PPE

A century of head protection innovation defines the Bullard CEN10™ Helmet. Designed to provide wearers with the reliability, comfort, and toughness expected from a Bullard industrial hard hat. Sports the distinctive Bullard 3-rib trademark design that is easily recognizable on worksites across the globe. The modern matte finish surface with polished smooth lines design makes Read more

A century of head protection innovation defines the Bullard CEN10™ Helmet. Designed to provide wearers with the reliability, comfort, and toughness expected from a Bullard industrial hard hat.

  • Sports the distinctive Bullard 3-rib trademark design that is easily recognizable on worksites across the globe.
  • The modern matte finish surface with polished smooth lines design makes the CEN10™ helmet look stylish and unique.
  • This helmet is expertly designed to provide the highest level of protection to workers with a 3-point chinstrap for a secure fit when working at heights.

The CEN10 is a hardhat designed to be modern and comparable to a helmet worn in sporting activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, etc. Unlike traditional Type I hard hats, CEN10 is little to no brim, has a foam insert rather than a suspension, and comes with a built-in chinstrap.

Blaklader’s introduces its new Hi-Vis Softshell Jacket that is wind- and water-resistant for use during shoulder seasons or for layering. It features reflective details and tape on the body and sleeves, adjustable Velcro sleeves, front zipper pockets, adjustable collar, detachable hood, extended back, and adjustable hem with drawstring. CERTIFICATION Not certified according to CSA-Z96 MAIN Read more

Blaklader’s introduces its new Hi-Vis Softshell Jacket that is wind- and water-resistant for use during shoulder seasons or for layering. It features reflective details and tape on the body and sleeves, adjustable Velcro sleeves, front zipper pockets, adjustable collar, detachable hood, extended back, and adjustable hem with drawstring.

CERTIFICATION

Not certified according to CSA-Z96

MAIN MATERIAL

92% polyester, 8% elastane, 3-layer softshell, waterproof, windproof, breathable, stretch, 8 oz

FUNCTIONALITY

Dark color field in high grime-exposure sections, Wind and waterproof material, no taped seams

DETAILS

Shoulder sections in contrasting color
High collar
Removable hood
D-ring
Good surface for transfer

FRONT CLOSURE

Robust one-way plastic zipper

POCKETS

Chest pockets with zipper and D-ring
Front pockets with zipper

FINISH

Extended back, Adjustable hem with drawstring
Adjustable sleeve end with velcro

REFLEX

50 mm wide reflective tape, Reflective details, Reflective tape on body and sleeves

The jacket is available in men’s and women’s cuts. www.blaklader.com

It’s no secret that being a plumber can sometimes be a hazardous occupation. When you conduct any plumbing work, you could potentially injure yourself or other people around you, such as your customers, if things don’t go according to plan. Thankfully, there are some ways you can boost your safety while you’re at a customer’s Read more

It’s no secret that being a plumber can sometimes be a hazardous occupation. When you conduct any plumbing work, you could potentially injure yourself or other people around you, such as your customers, if things don’t go according to plan.

Thankfully, there are some ways you can boost your safety while you’re at a customer’s. Plus, here are a few ideas you can follow to protect your plumbing business from litigation.

Take a look at these examples to see what you can consider for your business:

Check Your Tools Before Each Job

As a plumber, you will undoubtedly use an array of hand and power tools to complete your work satisfactorily. You may also use things like gas torches and even welding equipment, depending on the nature of your work.

It’s crucial that you ensure each tool you use is safe before you commence any work at a customer’s premises. For instance, torches shouldn’t leak gas and potentially cause an explosion.

Get the Right Insurance

You will undoubtedly have some insurance coverage for your plumbing business to protect you against the most common legal threats. For example, one type of cover that all plumbers will have is public liability insurance.

Make sure that your insurance policies provide comprehensive coverage for the type of plumbing work you do. Find out more about what to consider with public liability insurance, especially if you work at industrial premises.

Don’t Take On More Work Than You Can Handle

One of the biggest mistakes that some plumbers make is taking on too much work. For example, some plumbing contractors might attempt to repair unfamiliar equipment or pipework because they don’t want to turn the job down.

The truth is, such decisions are incredibly risky. If you don’t fully know what you’re doing, you could possibly cause a dangerous situation – both for yourself and other people in the vicinity.

You should either turn down the job or sub-contract the unfamiliar elements to suitably experienced plumbers in such situations.

Stock the Parts You Will Likely Need

There’s nothing worse than getting to a job and discovering you don’t have the right parts to complete the work. Such scenarios typically mean plumbers will need to go and purchase those parts and make a return journey to their customer’s premises.

Sadly, some plumbers try to get creative by adapting the parts they have available to them. It might be a concept that can work in certain situations; however, it’s not a recommended option for every case.

Wear the Right PPE

Lastly, you should always make sure that you’re wearing the right PPE (personal protective equipment). Doing so means you have some degree of protection in your work, and you are less likely to cause an injury to yourself or other people.

Safety glasses and gloves are the two most essential PPE items you should always have at your disposal. You may need other things, depending on the types of jobs you usually complete.

You have passed your plumbing qualification and it’s time to find a job. Or, you have decided to start your own company. Either way, amazing news. When you are starting out as a plumber, there are some obvious things you need like uniforms and tools. However, you might forget about some other essentials that can Read more

You have passed your plumbing qualification and it’s time to find a job. Or, you have decided to start your own company. Either way, amazing news. When you are starting out as a plumber, there are some obvious things you need like uniforms and tools. However, you might forget about some other essentials that can maximize your work and results. 

Headwear

As a plumber, you will need protective wear for health and safety reasons. Aside from a hard hat, a face covering is a good idea. 

You can wear a Choob to protect you from dust and bacteria while on the job. These are multi-functional, so you can wear them for other purposes. However, they are ideal for plumbers. They cause no fuss and they are tight to the face and won’t fall down while you are mid-task.

Business cards

Having business cards is a great way to get repeat customers. When you have finished the job, you can leave them your business card with your details on so that they can get back in touch with you for future projects. 

If you leave behind a few spare business cards, then they can hand them out to their friends and family so that you can attain more customers. 

Website

Speaking of attaining customers, a website is an ideal marketing tool to attract new customers. Having your name online will grow brand awareness and allow more customers to discover your plumbing business. 

On the website, you can include contact information and prices. You could also offer a booking system so that customers can book a consultation easily without waiting for you to pick up the phone. 

Having a website will also put you higher up on the search rankings. Although your plumbing business and contact details might be in an online directory, it can be lost in the sea of other businesses. Ensure to use good keywords so that customers can find you for specific projects. Furthermore, make sure that it is easy to navigate and a user-friendly website so that customers won’t get frustrated and lose interest. 

Safety gloves

When you are handling tools, it is essential to wear safety gloves. These will protect you in the case of an incident. You may often handle saws, drills, and chemicals, which can harm the skin. 

Rubberized gloves are great to protect you against electricity. Having gloves at hand will ensure that you can always be safe, no matter what job you are doing. 

A mode of transportation

It’s all well and good having the uniform and tools, but it would help to easily be able to get to and from jobs. Having your own mode of transport gives you the freedom to drive around from job to job. You can maximize your business by having a van or car, as you will be able to meet the needs of further away customers. 

If the vehicle is just for business, it can help to add personal branding and contact details. It will act like a moving mode of marketing, which many will notice and remember. 

This paper refers to legal professional cannabis growers complying with state/provincial laws. Professional cannabis growers are well aware that environmental conditions play a critical role in plant quality and overall yield. Most can recite the ideal temperature and humidity for their crops without missing a beat. But ask most growers which type of pipe is Read more

This paper refers to legal professional cannabis growers complying with state/provincial laws.

Professional cannabis growers are well aware that environmental conditions play a critical role in plant quality and overall yield. Most can recite the ideal temperature and humidity for their crops without missing a beat. But ask most growers which type of pipe is best and they’ll likely to refer you to the closest head shop. The fact is professional growers (of cannabis or otherwise) are generally unaware of the piping options they have or the extent to which these options impact structural costs, energy efficiency and overall sustainability.  When these matters are given proper consideration, polypropylene emerges as a great choice for this burgeoning industry.

Aquatherm, Polypropylene Piping, PP, PPE, Cannibas Growing Facility, plumbing, HVAC, plumbing & heating

Cannabis growing facilities use a lot of energy and generate a lot of heat, making a reli- able cooling system essential.

Polypropylene pipe has been widely used for plumbing and hydronic heating in Europe since the 1970s. However, it was not introduced to North America until 2005.  Since then, it has become increasingly popular for a wide range of applications, from radiant heating of sports fields to process applications in craft breweries. It is a lightweight yet highly durable thermoplastic pipe with pressure and temperature tolerances that make it suitable for hydronic heating and cooling, potable water, and industrial and food-grade applications.

Aquatherm, Polypropylene Piping, PP, PPE, Cannibas Growing Facility, plumbing, HVAC, plumbing & heating

Depending on size and wall thickness, polypropylene pipe can weigh up to 70% less than carbon steel pipe.

Unlike metal pipe, the installation of polypropylene pipe does not involve traditional torch welding. Instead it relies on a flameless heat-fusion method that’s easy to learn and highly reliable at creating virtually leak-free connections.  When contractors become adept at heat fusion, they can typically install polypropylene piping much faster than welding copper, carbon steel and stainless-steel pipe.

An appealing characteristic of polypropylene is its chemical purity and inertness. It does not rust, scale or leach any impurities into to the fluids it transports, nor does it react with most chemicals. This not only improves its longevity over other piping materials, it also makes it suitable for a wide range of applications.  Furthermore, unlike PVC or CPVC piping, polypropylene pipe does not become brittle or susceptible to cracking when exposed to cold temperatures. A full list of the physical/performance characteristics of polypropylene and associated benefits is shown in Table 1.

Aquatherm, Polypropylene Piping, PP, PPE, Cannibas Growing Facility, plumbing, HVAC, plumbing & heatingWhere does polypropylene fit into the day-to-day operation of a grow facility? The answer is pretty much any application that requires the transport of fluids. But to truly understand the potential roles that polypropylene can play in the growing cannabis industry, one must first look at the special needs, challenges and values of the industry.

An Energy Intensive Industry

The electrical demand of cannabis grow facilities is staggering. According to the 2018 Cannabis Energy Report, legal cannabis cultivation in the U.S. consumes an estimated 1.1 terawatt-hours of electricity a year, enough to power all of Newark, New Jersey or Anaheim, California.[1] In indoor grow facilities — very often repurposed warehouses or other types of vacant buildings —this massive energy consumption is caused by the artificial light required to grow cannabis. Heat from these lights imposes another energy burden: cooling. Year-round cooling loads are unavoidable in indoor facilities since carefully controlled space temperatures are essential for growers to achieve maximum yields. Greenhouse facilities may avoid most of the need for artificial light, but still need heating, cooling and dehumidification. In either case, large facilities benefit from the long-term efficiency of centralized hydronic heating and/or cooling systems, which are typically about 15 percent to 20 percent more efficient than other HVAC options.[2]  These systems utilize piping to transport the heating water to and from a central boiler system and to transport cooling water to and from a chiller and/or evaporative cooling equipment.

Aquatherm, Polypropylene Piping, PP, PPE, Cannibas Growing Facility, plumbing, HVAC, plumbing & heating

Polypropylene piping is ideal for these applications for reasons that directly impact the efficiency and longevity of a grow facility. First, the inner walls of polypropylene pipe are uniquely smooth, resulting in reduced friction losses, reducing pump energy consumption. The friction losses of polypropylene start out low and remain low for the life of the system because the pipe is not susceptible to rust or scale. Steel, copper and other metals do rust and corrode over time, increasing friction losses and the pump energy required to overcome those losses.

Aquatherm, Polypropylene Piping, PP, PPE, Cannibas Growing Facility, plumbing, HVAC, plumbing & heating

Socket fusion (shown here) is one method of heat-fusing polypropylene pipe and fittings.

Polypropylene pipe also can be used in conjunction with geothermal heat pump systems which are frequently applied in agriculture. Geothermal systems rely on the earth or a body of water as a heatsink and/or heat source for highly efficient transfer of heat to and from the growing spaces for space conditioning and agricultural processes.  In these applications, polypropylene pipe transports the heating and/or cooling fluid from the central energy source to forced-air equipment or a radiant distribution loop. The pipe can be buried in the ground and/or concrete floors without the need for any protective sleeves or wrap.

Another strategy that grow facilities often use to reduce their energy consumption is heat reclaim. In these applications, polypropylene pipe can be used to transfer energy to or from process water, wastewater, or any other source that can be used to pre-heat or pre-cool water for other heating, cooling or process needs. This gives growers the opportunity to fully optimize whatever resources are available to them – whether it be the sun, a nearby lake, or even a nearby wastewater treatment plant. It’s all been done with polypropylene.

Specialized Growing Strategies

Not all commercial cannabis is grown in soil. Some is grown hydroponically with plant roots submerged in a nutrient-rich solution of water and fertilizers while others are grown aeroponically with roots suspended in air, drawing nutrients from a sprayed mist.  These grow strategies very often rely on high purity water (typically reverse osmosis or deionized water) when existing water sources are determined unsuitable.

Aquatherm, Polypropylene Piping, PP, PPE, Cannibas Growing Facility, plumbing, HVAC, plumbing & heating

Versatile fusion tools allow polypropylene pipe to be heat- fused in spaces in which welding metal pipe would be difficult or impossible.

High purity water automatically limits piping options. Copper should never be used with deionized water because if the fluid’s pH levels fall below 6.5, corrosion may occur and copper molecules can leach into the supply. Although stainless steel piping is an option for these applications, it is often cost-prohibitive and it, too, will leach over time if the water should become too acidic or too alkaline. Polypropylene is ideal for these applications because it does not leach, and its installation never requires the use of any potential contaminants such as solder, flux or glue. It can even be used for potable water and food processing since it is available in formulations that meet both NSF 51 and NSF 61.

Facilitating Construction and Expansion

Growers and owners are typically under a lot of pressure to quickly get grow facilities operational so they can begin the journey from seed to profit as soon as possible. Construction schedules are always a challenge, particularly when it comes to mechanical components like piping. Installing metal pipe requires licensed welders (expensive and increasingly scarce) as well as special permitting for the use of open flames on a jobsite.  In addition, maneuvering heavy sections of metal pipe into existing structures and then supporting it so it can be welded into place is both logistically and physically challenging. Under these circumstances, a seemingly trivial error like a miscalculation in metal pipe length can put a project several days (if not weeks) behind schedule.

Aquatherm, Polypropylene Piping, PP, PPE, Cannibas Growing Facility, plumbing, HVAC, plumbing & heating

Polypropylene pipe is hydrophobic and will never scale and corrode the way metal pipe does.

Opting for polypropylene pipe keeps these jobsite nightmares at bay for the following reasons:

  • Polypropylene is lightweight – especially helpful in greenhouses where structural support is limited
  • Polypropylene fittings can be prefabricated offsite in controlled areas so that jobsite fabrications are minimized – some manufacturers even offer fabrication services
  • Improper lengths can usually be amended at the jobsite with little disruption to work schedules
  • The pipe’s maneuverability compared to metal means it can be better negotiated in tight spaces

If an owner has hopes to expand the facility in the future (as many do), polypropylene piping systems are much easier to build out than metal pipe. Strategically located shut-off valves make it easy to isolate flow and cut into existing pipe to create new connections with minimal disruption to current operations. Fusion outlets allow for easy and relatively inexpensive expansions and one manufacturer offers a hot tap solution. Again, no flames or permits are required.

Beer There, Done That

If cannabis entrepreneurs need relevant examples of all that polypropylene can do, they need only look as far as the craft brewing industry. Craft brewers, an intensely collaborative group, have solidly embraced polypropylene for all that it has to offer, most notably its purity, sustainability, and fast and flexible installation – interests that closely parallel those of the cannabis industry.

“The word of mouth in the craft brewing industry is amazing, so we’ve had tremendous growth from breweries using it, not just for the glycol lines but in their heating and cooling applications, their geothermal applications, their domestic water supply, CO2, compressed air applications and beyond,” said Barry Campbell,  VP of Marketing at Aquatherm, a leading manufacturer of polypropylene pressure piping systems.

Aquatherm, Polypropylene Piping, PP, PPE, Cannibas Growing Facility, plumbing, HVAC, plumbing & heating

A properly executed heat-fusion on polypropylene pipe creates a single piece with no leak paths.

According to Campbell, the fact that polypropylene is among the most environmentally friendly piping systems available has helped Aquatherm gain favor among craft brewers. One polypropylene pipe manufacturer has also done the certification work to allow the product to contribute to LEED v4 credits in the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) program.

An interest in sustainability is just one of the many commonalities that exist between the cannabis and brewing industries.  Like so many newly incorporated cannabis growers, many craft brewers begin their entrepreneurial journey in the shell of a vacated building where existing infrastructure can challenge piping installations. The building or parking lot next door is “Phase II” of their venture.  Finally, owners are often the same people brewing the beer or growing the cannabis,  so they tend to be more hands-on in the selection of mechanical equipment. They do their own research and tend to look outside the box for ways to conserve energy.

Robert Millspaugh, operations supervisor at Flathead Lake Brewing Company in Bigfork, Montana, did extensive research on what piping to use for the process side of the brewery before ultimately choosing polypropylene. Flathead Lake, born from the ruins of an old bowling alley, installed several thousand feet of polypropylene to transport both heating water and glycol for heating, cooling, and process applications. Part of the system even uses clean effluent from a nearby water treatment plant to indirectly pre-temper process water for better efficiency.

Aquatherm, Polypropylene Piping, PP, PPE, Cannibas Growing Facility, plumbing, HVAC, plumbing & heating

“We were looking for products that would help us achieve a LEED certification and [polypropylene] had a lot to offer. I also came across an article on Epic [Brewing Company in Salt Lake City] and how they used [polypropylene] in a renovation and discussed the product with the brewer there,” said Millspaugh.

Polypropylene also has been used successfully in brewing applications that require piping for food-grade and potable water.

Avondale Brewing Co., in Birmingham, AL was the first North American brewery to use Aquatherm’s food-grade (NSF-51) polypropylene pipe to transport beer from vessels in the main brewery to its packaging building where it is kegged, canned and bottled. The piping, which also is NSF-listed for potable water, is cleaned and sanitized between uses. Of course, like all of the manufacturer’s polypropylene systems, the piping is guaranteed to be free of heavy metals and toxic chemicals.

Cleanliness is a high priority in breweries and is one of the main reasons Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, MI, decided to use polypropylene in a heat reclaim process that taps heat from the brewing process to pre-heat outdoor air before it enters the building’s HVAC system. The piping is wash-down rated, so the brewer can keep the brew facility sparkling clean.

Examples like these demonstrate the potential for polypropylene piping in the cannabis industry.

“The craft brewing industry and everything it has been able to do with our pipe has created an unexpected blueprint for cannabis growers and how they can use polypropylene to facilitate construction, save energy and be more sustainable,” said Campbell.

[1] New Frontier Data, 2018 Cannabis Energy Report. Scale Microgrid Solutions and Resource Innovation Institute, co-authors. https://newfrontierdata.com/product/2018-cannabis-energy-report/

[2] Surna, Sustainability for Your Indoor Garden (blog) https://surna.com/sustainability-for-your-indoor-garden/