Case Studies - February 2022

Case Studies - February 2022

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Flush-mount hose connection solves accessibility challenges

Problem: E.M. Duggan, a Massachusetts-based plumbing, HVAC and fire suppression contractor, was faced with a unique challenge concerning their client’s spa project. The spa had a pool lift for assisting patients with limited mobility. They needed frequent access to water for washdowns, but could not have hoses crossing wheelchair pathways.

Solution: A flush-mount valve from Aquor Water Systems was the ideal solution. It provided instant water access for washdowns, and allowed for simple, convenient hose disconnection. For decades, traditional hose bibbs have been the only choice for connecting water hoses. Now, specialized options like Aquor are available, offering instant water access and eliminating tripping hazards.

Result: “We needed something small and compact, and to eliminate hoses running across walkways. The Aquor valve worked out great,” says Christine Linnehan, senior project manager at E.M. Duggan. 800-458-1749; www.aquorwatersystems.com


Contractor avoids multiple installation frustrations with bath waste rough-in kits

Problem: Robert A. Tull, a plumbing contractor located in Maryland’s Montgomery County, focuses exclusively on new-residential construction. Installing plumbing in up to 1,500 single-family dwellings and townhome units a year, the company had to find a solution that provided maximum productivity and efficiency. Installers faced multiple frustrations when installing bathtub waste overflows, especially when it came to the drain gasket and overflow covers.

Solution: According to purchasing manager, Tank Phelps, a licensed journeyman plumber, the fast-paced turnover rate led Tull to Dearborn True Blue Bath Waste Rough-In Kits from Oatey roughly two years ago for all bath waste and overflow installations. Allowing for easier and more efficient installation, the kit minimizes frustration and deficiency during and after installation. It includes an integrated, locking bath shoe gasket that keeps it from moving or falling off at odd or difficult angles while installing the drain spud. Overflow and drain test plugs simply install with a quarter turn, making testing quick and reliable.

Result: “We avoid going back because of leaks, or because something isn’t straight, or the gasket wasn’t put on correctly and it slipped off,” says Phelps. “That’s where we’ve seen the biggest improvement since we switched to True Blue Bath Wastes.” To date, Tull has installed the kit in at least 2,500 single-family units and townhomes. 800-321-9532; www.oatey.com/dearborn


Compression-sleeve fitting system offers easy installation without sacrificing quality

Problem: Paul’s Plumbing & Heating took charge of installing the plumbing systems in Executive Estates, a community of single-family homes in the growing town of Farmington, Minnesota. The company’s co-owner Todd Gylling and plumber Jed Corriveau sought out a fitting technology that would offer ease of installation while ensuring a high-quality plumbing system.

Solution: When construction began, REHAU supplied the EVERLOC+ compression-sleeve fitting system. It requires only two expansions and one compression no matter the size or installation temperatures. Multiple sealing edges and a textured compression sleeve offer a secure connection, allowing immediate pressure testing. Gylling and Corriveau paired EVERLOC+ with RAUPEX PEXa pipe, whose flexible properties added to the ease of installation in the chilly job site conditions.

Result: The EVERLOC+ power tool and the system’s consistent compression-sleeve technology delivered on its promises, offering an easy and quick installation without compromising system quality. “The EVERLOC+ fittings are better quality, better built than what we’ve used in the past. They are also a lot easier to put together,” says Gylling. Corriveau concurred and added “EVERLOC+ is one of the better systems. Plus working in the cold, I do like that the PEXa pipe is more flexible.” 800-247-9445; www.everlocplus.com


Condensate pump effectively protects plumbing system from corrosive waste

Problem: Travis Abaire from TAP Plumbing & Heating in Bristol, Connecticut, needed to both neutralize and pump away acidic condensate from an on-demand water heater.

Solution: He opted for the 2-in-1 Sanicondens Best Flat to protect the residential customer’s plumbing system from corrosive waste. According to Abaire, plumbing codes in his service area require neutralization for corrosive waste. That’s why he didn’t give it a second thought when he installed a neutralization pump in a recent water heater replacement project. Abaire adds that he doesn’t like how, in some acid neutralizers, the neutralizer comes in a small cartridge that’s probably about the size of a C battery. “There is just a little bit of acid-neutralizing media, so it wears out pretty quickly,” he explains. The Sanicondens Best Flat combines a condensate pump with a pH-neutralizing pellet tray into a single, space-saving, environmentally friendly solution for ultra-high-efficiency condensing equipment, both residential and commercial: boilers, water heaters, air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, and other appliances.

Result: “With Saniflo’s condensate pumps, you kill two birds with one stone because you don’t have to install a typical acid neutralizer and then dump it into another condensate pump,” he explains. “Saniflo’s condensate pumps do it at the same time, not to mention the fact that the Sanicondens Best Flat can handle a wide range of condensing units up to 500,000 Btu per hour, which is pretty incredible.” 800-571-8191; www.saniflo.com


Toilet auger cover helps prevent leaking dirty, fecal water on the floor after use

Problem: Maintenance workers at a Long Island, New York, hospital were having trouble preventing their toilet augers from dripping dirty toilet water on the hospital floor after unclogging toilets in the patient wards. They were previously using either garbage bags, which frequently get torn up, or spackle buckets which fall over. Both methods led to fecal matter getting on the floor of the hospital, which is a major sanitary concern.

Solution: Using the 6 Footer version of the Snake Trap, the maintenance workers were able to snap the tool on the end of the auger and transport it easily from point A to point B without dripping feces on the floor of the hospital wards and reducing the risk of disease transmission.

Result: The previous methods for keeping fecal water off the floors of hospitals were clumsy and unsafe. Additionally, all other methods require direct handling of the coil that just unclogged the toilet. This means that maintenance personnel were previously handling feces and then touching door handles and all other surfaces around the hospital. The Snake Trap enabled easier, safer transportation of augers. 631-686-4447; www.thesnaketrap.com


Homeowner saves space, meets air-gap requirements for drainlines in utility room

Problem: A Northeast Ohio homeowner needed to run drainlines from a reverse osmosis system, a water softener and a whole-house filter in his basement utility room, but access to the floor drain was already crowded by lines from his dehumidifier and HVAC system. Although he had a separate standpipe nearby, his only option appeared to be to affix these additional drainlines to the pipe, which wouldn’t allow for the air gap the plumbing inspector had specified.

Solution: In consultation with his homebuilder’s plumbing contractor, the homeowner chose to install a DrainGap Multi-Port Drain Adapter from Vista Water Group on his standpipe. That enabled the plumber to connect all of the homeowner’s water-conditioning equipment drainlines easily and efficiently with readily available thread-in adapter fittings, while also maintaining the recommended air gap for all of the connections.

Result: Installing a DrainGap allowed the homeowner to manage multiple drain connections neatly while also minimizing splashing, meeting the local code requirement for an air gap, and maximizing floor space in his utility room. The plumbing contractor was thrilled with the simplicity of the installation, and the fact that the homeowner now has more space for an additional drain connection, should it be necessary in the future. 480-462-2707; www.vistawatergroup.com


47-year-old sump pump retires

Problem: A typical sump pump, when installed correctly in an appropriate application, can usually be expected to have a lifespan of anywhere between seven and 10 years depending on the application. However, every once in a while, you might run across an exception to the norm. When John Bachand and his team at J.P. Bachand Contracting in Newington, Connecticut, replaced an old pump for one of their clients, they unearthed one of Zoeller’s older models that is no longer in production. This old pump is Zoeller’s model 54, which was only manufactured through the early 1980s.

Solution: The homeowner informed Bachand’s team that he had not changed the pump since he moved into the house back in 1976. The man also believed it to be the original pump installed in the home 10 years prior, in 1966. With the knowledge that this pump could very well be over 50 years old, Bachand contacted Zoeller to try and verify the date of manufacture. When the photos were reviewed by the Zoeller team, they determined that the pump was just three years shy of 50; 47, actually, and the motor was still running!

Result: After retiring this small but sturdy sump pump, its place was taken by a Zoeller Pump Model 53, which is, Bachand informed the team, “the only pump we’ve used in 35 years in business.” 800-928-7867; www.zoeller.com  



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