Sept 2023

Page 1

Fall Heating

Attention to detail is key for ensuring a snow melt system has been designed and installed correctly without breaking the bank for the end-user. INSIDE

n Cold climate heat pump case study

n Plumbing & heating industry heads to Calgary

n Repairing pipes non-invasively

n Setting up a business

SEPTEMBER 2023 WWW.PLUMBINGANDHVAC.CA Publication Mail Agreement #43029513. Return postage guaranteed Marked Business Media Inc. 286 King Street W, Unit 203, Oshawa , Ontario, Canada L1J 2J9
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Cover: There are different options available to control snow melt systems, including basic on/off switches, aerial sensors, and the highly recommended snow/ice puck sensor. Please see our article on page 13. September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 3 n Contents Challenging heat pumps misconception 18 This Nova Scotia home retrofit project operated its heat pump at max capacity during the coldest days. Underground plumbing system repairs 27 Maintaining pipes is an essential skill for plumbers Features Departments Hot Seat ......................................... 5 Technical Training Days! Industry News .............................. 7 Preparing for net-zero Letter to the Editor .................... 41 Water quality in hydronics People & Places 43 CIPH announces new CEO Shop Management ..................... 36 Beating the odds Coming Events ............................ 38 Mechanical contractors head to wine country Products & Technologies Hydronic Heating ....................... 13 Heating Products ........................ 23 Building Green ........................... 18 Plumbing ..................................... 27 Tools & Instruments ................... 35 Refrigeration .............................. 37 Fall Heating Mastering Snow Melt Hydronic heat pumps provide an efficient means of heating/cooling a home 13 Compressors and compression 38 Understanding the math behind refrigeration

Balance The Perfect

Thanks to both flow rate controllers and lockshields in each loop, CB Supplies IVAR stainless-steel manifolds guarantee perfect system balancing, avoiding energy waste and ensuring maximum thermal comfort. Each manifold set comes complete with all components in the box, including manual shutoff valves with each set. In addition, the manifold can also be equipped with electrothermal heads to control individual circuits. We simplify the installation process for contractors while our wholesalers benefit from few skus; a win-win situation!

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Get your training on!

There are so many options nowadays when it comes to training and the type of training feels like it’s just as infinite. I’ll admit that I’m a bit biased, but I strongly believe in the benefit of the trade press as a resource for staying informed.

There’s something to be said about our positionwithintheindustry Wedon’tproduce theproductsthatcontractors/technicianswork on,norareweonthetools.Butwehaveafinger on the pulse of the skilled trades

One of the ways that we aim to stay up to date is by attending training sessions. I’ll be honest, there has been more than one time thatIattendedasessionandwasdisappointed. When I can walk away from a session and understand almost everything that has been said, I know the presentation wasn’t technical enough for someone on the tools.

With all that said, the team at Plumbing & HVAC magazine is looking to use our unique position in the industry, alongside our large network of experts, to provide a more technical training event. And I cannot stress enough that these sessions will be technical first and foremost. So, while the event is technical training fi st, it won’t be like one of the Zoom meetings where you’re just sitting and staring at someone speaking to you. There will be plenty of opportunities to engage with other attendees in speed meetings,

gamifications, and networking lounges.

Thegoalwillbetorunsomewherebetween four to six Technical Training Days in a year, with the first event highlighting heat pumps. It will run on Oct. 11 as a virtual educational technicaltrainingopportunitysothatanyone, anywhere, can participate.

Sessions will run concurrently, allowing attendees to pick and choose which session most interests them There will be no sales pitches from manufacturers. Rather, the content will focus on the technology itself.

There will be a crew of technical experts speaking at the inaugural event, including Trevor Matthews, Refrigeration Mentor, speaking on “Understanding CO2 Heat Pumps,” Sam Bilamjian, TradeMasters Workshops, on “Theoretical Fundamentals of Heat Pumps,” Michael Ridler, Eden Energy Equipment, on “Hydronic Design Unleashed: Exploring Air-to-Water System Piping Strategies,” and Steve Ramoul, The Home Inspectors Group, on “Navigating Grant IncentivesforHeatPumps”Therewillbealive demo that puts all these theories into practice and a live installation of an air-to-water unit.

To learn more about the event and all the speakers, check pages 32 to 33.

September 2023

Volume 33, Number 5 ISSN 1919-0395


Mark Vreugdenhil

(289) 638-2133 ext.1

Cell: (416) 996-1031

Editor Leah Den Hartogh

(289) 638-2133 ext. 2

Cell: (289) 830-1217

Assistant Editor Francesco Lo Presti (289) 638-2133 ext. 3

Contributing Writers

Glenn Mellors, Greg Scrivener, Michael Ridler, Ron Coleman

Design and Production

Tim Norton/Janet Popadiuk

All articles and photos by Plumbing & HVAC staff unless noted.

PLUMBING & HVAC Magazine is published seven times annually by Marked 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.

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A member of:

• Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating

• Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada

• Ontario Plumbing Inspectors Association

• American Society of Heating Refrigerating & Air Conditioning Engineers

• Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada

• Refrigeration Service Engineers Society of Canada

n Hot Seat
Facebook: @PlumbingandHVAC Twitter: @Plumbing_HVAC_ Instagram: plumbing_hvac_ YouTube: @plumbing-hvacmagazine LinkedIn: Plumbing + HVAC Magazine

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CIPHEX West returns to Calgary in 2023

Western Canada’s largest plumbing, hydronics, HVAC/R and water treatment tradeshow returns with CIPHEX West 2023 this fall. The tradeshow will take place from Oct. 18 to 19 in Calgary, Alta, at the BMO Centre at Stampede Park.

Over 3,000 guests are expected to attend this year’s event, with 156 exhibitors showcased on the tradeshow floor. During CIPHEX West 2021, which was held in Vancouver, around 2,500 guests attended and 151 exhibitors.

“CIPHEX West 2023 will be back in Calgary this October following a long hiatus. We are excited to be back in the Stampede City to reconnect in person and introduce a ton of new products to the industry. CIPHEX West is scheduled slightly earlier this year, and we are hoping this change brings more people out and continues to showcase why CIPHEX West is the premiere tradeshow in Western Canada,” said Joe Howdle, chair of the CIPHEX West 2023 committee.

Taking place every two years, CIPHEX West is a one-stop expo for industry professionals looking to stay up to date with the new products and technologies available in the plumbing, hydronics, HVAC/R and water treatment industries.

CIPHEX West is home to its new product showcase and competition. New products will be highlighted, and a special industry jury will select the most innovative new products broken down into 11 categories. The categories include air conditioning and refrigeration, controls and instrumentation, heating and ventilation, hydronic heating, industrial, software and electronic, water treatment, kitchen and bath, plumbing and piping, tools and equipment, and alternative energy.

Duringthetwo-dayevent,guestscanattend educational sessions and learn about trending topics in the industry

On the first day of the show, guests have their choice of attending sessions such as the State of Net Zero in Canada and its

Implications to the Mechanical Industry, Updates in Reclaimed Water Systems, Airto-Water Heat Pump Design Considerations, Selecting and Installing Reverse Osmosis Equipment and Evaluating how Water Quality Impacts Pipe Corrosion, F.O.G. Fundamentals, and Facts About Acoustics in High-Rise Condos.

Additionally, there will be a panel discussion titled Incorporating Hydronic Heat Pumps into Hybrid Designs. This panel will include Jerry Leyte (Viessmann Manufacturing), Michael Ridler (Eden Energy Equipment), Chris DesRoches (Mitsubishi Electric), John Goshulak (Weil-McLain), Mike Miller (Taco Comfort Solutions) and Dave Hughes (Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating).

Day two of the show will feature sessions such as Innovative Solutions for a New World of Smart Building Performance – the Path to Increased Energy Efficiency and Reduced GHG Emissions, What’s Behind Your Test Kit Results, Heat Pump Water Heaters Optimal Solution for Decarbonization, and Integrated piping system (IPS) the “Affordable Green”

Hydronic Heating and Cooling System.

Speakers at the 2023 show will include Cory Norman of IPEX, Roberto Bosco of Armstrong Fluid Technology, Martin Rego and Karl Fernandes of Rheem Canada, the Canadian Hydronics Council, Demien Mendez of Cameron Instruments Inc., and Kevin Wong of Uponor, to name a few. Topics and speakers are subject to change. More information will be available leading up to the show.

“CIPHEX West is a must-attend event for contractors, wholesalers, engineers, builder managers and other industry professionals looking to discover new products and technologies. A New Product Showcase will display the newest products in the plumbing, hydronics, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, and water treatment industries,” said Ralph Suppa, president of CIPH.

The tradeshow also provides guests the chance to network with fellow industry members, experience live product demonstrations, and win prizes. To register, visit the CIPH website.

September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 7 n Industry News
CIPHEX West is making its return to the Stampede City in 2023.

Skilled Trades Ontario issuing certificates of qualification

Skilled Trades Ontario (STO) will be issuing over 17,500 certificates of qualification (C of Q) and more than 200,000 wallet cards to apprentices and certified skilled trades workers across Ontario.

Compulsory and non-compulsory tradespeople who have completed their certification after Jan. 1, 2022, will receive their certifiate of qualifiation in the coming months.

“Certificates of qualification (C of Q) are a great source of pride for construction workers across every single trade. They are a culmination of thousands of hours of on-the-job training along with classroom instruction reflcting the credentials earned by those workers,” shares Marc Arsenault, business manager at the  Provincial Building & Construction Trades Council of Ontario. “ The issuing of C of Qs and wallet cards helps purchasers of construction services know that

they are hiring highly trained, skilled trades professionals ready to build and maintain the infrastructure that we depend on.”

According to the STO, a certificate of qualification is an official document that proves that a person is qualifid to work in a particular skilled trade in Ontario. To obtain a certifiate of qualifiation, individuals are required to have passed their certification exam and have met all requirements to practice their trade in Ontario.

Beginning this fall, wallet cards will be issued

to apprentices and certifid compulsory and non-compulsory skilled trades professionals in the province. Wallet cards can be carried while working on the job, in the event they are requested by inspectors or clients.

Certificates of qualification issued prior to Jan. 1, 2022, will continue to be valid and recognized by STO.

“Ths is an exciting milestone for thousands of skilled trades professionals,” said Melissa Young, CEO and registrar of STO. “Not only do certifiates of qualifiation and wallet cards serve to validate credentials, but they are also a testament to the hard work, resilience and unwavering dedication behind every certifid skilled trades professional. I look forward to seeing them proudly displayed on worksites and in businesses across the province.”

FortisBC announces changes to gas equipment rebate programs

FortisBC will be making changes to its rebate programs. As of June 30, the B.C. government made a regulation change that discontinued

Investment in building construction declines in June

Investment in building construction was on the decline in June. Overall, it declined 3.4 per cent to $10.3 billion, according to Statistics Canada. Declines were seen in both the residential and the non-residential sectors.

For the fourth straight month, investment in residential construction declined, down 4.5 per cent. The decline was primarily due to investment in Ontario, which reported a 5.8 per cent drop.

Single-family home construction also fell 5.7 per cent to $6.2 billion in June. Declines were seen in eight provinces. In the second quarter of 2023, the singlefamily home sector fell 10.5 per cent, the largest decline since the second quarter of 2020.

Additionally, multi-unit construction declined for the eighth straight month, falling 3.1 per cent in June, the lowest

level since September 2021. In the second quarter of 2023, this sector declined for the third straight quarter, falling 5.7 per cent.

Investments in non-residential construction also saw a decline, down 0.2 per cent to $5.9 billion in June. Widespread declines in Quebec, down 3.1 per cent, accounted for the decline.

In the second quarter of 2023, investment in non-residential construction rose 1.8 per cent to $17.8 billion.

Investments in industrial (down 1.4 per cent) and institutional (down 1.4 per cent) construction also saw declines. However, investment in commercial constructions had a slight increase, up 0.8 per cent.

Additionally, in the second quarter of 2023, investment in industrial buildings rose 5.6 per cent to $3.7 billion, while commercial construction increased 1.7 per cent to $9.8 billion.

the ability to offer rebates and incentives for gas equipment that operates at less than 100 per cent energy efficicy.

FortisBC acknowledges that this regulation will change most of its rebates for gas furnaces, boilers, combination systems, water heaters, and fieplaces.

These changes mean customers can still apply for these rebates for eligible equipment that is installed, with all invoices dated on or before Dec. 31, 2023.

Customers participating in the Home Renovation Rebate Program have up to six months from the installation invoice date to submit their rebate application. For example, if the invoice date is Oct. 15, their rebate application must be submitted by April 15, 2024.

Those participating in Fortis BC’s lowincome programs have up to 12 months from the installation invoice date to submit their rebate application. For example, if the invoice date is Oct. 15, their rebate application must be submitted by October 15, 2024.

There will be some exceptions for low-income customers and Indigenous communities.

8 Plumbing & HVAC – September 2023 n Industry News

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Canada requires regulatory updates to prepare for ‘net-zero by 2050’

Dramatic regulatory updates are necessary in Canada if thecountry istomeet itsclimate goals. Accordingtoa presentationgiven to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance by the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH), there are three integrated regulatoryand planning pathways that the federal government should create to harmonize departmental and jurisdictional plans for the transition to net-zero. The three streams should focus ontraining workers, technological development, and consumer awareness.

“In the coming years, Canada’s plumbing andheatingindustries will face increasing regulatoryand labourpressures as we continue our work to advance decarbonization and reach net zero by 2050,” reports CIPH as part ofits PreBudget Submission for the 2024 Federal Budget, which was released on Aug.4.

Nealy 80 percent of building emissions come from heatingspaces and water. “Adapting tosystemsthatuse cleanerfuels andrun moreefficiently requires a rapid increasein the effici cy of new builds, and a long-term strategy to perform deep retrofits on Canada’s existing building stock,” reports CIPH.

Training workers

Like so many industries, the plumbing and heating industry hasbeen dealing with a labour shortage. According to BuildForce Canada, it is suggested that by 2032, overall hiring requirementsin the industry will exceed 299,000 due to the retirement of around 245,000 workers and growth in workerdemand will exceed 54,000. “Without proactively addressing these employment gaps,the industry will continue to be dragged down, economic growth will stall, and jurisdictions across Canada will be unable to adequately hit their climate targets,” reports CIPH.

Recruiting new workersand upskilling those already in the industry will help ensure that those in the industry are prepared for the up-to-date technological advancements

set to roll out. According to CIPH, a training pathway should include highlighting the skilled trades as a respectable career choice, bringing trade education into grade schools, and building out existing trades to ensure that all are net-zero-ready.

Environmentally friendly tech

As new technology is introduced in the industry, regulations must keep up. “To keep the industry sustainable and adapt to more long-lasting components and structures, regulations must be modernized alongside technology’s continuous improvements and shift towards environmentally friendly methods,” according to the letter.

user adopts more environmentally friendly plumbing and heating technologies. “High costs and lack of knowledge are often cited as the key deterrents to making the change to environmentally friendly technologies. Providing education and economic incentives — including creating and implementing supports that will make new technologies cost-neutral compared to current costs for water and space heating needs — to support Canadians in the long-term as they make these significant decisions will allow our industry to provide them with the on-theground support that they need, and with the best technologies to see to Canada’s goal of net-zero by 2050,” reports CIPH.

A consumer pathway, according to CIPH, would focus on these incentives and deterrents. It would accomplish the end goal by presenting easy-to-understand information, addressing the realities of cost in the short- and long-term, changing the current culture around the plumbing and heating sectors, and outlining realistic timelines toward a successful transition.

Potential concerns

The federal government needs to create a harmonized pathway within the 2024 budget if the industry is to be successfully prepared for a net-zero built environment.

This means that efficient heating and cooling systems cannot be prohibited by higher costs for consumers, businesses, and institutions, reports CIPH.

CIPH suggests that some type of technology pathway should focus on bringing all stakeholders to the table to share expertise in order to ensure there is a long-term solution, best practices are leveraged, and the proper fiancial support is in place for the industry to research and develop new technology.

Consumer education

When it comes to consumers, education and incentives are key to ensuring the end-

These rapid changes have the potential to create confusion within the industry. As such, “to meet the net-zero goals set by the federal government, product manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, and trade contractors in our sector will need to successfully navigate a rapidly transforming market.”

To make things more complicated, a lot is riding on the upcoming release of the Canada Green Building Strategy. However, if the strategy doesn’t clearly defie pathways, the industry will be held back from doing its essential work, reports CIPH. “Shortages, coupled with rapid prioritization of - and shifttowards - net-zero policies in the built environment, have led to a perfect storm of pressures across the industry.”

CIPH surveyed its membership and found that 62 per cent of respondents had lost contracts, been forced to turn them down, or had paid late delivery penalties due to a lack of skilled workers over the past year. In addition, 43 per cent of respondents had cancelled or deferred planned investments due to insufficit skilled labour.

September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 11 n Industry News

Attention to detail is paramount for snow melt systems. As winter looms, homeowners and businesses scout for effective solutions to maintain ice-free driveways and pathways. Yet, even seasoned engineers and contractors can attest to the intricacies of crafting an effective snow melt system. Even experts falter, primarily due to rapidly evolving technology. Many people, myself included, have been tutored through a mentor-mentee method, and although this approach is invaluable, it only works if the mentor has kept pace with contemporary techniques.

My mentor showed me how a properly designed snow melt system can offer an economically viable and highly effective means of ensuring a safe and snow-free environment during winter. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that terms like “snow melt” and “cost-effective” don’t always go hand in hand.

Brains of the operation

There’s a variety of snow melt controls available, and numerous strategies to deploy this technology. Options range from basic on/off switches to aerial sensors, or the highly recommended snow/ice puck sensor. The latter is superior but is occasionally overlooked due to perceived initial costs, overshadowing the potential operational savings of this option.

The on/offapproach is straightforward — a switch triggers a pump to activate the snow melt. However, an immediate challenge arises when users forget to switch it off

Aerial snow melt systems use different sensor technology to detect snowfall, lowtemperature conditions, and moisture. They typically monitor the ambient temperature and engage the snow melt system during snowfalls. These are typically chosen for retrofit projects where installing a puck sensor isn’t feasible or the snow melt is added to a project as an afterthought.

Puck sensors directly monitor the driveway, ensuring peak efficiency. However, their

Continued on page “15” September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 13
Snow melt and cost-effective don’t always go hand in hand but with proper controls installed and a system to back it up, it doesn’t always have to be the case.
n Hydronics Heating
Picking the correct controls is key for ensuring the system runs at its highest efficiency.
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Continued from page “13”

placement is crucial. Unfortunately, many still install sensors in suboptimal locations, hindering both system performance and operational costs. Instances include placing sensors under parked cars or too close to the snow melt apron’s edge causing misreadings. The potential consequences can mean overheated slabs and non-stop systems.

Proper heat conduction

For pavers, ensuring proper heat conduction to the sensor is essential. A useful tip is to sidestep silicone, which hinders heat transfer. Instead, grout ensures the sensor receives precise readings, optimizing system efficiency. It is equally important that we understand the operation of the snow melt control.

For instance, if you were to choose a Tekmar snow melt control, choosing manual over auto mode can be advantageous, provided one knows its implications. Ignorance here can foster inefficiencies and disgruntled customers. In Tekmar’s context, if you use the manual mode for six hours, the control adheres to that and melts for only six hours, overlooking auto configurations. This can lead to either unfinshed tasks or excessive heating, with users often misunderstanding the difference between manual and auto.

Oversizing and undersizing boilers are also recurring issues in snow melt systems. Typically, the culprit in a snow melt system

the boiler, or use half-inch pipe to reduce tubing costs, among other shortcuts,” explains Matthew Pottins from Laylan Hydronics. “However, what tends to slip our minds is that homeowners have invested in a high-end system; therefore, it’s only fair to provide

communication with the boiler. Historical setups relied on simple communication methods between the snow melt control and the boiler, often by a boiler supply sensor. However, issues arise when manual mixing valves are controlling water temperatures downstream from the boiler.

isn’t capacity but a mishmash of control settings, operational methods, or tubing layouts. A common misstep is mistakenly believing the same tubing layout.

The result is the system performs poorly due to incorrect flows and high-pressure drops. “When we stray from best practices, we encounter diffic ulties. We might opt for a 125 BTU per sq. ft.ratio to economize on

them with an installation that matches that luxury standard.”

Exceeding costs

In terms of temperature, ideally, 36 F to 38 F will sufficfor most slabs, barring specifi areas like helipads or hospitals. Exceeding this only escalates operational costs. A snow melt system’s efficacy hinges on its seamless

We’ve encountered situations where, even though the snow melt control signalled the boiler, the mixing valve restricted the water temperature going out to the slab. Consequently, despite the boiler’s continuous operation and the absence of snow on the driveway, the desired slab temperature wasn’t achieved. The sensor necessitates two conditions for optimal functionality: reaching the target slab temperature and detecting an absence of snow or moisture. In this scenario, due to the mixing valve’s limitation, the slab couldn’t attain the set temperature resulting in an inefficit system.

Continued on page “17” September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 15
While snow melt systems play a vital role in ensuring safety, comfort, and an enhanced quality of life, it’s important to recognize that each situation is unique.
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Such oversights can cripple system efficicy. Modern condensing boilers permit direct modulating signals. Having the boiler communicate with a variable speed pump using a 0-10V signal to regulate both the boiler and system pump allows the snow melt system to perform better, generating more heat when it is needed and resulting in lower return water temperatures.

These setups are more complicated and may add to the installation cost, but they are notably economical in the long run. “To enhance system efficiency, I would suggest incorporating boiler controls. There’s no need to shy away from pushing the boiler’s limits,” explains Pottins. “For instance, NTI boilers can comfortably operate with a 45 F Delta T, and it’s common knowledge that maximum efficicy is achieved by manipulating return water temperature. So, how do we go about achieving this efficicy?”


Heat pumps, whether a water-to-water or air-to-water, undeniably present certain advantages. However, when it comes to snow melt systems, they aren’t without their challenges. A glance at the manufacturer’s specifiations might suggest that delivering water at 130 degrees is within its capability, leading one to assume it’s a good choice for snow melt systems. While this is technically accurate, the full picture reveals more complexities.

It’s important to understand that hydronic heat pumps typically can only elevate the water temperature by about 8 degrees. This can become problematic when designing snow melt systems that might require a temperature differential of up to 30 degrees.

The capacity of residential hydronic heat pumps shouldn’t be overestimated. They don’t pack the same punch as their counterpart, the condensing boiler. For perspective, if a residential hydronic heat pump’s capacity

A common misstep is believing the same tubing layout used for radiant heating will suffice for a snow melt system.

is capped at five tons, its snow melting capabilities are somewhat limited. Given that snow melting demands 130 to 150 BTU per sq. ft, the area it can effectively cover is not that large.

When considering a residential air-towater heat pump during the intense cold of winter, one must consider its true operational capacity. While hydronic heat pumps have their merits and can indeed be integrated into snow melt systems, it’s essential to approach their application with a deep understanding of its operation. At times, a hybrid fuel approach might be the answer, but it always necessitates thoughtful planning andforesight.“Heatpumpsexcelatsustaining consistent temperatures. However, when it comes to handling domestic hot water and snowmeltrequirements,thesituationdiffers,” said Matt Irvine, geothermal sales manager at Eden Energy Equipment Ltd.

Designing a snow melt system is not a simple process and it necessitates a harmonious blend of material choice, control, understanding,andsystemintegration.While the path is riddled with challenges, a wellinformed and meticulous approach can yield arobustandeffici tsystem.Justbecauseyou have done something a certain way doesn’t mean it is always the best or right way :

Michael Ridler is a technical services manager at Eden Energy Equipment. He started out working for a Ont-based HVAC company and now focuses on providing fild support and technical training to contractors, engineers, and builders on heat pumps, boilers, and all things hydronics. He can be reached at September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 17 n Hydronic Heating
Continued from page “15”

n Building Green

Kelly monitors heat pump performance through a Google Nest Hub. This particular graph is showing heat delivered in watts (purple) and power consumed in watts (blue) over the last 24 hours. The ratio between those two numbers is the COP.

Few homeowners have interest in collecting detailed energy use and heating system performance data at their residence. Even fewer are qualified to do so.

However, as a research and de-velopment engineer with Efficiency Nova Scotia, Ryan Kelly was more than interested in collecting data on his home’s new heat pump. He man-ages a team that runs pilot impactingefficiprojectsencyprograms in the province. More specifically, he helps determine how best to retrofit heat pump technology to existing ducted systems. More often than not, the ductwork is a remnant from an oil-fi ed furnace installation.

Data collection

Kelly’s home is typical for the average house in Nova Scotia. It has a modestly higher performance compared to similar 90-year-old homes complete with R-24 ceilings, R-13 exterior walls, R-30 basement walls, vinyl double-pane windows, and an air leakage rate of 6.9 air changes per hour (ACH) at 50 Pa. He wanted to see how the single-zone Fujitsu H-Series heat pump performed in an average home. Homesol Building Solutions’ heat load calculation using a -16 C (3 F) outdoor temperature was an estimated 26,860 BTU/h.

“I installed monitoring equipment at the panel to measure power

Kelly owns a 1,400 sq. ft., 90-year-old house in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The home was originally heated with an oil-fi ed furnace, but in the 1990s, the previous owner retrofitted the furnace in favour of electric resistance baseboard upstairs and an electric thermal storage (ETS) unit downstairs. The five-inch round ductwork was still in use because a unitary air conditioner had been added.

Kelly hired Sunshine Renewable Energy to install a two-ton, 19SEER (Region IV HSPF 10.7) ducted mini-split heat pump to replace the existing heating and cooling systems.

Richard Ross, owner of Sunshine Renewable Energy, immediately saw the potential to repurpose the existing ductwork by installing a single-zone Airstage H-Series heat pump and ducted air handler. The 60-person solar and HVAC company completed the retrofit in a single day. “We replace a lot of oil furnaces and electric baseboard with mini splits,” said Ross. “Our focus is energy efficiency, electrification, helping customers with rebates, and maximizing their return on investment. Th s job, like many others, qualified for Canada’s Greener Homes grant”

Volumetric flow rate is calculated using measurements of fan motor current and a fan curve created using readings of fan current and the results of a duct traverse with a hot wire anemometer at each fan speed.
18 Plumbing & HVAC – September 2023
When temperatures plummeted, reaching a low of -21 C, the heat pump remained on and was able to operate at maximum capacity during the coldest periods.

and energy at the breakers for the heating equipment,” said Kelly. “Continuous, direct measurements of airflow are not practical. To estimate airflw indirectly, I built a curve from spot measurements of fan motor current as well as airflw using a hot-wire anemometer. Fan current is then measured continuously, and that curve is used to estimate instantaneous airflw. Temperature and humidity sensors were installed on both the supply and return sides of the air handler mounted in a basement utility room. Outdoor temperature and humidity sensors were also installed.”

Data from half of the 2022/2023 heating season was archived, but the most telling numbers were collected during a mid-February recordbreaking cold snap.

As a maritime province, Nova Scotia’s winters are milder (albeit wetter) than most of Canada. The average February high temperature in Halifax is 0 C, with an average low temperature of -8 C.

“When I saw the forecast calling for -24 C, I knew I had a unique opportunity to capture data that would test the low-temperature performance of the heat pump,” said Kelly. “I double checked the monitoring equipment and left he thermostat at 21 C.”

Real-world performance

The expectation was that the heat pump would turn offand the nine-kW backup electric coil in the air handler would run for a considerable portion of the cold snap. What actually happened was much different.

When temperatures plummeted, reaching a low of -21 C, the heat pump stayed on. It operated at maximum capacity during the coldest periods. Both the coefficit of performance and total capacity reached

similar levels to what is outlined in Fujitsu’s engineering manual, even at the lowest temperatures: 1.65 and 5.3 kW, respectively. Considering that the home is an uncontrolled environment, these numbers were remarkable.

“The electric coil came on briefly during the coldest period, but on a full-year basis, this is a rare occurrence,” said Steve Shellnutt, outside sales at Master Group, who learned the results of Kelly’s data collection

Continued on page “21”

Coefficient of performance (green) is the ratio of heat delivered to power consumed. COP is estimated using measured power readings and estimated heat delivered. Outdoor temperature (green) is shown to demonstrate the relationship between COP and outdoor temperature. September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 19
Kelly hired Sunshine Renewable Energy to install a two-ton, 19-SEER ducted mini-split heat pump to replace the existing heating and cooling systems. A Fujitsu air handler was installed to retrofit the heat pump to the home’s existing ductwork. Ryan Kelly’s home was retrofitted with a ducted mini-split heat pump to replace the existing heating and cooling systems.

Continued from page “19”

shortly after the severe cold had passed.

“It’s possible that a 2.5-ton unit would have kept up without having to rely on backup, but it’s likely not worth the additional cost for the larger unit, considering the overall fraction of time that backup was needed,” continued Shellnutt.

Interestingly, the fan stayed on “low” nearly the entire time. When retrofitting a heat pump to ductwork designed to operate at high supply air temperatures – such as an oil-fied furnace – there’s potential for velocity noise from the fan having to operate at a higher speed. This didn’t happen. The heat pump capacity varied accordingly, increasing supply air temperatures as needed, with return air temperatures remaining consistent.

Conclusive testimony

“ The energy results were super impressive,” said Ross. “Over the years, we’ve come across some equipment that doesn’t operate as well in the real world as it does during manufacturer lab testing. It was encouraging to verify that this heat pump performed as advertised.”

Supply temperature (blue) measured at the main supply trunk; return air temperature (green) measured at the top of the return air drop; and outdoor ambient temperature (purple) measured onsite.

“I wasn’t shocked by the results,” said Kelly. “It was consistent with the engineering manual described for COP and available capacity. We’ve seen that before, in mini-split fild trials conducted on Prince Edward Island, which has a similar climate. Those tests yielded similar results.”

The ambient temperatures captured in this application are recordsetting for Nova Scotia, reports Shellnutt. “ That provides conclusive testimony that these heat pumps are applicable to even colder climates. When sized correctly, these systems are fully capable of providing efficit heating capacity where very low temperatures occur more frequently.”

Heat delivered through the AHU (green) estimated using AHU volumetric flow and change in observed in supply and return temperatures. Heat pump power and electric coil power are shown in blue and purple, respectively.

Since the energy consumption of the old, electric resistance heating system was monitored prior to the retrofit, a regression analysis on energy consumption data collected pre- and post-installation allowed for a weather-normalized estimate of energy savings. Using a baseline temperature of 18 C and historical temperatures from the weather station nearest Kelly’s home, a typical year sees about 3,600 HDD (heating degree days). Based on the observed performance of the heat pump, a 3,600 HDD year would result in energy savings of 8,700 kWh or $1,400, assuming $0.16/kWh, the current electricity rate in Nova Scotia. :

David McMichael is a copy and content writer who specializes in digital content. He currently works as the digital marketing specialist at The Master Group, based out of Vaughan, Ont.

Heat pump power (blue) and electric coil power (green) measured at the panel.

Dan Vastyan is public relations director and writer for Common Ground, a trade communications fim based in Manheim, PA.  He can be reached at September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 21
n Building Green
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Cold climate heat pump

Continental, Barrie, Ont, announces its cold climate “WSE” heat pumps receive Natural Resources Canada’s Greener Homes rebate program approval. This eligibility allows them to qualify for the applicable cold climate rebates. The WSE heat pump is integrated with an air handler or can be combined with a furnace, making it eligible for dual-fuel hybrid solutions. Continental’s cold climate air-source heat pump provides heating and cooling for moderate climates. Ideal for installation anywhere, these side condensing units are low-profile for flexble placement. It has an operational temperature range of 100 per cent heating capacity at -20 C and 100 per cent cooling at 46 C.

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Snow melting solutions

SunTouch, a Watts brand, Springfield, Missouri, introduces the ProMelt Smart Panel, a snowmelt controller designed to control any size snow melting system. The panel is available in 100 AMP or 200 AMP capacity to operate 120, 208, 240, or 277 VAC snow melting systems. The panel is enabled with Wi-Fi, meaning the system can be controlled from anywhere with the Watts Home app. It is compatible with ProMelt mats, cables, and sensors.

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Dual-fuel system

Mitsubishi Electric, Markham, Ont, announces its new intelli-HEAT dual fuel system, which consists of two units — an exterior heat pump, which replaces an existing air conditioning condenser, and an interior unit that is installed on the existing furnace. It has the ability to determine the best sources of heat (gas or electric). Variable speed technology and smart controls reduce fossil fuel usage and greenhouse gas emissions. Able to operate with ambient temperatures as low as -13 F, its heating source averages 90 per cent electric, 10 per cent gas backup, and 100 per cent electric cooling source.

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Hot water heating

IBC, Burnaby, BC, introduces its allnew CX combi boiler. It has full boiler capacity available for both domestic hot water and space heating. It features a SMCE, 4.39 grade, SS fietube HX. It also has a 10:1 turndown ratio, meaning it can operate on the coldest of days. The boiler has a built-in four zone pump or valve control, in addition to the primary control. It replaces the need for external zone control. It is easy to install and service with universal parts (only one fan and one controller). It can operate with vent lengths up to 50 ft.with two-inches and 170 ft. ith three-inches.


Two-stage gas furnace

Sure Comfort, Fort Smith, Arkansas, introduces its Vantix S962V gas furnace. It features a 96 per cent AFUE rating and is Energy Star certifid. With twostage heating operation, its variable speed motor technology ensures the right amount of airflow in the home. It has an input rate of 40 to 115 kBTU and features a four-way multi-position configuration. The Vantix S962V gas furnace has a patented sensor that shuts offthe furnace if a blocked drain is detected. It has a 10-year parts warranty, limited lifetime warranty on the heat exchanger, and a 10-year conditional unit replacement warranty.

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Quiet condensing unit

KeepRite, Brantford, Ont, introduces its allnew refrigeration quiet condensing unit. The KQ2 is a new and improved unit, but now with enhanced communication and control. Designed with remote monitoring capabilities, it features an upgraded electronic system. There is a wide range of outdoor model units available for both medium and low-temperature applications. Ths outdoor condensing unit is ideal for restaurants and refrigeration professionals looking for an energy-efficit unit all in one.

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n Heating

Continental Heat Pumps, paired with select furnace or air handlers, are NEEP certified and listed on NRCan Greener Home program as Cold Climate Air Source Heat Pump systems. Please refer to local Qualified Product Lists for additional rebate programs.

GAS FURNACES C97 SERIES | Built to Last FEATURES Up to 97% AFUE 35,000 - 105,000 BTU models available Natural Gas or Propane 2 Stage, Variable Speed PACIFIC CLEAN AIR (604) 270-7173 B.C. BARTLE & GIBSON 1-800-661-5615 B.C.,AB, N.W.T., & SWIFT CURRENT SK KLASS MECHANICAL (404) 286-7467 AB AQUIFER (306) 242-1567 SK ANDERSON PUMP HOUSE (306) 937-7741 SK HEAT SAVERS DISTRIBUTORS (800) 561-6192 MB
WOLSELEY (888)290-6318 CANADA DIAMOND HVAC (519) 455-1010 LONDON, ON ERWIN’S HEATING SUPPLIES (519) 364-7550 HANOVER, ON DISTRIBUTION AIR INC. (905) 670-7966 MISSISSAUGA, ON SOUTHERN SUPPLIES (905) 728-6216 OSHAWA & BELLEVILLE, ON 1-800-267-2135 GOLDEN HORESHOE, GTA, CENTRAL, NEAR NORTH & EASTERN - ON PEDCO SUPPLY (905)238-1888 GTA CENTRAL HEAT PUMPS SEER2 | 100% Heat 100% Cool FEATURES 2 to 5 tons of heating and cooling capacity Widest heating and cooling range in the industry 17 SEER2 and a heating efficiency of 9 HSPF2 YEAR PARTS AND COMPRESSOR LIMITED WARRANTY

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The underground plumbing system is crucial in ensuring the smooth flow of water and waste disposal. However, these underground pipes are, “Susceptible to damage due to various factors, which can lead to costly repairs and disruptions in daily life,” said Alex Meyer, product manager at Ridgid

It is common practice for municipalities to have legislation in place that ensures the underground piping system is in good shape and has been inspected, “Anytime a house changes hands or a mortgage changes hands, municipalities require that somebody comes to inspect the main thread that goes from the building onto the street,” explains Dave Dunbar, national sales manager at General Pipe Cleaners. This means that when a property’s plumbing line hasn’t been properly inspected, the owner could be in for a potentially challenging and costly situation.

Continued on page “29” September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 27 n Plumbing
Traditionally, underground pipe repairs are completed by excavating the pipe, however, the industry has seen the introduction of new technologies to help make pipe repairs less invasive.
Pipes can now be repaired from the inside out by using a trenchless repair method, like pipe lining or bursting. Photo provided by Ridgid
AquaRise® Hot and Cold Potable Water Systems 1-866-473-9462 | AquaRise® and the colour of the AquaRise® pipes and fittings are registered trademarks. Distributed in Canada by IPEX Inc., Mississauga, Ontario. To enter, scan the QR code or visit today! WIN* THE GOLF EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME AT PINEHURST RESORT! GRAND PRIZE •Transportation to and from Pinehurst, NC • Accommodations and Meals for two for 3 nights •4 rounds of golf at Pinehurst Resort * Contest is open to engineers and contractors that specify or install potable water distribution systems. SCAN HERE FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. For full rules, complete prize descriptions and how to enter, visit Contest commences at 00:00:01 a.m. EST on July 17, 2023 and ends at 11:59:59 p.m. EST on October 04, 2023. 1 Grand Prize available to be won consisting of a trip for 2 people (winner and 1 guest) to Pinehurst, North Carolina in July 2024 (exact dates to be determined by the Sponsor) - ARV $10,000 (CDN). 10 Secondary Prizes available to be won, each consisting of a $100 CAD Canadian Restaurant Gift Card. Random draw will take place on October 05, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. EST in Oakville, ON. Odds of being selected for a Prize depend on the total number of eligible Entries received during the Contest Period. Open to legal residents of Canada who have reached the age of 19 years old and are Canadian active industry professionals self-employed in the plumbing or mechanical industry or engineers actively working in Canada OR employees of companies acting as plumbing or mechanical contractors or engineers at time of entry. Correct answer to a mathematical skill testing question required. Sponsor: IPEX Inc.

n Plumbing

Continued from page “27”

Reading the signs

Repairing and maintaining underground pipes is an essential skill for plumbers to possess AccordingtoDunbar,thismeansthat they need to “have a thorough understanding of underground pipe repairs so they can effectively diagnose and address situations”

Thefi stsignthatanundergroundpipehas been damaged is looking for slow or blocked drains, unpleasant odours, or water stains. “Also, if you look out and see a sinkhole or any sunken areas, you know there’s an issue,” said Meyer.

Improper installation can create stress on the piping system, which can result in cracks or sinking of the line, explains Sean Comerford, technical applications manager at Oatey. Additional indicators for a damaged pipe include slower running times for sinks or toilets. Meyer states, “People need to be conscious of what they are flushing down the

pipe.” Not all flushable wipes are safe to go down the toilet.

Keeping an eye on the signs of damaged pipes is critical. But another important step is understanding the surrounding area and some of the common causes of pipe damage. “Any homeowner or contractor should constantly be aware of what’s happening around the property. Common causes of underground pipe damage include tree root infiltration, aging infrastructure, and corrosion,” explains Dunbar.

Once the situation has been assessed, it’s

not just as simple as seeing and treating the problem. “Until a plumber can open a blockage and inspect the pipe with a camera, you’ll never know the full extent of the damage. But once you do your camera inspection, that’s when you’ll see any cracks, displacements, or total voids in the pipe,” said Dunbar.

Underground pipe material

Some types of pipes are most susceptible to cracks and damage. This is largely due to its durability. “One pipe that we know was susceptible to cracks or damage was an

Orangeburg pipe. A lot of this pipe was laid in the United States in the 70s and it was a cheaper material at the time. People quickly found that a lot of these Orangeburg pipes were failing after 10 to 20 years. Unfortunately, there’s still a lot of that in the infrastructure that’s getting dug out and replaced,” explains Meyers. Even the best system can result in issues. It just depends on the use of the system. “It depends on what people are flushing and also how often. There is also just a natural wear and tear of a system, and most pipe materials, when installed, were designed with about a

Continued on page “31”

Inspection equipment, like cameras, is an effective approach for plumbers to properly assess the type of clog within the pipe.

Photo provided by General Pipe Cleaners September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 29
We’re seeing that a lot of pipes can now be repaired from the inside out—trenchless repair methods, like pipe lining or pipe bursting. The pipe bursting method involves putting a new pipe into the damaged one, then forcing the old one apart.

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Continued from page “29”

50-year life expectancy,” said Dunbar. Each different type of pipe requires its own repair techniques. For instance, repairing plastic pipes is typically an easier task with fewer risks. “Clay or cast-iron pipes, on the other hand, can be more challenging as they may crack or crumble during the cutting process. Extra care is needed to avoid further damage,” explains Comerford. The most common underground pipes typically include cast iron, PVC, ABS, and clay. Dunbar adds, “Cast iron pipe is one of the major types of materials still in the ground. There is a lot of it in use, especially in big cities.”

Repairing underground pipes

As previously mentioned, the most common underground pipe repair method involves excavation. “However, this comes at a higher cost and it’s also an inconvenience to the homeowner,” said Meyer.

While this is the most common method, over the years, the industry has introduced new technologies to help make pipe repairs less invasive. “We’re seeing that a lot of pipes can now be repaired from the inside out— trenchless repair methods, like pipe lining or pipe bursting. The pipe bursting method involves putting a new pipe into the damaged one, and then forcing the old one apart. Both these methods can help minimize disruption to the property while repairing damaged underground pipes,” explains Dunbar.

Another standard method is cured-inplace pipe, or CIPP, “which is a method that involves inserting a new pipe liner coated with epoxy resin into the damaged pipe, inflating it, and letting it cure in place,” explains Dunbar. When working with the CIPP method, there are two additional specifictypes of CIPP, pipe patching and pipe relining.

Pipe patching is a method that can be done for short repairs (six feet or less). The process involves taking an inflatable packer

Tree roots, especially in old clay pipe mains, can cause damage as they easily find water sources and work their way through old connections secured with concrete.

and putting a fibreglass liner over it. “You mix resins and saturate that liner, then push that whole packer and system into the ground and the pipe, and when it’s at the point where you have that pipe repaired, you inflate that packer. As those resins are curing on that liner, it’s doing a chemical reaction that’s now creating a new material that will solidify that repair. Then, after about an hour and a half of carry, you deflate that packer, you pull that out, but that fibreglass liner pipe patch stays in there,” explains Meyer.

When it comes to pipe lining, “This method is usually done for repairs of up to 100 ft.or so, and it coats an old pipe with a lining, which then hardens. With this, you’d start using a liner or a flexble tube and blow into the pipe. You’d then infuse it with epoxy and put the front end inside the pipe that is going to be relied on. You turn it on from there, creating positive pressure that blows the epoxy down the pipe. Then you cut out the back end, and you let it cure. Once that process is done, you must go through and reinstate the pipe,” explains Dunbar.

During a pipe repair or replacement, solvent welding is a plumber’s best friend. Ths process requires specificconsiderations, especially when working with large-diameter pipes. “ There are five tips to remember while

solvent-welding large-diameter PVC, ABS, or CPVC plumbing systems. Using the proper tools and practices, using the right primer and cement, using the proper tool for cement application, using more than one person or a specialized tool to help the connection, and prefabricating as much as possible,” explains Oatey in its resource guide titled “Five Tips for Large Diameter Solvent Welding.”

Staying in the game

Underground pipe repairs can offer plumbers callback opportunities. “People call all the time because their drain is clogged, but not every one of those calls will result in a relining

Solvent welding is a plumber’s best friend. This fast-set orange cement is recommended for cold water systems and hot water and can be used to solvent weld all schedules and classes of CPVC pipe and fittings. Photo provided by Oatey

job or any replacement job. Maybe one or two out of 10 will result in those jobs,” said Dunbar. It’s best practice to always equip work vehicles with the necessary tools for the job. “ There are tons of service trucks on the road with snakes, jetters, cameras, flexible shaft devices, etc. This allows a contractor to prospect for those pipe replacement jobs. You go in for a simple clog in the drain, but by having this extra equipment, you can analyze a pipe’s situation and see if there’s any extra damage,” said Dunbar. : September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 31


October 11, 2023 • 12-5pm EST

Quality Technical Training

No sales pitches!

Engaging sessions

Answer live quizzes and ask questions


Speed meetings, social media lounges, breakout rooms

Live Demos

Pipe and Install an Air to Water Heat Pump with Michael Ridler!

Win Prizes

Gamification challenges

This is not a webinar, this is a live event!

Confirmed Speakers

Trevor Matthews, Refrigeration Mentor: Understanding CO2 Heat Pumps

Sam Bilamjian, TradeMasters Workshops: Theoretical Fundamentals of Heat Pumps

Michael Ridler, Eden Energy Equipment: Hydronic Design Unleashed: Exploring Air-to-Water System Piping Strategies

Plus Live Demo: Putting Theory into Practice: Live Demonstration of Piping and Installing an Air-to-Water Unit

Chris DesRoches, Mitsubishi Electric: Commercial Air to Water

Greg Kurtz, International Ground Source Heat Pump Association

Ed Lorenz from GEOptimize Inc.: Residential Geothermal/Ground Source Heat Pump Training

Steve Ramoul, The Home Inspectors Group Inc.: Greener Homes Initiative - Understanding Heat Pump requirements for a better homeowner experience Plus

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more to be announced!
Trevor Matthews Sam Bilamjian Michael Ridler Chris DesRoches Greg Kurtz Ed Lohrenz Steve Ramoul


Hand-held drain cleaner

General Pipe Cleaners, McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, introduces its new hand-held Power-Vee drain cleaner with automatic feed. The feeding system gives plumbing, drain cleaning, maintenance, and rehab pros an “extra hand” in tight and awkward spaces. To use, just squeeze the lever and the cable feeds up to 16 ft.per minute. The Power-Vee unclogs

Spot IR thermometers

Teledyne Flir, Wilsonville, Oregon, introduces its new spot IR thermometers — Flir TG54-2 and Flir TG56-2. It provides professionals in utility, manufacturing, building electricians, and industrial mechanics the ability to perform inspections and detect hazards before any contact is made. The new TG54-2 is a 20-to-one spot IR thermometer designed to provide non-contact temperature readings. Equipped with infrared technology, Class II laser sighting, and the ability to measure up to a maximum IR temperature of 850 C, the TG54-2 ensures precision.


Upgrades impact wrench

DeWalt, Mississauga, Ont, announces its new 20V Max XR brushless cordless half-inch high torque impact wrench (DCF961). It can deliver 1,200 ft lbs of max fastening torque and 1,750 ft-bs of max breakaway torque. This impact wrench features new technology that automatically provides an increase in power after four seconds of impacting, aiding in loosening stubborn fasteners and completing heavy-duty fastening applications. The DCF961 also features three speeds and precision wrench technology to help prevent overtightening and fastener run-off, as well as Batteryguard, a shock-absorbing battery-to-tool connection to help reduce battery

sinks, tubs, and laundry drains from 1-1/4inch to three-inches in diameter, up to 50 ft long. It adjusts to Flexicore cable diameters from 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch without special tools or additional parts. The Power-Vee features quick-change cable cartridges for fast cable changing or cleaning.

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Charging and vacuum hoses

Fieldpiece Instruments, Orange, California, announces the launch of its new line of hoses and fittings featuring two key types of premium hoses — charging and vacuum hoses, with accompanying accessories and a variety of different fittings. Ideal for HVAC/R charging, recovery, and evacuation needs, its charging and vacuum hoses in a universal black allow each hose in a set to function as a spare for any other, removing limitations that technicians experience when using traditional yellow, blue, and red coloured hoses. Coloured tags snap onto each hose for identifiation and customization, reducing the number of spare hoses fild techs must carry. The hoses feature triple-ring crimped fittings for increased reliability.

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Quickly cut pipe

Knipex, Bufflo Grove, Illinois, releases a new 8-1/4-inch pipe cutter, which can cut up to oneinch aluminum composite and plastic conduit pipes. The rotating cutting wheel penetrates the pipe with minimal deformation. Wide plastic supports allow for right-angled cuts. The freely rotating cutting wheel allows the pipe to be rotated with minimal friction when cutting. It features a locking mechanism for safe transport.

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Tools & Instruments

Canadian refillable cylinders available

Make the Switch to Solstice® N40

Solstice N40 (R-448A) offers 5-10% lower energy consumption, a 68% reduction in global-warming-potential and lower environmental impact on the planet. Solstice N40 is approved for use by all major compressor and component manufacturers, and is a near-drop-in replacement for R-404A, allowing for easier installations and conversions. Talk to us today to find out more.

For more information visit: or Call 800-631-8138

© 2019 Honeywell International. All Rights Reserved.

The compression ratio of the compressor is a value that describes the ratio of the absolute discharge and absolute suction pressure; the equationforcalculatingthecompressionratiois showninthefollowingequation.Itisimportant to remember that you must use absolute units when calculating the compression ratio. The calculation is straightforward and quite easy to do. In and of itself, this ratio is not all that interesting directly, but it affects other compressor performance characteristics, like volumetric efficiency, that we are a lot more interested in.

A typical industrial reciprocating compressor will run at a compression ratio of approximately four. This allows industrial equipment to run for a very long time with only routine maintenance.

For now, let’s consider only reciprocating compressors. In a reciprocating compressor, refrigerant is drawn into a cylinder as the piston moves down and is compressed as the piston moves up (Figure 1). Obviously, the piston cannot be designed to hit the top of the cylinder, so there is always a small volume of compressed refrigerant that re-expands as the piston begins its next suction stroke. The suction valve can’t open to allow in new refrigerant until the expanding gas reaches the suction pressure (Figure 2).

Continued on page “38” September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 37 n
Themostsignificant variableindeterminingthe volumetricefficiencyisthe compressionratio.

n Refrigeration

Continued from page “37”

The volumetric efficiency of a compressor is the ratio of the volume of refrigerant entering the compressor divided by the displacement of the compressor. This re-expansion in reciprocating compressors reduces the volumetric efficiency of the compressors because it reduces the amount of refrigerant that can get in. One of the reasons we are interested in the compression ratio is that it is the most significant variable in determining volumetric efficiency. As you can see in Figure 3 and Figure 4, increasing the compression ra io c uses a decrease in the volumetric

Th e other reason that understanding compression ratios is important is that manufacturers design products to function in specific compression ratio ranges. You may recall a previous article on low and ultra-low-temperature refrigeration that explained why we need to use two-stage systems to achieve low temperatures when using

reciprocating compressors. It is common to hear that you should limit reciprocating compressors to compression ratios of 10 or less. Ths is not exactly true. Most compressors have application envelopes that allow operation at compression ratios higher than 10 but there are also compressors whose allowable compression ratios are closer to eight.

Compressor at risk

Operating compressors at high compression ratios, even if they are allowed by the manufacturer, has risks, and can shorten the life of the compressor by causing additional wear on compressor components such as the piston pin (because the expanding vapour can push the piston down in the suction stroke and prevent lubrication). In addition, it can lead to overheating and excessive discharge temperatures.

Given this, care should be taken to make sure to prevent operating compressors outside their application envelopes, and when it comes to compression rations, low suction pressure is the most common place to go wrong. Figure 5 demonstrates that as you decrease the evaporating temperature, even small increases in condensing temperature can cause large increases in compression ratios.

38 Plumbing & HVAC – September 2023
Figure 1: A piston draws in refrigerant in a suction stroke and compresses the refrigerant in the discharge stroke. Figure 2: The gas that’s trapped in the top of the cylinder at the end of a discharge stroke must reexpand to suction pressure before the suction valve can open and let in refrigerant. Figure 3: Sample volumetric efficiency of a six-cylinder compressor operating at -10 F evaporating temperature (dew point) using R449A. Figure 4: Compression ratio for different condensing temperatures for a six-cylinder compressor using R449A evaporating at -10 F (dew point).

Take a system operating at 110 F (the blue line in Figure 5) and imagine that normally it is operating at 10 F evaporating temperature, which means a pretty low compression ratio of 8.5. However, this system has a pump down control, and the pressure control is set for cut out at five PSIG (which is about -29 F). During this time, the compressor would be operating at a compression ratio of 13.5. Is this okay? Probably, but not for every compressor. A medium-temperature compressor not designed for extended range may not be rated for a compression ratio this high. Now consider the condenser is dirty and the condensing temperature jumps to 130 F (the orange line in Figure 5). In this case, when we pump down, we have a compression ratio of almost 15.5.

Continuing with our example, what if a technician working on this system sees the compressor come on and offa few times every time it pumps down because of residual liquid in the evaporator and thinks the reason the system is doing this is because the low-pressure control is set too high, and they adjust it down to zero PSIG? The compression ratios in the above example jump to 17.5 and 23.5 for the 110 F and 130 F condensing temperatures, respectively. The same thing happens when running systems outside of their design range (i.e., turning a

cooler into a freezer) or operating with a low refrigerant charge.

Figure 6 shows the application envelope of a real compressor. The refrigerant is R134A. What is the minimum suction pressure this compressor can handle? The lowest temperature in the envelope is -25 F, and since R134A has a pressure of 11.3 PSIA (3.4 psi in a vacuum) at -25 F, that’s the lowest pressure it can handle.

Max condensing temp

Note that the maximum allowable condensing temperature when this compressor is operating at -25 F is only 105 F. This maximum condensing temperature is a pretty low value and would limit the application of this compressor if you were trying to use it in a freezer.

What is the highest compression ratio at which this compressor is allowed to operate? Normally, this would be the corner with the highest condensing temperature and lowest evaporating temperature, but since this envelope has a substantially higher condensing temperature allowed at 20 F, I checked there too. Figure 6 has a red dot on the corner of the application envelope where the highest compression ratio will normally occur and a green dot at the location I decided to check just in case. At the red dot, the compression ratio is 13.2. At the green dot, the compression ratio is 8.8.

I purposely kept the topic of compression ratios and volumetric efficiency limited to reciprocating compressors in this issue, but since scroll compressors are much more popular in air conditioning and small refrigeration applications, we will take a closer look at what makes them different in an upcoming issue. :

Greg Scrivener is the lead refrigeration engineer and a partner at Laporte Consultants, Calgary, and works throughout Canada and the U.S.  He is a professional engineer and journeyperson refrigeration mechanic. He can be reached at September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 39
Using a sprinkler to reduce the compression ratio (and increase the capacity) of a small refrigeration condensing unit.
Figure 5: Compression Ratios for R449A refrigerant at different suction
Figure 6: Application envelope of an R134A compressor.
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Protecting the hydronic

I recently read the article in the March/April edition of Plumbing & HVAC and have a few issues with the recommendations given by Michael Ridler.

Firstly, tap water is perfectly fie in most applications as feed to hot water systems as long as corrosion inhibitors are also added to the system. Concentrating on the TDS of the tap water and recommending demineralizers will not make tap water less aggressive. If you remove all of the dissolved salts from water, it makes it more aggressive, not less. One of

Having filtration on any system is highly recommended but solely relying on a magnetic filter can lead to issues. Magnetic filters only remove ferrous iron products and do virtually nothing for dirt and debris that is not magnetic. A picture was shown of an excellent installation where PEX and copper pipe were used. The magnetic filter would do nothing to remove flux, pipe dope, dirt and debris.

Nothing was mentioned about the pH of the closed-loop systems. Improper pH

Scale accumulation in heat exchangers sometimes is attributed to the fact that the system has higher than normal makeup. Constantly adding a source of water that has the ability to scale can result in calcium carbonate forming on heat exchangers.

Adding corrosion inhibitors to closedloop systems will keep all components in the system properly protected.

I would recommend that any closed loop system, whether it be HWH, heat pump, chilled, glycol, or alcohol system, be treated September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 41 Incredible Temperature Control and Quiet Performance Ion™ 98 Variable-Speed Modulating Gas Furnace • Up to 98% AFUE • 60,000 – 120,000 BTUh • Lifetime Heat Exchanger Limited Warranty+ • 10-Year No Hassle Replacement™ Limited Warranty+ • Dual fuel capable with a compatible heat pump and thermostat for energy-saving heating performance + Please see warranty certificate for further details and restrictions available on Efficient and Powerful with No Hassle Pair it with a compatible air conditioner for full functionality and a full communicating system using the Ion™ System Control. Check out our full product line-up at Model G97GMN n Letters to the Editor

CIPH announces its new CEO

CIPH announces Satinder Chera will take on the role of CEO starting Oct. 2.

The long-awaited resolution to the mystery of who will take over as the head of the Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating (CIPH) has arrived. The association has announced that Satinder Chera will take on the role of chief executive offic.

A transition period will begin on Oct. 2, which will allow Chera to work alongside the CIPH staffmembers, the board of directors, and Ralph Suppa (who is retiring after 35 years with the association).

“We are delighted to welcome Satinder to the CIPH team and feel confident that his extensive experience will help enhance and strengthen our association and continue to provide great value to members,” said Dave Hammond , chair of CIPH’s board of directors. “We have every confidece that he will make a

Wolseley Canada welcomes Alex Nahvi as the new general manager for Ontario. Effective August 1, Nahvi will assume responsibility for overseeing various aspects of the company’s operations in the province, including organizational planning, budgeting, cost control, and sales. He started in the warehouse and has seen him progress through various roles such as counter associate, inside and outside sales representative, branch manager, and branch area manager over his 21-year tenure with Wolseley Canada’s parent company, Ferguson PLC

Navac hires Mike DeLisi as director of sales for its industrial vacuum business unit. He will predominantly focus on sales channel development and marketing efforts.

DeLisi brings with him over 15 years of sales experience in the industrial vacuum sector.

Franklin Electric names Greg Levine as the new vice president and president of the global water department. Levine will join Franklin Electric on July 3 from Nidec Corporation, where he served as president of

tremendous contribution to the association and working alongside our staffteam, will help CIPH achieve its mission of supporting the growth and prosperity of CIPH members.”

Chera has more than 20 years of senior management experience within the not-for-profit and association sectors, having served as president of the Canadian Convenience Stores Association , and vice president at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business . Currently, Chera is the senior director for partnerships with Mitacs . Before working in the association sector, Chera worked in director and senior policy advisor roles within both the Ontario and British Columbia governments.

“I am delighted to be joining this amazing organization and team,” said Chera in a statement. “Ralph Suppa has achieved so much for CIPH and I am committed to ensuring that the association continues to provide outstanding member value for this dynamic and essential industry in Canada.”

the motion control and drives business for the past six years. In his new role, Levine will be responsible for Franklin Electric’s global water systems business. Before working at Nidec, Levine held senior engineering roles at Emerson for 15 years. Levine will be taking over the role from Donald Kenney, who is set to retire after nearly 32 years with the company.

Marcone announces the addition of three new executives to the team. Tim Shearer has been named president of Marcone Plumbing. Previously, he led teams in residential construction and sales, along with more than 20 years in senior roles with Ferguson and Moen . Jon Kirby will be the new executive vice president of supply chain. Kirby brings with him nearly 35 years of supply chain experience from companies like Barclays and AstraZeneca . Jason Scott has been promoted to executive vice president of operations. He previously worked as chief operations officer for Marcone Plumbing

42 Plumbing & HVAC – September 2023 n People & Places
Jason Scott Jon Kirby Tim Shearer Greg Levine Alex Nahvi Mike DeLisi
People Th

Bardon Supplies Limited appoints Shawn Taylor as its new vice president and general manager. Taylor has been a part of the Bardon team for over 34 years, having previously held positions such as eastern regional manager, branch manager, and mechanical estimator. He started with the company as its warehouse manager.

Independent Mechanical Supply announces that Jay Doyle is joining the team as its new head of sourcing. In this role, he will spearhead the sourcing and purchasing operations, leveraging his experience as a seasoned professional in sourcing, procurement, and product management.

Bartle & Gibson have entered into a partnership with Continental The partnership means that Continental HVAC products will be distributed across Western Canada, including gas furnaces, central air conditioners, heat pumps, and air handlers.

Caleffi announcesanexpansionofitsMilwaukeeheadquarters.The expansion will double the warehouse footprint, augment the assembly area, and add space for growth. A celebration was held to commemorate the groundbreaking of the project, which saw a delegation from the Italian office attending the event.

Calefactio is celebrating a milestone anniversary in 2023. This year marks its 10th anniversary, and to celebrate, the company is hiding scratch cards in its products. Every card is a winner. The company will be giving away $50,000 in prizes to plumbers and contractors in Canada. Just go into a store and buy a Calefactio product for the chance to win products and other surprises. The winners are asked to use the hashtag #calefactio10 to see where in Canada each are located.

In addition, Jesse Grant has accepted the role of sales operations manager. He has over 20 years of industry experience and has been with the company for over nine years, with his most recent role as the Scarborough, Ont, branch manager. Paul Lefebvre will take over as the Scarborough branch manager. He started his journey in the industry back in 1997 and has eight years of experience with the company, having fist joined the order desk team, and was most recently the assistant branch manager in Scarborough.

Dave Nakashima has joined the Independent Mechanical Supply team as a business process manager. He will focus on growing the success of the sales and operations process. Matthew Nykamp has also joined the team as PVF product manager. Nykamp will bring with him over 20 years of experience in the plumbing and HVAC industries. He will work on driving growth to this class of product.

The biggest change coming to the HVAC industry is recertification to UL 60335-2-40. Intertek can help manufacturers during the transition period.

Heat-flo announces a new partnership with three sales representatives in Western Canada. Prowest Sales LTD will represent British Columbia, Kadin Sales LTD will represent Alberta, and Westcan Mechanical Sales will represent Saskatchewan and Manitoba. September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 43
Jay Doyle Jesse Grant Paul Lefebvre Dave Nakashima Matthew Nykamp Shawn Taylor
800 WORLDLAB (967 5352) FOR MORE INFORMATION Companies Th

Construction-type businesses have the highest failure rate followed by restaurants. Contractors that rely on restaurants might want to start diversifying their clientele. The best way to start a business is by structuring the business by minimizing any type of personal risk. If the business fails, would you or your spouse be forced to declare personal bankruptcy? Is it fair that a failed business could also mean losing other assets, like your home?

Creditors want to get paid, and they can be very aggressive in getting what they are entitled to. By structuring your business correctly and by following cer-

tain rules, the chances of the business failing are signifiantly reduced and would limit any personal bankruptcy exposure.

Many HVAC and plumbing contractors start off with one van or truck as a sole proprietor. As the business evolves, they form a company and go from there. Very little, if any, thought is given to the long term. We expect to be in the business for the long term. It’s usually our trade expertise that gets us started, not our business acumen.

There are several advantages to forming a company rather than operating as a sole proprietor. The business is a separate legal entity from you and there are restrictions on what you can be held responsible for. Also, this is a very effective way of sheltering income from taxes. It also means that you will have separate bank accounts for the business and your personal activities so they don’t get entwined. All contracts are with the company and not you personally. It is also easier for companies to obtain liability insurance.

Forming a holding company

When installing a mechanical system, we have drawings and specifiations and know what the outcome will look like and how the system will function. It's a pity we don’t do the same with our business and allow for contingencies.

The following recommendations might not be the best from a corporate or personal tax

44 Plumbing & HVAC – September 2023 n Shop Management
The best practice for setting up a business is to start by decreasing the amount of personal risk any owner would have in the company.
By Ron Coleman

perspective, but it will give you the best protection in the event things go sideways. There is a better than 20 per cent chance that things will go sideways.

The first suggestion would be to form a holding company. Loan it the money to start, or buy an operating company. The operating company is owned by the holding company. It’s appropriate to have your spouse as a shareholder in the holding company, but not as a director. Directors have a variety of legal obligations that shareholders don’t have. Never let your spouse sign personal guarantees.

It’s also a good idea to have your home and any other signifiant assets in your spouse’s name, that way they can’t be attacked for any liabilities that might be your personal responsibility. Those liabilities would include personal guarantees and trust claims.

When the operating company makes a profit, it will pay no more than 13 per cent corporate tax on profits up to $500,000. Those profits can be transferred as dividends (taxfree) to the holding company and the loans to start the business can be repaid without tax implications. Also, any profits held in the holding company are sheltered from creditors of the operating company.

If you buy a building, don’t put it in the operating company, I tend to recommend a separate holding company. The operating company will need working capital. When the dividends are paid up to the holding company, that can leave the operating company short of cash. The holding company can loan the cash back to the operating company and put a priority charge against that debt the same way a bank would. Some companies like to put their vehicles and equipment into the holding company and then rent them back to the operating company. This could be an issue for companies in British Columbia as there are provincial sales tax implications.

will likely pick the ones with the most assets.

In addition, trust claims are also involved with monies paid to the contractor to do specific projects. If the money is not used to fiance the relevant project, the directors may be open to a charge of breach of trust.

Other liabilities that cannot be avoided are those where you have given personal guarantees. If you signed a personal guarantee 20 years ago with a supplier, will you remember you did? If you sell the company and the new owner gets into fiancial trouble, the supplier still has your personal guarantee and may try to enforce it. Make sure you cancel all personal guarantees when you sell the company.

Reach out to your accountant

I did mention that there are some tax downsides to all this. They can get quite involved, so you would definitely need to explore these with your accountant to understand the pros and cons.

For example, if you and your spouse each own shares in the operating company in your personal names, and you sell the shares to a third party, you would likely be eligible for the lifetime capital gains exemption. In 2022, that was $913,630 for each of you. If you own the shares through your holding company, the tax breaks are not as good but are signifiant and need to be reviewed with your accountants. Selling assets rather than shares also has tax implications that need to be understood.

Limiting exposure

Ideally, you want the operating company to have as little tangible worth as possible as this limits the exposure to creditors.

As a director, you are responsible for the company and its performance. Many of the liabilities are the sole responsibility of the company with the directors not having any responsibility for them. However, there are a number that are considered as trust liabilities that the directors can’t avoid. For example, source deductions and GST/HST are the responsibility of the directors. The CRA is not obliged to go after all directors equally, they

If you are in business, whether established or in the early phase, I would recommend you review this article with your accountant and ask them for guidance on how you should proceed. Hope for the best; plan for the worst. : September 2023 – Plumbing & HVAC 45
Ronald Coleman is a Vancouver-based accountant, management consultant, author and educator specializing in the construction industry. He can be reached by e-mail at
You want the operating company to have as little tangible worth as possible as this limits the exposure to creditors.

n Coming Events

MCAC annual conference fast approaching

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC) will be surrounded by some of the most beautiful vineyards in the world when they travel to Napa Valley, California, for its annual business conference. The conference will run from Oct. 18 to 21 at the Silverado Resort and Spa. The association fist tried to hold its annual conference in Napa Valley back in 2020 when the pandemic first struck, but it was forced to postpone because of safety concerns and lockdowns. After three years, the wait is over.

Pre-conference activities and sessions will begin on Oct 16th and 17th. These two days will feature private events of meetings consisting of managing councils, the MCAC board of directors, and education committees.

An opening breakfast and keynote speaker will kick off day one of the conference. The next three days will have a full schedule that

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includes educational seminars and networking. Sessions that can be attended during the fist day of the conference include Creating and Supporting a Diverse Workforce, the State of Risk Management for Mechanical Contractors, Implementing Fleet Management for Service Contractors, and Nearshoring and Inflation: How Supply Chains have Changed and What it Means for Contractors.

Day two of the conference will feature an association meeting, an invitation-only open shop meeting, and a Women in Mechanical Construction meeting. There will also be sessions such as an Economic and Labour Force Update, the Value of a Water Mitigation Strategy, and the ‘New Normal’ for the Mechanical Contractor – How the Legal Landscape has Changed.

Mark Brand, a social entrepreneur and fiefihter, will be the keynote speaker during

the final morning breakfast. Brand has experience speaking on sustainable business and building better communities. The title event, the annual general meeting, will occur on the last day of the conference, as well a session titled, “FutureCasting the Mechanical Contracting Sector.”

Jamie McMillan, an iron worker, and Bill Ferreira, executive director of BuildForce Canada, will also speak during the conference. Black & McDonald and Noble will sponsor two sessions during the conference.

There will be two golf tournaments, an inaugural two-person scramble and MCAC’s annual conference tournament sponsored by IPEX, grape stomping, and morning yoga.

MCAC’s last annual conference was held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the theme was “Reconnect,” after gathering for the fist time since 2019. During last year’s conference, Brent Cornelissen of OS&B was awarded the Doug Crawford award, while Mike Miller of Taco Comfort Solutions was given the Greig Memorial Award.


Sept. 17 – 19:

HRAI Annual Conference, DoubleTree Hotel, Montreal, Que. For more information, please visit

Sept. 28:

Noble 30th Anniversary Fall Tradeshow,

Universal Event Space, Vaughan, Ont. For more information, please visit

Oct. 18 – 19:

CIPHEX West 2023, BMO Centre, Stampede Park, Calgary, Alta. For more information, please visit

Oct. 18 – 22:

MCAC Annual Business Conference, Silverado Hotel, Napa Valley, California. For more information, please visit

46 Plumbing & HVAC – September 2023
Bradford White Canada 6 CB Supplies 4 CIPHEX West 20 Continental 24-25 Emco 26 Flocor 34 Honeywell 36 ICP Canada 41 Intertek 43 IPEX 28 Lync 16 Lyncar 30 Navien 9 Panasonic 2 RLS 22 RWC 10 Sluyter 35 Sure Comfort 48 Taco 47 Technical Training Day 32-33 Triangle Tube 14 Viessmann Manufacturing Co. 12 Wolseley Canada 40
MCAC is heading to wine country as part of its annual business conference, which will run Oct. 18 to 21.


More information available at

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