Rheem

New Facility Will Offer Training Across Family of Brands for Contractors and Plumbers Throughout the Region Rheem has opened a 6,200 square-ft Innovation Learning Center (ILC) at its facility in Lawnside, NJ. Connected to the IBC headquarters and distribution center, the new state-of-the art ILC features Rheem’s largest “HOT” (Hands On Training) Room in the Read more

New Facility Will Offer Training Across Family of Brands for Contractors and Plumbers Throughout the Region

Rheem has opened a 6,200 square-ft Innovation Learning Center (ILC) at its facility in Lawnside, NJ. Connected to the IBC headquarters and distribution center, the new state-of-the art ILC features Rheem’s largest “HOT” (Hands On Training) Room in the U.S., a product showroom and a classroom designed to provide an interactive learning experience for more than 30 in-person participants at one time.

 

The ILC will offer training on all air and water, residential and commercial products across the Rheem family of brands. Customized, comprehensive training will be available for a full line-up of equipment, from tank-type, tankless and point-of-use electric water heaters as well as commercial boilers and volume water heaters.

“The HOT room will offer the largest hands-on instruction in the Rheem Water Division, enabling us to provide in-depth training for contractors and plumbers to help us excel in an evolving market,” said Tom Wujcik, VP of Sales, U.S. Water Heating, Rheem. “As our industry shifts to decarbonization, contractors and plumbers will require a new set of skills, making this investment all the more important.”

The ILC will serve as an immersive environment with the latest audio-visual technology, as well as tools and utility connections to allow for demonstration installations and diagnostic training. Contractors and plumbers will have opportunities to earn Continuing Education Credits and develop related skill sets.

Rheem will host training for more than 50,000 participants at its seven ILCs throughout the U.S. in 2024.

Upgraded Technology Meets Consumer Need with Sustainable Solutions  EcoSmart™, a leader in green, economical tankless electric water heaters, has announced the launch of its new EcoSmart Element™ family. Available in three sizes (12 kW, 18 kW, and 27 kW), these tankless electric water heaters are ideal for residential use and new construction. “We are committed to making Read more

Upgraded Technology Meets Consumer Need with Sustainable Solutions

 EcoSmart™, a leader in green, economical tankless electric water heaters, has announced the launch of its new EcoSmart Element™ family. Available in three sizes (12 kW, 18 kW, and 27 kW), these tankless electric water heaters are ideal for residential use and new construction.

“We are committed to making energy-efficient water heaters more budget-friendly,” said Neda Ahmaripour, director, global product and center of excellence, at EcoSmart. “We are continually upgrading our technology to fulfill customer needs and provide more sustainable solutions for future generations with the EcoSmart Element.”

EcoSmart, part of the Rheem® family of brands, designed these compact models to provide endless hot water at the point-of-use (12 kW) or to the whole home (18 kW and 27 kW). These models are more efficient than a standard electric tank, plus the on-demand heating eliminates energy waste by heating water only when needed.

Features include copper immersion heating elements that fit into a single chamber with threaded brass connections for easy replacement. Additionally, the stainless-steel heat exchanger reduces corrosion for a longer life.

Housed in a durable engineered polymer shell, each EcoSmart Element tankless electric water heater is designed with safety top-of-mind. Each model incorporates SafeStart™ technology upon start-up, as well as during power outages, to help avoid dry-fire occurrences. A manual reset thermal cut-out also comes equipped on every unit, which senses when the system has exceeded the high-temperature limits.

Designed with a variable temperature range of 60 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the EcoSmart Element models have a flow rate capacity ranging between 1.2 to 6.6 gallons per minute (GPM).  In warmer climates, the 18 kW and 27 kW can run a kitchen faucet plus a shower and bathroom faucet simultaneously depending on the model and inlet water temperature. In colder climates, installing multiple point-of-use water heaters as a dedicated hot water source for appliances such as a dishwasher or washing machine reduces water heat loss and waiting on hot water.

EcoSmart Element tankless electric water heaters are available on Amazon.com and backed by a five-year warranty for leaks and a one-year warranty for its parts. To learn more about the EcoSmart Element as well as the brand’s full line of tankless electric water heaters, visit ecosmartus.com.

After undergoing extensive testing by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Rheem®, a global manufacturer of HVACR and water heating products, was honored to be acknowledged for its exemplary performance in the Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge. Focused on residential, centrally ducted, electric-only heat pumps, the DOE’s Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge Read more

After undergoing extensive testing by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Rheem®, a global manufacturer of HVACR and water heating products, was honored to be acknowledged for its exemplary performance in the Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge.

Focused on residential, centrally ducted, electric-only heat pumps, the DOE’s Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge assessed heat pump performance in the Canadian and northern US climate, where temperatures can get much colder than 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Following testing, it was determined that Rheem’s residential heat pump had delivered outstanding results in the challenge.

Rheem has a legacy of developing state-of-the-art heat pump technology. With a variety of leading products already in market, Rheem improved its existing innovative design to deliver 5% higher COP during heating at 5 degrees Fahrenheit ambient temperature than the DOE challenge specification, making it ideal for heating homes in the targeted climate regions. The Rheem heat pump also performed at a 9% higher HSPF2 than the DOE challenge specification, highlighting the unit’s incredible efficiency.

The DOE launched the Residential Cold Climate Heat Pump Technology Challenge to accelerate development and commercialization of next-generation heat pumps by supporting American innovation and manufacturing. The DOE recognized the need for an efficient heating and cooling system based on updated state and federal policies and the growing demand for decarbonization. Rheem has always been at the forefront of sustainability efforts, especially since announcing its “A Greater Degree of Good” initiative, and has made notable progress toward the 2025 sustainability goals which encompass intelligent products, responsible processes and inspired people.

“Rheem is committed to making a difference with the products we create, and our sustainability efforts know no bounds,” said Jeff Goss, Director, Product Management, at Rheem. “We were not surprised that our team of dedicated, innovative engineers at Rheem developed a residential heat pump that was able to provide 77 percent of nominal heating capacity at −15 degrees Fahrenheit ambient temperature and provided uninterrupted heating operation at −23 degrees Fahrenheit ambient temperature surpassing expectations and delivering top quality performance.”

Heating and/or cooling a home, along with water heating, account for 40% of the primary energy consumption in buildings in the United States and are a major source of carbon emissions.  As Rheem’s heat pumps run on electricity, they reduce the need for natural gas, making them an ideal solution for homeowners to reduce emissions and increase energy efficiency.  Heat pumps are more efficient than electric resistance heating, and Rheem’s heat pump needs less supplementary heating due to its improved performance in cold ambient temperatures. Together, these elements, and their ability to function at a wider range of ambient temperatures, make them a more sustainable heating option.

To learn more about Rheem’s innovation pipeline, including its full line of cost-effective, eco-friendly products, visit Rheem.com.

Rheem®, a leading global manufacturer of water heating and HVACR products, today announced that Chris Haynes, vice president of Global Procurement, has been named as a Supply & Demand Chain Executive “2023 Pros to Know” award recipient. The award recognizes outstanding executives whose accomplishments offer a roadmap for other leaders looking to leverage their supply chain Read more

Rheem®, a leading global manufacturer of water heating and HVACR products, today announced that Chris Haynes, vice president of Global Procurement, has been named as a Supply & Demand Chain Executive “2023 Pros to Know” award recipient. The award recognizes outstanding executives whose accomplishments offer a roadmap for other leaders looking to leverage their supply chain for competitive advantage.

As vice president of Global Procurement, Haynes oversees the global strategic sourcing across Rheem’s air and water divisions that include an array of products, such as tank-type and tankless water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces and HVAC systems for residential and commercial applications.

“I am honored to be chosen by my peers for the Pros to Know award and to be in the company of the other esteemed winners in my field,” said Haynes. “With the fast-paced world of supply chain becoming highly volatile in recent years, this is great recognition of Rheem’s unwavering commitment to deliver high-quality products for our customers. Today’s environment requires us to constantly reinvent what it means to be a supply chain professional and I’m incredibly proud to help lead Rheem’s global sustainability practices, which we have implemented rapidly on a large scale.”

Haynes has had an illustrious career with Rheem spanning more than a decade. He manages a global team with 60 direct and 125 indirect reports across 25 locations in 10 countries. Haynes also is passionate about mentoring staff and investing in talent to build strong teams across Asia, Europe, Latin America and North America.

Facing global supply chain disruptions, post- COVID-19 recovery and inflation, Haynes always ensures Rheem can deliver outstanding results for its customers by spearheading and revolutionizing Rheem’s inbound supply chain process. Serving as a company leader on Rheem’s “A Greater Degree of Good” sustainability initiative, Haynes has worked with global suppliers and manufacturing facility leaders to reduce Rheem’s carbon footprint, utilize recycled materials and work toward achieving the zero waste to landfill goal.

“Chris is not only a ‘Pro to Know,’ he is one of Rheem’s supply chain heroes and sustainability champions,” said Rheem President Global Water, Rich Bendure. “Chris is customer-focused in everything he does and, as a leader, inspires his teams to put that into practice every day. Chris knows that exceeding our customers’ expectations, particularly in times of uncertainty, gives us a competitive advantage in the marketplace, and solidifies Rheem’s long-term reputation as a manufacturer that delivers on our commitments. Congratulations, Chris, on this much-deserved award.”

Visit https://www.sdcexec.com/awards/pros-to-know to view the full list of “Supply & Demand Chain Executive 2023 - “Pros to Know” winners and visit rheem.com to learn more about Rheem’s latest news.

A Time to Rise

Monumental concerns in the industry—from supply chain issues and inflation concerns to electrification and decarbonization—challenge contractors and manufacturers alike to be ready to rise above the fray. On September 28, Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm, hit the Florida coast, leaving a trail of destruction, loss of life, and people without power, and a place Read more

Monumental concerns in the industry—from supply chain issues and inflation concerns to electrification and decarbonization—challenge contractors and manufacturers alike to be ready to rise above the fray.

On September 28, Hurricane Ian, a Category 4 storm, hit the Florida coast, leaving a trail of destruction, loss of life, and people without power, and a place to live. The following week, after the residual rains moved through the South Atlantic states, PHCC CONNECT attendees, exhibitors and staff were fortunate to convene in Charlotte, N.C. for the annual show.

One of the many bright spots during CONNECT was the annual Industry Perspective panel—back by popular demand—which featured some of the industry’s finest: Elisabeth Sutton, Director—Marketing, Professional Channel, Kitchen and Bath Americas, Kohler; Bruce Carnevale, President and CEO, Bradford White Corporation; Randy Roberts, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Rheem; Scott Teson, Senior Vice President of Skilled Trades, Milwaukee Tool; Jeff Fetters, Chairman, Federated Insurance Companies.

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As I prepared for the panel, I would have been remiss if I didn’t mention those people still struggling in the Sunshine State. And the more I thought about what was happening in Florida, the more I could draw some symmetry of what has been plaguing our nation the past few years.

Things like supply chain. Are the right people getting what they need in Florida? Labor shortage. Do we have the manpower to provide assistance? Or, do we have the proper infrastructure in place? What about electrification? I mean, I had just seen a meme that said something like, “2.8 million people without power, time to fire up the Teslas.” Now that could be perceived as a bit naïve, but when you look at California, for instance—declaring no new gas cars sold in the state by 2035—concerns about adequate infrastructure are real.

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It’s a good thing we had the right people on the panel to address such concerns. I learned that Federated Insurance sent “catastrophic teams” to Florida to help. “We needed to have boots on the ground as quickly as we could,” said Fetters. “Businesses need to have high expectations for employees to remain safe. Disasters can strike at any time. A risk management culture has to perpetuate through every single employee,” said Fetters.

As a side note, how can contractors prepare for such an event? “Make sure you sit down with an agent to see what it would cost to replace your business, and any personal property in the event of any potential catastrophe,” said Fetters.

Supply Chain Woes

Nonetheless, supply chain issues dominate conversation almost daily among working contractors. “We are still challenged by supply chain issues, and it has forced us as a company to better manage our supply chain. We do things differently now,” said Carnevale.

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As a manufacturer, you’re never getting what you need from plastic resins overseas, nickel component slowing lines down to component issue challenges,” said Roberts. “This makes us be creative on managing supply chain.”

According to Sutton, “We see that luxury side of remodeling is still high. The thing impacting supply chain is that distributors are receiving more products, managing inventory for distributors.”

Investments in People/Training

Milwaukee Tool has made an $400 million investment in domestic manufacturing. “We want to control our own destiny,” said Teson. Yet, Teson pointed out that with more commercial construction projects on the books, how do we find the right people to support those jobs? “We need skilled tradesmen and women to support those efforts,” said Teson.

Sutton suggests that technology in products is a viable avenue to attract the younger generation. C’mon, who doesn’t like the way an impact driver or press tool feels in their hands?

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Elisabeth Sutton

“We also need to attract people to the industry to show them how wonderful it is, and that should not be specific to one type of person,” said Sutton. “We need more diversity, not just one profile,” continued Sutton.

“This is a fantastic industry, and once people are a part of it, they stay,” said Roberts.

Yet, once in the building, how do we get people to stay? Training. “It has always been a critical part of what we do. We have been very flexible with our training—we will take it to customers and also bring them into our facility,” said Carnevale.

How do employees continue to get better year after year? The panel agreed that it’s about establishing a culture of training in your office. This gives employers a competitive advantage in keeping people and attracting people because they will be seen as investing in them.

Electrification is the Buzzword

According to Carnevale, topics surrounding electrification loom large. For example, will the infrastructure be in place to support the new products? How will the infrastructure build out in a very short time? This puts the consumer in a bad position and puts our national security at risk—i.e., supply chain issues and the country’s fragile relationship with China.

“Electrification and decarbonization, whether we like it or not, we need to be prepared. We have the products available,” said Roberts.

Government Regulations

Carnevale noted that he receives email relating to a regulatory issue almost daily. “The DoE is extremely active, and there’s a requirement that is in the foundational law that once the DOE sets a new minimum efficiency standard, it cannot go backward.”

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The panel consisted of (from l to r): John Mesenbrink, moderator; Elisabeth Sutton, Kohler; Bruce Carnevale, Bradford White; Randy Roberts, Rheem; Scott Teson, Milwaukee Tool; Jeff Fetters, Federated Insurance.

According to Rheem’s Roberts, there is an “Install Date Standard for Air Conditioning Systems” looming and, “Contractors will be breaking the law if they install an AC system not rated to the new standard come January, 1 2023.” Efficiency standards dictate that sell through of existing systems will be allowed in the northern states if the product was manufactured prior to January 1, 2023. This is not the case in the South and Southwest. AC systems must comply with the 2023 federal minimums to be installed after January 1, 2023. Current Heat Pump systems can continue to be installed in all regions as long as they were manufactured before January 1.

And who is enforcing this, you may ask? “Contractors and distributors will be self-policing installations to make sure they meet the new standard. In addition, manufacturers cannot ship products that don’t meet the new standards or allow them to be registered for warranties if installed after January 1. A standard based on install date will ultimately create inventory challenges for everyone in the industry,” said Roberts.

That Dreaded ‘R’ Word

There are whispers of the “R” word and I don’t think it means that “relief” is on the way anytime soon. From inflation to fuel prices, contractors have faced economic hardships that may continue to linger into 2023, and beyond. “We’ve been bearish on the economy longer than the financial press has been,” says Carnevale. “It is pretty clear that we are in a recession. There have been some positive signs, the fed is getting aggressive, and we will see significant drop in housing market.”

Carnevale continued that he is concerned about the macro economy, even though there are some good signs. “Labor shortages continue to be a vexing problem, and we need to focus on the labor participation rate compared to pre-pandemic, meaning there are a lot of people who are choosing not to work,” said Carnevale.

Teson said that interest rates are the real threat. “We’re watching it very closely and trying to make decisions that will make us come out stronger than our competitors.”

Carnevale added that there is a very distinct demand for discretionary vs. non-discretionary products. In the end, “As the demand starts to soften, we are subject to the laws of supply and demand. It is not going got back to where it is pre-pandemic, but will see some softening on pricing.”

Roberts says that overall, we should see a correction. “How do you position yourself to come out stronger than you go into it?” That’s the question.

For more info, visit PHCC.