The past few years, the plumbing industry has seen unprecedented challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Product shortages and supply chain issues forced engineers and contractors to adapt by finding alternative, readily available products for projects and jobsites.
The benefits of indirect water heating systems are well-known throughout the industry and include system versatility and aiding in electrification to lower utility costs (if it is used in co-generation environments). Other advantages are higher operating efficiency, lower maintenance costs and longer system life.
Geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) tap into the constant temperature of the Earth to provide both heating and cooling in a highly efficient manner. As concerns about climate change and the need for sustainable energy solutions grow, more and more businesses are looking towards more sustainable methods of regulating their buildings' temperatures. These systems use the earth's relatively constant underground temperature to reduce the electrical energy required to provide heating, cooling and even water heating.
The conversion of office buildings to residential is a lasting and growing byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic, which catapulted remote working to the forefront and made it a continuing trend. Plumbing and fire protection will be central to the conversions, with plumbing the big beneficiary.
Last month, I had the pleasure of attending the Plumbing Industry Leadership Coalition (PILC) meeting, which was held at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, Maryland. While there was a lot of great discussion on a number of important issues, one topic really caught my interest, and that was workforce development in this post-pandemic era.
Morris had me on the phone. It was 1974 and he was calling from Brooklyn, New York. I had a waxed handlebar mustache that year, and my workmates at the manufacturers’ rep were calling me Rollie Fingers because he was pitching for the Oakland Athletics in the World Series. Looking at those 1974 photos, I realize that the ‘stache was not one of my best ideas, but the 1970s were their own time and no one can change that.
On a recent weekend, I was catching up on the news and goings-on when I came across this article published on the front page of a well-known national newspaper that caught my eye: “PVC pipes are called a health hazard.” In the back of my mind, I thought “wait, what?!”
Mechanical engineering is an integral part of both HVACR (Heating, Ventilating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration) and plumbing. While both disciplines utilize the same science and engineering principles, their application diverges depending on the system under consideration. A prime example of this is the “wet” piping system that moves water through the piping network.
Those who evaluate the performance of HVAC source equipment such as boilers, furnaces and heat pumps have to work with a wide variety of acronyms. Some of them were spawned by government bureaucrats, mostly the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Others were created through a consensus process based on input from manufacturers and other industry stakeholders.
This month of June, six months into 2023, is a great time to review the activities of Standards Development Organizations, or SDOS. These organizations develop standards through voluntary consensus processes for product performance and safety, services, processes, systems and personnel.
ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 228-2023, Standard Method of Evaluating Zero Net Energy and Zero Net Carbon Building Performance, sets requirements for evaluating whether a building or group of buildings meets a definition of “zero net energy” or a definition of “zero net carbon” during building operation. The standard draws from ASHRAE Standard 105, among others, to address energy and carbon flows across a site boundary, their measurement, and their balance.
The AGS Series grinder pumps feature axial grinder and semi-open impeller technology to easily slice through the solids, flushables and trash found in the modern wastewater stream without roping or clogging.
Webstone, a brand of NIBCO, announced a new patent-pending Boiler Vent Valve. This space-saving valve expands the utility of a boiler’s existing 3/4" pressure relief valve (PRV) port, capitalizing on its location at the top of the unit as the ideal placement for an air vent and other accessories.