AHR Expo Shows Innovative Solutions

Special to CONTRACTOR Editors note: Part 1 of our coverage of the AHR Expo Feb. 7-9 ran on pg. 1 of our March issue. ORLANDO, FLA. While much of the water heater industry cant arrive at a consensus about how to make power-vented water heaters that are flammable vapor ignition resistant, American Water Heater introduced at the AHR Expo here its Powerflex FVIR model that relies on a simple solution

Special to CONTRACTOR

Editor’s note: Part 1 of our coverage of the AHR Expo Feb. 7-9 ran on pg. 1 of our March issue.

ORLANDO, FLA. — While much of the water heater industry can’t arrive at a consensus about how to make power-vented water heaters that are flammable vapor ignition resistant, American Water Heater introduced at the AHR Expo here its Powerflex FVIR model that relies on a simple solution — it’s sealed-combustion, direct-vent. The combustion air inlet is located at the top of the water heater, which vents via a top-mounted blower through a concentric vent system. American is making the Powerflex in three models up to 50 gal. and 60,000 Btuh input.

Bradford White showed its Everhot line of gas-fired, wall-mounted tankless water heaters. The units are available in two residential and two commercial models, both having indoor and outdoor versions with Btuh inputs ranging from 15,000-180,000 Btuh for indoor models and 15,000-199,000 Btuh for outdoor models. Outdoor models are shipped with a separate primary remote controller. Residential indoor and outdoor models can have two additional remote controllers hardwired at multiple use locations.

Bradford White also showed its eF Series commercial tank-type water heater, available in four models with 100-gal. tanks and three 60-gal. models. All of them feature efficiencies as high as 99.1%.

Spirax Sarco showed its new Pivotrol Pressure Powered Condensate Pump for steam systems. The device replaces pins and linkages with pivots, reducing friction and wear. Spirax Sarco backs the product for 3 million cycles or three years, and the spring is warranted for life. A special damper uses the hydraulic inertia of the collected condensate to reduce mechanical shock as the valve actuators shift.

DaimlerChrysler Vans fought back against the problem of its Sprinter cargo van being pricier than its competitors with the “Ultimate Fuel Gauge.” Using a special Web link (www.fl-sprinter.com), owners of Ford E-Series, Chevy Express and GMC Savanna cargo vans can compare gas mileage and how much money they would save. The Sprinter is the most fuel-efficient van in its class, according to DaimlerChrysler, at 25 mpg.

LA-CO Industries showed its latest line of Markal industrial paint markers. The markers, designed for use on metal, use real paint that is weather-, water- and UV-resistant and dries in three minutes. They will write on surfaces from -50°F to 150°F.

NIBCO announced its new press-to-connect copper fitting and valve line, designed to be joined with Ridgid brand tools. The line features copper and dezincification-resistant brass alloy, an EPDM O-ring seal, and is suitable for use with K, L and M tube. Sizes range from 12-in. through 4-in. fittings, 12-in. through 2-in. ball and check valves and 212-in. through 4-in. butterfly valves.

Turbotec Products introduced its proprietary process for the manufacture of surface-enhanced Titanium tubing. As its first application, the firm produced coaxial coils for spa and swimming pool heating systems. Offering the strength of titanium, the tubing protects heating units from highly erosive and corrosive environments typical of pool and spa water.

Simultaneously, to offset the higher costs of titanium vs. other metal tubing, Turbotec has developed plastic shell casings for its helical coaxial coils. Turbotec’s plastic shell casing allows for maximum heat transfer, while protecting the unit from pool and spa water. The company said its PVC shells are nearly 50% more economical than copper tubing.

Laars showed its Endurance modulating sealed-combustion residential gas boiler, available in two sizes, the Model 110 modulating from 61,800 Btuh to 108,200 Btuh, or the Model 175 that runs from 102,900 Btuh to 175,300 Btuh. The boiler has an internal bypass, built-in pump and several venting options. It comes in three distinct models — the EBP has a 20-gal. internal tank for domestic hot water, the EDP is just for space heating and the EDN is a non-ferrous version of the EDP.

Metraflex showed off a product that it said had engineers saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?” While there should be 10 pipe diameters in between an elbow and a pump, that’s not often practical. Metraflex introduced the CRV Flex and Vane Flex elbows with stationary vanes that not only smooth the flow but also cause the fluid to gently rotate as it negotiates the turn. As a result, the fluid enters the pump with a flat velocity profile. Metraflex said that an 8-in. suction diffuser typically has pressure drop of 75 equivalent ft., while its 8-in. CRV Flex has a pressure drop of 12.1 equivalent ft.

Aerco showed its KC-1000 gas-fired commercial water heater that modulates over a 14:1 ratio from 70,000 Btuh to 1 million Btuh. Its thermal efficiencies can range from 93% to 99%. The company further noted that it produces 18 ppm of NOx, meeting California standards.

Takagi presented its Flash T-H1 tankless gas water heater, with modulating input ratings between 15,000 Btuh and 199,000 Btuh. Takagi said the water heater can also handle radiant heating applications. The water heater can heat 40°F incoming water to 120°F at a flow rate of about 4.1 gpm.

Armstrong Pumps introduced a line of circulator isolation flanges for use in hydronic applications. The flanges are used in pairs to connect circulators and can isolate the circulator so a system doesn’t need to be drained for service. The flange incorporates a two-bolt flange connection and a full-port ball valve.