Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Install Hints For Metal Hose - Do's & Don'ts

Flexible metal pipe connector (or flexible metal hose) is a relatively expensive part of your piping system. Fabricated of thin-wall tubing, it cannot take as much abuse as pipe of the same nominal diameter. The connectors are designed to do a specific job, and will give you excellent service if they are installed properly. Carelessness and lack of foresight have proven costly in many jobs. Install it correctly, if you want it to work correctly.

Don’t COMPRESS a flexible connector to make it fit! Installing it under compression stresses corrugated element, slackens braid pressure-restrainer, reduces further compressive movement, and generally results in early failure.

DO be sure to install it at exact normal free length as supplied. If connector is too long, shorten piping.

Don’t FORCE-ROTATE one end of connector to match bolt holes in mating flange. This sets up residual torque-stress in connector, which causes cracking of corrugations or fitting joint. A flexible, connector absorbs vibration, or slow movement perpendicular to its axis. It is NOT capable of withstanding torque.

DO be sure all bolt holes are perfectly lined up before welding pipe flange into place. Best insurance is use of one floating flange, to ease matching of bolt holes.

Don’t STRETCH connector to fit a gap longer than its factory-furnished length. Stretching places excessive residual stresses on braid and fittings. Result? Early rupture.

DO measure carefully to be sure connecting pipe is cut to exact length.

Don’t IMPOSE TORQUE on connector when making up fittings and don’t use a wrench on the ferrule or on the braid. Where a hex end is provided, use it. If not, use the wrench on the fitting length provided. Always use two wrenches, to keep the hose from being torqued as the joint is made up.

Don’t let welding sparks hit the braid; they may burn some of the braid stands. Protect braid with asbestos cloth or place other nonflammable material in front of it when piping must be welded very close nearby.

DON’T FAIL TO ANCHOR. Anchor piping close to flexible connector, at end opposite source of vibration. If not, hose will transmit all vibration to pipe line, it may even amplify it. Anchor flexible metal hose at the piping end, never at the equipment end. If hose is not securely anchored, it will transmit all vibration to the piping system. Not only that, it will often act like a spring and actually amplify the vibrations. Whenever possible, install flexible connector to pump, compressor, or other vibrating equipment- before valves, pipe line, fittings so that most vibration is absorbed and isolated instead of being transmitted.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Closer Look At Little Giant's NXTGen

Little Giant condensate removal pumps are engineered for a wide range of specific air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating applications, as well as may other automatic drain uses. The NXTGen is Little Giant's newest in pump technology. This particular model features an anti-sweat sleeve for areas of high humidity, where significant amounts of condensation can build up on the outside of the tank, causing water damage. Here's a closer look...

1. 1/4 Turn Check Valve
  •  Allows servicing w/out removing tubing A
  •  Eliminates water spills

2. Patent-Pending Cooling Design
  • Improved cooling increases pump life

3. Slimmer Footprint
  • 4.8” x 10.2” x 6.5”
  • Offers flexibility in tight places

4. Sleek & Stylish Appearance
  • Performs as good as it looks

5. Optional External Overflow Safety Switch
  • Option to connect air handler shutdown or activate an alarm or building automation system

6. External Test/Run Lever
  •   Quick test/run and easy draining of the tank for servicing

7. Oil Resistant Tank & Check Valve
  • Eliminate problem of cracked tanks w/exposure to oil

8. Rubber Feet
  • Absorb vibration on hard install surfaces

9. Sump Style Tank Design
  • Less residual water left in tank

Thursday, December 15, 2011

2012 Training Classes Are Now Available!

We've come out with our 2012 Emerson Swan training schedule. This year Bruce Marshall will be offering half day courses as well as some of his most popular full day seminars. All classes will be held at Emerson Swan's corporate office at 300 Pond St. Randolph, MA 02368. Be sure to check the training & education section of our website for all the courses that are being offered. You can sign up online with a credit too for added convenience. If you have any questions, or would like to request a custom seminar, call us at (800) 346 - 9215 and ask for Judi, or email her at

Click here to download the latest brochure.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Introducing The New HTP Elite FT Boiler

The Elite FT heating boiler from HTP features an exclusively designed stainless steel heat exchanger with superior heat transfer and less exposure to corrosion and scale buildup. Built with serviceability in mind; the sleek, robust design requires little to no maintenance and is offered as a space saving wall mount unit. Featuring a fully modulating combustion system and extreme efficiencies up to 97%, the HTP Elite FT boiler is the best option for today's green market.

The HTP Elite FT boiler is available in three sizes: 55,000, 80,000 & 110,000 BTU's for any residential application.

For a comparison chart here.
For the brochure click here.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Taco Promotion!

There's one month left in the Taco "Slap You Five" promotion. Until December 31, 2011 you will receive a $5 Amazon gift card for each Taco 007, 007-IFC or 00R 3-Speed circulator purchased. The more you buy, the more you get! It's Taco's way of thanking you for your support throughout the years. Click here to download the redemption form. 

For any questions, feel free to call us at (800) 346-9215.

Check for more promotions here!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Automatic Trap Primer Valve - Precision Plumbing Products

This innovative trap priming system automatically primes up to four floor drain traps using our patented water distributsion system. The PRIME-RITE requires no adjustment but must be installed on a cold water line of 1-1/2" (38mm) diameter or less. The priming valve is automatically activated when it senses a pressure drop of 5 to 10 P.S.I.G. (35 to 70 kpa). The valve's operating range is 35 to 75 P.S.I.G. (245 to 535 kpa). All PR-500 Valves include integral vacuum breaker parts.

The PR-500 Prime-rite trap primer is an easy to use and install product. It has a ½” inch inlet and outlet to connect to most normal lines and can be installed on cold water lines 1-1/2” diameters or less. The PR-500 also adjusts to line pressure to keep you from worrying about the trap primer when it’s in use.

PPP PR-500 Prime-rite Primer Automatic Trap Primer Valve Features:

• 1/2" inlet/outlet
• Installed on cold water lines of 1-1/2" diameter or less.
• Automatically adjusts to line pressure
• One priming valve will prime 1 to 4 floor drain traps, using the water distibution system
• Machined from CDA 360 corrosion resistant brass
• Does not contain springs, diaphrams, or plastic parts

* The priming valve must have a minimum elevation of 12 inches above the finished floor.
• CA/VT compliant

Monday, November 21, 2011

Why We Need Relief Valves

Ever wonder what would happen if a relief valve failed or was plugged? This short video on Youtube from Mythbusters shows just what can happen. These guys constructed a mock up of a 2 story house and set a 53 gallon electric water heater in what would be the basement. They plugged the relief valve and monitored the temperature and pressure from a safe distance. What happened a few minutes later will amaze and frighten you at the same time.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Domestic Hot Water

The Problem:
Waiting for Hot Water

It’s a common problem: turn on the faucet or shower for hot water, then wait for it to arrive. With a Taco Domestic Hot Water Recirculation System in place, there’s no more wait. Instant hot water!

Waiting Means Wasting
Waiting for hot water sends millions of gallons of cooled water down the drain each year. In fact, an average family of 4 wastes up to 14,000 gallons of water each year waiting for hot water.*
*Source: Dept. of Energy study.

Energy Down The Drain
Of course, all that “waiting water” contains some heat energy (BTU’s). Wasting those BTU’s and starting over with fresh, cold water requires even more heat energy. So in addition to wasting water, millions of BTU’s and energy dollars are wasted, too.

The Solution:
Install a Domestic Hot Water Recirculation System.
The Taco Plumb n’ Plug® Recirculation System is specifically designed for:
  • Instant hot water comfort
  • Water savings
  • Energy savings

How a Domestic Hot Water Recirculation System Works
A standard DHW system requires a dedicated return line from the furthest fixture back to the water heater. The return line is connected to a tee at the tank drain valve or to the tank’s cold water supply line. A Taco Plumb n’ Plug® recirculation pump with an optional Integral Flow Check (IFC) is installed on the return line and controlled by a timer or temperature aquastat. The spring-loaded IFC prevents gravity circulation during off-cycles. The timer turns on the pump at preset intervals, usually during peak use periods. An optional Aquastat operates the pump to keep hot water in the line within a set range (95°F–115°F). All supply and return lines should be insulated for maximum energy savings.

View the DHW catalog here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

View The Rebates You Qualify For Right Here!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Versa-Flame by HTP

The Versa-Flame gas fired combination unit offers endless hot water and space heating in one extremely efficient unit while fitting into a small footprint, saving on energy, space and cost.

As the second unit to be added to HTP’s Versa-Series, the Versa-Flame incorporates the most revolutionary elements of today’s heating technology with Hydronic mass stabilization. Utilizing high thermal mass the Versa-Flame has the highest first hour output found in the market today, reaching 288 gallons for the first hour delivery.

The unique thermal mass design can only be found in HTP’s innovative Versa-Flame. Stored energy allows the unit to avoid a common issue found in tankless units where domestic hot water flow is interrupted by cold water flow. The Versa-Flame can handle more domestic hot water loads than any other combination platform.

Featuring a unique single loop design with low pressure drop the Versa-Flame eliminates the need for primary secondary circulation for space heating applications, which makes this unit inexpensive and easy to install, saving both the contractor and the homeowner.

Incorporating two heat exchangers for domestic hot water and space heating, the Versa-Flame is a fully modulating unit with an internal PI controller monitoring system conditions to meet demands while operating at a five to one turndown rating. With negative regulation technology the unit induces just the right amount of gas through the valve to mix with fresh air intake, being sure not to use more energy than necessary.

With unique high efficiency space heating attributes, HTP’s proprietary heat exchanger is surrounded by 55 gallons of thermal mass held inside of a stainless steel tank. Thermal mass allows the unit to operate at high efficiencies by reducing unnecessary cycling while avoiding “flashing” which is a common concern found in tankless units. This advancement in technology allows the unit to handle smaller heating loads by reducing short cycling and energy waste.

When a demand for domestic hot water is initialized, heat is pulled from inside of the tank and fed through a brazed plate heat exchanger located at the top of the unit. At 4.8 gallons per minute at a 77 degree temperature rise, the Versa-Flame out performs any competitive combination unit with the ability to simultaneously handle multiple calls for domestic hot water at one time with optimal comfort and efficiency.

The Versa-Flame is offered in three different model sizes offering a great range of availability suitable for residential and smaller commercial needs with the ability to daisy chain up to eight units. After 35 years in the heating industry HTP continues to test the limits of the heating industry by constantly re-inventing the field with high efficient products that offer cost and energy savings.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Non-Vacuum Vents For Steam Systems

Quick, uniform distribution of heat to all radiation is the first essential to perfect performance. This requires balancing the radiation by controlled venting. Vent-Rite #1 Non-Vacuum vents are adjustable and all vents are designed for positive action and straightline venting. They function automatically to vent the air. If, through an unusual condition, the vent is filled with water, the vent port automatically closes. Vent-Rite has been supplying high quality steam and hot water air valves to home owners, public buildings, institutions and industry for over fifty years and continues to enjoy a reputation for reliability and excellence.

All Vent-Rite valves are made in the USA.

Learn more here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Raychem Pipe Freezing Protection

Industrial pipe freeze protection systems are intended to prevent the freezing of fluids in pipes. Raychem electrical pipe freeze protection systems are designed for a variety of industrial applications and environments, including hazardous, non-hazardous, and steam cleanable.

A complete electrical heat-tracing system is much more than just the heating cable. Raychem can provide a complete system from electrical transformer and heat-trace panel to power connection, heating cable, end termination, glass tape and warning labels. We can supply the individual components, provide engineering and design and even install and maintain the entire system.

Electric heating cables are used to maintain temperature of non-flowing fluids by replacing the heat lost through thermal insulation on pipes, vessels and associated equipment.

Learn more here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Circulator Pump Buying Guide

There are several factors to consider when purchasing a circulator pump. These include Horsepower, flow rate & head loss, material, connection method, features, and brand.


Horsepower or HP refers to the strength of the motor in a given pump. Horsepower is one of the most important considerations when selecting a circulator pump. A pumps' horsepower may vary from 1/40 HP for small pumps to several horsepower for large commercial pumps. Horsepower directly affects the flow rate and head loss characteristics of a pump. Only within the same brand does higher horsepower indicate a more powerful pump. When comparing pumps from different brands, you must consider both horsepower and RPMs to choose a pump with the appropriate power based on gallons per minute (GPM) and head loss of your system.

Flow Rate & Pressure Loss

The flow rate of a pump is defined as the gallons of liquid a pump can move in a minute (GPM) given a certain head loss pressure. The appropriate pump will be able to reach the required flow rate while overcoming the systems' head loss. A pump curve, which displays head loss figures on the y-axis and flow rate on the x-axis, is commonly used to find the correct pump


Circulator pumps may be constructed out of cast iron, bronze or stainless steel. Cast Iron pumps, such as the Taco 007, are the most common in heating applications where oxygen-barrier PEX tubing is used. With no oxygen barrier in the tubing, bronze pumps may be required in heating applications to prevent rusting. In plumbing systems, bronze or stainless steel pumps must be used.

Connection Method

The most common way to connect a pump is with flanges. Flanges are used to make a threaded or sweat connection between a pump and the supply pipe leading to it. Common sizes of flanges are 3/4", 1", 1-1/4", and 1-1/2". Cast iron and bronze flanges are available and should be purchased to match the material of the pump being used. Recent innovations in flanges include shutoff valves and drains. These types of flanges may be purchased to ease installation, but are not required.

Pumps may also be connected using sweat or threaded connections. The pump will specify if it may be connected in this manner.


Circulator pumps may come standard or with several additional features. The two most common features are an integral flow check (IFC) or variable speed. The Taco 007-IFC is an example of a pump that comes with an integral flow check. The placement of the flow check in the pump ensures that it won't be needed elsewhere in the system. A variable speed pump such as the Taco 00R-MSFIFC has the ability to operate at several different speeds. These pumps are commonly used in radiant heat systems.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Residential Fire Protection

Many of today’s cash-strapped communities recognize the safety benefits of fire sprinklers, and the cost savings that come from the conservation of precious emergency-response resources. Cities and states across the U.S. are passing legislation and ordinances requiring mandatory fire sprinklers in new home construction and often providing contractors with significant incentives to install them.

Watts Residential Fire Protection Products are UL 1821 listed and meet National Fire Protection Association requirements for fire suppression (NFPA 13D) when designed and installed by professionals who are licensed/certified for residential fire protection. All Watts brand residential fire protection products are made in the USA. As with all Watts products, Residential Fire Protection products are made from the most durable and reliable components the industry has to offer.

Learn more about this product here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Selecting a Thermometer

When selecting a thermometer, it is important to consider the dial or case size, stem or capillary length, and the connection type and temperature range. To ensure safety and accuracy, thermometers should be selected while giving consideration to the measured media and the ambient operating conditions. Improper application may be detrimental to the thermometer, causing failure and possible personal injury or property damage.

While there are 3 basic operating types of thermometers, they being bimetal, liquid-in-glass, and Bourdon tube, the list can really be expanded to also include RTD and solar digital thermometers. All five types may appear suitable for any typical applications, however, the correct selection depends upon the industry being served and the application specified.

The following will serve as a general overview of each of these thermometers.

Bi-metal Thermometers
Bi-metal thermometers are direct sensing instruments. They are hermetically sealed and therefore, completely waterproof. All bi-metal thermometers are made of stainless steel to protect against corrosive conditions.

How they work: Two different metals with different coefficients of thermal expansion are bonded together.
As temperature changes, the unequal expansion of the two metals will cause the bimetal strip to curl, causing a displacement. This displacement is transferred from a ridged shaft to a delicate spring that drives the pointer.

Liquid-in-glass Thermometers
Also known as liquid expansion thermometers, liquid-inglass thermometers are perhaps the most popular type of thermometer. There are two types of liquid-in-glass thermometers: industrial and laboratory.

How they work: These thermometers indicate pressure by measuring expansion and contraction (i.e. as the fill liquid is heated, it expands and rises). The temperature is indicated on the vertical scale next to the fill liquid in the glass tube.

Remote Reading Thermometers
By means of a capillary tube with a sensing probe at one end and an indicating dial on the other, temperatures can be determined from a source that is up to 30’ (100m) away.

How they work: The capillary of the thermometer is filled with a gas or vapour. As temperature changes, the gas or vapour expands/contracts, creating pressure that is measured by a Bourdon tube. Some of the most common capillary fills are nitrogen (in gas thermometers) and isobutene (in vapour thermometers). Consider factors such as ambient temperature, humidity, installation, indoors or outdoors, presence of dust, corrosive atmosphere, mechanical shock, frequency and magnitude of vibration.

RTD (Resistance Temperature Detector)
When an application requires remote reading capability combined with high accuracy, a Resistance Temperature Detector (RTD) may be the best option.

How they work: RTDs work by reading the resistance charge across a metal wire that is produced from each temperature input. RTDs can be supplied with a transmitter fitted inside the RTD head to provide an industry standard 4-20mA output signal.

Solar Digital Thermometers
Digital readouts are sometimes preferred in some industrial environments. Expansion and bi-metal sensing thermometers are both available with digital readouts and solar powered.

How they work: The temperature reading is captured by a sensor that relays the data to a digital display. No additional power supply is required to power these thermometers. These thermometers require between 16 to 35 lux of illumination.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Training Classes Are Now Available!

We are continuing to update our training class offerings. During the second half of 2011 we will be offering two new courses, diligent design & selling hydronics. Both classes are full days and are taught by Bruce Marshall. The diligent design course focuses on maximizing ROI by utilizing new concepts in heating. Energy efficiency and new technologies will be discussed. Our selling hydronic course teaches the art of the sale. We focus our attention on ways to make you more profitable in your business and give you some tips to close the deal. Come check out these and all of our available courses at our new website. You can browse all course offerings and sign-up online as well. Hope to see you soon!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why Turndown Ratio Matters

In their smallest form, devices intended to heat water or other fluids using a chemical fuel (coal, gas, oil, electricity etc.) are usually thermostatically controlled. When the desired operating pressure/temperature is attained, the thermostat turns off the heat source. When the pressure/temperature has fallen (usually to a pre-determined level), the thermostat turns the heat source on. The heat source has only two states, ie on or off. This is undesirable in all but the smallest devices as the fluctuations in pressure/temperature lead to inefficiencies in fuel combustion/consumption.

If the heat source can be made to modulate, there can be considerable savings in fuel due to combustion processes and heat/wet side temperature differences. Pressure/temperature output can remain more constant which may be of benefit.

If it is only possible to turn the output of the heat source down to (for example) 50% of its maximum. This would give a turndown ratio of two. If the heat source could be turned down to 25% of its maximum value, the turndown ratio would be four and so on.

This means that if pressure/temperature falls, the heat source is progressively turned up.

The HTP Elite boiler has a best in class 6 to 1 turndown ratio which provides the high efficiency performace that today's cunsomers want. Made in the USA, the Elite boiler is energy star rated and built with quality. The Elite boiler comes in six models ranging from 80,000 btu - 399,00 btu making it suitable for any application.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Who Wants Red Sox Playoff Tickets?

Anyone? Well if you do, you're in luck! Emerson Swan is giving away a pair of playoff tickets for the 2011 season. Simply go to our website and fill out the short form. We will announce the winner at the beginning of the playoffs. Good luck!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Future In Water Heaters

Voltex® Hybrid Electric Heat Pump water heaters are the most versatile, energy-efficient option for the consumer who is looking to go green and save some green. Voltex can provide the same amount of hot water as a conventional electric water heater at half the cost. The Voltex® Hybrid Electric Heat Pump Water Heater is an integrated system that utilizes heat pump technology to provide a more efficient way to heat water with electricity. The Voltex pulls heat from the surrounding air and deposits the heat into the tank. The end result is very efficient production of hot water, with cooler and dehumidified air as a welcome by-product.

         Absorbs environmental heat and transfers it to the water, at the same time cooling and dehumidifying the ambient air
         With an 80-gallon tank, more energy is created through the heat pump technology, resulting in larger savings
         Four operation modes: high efficiency, hybrid, electric and vacation
         User-friendly LCD display for easy interaction
         Conserves energy thanks to 2.4 Energy Factor (EF)
         Eligible for Federal Tax Credit 
         ENERGY STAR® qualified
         Available in 60 and 80-gallon models

Learn more about the Voltex® Hybrid Electric Heat Pump here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Three Types of Heat Transfer

Convective heat transfer is what most of us are familiar with. This is how our forced air heating system or our baseboard system transfers energy (heat) to a space. Air moves over a heating element, becomes warmer and expands into the space. In a forced air environment, most of the hot air is at the ceiling, much the same way the hot air balloon rises, so will the warm air in a room heated with forced air. Convective heat transfer is the least efficient means to transfer energy.

Conductive heat transfer refers to two surfaces touching each other. Imagine a metal pan on the stove. If your hand is positioned an inch above the hot handle, you really won't feel much from the handle, and you can keep your hand there as long as you wish. But, when the handle is touched, your hand instantly begins to feel hot. This is conductive heat transfer. The pot is giving off the energy (heat) in the handle to your hand in a very fast, efficient manner. Conduction is one of the more efficient modes of heat transfer.

Radiant heat transfer is the best because it isn't slowed down by air. Radiant energy is only felt when the energy wave strikes another surface. This means the surrounding surfaces all reach set temperature. By enclosing your body by warm surfaces, we can better control how our bodies lose heat. Radiant floor heat means better comfort with higher efficiency.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Protect Your Home From A Water Heater Failure

Most water heaters fail within 7 —10 years. That's about 5 million tank failures every year. The WAGS Valve was designed to protect consumers from flooding and damage due to water heater failure. Without a WAGS valve, a leaking water heater keeps refilling— and leaking. WAGS prevents disastrous floods and untold damage to your property.

WAGS stands for Water And Gas Safety. The WAGS valve is designed to shut off the water supply (plus gas supply for gas-fired heaters) in the event of a water leak from a hot water heater, thus minimizing water damage and possible gas leakage.

The WAGS Valve can easily be installed on all styles of water heaters. The reliable WAGS Valve is fully mechanical and requires no external power supply.

The WAGS Valve sits in a drip pan under the water heater and is activated when leaking water accumulates to a predetermined level in the pan. Once activated the valve shuts off the water and gas supply, indicated by a red pop-up tab.

Features Include:
          Easily installed on new or existing water heaters
          Dependable, proven technology
          Taco quality and reliability
          $1,000 Lifetime Protection Policy


Not convinced you need a WAGS Valve?

Check out some horror stories here

Monday, July 18, 2011

Emerson Swan Is Now On Facebook & Twitter

Be sure to check out our brand new Facebook and Twitter accounts to stay up-to-date with the latest information on our products as well as our training offerings and trade show events. With stuff happening everyday, these networks will be a great resource to stay on top of things. Posts will be updated constantly with information that matters to you. We all get a lot of emails throughout the day and it can be hard to keep up with all of them. Social networks are a great way to get information when you want it, not when someone sends it to you. Check it out! We think you'll really find it useful.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Geothermal Loops

The ground/earth loop provides the infrastructure for accessing and continually exchanging thermal energy between the earth and the building. GeoExchange loop systems can be classified as either closed or open. Closed Loop systems consist of a continuous, sealed, underground or submerged loop field of high-density polyethylene pipe through which a heat-transfer fluid is circulated between the ground and the heat pump. Closed Loop systems are installed in various configurations (horizontal, vertical or in a pond) dependent upon site characteristics. Open Loop/Groundwater systems are designed to use groundwater for the purpose of extracting or rejecting heat.

Vertical Loop
Vertical systems are used when land area is limited. For a vertical system, holes are drilled 10-20 feet apart and 100-400 feet deep in a grid matrix. A pair of pipes that are connected at the bottom with a U-bend are inserted into each bore hole. The pipes are then manifolded together and brought into the home.

Horizontal Loop
This type of installation is generally the most cost-effective for residential installations where sufficient land is available. It requires trenches to be dug by a backhoe or trencher to approximately 6 feet. GeoExchange pipe is then layered in the trenches, and the trenches are backfilled with soil.

Pond/Lake Loop
If the site has an adequate body of water close to the residence, approx. 1/2 acre by 8 feet deep, this may be the lowest cost option. Supply and return pipes are run underground from the home to the pond/lake and connected to a series of closed coils. These coils are submerged to the bottom of the pond/lake.

Open-Loop System
This type of system is used when an abundant supply of quality well water is available. Ground water is withdrawn from the aquifer/well and pumped into the heat pump. The discharge water is directed to a secondary well. The supply aquifer/well must have adequate capacity to provide flow for the heat pump and domestic water.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

How The Federal Tax Credit Is Calculated For 2011

If you’re like most homeowners, saving money on utility bills is a top priority for you. Bringing an environmentally friendly, high efficiency water heater or boiler into your home can be a great start. Recently, Congress increased residential tax credits for energy efficient improvements.

There are important limitations on this tax credit. First, this is a single tax credit that can be used on a variety of “qualifying energy efficiency improvements” placed into service in 2011. You may claim a maximum of 10% (with a cap of $500*) on all of your “qualifying energy efficiency improvements.” That means, for example, if you purchase and install a qualifying unit and claim $100 of the tax credit for the unit, you have only $400 of the credit left to claim on your other qualifying expenditures. Second, you can claim a maximum of $300 on any one qualifying item of energy-efficiency building property - such as a water heater ($150 for qualifying furnaces and boilers). Third, if you claimed previous tax credits on energy efficiency improvements in any tax year from 2006 to 2010, you have to deduct the amount of those credits from the $500 cap. If the total amount of your previous claims is more than $500, you cannot claim any credit for improvements installed in 2011.

Emerson-Swan has a number of high efficiency water heaters and boilers that will qualify for federal tax credits. Call us at 800-346-9215 to find out more.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Radiant Heat Installation

Why would you want radiant heat in your home and what are the benefits?

Comfort is the biggest benefit. With radiant heat, heat is distributed evenly through the floors, warming them and then rising up throughout the rest of the room. When the floors are warm, the objects in the room (couches, chairs, and so on) become warm, and you become warm and comfortable. Radiant heat allows you to keep the average temperature a few degrees lower than you're used to but feel just as warm or even warmer. This saves energy and directly saves you money. Radiant heat is also silent with no creaking, rattling, banging, popping, humming or whistling. And there are no visible components with radiant heat so it will always fit in perfectly with your style.

Why is radiant heat better than conventional heating systems?

Comfort. Even heating eliminates the pockets of hot and cold typical of traditional radiator or convection heating systems. Instead of being warm right next to the heater and freezing on the other side of the room, radiant heat keeps the same temperature throughout the room by allowing heat to naturally rise.

Friday, June 17, 2011

You Talked, We Listened

It has been a few months since the launch of our new website and the feedback has been very positive. We set out to put together a website that was user friendly and filled with the content our customers need. While putting the site together, we looked for advice from our customers on what they would like to see and how they would like to see it. Simple access to literature & specs, online registration for training classes and a complete company directory were some of the suggestions we received and implemented into our website.

Recently we had some feedback from the field that navigating to our manufacturer's websites direct from our website was not as quick as they would have liked. We took that feedback and created a fast path to our manufacturer's website using a drop-down menu on our manufacturer's home page. Now you are one simple click away from going to any of our manufacturer's websites.

We are constantly looking to improve our site. If you have any comments or feedback on things you like, dislike or would like to see on our website please let us know. We want our site to be a place you can go for information on all facets of the Heating, Plumbing and HVAC industry.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Which Style Of Pex Tubing Should I Use?

PEX Tubing: Barrier vs Non-Barrier vs PEX-AL-PEX

Once you have decided to use PEX, you have another decision to make: what kind? Barrier, no barrier, aluminum, let's get them straight. Making the decision of whether to use Barrier PEX, Non-Barrier PEX, or PEX-AL-PEX is largely based on what job you are going to use it for and what other components you will be working with. All three types of tubing are PEX (Poly Ethylene X-Linked) but some have extra features built in.

Barrier PEX

The "barrier" referred to in PEX tubing is actually an oxygen barrier. This extra layer in your tubing will assure that no oxygen gets into your heating system. Oxygen in your system can be a problem that causes your system components to rust. The oxygen barrier and rust prevention allows you to use cast iron components in your system instead of all brass or bronze, which makes components like pumps and flanges substantially less expensive and keeps them running smoothly for longer. Antifreeze can also break down a system with no oxygen barrier. For radiant heat applications using closed systems, barrier tubing is by far the most popular choice. This style of tubing will save you money when buying parts and will prevent rust and corrosion.

Non-Barrier PEX

Non-barrier tubing is simply PEX tubing without the oxygen barrier. For potable water applications, you will generally use non-barrier PEX. Oxygen barrier PEX is made for heating applications and has thus not been approved for plumbing and drinking water. When using tubing without an oxygen barrier, you must be careful to assure that each and every component in your system is non-ferrous (meaning that it contains no iron). Non-barrier PEX Tubing is rarely seen in radiant heat systems, the few systems that do utilize non-barrier PEX are open systems. Non-barrier PEX for plumbing is available in red, white, and blue. Typically, red is used for hot water and blue is used for cold so that you can immediately see which line goes where when looking at a manifold.


PEX-AL-PEX is a three-layer PEX Tubing that also has an oxygen barrier. PEX-AL-PEX is a layer of PEX, a layer of aluminum, and another layer of PEX. The main benefit of PEX-AL-PEX is that it holds its shape. Where traditional PEX is flexible, there is nothing that keeps it in place unless you tie it down every few feet. With PEX-AL-PEX, once you bend it, it will hold that shape until you bend it again. PEX-AL-PEX also has less expansion than standard PEX with the layer of aluminum assuring that it keeps its shape. PEX-AL-PEX is frequently used in outdoor heating applications, warmboard systems and for high temperature systems like baseboard and fan coils.

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

What Is Reverse Osmosis?

Reverse osmosis, also known as hyper filtration, is the finest filtration available today. It is the most common treatment technology used by premium bottled water companies. It is effective in eliminating or substantially reducing a very wide array of contaminants, and of all technologies used to treat drinking water in residential applications, it has the greatest range of contaminant removal. Reverse osmosis will allow the removal of particles as small as individual ions. The pores in a reverse osmosis membrane are only approximately 0.0005 micron in size (bacteria are 0.2 to 1 micron & viruses are 0.02 to 0.4 microns).

How does it work?

Reverse osmosis uses a membrane that is semi-permeable, allowing pure water to pass through it, while rejecting the contaminants that are too large to pass through the tiny pores in the membrane.

Why purchase an RO system?

30 billion plastic bottles a year are dumped into U.S. landfills and it takes 1.7 billion barrels of oil to produce those bottles. This produces some 2.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide pollution.  In fact, it takes three times as much water to make the bottle than it does to fill the bottle. And for what? People pay for the perception of clean water, but in fact the quality of the water is at best unknown. RO systems are proven to remove the contaminants and it is the “green thing to do”.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Electrical Equations

Various kickspace manufacturers display their electrical power data in different forms. In order to convert between those forms, it is necessary to understand a few electrical basics.

There are many forms of electrical power whether it is horsepower (mechanical power), heat (thermal power) or some combination of the two such as candlepower (e.g. a light bulb which produces both heat and light).

Whatever the case, electrical power is measured in watts and is equal to volts x amperes.

The equation for this is: P = EI

P = power measured in watts
E = electromotive force measured in volts
I = current measured in amperes (amps)

Thus, if one manufacturer states that the motor draw on their kickspace is ½ amp and another says it’s 40 watts, the P = EI equation allows you to compare the two as long as they both are being run on a 115/120 VAC, single phase, 60 cycle power source.

Example: If manufacturer #1 says their kickspace is rate at 115/120 VAC 1/60 cycle and draws 40 watts, while manufacturer #2 says his kickspace is rated at 115/120 VAC/1/60 cycle and draws ½ amp. How does manufacturer #1 really compare to manufacturer #2?

Mfg. #1 P = E x I

Watts = volts x amps
40 watts = 120 volts x A

A = 40 watts
120 volts
A = 1/3 amps

We now see that manufacturer #1 has the advantage over manufacturer #2 since their motor draws fewer amps (current).

Going in the other direction, looking for manufacturer #2’s watts draw:

Manufacturer #2

P = E x I
Watts = volts x amps
Watts = 120 x ½
Watts = 60

Again, we confirm that manufacturer #1 has the advantage.