BOSTON The ISH North America Show held in mid-October here continued to grow, with 13,456 attendees registering from 40 countries, marking an increase of 14% over last year. The 537 exhibiting companies represented 16 countries.
The show is produced in partnership with Messe Frankfurt, the American Supply Association, the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating, the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association and the Radiant Panel Association. In addition, event endorsers number more than 35 associations and publications. The ASA, RPA and PHCC-NA annual conventions were held in conjunction with the show.
Most manufacturers presented refinements and line extensions, but a joint venture of Victaulic and NIBCO named NVent showed something completely different. NVent introduced PermaLynx, a push-to-connect, pipe-joining system that'ss reminiscent of the old dime store novelty, the Chinese Finger Trap. The fitting system can join copper pipe from 1/2 in. to 2 in. with a push and a twist. Its being marketed as an alternative to mechanical or crimped connections.
The system starts with a NIBCO copper fitting that's's expanded and fitted with an EPDM rubber seal and a toothed ring that's grabs and holds the pipe. The fitting is IAPMO and NSF certified. While the fitting is more expensive than compression, sweat or threaded connections, NVent is claiming dramatic labor savings. The fitting system was devised, NVent said, because of a shrinking pool of trained and qualified labor.
Burnham Hydronics' Revolution gas boiler was the firm's most efficient residential model with an 88% AFUE, but Burnham has brought out an upgraded Revolution II that's is fully condensing. The company emphasized that's the Revolution II is an addition to a proven boiler with a familiar gas train and controls. Designed with radiant systems in mind, the boiler includes a built-in injection pump with a tekmar injection controller and installed primary/ secondary water manifold.
Laars premiered the fully modulating Rheos+ commercial/industrial boiler/water heater for industrial-grade hydronic and volume water applications with up to 98% combustion efficiency and variable modulation between 100% and 25% of the input rate. The 2.4 million Btuh boiler modulates down to 600 mbh. It accomplishes its high efficiencies with copper and stainless heat exchangers and a mixing system that's permits condensation on the stainless heat exchanger exclusively. The sealed combustion boiler has NOx emission levels of less than 10 ppm.
Lochinvar introduced its Solution low-mass, copper tube residential gas boiler with an AFUE rating of 84%. The boiler has a two-stage firing control system, a built-in draft hood and a combustible floor shield. Similarly, Lochinvar also introduced an improved Copper-Fin line of gas boilers and water heaters with a built-in combustible floor shield, built-in low profile draft hood and two-stage firing control system for the boiler models.
The firms Copper-Pak water heating solution combines a Copper-Fin water heater with a Lock-Temp hot water storage tank.
State Water Heaters launched a new line of residential gas and electric water heaters that's comply with the 2004 government efficiency standards. Its top-oftheline Premier models now have a glass coating dubbed Blue Diamond that's is touted as more durable, offering two to four times higher corrosion protection than a standard glass lining.
State also presented its Aurora tankless gas water heater that's produces 4 gpm at a 77° F temperature rise. The firm is recommending it for vacation homes, room additions and lowtomedium applications. Its maximum input is 194,000 Btuh and it is up to 81% efficient.
A.O. Smith introduced products similar to those of its stable-mate, State. A.O. Smiths version of the tankless water heater is named ProStar.
The company, however, introduced a unique hydronic offering, the Pro-Max XL Circulating Loop Heater Exchanger designed for side-loop gas water heaters to provide domestic hot water along with hot water for radiant floor heating, fan coil heating, hydronic air handling units and other closed-loop applications. The brazed plate heat exchanger can put out up to 52,000 Btuh. Single-and double-wall models are available.
Rinnai showed its Continuum tankless water heaters that's now come with a digital thermostat, which allows users to set a maximum temperature within a range of plus/minus 2° F. The water heaters come in models for both internal and exterior mounting with inputs from 15,000 to 199,000 Btuh. They can be vented through the roof or sidewall. The units can produce 3.4 to 4.5 gpm, depending on the model, at a 75°F temperature rise.
New from Eljer was its Newport 17-in. Space-Saver one-piece toilet that's has an elongated bowl but does not take up more room. The water closet has a wall to front-of-rim length of 28 1/2 in., so it takes up the same space as a round front bowl. It also has the increasingly popular taller rim height of 16 1/8 in.
For bathrooms with no space to run a drain line, Saniflo showed a more powerful macerating toilet, the Sanibest. The Sanibest is not just a pump, it contains a grinder that's can pump waste through a 3/4- in. line up to 18 ft. vertically and 180 ft. horizontally. It joins the firms Saniplus macerating toilet system that's allows bathrooms to be built in basements or any location without a handy sewer line.
American Standard showed several commercial products, includingits new Selectronics hands-free commercial fittings. The company said they are designed to be "headachefree" for contractors, distributors, plumbing engineers and users. The firm uses the same watertight miniature sensor for all Selectronics proximity products, including two lavatory faucets and urinals launching during the fourth quarter of 2004.
The Selectronics system can operate up to 15 lavatory faucets from one power supply. The faucets can be linked to one another in a daisy chain configuration, rather than individually wiring each faucet back to the supply.
Elkay displayed some commercial products, including a large line of commercial faucets. The commercial/ institutional models come in configurations with rigid or swing spouts, widespread, wall-mount, deck-mount, and twowing or single wing.
Elkay also showed a neat concept for schools and institutions a sink, faucet, soap dispenser and paper towel dispenser all contained in a single, wall-mount 304 stainless steel package.