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Aquarium systems The ultimate mechanical challenge?
Inside N.B. heat pump market suffers growing pains Biomass standard in the works Major changes coming for DHW heaters The future of refrigerants as HFC phase-out looms
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Engineered Systems Issue
Departments Hot Seat .........................................5 Diminishing returns
Industry News ..............................7 Heat pump growing pains in N.B.
Letters ..........................................13 Cold weather and propane
People & Places ...........................43 Training centre awarded LEED gold
Shop Management .....................44 Building relationships and sales
Coming Events ............................46 Quebec show draws near
DHW tank changes coming New efﬁciency requirements will increase size and cost
Products & Technologies
Pipes, Valves & Fittings ...............17 Hot Water Heating ......................18 Ventilation ...................................26 Heating ........................................29 Refrigeration ...............................35 Faucets & Fixtures .......................39 Tools & Instruments ....................41
Sizing today’s boilers
Dealing with minimum load conditions
Cover: Mechanical systems for public aquariums are extremely complex. Please see our article on page 14. www.plumbingandhvac.ca
Balancing act Airﬂow versus ﬁltration in forced air furnaces
Flex versus rigid
Testing duct materials on the job site
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
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Q Hot Seat
March 2015 Volume 25, Number 2 ISSN 1919-0395
Publisher Mark Vreugdenhil (416) 614-5819 email@example.com
Diminishing returns In recent years the industry has made substantial progress in the energy efficiency of HVAC/R and plumbing equipment to the point where, today, every step is much more difﬁcult, more expensive and results in a smaller gain. At the same time, as important as energy efﬁciency and associated things like greenhouse gases and global warming may be, it seems that issues like public safety and protection of the consumer/homeowner from unreasonable costs are going by the wayside. In this issue we talk about the coming changes to storage type water heaters. Like so many appliances, water heaters have traditionally been a relatively low cost appliance that functions silently in the basement for years with little if any thought from the homeowner and virtually no maintenance. But that is going to change with the new efficiency requirements. Water heaters will become considerably more expensive and, because they require an electric ﬂue damper, will no longer function when the power goes out. That’s a problem. Today’s appliances are extremely safe in that they won’t catch ﬁre, they won’t explode and they won’t electrocute anyone. But, in order to meet new efﬁciency requirements, every HVAC/R and plumbing appliance relies more and more on having a stable reliable electricity supply. Unlike many of the older furnaces, boilers and water heaters, high efﬁciency equipment doesn’t function without electricity. This comes at a time when extreme weather along with aging over-burdened power grids result in wintertime power outages of days and even weeks in some parts of the country making this, in my mind, an extreme safety hazard.
Governments push energy efficiency standards relentlessly forward. They assume that manufacturers will always come up with a way to meet them – and so far they have. But as efﬁciency requirements get higher, it becomes more difﬁcult and more expensive, both for the manufacturer and the homeowner. The assumption is that as the technology matures it will become more reliable and the costs will come down. That would be true, except that efﬁciency requirements are changing so often that research and development engineers don’t have time to catch their breath. And then different jurisdictions introduce different requirements, which pushes up costs even further as manufacturers must create different products for each market. Energy efﬁciency requirements shouldn’t be created in a vacuum. Industry works with governments on these issues, but the governments set the agenda. There needs to be more input from consumers and building owners and, for some reason, it doesn’t seem to have dawned on those responsible for public safety that heating systems that don’t work if the power goes out are a serious safety issue. That needs to be addressed. Yes, reducing pollution and increasing energy efficiency is very important for the survival of this planet, but right now everyone needs to slow down, look at the big picture from all angles and develop a more reasonable plan going forward.
Editor Simon Blake (416) 614-5820 firstname.lastname@example.org Design and Production Tim Norton/Janet Popadiuk email@example.com Production Manager Lilianna Kantor (416) 614-5815 firstname.lastname@example.org 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) 614-2200 • 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 2015. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without the prior written permission of the Publisher.
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Q Industry News
Popular, perhaps too popular Heat pump market suffers growing pains in New Brunswick By Simon Blake
eat pumps, especially ductless mini-splits, have been selling like proverbial hotcakes in the Maritimes, so much so that they have skewed national HVAC sales figures upwards. The region’s share of the Canadian market has jumped from less than one percent to 18 percent in recent years, reports the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI). But while this high level of activity is a good thing for the industry, it doesn’t come without problems. New Brunswick contractors ﬁnd themselves battling unqualiﬁed installers and the DIY crowd for business. And if that’s not bad enough, now New Brunswick Power is looking at offering a rental program for heat pumps, similar to that offered for water heaters. Contractors and wholesalers alike worry that they could be shut out of the market if the electric utility goes with one brand of heat pump. They’d rather see no rental program at all. So, why the sudden move to heat pumps? Well, for one thing, the Maritime climate is ideally suited to heat pumps for heating and cooling. “The technology does lend itself to the climate and it’s really been a push by the utilities in general to raise awareness of them. In Nova Scotia, with every bill from the utility there’s an insert about heat pumps. They’ve (NS Power) been pushing hard to get everyone to install a heat pump,” reported Steve Wilson, co-chairman at Kerr Controls Ltd., Truro, N.S. They’ve been selling well in New Brunswick, P.E.I. and Newfoundland too, he added, Many houses were built with electric baseboards. With today’s electricity rates, it’s a costly way to heat that offers a poor level of comfort. Now that heat pumps are available that provide useful heat down to -25°C, many homeowners are converting, reported contactor Justin Beaulieu, CEO of Beaulieu Plumbing & Mechanical in Edmundston, N.B. The company, a Mitsubishi dealer, installed 300 mini-splits in 2014 in a region that is home to only 20,000 people.
Questionable installations However, the sudden popularity of heat pumps has caused problems for legitimate contractors. “Growth of the ductless heat pump market has attracted many unqualified people into the heat pump installation business and the absence of trade certification enforcement hurts legitimate contractors and suppliers,” remarked Martin Luymes, director of programs and relations for the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI). Heat pumps are supposed to be a controlled product sold through wholesale and installed by
qualiﬁed tradesmen, as with any other heating and air conditioning system. However, homeowners are ﬁnding ways to bypass the trade. “You can buy them on the internet; you can buy them through any number of channels,” reported Wilson. One U.S. wholesaler in Maine was offering delivery to Edmundston, which is just across the border, noted Beaulieu. These products are not certiﬁed for use in Canada and in some cases they do not have the cold weather features. Canadian contractors cannot install or service them without jeopardizing their Canadian dealership. “If you’re a homeowner you can buy direct
and try to put it in yourself,” noted Wilson. “It’s one of those products that looks easier than it is.” And then homeowners find that the manufacturer won’t honour the warranty because one of the conditions is that a qualified tradesman must install the unit, noted Bill Dixon, New Brunswick manager for the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCA-NB). As in many provinces, the government just doesn’t have the resources to enforce trade qualifications, added Luymes. Wilson suggested that utilities could
Please see ‘Heat’ on page 8
Wolseley Canada brought a group of Canadian contractors to the AHR Expo in Chicago. Here, they learn about the latest boilers from Weil McLain.
AHR Expo draws record crowd A record number of visitors came to see new products from a record number of exhibitors when North America’s largest trade show for the HVAC/R industry returned to Chicago in January. The AHR Expo drew 42,400 visitors to McCormick Place during its three-day run Jan. 26-28. With exhibitor staff, total attendance was 61,990. Over 2,100 companies exhibited products, including 592 from outside the U.S. Many of those were Canadian companies. ASHRAE, which organizes the AHR Expo, also held its Winter Conference Jan. 24-28 in Chicago with numerous technical sessions and 3,018 people attending, the second highest number in history and just slightly lower than the 2011 event in Las Vegas. The 2016 the AHR Expo will take place in Orlando, Florida Jan. 25-27 with the ASHRAE Winter Conference taking place there as well Jan. 23 - 27.
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
Q Industry News
Heat pump rental program proposed Continued from page 7 help. “They could say you can’t get ﬁnancing unless you use a certified contractor.” In Nova Scotia, NS Power promotes the importance of hiring a qualiﬁed contractor in its marketing, said Luymes.
Rental program feared Last fall New Brunswick Power put out a “request for expressions of interest” for the provision of a ductless heat pump rental program, similar to that offered for water heaters. They weren’t very clear on how the program would operate, reported Dixon. “In all fairness, they probably weren’t sure themselves as it looked like they were trying to do a bit of a market study. We reminded them of the big utility being unfair competition for the small contractor.” Both MCA-NB and HRAI have suggested to NB Power that a better program would offer incentives to buy a heat pump but leave it up to homeowners to select a contractor, similar to the program in Nova Scotia. Calls to NB Power for comment were not returned.
Plumbing & HVAC – March 2015
Luymes met with NB Power in December and was assured that no decisions had been made at that time. A subsequent meeting with New Brunswick HRAI members in Moncton resulted in HRAI being urged to advocate for a better solution than a rental program.
industry concerns loud and clear, reported Luymes. At the same time, Thomas stressed that NB Power is fully committed to promoting the beneﬁts of heat pumps and wanted to ﬁnd the best ways to ensure that New Brunswick home and building owners get the right
You can buy them on the internet; you can buy them through any number of channels. On March 3, Luymes along with local HRAI Contractors Division board member John O’Keefe of Ultra Air Conditioning Ltd. in Moncton, met with NB Power president and CEO Gaetan Thomas to discuss alternatives. Thomas provided renewed assurances that no decisions had been made on the program and that he was hearing
product, installed correctly. The question remains as to what the utility’s role should be, but this can be worked out through meaningful dialogue with industry over the next several months, Luymes added. MCA-NB had a meeting scheduled with Thomas on March 9.
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Q Industry News
In Brief Modest start to 2015 The industry’s wholesalers started 2015 with a modest increase in sales for January over the same month in 2014, reports the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH). Total product sales for the month were up 2.3 percent or $9-million compared to 2014. All regions saw increased sales except for Quebec. It was a good month for hydronic heating, plumbing, pipes, valves and ﬁttings, along with waterworks. In fact HVAC/R was the only market sector that saw a decrease in sales compared to January, 2014.
Oil prices hamper home construction The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation says low oil prices will cause moderation in the new housing market over 2015 and 2016. Starts in 2015 will remain similar to levels in 2014 , but “slight moderation” is expected in 2016, reported Bob Dugan, CMHC chief economist. “Downside risks have increased since the previous forecast due mainly to recent declines in oil prices. Lower oil prices will negatively affect oil-producing economies like Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland and Labrador, which will only be partly offset by the positive effects of lower exchange rates and interest rates across all provinces.” CMHC is forecasting the construction of 187,400 units in 2015 and 185,100 units in 2016.
Biomass requirements under development ASHRAE, along with the U.S. Green Building Council and the Illuminating Engineering Society, is exploring the development of biomass requirements to be added into their joint green building standard. The Standard for the Design of High Performance Green Buildings (Standard 189.1) contains minimum requirements for the siting, design and construction of high-performance green buildings to reduce building energy, resource consumption and other environmental impacts. To that end, the standard contains requirements for the use of renewable energy systems such as solar, wind and geothermal. The Standard 189.1 Committee recently considered a proposal to add biomass to the deﬁnition of renewable energy systems. Biomass includes organic material, such as wood and crop waste, that can be burned to generate thermal energy. At ASHRAE’s 2015 Winter Conference held recently in Chicago, the committee voted not to accept the proposal to simply add the word biomass to this definition. However, in its response to the proposal, the committee stated that they intend to work on a deﬁnition of biomass as well as requirements on the use of biomass to meet the renewable energy requirements of the standard, reported committee chair Andy Persily. While the proposal from the committee must ﬁrst go
ASHRAE will add requirements for biomass systems, like this one in Enderby, B.C., to its green building standard. through the ASHRAE standards development procedures as well as public review, the committee is committed to developing a technically sound and responsible approach to include biomass as a renewable. Persily noted that the standard currently has no restrictions on the use of biomass as an energy source; however, it does not allow it to be used to meet the renewable energy requirements.
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
Cold weather and propane Editor’s Note: Roy Collver received the following letter following his article in the Nov./Dec. issue: Dear Mr. Collver, I just finished reading your article “Cold Weather & Propane” in the Nov/Dec 2014 issue of Plumbing & HVAC. It’s a good article, though as a long time northerner and certified gasfitter and oil burner mechanic, I found the article a bit short on information. I think that some mention could have been made about protecting the piping and second stage regulator that leaves the propane tank (vulnerable), especially in very cold and extreme temperatures. This part of the propane delivery system may experience a secondary risk of the propane gas turning back to a liquid and damaging the regulator and possibly the appliance directly connected to it. You are correct in stating that those who have speciﬁc cold weather issues should talk with an expert and I give you full credit for this. For example, it is okay to install an approved heating pad under a propane pig with explosion proof connectors, switches, etc. but, as noted, if the supply line and regulator from the tank are not also protected (e.g. insulated), there is a risk that this cold line will once again refrigerate the gas back into a liquid with the previous noted risk mentioned. For an interesting article on how to use propane at temperatures below -40 degrees, check out the following article from the University of Alaska/Fairbanks: www. uaf.edu/files/ces/publications-db/catalog/eeh/EEM04955.pdf. I have used several of these ideas and kept the propane flowing at temperatures down to -56 degrees C (without wind) and extended cold snaps of around -40 for over two weeks. Conrad Baumgartner Industry Housing Ofﬁcer Natural Resources Canada Ottawa Roy responds: Dear Conrad, Thanks for the comments - all good. I sometimes have difficulty when writing articles like this due to the space restraints of the print magazine format (I get my knuckles rapped if I go over 1,200 words). I didn’t get into the heat blanket or light bulb solution simply because there are so many precautions necessary when heating a tank in extreme weather. You identiﬁed the most serious one, which is to have the propane re-condense in the supply line – so I just stayed away from it and advised readers to contact a local expert. (In many cases, the reader is the local expert – Ed) The article from Alaska is interesting, but a bit too sparse when it does cover propane. I am always worried that people will use just ordinary non-regulated heat tape or an electric space heater or such, and not insulate and protect the supply lines or regulators. I have a very healthy respect for propane. As a gas-ﬁtter ﬁrst class, I always checked everything twice when working with natural gas , three times (or more) with propane. I had a chat with a propane supplier here on Vancouver
Island recently who advised that an explosion proof light bulb upside the tank would keep the gas ﬂowing. He is correct – for lower B.C., but that is not a great idea in Yellowknife or Prince Albert. That is the other problem with a Canada-wide publication. One size often doesn’t ﬁt all, and I have to be careful about that. Over the years, I have been viliﬁed by Toronto steamﬁtters for daring to suggest a plumbing contractor can work on a hydronic heating system, a Montreal engineer for showing a condensing boiler vent strapped to the
outside of a house (no problem in the Okanagan Valley of B.C., according to the boiler manufacturer) – the list goes on. I really don’t mind though, it keeps me on my toes, and often, the letter writer is correct. So thanks again, I am glad you read my stuff and welcome your comments. It seems to me that NRCan would be a natural choice to produce a more comprehensive brochure similar to the one from the University of Alaska/Fairbanks, or a propane supplier should maybe put one together. It might nip a lot of problems in the bud. Roy Collver Parksville, B.C.
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March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
QEngineered Systems At the Toronto aquarium, visitors can walk amongst the sharks.
Public aquarium systems Complex requirements may make them the ultimate mechanical challenge By Bruce Nagy
A Engineer Joel Johnson has worked on aquarium projects all over the world.
Plumbing & HVAC – March 2015
herring eats a shrimp. A mackerel eats the herring. A tuna eats the mackerel. And a shark eats the tuna. It’s a simple food chain. But sometimes the shark eats a herring and it gets more complicated. Still, that’s nothing compared with designing a public aquarium. Millions of litres of water, precise temperature control, oxygenation, salinity systems, animal infection control and emergency isolation, breeding accommodations, predation planning, expelled water treatment, condensation, tank leak prevention, equipment noise control, millions of human visitors each year, humidity monitoring, energy conservation, plant life, lighting, defenses against earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters – public aquariums are complex – the mother of all plumbing and HVAC challenges. In the past few years a new aquarium was built in Toronto, and major expansions were undertaken in Vancouver and New York, without closing the facilities. All three faced entangled demands that required highlevel expertise, careful advance planning, huge budgets and a lot of water. “You are fusing together some pipes and then they build rock and massive reinforced steel and concrete
structures on top of these,” reported Although Joel Johnson, chief engineer at TJP Inc. global in scale, the in Imperial Beach, “If there highly specialized California. was a leak you’re not aquarium building talking about a $239 repair, it would be community is rela- more like a million dollars to fix it. So tively small. your joints and pipes can’t be allowed to leak.” TJP designed systems – life support systems – for aquariums in New York and also for projects in Florida, Texas, California, Italy, Japan, Republic of Georgia and China. In New York most of the malleable SDR11 high-density polyethylene pipe was fused using a hot plate machine, but in a few awkward places they used electrically wired couplings that melt it into place.
Canadian projects The new Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto features a long tank-bottom viewing tunnel with sharks and
McDonald, principal at Integral Group in Vancouver. “Our heat pumps are electric, and power generation on the west coast is mostly non-carbon hydro, so we’re reducing greenhouse gas and saving energy.”
District energy loop McDonald explains that one of the project’s goals was to design a building structure to better connect the exhibit areas to each other. This led to the concept of a single ambient loop DES at about 8°C that integrates marine life support systems and building heating, cooling and domestic hot water. A pair of 150-ton chillers, some electric heat pumps and energy recovery systems are linked into the loop, sharing and saving energy. For animal life support, seawater is brought in from the Burrard Inlet and carefully treated for a thriving society of octopuses, starﬁsh, sea otters, and sharks. Gas boilers have been replaced with multi-stack modular heat pumps or chillers. For space heat and improved air quality, a radiant system in the slab, which adapts well to lower grade heat, is combined with displacement ventilation. Energy is recovered from the DES exhaust air for use in HVAC conditioning. CO2 sensors in public areas monitor the volume of visitors and the HVAC system adjusts accordingly. Rainwater from the roof is collected and treated for use in toilets, urinals, and landscaping.
Salt water systems
Aquarium mechanical systems, like this one in Toronto, are by necessity complex. stingrays swimming above and around visitors, open pools and interactive displays that permit the public to reach out and touch the horseshoe crabs. One of the engineers described difficulties associated with tank contamination, humidity, odours and salt in the air. Metals are avoided for pipes, walkways and tanks. Pipe-hangers are stainless steel. Fan coils are epoxycoated. Pipes are insulated to resist mold. The Vancouver Aquarium is among the most celebrated in the world. Its ambitious expansion might make it more famous. It’s recognized for housing Beluga Whales and other rare species, for its massive 6,000 square metre size, for hosting more than 70,000 different ﬁsh, seal mammals and other marine organisms; and it has now done all this while saving 40 percent on energy costs. “We created a mini district energy system (DES) for all the water systems in the facility,” said Gordon
The Toronto aquarium is not located near any ocean, so it requires a saltwater make-up tank where saline is added. Other chemicals are also used to protect sea animals from anything that could cause infection. Marine life support systems require a lot of ﬁlters. When they are backwashed the discharge water may contain contaminants that must be removed before the discharge is fed into Toronto’s municipal system. The city’s water department took this operation very seriously. Designers noted that Toronto Water reviewed several versions of the dilution and discharge plan before approving one. Maintaining 5.7 million litres of swimming space at ﬁve to seven degrees Celsius requires three 600-ton magnetic bearing chillers and more than 50 pumps. Most of these are protected with fibre-reinforced polymer to mitigate saltwater corrosion. Many of the viewing tanks in Toronto are connected but, if a problem occurs, any section can be quickly isolated. Completely draining a tank section would be cost prohibitive and too disruptive, so water treatment, addition, and monitoring are all meticulous and ongoing.
Advanced water treatment Aquariums located near an ocean, such as that in New York, also face water quality issues. “What if the Hudson River is high? What if we have storm conditions? The water off Coney Island is sometimes not so good,” said Johnson. “To reduce our reliance on it we recycle as much seawater as possible
At the New York Aquarium, any error in pipe fusing would have been a disaster. and treat our backwash water.” Stainless steel heat exchangers have titanium nozzles on the saltwater side to reduce corrosion. Before water ﬂows into them it has to be balanced by removing CO2 and adding oxygen. This helps prevent super-saturation, which could kill the marine animals. Some water goes through ultra violet light or ozone systems to balance dissolved gases, depending on the ﬁsh involved. Different temperatures and salinity levels permit different oxygen maximums. “They give us the tank volumes and species and we determine how to keep the critters alive,” says Johnson. The system’s drum screen ﬁlters and sand ﬁlters are made of ﬁberglass. Water is also treated in the tank using fractionators, or ﬂoating protein skimmers, that add ozone gas and take out some particulate. The skimmers remove dissolved organic carbon from water, which sand ﬁlters cannot do. An innovative process called ‘parallel ﬂow’ moves tank water into treatment separately through protein skimmers, speeding up circulation and saving energy.
Highly specialized Although global in scale, the highly specialized aquarium building community is relatively small. It must be a shark-eat-shark environment, because Johnson returns frequently to self-promotional themes. His old boss originated the industry term ‘life support systems’ and his company worked on a Chinese project in Zhuhai that’s so big it’s in the Guinness Book of Records, with a 26-million litre whale shark tank, and so on. “Your readers will want to know,” he says, “that our drawings are so detailed that any competent contractor with say, some hospital systems experience, would be able to properly build one of these aquariums on the ﬁrst attempt.” So there you have it. It’s simple. Just pitch your company for the next ten-million litre aquarium. Just swim up behind a mackerel and swallow it whole.
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 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
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Q Hot Water Heating
Big changes for water heaters Higher efﬁciencies will result in larger, more expensive products By Simon Blake Manufacturers, like Bradford White’s Dan Milroy, left, at the 2013 Winnipeg CIPH Roadshow, face a busy year explaining the water heater changes to wholesalers and contractors.
ew efﬁciency requirements for electric, gas and oil-ﬁred storage-type water heaters will see contractors, wholesalers and manufacturers alike struggling to work with a product that is going to be both larger and more expensive. Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) is planning major efficiency increases between now and 2020. Major changes will take place on April 16 in the U.S. and are expected to follow in Canada. At the recent AHR Expo, held in Chicago Jan. 2628, water heater manufacturers were distributing literature to contractors explaining some of the changes they could expect. A brochure from Bradford White, for example, advises that gas models will require additional insulation, incorporate new ﬂue bafﬂing technologies including ﬂue dampers, incorporate electronic ignition instead of a standing pilot, or any combination of these. Bradford White also advises that electric models in the U.S. will require more insulation along with additional insulation for piping and T&P (temperature and pressure) valves. Oil models will require, at the minimum, additional insulation and may require new combustion technology.
Plumbing & HVAC – March 2015
The typical household water heater is expected to grow about one to two inches in height and about two inches in diameter. Among other things, this will affect the size of the water heaters. The typical household water heater is expected to grow about one to two inches in height and about two inches in diameter. This will result in higher costs due to more materials along with more expensive shipping depending on how many can ﬁt on a truck, in a railcar or container.
Meanwhile, in Canada Canadian contractors will see similar changes, but at press time the situation wasn’t as clear as that in the U.S. Back in 2011 NRCan released a bulletin detailing proposed changes to water heater efﬁciency requirements up to 2020. These changes are part of Amendment 13 to
Canada’s Energy Efﬁciency Regulations. Since that time, with considerable input from manufacturers and the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH), a number of changes have been proposed. Meanwhile, B.C. has already implemented its changes and Ontario, for 2015, is adopting U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) changes for electric and following NRCan on gas. In Canada, NRCan sets minimum efﬁciencies. Each province can either accept them or go with higher numbers. “For Canada, we have a mixture of things going on and it is somewhat confusing,” remarked David Hammond, general manager of A.O. Smith Enterprises Ltd. in Fergus, Ont.
The original NRCan proposal required gas water heaters of less than 75,000 Btu/h input to achieve an energy factor of 0.75 beginning April 1, 2016 and 0.80 on Jan. 1, 2020. (DOE deďŹ nes energy factor as the ratio of useful energy output from the water heater compared to the total amount of energy delivered to the water heater.) The industry has asked NRCan and Ontario to hold off on any changes for water heaters under 208 litres (55 gallons) until Oct. 1 and, for water heaters over 208 litres, until Sept. 1, 2017 in Ontario and April 1, 2018 for the federal regulations.
gas until NRCan came out, but they decided to do something on electric.â€? CIPH had asked Ontario to hold off on enforcement to give industry time to respond. However, the Ministry of Energy opted to stick with the April 16 date.
Cost and complication In the end, the changes will likely mean the end of inexpensive water heating, said McDonald. â€œThat residential water heater that you can buy
for a low price or the rental company can install for $20 to $30 a month â€“ those days will be gone. That $500 water heater is going to be $2,000 (once the 2020 efďŹ ciency requirements take effect).â€? But will the home/building owner recoup the extra cost though energy savings? Not likely, says McDonald. â€œAlthough governments feel consumers will accept higher costs for high efficiencies, I donâ€™t think the paybackâ€™s going to be worth it over the lifetime of the heater.â€?
Electric water heaters Electric water heaters are regulated under the CSA 19104 standard. Proposed efďŹ ciency changes are geared to reducing standby losses. These are already in place in B.C. Manufacturers are waiting to see which way NRCan goes. It basically comes down to whether the entire country will go with the B.C. regulations, which are similar to the U.S. DOE requirements, remarked Hammond. Ontario is going with DOE requirements beginning April 16. Changes proposed for oil-ďŹ red water heaters, which NRCan planned to implement April 16, would see them required to meet an energy factor of 0.68 for units up to 105,000 Btu/h input. That would require a considerable investment in new technology and Bradford White has decided to exit the declining market, said McDonald. â€œThere is very little value in the amount of investment and development required to produce new oil heating products to meet these new regulations.â€?
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Changes delayed As if meeting the new requirements wasnâ€™t going to be difďŹ cult enough, the regulatory uncertainty has been causing problems for manufacturers. NRCan was expected to publish the ďŹ nal version of its regulations last fall. That was pushed back to February and, at press time, the industry was still waiting to see if the ďŹ nal efďŹ ciency requirements will mirror those in the U.S. â€œThatâ€™s the big question,â€? noted Hammond. (NRCan did not respond to a request for comment.) â€œIf it comes out now, you still have to give industry time to transition in the marketplace,â€? added CIPH president Ralph Suppa. One possible cause for the delay is that, under the U.S./Canadian Regulatory Co-Operation Council, NRCan and the DOE have committed to aligning their efďŹ ciency standards and test procedures. (NRCan was unable to respond prior to deadline). McDonald said he doesnâ€™t expect NRCan to change the numbers it announced back in 2011. â€œI think NRCan really has said, â€˜Look, the program thatâ€™s set is the program.â€™ Weâ€™re just waiting for the test method for electrics to be approvedâ€Ś Once it gets approved we will have a better understanding of where electric (tanks) need to be. But the wrench in all this is that Ontario is going ahead with the DOE standards â€“ and it is really a wrench in our business. The supply chain is going to be a mess.â€? â€œItâ€™s very hard for the industry to react quickly,â€? said Hammond. â€œThatâ€™s why Ontario took us a bit off guard when they said they were going to defer on
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Q Hot Water Heating BOILER SIZING PART 2
How to deal with minimum load conditions By Roy Collver
It works best when there is a large load on the system and the differential temperature can be kept small. The problems arise at low load conditions when the differential temperature either must be widened out, or the boilers have to be constantly turned on and off. Short cycling is unavoidable with ﬁxed-ﬁre boilers – thermal mass is your friend; over-sizing is your enemy. Extra thermal mass can be problematic when a system has varied temperature loads like radiant ﬂoors and DHW. How do you get rid of all that heat when you want to transition from the hot load to the cooler load? You really should add a mixing device to allow both loads to operate at the same time – OR – you get rid of the thermal mass and rely on output modulation.
Turning down the heat
Five boilers provide 60 to one turndown.
Many hydronics consumers want multiple temperature to the right boiler and controls. loads (radiant floor heat, DHW, air handlers) and Short cycling can seriously degrade the efﬁciency of a often want to split some of these loads into smaller boiler, decrease its longevity, and increase maintenance. zones. These strategies can increase comfort and reduce Although the maximum input required by a hydronic energy use, but they can also result in very rude shortsystem is still foremost when choosing a boiler, new cycling behaviour from a boiler. system design has gotten us New system design to really look hard at properly Most residences require only a fraction of a boiler’s maximum sizing for the bottom end as well. has gotten us to output for the majority of the heating season. Add in micro- really look hard at properly Fixed-ﬁre boilers loads, jumping on and off in low Over-sizing ﬁxed-ﬁre boilers in demand seasons – and bad things sizing for the these systems must be avoided. happen. Manufacturers have traditionally I n r e s p o n s e t o t h e s e bottom end as well. used plenty of “thermal mass” operational challenges, many (cast-iron or steel, large water boilers now come with standard features unheard volumes in the boiler and system) to act as an energy of in a residential product 20 years ago. High turnﬂywheel. The system drops to a set temperature – the down burner modulation, condensing operating boiler fires at full input. The thermal mass absorbs temperatures, embedded control features like outdoor the energy and the system water heats up through a reset, multi temperature load switching and cascade “differential temperature” until it reaches the high set control all help to tame the short-cycling beast – temperature at the top differential “rail” – the boiler provided you pay attention to matching system design shuts off – repeat.
Reducing boiler outputs for lower than design conditions has allowed us to relax a bit when it comes to over-sizing on the high end. Problem solved? Not quite; even boilers with higher turn-down rates will suffer seriously from short cycling, often even more than their high-mass ﬁxed-ﬁre cousins – here’s why: Most of today’s modulating boilers have relatively low thermal mass and use power burners that will only go down as low as 20 to 25 percent of the burner’s highest input (there are some exceptions). For much of a heating season, the building load will be less than the lowest input rating, making the boiler short-cycle on its differential when the distribution system can’t take the heat away fast enough. When a boiler with a power burner short cycles, it goes something like this:
Please see ‘Making’ on page 23
Two boilers can provide eight-to-one or more turndown.
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
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Q Hot Water Heating
Making modulation work Continued from page 21 A call for heat “wakes up” the boiler and it goes through a pre-ignition sequence. The fan runs for a specified pre-purge time. The boiler may also turn on one or more circulating pumps and ensure there is sufﬁcient water pressure and ﬂow. If all is well, an ignition sequence is initiated. The boiler control will open the fuel valve, energize the ignitor, and check to see that a stable ﬂame is there. If everything works, a burner run is established. The burner ﬁring rate (fan speed and fuel supply) is then continually adjusted to match the heating load based on a desired supply water temperature. The burner modulates down to its lowest firing rate, but the water temperature continues to rise because the heat emitters at the other end of the system are unable to take away all of the heat produced and are not big enough to satisfy the call for heat fast enough. The boiler will heat the water up to its top differential setting and the boiler control will shut the burner down in response. The control will keep the fan and circulators running until the supply temperature drops down to the differential bottom setting, at which time it will do all of this again – and again – and again, until the call for heat is satisﬁed. When you stand in front of a shortcycling boiler and observe it turning on and off for a few minutes, you get a really uneasy feeling that it just isn’t right. All of those moving parts, all of those cycles – it’s pretty easy to see how this kind of operation can wear a boiler out prematurely. And you know it is not giving you the best efﬁciency.
Seen in Italy, this boiler consists of one pressure vessel with seven burners, resulting in 28 to one turndown.
Matching minimums The best solution is to match the boiler minimum output to the system minimum heat requirement, but that can be a challenge using a single boiler (See Fig. 1). We are limited in how far we can modulate (turn-down) before ﬂame stability suffers. A five to one (5:1 = Max input 100,000 Btu/h – Min input 20,000 Btu/h) turndown ratio is usually the maximum. Although some clever engineers have attained much deeper, reliable modulation, it is uncommon and costs more to do. A popular load matching strategy in commercial applications is to use multiple modulating boilers to increase the turndown of the boiler plant. Two 5:1 boilers equals 10:1 turn-down, so a 100,000 Btu/h input can be reduced all the way down to 10,000 Btu/h. Opportunities to do this in residential systems are usually limited by budgets and limited boiler room geography. However we are seeing some manufacturers trying multiple burners in the same boiler – a promising approach. If you have a really heavy load
like a snow melt system, deﬁnitely look at giving it a boiler of its own so you don’t really supersize and have the tail wagging the dog. There are other options for making things happier for the boiler – they all include making the system and the boiler work better together. You may have to compromise a bit, but life’s like that.
Smooth operation Here are the more popular solutions, which we will discuss in more detail next month: Spin the problem around and make the minimum load more closely match the minimum boiler output. Consolidate loads of the same or similar temperature. Running different loads simultaneously can eliminate the micro-load issues. Add thermal mass and mixing. We have been doing this for years and it works. Unfortunately this approach can degrade the efﬁciency of the condensing boilers you want running as cool as possible. Smart zone control – synchronize zone operation in order to minimize short cycling. Good system design is the best solution – marry the boiler and the system needs together. Stay tuned! Roy Collver is an author and consultant on hydronic heating based in Parksville, B.C. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fig. 1: matching minimum output to minimum heat requirement can be a challenge.
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
ARE YOU READY? New Energy Efficiency Standards Are Here On April 16, 2015 and April 1, 2016, there will be significant changes in the energy efficiencies of virtually all residential water heaters. Increases to gas and oil water heater Energy Factor (EF) requirements and decreases to electric water heater maximum allowable Standby Loss (SBL) ratings are expected to generate considerable savings in both energy and money for the consumer. The changes are the result of updates issued by the National Resources Canada (NRCan) Office of Energy Efficiency (OEE).
Important New Energy Efficiency Effective Dates Oil Water Heaters All of Canada
April 16, 2015
Electric Water Heaters Ontario Only All of Canada
April 16, 2015 April 1, 2016
Gas Water Heaters All of Canada
critical. While Bradford White and its representatives will provide resources to train installers, a significant amount of time will be required for training. This can reduce revenue generating production time for installers. Many installations that were once a one-person job may now require two people as water heaters get larger and heavier. Not only will the larger models possibly require two people, the contractor or business owner may need a larger truck to transport the water heater. For example, the height of a heat pump water heater may exceed the height of the installerâ€™s van. If the product cannot be laid down horizontally, the only solution may be to acquire a larger box van or open truck.
April 1, 2016
What Changes? In order to meet the new SBL requirements, electric water heater models will require more insulation. This will increase the diameter and height of the water heater. Additional insulation may be required for piping and components, such as drain and T&P valves. To the meet the required minimum EF, gas models will require additional insulation, incorporate new flue baffling technologies (including flue dampers), incorporate electronic ignition in lieu of the standing pilot, or combination of these. A likely impact will be an increase in the overall tank size, especially in diameter. Similar changes are faced with the oil-fired products. Much like gas products, oil-fired water heaters will require additional insulation or completely new combustion systems. Impact on the Installer Plumbing contractors will strongly feel the effects of water heater changes mandated by the new NRCan requirements. First, there are real costs associated with getting up to speed on the new technologies. Training on the new products will be
NOTE: The new EF and SBL ratings vary by fuel source and capacity. For a precise breakdown of the new energy efficiency standards by product, please visit www.bradfordwhite.com.
Additionally, installation requirements may change if the new compliant water heater selected is technologically different from the previous model. For instance, 120 VAC is required for condensing, damper equipped, and power vented models. Both heat pump and condensing gas water heaters produce condensate. These installations will require a drain in the vicinity of the water heater or a condensate pump. The installer will have to understand local codes with respect to condensate disposal.
Plumbing contractors will have to invest in electrical equipment (such as multi-meters) for installations and troubleshooting, and installers will have to become well-versed in electronic control systems. Condensing gas water heaters extract enough heat from the exhaust that it is generally cool enough to vent with plastic pipe, either through the sidewall or through the roof. Some models even require a plastic pipe for combustion air (intake). Ultimately, the required venting system will have to be constructed by the installer. The location of the old water heater may not be appropriate for the new one. A heat pump water heater generally requires a 10 ft. x 10 ft. room, or a duct to an adjoining room, to operate properly. The installer must also be cognizant of the impact of noise that might be generated when using an alternate product to the original. Conclusion Certainly, the new water heater EF and SBL standards will pose challenges for manufacturers, wholesalers, installers, and customers alike, but when products become more sophisticated, it is less likely that they will be purchased and installed by the do-it-yourself consumer. Therefore, a potential impact of the changes will be an increase in the share sold through wholesale distribution, thereby increasing installer opportunities. To learn more about the new EF and SBL requirements, visit www.bradfordwhite.com
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FLEX RIGID s u s r ve
Supply and return static pressures were measured.
From left, Kevin McCabe, Matt Schiedel and Tim Koehler discuss the test procedures.
Different duct materials tested for residential applications
Hy-Mark’s Ian Kerr, left, and Kyle Bechtold found ﬂexible ducting easy to work with.
Plumbing & HVAC – March 2015
By Simon Blake
was enlisted to do the third party testing. The Hy-Mark crew installed HVAC duct in one townhome using their standard methods. The second identical unit would again use a Duct Board trunk, with supply and return ducts done in Thermaﬂex S-TL ﬂexible HVAC duct. That the ﬂexible duct would perform wasn’t simply an experiment or a matter of curiosity. It had to meet or exceed the performance of the originally speciﬁed duct system or the building inspector would not approve it. And like any residential project, the timeline was short and it was critical to avoid delays.
nstalling sheet metal ductwork for a new home is always a major part of the construction project. In the U.S., ﬂexible fabric ducting has been used for many years to speed the process, but it hasn’t caught on in Canada. A Mississauga, Ont. company is working to change that. Thermaflex enlisted a progressive builder in Cambridge, Ont. to install ﬂexible ducts in one 1,200 sq. ft. townhome unit so that a third party could test its performance versus conventional ducting in another otherwise identical unit. It was going to be a challenge because Reid’s Heritage Homes and its mechanical contractor, Hy-Mark of Guelph, Ont., was already creating a highly efﬁcient system using Duct Board along with round metal supply and return venting. “Normally, this is sheet metal. Reid’s Heritage Homes is a builder that recognizes that there are other products out there,” remarked Kevin McCabe, national sales manager for the Flex-Tech Division, Smiths Group, which commissioned the tests. Building Knowledge Canada Inc. of Cambridge, Ont.
Using Duct Board for the main trunk duct saves considerable time over sheet metal, especially now that sheet metal has to be sealed, remarked Tim Koehler, residential HVAC supervisor for Hy-Mark. With a duct board trunk and S-TL supply and returns, the installation took about half the time, he reported. There are
This is where the tests ran into the hard realities of construction scheduling. far fewer joints and potential leak points. It comes in 25-foot lengths, so the installers simply cut it to size and seal the connections at either end. It is supported with black “Saddlestrap” attached to the framework. Thermaﬂex S-TL was chosen because it has some unique properties. “From a ﬂame rating and friction
Air ﬂow and volume was checked at every diffuser. loss perspective, it is as close to rigid as can be achieved,” said McCabe. And while many insulated ﬂexible ducts can meet the air duct ﬂame rating criteria, S-TL is one of the few that can do it uninsulated. Koehler’s two-man crew found it was easy to install following a brief on-site training session with the manufacturer. It helped that S-TL is fairly sturdy as opposed to a “ﬂoppy” fabric duct. But technicians must still be qualiﬁed sheet metal mechanics, added Koehler. “You’re still dealing with air distribution; you can’t just get guys off the street.” He noted that flexible duct makes particular sense in stacked townhome projects like that in Cambridge. There are four storeys but seven levels and the ductwork is complicated, so it cuts the number of required hours substantially.
However, because this result was higher than the design numbers, it was a problem and something that could have been rectiﬁed by re-routing some of the ﬂexible duct, said McCabe. But this is where the tests ran into the hard realities of construction scheduling. The inspection was to take place the next day, so this problem had to be rectiﬁed as quickly as possible with a solution that was absolutely certain to work. Building Knowledge therefore recommended that the vertical portions of the return air stacks along with the corner vertical supply air stack be replaced with rigid sheet metal. “These recommended adjustments are not to imply that the ﬂex duct is not suitable; in fact our numbers indicate the opposite. These measures will ensure better-than-acceptable, optimum performance of the return air system,” said Building Knowledge president Gord Cooke.
Building Knowledge conducted the ﬁnal tests in late January. As far as static pressure and airflow goes, the results showed very little difference between the standard system and the ﬂexible duct system. With the blower speed set on “high,” the supply side static pressure (w.c.) was 0.233 prior to balancing and 0.37 afterwards for the S-TL venting. The respective nu m b e r s f o r t h e s t a n d a rd installation were 0.201 and 0.346. On the return side, the static pressure for the ﬂexible ductwork was 0.34 w.c. prior to balancing and 0.276 afterwards, compared to 0.26 and 0.236 for the standard installation. Supply air grills were opened or closed to balance the system. Tests were conducted in the Testing schedule cooling mode. Building Knowledge Canada project “Readings showed varying flow manager Matt Schiedel, B. Eng, CEA rates in both installations, but the (certiﬁed energy advisor) conducted ﬂow rates were comparable between the tests on three separate occasions the two installations for each run. through December and January. In addition, the total volume of air External static pressures (ESP) were supplied to the house met the design taken at the pre-ﬁlter plenum drop requirement, allowing for balancing and the supply plenum. Volumetric of the systems,” reported Schiedel. ﬂow rate – air volume – was measured At the end of the day, one prodin cubic feet per minute (CFM) at uct wasn’t proven to be substantially each diffuser in every room. better than the other in terms of perThe lack of elbows to install and The second test took place after seal makes installation go quickly. formance. As always, the contractor the drywall was installed and the will ultimately make the decision third test was done once the system based on time, cost and labour. had been fully commissioned. Three tests were needed The longevity of ﬂexible ducts has been established only because in the ﬁrst two the grilles had not been in commercial construction, with S-TL and similar installed, said Schiedel. “Generally, only one test would products being used for over 70 years in the U.S., be required.” reported McCabe. The initial test, with the air handler on medium and “Having seen good quality ﬂexible duct offer good high settings, showed that the required CFM readings performance in the U.S., it has always surprised me that for each room had been met. The ESP on the supply we don’t see more of it in Canada. With recent changes side was between 0.1 w.c. (water column) and 0.2 w.c.to codes requiring thorough duct sealing and now with plus, depending on fan speed setting. The ESP on the smaller duct sizes being the norm in high performance return air side was 0.2 w.c. and 0.3 w.c. This was above homes, it would seem to be the perfect time for HVAC as-designed values, but still within acceptable tolerances contractors to look for opportunities to use ﬂexible for fully ducted and well-sealed systems. duct,” remarked Cooke.
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Product Proﬁle Super efﬁcient mini-split Three new wall-mounted ductless split systems from Fujitsu achieve efﬁciencies up to 33 SEER, which if not a record has to make them pretty much the most efﬁcient such system on the market. All three models – 9,000 (9RLS3), 12,000 (12RLS3) and 15,000 (15RLS3) Btu/h provide up to 33 The new Fujitsu ductless split systems can achieve efﬁciencies as SEER in the air conditioning mode high as 33 SEER. and a 14.2 HSPF for heating. Energy Star rates all three in the Most Efﬁcient category. They offer quiet operation and nearly full heating capacity down to -20ºC (-5°F) ambient and cooling operation down to -10C (14°F). Halcyon refrigerant pipe lengths can run 66 feet between the evaporator coil and the condensing unit. Standard features include wireless remote control, ion deodorizing ﬁlters, sleep timer, 24-hour timer, dry mode, four-way auto louver and auto mode. The company’s ESP (energy saving program) is standard. Motion sensors note when the room has been vacated. After 20 minutes, the set temperature is increased by 4°F when in cooling mode, and reduced by 8°F when heating. When the room is reoccupied, the ESP returns to the previous operating mode. Fujitsu’s 2015 Halcyon lineup includes 36 single-zone systems with capacity ranges of 9,000 to 42,000 BTUs. Mix-and-match evaporators add many more combinations, allowing contractors to tailor the climate control for any size space. Fujitsu www.fujitsugeneral.com
Streamlined boiler panels Calgary-based HeatLink has introduced a line of pre-engineered hydronic control panels designed to work with specific boiler models. The ECO, V100, and CAD are designed to be paired with Weil-McLain’s ECO, Viessmann’s Vitodens 100, and Lochinvar’s Cadet series of high efficiency wall mounted boilers for a quick and professional installation. The panels, part of HeatLink’s “Mechanical Room in a Box” product line, are ready to install with a 24V(ac) plug-in transformer and simple wiring connections. HeatLink www.heatlink.com
heat recovery methods, for efﬁciency levels up to 98 percent. Available with an 800 – 1,200 MBH heating capacity, it utilizes a factory charged, closed loop 35 percent glycol mix for freeze protection. Airﬂow is from 4,501 to 10,000 CFM. These units, which have been tested in some of the coldest environments in Canada, include BMS Communication – Modbus Standard LonWorks and BACnet optional. They are designed for 100 percent outside air, optional return air and a variety of economizer controls, heat loss recovery and easy installation and service. Sterling HVAC www.xcelonhvac.com
Indoor climate control The new “value-priced” Voyager line of residential and commercial thermostats from Venstar are compatible with gas, electric or heat pump residential and commercial HVAC systems, including multi-stage systems. In addition to a wide range of digital features, the display can show dealer name, phone number and service alerts. They are outdoor sensor ready, show a lockout compressor message on the display for condensate overﬂow warning, and are Wi-Fi, ZigBee and Z-Wave capable with an optional accessory. Venstar www.venstar.com
Hydronic rooftop unit The Xcelon system from Sterling HVAC is a rooftop make-up air unit that combines hydronic condensing boiler technology with advanced air distribution and
Efﬁcient scroll chillers The new Trailblazer family of air-cooled scroll chillers from Daikin is designed to provide unprecedented efﬁciencies and low cost of ownership. They feature proven technology adopted from the co m p a ny ’s AG Z chiller line. Factory installed options and custom pump packages decrease engineering and design efforts, and speed up installation and commissioning. New all-aluminum micro-channel heat exchanger technology, with proven compressor equipment, is designed to minimize maintenance and deliver low operating costs. Daikin Applied www.DaikinApplied.com
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
Filtration versus airﬂow on forced air furnaces By Bob Bettles and Brian Guttormson
In most cases those of us that do our own maintenance around the homestead are provided with a schedule for a set of tasks; we sometimes call it the dreaded “honey-do” list. It can be anything, really – something that is broken and a replacement is required or just something that is worn out and due for an update. Eventually we need to go and maintain the furnace down in the dungeon. Other than the recommended humidiﬁer pad component, we come to the slot at the bottom side of the furnace – the ﬁlter. Well, which one do I need? This is something that we are wired for; we want to get something better, right? In most cases when selecting a ﬁlter at the local store, we tend to remember the loudest preacher and what brand they suggested. Unfortunately, what they are
Furnaces with airﬂow greater than 1600 cfm typically require two openings in the cabinet.
Plumbing & HVAC – March 2015
preaching is not always the best ﬁlter for the job! Today’s filters come in many different types and tolerances. In today’s furnace market it is up to the installing contractor’s designer or service provider to place and set up the product to suit the operational requirements outlined in the installation manual, not the commercials on TV or radio. With current high efﬁciency HVAC product lines, the furnace manufacturer expects their installing contractor to size the air ﬁlter assembly. In most retroﬁt up-ﬂow applications, the original ﬁlter assembly will be reused for cost saving. But this original ﬁlter may not be suitable for the increased CFMs of the new appliance.
Achieving the airﬂow The installation instructions for most of today’s HVAC products will require either ﬁlter openings on two sides, one side and the bottom or a single bottom opening. Some manufacturers will state that applications greater than 1600 cfm must use two ﬁlters, but they will not specify the filter or manufacturer. It’s left up to the contractor to provide the set-up for proper operation and temperature rise. This is nothing new. Going back to manuals from the early 80s, ﬁlter sizing was referenced in spec pages. In some cases, a washable high velocity one-inch ﬁlter and
Sizing the ﬁlter
Please see ‘Smaller’ on page 33
Most ﬁlter packages will have a MERV rating listed on the product. The next question is, who is this Merv dude and what does he know about air ﬁltration? MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efﬁcient Reporting Value of air ﬁlters. With values ranging from 1 to 20, MERV 1 to 4 ﬁlters are basic disposable ﬁlters with a capture rating greater than 10.0 microns. MERV 5 to 8 ﬁlters have a capture rate of 3.0 to 10.0 microns. (Most Energy Star or LEED programs will call for a MERV 8.0 or higher.) MERV 9 to 12 ﬁlters have a capture rate of 1.0 to 3.0 microns. MERV 13 to 16 ﬁlters have a capture rate of 0.3 to 1.0 microns. (One micron equals 0.04 thousandths of an inch.) With these higher capture values we will also see a signiﬁcant increase in the ﬁlter’s resistance to airﬂow. Typical design conditions call for a maximum static resistance of 0.02” WC across the ﬁlter assembly. Some of the high MERV units, when they are new, will start at 0.3” WC or higher. The HRAI standard we use currently designs the complete system at 0.5” WC ESP. Air ﬁlter ratings are based on several factors, from the lowly old standard ﬁberglass disposable, washable “cocoa mat” permanent products of the past, we are now seeing companies market high efﬁciency pleated fabric materials of various density and thickness. Airﬂow can be a challenge. Something not considered by homeowners is the fact these higher MERV rated filters will require a much larger surface area for sufﬁcient airﬂow for the furnace.
Today’s furnaces are much more compact and yet the airﬂow requirements are higher.
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Smaller cabinets, higher airﬂows Continued from page 30 ﬁlter rack were included with the furnace package. Our new product lines have shrunk in vertical size from 54 inches down to as low as 34 inches and rarely is a ﬁlter and rack provided – a cost cutting venture. From this smaller package we are seeing much higher efﬁciency levels with the required higher airﬂows. But in most cases we only see a 14 to 16-inch clear vertical open space on the return air section of the furnace cabinet! Most HVAC manufacturers will recommend the ﬁlter
Larger cabinets Some filter manufacturers have come to the table with cabinets up to 16 inches high or taller. These are designed to support the furnaces and step the ﬁlter back within its own cabinet body to provide more airﬂow through to the furnace. Within the cabinet a ﬁve-inch thick pleated ﬁlter can be provided in these types of units. Depending on the cabinet, airﬂows up to 2,000 cfm may be obtained with the added beneﬁt of having the furnace lifted to a more comfortable level for service and maintenance. Sales persons, installers and service techs need to
get more involved in the education of the homeowner. They need to know about the available ﬁlters and they need to be assured that what they are purchasing from the contractor is the best product for their application. That means the contractors themselves must be educated and conﬁdent enough to teach homeowners not to be misled by outside sources. Air distribution in the system must be designed for the future and be able to accommodate the buildup of dirt along with wear and tear so that these systems stay within the manufacturer’s specification sheets regarding temperature rise and the blower’s air delivery into the home.
Most of the one-inch ﬁlters readily available on the retail market will result in a service call if used to replace the high velocity washable supplied with the original installation! resistance not exceed 0.2” WC while, for best airﬂow and minimal electrical consumption, the resistance across the ﬁlter should not exceed 0.1” WC. Check with your ﬁlter suppliers for the actual resistance of their products when sizing your systems! Most of the one-inch ﬁlters readily available on the retail market will result in a service call if used to replace the high velocity washable supplied with the original installation! This is something the preachers don’t pass along in their town cry. Disposable air ﬁlters are sized on airﬂow face velocity of 200 to 300 feet per minute (fpm) while high velocity washable ﬁlters may see up to 500 FPM with a minimal pressure drop through the media. This information is not always readily available or written on the ﬁlter’s label for the homeowner to read up on. Most well informed duct designers will specify in their system design a ﬁlter resistance up to 0.10 to 0.15” WC. This allows for some buildup of dust and debris between changes without seriously affecting the system operation.
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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 email@example.com.
DynaMax TH Series DynaPac MicoFlame® BlueFlame CeraFlame SureFlame
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
Blade that never needs replacing!
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The R507 refrigerant will likely be a thing of the past soon in Europe.
refrigerants Phase-out of HFCs has already begun, but what will replace them? By Greg Scrivener Europe adopted the first regulation to control the emission of fluorinated gases in 2006 and they’ve upped the ante with revised legislation that came into force in January. The most common “F-gases” are HFC refrigerants – R507, R404a, R134a, etc… Yes that’s right, Europe is in the process of phasing down the use and import of today’s most popular refrigerants. Here’s a quick history to get you up to speed: In 1987, we adopted the Montreal Protocol in an effort to reduce ozone depletion by phasing out chlorinated refrigerants (CFCs and HCFCs). This led to the phasedown and ﬁnally a ban on CFC refrigerant production and importation in the mid-1990s. A large number of HCFC refrigerants were used to replace the CFCs on an interim basis while alternate refrigerants and system components were developed. Along with R22, the remainder of these HCFCs face a phase-down, which is currently underway. In 2010 there was a ban on new equipment with HCFC refrigerants and this year sees the ﬁnal phase-down step
in production and importation before the ban in 2020. HFC refrigerants have long been the ultimate goal and most new refrigeration systems have been using them for over 15 years now.
Yes that’s right, Europe is in the process of phasing down the use and import of today’s most popular refrigerants.
HFCs arrived late for AC Because of the ubiquitous use of R22, the air conditioning industry came late to the HFC game and has only recently switched to R410a and R407C thanks to the ban on new equipment with HCFCs in 2010. The refrigeration industry went through great pains in the beginning with HFC refrigerants and POE oils, but it ﬁnally feels like we are getting to a place with a small number of versatile refrigerants that make up the majority of the installed systems. So why does it look like we are going to start this all over again? There are two types of atmospheric inﬂuences that occur from leaked refrigerant; the ﬁrst is a refrigerant’s ozone depleting potential (ODP) and the second is
its global warming potential (GWP). Recall that the Montreal Protocol was designed to reduce damage to the ozone layer. This means it was concerned only with the ODP of a refrigerant. Fortunately, most HFCs also have a lower GWP than their CFC and HCFC counterpart, but it turns out these values are still quite high. The European Union takes these climate risks seriously and recently introduced F-gas regulations with a very aggressive phase-down plan for HFCs.
Aggressive phase-out schedule In Europe, HFC refrigerant imports are frozen at the average consumption between 2009 and 2012. In 2016 the allowable consumption will decrease to 93 percent. Following that there will be dramatic decreases to 63 percent in 2018 and 45 percent in 2021. A number of smaller decreases over the next number of years results in a goal of 21 percent consumption by 2030. Fig. 1 illustrates the phase-down steps. We do need to be a bit careful how we use the word consumption. In the case of the F-gas regulations, it does not mean the mass or quantity of refrigerants; it means the equivalent GWP. So for example, R134a has roughly one third the GWP of R404A so a manufacturer who switched their product from R404a to R134a and kept a similar charge quantity would effectively reduce their consumption by over 60 percent. There are many things that complicate this process, but the principle remains. Climate is the main driver for the regulation and they chose to regulate the actual effect of the refrigerants instead of the particular type. There are also additional bans in the regulation on using high GWP HFC where alternatives exist. Just to give you a couple of examples: small hermetically sealed equipment refrigerant must have a GWP of less than 150 (this effectively bans all traditional HFCs) in 2020. Residential split air conditioning systems must use a refrigerant with a GWP of less than 750 by 2025, effectively banning R410a, R407c and R134a.
Big changes So what does all this mean? It means the death of high GWP HFC refrigerants in Europe. R404a, R507 as well as most of the common HFC replacements will disappear over the next number of years. R134a and some of refrigerants in the middle as far as GWP are concerned will likely hang on a bit longer, but will also be effectively eliminated over time. Small hermetically sealed
Figure 1: The European Union is following an aggressive phase-down schedule for HFC refrigerants. (Courtesy of Danfoss)
Please see ‘Uncertainty’ on page 37
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
B811-8 - 32" x 18.5" x 8" Deep $115.00
Quality • Service • Price BRISTOL STAINLESS STEEL SINKS AND FAUCETS CELEBRATING 10 YEARS IN BUSINESS - Bristol Sinks and Faucets is a family owned business based out of London, Ontario since 2004. All Bristol sinks and faucets are approved for and comply with building and plumbing codes, certiﬁed by the Canadian Uniform Plumbing Code (cUPC). Bristol guarantees against product ct defects, providing lifetime warranties on all of our sinks & faucets. BRISTOL SOLID STAINLESS STEEL FAUCETS - Due to the overwhelming demand for style, yle, sustainability & pure value, stainless steel has risen to the forefront in the kitchen & bath market. ket. Constructed from 304 Stainless steel, their durability provides resistance against scratching, denting or chipping as well as being stain resistant, non-corrosive, low maintenance, lead-free, ee, affordable, versatile & 100% recyclable, thus reducing waste in the environment -an excellentt solution for sustainable development.
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Uncertainty in Canada Continued from page 35 equipment that uses less than 150g of refrigerant will mostly likely switch to ﬂammable hydrocarbon based refrigerants. In fact, the majority of residential refrigerators are already using R600a (Isobutane). Ammonia and CO2 will both increase in popularity in large commercial and industrial settings. The medium and small commercial systems present the largest challenges and the biggest opportunities. The y are to o big to use hydrocarbon refrigerants under current regulations and they are too small to cost effectively employ ammonia solutions. Here we will probably see newer HFCs with low GWP, some CO2 and use of A2L refrigerants. A2L refrigerants are “slightly” ﬂammable refrigerants. They are nontoxic (hence the ‘A’) and have a ﬂame speed of less than 10cm/sec if they are ignited. European safety standards have been adapted to allow the use of A2L refrigerants Continuous in many cases and manufacturers changes will are producing and testing likely keep various blends. One of the most refrigerant common A2Ls is R1234yf used recovery comin automobile air conditioning panies busy. systems.
No clear path On the occasion that I’ve had a conversation with a contractor in Canada or the U.S. about Europe’s F-gas regulations, they inevitably ask “so what’s going to happen here?” And the answer is that no one knows. There is currently a proposal in front of the Montreal Protocol committee to add HFC phase-down to that agreement. Canada, U.S.A. and Mexico jointly submitted it. Will it be adopted? I don’t know. It sounds like it might. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to approve natural and low GWP refrigerants. As well, UL is developing listing standards for manufacturers to allow ﬂammable refrigerants in room and window air conditioners. So my ﬁnal answer to the contractor usually sounds like this: I think we will see a rise in the use of A2L and ﬂamGreg Scrivener is president of Cold Dynamics, Meadow Lake, Sask. He is a journeyman refrigeration mechanic, holds RSES CMS designation in commercial refrigeration and is a mechanical engineer in training. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
mable refrigerants once the ﬁnal UL listing standards are completed. You’ll probably see A2L refrigerants in a hotel full of through the wall units ﬁrst. Canada doesn’t actually have much in the way of regulations or legislation preventing the use of ﬂammable refrigerants; the main reason we haven’t seen many of them here is because of our close ties with the United States. I think that CO2 will become more popular in supermarkets and ice rinks and will trickle down into smaller commercial installations as the technology becomes available. Ammonia will see increased use in the industrial plants. Your soft drinks will come out of a CO2 or isobutane cooled vending machine. It will just
happen slowly because we don’t have regulation driving the change. I do think that regulation is inevitable, but as far as I know it’s going to be a while… or maybe not. Every once in a while I meet someone who doesn’t think that refrigerant contributes that much to global warming. I hear that the refrigeration industry is so small it’s like a drop in the bucket compared to other industries that pollute. That may well be true, but by 2050 the EU will have prevented the equivalent of one billion return ﬂights from Paris to New York worth of CO2 equivalent from reaching the atmosphere. One Billion! If that’s a drop, we sure have our work cut out dealing with the rest of the bucket.
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March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
Looks like it belongs in your home-
not in an RV! Adding a bathroom is made easy when no gravity lines are convenient! The quiet and powerful Ascent II gives you the freedom to pump up to 25' vertically and 150' horizontally in a high-quality attractive toilet.
Liberty’s exclusive RazorCutTM technology for superior shredding of waste, sanitary pads and other difﬁcult solids. Safe, removable access cover for easy service. (System is de-energized when cover removed.) Standard built-in alarm and manual override/run switch. High efﬁciency toilet is ADA compliant. Available in elongated or round front, the system ships complete with toilet seat and all necessary components. Macerator box can be hidden behind a wall with optional extension pipe and decorative trim ring. Two extra inlets for addition of a sink, tub or shower. U.S . Pate U.S. atent n #82 nt 23 353 35 5 16, #87149 #87 149 4917, 17,, ##8 8 769 769730 730 an Paa te and ten en ts Pen e n din ding g
800.543.2550 800.543.2550 libertypumps.com
Copyright © Liberty Pumps, Inc. 2015 All rights reserved.
QFaucets & Fixtures Flush-mount body sprays The new Mosaic ﬂush-mount body sprays from Moen ﬁt cleanly against the wall, just like a tile. They can be accessed from the front for servicing. They offer the user either a traditional spray or pulsing massage with a generous ﬂow rate of 7.6 litres per minute (2.0 GPM) and an adjustable spray angle. They are offered in popular finishes including chrome, brushed nickel, polished nickel and oil rubbed bronze. Moen Canada www.moen.ca
Thermostatic shower panels The new Pﬁster Thermostatic Shower Panel allows the plumber to upgrade their customer’s shower without doing a full remodel. This unit replaces a basic shower head with four different water outputs: a large rainfall shower head, a handheld showerhead, swiveling massage water jets and a tub ﬁlling water spout on the bottom. Each panel has two knobs, one to control each function, and a master knob that controls water pressure and temperature. Pﬁster www.pﬁsterfaucets.com
ROFROST TURBO · FREON CFC free closed freezing system · Capacity to 2 inch copper or steel ( 14 sizes ) · Integrated thermo-sensors · Self-contained – no additional clamps required Order # 0602205-6-8
Next generation electronic faucet EQ Series electronic electron faucets from Chicago Faucet are desig designed for easy installation, easy maintena maintenance and easy operation in public restro restrooms. The solenoid, power module and mixing m valve are assembled into a comp compact control box that ﬁts under the sink and installs with just two sscrews. The stainless steel hose and electronics cable are pre-installed. Power options include battery, AC plug-in or hard-wired, and the company’s Self Sustaining Power System (SSPS) technology. Three different spout designs are available – curved, angular or high arc – design in chrome chrom or brushed nickel ﬁnishes. Chicago Faucet products are distributed in Canada by Dobbin Sales. Chicago Faucet Co www.dobbinsales.com
Widespread lavatory faucets Matco-Norca has added two new two-handle dle widespread lavatory faucets in chrome ﬁnish to its Classic line of designer faucets. The two new eight-inch faucets come me with metal wrist blade handles, washerless cartridges with 11-3/16” spouts. Both faucets feature quick connect installation. A brass grid drain is available. Maximum ﬂow rate is 1.5 GPM at 60 PSI water pressure. Matco-Norca www.matco-norca.com a.com
PACE 1041 · Quickly converts Rigid®300 Threader to a production roll groover · Complete with rolls for 1 to 6 inch. · Capacity: 1 to 6 “ S/40 and 8 to 12” S/10 ( optional ) Order # 1041
VIPER · Solder in tight spots · Improve solder joint quality 4GFWEGƂTGNKCDKNKV[ · 110 VAC ( foot switch included )
Combi oven hose T&S Brass and Bronze Works has introduced a new hose reel designed for light duty cleaning and commercial mercial combi-oven applications. The Compact mpact LightDuty Hose Reel features atures a stainless steel cabinet binet with six-foot (182.88 cm) reinforced hose, singleglestream spray valve and easy-access shut-off valve. e. An anti-lockout feature ensures nsures full retraction of the hosee even when fully extended. T&S Brass www.tsbrass.com tsbrass.com
*Prices in effect until April 30, 2015 Tax and freight extra.
Exact Pipecut 280E System · Capacity 1.60 to 11.20 inch O.D. · Plastic pipe 1.50 inch thick and steel pipe 0.40 inch thick · 2-speed motor ( 2900 and 3900 RPM ) · Complete with pipe rollers, carry bag and 165 mm TCT Blade · 20 lbs ( includes built-in port to attach shop vacuum to reduce clean up time )
1.800.661.9983 www.magtool.com March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
Q Tools & Instruments Versatile video system The new D2B drum for Ridgid Ridgid’ss rM200 camera system has a 165-foot long, 0.35 0.35-inch diameter push cable that provides a more gradual stiffness transition, making mak it easier to negotiate turns and te tees. The rM200 Camera System is a co compact, portable inspection camera system with interchang interchangeable camera drums for jobsite compa compatibility. Also avail available, the D2A Drum has a 200foot long, 0.3-inch diameter push cable diam with a single-nested spring, designed to provide outstanding versatility and maneuverability through traps. RIDGID www.ridgid.com
Ultra-tough recip saw blades It’s not easy to weld carbide tips to the tiny teeth of a reciprocating saw. In fact only one manufacturer offers it. The new Diablo blade Demon carbide tipped blades manufactured by Freud Tools in Switzerland feature an innovative variable tooth design that provides maximum performance in nail embedded wood. They are twice as expensive as other blades, but they will cut for 10 times as long or more, reports the manufacturer.
specialized HVAC conﬁgurations – offset snips, long nose offset, duct notcher (pictured), crimpers, bulldog snips, hole snips, etc. – in addition to the three standard conﬁgurations. Stanley Tools www.stanleytools.com
Thermal imaging option
They are available in six, nine and 12-inch sizes. The company also offers a metal cutting version. Freud Tools www.diablotools.com
The Roscan 150 infrared camera with touchscreen WIFI capability from Rothenberger U.S.A. can be used for leak detection and analysis of refrigeration and heat sources, It relies on overlay technology that allows the user to see both the visual image and the thermal image for more accurate analysis and understanding. Its measurement range is from -4 degrees to 428 degrees F. It also features emissivity settings for exact temperature differentiation of various materials. Rothenberger www.rothenberger-usa.com
Multiple HVAC snips Stanley Tools has substantially increased ed its offering of sheet metal snips. The he new “FATMAX” snips feature extended ed life cutting blades compared to previous versions, compound action for more cutting power and spring loaded latches for one-handed operation. Perhaps more importantly, they are now available in numerous
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
Canada’s largest trade show for plumbing, HVACR, hydronics, electricity and lighting.
Free Registration up to April 21 2015 120,000 square feet of new products, new technologies and new ideas.
APRIL 22 & 23 2015 Place Bonaventure Montréal, Québec
www.mcee.ca Produced by:
In collaboration with:
Q People & Places The
People Dettson, Sherbrooke, Que., has named Michelle Côté as director of business development responsible for Canada and the U.S., with an emphasis on gas utility and builder partnerships. HeatLink, Calgary, has appointed Michelle Côté H o w a r d H u s s as business development manager. The bilingual sales pro has 20 years experience in the plumbing and radiant heating industries. He was previously with CB Supplies and the Oatey Company. The Canadian Water Quality Howard Huss A s s o c i a t i o n , To ro n t o, h a s appointed Anne Baliva as program manager. Kevin Wong remains executive director, overseeing regulatory affairs. Lars van der Haegen has been named the new CEO of the Belimo Group, Hinwil, Switzerland, starting Anne Baliva July 1. He is currently president of Belimo Americas, Danbury, Connecticut. He replaces D r . Jacques Sanche, CEO, who will leave the company at the end of September. Lars van der Dr. Jacques Haegen Sanche
Companies The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), Toronto, recently recognized Martino Contractors Ltd., Concord, Ont., as the “Trade Contractor of Year” for 2014. The Concord, Ont. HVAC contractor, selected from among numerous contractors in all building trades, received the award at BILD’s annual general meeting on Dec. 9, reported the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI). BILD represents more than 1,400 homebuilders, land developers and renovators in the Greater Toronto Area. Acudor Acorn Ltd., Pickering, Ont., a subsidiary of Morris Group International, has appointed Kern Industries Calgary as the new representative for JR Smith products in Southern Alberta. On January 27, Wolseley Canada, Burlington, Ont., held a VIP night at its new Plumbing Express branch in Burlington. The event gave Wolseley customers the opportunity to tour the new branch, which features Wolseley’s new branding and service model, and to meet with branch and support staff along with Wolseley executives. The branch opened on January 19, and is located at 4325 Harvester Rd., Unit 9.
The new Innovation and Development Center is a showcase for modern hydronic design.
Taco training center awarded LEED Gold The United States Green Building Council has awarded the Taco Innovation and Development Center in Cranston, Rhode Island LEED Gold certiﬁcation. The 24,037 sq. ft. facility, which opened in mid-2012, houses classrooms and meeting spaces to provide training for contractors and Taco employees. It was designed to showcase energy-saving and sustainable products and systems, which are visible throughout the building for close-up viewing, hands-on learning and teaching. These systems include chilled beams (active and passive), radiant ceiling heating and cooling, fan coils, water-source heat pumps, perimeter radiation, radiant-ﬂoor heating, solar hot water, snow melt and geothermal. The mechanical design goal was to optimize hydronic-side design and remove/add as much heat as possible using chilled beams, ﬂat-panel radiation along the walls, and radiant floor systems. All equipment and systems are controlled by Taco’s iWorx Web-based building management system and monitored by a host of sensors and meters throughout the building. Taco achieved 15 out of a possible 20 points total in the Energy & Atmosphere category and 8 out of 11 possible points for optimization of energy performance.
Exceeding expectations The performance of the mechanical and electrical systems is monitored continuously via dedicated measurement and verification systems. Since the building was completed several new measurement stations were added including hydronic Btu metering systems, electrical sub-meters and building automation monitoring systems. These measurement systems have allowed Taco to monitor energy consumption in real time and compare those actual energy measurements against the initial
energy model. All indications are that the building is meeting or exceeding the projected energy savings. For example, during the period from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014, the building consumed 126,290 KBtu from the hot water heating system or approximately 150,345 KBtu’s of natural gas at 84 percent boiler efﬁciency. Taco estimates that this is approximately 75 percent of the annual gas consumption for heating. Natural gas consumption pro-rated for the entire year is approximately 200,460 KBtu’s. The energy model predicted that the building would consume 296,900 KBtu’s annually. The actual consumption is estimated at 67.5 percent of the projected consumption. These numbers will be reﬁned as more data is collected.
Focus on HVAC In considering its LEED application, Taco’s objective was to implement a system approach to achieving energy efﬁciency rather than chasing individual LEED points. The company wanted to design the most efﬁcient building possible and to see how the design translated into LEED points. At the time of construction, project manager Chris Integlia, Taco’s executive vice president, said, “Our approach to this project has always been to have LEED certiﬁcation as a public validation of the efforts we’ve put into the project, and as a conﬁrmation that our products and technologies will help not only Taco but others in our industry achieve highly sustainable green buildings. “We’re going to do the right things by Taco, and we’ll see how far we can go with that in terms of the LEED scorecard. We do know, however, that the products and technologies we intend to put into the building will DFKLHYHDYHU\KLJKOHYHORIFHUWL¿FDWLRQ´ Since it opened, the center has provided training to more than 3,000 visitors attending over 50 courses.
March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
Q Shop Management
BUILDING a business Know the client’s social style to make the sale By Michael McCartney
hil Drabinsky was a professional engineer with many years of experience in hydronic design at Armstrong and Baum Plumbing in Toronto. Yes, he was the father of Garth Drabinsky, ﬁlm and theater impresario, but their two personalities were dramatically different. Garth is a hard-driving, no-nonsense type of executive. Phil’s social style was a gentler one, more in the line of an Alan Alda, and that illustrates the central theme of this article – how one’s social style can have a bearing on how one’s business will grow and prosper. Phil founded my former designbuild company, TechAire Systems, 1970. The company served as the Chrysler AirTemp service agency for centrifugal chillers until Chrysler closed down that operation in 1976. By then, however, TechAire had a clientele that would sustain the business even with the loss of that very important customer. Phil’s operating premise was that you will start out with a small circle of clients but, as time passes and you continue to retain them, others will enter the circle, which will then grow and grow, requiring the addition of more technicians, trucks, and a few more office staff. Before you know it, you’ll have a good-sized business and a
Plumbing & HVAC – March 2015
blue ribbon clientele. Keeping the clients within the circle is a matter of delivering prompt service at fair prices. It also involves personal relationships, and here is where one’s social style, and the ability to modify it to suit the client, becomes important.
Personalities and sales approaches There are four distinct, easily deﬁnable social styles and we all ﬁt more or less into one of them. They are: Q Drivers: Think of J. R. Ewing from the TV show Dallas! Q Expressives: Think of the late comedian Robin Williams in his heyday; Q Amiables: Think of Alan Alda in M.A.S.H.; Q Analyticals: Think of Mr. Spock from Star Trek and live long and prosper! The different social style of each client will determine your business relationship. Only a fool would have tried to walk into J. R. Ewing’s ofﬁce dressed in a Hawaiian shirt, shorts and sandals. Similarly wearing a dark three- piece suit when visiting a wise cracking, expressive comedian like George Carlin would lead to you becoming a victim of his sense of humour! In either case, you’d end up with zero credibility.
Versatility is the key to social style selling. Modifying your behavior to suit that of the client is an essential element. You have to become a bit of an actor and try to ﬁt his or her social style.
ﬁre it upstairs, letting someone else make the buying decision. Write that proposal as if it’s geared towards a high school graduate and leave no details unanswered!
Keeping the customer happy Developing your own style I have my own approach to selling, a simple strategy that has served me well over the last 30 years or so. On ﬁrst contact, I usually wear conservative clothes, like a blazer, dress pants and shirt and tie. Conservative appearance opens doors; Hawaiian shirts and shorts never will! Besides, I can always lose the tie if I think the client is easy-going enough. I look for clues as to what sort of a guy I’m dealing with. Does his desk face the door or the window? In other words, is he a driver or more of a dreamer? Any trophies in the room? Pictures of the family? Degrees and certiﬁcates? These clues reveal his social style. I keep my trap shut, ask leading questions of the client, and conﬁne my comments to business related items until I feel comfortable with the situation and can relax a bit. With a driver type, I tell what I have to offer, ask if it
Modifying your behavior to suit that of the client is an essential element. ﬁts his requirements, ask for the order, shake hands and leave. Most importantly, I make sure that I deliver exactly what I’ve promised, because otherwise I will never hear the end of it and, in a worst case, may not get paid! I find expressive types easy to deal with because I’m one of them. I get in there, say my piece then sit back and listen to them shake, rattle and roll. I enjoy their humor but I never get involved in a joketelling contest. I let him be the funny guy. When it’s time to close, I sometimes tell them when we’re going to start the project, then let them agree or make a change to the schedule. That way they feel like they are in control. Amiables can be easy to deal with. You may find yourself chatting about everything under the sun, and then slipping the business aspects in after ﬁve to ten minutes. Talk about things evident from your survey of the ofﬁce; get the client to open up, than after a few minutes get down to doing business. Be reassuring and leave the client feeling warm and fuzzy! Analyticals can be frustrating. Whereas I like to get buying decisions made on the spot, sometimes it won’t happen. Don’t look for a purchase order from Mr. Spock on ﬁrst acquaintance. He will take your proposal and Michael (Mike) McCartney is now working as an independent design engineer through M. E McCartney Engineering Ltd., a company he founded in 1992. He can be reached at MMcceng77 @aol.com.
These are generalizations, for sure, but underneath them all is the fact that growing a business, adding clientele and keeping them happy, is all about need satisfaction. You have to be able to talk their language, key in on verbal and physical clues during meetings, determine exactly what they are looking for and make them aware of how you can satisfy that need.
I never say no to a client in situations where they are demanding services beyond what I am able to provide. For example, if a client needs to have his roof structure examined to accommodate a packaged unit, I won’t tell him to get his own structural engineer involved. I’ll engage one myself and apply a small markup to his work. The same applies to electrical and sprinkler system design and a few other things. I try to make it easy for a customer to get the work done. Regardless of what type of person the client is, driver, expressive, amiable or analytical, they all appreciate good service.
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March 2015 – Plumbing & HVAC
Q Coming Events
Organizers expect banner year for Quebec show Over 360 exhibitors expected to display wide range of products Organizers expect MCEE 2015 (Mécanex, Climatex, Expolectriq, Éclairage) will meet or exceed the number of exhibitors at the previous event two years ago. By late February about 360 exhibitors had already registered, said Elizabeth McCullough, show manager for the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH), one of the show partners. “It’s almost bang on with the show two years ago which had record numbers,” she added. With a number of new exhibitors joining the show veterans, 60,000 square feet of booth space had been booked for the show, which takes place at Place Bonaventure in downtown Montreal April 22-23. New exhibitors include a number of large HVAC and plumbing companies that had not previously exhibited at the Quebec show. The show has also drawn strong interest for the New Product Showcase in which manufacturers enter their latest products and technologies to be judged by a panel of industry experts to strict criteria. (Products must be new within the last 24 months and manufacturers must demonstrate that they are innovative and provide a minimum of three new beneﬁts.) Organizers had already received about 65 entries two months before the show. McCullough expects by the time the show opens the number will meet or exceed the 100-plus entries in 2013. Manufacturers from all over North America will display the latest technology in plumbing, heating, hydronic heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, water treatment, tools, faucets and ﬁxtures, ﬁre prevention, PVF and software. The show brings together the mechanical and electrical industries, so there will also be a large display of lighting and other electrical products.
Organizers are expecting MCEE 2015 will meet or exceed attendance numbers at the record-breaking 2013 event. An expanded seminar program will offer 26 free sessions on a wide range of topics including combo systems, unleaded drinking water systems, DHW and space heating, storm water/ﬂooding solutions, new refrigerants, chilled beam technology (in English), air distribution systems pitfalls and many more. Most of the seminars will be in French. MCEE is produced by the Corporation of Master Pipe Mechanics of Quebec (CMMTQ), the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH), Corporation of Master Electricians of Quebec (CMEQ), and the Corporation des entreprises en traitement de l’air et du froid (CETAF), with support from EFC Quebec and IES Montreal. Door prizes this year include hot air balloon rides and hotel gift cards. Admission to the trade show and all seminars is free for visitors who register at www.mcee.ca before April 21.
Calendar MARCH 22-26:
Aquatech ........................................ 11
Liberty Pumps ................................. 38
Aztec Washer ................................. 44
MAG Tool ....................................... 39
Bibby Ste. Croix ........................ 29, 31
MCEE Show .................................... 42
Bradford White ......................... 24, 25
Mitsubishi Electric ........................... 22
Brant Radiant .................................. 23
Mobilio ............................................. 5
Bristol Sinks .................................... 36
Napoleon ........................................ 32
Camus ............................................ 33
Navien .............................................. 9
MCEE 2015 Trade Show, Place Bonaventure, Montreal. Visit www.mcee.ca or call Elizabeth McCullough at 1-800-639-2474.
Delta Faucet.................................... 47
P&HVAC ......................................... 40
Saniﬂo ............................................ 34
RSES Canada Conference, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Calgary. For more information, visit www.rsescanada.com.
Fujitsu ............................................. 12
Success Group International ............ 45
General Pipe Cleaners ..................... 10
Uponor ........................................... 16
Hilmor ............................................ 28
Victaulic .......................................... 13
Holdrite ............................................ 8
Viega ................................................ 6
IBC ................................................... 4
Viessmann ...................................... 20
IPEX .................................................. 2
Zoeller ............................................ 41
Kindred Canada .............................. 37
Zurn Industries ................................ 17
Plumbing & HVAC – March 2015
Canadian Construction Association 97th Annual Conference, Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, San Antonio, Texas. Call (613) 236-9455 or visit www.cca-acc.com.
MAY 22-24: CIPH Ontario Region Conference, Sheraton on the Falls, Niagara Falls, Ont. Visit www.ciph.com/ en/Ontario or call Nancy Bardon at 416-695-0447.
JUNE 4-5: 2015 GeoExchange B.C. Conference and Trade Show, Surrey City Hall, Surrey, B.C. Call 1-604-800-9091 or visit www.geoexchangebc.com for more information.
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