Category: in the news

Knowing the Difference Between Trap Seals and Trap Primers

Could Save Project Capital and Maintenance Costs

By Rick Ensley

For decades the plumbing industry has depended on water-supplied trap primers for maintaining floor drain trap water levels, thus preventing potentially dangerous and always annoying indoor air quality (IAQ) issues caused by sewer gas infiltration into occupied spaces.

The most common trap primers are connected to a water line and activated via pressure fluctuation from a nearby urinal or water closet flush that maintains trap water levels. Other types divert gray water to the trap from nearby sink drains.

Trap primers’ main disadvantage is maintenance. Like many plumbing fixtures, their supply orifices are easily blocked by scale or corrosion. Cleaning or replacing them can be an expensive proposition, especially when they require floor and wall demolition/repair for access.

Comparatively, the recently-developed waterless barrier-type trap seal protection device circumvents these disadvantages because it’s virtually maintenance-free. Most floor drain trap seals are push-fit, with an EPDM or silicone-based fittings featuring a one-way membrane that acts similar to a check valve. The strong membrane’s tight-seal prevents sewer gas and insect ingress while also protecting against total trap water evaporation for months. Furthermore, the membrane is sensitive enough to open from the weight of just four ounces of water draining from a shower stall or floor wash-down.

Building codes are quickly changing across North America to allow trap seal use in lieu of trap primers. In many jurisdictions, trap seals are allowed as substitutes in retrofit situations where trap primers have failed. Opening and closing floors or walls to replace trap primers can many times cost upwards of $1,000 each, so a trap seal that installs in less than a minute after removing the floor drain grate can represent a significant savings.

New construction is a different story. Trap seals that carry an ASSE-1072 test and certification by a third party test lab may be substituted for trap primers in new construction, depending on the local jurisdiction and its inspectors. Plumbing consulting engineers that still want trap primers in their specifications might consider combining them with trap seals. When the trap primer’s lifecycle ends, the trap seal can still offer the facility sewer gas protection.

It’s the consulting engineer and/or contractor’s responsibility to specify a particular brand they deem as the best and compliant with ASSE-1072. It’s important to specify a brand since some brands don’t meet ASSE-1072’s requirements to withstand the effects of dirt, debris, floor wax and grease-laden waste. Typically the code-compliant models also have a built-in relief valve for eliminating potential air locks between the trap seal and the trap seal device that prevent floor water from draining properly.

There are also some new trap seal models with an added check valve benefit to protect against property-damaging water back-ups ranging up to five feet of head pressure.

Besides minimizing trap water evaporation reduction and maintenance, waterless trap seals are also considered green because they don’t require continual trap water filling, thus they complement water conservation efforts.

Some waterless trap seals are approved or accepted nationally for all retrofit uses. New construction specification depends on jurisdictions that have adopted ASSE-1072.

The following list presents approval levels by state and province:

  • Fully-Approved: Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, New Mexico, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin and District of Columbia. Also Ontario and Quebec;
  • Widely-Approved: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Nevada, New York (except New York City), Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington;
  • Partially-Approved: Delaware, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia;

Some Approval and Currently Considering: Alaska, California, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New England, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia, Wyoming, Puerto Rico, and most of Canada outside of Ontario and Quebec

09 Oct

5 Mini-split Accessories Mandated by Building Codes

Many HVAC contractors are unaware of five accessories that are mandated by building codes, and that have been written for the fast-emerging ductless mini-split market.

BY JAMES BOWMAN

Most qualified contractors are knowledgeable of building codes for general HVAC work. However, many are unaware of five accessories that are mandated by building codes aimed at the fast-emerging ductless mini-split market.

Rather than learn what’s not code compliant from an inspector that red tags a new mini-split installation, the following list of code-mandated products are listed below:

1.Tamper-resistant locking cap for refrigerant ports

2. Condensate overflow switch

3. UV resistant wrap for linesets

4. Condensate drain hose trap

5. An indoor disconnect switch.

These accessories are mandated for a variety of reasons, but they mostly fall under life-safety, efficiency, property protection or a combination of those categories.

05 Oct

How to Find a Good Plumber | Plumbing Repairs

“Finding a good plumber is it can be tricky. The first thing I look for is, how long have they been in business, are they connected to the Better Business Bureau, have they won any awards for service, word of mouth is not — gone, reviews and online reviews have replaced word of mouth. I would check that plumbing company’s reviews.”

11 Sep

Dura G-O-N™ Commercial Polymer Roof Drain Downspout

Dura GONThe high impact polymer design of Dura G-O-N™ offers the same features as the theft-resistant, nickel-bronze original G-O-N® product line.

RectorSeal® LLC, Houston, a leading manufacturer of quality plumbing and HVAC/R products, introduces Dura G-O-N to its Glue-On-Nozzle (G-O-N®) product line of decorative downspouts for commercial building roof drains. Dura G-O-N is a high impact polymer version of the original nickel-bronze G-O-N and offers the same easy, cost-saving installation features. Dura G-O-N and the original G-O-N are the plumbing and building industries’ only decorative downspout nozzles with a theft-resistant glue-on design that can be installed after the wall or building is completed.

Dura G-O-N is USA-made. The integration of its aesthetic patina-like bronze color during the polymer injection molding process makes its simulated oil-rubbed finish indistinguishable from a metal downspout. As a value-engineered, but equally functional  alternative to the original metal G-O-N, Dura G-O-N is perfect for retrofits, less visible back-of-building applications or smaller projects with only a few roof drains.

Dura G-O-N is currently available in 4-inch-diameter (10-cm), the building industry’s most popular downspout size, however 3-inch and 6-inch-diameter (7 and 15-cm) models are planned for a first quarter 2018 release.

Dura G-O-N installs within minutes by fastening the three-screw escutcheon plate to the wall and then solvent cement-welding the nozzle’s PVC insert to the outside diameter of the building’s PVC drain pipe. Unlike the decorative downspout industry’s screw-on nozzles, the patented G-O-N glue-on technology is theft-resistant.

Other Dura G-O-N features are:

  • Packaged in an easy-to-merchandise 9-1/4 (w) x 9-1/2 (h) x 6-inch (d) (23 x 24 x 15-cm) two-color cardboard box with installation instructions printed on the outside;
  • Includes ultraviolet (UV) inhibitors and other built-in weather resistance to maintain the faux verdigris charm that simulates weathered metal;
  • Unique notched escutcheon guarantees perfect leveling and alignment between flange and downspout on each installation;
  • Saves construction costs and expedites rough-ins because it’s installed after wall completion, thus eliminating masonry crew coordination and project interruptions required with screw-on downspouts;
  • Optional bird screen available;
  • And available at most plumbing wholesale distributors.

06 Sep