The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program recently announced the release of its Draft WaterSense Professional Certification Program Labeling System and three draft revised specifications for professional certification programs. The draft system consolidates a set of requirements that complement and streamline each WaterSense program specification and provides a more sustainable framework for long-term program Read more
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) WaterSense program recently announced the release of its Draft WaterSense Professional Certification Program Labeling System and three draft revised specifications for professional certification programs. The draft system consolidates a set of requirements that complement and streamline each WaterSense program specification and provides a more sustainable framework for long-term program growth.
Due to delays associated with the recent Federal government shutdown, EPA is rescheduling the webinar, which provides a public forum for the WaterSense team to discuss the draft materials and answer stakeholders’ questions. EPA will now host the webinar on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern. Please register for the webinar by clicking here.
EPA encourages WaterSense partners and other stakeholders to provide written comments on the draft labeling system and draft revised specifications by Tuesday, November 19, 2013. Comments can be submitted to email@example.com, and detailed instructions on how to submit comments are available on the WaterSense website.
Please contact the WaterSense Helpline at 866-WTR-SENS (987-7367) or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
YOU DECIDE What does the election results mean for our industry? Survey results from the industry community. While President Obama carried virtually all the “swing states” in his successful re-election campaign, the plumbing, mechanical, and HVAC industry is in a downbeat mood following the November election. An informal survey of industry professionals conducted by Read more
What does the election results mean for our industry?
Survey results from the industry community.
While President Obama carried virtually all the “swing states” in his successful re-election campaign, the plumbing, mechanical, and HVAC industry is in a downbeat mood following the November election.
An informal survey of industry professionals conducted by Perspective Media found that 70 percent of the industry community feels the president’s re-election will have a negative effect on the industry, while only 20 percent feel it will have a positive effect. Another 11 percent feel there will be little impact one way or the other. Respondents to the mid-November survey included contractors, engineers, wholesalers, manufacturer’s representatives, manufactures, inspectors, associations, educators and trainers. To get a clear perspective, we have included some responses on how many industry professionals view the election results will impact the industry.
“Small businesses have already been negatively affected over the past four years with the policies of this administration,” said one Florida manufacturer’s rep. “More of the same will only make it worse! I expect to see another recession as a result of the inflexible attitude of this administration to work across the aisle. If you compare the Obama policy to the Reagan policy, they were polar opposites, as are the results.”
A Wisconsin manufacturer said, “The current administration believes the only way to reduce the debt is to raise taxes. This will have a negative affect on the economy as many homeowners and business owners alike prepare for tougher times.”
The industry responses were similar on a second question, “How will the election results will affect your business, company or job?” Fifty percent responded negatively, 23 percent were positive and the rest said there would be little effect or were not sure.
“The expected loss of confidence might cause investors and manufacturers to back off from the boost early this year,” said one Florida manufacturer. “Such a blip in confidence and investing could claim the life of many small business operators in the plumbing/mechanical trades before it is restored.”
A Florida engineer criticized the Obama administration for failing to create promised jobs, while spending government money overseas. A manufacturer’s rep added, “I doubt that any industry will see a positive impact from the re-election of Obama. All those people complaining about there being no jobs who are looking for work will only see more companies close or move to other countries where taxes are lower and regulations are more reasonable.”
Responding to another question regarding the impact on the nation’s economy over the next few years, a Wisconsin contractor said, “The economy will decline, fewer jobs will be available, people will become more dependent on government subsidies and eventually those subsidies will dry up because there will be fewer companies to pay the taxes that provide those subsidies. We are falling into a black hole.”
A wide range of concerns
Much of the post-election concern focused on over-regulation of the business community. “Industry is seen as a cash source for government and will see increasing regulation, said a Wisconsin contractor. “That is NOT a positive development.”
A Florida contractor added that the high level of regulation from Washington will “slow down and stop the growth we have seen as of late.”
Referring to the regulatory burden, another Florida decision-maker said, “I see our manufacturers revisiting their commitment to American-made products.”
Others pointed to a negative impact on consumers and private investors. “Spending of discretionary income will be reduced, which will impact both industry and construction,” said a Wisconsin contractor.
A Florida contractor agreed, saying, “The work on the commercial side will continue to be slow as investors are not sure what to expect.
Pointing to a reduction in government construction projects, a Florida engineer said, “The military contracting business will suffer due to the weakening of our military. Existing small business will suffer and new small business will be suppressed.”
A Florida manufacturer added, “Residential will stumble in an attempt to re-start, however, the lack of buyers will continue to drag on the residential market.”
Some positive responses
Although a smaller segment, there were a number of respondents that felt positive about the election outcome. “Housing continues to improve in Minnesota with increased sales and higher home prices,” said a manufacturer’s rep. “Recent news reports indicate there is a big need for contractors and plumbers now, so I feel positive about the outcome.”
An industry professional from Florida also felt there would be “a positive impact with the continued growth.”
Another manufacturer’s rep added, “All signs have been trending upward for sometime now and we feel optimistic that positive impetus will continue going forward. We’re hopeful those in Washington will now work together for a balanced approach to solving our pressing issues.”
Impact on hiring
Another survey question asked, “If you’re a decision-maker for your company, how will the results affect your workforce in 2013?” Of the respondents, 50 percent said they were likely to decrease their workforce and about 7 percent said they would increase their workforce. The others said the election outcome would have little effect on their plans or were not sure of what they will do.
The key issues for most decision-makers appeared to revolve around taxes and the increased financial burden of employee health insurance. “Healthcare and costs are growing. Tax increases and the uncertainty of the economy will slow growth even more,” said one Florida manufacturer’s rep. Another said, “After they force all small business out of this country, the only jobs left will be for regulators!” Echoing that comment, a Wisconsin manufacturer’s rep. said, “If tax and spend continues as the current administration has previously demonstrated, then I think all people who earn an income will be affected more than anyone expects.” Another Wisconsin decision-maker said, “Healthcare alone and the expenses that will be incurred due to Obamacare will probably not allow for new hires.” Another industry professional added, “As we have to pay for out-of-control spending and a government healthcare system, we will need to pay for new taxes out of profits, which means layoffs. Noting that construction in Florida has been slow, an engineer noted that “many architectural and engineering firms have scaled back to the bare minimum workforce.” Another said, “We will not look at hiring based on the uncertainty of what is in front of us with health care and taxes. We have concerns of another recession.” Laying out the concerns of his company, a Wisconsin business owner said. ”We are about to weaken America and strengthen countries like China, Brazil, Central America etc. Companies will not expand, they will cut out full-time employees and hire part timers to avoid the healthcare bill. The next option will probably be to not offer healthcare at all and opt for the fine rather than pay for something that will consume all their profits.” Summing up the feelings of many respondents, a Wisconsin wholesaler said, “It’s time to run this country like a responsible business leader runs his or her company.”
The survey results show most industry professionals feel discouraged and see a negative impact on our on industry because of the re-election of President Obama and the overall election results. However, President Obama was still re-elected into office for a second term and proves the great divide that exists in our country. There is very little middle ground left as most individuals in America reside fully on one side of the issue or the other. So what does this mean for 2013 and beyond for our industry? We’ll let you decide. In fact, according to many of you in the industry, you already have. Time will tell quickly in 2013.
Survey Snapshot from the Industry
Do you believe the re-election of President Obama will have a positive, negative, or have little affect on our industry?
Have little affect 11.1%
Not sure yet 0.0%
What impact do you believe the re-election of President Obama will have on our nation’s economy over the next few years?
Have little affect 7.4%
Not sure yet 3.7%
How will the election results affect your business, company, or job?
Have little affect 7.4%
Not sure yet 18.5%
If you’re a decision maker for your company, do you believe the results of the election will have an affect on your workforce in 2013?
Likely to increase workforce 7.4%
Likely to decrease workforce 48.1%
Have little affect on workforce 18.5%
Not sure yet 22.2%
No response 3.7%
Changing Attitudes Create New Opportunities for State’s Plumbing Professionals A substantial decline in South Florida’s water consumption in recent years may signal a change in consumer attitudes toward the state’s limited natural resources. “A water conservation ethic is being developed throughout South Florida as more and more people realize the value of water,” said Mark Read more
Changing Attitudes Create New Opportunities for State’s Plumbing Professionals
A substantial decline in South Florida’s water consumption in recent years may signal a change in consumer attitudes toward the state’s limited natural resources.
“A water conservation ethic is being developed throughout South Florida as more and more people realize the value of water,” said Mark Elsner, administrator of the water supply development section, South Florida Water Management District, in an interview with Florida Plumbing Perspective.
That means the state’s plumbing professionals can take advantage of incentive programs to help retrofit residential, commercial and government facilities, and to educate homeowners about the importance of water conservation, Elsner added.
Statewide, Florida’s five water management districts develop water management plans with particular attention to areas like South Florida, where demand historically exceeds available traditional freshwater supplies. “We then look at developing strategies to meet those demands,” Elsner said.
In April, the district’s Water Resources Advisory Commission presented its 2012 Lower East Coast Water Supply Plan Update, which covered six specific sources of demand:
• Public water supply, 49 percent of the 2010 total demand
• Agriculture, 37 percent
• Recreational/landscape, 9 percent
• Industrial/commercial, 3 percent
• Domestic self supply, 1 percent
• Power generation, 1 percent
Using population statistics and projections from the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research (BEBR), the April report analyzed per capita water use for the 5.6 million residents of Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties.
That analysis showed daily per capita demand fell from 176 gallons in 2000 to 163 gallons in 2005 and 140 gallons in 2010 for the four-county region. That meant the 53 water utilities serving South Florida had to provide 83 million fewer gallons a day in 2010 compared with 2000, even though the area population increased by 600,000.
“That’s a substantial drop in consumption,” said Elsner. “It’s encouraging that the decline in usage is a long-term trend.”
Looking ahead to 2030, the district’s report projected that the total regional demand would grow from 787.2 million gallons per day in 2010 to 933 gallons per day in 2030. However, that later figure represents a 19 percent improvement over previous forecasts.
Elsner said there are several reasons driving the steady drop in per-capita consumption. A slower economy has made Florida residents more conscious of their utility bills, providing a financial incentive to use less water. The introduction of tiered rates that increase with greater usage has also spurred South Florida residential and commercial users to cut back when possible.
Another contributing factor was the imposition of restrictions on outdoor water use during a period when the region’s rainfall was well below normal levels. County and municipal governments limited lawn irrigation, car washing and other outdoor uses to one or two days per week during periods of drought. In 2010, both Miami-Dade and Broward made twice-weekly lawn watering rules permanent.
But much of the reduction in demand has been due to new water-conserving fixtures and other technology, Elsner said. “Under today’s building codes, new homes use water far more efficiently than in the past,” he said. “Today’s homes are also built on smaller lots, so the outdoor component of water demand isn’t as great.”
Elsner points to aggressive conservation measures taken by the region’s water supply utilities, including offering incentives and rebates for installing new toilets, showers and fixtures in residential and commercial facilities. “Plumbing contractors can explain to homeowners how those incentives provide immediate benefits, along with the long-term savings from installing more efficient systems,” he added
For instance, Miami offers rebates and exchanges for high-efficiency toilets and showerheads and homeowner association irrigation systems. “Miami-Dade County is a poster child when it comes to conservation, investing millions in new technology” Elsner said. “By reducing demand by 30 million gallons a day, the county was able to reduce its capital spending program for alternative water supply sources by hundreds of millions of dollars.”
To the north, Broward County has a water supply partnership with more than a dozen municipalities and utilities that are collectively promoting water conservation, Elsner added.
In addition, the South Florida Water Management District’s cost-sharing Water Savings Incentive Program (WaterSIP) provides assistance to municipalities and large commercial and industrial users seeking to implement innovative technology-based water conservation projects. Award recipients are reimbursed for up to 50 percent of the total project cost or a maximum of $50,000. Types of projects that have received funding in previous years include automatic line flushing devices for hydrants, indoor plumbing retrofits, large area irrigation controls, and soil moisture and rain sensor technology for irrigation system
As Elsner said, “We must all work together to conserve water and develop alternate sources of supply in order to meet the future needs of the South Florida region.”
Forecasters say 2012 Likely to Be a Better Year A steady increase in Florida’s population, an uptick in housing starts and a gradually improving economy should make 2012 a better year for the state’s plumbing professionals. That’s the consensus of several economists who track Florida’s housing market. “New job creation, rising rents and the Read more
Forecasters say 2012 Likely to Be a Better Year
A steady increase in Florida’s population, an uptick in housing starts and a gradually improving economy should make 2012 a better year for the state’s plumbing professionals. That’s the consensus of several economists who track Florida’s housing market.
“New job creation, rising rents and the inflow of international buyers are positive factors for the state’s housing market,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist, National Association of Realtors, at the recent 2011 International Real Estate Congress in Coral Gables. “Today, the smart money is chasing real estate.”
Florida’s population is likely to increase by about 130,000 people in 2012, according to John Silvia, chief economist, Wells Fargo. In a recent forecast, Silvia added that tourism and healthcare are leading the recovery, but other sectors will also be adding new jobs.
New housing starts will increase in 2012, says economist Sean Snaith, director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Competitiveness in Orlando. He predicts about 55,000 new residential starts in the coming year. About three-fourths will be single-family homes and the rest will be multi-family construction.
“Nationally, U.S. housing starts are at the lowest level since the end of the second world war,” Yun said. “America is not building any homes, even though we are adding 3 million people a year to our total population. Building activity needs to triple in order to get back to a normal level.”
However, tight credit for builders and developers, as well as home buyers, remains a negative factor for the housing market, Yun added. “The inventory of newly build homes is very low,” he said. “That means builders are selling whatever they can complete. The problem is that they can’t get construction loans in the current environment.”
While housing prices have stabilized in most Florida markets, they are still well below the boom-year peaks of 2004-2005. That’s because foreclosure sales continue to be a large part of the state’s real estate market. However, Yun said that lenders are bringing their REO (real estate owned) properties online gradually, rather than dumping them on the market at once. In addition, many lenders are recognizing that they lose less money by approving “short sales” (where the existing mortgage is larger than the home’s market value). Some are accelerating the sales process or even offering incentives for owners to move.
For Florida residential plumbing contractors, key opportunities include repairing foreclosed homes and other distressed properties, as well as additions and remodeling projects. One trend of note: some Florida parents are investing their excess cash by buying inexpensive homes and condos for their 20-something children. That allows these Millennials to have a place of their own that they can “fix up” and decorate themselves.
On the commercial side of the business, new construction is most likely to occur in the healthcare, retail and warehouse sectors. Little new office construction is likely as vacancy rates are now at 12 to 20 percent in the state’s major markets.
Yun notes that international trade will be one of the driving forces in the state’s economy in 2012. That could create new commercial opportunities in the state’s gateway cities like Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. As Yun said, “In Florida’s commercial markets, the worst is probably over.”
KEY WATER HEATING CHARTS AND FORMULAS by Rich Grimes It’s 2012 already and in this issue we will try to give you plenty of information and useful charts related to water heating. I don’t receive many requests so I am glad to accommodate on such a pertinent subject. The best part is that you won’t Read more
KEY WATER HEATING CHARTS AND FORMULAS
by Rich Grimes
It’s 2012 already and in this issue we will try to give you plenty of information and useful charts related to water heating. I don’t receive many requests so I am glad to accommodate on such a pertinent subject. The best part is that you won’t have to read too much from me as these charts and formulas speak for themselves! So here we go…
A British Thermal Unit (BTU) is a measurement of heat energy. One BTU is the amount of heat energy required to raise one pound of water by 1ºF. Water weighs 8.33 pounds per gallon so we can calculate that one gallon of water requires 8.33 BTU to raise the temperature 1ºF.
BTU CONTENT OF FUELS
ENERGY SOURCE BTU PER HOUR
1 Pound = 10,000 – 15,000
1 Ton = 25 Million (app.)
1 KW = 3,412
1 Gallon #1 Fuel = 136,000
1 Gallon #2 Fuel = 138,500
1 Gallon #3 Fuel = 141,000
1 Gallon #5 Fuel = 148,500
1 Gallon #6 Fuel = 152,000
1 Pound of Butane = 21,300
1 Gallon of Butane = 102,800
1 Cubic Ft. of Butane = 3,280
1 Cubic Ft. of Manufactured Gas = 530
1 Cubic Ft. of Mixed = 850
1 Cubic Ft. of Natural = 1,075
1 Cubic Ft. of Propane = 2,570
1 Pound of Propane = 21,800
1 Gallon of Propane = 91,000
1 Boiler Horsepower (BHP) = 33,475 BTU
1 Boiler Horsepower (BHP) = 34.5 Pounds of Steam @ 212ºF
1 Boiler Horsepower (BHP) = 9.81 KW
1 Ton of Cooling = 12,000
Specific Gravity = 0.62 1.52
Flammability Limits (GAS/AIR Mixture) = 4%-14% 2.4%-9.6%
Maximum Flame Propagation (GAS/AIR Mixture) = 10% 5%
Ignition Temperature = 1200ºF 950ºF
1 Pound of Gas (1 PSI) = 28″ Water Column (w.c.)
1 Pound of Gas (1 PSI) = 16 Ounces (oz.)
1 Therm = 100,000 BTU
1 Kilowatt (kW) = 3412 BTU Per Hour
1 Kilowatt (kW) = 1000 Watts Per Hour
1 Kilowatt Hour (kWH) will evaporate 3.5 pounds of water from and at 212ºF
Amperage – Single Phase (1 Ø) = KW x 1000 or WATTAGE
Amperage – Three Phase (3 Ø) = KW x 1000 or WATTAGE
VOLTAGE x 1.732 VOLTAGE x 1.732
WATER HEATING FORMULAS
BTU Per Hour Requirement
BTU OUTPUT = GPM x Temperature Rise x 8.33 Lbs/Gallon x 60 Minutes
BTU INPUT = (GPM x Temperature Rise x 8.33 Lbs/Gallon x 60 Minutes)
Heat Transfer Efficiency
% EFFICIENCY = (GPH x Temperature Rise x 8.33 Lbs/Gallon)
Time in Hours = (GPH x Temperature Rise x 8.33 Lbs/Gallon)
(BTU/Hr INPUT x % Efficiency)
Temp. Rise (∆T) = (BTU/Hr INPUT x % Efficiency)
(GPM x 60 Minutes x 8.33 Lbs/Gallon)
Electric = (kW INPUT x 3412 BTU/kW x % Efficiency)
(Temperature Rise x 8.33 Lbs/Gallon)
Gas = (BTU/Hr INPUT x % Efficiency)
(Temperature Rise x 8.33 Lbs/Gallon)
MIXED WATER FORMULA
% of Hot Water Required = (Mixed Water ºF – Cold Water ºF)
(Hot Water ºF – Cold Water ºF)
1 Gallon = 8.33 Pounds
1 Gallon = 231 Cubic Inches
1 Cubic Ft = 7.48 Gallons
1 Cubic Ft = 62.428 Pounds (at 39.2ºF – maximum density)
1 Cubic Ft = 59.83 Pounds (at 212ºF – boiling point)
1 Ft of Water Column (w.c.) = .4333 PSI
Water expands 4.34% when heated from 40ºF to 212ºF
Water expands 8% when frozen solid
BOILING POINT @ 0 PSI ALTITUDE
212ºF 0 Feet (Sea Level)
210ºF 1000 Feet
208ºF 2000 Feet
207ºF 3000 Feet
205ºF 4000 Feet
203ºF 5000 Feet
201ºF 6000 Feet
199ºF 7000 Feet
CLOSED VESSEL BOILING POINT @ PSI @ Sea Level
BOILING POINT GAUGE PRESSURE
212ºF 0 PSI
240ºF 10 PSI
259ºF 20 PSI
274ºF 30 PSI
287ºF 40 PSI
298ºF 50 PSI
316ºF 70 PSI
331ºF 90 PSI
There are an unlimited number of online tools and calculators for every mathematical formula. The internet is full of helpful resources to get the job done quicker. Here are a few links to some useful websites:
WEBSITE/PROGRAM WEB ADDRESS
Amtrol Expansion Tank Sizing http://amtrol.com/support/sizing.html
Engineering Toolbox Calculators http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/
State Water Heater Sizing (Online) http://www.statewaterheatersizing.com/
AO Smith Water Heater Sizing (Online) http://www.hotwatersizing.com/
Lochinvar Water Heater Sizing (Download) http://www.lochinvar.com/sizingguide.aspx
Cylinder Calculator (Storage Tanks) / Other Math Calculators http://www.calculatorfreeonline.com/calculators/geometry-solids/cylinder.php
Electrical/Mechanical/Industrial/Civil/Chemical/Aeronautical Calculators http://www.ifigure.com/engineer/electric/electric.htm
B&G System Syzer (Piping/Pressure Drop Tool Download) http://completewatersystems.com/brand/bell-gossett/selection-sizing-tools/system-syzer/
B&G Selection and Sizing Tools (Pumps, Regulators, Steam and Condensate) http://completewatersystems.com/brand/bell-gossett/selection-sizing-tools/
Taco Pump Selection Wizard (Online Pump Selector) http://www.taco-hvac.com/en/wizard_pumps.html
Lawler Mixing Valve Sizing (Online – account setup) http://www.lawlervalve.com/index.php?p=page&page_id=Sizing_Program
DSIRE Database of State/Federal Renewable Energy Rebates http://www.dsireusa.org/
ASCO Valve Online Product Selector (Valves – solenoid, pilot, pneumatic, etc.) http://www.ascovalve.com/Applications/ProductSearch/ProductSearch.aspx?ascowiz=yes
There is a lot of other information that we could add such as Steam. It is a viable heating source and there are several factors that must be considered such as operating pressure, steam trap and condensate line sizing and so on. We will have to do a separate article on Steam in a future issue.
The charts and information above are all essential to water heating. They are proven mathematical formulas of algebra and geometry. If you input the accurate information then the results will be correct. It is also good to use the online tools and calculators. They are true time savers.
Thanks and we’ll see you in the next article!