Plumbing

St. Pauls, N.C.—Recently, members of the trade press were greeted by Watts Water Technologies executives for an exclusive tour of the company’s new Watts Works Learning Center. At the new, 3,000-sq.-ft. learning center, customers, channel partners, sales representatives, employees and other visitors can obtain hands-on and classroom training for a wide range of Watts products Read More

St. Pauls, N.C.—Recently, members of the trade press were greeted by Watts Water Technologies executives for an exclusive tour of the company’s new Watts Works Learning Center. At the new, 3,000-sq.-ft. learning center, customers, channel partners, sales representatives, employees and other visitors can obtain hands-on and classroom training for a wide range of Watts products and solutions, which include Orion chemical piping systems, BLÜCHER stainless steel drainage, Watts cast iron drainage, Watts rainwater harvesting solutions, and Mueller Steam Specialty products, among others.

 

From l to r: left to right: Andrew Windsor, Watts Senior Vice President, Sales – Watts; Mark Hamilton, VP Drains, Americas – Watts; Roberto Vengoechea, Senior VP, Fluid Solutions – Watts; Jackie Comiskey, Indirect Sourcing Manager – Watts; Dennis Fackler, Facility Engineer – Watts; John Palotta, Vice President, Carolinas Operations – Watts; Chris Jamieson, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development – Watts; Gerald Weindel, Mayor, St. Pauls NC; Greg Gyorda, Director, Customer & Employee Training – Watts.

“This newest world-class Learning Center is part of our ongoing investment in education and training for our customers and our commitment to remaining a leader in training the industry,” said Greg Gyorda, Director, Customer & Employee Training.

“Through the Watts Works learning program, we are helping customers enhance their knowledge of a broad range of plumbing, drainage, HVAC, and water quality solutions,” he said. “In our hands-on demonstration labs and comprehensive classes led by experienced instructors, customers are able to enrich their professional skills.”

While taking the tour of the 220,000-sq.-ft. St. Pauls facility, products such as drains, strainers, butterfly valves are made, and the assembly of the IntelliStation digital mixing system, seen here.

Visitors to the St. Pauls Center—located within the 210,000-sq.-ft. St. Pauls manufacturing facility that employs 220 people—can also tour the factory to production of Orion Chemical Piping Systems, the Powers IntelliStation Digital Mixing System, Watts Manifolds and RainCycle Rainwater Harvesting systems, Mueller Steam Strainers, Check Valves, and many other products.

A look into the hands-on learning center.

According to VP Carolina Operations, and tour guide for the day, John Palotta, Watts has made a tremendous investment in time and money with the new Center. “Success is reflected in the products and support, but all of that would be nothing without the people here,” says Parotta.

The St. Pauls Center is the third Watts Works Learning Center in the U.S., joining Centers in North Andover, Mass., and Woodland, Calif.

Chris Jamieson, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, gives a brief history of the company to start the tour.

Watts has introduced the Dead Level Brickslot Grate, a stainless steel slot drain option available for all 6”-wide Dead Level Systems – Ductile Iron Frame (D), Polypropylene Frame (P), and Shallow Channel (S) for cast-in-place applications. This Brickslot Grate is the ideal solution for jobs that require an equipment- or pedestrian-friendly slope to a finished Read More

Watts has introduced the Dead Level Brickslot Grate, a stainless steel slot drain option available for all 6”-wide Dead Level Systems – Ductile Iron Frame (D), Polypropylene Frame (P), and Shallow Channel (S) for cast-in-place applications.

This Brickslot Grate is the ideal solution for jobs that require an equipment- or pedestrian-friendly slope to a finished grade for use with brick pavers or concrete. Its sleek look is designed to fade into the pavement and complement the architectural design of the surface, while efficiently draining walkways and working areas.

It is manufactured to be ADA-compliant and handle loads up to the DIN 19580 Class A classification. For more information, visit www.watts.com.

Ashland City, Tenn.— A. O. Smith has announced the appointment of Jeffrey T. Ogan as director of product management and technical support for its North America Water Heating business unit. In his new role, Ogan is responsible for leading the business unit’s residential and commercial product management teams.  In addition, he will manage the company’s Read More

Ashland City, Tenn.— A. O. Smith has announced the appointment of Jeffrey T. Ogan as director of product management and technical support for its North America Water Heating business unit.

In his new role, Ogan is responsible for leading the business unit’s residential and commercial product management teams.  In addition, he will manage the company’s residential, commercial, and tankless technical call centers in Ashland City, Tenn., and Johnson City, Tenn.

“Jeff brings extensive product knowledge along with the customer’s perspective to his new position,” David R. Warren, president and general manager-North America Water Heating, observed.  “He is an enthusiastic and effective leader and is well suited for this role.”

Ogan joined A. O. Smith in 2013 as a product manager, responsible for the gas tankless line of water heating products.  His duties included product development, segment sales and profitability growth, and support to operations.

In 2015, he was named a senior product manager; in this role, he led the product development efforts for all North American residential new products.

Prior to A. O. Smith, Ogan served in operations and business development for Sisler Companies of Marion, Ohio, a major supplier to the appliance industry.  From 2008 until 2009, he was vice president of operations for Phase 2, LLC, of St. Louis, Mo., a design, sourcing, marketing, and sales company serving the consumer products industry.

Today’s homes are becoming smarter and more efficient, thanks to the advancement of eco-friendly technologies and appliances—from tankless water heaters, low-flow toilets, to self-regulating thermostats. Homeowner Michael Craig, a huge proponent of this technological tide sweeping the country, wanted to upgrade his own 30-year-old residence in Lake Forest, Calif. “My wife and I are always Read More

Today’s homes are becoming smarter and more efficient, thanks to the advancement of eco-friendly technologies and appliances—from tankless water heaters, low-flow toilets, to self-regulating thermostats. Homeowner Michael Craig, a huge proponent of this technological tide sweeping the country, wanted to upgrade his own 30-year-old residence in Lake Forest, Calif.

“My wife and I are always looking for ways to incorporate advanced technology into our lives,” says Craig, himself a tech expert and owner of Bytelaunch, a digital marketing agency based in Orange County.

In particular, Craig zeroed in on replacing his storage tank water heater with something smarter and more efficient. “We had been considering installing a tankless water heater for a long time and kept the storage tank only because it had been brand new when we moved into our home,” recalls Craig. “After a few years, we were ready to pull the trigger.”

In the spring of 2017, he learned that Noritz had a tankless solution exceeding his expectations.

An EZ Solution

Craig decided to install the ENERGY STAR-certified EZ98-DV high-efficiency, condensing tankless water heater, designed to replace 50-gallon, storage-tank models directly. His installer, Jay Baril of Swift Water Heater, happened to be beta testing the unit for Noritz. The 0.97 energy factor of the EZ98 convinced him this was a green device he wanted in his home. “Unlike our old storage-tank water heater, which burned energy heating unused water, the EZ98 promised to fire only when we needed hot water,” explains Craig.

In addition to yielding energy savings, the EZ98 would bring Craig’s water heating system into the 21st century with its WiFi capability. By downloading the Noritz Connect app, he could take advantage of various remote functions, such as controlling the unit’s temperature and viewing error codes. “The mobile app was a big incentive for us because of our interest in the latest ‘internet of things’ innovations and smart-home trends,” says Craig.

Finally, the EZ98 unit’s direct-replacement design is intended to streamline hookup for installers swapping it in for a storage-tank unit:

  • Unlike traditional tankless models, which offer only bottom-mount water-supply connections, the EZ98 unit’s connections are top-mounted—just like on the storage-tank unit being replaced. This eliminates the need to run additional plumbing lines, saving time and labor on the water connections.
  • Venting options are also flexible, ranging from dual- or single-pipe (made of PVC or CPVC), to 2-inch Flex, which can be fed through the existing B-Vent.

Installer Baril opted for the 2-inch Flex for venting. He was also able to utilize the same half-inch gas line as the storage tank being replaced, avoiding the hassles and expenses of upsizing. The five-year industry veteran confirms that its configuration creates the potential for time savings.

“The engineers designing this unit put a lot of thought into streamlining the installation, which is always what plumbers look for in evaluating a new solution,” says Baril, who commonly works with storage tank heaters but was impressed with the tankless unit’s ease-of-installation. “The mounting bracket makes the unit easy to position, eliminating the need for a second installer. The top-mount connections are super easy and look very professional. The defining benefit for me, though, was the ability to use the existing B-Vent, not only in terms of saving time, but also because it means I never have to turn down an installation for lack of venting options.”

Comfort and Savings

Immediately after the installation, Craig reported low water pressure, which was later tied to a problem in the piping system and repaired. For its part, the EZ98 began heating the 1,800-square-foot home without issue, supplying hot water for three full bathrooms, a laundry room and a kitchen.

“The water pressure is now perfect, and the heat feels much more consistent across all our fixtures than previously,” says Craig, discussing the improved comfort he and his wife enjoy. “There are no more worries about running out of hot water in the middle of a shower, and the remote control with the wireless app is super-convenient, fitting right into our smart-home goals.”

The wall-hung unit also delivered one other key benefit: “The tankless water heater uses up much less real estate,” notes Craig. “We keep a washer and dryer in the same room, and now there’s more space to maneuver around these appliances.”

Last, but far from least, the switch to tankless is having a positive impact on Craig’s pocketbook. Since the EZ98 fires only on demand, the gas savings began to accrue from Day One. In 2016, with the storage tank heater, Craig’s monthly gas bill totaled an average of $17.19. In 2017, with the tankless water heater in place, the average monthly bill has decreased to $14.14. Estimates Craig, “We are saving an average of 17.7 percent on our monthly gas bill, largely due to tankless.”

In addition to the tankless water heater, Craig is gradually adding other smart, energy-efficient products to his lifestyle. He drives an electric car; has installed a thermostat that “learns” a user’s habits and adjusts accordingly; and has even considered adding solar energy to his home.

“Where others see a 30-year-old home, my wife and I see an opportunity to evolve into something greater and more sustainable,” explains Craig. “Who knows what we’ll upgrade next?”

REHAU announces a series of commercial plumbing and heating seminars to be offered as Lunch and Learns upon request to industry professionals throughout the US and Canada. The 1-hour seminars provide an introduction to design and installation of PEXa piping in plumbing, radiant cooling, radiant heating, geothermal and snow and ice melting applications. “We’re pleased Read More

REHAU announces a series of commercial plumbing and heating seminars to be offered as Lunch and Learns upon request to industry professionals throughout the US and Canada. The 1-hour seminars provide an introduction to design and installation of PEXa piping in plumbing, radiant cooling, radiant heating, geothermal and snow and ice melting applications.

“We’re pleased to offer this series of seminars specifically tailored to the needs of specifiers, designers and installers working on commercial and multi-family building projects,” said Max Rohr, manager of REHAU Academy. “Learning about the latest PEX-based plumbing and hydronic heating technologies will not only help these professionals meet their education requirements but may also bring benefits to their next project.”

Seminars are delivered at offices of engineers, design-build companies and commercial contractors by REHAU application experts and can be presented individually or combined into a multi-topic program. Professionals who complete the seminars receive an emailed Certificate of Completion.

  • PEXa Plumbing Systems – This 1-hour seminar explains the material advantages of PEXa crosslinked polyethylene plumbing pipes, discusses how installation differs from rigid piping systems and provides details regarding engineering and code approvals.
  • Principles of Radiant Cooling – Using engineering information and case studies, this 1-hour seminar introduces radiant cooling as a technology for reducing operating costs and lowering carbon footprints while increasing occupant comfort in commercial applications.
  • Radiant Heating Advantages and Applications – After explaining the types of radiant heating systems, this 1-hour seminar delves into the advantages of radiant heating and concludes with typical applications.
  • Geothermal Piping Technology – This 1-hour seminar explains the role of a ground loop heat exchanger, explores the capabilities and limitations of the two most common geothermal piping materials and compares three common manifold concepts for geothermal systems.
  • Snow and Ice Melting Installation – In addition to addressing time-saving techniques for installing snow and ice melting (SIM) systems with concrete, asphalt and paver surfaces, this 1-hour seminar provides an overview of SIM electronic controls.

To request one or more of the above REHAU Academy commercial mechanical and plumbing seminars to be held at your location, visit http://www.rehau.com/commercial.

In addition to in-person seminars, REHAU is an AIA/CES Approved Provider of online continuing education content for the plumbing and hydronic heating industry. Online courses are registered with AIA/CES and other accreditation bodies for 1 LU (learning unit) and most qualify as AIA HSW (health, safety and welfare) content. Professionals who complete the courses receive a Certificate of Completion and credits are reported to AIA. For more information, visit http://www.na.rehau.com/ceu.

For additional information, contact REHAU, 1501 Edwards Ferry Rd., N.E., Leesburg, Va., 20176. Phone: 1.800.247.9445. Fax: 1.800.627.3428. E-mail: rehau.mailbox@rehau.com. Web site: http://www.na.rehau.com/academy.

REHAU delivers “Unlimited Polymer Solutions,” and is the premium worldwide brand for polymer-based innovations and systems in construction, automotive and industry. The company generates continuous growth through its expertise and innovative capabilities in materials development, systems design and surface technology. Approximately 20,000 employees at more than 170 locations around the world ensure success of the independent, privately held company.