, gas-fitting, refrigeration, airconditioning mechanics, carpentry, crane and hoisting equipment operations, electrical, elevator construction, heavy equipment technician, ironworker, sheet metal, and welding. alberta.ca nait.ca

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06.18

Movers & Shakers www.mechanicalbusiness.com

Saniflo names Alberta agent Saniflo Canada has appointed Kadin Sales Ltd. as its sales agency for the province of Alberta. Kadin Sales has experience in the residential and commercial plumbing industry and has reps based in Calgary and Edmonton. The company’s Calgary office can be reached at Tel. 403-203-3429, while Edmonton can be contacted at Tel. 780-975-1199. saniflo.ca kadinsales.com

From left: IMS vice-president Paul Blaik, president Greg Tester, GTA West manager Ron Yamin, and CFO David Walker.

Branch r opens west of Toronto Independent Mechanical Supply held an open house in late March to celebrate the opening of its newest branch, IMS West, in Oakville, Ont. Located at 2190 Winston Park Drive, the 23,000 sq-ft branch services areas west of Toronto and offers the same services and inventory as the company’s Rexdale and Scarborough branches.

Bitzer buys heat exchangers Refrigeration equipment manufacturer Bitzer is expanding its product portfolio by acquiring the shell-and-tube heat exchanger segment of Alfa Laval SpA. Bitzer is now the largest independent manufacturer of shell-and-tube heat exchangers in the world. The products taken over from Alfa Laval are designed for air-conditioning and refrigeration applications and will enlarge Bitzer’s product portfolio. bitzer.ca

imechsupply.com

Master opens in Cambridge

Neway joins Desco Desco Plumbing and Heating Supply has purchased Neway Plumbing & Heating Supplies, a wholesale distributor of plumbing and hydronic products headquartered in Mississauga, Ont. “The addition of this business, along with their experienced employees, provides Desco with the opportunity to continue to broaden our market presence in the GTA,” stated Jon Leeson, vice-president and general manager of Desco. All Neway personnel and contact numbers remain unchanged.

In March, the Master Group opened its 10th branch in Southern Ontario. The 10,000 sq-ft location at 120 Saltsman Drive in Cambridge offers a full lineup of HVACR equipment and e-xpress pick up service, the company’s new online ordering service that includes pick-up directly at the warehouse via e-master. Colin Graham, formerly of the Rexdale location, is the new branch manager. master.ca

True North and Morden National introduce Airex

desco.ca

Anvil acquires FlexHead Anvil International has announced that it has acquired the assets of FlexHead Industries and SprinkFLEX, which manufacture and hold patents for both FlexHead and SprinkFLEX brands of adjustable sprinkler piping drops for fire sprinkler applications in drop ceiling spaces and other applications. anvilintl.com

Airex Manufacturing has entered the Canadian marketplace, striking up a partnership with True North HVAC and Hydronics, and Morden National Sales and Marketing. True North and Morden National will offer the Airex Pro System Kit, Titan Outlet and E-Flex Guard products, which were launched into Canada at the CMPX show. airexmfg.com truenorthhvac.com mordennational.com

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People in the news www.mechanicalbusiness.com

GAIL KAUFMAN has been promoted to vice-president of marketing and eBusiness at Wolseley Canada. With the addition of marketing to her role, Gail now also holds responsibility for the company’s omni-channel customer experience, showroom and brand marketing strategy and the Connects Program that facilitates the partnership between our vendors and sales channels. JEFF GARTNER is now the Greater Toronto Area sales rep for OS&B. Experienced in HVAC and custom glass door sales, he will be responsible for select GTA wholesale accounts and will report to the company’s national sales manager, Brad Cornelissen.

Ontor Limited has named MARTIN REGO as its new vice-president of sales. Accountable for the company’s growth and product offerings across Canada, Rego is a professional engineer with nearly 30 years of experience in a variety of senior leadership roles in the HVAC, manufacturing and utility sectors. Also at Ontor, the company recently named CHARITY CROMBIE as its new regional sales representative for Southwestern Ontario. She has more than 20 years of operations and sales experience in the manufacturing and wholesale sectors, with a strong emphasis on customer service.

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Independent Mechanical Supply recently added two members to its outside sales team. DENNY PAGNELLI (1) is based out of the company’s Rexdale, Ont., location, and is joined by industry veteran MICHAEL RANGER (2) as outside sales representatives handling sales throughout the region.

London, Ont.-based Great Lakes Copper has hired SHAN SINNARASA as its technical business development representative for its Streamline brand of products. He will be responsible for calling on design engineers and mechanical contractors across Canada. He brings experience in quality control, material testing, manufacturing consultation and design to his new position.

Goodman Canada has named AHMAD AL-SAIFI as its area sales manager for Central Canada, excluding Ottawa. A sales and business development professional, he has more than 10 years of experience in the mechanical sector. Also at Goodman Canada, FRANCOIS LACHAPELLE’s role as area sales manager for Eastern Canada has been expanded to include Ottawa. He has been with the company for five years.

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SCOTT STEVENS is now the president and managing partner at Aerobarrier Canada Inc., a company that offers a system designed to minimize air leakage in buildings by forcing an atomized sealant into cracks and crevices under pressure to seal the whole building envelope. A 25-year veteran with Masco Canada, JAY DREHMANN was promoted to the position of business development manager for wholesale with the plumbing products manufacturer in March. He is based in St. Thomas, Ont.

WILL VANDERBURGH has joined Dobbin Sales in the newly created position of business development manager for architectural and designer products. He will be working with the company’s staff and sales agencies to create demand in the architectural and design communities.

HRAI has unveiled the identify of its next leader. At the beginning of May, association chair Bruce Passmore announced that SANDY MACLEOD will succeed Warren Heeley as president of the industry organization. Warren has agreed to stay on until the end of June to provide adequate transition time.


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06.18

Profile Pierre Boucher: A brief moment with MCAC’s new leader spent the first few months of his tenure working together to ensure a smooth transition of the national organization. We tracked Pierre down to learn a little bit more about him as he took on his new position.

Earlier this year, MCAC experienced a significant transition as Pierre Boucher took on the role of chief executive officer as Richard McKeagan retired from the industry association. Boucher is no stranger to the construction sector, nor to MCAC, having started his association career as a junior staff officer with the Canadian Construction Association in 1988, working his way up to the executive level and serving as the chief operating officer of CCA prior to joining MCAC. He and Richard

Q A

What interested you in this new role? I’ve known MCAC for years. They have always been affiliated with the Canadian Construction Association. When I heard that Richard was retiring, something inside me said, I want to be there. It is a very well run and highly regarded organization. It is going to be a great challenge and a fun thing to carry on.

Q A

Q A Q A

What plans do you have in your first year as CEO? To work closely with board members and the executive to make sure that we can incubate as many issues as possible, finding solutions and implementing those solutions. And with that, communicate as much as possible so that the industry understands what we are doing. Some of the topics we will be looking at include the naming of subcontractors in procurement contracts, the Bankruptcy Act needs to be revamped, accelerating the uptake of technology in Canada… there are so many issues that we can tackle. What’s your approach when navigating industry concerns? I don’t tend to rush into things. I am a good listener. I take it all in and I think about potential solutions. I am a team player, and I like compromise. I don’t mind when someone takes an idea of mine and turns it into something else. When you have time to think and analyze to come up with a solution, that’s when you get the best results. What advice have you received that will help you in this role? Work hard, do your best. Become aware of what your job is, and what it is not. Serve your masters as well as you can. Avoid surprises and give them the information they need ahead of time. Have fun and success will follow.

BIO

FAST FACTS ABOUT PIERRE

Name: Pierre Boucher Title: CEO Company: MCAC Born in: Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. Currently resides in: Ottawa

1. He values talent over celebrity. “I admire people who excel at doing things, regardless of what those things are; music, sports, engineering, whatever sector they are in.” 2. He like to have experiences when travelling. “I love cultures. I love to hear people speak different languages. I enjoy going to places where you can learn different things.”

DID YOU KNOW? MCAC is looking to host a conference on innovation and technology. Preliminary plans are to hold an event in Toronto this fall.

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3. He has a lot of respect for MCAC, and what the organization has accomplished, and is looking forward to carrying the torch forward. “At this time in my career, I could not ask for a better place to be. I am very excited for my role. I also have the highest respect for Richard McKeagan. He’s an amazing individual.”


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HYDRONICS

B y B o b “ Ho t R o d ” Rohr

Seeking a

system

e c n bala in

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

Success starts with a plan The first step for any hydronic project should be a heat loss calculation. This holds true for new projects, remodels, retrofits or upgrades. The load calculation is your map to a successfully installed system, and the basis for sizing and bidding. A system design is another important step. Consider how many zones will be needed and whether multiple temperatures will be required. Different heat emitters have different fluid temperature requirements. Will the system include DHW production? And how sophisticated of a control package is desired? The amount of heat energy needed, and the distance that this energy needs to travel, will all factor into the pipe, pump and component sizings, which also need to be calculated. Put all this important data down on paper, or for the more digitalminded of us, in a file stored in the cloud. You will be glad to have it down the road.

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S

o, there it is, and it’s a thing of beauty: You’ve built your customer a leak-free, highefficiency hydronic system. Now, before you start talking it up with the occupants, are you positive it is operating at the highest performance and efficiency levels? How would you know? It would be unusual to find a system where every circuit, loop, branch and heat emitter is identical to one another. Let’s just assume the entire system, at design conditions, requires 20 gpm of flow. Every heat emitter on the system will require a portion of that energy delivered via your 20 gpm flowrate if your system is to deliver the desired heat output and provide the comfort you promised your customer. A lower-than-designed flowrate could lead to under-performing zones or rooms. Excessive flow would waste energy, lead to possible short cycling and, perhaps, create velocity noise. As such, a strong case can be made for including balancing options in your systems. Of all the topics related to hydronic balancing, valve selection and application can be the most challenging. Thankfully, many of the manufacturers of these products have technical journals, webinars and hands-on training available, and I encourage you to explore these materials to guide you to the best selection for your particular need. Here’s to more balance! Just as you need balance in your diet, and your life in general, so too do the mechanical systems you install or work on.

DID YOU KNOW? B u s i n e s s

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Any valves used in DHW or potable water must comply with low lead requirements.


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HYDRONICS

continued on page 28

Getting your measurements Let’s assume you won the bid, installed your system, and it is a system to behold. It’s a piece of hydronic art for generations to admire, but are you confident that it is doing the job efficiently? cate Did the load calculation and design indicate flow rates, required supply temperatures, es, and the 6T for the various circuits and m is loops? How will you confirm the system operating within the design flow rates?

Luckily, there are many types of manual and automatic valves available, so it is possible to cover pretty much any application. Typical manual man valves will have ports to attach a differential pressure ga gauge to set and confirm flow rates. At le least one style of manual balancing valve has the m meter built into the valve to check and confirm flow rate. When multiple manual valves are installed on a rat job, they all need to be adjusted to the required flow rate when tthe system is flowing.

Monitoring temperatures is very easy these days. Most multimeters have temperature heads available, usually with two sensors to read the temperature re difference across a circuit. Infrared thermometers also allow you to point and shoot temperatures. This can even be done with your smartphone as infrared equipment companies now offer camera attachments. These cameras or adapters let you see the temperatures in living colour thanks to their temperature indicators in the display.

With some so styles of automatic Pressure Independent Valve (PIV), the factory builds them to the required flow rate and they cannot be field adjusted. There are also multi-function valves available that can serve as the on/off zone valve and balancing device. Balancing valves may be able to replace reverse return piping, in some cases. With multiple water tanks, for example, a balancing valve at every tank would ensure the exact same draw down.

As far as checking and adjusting flow rates, what components did you install for this? In some cases, the manifolds you use for distribution will include small adjustable flow indicators. These allow you to see and adjust flow to multiple piping loops, but there are additional balancing options that can help to fine-tune the system circuits and branches. So, this brings us to balancing valves.

Don’t forget the DHW Keep in mind that a large domestic hot water system would also benefit from balancing. Probably the most commonly over-pumped application you come across is a DHW recirculation system. If the system supplies multiple branches, a balancing device should be installed and properly adjusted on all the branches or circuits. Relatively new to the market are thermal balance valves for DHW. The thermal-setters allow you to balance the circuits without knowing the designed-for flowrate. Thermal balance valves installed on the return piping are set several degrees below the supplied DHW temperature. As an example, if the DHW is supplied to the building at 120°F, setting the thermal balance valve at 115°F ensures the loop temperature drop is five degrees. That’s pretty quick and easy, if you ask me.

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Matching the build to the plan If you work on commercial or larger projects that involved an engineered design, you will generally find an assortment of balancing devices specified. This is done since the hydronic designer wants to ensure that the system flows are dialed in to match the requirements set forth in the plans. In some cases, certified third-party balancing contracts are involved to make sure the system is actually running to the designed criteria.


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COMMERCIAL VEHICLES: VANS

B y Ho war d J . Elmer

STABILITY

HITS THE MARKET fter several years of dramatic model changes, including the arrival of the European influence, the van market has settled down. In fact, dramatic engineering changes in the commercial van market in Canada have all but ended – for now anyway.

A

2018 FORD TRANSIT CONNECT The small Transit Connect now has an optional upgrade to the 2018 SYNC3 with 6.5” LCD touch screen and rearview camera. The XLT Cargo Van includes a steel mesh window guard.

Where changes have come seems to be confined to new electronics, safety features, and dealer and warranty incentives and service offers.

Howard J. Elmer is an automotive journalist and the founder of the Canadian Truck King Challenge. Be sure to check out his test drives at www.canadiantruckkingchallenge.ca.

Cab Style:

Van

Wheelbases:

104.8”, 120.6”

Engine Size:

2.5L I-4

Power (hp/torque):

169/171

Max. Payload:

1,620 lb.

Max. Towing Capacity:

2,000 lb.

Van Interior:

130 cu.ft.

Rear Door Height:

52.1”

Cargo Dimensions:

Height: 59.1” Width: 48.1” Length: 72.6”

Dimensions:

Max Length: 189.7” Width: 72.2”

Frankly, the current crop of vans offers good selection to the market at large, so there isn’t much that needs changing. Instead, more and more customers are looking at the dealer/service e end of their purchase purc rccha hase se e transaction ass being the tipping factor in a buying ying decision. So, while you need to buy the van that works forr you mechanically, make sure that at the after-sales service workss just as hard.

2018 FORD E-SERIES 350-450 CUTAWAY Each year Ford says the E-series is done, but demand continues, so it does too. For 2018, the E-series is a cutaway and stripped chassis only. Engines include the 6.8L V10 and 6.2L V8 flex fuel, which can also be ordered as a CNG/propane prep package.

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Cab Style:

2018 FORD TRANSIT The Transit is quickly becoming a dominant player in this market. It’s a vehicle with a solid reputation and a good variety of build configurations. The extensive dealer network certainly helps too. For 2018, a high-mount rearview camera is being added as standard equipment to medium- and high-roof Transits. Models available include the Transit 150, Transit 250, Transit 350 and Transit 350 Heavy-Duty. The 250, 350 and 350HD are also available as a cutaway chassis cab.

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Van

Wheelbases:

129.9”, 147.6”

Engine Sizes:

3.7L Ti-VCT V6, 3.5L EcoBoost V6, 3.2L Power Stroke diesel

Power (hp/torque):

275/260, 310/400, 185/350

Max. Payload:

4,650 lb.

Max. Towing Capacity:

7,500 lb.

Van Interior:

487.3 cu.ft. (max.)

Door Opening: Rear Height: Cargo Space Dimensions: Dimensions:

74.3” max 81.5” Height: 81.5” (max.) Width: 69.8” Length: 171.5” Length: 263.9” (max.) Width: 82”


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COMMERCIAL VAN ROUNDUP

continued from page 24

2018 RAM PROMASTER CITY The City upgrades its electronics for 2018. It now features a standard Uconnect 5.0 multimedia centre with a 5” touchscreen, hands-free communication with Bluetooth, streaming audio and ParkView rear back-up camera. Also new are sliding and back door window grates available in Cargo Van models without partition. Recommended oil change intervals are up to 16,000 kilometers. Cab Style:

Van

Wheelbase:

122.4”

Engine Size:

2.4L I-4 MultiAir2

Power (hp/torque):

178/174

Max. Payload:

1,900 lb.

Max. Towing Capacity: Van Interior:

2,000 lb. (w/tow package)

Cab Style:

Van

131.7 cu.ft. (max.)

Wheelbase:

126”, 135” 2 L I-4 turbo-gas

Door Opening:

26” (side) Rear Height: 49”

Engine Size:

Cargo Space Dimensions:

Height: 51.8” Width: 60.4” Length: 87.2”

Power (hp/torque):

Dimensions:

Length: 187.5” Width: 72.1”

Max. Payload:

2018 MERCEDES-BENZ METRIS

208/258 2,502 lb. or 2,447 lb.

Max. Towing Capacity:

5,000 lb.

Van Interior Capacity:

183 cu.ft. or 199.2 cu.ft.

Door Openings: Side Height :49” The mid-size 2018 Metris has added Rear Height: 48.2” a new length of cargo van, new stanCargo Space Dimensions: Height: 53.8” dard equipment on the passenger van Length: 111.5” or 120.5” and new seating options. A rearview Dimensions: Length: 202.4” or 211.4” Width: 74.4” camera is now standard equipment. The second wheelbase (135”) adds to the cargo length. The 16 cubic feet of cargo volume and 8.6” 8 van and cargo van awards. Metris has won best mid-size passenger passen

Cab Style:

201 MERCEDES-BENZ 2018 SPR SPRINTER 1500 TO 3500

Van

Wheelbases:

118”, 136”, 159”

The next generation of Sprinter is coming late this year as a 2019. More com info information about those updates will be available in the fall, but 2018 brought a avai few upgrades in the meantime.

Engine Sizes: 3.6L Pentastar V6 (base), 3L I-4 EcoDiesel Power (hp/torque):

280/260, 174/295

Max. Payload:

5,189 lb.

Max. Towing Capacity: Van Interior: Cargo Space Height: Dimensions:

5,090 lb. 530 cu.ft. (max.) 51”

Cab Style:

Length: 195” to 250” Width: 82.7”

Wheelbases: Power (hp/torque):

The ProMaster lineup includes Cargo Van, Window Van, Chassis Cab and Cutaway models in a total of 13 unique configurations. It comes in three weight classes, three wheelbase lengths, four body lengths and two roof heights. It is still the only front-wheel-drive configuration on the market. For 2018, its electronics have been upgraded with the Uconnect 5.0 multimedia centre with 5” touchscreen, hands-free Bluetooth and streaming audio with steering wheel-mounted audio controls. A ParkView rear back-up camera is now standard as well.

M e c h a n i c a l

B u s i n e s s

144”, 170”

Engine Sizes: 3L V6 turbodiesel, 2.1L I-4 turbodiesel

2018 RAM PROMASTER 1500 TO 3500

26

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0 6 . 1 8

Max. Payload:

188/325, 161/265 5,375 lb.

Max. Towing Capacity:

7,500 lb.

Van Interior:

547 cu.ft.

Door Openings:

(Std.) Side Sliding Door: 59.8” Rear Height: 60.6” (Hi-roof) Side Sliding Door: 71.7” Rear Height: 72.4”

Cargo Space Dimensions: Height: 65” (Std. roof), 77.8” (Hi-roof) Width: 53.1 (between wheel arches) Length: 137.4” Dimensions:

Length: 289” Width: 79.3”

A rearview camera has been added as standard equipment, while a low roof is now standard on the 3500 Sprinter cargo van (144” WB). Also new is a Super single-tire version of the 3500 4x2 cargo van. For the sixth year in a row, Sprinter has won two Vincetric Best Fleet Value awards.


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COMMERCIAL VAN ROUNDUP

continued from page 26

Cab Style:

2018 CHEVY EXPRESS 2500 AND 3500

Van

Wheelbases:

135”, 155”

Engine Sizes: 4.8L, 6.0L, 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel

This traditional North American van soldiers on with no changes. Apparently the demand continues and so does the Express.

Power (hp/torque):

285/295, 329/373, 260/525

Max. Payload:

4,120 lb.

Max. Towing Capacity:

10,000 lb.

Van Interior:

284.4 cu.ft.

Door Opening:

20.8”

Cargo Space Dimensions: Dimensions:

2018 CHEVY EXPRESS CUT-AWAY 3500-4500

Cab Styles:

Van,n, Cutaway

Wheelbases:

139”, 159”, 177” (single or dual rear ar wheels)

Engine Sizes:

4.8L, 6.0L, 6.6L Duramax turbo-diesel urbo-diesel

Power (hp/torque):

285/295, 329/373,3, 260/525

Max. Payload:

Length: 224” to 244” Width: 79.2”

Cab Style:

Van

Wheelbase:

115.2”

Engine Size:

2L I-4

Power (hp/torque):

131/139

Max. Payload:

1,500 lb.

Van Interior Capacity:

9,147 lb.

This is another one that’s still available, again, without any changes this year. If you liked it last year, you’ll still like it this year.

Height: 53.4” Width: 52.7” Length: 155”

2018 CHEVROLET CITY EXPRESS

Cargo Space Dimensions: Dimensions:

122.7 cu.ft. Width: 4’6” Length: 6’10” Length: 186.3” Width: 68.1”

First Introduced in 2016, the City Express remains the same in 2018.

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2018 NISSAN NV1500 TO NV3500 First introduced to the United States market in spring 2011, the Nissan NV Cargo van is unique in its long-nose design, but it is definitely as versatile as the rest of the market when looking at what it offers in the commercial van segment. In comes in three versions with either a standard or high roof design. This Nissan workhorse remains the same again for 2018.

2018 NISSAN NV200 Style:

This small van continues to make inroads as one of the lightest and cheapest vans in this class. Its specs remain unchanged again for this year.

Van

Wheelbase:

146.1�

Engine Sizes:

4L V6, 5.6L V8

Power (hp/torque):

261/281, 317/385

Max. Payload:

3,858 lb.

Max. Towing Capacity:

9,000 lb.

Van Interior Capacity:

323.1 cu.ft. (max.)

Rear Door Opening:

Van

Wheelbase:

115.2�

Engine Size:

2L I-4

Power (hp/torque):

131/139

Max. Payload:

Width: 61.6�

1,500 lb.

Van Interior Capacity:

Cargo Space Dimensions: Width: 70.2� Length: 150.2� Dimensions:

Cab Style:

122.7 cu.ft.

Cargo Space Dimensions:

Length: 240.6� Width: 79.9�

Width: 4’6� Length: 6’10�

Dimensions:

Length: 186.3� Width: 68.1�

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2018

Cooling Report

The year of the

HEAT PUMP? B y A d a m F re ill

Communicating heat pump

N

ow that Mother Nature has (hopefully) put away her winter wear, consumers, both commercial and residential, will be thinking about the cooling side of ttheir HVAC matrix.

Daikin’s Emura wall-mounted indoor heat pump is designed for use in residential, multi-zone applications. Available in silver or pure matte white, the units offer efficiencies up to 18.9 SEER and up to 12.5 HSPF, with an operating range from -14°F to 115°F for cooling and -4°F to 75°F for heating.

The latest crop of products continues to march forward on T p peak efficiency levels, and are offering more connectivity options than every before, but one of the fastest growing o ssegments of the heating and cooling sector is heat pump ttechnology.

daikincomfort.com

These ducted split, ductless mini-split and geothermal offerings have been the t focus of a number of recent government and utility incentive programs, which could provide a growth spurt in their market share this summer, a summer that many are hoping will be much stronger for cooling system sales than last year.

Inverter heat pump Offering a cooling capacity range of 3,100 to 12,000 BTUH and a heating capacity range of 3,100 to 22,000 BTUH, Haier’s wall-mounted Arctic series inverter driven heat pump system is rated to 28 SEER and 13.0 HSPF. The system maintains 100 per cent of its heating capacity at 5°F and can operate in heating mode down to -22°F. haierductless.com

“Given that we had a really cool summer last year in Quebec and Ontario, I think that there’s probably some pent-up demand, so if we see some heat early in the season, it should be a pretty good year from a demand side,” suggests Bill Davis, vice-president of Daikin Canada.

A split market The limited cooling season in Canada and significant jump in efficiency level requirements to qualify for certain rebates and incentives have resulted in a movement back to the minimum for many consumers in the market for a new residential ducted split air conditioner. “In previous years there had been incentives for 16-plus SEER systems,” explains Davis, “but last year we saw a shift back to 13 SEER systems, and we don’t see a reason for that to change dramatically this year.”

Residential air conditioners Goodman GSXC18 air conditioners feature two-stage scroll compressor technology. The two- to five-ton air conditioners offer up to 19-SEER and 14-EER performance. Factory-installed sensors monitor coil and ambient temperatures.

“Canada has such a short cooling season that if you are going to put in an air conditioner, it is likely going to be a base entry level,” concurs Bart Balthazor, residential product manager with Johnson Controls. That said, his company is not assuming that all buyers will be on the low-end of the spend. “What we are seeing in traditional ducted equipment is more and more features being placed into the premium equipment,” he says. “If homeowners are paying a premium price, they are expecting premium features.”

goodmanmfg.com Those features can include automated system diagnostics that can help with installations and servicing, indicating such parameters as pressure, temperature, subcooling, superheat and, in the case of a fault, what the operating parameters were at the time of the fault.

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2018

Mini-splits continue to rise

Cooling Report

Once thought of as a good solution for home additions, ductless mini-splits evolved into a retrofit solution, but their story is ever expanding. “Now, ow, we are seeing new homes being built with mini-splits going in,” reports Balthazor. “Applications for ductless have grown,” agrees Napoleon’s North American director of HVAC sales, Mike Cantin. “There’s always a room in the house that you don’t heat or cool just right. You are now able to heat or cool that section of the home.”

Ductless heating and cooling

Although some regions are seeing the segment hit a level of maturity, there is still an expectation to once again see double-digit growth. “With rebate incentives, government initiatives, application flexibility and increased awareness, we are seeing significant growth of ductless products in Ontario and Western Provinces,” says Ryan vanDyk, president of True North HVAC and Hydronics Inc., distributor of Haier products in Canada.

The Bosch Climate 5000 ductless heating and cooling mini-split system can be used in a multi-zone or single-zone configuration. The mini-splits offer efficiencies as high as 22 SEER and sound levels down to 20 dBA. Capacities range from 9,000 to 24,000 BTUH for single-zone systems and from 18,000 to 48,000 BTUH for multi-zone systems. boschheatingandcooling.com

“You’ll probably see more growth like what was seen last year,” suggests Cantin. “I think the Quebec and East Coast market might slow down some since so many people already have them, but there’s always the replacement market.”

Split system air conditioners

The heat (pump) is on

Operating on R-410A refrigerant, Napoleon’s line of residential split system air conditioners is available in 13, 14 and 16 SEER efficiencies, in capacities from 1.5 to five tons. The units use Copeland scroll compressors, aluminum microchannel condenser coils and permanently lubricated PSC motors.

It may seem odd to be thinking g about heating ng product, season when selecting a cooling but with a growing interest in heat pump ile for a technology, it can be worthwhile contractor to have “the heat pump” conversation with customers looking to add or replace a comfort cooling system, and especially if the customer is considering a ductless system. “There’s some cooling-only units in Canada, but the vast majority of ductless splits are heat pumps,” says Davis. “There’s very little cost differential between an AC or heat pump in mini-splits.”

napoleonheatingandcooling.com

“There’s very little cost differential between an AC or heat pump in minisplits.” Commercial VRF system

“The difference between the two units, from a manufacturing perspective, is fairly small,” adds vanDyk. “So, it makes more sense to build a majority of units as heat pumps.” The move to heat pumps has been very regional so far, but that’s likely to change, advises Cantin. “With rebates and a focus on not burning gas in the future, that’s going to drive heat pump sales and consumer knowledge will increase.”

Available in sizes from six to 24 tons, Fujitsu’s Airstage V-II VRF equipment line of Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heat pumps offer operational efficiencies up to 24.30 IEER. The systems allow for up to 45 indoor units per bank of three condensing units. fujitsugeneral.com

Coolling ng g Produ ucts M e c h a n i c a l

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2018

Cooling Report

Moving heat around A relatively new player to the cooling game is the Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system. Also known as Variable Refrigerant Volume (VRV) systems in Daikin’s vernacular, these primarily commercial HVAC systems are starting to make inroads into the residential segment as well. Similar in look to ductless equipment, they move heat energy from zone to zone in a building, providing heating and cooling simultaneously.

Communicating air conditioner The Amana ASXC18 communicating air conditioner delivers up to 19-SEER and 14-EER performance in two- to five-ton configurations. Featuring high-efficiency scroll compressor technology paired with overload protection the two-stage air conditioner uses a two-speed ECM condenser fan motor and comes equipped with a factory-installed filter dryer and high and low-pressure switches.

“It started as a niche product but now, due to its unique capabilities, we are really seeing a lot more applications for this technology,” says Sonny Pirrotta, the national sales manager for heating and air conditioning at Panasonic Canada. “Traditionally, VRF was perceived as a better fit for retrofit projects, but we are seeing the application expanding into new build as well.”

“Our goal is to help educate people about the efficiency and comfort levels provided by VRV systems,” says Daikin’s Bill Davis. “If you look at how commercial buildings are heated and cooled in the rest of the world, there are some places where 70 to 80 per cent of the buildings use VRV. In Europe, it’s 45 per cent.”

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2018

Cooling Report

Commercial integration DQGHÔ€FLHQFLHV “The trend that seems to be dominating the rooftop market right now is around the need for unit efďŹ ciency increases,â€? advises Brian Wathen, Johnson Controls’ commercial product manager for its building efďŹ ciency and ducted systems. Other trends on the commercial side, he says, include the use of new refrigerants to address global warming potential, the use of variable-speed compressors, and self-identifying equipment that automatically integrates itself into a building controls infrastructure.

Two-stage air conditioners Offering efďŹ ciencies up to 17 SEER and 13 EER, Rheem’s Classic Plus series of two-stage air conditioners are available in two- to ďŹ ve-ton sizes. The units’ two-stage Copeland Scroll UltraTech compressors can modulate between two capacity settings, 67% and 100%. The units can make use of the company’s EcoNet smart home system. rheem.com

Cooling Products

“While smart controls in commercial applications are primarily a bid and spec requirement, integration is gaining in popularity,â€? adds Adam Wills, Canadian general sales manager for HVAC and customer support at Rheem Canada. “Having the ability to get information remotely is important in staying ahead of potential issues.â€? In addition, the ability for a client to showcase their shrinking environmental footprint can also be beneďŹ cial, from a marketing perspective. “I think there’s a case to be made to use more efďŹ cient equipment and systems, but also to tell customers about that energy use,â€? says Davis

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Introducing the 17 Series Single-Zone, Inverter Powered Wall Mount Systems The curved contour design blends to match with any home decor and is ideal for single room enhancements and additions. The air direction and ow rate are adjustable so that the air does not blow directly at people in the room.

Now available with up to 17 SEER, 11 EER, 9 HSPF, and 3.68 COP

Daikin and its design are trademarks owned by Daikin.

2018

Learn more at daikincomfort.com


Fred Bretzke is a full-time pipe trades instructor with SAIT Polytechnic in Calgary and the general manager of A&B Plumbing & Heating. He can be reached at fred.bretzke@sait.ca.

PLUMBING

Aging like a fine wine

By Fred Bretzke

WELL SORT OF…

A

s I was thinking about writing this column, I was looking like I just fell in a bowl full of flour. On a commercial site for the first time in a long time, and covered in concrete dust from head to toe, I had to ask myself: Why am I doing this? All for a story? Out of the goodness of my heart? Or was it just because I wanted to know what it felt like to be back on the tools? Anyhow, what does it matter, I was there and committed, so I decided I might as well make the best of it.

WHY DID IT HAVE TO BE

CONCRETE?

I’m sure you can all picture it. As I’m drilling into the concrete ceiling, dust keeps falling on me, my eyes are red – oh, right, that’s why I should be wearing the full shield safety glasses instead of my regular safety glasses. Oh well, I only have a few more holes to drill. I hate commercial sites, they are all the same, cold, empty, dusty, concrete and steel studs filled dreary rooms of, well, CONCRETE. Did I mention I hate concrete?

I think it must be those memories of when I was patching concrete manholes in the parking lot of the then being constructed West Edmonton Mall. I’d much rather be roughing it in a wood residential house in the summer, like the good old days.

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REMIND ME TO GET A STRAP FOR MY GLASSES Every time I had to look at the details of something, I had to put my glasses on. Of course, they kept falling out of my top pocket when I bent down. I can’t remember exactly how many times I’ve crawled into a tight dark space under a cabinet to install a set of taps without the need of bifocals, but now I’m constantly straining my eyes in the light to look for screws, inserts or anything small on the job site. Bending over seems to make me slightly red faced and dizzy. Yes, I think it’s time to hit the gym. Sit ups, good old-fashioned sit ups, might make the next time doing a commercial job a little easier (20 years from now, I hope).


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PLUMBING

SNAPPING IRON AND CRUNCHING BONES

With age, comes

wisdom

The last commercial site I worked on was for A&B Plumbing, and that was probably around 30 years ago. I think I was the foreman, so I didn’t do much physical work.

I

used to be a fast rough-in plumber. I’ve bugged my students about being fast and efficient for years. Maybe now I might be a little more compassionate (maybe). The only good part was that I did know how to wet vent, as I do teach that, so all was not lost. My knees were aching after a single day of work. My back was killing me. My nose was full of concrete dust. My eyes were as red as a starving vampire. My shoulders felt like, well, actually they were okay, but they seem to hurt now almost a month after that project. Is this commercial rough-in post-traumatic shoulder syndrome happening? On the first day of class, I’ve always told my students that you better learn the code, because one day, you will have to know the theory part of the trade better than the physical part, due to age. There are very few plumbers who are still working in their late 50s and 60s due to knee and back injuries from their youth, unless, of course, if they are still working service work, which is a whole different ball game. Looking back at this most recent foray into commercial rough-in work, I do remember one thing though: after a couple of days of working physically, I slept like a baby, but I did wake up quite sore the next day.

FRED’S TOP

10

1980s: We used ladders and come-a-longs to hoist 250,000 BTUH unit heaters in commercial ceilings. 2018: We use scissor lifts to install copper water lines 10-feet in the ceiling.

two

Then: We used black electric tape to insulate copper through steel stud holes. Now: They have insulating rings. So nice.

three

Scissor single-stroke snap cutters are way faster than chain snap cutters.

Cordless drills and reciprocating saws are way more convenient.

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The last time I snapped cast iron was probably at least 35 years ago. That’s as old as the RSE plumber I’m helping out on this current site, but today’s job will be good for me, I think. Snapping cast iron pipe is a pain in the butt. I fumble around with the chain on the snappers. Is it me, or is it hard snapping an eight-inchlong piece of 1-1/2” cast. It must have taken me five minutes to snap this bugger. I didn’t even realize that they made 1-1/2” cast iron. I used to primarily use 2”, 3” and 4”. It must have taken me twice as long to snap several pieces of cast iron and drill these inserts as it used to.

NOTICED CHANGES TO COMMERCIAL JOBSITES

one

four

As I bend down on one of my replacement titanium 58-year-old knees that rests on the concrete floor, I suddenly remembered that I should’ve brought my knee pads. I don’t remember ever needing knee pads when I was in the field.

five

People are way more safety conscience now. I remember my first job site at the youthful age of 17: I showed up to do finishing with brand new safety steel toe boots on and the journeymen told me to go change into running shoes so I could be faster.

I could look cool. I would never have thought to use it on a job site. It was far too expensive, like a $1 a minute, back then.

eight

Working downtown was, and still is, a pain in the backside.

six

We used to love having loud music from a boom box on jobsites. Now, that music would seem like a hearing safety issue.

nine

seven

ten

There were no such things as cell phones back in the day. I remember when I got my first cell phone back in the early ’90s. It was a white brick phone. I used to bring it to the bar so

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Soldering back in the day was much faster and easier as we used 50/50 solder on Type M waterlines.

Back in the day, there were mostly, or many times, all men on the job site. This has changed significantly. There are definitely more women working in the trade, and they know their stuff.


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PLUMBING

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Commercial tankless water heater

Clear clogged drains The Kinetic Water Ram from General Pipe Cleaners uses compressed air to generate a shock wave that instantly clears stoppages in 1-1/4” to 4” lines. The shock wave bypasses vents and bends to address clogs but won’t harm pipes. The built-in pump and pressure gauge lets operators choose the right amount of force for each job. An optional toilet attachment is available.

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Approved for common-venting up to six units in commercial applications, the NCC199CDV condensing tankless water heater from Noritz has a thermal efficiency rating of 98 per cent and a maximum flow rate of 11.1 gpm.

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Normally-open backwater valve RectorSeal’s Check-Flo normally-open backwater valve incorporates a patented repelling magnetic levitation flapper to prevent reverse backwater flow into 4” residential building main lines from street sewers that are clogged or flooded. The flapper’s stainless steel hinge pin is designed to inhibit dirt accumulation and operates as a loose, free-moving mechanism. Its transparent access cap allows for both upstream and downstream main line rodding.

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Grinder system Zoeller’s Qwik Jon Ultima is a pump and sewage system that can be used to install free-standing bathrooms in unplumbed locations. Powered by a 1/2 HP motor and available in multiple configurations, it is a compact system that uses grinder technology. The hardened steel cutters are designed to provide more than 70,000 cuts per minute.

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The CIVIC 1/2" PEX waterline guide is designed to provide consistent spacing and orientation to waterlines in plumbing rough-in applications. Constructed from ABS, the fitting has a centre line marking and glues directly over the 1-1/2" hub.

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HYDRONICS By La nc e M a c N e v i n

broad appeal of snow and ice A brief history

F

ollowing another crazy long winter across North America, spring and early summer brings the opportunity to help your customers prepare for next winter by equipping them with hydronic snow and ice melting (SIM) systems.

Photo: NIBCO

Winter precipitation is unpredictable and dangerous, and snow and ice increase liability and are expensive to remove, which is why many home and business owners are warming up to hydronic snow and ice melting systems.

Hydronic systems to melt ice and snow were pioneered in the 1940s. These early systems used wrought iron or steel pipes embedded in concrete. Perhaps not surprisingly, they often rusted out, some very quickly. Most modern SIM systems use flexible PEX or PE-RT tubing, the same as used for radiant heating systems. In fact, some people think of SIM systems as outdoor radiant heating systems.

For instance, a hospital entrance in Edmonton that is expected to keep up with 100 per cent of expected snowfalls in that frigid location may be sized to output 300 BTUH/ft2 under worst case conditions. This doesn’t mean that the system will always require 300 BTUH/ft2, but the designer might want to specify the system to meet that capacity when needed for a critical facility. On the other hand, a residential driveway in Hamilton, Ont., might be sized for lower output, even as low as 75 BTUH/ft2. A system of this capacity might not keep up in a historical blizzard, but it will catch up and leave a dry surface a few hours later. Designing for a lower capacity can reduce the mechanical system costs (e.g. b l circulator) significantly. And who needs a perfectly snow-free boiler, driveway in the middle of a blizzard, when the roads are impassible?

MATCHING TO THE LOAD AND EXPECTATIONS Environmental factors that affect SIM heat loads include the air temperature when snowing, rate of snow fall, snow density, wind, humidity level of the atmosphere, and even the “apparent sky temperature.” With so many variables, the most difficult design issue is estimating loads. It’s a lot like predicting the weather, and we see how often meteorologists get that correct. Heating loads for these outdoor systems can be in the range of 50 to 300 BTUH/ft2, including reverse loss and edge losses to the cold ground. This is a big range of loads, which also depends upon the project location and customer requirements, and impacts initial installation costs.

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Once the estimated loads are known, then hydronic calculations such as flow rates and head loss are straightforward for experienced hydronic experts. Plastics Pipe Institute has a free online software tool for several types of piping calculations at www.plasticpipecalculator.com. Just make sure that antifreeze is selected when calculating flow rates and head loss. To start a design, work with local hydronic designers who have previously supplied systems in your locale and ask them what output they recommend for a given application.

Photo: Klimatrol

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HYDRONICS

continued from page 44

MAKING WATER AND STEAM

Melting snow is basically a three-step process:

1 2 3

Heat the snow or ice to its melting temperature; the heat capacity of snow or ice is 0.51 BTU/lb.

Add more heat to melt the snow into cold water; the latent heat of fusion to change its phase (melt) is 144 BTU/lb.

Evaporate the water, changing its phase again. In many installations, the majority of the water simply drains off, saving energy. Otherwise, making the steam rise off the driveway takes quite a bit of energy, especially on a humid day.

TUBING INSTALLATION

DON’T OVERLOOK THE INSULATION

Installation of the tubing used for SIM

SIM systems work best with insulation

systems is similar to radiant heating

as the bottom layer. Otherwise, a

installation, but with different “thermal

significant amount of heat can be

mass” possibilities such as concrete,

conducted to the frozen earth below

pavers or asphalt.

the heated surface.

installation parameters, but SIM systems

insulation below SIM areas, but many

usually require high flow rates to meet

designers specify R-10, since insulation

demands for the worst storms, so 3/4”

also improves response time. Be sure

nominal PEX or PE-RT tubing is typical.

the insulation is rated for outdoor use

Smaller residential projects often use 1/2”

and meets the expected compressive

and 5/8” nominal tubing, when tighter

loading from vehicles.

spacing or a low profile is a factor. Larger

The latest edition of CSA B214 no longer requires insulation on “all

tubing is occasionally used. To provide fast and even melting, 8”

vertical slab edges.” If you think about

to 9” tube spacing is typical, with certain

it, vertical edge insulation at the edge

critical areas using tighter spacing. Going

of a driveway or ramp is exposed to

wider than 10” on-centre runs the risk of

the elements and would probably

snow strips between tubes, an unsafe and

disintegrate, especially when hit with

unsightly situation. Heat transfer fluid will

weed trimmers. In many cases, it is

cool quickly with high heating loads, so

beneficial to allow heat to thaw the

loop lengths are usually shorter than with

soil against the slab edge to allow for

radiant heating systems.

natural drainage of melted snow as frozen soil could cause an ice dam.

M e c h a n i c a l

There’s a myth out there that these systems are a luxury – something for the top one-percenters. When we do the math, many people are surprised to learn that the annual operating costs for a SIM system can be significantly less than for mechanical snow removal. Sure, it takes considerable energy, delivered in short bursts, to melt snow and evaporate the water, but over the course of an entire year the systems are usually off, consuming no energy unless it’s snowing. In many Canadian locations, the actual operating time of a SIM system is less than 200 hours per year. For many residential systems, the operating costs can be less than $500 per year, thanks to efficient heat sources and low energy costs. This means that some hydronic SIM systems offer savings of 50 to 80 per cent versus the annual costs for mechanized snow removal. And if it doesn’t snow, operating costs are zero, unlike with an annual snow removal contract, or the cost of having removal equipment sitting in wait. For many commercial applications, the annual cost of operating the SIM systems is almost negligible compared to the energy costs for heating and cooling large buildings.

CSA B214 requires at least R-5

Each surface has its own optimal

46

THE AFFORDABILITY FACTOR

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Photo: REHAU

The reality is that many families and businesses can afford to operate a properly designed and installed hydronic SIM system. And for many customers, the system will actually save them money each year, leading to an eventual payback.

Lance MacNevin, P.Eng. is the director of engineering for PPI’s Building & Construction Division and a member of the CSA B214 Technical Committee. He is a mechanical engineering graduate of the University of New Brunswick and can be reached at lmacnevin@plasticpipe.org.


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CELEBRITY ENCOUNTER

The catcher’s perspective

By Adam Freill

“I think catchers are unique in that they are the only ones on the field that get to see the whole field from one perspective,” says Martinez. “As a catcher you learn every aspect of the game. I think that’s why catchers have made the transition into coaching and managing so frequently. “You are involved in the teaching,” he explains. “When a pitching coach talks to a pitcher, you are there. When the infield coach talks defense, the catcher is there. When the outfield throws to home, the catcher is involved. You are involved in every aspect of the game. “It also gives you an opportunity to communicate. You are with the umpire for nine innings. You get to talk with the hitters from the other team for nine innings. It gives you a communications background, without you really knowing it. I think that’s also why so many catchers have transitioned into broadcasting.”

“The game gets easier the further away you get from the dirt. We have slow motion replays, but the players on the field are in fast motion. The game is much faster than we think.”

B

efore he picked up a microphone to become part of the Blue Jays broadcasting crew, catcher Buck Martinez owned a double play that’s not only part of Blue Jays lore; it is still cited as one of the most spectacular plays in baseball history. It all went down in July of 1985. The Jays were on the road to face the Seattle Mariners. With one out in the bottom of the third and a runner on second, the Mariners Gorman Thomas slapped a single to right field.

Photos courtesy of Sportsnet and Istock

On the move with the hit, the runner from second rounded third and was on his way home as Jays outfielder Jesse Barfield hit Buck with a throw from right field. Martinez grabbed the ball and blocked the plate, taking the full force of a collision. He held onto the ball to get the out but rolled his ankle and broke his leg on the play. The play was not quite done yet, however.

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The batter, who had gone to second, took a chance to grab third as well. Spotting his movement, the injured Martinez fired the ball up the line, missing the third baseman, sending the ball into left field. Thinking he had an easy run, Thomas rounded M e c h a n i c a l

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third and started for home, but outfielder George Bell managed to grab the overthrow and get the ball back to Martinez, who applied a tag on the surprised baserunner, completing an unbelievable 9-2-7-2 double play, all on a broken leg. Now, that’s determination and toughness. Of course, not many people actually saw the play live. “The funny thing about it is that so many people say, ‘I watched it on television,’” said Buck during an exclusive interview with Mechanical Business. “Well, it wasn’t on television. It was one of those rare games at the time that wasn’t broadcast, so it was only the news highlights that showed the play.” Those highlights are still shown, however, so Buck doesn’t mind people claiming the memory. “Everybody asks me about it. They are kind of surprised that my leg is finally healed, but it was 1985. My leg has had plenty of time to heal,” he chuckles. “But I don’t ever, ever, mind people talking about it because it was certainly one of the biggest highlights of my career.”


A second career in baseball

Mentorship on and off the field Not unlike the relationship and learning that occurs between an apprentice and a journeyman, baseball is built on the transfer of knowledge from the players, coaches and managers who have gone before. Of course, not all experienced professionals have always been willing to share their knowledge. “For many years, there was the intimidation factor of the youngsters taking jobs away from the veterans,” explains Martinez. “But now, because the financial aspect of the game has improved so dramatically, everybody is much more secure. It has gotten better over the years.” Now, he says, veterans are far more willing to take the rookies under their wing, sharing on-field tips as well as how to represent the franchise when they are away from the ballpark. “If you have confidence in your own abilities, I think you should be able to trust that you are secure enough in your own position that you are not going to be losing your position to someone you teach,” he explains. “And hopefully they will carry your legacy on effectively.”

Get up ball! The Blue Jays marketing department will be honouring Buck in the fall as the first 20,000 fans at the September 9 game at the Rogers Centre will receive a special spec Buck Martinez alarm clock. “I d don’t n necessarily program my homerun ca calls, alls, bu but very often it comes out as, ‘Get up, get up g up, get up!’ That’s what we used to say in tthe fie field when someone hit one that looked like it cou could go for a homerun, and that’s what has staye stayed with me as a broadcaster,” says the former catch catcher. “It would fit, obviously, with an alarm cclock. I hope it goes over as well as we think it will.”

Talking about his start in broadcasting, Buck is rather candid and freely shared that he didn’t quite embrace the idea of putting down his glove and bat to pick up a microphone. “When the Blue Jays called me into the office at the end of the 1986 season to tell me they weren’t bringing me back, they offered me the television job at the same time. In that meeting, I turned it down,” he recalls. “Then I went home and told my wife what happened and she encouraged me to call them back and take the job. She told me I can’t play anymore,” he added with a smile. “I was very fortunate because I was here when Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth were broadcasting to radio, and I was also here when Tony Kubek was doing the television,” says Martinez. “Tony helped me immensely early on in my career. “It took me a while to embrace the fact that I was no longer a player,” admits Martinez. “Now that I have transitioned from being a colour analyst to being a play-by-play broadcaster, there continues to be transitions there, too. I went to being the ‘why guy’ as an analyst to being the ‘what guy’ as a play-byplay broadcaster. “I think we have a unique broadcast team in Toronto, having two baseball players work as a play-by-play announcer and a colour announcer, so I think it’s really good that I can prompt Pat [Tabler] into some analysis by asking him a direct question about something we are seeing, and I think that’s valuable to an audience.”

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Google’s money-back guarantee A critical aspect of the Local Services program is that the work is “Google Guaranteed.” Their language states: “Pros are pre-screened and insured. ed.. ed You’re guaranteed to get the jo job ob ob done right or your money back… ck…

Google changing the game again O

ver the past few years, online consumers have had more ability to “pre-qualify” businesses that match their Google search terms. Search for a service, like a restaurant, and you’ll find suggestions for where to eat.

If you’re not satisfied with the w work orkk quality, we’ll cover claims up to the e job invoice amount, with a lifetime cap of $2,000.” Needless to say, the job must be booked through Local Services by Google to qualify.

For the most part, this is akin to traditional word-of-mouth where user reviews have been the key driver. Sites like TripAdvisor and HomeStars have built their entire business models around this. Google itself is in the game too, of course, as reviews provided through the search engine’s “Google My Business” page have a strong influence on search results. So far, Google’s role has primarily been to provide this information to consumers, ranking companies based on reviews and other search engine optimization (SEO) efforts that make it easier for Google to understand what you do so that it can put this information in the hands of its users.

In order to provide this guarantee, Google analyzes consumer reviews to identify any patterns of poor

That could get more complicated, and costly, however, with a new program called Local Services by Google.

business practices, and requires that participating businesses agree to personal background checks and

goes local

to provide evidence of the proper certification and licenses, business insurance, that there are no active lawsuits, and such.

Doug MacMillan is president of The Letter M Marketing in Guelph, Ont. To reach him, email doug@thelettermmarketing.com.

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Local Services by Google is a plan for the tech giant to provide searchers with access to prequalified contractors that match a user’s search query. Like AdWords, Local Services presents a list of relevant home service contractors in their region as an option, and contractors only pay when prospects click on their listings.

al may be passed to several participating contractors le to take it from there, while Google stays in the loop. Needless to say, those hot leads will cost quite a bit more than a standard AdWords pay-per-click investment. Estimates are $30 per lead and up.

However, with this program, contractors are more paying for a “lead” than for a “click.” Of course, leads come with an advanced level of pre-qualification at the consumer level and a promise by Google that the businesses it presents to the consumer will deliver the goods.

Another key difference: searchers don’t directly see or call the contractor’s telephone number, but instead access them through a unique tracking number assigned by Google for a set time period after the initial search.

Google does the first screening, in essence, so the homeowner knows you’re up to snuff. Leads

The consumer’s call displays to the contractor as the Google number, so there is two-way tracking

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of these leads between the business iness and Google.

What does it all mean for contractors?

Where AdWords is simply a platform to introduce you to the prospect and vice versa, with the understanding that customers are responsible for their own due diligence, this strategy has Google placing itself between the contractor and the lead. Local Services by Google acts more like a middleman to broker the deal between the two parties.

GOOGLE AD WORDS Be seen by customers at the very moment that they’re searching on Google for the things you offer.

d % te s 0 0 te

1

ry

o ct fa

There is no doubt this will be a game changer on many levels. It will likely change how organic SEO efforts, such as strategic online content and backlinking, will affect the ranking of businesses that don’t participate in the Local Services program. Over ti time, it only makes sense that Google will emphasize its participating contractors – those willing to pay to play. Those who don’t may be left behind, or at least not show up on the first page of a search result (which is pretty much a death knell). Also, contractors can be assured that if a disgruntled homeowner pursues the “guaranteed” refund for what they consider poor work, the review process with Google will be arduous and lean into the customer’s point of view. This will be risky for the contractor’s future participation in the program, SEO in general, and the contractor’s overall reputation. Google is holding its cards close to the chest on this: there isn’t a lot of information online, so details are scarce. One thing is sure: contractors need to pay attention if they want to land qualified prospects from them.

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PLUMBING

Bathtubs taking centre stage

T

here are always plenty of creative ideas around bathroom fixtures, from aromatherapy showers with Bluetooth speakers to sleek hands-free faucets, but what about the bathtub?

There was a period of time, not too long ago, where some homeowners were actually eliminating their bathtubs for wellappointed shower systems. But many are learning that even when rarely used, the bathtub is pretty much a necessity in their lives. “Everyone realizes they need to have at least one tub in the home. A lot are getting back into bathing,” says Dianna Di Carlo, sales and operations manager at Desco Plumbing and Heating Supply. Bathtubs now run the gamut from practical and durable alcove units for tight spaces, to large spa-like systems with air jets, waterfall, or chromatherapy features. That being said, there are definitely some bathtub options that are pretty much out of the picture. “Big massive jetted tubs in the corner are out and being replaced by freestanding tubs, so you can achieve the spa feeling and look,” Di Carlo notes. In fact, freestanding tubs are the most popular and rapidly growing choice. Whether it’s a two-piece acrylic model or a top-of-the-line, one-piece hand-painted work of art, standalones are becoming key showpieces for homeowners wanting to add some wow to their bathrooms. Di Carlo points out the standalone tends to be a feature in master en suites. “That’s where people like to go crazy. Main bathrooms will still go with the traditional alcove design.” Alcove tubs, for their part, have also had a design upgrade, says Astrid Berstrom, showroom manager for B.A. Robinson. “They used to have lots of curves and looked very old fashioned. Now they have very sleek fronts and sides with armrests on the inside. And you can dress them up with a rainhead shower, slide bars, body sprays and a Euro door.” Bryan Ferreira, associate product manager for LIXIL Canada agrees that freestanding tubs continue to be the centrepiece of choice for both en suite renovations and new builds. “Drop-ins are on the decline because of that.”

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STEPPING IT UP Some manufacturers are pushing colours as an additional way to stand out in the tub. For example, Victoria + Albert Baths offer a wide range of painted tubs featuring trendy colours. “Neptune has always had coloured tubs,” adds Di Carlo “from outside surfaces ranging from purple to green to red. And black is everywhere.” An up and coming luxury add-on is a waterfall feature in which water comes out and is recirculated, says Maria Bosco, director of product marketing for LIXIL Canada. “At around $10,000, that would definitely be a niche product.” One important plumbing feature of note is an integral overflow which helps to reduce piping requirements, she adds. “Usually you have to rough in that part of the system during construction. With a freestanding tub with an integral overflow, you don’t need to rough in that piece – you’re good to go once you have roughed in the drain. It’s not only easier to install, it’s also a cleaner look.” Berstrom says that, for many homeowners, the freestanding tub is pretty much for display purposes only. She recently had a 70” x 31”, 330-pound hand-painted tub that was snapped up by a local contractor. It is now a spectacular showpiece in his home.

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PLUMBING

A LESSON IN WALK-IN TUBS

notes

FREESTANDING TUB

Depending on the region, walk-in tubs American Standard may or may not be an attractive option for contractors when it homeowners. Desco’s Di Carlo says they are seeing an uptick in demand because they are more spa-like in terms of features and health benefits. “They’re now more like hot tubs for the indoors with all the features and health benefits Freestanding tubs are that go with that.” not for people with mobility issues. There She adds that while walk-ins have is no room for grab been associated with age and bars and they are mobility issues, they are also useful really hard to get in for relieving chronic pain, sports injuries, or simply as a relaxing spa and out of. It might be treatment. better to think about a walk-in shower with Prices have dropped considerably, seats, slide bars and a and are now in the $4,000 to foot ledge. $8,000 range, depending on the features. Also, new quick-drain design features can empty the tub in 90 seconds, which keeps bathers from getting cold while they wait.

1 234

Astrid Berstrom of B.A. Robinson offers a few pointers for comes to selling and installing freestanding tubs.

Claw foots are out. Anything sleek and sexy is in.

Check the inside dimensions. Some tubs will be 66 inches but only have 42 inches of bathing space on the inside. Bathing room is pretty crucial.

MORE THAN EVER

Don’t squeeze them into a tight space. It just looks like you made a mistake. You need a bit of room to manoeuvre.

choices

Tub manufacturers are stepping up their game to offer more options, with smaller formats for less spacious bathrooms. Some have designed freestanding tubs that can replace a standard five-foot alcove American Standard tub without having to change the floor plan. These 59” and 57” units are small enough to use in condo bathrooms. “It allows you to maximize space and have more plumbing options,” says Ferreira. Materials are also more versatile. Popular choices include acrylic, fibreglass, and mixed stone and resin composites. Solid surface tubs can be had in either a glossy or matte finish to resemble stone, and some are even self-repairable. Popular upscale design choices are volcanic ash or resin, says Berstrom. “Acrylic is more costeffective, and fibreglass ones now come in two pieces where the shell lifts out so you can install the filler. In that way you don’t have to go with a floor mount.” The one-piece design without the traditional ledge is coming on strong but does require the installation of freestanding faucets. Others have a ledge to allow for deck mounted faucets, which reduces installation costs considerably. “Some, like the Maax Arioso tub, allow for either configuration,” Di Carlo says. Moen

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Some studies show that walk-in tubs can increase a person’s ability to live at home, Di Carlo claims. “Statistics show that people with a modification like a walk-in tub can add years to their life because they can remain independent at home much longer.” Where a modification is required, walk-in tubs can be eligible for rebates through provincial Home Modification programs, among other subsidies. “The programs are a great resource for trades to capture some of that business by being an approved vendor or installer,” Di Carlo says. “It’s not just for aging. It can be for anyone with a disability that requires inclusive bathing.” Any kind of access-friendly system, whether a walk-in tub or shower, is something contractors should be looking at, says Bosco at LIXIL Canada. “If you know how to install a bath however, you don’t necessarily know how to do a walkin system. You need to make sure you understand the manufacturer’s guidelines.”


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Products Automatic leak monitoring system

Closet carrier legs

The Phyn Plus smart water monitoring system automatically measures tiny changes in water pressure in a home, up to 240 times per second, to identify and alert homeowners the moment a leak is detected. When it notices abnormal water usage, the unit’s mobile app alerts homeowners in real-time and, in the event of a major leak like a pipe burst, can turn off water automatically with its built-in shutoff valve.

Watts has embossed incremental measurement markings on its closet carrier legs to allow contractors to easily adjust the height of a carrier to the most commonly used fixture requirements. The modification eliminates the need to use a tape or rule to ensure that the height of a carrier meets the requirements of the fixture manufacturer.

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Touch shower system

Solar faucets

The Spectra+ Shower System collection from American Standard includes a Touch showerhead, eTouch remote, and a Duo showerhead-hand shower combo. The shower's four spray patterns can be selected by touching the outside ring on the showerhead, or with a wall-mounted waterproof remote. Available finishes for the entire collection include chrome, polished nickel, satin nickel and legacy bronze.

Delta Faucet Canada’s DEMD320LF Series Solar Electronic Lavatory Faucets are available in two models, with or without a side mixer for temperature adjustment. All electronic components, batteries, supply lines and the mixing valve are integrated into the faucet itself. An impact-resistant polymer shield helps protect the solar cell from damage.

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Commercial domestic hot water The VTech from Camus Hydronics offers inputs ranging from 80,000 to 499,000 BTUH, efficiencies up to 95%, and turndown of 5:1. Its storage tank is available in sizes ranging from 60 to 125 gallons and is constructed entirely of stainless steel. www.

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Faucet installation tool A multipurpose tool for installation and removal of faucets and sink strainers, the EZ Change Faucet Tool from Ridgid can be used to fasten and remove tab mounting nuts and supply line nuts. The tool has a short body to help with access in tight spaces, and it includes a shut-off valve wrench to assist with stubborn valves.

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Canada turns to Anvil for mechanical pipe connections.

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PROJECT PROFILE By Denise Deveau

YUL

CONDOMINIUMS

gets

innovative WITH T

NATURAL GAS

his past March, one of the largest residential properties in downtown Montreal, YUL Condominiums, gained some additional distinction when it won the Énergir prize for better use of natural gas at the 35th Domus Awards gala. The honour recognizes the use of an innovative central natural gas heating system in the project’s first 38-storey tower. A second tower at the site, which has been developed in partnership by the Brivia Group and the Tianco Group, is currently under construction.

Topping up, when needed Given Montreal can experience extreme cold in the winter season, each unit is also equipped with electric baseboard heaters connected to individual meters. 60

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INDIVIDUALS CONNECTED TO A COMMON SYSTEM The single-pipe vertical loop system used for heating and cooling in the building connects to a thermal pump in each unit, where residents have the flexibility to adjust temperatures based on their heating and cooling requirements. The entire system runs off two condensing boilers.

“Doing this centrally also allows us to provide heating and cooling to the entire building at the lowest possible cost,” says Nicolas Lemire of Pageau Morel. Another advantage of a centralized system was that it would require as little intervention as possible, says Fernando


A SYSTEM WITH QUICK RESPONSE

W

IN FOR THE LONG HAUL Bucci says few builders have gone down the alley he and his partner firms have for the YUL project because the upfront costs are higher. “The real cost savings in doing this are found in the annual recurring energy efficiency,” he explains. “We wanted to provide a long-term product that made more sense.” As a result of the system they chose, the builders were able to mitigate some of the extra costs through grants from energy providers, such as Énergir (formerly Gaz Métro), but the ongoing savings were the primary driver for the developers.

hile inexpensive electricity is in plentiful supply in the province, according to Fernando Bucci, vicepresident of operations for the Brivia Group, natural gas offered more long-term benefits in terms of efficiency and savings for this project. “We were looking for an energy efficient system that would capitalize on the efficiencies of commonality. In this case, the water is tempered and therefore always balanced to have enough cooling or heating energy,” Bucci explains, adding that natural gas provided a better opportunity to temper that water efficiently and quickly. At the heart of the tower’s mechanicals is a centralized boiler system that uses a mitigated single-pipe water loop system. “With a common boiler system, we can provide heating, cooling and domestic hot water to the unit owners for the same flat rate. We could have opted to do independent heating and cooling and charge tenants on a pay per use basis but we believed this was the smarter use of energy into the future,” he says. Nicolas Lemire, president of Pageau Morel, the mechanical and electrical engineering firm on the project, cites energy use and efficiency as being a very important consideration since the earliest design stages of the tower. “We wanted to find a way to share energy for the whole building as much as possible,” he says. “That’s not common in condos, where it’s usually autonomous for the residents. This approach is not only more efficient, it saves energy costs.” Two make-up air units located on the roof deliver fresh air to the building and units, with the exception of the corridors. “There are systems that blow fresh air into the corridors, but we chose not to do that,” says Bucci. As an added efficiency booster, the heat rejected from the cooling loop is extracted to heat the swimming pools in summer. Natural gas is also used to heat the snow melt system, using an independent gas-fired boiler and a part glycol/part water loop. “We found it extremely efficient to use natural gas for the two large driveways in front,” Bucci says.

LEARNING AND IMPROVING Plans are to install a similar system in the second tower, but with some modifications. In this case the central water loop will feed into a horizontal system on each floor.

Bucci of the Briva Group. “There are checks and balances throughout the building, so we are able to enjoy energy efficiency with as little maintenance as possible. The only thing unit holders have to do is change the filters on the pumps.”

“In that way we don’t have to install thermal pumps in every unit,” says Bucci. “Instead we are having one per floor and using evaporators in the units. That increases the energy efficiency a bit and makes it even better.” The revised design also reduces the installation time. “We learned in Phase I that the installation was a bit longer than we would have wished for. In Phase II instead of 400 compressors, we will only have 39 to worry about,” he adds. Lemire admits the piping for these projects is more extensive than a standard installation. “If we compare some buildings that have the typical unit-by-unit piping design, each unit would have their own domestic hot water tank and own system for electric heating and some kind of cooling unit,” he says. “In this design, we used bigger piping for the centralized heating, cooling and domestic hot water. All in all that took more than 50 per cent more piping. At the same time each unit does not need a hot water tank.” That’s something he says would need to be replaced every 10 years. M e c h a n i c a l

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HIGH-PERFORMANCE HVAC

REDUCING THE ENVIRONMENTAL

IMPACT OF HEATING

F

or the past five years, my good friend and colleague, Tex McLeod, and I have been hosting a Building Science Training Camp each spring for builders, manufacturers and energy advisors.

The objective of “Spring Training” is to promote conversation about the latest information on advancing housing technology and to break down the barriers to wider adoption of high performance buildings. At this year’s camp, one particularly important theme was how to determine the appropriate fuel to service the heating and hot water needs of high performance homes in Canada. We even held a formal debate – well, more funny than formal – where industry leaders argued whether it was better to use a natural gas or electric heating strategy. The debate results coincided nicely with research Natural Resources Canada has been doing over the past few years at the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology in Ottawa. As you will see, the findings provide some nice opportunities for mechanical contractors as you head into the summer air conditioning season. Yes, that’s right. Air conditioning season is an appropriate time to consider heating system choices because heat pumps should be a bigger part of your offering.

Targeting space heating Even with all the energy efficiency efforts in Canadian buildings over the past three decades, space heating is still the single biggest energy end-use in Canada, and the second largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). As such, we need to double down on improving the energy efficiency of buildings through more insulation, better windows and tighter construction. As I have reported before, these initiatives are well underway in new housing and the aspirational goal is to have all new buildings built to a “Net-Zero Ready” level by 2032.

Look at the payback If the current heating source is anything but natural gas (i.e. electric, oil or propane) the incremental cost of air source heat pumps will have a simple payback of less than 10 years, and in most cases less than five years. This is even if the client wasn’t looking for air conditioning. That’s a very worthwhile proposition.

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 airflow management in houses, and can be contacted at

gcooke@airsolutions.ca. 62

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HIGH-PERFORMANCE HVAC

GO HYBRID

COMPARING

DIFFERENT OPTIONS Building changes are great, but we also need to constantly improve the efficiency of heating systems. You might be thinking that there isn’t much room for improvement when natural gas furnaces and boilers are now commonly over 95% efficient, but this is the crux of the debate: how do we evaluate the impact of heat pumps, air source and ground source with performance coefficients of 2.5 to 5.0 against high efficiency natural gas heating appliances?

To me, the most interesting finding is that a hybrid approach for the approximately 7 million houses in Canada that are heated with natural gas can avoid significant amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and be cost effective for homeowners. The hybrid approach of using a heat pump during milder weather and during electrical grid off peak hours and natural gas in cold weather and peak electrical use times was shown to be very effective by the NRCan study.

A full analysis has to take into account at least four variables: •The efficiency of the heating appliance – over the course of the heating season; •The cost of the fuel or energy source for the homeowner; •The cost of the equipment over its service life to the homeowner; and •The greenhouse gas emission potential from different fuel or energy sources.

More specifically, a heating and cooling system that includes a high efficiency gas furnace and an air source heat pump (instead of a simple air conditioner) combined with even a simplistic switch-over mechanism that can be set by the installing contractor will result in significant greenhouse gas reductions and lower total operating costs for the homeowner.

I am not suggesting mechanical contractors and individual homeowners need to take on the burden of this detailed analysis. Thankfully, Natural Resources Canada and many of the major utilities – gas and electric – have been cooperating to communicate the balance point, or sweet spot, between the operating cost, energy efficiency and potential greenhouse gas reductions.

That switch-over point will be of interest to readers. In the long term, we can all imagine smart thermostats tied into electrical rate signals, outdoor weather data and the operational efficiency of the heat pump that would fine tune the perfect moments to switch between the natural gas and heat pump operation. These types of controls are currently being worked on in a cooperating effort between industry, government and utilities, so stay tuned on that.

PUMP UP

In the short term, an easy approximation is to stay in heat pump mode whenever the COP of the heat pump is above 3.0 to 3.5. This performance is typically determined by the outside air temperature and is listed in the manufacturer’s performance data.

THE HEAT

If the sole goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it is impossible to overlook the compelling operational efficiencies of heat pumps over much of a heating season in all regions of Canada, even in provinces where electricity is generated primarily with high GHG fuels such as coal. As such, if you are selling air conditioning this summer, upgrade your customers to heat pumps – air source, mini-splits, cold climate air source heat pumps (CCASHP) or ground source heat pumps (GSHP). The incremental cost of a CCASHP or GSHP will be easiest to justify if the current heating source is electricity, oil or propane, or if there are incentives, but I’m advising to sell heat pumps over straight air conditioning everywhere – even in homes that are currently heated by natural gas. There are even gas utility programs in Ontario currently that will provide incentives for this.

You would use a thermostat with an outdoor sensor to switch to natural gas when outdoor temperatures are below the point where the heat pumps COP drops below 3.0 to 3.5. A hybrid system gives your homeowner flexibility in fuel choices over the long term. This may be important in areas that have time-of-use electrical or gas rates. Moreover, it gives utilities relief on peak load demand for their distribution grids. This is of most interest, at the moment, to the electrical grid whereby gas heating in the very coldest of weather reduces the need for turning on supplemental generation plants. This flexibility in itself can help to flatten demand loads and reduce electrical rates. Don’t miss the opportunity this summer to have a longer conversation with homeowners looking to add or upgrade air conditioning to their home. Knowing how heat pumps can help future proof their homes to align with coming new controls and energy alternatives will be of interest to many of your clients.

Get the guide

To help with making good heat pump control choices, Natural Resources Canada is developing a new Sizing and Selection Guide for Air Source Heat Pumps. It will be out for public review this fall and full publication by next spring – in time for AC season next year.

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Here’s a NEW ANGLE for you.

You asked for it and Goodman delivered. Look for the angled liquid li id line li service i ® b brand d condensing d i l d valves on G Goodman units. This enhancement allows easier access for the quick connection of pressure gauge hoses. But there’s more! As you requested, the contactor on all single-phase condensing units has been elevated to allow for easier connection of the incoming electrical line. Goodman continues to be a better value to you and your customers. Goodman brand condensing units have always been designed to be easy to sell, easy to install and easy to service.

www.goodmanmfg.com Our continuing commitment to quality products may mean a change in specifications without notice. © 2018 Goodman Manufacturing Company, L.P. · Houston, Texas · USA

At Goodman, we believe in American dependability. Units are designed, engineered and assembled in the U.S.A.


REFRIGERATION

THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB I

nstalling and maintaining refrigeration and air conditioning systems not only takes knowledge of these systems, it also requires a good set of tools, and proper tools to ensure that the installing or servicing technician isn’t causing potential future problems. Here’s some advice about some of the tools that are commonly found, or should be, when servicing units.

Service valve wrenches Never use anything other than a proper service valve wrench when adjusting stems on compressor and receiver service valves. Remember to loosen the packing by a quarter-turn or so prior to adjusting the stem. This prevents binding of the sealing material and possible damage to the stem.

Temperature and pressure measurement EElectronic Manifolds

Use good quality measurement tools that are accurate and have good repeatability and sensitivity.

There are several electronic manifold options available to technicians. Th Th These modern tools extend the functionality of the traditional manifold by providing monitoring and recording functions. Additional ma temperature inputs also facilitate on-the-fly superheat and subcooling calculation and display the results. su

Never rely on the use of a pocket thermometer to measure the surface temperature of a pipe, even if the pipe is insulated.

A important advantage of using an electronic manifold is An its ability to simultaneously report pressures, temperatures, subcooling and superheat values. su

Be sure to have a good selection of probes on hand, including surface probes to measure oil sump temperatures, suction and discharge superheats, etcetera before getting to work. Pressure gauges should always be checked to ensure that they are not out of calibration and adjusted or replaced as necessary.

Phil Boudreau

T Traditionally, the challenge with reading temperatures and pressures is that these values are subject to change. While p reading one value, another value can change. By reading and re recording all values at the same time, we get a good snapshot of re the system at one point in time. The recording function is great for monitoring the system through various modes of operation. The resulting dataset can then be evaluated for anomalies in the system operating conditions. Also, important clues may be revealed; clues that may be hard to catch just by taking a few static measurements.

Phil is the Ontario sales manager for Bitzer Canada Inc. and provides training and technical support for Bitzer’s clientele. He can be contacted at:

pboudreau@bitzer.ca. 66

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Refillabl Refi ble bl e cy yli lind nder nd errs av avai a la labl ble e in Canada.

Make the Switch to Solstice® N40

Solstice N40 (R-448A) is the most exciting new refrigerant in commercial refrigeration for new supermarkets and for R-404A and R-22 retrofits. Its GWP of 1273 is 68% lower than R-404A, and demonstrates a 5-16% lower energy consumption in medium-temperature refrigeration. Learn more at honeywell-refrigerants.com.

Solstice N40 ®

©2016 Honeywell International Inc.


REFRIGERATION

A Proper Torque Wrench The proper sealing of gaskets between compressor casting components, shell and tube heads, etc. relies on the correct and uniform tightness of the fixing bolts. The tightness level, or torque, is determined primarily by the type of sealing material, bolt size and bolt quality. The old “calibrated wrist” approach is not recommended, nor is it the approach that a professional technician should use. One might get away with it when many bolts are used and when the sealing material is somewhat soft, such as a fibre gasket, but if there are only a few bolts, like with a suction or discharge service valve, this approach can lead to an incorrectly sealed gasket and even damage to the bolts and/or the item being tightened into place. With metal gaskets being used more and more to cope with higher pressures and perhaps even to reduce clearances in some applications, w when a torque wrench is not used there is a g good chance that the gasket will not seal, will be d damaged and will have to be replaced. F Follow the compressor manufacturer’s in instructions for tightening the bolts. Generally ki b lt should h ld be b tightened ti h speaking, bolts in sequence, using at least two or three steps, and in cross-formation to the final torque. Remember, torque wrenches use a lubricant for the internal components. When not in use, adjust your torque wrenches to a low torque setting. A good way to lubricate the internal parts prior to placing them under higher torque loads is to use the torque wrench at a number of low torque values first. Also remember to let your torque wrench warm up prior to use after sitting in the back of a cold service truck.

Some of the most useful tools are not necessarily ones found in the tool box. For example, the compressor manufacturer’s software can prove to be quite valuable during commissioning and servicing of equipment. At the very least, compressor and equipment datasheets and instructions must be on-hand during service. Without knowing the operating limitations for a particular system or component, it is possible that the operating limits will be exceeded. It is important to note that different compressor models can have different operating envelopes and restrictions for specific refrigerants. For example, in low temperature applications, auxiliary cooling such as head cooling fans and liquid injection may be required for one particular refrigerant type, but not another. M e c h a n i c a l

Many technicians seem to only carry IP wrenches. However, there is a substantial amount of equipment, including refrigeration and air conditioning compressors in the field that use metric bolt fixings. When the correct tools are not readily available, one may be tempted to use the next closest thing that they can find; locking pliers for example! Of course, this practice can damage screws and bolts, and should be avoided.

Evacuation tools

In order to achieve a quick and thorough evacuation, a good quality vacuum pump is best. A two-stage, high-vacuum pump with integrated oil pump and spring-loaded vanes will provide the best results and is recommend for systems that contain a large internal volume.

Datasheets and Software

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Although this type of pump weighs and costs considerably more than a vacuum pump that does not have the springloaded vanes, integrated oil pump and such, the time that you can save using this type of pump can be substantial. Remember to use only approved oils in vacuum pumps. Generally speaking, better grades of oil can provide better evacuation levels. Ofte Oftentimes, vacuum pumps will be stored in a cold service se van. Starting a cold pump can b be very hard on the motor and pump section itself. Always allow sufficien sufficient time to warm up your pump prior to use. Remem Remember, cold items like motor windings will condense moisture the air whenever their out of th temperatures are below the dew temperatu point of the air!


Show Your Love for the Earth

We Are. Introducing RS-50 (R-442A) and RS-70 (R-453A), today’s answer to a better tomorrow. (R-442A) is the ideal replacement for R-404A and provides lower global warming potential ࠮ RS-50 provides lower global warming potential and is designed for R-22 replacement ࠮ RS-70 (R-453A)Both ࠮ are new refrigerant regulation ready and contractor friendly ;VSLHYUHIV\[OV^`V\JHUKVTVYLMVY[VTVYYV^^P[OV\[ZHJYPÄJPUN^OH[`V\OH]L[VKV[VKH`]PZP[\ZVUSPUL 0M`V\»KSPRL[VZWLHR[VHUL_WLY[JHSS\Z[VSSMYLLH[ VY]PZP[HUH\[OVYPaLK^OVSLZHSLYULHY`V\

www.rscool.com

Refrigerant Services Inc.


HVAC/R Products P Solenoid valves Danfoss EVR v2 solenoid valves are available for cooling capacities ranging from 3 to 410 kW (0.85 to 116 tons) in liquid line, 0.3 to 65 kW (0.08 to 18.3 tons) in suction line, and 1 to 350 kW (0.28 to 99 tons) for hot gas bypass, with connection sizes from 6 mm to 42 mm (1/4” to 2-1/8”).

www.

ra.danfoss.com

R-22 is best for R-22 equipment. If you need to change,

Rooftop system Trane’s IntelliPak with Symbio 800 system can be customized to meet exact customer specifications. Available in 20 to 75-ton sizes, the systems offer an Integrated Energy Efficiency Ratio rating up to 17.8. The rooftop system will connect to most common BAS communication protocols.

www.

trane.com

Arkema has your R-22 Retrofit Solution

407C

427A

R-407C Air Conditioning R-427A All around solution for both A/C and refrigeration

Fan coils Mountable above ceilings, in closets and in hallways, H1-R horizontal rear returnair plenum fan coils from Total Comfort Solution are low-static units that come with a coil, blower/motor assembly with a quickconnect plug, and a galvanized steel powdercoated epoxy drain pan covered with 1/8” of insulation. The units are designed to deliver 200 to 1,200 CFM.

www.

totalcomfortsolution.com

Variable refrigerant flow

407A

R-407A Refrigeration

For more information call 416-614-3610 or 1-800-567-5726 x 230 or visit us on the web at

www.R22retrofits.com

Samsung’s Digital Variable Multi (DVM) S VRF product lineup consists of heat pump, heat recovery, water, and chiller systems. The systems range from 6 to 20 tons in capacity and are equipped with inverter scroll compressors and flash or vapour injection technology. Control options are available to command one to 4,096 indoor units from a single work station.

www.

samsunghvac.com 70

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HVAC/R Products P Humidity control systems

Lightweight equipment pad Constructed of a dense foam core base enveloped in a shell of polymer on five sides that simulates the texture and colour of grey concrete, ArmorPad from RectorSeal is a line of equipment mounting pads for residential and light commercial air conditioning condensers. The 3” thick padss are available in five sizes ranging anging from 24” to 40” squares. quares.

Desert Aire’s GrowAire Systems combine dehumidification, heating and cooling into a single environmental control solution. Systems range in size from 1 to 60 nominal tons of refrigeration capacity to serve a wide variety of indoor growing spaces, drying rooms, curing rooms and packaging areas. The systems are designed to meet conditions from 18°C (65°F) to 29°C (85°F) at 45% to 75% RH.

www.

desert-aire.com desert

Coil and surface cleaner

www.

rectorseal.com com

SpeedClean’s Dry Steam Coil & Surface Cleaner uses dry steam as a natural cleaning and sanitizing agent to remove grease, oils, dirt and bacteria without the use of chemicals. The system uses steam combined with 65 psi pressure to lift and remove dirt and soils in coils, cracks and crevices. It is designed for use on air handlers, mini-splits, condensers, exhaust vents, oily commercial kitchen ducts and more.

www.

speedclean.com

Re-Think Refrigeration. I

s your refrigeration OEM up to the task?

Emerging technologies, integrated systems and smart controls require a new kind of OEM partner. An OEM who is as comfortable in a processing plant, as they are in the CAD room. An OEM who understands that “field work” trumps “lab work”. And an OEM who delivers turn-key solutions that have been designed, tested and field proven in the real world. Never again get lost in a bid that specs 30-year-old technology. Let Oxford Energy help expand your opportunities and introduce your processing, industrial, commercial or institutional customers to the most technically advanced systems in North America.

• Build/Spec • Design Engineering • Custom Control Systems • Heat Transfer & Recovery Specialists • Engineered Pump Packages

We take the lead. You take the credit.

Oxford Energy Solutions Inc. 519-532-6373 oxfordenergy.ca

Re-Think with Oxford. M e c h a n i c a l

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What: CMPX Show 2018 Who: Presented by HRAI & CIPH Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre

CMPX celebrates a successful 2018 show

Photos: Adam Freill and David Ohashi

From the sold-out show floor to busy aisles all three days and a full seminar shedule, CMPX 2018 will go down in the books as one of the most successful in recent memory. Jointly produced by HRAI and CIPH, CMPX 2018 saw a 7.5 per cent jump in total visitors as the event hit the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) this past March. The next edition of the show, CMPX 2020, will be at the MTCC from March 25 to 27, 2020.

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1. Emerson’s Liborio Mendola walks Randy Pooran through a virtual reality workspace. 2. Marty Silverman shows off General Pipe Cleaners’ Kinetic Water Ram. 3. ATV fun in the booth with the Bradford White Canada team: Mark Williamson, Dan Milroy and Paul McDonald. 4. Roger Grochmal (right) of AtlasCare, and Ask Roger fame, with Kevin Stout of SNAP Home Finance in the Nexstar booth. 5. Installing an HRV during the Heating System Skills Competition. 6. Bill and Laurie Palamar welcomed guests to the CN Tower for Aqua-Tech’s hospitality event. 7. Caleffi’s Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr talks magnetic separation in hydronic systems during his eductaional seminar. 8. Daveed Goldman talks the audience into joining in during the Choir! Choir! Choir! performance at the gala event supporting Habitat for Humanity Canada on the eve of CMPX. 9. Quattro’s Corner, live! Andrew Quattrociocchi talks plumbing. Catch his latest column on page 76. 10. Taco’s Mike Miller poses with Howie Mandel (okay, not the real Howie) at the Mechanical Business booth. 11. Jeremy Bartel (left) discusses infrared cameras for smartphones at the FLIR booth.

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SOME OF OUR READERS WHO GRACED THE MECHANICAL BUSINESS COVER AT THE CMPX SHOW


FIRE PROTECTION VALVES

TOUGH. DEPENDABLE.

NIBCO INC. | 888.446.4226 | nibco.com


Andrew Quattrociocchi, C.B.C.O., is the deputy chief building official for the Township of Oro-Medonte, and a director with the Ontario Plumbing Inspectors Association. If you have any questions or a funny photo you would like to possibly see in an upcoming edition of Quattro’s Corner, feel free to send an email to Andrew at quattroscorner@hotmail.com.

QUATTRO’S CORNER By Andr e w Q u a t t r o c i o c c h i

Getting above that centre line V

ent pipes and their connection are a vital part of a properly functioning plumbing system. The plumbing system relies on 14.7 psi of atmospheric pressure to ensure trap seals are not lost and for drains to function the way they were intended. A common mistake I’ve seen during inspections is failing to ensure that when a vent pipe connects to a nominally horizontal soil or waste pipe, the connection must be above the horizontal centre line of the soil or waste pipe (except for wet vents) as per 7.5.6.2 (2) of the OBC and 2.5.6.2. (2) of the National Plumbing code. Pictured is an island kitchen sink that tends to receive organic matter and FOG (Fats, Oil and Grease). When these items travel down the drainage pipe, the TY fitting can block up with solid matter. By doing so it then collects on the vent portion that technically never gets cleaned out.

DID YOU KNOW? The reasoning behind the connection being above the horizontal centre line is straightforward: When water travels through a pipe, it runs in a circular motion not flat.

Over time, the buildup can choke the vent pipe, which does not allow that 14.7 psi of atmospheric pressure that’s needed to allow the sink to function properly. The requirements of 7.5.6.2 and 2.5.6.2 are in place so that when debris gathers at the TY connection, the angle resulting from being installed above the horizontal line would allow any solids to drop and travel through the drainage pipe. This allows the correct amount of air to the fixture so that it can operate property. When fittings are used to connect vent pipes to nominally horizontal soil-or-waste pipes, they must be specified for use under subsection 7.2.4. of the OBC and 2.2.4 of the National Plumbing Code of Canada.

WHAT’S ABOVE HORIZONTAL? Here’s an example of what is considered to be “installed above the horizontal centre line.” Manufacturers of fittings also do their part to help out plumbers and inspectors. Typically, fittings have little notches located on the hub portions. These notches indicate a 45° angle. By using these notches, a plumber or inspector can clearly identify if the fitting has been rolled up enough to meet the requirements of both the Ontario Building Code and National Plumbing Code of Canada. Sometimes it’s the little things like notches that go unnoticed, but they are a nice tool to have in the back of your mind when installing or inspecting a project.

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with Roger Grochmal

Planning to maximize value

I

have written about buying, selling ing and merging HVAC and plumbing businesses es before, but the question keeps coming up because so many of my baby boom contemporaries are facing the decision without a clear plan.

Roger Grochmal is the CEO 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.

Get the inside scoop It can be easy to sweep small problems in a business under the proverbial rug – small problems that may come to light after a purchase has been completed. My advice is to talk to the people working at the business. Spend time with them and ask questions that will help you learn about the operation, with the aim of discovering the positives and the negatives.

It is particularly poignant for thosee who have not saved for retirement: they see theirr business as their retirement fund. Unfortunately, ely, your company will have little value if you don’t plan for succession properly. Whether you are a buyer or seller, the best advice I can give is to start as early as you can, and define exactly where you want to be at the end of the process. This will frame the approach you need to take. In the end, it’s no different than selling a house. Have a realistic value of what it’s worth today as a starting point. If that is not what you would like for the business, establish what is. Then create a plan to bridge the value gap. In the end, a business is only worth what someone will pay for it.

• Who will buy my business? • How do I find them? • Under what terms? • How do I maximize the value?

There are basically only four types of buyers: family, employees, strategic buyers and financial buyers. All are viable, depending on your circumstances. If a family member isn’t a wise direction for any number of reasons, and an employees can’t commit to the investment, this narrows the field to two options: financial and strategic.

WHAT ARE YOU BUYING?

1. A stream of predictable earnings regardless of who owns it. 2. A solid base of quality customers. 3. A good group of employees.

M e c h a n i c a l

The questions that I hear frequently are to be expected:

DEFINING THE BUYER

At the end of the day, a buyer is buying three things:

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WHAT’S ON THE MINDS OF OWNERS?

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Financial buyers have pretty rigid formulas for buying companies. They look for a good fit with their portfolio and typically want companies that generate $1 million or more in EBITDA. That rules out many owner-operated contractors. This leaves strategic buyers – often a competitor or peer. They will typically pay more than a financial buyer if there is a good fit. They see potential in the business supporting their life goals, and they know they can keep the business functioning well after you’ve left.


MY PROCESS I hav have made a number of acquisitions over the years acqu and ffor every one I made I prob probably looked at seven or eight others. What do I look for?

I usu usually do an evaluation from several angles and then do a weighted average to come up with what I believe the value to be. I believe anyone looki looking to purchase or sell an HVAC or plumbing business can bene benefit from understanding how I approach the transaction. I’ll d do what a financial buyer would do and calculate a value based upon the average earning stream over three years. A simple rule of thumb is that a contracting business is worth between two and five times the value of average earnings, depending on the factors outlined below.

pound – not a lot. Tools and equipment may be abundant, but may be of little value to a strategic buyer who already has this stuff. I also look at the skills and average age of the employees. I once bought a business that had a high average age. I’m sure the seller felt that I didn’t pay enough for the business but by the time I paid out all of the WSIB claims, which were almost equal to the purchase price, I felt I had overpaid. Next, I look at the relationship of the seller has to the business. If the bulk of the value is wrapped up in the owner, the value without him diminishes. A smart business owner ensures the operation will be fine without him. Finally, I make sure that I understand the culture of the business: the values that guide decision-making.

I look at the revenue and customer profile together. If a base of recurring revenues, such as service agreements, represents at least 20 per cent of revenue, I assign full points. Is there a good distribution of customers, or is the revenue concentrated with a few large customers (which is a higher risk)? From a cost point of view, I look at the price point of the business to ensure it’s closely aligned with mine. A lower or higher pricing strategy is difficult to merge into an existing operation.

HVACR Wall Penetration Seal & Insulation Protection!

I also examine the assets of the business. If they have have depreciated too low, I see a pretty tired company that has had no reinvestment. Similarly, if there an excess of inventory in the business I probe into why there is so much. The rule if thumb here is that inventory is worth 10 cents per

System

#1 Choice in the PRO HVACR Industry! Available at Plumbing & HVACR Distributors across Canada. 1-888-259-7253 NATIONAL

www.mordennational.com M e c h a n i c a l

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Road Warrior Dan Guest Favourite thing about the job: Evolution. Technology changes every day.

Favourite outdoor activity: Riding my Harley

Coolest project: The Emco Ensuite showroom in Hamilton.

Favourite movie: Happy Gilmore Favourite sport: Hockey

What brought you to the trades? I never saw myself as a “deskman”. Coming out of school I saw an opportunity with co-op. That was the best decision ever! The current ride: F150 – The best wheels for work! Kilometres per day: Too many to mention. It’s never less than 100. Any area you like to get dispatched to: Definitely my hometown of Hamilton. I love that it’s up and coming, with many new projects on the horizon. Favourite part of the job: Customer relations. That’s what it’s all about, right? The most useful tool in your toolbox: My brain. It works the hardest, and it’s always on. Your favourite tool in your toolbox: My team. I have the best crew, and I’m not afraid to tell them that! Favourite Magazine: Why, Mechanical Business, of course. Favourite website: guestplumbing.com Favourite Band: Dropkick Murphys

Favourite restaurant: The French (thefrench.ca)

Finding opportunities, everywhere “The connections you make in business can be anywhere,” says Guest. “I’ve landed massive jobs from someone seeing our van on the highway. They looked us up on Instagram, and all of the sudden we have another project. We’ve had people come up to us at Tim Hortons. “We just got a massive contract because I was at an awards event and there was a mistake with the seating, so my mom was at a different table. My mom ended up chatting off the ear of the manager of the YWCA, so now we work with the YWCA in Hamilton.

One of his bigger clients is Freshco, a general contracting firm that counts a number of the biggest names in retail as clients.

Favourite TV Show: Seinfeld Favourite character: Jerry. He keeps it real! Favourite cartoon as a kid: The Simpsons… but define what you mean by “kid”. Favourite TV Station: TSN Favourite actor: The Rock M e c h a n i c a l

Favourite place to hang out: Work

“If that conversation didn’t happen, and if they didn’t mess up our seating, we would have never landed that business.”

Best concert you ever attended? Dropkick Murphys

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Are you part of a sports team? Yes, Guest Plumbing and Heating Hockey. I play centre or wing.

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“We do Home Depot renovations with Freshco, and we do a lot of their maintenance calls,” says Guest. “We had an opportunity where they had an emergency, so they called a few places but nobody answered the phone. We answered, and we sent a guy over right away to take care of it, and they were impressed with our response. We’ve been working with them ever since.”


W

hen you talk to Dan Guest, the owner of Guest Plumbing and Heating in Ancaster, Ont., you can’t help but pick up on the energy that he brings to everything that he does. In the three years since he started his company, his crew has grown to include 12 plumbers running seven trucks, and handling jobs throughout Southern Ontario.

Dan Guest:

Young, successful, driven Name: Daniel Guest Company: Guest Plumbing and Heating Job title: Owner/Operator Born in: Hamilton, Ont. Lives in: Hamilton, Ont. Age: 27 Joined the mechanical trade: 9 years ago Trucks: 7 Crew: 12 plumbers; 2 office staff

So, what motivates him? “A couple of years ago, I had a little epiphany and I started to ask myself, why not me? And what’s the worst that can happen?” adding with a laugh, “I figure my mom still loves me, so I can always go live in her basement if I fail, so there’s that.” He encourages those he works with to always be asking themselves that same question: Why not me?

Photo: Michael Zaccaria

“Just because you haven’t done something or something seems unattainable, well, someone is doing it, so what makes them any different?” he says. “You need the tools, but you can get those. It’s 2018, and everything is attainable, you just have to want to go out and get it.” Of course, having the right work ethic, and the right morals helps, too. “If you can take those into business you can find success. Do a good job at a fair price, you are going to get work. Everybody needs a plumber.”

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STUFF YOU NEED Extension bits Designed to extend the reach of any 1/4” hex shank driver an extra 3”, 6”, 10” or h 12”, the Quick-Change Malco Extension features a push-in style receiver with 3 Bit featu detents that will hold a interior ball bearing b 1/4” hex shank shan power-groove or insert bit securely. The extensions are suitable for use drill, impact driver or the company’s with a drill Connext hand driver.

www www. malcotools.com mal

Cordless hammer drills Dewalt’s Flexvolt 60V Max Brushless 1-7/8” Combination Hammer features a clutch system to manage torque when bind-up or stall situations occur. Also equipped with vibration control technology, the cordless tool achieves 13.3 joules and 350 RPM. The company offers a line of compatible 1-7/8” SDS Max bits which feature technology designed to reduce fatigue and minimize breaking.

www. dewalt.com

Ratcheting combination wrench set Offered in in both SAE and metric, Milwaukee Tool’s Ratcheting Combination Wrenches offer 2.5-degrees of arc swing for use in tight spaces. The wrenches feature double-stacked pawls in the ratcheting mechanism, and the company’s Max Bite open-end grip is designed to improve the wrench’s grip on nuts and bolts. The seven-piece and 15-piece kits come in storage trays.

www. milwaukeetool.com

Press fitting system Suitable for use with Schedule 10 to Schedule 40 carbon steel pipe, Viega’s MegaPress XL cold press connecting system can be used with 2-1/2” to 4” diameter pipe and fittings. The flame-free press system makes water-tight and air-tight connections in seconds. The MegaPress XL PressBooster works with 300 Series Ridgid press tools to extend the travel of the ram to increase force to handle 2-1/2” to 4” connections.

www. viega.us

Soil pipe cutter

Inspection cameras Measuring a mere 5/8” (0.625) in diameter, Ratech Electronics’ micro camera is small enough to inspect kitchen sinks and toilet P-traps. Made for inspecting 1” to 4” pipe, it is adaptable to any of the company’s pipe inspection camera systems and is equipped with four LED lights. It produces colour images that can be shared with customers.

www. ratech-electronics.com

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The Ridgid Model 286 Soil Pipe Cutter can be used on 1-1/2” to 6” clay and cast iron pipe. The tool offers single-stroke operation for cutting while its outward-facing hooks are designed to help with connecting clay and cast iron pipe. An optional chain extension is available for use with larger pipe.

www. ridgid.com


Jeff House is an experienced industry professional and hydronics trainer. He handles the sales territory from the Niagara region to the Greater Toronto Area for Jess-Don Dunford, a manufacturers’ rep in Ontario. He can be reached at jhouse@jessdondunford.com.

Find the Fix

FINDING FRUGAL FIXES You find yourself on a small commercial job: three floors plus a basement. The customer wants infloor heating for the basement and first floor, radiators for the second floor, and an air handler on the third hird floor. The customer is looking for a first-class job, and wants everything to work as a system, but tells you to not go crazy on the costs. Let’s start by selecting the equipment and accessories and calculating the appropriate pipe sizes. 1. You have two choices for the boilers. Your preferred manufacturer has residential models at 210,000 BTUH or 285,000 BTUH commercial units. You decide on: a) The residential models as they are a little less expensive. b) A different company’s 400,000 BTUH model since that’d be less piping. c) Two 285,000 BTUH boilers as they come with a 75 psi relief valve. d) You decide to try out a pair of 199,000 BTUH wall-hung boilers.

a) 12 to 15 psi, just like all jobs. b) 29 psi because you need to get the water 55’ up to the air handler. c) Height doesn’t matter. Just use a larger three-speed pump and it will get the water up there. d) The math says that it is 55 feet, divided by 2.31 feet, plus 5 psi to ensure positive pressure at the highest point.

2. The boiler fitting connections are 1-1/4”, so your boiler piping size should be:

4. You decide on a very good hydraulic separator because:

a) 1-1/4” in and out of the boiler joined to a 2” main header if 18 gpm per boiler. b) 1-1/2” piping will work fine. c) Do the math. d) The best efficiency for the condensing boiler is at 25°F delta T, so 2” is correct.

a) It ensures there is no pump pressure differential interference between pumps. b) It removes air and dirt. c) It simplifies your piping. d) It ensures true primary/secondary piping. e) all of the above.

Email your answers to adam.freill@mechanicalbusiness.com. Please include your name and daytime phone

Can you see what I see?

Looking for the March/April answers? If you need the answers to last edition’s quiz, you’ll find them on our home on the web, mechanicalbusiness.com. Just click the “Looking for Answers?” button on

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3. What pressure do you run the system at with the boiler in the basement?

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Hydronic Products Magnetic dirt filter Designed to remove iron oxide sludge from high-efficiency commercial hydronic heating and cooling installations, MagnaClean Commercial from Adey is a magnetic dirt filter that is available in five inlet and outlet flange size options, including 2”, 3”, 4”, 6” and 8”. All units can be used in light-commercial to heavy-industrial applications, and feature cast stainless steel canister bodies containing multiple magnetic rods.

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Three-speed ECM circulator

Modular boilers The Pennant line of fan-assisted, modular boilers and volume water heaters from Laars are available in seven sizes from 500,000 to 2 million BTUH. Fueled by natural or LP gas, the boilers deliver efficiency levels up to 85%, with stage firing of up to 4:1. The systems are lowNOx emission-rated at below 10 ppm. The units can be vented top or back, and can be racked on top of each other.

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Offering three head settings, five, e, 10 and 18 feet, and a maximum flowrate off 16 gpm, ed, highTaco’s 0015e3 is a variable-speed, efficiency wet rotor circulator equipped with an ECM permanent magnet motor. It can be used in hydronic systems zoned with circulators or zone valves, and includes an integral flow check.

www. tacocomfort.com

Commercial i l condensing d i boiler b il Available in sizes ranging from 4 million to 12 million BTUH, CFLC boilers from CleaverBrooks achieve efficiencies up to 98%. The high-mass firetube boilers feature an integrated premix gas burner and linkageless control that work together to provide full modulation, high turndown, and NOx emissions to 9 ppm.

www. cleaverbrooks.com

Hydronic air separator H

PP-R pipe

Equipped with a rotating collar, Caleffi’s 5517 Series Discal brass air separator can be installed in horizontal or vertical pipes. The separator is available for 3/4” or 1” pipe sizes, with sweat, press or NPT male connections. It features high capacity automatic air removal down to tthe microbubble level, and is designed to eliminate air-related corrosion and noise while improving water quality in hydronic systems.

Made of polypropylene-random (PP-R) plasticc Aquatherm’s Blue Pipe is a piping system specifically designed for hydronic, chilled water, er, condensing water and industrial applications. The pipe is available in diameters ranging from m 1/2" to 24”, with product available to handle e fluids up to 180°F at 100 psi. Connected via heat fusion, the pipe is rust-proof and scale resistant.

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CIRCULATORS

John Barba is the th national training manager with Taco T o Comfort Solutions. He can be reached at Tac johbar@tacocomfort.com.

By Jo h n B a r b a

and

HYDRONICS

A

ny of you old enough to remember playing with Hot Wheels cars? I had a boatload of ’em with about six miles of track and would spend rainy Saturdays having fullfield drag races to determine my fastest Hot Wheel ever. The fastest, meanest of all? It was usually the Classic Chevy Nomad, the Silhouette, or the Deora. (I lost the surf boards within a week!) I always wanted the Jackrabbit Special to win, but it never did. Sometime around 1970, Hot Wheels came out with something called the Super Charger. It was a little garage-looking building with some fast spinning rubber wheels inside. When the car entered the Super Charger, it would hit the rubber wheels and come shooting out the other side wicked fast. You didn’t need gravity anymore. The car would zip around the track all by itself. Problem was, you couldn’t make the track too long or too elaborate. The car would slow down in the curves, as well as on the straightaways. Too long of a run or too many turns and the car wouldn’t make it all the way around. If the first bend or twist in the track was too close to the Super Charger, that was a problem

PParallels arallels to pumping

to so you learned pretty quickly too, w what kind of track would work best an and what wouldn’t. Hmmm: Too long of a track, too many turns and the car won’t make it all the around the track and back into the Super Charger? Reminds me a bit of a conversation I had on a trade show floor with a group of sharp installers. If you substitute a circulator for the Super Charger, pipe for the orange Hot Wheels track, fittings for purple track connectors and plastic curves, and water for the Splittin’ Image (another great Hot Wheels car) you have ... a hydronic system!

Did you know? Nearly 50 years later, there ere is still one indisputable truth: The Jack ack Rabbit Speciall was one sweet car.

The circulator in hy hydronics is the system’s Super Charger. Remind me to recommend reco comm mmen e d that name to Johnny White, Jr. (that’s my company’s owner, whom many off yyou o may know). Rather than sspitting a car out of one end and around the track until it comes back into the other side, the circulator moves water from com the inlet to the outlet at a higher pressure, sending that water through the pipes back to the inlet side. It has to move enough water (gallons per minute) while overcoming the friction of the pipe and fittings, or the h head loss.

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CIRCULATORS

Let’s hit the track A system that I often reference is an 88,000 BTUH multi-zone project running with fin-tube baseboard with zone valves. At a 20°F Delta T, this particular system’s required flow rate comes in at roughly 8.8 gallons per minute (GPM). That 8.8 GPM is the car. Let’s call it the Red Baron. (It would’ve been funnier if Hot Wheels had an Olds 88, but nothing’s ever perfect.) Next, we have to figure out how long the track – er, piping – run is for the worst-case zone. Planning for the worst is how we roll in a zone valve job, as you’ll soon see. For giggle n’ grins, let’s say all three zones are equal in terms of BTUs, but the longest one runs about 140 feet from the outlet side of the circulator all the way around back to the inlet side. In zone valve applications, the circulator has to move the total GPM but only has to overcome the worst-case head loss zone. If it can overcome that head loss, it can certainly overcome the others. You don’t have to add the head loss from all three zones together – that’s a great little factoid that comes in handy when designing a system, and impressed that group of installers on the trade show floor! Fittings also create pressure loss and we need to account for them. The easiest way is to simply multiply the length of the run by 1.5. T This adds an extra 50 per cent to the overall run for fittings. T You could count the fittings and look up the equivalent pipe length ffor each fitting (a 3/4” copper elbow, for instance, has the same pressure drop as 2-1/2 feet of straight copper pipe) but in most cases, p eestimating is okay here.

Finding the

winner’s circle

12 3 So, based on the calculations ulations involved to your right, t, I like to ask hydronic pros a few questions. 1. Do you go through h this level of analysis when you do a job?

2. How do you select the right circulator for your jobs?

Multiplying the length of the longest run by 1.5 gives you something ccalled the “total developed length,” or “total equivalent length,” which is how long the pipe would be if you straightened out the fittings. h

140 × 1.5 = 210 You’d then multiply the total developed length by 0.04 to t estimate the head loss. That 0.04 represents four feet of head per p 100 feet of straight, properly sized pipe

210 × .04 = 8.4 of head loss So, when selecting the circulator, we’d choose one that could deliver six GPM while overcoming 8.4 feet of head loss. The next step is to look at a pump curve chart and see which one makes the most sense.

3. Did you have any Hot Wheels? What happened to them?

My nephew inherited mine. I expect to see them on eBay any day now.

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Hot Wheels Deora - Classic!

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The Buildings Show November 28-30, 2018 Toronto, Ont. www.thebuildingsshow.com

CEC Annual Golf Tournament July 11, 2018 Milton, Ont. www.mcac.ca

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BTN

Compiled by Mechanical Business

BY THE NUMBERS

HAD YOUR COFFEE YET?

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Mechanical Business May/June 2018  

Beyond the plate, with Buck Martinez Cooling: The Year of the Heat Pump? Hot Wheel and Hydronics

Mechanical Business May/June 2018  

Beyond the plate, with Buck Martinez Cooling: The Year of the Heat Pump? Hot Wheel and Hydronics