Industry News

Ontario, Calif. — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO®) encourages all members and industry representatives to review theproposed code changes for the 2024 National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC) and attend the NSPC public hearing, Aug. 11, in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The NSPC Committee accepted proposals for changes to the 2024 NSPC from July Read more

Ontario, Calif. — The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO®) encourages all members and industry representatives to review theproposed code changes for the 2024 National Standard Plumbing Code (NSPC) and attend the NSPC public hearing, Aug. 11, in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The NSPC Committee accepted proposals for changes to the 2024 NSPC from July 1, 2021, through April 1, 2022. Changes approved at the August hearing will appear in the 2024 NSPC. The NSPC Committee reviews the code annually and updates it on a three-year cycle.

The proposed changes to the 2024 NSPC will be available to the public for downloading and viewing after June 6 at www.iapmo.org/NSPC. No hard copies of the proposed changes will be available at the public hearing; interested parties are encouraged to download the file.

The public hearing for review of the proposed code changes for the 2024 NSPC will take place 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET, Aug. 11, at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City. Attendees needing hotel accommodations can make reservations by calling (888) 516-2215 and referencing Group Code: ST08NS2. The deadline to receive the NSPC negotiated room rate is July 10.

IAPMO urges its members and other interested parties to get involved in the code development process. Designed to ensure the proper installation of plumbing systems, the NSPC provides local and state governments, code administrative bodies and the industry with a modern code to protect public health, safety and welfare.

“The NSPC is developed by all segments involved in the plumbing-heating-cooling industry: contractors, inspectors, manufacturers, engineers and labor,” said NSPC Chairman FrankMaddalon. “The NSPC has played a vital role as the state code for New Jersey and the testing code authority for master plumbers and inspectors since 1977.”

Advanced electric boilers offer output equal to fuel burning units with 100% energy efficiency, zero emissions, and minimal installation, operation, and maintenance costs In many areas of the U.S. and Europe, district heating remains popular for space and water heating of residential and commercial buildings. Although the source of the heat supplied can vary, one Read more

Advanced electric boilers offer output equal to fuel burning units with 100% energy efficiency, zero emissions, and minimal installation, operation, and maintenance costs

In many areas of the U.S. and Europe, district heating remains popular for space and water heating of residential and commercial buildings. Although the source of the heat supplied can vary, one common approach is to utilize fuel-burning boilers that produce steam. Unfortunately, conventional boilers present several challenges, including low efficiency when transforming fuel energy to heat; high installation, operating, and maintenance costs; environmental impact from harmful emissions; and some inherent safety issues.

There is growing interest in utilizing a new generation of jet type electrode boilers as an environmentally friendly solution. Due to considerable advances in the technology, these electric boilers can match the capacity (up to 65 MW) and output (270,000 pounds of steam per hour) of traditional gas or oil-fired boilers. When more output is required, multiple electric boilers can be connected to provide hundreds of megawatts of steam for district heating, and effectively replace gas fired boilers in a much smaller overall footprint.

There are a growing number of compelling reasons for municipalities to utilize high voltage, jet type electrode boilers for district heating, according to Robert Presser, Vice President of Acme Engineering, a manufacturer of industrial and commercial boilers with operations in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

“Jet type electrode boilers can match the heating output of fuel burning boilers while converting almost all the energy to heat,” says Presser. “Electrode boilers also resolve many of the inherent drawbacks of fossil fuel burning boilers: they are much smaller, put out zero emissions, and minimize installation and maintenance costs.”

Today, the spiking cost of gas and oil is often a factor when considering an upgrade of an existing district heating system. In some cases, the concern is minimizing environmental impact. Natural gas-fired boilers and furnaces emit dangerous nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxide (N2O), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM), and the notorious greenhouse gasses carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4).

Regardless of the motivation, upgrading entails retrofitting or replacing boilers (the heat source) with cleaner, more efficient electric alternatives, along with the heat distribution network (pipes/heat exchanger stations).

Designed for Optimal Performance

Jet type electrode boilers have existed in various forms for many decades. However, recent design improvements have closed the output gap while surpassing conventional units in terms of efficiency, simplicity, responsiveness, and safety.

Modern jet type electrode boilers utilize the conductive and resistive properties of water to carry electric current and generate steam. An A.C. current flows from an electrode of one phase, through neutral, to an electrode of another phase using the water as a conductor. Since the water has electrical resistance, the current flow generates heat directly in the water itself.

“The more current [amps] that flows, the more heat [BTUs] is generated and the more steam produced. Nearly 100% of the electrical energy is converted into heat with no exhaust stack or heat transfer losses,” says Presser.

As an example, in the CEJS High Voltage Jet Type Steam Boiler from Acme Engineering, the electrodes are vertically mounted around the inside of the pressure vessel, which enables the unit to produce maximum amounts of steam in a minimum amount of floor space. The units operate at existing distribution voltages, 4.16 to 25 KV with exceptional efficiency – up to 99.9% efficient at converting energy into heat. Models can produce steam in capacities up to 270,000 pounds per hour, with pressure ratings from 75 psig to 500 PSIG. All CEJS boilers are designed to ASME Section VIII Division1 and are certified, registered pressure vessels.

The advanced steam boilers also have a 100% turndown ratio, the ratio between a boiler’s maximum and minimum output. Most gas boilers have a 10:1 or 5:1 ratio.

“The turndown means you can leave the boiler in standby at low pressure and, when needed, bring it to full capacity in about 90 seconds, which no other boiler type can achieve today,” says Presser.

“With the electric boilers, the energy input and adjustment are very precise and virtually immediate. In contrast, increasing or decreasing the temperature in a gas fired boiler is a slower process because it takes time for the heat in the boiler to rise or dissipate before reaching the targeted output,” he adds.

Jet type electrode boilers also lower costs for installation, operation, and maintenance. Gas-fired boilers require fuel lines, storage and handling equipment, economizers, and emission control equipment. Advanced jet type electrode boilers have a minimal number of components and electrical controls, with fewer parts. Under normal operation, the absence of excessive temperatures and electrode burnout also assures long operating life.

The units further lower operating costs with automatic controls that reduce the need for operating personnel.

Presser points out that the most advanced types of these boilers, such as Acme’s CEJS, also offer greater safety than traditional fuel burning models.

“With the jet type electrode boilers, there are no combustion hazards because there are no flames, fumes, fuel lines or storage tanks. There are no problems with heat buildup or electrode burnout even if scaling should occur, and thermal shock is eliminated. Also, there is no low water danger since the current cannot flow without water,” says Presser.

Communities utilizing district heating appreciate the eco-friendly nature of these boilers as well. Without combustion, jet type electrode boilers are clean and emission free. The design also eliminates many environmental issues associated with fuel burning boilers such as fuel fumes, fly ash, and large obtrusive exhaust stacks.

Finally, the electric units are exceptionally quiet compared to fuel fired boilers. Unlike gas-powered burners that throttle like turbine engines almost continually, electric boilers keep operational noise levels down. Because the loudest boiler component is a circulating pump motor, it is easy to have a conversation next to one without having to raise your voice.

With all the advantages of high output jet type electrode boilers, a growing number of communities are selecting them for district heating.

Presser concludes, “We have spoken to utilities with massive boiler plants that are traditionally stuck feeding steam lines all over major city cores like New York City. In urban centers, they really want to get away from the associated emissions. A large utility has been talking to us about putting a 60 MW steam boiler in the center of Manhattan to replace gas-fired boilers, providing a centralized theme to several buildings.”

For more info, contact Robert Presser at Acme Engineering via e-mail: rpresser@acmeprod.com; phone: (888) 880-5323 or (514) 342-5656; or web: https://www.acmeprod.com/jet-type-steam-boiler

Located in Huntsville, Alabama, this warehouse will house high-volume STERLING Vikrell bathing and showering fixtures to meet growing U.S. demand Kohler Co., a global leader in kitchen and bath products, opened a state-of-the-art warehouse in Huntsville, Alabama, to support growing customer demand for its high-volume STERLING Vikrell bath and shower fixtures. This greenfield build comprises Read more

Located in Huntsville, Alabama, this warehouse will house high-volume STERLING Vikrell bathing and showering fixtures to meet growing U.S. demand

Kohler Co., a global leader in kitchen and bath products, opened a state-of-the-art warehouse in Huntsville, Alabama, to support growing customer demand for its high-volume STERLING Vikrell bath and shower fixtures.

This greenfield build comprises a total of 546,000 square feet and is located near Kohler’s existing manufacturing plant, which produces STERLING Vikrell products that are popular among the nation’s top single-family homebuilders, home improvement retailers, and a vast number of multi-family developers, plumbers, and remodelers.

Kohler Co. cut the ribbon at its state-of-the-art warehouse in Huntsville, Alabama, to support growing customer demand for the company’s high-volume STERLING Vikrell bath and shower fixtures. The distribution warehouse comprises 546,000 square feet and is located near Kohler’s existing manufacturing plant, which produces STERLING Vikrell products that are popular among the nation’s top single-family homebuilders, home improvement retailers, and a vast number of multi-family developers, plumbers, and remodelers.

“In the past, our business has been constrained by a lack of warehouse storage, which challenged us in providing the level of consistent quick delivery our customers expect,” said Norb Schmidt, Senior Vice President-Kitchen & Bath Operations. “The new warehouse and enhanced stocking strategy will greatly reduce lead times and improve delivery efficiency. We are pleased to expand our presence in Huntsville and Madison County and contribute to the local economy.”

On Tuesday, May 10, Kohler Co. leaders celebrated the warehouse completion with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on-site, which included company CEO David Kohler, and Senior Vice President-HR, Stewardship & Sustainability Laura Kohler, along with Kohler associates, local officials and Burns & McDonnell, the design-build contractor for the project.

The ceremony was attended by Kohler leaders and associates, as well as local officials. Kohler Co. CEO David Kohler (center) is shown cutting the ribbon, and was joined by (left to right) Dale Strong, Chairman-Madison County Commission; Tommy Battle, Mayor-Huntsville; Ginger King, VP, HR-Kohler Kitchen & Bath; Norb Schmidt, SVP-Kohler Kitchen & Bath Operations; Laura Kohler, SVP-Kohler Co. HR, Stewardship & Sustainability; David Kohler; Tom Adler, CFO-Kohler Co.; Shawn Oldenhoff, President-Kohler Kitchen & Bath North America; Paul Finley, Mayor-Madison; and Mike Fenske, President & GM-Global Facilities, Burns & McDonnell.

The Huntsville warehouse opening comes on the heels of Kohler announcing in February, the construction of a second Vikrell production facility and distribution center in Casa Grande, Arizona, which is set to be operational by August 2023 to support the company’s growing customer base in the western U.S.

The industry’s leading business training and coaching experts announce an ongoing development program designed to give business owners a foundation for empowering and inspiring their teams Business Development Resources (BDR), the training and business coaching authority for home services industry professionals, announces a unique opportunity for service industry business owners, managers, and team leaders to develop Read more

The industry’s leading business training and coaching experts announce an ongoing development program designed to give business owners a foundation for empowering and inspiring their teams

BDR’s Leadership Excellence Academy offers a unique opportunity for service industry professionals to develop key skills for empowering and inspiring their teams and generating enhanced results.

Business Development Resources (BDR), the training and business coaching authority for home services industry professionals, announces a unique opportunity for service industry business owners, managers, and team leaders to develop key skills for generating enhanced results by effectively influencing and mentoring team members.

BDR’s Leadership Excellence Academy: Foundations, an ongoing development program, launches in October with bi-monthly training sessions held the second Tuesday of every other month through August 2023.

“Leadership is the foundation of success in our industry, and anyone can become a leader,” said Bruce Wiseman, president and owner of BDR. “You don’t have to have a particular personality type to be a leader. All it takes is a commitment to your business and a vision for success. Our Leadership Excellence Academy is an investment in success. It’s designed to help contractors and distributors establish and implement a plan to empower and inspire their teams to reach higher levels of success.”

Foundations is Year One of the Leadership Excellence Academy journey and consists of six four-hour training workshops that target key elements of leadership. Each session provides strategies and best practices on how to apply each one in the workplace, including:

  • Determine your leadership level (Oct. 4)
  • Determine your leadership style and capacity (Dec. 13)
  • How to become an influencer (Feb. 14, 2023)
  • Go from communicating to connecting (April 11, 2023)
  • Empowering your team to success (June 13, 2023)
  • Leading people: managing the process (Aug. 9, 2023)

In addition to the six bimonthly workshops, Leadership Excellence Academy: Foundations offers targeted podcasts to help participants prepare for and review each session along with self-paced online courses available between the live online workshops.

“Learning leadership principles is something available for anyone,” Wiseman said. “Ultimately leadership is about setting an example, living up to your values, and building a strong, positive culture your team wants to be part of. Leadership itself isn’t always easy, but the proper training and experience prepare you to successfully face challenges and take your company to the next level.”

To register or learn more about BDR’s Leadership Excellence Academy, visit https://www.bdrco.com/leadership-excellence-academy/.

The Most Comprehensive Cross Reference, Parts and Equipment Database Tool for HVAC Bluon, Inc., the rapidly growing company focused on upgrading the HVAC industry, today announced the launch of BluonSearch, the most comprehensive parts and equipment cross-reference database in HVAC.  BluonSearch represents a giant leap forward in enabling HVAC distributors to quickly determine their customers’ Read more

The Most Comprehensive Cross Reference, Parts and Equipment Database Tool for HVAC

Bluon, Inc., the rapidly growing company focused on upgrading the HVAC industry, today announced the launch of BluonSearch, the most comprehensive parts and equipment cross-reference database in HVAC.  BluonSearch represents a giant leap forward in enabling HVAC distributors to quickly determine their customers’ needs and satisfy them using their local inventory – all through a highly intuitive, brand-agnostic tool providing instant access to over 300,000 unique model numbers and 3 million unique parts, with over 40 million listed cross-references.

Distributors lose a staggering portion of potential part orders – estimated at up to 50% – by not having an easy-to-use, comprehensive database enabling them to determine what part, or equivalent part, their customer actually needs. BluonSearch solves what is a shockingly pervasive problem in the HVAC industry, costing local distributors billions in lost potential revenue, and technicians countless hours of lost time.

BluonSearch is the rebirth of XREF, acquired by Bluon in 2021, that provided basic access to replacement parts and cross-reference information for HVAC distributors nationwide. Bluon and its unique team of technicians and database engineers spent nine months pouring over the immense database adding specifications and new connections and most importantly, ensuring data accuracy. The result is BluonSearch, an entirely new, updated database that allows even the most novice employees to instantly add decades of experience to their daily interactions with customers.

“We are excited to provide our customers with a much-needed, comprehensive equipment and cross-reference tool,” said Adam Curry, vice president of software at Bluon. “It turns out that the world of HVAC parts and equipment is kind of a mess. The industry is large but fragmented, so we’ve had hundreds of manufacturers produce millions of parts, but no one has created a truly brand-agnostic map for navigating it all. This lack of a simple search tool is a hidden tax on the industry, costing billions in missed sales and lost productivity. BluonSearch is a huge leap forward for HVAC distributors and their customers.”