Contractors see practical, innovative products at ISH-NA

Nov. 1, 2008
Atlanta ISH North America was held Oct. 1-3, 2008, at the Georgia World Congress Center here. More than 300 exhibitors came from across the U.S. to feature and showcase many of their newest and best products, although the light attendance called the continued existence of the show into question. For the contractors who were there it was a good show, allowing them immediate access to the exhibitor

Atlanta — ISH North America was held Oct. 1-3, 2008, at the Georgia World Congress Center here. More than 300 exhibitors came from across the U.S. to feature and showcase many of their newest and best products, although the light attendance called the continued existence of the show into question.

For the contractors who were there it was a good show, allowing them immediate access to the exhibitor personnel with whom they needed to talk. For the several hundred who attended, manufacturers presented a number of interesting and useful products.

Bradford White showed its Eco-Defender line of water heaters with 75% lower Nox emissions than standard water heaters. The firm also displayed its PowerStor Series single-wall indirect water heaters, and EcoStor SC solar series water heaters. The firm also highlighted two key components, its titanium stabilized stainless steel propane burner and its Honeywell-manufactured intelligent diagnostic gas control valve. The control learns and monitors the combustion chamber's temperature profile and prevents operation during “upset conditions.”

Franklin Electric Co. introduced the enhanced Little Giant TSW Sump Pump System, a 1/3-HP submersible pump with sensor technology that eliminates mechanical switch failure, and the NXTGen Condensate Pump, a slim pump that removes condensate from air conditioners and gas furnaces. The TSW Sump Pump System features IntelliPlug, which is equipped with a high-water alarm and run lights for easy status checks. The plug also has an 85 dba alarm, auxiliary power system and no moving parts, which eliminates mechanical switch failure, providing reliable operation when the pump runs. The sump pump is suspended from the cover, away from debris that often causes clogging. The NXTGen Condensate Pump is 4.8" × 10.2" × 6.5" and comes with an optional external overflow safety switch, external test/run lever, cooling design, stainless steel bracket for either side of the tank, rubber feet and a two-year warranty.

T-Drill, well known for its tools to pull soldered T-openings in the side of copper pipe, showed Model T-60 and PCS 8+, a hand-held pipe cutting system. Model T-60 cuts ½" outlets to 2" outlets on tubing ½" to 4". With the PCS 8+ it is easy, fast and safe to square cut a pipe or tube. This device cuts 1" to 8" in pipes made of copper, mild steel, stainless steel, cast iron, fiberglass, ductile iron and all plastics.

Gerber showed the Logan Square Series of bathroom faucets and fittings, and its new line of color options for the Viper toilet. The Logan Square Series includes lavatory faucets, Roman tub fillers, and tub and shower fittings available in chrome and brushed nickel finishes. The faucet line is equipped with ceramic disc cartridges and all brass waterways. The new Roman tub fillers are available with or without a hand shower. Due to increased demand, Gerber expanded the Viper toilet line with an assortment of modern color options.

Liberty Pumps introduced the Ascent macerating toilet system. Designed for remodeling or home additions, the system features an elongated ADA comfort-height toilet with a macerating pump that pumps the waste to an existing gravity sewer line. The pump can perform to vertical heads of 15-ft. and runs of up to 150-ft. horizontally. The system is shipped complete in one package.

The New Electric Eel Model CT features a variable speed motor control that gives the operator good control of the cable and cleaning power from 75 to 350 RPM with constant torque. The counter-top drain cleaner is designed to clean 3/4" to 2-1/2" drain lines up to 50-ft. The tool's 1/5 HP, 90V D.C. motor provides dependable operation. The unit is also available with a two-way auto cable feed that keeps the operator's hands off rotating cable as it advances and retrieves cable with the push of a lever. Cable guide hose eliminates cable whipping and helps keep the work areas clean. The stainless steel cable drum will not rust and resists denting.

Blue Angel Pumps has added a new pre-assembled 1/3-HP pump to its Super Simple Pump System. The system comes with a primary pump, secondary D.C. backup pump, check valves, charger and battery box. The switches are preset so no adjustment is needed. The installer needs to just pull it out of the box, drop it into the sump and connect the discharge pipe. The 1/3-HP pump moves 58-GPM at a 5-ft. head and 47-GPM at a 5-ft. head in backup mode.

Cleaver-Brooks showed a new wireless control system, the SysteMax ISD Intelligent System Device for use on its line of condensing hot water boilers. The control can handle 64 different I/O signals and can sequence and control up to 16 boilers, pumps, variable speed drives, dampers, temperature sensors or flow meters. The device can control both firing rates and pumping speeds for optimum efficiency and can control both modulating condensing and non-condensing boilers as part of the same control scheme.

A new company from Houston, AirGenerate, introduced its AirTap, a retrofit heat pump water heating unit designed to convert a standard electric water heater into a heat pump water heater. The device mounts on top of the water heater and the refrigerant coil drops down into the tank. According to AirGenerate, the unit can produce 135°F water and has a first hour rating of 43-gal. Its energy factor is 2.11.

Waterless Co. LLC, the waterless urinal manufacturer, introduced EverPrime drain trap liquid that won't evaporate. The liquid is designed for floor drains, condensate drains, plumbing fixtures or drains with broken trap primers. The company is promoting it as great for empty or abandoned buildings, of which we may have many more if the current economy continues.

Peerless Boilers displayed the PureFire residential gas-fired condensing boiler. The boiler, with fully-modulating burner, features efficiencies up to 95.85%. Peerless says it's the most-tested high-efficiency boiler on the market with an Energy Star approval and both ASME and ETL certifications. It features a stainless burner and heat exchanger, state-of-the-art control board and low Nox operation.

Millennium International Development Corp., Boca Raton, Fla., introduced its Flo-n-Stop flood-preventing wireless remote controlled water security system that can be activated with an on-off button near a dwelling's entry door. A solenoid valve is plumbed into the water supply line just after the main shut off valve. The valve is plugged into a 110-120V A.C. module that receives a transmitted signal from the transceiver through the existing house circuitry.

Bemis showcased its new Sta-Tite Commercial Fastening System, a fastener that includes a glass-filled nylon nut and integrated washer, allowing installers to achieve the exact amount of torque need to keep toilet seats securely fastened. The Sta-Tite hinge body has a finned bushing that eliminates gaps between the bolt and hole. The bushing centers the bolt in the hole and prevents side-to-side movement that triggers loose seats. The Sta-Tite nut prevents dropped washers and nuts, and precludes the installation of flat and lock washers in the wrong order.

Caddy EZ displayed its Slot Lock, a slotted clevis hanger, and EZ Riser Clamps from ERICO. The Caddy Slot Lock increases the speed and ease of hanging pipe with a removable slotted crossbeam. The electro-zinc plated clevis hanger is available for 1/2" to 8" pipe sizes. With Caddy EZ Riser Clamps, it is fast and easy to suspend vertical steel pipe risers. Serrated flange-head bolts eliminate the need to use wrenches on both the bolt and nut during tightening. The riser is available in ½" to 12" steel pipe sizes.

Bonomi USA Inc., an Italian company with offices in Rock Hill, S.C., introduced its Easy-Push valves, fittings and connectors for copper, PEX and CPVC pipe. The product is a full-flow push-connect fitting that can be removed and reused. The connectors are said to work up to 200 PSI and 250°F, although the firm's literature did not contain any testing or certification information.

Panasonic displayed the new 21.6V Cordless Drill Driver and 14.4V Cordless Grinder, both protected by the GuardION System. The Drill Driver has a maximum of 575 in. lbs of full-time torque in low speed and features an all metal gear system. Its motor is fan cooled and designed to keep motor temperature low. The drill has a ½" keyless chuck, variable speed control, two-speed gear box, electric brake and quick charging system. The drill is 9" long and weights only 5.3 lbs.

The Cordless Grinder uses a slim grip and side handle that delivers comfortable metal cutting and grinding. The grinder has a speed of 9,500 RPM and uses a 4½" wheel size. The product also has a lock feature for the on switch, and is equipped with an easy access port for changing motor brushes. It is weighs only 4.8 lbs.

Both products have the GuardION System, which monitors each battery cell during battery charging and tool use to prevent over discharging and overheating of the battery pack.

About the Author

Candace Roulo

Candace Roulo, senior editor of CONTRACTOR and graduate of Michigan State University’s College of Communication Arts & Sciences, has 15 years of industry experience in the media and construction industries. She covers a variety of mechanical contracting topics, from sustainable construction practices and policy issues affecting contractors to continuing education for industry professionals and the best business practices that contractors can implement to run successful businesses.      

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