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Publication Mail Agreement #40063170. Return postage guaranteed NEWCOM Business Media Inc. 451 Attwell Drive, Toronto, Ontario M9W 5C4

Sustainable arena systems Pushing technology to improve efficiencies

MARCH 2012


Inside ■ Government pulls plug on rebates, again ■ AHR Expo enjoys banner year ■ Plumbing most dangerous job - study ■ Workplace systems keep owner in control


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â– Contents

CMX-CIPHEX 2012 Show Issue

Departments Hot Seat .........................................5 No way to treat a business

Industry News ..............................6 Feds pull plug on rebates

E-Business ....................................59 Web news from the industry

People & Places ...........................64 Rapid rise at Uponor

Coming Events.............................65 Top Atlantic show returns

Shop Management......................67 Developing business controls

Products & Technologies Heating ........................................16 Hot Water Heating ......................24

Managing energy use

Prestigious school adopts green technology


Ventilation ...................................35 Refrigeration ...............................41 Plumbing ......................................47 Pipes, Valves & Fittings ...............49 Tools & Instruments ....................53 Trucks for the Trade.....................55

Up on the roof


Installing and servicing commercial rooftop units

Cover photo: Ice storage can reduce cooling costs. Please see our article on page 12. (Murnaghan Photo)


Refrigeration from heat


Adsorption, ejection refrigeration applications

Bringing it home


Efficient manufacturing under one roof

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


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■ Hot Seat

March 2012 Volume 22, Number 2 ISSN 1919-0395

Publisher Mark Vreugdenhil (416) 614-5819 mark@plumbingandhvac.ca

Business friendly Both its supporters and detractors have long perceived the federal Conservative government as “business friendly.” The sudden cancellation of the EcoEnergy Retrofit – Homes rebate program in January is making some of those that run businesses big and small in this industry wonder. Many didn’t support the rebates that were designed to encourage homeowners to update their heating and air conditioning equipment for improved energy efficiency because of the way those rebates skewed the marketplace. But nevertheless, if the government announces that a program is to run from July until the end of March, they need to stick to those dates. To cancel it two months early without so much as consulting the industry shows either a remarkable naiveté on the way business operates or is just plain mean spirited. Contractors – most of them small business owners and ‘small-c’ conservatives – find their businesses thrown into turmoil as they’ve hired staff, purchased equipment and made sales all based on the belief that homeowners had until March 31 to apply for the rebates which, despite their controversial nature in this industry, do provide a significant boost in sales of high efficiency equipment. Wholesalers have made their stocking orders and manufacturers have set their production schedules based on the same belief. And the federal government did the same thing in 2010 when it cancelled – also early – the previous version of the program.

Most people in this industry understand that the government needs to get its fiscal house back in order following the bailouts and other costs of the recent recession. And many also believe that the Harper government brought the program back reluctantly because the NDP and Liberals were also promising to reinstate it during the last federal election campaign. But the economy is still far from robust or healthy. Why cut a program just two months before it was scheduled to end anyway and with less than half the $400-million budget spent? The government said it had reached its goal of 250,000 applications from homeowners, a number that came as a surprise to most people in the industry as it was not well, if ever, publicized. In the Sopranos television series mob leader Tony Soprano lived by the philosophy that you don’t do crime where you eat, although he had a more colourful way of saying it. It’s an idea that the federal government would do well to emulate. This latest stunt is a real kick in the teeth to some of the Conservative government’s most ardent supporters.

Editor Simon Blake (416) 614-5820 simon@plumbingandhvac.ca Design and Production Tim Norton production@plumbingandhvac.ca Production Manager Lilianna Kantor (416) 614-5815 lily@newcom.ca Circulation Manager Pat Glionna Corporate Services Anthony Evangelista

PLUMBING & HVAC Magazine is published eight times annually by NEWCOM Business Media Inc. and is written for individuals who purchase/ specify/approve the selection of plumbing, piping, hot water heating, fire protection, warm air heating, air conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration, controls and related systems and products throughout Canada.

NEWCOM Business Media Inc. 451 Attwell Drive, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M9W 5C4 Tel: (416) 242-8088 • Fax (416) 614-8861

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POSTMASTER: Send all address changes and circulation inquiries to: Plumbing & HVAC Product News magazine, 451 Attwell Drive, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M9W 5C4. Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement No. 40063170. Postage paid at Toronto, ON. Annual Subscription Canada: $40.00 plus applicable taxes, single copy $5.00 plus applicable taxes. Annual Subscription United States: $60.00 U.S. Annual Subscription foreign: $90.00 U.S. Copyright 2011. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without the prior written permission of the Publisher.

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) for our publishing activities. A member of: Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating Canadian Circulation Audit Board Mechanical Contractors Assoc. of Canada Ontario Plumbing Inspectors Association American Society of Heating Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada Refrigeration Service Engineers Society of Canada


Canadian Business Press

■ Industry News

Feds pull plug on rebates – again Contractors, wholesalers left to pick up the pieces

he federal government isn’t making many friends among plumbing and HVAC/R contractors these days. Many are suffering considerable financial loss as the government fails to adhere to its previously announced deadlines for rebates that encourage homeowners to install energy efficient heating and cooling equipment. On Jan. 29 the government shut down the latest EcoEnergy Retrofit – Homes program two months ahead of the March 31 deadline after spending less than half the $400 million promised in the federal election. And once again, just as when they shut down the previous version of the program on March 31, 2010, there was no consultation with or notice to the industry. “It has an enormous impact and I don’t think the people that run these programs understand what it does to a small business,” said David Graeme, president of HVAC contractor Belyea Bros. in Toronto. When a program has known dates, “we can work within that really well,” he added. “What I find very difficult to deal with is a program that is started or stopped at a moment’s notice or given a start date that is a long time in the future which affects the way a consumer purchases.” “Customers are very aware that there’s incentives in the marketplace and we try to warn them that there’s a deadline at the end of March and then when (the government) pulls the rug out from us earlier we end up doing damage control,” remarked Ron Robinson, hydronic comfort sales adviser Homeowners will no longer receive a federal rebate for installing more efficient heating equipment. for AtlasCare, Oakville, Ont.,

By Simon Blake


Plumbing & HVAC – March 2012


and chairman of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI). “It drives manufacturing, it drives the employment of techs and installers and it drives the economy at a time when the economy really needs to be pulled up,” he added “It’s driving us nuts,” admitted Brian Baker, president of Custom Vac in Winnipeg. “The way that this program was working doesn’t work.” The government announcement was buried in a press release sent out on Sunday, Jan. 29 by Joe Oliver, minister of natural resources. It announced that the government had reached its goal of 250,000 homeowners registered in the EcoEnergy program and was thus ending it. That number came as a surprise to the industry. “It was not part of the original budget announcement,” said HRAI vice president Martin Luymes, adding that it was buried in the fine print of the details announced by the government in July. The industry estimates that only $192 million of the budgeted $400 million has been spent. “The decision to provide time-limited funding demonstrates prudent management by our government to ensure that we can return to balanced budgets during this time of fiscal constraint,” said Oliver. Just a few days earlier on Jan. 26 Oliver spoke at the annual dinner of the Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance in Toronto where he assured those attending that he would soon have “some good news” on the EcoEnergy Retrofit program. Many in the audience took that to mean it would likely be extended, said Luymes.

Taken by surprise Wholesalers were taken by surprise too. “The government acting, without notice to the industry for whatever their reasoning is just not right and not very well thought out,” remarked Tom Boutette, president of B&B Trade Distribution Centre in London, Ont. “These programs obviously gave us some sales increases that we wouldn’t have got otherwise,” reported Jon Leeson, vice president and general manager of Desco Plumbing & Heating Supply Inc. in Toronto. They helped shift the market to high efficiency equipment, as intended, and have provided a real boost for technologies like geothermal.


The big concern now “is that homeowners go back to the cheapest heating and cooling systems they can put in their homes,” he added. If there’s one blessing, says Boutette, it’s that the latest EcoEnergy Retrofit program was short. “Since it was reintroduced last July, I don’t think the industry’s really seen a tremendous upswing in business.” And it ended while wholesalers still had time to change their air conditioning orders. “We can now shift gears because it will mean a shift in the product we are bringing in… We will now focus on 13 SEER air conditioning rather than 14-1/2 SEER.”

people, something the government wholeheartedly endorsed by making the new EcoEnergy program part of its Economic Action Plan. “Because of its popularity and its job-creation impacts in the energy retrofit business (including HVAC), from a political standpoint, it was almost a no-brainer for the feds,” remarked Luymes. Baker says that if the government really wants to promote energy efficient equipment it should offer incentives on the equipment itself. “Forget the time limit,” he adds. “What’s wrong with having a customer spend $3,000 this year and maybe $2000 six months down the road… So long as they’re moving in the right direction, let’s give them some incentive.”

A conservative approach And it’s not that contractors don’t understand or support the government’s goals. “With the economic situation that the world is generally in, I can understand that we need to stop spending government money. If this is one of the ways of doing it, that’s fine, but it just can’t be stopped at a moment’s notice. There’s got to be a wind-down period,” said Graeme. The secrecy and the speed with which the government acted is frustrating, Boutette added. “We want them to enact legislation to control the imports of HFC refrigerants and they say it’s going to take years to get this legislation through and yet they can do this in a heartbeat.” ✚

It has an enormous impact and I don’t think the people that run these programs understand what it does to a small business.

However, he expects the lack of rebates will reduce air conditioners to a price point product and may encourage more contractors to install the R-22 dryshipped equipment that is seeing a resurgence due to lower cost and a loophole in the regulations. Leeson agrees, and expects that it may also boost the underground non-licensed trades that offer cheap installations for cash.

Disrupting the marketplace Many in the industry don’t like energy efficiency rebates. Baker is one of them. “They interfere with the marketplace because they are basically training people to wait for the next rebate program and to not do anything. For the industry to support these programs, it’s basically a slow suicide for us. “By offering the rebates in the way that they did they allowed a whole lot of companies to start up, get in business and the minute the rebates are gone, they’re gone, they’re not providing service to their clients and we’re picking up the pieces after the fact again,” he added. Boutette would also like to see the government out of the HVAC industry. “We are probably going to be suffering the effects of this up and down EcoEnergy thing for several years to come.” Graeme says the federal government needs to come up with a long-term strategy. It needs to either offer a long-term rebate program or simply legislate energy efficient products as it did with gas furnaces, which now must be 90 percent AFUE or higher. HRAI had previously asked the government to extend the EcoEnergy program for four years to bring stability and had presented a cost benefit analysis that showed for $400 million spent the government would get back $300 million in additional tax revenue from renovation sales. As well, HRAI noted it would create jobs for young


March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


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■ Industry News

Record year for AHR Expo here are two things any Canadian visitor would have noticed at the AHR Expo in Chicago this year. First, that there were an awful lot of Canadians and, secondly, that the mood among U.S. manufacturers was more upbeat than it has been in recent years. About 40,000 people visited the three-day event at McCormick Place this year, not including exhibitor personnel. And that was an all-time attendance record for North America’s largest HVAC/R show, exceeding the previous record set at the 2008 event in New York. A total of 1,968 exhibitors from 35 countries showcased their products and technologies in 430,000 sq. ft. of exhibit space. “We hope this is an indication that the economy is on the upswing and will continue to improve,” remarked Clay Stevens, president of the International Exposition Company, which produces the AHR Expo. Stevens also attributed the new records to the many new energyefficient technologies and products in the marketplace, as well as pent-up demand for new equipment.


One of the biggest challenges for the U.S. is getting people back to work, remarked John Hazen White Jr., president of pump manufacturer Taco, which is undergoing the largest expansion in the company’s history. “It’s not just about the money. As I look around the (industry), I wish more companies would take that approach,” he added. The next AHR Expo will take place at the Dallas Convention Center in Texas Jan. 28-30, 2013. ✚

‘Gary and the Hydronics’ entertained visitors at the Taco booth throughout the show.

In Brief Drain cleaning hazard Workers that clear blocked sewers are facing a new hazard. Union Gas in Chatham, Ontario is warning contractors that natural gas lines installed using underground or “trenchless” tunneling methods may have inadvertently penetrated sewer service lines, creating “a sewer cross bore.” The gas line can be ruptured or otherwise damaged when rotating or water-jet drain cleaning equipment is used to clear a blockage. Union Gas is asking contractors to call Ontario One Call at 1−800−400−2255 before proceeding. (A camera inspection would also spot the problem – ed)

Refrigerant changes miss the mark The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) says that draft changes to a code of practice on eliminating fluorocarbon refrigerant emissions are “confusing and misleading in a number of areas.” Environment Canada is updating the Code of Practice for the Elimination of Fluorocarbon Emissions from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning, which, among other things, is used as part of a mandatory course in most provinces that tradesmen must take before they can purchase those refrigerants. HRAI is also concerned that new sections on energy efficiency, instrumentation and life cycle costing have no direct link to the work performed by refrigeration contractors and that there is considerable misleading information on flammable refrigerants. HRAI has presented a lengthy list of comments to Environment Canada.


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March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


■ Building Green Upper Canada College students enjoy their sports fields. Underground, a geothermal loop provides heating and cooling for the school’s indoor sports facilities.

Managing energy use Historic Toronto school adopts green plumbing and HVAC technology By Bruce Nagy onn Smythe built Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931 with a heating system powered by coal. It wasn’t until more than 50 years later that this was replaced by gas boilers then considered modern. Smythe, along with his famous hockey announcer Foster Hewitt, and another Gardens owner, Harold Ballard, were all educated at Upper Canada College (UCC) in midtown Toronto. UCC has its own storied history dating back to 1829, but today it is home to a pair of new hockey rinks using some of the most modern plumbing and HVAC technology anywhere.


Aiming for sustainability A few years ago it was agreed that the school would add increased sustainability as a goal for its buildings, operations and teaching curriculum. At the time a new sports field was being planned and discussion of the need for a hockey arena was initiated. Thinking ahead, director of facilities Steve Thuringer suggested installing a geothermal bed beneath the sports field, despite the fact that construction of a new arena was several years in the future. When the sports centre was eventually built, recapture of heat from ice-making equipment and a grey water

This photo shows part of the system piping with the thermal equalizer tank at right.

system were added to the geothermal, creating a modern, highly efficient facility. The LEED Gold building consists of an Olympic-size ice pad, an NHLsize ice pad, dressing rooms, office and locker rooms for football and soccer. It also heats an indoor field bubble, in total using 40 percent less natural gas and 40 percent less water than the previous single ice pad. The first photovoltaic panels appeared recently, and solar thermal is being considered. “We’re very happy with the savings achieved by this system,” said Thuringer. “As with any large integrated mechanical system, there have been a few challenges with getting things balanced and we will continue to optimize and increase efficiencies in the future.” “UCC has done a great job using the rejected heat from the icemaking equipment to meet the building’s heat energy needs,” reported David Sinclair, Toronto manager for CIMCO Refrigeration, the refrigeration contractor on the project. “They took a very inspired approach.”

How it works The system incorporates a 120,000-foot geothermal horizontal-loop piping system (20 horizontal loops each with reverse return headers feeding four run-out circuits) under the adjacent soccer field and running track, with the loop acting as both a heat source and heat sink, depending on seasonal needs of the building and the rink refrigeration system. A CIMCO Eco Chill 150A package energy recycling system using R-717 refrigerant is connected to a thermal equalized glycol system to employ waste heat for sub floor warming below both rinks, ice resurfacing snow melt, and service water heating for ice resurfacing equipment. It also provides rejected heat for domestic hot water heating and hydronic underfloor space heat for dressing rooms, public washrooms, arena bench seating, visitors’ galleries and other common area heating, through centralized heat pumps and supplemental heating. A thermal equalizer tank is maintained at 35ºC by combining energy from the geothermal glycol loops at about 12ºC at source, refrigeration heat energy recapture


Plumbing & HVAC – March 2012


The new sports centre incorporates a number of green technologies.

The new building also houses a 48,000-litre grey water cistern fed by about 65,000 square feet of roof area. The water is used for toilets throughout the complex, which is just one of many sustainability initiatives included in the UCC program. The urinals in the sports centre are all waterless, and Thuringer is content with their performance and maintenance requirements. from cooling oil and energy recovery ventilators. The geothermal is the lower temperature pre-heat and the refrigeration recapture provides high grade heat. The unheated rink areas measure about 37,000 square feet, leaving about 28,000 square feet plus the winter soccer field bubble to be heated, using the radiant floor systems and also a forced air fan coil unit. A sophisticated ice temperature controller incorporates an infrared camera mounted above the ice surface to monitor the surface temperature, which is kept below minus 2.8ºC, and to regulate the brine pumps, compressors, condensers, leak detection, and exhaust systems. It manages user-programmable ice temperatures for game time, night setback and normal day operation, trend logging of all system data, HVAC system control, and remote monitoring by Thuringer when he’s not on site. In addition, there are sensors everywhere and about

Heat energy recapture

UCC has done a great job using the rejected heat from the icemaking equipment to meet the building’s heat energy needs. 15 data display meters throughout the building to track information and demonstrate the system to students and visitors. Much of the ice-making function takes place efficiently during the night when the facility is not being used.

This computer-screen view shows the refrigerant flow through the system.

“The energy co-efficient for ice-making recapture is very high,” says Sinclair. “So Steve probably has more heat capacity available that he will be able to use in the coming years, as facilities expand.” In fact the co-efficient is about 3.5:1 compared with a gas boiler at about 1:1. As more and more new arenas incorporate energy recapture from refrigeration equipment, Sinclair says it is sometimes challenging to help ensure each complex takes full advantage of the abundant available heat so that the best possible paybacks are achieved. Capital budgets versus operating savings are a recurring theme, along with over engineering (and over sizing) to avoid risk, or just plain old poor communication between various parties in the contracting process. All of these are expected to tighten up in the coming years now that 80 percent of new arenas are using heat recapture. Monitoring is sophisticated enough to provide plenty of data analysis and needed adjustments can fairly easily be pinpointed. Eventually arenas may use energy more efficiently than any other kind of building.

Changing times Hockey players from Upper Canada College and partner school University of Toronto became members of some of the early Toronto Maple Leafs teams. Back then Conn Smythe and Foster Hewitt cheered as the Leafs won a lot of Stanley Cups. Obviously times change. The Leafs haven’t won the Cup for decades, arenas are no longer heated by burning coal, and Harold Ballard’s estate sold off Maple Leaf Gardens. It is now a Loblaw’s grocery store. ✚ Bruce Nagy is a Toronto-based freelance writer that reports on green technologies and solutions. He can be reached at bruce.nagy@rogers.com.


March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


■ Building Green A roof-mounted chiller freed up indoor space.



cooling solution T Lower off-peak hydro rates re-open door for ice storage systems By Simon Blake

Officials wanted a solution that would substantially reduce operating costs at the Yardmen Arena.

here’s always more than one way to do things. When the City of Belleville, Ont. decided to upgrade the cooling system at its Yardmen Arena complex, officials were looking for a solution that would meet the building’s comfort cooling needs but also substantially reduce operating costs. Home to the Ontario Hockey League Belleville Bulls, the arena was built in 1978 with mechanical systems that were state of the art at the time. This included a 215-ton R-11 centrifugal chiller that was substantially oversized to allow for a future expansion that never occurred, reported the City of Belleville’s Peter Lyng. “It ran very inefficiently; we could never load it up properly.” The phaseout of R-11, a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant with high ozone layer damaging potential, added further impetus for an upgrade. “When the Ontario and Canadian governments decided that R-11 was really bad and we had to get rid of it, it was a good time to look for a smarter solution for the building.” The city put out a request for proposals (RFP) for a “turnkey system” to replace the existing system, asking for equipment that would be environmentally friendly and more efficient to operate. Belleville received eight proposals, seven of which included similar systems to the existing setup, but typically with two 100-ton chillers that would cycle back and forth depending on need. That may have been somewhat more efficient, but it didn’t make the significant gain the city was looking for.

A new/old idea Kashyap Desai of Stantec Engineering with design-build partners Trane Co. and George A. Kelson Mechanical proposed a significantly different solution that incorporated a Trane-Calmac thermal ice storage system with integrated Trane Tracer chilled water system plant and ice controls. “The Kelson team came back with a 120-ton air cooled chiller and the Calmac tanks. That intrigued me right off the bat,” said Lyng. It turned out as the most efficient and lowest cost system – “a double (All photos by Murnaghan Photo)


Plumbing & HVAC – March 2012


Lead hand Scott Stobbart adjusts freeze time of the tanks.

Refrigeration operator Bob Dafoe monitors the system from a central console.

Typically a thermal storage system would have a higher capital cost than a conventional chiller system. However, Desai did the calculations and estimated the cost at $100,000 less. The cost savings allowed the city to The design add air conditioning to the dressing Desai has been designing high rooms, which weren’t previously cooled, performance cooling systems for 30 and a Trane Tracer building automation years. When he looked at the Yardmen system which controls the entire building Arena complex and how it is used along from a central console. with the variations in cooling load, it Because the technology was so unfamiliar, Desai took city and Kelson staff to Minnesota to look at ice storage installations, primarily in schools. “Because it The question is, was a design build, I wanted to how much ice have you been ensure that Kelson was up to speed. If any one of these players able to make during a did not understand properly or made a small mistake, the risk 10-hour period at night, (of the system not working because that’s when your offproperly) would be just too high. I was trying to mitigate risk on peak hydro rates apply? everything so that when we started up and commissioned the system there were no seemed like an ideal candidate for problems,” remarked Desai. thermal ice storage, particularly with the new time-of-use electricity rates. Ice storage technology It is not used every day and seldom Ice storage cooling technology is not requires air conditioning for 24 hours. new. Calmac has done around 4,000 Typically peak loads only occur for brief installations over the years, reported periods – from two to four hours – company CEO and engineer Mark during a hockey game or concert. MacCracken. “The question is, how much ice have In fact the industry saw considerable you been able to make during a 10-hour growth in the 80s and early 90s as the period at night, because that’s when your electrical utilities began facing power off-peak hydro rates apply?” noted Desai. shortages. It receded somewhat as the In the Yardmen Arena, that was more utilities were split into generating and than enough to cool the building all day. delivery companies.

However, with the onset of energy efficient buildings along with lower offpeak electricity rates, ice storage systems are enjoying a resurgence. The building operator can run the chiller at night to take advantage of lower off-peak electricity rates, freezing the ice storage tanks, and then enjoy “free cooling”

win for me” – he added. Desai designed the new system, to provide 200 tons of cooling. Trane supplied the chiller, variable speed drives for the pumps and control system.


when the rates are at their highest during the daytime.

Straightforward installation “Mechanically, there is very little difference between an ice storage system

Please see ‘City’ on page 15

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March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


Visit us at CMX Booth 2413

■ Building Green

City sees significant hydro savings Continued from page 13

building from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with chiller running at night to make the ice. “You’re running your chiller less than half the time compared to if you were running a conventional chilled water system,” remarked Lincoln Jeffries, building automation technician for the Trane Company, Ottawa. “We just make big blocks of ice in the night, then circulate the glycol through those and take all the cooling off that ice and use it for air conditioning. When the ice is used up, we make it again. It was designed for 12 hours making the ice and 12 hours using the ice.”

and a mechanical system,” added MacCracken. “In a conventional system you have a chiller that is cooling water where as in our system you have a chiller that is cooling an antifreeze solution and now the chiller runs at night as opposed to during the day….it’s a slightly different fluid and different controls, but the plumbing is a supply and a return just like on a chiller.” Finding space for the tanks wasn’t difficult either. The original mechanical rooms were designed, again with expansion in mind, for a larger system, said Lyng. “So I had tons of room indoors for these tanks.” And the new chiller is roof-mounted. “Where I lost space by putting in the tanks, I gained by removing the chiller.” For Kelson, it was the first ice storage project the company had done in eastern Ontario, reported district manager Rick McGurn. Although more complex than a straight chiller changeout, the project was straightforward, he reported. The Yardmen arena was in full operation during the changeout over the winter of 2009-2010. The city worked with Kelson Mechanical to ensure as little impact as possible on day-to-day operations.

A large mechanical room allowed ample room for the ice storage tanks.

A successful project City officials are pleased with the results. The system has now had two summers of operation. In extreme cases, perhaps on a hot day when the arena is filled to capacity with people, the ice storage system and the mechanical chiller are designed to operate together to cool the building. However, so far the electric chiller has not been required during the daytime, remarked Lyng. During the first season of operation the city saw a $50,000 drop in its hydro bill for the building which was particularly surprising because a 170,000 sq. ft. addition was under construction at the time. The annual electricity bill is typically $350,000. The new addition includes two new ice surfaces, three

Daily operation In actual operation, the ice storage tanks cool the

swimming pools and a double gymnasium. The ice storage system was sized to handle the extra load, said Lyng. Another improvement has been a reduction in humidity because a lower supply air temperature gets more moisture out. “I don’t have any sweating walls or sweating glass,” reported Lyng. As well, the ice making machines no longer have to work as hard to keep the rink frozen. Kelson Mechanical expects to do more of these systems in the future. “We hadn’t done this before, but based on what we saw, we guaranteed that they would get three hours of free cooling. It turned out to be more like 10 to 12,” said McGurn. “We knew at a minimum how good it was. We weren’t expecting what we saw.” ✚

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■ Heating

Retrofit challenges


Installing and servicing commercial rooftop units


By Bob Bettles and Brian Guttormson


Plumbing & HVAC – March 2012

o what do you get when you cross a midefficiency furnace with an air conditioner that will sit on the ground on its own? Well, it becomes a packaged unit and they have been around almost forever it seems. Package units or rooftops have challenged the best of mechanics from time to time when performing service work with integrated parts and wiring diagrams. Early rooftop units were genuine commercial products with head pressure controls, low ambient sensors, fan cycle controls, etc. as standard equipment. Now these necessities must be added as an option. Single-phase units were also provided for the residential market. They were a basic barebones box with standard gas furnace or electric elements, compressor and coils. As built, these units were effective for the modular homes and homes with limited crawl spaces. Unfortunately these residential units ended up being the “entry level” for the light commercial market with the addition of a three-phase compressor! And yet the purchaser expected a bulletproof commercial high end product, not the residential bare bones product provided! We are now regularly seeing replacement of the 30-year-old products due to the obsolescence of service parts. Unfortunately the 10-year-old and less entry-level products are also failing.


The replacement of a commercial unit comes with the added challenge of co-ordinating installation with the crane contractor and, often, a roofer to cut in a new curb and repair the roof structure below to tolerate the added weights if going larger or heavier than the original. As well, complications can arise because there are so many offerings from various manufactures now; such as high, mid and low range of heat models, single or multi-stage air-conditioning systems and high static drives for increased airflow. Existing duct systems may be too small for the airflows or too large due to distribution changes by tenants. Over time the building gets cut up and systems are severed and capped or left open into ceiling spaces. Issues can come up due to the cycling of hot air into ceiling returns, causing the unit to overheat and cycle on the main limit. In some cases the system might need an adapter curb to transition the sizing of an old curb to the new unit. However, some early rooftop unit curbs didn’t have the duct adaptors that are standard in today’s products. Make sure the plenums and duct systems inside the building are separated from the unit’s base pan. It is not a pretty sight to see your duct system come up through the roof with your scrap unit! I say “your” system because that is your profit margin leaving the job! Be alert and be safe!

Package units or rooftops have challenged the best of mechanics from time to time when performing service work... Adding an economizer When ordering up a new system an economizer package should be considered. Cooling load seasons have been extended due to the use of sealed windows, more people in the building and codes that require better ventilation for indoor air quality. Larger structures with high internal gains from computers, etc. can require packaged HVAC equipment to operate in cool mode for much longer periods and into the winter seasons when cooling would not normally be required. An economizer will pay for itself in a short time. The economizer shortens compressor run time and electricity consumption at “free cooling” temperatures. Exterior temperature determines the lockout of the compressor. The Honeywell economizer package used on many commercial products was designed to provide free cooling during cool evenings in spring and fall. It


Every rooftop retrofit comes with it’s own challenges.

consists of two sets of dampers (return air and outside air that are interconnected and driven to their respective positions by a modulating damper motor. Some packages may also include a barometric relief damper to prevent pressurizing the building space during the free cooling operation. On a low voltage input signal from the unit thermostat fan terminal “G” the control package will drive the damper positioning to provide a minimum of outside air, allowing a specified amount of ventilation air continuously while the fan is in operation. When a signal is received from the indoor thermostat for a first stage (Y1) cooling call, the installed enthalpy sensor determines whether to allow mechanical compressor cooling to operate or to drive the outdoor air damper open to provide free cooling with outside air. When the system is operating in free cooling mode, a mixed air sensor monitors the mixed air temperature and modulates the damper assembly to limit the air temperature to the occupied space at 54 to 56ºF. If the indoor thermostat senses a rise in the conditioned space of two degrees, a Y2 call for second stage cooling is sent to the controller on the damper motor. Internal relays will then direct this Y2 signal to the unit’s Y1 circuit to initiate first stage mechanical cooling in conjunction with the first stage free cooling outdoor air. The mixed air sensor will again modulate the damper assembly to limit discharge temperatures. If at any time during this sequence the enthalpy sensor determines that the outdoor air is too warm or humid, the control package will drive the damper assembly to the preset minimum position and then allow both stages of mechanical cooling to operate.


Adjustment and setup of the minimum position damper setting involves a simple calculation formula based on the outdoor and indoor air temperatures. : DT= (OAP X OAT) + (RAP X RA) Where: DT = Discharge Air Temp with fan only (G) OAP = % of Outdoor Air required. RAP = % of Return Air Temperature RAT = Return Air Temperature.

the damper even further closed! A designed HVAC package system with airflows based on 350 to 400 cfm per ton of cooling should not require the operation of mechanical cooling below an ambient temperature of 40 to 45ºF. If these systems are to be used in conjunction with ancillary control devices such as zoning controls or remote monitor systems, an interface must be provided to monitor and compare discharge air temperatures and outdoor air temperatures to prevent mechanical cooling to operate below 45ºF.

Confusion still exists The above economizer sequence has been in our commercial systems for many years now, but as basic as it is many service techs are still baffled with the setup and proper operation. As it works on basic sensible and latent temperatures, comfort cooling is easily provided. Changes are coming with additional sensors and solid-state controls to allow better fine-tuning of the air quality in commercial buildings. With consistent changes by

manufacturers and their engineers to improve efficiency and SEER ratings as well as the introduction of ECM motors, new commercial equipment continues to reduce energy costs for building owners. ✚ Bob Bettles HVAC author and trainer Robert (Bob) Bettles is technical service adviser and product trainer for B&B Trade Distribution Centre. He can be reached at bbettles@bandbtrade.com. Brian Guttormson HVAC author and trainer Brian Guttormson is technical service advisor for Trent Metals Ltd. (Supply). He can be reached at techsupport@tmlsupply.com.

(E.g.: Spec calls for 10 percent fresh air, the OD is 40ºF and the RA is 80ºF)

DT = (10% x40) + 90% X 80) DT = 4 + 72 DT = 76)ºF with fan only operation. The system as described does provide a viable method of providing an efficient cost effective method of cooling in ambient temperatures above 45ºF. Problems do occur when the systems must operate at lower temperatures, especially if input signals are driven by mechanical or electronic timed signals.

A mathematical challenge Here’s another formula for you guys with the calculator minds! If we have a day of 35ºF and a call for cooling, the outdoor air brought into a five-ton system operating at 400 cfm per ton will have a BTU content of 35 x 1.08 x 2000 = 75,600 Btu/h or 6.3 tons of potential cooling capacity. Remember the MA sensor will limit the discharge air temperature into the occupied space to about 55ºF by modulating the outside air into the system. If the internal gain was enough to generate a Y2 call and the compressor(s) energized the refrigerated air will drive

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■ Heating Innovative tank recognized

Loop control

Rheem Manufacturing was presented with an Innovation Award for its high efficiency XR90 Extreme Recovery gas water heater at the recent AHR Expo in Chicago. Launched last July, this 29gallon unit heats water 42 percent faster than a standard 50-gallon gas water heater, costs considerably less to operate and has a first-hour rating of 90 gallons, reports the manufacturer. Rheem Manufacturing u www.Canada.Rheem.com

The Lochinvar Smart System Multi Temperature Loop Control is designed to simplify the integration of the company’s Knight heating boilers into multiple temperature hydronic heating systems. Working the boiler control, it accurately controls up to three separate space heating loop temperatures, while maximizing the efficiency of the heating boiler as a primary function, reports the manufacturer. Lochinvar u www.Lochinvar.com

Dual vent option Reliable oil tank Roth has extended the warranty on its doublewall home heating oil storage tanks to 30 years. It covers failure of the tank due workmanship or material defects as well as failure of the internal tank due to corrosion along with $2-million of insurance against property damage. Roth Canada u www.Roth-Canada.com

Rinnai has added a dual pipe venting option for its on-demand condensing water heaters. It uses polypropylene-s (exhaust flue and intake) or PVC (for intake only) pipe. Polypropylene-s has a maximum temperature rating of 230°F (110°C), compared to 146°F (65°C) for PVC. The dual-pipe PPs system is engineered for gas appliance venting, has a positive fit and lock that creates secure joints without cement, helps vent in tight spaces and helps to prevent recirculation and freezing in cold climates. Rinnai u www.rinnai.us

High performance indirect tank The new Aqua Plus Series indirect-fired water heaters from Weil-McLain Canada feature a high-output stainless steel heat exchanger with a large-diameter coil and superior first-hour rating. High-grade 316L and 304L stainless steel tanks are TIG welded and feature a bottom port for ease of cleaning and inspection. The new line will replace the Ultra Plus, Gold Plus and Plus series. Weil-McLain Canada u www.weil-mclain.ca.

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March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


even e ven e exchange xchange

Honeywell Honeywell h has as ssolutions olutions tto o rreplace eplace R R-22. -22. The pressure is on to phase out R-22. Now is the per fect time to switch to a Honeywell Genetron non - ozone - depleting alternative for your A / C or refrigeration applic ation. For A / C, c onsider Genetron ® 407C or 422D. For Refrigeration, consider Genetron ® Per formax™ LT, Genetron 422D, 404A or 507. Talk to your Honeywell distributor today to understand your options and hand-pick the R-22 replacements that will work for you.

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■ Heating

Product Profile

Hydronic furnace

saves space and energy

By Simon Blake odern hydronic heating has been slow to catch on in this country. Forced air systems have evolved to be highly efficient, to provide high levels of comfort and to easily incorporate air conditioning in those provinces where it is a necessity due to hot muggy summers. Hydronic heating traditionally requires a separate system for air conditioning and that can make it a tough sell except in custom homes where the cost of the mechanical system is but a small part. However, the two technologies are gradually coming together in a way that is uniquely suited to the North American market. Two things – the need to free-up space and the need to reduce energy use, are driving this. Every home needs hot water and traditionally that has


been provided by a separate water heater, which means a second burner in addition to the heating appliance. Combining those two heating devices can save energy. As well, the wall-mounted boiler or tankless water heater along with an air handler with heating and AC coils can take up considerably less space than a traditional gas furnace and 50-gallon water heater.

The hydronic furnace P&HVAC recently visited just such an installation which involved a Rinnai “hydronic furnace” and wall-mounted tankless water heater – or Rinnai Combo System. Contractor Mark Giannousopoulos, president of GForce Air Inc. in Etobicoke, Ont., has done a number of these installations. This was a retrofit of a relatively new home where the primary goal was to “regain space” in



The existing furnace and water heater were replaced.

The completed installation frees up considerable floor space.

G-Force Air techs Kyle Young, right, and Mike Marcinkiewicz install the new unit. the basement for other uses. Like many southern Ontario contractors, he does forced air and hydronic heating along with heat pumps and air conditioning. For this system, “if I am strictly a forced air contractor, there’s a learning curve,” Giannousopoulos noted, adding that manufacturer training provides most of that information. Like any heating installation, the first step was to do heat load calculation on the house. “The older the system, the more critical it is,” he added. As well, a flow calculation was done for the existing ductwork. This determined the size of the air handler. But here’s where things get interesting. The manufacturer recommends sizing the water heater for the domestic hot water load only, with the air handler sized with heat gain/loss calculation for the dwelling. The space-heating load has little effect on sizing the tankless water heater, reported Glenn Fowler, Rinnai product manager for Redmond-Williams Distributing, Mississauga, Ont. When the air handler is running, it has its own water pump that draws between 2.5 and 3.5 gpm. The water enters the air handler at 140ºF (the tankless water heater temperature setting), so the return water coming back to the water heater is about 110ºF. The system effectively becomes a closed loop system when there is no call for DHW. However, when DHW is called for, incoming cold water is then blended with the return from the air handler, so instead of 40-degree water it becomes 80 degrees or higher. The air handler reduces the Delta T for the tankless heater and effectively increases its capacity, said Fowler. In this installation, Giannousopoulos installed a

Please see ‘Straightforward’ on page 23


March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC





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■ Heating

Straightforward installation Continued from page 21 Rinnai RC98, which is a modulating, condensing ondemand natural gas water heater. It is rated at 199,000 Btu/h but modulates down to 9,500 Btu/h, so it’s more than enough to cover the home’s domestic hot water and space heating needs.

The installation Installation is a lot like any other forced air system with the addition of the tankless unit. To save space, the air handler can be mounted horizontally in the ceiling. The tankless unit uses a five-inch concentric vent – either through the wall or roof – and ¾-inch gas line. “If you go with a conventional system with a high efficiency furnace and water heater you essentially have four vents sticking out the side of a condominium unit (for example) and sometimes it’s very hard for the contractor to meet clearance requirements,” said Fowler. Controls are virtually identical to a forced air furnace. A standard heat/cool thermostat can be used, or a programmable thermostat for better efficiency. As soon as the thermostat calls for heat the water pump in the air handler turns on and calls for hot water from the water heater. In this installation, Giannousopoulos installed a smart thermostat that anticipates use. If it

60 UP TO

The homeowner reports So how well does it work? Homeowner Bob Hiscott has lived with this system for about 18 months now. And one thing that should be noted is that this is an unusual application because the house was only seven months old and came equipped with a 92 percent AFUE forced air furnace. So the natural gas savings were only about 15 percent. That would be considerably higher had the furnace and the 50-gallon water heater been older. He’s noticed that comfort has improved as the unit maintains a more consistent temperature in the house. The fan runs pretty steadily. However, the main objective was to get the furnace out of the middle of the basement. That has been achieved in addition to freeing up about 25 sq. ft. of floor space.

A concentric vent meant only one hole in the wall.

Other applications

determines that everyone in the house gets up at 7 a.m. and has a shower, it will run the space heating prior to that and then shift to DHW priority at 7 a.m. The air handler uses a variable speed ECM motor. Accessories such as a dehumidifier, UV lights, air cleaners, etc. simply plug into its circuit board. Fowler adds that these units are built with a DHW priority flow switch. The switch will temporarily shut off the air handler’s water pump and air blower if the switch measures less than 1.5 gpm on the return side. This will ensure domestic supply is always satisfied.

While Rinnai markets and warranties its hydronic furnace and on-demand water heater as a combo package, the air handlers are available separately and can be used with existing boilers where that makes sense. However, most people will use the package together. Where replacing an existing forced air furnace and storage type water tank, the efficiency gain can be considerable. There is now only one burner for heating and DHW and the ECM motor substantially reduces electricity use. Add that to the extra space now available in the basement, and hydronic forced air combination systems make sense for a lot of homeowners.✚






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NuToneULTRA.ca March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


■ Hot Water Heating

Keep it simple Best practices in hydronic design and installation – planning and documentation own, or you can find one somewhere else. Most hydronic By Roy Collver

A well-documented hydronic heating system is easier to service in the future.

Review the drawing

manufacturers, be they boiler, control or terminal unit So you look at your concept drawing and decide if it is In the last issue, I showed many photos of systems that people, will have a library of basic drawings you can look how you want to do things. It allows the designer to were laid out poorly, and some that were done well. I think at. Your wholesaler should also have a library of drawings choose the boiler and major components, but your a system is well laid-out when the mechanical components and some organizations (CHC, RPA, TECA) come finished system will never look exactly like the concept are easily accessible for service, and the quickly to mind. I am including this one drawing, as you detour around pillar and post, fight for piping is cleanly and clearly laid out with (Fig. 2) from a previous article to give you space with the sheet metal guy, and add zones here, take a minimum number of fittings, twists and the idea. them away there, etc. turns, unlike the example shown in Fig. 1. The drawings you need at this stage, Fighting for space with other trades? If you have a well The direction of flow should be well just have to describe the major presented, detailed drawing of what you are planning to marked and easy to follow, each branch components of the system, so you can go do and show it to the project manager, you will have a lot line should be identified clearly, and to the site, or look at the construction more mojo than the other guy come the day. One of the everything should be solidly supported plans and start to make a bill of materials. easiest ways to come up with a really neat piping job in and secured. Although much of this has A quick note on drawings here: Every a boiler room, even with very complex systems, is to to do with old-fashioned craftsmanship, apprentice has taken some drafting claim your wall-space and floor space, and design a one has to start with a clear idea of what during their training and many of them piping panel where you can try and fit all of your major is to be accomplished and then the have some computer drafting experience. components in a logical way. This kind of approach planning stage can begin. If you can do drawings on a computer disciplines you to “live within your means” space-wise, Fig. 1: This may confuse On most commercial jobs where an the heck out of the next and are comfortable working with some and think it carefully through. engineer designs a hydronic system and tech on the job. of the drafting software available – great. Here is an example: Step 1 – The first drawing, as you are going to install it; you go to his However, pencil and paper still work just shown in Fig. 3, is the concept piece. A little more office and pick up the PLANS. Then you go to the jobfine and the basic line drawing will do everything you complicated than most, it shows pretty much all of the bits site and look at where you have to do the installation. need it to. The most valuable reason for “drawing it out” and pieces we need to put on the panel. Check valves, shut You measure and figure and figure some more and is that it not only helps you understand the system, but off valves, air scrubbers, Y-strainers, pumps, etc. The idea measure some more and come up with a PLAN on how it allows others to help you review the job and make is to look at the hydraulics and decide what is needed. At to do it. Then you do a take-off, list all of the suggestions and find faults before you immortalize them this point you have to know how many zones, what kind components and pipe you need, contact your suppliers in copper. of boiler, how far are you running the pipe, what the flow and PLAN out what you need and when you need it onsite. PLAN – a great word that the dictionary defines as Fig. 3: This more complicated concept drawing shows all of the mechanical components. “to decide on and arrange in advance.” Unfortunately, in many residential and small commercial design-build jobs, detailed planning only takes place upon arrival at the wholesale counter. We should do better. In this issue, we are going to focus on documentation – specifically, creating drawings for the job.

Making a sketch Some jurisdictions have strict requirements for preplanning in order to take out permits, others – not so much. In either case however, the concept drawing is the first step – regardless of whether you need it for permits or not. The concept drawing is just that – a first step towards pulling everything together. You can draw your

Fig. 2: The first step is to create a concept drawing.


Plumbing & HVAC – March 2012


Fig. 4: The next step is to take all that

Fig. 5: Things seldom work out as planned. The “as-built” drawing shows that the design had to be flip-flopped.

equipment and fit it into the space. do for the near-boiler-piping. What about the distribution and terminal unit piping? Glad you asked. Each distribution loop will present its own challenges – where and when to add an air vent, where to install shutoff valves, how to route the piping through the structure – it isn’t always cut and dried. As far as how to document this? Well you really can’t know until after the job is done, and it is usually not so important to draw out every single distribution loop. The photo below, shows one way of making it easy for those that follow. Tag and label everything so they

Fig. 6: The electrical side needs to be documented as well.

can follow what you have done. A main reason we document systems, is to provide road-maps to those following us. We want them to be able to readily understand the system and how it works, and a clear drawing of the near boiler piping, combined with an electrical schematic (Fig. 6) and sequence of operation description will

win you kudos for all of those colleagues following behind you. ✚ Roy Collver is an author and consultant on hydronic heating based in Peachland, B.C. He can be reached at hoth2o@shaw.ca



rates are going to be – in order to size your loops and pipe and fittings and pumps. Step 2: Try to see how all of that gear can fit on a panel of a certain size – in this case, a 4’ x 8’ piece of plywood, and come up with your layout plan, as shown in Fig. 4. As you go, you need to keep in mind where the big stuff is going – the boiler, the air handler, the DHW tank, the radiant manifolds, etc. You also have to have a pretty well established idea as to how you are going to route your pipe to these components so you come off the panel in an organized and are not criss-crossing pipe all over the place. Criss-crossing pipe looks sloppy and confuses the heck out of anyone trying to follow it. Step 3: Start laying out the panel and components, and see if you can make it all fit. Review the distribution piping and major component placement and see if what you are doing makes sense. You can see from the “as built” drawing in Fig. 5, that the whole thing had to be flipflopped around to be able to fit into the reality of the boiler room. I guess this is the whole point of this article. You have to come up with your best design, based on your experience and knowledge, and then adjust where the job-site conditions tell you it won’t work. If you can do those adjustments on paper, rather than build it as you go, you will come up with a better design and save yourself a wholelotta pain (and money). These drawings are just the ones you

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March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


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■ Hot Water Heating



Good communication with customer key in achieving a happy result

By Art Irwin

A noisy boiler had to be shut down during performances at the Pond Playhouse.



oday’s heating contractor must carry an endless patience and many lost hours for the contractor. enormous bag of groceries just to survive. This can be a critical point for contractors. I have Good communication with your clients is been involved in a number of court cases where a your lifeline to tomorrow’s business. Often contractor quotes on a project, has a signed contract one of the toughest challenges is to decide and half way through the project, the client decides they whether to give the customer what they need want a whirlpool bath with eight shower heads and or what they want. Remember, you must also imported European plumbing fixtures, assuming there live with the result. will be little difference in price. Everybody proceeds in The majority of clients a very friendly manner and when the depend on the heating specialist final invoice arrives, the nasty There are, for guidance when building their stuff hits the fan. The client new structure. There are, refuses to pay and the problems unfortunately, unfortunately, a few out there begin. It is of the utmost who depend too much on the a few out there who depend importance that with any change internet and become experts in the cost be documented and all aspects of building and too much on the internet agreed upon by all parties. heating systems. A small number I try to be fuel neutral and not and become experts in all of these people can be helpful, show favoritism to any but many can be a “pain in the aspects of building and manufacturer. The person with neck” and create horrendous the modest bungalow and singlefrustration for the HVAC heating systems. zone forced warm air system contractor. I receive calls from deserves the same attention as such people who are building a the owner of a $2-million custom new home and want a solar heating system but don’t home. At least, at this stage of my life, I know the want any panels in sight on their roof. Others want systems and products that are mediocre, acceptable geothermal heating and have a ham sandwich bank and very good. account and a taste for filet mignon. The majority of contractors and clients are honest people, but clients often forget those early conversations Documenting project changes when you advised them that you were designing the inThe heating contractor can spend endless valuable hours floor heating system based on bare hardwood floors and preparing a heating plan and a quotation and almost every day, the client changes their mind. This takes Please see ‘Noisy’ on page 29

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


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■ Hot Water Heating

Why electric? Electric boilers have been popular in New Brunswick and Quebec for some time due primarily to lower electricity rates. In Nova Scotia at present, oil and electric rates are very close. Producing one million Btu’s with electrically at 12 cents per kilowatt-hour costs $36.62. For oil at $103.00 per litre and 83 percent efficiency, producing the same million Btu’s costs $34.00. There will be slight differences based on taxes, etc. I needed something extremely quiet in the theatre because the oil-fired boiler was only 15 feet from the stage. When the burner was operating, it

was distracting the audience and had to be turned off. In such an installation the heating contractor does the hot water radiation installation., but an electrician is required to hook up the 200-amp service. A new electric boiler was quiet You should always use a flow switch and compact. to activate the elements to ensure you do not power the elements unless the pump is circulating the water; otherwise you might burn out an element. Generally there are three elements and they are staged separately.

Noisy boiler disturbs theatre patrons Continued from page 27 no carpeting. Two years later they vacation in Istanbul and arrive home with a truckload of scatter rugs and wonder why the room will not come up to temperature. Naturally, they blame the heating contractor! It sounds like an endless chore, but somewhere you must document points such as no programmable thermostats and nighttime temperature setback if you have in-floor heating or an air source heat pump. All of these points are necessary if you want to build a good reputation and keep your sanity as well.

Strange encounters In one of my strange encounters, a lawyer wanted to hire my services as his client was suing a boat owner. The client, a property owner with lake frontage, had their heat pump piping loops on the floor of the lake. The boat owner and his faithful anchor lifted the entire piping system completely off the floor of the lake and stretched it out to its limit. Both parties were highly agitated, which is quite understandable. Who was really at fault? The property owner was not aware such incidents are possible and have happened in the past. The boat owner probably hooked his anchor in an old submerged vehicle in the past but never expected to be able to fully examine somebody’s heating system while trying to catch a fish for breakfast. The innocent heating contractor sometimes encounters self-made experts when dealing with nonprofit organizations. It seems that in every group of volunteers, there is an individual who becomes a thorn in the side of progress. It is best to let these


people sound off, let them exhibit their words of wisdom and they generally become compatible as time goes on. It is best not to challenge these individuals in the beginning as it can result in hours of wasted time. One must try to compromise in many situations. Try to design or select a heating system best suited to the project, the available funding and the specific needs. Most nonprofit groups today have limited dollars and the HVAC contractor should try to keep costs at a minimum. There are countless struggling churches and community groups that need all of the help they can get. When possible, reuse existing equipment, but do not run risks that could backfire and waste all of those hard earned dollars.

than a piece of carry-on luggage, fit the requirement very well. Space was also a key factor and it was installed above the desk in the main office. Professional heating and roofing contractors finalized the outside renovations. The audience is now seated in a quiet space. The boiler piping headers have yet to be insulated and this is on the near future agenda in 2012. This is probably a good example of simplicity at it’s best!

The success of the Pond Theatre is mainly through the excellent cooperation of many hard working people who welcome trades and work together with a clear focus. ✚ Arthur A. Irwin operates Irwin Energy Consulting Services in Halifax. He can be reached at irwin.a@ns.sympatico.ca.

A theatre upgrade I will use the Theatre Arts Guild (TAG) in Halifax as an example. The country’s oldest community theatre, with a record of continuous operation, was founded in 1931. In 1966, the theatre group purchased a church in Jollimore, on the edge of downtown Halifax. Named the Pond Playhouse, their season runs from September to July and today many performances are sold out. The theatre has a core of dedicated volunteers that were responsible for a recent expansion. I was asked to get involved prior to the expansion. Insulation was added as funds became available. There was an old boiler located next to the stage that had to be turned off during performances because of the noise factor. I calculated the heat loss of the structure and selected hydronic baseboard for both exterior walls. Silence was a definite requirement and an electric boiler, slightly larger and heavier



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■ Hot Water Heating



nstalling a tankless water heater is something any plumbing or HVAC contractor can do successfully. In the next series of articles, we’ll identify some key points to consider that will ensure every tankless install is a success. In this edition, let’s look at gas supply. Improper gas supply is the most common problem with the installation of tankless water heaters. As a general rule of thumb, when the tankless is off and with all other gas appliances on and running, you should have a gas supply pressure to the tankless of at least seven inches water column (WC). Then with the water heater on and running at high fire, there should be no more than a one inch WC pressure drop. When the gas supply pressure is outside those parameters, replacement of at least some of the existing gas line is almost always required. Many contractors discount the importance of gas supply and assume the tankless will work. In some cases it may; in other cases it may not. Be aware, be prepared and quote the job accordingly. When corners are cut, problems occur, so don’t!

Gas supply pressures When gas supply pressures are not proper, you may experience some common symptoms: shaking and rattling of the appliance, ‘banging’ in the heat exchanger, low-toned reverberation in the vent, repeated chugging sounds as the burner tries to stabilize, flame failure errors, initial ignition errors, unstable flame conditions, etc. Improper combustion will lead to air/gas imbalance issues and could cause heat exchanger issues over time. Most gas utilities supply approximately seven inches WC from the meter. Be conservative: when installing a tankless water heater, refer to CSA B149-1.10 Table A.1 to accommodate a less than seven inches WC gas supply pressure with a maximum pressure drop of 0.5” WC (below)


Notice that under no circumstances can ½-inch gas pipe deliver 200,000 Btu’s. Do not use any ½-inch gas line or ½-inch fittings, including any connections to existing gas manifolds that may exist in the mechanical room. Also notice that the maximum length for even ¾” pipe is only 20 feet. When using corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST), reference the CSST manufacturer’s literature and again size for a less than seven inches WC gas supply pressure with a maximum pressure drop of 0.5 inches WC If not sized properly, the pressure drop, exacerbated by the corrugation, will cause appliance issues. As a rule of thumb, do not use more than five linear feet of ¾” CSST on any tankless in the 180,000 to 199,000 Btu/h range. Also, do not to bend the CSST into tight angles. A couple of tight 90-degree bends in CSST may make for a better looking installation, but the pressure drop it causes is not at all better. The tightest angle should be approximately 135 degrees.

avoid having to bleed off this pressure every time you close the manual gas valve, install another manual gas shut-off valve downstream of the regulator. Once the new install is complete but before leaving the site, you must check to ensure the tankless unit will be able to perform at maximum Btu’s without error. Follow the sequence below: • Close the manual gas shut off valve for the gas line supplying the water heater. • Connect a manometer to the gas supply line at the tankless heater. • Open the gas valve and read the line pressure on the manometer with all appliances off. • Turn all other gas appliances on. Again, read the line pressure and note the pressure drop. • Turn on power to the tankless water heater. • Open all hot water faucets to force the tankless water heater into high fire. • Once again read the line pressure now while all gas appliances are operating at full. If the gas line is sized properly, you should be able to deliver maximum input to the tankless water heater with a maximum 0.5” WC pressure drop. If that is the case, your gas install is without problem and any tankless should work very well under those conditions.

Other solutions Higher pressure systems On higher two PSI gas pressure systems, install a minimum ¾” pressure reducing regulator; do not use ½” regulators (for the same reason ½” pipe is not recommended above). Locate the regulator such that you have at least 12” of straight pipe downstream of the regulator before the appliance. If you can accommodate more, even better; some manufacturers would like to see the regulators six feet upstream of the appliance. The gas line piping from the outlet of the regulator to the water heater must follow the same CSA sizing table as outlined above. Many installs have a manual gas shut off valve upstream of the regulator (on the two PSI side). When you open that manual valve, high pressure will often flow past the regulator and a pressure spike will occur downstream between the regulator and the water heater. If this pressure to the tankless gas valves is anywhere near 1 PSI (28” WC), the main gas valve will lock out and not even attempt to open. An ignition error occurs. Bleed off this excessive pressure and the unit should fire up. To

Despite best efforts, if once installed, you find yourself short, you could have your gas utility increase the pressure at the meter to deliver more Btu’s. The Btu delivery would then approximate the values in CSA B149-1.10 Table A.2 (below).

The increase in supply pressure will however result in an increased pressure drop through the installed gas line. Regardless, as long as the pressure drop is limited to a maximum of 1” WC, all tankless should

Please see ‘Boosting’ on page 33

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


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■ Hot Water Heating

Boosting the gas pressure Continued from page 31 still operate without problem. If you start your job using Table A.2, however, instead of Table A.1, increasing the supply pressure afterwards will only further increase the pressure drop. If and when the pressure drop is greater than 1” WC, it may pose problems for the appliance. If even after the gas utility’s technician has increased the gas supply pressure at the meter, you are still not in the proper range (and if you are sure your gas work is correct), while he/she is still on site, have them put a manometer on their gas meter and regulator. In retrofits, remember that we are removing a 40,000 Btu/h appliance and replacing it with a 200,000 Btu/h appliance; in some cases the meter that was originally installed may not be sufficient or it may be sufficiently old enough not to work as it once did. Regardless of the piping inside the house, there should be minimal pressure drop across the utility’s equipment.

Table 3: Clocking the gas meter for condensing tankless:

Tankless water heaters require a significant amount of gas to operate at maximum output. They will be the largest gas appliance in the home and as such, need to be properly supplied. They are also highly controlled appliances so they will be unforgiving if not sized properly. Be conservative: use CSA B149-1.10 Table A.1 and if in doubt, upsize. You don’t want to go back to a job. Tools of the trade are important. When doing gas work on these larger appliances, a manometer will be your best friend should you run into complications; without it, troubleshooting a gas issue becomes difficult. Make the investment in this key tool. Happy installing! ✚

Steve Bagshaw is based in Vancouver and has worked extensively with tankless water heaters in the Canadian market for the last nine years. He can be reached at bagshaw@ican.net.

Clocking the gas meter To clock the gas meter for tankless water heaters, the tables below give you the approximate gas flow rates for condensing and non-condensing unit at various water flow rates:

Table 4: Clocking the gas meter for non-condensing tankless:

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■ Ventilation


Large institutional ventilation project challenges two generations By Michael McCartney

goodness for


ans have been good to me all my life. So has the tea industry. I’ll explain why: Starting with the development of the centrifugal fan by a Russian, Alexander Sabukov, in 1832, it became possible to move large quantities of air using relatively small machines. A squirrel cage fan took up a lot less floor space than did a set of bellows, as was commonly used in air moving for iron smelting and some food processing at the time! An engineer in Belfast, Northern Ireland, named Samuel Davidson performed experiments on squirrel cage fans in the 1890s and soon discovered a blade type that could move a lot more air at higher pressures than was possible with the flat paddle bladed fans in use at the time. Davidson had invented the forward-curved (FC) fan wheel. He patented it and named it after the sirocco winds that blast across the Mediterranean Sea from the Sahara Desert. As manufactured by his company, Davidson and Company, Belfast, the Sirocco fan type was used for such diverse applications as mine ventilation, drying processes and for providing air for


the curing of tea. There are several stages in the curing process for many teas, some of which involve providing air at medium pressure to remove the heat given off by the leaves.

A centre of innovation My family also came from Belfast, a hard – scrabble manufacturing town. It was, before mismanagement of the economy and political strife drove it down in the 70’s, a centre for shipbuilding, aircraft manufacturing and other heavy industries. My father started out his working life as an apprentice machinist at Davidson’s in 1936 at the age of fourteen. Not content with the prospect of working all his life at one machine for low wages, he attended night classes and attained his Higher National Certificate. That is the equivalent of a year of university combined with an intense load of practical knowledge. It enabled him to make that quantum leap from the plant floor to the drafting office. The onset of the Second World War in 1939 forced him to keep on working at Davidson’s, where they made

ventilators for ships, until he was out of his time and able to enlist in the RAF. That was the rule; apprentices had to become journeymen before enlisting. It was a means of keeping skilled labour at the benches where they were needed the most in those days. He became a flight engineer, or co-pilot, in Lancaster bombers, serving two tours over Germany, before volunteering for duty in the China, Burma, and India

Please see ‘Challenging’ on page 37

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■ Ventilation

Challenging retrofit Continued from page 35 theatre. It was during his spell in India and Ceylon that he got to know quite a few tea plantation owners. It was, therefore, no surprise when Davidson and Company made him sales manager for India and Ceylon in 1947.

Air conditioning on a commercial scale didn’t become popular or economically feasible until the 50’s. He returned to Belfast after a few years overseas and married my mother in 1951. I came on the scene in 1952, much to the delight of all concerned (or so I assume). In Belfast it is not uncommon for relatives to drop in, unannounced, on a Sunday afternoon. This happened far too often, just before dinner, so in 1953 they emigrated to Canada, the land of opportunity. Because he was a highly trained fan engineer, Dad soon found employment as an engineering sales representative with Canadian Sturtevant, the Sirocco fan distributor. American Standard later bought the company, but the product remained the same. When we went for Sunday afternoon drives, he would point out the buildings that he had helped to design. Remember, air conditioning on a commercial scale didn’t become popular or economically feasible until the 50’s. The industry was new. Those were exciting times. I still think of Dad whenever I drive by the former Imperial Oil headquarters or the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto.

apartment and into the house I now call home. Timing is everything!

Heavy lifting The Science Centre project was a tough go. For one thing, moving cooling and heating coils is not a oneman job. Coils, especially if they are 10 by four feet, are heavy, bulky items. Moving a coil around is like moving 800 lbs. of dead weight. Grunt work in the extreme. To make matters more complicated, we had to do 26 air handlers located throughout the Centre. Some were easily accessible in the mechanical space beneath the chiller room. Others were in tiny recesses in the basement of some of the zones, accessible only via stairwells. Getting the coils down there was a herculean job. And some were located atop towers, well away from any elevators or easy access points. For those, we rented a gas engine-powered roofer’s crane and hoisted them up the sides. It took two guys on ropes at ground level to keep the coils from slamming into the precast sides of the towers while they were being hoisted, and three men on top to demount them and move them in place. Some were multi-zone units and required dressing up of the control dampers along with coil replacement. Due to delivery constraints we were able to take the existing damper sections back to the shop, re-bush and true them. Those, along with the main air handlers in the basement had the biggest cooling and heating coils.

Getting the old ones out and the new ones in place was a job in itself. Chain falls are a blessing in such circumstances. Some of the air handlers had sprayed coil humidifiers. Those played havoc with the internals, especially the drip pans, which were completely rusted out, so we replaced every condensate drip pan in the units we handled. Those we fabricated out of 16-gauge galvanized sheet metal. I can’t say enough of the crew who worked on the job, done over a period from February to May of 2001. Much of it was done after hours as the Centre remained open to the public, so it was hard on friends and family. We had to get the cooling on for the summer season, and the guys did it. What I learned from it all was, if you have a crew of really bright, well trained people and a job at hand, all you have to do is tell them what has to be done and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. And I guess I owe a lot to tea! ✚

Mike McCartney is a mechanical engineer and a partner with Techaire Systems Canada in Brampton, Ont., as well as a partner in Aegis Engineering Ltd., Toronto. He can be reached at MMcceng77@aol.com.

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A showcase project The Science Centre, engineered by Gerry Granek, marked his career high point. He picked the fans for the various zones, sent his price in through the Bid Depository, and secured the order. Dad selected the fans and the cooling/heating coils. It was a major coup; his commission meant a new car, a stereo (new technology in 1962) a freezer and a membership to a frozen food club. With six kids to feed, it was a good option at the time! The years passed, I became an engineer in the same field, and it came to pass that through fate or coincidence I was approached by a colleague in 2001 to see if I would quote a rather unique and complicated job, the replacement of the same coils my Dad had specified for the Centre back when I was a kid. Well, we got the contract, did the work, and thanks to my father’s equipment having lasted 37 years and my commission for the job, I was able to move out of my


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■ Ventilation

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Adsorption and ejection By Greg Scrivener

This Mayekawa Adref adsorption machine was installed at the University of Japan in Tokyo.

n the last issue we talked about the basic absorption refrigeration cycle and the growing interest in using heat generated refrigeration cycles. Adsorption is similar to absorption in that it uses heat, but contrary to what a lot of people have been taught the similarity pretty much ends there. The adsorption cycle more closely resembles what happens in an enthalpy wheel than an absorber machine. There are two main “stages” in an adsorption cycle and these are illustrated in Fig. 1. In the cooling mode the refrigerant, typically water, evaporates and is drawn into the adsorber bed from the evaporator. The adsorber bed is made out of a solid desiccant material like silica


Fog. 1: The adsorption cycle has two main stages.


gel or a zeolite and the water attaches to the adsorber material in a similar way as it would to a desiccant drier in a standard refrigeration system. In an adsorption machine that uses water as the refrigerant, the machine operates in a vacuum in order to obtain evaporation temperatures suitable for air conditioning. Once the evaporation process is complete a valve between the evaporator and adsorber is closed. Heat is then driven through the adsorber, usually in the form of steam or hot water, in order to regenerate the desiccant by driving the water off of it. This process not only separates the water from the adsorber but it also raises the pressure in that part of the system. The refrigerant

then moves through a condenser where heat is removed and the refrigerant is condensed and finally back to the evaporator through an expansion device. As you can see, adsorption is a batch process; consequently adsorption machines often have multiple adsorber cells operating out of phase to provide a more uniform cooling effect. Just like every refrigeration cycle, there are parameters that greatly affect the performance of an adsorption cycle. The temperature of the heated fluid supplied to the adsorber has a very large impact on cycle efficiency because it determines how fast the water is driven from the adsorbent. Obviously, the faster the adsorbent can be regenerated, the more cooling cycles can be completed in a given amount of time. The temperature during regeneration also determines what pressure can be reached in the adsorber, which in turn limits the temperatures at which the refrigerant can condense. If, for example, a relatively low temperature fluid is supplied to the adsorber then a cooling tower or something similar would typically be required to bring the temperature low enough to condense the refrigerant Adsorption’s greatest strength when compared to other heat powered refrigeration alternatives is probably its ability to operate at relatively low input temperatures. Depending on the type of machine, it is possible to generate refrigeration with a heat input as low as 50°C. Although that is not a typical operating temperature, the fact that it’s possible gives adsorption a huge advantage when used with thermal solar collectors. Just like any system, there are dozens of different configurations – for example, adsorption machines can be single or double effect, they can use different refrigerants and different desiccants, and they can be combined with any other refrigeration cycle to increase its efficiency.

Ejection cycle refrigeration A lesser known type of refrigeration system that is driven by heat uses the ejection cycle. The ejection cycle is not as wellknown as either the absorption or adsorption cycle, but it will definitely play a role in the future of heat powered refrigeration. Figure 2 shows the ejection cycle. An ejection cycle is quite similar to a standard vapour compression cycle. The difference is that it uses a nozzle and hot gas as a compressor. We can begin looking at the cycle at the outlet of the ejector. Hot high pressure vapour leaves the ejector and goes through a condenser where it is condensed into high pressure liquid. The refrigerant flow is then split into two streams. One stream goes through an expansion device and evaporator to provide cooling effect to a space in the same way a compressor driven system would. The rest of the fluid is diverted to a liquid refrigerant pump. The highly pressurized liquid then flows through the generator where heat is added in order to evaporate the liquid and create high pressure vapour. This high pressure vapour enters the ejector nozzle and creates suction at the secondary inlet which is connected to the evaporator. The actual fluid mechanics that occur in the nozzle are extremely complicated. One analogy that resonates with

Please see ‘Complex’ on page 43

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC







■ Refrigeration

Complex fluid mechanics Continued from page 41

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Fig. 2: The ejection cycle is not well understood. people (although it is not entirely accurate) is that the nozzles operate in the same fashion a paint sprayer does using compressed air to entrain paint. The fact that the nozzles are difficult to design and don’t adapt that well to differing conditions is a disadvantage for the ejection cycle. However, if a proper nozzle can be designed, the ejection cycle tends to maintain a more constant coefficient of performance (COP) throughout its operating range than the other heat powered cycles. You recall that with the absorption cycle as the input temperature dropped the COP decreased rapidly to zero; a similar pattern occurs with adsorption. While the COP of the ejection cycle does decrease as the input temperature drops, it doesn’t drop as rapidly and it is able to maintain higher COPs throughout its operating range. This is important because many systems that use a form of heat recovery have widely varying temperatures available and even through it is difficult to design the nozzle correctly; it is possible to maintain a more constant cooling output which makes the design and sizing of the system much simpler. So far we’ve been through an extremely brief overview of the three most common types of heat powered refrigeration cycles. Each has their place and each is gaining


popularity as thermal solar collectors and heat recovery options become less expensive and more prevalent. These systems are beginning to show up in many different configurations throughout the air conditioning and refrigeration industry. In the next issue we’ll take a look at where they are used and what might be expected in the future. ✚

Greg Scrivener is project and design manager for Polar Refrigeration Service Ltd. in Saskatoon. He is a journeyman refrigeration mechanic, a licensed gas fitter, holds RSES CMS designation in commercial refrigeration and is a mechanical engineer in training. He can be reached at gscrivener@polarservices.ca.

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March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


Sheet Metal Venting OEM & Custom Manufacturing Solutions

Celebrating 40 years as a leading manufacturer of sheet metal and venting products. This year marks a significant milestone for Don Park, celebrating 40 years of manufacturing sheet metal and venting products for the residential and commercial HVAC market. With a renewed focus in service and product development, we will continue to introduce specialized sheet metal solutions to meet our customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; needs today and tomorrow.


■ Refrigeration Commercial heat pump Introduced at the AHR Expo in Chicago in January, the thirdgeneration in LG’s Multi V series uses next-generation variable refrigerant flow (VRF) technology to achieve an integrated energy efficiency ratio (IEER) of up to 21.8 in both heat pump and heat recovery modes. The Multi V III heat pump allows occupants to choose either to air-condition or heat all zones in use, while the heat recovery model allows for synchronous cooling and heating in different zones at the same time. Units are available from 6-36 tons and 208-230V or 460V. LG Electronics Canada u www.lg.com/ca

Universal replacement TX valve The Danfoss Universal TR6 thermostatic expansion valve is available in seven models that cover original equipment manufacturer (OEM) air-conditioner and heat pump designs in a wide range of applications, from 1.5 to six tons in R-22 and R-410A systems. All have 3/8” by 3/8” connections and come with Aeroquip and Chatleff fittings to easily install into almost any residential air conditioning system. Danfoss u www.danfoss.com

Wireless Network Pipe Video Inspection System The first and unique patented wireless network sewer/drain inspection camera system in the world is coming out!


Leak detection kit The Spectronics leak detection kit from Ontor Limited is designed to quickly find leaks in small to medium size air conditioning and refrigeration systems. It includes the company’s OPTIMAX Jr LED leak detection flashlight, EZ-50 EZ-Ject dye injector and cartridges; hose assembly with lowloss fitting; a purge fitting and dye cleaner. Ontor Ltd. u www.ontor.com

Please contact us for more information: Tel: 650 757 4786 & 905 604 6226 forbestusa@gmail.com

Sustainable Operations Products Zurn has a 100-year tradition of developing quality engineered products to meet the growing needs of water conservation, water safety, water control, and water comfort. The Zurn difference fills the void between a manufacturer that simply produces commercial plumbing products and one that is focused on system solutions. Zurn Engineered Water Solutions® provides a systems approach for the building owner and specifier that promotes value and performance to deliver sustained savings.

ZURN INDUSTRIES LIMITED 3544 NASHUA DRIVE, MISSISSAUGA, ONTARIO L4V 1L2 PHONE: 905/405-8272, FAX: 905/405-1292, www.zurn.com

Committed to you. Committed to the environment. www.plumbingandhvac.ca

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC






Up to 96% AFUE Efficiency 50,000 to 285,000 Btu/hr.

SHIELD™ WATER HEATERS Up to 96% AFUE Efficiency 150,000 to 500,000 Btu/hr.

ARMOR® WATER HEATERS Up to 98% Thermal Efficiency 150,000 to 800,000 Btu/hr.


Up to 99% Thermal Efficiency 1.5 to 3.5 Million Btu/hr.


Up to 98% Thermal Efficiency 1.0 to 1.5 Million Btu/hr.


Up to 94.6% Thermal Efficiency 399,000 to 800,000 Btu/hr.

For over a quarter century, a Lochinvar goal has been giving you peace of mind… total confidence in the reliability of our products. A Lochinvar specialty has been continually giving you more advanced controls for more sophisticated building automation systems. And the Lochinvar promise has always been new technologies to give you higher and higher energy efficiencies, keeping your energy costs lower and lower. And now comes the first Lochinvar Solar Thermal System, continuing the evolution of a leader, always giving you more.

Scan this QR Code now to see The New Crest® Boiler in Action! Need the app? Go to getscanlife.com from your mobile device.

3 0 0 M a d d o x S i m p s o n P a r k w a y, L e b a n o n, T N 3 7 0 9 0




w w w .Lochinvar.com

■ Plumbing



World Plumbing Day a good time to reflect on the hazards of plumbing By Mark P. Evans


s part of my World Plumbing Day celebration this year on March 11, I will brag about my home and native land because O Canada I stand on guard for thee. My true north strong and free boasts a wealth of fresh water that a lifetime of canoeing could hardly explore even a fraction of. We are a water blessed nation on the only rock in the entire universe possessing this essence of life and it is entrusted to the plumbers’ capable hands. As the son of a Second World War veteran and master plumber, I feel a sense of true patriot love and am duty bound to keep my homeland glorious and free. My efforts for the cause are best directed towards keeping Canada glorious but it’s not going to be free, I’m afraid. A fair days’ work for a fair days’ pay is all this humble tradesman asks.

Working in a sewage pit is not for the faint hearted. (Photo by Robert Szachury, Turbo Plumbing)

I call upon all Canadian “sanitary engineers” nationwide to acknowledge and promote awareness of World Plumbing Day this March 11; we need your support.

Job site safety On a more serious note, World Plumbing Day is an opportunity to report some very serious safety concerns. The most resent data from the Ontario Workplace Safety Insurance Board (OWSIB) shows the disturbing trend of plumbing to be the most dangerous trade in the province. Over a ten-year period from 2001 to 2010, 112 plumbers died on the job, nearly as many as in the next two licensed trades combined. The statistics for nonfatal occupational disease also show the Ontario

See “Sober” on page 49

ENGINEER ING & MANUFACTUR ING EXCELLENCE Stiebel Eltron has been at the forefront of water heating technology for almost 90 years. If we make it, it is the best. If we don’t make it, we work with the company who does make the best. As a leader in the field, we never stand still.

Renewable Energy Products Solar Thermal Accelera® 300

Residential and Commercial Systems True Heat Pump Water Heating Technology

Energy Saving Products Tankless Electric 99% Efficient Water Heaters for Solar DHW Backup, Residential Whole House, and Commercial Point-of-Use Space Heating Wall Mounted Heaters HydroShark® Radiant Floor Heating Systems

SOL 27 Premium Collector Top 10 SRCC Clear Day C/Day ratings for glazed flat plate Tempra® Plus Tankless Advanced Flow Control™ for constant water temperature output Thermal Protection with Reset Solid Copper Heating Coils Accelera® 300 Heat Pump Water Heater Designed from the start as a heat pump. #1 in Energy Star Class





Simply the Best

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


Don’t got it? Don’t sweat it. That’s our job. *1  ÊUÊ6 ÊUÊ9 ,"  -ÊUÊ 1-/,Ê Why do so many contractors bring their business to Noble? It’s more than just our incredible selection of leading brands and over 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space. It’s more than just our growing branch network, 50+ so far, and our expanding `iˆÛiÀÞÊÃiÀۈVi°Ê̽ÃÊiÛi˜Ê“œÀiÊ̅>˜ÊœÕÀʙn¯ÊwÊÀ>Ìi°Ê ÕÃ̜“iÀÃÊV…œœÃiÊÕÃÊLiV>ÕÃiÊ̅iÞʎ˜œÜo Noble will do what it takes – whatever it takes – to get our customers the parts, equipment and supplies they need. That’s the Noble difference.


■ Pipes, Valves & Fittings

Sober thoughts on World Plumbing Day Continued from page 47

philosophy. It is unreasonable to expect that the labour to create, operate, maintain or repair systems that require such extensive knowledge should be conducted at a mass production pace. That expectation is there however and the OWSIB data proves that the mechanical craftsmen that make our buildings live and breath need better protection to complete their work safely. Protection in the form of higher cultural status in society is an important first step. Acknowledging how specialised this work is and making adequate provisions for the safe execution of it will create a safer atmosphere for the few who practice the noble trade. More time must be provided as the difficulty of the activity increases and enough space must be permitted for the plumber to manoeuvre safely while performing these activities. In every endeavour, adequate lighting, fresh air, first aid, fall arrest and confined space issues must be addressed to protect this specialist.

plumber suffering the most over the same period. Some people choose a career that warrants danger pay and full honour funerals; ours is not one of them. I suggest that our fallen comrades be revered as the public health professionals that they were. Veterans of the battle against disease, killed in the line of duty.

Too often the fundamental complexity of a plumbers’ work in a hostile environment is not understood. It’s a dangerous job that requires a skilled technician’s full attention. Too often the fundamental complexity of a plumbers’ work in a hostile environment is not understood.

reminded of the tools’ grim function. Jobsite hazards are innumerable. I once rode a flight of stairs to the basement when it broke free from its mount and crashed to the ground below. It had been nailed through the particle board stringer at the top and propped up at the base to allow for the concrete floor to be poured. The angle of this temporary installation also allowed rain to collect on the top step and the particle board swelled, weakened then gave way taking me down for a ride I’ll never forget. Luckily, I sustained no serious injury and roughed in two townhouse undergrounds that day, but I had to pick up those runaway stairs and use them to climb out of the basement. The Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) is useful for the known substances we work with but seriously, a list of the dangers a plumber should expect to encounter could simply read – everything. So here’s a World Plumbing Day shout-out to my Canadian plumbing brothers and sisters and to all of our associates across the planet. You are the light at the end of the tunnel. Shine on! ✚

Danger everywhere

Mark P. Evans is a licensed plumber in Waterloo, Ont. He can be reached at mark.evans@live.ca

Danger is everywhere and in everything he does ...the tools, the jobsite and the materials. The hazards faced when operating tools designed to cut, gouge and melt become normal, but as soon as he lets his guard down, the operator is quickly and painfully

A broad knowledge A plumber must be knowledgeable in areas of engineering, physics, metallurgy, chemistry, biology and

Elkay’s EZH20™ provides a rapid fill of filtered water to quench thirst and reduce plastic bottle waste in the environment! Ideal for education, fitness clubs, healthcare facilities, and hospitality. Available as a Wall Mount, In-Wall or Surface Mount application.

Surface Mount (EZWSSM)

Wall Mount (LZS8WSLK) Single EZH20™ Complete water cooler. Also available as a retrofit kit (LZWSRK). See image at right.

Elkay SwirlFlo®

Elkay Soft Sides®

Installs directly on the wall with robust hanging bracket for applications with limited wall depth.

In-Wall (LZWSM8K) LZWSRK Retrofit kit (LZWSRK) which attaches to most 115V existing Elkay EZ pushbar activated coolers (not shown).

Designed as a stand-alone unit or to be paired with an Elkay SwirlFlo® or Soft Sides® architectural fountain.

A GREEN Solution. No more paper cup waste. No more expensive bottle service. No more floor-standing point-of use coolers. Exclusive Canadian Distributor of Elkay Water Coolers, Drinking Fountains and Bottle Filling Stations 2978 Southorn Rd, PO Box 189, Coldwater, ON L0K 1E0 | Tel: 1-800-661-1795 | Fax: 1-800-361-2176 | www.novanni.ca


March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


has moved to:

1608 Bonhill Road, Mississauga, On, L5T 1C7 VRF Systems Chillers, Heat Pumps and Fan Coils

Mitsubishi Electric Ducted “Hyper Heat” Heat Pumps

Energy Recovery Ventilators

Gas Fired Combi Boiler & Water Heater Water Cooled A/Cs & Heat Pumps

Wall Mounted A/Cs & Heat Pumps

Heating & Cooling

Our main contact details will remain the same: Tel: 905-564-2221 / 1-800-567-2221 Fax: 905-564-2205 Email: info@mitsair.com www.mitsair.com www.aermec.ca www.aermec.us

■ Pipes, Valves & Fittings Residential recirculation system

Product Profile

The Desert Spring D’MAND hot water recirculation system from Ontor Limited is designed to reduce hot water delivery times in the home in an energy-efficient manner. It is uniquely compatible with tankless DHW units, reports the manufacturer. Benefits include reducing hot water wait times to a couple of seconds. Ontor Limited u www.ontor.com

Engineered grey water system Watts Water Technologies Co., Burlington, Ont. has introduced its BRAE configurable Rainwater Harvesting Systems for commercial, institutional and residential applications. Designed to reduce water consumption by up to 65 percent, harvested water can be used for process applications, toilet flushing, fire suppression, landscape irrigation and other things. BRAE commercial and institutional systems offer storage capacities of 200 to over two million gallons, and manage the filtration, storage, distribution and treatment functions typical to rainwater systems. Above and belowground residential systems store between 225

Black pipe press connect Viega unveiled its MegaPress and MegaPress G systems for installing schedule 5 - schedule 40 black steel pipe in sizes 1/2” to 2” at the AHR Expo in January. The cold press mechanical

A greywater system can result in substantial water savings and boost a building’s LEED rating. and 3,000 gallons of rainwater to meet a range of home applications. The company also helps customers to interface rainwater systems with building management systems and develop tools to showcase their investment and provide education about their system. Watts/BRAE Div. u www.braewater.ca

Expansion fittings added

joining system is designed for hydronic heat, chilled water, compressed air, fire sprinkler systems, low pressure steam and vacuum lines. The “G” version is designed for use in fuel oil and natural gas applications. Over 200 fittings are available ranging in sizes from 1/2” to two inches. Viega u www.viega.com

Dahl offers a new line of mini-ball valves with the ASTM F1960 cold expansion connections for PEX-A pipe. Spanning across all Dahl’s mini-ball valve product lines, the new connections work with both potable water and radiant heating applications in 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8” and 3/4” nominal tube sizes. Dahl u www.dahlvalve.com

Install a complete comp bathroom anywhere you need! ¾” discharge pipe

Basements, Apartment units, Offices, Restaurants… Bas

Can also be concealed behind the wall!

Two easy-to-open service panels for easy access to internal components Pre-assembled unit with three inlets for a sink, toilet and bathtub/shower Pumping distance of up to 15’ vertically or 150’ horizontally 2-year warranty

Booth 712 Toilet seat not supplied

Scan this tag to see how this product works

The original plumbing solution since 1958




March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC








Competitor 1

Competitor 2

■ Tools & Instruments Big jetter, no trailer

Low cost data loggers

The newly redesigned JM-3080 gas-powered Jet-Set water jet drain cleaning machine from General Pipe Cleaners is mounted on a hefty tubular frame with four pneumatic tires and a wheel brake. It generates 3000 psi at 8 gpm to quickly clear stubborn grease stoppages as well as sand, sludge and ice. It is powered by a 20 hp Honda engine with electric start and features a removable 300 ft. hose reel and 12-gallon buffer tank. General’s Vibra-pulse technology helps the hose slide easily down long runs and around tight bends. General Pipe Cleaners u www.drainbrain.com

General Tools has added a new family of USB humidity/temperature data loggers that make unattended monitoring of HVAC/R installations relatively easy and inexpensive. The mid-range HT20 features an LCD readout that shows real-time temperature and humidity and indicates the instrument’s working status. The HT50 also includes an integral IR thermometer for spot-checking surface temperatures, while the HT10 relies on two LEDs to indicate working status. Each can record up to 8,000 pairs of ambient temperature and relative humidity (RH) readings over a period of days, weeks or months. General Tools & Inst. u www.generaltools.com

Micro inspection camera

Milwaukee has expanded its rotary hammer line with the new 1-9/16” SDS Max and Spline Rotary Hammers. A powerful 10.5 Amp motor provides 5.5 ft-lbs of impact energy. They feature two-mode operation (rotary hammer/hammer only) and a mechanical clutch to help protect the tool when the bit binds. Milwaukee’s Constant Power Technology (CPT) delivers consistent performance. Milwaukee Tool Co. u www.milwaukeetool.com.

The new Ridgid Micro CA-300 handheld inspection camera records still images and videos, and integrates audio with a built-in microphone and speaker. User-adjustable image rotation and digital zoom get the perfect view. The anodized aluminum camera head has four bright LED lights. The unit is powered by a 3.7V lithium ion battery or can be plugged into a wall socket. The user can inspect as long as 100 feet with the Ridgid MicroReel. RIDGID u www.ridgid.com

Residential combustion analyzer The BTU900-NOx from E-Instruments is designed for residential boiler and burner setups. Features include field replaceable sensors, CO sensor (0-8,000 ppm), NO/NOx sensor (0-4,000 ppm), and memory along with built-in manometer, thermometer and CO leak detector. E-Instruments u www.E-Inst.com

Water heaters built by Canadians for Canadians! Canadia www.plumbingandhvac.ca

A family business

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


Big rotary hammer


Stainless steel down-fired Fire Tube design Nine models from 60,000 to 399,000 BTU/Hr Full modulation up to 5:1 turndown Advanced Sola Controller and Interface 96% AFUE efficiency


■ Trucks for the Trade

“Transportational oneness?”

Adding a temporary bench seat(s) produces an elegant(??!) multi-passenger coach for a concert or casino road trip. Other adventures have included a mattress and a campfire by the lake with minimal aggravation switching from construction vehicle to weekend R.V. I have re-discovered how much fun camping can be with my groovy new Love Machine.

Or how our intrepid plumbing columnist uses his van for other stuff on the weekend By Mark P. Evans ’ve never heard a tradesman complain that his shop was too big or that there was too much storage space. Likewise, there’s little chance of over-hearing them gripe: “My work bench is too large and uncluttered” or...“it’s just too darn easy to find things in my work-truck.” No. These words are never spoken. The exact opposites are often heard though ...even at great distances, especially the one about the truck. Indeed, I learned most of my offensive language skills by listening to other technicians root around in their jumbled vehicles on various job sites. If you can’t find it, you don’t have it my friend. Even the most colourful language won’t help if the van is packed like a bowl of noodles! I was once a slave to an overloaded work truck too, but I took control and changed my cluttered ways. Rejoice, there is a solution. To succeed, one must first look deep inside and achieve “transportational oneness.” By deep inside, I mean all the way to the back of those aggravating little cubby holes and get that junk out of there. All of it ...including the cubby holes themselves and the shelves that harbour them. They are nothing more than a stinky, bulky, false sense of security. It’s true, they were always there for me, but that’s only because I had to carry them everywhere I went. I tossed that dead weight out of my van for good and I did it for ME.


Effective contracting With careful planning, my new method has proven very effective for efficient contracting as well. Each container, coloured according to its application, includes a

maintenance and repair. With the permanent shelving removed, supplies stored in large plastic tote bins and ex-military boxes are easily transferred from the cargo area of the truck.

Please see ‘Careful’ on page 57

Get Cookin’ with a complete system of Radiant Heating Tools from Malco.

Fast, Easy, One Handed, One Stroke

Stapling Power! Now one stapler efficiently secures PEX Tubing to either a wooden sub-floor base, or a base of foamboard, faster than any other layout method! Operating from a comfortable standing position, the PWS1 employs fast one-handed stapling in a single stroke.


Designed with a lightweight, one-piece polymer slide for easy loading and deploying strips of 25 exclusive Wood or Foamboard staples.

Exclusive Staple Designs

Scan with Smart Phone to see video

No. PWS2 Pex to Wood Staples • No. PWS2 secures 3/8, 1/2, 5/8-in (9.5, 12.7 or 15.9 mm) PEX layouts to a 3/4-in (19.1 mm) wooden sub-floor. • No. PWSK1 is available for converting your existing No. FBS / FBSN stapler to work with PWS2 staples in wood sub-floor.

No. FBSN1 / FBSN2 Foamboard Staples

Even the most colourful language won’t help if the van is packed like a bowl of noodles!

No. PWS2 1-1/16” (27 mm)



• Staples are compatible with most brands of Foamboard stapling systems. • Use No. FBSN1 1-1/2-in (38.1 mm) staples for 3/8, 1/2, 5/8” (9.5, 12.7 or 15.9 mm) PEX to 1” (25.4 mm) foamboard. • Use No. FBSN2 2-1/2-in (63.5 mm) staples for 3/8, 1/2, 5/8” (9.5, 12.7 or 15.99 mm)) PEXX to 2” 2 (50.8 ( 8 mm)) foamboard.

1-1/2” (38.1 mm) 2-1/2” (63.5 mm)

PEX Tubing Uncoiler

PEX to Wire Tool

The ultimate organizational tool for taming large rolls of PEX Tubing.

The lowest cost per connection tiion for laying out a PEX in-floor rradiant a ia ad ant heating system on a wire grid! id!

Accommodates all types of PEX tubing: 1000 ft. (305 m) of 3/8” to 1/2” (9.5 to 12.7 mm) 500 ft. (152 m) of 5/8” to ” (15.9 to 25.4 mm)

Go ahead, call me “shelf-less”... I regret nothing. It has been an uplifting experience and some even ask if I’ve had work done on my rear end. I’ll never tell.

Fast Set-Up, Easy Loading and Dispensing.

Fully operational My three-quarter ton van is now a fully operational plumbing/heating vehicle with no strings attached. Most of the time it is employed in that function, but there is no longer a full-time commitment to that activity exclusively. With a few minutes unloading time, I have a creative space on wheels limited only by my imagination. I can access all interior space with a hose for a quick wash-down and the open concept allows for easier


Visit us at CMX CIPHEX March 22-24, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario Booth #1512

Trouble FREE tool operation and secure clip connecton. on. Easy-loading magazine with 25 clip capacity won’t slow down. low o you down wn. 12-gauge (2.5 mm) clips will not jam, break or damage g PEX. ge Clip connection allows some PEX movement to avoid abrasio abrasion. sion.

For use on all on ons PEX to wire applications and all brands of PEX tubing from 3/8” (10 mm) to 5/8” (16 mm) No. PC1diameters. 25 Non-Jamming Mag. Clips

See a video demonstration of the PEX Uncoiler, PEX to Wire Tool and Original Foamboard Stapler.

Malco Products, Inc. | Annandale, Minnesota, U.S.A. | www.malcotools.com | ©2012

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


Our Promise to You... Quality and reliable, Canadian-made water heaters supported by First Call, Final Resolution Service. Improved product warranty Online product support Regional technical support specialists ENERGY STAR速 qualified and high-efficiency water heaters available Superior sales experts, product knowledge and responsiveness



■ Trucks for the Trade

Ready for work, Evans packs in only what he needs for that day’s jobs.

Ready for the weekend, the van can be used for all kinds of recreational activities.

Careful planning Continued from page 55 reasonable supply of backup material in the event that more is needed to compensate for unforeseen circumstances. Ideally all materials are delivered to site and installed immediately, not carried from place to place or left gathering dust. I remember finding an ancient waste and overflow tucked in one of those aforementioned cubbies and I bet it had as many miles under its belt as I did. I figure that if I go to a bathtub installation and don’t bring a W+O with me, I have to pay more attention to the “careful planning” portion of my day. Inevitably, there will come a time when all the planning and shelving in the world won’t prevent a trip to the supplier. At least now I don’t have to drag all those shelves and ever-present materials


around while making the trip. An occasional visit at the wholesalers or hardware store is actually a welcome distraction to break up the day and remind us that there is a human element to the parts supply sector of our trade. My local counter people have saved my ass more than once and they rarely get acknowledged for all their hard work...Thank-you. However, as nice as it is to see them and my fellow tradesmen on occasion ...the more I run, the less I get done. It is my quest to strike the perfect balance between enough and too much on-board equipment – a mobile mechanical Utopia if you will. The late great comedian George Carlin wondered if we have so much stuff because we have a place to put it or ...do we need a big place because we have so much stuff. That is the eternal paradox of our profession. ✚

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC



Why is AquaRise a Contractor’s Best Friend?

File # 186 Police Station

Ask Richard Grenier with Ingémel Experts Conseils “AquaRise is faster to install than copper piping, and I am confident that it will last for a longer time. We have been using the product for about two or three years, and we believe it is the better choice for our customers.”

integratedaRsystisem lly u f a rs ffe o AquaRisefittings and va lves. Aqu s foer of pipe, ment and primer a llow solvent ce assembly. fast, easy ®


For the full case study story visit www.ipexinc.com/aquarise

Non-Metallic Potable Water Systems for Commercial & High-Rise Construction The colour of the AquaRise® pipes and fittings is a trade-mark of IPEX Branding Inc.

AquaRise® is a trade-mark of IPEX Branding Inc.

Call 1-866-473-9462 or visit www.ipexinc.com/aquarise

■ E-Business New American Standard site American Standard Brands has upgraded its Canadian website to make it easier to use and to offer a dramatically wider range of knowledge and advice for professional trades. The new site at www.americanstandard.ca is packed with visuals and timesaving selection tools. A “For the Pros” tab brings together pages of news, advice, specifications, discussion and learning opportunities of interest to contractors, builders, wholesalers and engineers. This includes spec sheets, installation notes, CAD drawings and repair part descriptions. American Standard u www.americanstandard.ca

Uponor on Autodesk Uponor products for the radiant, plumbing and fire sprinkler industries are now available in Autodesk Seek, an online source for product specifications and building information modeling (BIM). By searching ‘Uponor’ in Autodesk Seek, designers can gain access to information on more than 70 Uponor parts for use in Revit, AutoCAD, 3ds Max, Maya and other CAD applications. The com-

prehensive Uponor offering includes various engineered plastic (EP) fittings and multi-ports, lead-free brass fittings, valves, manifolds and other accessories. Uponor u www.uponor.ca

hauled with captions added for each picture, which can be downloaded to the user’s computer. Reed Manufacturing Co. u www.reedmfgco.com

Water, wastewater on the web

The Prussians are coming!

Water and wastewater equipment manufacturer SJERhombus has unveiled a redesigned website at www.sjerhombus.com. It allows the user to access information through market segments such as sump, effluent and sewage (SES) controls for municipal, commercial, industrial and agricultural applications. The new site provides easier navigation and enhanced functionality from the home page by offering clearly defined drop-down menus to access in-depth product specifications. SJE-Rhombus u www.sjerhombus.com

Maxwell Systems, headquartered in beautiful King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, is making special efforts to tailor its commercial business management software such as its new ProContractorMX, version 2.8, to the unique payroll, tax and other business management requirements faced by Canadian contractors. The company has been involved in the Canadian market for more than a decade. Maxwell Systems u www.maxwellsystems.com

Tool manufacturer updates site Reed Manufacturing has given its website at www.reedmfgco.com a facelift with enhanced product pages featuring easy navigation to find operator’s manuals, parts, accessories, and related products. The photo library has been over-

Knowledge is Power. Not every valve is a problem-solver, but the Belimo Energy Valve™ is. When water coils do not operate efficiently, energy intensive components like chillers, boilers and system pumps consume more energy than they should. Unfortunately, most owners do not know when coils are operating inefficiently or the impact this has on system wide efficiency. The Energy Valve not only keeps owners and/or operators informed on coil performance, it has the Belimo Delta T Manager™ built-in that helps operators analyze and fine tune performance under any and all conditions. The valve communicates directly with the Building Automation System (BAS) system so operators can continuously:

> Learm more www.energyvalve.com

 ANALYZE the installed power efficiency of each and every coil.  DOCUMENT and create history reports on coil performance.  OPTIMIZE performance using advanced algorithms. At the same time, the Energy Valve provides the same reliable, automatic, pressure independent flow control for which Belimo is famous! (US/LATIN AMERICA and the CARIBBEAN) 800.543.9038 www.belimo.us (CANADA) 866-805-7089 www.belimo.ca PlumbingHtg_EnergyValveResized.indd 1


2/29/2012 9:29:59 AM

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


Look at tankless hot water in a


Now the ultra-high efficiency (up to 97% thermal efficiency) of a Rinnai Tankless Water Heater can be teamed up with our high-velocity hydronic furnace, to deliver total home heat as well. Designed to work with standard or high-velocity ducts, this matched system makes an excellent choice for either retro-fitting to standard ducting or new home construction, where builders can take advantage of 3” mini ducting, for really economical installations. No extra bulkheads are necessary because the small duct work fits into standard wall and floor cavities. Installation is simple, with the tankless water heater requiring only one concentric vent to the outside, while the hydronic furnace needs none at all. Both are super compact and can be fitted virtually anywhere space is an issue – together or apart! An ECM programmable brushless DC motor allows for constant circulation of the air, reducing humidity levels and lowering the thermostat setting – while costing little to run.


For more information and to learn how you can gain a competitive advantage, call 1-888-571-2627 or visit www.redmondwilliams.com.

X See us at CM 4 M a r c h 2 2 -2



Redmond/Williams Distributing, 5605 Timberlea Blvd., Mississauga, ON L4W 2S4

■ How Things are Made Manufacturing engineer Trent Boehner explains how each air conditioner is tested in these computerized run test stations.

Bringing it home York finds efficiencies, quality improvement, by consolidating manufacturing By Simon Blake ive years ago Johnson Controls bought York HVACR. In early November they invited the media to tour their enormous plant in Wichita, Kansas. For York it was an opportunity to show the changes that have been made since 2006 and to reassure their customers that their products are entirely made in North America. For the media, it was a rare opportunity to see how today’s heating and air conditioning equipment is made in a state-of-the art manufacturing facility. The plant consists of 1.3 million square feet split among 20 buildings on 60 acres. There are approximately 1,100 employees. Within its walls all York, Coleman and Luxaire residential heating and air conditioning products are manufactured.


Workers assemble air conditioning coils.

A long history Johnson Controls was incorporated in 1885 after Warren Johnson developed the first electronic thermostat in 1883. It has grown rapidly in recent years, from an $18billion company in 2001 to a $44 billion company in 2011. In 2005 it acquired York, which also has a long history, having been founded in 1874 in York, Pennsylvania as a manufacturer of appliances, HVAC

equipment and ice making machines. “There’s been a lot of trickle down from Johnson Controls,” remarked Steve Hoffins, senior brand manager, unitary products, York Building Efficiency. For example, Johnson Controls also manufactures seat belts for the automotive industry. The allowable failure rate is zero, so the quality control process is intense. The company has expended considerable effort to bring the same quality control practices and standards to its HVAC/R equipment. In 2009 it instituted a new quality control program that involves multiple checks beginning at the raw material stage and continuing right through manufacturing and testing. The result has been a 36 percent reduction in warranty claims year over year, reported Hoffins.

Manufacturing consolidated Bryan Rocky explains the company’s lab testing process for furnaces.


Another key initiative was to bring all manufacturing processes to the Wichita site. Raw steel and copper comes in one end of the plant and finished products are shipped from another.

“Everything for residential products is made here,” remarked Bryan Rocky, director, residential product manager. “It’s easier to get people working as a team if everyone is one site.” Not only does this include manufacturing, but also engineering, sales and distribution. The A-coil plant was brought back from Mexico and residential package products were moved from the Norman, Oklahoma plant, which now focuses on commercial products. Production lines were upgraded or replaced. A new “techno line” – based on manufacturing principles developed in the company’s automotive division – produces 900 air conditioning units every day, reported manufacturing engineer Trent Boehner. And there’s a lot more capacity, he added. All products are tested as they are built using computerized run test stations. If there’s a problem in the field, the serial number will provide every detail about that machine – when it was built, who built it, which components went into it, etc.

Please see ‘Testing’ on page 63

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


■ How Things are Made

Testing expanded Continued from page 61 Every day the quality control department for each assembly line pulls four machines off the line and takes them apart, checking for any problems. Even things that don’t affect performance, like a crooked label, are noted and fixed.

“We’re trying to make them fail. Some of these have been running for four years. We didn’t do this to this extent until 2006,” noted Rocky. The company had tested its aluminized tube heat exchanger though 950,000 cycles and counting at the time of P&HVAC’s visit. “When we hit our millionth cycle with the aluminized tube, that’s going to be an event,” remarked Rocky. Venting goes through similar testing. Noise levels are tested in a high tech sound room.

Keeping it in stock One of the other key challenges that Johnson Controls wanted to address was to ensure that when a contractor

needed a unit he would be able to get it promptly. “We have to have what they need when they need it,” remarked Tim Keith, plant operations manager. Finished heating and air conditioning units are stockpiled in the company’s cavernous 220,000 sq. ft. warehouse. Every stack and every unit has a barcode. Every forklift has a scanner. Products are classified and located in the warehouse depending on how quickly they move. The past 30 years have seen North American manufacturing fragmented and shipped all over the globe. However, today companies like Johnson Controls have found that keeping everything under one roof creates a considerable improvement in manufacturing efficiency, quality control and logistics. ✚

Sharing with employees A big part of the process has been to have employees take ownership of their work. York has focused on sharing more information with them. Regular meetings help employees understand how the company is doing and where it’s going. But it’s a two-way street. Many improvements in manufacturing processes come from employees. Employees are trained in multiple manufacturing tasks and rotate to a different job every two hours to avoid repetitive strain injuries, not to mention boredom. They also learn to troubleshoot and fix problems as they arise.

We’re trying to make them fail. Some of these have been running for four years. The production of heating and air conditioning equipment used to run in cycles, where the company would be busy ramping up for air conditioning season and then have to lay off employees when production slowed. As a result, the company was constantly training new people. Five years ago there were 12 air conditioning production lines during peak times. Today they can produce the same number of units from five lines, but with the same number of employees who now enjoy steady employment. And while state-of-the-art manufacturing machinery dominates, some tasks are still done by hand – such as feeding copper tubing into the fins for air conditioning coils. “There’s no machine that can do this,” remarked Rocky.

Research and development Research and development never stops. There are three new million-dollar test cells, each with indoor and outdoor controlled environments, to go with seven that already existed. The company has considerably expanded the range of things it tests for. Today it takes six weeks operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to do a full test on a heat pump. The CSA standard for testing furnaces requires 10,000 cycles. At York, furnaces are put through 200,000 cycles.


Join us as we celebrate $2.5 million raised by CIPH and HRAI members for Habitat for Humanity Canada

Gala Evening Featuring Martin Dubé

Wednesday March 21 2012 Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto, ON

Scan here to register or visit www.ciph.com

Internationally renowned impressionist

Martin Dubé

Join Martin as he takes you on a journey through his “Tribute to Broadway” “Tribute to Disco” “Name that Film” - interactive musical guessing game - and much more.

The Gala Evening is supported by HRAI members March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


■ People & Places The

People Bill Gray has been named president of Uponor North American, Apple Valley, Minnesota. He served as vice president for sales since June, 2011 and was previously general manager for Uponor Ltd. in Canada.

Rusty Jennings

Bill Gray

Chris Herbert

The Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) has recognized Peter McNab, GTA sales with Watts Water Technologies Inc., for 50 years in the industry. McNab has spent his entire career with Watts. Paul McDonald, left, and CIPH Ontario region president Dan Milroy, right, (both with Bradford White) made the presentation Feb. 9. Carrier Canada Ltd., Mississauga, Ont., has announced that Rusty Jennings, vice president, residential sales, will retire at the end of 2012 after 45


ADVERTISERS Arkema Canada Ltd...........................................9 Belimo .............................................................59 Bradford White................................................19 Brant Radiant...................................................25 Broan-Nutone Canada .....................................23 Canadian Hydronics Council ............................29 Carrier Canada .....................................4, 36, 69 Cash Acme ........................................................7 CIPH/Habitat....................................................63 CMX/CIPHEX 2012 ..........................................62 Dahl Bros.........................................................32 Delta Faucet ......................................................8 Don Park .........................................................44 Fantech ...........................................................15 Forbest ............................................................45 Fujitsu..............................................................42 General Pipe Cleaners......................................14 Giant Inc..........................................................53 Honeywell/Genetron Div. ................................20 HRAI....................................................13, 38, 57 Invensys ..........................................................39 IPEX.................................................................58 John Wood......................................................56 Lochinvar.........................................................46 Madok Mfg. ....................................................33 Malco ..............................................................55


Plumbing & HVAC – March 2012

years with the company. Jennings has also served in a number of volunteer positions with the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada including chairman and chairman of the Manufacturers Division. Rheem Canada, Brampton, Ont., has named Chris Herbert as Canadian HVAC sales manager and Ron Vanhevel as HVAC trainer and support technician. Zurn Industries, Ron Mississauga, Ont., Vanhevel announces the retirement of Doug

Douglas Dyer

Joe Drago

Tony Chami

for central and northern Ontario. Mits Airconditioning Inc. has moved to a new 42,000 sq. ft. facility at 1608 Bonhill Road in Mississauga, Ont. The company has hired a number of key individuals to support the expansion: Tony Chami is professional engineer

Tom Melanson

Joe Cocuzzoli

Sam Fitzjohn

and joined Mits two years ago. Tom Melanson is also an engineer and joined Mits recently, as did Joe Cocuzzoli. Sam Fitzjohn has joined Mits in the commercial sales department. Gerry Pohler has joined Mits as hydronic specialist. Russell Bazilev, Adelya Suleymanova and Saad Haroon have joined Mits and are responsible for sales of Aermec chillers, heat pumps and fan coils in Canada and the U.S.

Mark Barwood Bryon Keats

Dyer, product manager for Wilkins and Zurn Pex products. Mark Barwood will take on that role in addition to his existing role as business development manager. Bryon Keats has been named business development manager for western Canada and has relocated to Calgary. Bradford White Canada, Mississauga, Ont., has promoted Joe Drago to district sales manager responsible

Milwaukee Tool Co. .........................................52 Mits Air Conditioning ......................................50 Mitsubishi Electric ............................................30 Mobilio........................................................5, 67 Napoleon ........................................................18 Noble ..............................................................48 Novanni...........................................................49 NRG Equipment...............................................39 NTI ..................................................................54 Panasonic Canada ...........................................68 P&HVAC ..........................................................66 RaptorCutting Tools .........................................35 Ratech .............................................................37 Redmond-Williams ..........................................60 RIDGID ............................................................70 Rinnai ..............................................................40 Riobel ..............................................................34 Saniflo .............................................................51 Stiebel Eltron ...................................................47 Taco Canada......................................................2 Uponor Ltd. .......................................................1 Urecon ............................................................17 Broan-Nutone Canada .....................................23 Victaulic ..........................................................22 Viessmann .......................................................26 Watco Mfg. .....................................................43 Watts Industries ..............................................65 Woodford Mfg. ...............................................28 Zurn Industries.................................................45


Companies HTS HVAC Services, commercial HVAC manufacturers’ representative, has been named one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for 2011. The company was selected for its innovative marketing, commitment to excellence, high employee retention rate, ongoing professional development, active entrepreneurial spirit and the implementation of an employee share ownership plan. Victaulic Company of Canada, Richmond Hill, Ont., has opened a new Montreal branch at 5895 rue Kieran in Saint Laurent, Quebec. Call 514-337-3500.

Superior Radiant Products Ltd. (SRP), Stoney Creek, Ont., has launched a new U.S. company, Superior Radiant Products Inc., with headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia.

IN MEMORIAM Andy Russell Andy Russell, director of sales and marketing for Zurn Industries, Mississauga, Ont., died suddenly on Feb.19. He leaves wife Anne Marie (Mimi) and daughters Kimberly, Emily and Natalie. He will be greatly missed by friends, colleagues and family.


■ Coming Events

Atlantic show returns Industry will showcase latest technologies, practices at MEET 2012

Performance Guide/Residential Energy Efficiency Program.’ On Thursday at 11 a.m. representatives from Mitsubishi will explain how electric vehicles will have an impact on the industry. At 1:30 p.m., officials with Efficiency Nova Scotia will talk about energy efficiency programs in that province. And at 2:30 p.m., Newman will return with a presentation on ‘Green practices and ASHRAE Standards 90.1 and 62.1 – How to Have a Healthier, More Profitable Building with Better Mechanical/Electrical Design.’ The Skills Canada New Brunswick Competition will once again take place at MEET. Apprentices will compete for top honours in plumbing, electrical, refrigeration and air conditioning. Visit www.skillscanada.nb.ca for more information.

One of the most popular events at MEET is always the annual industry dinner. This year’s event features comedian John Sheehan. It will take place on May 2 at the Delta Beauséjour Hotel. Tickets are available by calling 1-888-454-7469. Some lucky visitor will go home with the MEET door prize, a $2,500 commercial accessory package for their van/truck donated by Action Car and Truck Accessories. The MEET Show is owned and sponsored by four associations: the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, ASHRAE N.B.-P.E.I. Chapter, the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and ElectroFederation Canada. For more information, visit www.meetshow.ca. ✚

12" Wide Trench Drain Just Got a Whole Lot Easier Cash Acme’s Rick Proulx, left, chats with contractors at the 2010 event. The 20th edition of the MEET (Mechanical Electrical Electronic Technology) Show will take place in Moncton, N.B. May 2-3. This year’s version of the biennial event is expected to attract exhibitors from all over Canada and the U.S., displaying the latest equipment available to the mechanical and electrical industries in 400 exhibit spaces at the Moncton Coliseum. The show will give tradesmen, engineers, contractors and other industry personnel an opportunity to talk directly to the manufacturers. Manufacturers will also display their most innovative products and compete for recognition in the MEET Innovation Awards. A number of free educational seminars are planned. Michigan-based engineer and author James Newman will talk about ‘Transforming an Older Facility into a High Performance Building’ on May 2 at 11 a.m. Also on Wednesday, at 2:30 p.m., there will be a presentation titled ‘Efficiency NB – New Commercial Building’s Core


Calendar MARCH 22-24: CMX-CIPHEX 2012, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Bldg. Call 1-800-282-0003, e-mail cmxciphex@salshow.com, or visit www.cmxciphexshow.com.

APRIL 27-29: Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS), McCormick Place, Chicago. Call 1-508-743-0528 or visit www.kbis.com.

MAY 2-3: MEET Show, Moncton Coliseum Complex, Moncton, N.B. Call 1-888-454-7469, e-maiil info@mpltd.ca, or visit www.meetshow.ca.


Introducing the New Dead Level DX 12" Trench Drain TM


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

A Watts Water Technologies Company

March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC



Turn left at the top of the escalator! Win the 3D TV plus: iPads, Gift Certificates, iPods, Blackberry

Playbooks, Contractor Kits, GPS Systems, Blue Ray Disc Players, Toronto Maple Leaf Tickets, Water Heaters, Air Miles, Tools, Jackets, Cash and more with the

Plumbing & HVAC Show Guide

Visit these exhibitors to win! A.O. Smith WPC Canada..........................................2023

Filbitron Marketing Corporation...............................339

Profab Industries ..............................................231/233

Action Trucks............................................................935

Forbest Products Co. ....................................................6

Raptor Cutting Tools Inc.. .......................................2322

Arkema Canada Inc. ...............................................1122

General Pipe Cleaners ...................................2413/2415

Redmond Williams Dist.....................1531 + 1535/1537

Belimo Americas...........................................2131/2133

Giant Factories Inc.........................................1118/1120

Reliance Worldwide Canada - Cash Acme...........836/838

Biddle Air Systems Ltd............................................2035

Honeywell .............................................................1123


Bosch Thermotechnology.........................................543

Invensys Controls ...................................................1636

Service Roundtable................................................2517

Bradford White Water Heaters................................1313

Ipex Inc. .......................................................2031/2033

Soler & Palau Canada ...................................1917/1919

Brant Radiant Heaters Ltd......................................2223

Lochinvar Corporation.......................................324/326

Stiebel Eltron.........................................................2642

Broan - Nutone Canada/Venmar Ventilation...........1331

Madok Manufacturing Ltd......................................1821

Taco (Canada) Ltd.....................................................305

Bryant Canada ..............................................2138/2140

Milwaukee Electric Tool.................................2317/2319

Technical Sales International.........................2318/2320

Carrier Canada .......................................................2139

Mitsubishi Electric Sales Canada Inc. ....1823/1825/1827

Uponor Ltd....................................................2000/2002

CSA International..........................................1234/1236

Modern Air Filters Corporation .................................344

Watco Mfg. ............................................................2108

Dahl Brothers Canada Ltd..............................1914/1916

Morden National Sales...........................................1625

Watts Water Technologies (Canada) Inc. ...................607

Don Park................................................................2421

Napoleon Heating & Cooling ..................................1136

Williams Furnace Co. ..............................................1421

Eden Energy Equipment ..............................2015/2017


Woodford Mfg........................................................2106

Empyre Furnaces & Boilers ................................231/233

NTI/NY Thermal........................................................725


Fairview Fittings & Mfg. Ltd......................................734

Panasonic Canada Inc..................2321/2323/2325/2327

Zurn Industries Limited..............................807/809/811

Fantech ...............................................1431/1433/1435

Plumbing & HVAC Magazine.............................N11/N12

■ Shop Management


Minimizing your exposure Putting systems in place to protect your business from fraud By Ron Coleman n part one of this article (Jan/Feb, 2012), I focused on the background of white collar fraud and specifically how to manage your bank account to minimize your exposure. I told one of my bookkeepers that I was writing this article and she told me that she was in the middle of doing a review for one of her clients, a dentist. The office person had been hiding cash sales for a period of five years before it came to light. The dentist has liability insurance that covered fraud so she won’t be out of pocket. However, the information that the police require to process a fraud claim is quite onerous. We are not talking about a huge amount of money here; it was about $8,000 a year. One of my contractors had cash sales that were not recorded properly. Cashbook receipts were issued when the customer requested them for cash sales. The cash was handed over to the accountant periodically with no controls. When I became aware of this I talked to my client and he also admitted that the accountant who managed their cash sales had a known gambling problem. The appropriate controls have since been put in place; is it safe to have an accountant who has a gambling addiction manage cash with no control mechanism? When I was the accountant for a company in South Africa I was reviewing the expense sheets of one of our engineers. According to the gasoline receipts he filled his car twice in one day. When I checked his history I discovered he was using about twice as much gas as he should have. When we confronted him he acknowledged he was also filling his wife’s car and charging it to the company. He was admonished, not fired, and it was



KMS per GPS Average L/100kms Expected litres Cost per litre Expected bill Expected Total fuel bill Actual fuel bill Discrepancy

Vehicle # 2 3 3,000.00 4,000.00 16.00 14.00 187.50 285.71 $1.25 $1.25 $234.38 $357.14

1 2,000.00 15.00 133.33 $1.25 $166.67 931.80

4 2,500.00 18.00 138.89 $1.25 $173.61

Fig.1: Monitoring fuel usage and costs will prevent fraud and help identify inefficient vehicles and lead-footed drivers.

never reported. I heard recently that he was subsequently fired for another type of fraud within the company. One of my clients uses a card lock system for gasoline purchase for his vehicles. Anytime the card is used outside business hours he makes sure that he reconciles that back to the vehicle’s GPS system. This helps avoid having personal vehicles filled up with company credit cards.

mount up. Are you monitoring the receipts each time the petty cash is reimbursed? Are you checking the cash that is supposed to be there actually is? Being vigilant sends out the message that you are in control. Being trusting and careless sends out the opposite message. Have a control system for cash sales. Ideally have it linked to your inventory system. Have the person who records the sale prepare a proper reconciliation which is

Small thefts add up Petty cash fraud is another small area that can really

Mobile Field Service

Please see ‘Small things’ on page 68

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mobilio March 2012 – Plumbing & HVAC


■ Shop Management

Small things add up Continued from page 67 signed off by a supervisor. If you use a cash register, make sure that it reconciles and that no one has a key to clear the till. Otherwise they might total up the receipts for the day, clear the memory in the till, pocket some money and rekey an amount to ensure the till balances

to the cash. Monitor fuel usage per vehicle. Use a GPS system to identify what the approximate usage should be and then reconcile this back to the invoices from the gas company. Doing the exercise in Fig. 1 from time to time will also help you control your costs and identify vehicles that are not cost effective.

Monitoring key areas There are numerous other areas where businesses lose money each year. Unless the company invests time and money in controlling the key areas they are going to suffer serious ongoing losses.

Panasonic and Sanyo Have Joined Forces Two companies with a shared commitment to customer service and environmental sustainability have joined forces. The good news for current Sanyo HVAC customers? You’ll still have access to the great products and support that have been Sanyo hallmarks for more than a quarter century. The even better news? You’ll now have the renowned strength of Panasonic product development, manufacturing and

Equipment and tools that are kept in storage and taken out for jobs need to be controlled. One option is using bar code systems that assign individuals who are responsible for them and for what jobs they are to be charged to. Not only will you have better control over your equipment and tools, you will likely bill out more too, making the system pay for itself. Hand tools: Employees should sign for hand tools and be held responsible for their use and for ensuring they are well maintained. Reward employees who do a good job. Paint all equipment and tools a bright colour that identifies them as belonging to your company. Alternatively, give employees a tool allowance and have them buy their own tools. Truck inventory: Manage your truck inventory by

Unless the company invests time and money in controlling the key areas they are going to suffer serious ongoing losses.

distribution behind you, as well as one of the largest selections of residential and commercial air conditioning products in the industry. The result, an unprecedented line-up of quiet, powerful and energy-efficient solutions. For more information please call 1-800-669-5165 or e-mail us at ductless@ca.panasonic.com

doing regular audits and checking of invoices to ensure that all parts that you would expect to see on a time and materials invoice are there. Again, a GPS system will help you determine where the truck is at all times. When trucks are in the wrong place there is a good chance your inventory is being used inappropriately. Invoicing: While this is not a “fraud” in the true sense it does cause companies to lose money. A survey done by Gearld Inch (Reliable Image Pricing Services) some years back on invoices issued to residential customers for HVAC service showed that parts invoices were often understated by up to 20 percent due to a lack of control. In these cases there was no intentional fraud by the employee, but if there was proper control the company would have picked up the list of items not billed to the job and this would also ensure that nothing was going out the back door. Putting controls in place and monitoring them needs to be part of every manager’s job. In many cases, the direct cost is more than covered by the savings. Did you ever put coloured water into a toilet cistern (that’s a few years old) and watch how the water in the toilet bowl changes colour? Do it and you will likely see that water is constantly trickling away. That’s what many of the small ongoing frauds are like. However, they can add up to a very significant amount over a period of time. ✚

Ronald Coleman is a Vancouverbased accountant, management consultant, author and educator specializing in the construction industry. He can be reached by e-mail at ronald@ronaldcoleman.ca.


Plumbing & HVAC – March 2012


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DOCUMENTED SUCCESS. The RIDGID micro CA-300 was developed with your success in mind. It allows you to get the perfect view behind walls, in pumps, near leaks, and around other hard to reach spaces. Easily document what you see with images, audio and video. Successful documentation today leads to successful jobs every day of the year. The CA-300 helps you work better, faster and smarter. See it. Find it. Solve it.

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Profile for Plumbing and HVAC

March 2012  

■ Government pulls plug on rebates, again ■ AHR Expo enjoys banner year ■ Plumbing most dangerous job - study ■ Workplace systems keep owner...

March 2012  

■ Government pulls plug on rebates, again ■ AHR Expo enjoys banner year ■ Plumbing most dangerous job - study ■ Workplace systems keep owner...