BY ROBERT P. MADER Of CONTRACTOR’s staff
LAS VEGAS — Some shows are purely residential while others are more commercial. Some shows have mostly plumbing, while others more heating and cooling. ISH North America, however, attempts to combine all these elements into one show.
Contractors, wholesalers, manufacturers reps and other visitors comprised the announced attendance of 11,842 people who visited the ISH-NA trade show Oct. 1-3 to see exhibits and attend educational seminars at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center here. As with all trade shows, products were of primary interest to most visitors.
General Pipe Cleaners showed an assortment of routers, jetters and video cameras, but its newest product was the Gen-Eye Digital Locator that the company says can locate cast-iron pipe — to the inch — at a depth of 10 ft. and plastic and clay pipe to 20 ft. Before you start digging, the device can also show you underground power lines, gas lines, fiber optic and CATV cables.
For low-tech everyday utility, General Pipe Cleaners showed the Handy-Stand, a carrier and stand for Super-Vee or other electric-drill-powered pipe cleaners so the plumber doesn’t have to hold the drill while cleaning out a sink drain.
Electric Eel showed a variety of EelCams, from its mini-cam system with a 1-in. diameter camera to larger cameras for inspecting lines of 6 in. and larger.
Brenelle Co. presented its Jet Swet, a pipe plug that seals a pipe and allows soldering without draining an entire water system.
Demonstrating the growing popularity of pre-piped and wired hydronic radiant control panels, Wirsbo’s proPANEL “comfort management series” won first place in the heating and ventilation category at the show’s new product showcase.
Fully assembled, wired and piped, the proPANEL comfort management system is designed around the functions and capabilities of the firm’s pro Series controls. Contractors can use a stand-alone proPANEL for a small application or connect multiple panels together.
Roth Industries showed its manifold shunts, which were designed to make it easy to add radiant floor heat to an existing high-temperature hydronic application. The pre-assembled, proportional temperature mixing stations come with a built-in multi-speed system circulator, high-temperature protection, and system supply and return thermometers.
Dunkirk Boiler was showing its Quantum 90 boiler, a 90% efficient boiler with a cast aluminum heat exchanger and sealed combustion. The boiler is ideal for radiant applications, the company says, because it can handle low supply and return temperatures where its efficiency jumps above 90%.
Embassy Industries showed its Ambassador line of wall-hung hydronic heaters with built-in domestic hot water. The Axia Combi units can handle from 50,000 to 160,000 Btuh loads and is 87% efficient.
With the advent of new flammable vapor ignition resistant water heaters starting last July 1, Rheem Water Heaters was at the show with its Guardian flammable vapor resistant unit. Similarly, A.O. Smith showed off its C3 version, which stands for Corderite Combustion Containment technology. Bradford White showed its Defender safety system.
Bradford White also exhibited its eF Series commercial water heater that can produce water up to 180°F at efficiencies as high as 99.1%. The burner fires downward through the tank and power vents out the bottom as far as 120 equivalent ft. away.
Controlled Energy Corp., which has been importing wall-mounted instantaneous water heaters from Europe for about 25 years, introduced the Bosch 635 ES. The sealed combustion, 87% efficient unit can heat 6.35 gal. per minute at a 45°F rise.
Controlled Energy Corp. also announced that it is joining the Professional Product Line sponsored by the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors - National Association.
Elkay Manufacturing. Co. presented a sink line in a variety of shapes and finishes. Customers can select a round, square or rectangular sink in stainless steel, copper or brass that’s finished with a mirror, satin or hammered finished. Elkay exhibited its meandering entertainment sink that was initially called River but that’s been renamed the Mystic.
Fluidmaster promised an end to messy jobs with its Wax-Free bowl gasket. The bowl gaskets are sized to accommodate 3-in. or 4-in. drains, adapt to all kinds of flooring and will seal on uneven flooring.
Jay R. Smith Manufacturing showed off an ASSE 1052-approved dual check wall hydrant that’s attractive enough to keep any architect happy. The wall hydrant, which fits in the space of one brick, provides an integral vacuum breaker and dual check valve. A lockable drop-down door permits full hose access and the valve opens with just a quarter turn.
Armstrong Pumps introduced its Armflo balancing valve that the company says has higher balancing accuracy than other valves. The Armflo valves have five full 360° turns to the fully opened position to allow for plenty of fine-tuning. The valve has an accuracy for pressure measurement of P of 97% at fully open to 95% at nearly closed.
Liberty pumps showed its portable transfer pump with garden hose connections. The Model 331 is handy for draining water heaters or boosting water pressure.
LSP Products Group, the company that says it invented washing machine and icemaker outlet boxes, introduced the G2 outlet box, a pre-mounted box with a built-in condensate drain that pops in between 16-in. O.C. studs.
McGuire Manufacturing. Co. brought its quarter-turn brass ball valves for either conventional handle or loose key applications. The valve is designed for hospitals, schools or large multiple-building applications.