commercial plumbing

Every professional commercial plumber has faced the challenge: ensuring the water is truly OFF before cutting into a pipe and easily draining the water from that piping system. Mistakes can be catastrophic, leading to floods and potential property damage. With the Drain Down Pro, you can confidently confirm the water is off, every single time Read more

Every professional commercial plumber has faced the challenge: ensuring the water is truly OFF before cutting into a pipe and easily draining the water from that piping system. Mistakes can be catastrophic, leading to floods and potential property damage. With the Drain Down Pro, you can confidently confirm the water is off, every single time.

Key Benefits of the Drain Down Pro:

  1. Avoid Unwanted Surprises: Similar to an electrician testing an outlet before working, the Drain Down Pro ensures plumbers don’t cut into active water lines.
  2. Quick & Efficient Draining: Large 1/2″ hole ensures faster draining compared to traditional methods. Turn building water back on swiftly and reduce waiting time.
  3. Full Control with Drain Valve: Easily manage the draining process. Fill buckets, turn off the valve, empty, and continue. Especially handy when there’s no nearby drain.
  4. Built for Pressure: Designed to handle full pressure, and tested up to 150psi.

Unique Features:

  • Versatile: Fits multiple pipe sizes (1.5”-4”) and types including copper, PVC, CPVC, galvanized, and PEX.
  • User-friendly: Easy installation in under a minute. Common socket sizes (9/16” and 3/8”) and a nut driver (3/8”).
  • Hassle-Free Maintenance: Quick drill bit replacement without disassembling. Simply use an Allen wrench through the drain valve.
  • Compact Design: Lightweight and conveniently fits in standard toolkits.
  • Cost Saving: Reduce water turn-off downtime, and costly floods.

Why Every Professional Commercial Plumber Needs the Drain Down Pro:

  • Safety & Assurance: Every commercial plumbing company, mechanical contractor, and industrial plumber should consider this tool. Even building owners, property managers, and insurance companies should consider this tool vital to protect their investment.
  • Insurance Benefits: How many water damage claims arise from accidental plumbing mistakes? We believe insurance companies might offer lower rates for those using this tool, similar to incentives for homeowners with leak detection devices.

For more information visit Pipe Down Pro.

Flagship showroom in Fulton Market District highlights Sloan’s full suite of aesthetic, hygienic commercial restroom products. Chicago—On a dreary Tuesday morning in early May, Sloan sparkled by holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its flagship showroom and office space in the Fulton Market District. The flagship showroom highlights Sloan’s full suite of aesthetic Read more

Flagship showroom in Fulton Market District highlights Sloan’s full suite of aesthetic, hygienic commercial restroom products.
Chicago—On a dreary Tuesday morning in early May, Sloan sparkled by holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of its flagship showroom and office space in the Fulton Market District.
The flagship showroom highlights Sloan’s full suite of aesthetic, hygienic commercial restroom products, which are on display for architects, designers, engineers and contractors so they can experience first-hand the entire suite of Sloan’s fixtures, colors, branding, new technology, etc.
Sloan Showroom, Fulton Market District, Sloan Valve, plumbing, commercial plumbing, sloan flushometers, sloan sensor-activated faucets

Taking part in the ribbon cutting ceremony for the new space were Graham Allen and Kirk Allen, Sloan co-presidents and CEOs and fourth generation descendants of company founder William Elvis Sloan.

The project represents Sloan’s largest showroom in North America and complements Sloan’s existing Mobile Showroom, as well as its Charles S. Allen Design Center in Andover, Mass., and Stone and Steel Showroom in Mesa, Ariz.
Sloan Showroom, Fulton Market District, Sloan Valve, plumbing, commercial plumbing, sloan flushometers, sloan sensor-activated faucets

The Hub’s John Mesenbrink took part in some AR technology from the showroom.

Located on the building’s 10th floor, Sloan’s showroom space represents a return to the company’s origins, as Sloan was initially founded on nearby Jackson Boulevard prior to moving to its current Franklin Park headquarters in 1975. The new building features an office space and showroom, while Sloan’s manufacturing and corporate headquarters remains in Franklin Park.

“Sloan has been synonymous with Chicago since the company’s inception in 1906,” said Kirk Allen. “Today’s ribbon-cutting is a historic and exciting event as we expand our Chicago-area footprint with our new showroom and office space in the Fulton Market District, while returning to our roots where the company was built.”
Sloan Showroom, Fulton Market District, Sloan Valve, plumbing, commercial plumbing, sloan flushometers, sloan sensor-activated faucets

The showroom features a wide range of Sloan products and innovations, including flushometers.

“The opening of the new Chicago office is an important component of Sloan’s continuous efforts to retain and attract new talent with state-of-the-art amenities, multiple locations, and flex working policies,” said Kim Darke-Miller, Sloan senior manager of strategic accounts. “With a cutting-edge collaboration center, product showroom, and offices, the Fulton Market District location enables Sloan to offer new and existing employees an amazing building and workspace.”
Sloan Showroom, Fulton Market District, Sloan Valve, plumbing, commercial plumbing, sloan flushometers, sloan sensor-activated faucets

The showroom features a wide range of Sloan products and innovations, including sensor-activated faucets.

The showroom features a wide range of Sloan products and innovations, including sensor-activated faucets, soap dispensers, hand dryers, and flushometers, as well as its array of special finishes. The new venue enables Sloan to enhance its engagement with architects, designers, and engineers, as well as general and plumbing contractors and the wholesaler community.

It’s that time of year again where media, prognosticators and media prognosticators try to look into the immediate future to predict, and make sense of, the short-term economy. And, yes, even in this uncertain climate. Mechanical Hub will be featuring a series of exclusive Q & A sessions with industry leaders and players to get Read more

It’s that time of year again where media, prognosticators and media prognosticators try to look into the immediate future to predict, and make sense of, the short-term economy. And, yes, even in this uncertain climate. Mechanical Hub will be featuring a series of exclusive Q & A sessions with industry leaders and players to get their views on the future, and living in a COVID world. The second part of the series, we talk with Matt Erickson, CEO, C.J. Erickson Plumbing Co., Alsip, Ill., a plumbing contractor for commercial and site work since in the Chicago area since 1906.

non-residential construction, plumbing, commercial plumbing, commercial construction, industry forecast, short-term economic forecast

MH: When it comes to 2021 industry forecasts, the most resonant word I hear is optimistic. That word can become hollow if it doesn’t have any substance backing it up. What does the short-term economy look like as it relates to your company?

ERICKSON: I hear the same “optimistic” description but believe that it is a National forecast and includes all sectors.  We’ve been following the AIA info since March and believe non-residential construction will be down in 2021 and look brighter for 2022 in the local Chicagoland market. Our estimating has been steady so far this year compared to 2020 but don’t feel the pace will remain the same for February and March.

MH: Piggybacking off of that , what are some indicators you look at to determine trends, movements, etc.?

non-residential construction, plumbing, commercial plumbing, commercial construction, industry forecast, short-term economic forecastERICKSON: In addition to the AIA data, we follow local trade employment statistics (how many tradesmen are out of work), we look at hours worked by our field employees and compare week, month and year over year. Our estimating data can point to general trends in quantity and size of projects in the market.

MH: Do you think companies have enough backlog to carry them through at least the first half of 2021?

ERICKSON: That’s a tough one… we’re seeing a fair number of opportunities but they are smaller in value and duration. I think there will not be enough large, long duration (12 – 24 months) projects available this year to maintain the collective industry hours worked in 2020. Prices are falling and end users are getting great deals as everyone competes for fewer good opportunities.

non-residential construction, plumbing, commercial plumbing, commercial construction, industry forecast, short-term economic forecastMH: I read somewhere that at the rate the U.S. is distributing the vaccine, we should be back to “normal” by 2024. Perhaps that’s a bit overly dramatic, but how does (has) C.J. Erickson positioned itself from the “fallout” of COVID-19?

ERICKSON: The non-residential construction process can be time consuming and I believe the industry will feel the pain from the pandemic long after the some sort of “normal” returns for the most affected industries. We are taking some time to clean-up some processes and update our training, in preparation for the gradual climb back to normal.

MH: Does a change at the presidential level change outlook for your company, if at all? (Infrastructure, green energy initiatives, stimulus, etc.)

ERICKSON: Possibly, if any of the programs or spending props up the commercial and industrial constriction market. Otherwise, I do not believe the new administration will change the outlook for our company.

non-residential construction, plumbing, commercial plumbing, commercial construction, industry forecast, short-term economic forecastMatt Erickson is CEO of C.J. Erickson Plumbing Co., a Chicago-area plumbing contractor since 1906. C.J. Erickson Plumbing Co. employs over 100 people including union plumbers, laborers and operating engineers. We specialize in commercial plumbing, industrial plumbing, hydro-excavation and site utility and underground services.

 

Purpose. It is a powerful thing, and it can have a great influence on one’s life path. For Chris Ramos (@bold_cityplumber), he found purpose in his family and his work. You see, Ramos had rough upbringing, to say the least. Growing up in Ossining, N.Y., about 35 miles northeast of New York, Chris’s mother lost Read more

Purpose. It is a powerful thing, and it can have a great influence on one’s life path. For Chris Ramos (@bold_cityplumber), he found purpose in his family and his work. You see, Ramos had rough upbringing, to say the least. Growing up in Ossining, N.Y., about 35 miles northeast of New York, Chris’s mother lost her best friend and sister—his aunt—and had been in the middle of a divorce and custody battle with his father. Her life started to spiral out of control, and Chris took to the streets, dropped out of school at 16 years old, and made some bad decisions. “I was hard at listening and I just didn’t want to be at home,” says Ramos.

Chris Ramos, Boldcast, Bold City Plumber, Tactical Plumbing, plumbing, drain cleaning, residential plumbing, commercial plumbing

Meanwhile, Chris’s father, his grandparents and his cousin, Jay, would always tell him he needed to do something better with his life. “I just didn’t want to hear it; I was very upset with how things were at home,” recalls Ramos.

Eventually, at the age of 19, Ramos met his girlfriend and eventual wife, Laura. At the time, she had a 3-year-old boy named Derek. “After dating for awhile, I realized I wanted to be a big part of Derek’s life, and I wanted to be a father to him. Yet, I needed to change things with my life first,” says Ramos.

Ramos finally decided to start working different jobs and jumped around for a while until he bumped into a family friend named Dougie, who had been a plumber for many years. Remembering the advice from his cousin Jay, finding a trade could change his life for the better. “Jay was a big part of me turning my life around. Every time he saw me, he would say, ‘Chris, join the trades before you end up in jail or worse.’”

Chris Ramos, Boldcast, Bold City Plumber, Tactical Plumbing, plumbing, drain cleaning, residential plumbing, commercial plumbing

So, Ramos told Dougie he needed a change to make money and do better for himself, his girlfriend and her little boy. “Dougie encouraged me look in the local Penny Saver magazine and find an ad of a local company that was hiring apprentices/helpers. I called a company and asked if they were interviewing. They invited me to their location and hired me on the spot as an apprentice,” says Ramos.

Chris Ramos, Boldcast, Bold City Plumber, Tactical Plumbing, plumbing, drain cleaning, residential plumbing, commercial plumbingSoon after, Ramos’s wife became pregnant with their daughter, Julianna. At the time, Chris and Laura were living in his grandparent’s house in a very tiny basement studio. “We knew it was time to move out and start our lives as a family in our own place. We decided to move to Florida, and we have lived here ever since, and have another son, Christian Jr.,” says Ramos.

While Ramos has been plumbing for most of the time in Florida, he did take a short break from plumbing to see if he wanted to do something different. “I went to work for FedEx but realized plumbing is where I needed to be. It is my passion.”

Currently, Ramos works for a small company that’s close to home. He is in charge of service plumbing as a residential plumber, which includes drain cleaning and sewer inspections. “I’ve been with this company for a few weeks as I recently made a job transition to be closer to home. This will help me be closer to my wife and kids throughout the day.”

Chris Ramos, Boldcast, Bold City Plumber, Tactical Plumbing, plumbing, drain cleaning, residential plumbing, commercial plumbingComfortable in his career, Ramos loves customer service, and the feeling when one is able to diagnose an issue and come up with a resolution and repair it, leaving a happy and satisfied customer. “The customer has paid you their hard-earned money; it is your duty to provide outstanding service and quality work. This will determine the longevity of your career in the trades. Your reputation and your integrity are important,” says Ramos.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been up and down, says Ramos. “Some customers don’t want you in their homes out of fear of getting the virus, understandably so. We make sure to use gloves, masks, shoes covers and eye protection. We dispose of the gloves and shoe covers after every job for the safety of our customers, and ourselves. We also call ahead to ask the customer if they have experienced any symptoms or have any underlying health conditions that could put them at risk.”

Chris Ramos, Boldcast, Bold City Plumber, Tactical Plumbing, plumbing, drain cleaning, residential plumbing, commercial plumbingUplifting the Trades

Ramos believes that the trades need more dedicated schools, and more talks with kids in high school to let them know that there are more options and alternatives. “Let’s introduce them to the trades and show them they could make a great living and earn a skill that no one can take from them. They will carry the skill with them for the rest of their lives.”

Ramos suggests to find a company that is offering a helper position or an apprenticeship program. “Be patient and soak in all the knowledge; stay off the phone while at work and bring a note pad. Stay focused, stay hungry and never become complacent. But always make sure to put family first.”

The Boldcast

Lately, Ramos has been busy with his Boldcast Instagram Live show on Sunday nights. Ramos always wanted to put together a podcast as he’s been a fan for many years, and they have helped him get through his work days. “I was in the middle of putting together a podcast for audio podcast platforms until I started to talk with my buddies ProDrains and Quays Plumbing. They had thought about doing it on Instagram and I was offering my help anyway I could to get them started. One day, I went live with another friend of mine, The Impetus, and it started to take off. The next day I put together some promotional content and scheduled my very first live event,” says Ramos.

Chris Ramos, Boldcast, Bold City Plumber, Tactical Plumbing, plumbing, drain cleaning, residential plumbing, commercial plumbingOn his very first live show, so many big names from the community showed up and chatted with me. “It really helped the show take off. There wouldn’t be The Boldcast Live if it wasn’t for that first lineup of guests that showed up, without being scheduled. And, of course, the fans that viewed the show.”

The show has taught Ramos so many great things—from the awesome knowledge being put out there from every guest to learning how to become a great promoter and staying organized. “My goal has always been to give back to this community.”

Interestingly, at a very young age, Ramos has dealt with very bad anxiety issues. “Before every Boldcast Live event, I get sick to my stomach and have almost gotten sick during the show. I’ve got a great poker face, I guess. I’m working on these issues, and working on making life easier. The Boldcast has helped me break through it and face my fears,” says Ramos.

When he is not on the jobsite or working on his next Boldcast, Ramos likes to spend time with his wife and kids, and go to the beach or go fishing. He also enjoys video editing and graphic designing. “Do your absolute best to be there to be present for your wife and kids. You can never get back lost family time,” says Ramos.

In fact, when asked about the last time he said he had a great day, “I was spending time with my wife and kids, or plumbing. It’s what I know, it’s what I do, and it’s my passion.”

With plumbing hygiene becoming a bigger concern in our industry, installers and building owners are looking to innovations that will ensure both efficiencies and reduced liability for their domestic water systems. For these commercial plumbing applications, professionals are starting to turn to pre-sleeved PEX in the slab. It’s an innovative solution that offers several benefits Read more

With plumbing hygiene becoming a bigger concern in our industry, installers and building
owners are looking to innovations that will ensure both efficiencies and reduced liability for their domestic water systems.

San Francisco, 2018 install with in-slab, pre-sleeved PEX

For these commercial plumbing applications, professionals are starting to turn to pre-sleeved PEX in the slab. It’s an innovative solution that offers several benefits for the contractor, owner and also the end user, including:

  • Shorter pipe runs for less material usage and better pressure to the fixtures
  • No hangers for less ladder time and faster installs
  • No insulation required for easier, more efficient installs
  • Long, flexible coils of pipe to eliminate fittings in the slab

And here’s where the safety factor comes in — because in-slab pre-sleeved PEX systems use shorter runs of pipe embedded in concrete, the water in the pipe is spending less time in the optimal bacterial grow zone (95°F to 115°F). Plus, the shorter pipe runs provide better pressure to the fixtures for higher velocity to minimize biofilm attachment and growth, especially compared to metallic piping systems.

San Francisco, 2018 install with in-slab, pre-sleeved PEX

In general, PEX is a superior product compared to metallic piping due to its corrosion resistance, freeze resistance, superior sound insulation qualities, smoother surface for reduced pressure loss and lighter weight for easy maneuverability on the job site.

Also, because PEX has stable pricing compared to copper, it’s easier to confidently bid a job without having to worry about price increases. And because PEX connections don’t require flame, there’s no need for fire watch requirements on a job site, adding to the cost-effective benefits of the system.

So you can see how adding pre-sleeved PEX in the slab can offer great benefits to your commercial plumbing systems. Now, the next question is, what can you buy and where do you get it?

Some PEX manufacturers offer their pre-sleeved piping with color-coded red and blue HDPE corrugated sleeving to easily identify hot and cold water lines. The HDPE sleeve protects the pipe in the slab and also makes it easier to remove, if necessary, without having to break up the slab. Pipe sizes are typically available from ½" to 1", but can vary by manufacturer.

To learn more about the pre-sleeved PEX offerings in your market, check out your favorite PEX manufacturer’s website; or to learn more about PEX in general, visit one of the plastic piping association websites at plasticpipe.org or ppfahome.org.

Guest Blogger: Kim Bliss is the content development manager at Uponor. She can be reached at kim.bliss@uponor.com.