These innovative sinks appear to be
Don’t be fooled, page 13
Volume 19 Number 3 April 2009
Canadian Mail Sales Product Agreement #40063170. Registration 10796. Return postage guaranteed NEWCOM Business Media Inc. 451 Attwell Drive, Toronto, Ontario M9W 5C4
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Conservation, health issues
drive move to hands-free
• Industry focuses on essential skills
• Are contractors giving too much away?
• Europe’s largest mechanical show
• Contractor pulls back from the brink
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These residential faucets are all
Environmental conservation, page 13
These humidity sensors work almost
Moisture free, page 21
This pneumatic shear cuts tight
Fine craftsmanship, page 23
The difference is diamonds.
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In This Issue
Hot Seat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
Industry News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7
People & Places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Coming Events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Literature Showcase . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
Shop Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Products & Technologies
Faucets & Fixtures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Heating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
Ventilation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Controls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21
Refrigeration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
Tools & Instruments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
Explosion in electronics 10
Health, conservation drive move to
You know Mr. Slim is a real tour de force, with innovations like our unique VCSI technology
and our highly efficient, industry-leading ductless heat pumps and air conditioners.
Green infrared 14
Energy savings potential overlooked
A Force of Innovation…
Not to mention its legendary reliability and ease of installation. Well, we’re about to
turn everything you know about Mr. Slim on its head.
Ultra-violet installation 20
Mould woes averted at huge condo
Introducing the Mr. Slim ceiling
It’s everything you know,
and then some.
Back from the brink 27
Contractor turns things around by
In Forced Air
Cover photo: Archie Arshad, building engineer at
Brampton Civic Hospital in Brampton, Ont., sets
electronic faucets using a hand-held controller.
Please see our article on page 10.
(Photo by Bruce Nagy)
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Volume 19, Number 3
Those of us who grew up in Canada
tend to take for granted basic life
skills such as reading, writing, practical
math and spoken communication.
Anybody at a management level uses
these “essential skills” every day and
couldn’t function without them.
But it’s not unusual to have an
employee that isn’t terribly proficient at
those skills despite being a master
craftsman on the technical side. If anyone
has seen the movie The Reader, for
which Kate Winslet won an Oscar, it
involves a woman who is intelligent and
functional in most respects but illiterate.
There’s a scene where her shame
causes her to abandon her job and her
apartment after she receives a promotion
to an office job that would have
exposed her illiteracy. People lacking
basic skills often spend their whole lives
trying to hide the fact.
We often see that in the trades too
where an experienced tradesman who –
one would think – would be an excellent
leader for the young technicians just
doesn’t want “the hassle” of management.
In many cases, they may just be covering
up a lack of basic life skills. They may
have dropped out of school early or have
just forgotten many of the things they
used to know. The result is often a lack of
self-confidence that prevents them from
advancing in their profession.
The Construction Sector Council
along with a number of trade organizations
is working to address this issue
through surveying members and developing
tools and training to update these
But, it’s a sensitive subject, as the
Mechanical Contractors Association of
Canada learned when they started
polling member contractors to determine
how the required skills have
changed over the years and where the
gaps are. At least one reaction was
something like: “What are you saying –
that my guys are stupid?”
It’s not easy an easy subject to broach
with individual employees. It certainly
needs to be done one-on-one and kept
New immigrants actually have a
much easier time with this. For someone
for whom English is not their first
language, there’s no shame in taking
basic English and math classes. The
Heat Transfer Coils &
Corrosion Protection Coatings
opposite is true if you have you lived
your entire life in Canada.
I think most contractors would agree
that when they bring someone into
management it tends to be more successful
if the person has been a longterm
employee. They know the way the
company operates and are familiar with
the customers and their needs.
But moving these employees into
leadership roles may take upgrading in
areas unrelated to the trade. The
Construction Sector Council and the
trade organizations that it is working
with are to be applauded for their
efforts to come up with the tools and
training to do this.
However, I don’t remember sensitivity
being a major concern when I
worked in the trades. When it comes
time to talk to an employee about basic
life skills, it pays to tread carefully.
Design and Production
PLUMBING & HVAC PRODUCT NEWS Magazine is
published eight times annually by NEWCOM Business
Media Inc. and is written for individuals who purchase/
specify/approve the selection of plumbing, piping, hot
water heating, fire protection, warm air heating, air
conditioning, ventilation, refrigeration, controls and
related systems and products throughout Canada.
NEWCOM Business Media Inc.
451 Attwell Drive, Toronto,
Ontario, Canada M9W 5C4
Tel: (416) 242-8088
Fax (416) 242-8085
■ New Coil Applications
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Copyright 2009. The contents of this magazine
may not be reproduced in any manner without the
prior written permission of the Publisher.
Madok Manufacturing is the
Canadian licencee for
Heresite Protective Coatings Inc.
50 Morrell St., Brantford, Ontario N3T 4J5
Tel (519) 756-5760 Fax (519) 756-5768
We acknowledge the financial
support of the Government of
Canada through the Publications Assistance
Program toward our mailing costs.
PAP Registration No. 10796
A member of:
Canadian Institute of Plumbing & Heating
Canadian Circulation Audit Board
Mechanical Contractors Assoc. of Canada
Ontario Plumbing Inspectors Association
American Society of Heating Refrigerating &
Air Conditioning Engineers
Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
Institute of Canada
Refrigeration Service Engineers Society of Canada
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performance to match the ideal BTU/hr system output.
It’s that simple. Installation and set-up are a snap – and
there’s no need to calculate a delta P value. Makes this a
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Electrical appliance fee
All manufacturers that sell
electrical equipment in Ontario
must register with the Ontario
Electrical Safety Authority and
pay a $350 initial registration fee
for the first year and $300 per
year afterwards. The money is
being used to fund efforts to
seize, recall and issue fines when
unsafe products are discovered in
the Ontario market under Bill
C152, Product Safety Regulation
438/07. It was passed in record
time after a refrigerator man -
ufacturer failed to recall products
when they began catching fire
and the government found itself
powerless to do anything about it,
reports the Heating, Refrigeration
and Air Conditioning Institute of
Canada (HRAI). One HVAC man -
ufacturer has already contacted
P&HVAC to protest this “cash
grab.” Stay tuned!
Green residential program
The Canada Green Building
Council has launched a new
residential LEED program.
Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design (LEED)
Canada for Homes goes beyond
energy conservation to include
water, indoor air quality, site location,
building practices and the
sources for home building materials
New labour mobility rules
New rules governing labour mobility
will come into force April 1
with mutual recognition of certified
workers between all provinces
and territories commencing in
August, reports the Mechanical
Contractors Association of Canada
(MCAC). Certain additional
requirements may be imposed by
regulatory authorities under the
amendment to Chapter 7 of the
federal/provincial Agreement on
Johnson acquires Gridlogix
Johnson Controls, Inc.,
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has
acquired Gridlogix, a software
company based in St. Louis,
Missouri. Gridlogix’s EnNET
platform allows building
management systems to interface
with open protocol IT systems
to manage energy, maintenance,
physical security and
compliance. Combined with the
Johnson Controls Metasys building
management system, it will
allow facility managers greater
and more secure connectivity to
IT applications, reports the
Essential skills study
Joint project seeks solutions to looming job site supervisor shortage
By Simon Blake
It’s no secret that many people in
mechanical industry supervisory
positions are nearing retirement age.
The current slowdown in construction
has had little impact on what has
become a priority – finding and training
But that’s easier said than done.
“When we talk to industry, they will
always tell us that one of their biggest
issues is finding workers that have the
ability to work with others and to think
“Essential skills is really a
touchy subject…the term
may mean different things
to different people…”
critically and problem solve and to be
able to communicate,” said Rosemary
Sparks, senior director of planning and
development for the Construction
Sector Council (CSC), a partnership
between industry and labour – with
government and industry funding –
designed to address skilled labour needs
for the future.
“The industry does a great job of
making sure their workers have the
technical skills, but we assume that the
person comes to the job with the necessary
foundation or essential skills. They
don’t necessarily or, if they had them,
they’ve lost them because they didn’t
have to use them.”
It can be difficult for trades people to
make the transition, even where they
want to progress to management.
“One day they are working on the
tools and the next they are promoted to
supervisor. There are some skills that
they struggle with, that they haven’t had
to use … things like communication,
report writing, looking at documents or
specs and trying to extract certain kinds
of information,” said Sparks.
Defining and developing training
tools to enhance those “essential skills”
is at the heart of a joint project between
the CSC and the National Trade
Contractors Coalition of Canada
(NTCCC). The Mechanical Contractors
Association of Canada (MCAC) and the
Heating, Refrigeration and Air
Conditioning Institute of Canada
(HRAI) sit on the CSC/NTCCC essential
skills committee, along with a number
of other trade organizations.
MCAC is currently surveying its members
to determine how essential skills
for a mechanical project supervisor
have changed over the past 30 years. Toll: 800-779-4021
There has been some unexpected resist-
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www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 7
ance, reported Daryl Sharkey, MCAC
director of member services.
“Essential skills is really a touchy subject…the
term may mean different
things to different people… How do
you go to an employer and say ‘do you
have any people you feel may need
There’s little doubt that basic skills
for the mechanical industry have
changed, added Sharkey. “Thirty years
ago, what were the basic skills that you
needed to do
work in the
Now, with new
codes, etc., what
is the minimum
for the technician
out there to
MCAC members to share their
thoughts. As of press time, MCAC had
only received eight or nine responses.
The long-term goal is to develop a program
to help workers – in a confidential
way – in key essential skill areas that
they need to move into construction
Essential skills defined
There are nine skills that federal government
– Human Resources and Skills
Development Canada (HRSDC) – has
deemed essential for virtually every
occupation. They are:
Working with others
• Computer use
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“They are foundation skills that not
only assist people in doing their jobs
well, but in learning,” said Sparks.
HRSDC has also done studies on the
essential skills for many trades and
occupations. For contractors and supervisors
in the pipefitting trades, for
example, the key skills are document
use, numeracy and oral communication.
(Visit www.hrsdc.gc.ca for more
In addition to MCAC, other sectors
including electricians, carpenters,
stonemasons, boilermakers and operating
engineers, etc. are working with the
CSC on essential skills. The Electrical
Contractors Association of Ontario, for
example, is quite far ahead in developing
solutions. CSC is currently working
with them to develop an assessment
tool that can be used to identify gaps in
essential skills. “The idea is that the
industry will do some training and
upgrading of skills to address the gaps,”
The NTCCC project is scheduled for
completion in November, 2010. And
while CSC will help to develop tools
and provide ideas on what needs to be
done, it will be up to industry to find
ways to provide the upgrading. She
expects it will be supplied, in some
cases, through industry associations
and industry joint training trust funds.
More information is available on the
CSC website at www.csc-ca.org.
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Giving away our expertise
Are requirements for HVAC contractors too onerous?
Our HVAC industry sector within the
construction industry is just one of the
trades conducting work in homes and
buildings and yet somehow the responsibility
for equipment sizing, duct
design and ventilation design has been
placed upon our backs. When did it
happen that a contractor rather than a
designer became responsible for these
things? No other trade has been pushed
by government, regulatory authorities,
consumers, etc. more that the HVAC
sector to perform these tasks.
In fact, it’s so bad that it is expected
both in new construction and retrofit
that it’s our responsibility to conduct inhome
heat loss/gain calculations, duct
design, and ventilation design. I would
like to once again challenge this because
it is not our responsibility, nor should it
be. Why should we be required to provide
this service at no cost to clients who
may or may not accept our proposal? If
contractors want to offer design-build
services clients should pay for it. Why
should the government, regulatory
authorities, consumers and others tell us
that it is our responsibility and further
that we should do this for free?
Let’s face it, all of us get calls every day
from consumers asking how much to
install a two-ton air conditioner or
60,000 Btu/h two-stage high efficient gas
furnace or a similar product. To make
matters worse, they want a price now
within three minutes over the phone.
We spend hundreds of hours each year
trying to educate consumers why we
cannot provide them with a price.
We explain the need to have a home
energy audit done along with the need
for a heat loss/gain calculation and,
depending on the scale of the renovation,
maybe even a new duct design.
Many of you know that callers get angry,
so much so that they shout vulgarities at
us, telling us we’ve lost their business as
they proceed to slam the phone down.
What these consumers don’t understand
is that their actions actually saved
us money and we lost nothing other than
the time wasted on the phone. Further,
they will likely wind up with a company
that will give them what they want and
they will never fully realize the true energy
savings and life expectancy from a new
system. For most of us, this client was
never our target client anyway because
they displayed so little respect for us.
Fee for services
Let’s be clear, I am all for conducting
heat loss/gain calculations, duct designs
and ventilation designs, but for a fee.
After all, we are providing a service and
it will take considerable time. We
already have to take responsibility for
matching components to ARI standards
for air conditioning, sizing chimneys
and venting, gas piping, sizing water
heaters (tankless or storage), etc. These
are all components within the systems
that we install, maintain and service.
Let’s look at the other trades:
Carpenter: The approved plans tell
the carpenter exactly what needs to be
done as far as how the home or building
will be built with all the information
they need on the plans except the duct
design, sizing and placement. Why?
There are a few areas that need to be
discussed that affect the cost of the
project, such as window types, doors,
maybe roofing materials, flooring, etc.
Once this has been discussed with the
client, a comprehensive proposal and
cost can be presented.
Even with these plans the carpenter
expends a lot of time and work in hopes
of getting the job. This cost is even
greater if this is a general contractor
since they will be dealing with the entire
project. Having said this, more often
than not, even the general contractor
places the responsibility of equipment
size and duct design on the backs of the
HVAC contractor. We even have to tell
the carpenter where the registers and
grilles will go and what sizes they will be.
Electrical: The electrical contractor
also has information on the plans with
regards to switch locations, lighting locations,
etc. They still need to meet with the
clients to discuss the type and or style of
lighting fixtures and confirm the size of
equipment being installed from the
HVAC contractor because it’s not on the
A commercial plumbing system that offers time and
plans. You see, as HVAC contractors, it
cost-savings without sacrificing strength and performance.
somehow becomes our responsibility to
inform the electrician about the size and
wattage of the water heater, furnace, air
conditioner, HEPA air filter, etc. Why?
Once all this is known, the electrical contractor
provides the client with a comprehensive
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8 Plumbing & HVAC Product News – April 2009 www.plumbingandhvac.ca
Another major problem is that too
many homeowners act as their own
general contractor. The issue is that they
have no knowledge or understanding of
their role or responsibility as a general
Further, when many consumers
encounter poor quality workmanship
or jobs that have gone bad they
scream that they have been taken
advantage of and look to (TV home
improvement show hosts) Mike
Holmes and Shell Bussy to help bail
them out, even though they did not
do their homework. Of course this
not always the case because there will
always be bad contractors in any
industry, including ours.
“Guesstimates” don’t work
The final piece that I would like the
trade to think about is that even if we
take the time to conduct an in-home
still find ourselves
of all, air leakage.
The air leakage number could make up
60 percent of the total heat or cooling
required for the home.
During my 34-years in this great
industry (I have come to believe) that
kind of in-home sizing is archaic and
has no place in our high-efficiency
world when we have in-home energy
audits being performed that can more
accurately determine the heat loss/gain
of the home. Why are we not using their
Why should we be
required to provide this
service at no cost to
clients who may or may
not accept our proposal?
As far as
go, we need
take up the
contractors because there is a demand
and a market given the vast majority
of HVAC contractors are small and
simply do not have the resources
today. I would even argue that many
large companies do not have the workforce,
given the demand for skilled
labour. Further, many of the companies
that are providing these services
are not able to charge for the service or
do so at a reduced cost, thereby affecting
their bottom line that is reflected
in reduced profits.
By no means am I suggesting that I
have all the answers, but we as an
industry are long overdue to have this
discussion and debate the issue. Time
has come to stop beating ourselves up
and accepting responsibility for everything
under the building envelope.
D. Brian Baker
Custom Vac Limited
I enjoyed reading your article titled “ECR
launches green residential systems”
(P&HVAC, Jan./Feb., 2009).
However, in looking at the picture of
the installation, I noticed a ground clamp
and wiring ground attached to the gas
piping. This (appears to be) a violation of
the CSA B149.1-00 Gas Code, Section
5.14.6 which states: “Piping or tubing
shall not be used for an electrical
ground… etc.” Am I misinterpreting the
picture? Please clarify.
Is that a ground clamp attached
to a gas line?
The manufacturer responds
picture is the bonding of the metal gas
Your reader is correct in that it is in violation
pipe to an earth ground, and it is in
of the B149 Gas code to use gas compliance.
pipe as a ground for a structure. The Thank you for your inquiry.
picture in the article does indeed show a
grounding clamp and wire connected to Michael Breault
the gas pipe, and on the surface seems New Product Specialist
to be in violation. However, the reason Technical Services/Training
for this clamp is that the Canadian ECR International
Electrical Code requires all metal pipe Wallaceburg, Ont.
to be bonded to an earth ground reference
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(i.e. water pipe or electrical panel)
in a home.
The core of the issue that is causing
Wireless Field Service Improve customer service and increases profits with Mobilio
the confusion here is that while the
B149 states that gas pipe cannot be the
ground, it must be connected to a
your technicians in the field
I checked with Owen Kennedy, tech-
to the office with the use of
nical advisor with the Technical
wirelessly enabled devices and
Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA)
in Ontario and he has confirmed that
mobilio inc. 866-756-5050
this is indeed the correct interpretation
of the code.
email: sales @ mymobilio.com
What your reader is viewing in the
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www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 9
Kitchen and Bath
The explosion in electronics
Health, conservation driving move to hands-free faucets
By Bruce Nagy
Save water. Im -
Today, they’re all
much more important.
That’s why electronic
faucets and flush valves, at one
time seen as troublesome novelties, are
now becoming a commercial plumbing
mainstay. They’ve been around for
about 20 years, but have really taken
off in the past five, appearing in public
buildings, retail operations, high rise
and industrial projects across the continent.
Manufacturers quote water savings
alone at 30 to 60 percent. The energy
cost to heat water that would otherwise
be wasted is also a savings.
In public institutions, especially
medical facilities; germ control is a
growing concern. Hands-free faucets
and efficient auto-flushing also address
guidelines on accessibility by physically
challenged individuals. They were
recently installed in every room at a
children’s hospital in Calgary. In sports
facilities, serving thousands of people,
“This was serious in
facilities because if the
toilet doesn’t flush five
percent of the time, that’s
a lot of odour.”
hygiene matters. Saputo Soccer Stadium
in Montreal installed 200+ electronic
fixtures (Please see page 11.)
Worries about contamination go further.
Antonio DeSousa recently in -
stalled electronics throughout a Peak
Freans cookie factory in Toronto. Child
fatalities due to allergic reaction are
“Food plants have to meet high standards,”
says DeSousa, president of
Desousa Construction Inc., Whitby,
Ont. “It’s peanut-free. You wash your
hands every time before entering.” In
other plants employee showers combine
push button activation and sensor based
With the growth of electronic fixtures
came unexpected technical problems. “A
customer installed electronic faucets
with stainless steel sinks and partitions,”
said Dave Nakashima, from Desco
Plumbing Supply, Etobicoke, Ont. “Every
time a door opened reflections bounced
around, activating the wrong sensors.”
“In the fine print of the guarantee one
manufacturer said the sensors might not
work for people wearing dark clothing,”
reported Peter DeMan, president of
DeMan Construction, Mississauga, Ont.
“This was serious in high volume
facilities because if the toilet doesn’t
flush five percent of the time, that’s a lot
of odour.” DeMan recently installed
solar-powered hands-free faucets and
flush valves during a renovation at the
ultra-green Toronto Congress Centre.
However, manufacturers have corrected
sensor problems. Jeff Gibson,
Delta commercial product manager
for Masco Canada, says sensors now
use triangulation to calculate the angle
of returning infra-red light, instead of
light intensity readings. This, and a
bank of receptors, make sensors more
What to ask
Major brands like American Standard,
Delta, Kohler, Moen, Sloan and Toto all
offer expanding product lines, as do
numerous other domestic and foreign
who are new to electronics
should ask questions
before deciding on a particular
Early on, technical
assistance, field support
and installation documents
Steve Perrone, showroom
sales manager for Wolseley
Canada, Vaughan, Ont.,
says contractors can get
cut-and-paste specs and
from some of the web sites.
Major manufacturers offer a high level
of telephone tech support, serving
customers in different time zones.
Defects and warranty
Dolvin Mechanical Contractors, North
York, Ont., has installed hundreds of
electronic fixtures at Walmart stores
and police stations. President Italo
DiBonaventura says: “In one office
building we installed 60 faucets and
they didn’t work. (The manufacturer)
was good about it. They came out
themselves and changed them.”
Most manufacturers offer warranties
of three to five years; but because there
are different designs and new players
entering the market, contractors should
check carefully. The warranty may not
apply if they are installed incorrectly.
And electronic fixtures are more expensive
than traditional ones.
Repairs and vandalism
Lower maintenance costs are an attractive
proposition for today’s building
owners. Today’s electronic faucets
require less general maintenance than
traditional ones, reports Nakashima.
“With the old ones you’re constantly
changing washers, seats, spindles and
handles. With these you change the batteries
or maybe the solenoid valve or
circuit board – that’s about it.”
Normal wear and tear is one thing,
but vandalism can also be a problem in
public washrooms. Mischief-makers
stick gum over the sensor to keep the
water running. Designs now include
automatic shut-off after about a
minute. Usually the default setting is
adjustable. If the sensor lens is blacked
out with a permanent marker or
scratched over, one model allows for
replacement of just the lens, rather than
the whole sensor.
“We prefer products made in North
America,” says Mel Prowse, president of
H. Griffiths Company, Woodbridge,
Ont. “Or if from elsewhere, we want
them to have a distributor here with
“Some of the bigger companies will
ship parts directly to the installer or end
user,” says Perrone.
Battery powered models have captured
a significant share of the market. They
are quicker and easier to install than
their hard-wired counterparts, but
require battery changes. Most installers
report a two or three year battery life;
but another said they can die in a matter
of months, depending on the number
Most models beep or flash when the
battery is running low. With some models
the batteries are above-deck in the
faucet, while others are in an electronics
enclosure. The number and type of batteries
vary too, which may account for
differences in life span. At least one manufacturer
is touting lithium batteries as
an advantage. Some contractors use battery
changes as a service call; others pass
the chore along to building maintenance.
Reliable hand washing facilities are
a must in food processing plants like
Peak Freans, reports Tony DeSousa.
Peter DeMan recently installed solar
powered faucets and flush valves at
the Toronto Congress Centre.
It’s important to fully discuss technology
options with the customer. “One
of our medical facilities has 180 rooms
using electronics continuously. They’re
not happy about battery changes,” said
Solar powered units have also emerged
with adoption rates that would normally
be surprising, were it not for the shift
toward energy-conscious building
design. So far reports seem positive,
although in one instance sensors were
also used for bathroom lighting and this
limited the regenerative capability of
the solar-powered faucets.
Style and high-tech
Even high-volume public bathrooms
sometimes feature a high-end designer
feeling. Electronic faucets were already
sleek and some are becoming more stylish,
matching trends toward vessel sinks
and premium furniture.
The number of custom adjustments
that contractors can offer is also
increasing. One high-end entry provides
settings for response time, run-on
time, block time (between uses), sensor
distance and auto shut-off time. It also
offers a metered time option. Some
offer hand-held remote control units
for setting adjustments; or even off-site
control using handheld computers or
the computer back at the office.
Whatever the level of sophistication
and gadgetry; contractors should
remember that most of today’s commercial
installation conversations begin
with basics: Save water. Improve
hygiene. Support accessibility. Save
10 Plumbing & HVAC Product News – April 2009 www.plumbingandhvac.ca
Plumbing at Saputo Stadium
New Montreal soccer facility uses state-of-the-art equipment
By Bruce Nagy
In 1954 Giuseppe Saputo and his eldest
son left his wife and six other
children in Montelpre, Italy and
traveled to Canada with almost nothing
in their pockets. Guiseppe knew how to
make cheese and made an arrangement
to do so in part of a friend’s cheese factory
He was obsessed with quality and his
cheese became popular. When he had
enough money, the rest of the family
joined him. His son Lino got a job in a
Lino also saved his money and soon
convinced his father to open their own
cheese making operation. Their specialty
was Mozzarella and pizza was becoming
popular. Today the company is
worth billions and employs 9,200 people
at 47 plants in dairy and grocery
divisions in Canada, the United States,
Argentina, Germany and the United
Lino is CEO and Lino Jr. is president.
A new stadium
Little wonder, therefore, that when a
world-class soccer stadium was needed
in Montreal Saputo would be a dominant
participant. And like all Saputo’s
undertakings, it would have to be professionally
managed with an end result
of the highest quality.
Enter Joe Ierfino from
Plomberie Domier during 2007.
Joe had also built a successful
company in Montreal, focusing
on larger and larger commercial
plumbing projects. Like many
contractors in the city, he knew
the Montreal Impact soccer team
was attracting upwards of
200,000 fans every year.
A formidable order
The new stadium would be 1.6 million
square feet, built on the former practice
track and field site of the 1976 Summer
Olympics grounds. It would cost $14.1
million and would require a lot of
plumbing. There would be six bathrooms
containing 225 sinks, toilets and
urinals. At peak times, up to 13,000
people could head for the washroom.
The project was prestigious because
of its high visibility in Quebec and thus
there would be a public relations
dimension to the way in which it would
be built. The owners were concerned
that it would operate successfully, while
being community and environmentally
friendly. This meant an open-air feeling,
natural grass and a contemporary
approach to plumbing designed to
reduce both water use and cost.
Durability, hygiene, conservation
Hygiene would be important, insofar as
thousands would interact in a facility
promoting healthy sporting activities,
sponsored largely by a food company.
“The builders were looking for commercial
products that promoted environmentally
responsible building and
design,” explained Éric Girouard, Saputo
Stadium director of operations. “Specific
instructions were given to all our contractors:
products must not only meet all
design specs and have style, but also be
heavy-duty and vandal-resistant.”
Joe knew that the newest generation
The project was
of its high visibility
of motion sensor faucets and flush
valves offered the sought-after combination
of durability, hygiene and water
savings. It was a design-build deal; so
Joe asked his spec writers to fully investigate
State-of-the-art electronic faucets and flush valves are designed to accommodate
high traffic in the washrooms.
Montreal’s new Saputo stadium is a busy place.
Getting it right
Like all contractors who play in the big
leagues, Plomberie Domier is great at
after-sales service. However, Saputo
Stadium and most large commercial
facilities are extremely busy with a continuous
need for reliability. It is important
to minimize maintenance
by taking extra care
during the specification and
Joe knew that every job is
different and wanted the
right products. Before finalizing
designs, he explored the
pros and cons of everything
being installed with the
manufacturers of the equipment.
It is better to find out about a
more ideal model before a lesser one has
In addition, his first proposal to the
builder was on the high side of their
budget and they asked for modifications.
Joe’s people worked with experts
from Moen and American Standard,
finally settling on faucets and flush
valves from the former; toilets and urinals
from the latter.
For sinks they used a battery-operated
electronic faucet (Moen 8305).
The same item is also available in a
hardwired model; but this would have
involved more complex installation,
inspection, etc. The 8305 is designed
to get 350,000 cycles out of a set of
AA batteries. “That’s about three
years at, say, an airport,” said Moen
Rep Sylvain Fournier. “Probably
longer at the stadium because their
use is seasonal.”
The faucet uses two sensors to prevent
unnecessary activation caused by
walking past it or unexpected reflections.
In addition, if a vandal sticks a
piece of gum or sticker over the sensor,
the faucet will only run for 30 seconds
before shutting off. The faucet’s aerator
is designed to provide a satisfactory
hand wash at 1.9 litres per minute;
which translates to about a half litre per
wash for the average person.
Similarly, the flush valves are
designed to perform efficiently at 1.6
gallons per flush. Those used for the
urinals (Model 8312) and toilets
(Model 8310) at the stadium are all piston-style
rather than diaphragm
designs. Piston technology avoids stayopen
failures and does not require a reset
after a pressure drop. To help prevent
odour problems during down
months at the stadium, the valves automatically
flush once every 24 hours.
A successful project
Last May the big weekend was finally
at hand with an open house and home
opener game at the new stadium.
There were Olympic medalists,
famous musicians and all kinds of
dignitaries invited. Ierfino was there,
along with many others involved in
building the stadium. Season ticket
sales had more than doubled with the
opening of the new facility and everyone
The question was, would they still
be happy after a whole season in
Saputo Stadium. The answer appears
to be yes. Says Sylvain Fournier, “I
attended the last game with some of
my team members. We checked every
single faucet, urinal and toilet to
ensure they were okay. I changed a few
batteries, but after being used by
265,000 fans, every single one was still
www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 11
Circle Number 112 for More Information
Kitchen and Bath
Haws, distributed in Canada by Dobbin
Sales Inc., has an answer for the municipalities
looking at banning
the sale of bottled
water. The new
Hydra tionStation is
a hands-free sensor
operated bottle filler
that operates when a
bottle is placed
under the antimicrobially
dispenser and stops
automatically for a
drip-free fill. It hooks up to a municipal
water line and, using state-of-the-art filter
technology, polishes tap water into
pure, refreshing drinking water that is
on par with bottled water.
Dobbin Sales Circle no. 300
Flush fitting sinks
Blanco’s innovative new MicroEdge
flat-rim sink design creates a sleek
flush-to-the-counter look. Engineered
with ultrafine 1.0 to 1.25 mm sink rims,
MicroEdge sinks create the illusion of
an expensive flushmount installation in
a sink that easily installs onto virtually
any counter material. Manufactured in
Germany, a unique clip system ensures
a snug and perfectly flat fit to the countertop.
Blanco Circle no. 301
steel ensures long-lasting beauty, while
offering resistance to both stains and
corrosion. The under surface is covered
with Artisan’s proprietary V-Therm
Shield, a dense coat ing that provides
superior sound dead ening and thermal
Artisan Circle no. 303
Efficient shower technology
Fluidics spray technology
from Alsons offers
up to a 36 percent
decrease in water usage
compared to standardflow
systems with no
loss of coverage and
comfort, reports the
manufacturer. It controls
the water’s shape
and velocity to the
needs of the user with a full-body spray
that feels great while flowing up to 1.6
gallons per minute (gpm) as compared
to the standard 2.5 gpm.
Alsons Circle no. 304
The Sonja Basin from Barclay, a wide
rectangular above-counter basin, provides
an updated modern geometric
design for the bathroom. Made of
durable high-impact fire clay, this contemporary
basin features a fashionably
Delta expands green offering
Delta Faucet has expanded its offering of water conserving products,
allowing contractors to help their customers use water in smarter, more
environmentally responsible ways.
The company showcased its green
program, which also includes im proved
processes for reducing the company’s
ecological footprint, at the 2009
International Builders Show (IBS) in
Las Vegas Jan. 20-23.
Efficient bath faucets
Today all Delta residential lavatory
faucets flow at 1.5 gallons per min ute
at 60 pounds per square inch.
All Delta residential bath faucets,
like the Lahara model in bronze
shown here, now flow 1.5 gpm.
A majority of Delta pro ducts also meet U.S. Environ ment al Protection Agency
(EPA) WaterSense water-efficiency standards.
In the commercial sector, all Delta lavatories have a 1.5 gpm outlet as
standard – with the option of 0.5 gpm for further savings.
In addition to contributing LEED credits, commercial metering products
also provide reassurance that the faucet won’t be left running. Delta also
offers a wide range of electronic, hands-free activa tion faucets for the
Efficient shower heads
In both residential and commercial showers, Delta’s H2Okinetic tech nology
changes water droplet size and velocity, as well as thermal dynamics, resulting
in a warmer, more drenching shower experience. When paired with water
conserving properties, it will deliver the feeling of a standard 2.5 gpm shower
at a 1.5 gpm (at 60 psi) flow rate, and decrease water usage by 40 percent.
By installing a water-efficient showerhead, a household with four people
can potentially save an estimated 10,000 gallons of water per year, reports
the manufacturer. Here’s how it works:
eight minute shower X 2.5 gpm (standard shower) = 20 gallons per shower
• eight minute shower X 1.5 gpm (water-efficient showerhead) = 12 gallons
eight gallon savings X 4 persons/day X 365 days/year = approximately
11,680 gallons (44,000 litres) saved per year.
The technology is also incorporated into body sprays and jets found on
Delta jetted and custom systems with multiple outlets. A custom shower
with four body sprays using H2Okinetic technology will save four gpm over
one with conventional shower heads.
Visit www.deltafaucet.com/green for more information about the company’s
Masco Canada Circle no. 307
Transitional kitchen collection
The new Collins Kitchen Collection
from Delta features the company’s DIA-
MOND Seal and Touch-Clean technologies,
creating a long-lasting faucet
at an attractive price. It can be used in a
single-hole installation or with a matching
decorative escutcheon for three and
four-hole sinks. A nine-inch arched
spout allows easy filling of pots and
pans. Also included is a finished side
spray. The Collins collection will replace
Signature deck models and will be available
with standard 2.2 gpm or waterefficient
1.5 gpm flow rates in chrome,
Brilliance stainless and white finishes.
Masco Canada Circle no. 302
novel shallow interior with a depth of 2-
3/4”, measures 25-5/8” x 16-3/8 x 6-
1/4”. It is designed for use with either a
single handle faucet, a four-inch centreset
or an eight-inch widespread.
Barclay Products Circle no. 305
The 60-inch Accord tile bath/shower
from the Sterling Division of Kohler Co.
is designed for quick installation. Made
of exclusive solid but lightweight Vikrell
material, it in -
Saniflo…all you need is water
and an electrical power supply,
get the job done in a day !
Saniflo systems are installed
above the floor.
All units are pre assembled and
suitable for :
saves time and
money for in -
Hip to be square!
stal lers. De -
sign ed for fivefoot
The Chef Pro Square Stainless Steel
alcove spa -
Sink from Artisan Manufacturing is an c es, overall dimensions are 60 inches
undermount sink that measures 18” x long, 30 inches wide and 72 inches tall,
18” with 10” of depth. Heavy duty 16- including a 15-inch bath height.
gauge 304 com mercial gra de stainless Sterling/Kohler Co. Circle no. 306
Circle Number 113 for More Information
www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 13
Going green with infrared
Energy savings potential largely overlooked
By Simon Blake
Like the late comedian Rodney
Dangerfield, the infrared heating
industry can’t get any respect.
Despite offering equipment touted to
achieve significant energy savings in
warehouse and industrial heating applications,
it has been largely overlooked
in the move to “green” heating
“There has been an oversight, particularly
in LEED projects and just generally…
That’s something manufacturers
are trying to address,” says Bob Alcott,
product and marketing manager for
Schwank Ltd., Mississauga, Ont. “We’re
doing everything we can in our marketing
and promotional efforts to inform
people that infrared is an energy use
reduction product...” Rebate programs,
with the exception of a few gas utility
initiatives, tend to ignore infrared
And yet some research has put the
energy savings with natural gas-fired
infrared heaters over unit heaters at
about 30 percent for a typical warehouse
or industrial building, allowing
the infrared heater to be sized for considerably
less input than the equivalent
In retrofit applications, the difference
can be as much as 50 percent versus
older unit heaters, says Bob Genisol,
vice president of sales and marketing
for Space-Ray, Charlotte, N.C.
“When comparing heating appliances
that use different modes of heat transfer
to heat a space, it ultimately boils down
to the comfort of the occupants and how
much energy (fuel and electricity) it takes
to reach that comfort level,” remarked
Patrick Stone, director of North Ameri -
can sales for Roberts-Gordon, located in
Buffalo, N.Y. “In many commercial and
industrial buildings, infrared heating can
achieve equal or better comfort levels
while using much less fuel and electricity
than (forced) air heating.”
Difficult to rate
But there’s a problem – infrared is a
combination of radiant and convective
heat. “When you do a building analysis,
you don’t break the two apart,” says
Dave Mackenzie, vice president of Brant
Radiant Heaters Ltd. in Paris, Ont. This
makes it difficult to come up with a
number that makes sense from an energy
efficiency standpoint like the AFUE
number used to rate forced air systems.
“There’s really no standard to qualify
its radiant output and, if there was,
“There are people out there
that will lead you to believe that
all 40-foot tube heaters are the
same, and they really are not.”
This truck repair facility is a good example of the type of application where tube-type infrared heaters make a lot of sense.
there’s not a lot of information out
there that relates the radiant output (of
the appliance) to the heating of the
In fact manufacturers like Brant
Radiant, which manufactures the Re-
Verber-Ray line, end up doing their own
research and providing their own
“The only way that made sense for us
to do research was in real world buildings,”
he says. That involved heating the
space with unit heaters and then removing
them and installing infrared and
then comparing the results. The tests
primarily looked at fuel utilization for
the entire building, as opposed to that
for each individual heater.
Not the same
Tube-type infrared heaters come in a
number of configurations and are constructed
of different materials. Getting
these factors right is key in achieving the
best long-term efficiency and comfort.
“(Contractors) should do their
home work,” says McKenzie. “They
should look at what the units are made
of, what they are getting, make sure they
get information. There are people out
there that will lead you to believe that
all 40-foot tube heaters are the same,
and they really are not.”
Unitary infrared heaters consist of
single burners with a single length of
tube and reflector, in straight, L or U
designs. A U-tube configuration can
result in a more uniform heat distribution,
particularly when only one heater
Multi-burner infrared systems
typically consist of multiple unitary
heaters connected to an exhaust manifold,
allowing a common combustion
blower or vacuum pump and a single
Burners-in-series infrared systems
use multiple infrared heaters in a custom-shaped
system. The burners are
arranged with one after another in a
row to fire into a common tube and
reflector system. “These systems are able
to maintain radiant tube temperatures
along a long length, allowing for the
most even heating,” said Stone.
Typically, burners-in-series systems
are designed to condense as temperatures
are lower. Less usable heat is wasted
through the exhaust vent, thus higher
combustion efficiency is achieved. All
burners in the system share a common
vacuum pump for combustion air supply
and venting. Burners can be singlestage,
dual stage or modulating.
The type of construction of an
infrared heater makes a significant difference
in long-term efficiency.
There are a number of different
materials used to make the heat
exchangers in tube-type infrared heat -
ers. The most common construction is
cold rolled steel. Its emissivity, or heat
transfer efficiency, is about 66 percent.
On the other hand, aluminized heattreated
steel emitters have a heat transfer
efficiency of 80 to 86 percent. There
are also stainless steel and even titanium
tubes. The difference may not be that
great when the heaters are new. But a
common steel tube rusts inside and the
efficiency drops off while a stainless
14 Plumbing & HVAC Product News – April 2009 www.plumbingandhvac.ca
Placing infrared heaters over the doors of this shipping facility keeps workers inside comfortable when the
doors are open.
steel tube, for example, maintains its efficiency over the
Reflector design makes a difference too, added Kevin
Merritt, president of Superior Radiant Products,
Stoney Creek, Ont. Good quality deep reflectors with
end caps will improve the efficiency of the heater.
The efficiencies of infrared radiant heaters took a
substantial jump with new technologies introduced in
the 80s and 90s, remarked Alcott. The American
National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard requires
that infrared heaters have a radiant co-efficient of 35
However, some modern equipment has a radiant coefficient
as high as 81 percent, allowing a 40 percent
reduction in input compared to those heaters that just
meet the ANSI standard.
Like any heating system, infrared benefits from precise
controls. Today’s modulating systems integrate well
with automated building management control systems.
Superior Radiant recently completed a projected
with a BACnet interface to a Siemens building management
However, even simple systems benefit from inexpensive
control upgrades. A good thermostat with
plus/minus one degree of accuracy will prove a benefit.
Night setback can also help as long as it is not too
severe. “We always recommend night setback when the
building occupancy goes down,” says Genisol. “That
results, in some cases, up to 15-20 percent in further
He recommends the temperature be reduced to 10C
(50°F) at night and then, about an hour before staff
arrive, it is raised to 18C (65°F). On the rare day when
the building is operating at design conditions, the
building manager might over-ride or adjust the night
The comfort level in any building
is a combination of
ambient temperature. Because infrared heaters put
heat into the object, the ambient temperature can be
lower. “As you reduce the inside ambient temperature
and temperature stratification, you are greatly reducing
any ex-filtration from the space,” said Alcott.
Ventilation losses, cracks in the building and chimney
losses are substantially reduced.
Where possible, the heaters should be mounted horizontally
at the height recommended by the manufacturer.
This results in less convection loss.
The most common installation mistake that
McKenzie sees is over-sizing the heaters for the building.
“That’s where most people get themselves in trouble.”
It’s easy to oversize, he adds, because it’s hard to
predict how often or for how long the overhead doors
in the typical warehouse or industrial building are
going to be open. As a result, system designers tend to
oversize just to ensure the building has enough heat.
“It’s a matter of knowing the equipment and knowing
how to apply it.” That comes with experience, he
adds, but manufacturers are more than happy to help
Longer run cycles
Like forced air systems, infrared systems benefit from
longer run cycles. “If you can reduce the number of
on/off cycles in a heating season, you can get better fuel
utilization,” says McKenzie. There are two ways to stage
heaters, and there is some debate as to which is better.
Individual single stage heaters can be staged to come
on as needed.
Two-stage heaters fire at 70 and 100 percent. Brant
Radiant’s research has shown that the typical building
operates at 70 percent of design conditions for 90 percent
of the time. Using two stage heaters over staged
single-stage heaters results in an energy savings of
about 12 percent, says Mackenzie.
The comfort for employees is improved as well, but
it’s hard to sell on comfort, he adds. “Everyone will
bitch if it’s not comfortable, but if you’re trying to sell
it it’s about number four (after cost, payback and fuel
When natural gas was relatively inexpensive,
energy efficiency wasn’t a big issue
in commercial and industrial
buildings. Not so now,
reports Genisol. “We’ve
seen more demand from
end users that need more
energy efficient equipment.
We’ve seen more
Are you concerned about
If so then you need the WILO
Using ECM technology, the WILO
Stratos ECO automatically
adjusts to system demands and
consumes only 5.8 to 59 watts!
The ECO also offers up to 80%
energy savings compared to an
uncontrolled wet rotor circulator.
Have you ever had a service
call because of a noisy
system or hot and cold
The WILO Stratos
automatically adjusts to system
demands not only saving
energy but eliminates the need
for pressure by pass valves and
balancing. Over pumping and
noisy zones are a thing of the
For more information contact:
WILO Canada Inc.
Bay 7-2915 10th Ave. NE
Calgary, AB T2A-5L4
Toll Free: 1-866-WILO-CDN
people seeking out
Where only one heater is used, a U-tube configuration can provide more infrared systems,” he
Circle Number 114 for More Information
www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 15
Clears Grease Clogs Fast.
The J-1450 electric water jet, a compact and portable
drain cleaning machine, uses high pressure water to
clear drain lines clogged with grease, sand and ice.
■ Clears 1-1/2" to 4" lines of grease,
sand and ice.
■ 1-1/2 hp motor drives 1500 psi,
1.7 gpm pump.
■ Vibrapulse ® helps the hose
around tight bends.
■ Slide-out handle makes it
easier to roll to the job.
■ Easily removable hose reel
to make machine more compact.
or visit www.drainbrain.com.
Use the Gen-Eye for in-line inspection and preventative maintenance
of sewer and drain lines, septic tanks, heating and cooling ducts, crawl
spaces, chimneys, attics, wells, and much more.
The Gen-Eye System has everything you need to
trouble-shoot 2" to 10" drain lines.
Video Pipe Inspection Location System
Call 877-273-7246 or visit www.drainbrain.com.
■ Self-Leveling color camera keeps
the water at the bottom of the screen.
■ DVD Recorder provides a crisp picture
with jitter-free freeze frame.
■ Gel-Rod ® protects against moisture
damage if rod is cut or abraded.
■ Built-in full keyboard titler with eight
pages of text easily shows your
company name and job location.
■ Built-in AC/DC converter allows you
to operate in the field with truck
Works Great in Tight Spots!
When working under sinks or in other
awkward places, the Power-Vee is like
having a third hand. Just squeeze the
feed lever and three offset rollers in the
automatic feed grip the cable and drive
it into the line.
■ Handles 1/4" through 3/8" cables
without any need for adjustment.
■ Feeds and retrieves 3/8" cables at
16 feet per minute.
■ Quick-change cable cartridges
make cable changing clean and easy.
■ Flexicore ® wire rope center cables
have unequalled strength and the
right amount of flexibility.
or visit www.drainbrain.com..
Root Cutting Power at a
The Metro-Rooter is a tough root
cutting machine in a compact, lightweight
package, at a price that's easy
on tight budgets.
■ Heavy-duty powder
coated steel drum
holds 100 ft. of 1/2"
cable for inside lines,
75 ft. of 5/8" cable
for roots, or 50' of
3/4" cable for tough
■ Power cable feed is
a real labor saver.
It enables you to
vary feeding speed
in and out of the line and give
you better control when working
through tough stoppages.
■ Self aligning Flexitube distributor
tube reduces cable tangling.
■ Heavy-duty reinforced frame and
drum support shaft takes rough
handling in the field.
or visit www.drainbrain.com.
AutoCut Copper Tubing Cutter
A great tool to have when you don’t have
the swing room to use a conventional
tubing cutter. You can cut copper tubing
with less than one inch of clearance.
■ Just snap it on the tube,
close the gate and turn –
no knobs to twist.
■ Cutter wheel is spring
loaded to provide constant
cutting pressure – so you
won’t accidentally crimp
■ AutoCut has long lasting hardened
steel cutting wheels.
■ Ratchet turning handle available for
extra turning power in tight spaces.
■ Available in 1/2", 3/4" and 1" sizes.
or visit www.drainbrain.com..
Circle Number 115 for More Information
Easy to install
Allied Air Enterprises has redesigned its
Ducane gas furnace line. Standard in -
dustry widths make for easier coil-fit
and top-vent at tach -
ment simplifies in -
stallation. A slide-out
blower design, selfdiagnosing
board and “tool-less”
service doors offer
quick access and fast
service. The line
includes the CG93V
with a two-stage gas
valve, robust heat exchanger and ECM
variable speed blower. The CG92TB
model features multi-poise upflow/ horizontal
configurations, while the CG90
version is equipped with dedicated
upflow and downflow configurations.
Allied Air Circle no. 308
Efficient air handler
A new air handler from Lennox is designed to
be the most quiet and efficient unit on the
market while improving indoor air quality (IAQ).
As well, the Dave Lennox Signature Collection
CBX40UHV variable speed air handler features
improved air flow and heat mode ramping, but
is also more compact and easy to install and
service, reports the manufacturer.
In heating mode, the CBX40 increases airflow
slowly, virtually eliminating the “cold blow” common
with some air handlers. By slowly ramping up the motor,
a heat pump or Lennox EvenHeater staged electric heat
strips can “pre-heat” to avoid a drafty feeling in the
The Lennox CBX40 is compact for an
air handler that in cor porates IAQ equipment.
At the same time, low-speed operation keeps
noise to a minimum. The insulated blower
compartment further reduces sound for quiet
operation and meets Florida standards for less
than two percent air leakage.
A built-in filtration system helps clean the air
of allergy-aggravat ing particles, while the
antimicrobial drain pan inhibits mold and mi ldew
growth. A factory-installed MERV 16 media filter
and factory-provided knockout for a UV lamp
allows the contractor to address the customer’s indoor
air quality concerns.
There is a 10-year limited warranty on covered
Lennox Circle no. 312
Combo water heater
The 96 percent efficient Phoenix modcon
water heater with add-on technology
from Heat Transfer Products combines
DHW with hydronic, hydro-air or
radiant-floor space heat ing. This dual
capability has been en hanc ed with two
add-on Phoenix Heat Pack modules.
The Dom es tic Hot
Water Heat Pack produces
instant hot water
where the unit feeds a
closed loop high temperature
The Space Heating
Heat Pack serves an
open loop DHW system
warm water for lowtemperature
space heating, such as radiant
floors or baseboard rads.
Heat Transfer Products Circle no. 309
A.O. Smith Corporation has received the
Frost & Sullivan 2009 North American
Water Heaters Product Innovation of
the Year Award for its Cyclone Xi and
Vertex water heaters. The Cyclone brand
achieves efficiencies up
to 96 percent, while the
Vertex water heater,
designed for the residential
100,000 BTU and
96 percent efficiency.
Both units feature
intelligent controls to
offer enhanced features
to the end user.
A.O. Smith Circle no. 310
Selkirk has upgraded its “Smart Choice”
lifetime warranty for installations performed
by professionally certified technicians.
The new coverage applies to all
Metalbestos, SuperVent, SuperPro and
other Selkirk brand products. If
installers certified in Canada by WETT
or APC perform the installation, Selkirk
will provide replacement product free
of charge for 15 years from the date of
original installation. After 15 years,
replacements are discounted 50 percent.
Selkirk Circle no. 311
Three valve types
Can supply the tub
at a maximum of 49°C
Stabilizes temperature if
pressure drops up to 50%
Stabilizes temperature if
pressure drops up to 30%
Works even if house uses
Cartridge with paraffin
stem, sensitive to
Recommended for homes
built before 2000
Doesn’t require direct
connection to water feed
at water heater
for the body, shower
head, hand shower, ...
*At 60 psi
- Gpm US*
12 9.8 5.3
46 37 20
Circle Number 116 for More Information
www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 17
Balances pressure and controls water temperature.
Measures water temperature at the valve exit through the
temperature detector. The temperature detector activates the
mechanism to readjust water temperature but the thermostatic
valve reacts slowly to pressure variations.
PRESSURE BALANCE VALVE
When a variation in cold water pressure occurs; the balancing
spool reduces the volume of hot water and increases the
volume of cold water to maintain a constant temperature but
the pressure balance valve provides limited flow rate.
Montréal Toronto Vancouver
1 866 473-8442 1 888 287-5354 1 604 421-5665
Hot Water Heating
ISH 2009 – “Once more unto the breach”
World’s largest mechanical industry show not for the faint-of-heart
By Roy Collver
didn’t have the
Heating show in
in mind when he
words, but one look at this year’s
“brick” (the three pound 1 5/8” thick
show guide) and I found I had to take
his advice and “stiffen the sinews, summon
up the blood.”
Going to this biennial show in
Germany is not for the faint-of-heart. If
you want to try and see even a fraction
of it, you had better have a plan and a
very good pair of walking shoes. After
three days of ISH, I am utterly exhausted,
having seen only that fraction of the
show that I targeted in my plan.
What’s the big deal about ISH?
Should your average hydronics practitioner
spend the money and take the
time to go to this show? Probably not
every two years, unless you include it as
part of a holiday, but everyone in the
plumbing and heating industry should
attend at least once in their careers –
just to take it all in and get some
For those of us more heavily engaged
in trying to spot future trends and looking
for new solutions to existing problems,
the show gets more interesting
every time. This was only the second
show for me and I saw it in a different
light than two years ago. Long time
repeat attendees tell me that you get a
deeper understanding of our industry
the more times you go – and then
there’s that good German beer….
This extravaganza is simply overwhelming.
This year’s event drew 202,000 visitors,
down slightly from 217,000 who
showed up in 2007 (although it seemed
busier this year). By way of contrast,
Canada’s premier show, the CMX –
CIPHEX show in Toronto, expects a
combined visitor/exhibitor attendance
Everyone in the plumbing
and heating industry should
attend at least once in their
careers - just to take it all in
and get some perspective.
Fig. 2: This system combines air to water and/or geothermal
heat pumps with solar and a boiler.
of about 14,000. The picture in Figure 1
shows a single trade show booth. It
goes as far as the eye can see and the
photo only shows half of it (by the
way, it wasn’t particularly busy when I
took this picture – you had better not
mind crowds if you want to go to this
is one of the
there, but if you are
not careful, you
can spend a half
day in a booth like
this, and then find
to see the rest
of the show – not
possible – hence
the plan. But don’t
plan too much, or
you will miss
interesting that you
might not normally
go out of your
way to look at – for
me this year it was pellet burning boilers
– hundreds and hundreds of them.
(More about them later.)
Fig. 1: Big booths, like this Viessmann display, are typical at ISH.
The ISH show is broken down into four
broad categories, and each category has
a number of exhibition halls dedicated
to it. The biggest single category for
square footage is the one we are most
interested in: Building and Energy
Combined with the air-side/re frigera -
tion exhibitions, and the Installation
Technology stuff, “hydronicians” are
treated to almost two million square
feet of exhibits – just crazy.
This year’s theme was: “Efficient
Systems and Renewable Energies.” Two
years ago, the show focused on technology
to reduce CO2 emissions (see
P&HVAC April 2007) - similar themes,
but subtle differences. From my
P&HVAC article of April last year:
“As time goes on, I can see multiple
alternates combined in a single system to
move heat around where and when it’s
needed. There are many other possible
options not explored and some not even
invented yet. Go to trade shows…. to see
what various manufacturers have to
This was one such show – I do practice
what I preach.
This year’s theme
the concept of providing
to accomplish system
Now if I could just
predict the stock
photo in Fig. 2
shows a stab at
such a system,
combining air to
water and/or geothermal
pumps with solar
and a boiler. The
This is a combo solar/gas boiler unit.
big square thermal storage tank with all
of the connections on top is eerily similar
to the big orange thermal storage
tank I show in the aforementioned April
This was one of many such at tempts
at combining components in one box to
attain something greater than the parts.
I assume many of these systems are still
somewhat experimental, but at least
they are now being tried in the
European market. It will be fun to come
back in two years and see what has
thrived, and what has died. I hope our
North American manufacturers see this
stuff and realize it is time to get cracking
on developing home-grown, efficient
systems. In Fig. 3 is another offering
– a nifty combo solar/gas boiler
An impossible lead?
I don’t think the Europeans have an
impossible lead over us in this stuff, but
they are years ahead. Are we so backwards
then? Not really; we just don’t
have the same incentive to develop this
stuff as it is seldom an economical
choice for the consumer. Why does it
18 Plumbing & HVAC Product News – April 2009 www.plumbingandhvac.ca
make sense for a European consumer?
Fig. 4 shows a sign pinned up beside
one of these gee whiz types of systems. I
suspect the “30 percent German subsidy
programme” might have a little bit to
do with it.
Someone should tell Ottawa that
there could be considerable industrial
benefit to the country should our
HVAC manufacturers have such a
strong reason to develop these types of
new products – or we can just import
them from Europe.
Fig. 4: European countries use subsidies
to move technology forward.
Crazy about pellets
Back to those pellet burning boilers. For
a number of reasons that I just can’t
agree with completely, wood-fired heating
equipment has become the darling
of many European environmentalists. I
was fascinated by the sheer number of
manufacturers making these things.
They are supposed to burn just as cleanly
as natural gas – with just dandy emission
profiles – and they are “carbon
neutral” to boot.
I think if the claims are close to being
accurate, then we should be putting
them everywhere there is a ready supply
of wood pellets, which would be in
many rural areas of the country. They
could be a real boon here in British
Columbia where we have bazillions of
tons of pine beetle killed trees falling
over all over the place. We might as well
turn them into wood pellets and burn
them for heat, because they will burn
eventually when we really don’t want
The concerns I have however,
include: delivery issues (read the article
in the recent January/February issue of
this magazine), sustainability over the
long-term, concentration of wood
burning appliances in urban areas
(emissions), longevity of the equipment/maintenance
costs, and increased
I have heard that the forests of
Poland are being cut down at an alarming
rate to feed the burgeoning
European pellet market. Much diesel is
burned to transport pellets from as far
away as Canada. That doesn’t sound all
Free beer is a major draw for invited guests at some booths.
that sustainable to me. Things are seldom
black and white – I think the technology
holds tremendous potential for
a spread-out country like Canada, provided
we can produce pellets close to
where they are being consumed.
And here’s one last photo to give you a
taste of what this show is like (Fig. 5).
This is a booth put together by a radiator
manufacturer. I am standing in a
different booth across the aisle in the
lounge area where you can see their customers
being treated to free food and
free beer…yes, I said free beer.
If you look closely into the mushroom
booth, you can see a lounge mezzanine
at the back where the customers
are also enjoying free food, and more
free beer. The strategy is that you save
the visit to your favourite suppliers till
later in the afternoon – so you can enjoy
their free beer after you have seen
everything you wanted to see. They
really do things differently over here.
Roy Collver is an author and consultant
on hydronic heating based in
Peachland, B.C. He can be reached at
Circle Number 117 for More Information
www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 19
Ultra-violet installation stops
mould in Toronto condo towers
Located on Toronto’s waterfront in
the Harbourfront Centre District,
Number One York Quay is one of
the Toronto’s most prestigious condominium
developments. The complex
includes more than 800 luxury suites
from 600 – 2,000 sq. ft. with some units
as large as 4,000 sq. ft.
But even the most luxurious facilities
are not immune to mould buildup
within fan coil and makeup air units. It
is a universal occurrence that is not
eliminate existing mould, the board did
extensive research in concert with
onsite property manager Brookfield
Residential Services Ltd. of Toronto.
They looked into removing mouldy
insulation lining the inside of the fan
coils and replacing it with new insulation
and coils, but the cost would have
been prohibitive (about $2.5 million);
and the solution would have been temporary,
as mould would be certain to
return in time. They investigated a
number of sprays and coatings, but
none offered a practical solution.
After further research, they decided
to install UVC Emitters (lamps) by
Steril-Aire of Burbank, California
(www.steril-aire.com). As reported in
the last issue of P&HVAC, UVC lamps
in high-rise condominiums, to perform
a complete audit of the project. This
audit included detailed study and photo
documentation of all 1,240 fan coils, as
well as an evaluation of what had to be
done to restore each unit to good operating
condition. The findings of this
exhaustive survey filled eight four-inchthick
“The audit provided us with a
detailed roadmap of the required work
and the projected costs,” Wigley said.
Determined to refurbish the
units and eliminate existing
mould, the board did
limited to hot and humid climates.
Mould growth in the cooling coil at the
heart of the air conditioning system can
be the culprit when people develop
allergies, asthma and other symptoms
related to poor indoor air quality.
The York Quay condominium board
decided to take a proactive approach to
ensure that mould did not become a
problem for its 2000 residents.
Finding a solution
The fan coil units in the two 40-story
towers had been operating for nearly 20
years and were showing their age.
Determined to refurbish the units and
operate in the “C” wavelength of the
ultraviolet spectrum to target the DNA
of mould, bacteria and viruses, killing
the cells or making replication impossible.
Installed in air conditioning systems
opposite the coil, UVC has been
proven to have a dramatic impact on
mould proliferation. Bathing the coil
continuously in germicidal energy
ensures that mould will not return.
Testing the plan
The first step was to install the lamps in
a dozen fan coils to test their effectiveness.
The make-up air units serving the
two towers were also equipped with
UVC at that time to ensure that the air
entering from the rooftop intakes
would be as clean as possible.
The maintenance department photographed
the coils and took mould
samples for analysis by an independent
lab. Three months later, additional
photo documentation and mould testing
was performed to measure results.
Before and after Petri dish sampling
measured 99+ percent reductions in
mould counts on the test units.
Photographs provided further visual
evidence of the improvement, as coils
were now noticeably cleaner and free of
mould and organic buildup. Residents
also reported reductions in asthma and
Climanetics technicians began in -
stalling the UVC devices in February of
2008 and completed the project about
eight weeks later. Each unit required
just one 12” or 16” UVC lamp to cover
the length of the coil.
Sergio Colalillo, vice president of
operations for Climanetics, reports:
“We retrofitted every suite in the two
towers with UVC – except, of course, for
the units that had already been
equipped with the lights during the test
program. We coated the drain pans with
rust-inhibiting waterproof paint on all
units. We replaced drain hoses and
insulation on an as-needed basis, and
also repaired any control valves or
thermo stats that were not working
Colalillo says that the total scope of
work averaged about two man-hours
per fan coil and was performed using a
production line strategy. “We had a
crew of five, and each person had a specific
task to perform over and over as we
went through the building floor-byfloor,”
he notes. “This approach helped
the work to flow much more efficiently.
“Since we could not access the suites
without the consent of residents, it was
a monumental task to orchestrate
approvals for entry,” Colalillo adds.
“The logistics for all this were handled
very ably by Brookfield Residential
Services. With the help of their organizational
skills, we were able to complete
the work on time and on budget.” The
total price tag was about $650,000.
Going forward, Climanetics will
return once a year just prior to cooling
season to change the filters, replace the
UVC Emitter tubes, and perform a
Number One York Quay is one of
Toronto’s most prestigious
general clean-up. The in-house maintenance
crew will do a supplementary
autumn filter changeouts in between
the annual service cycles. Colalillo notes
that they use a tackified media filter that
offers a higher arrestance rate and better
dust removal ability than standard
fan coil filters.
What advice does Wigley offer to
other condominium boards considering
UVC technology? “We recommend
a full audit as we commissioned at
Number One York Quay. We are great
believers in UVC technology, but it isn’t
a cure-all for every single problem in an
air conditioning system, especially with
older equipment. An independent evaluation
of the total system can be very
Wigley adds: “Keeping to a changeout
schedule is also vital. Even though a
UVC light may still be shining, after a
year it loses output and effectiveness.
Annual replacement of the bulbs or
tubes is necessary to prevent mould and
other contaminants from building up in
the coils again. Bulb replacement is a
necessary expense but, fortunately, the
cost is quite modest.”
Crews retrofitted 1,240 fan coils.
Audit, final planning
“By the conclusion of the test period, we
were convinced that UVC lights were an
excellent solution, but we also believed
that the lights could only perform at
their best if the fan coils were in proper
working order,” reported condominium
board president Ken Wigley.
The board brought in Climanetics, Inc.
of Vaughan, Ontario (www.climanetics.ca),
an HVAC service company specializing
After three months exposure, dirty coils like the one at left were substantially
20 Plumbing & HVAC Product News – April 2009 www.plumbingandhvac.ca
Energy conservation control system
The new Climate Control Network System from Uponor is designed to control
all the different energy efficient HVAC technologies in a home without the
complexity of some existing controls. A modular, expandable integrated
hardware and software package connects all of a structure’s heating,
ventilation, air conditioning and other household components.
Via its slim, flush-mount wall thermostats, an optional high-definition
Touch Panel Interface (TPI) or remote access computer, this “all-in-one”
system provides better energy-efficiency, control and monitoring. Key features
• Several options to adjust room temperatures to provide a comfortable
environment when at home and save energy when away or at night – i.e.
minimum and maximum setpoints, setback and/or set-up schedules,
relative humidity setpoint and vacation calendar.
• Fast and easy installation. System is also well suited for retrofit
application operating on a two-wire communication line and new
Cat. 5 wiring.
• An optional feature called “master passing”
allows user to transfer comfort control to any
thermostat within a group by simply pressing a
button on the thermostat.
• The network sends as well as receives
information throughout the network. As a result,
neither the end user nor installer needs to
program each system component separately.
• An optional notification system permits the
service contractor to monitor and manage a
customer’s network online, while making rapidresponse
changes to meet comfort needs and
eliminating separate service calls.
• This system is modular and expandable,
allowing users to program components needed
now with flexibility to include others later i.e.
sprinkler systems, outdoor lighting, snow melt
zones and septic tanks.
The Climate Control
Network System can
control multiple HVAC
Uponor Circle no. 316
Well pump control
The SubCon Variable Frequency Drive
(VFD) from SJE-Rhombus provides an
energy efficient solution for residential
water well pump control.
Water pres sure is
and the VFD will
auto matically ad just
pump speed to maintain
a constant pressure.
The set pressure,
along with other parameters, is easily
adjusted via the keypad. The easy-toread
alpha-numeric display features current
pressure in PSI, target pressure setting,
pump speed (Hz), pump amps,
pump run time and error codes.
SJE Rhombus Circle no. 313
follow the leader
The ECO3 from Smartcool Systems is
designed to provide cost savings and
environmental benefits by optimizing
the energy efficiency of air conditioning
systems with one or
two compressors. It
works with existing
air conditioning and
and controls to reduce energy
consumption by about 15 per cent. It
can also optimize the heating cycle of
compressor-driven heat pumps.
Smartcool Systems Circle no. 314
The new Model SRH Humidity Series
product line from Setra Systems is
designed to measure relative humidity in
a room, duct or outside and is available
in accuracies of plus/minus two, three
and five percent.
The line consists
of a wall display,
duct mount, and
outside air unit.
sensor tip en sur -
es an accurate, calibrated, and cost ef -
fective humidity control system, says the
Setra Systems Circle no. 315
Honeywell has been making the world a cooler place to live for
more than 50 years.
And for over a decade we ve invented and brought to market more new
fluorocarbon technologies that cool our environment than anyone else. Only a
world leader can say that. In the air conditioning industry we invented R410-A,
the new global refrigerant standard for use in commercial and residential air conditioners around the
world. And when appliance manufacturers were faced with a phase out of a key raw material we were
the first to commercialize a fluorocarbon, non-ozone depleting replacement, helping reduce cost while
maintaining energy efficiency. In the automotive industry we were the first company granted a patent for
ultra-low, global-warming refrigerants that can meet tough new European regulations. These innovations
are backed by a $200M investment in capacity – ensuring a secure future for our customers. And
nothing is cooler than that.
For more information about Honeywell Genetron , ® visit www.honeywell.com/genetron or www.410A.com
© 2008 Honeywell International Inc.
Circle Number 118 for More Information
www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 21
Working with induction motors
By Ed Gravelle
An induction motor
(IM) is a type of
(AC) motor where
power is supplied to the
rotating device by
means of electromagnetic induction.
The other commonly used name is
“squirrel cage motor,” due to the fact
that the rotor bars with short circuit
rings resemble a squirrel cage (hamster
An electric motor converts electrical
power to mechanical power in its
rotor (rotating part). There are several
ways to supply power to the rotor.
In a direct current (DC) motor, this
power is supplied to the armature
directly from a DC source, while in an
AC motor this power is induced in the
An induction motor is sometimes
called a rotating transformer because
the stator (stationary part) is essentially
the primary side of the transformer and
the rotor (rotating part) is the secondary
side. Induction motors are widely
used, especially polyphase induction
motors, which are frequently used in
industrial drives. (Wikepedia)
Rotating magnetic field
Fig 1 shows how 60-cycle AC power
generates a rotating magnetc field
(RMF) in a single phase motor. A threephase
motor winding has the equivalent
of three single phase motor windings
spaced around the stator, with each
phase rise following one after the other
to provide running and starting torque.
A complete study of motors can be
found at www.allaboutcircuits.com
(Vol. II, AC motors).
Motors used with VFD speed drives
are no different than across-the-line
starter motors except that they have to
have winding insulation rated to 2000
volts or higher. Most premium motors
are wound with 2000-volt rated windings.
The energy to run the motor
comes from a series of square wave DC
volt pulses (see fig 2) produced by the
inverter at pulses up to 900 per second
in each direction to simulate an a/c sine
wave. The frequency of the change controls
Induction motors are used for fan
coil air handlers, pumps and many
other applications. Up to the time that
inverter drives were introduced, they
were only capable of running at fixed
speeds – the speed being determined by
the number of poles in the motor (two
When motors are required to
start heavy loads, starters and
motor conductors may need
to be oversized.
pole = 3600 RPM; four-pole = 1750
RPM; six pole = 1150 RPM). The adoption
of dual windings allowed twospeed
motors to be created.
Each motor circuit is required (by
code) to have overload and over-current
protection. A starter with an overload
relay, or motor with built in overload
devices, will satisfy the requirement
for overload. Fuses or breakers
have to be supplied to provide for overcurrent
protection. Table D12
(Canadian Electrical Code) shows the
proper breaker or fuse to use for induction
WAVE FORM 3 PHASE IN RED
DC BUS VOLTAGE IN GREEN
PULSE MODULATION SQUARE WAVE IN BLACK
Fig 2 - sub 30
Fig. 2: The energy to run the motor comes from a series of square wave DC volt
pulses produced by the inverter.
a a’ b c d
Heavy starting loads
Induction motors may be required to
handle heavy starting loads. However,
larger across-the-line starters and fusing
may have to be used for high torque
and long start times. For example,
motors driving heavy backward
inclined fans (or similar loads) may take
15 to 20 seconds to reach full speed,
with current draw starting close to
locked rotor amps with amp draw dropping
off as speed increases. Starters,
when required to carry prolonged high
starting currents, need class 20 or 30
overload relays. Class 20 or 30 are slower
to react and will allow higher amp
flow over longer start times.
Starters may also have to be sized for
the starting load rather than the motor
HP as a “HP-rated starter” may not be
rated for the current flow required for
long start times. When motors are
required to start heavy loads, starters
and motor conductors may need to be
oversized, selected for starting amps
rather than motor HP.
A guide for selecting conductors and
starter ampacity can be taken from
Table D12 (Canadian Electrical Code).
Wire size and starter capacity are selected
to match the ratings shown for time
delay fuses, rather than the motor name
plate amps or motor HP rating.
VFD driven motors
Input fuses or breakers for motors driven
by a variable frequency drive (VFD)
can be selected from code table D12 or
sized as specified for the VFD being
Motor and VFD fuses are designed to
protect the complete power circuit,
beginning at the alley pole transformer
(or vault transformer), main power distribution
center, and any sub (breaker)
circuit all the way to the drive or motor,
from short circuit faults.
The building or pole transformer is
supplied with a fused primary power
Fig. 1: Sixty cycle a/c power generates a rotating magnetic field in a singlephase
motor. (Toni R Kuphaldt - allaboutcircuits.com)
supply, with voltages as high as 25,000
to 125,000 volts. The transformer
capacity in a building vault or
on a pole outside is usually sized for 125
to 300 percent of the maximum size of
the building’s main breaker.
For example, a building distribution
center with a 1000 amp main breaker
may be supplied with a transformer
capable of providing 1250 to 3000
amps. Hydro usually allows for future
loads, or shares the same transformer
with other buildings. Vault or pole
transformers do not have overload protection,
just over-current protection (a
fuse on the primary side)
A 1250-amp transformer on a pole
with 25,000 to 100,000 volts on the primary
side is capable of producing short
circuit amps up to 200,000 before the
primary fuse blows. Each circuit in the
building has a breaker or fuses to interrupt
high amp flows if there is a short to
ground or phase to phase. They are
rated to react in two ways – circuit over
amps and high amp faults (short to
ground or phase to phase, in other
words). For example, a 40 amp Class T
fuse will fail if it’s subject to over amps
for a longer period that it is rated for
(time - amp factor of the fuse). It will
also safely interrupt a short circuit fault
current up to 200KA (200,000 amps).
Breakers are rated the same way.
If there wasn’t a breaker or fuse capable
of opening the circuit under fault
conditions, the motor or drive could go
up in flames if there was a fault to
ground or from phase to phase, or virtually
explode in a similar way to a
tree or structure when hit by lightning
In the next issue we will go into more
detail on how induction motors work
Ed Gravelle is a consultant on refrigeration,
air conditioning and heating
systems based in Brentwood Bay, B.C. He
can be reached at email@example.com.
22 Plumbing & HVAC Product News – April 2009 www.plumbingandhvac.ca
Tools & Instruments
Circuit breaker lockouts
Miniature lockouts (S2390 & S2391)
from Master Lock are designed to lock
out most miniature ISO/DIN circuit
breakers. Model S2390 fits standard
width toggle openings with the pin out
and a black handle. The S2391 fits wide
toggle openings. They work with all
Master Lock and American Lock safety
padlocks and lockout hasps.
Master Lock Circle no. 317
Pneumatic shear for
in-shop duct fabrication
An all-new, compact, pneumatic shear from Malco offers a quick and easy
solution for cutting extremes of large or tight patterns common with in-shop
The Turboshear, a versatile 18-gauge capacity shear, cuts straight and to the
left and is capable of both fast, straight shearing and navigating tight circular
or square pattern cuts.
It is compatible with most shop or job-site air supplies, operating at 2600
RPM on four CFM (133L/Min.) of air at 90 PSI (6.2 Bar). Long-wearing
blades are easily replaceable on the job.
The Turboshear quickly cuts
Contractors are invited to visit www.malcotools.com and click the video tab straight lines or circles.
to see the air powered Turboshear in action.
Malco Tools Circle no. 323
The Model 151-CSST pipe cutter from
RIDGID is designed to make quick
clean cuts in corrugated stainless steel
tubing (CSST). It features floating
nylon guide wheels so that it runs on
the corrugations of the track while cutting
the flexible gas tubing. A quick-acting
mechanism allows the cutter to rapidly
adjust from 3/8-inch to 1-inch
diameter CSST. A larger ergonomic
knob gives users a firmer grip that
allows them to apply more force to cut
through tubing faster and easier.
RIDGID Circle no. 318
a shoulder strap. Rated at 3/8-in. cutting
capacity on mild steel and 1/4 in.
on aluminum (115 V, 20 A or 230 V
service), it is designed to meet the cutting
needs of those in maintenance and
HVAC, as well as those in construction
who need to notch I-beams, cut steel
studs, steel roofs or sheet metal.
Miller Mfg. Circle no. 320
Classic outlaw style
A new line of hard hats from Klein Tools
includes several innovative styles. All feature
the Klein four-point Fas-Trac ratcheting
suspension system. The V-Gard is
designed with a polyethylene shell in cap
and full-brim style. Featuring a vented
style, which provides cooling
vents, the Advance cap
allows for im -
proved air circulation
of the Skullgard
cap and hat is
for use in
steel mills and
other heavy industries
are common. And
finally, the Western Outlaw hat in classic
tan color provides protection from the
sun, rain, heat and glare in classic cowboy
Klein Tools Circle no. 321
The new Hilti TE 60 Combihammer is
designed for heavy-duty drilling with
added safety. A strong 1,200-watt motor
delivers impressive power for drilling,
chiseling and demolition in concrete,
stone and masonry. Available models
include the TE 60 and the TE 60 ATC-
AVR, which includes torque control and
vibration reduction. Both feature an
optimized mechanical clutch for maximum
torque as well as an excellent
Hilti Circle no. 322
Power quality recorder
The new Fluke 1750 Power Recorder
and Fluke Power Analyze software allow
the technician to record three-phase
power quality and monitor for power
quality disturbances. It automatically
records every power quality parameter
and event, on every cycle – all the time
– making it ideal for long-term analysis,
power quality surveys, quality of service
compliance and semi-permanent monitoring.
Fluke Circle no. 319
Door Opening Width
BUILT FOR THE STREETS CITY WIDE
69 3/4 Featuring capacities of up to 500 cubic feet, the Aerocell CW
can handle heavy loads – up to 3,700 pounds – yet its cab-width
size is slim enough for tight city streets and narrow driveways. ALL NEW
Stand Tall with the ALL NEW Aerocell CW Fiberglass van body.
With its aerodynamic shape, Aerocell CW will help
save you time and money at the pump.
– Aerocell CW –
Lightweight plasma cutter
The new Spectrum 375 X-TREME plasma
cutter from Miller weighs only 18
lbs., allowing it to be easily carried with
Circle Number 119 for More Information
www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 23
Are you looking to hire?
We work with non-union and Open Shop Unions and any closed union that
provides authorization to work directly with employers
BENEFITS TO EMPLOYER MEMBERS
• source for full-time or temporary qualied workers
• access to screened, well-trained individuals
• access to screening services
• FREE safety training packages
• all packages include WHMIS and Fall Protection
-plus one additional safety training per trade
10 KODIAK CRESCENT, UNIT 100
TORONTO, ONTARIO M3J 3G5
416-636-8218 • www.youthac.ca
ADDITIONAL BENEFITS TO EMPLOYER MEMBERS
• Access to all other safety training programs at a
discounted rate, which include:
(scissor lift, lock out & tag, conned space hazard awarenesss,
propane in construction, scaold training, trac control)
• rst aid training
• safety program management for your company
Join us for one of our Open Houses or to book a site visit of our approved
training facility - Pre-Apprenticeship Training Institute
Please call 416-636-8218 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for membership pricing.
For training enquiries, contact our approved training facility below
YASC Approved Training Facility
YOUR NEW EMPLOYEE WILL COME WITH:
• Hands on practical experience in “real world” conditions
• Industry tools • Safety equipment and training (WHMIS, Fall Protection,
Lockout & Tag Safety, Conned Space & Hazard Awareness, Aerial Platform,
Trafc Control, Propane in Construction and Scaffold Training)
• Training tailored to your company’s specialization
10 KODIAK CRESCENT, UNIT 100
TORONTO, ONTARIO M3J 3G5
416-638-4111 • www.patinstitute.ca
WE SUPPLY WELL TRAINED, SCREENED INDIVIDUALS
FOR THE FOLLOWING TRADES:
• Construction & Maintenance Electrician
• Refrigeration & Air Conditioning Mechanic
• Plumbing • Appliance Service Technician
• Network Cabling Specialist • Corporate Training
ASK US HOW WE CAN UPGRADE YOUR CURRENT WORKFORCE:
• Safety Training to meet Ministry of Labour Requirements • Electrical & Plumbing Pre-Exam course
• Hydronics • ODP • TSSA Approved Training & Examination Facility for G3, G2, DA, GP Certication
• Air Conditioning Electrical Standards training • Back Flow Prevention
Circle Number 120 for More Information
For more information, please contact our Employer Relations Department
at email@example.com or call 416-638-4111.
your contracting business
Sometimes it pays to get some help
By Mark Groulx
There comes a point
for many contractors
start to think about selling
their business. This
is particularly true
where there is no obvious
plan for succession if the owner is
looking at retirement or going into
Despite the difficult economy we find
ourselves in, there is still demand for
HVAC and other building service contractors
in Canada to be purchased.
This is especially true for companies
focused on commercial and industrial
customers. The most attractive size to
buyers today is with companies that
have anywhere from $1 million to $10
million of earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation and amortization
Recent surveys suggest that 50 percent
of the privately owned businesses
in Canada (those not listed on a stock
exchange) will be sold in the next 10
years and two thirds of those will be
sold in the next five years. This is mostly
a result of the baby boom effect. In
view of these statistics, I would recommend
you sell your business sooner
rather than later with this many companies
coming to market.
However, there is no question that
the current public market selloff and
grim economic forecasts will limit the
number of companies sold. It is also
likely the sale process will take longer
and prices will be lower than the lofty
levels (by historic standards) we have
seen during the past few years.
Nonetheless, well-managed, profitable
companies will continue to be sold. If
you are considering the sale of your
business, you should not delay because
of the current economic turmoil.
Selling a business is a complicated, time
consuming and usually quite stressful
event. This will probably be the largest
financial transaction in your life and I
would strongly encourage you to hire
an advisor to assist you with the
process. At each step of the process you
will likely require advice and assistance
that can only come from years of experience
doing financial transactions.
It is a time consuming process, so
you will need someone to manage the
process efficiently while you continue to
run your business. You also need technical
advice regarding valuation (price),
structure of the deal and so forth. For
these and other issues you will want to
have someone as an advisor, let alone to
provide a buffer in the negotiations.
So what are the steps in the process?
STEPS TO A SALE
• Get business in order
• Get records in order
• Determine a value
• Identify prospective buyers
• Contact potential buyers
• Confidentiality agreements
• Deliver confidential proposal
• Respond to questions
• Exchange letters of intent
• Final letter of intent
• Buyer’s due diligence
• Legal documentation
• Money and keys change hands
Step 1 – Preparation:
First and foremost, you need to get
the company and its records in order.
This could take anywhere from two to
six months. Your tax planning should
already be in place and you should
check with your accountant that the sale
of your business has been considered as
part of your tax strategy.
During this phase of the process your
advisor will collect information on the
operations of the business, the industry
you operate in and organize your historical
and projected financial information.
They will take that information as
well as information from outside
sources to prepare a “confidential information
memorandum” describing the
main aspects of your business.
Step 2 – Valuation:
The value of any company at a point
in time is the net present value of its
future earnings potential. Another way
of expressing this sentiment is achieved
by putting a multiple on your EBITDA –
earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation
and amortization. EBITDA is simply
calculated by adding your interest
expense, depreciation and amortization
to your pre-tax earnings, all of which are
found on your income statement.
Determining a value
For purposes of determining a valuation
of the business, the EBITDA will be
reduced by any capital or other annual
expenditures that are required to sustain
the business. The multiple used to
determine the price will be a function of
the sustainability of earnings and their
potential for growth. On average these
multiples range from three to six times
but vary by industry and by company.
Therefore, if you generated $2 million
in EBITDA last year and you have good
prospects for continued profitability, a
rough estimate would be an $8 to 10
million purchase price.
Step 3 – Identifying prospective buyers:
(both strategic buyers in your
industry and financial buyers such as
private equity firms are the best
prospects. Your advisor will prepare a
list with your assistance to determine
the best prospects.)
Step 4 – Contacting prospective buyers
and getting confidentiality agreements
signed: (your agent’s role).
Step 5 – Delivery of the confidential
information memoranda: (your agent’s
Step 6 – Responding to buyers’ questions:
(you and your agent collaboratively)
Step 7 – Receipt of letters of intent:
These non-binding letters outline the
price and structure of the proposed
transaction as well as the broad terms
and conditions the prospective buyers
are proposing. It forms the basis for
negotiations that will lead to the final
Step 8 – Negotiation of final letter of
intent: (an important intermediary role
of your agent)
Step 9 – Buyer’s due diligence:
This involves the buyer reviewing all
legal, accounting, tax, banking, human
resources, health and safety, information
systems, material contracts and
other records. They will also make
investigations into products, customers,
outstanding litigation, environmental
issues and so forth. This is a time consuming
process and requires a great
deal of preparation (let alone photocopying
and/or scanning a large number
Step 10 – Legal documentation: (the
lawyers paper the deal with the agent’s
Step 11 – The closing: (money
chang es hands and keys are passed).
You should expect the entire process to
take from five to 12 months from the
date you hire your advisor to closing.
This is a very brief overview of the
many activities involved in selling a
business, but gives you an indication of
the extensive work involved.
Mark Groulx is president of A.I.M.
Group Canada Ltd., a company that has
specialized in the sale of private businesses
since 1990. He can be reached by email
www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 25
People & Places
It won’t be long! WWG Totaline teamed with Dupont to give away a Smart car
last summer. Mississauga, Ont. branch manager Corey Soulis, left, cooks up a
burger for Gary Felix of General Atmospheric Systems, Brampton, Ont.
Safety Isn't Just Skin Deep...
The Heating Refrigeration and Air
Conditioning Institute of Canada has
appointed David Terlizzi to the position
of technical advisor. With a background
in industrial and mechanical
manufacturing, he will provide technical
assistance on standards and codes to
Randy Duncan has been named
sales manager – Western Canada for
Kohler Canada, Chilliwack, B.C.
Freddy Sawdaye is now Canadian
sales manager for Erico Canada,
Kevin Gannon has been appointed
product manager – Hytec at Kohler
Canada Co., Vaughn, Ont. Kevin
Cmolik has been named sales manager
for Hytec, Armstrong, B.C.
Case de Jong is now North
American president for Franke
Kindred Canada Ltd., Midland, Ont.
Barclay Sales, Port Coquitlam, B.C.,
has named Patricia Tubl to outside
sales while Sydney Irvine has joined
the company as retail merchandiser,
Jeff Krawchuk has joined Royal
Pipe Systems as outside sales representative
for Saskatchewan, Manitoba
and Southern Alberta. He will be based
Emco Ltd., London, Ont., has an -
nounc ed that Rick Fantham is now
president of Hajoca, Emco’s sister company.
Hajoca Corporation is the United
States largest privately held distributor
of plumbing, heating and industrial
sup plies with branches in 32 states. It ex -
panded to Canada in 2003 with the purchase
of Emco Limited. (www.hajoca.com)
Brian Jackson is now vice president
– Plumbing and HVAC – Western
Canada for Emco.
Moen, Oakville, Ont. has named
Angelo Melillo and Suzanne Pullman
as senior territory managers, along with
Catherine Robb as showroom consultant
for the greater Toronto area.
Specify Superior Backflow Protection from Watts
When it comes to protecting the health and safety of people, why choose anything but the best?
The Watts SilverEagle TM Series backflow assemblies incorporate the latest design features to protect
against contamination at health hazard cross-connections. The SilverEagle series is the
most compact, the lightest and offers the most flexibility of any backflow assembly in the
industry. Specify the valve with safety at its core! For additional information and to view
the latest SilverEagle approvals, visit our website at www.wattscanada.ca
or call 1-888-208-8927.
Don Samson, left, of Weil-McLain rep
Allan Forrest Sales in Calgary,
presents Ed Demmers with his prize.
Weil-McLain Canada Inc., Burlington,
Ont., has announced the winner of a
Caribbean cruise in its Wave Rider promotion.
Ed Demmers of Rockyview
Plumbing in Calgary won the trip for
two, which will take place in April or
May aboard Royal Caribbean’s new ship
Freedom of the Seas. The promotion
ran from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2008 and
included monthly draws as well as the
grand prize. Visit www.weil-mclain.ca
for more information.
Wolseley Canada, Burlington, Ont.,
has opened a new wholesale branch and
plumbing showroom at 123 Dartnell
Road in Hamilton, Ont. A grand opening
was held Feb. 18.
MAAX Corporation, Lachine, Que., is
now operating in Canada as MAAX
Circle Number 121 for More Information
26 Plumbing & HVAC Product News – April 2009 www.plumbingandhvac.ca
A West Coast success story
It didn’t come overnight for sheet metal contractor
By Simon Blake
When Mark Halvorsen looked at
his books six or seven years ago,
the future didn’t look bright for
his Surrey, B.C.-based contracting firm.
But today, Viaduct Sheet Metal is the
largest contractor of its kind on the
West coast and still looking to expand.
What happened? Well – two things.
The B.C. economy made a dramatic
recovery. And Halvorsen – a 47-year-old
entrepreneur – took a good hard look at
the way he was doing business.
By this time Halvorsen had been in
the business for about 25 years. A graduate
of the Building Services Tech nol -
ogy program at the British Columbia
Institute of Technology, he started his
career as an estimator at United Metal
Fabricators and then moved to Alliance
Sheet Metal, where he picked up project
and business management skills.
At age 26 he and then partner Barry
Bell created Viaduct Sheet Metal.
Within six months the company was
larger than Alliance and quickly became
one of the larger sheet metal contractors
in the greater Vancouver area.
But although the company was growing
rapidly, it was a real learning experience
for Halvorsen. In 1999-2000 a large
hospital project “really kicked the crap
out of us,” he remarked.
After massive losses in those two
years, the company recorded $5 million
in sales, but only one percent profit in
2001. Halvorsen began to wonder
whether being in business was really
worth all the effort.
One of the people Halvorsen
turned to for advice was
P&HVAC business columnist
Ronald Coleman. There was
an obvious problem with the
management structure – basically
a linear reporting structure
with Halvorsen in charge
of all aspects of the business.
Employees would bring problems
to him – typically on a
Friday – and he’d worry about
them all weekend so he could
come up with a solution by
Monday. Halvorsen had to
find ways to delegate so that
he could focus on business development.
One doesn’t have to look very far to
see just how successful the turnaround
has been. Today Viaduct Sheet Metal – a
unionized company – has over 100
employees and focuses on sheet metal
for large projects – commercial, institutional
and residential high-rise. At any
given time there are 70-80 projects on
the go ranging in value from $1,000 to
$20 million. The company serves the
entire lower mainland of B.C.
Construction has heated up considerably
since the early part of the decade,
thanks in no small part to the 2010
Winter Olympics. Viaduct has been
right in the thick of it.
In 2005 the company did $7.5 million
in sales. Just three years later it achieved
$23 million in sales for 2008 – with a
very respectable 20 percent-plus in
The right people
One of the keys to Viaduct Sheet Metal’s
dramatic turnaround was in developing
ways to attract and keep good people.
“The relationships you build are what
makes the company grow,” said
A profit sharing plan proved a major
step both in rewarding employees and
keeping things running smoothly. “It
tends to make the employees self-policing.
If one guy is not working as hard
beside you, he’s taking money out of
your pocket,” remarked Halvorsen.
Another key motivator is the ability
to move up in the organization. “There
are always opportunities to move up for
people who want more responsibility.”
He points to two project managers that
recently moved into management, noting
that it is easier for people with construction
field experience to adapt to an
office structure than vice-versa.
Keeping the employees informed is
also important. On the last day of
February each year the company brings
its employees together for an annual
general meeting. Halvorsen and other
managers review key points in the company’s
financials and explain where
Technology helped too. CAD operator Susan
McCurdy creates drawings...
Viaduct is headed and what challenges
it will face in the coming year.
“I want them to realize that this is
their company,” he says. “They should
have a good understanding of the direction
we are headed in and the destination
we want the company to get to. Our
people should have some say in how we
are going to get there,” he added.
Like many successful companies,
Viaduct has found that developing its
own people pays dividends. “These are
good employees. They could go anywhere
Mentoring new employees is key. The
Hiring and keeping the right people proved key, says Mark Halvorsen.
process is made relatively straightforward
thanks to company procedure
manuals for virtually every role.
There is considerable encouragement
for apprentices. They are taught not
only practical trade skills, but also job
management skills to better understand
the hours on each project. “They are
trained to think like foremen so they are
more productive when they become
journeymen,” remarked Halvorsen.
Apprentices also receive a bonus
based on their grades in trade school.
“Our apprentices are pretty driven to
perform,” laughs Halvorsen, who credits
shop foreman Dan Hawes with much of
the success in integrating new employees.
“He’s very patient with the young
Keeping up to date on technology is
another strategy that has worked well
for the company.
Last fall the company moved into
what Halvorsen, with obvious pride,
refers to as “the most technologically
advanced shop in B.C.”
Designed specifically for Viaduct
Sheet Metal, the bulk of the new 24,000
sq. ft. facility is occupied by the fabrication
shop, where workers turn out components
for various projects around the
… that are turned into reality in the shop.
province. The second floor is devoted to
office space for engineering and sales
During P&HVAC’s visit last July, a
22,000 ft. expansion was already under
Viaduct adopted three-dimensional
CAD drawings and computer estimating
four years ago. On large jobs, all
drawings are redrawn in 3D before construction
That computer file is downloaded to
the fabrication shop where it guides
fully automated machines including
plasma cutters, an insulation cutter, a
spiral machine, elbow machines and a
About 20 people work in the fabrication
shop. However, the high degree of
automation has proven a real godsend
at a time when skilled labour is in short
supply. “We haven’t had to add a lot of
people to grow the business,” remarked
It also means the company can operate
with one eight-hour shift. Halvorsen
is a strong believer that employees must
have a life outside of work, so there is a
constant effort to ensure there are no
night or afternoon shifts. “We expect
employees to put their families ahead of
The search for productivity boosting
technologies never ends. At
the time of P&HVAC’s visit,
the company was in the
process of setting up online
ordering and was experimenting
with hand-held computers
that allow changes to CAD
drawings on the job site.
The British Columbia
economy has slowed considerably
since that time.
However, by having the right
processes and people in place,
Viaduct Sheet Metal is well
placed to survive and even
thrive in difficult times.
www.plumbingandhvac.ca April 2009 – Plumbing & HVAC Product News 27
Oilheat 2009 in Montreal
and various “off-oil” campaigns.
The event kicks off at 1 p.m.
Wednesday. The opening keynote
speaker is Ultramar’s Jean Drolet who
will speak on the future of oil heating.
Other speakers at this year’s event
include Blaine Fox of Warm Thoughts
Communications who will speak on
The theme is
“Facing Tomorrow Together”
– a timely strategy for an industry
battered by oil price fluctuations,
an unfriendly insurance industry
and various “off-oil” campaigns.
The Canadian Oilheat Association
will hold its annual conference in
Montreal this year. Oilheat 2009 is
scheduled for May 27-29 at the Delta
The event includes a strong seminar
schedule, an oil heat only trade show,
top-level entertainment and a golf tournament.
The theme is “Facing To mor -
row Together” – a timely strategy for an
industry battered by oil price fluctuations,
an unfriendly insurance industry
strategies for successful customer acquisition
and retention. “Are your customers
free agents?” he asks.
Edward English of Fuel Quality
The oil heating only trade show is always a highlight.
Services Inc. will speak on microbiological
contamination of fuels – how it
occurs, how to detect it and how to
solve the problem. As well, there will be
workshop on new oilheat technology
and rebate programs.
John Beckett, Beckett Corporation,
will be the speaker at Wednesday
evening’s dinner. The company will
present its annual Delivering the Goods
Awards to people who have done good
work for the oilheat industry during the
APRIL 8, 9: MCEE 2009 (Mecanex/
Cli matex/Electricite/Eclairage), Place
Bona venture, Montreal. Call
1-800-465-2668 or visit
APRIL 15-17: 2008 Foothills
Hydronics Conference, Mayfield Inn
and Suites Conference Centre,
Edmonton. Call (780) 968-6828 or
APRIL 22-25: 67th Annual RSES
Canada Educational Conference,
Empire Landmark Hotel &
Conference Centre, Vancouver.
Call 1-877-955-6255 or (905) 842-
MAY 27-29: Oilheat 2009, Canadian
Oilheat Association, Delta Centreville
Hotel, Montreal. Call (905) 946-
MAY 27-30: Annual Conference,
Radiant Panel Association, Mohawk
Valley Community College, Utica,
N.Y. Call (970) 613-0100 or visit
JUNE 28-JULY 1: Annual Business
Conference 2009, Canadian
Institute of Plumbing & Heating,
Le Manoir Richelieu, Charlevoix,
Que. Call (416) 695-0447,
SEPT. 17-19: HRAI 41st Annual
Meeting, Heating, Refrigeration and Air
Conditioning Institute of Canada, The
Fairmount Newfoundland, St.
John’s, Nfld. Call 1-800-267-2231
or (905) 602-4700, E-mail
Heavy on education
Thursday is going to be a busy day for
participants with the annual general
meeting first thing in the morning, the
trade show and seminars throughout
The first sessions include an overview
of the Ontario risk management program
and “the success of the ecoEnergy
program,” the latter by Natural
Resources Canada’s Suzanne
The luncheon speaker is John Huber,
president of the National Oilheat
Research Alliance (NORA) headquartered
in Alexandria, Virginia. He will
describe a U.S. study that analyzes the
true CO2 impact of heating oil, how it
compares to natural gas and how biofuels
can improve it.
A panel discussion in the afternoon
will look at how to compete against
propane and electricity, keep customers
and stay in business. The final session of
the day will be another panel discussion
looking at “fuel oil storage tanks and
It’s all entertainment from then on. SEPT. 26-29: Annual National
Dinner will be held off-site and include Conference of the Mechanical
a performance by circus troupe Cirque Contractors Association of Canada,
Marriott, San Francisco, Calif. Call
The closing breakfast will take place (613) 232-0492, e-mail
Friday morning followed by a golf tournament
at Club de Golf Le Boisé and, DEC. 2-4: Construct Canada, Metro
for non-golfers, a walking tour of old Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto,
Ont. Call (416) 512-1215, ext. 153801
For more information, call COHA at or visit www.constructcanada.com.
Circle Number 122 for More Information
28 Plumbing & HVAC Product News – April 2009 www.plumbingandhvac.ca
The bulletin board of products, services, professionals, employment
opportunities and more for Canada’s Mechanical Contracting Industry.
Coming in the Next Issue
Giant Spring Air Conditioning Section
• The new AC equipment
• Efficient commercial AC strategies
Also, don’t miss:
• Drain Tech, underground repair
• HVAC motors, Part II
• Backflow prevention
HVAC BLOW OUT!
54 units must go
3 phase LIEBERT HVAC’S
THAN RETAIL PRICES
Call: 604-328-4246 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Circle Number 123 for More Information
Literature Showcase Advertisers Page
Following are some of the latest catalogues, manuals, software and product
brochures from the industry’s leading manufacturers. To receive a copy, please
circle the corresponding number on the Reader Service Card in this issue, fill out
your contact information, and mail it or fax it to (416) 620-9790.
Index of Advertisers
Bradford White 31
Delta Faucet 2
General Pipe Cleaners 16
Grundfos Canada 9
LG Electronics 12
Madok Mfg. 5
Pro contractor program
REHAU has introduced an eight-page brochure
providing details on its new professional contractor
development program. REHAU EDGE is
a multi-faceted membership program that
encourages all aspects of contractor growth
through training, design services, brand merchandise
and local, regional, and national
events. Request a copy of the brochure at: Email:
email@example.com. Fax: 1.800.627.3428.
Green water heater
A new brochure from Lochinvar describes the
company’s new SHIELD commercial water
heater, designed for long-lasting lifecycle efficiency.
With 96 percent thermal efficiency,
inputs up to 500,000 Btu/hr and storage up to
125 gallons, SHIELD has everything it takes to
provide the ultimate green operation – without
efficiency loss due to lime scale. The full-color
brochure features a detailed overview of the
innovative design that makes SHIELD the ideal
choice for green commercial buildings.
Circle no. 124 Circle no. 125
Water Conservation Fixture Systems
RIDGID Product Catalogue
The new RIDGID 234-page color full-line product
catalogue includes new products and readerfriendly
features to help guide customers in choosing
products. A visual product index divides the
catalogue into 13 product categories to enhance
the overall navigation of the catalog. Useful product
selection charts help customers choose the
products that best meet their needs. Helpful tool
tips are located throughout the catalog to further
educate customers on tool maintenance and product
Circle no. 126
Mitsubishi Electric 3
PAT Institute -split ad 24
Raptor Cutting Tools 30
Selkirk Canada 19
Taco Canada 6
Wallace Wireless 28
Watts Industries 26
Underground Copper Water Services
The Canadian Copper & Brass Development
Association has released a new booklet detailing
the specification and installation of underground
copper water services. Subjects include
the different types of copper tube that can be
used, the alternatives, specifications, lead-free
fittings, replacement of lead services, installation
methods along with water efficiency and
conservation. For more information call 1-877-
640-0946 (toll free), fax (416) 391-3823,
e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
Circle no. 127
Water saving products
EcoVantage fixture systems from Zurn offer engineers
and contractors a number of ways to conserve
water and maximize LEED credits for their
customers. The EcoVantage water conservation
fixture systems catalogue details these products.
They include a low-flow flush valve, dual flush and
pressure-assisted toilets, ultra low consumption
and waterless urinals, E-Z sensor faucets, a lowflow
pre-rinse faucet and showerhead. The company’s
hydro generator sensor faucet uses water
flow to drive a turbine that recharges a replaceable
battery, resulting in 10 years of uninterrupted
Circle no. 128
The new Hydronic Heating and Hot Water
Recirc Systems Handbook from Grundfos
Pumps offers insight into the proper application
and installation of a broad range of hydronic
and domestic hot water recirculation system
components. These include multi-pump zone
controls, isolation valves and the company’s
broad offering of wet rotor, three-speed pump
Circle no. 129
Zurn Industries 30
Literature Showcase 29
CCBDA, Grundfos, Lochinvar,
Rehau, Ridgid, Zurn
Winning in tough times, Part 2
Focus on what you know, says business columnist
By Ron Coleman
In Part 1 of this article
we focused on the
cost side of your
business; now let’s look
at the revenue side.
What can we do to get
and maintain profitable revenues
One temptation is to go into new markets.
Is now a good time to get involved
in hospital work if you have never built
a hospital? Is now a good time to install
a laboratory if you have never installed
one? The answer is NO. The experts in
these areas have already sharpened their
pencils and you are going to lose money
on doing work in a market that you
have no experience in. I believe the
expression is “stick to your knitting.”
Now is the time to focus on your existing
customer base. Ensure that you are
adding value to them. If you do want to
expand your area of work, ask those
customers if you could provide any
additional services to them. I see HVAC
contractors that service property management
companies offering plumbing
and electrical services. Many customers
like “one-stop” shopping.
By focusing on your “A” customers
and providing them with great service
you will likely keep a higher portion of
them because of your relationship
rather than because of your price. I have
one mechanical contractor who used to
send one customer more than 50
invoices a month. When he sat with the
customer they said they would prefer to
Sustainable Operations Products
only get one invoice per month, so
that’s what he did – just like a credit
card statement. Find out what makes
your “A-list” customers happy and do it.
Ask them this question: “If you had a
magic wand; what one element of our
relationship would you change?”
Develop strategic alliances with other
complimentary businesses so that you
can both work off each other’s database.
If you do plumbing only, link up with a
company that does HVAC. Also, there
are other complimentary trades such as
electrical, controls, fire protection,
appliance servicing. All these companies
are also struggling, so you may be
able to combine your sales and marketing
strategies to get both of you a higher
If you have the courage (and any money
left) now is a good time to get into the
stock market. Shares that I bought three
Zurn Engineered Water
Solutions provides a
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ZURN INDUSTRIES LIMITED
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years ago for $3.40 were available for 20
cents (don’t ask me for investment
advice) two months ago. I bought some
and now they are up to 25 cents – that’s
a 25 percent gain.
Anyway, I am not recommending the
stock market now. Consider buying a
The experts in these areas have
already sharpened their pencils
and you are going to lose money
on doing work in a market that
you have no experience in.
complimentary business. Instead of
going into an alliance, buy someone
else, either the same business in an
adjoining market or a complimentary
If you do commercial service, then
consider buying a residential company.
You will gain by streamlining overhead;
you can also now offer the people in
your commercial clientele residential
service and the people in your residential
business likely work somewhere that
needs commercial service. You will have
lots of qualified leads.
People are buying plumbing and
HVAC services, but they are buying less
and they are more price conscious. You
need to accept this before you can
develop a sales strategy that will have
any chance of success.
What can you do to avoid winning
on price? What can you do to be different
from your competition? There is no
sense in being a little different or a little
cheaper. That’s rarely enough to win
over new business.
If I were to ask you and your key people
to list five reasons (none of them
price related) as to why I should use
you, what answers would I get? I suspect
it would be like drawing teeth – a slow
and painful exercise. If you and your
key people can’t articulate this, how can
your customer differentiate you?
Saying things like “25 years in business”
or “we are nice people” doesn’t cut
it. Your competition says the same and
the only things that your customer is
interested in is what tangible value you
are bringing to them. So, if you can say
to them that you can save them money
on their heating/cooling/water bill, they
will be inclined to listen. Can you do
One guaranteed way of saving the
homeowner money is to take advantage
of the various government and utility
rebate and tax incentive programs. The
federal government recently announced
that people would get $1,350 off their
2009 income tax bill if they do a “renovation”
costing $10,000. They will actually
get 15 percent of the $1,000 to
$10,000 that they spend on their home.
Putting in a new furnace, upgrading
bathrooms or kitchens or installing gas
fireplaces are examples of renovations
that would be eligible. Check out the
full details at the government website
2009/fqhmrnvtn-eng.html. (And this is
in addition to money already available
through the ecoEnergy Retrofit program
Another tangible value that customers
are interested in is indoor air
quality (IAQ). As we get older we are
more prone to health issues. These can
be physical issues such as getting in and
out of bathtubs or issues such as asthma.
Why have my wife and I not been
sleeping well for the past three months?
Is mould, poor air, bad air circulation,
or excessive change in room temperature
part of the reason?
But the key is not to make too many
changes at once. Pick one of the above
ideas and work on it. When you have
taken that as far as it can go, only then
choose another one.
One last bit of advice: I would not
invest heavily in a showroom at this
stage. If you do need something like
that, do it as a website. It will be far less
costly and will likely impact a much
greater market area.
Ronald Coleman is a Vancouverbased
accountant, management con -
sultant, author and educator spe -
cializing in the construction industry.
His web site is www.ronaldcoleman.ca
and he can be reached by e-mail at
Circle Number 130 for More Information
Circle Number 131 for More Information
30 Plumbing & HVAC Product News – April 2009 www.plumbingandhvac.ca
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Circle Number 133 for More Information