Residential Plumbing

Residential Plumbing

Plumbing system installs quickly in cold, rainy conditions

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A hot water solution for resort community

Problem: Wyndham Branson at the Meadows resort needed to replace outdated water heating equipment with a solution that ensured guest satisfaction, as excellence in customer service is a cornerstone of the resort’s operations. Limitations in available space, varied layouts and narrow closet doors presented the greatest challenge, as new, 80-gallon tank-type units would no longer be an option. The resort needed to find a way to produce the same amount of hot water with a different technology.

Solution: Eemax was able to offer a solution with the AutoBooster. When paired with a 50-gallon electric tank, the system delivers hot water equivalent to an 80-gallon capacity output. They installed 105 AutoBoosters, which have been in operation for over a year with zero callbacks.

Result: Outcomes from the first phase of this project being so favorable, plans were initiated to further expand the installation of AutoBoosters. In addition, Wyndham Branson established a long-term goal for the next three to five years to supplement any unit repair or maintenance with AutoBooster. 800-543-6163; www.eemax.com.


Tankless water heater helps during high-demand times

Problem: A Cape Cod, Massachusetts, homeowner has several kids and grandkids who visit this home every summer. When everyone was in town, the old tank-style water heater could not keep up with the high demand for hot water. Outside of summer, when there was not a high demand for hot water, the tank-style water heater would continuously heat the water, lowering efficiency and wasting money.

Solution: The homeowner had a Navien NPE-240A 199,900 Btu/h condensing tankless water heater with ComfortFlow technology installed. It provides endless hot water only when there is a demand, and the built-in ComfortFlow internal buffer tank and recirculating pump eliminates the “cold-water sandwich” found in other tankless water heaters. Condensing technology within the NPE-A reuses flue gases to preheat the water, increasing efficiency and lowering exhaust temperatures.

Result: Now when the family is in town, they never wait long for hot water thanks to the recirculation technology and always have an endless supply of hot water. The homeowner also saves money on the utility bills from the efficient condensing technology in the NPE-A and only heating water when there is a demand. 800-519-8794; www.navieninc.com.


Rocking toilet fixed with repair plastic

Problem: Wood rot from a water leak caused a toilet to loosen in a home in Estes Park, Colorado. The leak was slow, though, and went unrecognized until the toilet began rocking back and forth, as it was no longer rigidly attached to the floor. By that time, the soft rotten wood had affected the screw holes holding down the flange, making repair more complicated. The plumber needed to restore sufficient structural integrity of the damaged wood floor to support the toilet.

Solution: Plast-Aid Multipurpose Repair Plastic was used to solve this problem. It is a two-part powder and liquid that forms a strong, durable, waterproof acrylic plastic in about 15 minutes. Upon mixing, it changes consistency as it cures from a thin pourable liquid to smooth flowing glue, to formable clay and finally hard like a screwdriver handle. The rotted wood was first removed with a chisel. The damaged areas were coated when Plast-Aid was creamy like glue. As the substance thickened, it was layered and packed into place to make it level with the floor. It took three batches and about 30 minutes to restore the wood. Pilot holes were drilled through the Plast-Aid to rigidly attach the flange with self-tapping screws.

Result: The homeowner was pleased. Although the wood was badly damaged, using Plast-Aid enabled restoration of the floor structure with minimum cost, time and effort. 970-577-1000; www.plast-aid.com.


Plumbing system installs quickly in cold, rainy conditions

Problem: Across the harbor from Vancouver, British Columbia, stands 3730 Edgemont, a community of seven town homes that takes full advantage of its enviable climate and surroundings. Features including living rooms with operable glass walls and rooftop decks draw the outdoors into the midcentury modern structures. Designers sought a plumbing system that was easy to install and fit the construction dynamic.

Solution: The developers chose the REHAU PEXa plumbing system, which was installed by Scott Rowland of PipeCraft Mechanical. The design combines EVERLOC+ compression-sleeve fitting technology with RAUPEX UV shield PEXa pipe to give owners and installers reason to be confident in the security of their plumbing system. “From all the products I’ve used, EVERLOC+ is by far the fastest and simplest for my employees,” Rowland says. “They are always scared to try something new, but once they did a few joints with it, their fear went away and they’ve loved it ever since.”

Result: Despite the cold, rainy conditions on installation day, the crew was able to work efficiently. “With other products I’ve used, you have to wait for the pipe to shrink back down,” Rowland says. “With EVERLOC+, you expand the pipe, put the fitting in and pull the sleeve over top. You know it’s secure, it’s done.” 703-777-5255; www.everlocplus.com .


New boiler provides comfort and efficiency

Problem:  Patriot Water Heater in Quarryville, Pennsylvania, was hired to replace an old oil boiler in a single-family residence. Fuel expenses were high, comfort was low and Tom Soukup, the company’s owner, found later that the cast iron boiler was condensing. The two-story home was split into two heating zones, but the home was zoned horizontally, right down the center of the house, instead of being zoned upstairs and downstairs. 

Solution: The company installed a 100 mBh K2 condensing boiler from U.S. Boiler Company Inc. - Burnham Brand Boilers. The unit has a 10-1 turndown and provides 95 percent AFUE. “We selected the K2 boiler because we’ve had great experiences with the unit,” Soukup says. “We also installed U.S. Boiler’s Sage Zone Controls. I think being able to provide an integrated solution is important.” Soukup also broke the existing supply and return piping into six zones, and he added a seventh zone for domestic hot water. An Alliance SL tank was used for nearly limitless hot water, long service and the fact that the tank features top connections.

Result:  “I visited the home on the morning after I fired the boiler, and the customer mentioned how nice it was to have even heat throughout the home,” Soukup says. When he visited the home, the outdoor temperature was 31 degrees F. The boiler was running at 20 percent input. “This boiler installs quickly and easily,” Soukup says. “We spent far more time repiping the zones.” 717-397-4701; www.usboiler.net


Water restored quickly with press fittings

Problem: In a Pittsburgh-area apartment building, management discovered a leak on a 3-inch steam line. That meant no hot water or heat to a first-floor store or the 30 apartments located above it. Bob Marchione with Mozart Management was tasked with the fix.

Solution: Marchione called his local distributor, unaware that Viega MegaPress XL was available, and gave the distributor the situation, asking for the quickest way to get his customers back up and running. “The distributor had the fittings and I got on the site the same day with the booster and conducted a training right there,” says Justin Young, Viega district manager. “Bob was really impressed with XL. He and the other three installers on site had never seen anything like Viega MegaPress XL before and were amazed.” Young says the repair had to be made in the crawl space under the building but they were able to get into the tight spot with the PressBooster tool. It was a much better — and quicker — solution, he says, than having to use a flame in such a cramped place.

Result:  Life for residents in 30 Pittsburgh-area apartments was only slightly disrupted thanks to a quick fix via three Viega MegaPress XL fittings. “They were under the assumption there wouldn’t be hot water for the whole day,” Young says. “But within an hour, they had all the fittings pressed and hot water back to all 30 apartment units.” 800-976-9819; www.viega.us.



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