Monday, December 16, 2013

Watts Radiant PEX-AL: Strength You Can Depend On

The RadiantPEX-AL Advantage
RadiantPEX-AL is a composite pipe engineered for radiant floor heating. It's proven, long lasting and maintenance-free. Installers like it because it's lightweight, durable and can be shaped to fit any jobsite. The aluminum layer protects boiler systems against corrosion and it has superior temperature and pressure ratings.

Built To Last
RadiantPEX-AL is manufactured to American Standard Testing Methods for composite radiant pipe and fittings (ASTM F-1281-05). Included are requirements and test methods for materials, workmanship, dimensions, environmental stress cracking, sustained hydrostatic pressure strength, thermo-cycling resistance and bend strength among other tests. RadiantPEX-AL meets or exceeds these specifications.

Best of Both Worlds - Strength, memory and pressure rating of aluminum with the corrosion resistance of PEX, inside and out.

Bends To Your Will - Rigid enough to hold itself in place for straight, neat runs with enough flexibility to go around obstacles without additional fittings.

The Strong Silent Type - Doesn't expand as much as PEX, resulting in less noise in an underfloor application.

Learn more about Watts Radiant products on our website: 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Smith’s Environmental Products: Profile Fan Convector Series

The Profile series fan convectors are slim, attractive surface mounted units with a base skirt which allows them to be wall mounted or floor mounted. All units feature a two position max-off-min switch with internal aquastat for individual heater control. A BTU/hr range from 3,000 BTU/hr to 40,000 BTU/hr gives a fast, efficient way to heat a room while using a minimum of wall space. A pleasing neutral light grey paint finish is ideal for many decors. This high grade finish may be used as is or may be field painted, wall papered or marbleized.
The Profile Series is ideal for porches, sun room additions, entry ways, cellars, garages, mud rooms and walk-in closets to name but a few applications.

The Profile series features:

  • Quiet efficient operation
  • Delivers a range from 3,000 to 40,000 BTUH in five different sizes
  • Three position fan switch for maximum control
  • Features the E-Z hanger mounting bracket
  • Attractive dove grey baked enamel finish
  • Ideal for dormitories, hotel, hospitals or any application where high BTU output is required with limited available wall space

Get the brochure here.
Learn more about Smith's Environmental Products on our website:

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Cerus Motor Control Module

The Building Automation Starter (BAS) motor controls from Cerus feature the patent-pending Smartstart Control Module for seamless integration with digital controls. The starters accept dry voltage inputs from 12 to 250 Vac for activation by control systems without interposing relays. Other control options include auto run, fireman’s override, fault, proof of flow to detect loss of load, and SmartStart predictive calibration. Integrated LED pilot lights and Hand/Off/Auto keypad are standard, simplifying unit setup and verification. A single model accepts 208 to 600 Vac and motor loads up to 40 A, eliminating discrete thermal overloads and numerous contactor coil voltages.

Learn more here.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2013 Engineering Summit

We invite you to join us for the second annual Engineering Summit at the Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, NH on December 5th and 6th. This two day event features courses on a wide variety of topics in a fun, relaxed atmosphere. Classes Included:

  • Dedicated Outdoor Air Systems / Geothermal 
  • Hydronic System Balancing 
  • Advanced Hydronic Pumping 
  • Humidification 
  • HRV System Design 
  • Commercial Radiant & Snow Melt 
  • Boiler Piping, Controls and Fluids 
  • Hydronic Distribution Design

Each class qualifies for 4 PDH 's and two of our classes qualify for LEED credits. In addition to the great courses, we will also host all participants to a great dinner and a brewery tour!

Register and learn more here.
View the brochure here.

Monday, November 11, 2013

New Lead Free Instrumentation Products By Winters Instruments

Winters now offers a new series of lead free pressure gauges, thermometers and accessories. These lead free products are especially designed and manufactured to meet the strict requirements of the USA 2014 Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

As of January 4th 2014, the SDWA is limiting the amount of lead content of all products being installed into potable/drinking water systems.

For ease of identification, all Winters part numbers which adhere to the SDWA will be identified with the letters LF at the end of the part number (LF = Lead Free). You can view our new Lead Free Brochure here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors By HTP

Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors harness the power of the sun to provide energy for hydronic systems while reducing utility costs and pollution. Evacuated tube collectors use a vacuum space within each tube’s borosilicate glass shell to offer unsurpassed heat loss protection. HTP Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors are independently tested and certified by the world’s leading solar energy authorities. Numerous design innovations ensure that HTP’s Evacuated Tube Solar Collectors lead the industry in reliability, heat output, and return on investment.

Reduce your water heating bills by 50% to 75% and can supplement space heating as well.

Solar thermal collectors are 30% – 70% efficient in converting the sun’s energy into usable heat vs. solar electric or P.V. panels which are 10% – 15% efficient in converting the sun’s energy into usable electricity.

Built in redundancy – damaged tubes can be removed individually, leaving the remainder of the system to continue functioning.

Incentives & Rebates available for Solar Thermal:

  • Federal Tax Credit 
  • Accelerated Depreciation 
  • State Incentives 
  • Utility Incentives

Get the brochure here.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Duravit: SensoWash; The Intelligent Alternative

Do you want comfort but don’t need all the extras that go with it? Do you want good design at an affordable price? Then you need look no further than the SensoWash® D-Code shower toilet. With its elegant form, easy use and attractive price, the SensoWash® D-Code is also the intelligent alternative for private households and the public and hospitality sectors. Designed to match the Duravit’s D-Code range of ceramics created by Sieger Design, SensoWash® also scores points in terms of its functions: for example, the control unit’s logical layout makes it simple and intuitive to use. Attractive, functional and comfortable, SensoWash® D-Code ensures that cleaning with water is as natural as washing one’s hands – and yet it also transforms every visit to the bathroom into a well-being experience, leaving you able to enjoy the rest of the day feeling clean and refreshed.

Learn more here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Dielectric Nipples - Precision Plumbing Products

Clearflow® fittings, by Precision Plumbing Products (PPP), protect your plumbing system through an exclusive steel-to-plastic design that establishes an effective dielectric waterway. The Clearflow® line of dielectric fittings separates dissimilar metals in the electrolyte (waterway) eliminating the local galvanic cell.

In addition, Clearflow‘s® metal-to-metal joint design maintains external electrical continuity, thereby preventing stray current corrosion. This feature becomes critical when stray current is present due to intentional or non-intentional grounding of direct current (DC) sources, e.g. phone systems and appliances.

Clearflow® fittings are designed to meet the requirements of ASTM standard F-1545 for continuous use at temperatures up to +225°F (- +5°F) and for pressures up to 300psi, and will achieve a dielectric waterway in all potable water and appropriate HVAC applications. Clearflow® is listed by IAPMO/UPC and SBCCI PST & ESI.

Download the specifications sheet here.
For more information on Precision Plumbing Products visit our website

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Haier Duct Free Split Systems: Quality, Convenience, Efficiency & Comfort

Haier duct free split systems (DFS) make a practical and attractive choice for both residential homes and light commercial applications, such as restaurants, hotels, offices and retirement homes. Designed for permanent installation in spaces that do not contain existing ductwork, Haier DFS units provide efficiency and convenience.

All Haier models are AHRI certified and tested through ETL. Matched indoor and outdoor units ensure a comfortable indoor climate without having to sacrifice peace and quiet. Features and functions such as Energy Saving Inverter Technology, dehumidify, sleep mode, 24-hour timer, auto reset, a self-cleaning evaporator and others allow for custom comfort at the touch of a button. All models come with an easy to use remote control and Haier's Intuitive Air, which redirects the flow of air according to a person's location in the room.

Available units include:
  • 13 SEER Cool/Heat Pump Models (9k, 12k, 18k & 24k BTU)
  • 17 SEER Heat Pump Models (9k, 12k, 18k, 22k BTU)
  • 17-20 SEER Heat Pump Models (9k, 12k, 18k, 22k BTU)
  • 16 SEER Multi-Split Heat Pump Models (18k BTU)

Learn more about Haier duct free split air conditioners here

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Watts Radiant SmartTrac - Radiant The Smart Way

SmartTrac, by Watts Radiant, is a non-structural, modular panel system, designed to simplify radiant heating and cooling installations in subfloor, wall and ceiling applications.

Easy to install, SmartTrac is a flecxible solution for any new construction or remodeling project.
  • Deliver quiet, even, comfortable heat
  • Configure for any space
  • Fast and easy installation
  • 80% lighter than thin slab
  • Works with any floor covering
  • Designed for 3/8" PEX/PERT tubing

Learn more about SmartTrac here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Steam Vents - Vent Rite

Arguably the most important, but neglected, component of a steam system, the air vent, comes in many shapes and sizes. Vent Rite valves are divided into four categories:
  1. Radiator vents – Models #1 & #11 
  2. Convector and Riser vents – Models #31 & #33 
  3. Main vents – Models #35, #75 & #77 
  4. Unit Heater vents – Model #57 
Walking up a hill burns more calories than walking on the flat. Add a 10 lb backpack and the rate of calorie consumption increases considerably. The same principle applies to a one pipe steam system. Much like the human body, a steam system is constantly breathing in and out. The expansion and contraction of the steam is the mechanism by which air is constantly expelled and drawn back into the system. Restrict those airways too much and the rate of breathing slows down to the point where the patient starts to burn more energy to perform the same task.

When the system is idle i.e. no call for heat, the system piping and radiators are full of air. Under standard conditions on a call for heat, water will change to steam when the temperature reaches 212°F and that water will expand at the rate 1:1760 i.e. 1 cubic foot of water becomes 1760 cubic feet of steam and travels through the piping as fast as 60 MPH. Unless that air can escape, the steam will begin to slow down and this halt in its forward momentum will be seen as an increase of pressure in the boiler. As the pressure increases, the pressuretrol which is there to protect the system will shut down the burner.

As the system cools, the steam will condense and flow back to the boiler. Meanwhile, the radiators remain cold as the trapped air prevented the steam from travelling to them. Now imagine those same radiators with holes (vents). The fast expanding steam pushes the air forward and out through the openings in the radiators. Obviously, the larger the hole, the faster the air will escape and allow the steam to enter and give up its heat. However, all steam systems are different and none have radiators exactly the same distance from the boiler. This means that the radiators nearest to the boiler may heat faster, satisfying the thermostat and leaving some of the radiators under heated. What to do?

Assuming that the steam boiler, piping and associated controls are in proper working order, the first step is to look at the main vents. In most cases, there will be one large, often neglected, vent located at the end of the main before the piping returns to the boiler. While this vent should be located 12” to 16” back from the elbow and mounted 6” above the main, many systems have the vent mounted on a TEE at the elbow. This location will cause premature failure of the main vent due to the accumulation of dirt and the effects of water hammer. For this reason, it is advisable to repipe the system at this location to accommodate the vent as detailed above. At the very least, elevate the vent using a 6” nipple.

A Vent Rite #35 is an ideal vent for this location. With an operating pressure of 3 psi, the #35 will ensure effective venting of the main thus allowing the steam to travel evenly throughout the distribution piping and on to the radiators.

On a smaller system with moderately sized radiators, a Vent Rite #11, which is a fixed opening radiator vent, is an excellent choice. Where radiators heat unevenly because of distance or mass, it is advisable to use the Vent Rite #1 which incorporates a dial to adjust the rate at which the radiator vents. This will permit balancing of the system assuming that each radiator has a #1 vent to adjust.

In use for over 70 years, the Vent Rite #1 is the original adjustable radiator vent, designed to replace a standard radiator vent. Today’s #1 has a dial with numbers which can be adjusted to increase or decrease the rate at which air is expelled from the radiator. With settings from 1 to 8, the Vent Rite #1 allows you to balance the system, thus allowing the radiators to heat uniformly.

Balancing the system takes some time and patience but is well worth the effort. The following is a suggested procedure for doing just this.

  • Set all #1 vents to highest number - 8 which represents the largest opening.
  • Start the system and observe rate at which radiators heat.
  • The fastest heating radiators should be dialed back first e.g. to 7.
  • Allow system to cool and repeat. 

The ultimate objective is to have all of the radiators heat uniformly with the vents set to the highest number for each respective radiator. It is conceivable that one radiator might be set to 3 while another is at 8. But usually it will be the farthest radiators that have the highest settings. Keep in mind that the largest radiators may also need higher settings to allow all of the air to escape.

Learn more on our website.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Watts Radiant: ProMelt

With winter comes beautiful snowfalls that bring stunning scenery and fun activities. Unfortunately, a snowfall can also bring slippery walk paths, snow covered driveways, and damaged surfaces caused by snow-shoveling. ProMelt™ electric snow melting provides you with the perfect solution to these problems. Easily install ProMelt under a variety surfaces and enjoy the beauty of winter, without the hassles.

What Is Electric Snow Melting? Electric snow melting involves installing a heating element beneath outside surfaces. When activated, the surface is heated and the snow or ice is melted. It's that simple.

ProMelt Mats 
Simplicity sets ProMelt Mats apart from other snow melting products. We've spaced the wires for you, so installation is faster and worry-free.


  • Mats are easy to customize to fit surfaces of any shape and size
  • Easily cut mats to move around corners and turns


  • Single point connection
  • Comes in 120V, 208V, 244V, and 277V

Wire Construction

  • Polyurethane outer jacket
  • Foil Shield
  • Braided copper ground plane
  • High-temperature ETFE element covering
  • Low-oxygen copper alloy

ProMelt Cable
Versatility makes ProMelt Cable the fantastic choice for your snow melting project. Any size, any shape.


  • Easy to install and can fit surfaces of all shapes and sizes
  • Space the cable depending on you warming needs


  • Single point connection
  • Comes in 120V, 208V, 244V, and 277V

Wire Construction

  • Polyurethane outer jacket
  • Foil Shield
  • Braided copper ground plane
  • High-temperature ETFE element covering
  • Low-oxygen copper alloy

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Taco 6+1 Promo

Taco 6+1 Promotion
8/15/13 - 10/30/13

From August 15 - October 30, 2013, receive a FREE Taco 4900 Air Separator or a Taco Low Water Cutoff with any combination of (6) Taco 3-Speed circulators and/or Taco Zone Sentry Zone Valves. There are no forms to fill out. And there's no waiting to receive your free product. You get it right on the spot! Just visit your local wholesaler to get the deal. It's that simple!

The Taco 0015 3-Speed circulator are specifically designed to provide dial-in precision to meet the exacting requirements of any hydronic heating system. Learn more here.

The Taco Zone Sentry leads the industry in energy efficiency, flow capacity, shutoff pressure rating, diagnostic capability and the number of valves (12) that can be used on a standard 40VA transformer. Learn more here.

Learn more about the Taco 6+1 Promo here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

High Performance Hydro Air

From this month's Oil & Energy magazine

Hydro-air systems have been around for a long time…even hydro steam. I remember the first time I saw a radiator mounted inside of a plenum and I thought “what the heck is this?” Back in the day when fresh air was deemed a necessity (unlike today in our tight energy efficient homes - ha!), duct work would draw air from the outside and heat it with these duct mounted radiators before delivering it to the living space. Not very efficient but fuel was a lot less costly back then and the owners of these homes weren’t shy of a few pennies. Times have changed however. Today when we say hydro-air we think of air handlers with internal coils for heating and/or cooling.

For the most part, hydro-air is a product of the electric conversion market when electricity prices started to rise. Replacing that old electric furnace and installing a boiler with an air handler allowed versatility when it came to zoning and potable hot water. Indeed, the ability to run additional emitters off the boiler often led to systems with multiple heat delivery schemes such as warm air, convection and radiant. Entire sections of the home could be heated by a different medium e.g. warm air upstairs; radiant downstairs; baseboard in the basement. And all of this with air conditioning and endless hot water as well. The more recent decades have seen an increased demand for air conditioning and, for homes heated with water, hydro-air is a very convenient solution.

One of the major differences between air handlers and direct fired furnaces is the quality of the air delivered to the home. The heat exchangers in fuel fired furnaces are subjected to extremely high surface temperatures which tend to dry out the delivered air. Whereas, with an air handler, the heat exchanger never sees temperatures above 180°F resulting in a much more comfortable living environment.

The implementation of ECM technology in HVAC motors has had a significant impact on the efficiency of the equipment. We first began to see ECM motors in air handlers and condensing furnaces which resulted not just in increased motor efficiency but also enhanced the performance of the blower by compensating somewhat for inadequate duct design. ECM motors make a lot of sense for air handling equipment because of the larger size motors needed to move large volumes of air.

And more recently we have seen the introduction of ECM motors into the wet side of the equation. All of the leading pump manufacturers boast ECM circulators - which begs the question of how best to use this technology in a hydro air application.

Circulator motors are notoriously small (1/25 HP is typical) so electrical savings are minimal. On the other hand, blower motors will be anywhere from 1/3HP to ¾ HP so the electrical savings are significant when switching to an ECM.

In the case of a circulator, the true benefit of an ECM motor is the ability to affordably control the water flow and thus control the BTU supply to the air handler. But only if that circulator has the ability to track temperature modulation versus pressure drop. In other words – Delta-T versus Delta P. With a conventional hydro-air system we have a fixed BTU output from the boiler and a single speed circulator. The air delivery is most often controlled by either an aquastat which brings on the blower when hot water is sensed in the coil or a timer delay function. This arrangement becomes even more complex if outdoor reset is factored into the equation; with modulating supply temperatures and fixed blower speeds, the temperature of delivered air at the registers can vary significantly. The efficiency of the condensing boiler may also be impacted as the boiler control is often programmed to maintain a minimum of 130°F.

Now, imagine if we could program a fixed air delivery temperature at the registers…say 120°F? But this can be done, you say, by controlling the blower with pulse width modulation. How about a less costly but more efficient method? By locating a sensor in the output airstream of the air handler and programming the pump to maintain a desired delivery temperature, the pump will speed up or slow down as it sees fit. If the sensor detects an increase in output air temp, the pump will slow down and deliver less flow and fewer BTU’s to the coil. When the sensor detects a decrease in temperature due to lower return air temperature, the pump will speed up and deliver more flow and more BTU’s to the coil. The result will be a more even temperature at the registers. In effect, the pump is responding to real time conditions which can be affected by events such as doors opening and the introduction of heat from secondary sources such as stoves etc.

One pump that has this capability is the Bumblebee or HEC2 from Taco. This ECM circulator can be programmed to maintain either ΔT or a fixed set point. This pump, which has its own sensor inputs, is factory programmed to maintain a 20°F delta between the supply and the return. It takes just a few seconds to reprogram the circulator for a fixed supply temperature and by placing the supply sensor in the air stream, the pump will speed up or slow down based on conditions. No more fluctuating air temperatures at the registers.

Air handlers come in all shapes and sizes. But the heart of the appliance is the motor. While still available, the PSC motor is fast giving way to the ECM. This electrically commutated motor offers significant advantages over the split-phase motor in terms of efficiency and performance. The same logic applies to the wet side of the equation and when properly applied, both the cost of operation and overall comfort can be greatly enhanced.

Learn more about hydro air here.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

2013 Training Schedule

Our new training schedule for the remainder of 2013 is now available! Join our trainers, Bruce Marshall and Kevin Shea, for a new semester of classes starting in September.

Emerson Swan Training's: Held at 300 Pond St. Randolph, MA 02368

HTP Training's
: Held at 120 Braley Rd. East Freetown, MA 02717

SPECIAL OFFER: Register for any Emerson Swan Training from now until 8/23/13 and receive 25% off! This is a limited time offer so you must act soon! The discounted price will be reflected at checkout. REGISTER NOW!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Exceptional Functionality With A Wide Reach: The Dornbracht PIVOT Faucet

This year, at LivingKitchen in Cologne, Dornbracht showcased the first faucet for the entire kitchen island: PIVOT. The single-lever mixer has a hot and cold water valve and is available in polished chrome and platinum matte finishes.

Exceptional functionality with a wide reach: PIVOT. 
The extreme projection of PIVOT's 21.6 inch pivoting range allows for a 360° radius and maximum flexibility and convenience. The practical twist grip on the spout ensures simple, ergonomic handling. Designed with the entire kitchen island in mind, PIVOT makes kitchen tasks effortless.

PIVOT's delicate, reduced form complements the classic design of the TARA ULTRA series. The notchless lever rounds off the classic design and establishes PIVOT as an alternative to hose and pull-out sprays.

As stylish as they are functional, Dornbracht's miscellaneous items for the kitchen make working easier. Included are soap dispensers and AIR SWITCH for operating the garbage disposal. The minimalist design is consistent with PIVOT and just like the single-lever mixer, they are ready for delivery in polished chrome and platinum matte.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Geberit Monolish Floor-Mounted Toilet

Introducing the new Geberit Monolish floor-mounted toilet!

  • Creates a fresh, modern look in every bathroom setting
  • Contains easy to clean surfaces with smooth lines
  • Is available in sleek white or black glass, with brushed metal sides and top
  • Comes with an all new Duravit Starck 3 elongated toilet bowl designed by world renowned designer Philippe Starck
  • Includes a Duravit soft close seat for added quiet convenience
  • Easily installs in new construction or remodel - just like a conventional toilet - including 10" and 12" rough-ins
  • Takes up no more space than a typical round front or compact elongated toilet
  • Carries the cUPC code mark, for approved use in the US and Canada in combination with the new Duravit Starck 3 toilet bowl
  • Meets all drain line carry, water spot, and other standard requirements
  • Is an EPA WaterSense HET certified combination, and by flushing 500 grams (MaP score), exceeds the minimum requirement of 350 grams

View the brochure here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Aluminum Corrosion And Its Inhibition In Natural Waters

Corrosion of Aluminium
The widespread use of aluminium for use in the atmosphere and in natural waters is to a large extent due to its generally excellent corrosion resistance. This is because of the formation of a protective alumina (Al2O3) surface film, which has very high electrical resistivity. However, because aluminium is an amphoteric metal, this oxide film becomes increasingly unstable outside the neutral pH range, between about 4.5 and 8.5. If the film is removed, then high dissolution rates on aluminium can occur. Therefore, in natural waters, aluminium should not normally be used outside of this pH range.

Even when used in neutral waters, however, aluminium can undergo pitting attack, which can lead to wall perforation and failure of the component or system. This usually occurs in waters containing high chlorides (>200mg/L) and is thought due to the chloride ion entering the oxide film at naturally occurring flaws in the film. Pitting attack can also occur if there are any copper ions in the water. Because of their relative positions in the electrochemical series, copper ions will be reduced on aluminium and deposit as metallic copper on the aluminium surface. This takes place at discrete sites, which are the flaws in the alumina film. Since the copper acts as efficient cathodes for oxygen reduction, it causes intense anodic attack on the surrounding aluminium leading to pit initiation.

Protection of Aluminium in Fernox Inhibitors
The use of correct water treatment can protect aluminium from the risk of pitting attack and also direct galvanic corrosion if aluminium is coupled directly to a more noble metal. Inhibitors used in central heating systems should inhibit corrosion of all metals used in the system, including ferrous metals, copper and copper alloys and aluminium.

Fernox inhibitors, such as F-1 Protector use a special amine to protect aluminium. This forms a microscopically thin coating on the aluminium plugging the flaws, which are the sites for pit initiation. The amine itself is alkaline and will protect aluminium itself in alkaline conditions. (Fernox in the past have produced an alkaline cleaner, which because it contained silicates, gave excellent corrosion inhibition of aluminium even at pH 11). However, blending the amine with the acidic form of ferrous metal inhibitors (such as carboxylic acids) brings the pH of the F-1 and Protector formulations back to more neutral pH’s. Furthermore, the pH of the inhibited solution is buffered using borate, so that the circulating water remains at around neural during use. Additions of copper corrosion inhibitors ensure that there is no risk of copper ions entering the circulating water and causing pitting of aluminium.

The present formulations of F-1 and Protector have been used for several years in the field giving excellent all-round protection of central heating systems against corrosion and scale. During this time, there has not been one reported incidence of failure of aluminium heat exchangers or boilers in systems treated with Fernox products.

  • Aluminium gives normally excellent corrosion resistance due to a surface oxide film
  • This film can be destroyed in acidic or alkaline conditions
  • High chlorides or copper ions in the water cause pitting of aluminium
  • Good quality water treatment can prevent this pitting attack and protect aluminium at non-neutral pH’s.
  • Fernox inhibitors contain inhibitors to prevent attack on Al and to protect other metals in the system. They are buffered to a neutral or near neutral pH.
Learn more at

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Keep Your Assembly Costs Down With Twin City Hose

Want To Save Money On Bronze Flex Connectors?

Twin City Hose offers stainless steel connectors with copper female sweat ends, at a fraction of the cost of bronze.

  • Female copper sweat ends to fit copper pipe
  • Stainless steel braid helps keep costs down
  • Greater life service, reduce maintenance costs
  • Absorbs equipment vibration and excessive noise
  • Relieves stress on piping system
  • Cleaning and bagging available
  • Custom and stock assemblies available

Learn more here

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Revolutionary Fernox Total Filter TF1

The fastest and simplest in-line filter to clean and install

The Fernox Total Filter TF1 is the only in-line filter using patented technology, which harnesses the combined effects of hydrocyclonic action with specially designed magnetic assemblies, to remove, trap  and contain both magnetic and non-magnetic contaminants from system water. It is the  most effective, complete filter on the market.

  • Unique action, removes magnetic and non-magnetic contaminants
  • Fits vertical and horizontal pipe work
  • Dosing point for Fernox ‘F’ range products
  • Cleaned in seconds without removal or disassembly
  • Will not block or restrict flow
  • All valves and fittings included

As with all Fernox products, the TF1  has been designed, manufactured  and tested to the highest specification. The company’s attention to detail and commitment to quality is synonymous with the Fernox brand. As an innovator, Fernox consistently produces premium products for the plumbing and heating industry and  the Total Filter TF1 is no exception.


Learn more here.

Monday, June 3, 2013

June Scavenger Hunt

Want to win some great prizes for free? Well great news! The June Scavenger Hunt is now on!

to play now!

You could win prizes like this each day in June:
Golf Bags & Callaway Balls
AMEX Gift Cards
Dunkin Donuts Gift Cards
Red Sox Tickets
And Much, Much, Much More!

    The contest runs from June 3, 2013 through June 28, 2013. New prizes everyday! Daily winners! Don't miss out!

    Monday, May 20, 2013

    June Scavenger Hunt

    Starting June 3, 2013, we will be giving away daily prizes on our website. We're calling this our June Scavenger Hunt and it lasts all month long! By correctly answering a multiple choice question, you are entered to win a daily prize and a grand prize of a pair of Red Sox tickets! We're giving away some great stuff and you won't want to miss it. Bookmark this page: and be sure to stop by everyday in June to play! Learn more in this short video.

    Like us on Facebook and be the first to know about the daily prizes!

    Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    We're Hiring!

    At Emerson Swan, our greatest asset is our people. We employ the most technical and service oriented professionals in the industry. We are always on the lookout for talented people that can help make our team even stronger. Stop by our website to learn more about our company and browse available positions in our careers section. Apply online and you could be the next person to join our team! 

    Monday, April 29, 2013

    Flexcon Mixmaster: The Safe Reliable Way To Disinfect Potable Water

    Flexcon "Mixmaster" baffle tank

    The Mixmaster baffle tank by Flexcon is a revolutionary design which increases the retention time for water treatment in up to four times greater than a standard contact tank. This is achieved by our patented internal baffle in conjunction with a diffuser which redirects the water and increases the mixing of water and injected chemicals. The turbulence created in the baffle increases the treatment time by a baffle factor of .8, close to four times more effective than other non-baffled tanks. Results have been confirmed by third party testing from the Water Quality Association laboratories. Available in two sizes, 80 and 119 gallons, these tanks are installer friendly and easy to maintain. This and the reliability and toughness synonymous with all Flexcon tanks makes the Mixmaster the first choice in retention tanks.

    • Polypropylene internal baffle increases retention time to a .8 baffle factor
    • Internal riser with diffuser to ensure proper mixing
    • Internal polypropylene tank wrapped with epoxy coated fiberglass for a durable, corrosion resistant finish
    • Durable base engineered to withstand maximum loads and extreme environmental conditions
    • Top connection with stainless steel reinforcement ring is encapsulated in a precision molded dome to withstand the harshest environments
    • Durable PVC water connection

    Click here to download the brochure.
    See the baffle factor report here.

    Monday, April 22, 2013

    Introducing The Geofinity ORB Controller

    The ORB heat pump controller is a patent-pending fully integrated equipment intelligence system offering complete operating, monitoring, control, and diagnostics capabilities. It performs the functionality of a total system management and reporting platform that provides real-time data trending and analysis, whether on-site or via email or website information transfer. The ORB provides real-time calculation of kWh consumption, COP, EER, and CO2 emissions.

    With off-site real-time troubleshooting information provided directly to the contractor and the manufacturer via e-mail reporting, the owner is also offered significant savings in terms of equipment servicing costs. The reporting gives the contractor the ability to call the end user to notify them of a service requirement before the end user even knows there’s a problem.

    To download the brochure, please click here.
    For more information on Geofinity, please visit

    Tuesday, April 9, 2013

    Vent-Rite: How Steam Vents Work

    In the latest installment of our "Getting It Done Right" series, Bruce Marshall explains how steam vents work in a residential system. Bruce walks us through each type of vent, where they are installed and what their functions are. The video features vents manufactured by Vent-Rite. For more information on Vent-Rite, please visit our website

    Tuesday, April 2, 2013

    Emerson Swan Expands To Canada

    PRESS RELEASE: Emerson Swan is pleased to announce their expansion to Milton, Ontario. This new business venture, to be known as Emerson Swan, Canada, will serve the engineering community of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with the same quality products and service that has made Emerson Swan successful in the United States for over 80 years. Emerson Swan will initially be representing products from Flow Design, Taco HVAC and Twin City Hose.

    "We are excited for the opportunity to bring our product and systems knowledge to the engineering community of the Greater Toronto Area and hope to bring practical solutions to meet the needs of our customers" says Jeff Dirksen, Sr. Vice President of Emerson Swan's Engineered Products Division.

    Founded in 1932 by Thomas J. Swan Sr., Emerson Swan is a nationally recognized, stocking manufacturer's representative organization serving the northeastern United States and now the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) with quality heating, plumbing and HVAC equipment.

    Emerson Swan, Canada
    8450 Lawson Road Unit 3
    Milton, ON L9T 0J8
    (855) 664-6723 Phone
    (905) 864-0156 Fax

    For more information about Emerson Swan, Canada, please visit

    Thursday, March 21, 2013

    Understanding Expansion Tanks

    One of the most overlooked and misunderstood components of a hydronic heating system is the expansion tank. When a heating system is designed the heat loss and boiler sizing are usually carefully calculated. The circulator is sized based on the length and heat carrying capacity of the piping. When it comes to the expansion tank, most guys just install the same size tank they have always used. The phrase, “We’ve always done it that way.” comes to mind. Oddly enough, most of the time it works. It’s when it doesn’t work that the problems arise. The most common symptom of an undersized expansion tank is the relief valve blowing off. To avoid this, the installer should understand the function of the tank and the importance of proper sizing.

    Let’s start with the basics. We all know that things expand when they are heated and contract when they are cooled. Water is no different and this becomes a major factor in a closed loop hydronic heating system. Upon installation of a new system, you fill the pipes with 40 to 50 degree water and purge the air. Then when you fire the boiler and heat the water to 180 degrees, the water expands. As the water gets hotter the volume increases. Without compensating for this expansion of the water, the pressure in the system would go up and at 30 pounds, the relief valve would open. An expansion tank is designed to accommodate this increase in water volume in a closed loop system. Water is not compressible but air is and the expansion tank uses a cushion of compressed air to accept this increased volume of water as it is heated.

    Old style expansion tanks mounted between the floor joists in the cellar ceiling were made out of steel and had tappings for water, air inlet, and a water level gauge. When the system was filled, the water entered the tank and compressed the air at the top. As the water heated, the level in the tank rose and the air compressed even more. Eventually, the air cushion would be absorbed into water and the tank would become waterlogged. This of course caused the pressure to rise which set off the relief valve and always led to a service call.

    In the early 60’s the modern diaphragm tank was developed. It uses a rubber diaphragm to permanently separate the system water from the compressed air in the tank, thus eliminating the waterlogging problem. These tanks became popular because they were small and compact, inexpensive and needed much less plumbing. This type of tank, however, still can cause potential problems if not sized properly.

    Let’s take a look at the five things we need to know to properly size a diaphragm expansion tank.

    Fill Pressure ---In a closed loop system, static height of the piping is a factor only when filling the system. One pound per square inch (PSI) of water pressure is required for every 2.31 feet of static height. In the average 2-story house with the boiler in the basement, we must raise that water about 16 feet which would require about seven PSI. In order to ensure positive pressure and aid in air removal, we should add another five PSI to this. Pressure reducing valves (PRV) are factory set at 12 PSI and expansion tanks are pre-charged to the same 12 PSI. Most of the time the 12 PSI pre-charge is enough but if the system height is greater than 16 feet  the pressure reducing valve must be adjusted higher and the air charge in the tank must be increased accordingly. A tire gauge and a bicycle pump are all the tools you need to accomplish this. Always remember the tank must be isolated from the system when checking pressure. When checking the tank pressure, the system pressure must first be reduced to zero and the tank isolated by means of the isolation valve. If you don’t follow this procedure, you are not reading the tank pressure; you are reading the system pressure.

    Relief Pressure---We need to know this in order to size the tank. Most residential relief valves are set at 30 PSI.

    Fill Temperature---When you fill the system with tap water, the temperature is usually around 50 degrees.

    Average Water Temperature--- This is the normal high limit temperature of the boiler. The more we heat water, the more it will expand.

    Total Water Content--- This is critical to tank sizing. Old gravity systems that have been converted to forced circulation will have much more water than a new baseboard system. Three quarter inch copper pipe contains .025 gallons of water per linear foot while inch and a half steel pipe holds .106.  Measure the total footage and multiply by the appropriate amount. Then add the boiler water content and allow a couple of extra gallons for the fudge factor.

    There are many factors in determining expansion tank size and any unusual variations in any one of these areas could dramatically affect the tank size. Manufacturers have plenty of experience in this regard and have developed guideline charts based on average systems. Looking at the chart, you can see that systems with higher water content like cast iron radiators and baseboards will require a larger tank than a copper baseboard system.

    Monday, March 11, 2013

    Sizing A Circulator Just Takes Some Math

    The dictionary defines a system as a group of interacting, interrelated, or interdependent elements forming a complex whole. When designing and installing a hydronic heating system, we are in fact creating a group of elements that interact, that are interrelated and are interdependent, and they do form a very complex whole that is designed to keep people comfortable while minimizing energy usage. The system’s relative success or failure depends on how well these elements work together to perform the system’s stated function. The definition of hydronics is the science of transferring a definitive amount of BTUs from a source device to a heat transfer device and back via the movement of water or solution thereof. A key component of a modern hydronic system is the circulator and its main function is to move heated water (BTU/HR) through a distribution system (the radiators) and back.

    It’s important to remember than when sizing a circulator, you do not need to take into account the height of the building.  The physical height of the building does NOT equal the feet of head. As part of defining a circulator as opposed to a pump is the fact that we are in a closed loop system versus an open system which has to over come static head as well as pressure drop. Examples of this would be a well or a sump pump system. The circulator does not need to lift the water to the top of the building due to the simple fact that what goes up must come down.  The circulator doesn’t have to lift the water to the upper floors – the weight of the water coming back down the return side is a counterbalance. Think of the circulator as the motor on a Ferris wheel.  The motor doesn’t have to lift the weight of the people up – there are people on the other side of the wheel coming back down. All it has to do is overcome the friction loss of the bearing assemblies in the wheel.  A circulator doesn’t have to lift the water – it only has to overcome the friction loss – or head loss – of the system. 

    All piping systems impart friction loss on the fluid in the system, and understanding this is key to making sure your hydronic system functions properly. If you do the math, calculating the flow requirements for circulator is pretty simple - it's basic arithmetic. Calculating the "other" half - head pressure (or friction loss) - is a little tougher. Use the Universal Hydronics formula to determine how much flow the circulator has to be capable of.

    GPM = BTUH ÷ ΔT x 500

    GPM is gallons per minute. BTUH is the calculated system load. ΔT is the temperature difference across the system at design conditions and we use 20° F for our systems. 500 is a constant - it is the weight of a gallon of water (8.33 lbs.) times 60 minutes. When we have determined the load of the system all we need to do then is to divide by 10,000 (20 x 500) and we have our GPM requirement for the circulator. As an example, let’s say we are zoning with circulators and have a 30,000 BTU zone of baseboard or 50 feet of element. When we divide the 30,000 by 10,000 we determine a flow rate of 3 gallons per minute.

    Choosing The Pipe Size
    What size pipe should we use for this zone? Well, the guidelines for pipe sizing are as follows: 
    • 2 to 4 gallons per minute of flow, use ¾” M copper;
    • 4to 8 GPM, use 1 inch;
    • 8 to 14 GPM, use inch and a quarter;
    • 14 to 22 GPM, use inch and a half. 

    These all fall within hydronics guidelines for pipe sizing and keeping flow velocities at no less than 2 feet per second and no more than 4 feet per second. At velocities greater than 4 feet per second, the system will produce velocity noise and customer complaints. At velocities lower than 2 feet per second, dissolved oxygen will tend to come out of solution and cause air problems within the system. 

    To determine the head loss of a zone, start by measuring the total length of the zone, including the element. In this case we have 80 feet of  ¾” pipe connected to the 50 feet of element for a total of 130 feet.  Now multiply the total by 1.5 to allow for fittings, valves, etc. Fittings and valves produce pressure drop in a system that is the equivalent of a few feet of pipe each, so multiplying by 1.5 accounts for most basic fittings and valves.

    If you have high head items in your system like flow checks or 3 way valves, you will have to add some more head later. You now have the total developed equivalent length of the circuit and you multiply that by .04. This number represents 4 feet of head per 100 feet of copper pipe. That head number applies as long as the pipe has been sized according to the velocity guidelines shown in the previous paragraph.  The end product is the head loss for the zone.  120 x 1.5 x .04 = 7.2 feet of head. We must now find a circulator that will deliver 3 gallons per minute against 7.2 feet of head.

    If we take a look at the Taco “00” series performance curve chart – we can determine which circulator we should use for this zone. As long as the point at which the system operates is inside of or on the line that the pump operates, you are assured that the pump will deliver heat at the right temperature to the zone. If that point falls outside the pump curve, your pump will not be able to deliver the maximum amount of BTUs needed under design conditions. Simply put, in the coldest weather, the system can’t reach the required comfort level. In the case of an indirect water heater it will be slow in recovery.

    First, on the bottom axis, we find the flow rate – in this example, it is 3 gallons per minute. On the vertical axis we have head loss – in this example it is 7.2 feet of head. We follow the two lines until they intersect to find our system operating point of 3 GPM at 7.2 feet of head. Next, we look at the performance curves to find out which circulator would make the best selection.  In this example, a 006, 005 or a 007 would be good choices – with the most likely choice being the 007, since it’s the most common and most readily available. 

    Once you understand the dynamics that are going on in a system, you can size and select the right circulator for the job. Learn more about Taco products on our website

    Friday, March 1, 2013

    Taco "March To Efficiency"

    During the entire month of March 2013, Taco will be running a promotion called the "March To Efficiency". Everyday they will be giving away a product to a lucky FloPro member. That means 31 days, 31 prizes and 31 chances to win! Take advantage of this great opportunity and register now! To be eligible you must be a Taco FloPro member. To register to become a FloPro member go here.

    Already a Taco FloPro member? Then enter yourself for a chance to win today's featured product here. All you have to do is watch a short video to be entered to win that days prize. That's it!

    And be sure to stop by the March To Efficiency website everyday in the month of March 2013 to enter to win that days prize.Watch a video for a chance to win a prize. It doesn't get much simpler than that! Good luck, everyone!

    Contest Rules

    Monday, February 25, 2013

    PHCC of MA 2013

    It's time once again for the PHCC trade show of Massachusetts. This year we will have a lot of new products to show all of you! So be sure to pre-register now and make sure to stop by our booth on March 9th. See you then!

    Date: Saturday, March 9, 2013
    Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm
    Location: Royal Plaza Trade Center, Marlboro, MA (directions)
    Pre-register here.

    Preview Of Our Booth....

    Monday, February 18, 2013

    Taco Geo-Sentry Zone Valve

    Introducing the all new Taco Geo-Sentry Zone Valve for geothermal applications.

    Since the introduction of the zone sentry we have received numerous requests for a valve suitable for geothermal applications. Now we have it! The Geo-Sentry is specifically designed for use in both open or closed loop geothermal systems, and is suitable for almost any highly-oxygenated open hydronic system.

     The Geo-Sentry keeps all of the great features and benefits of the Zone Sentry:
    • Up to 93% less energy usage
    • Universal Installation Orientation
    • Usable on Condensing Chilled Water Installations
    • 12 valves on one 40VA transformer
    • Multi-Function LED
    • Quick Connect Wiring
    • 125 PSI Shut-off
    • Push button actuator replacement
    • Easy wire quick connections
    • Manual override button
    • Positional indicator

    Some changes to the valve materials will allow the Geo-Sentry to be used in system fluids with concentrations of methanol or ethanol up to 25%. The Geo-Sentry Valve is available in a multitude of configurations and size combinations. This includes 1/2", 3/4" and 1" in both sweat and NPT connection types, 2-way N/O or N/C valves and 3-way diverting valves. This all adds up to a total of 18 different configuration possibilities.

    Click here for the literature.

    To learn more about the new Taco Geo-Sentry, visit Taco's website here.

    Monday, February 11, 2013

    Pipe Fusion Technology

    What Is TRITON Pipe Fusion?

    The revolutionary TRITON system from Watts is the first application of radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic technology, a trusted method of welding used in industrial applications, for plastic piping. This new welding technique has many advantages over conventional pipe joining processes:
    • TRITON enables pipe joining and pressure testing in minutes (instead of hours)
    • TRITON welds can be completed by one person, reducing required manpower
    • TRITON creates a safer work environment—no exposed heating elements, no adhesives with VOCs, no exposed flame
    • TRITON outside diameter welds offer unobstructed flow and decreased pressure drop, reducing overall system cost
    • TRITON is ready to use in minutes—no waiting for exposed heating elements to heat up
    • TRITON uses less energy than conventional pipe joining technology
    The lightweight and portable TRITON system is designed for applications utilizing flexible plastic piping. Non-potable applications include geothermal, irrigation, mining, process, and natural gas.

    How It Works
    1. The Control Unit converts standard 110/120 VAC electrical current to DC electrical current, then generates a radio frequency (RF) signal.
    2. The RF signal is transferred to the jaws of the Fuser and concentrated into a high-frequency electromagnetic field.
    3. The pipe Fittings contain materials that react with the electromagnetic field, creating heat.
    4. The heat fuses the plastic pipe and Fitting together to form a hermetic weld.
    5. As the pipe heats, the Fuse-Tel™ indicator emerges on the Fitting to signal a completed weld.

    Get the brochure here.