American Society of Plumbing Engineers celebrates 50th Anniversary

Oct. 27, 2014
This year marked 50 years of the ASPE Convention and Exposition. These are just some of the companies that exhibited at the show: Sloan Valve Company showcases patent-pending WES-150 or "Velocity" Cartridge technology.  Moen Commercial showcased innovative, cost-saving solutions for commercial restrooms. Bradford White showcased new Infiniti Tankless Water Heater Series. 

CHICAGO — This year marked 50 years of the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) Convention and Exposition, and as usual, ASPE was a crowd pleaser, showcasing innovative products for contractors and engineers. For all these years, ASPE has been known as the only plumbing engineering exposition in North America, bringing all industry professionals together, under one roof. 

ASPE attendees had a chance to talk one on one with manufacturers exhibiting at the show.

At the Sloan Valve Company booth, the benefits of Waterfree just got better with the introduction of the new patent-pending WES-150 or "Velocity" Cartridge technology. These cartridges utilize technology from Falcon Waterfree Technologies. Designed and built with input from plumbers, mechanical engineers and architects, the WES-150 Velocity cartridge features an anti-splash pour spout that helps keep the housing cleaner, an indicator that provides a visual signal to know when it's time to change and a diverter shield that improves the user's experience. The patented odor reducing feature works by reducing the internal surface area to not much bigger than a dime, all while using 20% less material than previous cartridge models.

In a joint statement Sloan and Falcon Waterfree Technologies stated, "Our team took current and potential customers feedback to heart when designing Velocity, it is the most advanced technology of any waterfree cartridge ever. We wanted a solution that was not only leaps and bounds ahead of anything on the market today but was also compatible with our current waterfree urinal systems to ensure a high rate of adoption in the industry."

Every year, one Sloan waterfree urinal can save up to 40,000 gallons of water while utilizing zero operational energy. Since introducing Waterfree technology about 10 years ago, Sloan and Falcon Waterfree Technologies have saved over an estimated 20 Billion Gallons of water.  

At the Zurn Industries booth, the company showcased its new low-flow EcoVantage 1.1 gpf ZTR Sensor Wall Bowl System, so named because it uses only 1.1 gallons per flush (gpf). The Zurn EcoVantage 1.1 gpf ZTR Sensor Wall Bowl System requires 31% less water per flush than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) current maximum standard of 1.6 gpf. The Zurn 1.1 gpf low-flow performance is also considerably better than the LEED baseline water savings for commercial buildings: 20%. The new Zurn low-flow system includes the Zurn Z5615-BWL wall bowl and the Zurn ZTR6200-ONE 1.1 gpf top mount sensor flush valve or the Zurn ZTR6200-ONE-LL 1.1 gpf top mount sensor flush valve with long life battery.

When used in combination with Zurn’s new reduced splash-back Omni-Flo Urinal, which includes the award-winning ZTR6203-EWS-LL 0.5 gpf Sensor Activated Battery Operated Piston Flush Valve with Long-Life Batteries – Zurn can provide a total restroom package that features not only water efficiency, but also hands-free operation for increased hygiene and decreased bacteria transfer. In addition, the Zurn wall bowl is the shortest overall length commercial wall bowl available, allowing more space in the stall for ADA requirements.

“This new low-flow system is another example of how Zurn makes it easy to design and specify total building solutions for new and retrofit applications,” said Bob Carter, product manager at Zurn. “Zurn is the one-stop source for water saving and low maintenance products.”

Moen Commercial showcased innovative, cost-saving solutions for commercial restrooms at ASPE. The M•Dura heavy-duty manual flush valves were center stage at the Moen booth. These products feature Moen’s proprietary AccuSet piston technology – a more robust solution, requiring virtually no maintenance or replacement parts for the life of the flush valve.

The M•Dura heavy-duty manual flush valve.

The M·Dura AccuSet piston technology was designed with cost-savings in mind. It’s versatile, therefore ideal for all commercial applications, regardless of water pressure variances and usage rates. Compared to diaphragm technology, which is utilized by most existing flush valves in the marketplace, AccuSet can successfully operate with pressure as low as 15 PSI, so fluctuations are less likely to cause malfunctions that can lead to costly water waste and service repairs, saving time and sparing building owners and operators from expensive water and labor bills. AccuSet piston technology features a self-cleaning filter which protects the piston seals against clogs and damage from line debris, allowing it to fully function even if the filter is up to 90% clogged. This provides precise flush volume accuracy over its lifetime, delivering water saving benefits and increased sustainability to commercial facilities.

The unique handle design of the M·Dura flush valves is encased in a watertight brass channel secured by dual O-ring seals for substantial leak protection. In addition, the handle is constructed from all metal and features a longer internal stem which delivers superior strength and better engagement.

Also displayed at the Moen booth was the new Moen Commercial heavy-duty M•Dura Bedpan Washer. This product is built to withstand the most demanding healthcare environments and designed to limit the spread of damaging bacteria in patient rooms. The M•Dura Bedpan Washer is built with a durable, solid-brass body and a chrome finish. Even the spray face of the diverter arm is chrome-plated for easy cleaning.

At the Bradford White booth, the new Infiniti Tankless Water Heater Series was showcased. Designed to meet the needs of homeowners and professionals alike, the Infiniti Tankless combines energy and space saving features with exclusive designs that improve performance, simplify service, provide greater installation flexibility, and increase overall product life.

Built into the new Infiniti Tankless models is SRT (Scale Reduction Technology). The SRT system utilizes multiple components to reduce scale. These components disturb water-flow and greatly reduce hotspots that allow scale to accumulate. The SRT system significantly reduces the incidence of scale build-up known to result in poor performance, premature component or product failure, and ultimately additional maintenance costs for the consumer. The Infiniti Tankless Water Heaters are available in both Medium Efficiency and High Efficiency.

The new Infiniti Tankless Water Heater Series.

Also showcased at the Bradford White booth was the new AeroTherm Series Heat Pump Water Heater. This water heater is highly efficient, providing year-round energy and money savings. It offers advanced technology and low cost operation. The AeroTherm Series control panel provides detailed diagnostic information including water heater fault codes, tank codes, need to assess codes, and heat pumps codes. Additional functions allow you to monitor the status of temperature-sensing thermistors and heating components. It features four operating modes – Heat Pump Mode, Hybrid Mode, Electric Mode and Vacation Mode. The AeroTherm Heat Pump is available in a 50 gallon capacity with a 65-gallon first hour rating.

Harsco Corporation showcased its new Domestic Hot Water Heating System from its Harsco Industrial Group’s Patterson-Kelley division that tackles a hot water heater’s biggest killer… hard water. The redesigned P-K Mach ‘n’ Roll is engineered to provide domestic hot water with little-to-no scale build-up. It is also designed for combination applications which require comfort heat and domestic hot water. Its small footprint contains a fully-independent, cast-aluminum heat exchanger above, with an indirect heat exchanger section below. This design allows domestic water to never be in contact with extreme heat surfaces that can cause scale build-up.

The space-friendly Mach ‘n’ Roll makes it easy to replace existing hot water heaters with no special rigging. There are five simple hook-ups: gas, electric, domestic water supply & domestic water return, and venting. Its lower section containing the indirect heat exchanger pulls out for easy accessibility, installation and maintenance. The Mach ‘n’ Roll is already underway for the first production deliveries, expected by the end of this year.

Valves, fittings and more

At the Webstone booth, the Webstone Air Separator was on display. It is now available with press connections. In addition to being easier than ever to install, the product features a float-guided alignment pin that prevents jams and ensures smooth operation. Vent head and coalescing medium are easily removed should a blockage occur. Suitable for residential or light commercial applications, available in IPS, SWT and now press connections in sizes ¾”- 2” and guaranteed for life.

The Webstone Air Separator.

Also on display was the Pro-Connect Press, Webstone’s line of solder-less solutions, boasting a wide array of press products for today’s plumbing and heating professional. Ball Valves, Air Separators, Thermostatic Mixing Valves and exclusive Webstone products like the Isolator Rotating Flange, Isolator with Multi-Function Drain, and Ball Drain are now available with connections compatible with all popular press tools.

At the Watts booth, flood protection valves were on display. Watts Flood Protection ACVs guard against costly water damage in residential, commercial, and other settings. The Watts 113-6RFP Flood Protection Shutdown Valve, for example, is installed at the University of Massachusetts Life Sciences Building to protect its valuable laboratory research space at the lower levels of the facility. The Watts ACV solution is proven to be a highly cost effective alternative to installing large, costly containment pumps that would likely get very little use.

Continuous relief valve discharge from a backflow preventer can overwhelm a building’s drainage system, potentially causing costly property damage. The solution: Install a Watts Flood Protection Shutdown Valve upstream of the Watts Reduced Pressure Principle Backflow Preventer. Here’s how it works: Under normal conditions the valve remains fully open. If the backflow preventer's relief valve opens, heavy flow thru the drain pipe trips a flow sensor. The flood control prevention valve shuts off supply from the main and the volume of water exiting the relief valve is virtually eliminated. The benefits include reduced water damage in poor drainage areas; replaces the need for containment doors and other flood prevention devices; easy integration with Watts Reduced Pressure Zone backflow preventers; reduces floor drain size; and reduces requirement for drain pumps.

Watts' flood control valves.

Bonomi North America showcased the industry’s first lead free electric automated ball valve shutoff package at its booth. This product is now available in the U.S. and Canada. The new 8E064LF actuated valve meets the latest requirements the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), without the addition of bismuth or silicone to replace lead in the brass. The compact new valve assembly features a forged lead-free brass body and ball. The ball is drilled to full port for unrestricted flow. NPTF end connections are standard, as are the blowout proof stem, PTFE seats and double O-ring stem seals for leak-free service. Sizes from 1/2” to 2” accommodate a wide range of flow requirements. Maximum working pressure is 600 WOG or 150 WSP. Maximum operating temperature is 366°F. The 8E064LF provides bubble-tight shutoff and is 100% factory tested. 

Bonomi is one of the world’s only fully integrated manufacturer of both actuators and direct mount ball valves. The 8E064LF features the company’s performance-matched Valbia actuators, made with steel and techno-polymer gears plus hardened steel pinions for long life and quiet operation.

At the Aquatherm booth, the company’s polypropylene-random (PP-R) piping systems, which are increasingly being used in a variety of PHVAC applications, feature a new PEX compression adapter made of PP-R and lead-free brass. This adapter allows installers to easily transition between Aquatherm and PEX in potable water and radiant systems. This new PEX adapter is entirely zero-lead and manufactured to ASTM F1960. A new male-end design allows installers to fuse directly into fusion outlets, making it quicker and easier to install. The PEX adapter is available in ½-in., ¾-in., and 1-in. diameters.

The McElroy Spider 125 displayed at the Aquatherm booth.

Unlike the existing Aquatherm PEX crimp adapter, which has a socket connection and requires fusion to pipe, the new compression adapter has a street connection that can be welded directly into an Aquatherm fitting, providing greater ease of use. It uses an expander ring and clamp connection.

At Viega’s booth, the company introduced a double drop elbow fitting that maintains water quality by reducing stagnation. The elbows are designed to keep fresh water close to each fixture. The new, flow-through style fittings, designed with threaded fixture connections and integrated mounting brackets, are used in series or ring installations and can be used in hot or cold water systems. Flow-through fittings allow water distribution systems to be designed in new ways to reduce stagnation with configurations that allow the use of a single fixture to generate flow through many fixtures up to the point of connection. This type of system also minimizes dead legs between tees and wall penetrations.

Also at Viega’s booth were the new Venturi press inserts that help maintain water quality by reducing stagnation to seldom-used fixtures. Viega Venturi press inserts are used with Viega ProPress tees. When water flows through Viega Venturi press inserts, the flow velocity increases, resulting in a local low pressure region. The low pressure area at the outlet of the Venturi press insert induces flow through a remote loop, reducing stagnation with a minimal overall pressure drop. Venturi inserts can either be installed vertically or horizontally, as well as on hot or cold water systems, between Viega ProPress tees with the Viega SmartConnect feature. The inserts are ideal for reducing stagnation to seldom-used, individual fixtures. Venturi inserts are constructed from Zero Lead bronze and will be available in 1 ¼-, 1 ½- and 2-in. sizes.

At the Zoeller booth, the Shark Model 800 1/2HP Grinder was showcased. Recommended for residential lift-stations typically managed by ½ hp sewage ejectors, the new, free-standing 1 ¼” NPT discharge, 115 volt grinder pump is specifically designed and engineered to solve problematic clogging from sanitary wipes, low water toilets, and heavy paper usage. Zoeller Company’s patented Tri-Slice Cutter Technology ensures that debris typically found in today’s home is no match for the Shark 800.

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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