LAS VEGAS — AHR Expo included plenty of new products for plumbing, mechanical and hydronic heating contractors.
Aquatherm North America announced the addition of Blue Pipe in Standard Dimension Ratios. The new SDR 9 MF RP product line is used in mechanical and industrial applications. SDR stands for standard dimension ratio; 9 is the pipe thickness (or SDR); MF is multi-layer faser (Aquatherm’s proprietary thermal expansion-reducing fiberglass extruded layer); and RP stands for raised pressure.
The piping utilizes the latest advances in high-performance polypropylene-random (PP-R) resin technology for improved performance and capabilities in applications such as high-pressure risers, high-temperature heating and district heating, and industrial process systems where a high safety margin is required.
Watts Water Technologies is working on integrating its various hydronics and radiant products, including its tekmar Controls acquisition, radiant tubing and wall-mounted modular mechanical packages. Watts Senior Sales Manager Rich McNally noted that the modular packages can supply as many as five different water temperatures in a house, while the controls can “learn” the performance characteristics of the house to optimize boiler run-times and efficiency. McNally called it an “indoor feedback system.”
Bradford White Water Heaters showed off its ElectriFLEX HD (Heavy Duty) field convertible commercial electric water heaters. ElectriFLEX HD water heaters are ETL Certified and can be converted quickly on-site to provide a commercial application solution for almost any situation. In addition to phase convertibility, the ElectriFLEX HD model offer 12 different convertible wattages from 6kW to 54kW and six convertible voltages, including 208V, 240V, 277V, 380V (Canada), 480V, and 600V. The field convertibility allows the plumbing contractor to install the water heater before he knows what kind of electrical service the electrical contractor is going to provide, explained Assistant Product Manager Trevor Pinto. The units are available in 50-, 80-, and 119-gallon capacities and are suitable for nearly all new or replacement commercial applications, including hotels, apartments, hospitals, restaurants, and office buildings.
Rinnai showed off its Control-R communication module that plugs into the control board of its tankless heaters. The Control-R will work with any Rinnai water heater going back to 2006. If the communication module senses a problem, its emails the contractor with the faults that the control board is showing. Also, in a simple but brilliant move, Rinnai showed its Corner Wall-Mount Tankless Bracket System that will hold two tankless units. Because tank-type water heaters are so often installed in corners, the corner bracket makes it easy to use the same space.
Viega reminded attendees that it makes ball valves, including zero-lead valves in bronze and stainless steel. One of the newest editions to the line is a press-fitting-to-hose-thread valve that comes with a cap and chain for the hose side. The bronze ball valves are full port and designed for potable water applications. The ball valves are available in ½-inch and ¾-inch press sizes and ¾-inch hose sizes. Other features include a lockable metal handle, stainless steel ball and EPDM sealing element.
On the plastic side, Viega introduced its ProRadiant Insulated PEX Barrier Piping System for its snow melting system. The Insulated PEX Barrier Piping System’s superior insulation results in a reduction in heat loss over competitive products in the market, according to the company. The “smart” membrane between the outer casing and insulation enhances and maintains the insulation value, keeping operating performance high throughout the pipe’s service life. The bonded system eliminates risk of water penetration and no special considerations for thermal expansion are required. The polyethylene (LDPE) jacket resists any impact or blows incurred during the installation or transportation. The piping system is UV-treated, requires no special tools for assembly and is available in long coils or custom coil lengths.
Rheem showed it Classic Series Tankless Electric Water Heaters that came from its Eemax acquisition. The electric models are available in both whole house and point-of-use. They use a self-modulating technology that activates only when water is running, performing at a thermal energy efficiency rate close to 99 percent. The compact design mounts directly to the wall (or under the sink) with common hardware and the unit’s external control panel has a digital display so water temperature can be adjusted in one-degree increments from 80°F-140°F.
Rheem also displayed the Prestige Series EcoNet Enabled Condensing Tankless Gas Water Heaters, the latest addition to Rheem’s line of innovative, contractor-focused tankless water heating solutions. These units provide continuous hot water and can save up to 1,100 gallons of water per year, and an estimated $1,100 in lifetime energy costs. Compatible with the Rheem EcoNet Smart Home System, these tankless gas water heaters can be part of a smart home solution that reduces up to 60 percent of a home’s energy costs.