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CONTENTS WHAT’S HAPPENING AT VIEGA 03 A letter from the Vice President of Market Innovations

31 Tech Talk RESIDENTIAL 10 Fire protection in single family home

13 In Your Neighborhood: One-of-a-kind shower

14 Custom home in

British Columbia

20 SmartLoop system in

VOICE INSTITUTIONAL 22 Solar thermal energy for U.S. Army base in Hawaii

26 In Your Neighborhood: Iliff School of Theology

COMMERCIAL 4 Vodka distillery retrofit 28 ProPress in multi-building campus for major manufacturer

INDUSTRIAL 8 Copper recycling plant uses MegaPress products

Washington state apartments

a publication of Viega LLC March 2018 Marketing Director Mark Brodie Creative Marketing Manager Molly Morrow Content Marketing Editor Kristen White Graphic Designer Jason Green Contributing authors Jacob DeMars, David Melendy and Kristen White Contributing photographers Evan Cusick, Gavin Peters, Homestar Builders and Twin Shoot LLC 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.

ON THE COVER The owner of a custom-built home in British Columbia wanted nothing but the highest quality for his project. He chose Viega ProRadiant, ProPress and PureFlow products to complete his masterpiece.


WE ALWAYS HAVE OUR CUSTOMERS IN MIND WHEN LOOKING AT THE MARKET. A letter from the Vice President of Market Innovations

With the launch of four new product lines, 2017 was a big year for Viega LLC. As we move into 2018, we’re excited to expand our reach to new contractors, new projects and new industries. MegaPress Stainless expands the line's reach, particularly for industrial uses, and so far the product has been well received. The addition of MegaPress XL means users can now press larger-sized pipe, up to 4" in diameter. That means Viega can be used on more jobs than ever before. We see promising growth potentials in the marine industry, too. The launch of MegaPress CuNi is particularly useful for the U.S. market. SeaPress was already available in metric sizes, so MegaPress CuNi’s imperial-sized fittings greatly expand the reach of Viega for marine applications. Coupled with the use of MegaPress and MegaPress Stainless in marine, CuNi rounds things out nicely. In early 2017, Viega LLC also introduced flushing systems, comprised of in-wall carriers and flush plates. This is a new venture for us in the Americas, and it’s overdue in our industry. The U.S. market is the only one in the world where

wall-hung toilets are not standard. With all of the advantages that in-wall carriers and flush plates bring – such as ease of cleaning and more space and design possibilities within the bathroom – we know that the growth potential of our flushing line is big. While we’re thrilled to bring new products to market and expand our reach, we also never stop improving our existing products. We want to make every line, from ProPress to PureFlow, easier and better to use. Our teams work hard to find new ways to improve our products that have already stood the test of time. We always have our customers in mind when looking at the market. What does our industry need? What will help our customers be more efficient, more successful and more cost-effective? Those are the questions we ask every day, whether on new or existing products. And as Viega continues to innovate products, we see more and more customers interested in pressing technology. Our indicators show that our industry is thriving, and we’re optimistic as we lead the way in 2018. ■

CHRISTIAN GEISTHOFF Vice President of Market Innovations, Viega LLC

Viega. Connected in quality.


WE STARTED USING VIEGA AND THOUGHT, 'OH MY GOSH, THIS IS INCREDIBLE.' —Todd Gregory, Co-owner, Black Eyed Distilling Co.

4 | Viega Voice | March 2018

DISTILLERY CHOOSES VIEGA FOR RETROFIT A truly unique kind of vodka – one that’s growing quickly in popularity – makes its way through the distilling process flanked by Viega products along the way. At Black Eyed Distilling Co. in Fort Worth, Texas, owners Todd Gregory and Scott Billings make BLK EYE Vodka. It’s as it sounds, a specialty vodka made with black-eyed peas and corn, sourced completely from Texas. It was discovered that black-eyed peas possess the starch needed to make fermented mash and yield a higher quality alcohol, leading to an ultra-premium finish. To make matters more exciting for Gregory and Billings, they’re just a year into the business and the distillery is already winning awards. They purchased the distillery from another owner but knew that upon taking over, there were a lot of things in the building that needed to be retrofitted. The basics of the plumbing were in place, but they had to replace a chiller, a boiler and add a blending tank with a cooling jacket. They also needed a new air compressor and air lines. Connecting with Viega Both Gregory and Billings had plumbing experience, so they planned to do much of the work themselves, which led Gregory to ask a contractor he knew, Randy Pair of O’Grady Plumbing, if he had a pipe threader they could borrow. Pair told him he had a “better deal” and put him in touch with Viega Regional Manager Jaime Gomez. “He showed us the fittings and had a loaner set of tools we could use to retrofit. We started using Viega and thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is incredible!’” Gregory said. “It allowed us to do the retrofitting ourselves as we got the pipe in. We would install and build what we needed to do to fit the particular equipment and it was quick and easy to use the tools.” Gregory and Billings called on Pair now and then to help advise or lend a hand, making sure they were using the right types of fittings for all the different lines they were running, including ProPress for chilled water, steam, water and compressed air lines in the distillery. They also used MegaPressG for natural gas lines. continued on page 6

Viega. Connected in quality.


“I pointed them in the direction of Viega because I knew it would be the best choice for them,” Pair said. “Threading didn’t make any sense for them. Press is a lot cleaner and then they wouldn’t be putting oil in the system. It was just all around a better process for them.” The men bought the company in August of 2016 and worked on the equipment for the remainder of the year. Gomez, Pair and Morrison Supply provided advice and help. Then Gregory and Billings had everything inspected and were ready to roll in the new year. The past and the future Neither Gregory nor Billings had a history of distilling or really even had it on their radars. Gregory, a retired banker, and Billings, a CPA and CFO at a private equity firm were looking for something new to do to keep busy. A friend of Gregory's suggested they look at the then-closed distillery. 6 | Viega Voice | March 2018

“I didn’t know that I wanted to be in the distilling business,” he said. “But this got me back to my roots a little bit. I grew up shelling a lot of black-eyed peas as a kid, so bringing the grains in off the farms, there was that tie there. I just knew I wanted to buy a business but didn’t know what kind. Now we’re having so much fun with it.” Black Eyed Distilling is located in a historic firehouse in Fort Worth, built in 1911, retrofitted for their needs. Production happens downstairs and there is a tasting room and offices upstairs. There is also a full bar where visitors can have a drink, whether it’s the BLK EYE Vodka or a sorghum whiskey they also make in very small batches that can only be purchased at the distillery itself. Billings is the distiller and the batches of vodka he’s turning out are quickly gaining popularity and notoriety. In 2017, Black Eyed Distilling snagged several awards including the Best Traditional Vodka and a Double Gold Medal award at


the 2017 Global Spirit Awards, Best Domestic Vodka – Gold Medal at the 2017 The Fifty Best Awards, a Silver Medal from the 2017 San Diego Spirits Festival and a Silver Medal at the 2017 New York World Wine and Spirits Competition. With things going so well, Gregory and Billings know that they will unfortunately outgrow the picturesque firehouse location sooner than later, so they’re already planning for the future. They recently penned a contract for a piece of land a few miles from the current location where they plan to build an all-new distillery, for which they intend to use Viega systems. “If Randy had loaned me that pipe threader, we might still be working on it!” Gregory said laughing. “I don’t even know how to describe Viega. It was amazing for us.” ■

Viega. Connected in quality.



After trouble with leaks using other methods, Koppers Performance Chemicals decided to give Viega a try when piping a section of its facility. Koppers recycles scrap copper, so understandably the company wasn’t in the market for ProPress. Instead they found MegaPress Stainless to fit the bill for their needs. Koppers recycles copper-clad materials and scrap copper at its plant in Michigan. The company delivers a copper powder to its plants in Tennessee and South Carolina where

8 | Viega Voice | March 2018

it’s turned into a product used to pressure-treat lumber. Copper is one of the major components used in pressure treating, a process used to help prevent lumber from rotting.

processed through a flash dryer and dust collector system. Sturos explained that the existing equipment was under capacity, causing a bottleneck at the end of the process.

“We get all kinds of copper scraps, even the copper trinkets that you might get at a tourist place. If it’s scrap, we’ll take it,” said Phil Sturos, Project Engineer with Koppers.

To increase the output capacity of the plant, additional de-watering and drying equipment was installed, and that’s where Viega came in. MegaPress Stainless was used to provide process water for the cooling process.

During the process, the copper slurry is de-watered through a pressure filter which creates a “copper cake” that is

“We didn’t want to thread the pipe, and welding was an option we looked


at, but it’s time consuming,” Sturos said. “We’ve also used grooved pipe fittings in the past here, too. Viega was appealing because of the ease of installation. We were looking down the road for our maintenance guys, too, to use this product.”

Aire Care installed about 600 feet of 2" Schedule 10 stainless steel pipe, connecting it with Viega MegaPress Stainless 90- and 45-degree elbows, as well as tees. The new pipes went online in the fall, with production ramping up after that.

Aire Care, a plumbing, heating and air conditioning contractor, has been working on the general maintenance at Koppers for more than a decade, so it was Aire Care’s crew that installed the MegaPress Stainless products at Koppers.

After a demo of Viega products, Koppers was ready to move forward with the MegaPress Stainless product, and after it was successfully installed, they considered more products. The company recently ran 1½" carbon steel lines, complete with MegaPress fittings,

for an ammonia-based solution Koppers uses. Koppers purchased a RIDGID® press tool to be on hand at the plant. With so much existing piping at the location, having the tool there will make for quick and easy access for maintenance or future work. “We’ll use Viega there at Koppers again in the future. There was no reason not to,” said Eric Haataja, Engineer with Aire Care. “It was easy to use.” ■

Viega. Connected in quality.


CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE IMPRESSES SMALL BUSINESS It is Viega’s commitment to its customers that won over a small business in the Austin, Texas, area. The owner tried out Viega’s PureFlow Fire Protection System and knows it’ll be something he uses again. Nicholas Messenger owns Kohler Fire Protection, a small but expanding business that focuses on fire protection systems in residential, single-family homes. With previous experience in the fire protection industry, Messenger is growing his business and quickly learning how much things have changed just in the past few years. “Contractors in Texas and all over the U.S. are experiencing chemical compatibility issues with industry-standard CPVC pipe. By its very nature, CPVC is a very stiff and rigid material and our experience has shown it not to be compatible with certain building materials/chemicals.

10 | Viega Voice | March 2018

They’re starting to see embrittlement failures over time,” Messenger said. “PEX has been out a while now but not as widely used, but it’s certainly becoming more common now.” On a recent job (a 6,000 square foot custom home), the homeowner requested PEX. Messenger said more and more residential homeowners are asking for it, so he began reading up on his options. A competitor of Viega contacted Messenger first but he said it “seemed like there were more steps and it was complicated, and I was hesitant to use it.” Messenger reached out to Viega reps and learned about PureFlow and Viega’s fire suppression offerings. When District Manager Keenan Reed said he could loan the press tools needed for Messenger to try Viega on the job, he was sold. continued on page 12

Nicholas Messenger of Kohler Fire Protection in Austin, Texas, tried out Viega's fire protection products on a custom home installation and was pleased with the results.


Viega. Connected in quality.


“I worked with Keenan on the whole process and he was really helpful. He supported me through the installation portion and gave me references of vendors to reach out to for purchasing the materials,” Messenger said. “The installation was incredibly simple. [The PEX] was pretty flexible to make the bends that I needed to and that reduced the fittings needed. The biggest advantage to me was there’s no CPVC solvent. In some high-end homes, you’re on finished floors on a 12-foot ladder and a can of solvent can be a nightmare.” Messenger said another thing he loves about Viega PureFlow Press Polymer fittings is the included Smart Connect technology, which means fittings won't hold pressure if they aren't pressed properly. Some systems won’t fail right away, but do instead after a build-up of pressure and that can cause headaches later. Messenger liked that Smart Connect technology immediately shows any missed connections. Messenger installed 77 pendants in the fire suppression system in the custom home. He worked with Jeremy Ferriter, Senior Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer with Viega, who Messenger said was a great help in making sure he had everything he needed to make the correct calculations and plan for his installation. “Viega definitely seemed the easiest to use, and the support I got was top notch,” Messenger said. ■

12 | Viega Voice | March 2018




UNIQUE SHOWER FIXTURE MADE WITH PROPRESS STAINLESS A turn of the century home in Boise, Idaho, was revamped into a modern masterpiece and one of its unique style points can be found in the bathroom, thanks in part to Viega. Pat Falls with Pipeman, Inc., in Boise used Viega ProPress Stainless fittings to install an eye-catching fixture in the shower. It was modeled loosely after a picture the owner had seen of another unique shower, and the versatility of Viega fittings allowed Falls to build something one-of-a-kind. “The house is a cross between the old, original look and something contemporary,” Falls said. “They wanted something that was kind of an eye-pop in the shower. I ordered a bunch of parts and found some valves and wall brackets and just mixed and matched. I’ve used a lot of ProPress Stainless in geothermal water applications and had good experience. “I could try and thread things but I knew it wouldn’t look great. So I suggested the pressed stainless because I knew I could make it any configuration I wanted and it would be easy to follow the lines of the shower.” The finished product is just one aspect of the home, which boasts a spiral staircase that leads to the lofted master retreat and four multifaceted outdoor living/dining spaces. Originally constructed as part of the Boise City Original Township, the early 1900s home is for sale but could possibly become a vacation rental property, too. ■


Viega. Connected in quality.




Viega. Connected in quality.


Knowing how well Viega products work in the commercial sector, a British Columbian business owner decided that they’d also be a perfect fit for his new custom-built home. Chris Ceraldi is CEO of AARC West Mechanical Insulation and installs commercial insulation. He said through the years he has insulated a lot of Viega products, particularly in places like high-rise hotels and hospitals, and knew of its quality. “I was insulating all these things and hearing great things about Viega from my customers,” Ceraldi said. “I heard so much from my customers that I knew this was what I wanted for my home. If it’s good enough for commercial use, imagine how good it’s going to be in my home.” Ceraldi and his wife have three adult children and two grandchildren, and decided instead of downsizing they wanted to build their retirement dream home and upsize instead. They crafted a home big enough to have the whole family come and stay. They pulled out all the stops. Their home in British Columbia is more than 8,000 square feet and has been nominated for five Georgie Awards by the Provincial Homebuilders Association. Living on the West Coast, the weather is mostly mild but Ceraldi said they get a decent amount of rain, so the house has large covered-yet-open areas for family gettogethers and entertaining. “This way we can live indoor/outdoor all year round,” he said. “We’re all about family and we get together with our family a lot.” The home has a pool and pool house, an indoor golf simulator, a small green in the backyard, a large garage, wine cellar and more. Ceraldi laughed that they built the house to be “enticing so that people will not want to leave!” In an effort to make the home as comfortable as possible, it’s outfitted with an intricate radiant system. There are air temperature sensors throughout the house and in the bathroom floors. A control system allows Ceraldi to monitor and adjust more than 20 zones throughout the house. A high-efficiency boiler system was installed and everything is tied together to create the perfect temperatures throughout the house. Ceraldi can control it all at his fingertips through a home automation app, tweaking anything needed based on sensor readings. All of the domestic water in the home is supplied via a Viega system, with ProPress bringing the line into the house. There are thousands of feet of Viega PureFlow PEX products, connected to multiple ManaBlocs, to provide the hot and cold water, and Viega Barrier tubing is also used in the radiant systems. The pool, hot tub and pool house are also plumbed with Viega. An intricate radiant system keeps the Ceraldi home comfortable at all times. More than 20 different zones in the house can be adjusted and tracked thanks to air temperature sensors throughout the home and in the bathroom floors.

16 | Viega Voice | March 2018

continued on page 18




Barry Hart, with Geo-Tech Geothermal Heating and Air Conditioning, created the heating system’s design and layout. It was the first time he’d used Viega and he said it went together well in Ceraldi’s home. He talked about the thousands of feet of pipe needed for the radiant systems. For example, the house is plumbed so that even when the air conditioning is being run, the bathroom floors remain warm. He estimated more than 25,000 feet of piping was used for the house and cabana. The Viega Design Team lent expertise to the project, and plumbers DJ McCullough from Reds Plumbing and Ken Good of Good Systems Mechanical helped with installation.

18 | Viega Voice | March 2018

As to be expected, the Ceraldis’ home is well-insulated, and he made sure all of the Viega products received proper insulation to make them as energy efficient as possible. “The floors are all done with radiant heat tubing. Those, plus all the other pipes in the house, are fully insulated to the standard,” he said. “We used Viega, and then insulated the tubing so things stay hot and the heat loss is minimal. That way the boiler has to work even less. I’ve seen some people use high-quality materials like Viega but then leave the tubing exposed in the mechanical room, which doesn’t help to maintain the temperature. I wanted it to be as efficient as possible.” ■

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Viega. Connected in quality.


SMARTLOOP SYSTEM PROVIDES BIG GAINS IN TEMPERATURE MAINTENANCE The Viega SmartLoop system can provide major benefits to domestic hot water (DHW) temperature maintenance systems, as evidenced by a project in Washington, when compared to both a traditional recirculation system and a heat trace system. Ecotope, Inc., a company focused on energy efficiency and Mechanical Design in Seattle, Washington, conducted a study comparing different types of temperature maintenance systems for central DHW loops. The study was supported by Bonneville Power Administration and developer Asani, LLC, and was installed in the second phase Grow Community Development on Bainbridge Island in Washington. The program contained three similar 12-unit, three-story buildings. One of the primary goals of the project was to develop net-zero energy housing – homes that can provide as much renewable energy as they use, leaving occupants with a net energy use of zero. This goal required the water heating systems to use high-efficiency air-to-water heat pumps in order for the DHW systems to meet targets. Each of the three buildings has a central heat pump hot water plant, but each was designed and installed with a different variation on temperature maintenance. These three systems were a traditional circulation loop, the Viega SmartLoop recirculation system and electric heat trace on the supply piping only. All of the heat plants included a data collection system. “We wanted to run an experiment and see if we could tell what was the best way to deal with temperature maintenance loads in projects seeking high efficiency water heating systems,”

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explained Shawn Oram, P.E., Director of Engineering and Design with Ecotope, Inc. “We wanted to answer this question and sort of a bigger question for the Pacific Northwest region: what are the energy impacts between different methods for maintaining hot water loops? We went through the designs and kept a good research basis so we could compare the results of the three different systems and how much energy they use. There aren’t any studies like this and designers don’t really understand how large these loads can be and what steps can be taken to reduce these loads.” One building uses a traditional recirculation system. The second building incorporates heat trace and

the third was constructed with Viega SmartLoop technology. Oram said he expected significant savings between SmartLoop and the traditional system, and he wasn’t disappointed in results. “These represent a pretty typical case of construction, and the basic findings were that SmartLoop is about a 40-percent savings over the traditional recirculation,” Oram said. “You reduce the heat loss area and that’s really the whole game here. It’s the function of the insulation when you put the return pipe inside the supply.” After crunching data on all the apartment buildings, Oram had interesting findings on SmartLoop as compared to the heat trace building, too.

“Even though heat trace results in less heat loss for a building, as only the supply pipe surface area needs to be maintained, the well-insulated SmartLoop allows us to apply heat pump efficiency to the temperature maintenance load. This further reduces the energy associated with temperature maintenance beyond what an electric heat trace system provides,” he said.

DAILY DHW ENERGY / UNIT WITH COP (Actual Usage and Loss / Unit (Not Normalized) Daily kwh/unit

5.0 4.5 4.0




3.0 2.5 2.0

2.0 1.5

1.1 3.1


2.8 1.4


Traditional Recirc


0.5 0.0 Tank in Unit

Daily Hot Water Load/ Unit (kwh/day)

Heat Trace

Temp Maintenance (kwh/day/unit)

The buildings were constructed and acquired tenants over the course of the past three years. Oram said in the spring of 2017 there were enough tenants in each building to begin collecting measurable data. Originally, SmartLoop was pitched by Viega Technical Manager Ralph Baumann as a system to prevent legionella, a type of bacteria that can be found in stagnant water. The Viega Smart Loop is a proprietary internal recirculation system that keeps water moving and keeps it hotter longer, which reduces waste, increases energy savings and – the target for this project – helps maintain temperature. “SmartLoop seemed to be marketed not so much as an energy piece, but more with the Legionella prevention – but when we looked at it, our minds were focused on energy and we thought it could cut costs,” Oram said. “We sort of stumbled upon SmartLoop, and we saw the savings potential based on what we knew about heat losses.” Oram noted that SmartLoop has a smaller profile, with only one pipe to mount and insulate versus a traditional system. However, in some markets, including Washington, he noted that copper has a lot of competition with plastics, particularly with copper costs on the rise. Still, the energy savings with the pipe-in-pipe are large and most utilities are set up to provide an incentive for the first year of savings. ■

Viega. Connected in quality.


SOLAR THERMAL INSTALLATION WITH VIEGA FITTINGS PROVIDES HUGE SAVINGS Viega fittings and solar thermal heating – it’s a combination that for AET Solar has proven to be a perfect match. AET Solar, one of the oldest solar manufacturers in the United States, is working on the largest solar thermal project in the country currently being installed. Viega is playing an integral part. The project is in Hawaii at the U.S. Army’s Schofield Barracks. AET is installing solar water heaters to provide hot water for a portion of the barracks. There are eight buildings with a total of 560 solar collectors and seven mechanical rooms with custom skid-mounted pumping stations. The installations are being done exclusively with Viega ProPress, copper and stainless, and AET is pleased with its choice of Viega. “For us, it has been phenomenal to use the Viega components,” said Carlos Fernandez-Aballi, Ph.D. and Engineer with AET. “It’s a natural fit between a press fitting and the huge challenge of collecting the energy that the sun provides. Using Viega reduced our installation time and cost significantly.” AET’s Executive Vice President, Andrew East, was aware of Viega prior to the Schofield Barracks job, and the company was looking for a more secure and labor-savings connection for its collectors. Viega Business Development Manager Sid Medina helped get the two companies connected and over the past couple of years the project took off. “There are two attractive things about Viega for us,” Dr. Fernandez-Aballi said. “Once you set it up, there’s a huge savings in labor – thousands and thousands of dollars in savings in labor on a project of this scale. For a big solar collection system like this, you need large flow rates, which means using large-diameter tubing. When you’re talking about sweating large-diameter tubes on the roof in the sun and the wind and everything else, it’s very cumbersome, so a press solution is the ideal way to go.” continued on page 24

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Pump stations, like the one shown here, are comprised of a heat exchanger, pumps, solar controls and other instrumentation. The pump stations were constructed at AET’s plant in Florida, using Viega ProPress fittings, before being shipped to Hawaii.


Viega. Connected in quality.



Using solar energy for the barracks will provide the Army enormous financial savings. Dr. Fernandez-Aballi explained that solar thermal solutions can provide 70- to 100-percent of water heating, creating huge energy savings over a traditional system. Solar collectors are seven times more efficient than photovoltaic panels and are the most economical alternative to hot water heating. In a location the size of a military base, the savings are phenomenal. “In a place like Hawaii, the sun puts money in your roof at the rate of about $70 per square foot per year. That means a 1,000-square-foot system will give you $70,000 in value. What’s the cheapest water heater you can purchase? One that pays for itself!” Dr. Fernandez-Aballi said. At the Schofield Barracks, when finished, there will be 560 collectors, each 40 square feet in size, soaking up a lot of Hawaiian sunshine. According to Dr. Fernandez-Aballi, putting together the pump stations can be a challenge, but being able to pre-build them

24 | Viega Voice | March 2018

with Viega fittings made the process easier, as was the rest of the piping required to complete the systems. “We put the systems up on the roof, and then it just takes a couple of hours to press it all together,” he said. “Threaded components can leak but the Viega components have been perfect.” “We’ve also received tons of support from Viega. The relationship there is great. Anytime we’ve asked Sid for any type of help, he’s available and comes up with a solution, and the delivery times for product are spot-on. The quality of the component, combined with the advantage of the labor savings, has proven Viega was the right partner.” Dr. Fernandez-Aballi noted the warranty of the connections provides peace of mind for the client and also for AET, knowing that the connections may outlast the solar system itself. ■

Timothy Villalva, Operations and Product Development Manager with AET Solar, was able to pre-build the pump stations for the project in the workshop at AET, thanks to the Viega fittings.

Viega. Connected in quality.



MEGAPRESS XL FITTINGS A BENEFIT TO REPAIR JOB MegaPress XL fittings have started to be installed throughout the country as contractors discover the benefits of having carbon steel press fittings up to 4" in diameter. The first installation in the United States took place at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, in November. The XL products were installed as part of an update and repair at the school, which offers degrees in divinity, theological studies, pastoral and spiritual care and more. Though just a handful of MegaPress XL fittings were needed, it still marked a milestone as one of the first installations of XL in North America. A crew from Braconier Mechanical and Plumbing Services removed an old pump and reconfigured the system for the replacement air-cooled chiller on the roof of the building. New air handlers were installed in the attic. The aging building, sections of which are more than 100 years old, had many parts of the mechanical system that needed to be replaced. Because part of the installation was located in the ceiling of a main hallway, using Viega products made sense so as to shorten the repair time and make conditions safer for staff and students, without having to close down the area for welding. Braconier has been a big user of Viega products for years, so the crew was interested in installing the MegaPress XL fittings and to give the MegaPress XL PressBooster a whirl. The PressBooster is an extension for the 300 series RIDGID® tools to press larger-diameter fittings. “This is new technology. To stay competitive in the industry we have to grab ahold and run with it,” said Braconier foreman Paul Swango. ■


26 | Viega Voice | March 2018

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Viega. Connected in quality.



Image representative of project, but not actual.

A major worldwide corporation that recently constructed a new headquarters building in Texas chose Viega for chilled water and domestic water, putting in more than half a million dollars of Viega systems. The campus includes several office buildings and a specialty building, plus multiple parking garages on about 100 acres of land. Brandt Construction was awarded the bid to do the mechanical and plumbing work on the project, which meant Viega was a no-brainer since the company does nearly all its work with Viega product. “We’ve been using Viega for a long time. The first project I remember using press on was the Plano Presbyterian Hospital, around the mid-2000’s,” said Craig Hawkins, Project Executive. “We have a standard spec set up for all our work, and I’d say probably 98-percent of our work is Viega. Really, it’s a Brandt standard. “Viega is dependable and Viega’s people in town support us really well,” he added. “Pressing with Viega is tremendously efficient versus brazing or soldering. We’ve tried other similar products and had issues with them or the quality doesn’t seem to be as good as the ProPress.”

“We used a lot of fittings,” Hawkins said. “A lot.” He said Brandt has a large stock of ProPress guns and that it’s easy to train new employees on them. At first, he said, the cost of tooling was concerning to some, but after so many years and countless dollars saved on installation time, everyone can see how quickly the tools pay for themselves. Plus, the ease of use of ProPress is important for the way Brandt runs their installations. “We have a pretty rigid policy. Every joint that’s made, it has to be signed off by the installer. He puts his employee number on the joint,” Hawkins explained. “In our many years of use, we might have had a couple of issues, but they were installation issues, not issues with the fittings.” Brandt's crew of approximately 170 workers plumbed the entire multibuilding project, finishing in August 2017. Brandt said the project was straightforward, just large in scope being such a big campus. Viega District Manager Joel Armstrong lent a hand at the beginning of the project, giving some training to the employees working on the installation to make sure everyone was on the same


Work on the large campus was extensive. The main plant has five 1,200-ton chillers and five cooling towers to deliver the chilled water to the buildings. That work was all done in ProPress Copper, sizes 3" and smaller. Approximately 75 restrooms across the campus receive hot and cold water run via ProPress as well.

page. Hawkins said Brandt usually does a refresher-type course for large projects like these so that there aren’t issues down the line during installation. ■

Viega. Connected in quality.



INDIVIDUAL GAS METERS CONNECTED WITH MEGAPRESSG In an apartment complex in Johnson City, New York, each residence is fitted with its own individual gas meter, and the roughly 10,000 feet of gas pipe used is connected by hundreds of Viega MegaPressG fittings. When the contractor Piccirilli, Slavik and Vincent Plumbing and Heating, Inc. (PS&V), started on the project, the firm looked at a lot of options and settled on Viega as the best choice. “All of the gas piping was sized smaller than 2", so we looked into using flexible pipe, threaded pipe and joints, and even combinations of these systems. In the end our decision was that Viega MegaPressG would be the best option for us,” said Michael Mauro, project foreman. “You save on the labor. I had two guys on the project and if it was threaded pipe, I would have needed another two guys on it, so you’re talking about completely cutting the labor in half. This really helped us move through this phase of the project swiftly.” There are two buildings, the Sunrise Building with 66 apartments and the Century Building with 39 apartments. Sunrise was completed first, and Mauro said lines from the gas meter room to each apartment ranged from 75 to 425 feet. PS&V used between 400 and 500 1¼" and 1½" 90-degree fittings to connect all the runs of pipe. In the Century Building, Mauro estimated between 300 and 400 fittings were used. “Everything looks very nice, the way it’s run. Clean, sharp turns, and everything all straight with these fittings,” Mauro said. The water service into the buildings also uses Viega. There is a 4" copper main into the building, which narrows down to 2½", and is all done with Viega ProPress. This product was also used for the hydronic HVAC piping on the project. ■


30 | Viega Voice | March 2018



Viega Tech Talk Experts Jacob Demars and David Melendy

Q Will installing ProPress copper fittings in place of solder fittings limit the use of a thaw machine on frozen water lines? A No, installing ProPress copper fittings in place of solder fittings will not limit the use of a thaw machine. The copper-to-copper press connection of ProPress fittings creates a path for an electrical current to pass over the sealing element as it travels. Because of this electrical path created, it bypasses the seal, allowing installers to use a thaw machine in a ProPress system just the same as they would in a solder-joined system. Viega ProPress fittings comply with Section 1211.15, Electrical Bonding and Grounding, of the Uniform Plumbing Code and Section 310 of the International Fuel Gas Code for bonding and grounding.

Q Can heat tape be used with PEX tubing? A Self-limiting, low-wattage electrical heat tape is approved for use with PureFlow PEX, PureFlow Press and PureFlow Crimp fittings. The self-limiting heat tape should not exceed a maximum setting of 140°F. When attaching the heat tape to the PEX tubing, zip ties must be used. Do not use electrical tape or duct tape.

Q Does the use of PureFlow PEX Ultra tubing in place of copper tubing remove the need to add insulation? A No, the use of PEX tubing does not eliminate the need for insulation where it would typically be installed over copper tubing. PEX tubing does not provide enough resistance to heat transfer to equal that of an added tube insulation, even though PEX tubing does have less thermal conductivity (greater R-value) rating than copper. The thermal conductivity measurement, which is used to rate PEX tubing, can be converted to an R-value using the equation shown below. PureFlow PEX thermal conductivity is listed as 2.86 (Btu*in)/(ft2*hr*°F) (Below example taken from the Plastic Pipe Institute – TR48-R-Value-PEX-PE-RT document) Thermal conductivity is often denoted as k or k factor and is expressed as (BTU•in)/(ft2•hr•°F). It can be converted to SI units as Watts per meter per degree Kelvin or W/(m•°K), where 1 (BTU•in)/(ft2•hr•°F) = 0.1442279 W/(m•°K). 2 Note: The R-value was calculated based on the k factor for PEX at 23, 60, and 82.2 °C and dimensions found in ASTM F876. The following equation was used: R = r2•ln(r2/r1)/k where: r1 = inside radius (in.) r2 = outside radius (in.)

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 PureFlow Press 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 technology 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). ©2018. Climate Mat®, Climate Panel®, Climate Trak®, FostaPEX®, GeoFusion®, ManaBloc®, MegaPress®, ProPress®, PureFlow®, Radiant Wizard®, SeaPress®, Smart Connect®, SmartLoop®, S-NO-ICE®, Viega®, Viega. Connected in quality®, Viega Eco Plus® Visign®, XL® and XL-C® are registered 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 - March 2018