29 A. O. Smith tankless units keep hotel guests comfortable Cleveland’s newest Holiday Inn may look like a typical hotel from the outside, but its location, purpose and special features make it unique. The hotel, built adjacent to the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, is designed to serve the many people who visit the sprawling clinic campus. Looking inside the hotel, visitors will find another unique feature — a mechanical room equipped with 29 wall-mounted A. O. Smith ATI 540H-N fully modulating condensing tankless water heaters. “We’ve done a number of tankless installations in Ohio, but never anything of this scope,” Kevin Conyngham of LIBB Company, Inc., the manufacturers representative responsible for coordinating the project, observes. The hotel owners wanted to use tankless water heaters because of the Cleveland Clinic’s interest in energy efficiency and sustainability, Conyngham explains. The 199,000 Btu A. O. Smith units deliver an energy factor of 0.95 and provide more than enough hot water for the guests and staff. Unlike many hotels, the new Holiday Inn-Cleveland Clinic will not experience morning rush hours during which guests demand significant quantities of hot water for bathing. Suppliers to the nearby clinic, visiting physicians and family members of patients make up the bulk of the hotel’s guests and tend to arrive and depart at all hours. Nonetheless, the units are up to the challenge. The units are divided into two zones, Jim Roddy Jr., president of Northern Ohio Plumbing Co., Inc., the mechanical contractor that installed the water heaters, explains. Eleven units supply 140° F hot water to the laundry and kitchen, while 18 units serve the 284 guest rooms with 110° Hot water. The laundry requires the most hot water, although the bar and event facilities also demand ample quantities. The modulating capability of the water heaters means the units will be able to meet peak demands and save energy. The Northern Ohio Plumbing team identified a number of creative approaches that saved space and reduced cost, including a unique wallmounted installation with staggered units to make the most of the available walls. Northern Ohio Plumbing also maximized the venting capabilities of the tankless units. The contractor installed one large plenum that branched into individual air intake pipes to supply the water heaters with fresh air. The units’ exhaust vents collect into a set of four large exhaust vents that exit the building through one hole in one wall. PVC water lines from each of the units lead to a series of risers — one pair of risers serves each guest floor. The modulating capability of the units eliminated the need for the hot water storage tank normally found in a hotel. The units are rated to deliver a maximum flow rate of 10 gal., of hot water per minute. Even during Cleveland’s cold winters, the units can deliver a minimum of 4 gal., of hot water per minute or 7 gal., of blended water, Conyngham points out. The water heaters and the layout of the mechanical room promise to make maintenance a snap. “The nice part is the redundancy of the system. If one unit requires maintenance, you don’t have to shut down the system and the hotel will still have hot water,” a Northern Ohio Plumbing team member notes. Non-stop brazing With a lot less waste And a lot less wasted time Worthington Joining has introduced a way to make silver phosphorus copper brazing alloy more ductile and to offer it in 5-, 10- and 22-ft. Coils. The result is QuickCoil® Continuous Phos-Copper Brazing Alloy, a time- and material-saving alternative to stiff hard-to-bend brazing rods. “On the job,” says Scott Evans, director of wholesale products and joining alloys, “you get up to 22 feet of nonstop brazing with no wasted time.” He also points out the QuickCoil approach drastically reduces alloy waste. “With rods, you lose up to 20% of your alloy in stubs that you throw away or braze together. QuickCoil brazing cuts waste to near zero,” he says. “It’s really a new, time-saving way to braze,” he continues. “Just finger-bend it any way you want and braze away.” QuickCoil brazing alloy will soon be available at plumbing supply wholesalers in 5%, 6% and 15% silver varieties. All deliver these efficiency-boosting benefits: • Up to 22 ft. Of continuous brazing. No more time wasted swapping out 20-in. Rods. That’s pure productivity. • Waste drastically reduced. Rods waste up to 20% of your alloy in discarded stubs. QuickCoil cuts waste to near zero. • Easy bending with no preheating required. Finger-bend it to whatever angle suits the brazing job at hand. • Easy staging and storing. Just loop QuickCoil over your tank between jobs — no need for extra storage containers. Visit worthingtonjoiningtech.com/non-stop-brazing to learn more about QuickCoil products. Bemis Manufacturing Co. Introduces Heated Night Light Toilet Seat Introducing the Radiance™ toilet seat, a heated night light seat that brings a comforting warmth and luminous glow to the bathroom experience. • The Radiance seat is a premium plastic toilet seat with these exciting new technologies and popular features: • Multi-setting warming seat offers four temperature settings for comfort. • Built-in red LED night light that provides the perfect amount of illumination, eliminating disruption of your normal sleep pattern. • The STA-TITE™ seat-fastening system that secures the toilet seat to the bowl by using a patented bolt design with a finned bushing and glass-filled nylon nut, eliminating the need to retighten the seat to the bowl after installation. • Whisper•Close® eliminates slamming lids and pinched fingers by slowly and quietly closing the seat with just a tap. • Precision Seat Fit™ provides up to an inch of front to back adjustability to provide the perfect bowl fit. • Super Grip Bumpers™ prevent the seat from shifting on the toilet bowl, providing greater stability. • The new Radiance toilet seats are available in both round and elongated sizes. These seats can be purchased in white and biscuit/linen at many plumbing showrooms nationwide. What is the advantage of a toilet seat with adjustable hinges? In recent years there has been a trend among some toilet manufacturers to shorten the length of the bowls as measured from the seat mounting holes to the front lip of the bowl. A hinge with forward/backward adjustability allows for a proper fit on the highest percentage of available toilet bowls. The new Radiance Heated Night Light Seat can be moved forward or backward up to 1 in. To account for varying toilet bowl sizes and to ensure the best possible fit. Can the heat setting be turned off or does it remain on as long as the seat is plugged into a GFCI? Yes, the seat can be powered off if the user prefers not to use the heated seat function, for example during the summer months. Milwaukee Valve’s INSULATOR handle What is the INSULATOR/MS® handle? Milwaukee Valve has introduced a unique handle for ball valves operating in insulated piping systems. INSULATOR is a nonmetallic handle for brass and bronze 2- and 3-piece ball valves. It provides a thermal barrier between the valve and the surrounding atmosphere. Is INSULATOR difficult to install? INSULATOR is ordered already mounted on all threaded and UltraPress press-fit ball valves. Due to the use of heat in sweating a valve and the close proximity of the handle’s plastic, solder-end valves have to attach the INSULATOR handle after the valve is soldered into place. You can see a video of this installation at www.MilwaukeeValve.com. Why would a valve require an insulated handle? Condensation occurs where plumbing components are cooler than surrounding air. An insulated handle limits heat transfer from the lower-temperature piping system to the exposed portion of the valve handle or the surrounding air. Condensation from uninsulated handles can saturate the piping insulation and/or the area below the valve, resulting in water damage to the property. Eliminating this condensation also helps in preventing and reducing mold issues, particularly in southern states. The primary function of any insulated handle is to raise the handle above the surrounding pipe insulation for easy operation. INSULATOR has a clear plastic sleeve that prevents insulation from interfering in valve operation. What applications would require an insulator handle? Insulated handles are often used with ball valves in refrigerated or cooling systems, but also can be used in systems such as cooling towers for server farms where the ambient temperature is often in excess of 90° F. The operating range for INSULATOR is anywhere from 15° to 250°. INSULATOR can be installed on all Milwaukee Valve, Hammond Valve and no-lead UltraPure brass and bronze 2- and 3-piece ball valves – including threaded, solder and press-connection UltraPress valves ranging from 1/4-in. To 2 in. Available in two handle size platforms with 11 metal plate alternatives, INSULATOR spans more than 480 configurations of valve styles, covering every commercial ball valve we make that is 2 in. And smaller. The design ingenuity of the plate alternatives provides the flexibility necessary to achieve this breadth of product offering. How is INSULATOR different from other insulated handles? INSULATOR features a memory stop. Memory stops are used to show contractors or maintenance the operating position of a valve in a system. Repairs or service can then be made and the valve can then be returned to its correct operating position. One competitor’s memory stop requires the handle be disassembled for any adjustments. Another competitor does not even include a memory stop. INSULATOR’s memory stop is easy to adjust without taking the handle apart. Simply pop off the top cover and use a hex wrench to make the necessary adjustments. INSULATOR is not the only insulated handle. But this handle can “do it all,” which includes allowing for easy operation of a valve handle within an insulated piping system, maintaining the heat-transfer integrity of the insulation for the piping system, preventing the development of condensation within an insulated system, and includes a memory stop adjustment that is superior to competitive products. And competitive handles simply don’t have the breadth of coverage to match INSULATOR’s 480 valve configurations. How can I get more information on INSULATOR? For more information and specs, visit MilwaukeeValve.com, HammondValve.com or UltraPureNoLeadValves.com. Omega Flex: An industry leader from the beginning The introduction of corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) into the residential construction market in 1990 was the beginning of a paradigm shift in the manner in which homes are plumbed for fuel gas. The use of flexible tubing compared to rigid steel pipe permits the gas piping system to be installed faster with far fewer joints and sized to be more cost-effective. According to NFPA data, the number one cause of a fuel gas fire is a break or leak at a piping joint. CSST reduces the number of joints by 75% in any gas piping system and thus eliminates many of these potential leak sites. Because the tubing is flexible, it can stretch and yield without breaking when the building structure is moved by wind, earthquake or ground settlement. In 2016, approximately 70 million feet of CSST was sold, making this the piping material of choice for plumbers working in the residential market. Omega Flex introduced its line of CSST called TracPipe in 1996 and has been an industry leader from the beginning. Because of its innovative manufacturing process and design, TracPipe CSST is stronger and more durable than other brands of CSST, and it has the best overall flow capacity performance in the industry. Its patented AutoFlare fitting revolutionized the manner in which CSST is joined together. Once the industry recognized the need to address lightning damage, Omega Flex again led the industry with innovative designs. The TracPipe CounterStrike CSST established a new benchmark in resistance to electrical arcing induced by lightning. Introduced in 2004 and updated in 2007, CounterStrike has over 10 years of proven field experience and over 125 million feet of product installed. A new class of CSST recognized by the national consensus standard ANSI LC-1 (called arc-resistant CSST) is based on the Omega Flex conductive jacket design and the ground-breaking research behind it. Independent research has demonstrated that CounterStrike is far more resistant to arcing from lightning than the traditional bonding of the conventional (yellow) CSST. To date, CSST is approved for use throughout North America and is recognized in all state and provincial codes. CSST is design certified by CSA and is listed in accordance with the national consensus standard (ANSI LC-1) by CSA, ICC and IAPMO. In addition, TracPipe CounterStrike is listed as complying with the requirements for arc-resistant jackets and is certified for use without any additional bonding conductors required in the national model codes. Currently, 15 states permit CounterStrike to be installed in accordance with the Omega Flex installation instructions without the need for any additional bonding conductor. In 2013, Omega Flex again leap-frogged the industry with the introduction of its AutoSnap fitting technology. This fitting design allows the installer to simply push the fitting onto the prepared end of the tubing without any disassembly or assembly of the fitting itself. This streamlines the installation of the fittings and makes the assembly of the piping system more manageable when working in tight and cramped quarters such as crawl spaces. Bonomi streamlines the buying and selling of actuated valve packages Rick Wentzell of Bonomi thinks buying – or selling – an actuated valve should be a simple matter. “It’s easy with Bonomi. There is one part number and the components of our actuated valve packages are married to one another,” said Wentzell, a marketing consultant with Bonomi North America. “They’re designed around each other.” How is Bonomi different from other valve manufacturers? According to Wentzell, the Bonomi Group is the only manufacturer of both low-torque, high-performance, direct-mount ball valves and pneumatic and electric actuators. As a result, Bonomi valves and actuators go together naturally into automated valve packages. Is ordering complicated? No. Bonomi has simple part numbers, essentially one part number for each actuated valve package. Compared to what other companies are doing where the actuator is outsourced or maybe the actuator and the valve and they are put together with brackets and couplings, they could have as many as 20 different part numbers. Ours is a much more streamlined decision-making process. Has Bonomi introduced other automated valve innovations? Yes. Bonomi’s unique ball-valve design lowers the torque required to open and close the valves, and we put the actuator directly on top of the valve (direct mount) rather than attaching them with some sort of third-party assembly. Both of these innovations help the valve package operate more efficiently, last longer and take up less space. What is driving the demand for Bonomi’s automated valves? Reducing labor cost: Eliminating the labor cost of operating manual valves has driven th e expansion of the automated valve market. “Traditionally, somebody had to physically turn valves on and off – and walk the hundreds of yards that might separate one from another. Automation allows you to press a button to make that happen,” Wentzell explains. “This has made automation desirable for smaller-size valves in applications such as building automation. As a result, the average size of actuated valves has decreased over the years from 3 in., historically speaking, to less than 3/4-in.” Saving space: Low-torque, direct-mount ball valves, such as Bonomi’s, allow for smaller actuators, too, making the entire automated valve package more compact. This is important in all applications as space becomes more valuable. Improving accountability: Since these products play a critical role in the application process, plenty can go wrong when an actuator or valve fails. As Wentzell notes, the finger pointing can never stop when the source of the actuator or valve (or both) is not the same company. A single manufacturing source narrows the accountability. “The point is the buck stops here with Bonomi,” he says. “When you have a non-denominational or generic automated package, everyone else can go running and nothing gets solved. It’s more common than you think. We don’t have that problem. You’re covered because we produce everything.” “And the direct mount package made from our own manufactured valves and actuators, put together as married components, simply lasts longer and works better than packages of outsourced, non-matching components.” For more information on Bonomi automated valve packages or other Bonomi products, contact Bonomi North America at 704-412-9031 or visit www.bonominorthamerica.com. Expansion puts Briggs and its customers in the driver’s seat Q: Briggs opened a new West Coast Distribution Center in Southern California this past year. How have customers responded? A: Our West Coast customers are responding positively to our new distribution center, ideally located in Anaheim, Calif. We provide our customers with a range of fulfillment options including a same-day willcall program. Smaller quantities, faster turnaround times equal more inventory turns. Beyond the obvious fundamentals we are focused on delivering, Briggs is successful because our customers and their customers prefer a quality, name brand product that performs as advertised. Q: Does Briggs have plans to open additional distribution centers? A: Briggs currently operates three distribution centers: Anaheim; Knoxville, Tenn., and Charleston, S.C. As a growth and value driven company, Briggs always is exploring new opportunities to increase its market share. More distribution centers certainly are one way to help fuel growth but, in our category, efficiencies gained due to improved logistics and analytics can be as meaningful. Associating with stocking independent sales representatives is another option. Since value is important to our customers, sometimes less, as in less overhead, is more. Q: In addition to the West Coast, what other markets is Briggs focusing on at this point? A: Briggs is focused on fast growing population centers that create demand for new housing. Certainly one of the most dynamic markets today and for the foreseeable future, is Texas. Another is Colorado, specifically Denver. To help us capture greater share, Briggs has partnered with independent, professional sales organizations similarly committed to service and adding value. In Texas, that organization is PEPCO Sales. In Denver, Briggs is aligned with Dalcart & Associates. Q: What new products is Briggs introducing? A: As a category leader, Briggs brand has been responsible for introducing many new and innovative products. Today, one such product is our new, universal Altima bowl, that accommodates either a 1.6 gpf or 1.28 gpf tank. Super-efficient for our stocking customers and the trade alike, the most impressive feature of this new design is its performance. In either configuration, the Altima achieves 1,000 grams flushing performance. According to current industry guidelines, this performance elevates the Altima toilet to a plateau reserved for the best performing toilets, regardless of price.
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