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Viega. Connected in quality.


CONTENTS WHAT’S HAPPENING AT VIEGA 03 A letter from the Vice President of Business Development

14 Interactive Learning Center 31 Tech Talk UNIQUE APPLICATIONS 04 Sail Boston incorporates Viega PureFlow

RESIDENTIAL 08 Residential bathroom remodel 13 In Your Neighborhood: Senior apartments

26 Georgia homeowner chooses Viega

VOICE INSTITUTIONAL 10 Aims Community College addition

a publication of Viega LLC November 2017

18 Viega applications in a Wyoming

Marketing Director Mark Brodie

20 Connecticut apprenticeship

Creative Marketing Manager Molly Morrow

high school and college training facility

COMMERCIAL 22 MegaPressG in Utah office building

28 Fast of Florida impressed with ProMotion truck

MARINE 24 St. Johns Ship

Building's success

MIXED USE 30 In Your Neighborhood:

Historic Detroit building

ON THE COVER Viega PureFlow PEX products played an important role in the Sail Boston Tall Ships event, part of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, in June. Thousands of feet of PureFlow PEX allowed the ships to connect to fresh water upon docking.

Content Marketing Editor Kristen White Graphic Designer Jason Green Marketing Coordinator Jared Wolny Contributing authors Jacob Demars, Robert Gottermeier, David Melendy, Kristen White Contributing photographers Jason Green, Robert Ring, Mark Waldron Future articles and tips Please send in your interesting stories and tips relating to Viega products for possible publication in future issues of Viega Voice to press@viega.us.


NOBODY DOES TRAINING LIKE VIEGA, AND THAT’S EASY TO SEE... A letter from the Vice President of Business Development

Education and training are core beliefs of Viega. They’re at the heart of what we do worldwide. Whether you are in Germany, China, India or the United States, these things are integral parts of who Viega is as a company. It is our desire to provide support for architects and engineers so they can specify and design Viega systems with confidence. We offer comprehensive training for contractors at our facilities in New Hampshire and Kansas. Soon, we will host customers at our new center in Broomfield, Colorado. In addition, the large Viega sales force is in the field every day, offering support. The desire to educate our customers and industry partners goes beyond Viega fittings and the accompanying press tools. We also offer training on industry trends and issues such as water quality and solar energy. We believe in a well-rounded education. That’s why we’re so excited about our newly remodeled Nashua Training Center in New Hampshire. The all-new Interactive Learning Center combines training and Viega products with the technology that surrounds us every day. In 1,200 square feet, customers can touch, see and interact with Viega products. They can press a fitting and witness the ingenuity of the Viega Smart Connect feature. They can see a ManaBloc in action and feel the difference of radiant heating and cooling on the radiant bridge.

We created the ILC to give our customers another way to learn, a way to tie together what they’ve learned in a classroom and personal experience. The state-of-the-art ILC mirrors the innovations we are constantly engineering within Viega to bring you the best products and systems possible. Nobody does training like Viega, and that’s easy to see at the ILC. It’s a one-of-a-kind facility. There’s nothing else like it in our industry, and we’re excited to show it off. Knowing how integral high-quality training and education are to the future of our business and for the plumbing industry, we established the VTEN (Viega Trades Education Network) program, too. VTEN is a partnership to further enrich curriculum and provide resources to students, above and beyond basic instruction. It directly supports plumber and pipefitter union apprentice programs and vocational schools. For so many reasons, customers have come to expect the best from Viega. The ILC is no exception. It goes along with our supreme customer service and tech support teams, our top-notch supply chain, and the speed and accuracy of orders with our company. When you’re in the Nashua neighborhood please stop by. We’re excited to invite you in to show you the latest and greatest Viega has to offer. ■

ROBERT GOTTERMEIER Vice President of Business Development Viega LLC Viega. Connected in quality.


THOUSANDS OF FEET OF PUREFLOW MAKES SAIL BOSTON SUCCESSFUL Imagine temporarily installing nearly a mile of Viega PureFlow PEX tubing and then taking it down just a week later. That’s exactly what Steve Harold and his crew from SG Harold in Massachusetts did in Boston Harbor over the course of four days for a special event. A lot of work for a short time frame of use, but the PEX served an important purpose, running down the piers so the ships coming into the harbor for the Sail Boston Tall Ships event could connect to filtered water upon arrival. The Sail Boston event, a six-day extravaganza in June, brought in ships from throughout the world. Boston served as an official port in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. The transatlantic regatta is a five-month race that also doubles as a public showcase for the impressive vessels. The adventure started in Royal Greenwich, UK, then raced onto Sines, Portugal; Bermuda; and then Boston. As a fleet, the ships then cruised on to Quebec City, Canada. 4 | Viega Voice | November 2017

Sail Boston included educational programs about U.S. and international maritime history, and attendees of all ages were enchanted with the Tall Ships fleet that made its stopover in Boston. For such a huge event, enormous amounts of preparation work were required — everything from event security to details like PureFlow PEX waterlines. Harold and his crew, dubbed “the water team,” had many obstacles to overcome. The PureFlow tubing, approximately 5,000 feet of it, had to be run down the sides of the piers so the tubing was out of the way of foot traffic. But there were plenty of hazards to contend with: staircases, jumping from continued on page 6


Viega. Connected in quality.

pier to pier or, in some cases, piers that required special security clearance from the Department of Homeland Security. “We had to be careful not to put it in the way, where people would trip on it,” Harold said. “We tacked it along the docks and fished it through stairs and different areas. In one case, it was particularly difficult to get the tubing to the other side of the pier, so we used a motorboat to help. We put a string on the end of the tubing and used the boat to get to the other side.” The crew of three had an interesting time “connecting the dots” from pier to pier. In some places, they hung Viega PureFlow PEX along ropes tied to the sides of docks, and in one instance they even had to run it through water to allow for changing tides.

bringing him and his team back in for this year’s event made sense, since they already had a good grasp of how to do it all. For Harold, using Viega PureFlow PEX today isn’t a question. He’s been a loyal PEX user since long before Viega PureFlow products were introduced to the market and said he likes how easy connections are made with Viega. Especially for a temporary job like Sail Boston, PEX was the only viable and affordable solution. “It’s just quick and easy,” he said. “They keep improving the fittings. You connect and it’s good.”

Harold said he was thankful for the flexibility of Viega’s tubing, making it easy to manipulate and maneuver through the obstacles they encountered.

With such a large and spread-out project, it was important for things to be simple and quick. Some runs of PureFlow were short, while others were quite lengthy – one alone was nearly 1,000 feet long. Harold also “plumbed” some of the portable restrooms that were set up for the event.

This was the second time Harold ran PEX tubing for the Sail Boston event. Back in 2000, when the ships were also in the Boston Harbor, Harold suggested to event organizers the use of PEX. The tubing was somewhat new on the scene. Harold’s venture in Boston was successful in 2000, so

As 54 Tall Ships docked in Boston, and an estimated 3 to 4 million people traversed the piers to take part of the majestic experience, they were unaware of the thousands of feet of PEX surrounding them – meaning Harold and his crew were quite successful in their job. ■

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Approximately 5,000 feet of Viega PureFlow PEX was run down the sides of the piers so the tubing was out of the way of foot traffic. There were of hazards to contend with: staircases, jumping from pier to pier or, in some cases , piers that required special security clearance from the Department of Homeland Security.



Viega in-wall carriers are easy to install with the help of the installation guide. A line on the carrier shows exactly the height it should be off the finished floor.

IN-WALL CARRIER MAKES HUGE DIFFERENCE IN BATHROOM Sometimes, just five inches of extra space can make all the difference. In a New England Cape Cod-style home, five inches of space gained in a bathroom, thanks to a Viega in-wall carrier system, was the difference between night and day. Viega Technical Manager Rudi Tillmann, a mechanical engineer with an extensive background in plumbing, has been working on a remodel of a 1960’s bathroom that was “old, outdated and not really functioning anymore.” He put a variety of Viega products to work, and the small space was transformed, both functionally and aesthetically. The biggest change, at least visually, was installation of an inwall carrier from Viega. The toilet and shower are across from each other in the bathroom; and previously, the shower was 8 | Viega Voice | November 2017


Moving the tank inside the wall created enough additional space in the bathroom that a full-sized shower door could be installed. a tiny 30-by-30 inches, with a small linen closet adjacent to it. By removing the closet, Tillmann was able to make the shower 30-by-48 inches, but he also wanted to give it a nice, modern feel with a glass door and not a curtain. Cue the inwall system.

Second, Tillmann said it was a bit of a visual eyesore, running the length of the bathroom wall. He said it was a mechanical component, much like the tank of the toilet, that doesn’t need to be seen, so “hiding” the heat in the floor made sense.

There would have been no way to open the glass shower door without it hitting the bowl of the toilet – no way until Tillmann used an in-wall carrier, moving the tank into the wall and adding about five inches of space to the bathroom. That shift created enough room for the shower door to open properly.

The radiant heating in the floor has its own controls, so the bathroom can be individually heated without affecting the rest of the home. And the added space in the bathroom, thanks to the dumped baseboard heat and added in-wall carrier, feels luxurious and spacious.

“With the wall-hung toilet, we have the benefits of it aesthetically looking better and it being cleaner, but it also saved us space, too,” Tillmann said. “It proved how important five inches can be in these small bathrooms. We couldn’t have done what we did without it.”

Tillmann said he appreciated some of the benefits of the Viega in-wall carrier, particularly the installation guide. A line on the carrier shows exactly the height it should be off the finished floor.

Another significant change in the bathroom was tearing out the baseboard heat and replacing it with Viega ProRadiant heat in the floor. There were multiple reasons for the switch. First, the baseboard heater in the bathroom was controlled by the thermostat for the entire house, so the bathroom was often cold and uncomfortable, particularly in the winter. To get the temperature warm in the bathroom meant making things too hot in the rest of the house.

“It helped me not to have to do a lot of calculations,” Tillmann said. “You figure out where your finished floor will be, then use the line and secure it in. It’s a very nice feature.” He paired the in-wall carrier with the Visign for Style 12 flush plate, in mat chrome with dual volume buttons. The Viega products complete the greater-Boston-area home’s bathroom, bringing it up to date and making it attractive at the same time. ■

Viega. Connected in quality.



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For a job with a maximum guaranteed price, crews working on a large expansion at Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado, were looking for the best ways to cut costs when things went over budget. Putting additional Viega products to use was an easy way to trim costs.

“When it was over budget, I looked at what we could substitute. Originally the only [Viega product] called for was potable water, but we got other Viega items in. It was value engineering with the budget,” Self said. Braconier purchased two sets of MegaPress jaws for the project.

Golden Triangle Construction, along with contractor Braconier Mechanical and Plumbing, remodeled the existing 15,000-square-foot welding building at the college, plus added on another three-story building, 60,000 feet in size. Original specs called for threading the pipe, and Project Manager Todd Self saw that as an opening for Viega MegaPress.

Ricky Maynard, the plumbing foreman on the job, echoed that Viega was the best way to go for both ProPress and MegaPress. “It’s faster because no hot work permits are needed. And running the water pipe in a threestory building, we would have needed two or three times as long to do it,” he said. “I’ve been pressing


Many of the lines in the welding building at Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado, were left exposed so that students can see high-quality examples of MegaPress and ProPress work.

since I came to Braconier six years ago, and if the specs allow it, [Viega] is what we do.”

brings. The prep time to press versus weld a joint is so much less.”

Time saved adds up, and it was crucial to the budget. Maynard also added that original plans in the building called for threading oxygen pipe, which wouldn’t have worked. Lines can’t be used for oxygen if they've had threading oil on them yet another reason to call on Viega.

Dan Guidry, pipe fitter foreman for Braconier, said that with so many workers constantly flowing through the building, at times some of his pipe was pushed around or shuffled out of the way. Still, there was not a single failure on any Viega fitting, a testament to the strength of the system.

“Viega evens the playing field for us,” Self said. “We can drop our labor costs and be more competitive. Labor savings are huge, so we do what we can to decrease them. When I started [with Braconier] four and a half years ago, I always pushed for ProPress and the labor savings it

ProPress lines run throughout the newly revamped building for hot and cold domestic water. In the remodeled welding lab, MegaPress and MegaPressG lines run a variety of things, including continued on page 12 Viega. Connected in quality.


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natural gas, compressed air and welding gases, such as argon and acetylene. The original welding lab, built in 1983, was gutted to a shell with just the welding booths remaining. All the piping – nearly 5,000 feet of it – was newly run, and Joe Turecek, Superintendent with Golden Triangle Construction, said he believes pressing with Viega cut at least a week off the install time in the lab alone. The addition to the building is a huge boost for the Aims campus and, with all the offerings available, will bring in lots of new students. Students can study construction management, CAD, materials testing, robotics, 3D printing, alternative energy and more. The entire building is meant to be a teaching vehicle. For example, the back of the elevator is exposed so that students can see all the working elements that make it run. There are lots of exposed pipes throughout the building to serve as examples of top-notch workmanship to which students can aspire. ■



CONTRACTOR URGES USE OF VIEGA IN APARTMENT BUILDING Using Viega MegaPressG, ProPress and the PureFlow System at a senior apartment facility shaved days off installation for Elite Mechanical. The Vineyard at Broadmore in Nampa, Idaho, is a 30-unit facility that offers one- and two-bedroom apartments for residents 55 and older. Brian Watson, owner of Elite Mechanical, and his team installed Viega products in the building, which is phase two of this development. He said the savings in time were truly tangible. “We saw in the first building [a crew] hand-threaded the same sized building as this one, and we were at least two weeks faster,” Watson said. “We were able to complete the gas system for the whole building in two and a half weeks with four guys, and sometimes we were pinned in some small closets. It’s thousands of feet of gas pipe, probably 250 to 300 fittings. “It’s really nice when we pressure test with air and the gauge doesn’t move – you run the risk with threading that if somebody didn’t get it quite tight enough, you’re tearing the building apart to fix it. With Viega, we can be confident that we won’t have any problems.” The building also uses Viega PureFlow PEX Press products and used transition fittings to go to the copper main coming into the building. The project originally only specified the usage of PEX, and Watson pushed for Viega PureFlow PEX, saying that he’s “selective” in his products. He also approached the engineer for the building about using MegaPressG, and it was later approved. Elite Mechanical has been using Viega products for more than a decade, with MegaPress being the newest addition to the company’s repertoire, Watson said. ■




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HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE LINKED TO CLASSROOM A truly interactive learning experience – that’s what visitors to the recently renovated Viega Educational Facility in Nashua, New Hampshire, are exposed to at the new Interactive Learning Center. The facility is a huge project, years in the making, that gives contractors a chance to learn in real-time, experience Viega products firsthand and extend their classroom knowledge in a tangible way. “We’re always looking for new ways to teach, new ways to enhance the educational experience,” said Jason McKinnon, Director of Technical Services, Viega, and a driving force behind completion of the ILC. “This is an interactive opportunity. Visitors can touch and feel and experience digitally some of the things we’ve talked about in the classroom. It walks them through the products, and they’ll see some functioning displays. It’s one more method for us to educate the customers.” The ILC is about 1,200 square feet in size and contains 16 individual vignettes, each tailored to a different topic, plus three product explorer kiosks and a digital wall. All of the vignettes have a touch screen monitor, which plays a looped presentation of images to grab the attention of customers, but the screen can switch to clear mode. On clear mode, the screen becomes a window, where the viewer can see real Viega products behind it, along with digital graphic callouts that describe the benefits and features of the products. The monitors also allow the customer to further explore information about Viega products through the touch screen via product overview and detail menus. Topics included in the different vignettes are process piping, water quality, compressed gas and air, a mechanical room, commercial plumbing, SmartLoop, in-wall flushing, shipbuilding and many others. In the Smart Connect vignette, for example, contractors can see the technology working. There will be water passing through unpressed connections in several different systems, and then people can pick up a press tool and actually press the copper fitting to witness the Smart Connect innovation and see the water stop leaking. For the ManaBloc vignette, workers at Viega’s McPherson plant actually created a ManaBloc with clear resin, so the water is visible inside. The display is lit up with LED lights, so visitors to the ILC can really see how a ManaBloc works. continued on page 16 Viega. Connected in quality.

The radiant bridge is one of the favorite parts of the facility for Jim DeBroeck, one of Viega’s marketing coordinators, who has worked on the project since 2014 and saw it through to completion. “We’ve got heating and cooling right next to each other, and you can walk from the heat to the cool, seeing and feeling the temperature difference,” he said. “There is a thermal camera above you that shows the blue cold of the cooled side and the hot red of the heated side. It’s a really impactful way to display it.” Several years ago, when the concept was just taking shape, McKinnon had a long wish list of things he wanted to see in the interactive area. He hoped for working displays and faucets, flushing toilets and working air lines. In the end, Matrex, the company hired to create the vision and execute the project, blew it out of the water, including all that and more. “Matrex took ideas and incorporated the technology and working-display aspects. They came up with the cuttingedge clear screens to showcase what’s going on,” DeBroeck said. “They helped us tell the story of Viega. It’s not just a MegaPressG fitting: The fitting is attached to a gas meter that’s attached to a ‘house’ so you can see the entire scope of a product.” Product managers and engineers spent hours working with DeBroeck and Matrex to create each of the vignettes, and lots more time went into creating all of the content contained in each section. It’s been a huge amount of work, and everyone is excited to see it come to fruition. “The industry we’re in, it’s not a flashy, high-tech industry. But this is flashy and high-tech,” McKinnon said. “It takes a lot of technology that we see in our day-to-day lives and incorporates it into our plumbing and heating systems, which is really exciting. You don’t normally get those opportunities.” Among other fun features at the ILC are a nine-foot video panel wall that plays the Viega corporate video, and a sculpture made of Viega ProPress and MegaPress Stainless product. The sculpture is about 10-by-10-by-5 feet, and it hangs in the center of the room. “Really the biggest thing here is the connection between the classroom and the hands-on installation that we have. It melds the two things together,” McKinnon added. “This is another method of hands-on interaction to meet the learning style and needs of contractors.” ■

Vignettes in the Interactive Learning Center include many working parts, like running faucets, flushing toilets and working air lines.

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Freakishly Smart.

Learn more at Viega.us/RethinkPEX

Presenting Viega PureFlow® System. Freakish Performance. This PureFlow PEX provides confidence in every connection. It’s been specifically designed for commercial and residential builders. Viega’s Smart Connect® technology helps identify unpressed fittings to ensure quality connections. And with factory-assembled sleeves across a vertically integrated manufacturing process, there’s consistency in every ounce of ingenuity. Viega. Connected in quality.



Viega ProPress products made specialty gas lines in welding-lab classrooms at Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington possible.

To run specialty gas lines for welding-lab classrooms in both a high school and technical college in Wyoming, Valley Plumbing and Heating worked closely with Viega to obtain the approvals necessary. After consideration and research, Viega approved the uses requested, and the contractor was able to finish the job utilizing Viega ProPress for copper and stainless steel cleaned and capped piping. At Thunder Basin High School in Gillette, Wyoming, and Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington, Valley Plumbing was tapped to provide lines for specialty gases, as well as domestic water and hydronics. However, at the high school, two of the requested uses for gas were not already approved by Viega. Valley Plumbing CCO Don Haught, with the help of Viega District Manager Keith Sayers, went through the approvals process for use of propylene and a carbon dioxide/ argon mixture.

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The specification required cleaned and capped pipe and fittings for specialty gas. It was essential that no foreign debris or contamination was introduced into the final systems. There were no additional steps taken other than what was done by Viega in the manufacturing process. Fittings are bagged and pipe is capped for delivery and storage. All pipe and fittings remain capped during and after installation. “We worked with Viega, and they got us the approvals that we asked for to give to the engineers, things that weren’t already preapproved,” Haught said. “I’m a strong proponent of Viega. We worked with the schools to get approval for Viega ProPress installations for copper and stainless products. The Viega solution provides a cleaner, highly professional look and takes significantly less time to install.” Haught and his team at Valley Plumbing have been using Viega since the early 2000s. He said the products are quicker to install, and he appreciates the “much cleaner look than brazing.”

In addition to the newly approved uses, other gases used at Thunder Basin High School include non-medical oxygen, argon and carbon dioxide in the welding-shop classroom. At Eastern Wyoming College, those same three gases are used in the welding area, along with acetylene and compressed air. The building Valley Plumbing worked on at EWC was a new build, allowing the school to expand its welding labs as well as offer some new programs, including cosmetology and nursing, where training lines (not carrying actual oxygen) were run. Using Viega products at both locations was a given for Haught. He said that in addition to the reliability of the fittings and the clean lines with installation, he knew he could work with the company to get the specific approvals needed without a hassle. Haught said he

can count more than a dozen recent projects where he has been successful in obtaining engineering approvals on Viega products that were not originally in the specs, and everyone was very happy with the end results. “We’re always looking for means and methods that make us more efficient and set us apart from the competition,” Haught said. “We like the fact that we’ve been using ProPress for more than 10 years, and many people around here are still not using it much. We always work with the engineers beforehand and try to get it approved before the project bids when possible.” All of the installations at the high school and college are left exposed so that the pipes are visible as an example of “highly professional install for all new students learning to work in the trades,” Haught said. ■


Viega. Connected in quality.


CONNECTICUT LOCAL TRUSTS VIEGA FOR BUILDING EXPANSION Students at the United Association Local 777 Plumbers and Pipefitters joint apprenticeship training school in Connecticut learn all methods, including pressing. After all, when future pipe fitters, plumbers and HVAC professionals are in training, those students need to be prepared for everything they might encounter in the field. However, when adding on 14,000 additional square feet of training space to the existing building earlier this year, a lot of Viega products were worked into the plans, thanks to a great relationship between Viega and the UA777 JATC. “We stayed with Viega products. We have a working, symbiotic, winwin relationship with the company,” explained Vinnie Valente, Training Coordinator. “Viega has come and certified all of our apprentices in the Viega process. We’ve sent our instructors to Nashua, certifying all the trainers to train so that we can bring it to the rest of our local. We really enjoy the investment that Viega is making in our training and in skilling our apprentices so that they’re ready for new, modern joining methods.” The school was originally about 25,000 square feet and included four

classrooms and two shops. Last year about 14,000 square feet were added on, and early this year they “moved in” to the additional space, which is all dedicated shop space. The majority of the mains and branch lines in the building were installed using Viega ProPress Copper and Viega MegaPress for a two-inch chilled water line. The ProPress was used for highand low-temperature radiant lines, and there is also a hydronic loop using MegaPress. “We appreciate the quality of the product, the quality control, the attention to detail,” Valente said. “We like that higher level of craftsmanship. That’s our forte – we pride ourselves on being the best in the field, because we only want to work with the best products.” At the UA777 JATC Training Center, students go through a five-year registered apprenticeship training program. They come in with no or limited experience and go to school either in a full-time day program or on nights and Saturdays. There are also 8,500 hours of on-the-job learning, coupled with 1,240 hours of related instruction. Upon completion of the


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Left: Jerry Wiess from UA Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 22, Buffalo, New York, uses a Ridgid press tool on ProPress during the UA District 1 Northeast Region Apprentice Competition hosted at UA Local 777 in Connecticut. Wiess won and went on to become the 2017 International Pipefitter Apprentice Champion at the UA International Apprentice Competition held in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

program, apprentices are issued a nationally recognized and portable Certificate of Completion from the Department of Labor and are then eligible to sit for a trade license in Connecticut. “They work on the job and in the school with mentors, people who are masters and subject matter experts,” Valente explained. “We want to make sure we have a highly skilled and marketable mechanic, and that that worker keeps his company profitable.” With so many students coming through the UA777 each year (Valente estimated about 200 total apprentices are going through the program right now), plus more students who come in for continuing education and classes, it’s no wonder the facility needed to be larger. “We are proud to have 40,000 square feet of training for nearly all aspects of the piping trade,” Valente said. “And, all of our training is self-funded. Our apprentices pay no tuition, we take no grants or federal money, and there’s no tax money used to run our school. During their five-year program, students

start out earning a percentage of the journey worker rate and work their way up to a license and 100 percent of the rate. In the end, there are no bills for them and they’re earning wages and benefits while they learn their skills. We’re very proud of what we do here.” In June, workers from the UA777, as well as other area contractors, took part in the District I competition for the New England area. Union locals participate in competitions, sending their best to the district level to compete. Hosting the District I competition was the first big event in the expanded building. Products and processes at the District competition are of all types, and Viega systems were part of the competition. District Manager Jamie French was there for the competition. He collected press tools and MegaPress kits from other District Managers and wholesalers in the area as loaners for the competition. Though MegaPress tools are simple to learn and easy to use, come of the competition's winners had never used MegaPress before. But after a quick session with Viega reps, they were ready to use the product and tools. ■ Viega. Connected in quality.


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MEGAPRESSG SAVES CONTRACTOR MAJOR TIME The economy in Utah is booming, and Blue Line Plumbing and Mechanical has a lot of jobs to stay on top of. Viega products are coming in quite handy to help speed things along. Blue Line recently ran gas lines for an office complex with warehouses in American Fork, Utah, running MegaPressG lines to each of the 22 units. There is also a two-inch water main in ProPress, about 1,000 feet long with tees and ball valves, providing water to each unit. Using Viega products made it all possible. “With the economy in Utah being one of the top in the country, and projects lined up, we were in a time constraint and needed to save four or five days on this installation,” explained Bryce Mannek, President of Blue Line. “We figure that using Viega saved us at least two weeks, being able to just cut the pipe and press.”

I thought was going to take about a week, we did it in two days. It saved us a ton of time.” That was all it took for Mannek to jump on board with Viega. He’s purchased several press guns, and his crew (about 15 workers) has been trained by Ellis. Mannek said, “Everything we do is some sort of press.” No more soldering, brazing or threading for the Blue Line crews. When Mannek came onto the office complex project in American Fork, he pushed for the use of MegaPressG and ProPress. “I approached the owner and let him know that I had a way of saving him some time to get the project done quicker,” he said. “We did some research, showed him some other projects, and got the mechanical engineer involved. He approved [using Viega], and we went and installed it.” He estimated that there's about a mile of one-inch pipe in the building, the first of three similar buildings in the same complex.

Mannek said one of his workers, Carl Rich, who did the installation in the complex, has been plumbing since the 1970s, so he was very accustomed to threading each individual joint. He said Rich was skeptical about using Viega, Mannek said that besides saving time and money using Viega, one of his favorite things is the simple, clean look of but after about an hour of cutting and pressing, Rich was the product. sold on the system. Similarly, Mannek was sold on Viega last fall. He met with Viega District Manager Marty Ellis, who showed him the press guns and advantages to Viega technology. “Basically, I first thought, ‘Wow, this looks so easy,’” Mannek said. “Time is of the essence in Salt Lake City, and Marty had come out to do a demo. I borrowed a press gun from him and got the materials; and on a project in Herriman that

“It looks very professional,” he said. “You can plumb it straight and square. Especially with the copper, you have a clean joint and you don’t have to worry about flux runoff or getting the pipe too hot and discoloring it. “I had more than 500 joints on this project [in American Fork], and there has not been a single issue with any of them,” he said. “It’s so much faster and so much better.” ■


SHIPBUILDER ON BOARD WITH VIEGA TIME SAVINGS When the project you’re building takes 12-18 months and might contain 8,000 or more fittings, it’s easy to see how a little bit of time savings per fitting can add up to enormous gains. That’s what St. Johns Ship Building in Palatka, Florida, has learned in recent years, and why the company is so excited about Viega systems. St. Johns builds just about anything that can float – barges, tugboats, off-shore supply vessels and more. William Mann, the Pipe Fitting Supervisor at St. Johns, encourages as many people as he can to consider Viega fittings in their builds. He’s got personal use statistics to back up his recommendations, too.

MegaPress products have created a huge time savings for St. Johns Ship Building as compared with traditional socket-welding methods.

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“It’s a tremendous labor savings. That’s the first thing that drives it,” Mann said. “Also, there’s no hot work to deal with on the fittings. If you’ve got to make a repair you just trap out the section, put in the new pipe and repress the fittings. You don’t have to de-gas the vessel just to go in and make a repair.” Mann has been in the business nearly 30 years and said he considers Viega’s systems a unique product for shipbuilding. He called Viega the “best thing I’ve seen come along in a long time.” He did his own case study, comparing the hours needed to install Viega fittings versus traditional stainless steel and copper joining methods in two similar ships. He said he cut nearly 400 man-hours out of the installation time. “It was a tremendous savings!” he said. “If you take an average 300-foot offshore supply vessel, you’re looking at thousands and thousands of feet of pipe. An average socketweld fitting is about an hour and a half per fitting, where with MegaPress, you’re sanded in five minutes and you’ve got less than 10 minutes total for one fitting. Multiply that by 8,000 or 10,000 fittings …” Plus, Mann said, the work is easier on employees, making it even more attractive. Also, they can assemble an entire pipe system from one end to the other without pressing any fittings, making sure everything is running just how they want it to or they can make any slight adjustments if necessary. Then employees go down the line, pressing all the fittings.


“We didn’t have any leaks in the first 3,000 fittings we put in,” Mann said. “Once in a great while, if we find a leak it’s because someone didn’t press a fitting. But we always airpressure test first.” A few years ago, an engineer told Mann about a company in Maryland that had used a different press fitting system for their water lines in their tugs. Intrigued, Mann looked it up and found that “a lot of people were complaining about the company, but nobody seemed to be saying anything negative about Viega fittings.” Mann connected with Viega online and set up an appointment to learn more. He convinced his company it could be a better, easier and more cost-effective way to join pipes than socket welding, and they gave it a go. These days, many of the projects St. Johns takes on use Viega, and all of Mann’s crew members have been trained on press technology. St. Johns Ship Building first started using ProPress products a couple of years ago, and as the company became more comfortable with it, they began incorporating MegaPress as well. They use ProPress Copper for potable water, run MegaPress for compressed air and use MegaPressG for fuel systems. Viega products are U.S. Coast Guard approved, so there’s no question about their usability at St. Johns. “It’s just tremendous savings everywhere I look. I can’t find a flaw to the fittings or the installation,” he said. “I love the stuff and recommend it to everyone who comes along.” ■

Viega. Connected in quality.


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HOMEOWNER’S RESEARCH LEADS TO VIEGA Research on high-quality plumbing products brought a Georgia homeowner to Viega, and his custom home project turned the contractor on to press technology. Homeowner Greg Morin is building his dream home outside Watkinsville, Georgia. A scientist by trade – he has a doctorate in organic chemistry – Morin has been hands on with the entire building project, and said he knew he wanted certain things done in certain ways. Plumbing for the water, for example, was something he took particular interest in, and that’s when Viega products popped up. “I did more and more research and learned that there are three ways to manufacture PEX. I decided the way Viega manufactures it was the best way to go.” The three ways PEX is manufactured are PEX-a (peroxide method), PEX-b (silane method) or PEX-c (electron beam method). The “a, b, c” subscripts are not a ranking system but simply a way to distinguish between manufacturing methods. All PEX is required to meet the same minimum performance criteria to be used in potable applications. However, not all PEX is created equal. Viega’s PEX-b PureFlow tubing holds the highest attainable ratings for chlorine and UV resistance in the industry, which offers superior protection against degradation. PureFlow tubing is also able to withstand, on average, nearly 10 percent higher burst pressures when compared to PEX-a. Viega’s PureFlow Polymer Press fittings carry the patented Smart Connect technology, assuring that connections are complete and carry a 25-year limited warranty. Once Morin had chosen Viega PureFlow PEX products, he got in contact with Joe Welsh of SCW Inc., a manufacturer representative, who looped Viega reps in. Everyone worked hard to get all of the product needed for the project. Morin’s home is approximately 10,000 square feet, plus an apartment over the garage. In building his dream, he said he built to a “very high standard, with a lot of high-quality materials,” and he didn’t want to cut any corners. “I know Viega has been around a long time and produces a very high-quality product. It’s a solid company with a solid track record,” he said.

Using the PureFlow System, several ManaBlocs were installed throughout the residence. Between 4,000 and 5,000 feet of PEX link all the facilities in the home back to the ManaBlocs. And again, using the ManaBlocs was something that Morin requested specifically, noting that in his research he learned the Viega homerun system was “the” one to have, especially when using PEX. Viega ManaBlocs have several benefits. They provide quicker hot water delivery resulting in less water waste, plus there is less pressure drop during fixture use. Having individual control of all fixtures via the ManaBloc is similar to having an electric panel for the potable water system in a home, all in a centralized place. Plumbing contractor Randy Colquitt of C&S Plumbing in Athens, Georgia, was familiar with Viega and had done a lot of crimp work with PEX in the past, but this was his first foray into PureFlow PEX Press technology. He said he was pleased with how simple the pressing process was. “I liked how the power tools made it easy. And one great thing about press, when you put it in a fitting and press, you know right then and there that you don’t have a leak,” Colquitt said. “My guys liked getting a break from all that crimping we would have done with a manual tool. I would love to do more pressing in the future.” ■

Viega. Connected in quality.


VIEGA PROMOTION TRUCK SEALS THE DEAL With a short time frame and cramped work space, the people at Fast of Florida knew they’d need the perfect product for a job at an 18-story condominium. Viega’s ProMotion Truck rolled in to give a firsthand demonstration, and the Viega PureFlow System turned out to be just the thing to get the job done. Fast of Florida was called on to completely redo six separate domestic risers from the roof down to the second floor of a condo building. The crew had to remove and replace all the galvanized pipe that existed in the building, which was no small task. “Time was of the essence, and there’s not a whole lot of room to work in there,” explained Tom Skladanowski, Plumbing

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Manager for Fast of Florida. “Viega PureFlow was a perfect solution for the project.” Skladanowski was familiar with Viega products, having used ProPress in the past on a few emergency repairs. His company rented the needed equipment from Ferguson, and using ProPress allowed them to quickly fix boilers, change out heaters and do other repairs easily. District Manager Josh Barnhart brought the ProMotion Truck to Fast of Florida so Skladanowski and his workers could see all the offerings Viega has, and they realized the Viega PureFlow PEX and press fittings would be perfect replacements for the galvanized pipe.

“With the help of Josh and Ferguson, we got moving on this project. They helped us with the press tools we needed. We did some research on the Viega product, and it was very good,” Skladanowski said. “You’re always kind of unsure on timing when you start a project, but probably about halfway through the first of the six stacks we realized (Viega PureFlow PEX) was pretty awesome and was going to save us a lot of time on this job,” he said. “All the way through, it helped us stay on track with scheduling.” One of the biggest challenges of the job was the fact that the condo was occupied at the time, so work needed to be done as quickly and accurately as possible,


with as little impact to residents as there could be. PureFlow PEX filled that need. “We could replace the pipe up to a main valve, turn the water back on without any glue time or waiting, and then get them up and running,” Skladanowski said. “Occupied units were a big part of this equation, and we could come back and continue the next day without putting anyone out too much.” After the successful project, Fast of Florida is excited to try Viega products in more situations. Skladanowski said his first investment will be in PureFlow Press tools, adding that he’d ultimately like to get ProPress tools, and is considering the use of MegaPressG for gas installations, too. “We are full service in condos. Things like water heaters and repiping come up a lot, and I think (PureFlow PEX) is a perfect solution to replace these galvanized pipes. They’re like ticking time bombs,” Skladanowski said, referencing the natural deterioration of galvanized piping that happens over time. With Fast of Florida invested in Viega, Ferguson reps are working on stocking more fittings and piping. Skladanowski guessed that around 200 feet of PureFlow PEX was used in each of the six stacks of the building; and with no shortage of condos in the area, it’s only a matter of time before Fast of Florida needs a lot more Viega product in hand. “This was a great ProMotion Truck success for us,” Barnhart said. “They knew our products, but seeing the truck helped us win the job. And it’s built a bigger trust and better relationship for us.” ■

Viega. Connected in quality.



HISTORIC DETROIT BUILDING NOW HOME TO MINIBLOCS More than 100 MiniBlocs are at home in a historic building in downtown Detroit, after a large renovation. The David Stott Building received a total rework, from ground floor to penthouse. The 38-story building, named after the owner of David Stott Flour Mills, opened in 1929 and cost a whopping $3.5 million to build – extremely expensive at the time. The Great Depression was just around the corner, and because of the economic downturn, the David Stott Building was the last skyscraper built in the city until the mid-1950s. After renovation, the building will have storefronts on the lower level, four floors of offices and 33 stories of apartments. Crews working on the building wanted to retain its historic look. They went through extensive work, which included tapping on individual bricks. If one was loose, it was removed, remudded and replaced. Inside the building, crews installed Viega ProPress, MegaPress and the PureFlow System. The contractors, Guideline Mechanical, were already on board with using ProPress from a previous installation, and then Viega District Manager Michael Norgan encouraged the use of the Viega PureFlow System as well. The contractor had previously used PEX products, but not specifically the Viega PureFlow System. MiniBlocs were specified from the beginning of the project because of the scope of work. Norgan said Viega’s systems were especially useful because workers could shut off the system at specific points if they needed to work on individual fixtures, without having to shut down the whole system. MiniBlocs and ManaBlocs provide quicker hot-water delivery and less pressure loss. They also provide the ability to turn off individual fixtures - similar to operation of an electric panel - for future maintenance. ■


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Viega Tech Talk Experts Jacob Demars and David Melendy

Q What is Smart Connect technology? A Smart Connect technology provides a quick and easy way to help identify unpressed connections during the pressure-testing process. Smart Connect is designed to help identify unpressed connections by intentionally leaking under test pressures of 0.5 psi to 85 psi. When testing with air, the pressure range is 0.5 psi to 85 psi maximum. When testing with water, the pressure range is 15 psi to 85 psi maximum. Unpressed fittings from other manufacturers, without patented Smart Connect technology, may not leak during the initial system pressure test. However, they can unseat in future system operation. Smart Connect is designed to protect from this potential risk and is removed during the pressing process, creating a leakproof, permanent connection.

Q Does Viega offer a transition from the copper tube size ProPress Stainless fittings to the newly released iron pipe size MegaPress Stainless fittings? A The Viega copper tube size (CTS)/iron pipe size (IPS) butt weld fitting is a great transition to the new iron pipe size MegaPress stainless fitting system. The butt weld adaptor exceeds the MegaPress stainless required insertion depths and are engineered to work with schedule 5 through schedule 40 ASTM A312 stainless steel pipe, making the schedule 10 butt weld adaptor an ideal fitting for transitioning between size types, all while using fittings within the family of ViegapProducts.

Q Can hot water recirculation be incorporated with the Viega ManaBloc and MiniBloc homerun water systems? A The ManaBloc and MiniBloc hot-water inlets may be supplied from a recirculating hot-water loop. Ideally, the ManaBloc homerun water system should be installed in an area that is centrally located to the densest concentration of plumbing fixtures. This may cause the installation location to be further than the suggested eight feet of developed tube length from the water-heating source, therefore requiring hot-water recirculation. According to section § 607.2 of the 2015 International Plumbing Code, the hot-water source cannot exceed more than 50 feet of developed tubing length from the fixture being supplied. It also states that recirculating hot-water piping is considered a hot-water source, allowing the 50-foot limit to begin from the recirculation loop. If the ManaBloc is installed within no more than 50 feet of developed tubing length to any hot-water fixture, and supplied from a recirculating hot water loop, it would satisfy section § 607.2 of the 2015 IPC code for hot-water supply to fixtures.

Viega. Connected in quality.

VOICE Viega LLC 12303 Airport Way, Suite 395 Broomfield, CO 80021 Return address requested 800-976-9819 viega.us insidesales@viega.us

The term Viega, as used in this publication, does not apply to a specific company within the various separate and distinct companies comprising the Viega group of companies. The term Viega, as used in this publication, refers to the Viega brand itself or generally to the Viega group of companies. References to activities in North America specifically refer to activities of Viega LLC. A green dot on a Viega ProPress, MegaPress and PEX Press polymer fitting indicates the Smart Connect feature with an EPDM sealing element. A yellow dot on a Viega ProPressG and MegaPressG fitting indicates the Smart Connect feature with an HNBR sealing element. A white dot on a Viega ProPress (304 FKM) fitting indicates the Smart Connect feature with an FKM sealing element. For a current list of applications, please visit www.viega.us/applications. Zero Lead identifies Viega products meeting the lead-free requirements of NSF 61-G through testing under NSF/ANSI 372 (0.25% or less maximum weighted average lead content). ©2017. Climate Mat®, Climate Panel®, Climate Trak®, FostaPEX®, GeoFusion®, ManaBloc®, MegaPress®, ProPress®, PureFlow®, Radiant Wizard®, SeaPress®, Smart Connect®, SmartLoop®, Snap Panel®, S-NO-ICE®, Viega®, XL® and XL-C® are registered trademarks of Viega GmbH & Co. KG. ViegaPEX™, Visign™ and Eco Plus™ are trademarks of Viega GmbH & Co. KG. Eco Brass® is a registered trademark of Mitsubishi Shindoh Co., LTD. RIDGID® is a registered trademark of RIDGID, Inc.

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Viega Voice - November 2017