Murray, Utah - In these times of economic uncertainty, here's something to keep in mind: there will always be wealthy customers, and they will always be willing to pay what it takes so long as a contractor can deliver on comfort, quality and convenience. Case in point, the Sartini residence within The Colony gated community, which is in turn part of the Canyons ski resort in Park City, Utah.
The home, built in 1993, was designed around a radiant hydronic heating system, with two 250,000 Btuh Lochinvar high-efficiency atmospheric boilers direct vented to the rear wall of the house. A snowmelt system was heated by a Copper-Fin II boiler, and was direct vented and rated at 1,795,000 Btuh. Three Lochinvar 80-gal. indirect heaters supplied the domestic hot water.
But you can never have too much of a good thing. The Sartini's decided in 2007 to expand the snowmelt area to cover the back patio of their home, adding approximately 1,800 sq. ft. to the existing system. The entire area would include an arbor, a fire pit, a hot tub and an outdoor chef's station.
The family reached out through their building manager, who put them in contact with Ken Tingey, president of Tingey Plumbing & Heating based in Murray, Utah. Tingey has been a plumber since 1975, and put out his own shingle in 1987.
“We have an average of four plumbers working for us at any given time,” Tingey said. “We do light commercial service and repair, residential service and repair, hydronic heating and new installations.”
His company serves the greater Salt Lake City metro area, most of Salt Lake County and all of Summit County, which includes the Park City area.
Tingey bid the job in August and started work in mid-September. His first serious obstacle was the mechanical room. It was small at 6 ft. × 4 ft., and completely finished. “They had a pretty nice slate floor and the walls were Sheetrock,” Tingey said. “Our original idea was to build a new mechanical room, but [the owners] didn't want that.”
Tingey's solution was to install four Knight KBN 500 boilers using the same wall for direct venting and combustion air. While a tight fit, it still allowed for proper clearance between flue and combustion air piping. Because of the flexibility of installation, the new boilers look like part of the original installation.
“I let the guys who were with me have a lot of input,” Tingey said. “Boiler loop piping for those boilers is 4-in. copper, so that's thick piping, and you have a lot of big pumps in there. But we bounced ideas off of each other and ended up with a real good-looking installation.”
The new boilers added more than 4.5 million Btuh to the system. The linked boilers are able to fire at a lower rate if outdoor temperatures and load dictate, for greater efficiency. Tingey Plumbing & Heating also installed three 80-gal. storage tanks and more than 3,000-ft. of Watts Radiant PEX tubing for the additional snowmelt. Tekmar sensors and controls, and Grundfos pumps and circulators keep the system working smoothly.
The finishing touches were running water and drain lines out to the chef's station, digging up the driveway and replacing the original manifolds with some that could handle the added capacity, and installing a new gas meter. The work was done in two to three weeks, with some additional time spent coordinating with other contractors on the job. Everything got done in time for the Sartini family's Thanksgiving celebrations. Tingey Plumbing & Heating priced out their work at a little over $100,000.
The Sartini family was so happy with the job that they're asking Tingey to come back and expand the system a further 1,000-sq.ft. The present boiler set-up was sized with all the needed capacity for the addition.
And Ken Tingey himself was so pleased with the job that he sent a write-up of it back to the Lochinvar Corp. as part of the company's VIP Contractor Showcase. Tingey received a $250 gift card to Cabela's for being a monthly winner. At the end of six months Tingey was named the Grand Prize Winner, and selected a Knight WBN080 boiler as his prize. The other five finalists were:
Joe DiBacco of Comfort Zone Heating & Cooling, N. Billerica, Mass.; Paul Rohrs of Biggerstaff Radiant Solutions, Lincoln, Neb.; Gary Harper of Excel Mechanical Co., Des Moines, Iowa; Douglass Reammell of Three Peaks Plumbing, Tetonia, Idaho; David Young of R&H Mechanical, Eagle, Colo.