How are you venting? PVC Flues Are They Safe?

 

A few years ago I was asked to inspect the mechanical systems in some university housing units at a university in the Midwest. The school had hundreds of apartments in numerous buildings that had combination water heater/heating hot water units that provided heating hot water to a coil in the adjacent A/C unit. The units were about 10 years old. There were also reported problems of not having enough hot water and some units were getting calls for not enough heat in the peak winter months.

A brief site visit was scheduled and an inspection of a couple of unoccupied units was done. The inspection revealed combination water heaters with a coil to provide heating hot water to the adjacent A/C unit.  The flues had purple/ brownish PVC pipes with yellowish/tan colored PVC pipe fittings used as flue materials. The flue pipes were obviously deformed from heat and they were sagging.  A maintenance guy for the University said that there had been some really bad ones that had broken or cracked in the fitting and sagged like they were melting. They said the carbon monoxide alarm had gone off prompting a maintenance call. They replaced those pipes and then requested me to investigate the system.  The combination water heater did not have a high flue temperature safety cut-out switch to shut off the burner if the flue gas temperature got too hot.  The manufacturer’s name and standard number were on the pipe and it was Schedule 40 PVC pipe.  The water heater installation manual we obtained had language that recommended using PVC pipe as a flue material. The Water heater had scaled up due to minerals in the water supply and the scale build-up caused the flue gas temperatures to rise causing the noted problems. I called the PVC pipe manufacturer and they indicated they receive these calls from time to time with someone complaining to them about problems with the PVC pipe on a flue application.  Their standard answer was that their pipe is not made to be used as flue pipe materials.

I found it interesting that PVC Pipe manufacturers do not promote the use of PVC vents for combustion gasses in their technical manual. In fact they have specific warnings stating that the pipe is not intended to be used for venting combustion gasses. The manufacturer of the PVC pipe was quite familiar with this issue and he pointed to the temperature limitations in the PVC pipe installation manual.  He e-mailed me a link to their technical manual and then we went over all of their temperature limitations and warnings against using the pipe for such applications.  He noted all of the physical and temperature limitations of the PVC piping.   He said they do not recommend PVC pipe for use in venting fuel fired appliances. He went on to point out that there is no listing for PVC pipes used for venting flue gasses for the product temperature limitations in the installation manual.  There is a loop hole in the form of an exception that was added to the International Fuel Gas Code that allows plastic flue gas piping to be used if the appliance manufacturer tests his equipment with plastic flue piping and certifies the plastic flue pipe for the installation.

502.1 General. All vents, except as provided in Section 503.7, shall be listed and labeled. Type B and BW vents shall be tested in accordance with UL 441. Type L vents shall be tested in accordance with UL 641. Vents for Category II and III appliances shall be tested in accordance with UL 1738.
Plastic vents for Category IV appliances shall not be required to be listed and labeled where such vents are as specified by the appliance manufacturer and are installed in accordance with the appliance manufacturer’s installation instructions.

503.4.1 Plastic piping. Plastic piping used for venting appliances listed for use with such venting materials shall be approved.

(IFGC Definition: [A] Approved – Acceptable to the code official or other authority having jurisdiction.)

503.4.1.1 Plastic vent joints. Plastic pipe and fittings used to vent appliances shall be installed in accordance with the appliance manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Where a primer is required, it shall be of a contrasting color.

The plastic vent exception is a ticking time bomb! There currently is no requirement for a safety switch to shut down the appliance if the temperature of the flue gas exceeds the rating of the plastic flue pipe. This is where it is important to understand that a new installation (which is what all of the appliance testing uses) will have the lowest flue gas on the first day of operation and over time as scale and sediment build up on the heating surface the heat transfer is less efficient and all boilers, water heaters and furnaces will have a flue gas temperature rise over time. Furnaces increase in temperature when the air filter is dirty and the airflow is reduced to limit heat transfer. As the heat does not transfer the flue gas temperatures will rise. In PVC flues, the thermal expansion and contraction during the burner cycling weakens the pipe and fitting with expansion and contraction stresses. It is not uncommon for the pipe to change colors and then the expansion stresses can cause a failure of the fitting near the base of the PVC socket. I have asked numerous boiler and water heater manufacturers to show me a test with their appliance that tests for deflection of the PVC pipe at temperatures well above the PVC temperature limits.  A real world test simply does not happen unless they have the temperature limit switch. They do not test the units with a fouled heat exchanger. Now some manufacturers have voluntarily added a temperature limit or safety switch in the flue outlet of the appliance so that if the flue temperature exceeds the limit switch temperature/PVC pipe temperature limit, it cuts off the fuel to the burner to prevent problems with melting or cracking the flue. Not all manufacturers of high efficiency equipment have the safety switch installed on their equipment, because it is not required by code, so those manufacturers are playing Russian Roulette.  Are they gambling that they will probably sell enough units to pay for a few lawsuits when someone is killed or left incapacitated from carbon monoxide poisoning?  Some manufacturers have simply chosen to use stainless steel flue materials in condensing applications. This is OK. Some have chosen to allow PVC flue materials but they install a safety cut-out switch in the appliance flue outlet.  This is OK. Others have chosen to use less expensive, high temperature plastic materials such as Polypropylene with or without temperature limit switches. With high temperature plastics is better than using PVC but a safety concern and with high temperature plastic flues and temperature limit switches is OK.

One of the PVC piping manufacturer’s technical manuals has the following information:
Using Plastics for Combustion Gas Venting
The piping manufacturer recommends that inquiries about the suitability of plastic piping systems for venting combustion gasses should be directed to the manufacturer of the water or space heating equipment being installed.
As stated in the International Code Council’s International Fuel Gas Code 503.4.1.1:
Plastic Pipe and fittings used to vent appliances shall be installed in accordance with the appliance manufacturer’s installation instructions.
Furthermore, several of the ASTM standards applicable to PVC plastic pipe and fittings that this manufacturer, manufacture’s their pipe to include the following note:
This standard specification for PVC pipe does not include requirements for pipe and fittings intended to be used to vent combustion gases.

There is no standard referenced in any of the codes in the United States for a plastic flue vent for combustion flue gas piping.  Many water heater and boiler manufacturer’s recommend PVC Flue vents for combustion gasses.  In Canada there is a Standard, ULC S636 but it has several flaws in that the standard allows flue gas temperatures that exceed the temperature limits of the pipe material manufacturers.   The maximum temperatures listed in the ABS, PVC and CPVC pipe manufacturer’s technical literature are as follows:

Maximum Operating Temperatures For Various Piping SystemsPiping System                          Maximum Operating Temp – Degrees Fahrenheit

ABS – Sch. 40                                                 160 F
PVC – Sch. 40                                                 140 F
CPVC – Copper Tube Size                           180 F
CPVC – Sch. 80                                               200 F

In the manufacturers literature, the maximum operating temperature of the system is shown in the above table.  Any temperatures above the rated temperature will allow the pipe to melt, sag and possibly collapse or pull apart.  There are serious consequences of carbon monoxide asphyxiation and fire that should not be ignored.

Generally for a new condensing water heater or boiler the stack temperature will be about 20 degrees higher than the water temperature. The design of the unit and the efficiency of the unit along with several other factors including water quality will affect the stack temperature. If a water heater is set to store water at 140 degrees Fahrenheit to minimize Legionella bacteria growth as per the new ASHRAE Guideline 12 standard then the flue gas temperature will be about 160 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when the heater is new.  As scale builds up and the heater efficiency falls off, the flue gas temperatures can easily increase to well over 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Some water heater manufacturers pull room air into the combustion gasses to mix with the combustion gasses to help cool down the combustion gasses and many of them do not publish the airflow being pumped up the flue which needs to be added to the combustion air requirements for the equipment.  This also adds to a negative pressure in the building which can lead to moisture intrusion issues.  Even if someone had their water heater set at 120 degrees Fahrenheit, with scaling and fouling of the heating surface the flue gas temperatures can rise well above 300 degrees Fahrenheit.  Boiler thermostats or burner controls measure the water temperature and are generally limited to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.  The flue gas temperatures must be much higher in order to get the water to that temperature.  Commercial Water heater thermostats or burner controls are generally limited to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and they can overshoot by several degrees.  Residential water heater burner controls are limited to 160 degrees Fahrenheit and they can overshoot by several degrees. In all of these cases the flue gasses can easily be well over 20 degrees higher than the operating temperature when the unit is new. As scale builds up on the heating surfaces, the scale insulates the flue gasses from the hot water in the system and it causes the flue gas temperatures to increase.   Some Boiler and Water heater manufacturers have offered stack or flue gas temperature gauges as a way to see if the unit is scaling up and losing efficiency. A temperature gauge is a good idea to monitor the flue condition.  A temperature sensor or probe that is inserted into the flue at the flue connection to the boiler of water heater with a high-limit control that shuts off the burner if the flue gas temperature exceeds the temperature rating of the flue pipe could be a possible solution.  I now have a patent on such a control. I think temperature gauges and high-limit temperature probes in the plastic flue pipes would be an answer to the dilemma of cost verses safety. A standard will be needed for plastic flue pipes as a system that should include a temperature gauge and a high limit probe that shuts off the burner if the temperature exceeds the temperature limit of the pipe material. Then PVC, CPVC and Polypropylene flue gas piping can be safely used on high efficiency boilers and water heaters.
Without a standard for proper use of these safety devices in combination with plastic flue gas piping or without the use of stainless steel flues, plastic flue materials can melt as flue gas temperatures rise.  Not only are you losing energy when scale builds up, but the flue gas temperatures rise and can melt the plastic flue piping and can cause flues to become blocked or disconnected. A blocked or disconnected flue can be a carbon monoxide danger and/or a fire danger.

Recently a professional woman in the Pacific Northwest who worked as an executive for a large company was permanently disabled when she was exposed to carbon monoxide gasses when the PVC fitting on her two combination water heater boiler units had identical failures on adjacent PVC flues. The water heater manufacturer recommended using PVC pipe as flue material in that case.

Apparently the cycling of the burner on and off caused expansion and contraction of the two PVC flue pipes. The PVC fittings which were injection molded cracked at the point where the expansion and contraction occurred at the base of the socket on each elbow. The separation gap was approximately a quarter of an inch. The separation allowed carbon monoxide under pressure to be forced into the home. The lady that lived in that home suffered debilitating brain damage from long term exposure to carbon monoxide.

Another incident occurred where a family of four died when they were overcome by carbon monoxide when the PVC flue pipe sagged and pulled apart. The investigation found that the PVC pipe joint was not glued, but it melted, sagged and came apart. The water heater manufacturer recommended using PVC pipe as flue material in that case.

I have heard arguments by many contractors and a few manufacturers that do not believe PVC flue venting for combustion gasses is a problem because they have not witnessed a problem.  I have seen melted and discolored piping in many of my investigations and I have seen numerous cracked and separated fittings, so I know it is a problem. If you have photos of plastic flue pipes that have failed. Send them to me at the following e-mail address and I will post them on my website.  My e-mail is Ron@Rlumb-TechLLC.com and my website is www.Plumb-TechLLC.com.
I also see the proliferation of recommendations for the use of PVC piping products for use as corrosion resistant combustion flue venting for high efficiency, condensing boiler and water heater equipment manufacturers. There are manufacturers of High Temperature Plastic flue materials and there are safety switches that can be added.  We should strive to move away from PVC.  The use PVC pipe approach seems to be a way to lessen the initial cost of installing a high efficiency boiler, furnace or water heater.  High efficiency equipment will cost significantly more than less efficient models, so there seems to be a movement by some manufacturers to promote the cheaper and less appropriate PVC materials even though they are combustible and  not listed for combustion flue gas venting applications.    The other options is for the equipment manufacturers to recommend code approved and listed stainless steel flues which are corrosion resistant or high temperature plastics.  But then the cost of their equipment will seem even more expensive.

I have not seen any testing data or an independent test report from a boiler or water heater manufacturer that shows that PVC piping has been tested and approved for the conditions it will likely see in a water heating or boiler installation.  Any testing should include the extreme conditions when scaling occurs and flue gas temps rise near the end of the equipment’s service life.   I would like to see the safety cut-out witch or a test with a half inch of scale on the heating surface.

There is a Canadian Standard for Venting Combustion gasses.   The ULC S636 Standard is a Canadian Standard that covers the design, construction, and performance of gas venting systems intended for negative or positive pressure venting of gas-fired appliances producing flue gases having temperatures under the following:
(1) Class I venting systems are suitable for gas-fired appliances producing flue gas temperatures of more than 135 degrees C (275 Degrees F) but not more then 245°C (473 Degrees F);
(2) Class II venting systems are suitable for gas-fired appliances producing flue gas temperatures of 135°C (275 Degrees F) or less;
(3) Class II venting systems are further classified into four temperature ratings as follows:
(A) Up to and including 65°C; (149°F)
This temperature limit was intended to allow the use of PVC Pipe for use as a flue gas material.  The published temperature limit for PVC pipe is 140 degrees Fahrenheit and the allowable temperature in the ULC S636 standard exceeds the temperature limits set by many PVC pipe manufacturers.
(B) Up to and including 90°C; (190°F)
This temperature limit was intended to allow the use of CPVC pipe for use as a flue gas material.  The temperature limit for CPVC pipe in many of the pipe manufacturer’s technical data is 180 degrees Fahrenheit.  The ULC S636 standard appears to allows the material to exceed the temperature limit for several CPVC piping manufacturers by 10 Degrees Fahrenheit.
(C) Up to and including 110°C; (230°F)
This temperature limit was intended to allow the use of Polypropylene (PP) pipe for use as a flue gas material.  There is currently one manufacturer listed to this standard, but the potential for the flue gasses to exceed the 230 degrees Fahrenheit is still there.
(D) Up to and including 135°C. (275°F)
I am not aware of any plastic pipe manufacturer’s that meets this sub-section of the standard. The potential for the flue gas temperatures to exceed the 230 degrees Fahrenheit is still there.

Boilers and water heaters that allow any plastic flue venting materials should have a high temperature limit switch to shut-off the boiler or water heater at the rated temperature of the flue material.  They should provide warning labels warning of the dangers of melting or collapsing flues if the heat exchanger is fouled.  When the heat exchanger fouls the flue temperatures will rise.

I would like to see the exception for plastic venting removed from the code and replaced with a standard similar to the ULC636 standard or a requirement for a safety cut-out switch in the appliance flue outlet.  It will be interesting to see which way the industry goes on this issue. There are forces pulling each way and I believe a significant change will be coming within the next few years. The industry can develop a standard to allow low cost, high temperature plastic materials in conjunction with safety controls to shut down the boiler if the temperatures get too high or they can simply recommend using stainless steel flues which are already approved.

About the Author: Ron George is President of Plumb-Tech Design and Consulting Services LLC.  Plumb-Tech provides plumbing, piping, HVAC and fire protection system design services. They also provide 2D and 3D CAD services, Building Information Modeling, construction coordination detailing services, contractor fabrication drawings, code and standard consulting services, Investigations of plumbing & mechanical system failures, litigation support and training seminars. Website: www.Plumb-TechLLC.com e-mail: Ron@Plumb-TechLLC.com Phone: (734) 322-0225.

We welcome your comments. As always, be respectful of the author.

3 thoughts on “How are you venting? PVC Flues Are They Safe?

  1. More often than not the 140 degree Fahrenheit limit for Sch 40 DWV in misinterpreted and misused. The 140 degree limit is in fluid piping situations with pressure. The charts if I recall is 20 PSI for the 140 degree temperature limit. Last time I checked, flues don’t see a fluid pressure, and the vent pressures are well under 1 PSI. Schedule 40 PVC has a upper temp limit of 149 degrees Fahrenheit, with degradation beginning to occur at 158 degrees Fahrenheit. This would be the reason for the Canadian ULC-S636 standard of 149 degrees F/65 C. They know and understand the true material temperature limit. I agree that the PVC manufacturers don’t list the application or temperature limits of PVC pipe for venting, but why should they? Where’s the listing for 26 gauge stove pipe to be found?

    Way more people have died from rotted, rusted, sagging, inappropriately installed single wall sheet metal chimneys and appliance connectors than any other vent material, where is that call to action to ban?

    Since UL (Underwriters Laboratory) doesn’t test or list products for venting, it would be wrong to say PVC pipe should be listed by UL.

    “UL certified gas-fired appliances and venting systems for these products are intended for installation in accordance with the following installation codes:
    • ANSI Z223.1/NFPA 54 National Fuel Gas Code
    • International Fuel Gas Code
    • International Residential Code
    • Uniform Mechanical Code.
    These codes include requirements intended to minimize the hazards associated with high temperatures and combustion gases. In general, factory built vents and chimneys are required to be listed (certified), except for instances where limited use of metal chimneys and vents are specifically allowed. In general, US codes permit Category IV gas-fired appliances to be vented using unlisted plastic vents where such vents are tested and covered under the specific appliance listing. These vents are intended to be installed in accordance with the appliance manufacturer’s installation instructions.”

    PVC venting and all required or approved vent material are however tested and approved by CSA. CSA exceeds the UL standards with specialization with gas fired equipment (UL does not)

    ANSI Standards, does address PVC venting also meets their requirements under exact conditions –

    How Appliances are Certified:

    Gas fired boilers and water heaters are required to be safety certified by a third party testing agency according to the American National Standards/CSA Standards. Boilers are design certified to ANSI Z21.13/CSA 4.9 and commercial water heaters are design certified to ANSI Z21.10.3/CSA 4.3. As a part of this certification, the appliance must undergo tests to assure the specified venting system is appropriate for use with the appliance. Each standard includes specific test procedures for Non-metallic venting like PVC/CPVC. The appliance is placed in a closet and the water temperatures are raised to the highest permissible level. This generates the highest flue gas temperatures. Under these conditions, data is collected to verify the vent material’s temperature limitations are not exceeded. The vent tests measure the actual pipe material temperature, not the flue gas temperature to determine the effect of hot flue gases on the vent material. ANSI test procedures are under constant review by the ANSI standards committees to assure the test conditions are appropriate and up to date.

    CSA also knows and understands the true upper safe temperature limit of all plastic vent materials and test the appliances under the different operating conditions to these plastic temperature limits.

    I am not saying PVC pipe is OK for all applications, but if we can as an industry follow the installation instructions, installing the correct material for the application, in a proper manner, we wouldn’t need to use a few instances that were wrong to build a case against a product that makes sense to use.

  2. The premise is invalid.

    You were clearly called out to inspect a severely neglected gas-fired, condensing water heating system, that just happened to be vented with “manufacturers’ approved” Sch40 PVC vent. This is currently the industry standard for nearly all of the gas-fired condensing and direct-vent water heaters and boilers in the USA. It is safe to assume that these water heaters were tested with all approved venting materials and deemed safe by UL and CSA standards not to mention the local administrative authority.

    Given the obvious and perhaps criminal, neglect by the owners int this case, the use of the “higher” temperature rated PP may not have “solved” their problem. Indeed, when I was a distributor of one of the first condensing boilers (circa 1990) we had a report of a PVC vent “melting”. The local gas provider, untrained and clearly unqualified to service the boiler, deemed the only logical solution was to retrofit the boiler with “approved” stainless steel vent pipe. As you would apparently have it, treating the symptom instead of the illness. Against our advice, the answer came clear as the SS vent turned cherry red under full fire.

    Had the water heaters in your case been serviced by qualified technicians in any of the last 5 years of their obvious ten years of neglect, you would not have gotten a call.

    For all the technical jargon, not a single word on the infinitely more important/pertinent argument for qualified technicians performing the scheduled maintenance clearly documented in every one of the installation and operating manuals of the 5 tank-less water heater brands and 12 condensing boiler manufacturers that we have installed in the past 10 years.

    We specify and install several condensing appliances approved for poly and use it regularly for a variety of valid reasons, non of which include possible owner neglect.

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A new speaker to the popular Coffee with Caleffi™ webinar series, Claudio Ardizzoia, debuts on Thursday, May 19 at 12 noon CDT discussing Super Simple and Reliable Temperature Regulation for Hydronic and DHW Systems. Ardizzoia, product marketing manager of Caleffi S.p.a., will explain the functionality of mixing valves in both plumbing and hydronic applications, investigating … Continue reading Coffee with Caleffi™: Temperature regulation

Bell & Gossett releases Q2 Little Red Schoolhouse schedule

Earn credits toward green building certification through Xylem’s industry-leading training at its Bell & Gossett Little Red Schoolhouse (LRSH). Second-quarter classes are geared toward engineers, contractors and installers in the commercial plumbing and hydronic heating and cooling industries. The LRSH’s one-of-a-kind, systems based training approach provides industry professionals with hands-on training and holistic solutions to … Continue reading Bell & Gossett releases Q2 Little Red Schoolhouse schedule

Taco’s expands iWorX building automation platform capabilities

Building owners and commercial system designers and installers now have a bigger ally in Taco. The company has broadly expanded the capabilities of its iWorX control platform to provide an updated graphical user experience.   A tablet, PC or smart phone now acts as the local control interface for monitoring, system diagnostics and the new … Continue reading Taco’s expands iWorX building automation platform capabilities

Aspen, Colorado high-end home features high-end hydronics

When the owners of a 10,000-sq.-ft. new construction high-end residential home in Aspen, Colo. was looking for a reliable company with extensive experience in hydronic heating and high-end residential plumbing, they looked no further than Top Gun Plumbing & Heating, Glenwood Springs, Colo. In addition to battling the elements, the design of the project presented … Continue reading Aspen, Colorado high-end home features high-end hydronics

Carlson-Holohan Award finds permanent home at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York

Right across the street from the Harvard Club of New York, funded by notable members such as Andrew Carnegie, sits the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York. Founded on November 17, 1785 the aims of the General Society were to provide cultural, educational and social services to families of … Continue reading Carlson-Holohan Award finds permanent home at the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York

Caleffi releases new idronics: Water Quality in Hydronic Systems

Water is the essential fluid in all hydronic systems. Its quality affects the system’s overall efficiency, reliability, life expectancy and the effectiveness of chemical additives. The 18th edition of idronics™ discusses problems that can develop within hydronic systems when water quality is ignored. It lays our procedures for converting raw water into high quality water … Continue reading Caleffi releases new idronics: Water Quality in Hydronic Systems

Lochinvar names January VIP program winners

Lebanon, Tenn. — Lochinvar has announced its monthly VIP Contractor Program winners for January. The company rewards VIP Contractors throughout the heating season for impressive installations submitted in the VIP Installation Showcase and holds a monthly drawing for VIP Contractors who register qualified products. Of all the entries posted in January’s VIP Installation Showcase, which … Continue reading Lochinvar names January VIP program winners

Coffee with Caleffi™: Siegenthaler Examines Water Quality in Hydronic Systems

Many installers simply fill their newly installed hydronic systems with water that’s available on site. Sometimes they’re “lucky” to have water with relatively low dissolved solids, stable pH and low turbidity. Other times they may not be so lucky. Although problems may not appear right away, the life of their new system could be significantly … Continue reading Coffee with Caleffi™: Siegenthaler Examines Water Quality in Hydronic Systems

Taco introduces the Dan Holohan Comfort Award at AHR Expo

At this year’s AHR Expo, Taco CEO Johnny White Jr. presented the Dan Holohan Lifetime Contribution to Comfort Award to Dan Holohan. The award’s inaugural presentation to its namesake, Dan Holohan, was called, by White, “just one small token of appreciation for a lifetime of tireless commitment to improving the trade and — in no … Continue reading Taco introduces the Dan Holohan Comfort Award at AHR Expo

2016-2018 Carlson – Holohan Industry Award of Excellence Inductee – John Goshulak, P.Eng.

At the RPA party at this past AHR Show in Orlando, the next chapter in the Carlson-Holohan Industry Award of Excellence was revealed as John Goshulak, P.Eng., was announced the next torch bearer of said biennual award, which is bestowed upon an individual who is selfless and gives his/her time to raise the benchmark of … Continue reading 2016-2018 Carlson – Holohan Industry Award of Excellence Inductee – John Goshulak, P.Eng.

Must Own: Lessons Learned Servicing Boilers by Ray Wohlfarth

Ray Wohlfarth, international author of Lessons Learned in a Boiler Room and Lessons Learned: Connecting New Boilers to Old Pipes, has a new book on the service of hydronic and low pressure steam boilers, entitled, Lessons Learned Servicing Boilers. The book is filled with almost 300 pages of tips, rules of thumbs, formulas, and jobsite … Continue reading Must Own: Lessons Learned Servicing Boilers by Ray Wohlfarth

Product Review: Viessmann Vitocrossal (CU3) boiler

Jim Godbout Plumbing & Heating, Inc. is a very diversified company offering comfort and efficiency using geothermal systems, solar thermal sstems by and plumbing, piping and HVAC systems. Godbout provides service for the entire coastline of Maine from York to Freeport. Including: Biddeford, Saco, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Portland, South Portland and everywhere in between. The Hub … Continue reading Product Review: Viessmann Vitocrossal (CU3) boiler

WaterFurnace introduces HydroLogic, a simple solution for radiant heating

WaterFurnace International, Inc. introduces HydroLogic, a turnkey solution for radiant heating that integrates seamlessly into a WaterFurnace geothermal system. It is a cost-effective product that takes the complexity and time out of radiant system installations. The main component of HydroLogic is a pre-piped, pre-wired modular mechanical panel designed to simplify installation. The panel supports cooling, … Continue reading WaterFurnace introduces HydroLogic, a simple solution for radiant heating

Boiler primer: Bosch Thermotechnology Corp.

Bosch Thermotechnology is a leading source of high quality cooling and heating systems, including tankless, point-of-use and electric water heaters, floor-standing and wall-hung boilers, Bosch and FHP geothermal heat pump systems as well as controls and accessories for every product line. Bosch Thermotechnology is committed to reinventing energy efficiency by offering smart products that work … Continue reading Boiler primer: Bosch Thermotechnology Corp.

‘Caleffi Excellence’ grand prize winner announced

The year-long contest — Caleffi Excellence — which is a platform where designers and installers of hydronic or plumbing systems can showcase their work and receive national recognition, has culminated in the announcement of the grand prize winner. Bill Olschewski of Tip Top Plumbing (Manitoba, Canada) and a guest of his choice has won a … Continue reading ‘Caleffi Excellence’ grand prize winner announced

tekmar snow & ice melting app & online design tool

tekmar unveiled its new app and online tool to assist users in designing their own snow & ice melting solutions. Contractors, engineers, and distributors can use the app and online tool to enter their design parameters and instantly receive the specific information they need to specify the correct control solution, prepare a quote, and successfully … Continue reading tekmar snow & ice melting app & online design tool

Coffee with Caleffi: Boiler Component Selection

December Webinar Completes Component Selection Series In the webinar, Bob “Hot Rod” Rohr, training and education manager, completes a two-part boiler component selection series on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 12 noon CST concentrating on key components used in renewable energy hydronic systems. Please visit www.caleffi.com for registration details. The complimentary educational series, Coffee with Caleffi™, … Continue reading Coffee with Caleffi: Boiler Component Selection

Advances in boiler construction and design

Contractors, architects, engineers and others who specify commercial and industrial boilers continually seek systems that are more cost-effective, energy efficient and environmentally-friendly. The boiler industry has responded by making significant advances in both construction and design, with new systems offering greater efficiencies, cutting-edge technologies, advanced controls and the ability to integrate with renewable energy. Condensing … Continue reading Advances in boiler construction and design

Lochinvar names first 2015-2016 VIP Contractors Program winners

Lochinvar has announced the first winners in its 2015-2016 VIP Contractor Program, which offers more prizes than ever before. From October through April, a total of four VIP Contractors are rewarded each month for their installations of Lochinvar’s residential boilers. Three of the monthly winners are selected among participants in the VIP Installation Showcase, an … Continue reading Lochinvar names first 2015-2016 VIP Contractors Program winners

Solar thermal/condensing boiler project addresses multiple loads, earns energy offset

  In Eagle County, Colorado, local authorities not only promote energy sustainability, but insist on it. Any residential project that incorporates more than 200 square feet of snow melt, for example, must mitigate the load with an offset the draws upon a renewable energy source. So the county required owner to mitigate snowmelt energy draw … Continue reading Solar thermal/condensing boiler project addresses multiple loads, earns energy offset

SlimFit™ High-Efficiency Condensing Boilers

With a number of innovations, Weil-McLain® now offers an enhanced line of its popular SlimFit™ high-efficiency condensing gas boilers. New features include improved boiler-to-boiler communication, Modbus® and BACnet® for linking with BAS (building automation systems), express set up wizard, 10 preset typical heating systems, and updated controls interface for simpler navigation, at-a-glance boiler status, diagnostics … Continue reading SlimFit™ High-Efficiency Condensing Boilers

Watts Radiant’s R-flex Pre-insulated PEX Piping System

Watts Radiant’s R-flex is a pre-insulated, flexible, energy-saving PEX piping system with a durable, waterproof outer cover. It provides cost-effective distribution for heating, cooling, and snow melting applications in schools, universities, resorts, housing developments, and other residential facilities. R-flex consists of a long-lasting PEX carrier pipe or pipes surrounded by thick insulation layers, all contained … Continue reading Watts Radiant’s R-flex Pre-insulated PEX Piping System

Boiler, tankless install solves homeowner’s hot water concerns

  Sunshine Plumbing Heating Air was recently recognized as one of the fastest growing private companies in Denver since 2012 with a 534% growth rate. Susan Frew, president and William Frew, vice president, are a husband and wife powerhouse ownership team whose company just won the 2015 ‘Fastest Growing Company’ award for the Denver Business … Continue reading Boiler, tankless install solves homeowner’s hot water concerns

Caleffi DISCALDIRTMAG magnetic separation

Caleffi expands its solutions to problems caused by ferrous oxide debris within hydronic systems. Ferrous oxide debris, which is abrasive and often microscopic, is created from the oxidation of iron or steel materials. It can deposit onto heat exchanger surfaces and accumulate in other components including circulators, causing reduced thermal efficiency and premature equipment wear. … Continue reading Caleffi DISCALDIRTMAG magnetic separation

Viega provides design and product transition assistance for PEX applications

•  New Make the Switch program helps customers keep PEX installation projects on schedule. Wichita — Viega offers technical experts to assist with system design and product selection for switching to Radel® R-based PEX products. Known as a leader in press technology and training for the commercial, residential and industrial plumbing, heating and cooling industries, … Continue reading Viega provides design and product transition assistance for PEX applications

Plumbing apprentices shine at PHCC Connect

  With a program chock full of heavy hitting seminars, a straight-from-the-heart keynote and a trade show floor that featured some of the newest products and services, it was the plumbing apprenticeship contest that turned heads at this year’s PHCC-National Association’s Connect show in Hollywood, Fla. Some of the future’s brightest competed for bragging rights—and … Continue reading Plumbing apprentices shine at PHCC Connect

Viessmann celebrates 25 years in the U.S. with VIP/Open House event

Early last month at its U.S. headquarters in Warwick, R.I., Viessmann held a two-day event in which the company celebrated its 25 years of operation in the states. The first day, September 9,  was a special VIP event where more than 150 guests attended the anniversary day of celebration with speeches, gourmet luncheon and a … Continue reading Viessmann celebrates 25 years in the U.S. with VIP/Open House event

Avanti Plumbing and Heating, Inc. moves ‘forward’ with hot water recirculation

The Italian word, “Avanti” means “forward.” In the sense of motion, it’s a fitting description of young business owner Anthony Tosco and his three-man company, Avanti Plumbing and Heating, Inc., just west of Philadelphia. Currently, the company offers plumbing, heating, hydronics and air conditioning to customers all over eastern Pennsylvania. Most work consists of residential … Continue reading Avanti Plumbing and Heating, Inc. moves ‘forward’ with hot water recirculation

California wastewater agency wins with radiant technology

When most people think of radiant heat or hydronic snow melt, the usual applications come to mind: warm floors, heated sidewalks and snow-free driveways. The Big Bear Area Regional Wastewater Agency (BBARWA) in Big Bear, Calif., contacted Viega Radiant Design Services with a project that needed an innovative solution. A byproduct of the water treatment … Continue reading California wastewater agency wins with radiant technology

White House recognizes Bosch Thermotechnology for commitment to energy saving solutions

Londonderry, New Hampshire – Bosch Thermotechnology has been recognized by President Obama for its ongoing efforts to provide innovative low-cost energy solutions across the building spectrum, to include use of renewable technology solutions like geothermal heat pumps. The Bosch recognition by the President comes as part an executive order in conjunction with the EPA’s Clean … Continue reading White House recognizes Bosch Thermotechnology for commitment to energy saving solutions

BOSCH THERMOTECHNOLOGY INTRODUCES FLOOR STANDING MODEL

BOSCH THERMOTECHNOLOGY INTRODUCES FLOOR STANDING MODEL WITH AFUE 95% RATED EFFICIENCY Bosch Thermotechnology’s Greenstar gas condensing boiler for residential applications is now available in a floor standing (FS) version for all eight regular (heat) and combi (heat+hot water) models. With its sleek appliance-like design and small footprint, Greenstar FS models are ideal for use in … Continue reading BOSCH THERMOTECHNOLOGY INTRODUCES FLOOR STANDING MODEL

Navien named APR’s Innovation Partner of the Year

Lebanon, Pa.  — At their annual awards dinner in Hershey, PA, APR Supply Co. named Navien their Innovation Partner of the Year. Jeff MacDowell, VP of Marketing and Emerging Markets presented the award to Gary Eklof, president of Harry Eklof & Associates, Navien’s area representative.   In his presentation, MacDowell noted that “Navien distinguished themselves … Continue reading Navien named APR’s Innovation Partner of the Year

Bell & Gossett releases Q3 Little Red Schoolhouse schedule

Bell & Gossett announces its 2015 third quarter Little Red Schoolhouse seminar schedule for in-person training. The training center’s seminars provide systems design training to engineers, wholesalers and contractors in the plumbing and hydronic heating and cooling industries. Little Red Schoolhouse Opened in 1954, the Little Red Schoolhouse offers seminars covering a wide range of … Continue reading Bell & Gossett releases Q3 Little Red Schoolhouse schedule

Coffee with Caleffi™: August Webinar Explores BIM in Hydronic System Design

A new speaker to our Coffee with Caleffi™ webinar series, Jim Meseke, Director of BIM Content at ENGworks, will share his 21 years’ of AEC expertise on Thursday, Aug. 20 at 12 noon CDT discussing How to Utilize BIM in Hydronic System Design. Meseke will walk the audience through what BIM is and its capabilities, … Continue reading Coffee with Caleffi™: August Webinar Explores BIM in Hydronic System Design

Weil-McLain Evergreen™ High-Efficiency Condensing Boiler

Weil-McLain® now offers its most advanced high-efficiency condensing boiler. The new 95% AFUE Evergreen™ boiler features cutting-edge technology with simple controls, flexible functionality for multiple applications and a durable design, and is easy to install, use and maintain. The unit is adaptable for most heating needs including light commercial or large residential applications and for … Continue reading Weil-McLain Evergreen™ High-Efficiency Condensing Boiler

Botto Brothers Plumbing & Heating — Water/Steam Boiler Installation

Long Island’s rich hydronic heritage can be seen in the houses that cover the island, as well as the plumbing and heating shops that serve them. Common is the moderately sized, turn-of-the-century house that’s seen addition after addition, with as many changes to the heating system. The family-owned hydronic shops run by passionate “wet-heads” continue … Continue reading Botto Brothers Plumbing & Heating — Water/Steam Boiler Installation

Caleffi Releases the 17th Edition of idronics™: Thermal Storage in Hydronic Systems

Because of the excellent heat storage characteristics of water, adding thermal storage to a hydronic system lends itself well to many benefits including buffering a heat source against short cycling, reducing the heat source size relative to peak load and optimizing the use of surplus heat production. The 17th edition of idronics™ explores these benefits … Continue reading Caleffi Releases the 17th Edition of idronics™: Thermal Storage in Hydronic Systems

Condensing boilers provide hydronic comfort for sporting goods superstore

  Scheels All Sports is the newest addition to the Apache Mall in Rochester, Minn. The North Dakota-based, employee-owned retailer was founded in 1902 as a hardware & general merchandise store in Sabin, Minn. by German immigrant Frederick Scheel using earnings from his first potato harvest. Transitioning into a sporting goods retailer in 1954, Scheel’s … Continue reading Condensing boilers provide hydronic comfort for sporting goods superstore