Case Studies - March 2020

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Piping choice speeds conversion of offices to apartments in historic building

Problem: A contractor sought to convert the Standard Building, a downtown Cleveland landmark, from an office building into 281 luxury apartments. The project included all-new potable water and HVAC water-source heat pump piping. The new piping had to fit into tight spaces throughout the 20-story building, which was built in 1924.  

Solution: Aquatherm Green Pipe was selected for the building’s potable water applications and Aquatherm Blue Pipe for its HVAC applications. The pipe is made from lightweight polypropylene, which is hydrophobic and will never leach, scale or corrode. Green Pipe is potable water (NSF 61) rated. The heat fusion method of joining the pipe is suitable for retrofit projects because it eliminates welding and does not require a hot work permit. On this project, the pipe was transported to the top floor where it was fused and then lowered through the building’s stacked mechanical rooms.

Result: Using Aquatherm increased the productivity of the team of 20 installers and offered a clean, budget-conscious solution for the Standard Building, with a total installed cost savings of $250,000 compared to steel pipe. Ultimately, more than 8,300 feet of pipe — ranging from 3/4 to 12 inches — and more than 800 fittings were used on this project. The Standard Building is up and running and occupied. 801-805-6657;

Internal pipe heater saves homeowners extensive demo costs

Problem: A country home in South Dakota got its fair share of heavy snow and pouring rain. Most years, its 107-foot underground perforated plastic tile to exposed PVC drainage system drained water away from the house without fail. But last winter brought 72 inches of snow to the area — 36 inches in April alone. With freezing temperatures persisting into the spring, the exposed outlet froze solid, causing water backup into the finished basement. That left the homeowners with a tough choice: either demolish the basement floor and install a sump pump or find a less costly but still reliable fix.

Solution: After an exhaustive online search, they found HotLine’s Internal Pipe Heater fit the bill. HotLine requires no demolition and is easily installed from an interior or exterior access point to the end of the drainage system. Because it is low voltage, 6 to 32 volts depending on length, there is no risk of electric shock if someone touches the exposed outlet. And its low voltage won’t melt the plastic tile or PVC pipe. As the transformer required outdoor installation, the homeowner also used HotLine’s weatherproof protective case to ensure flawless operation in rain, ice and snow.

Result: “DIY installation was very easy,” the homeowner says. “The online videos were clear and easy to follow. When I had specific installation questions, HotLine’s engineers were very responsive and helpful. We’ll never have to worry about frozen drainage backups again!” 877-881-2980;


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