It’s frustrating when you can no longer get the parts needed to repair your equipment. With all of the energy and environmental regulations coming out of Washington these days, manufacturers are constantly required to update technologies and efficiencies with their equipment, and sometimes something that’s less than five or ten years old has become “obsolete” for the manufacturer.

The decision of whether to buy new or repair existing can be a tough one. According to Consumer Reports, a good rule of thumb is if the repair costs exceed 50% of the cost of replacing with new product. You should also consider taking advantage of new technology with smart features and boosted efficiencies. Many can provide money back to your customer from local utility companies.

However, if replacement isn’t an option for you, and the part(s) you need are obsolete or just very hard to find, we can usually help you find a new part or configure something to keep your customer’s equipment running smoothly. We work miracles on a regular basis, now we’re trying to figure out how to do the impossible!

To help find a replacement part for you, there are three main questions we ask to help guide us to the right solution.

  1. If your equipment has or is a motor, what amperage is being used? Motors and pumps usually have a data plate mounted on the equipment.
  2. If it’s a pump, what is the GPM and head pressure?
  3. If it’s a boiler, what are the capacities of the heating system?

Whatever kind of equipment you’re working on, when you are calling for parts, the more information about the piece of equipment or system that you can provide, the faster we can source the correct part for your use.

Challenge us! Give us a call at 800-355-7061.

Have you been misinformed about aluminum boilers?

Patterson-Kelley, one of our most trusted brands of boilers, has published a blog post on the myths and misinformation surrounding aluminum boilers and how they are actually beneficial.

Aluminum is one of the best heat exchanger materials and Patterson-Kelley wants to prove it, joining the ongoing industry debate between aluminum and stainless steel boilers.  We are sharing their article here but you can see the original on their site as well –  “Breaking the Stigma on Aluminum Boilers”.

Changing the Perception of Aluminum Commercial Boilers

The commercial heating industry has faced an ongoing debate on the benefits of stainless steel heat exchangers versus aluminum heat exchangers. The process of choosing a new boiler has become confusing for both building owners and engineers.

The amount of conflicting information has led many boiler manufacturers to pick a side, and the perception of aluminum heat exchanger boilers has been misconstrued in the process. Yet, there is no clear evidence or proof that either material is superior to the other.

The heat exchanger is the part of the boiler that uses heat generated from fuel combustion to raise the temperature of heating water. Both aluminum and stainless steel condensing boilers achieve high efficiency by condensing water vapor in the exhaust gases and recovering its latent heat, which would otherwise be wasted. With condensing flue gases comes highly acidic water, which can adversely affect the fired heating surface. During the heating process, impurities and contaminants, like chloride and pH levels, can directly affect the water chemistry in the boiler. Regardless of the heat exchanger material (aluminum or stainless steel), EVERY boiler should be introduced and maintained with the appropriate air and water quality to prevent corrosion and scaling.

In this blog we will focus on the benefits of owning an aluminum commercial boiler, with the intention of breaking the stigma created by the ongoing debate. Keep in mind that Patterson-Kelley offers both, aluminum and stainless steel options, which places our team in an unbiased position.

Why Choose an Aluminum Commercial Boiler?

  1. High thermal conductivity
    • According to the Kent’s Mechanical Engineers’ Handbook, the thermal conductivity of pure metals is inversely proportional to absolute temperature. Thermal conductivity is an important factor when selecting a heating unit because it defines the velocity at which heat passes through the material. Aluminum is considered a high purity metal and it is 8x better at thermal conduction than stainless steel. Even though aluminum heat exchangers require thicker walls in a commercial boiler application, it is also lighter in weight and it has a high strength to weight ratio. The thickness of the heat exchanger does not negate the heat transfer advantages.
  2. Large Waterways
    • Large surface areas and water channels can deliver lower hydraulic resistance. This means that the water moves slowly through the heat exchanger which allows the returning water temperatures to absorb potential heat, resulting in higher efficiency. A cast aluminum heat exchanger design with large waterways also makes the system more tolerant to variable system conditions, including flow rate settings.
  3. Corrosion Resistance
    • In contact with fresh water, the corrosion rate of aluminum is relatively high. However, after a few weeks, aluminum features a protective layer of aluminum oxide film, which significantly reduces the corrosion rate as well as the risk of oxidation. This layer is highly resistant to corrosion caused by acidity.
  4. Longevity & Manufacturing Flexibility
    • The thickness of the heat exchanger walls can greatly improve the longevity of unit. Aluminum is also known for being flexible, versatile and economical. It provides casting capabilities, allowing extended heating surface areas with limited volume without compromising heat transfer rates.

Both MACH Engines

Aluminum and stainless steel are both great heat exchanger materials and have excellent properties. The uniqueness of the commercial boilers is not only based on the material of the heat exchanger, but how the components work together. The key factors to monitor in a commercial boiler application, regardless of the heat exchanger material, include operation, water quality, air and fuel. These components will affect the life expectancy and maintenance requirements of the heating unit(s).

If you have any further questions on the benefits of aluminum vs. stainless steel boilers, please give us a call at 800-355-7061.

 

We wanted to share with you that Nexus Valve products are now listed by one of the most widely used engineering specification services in the industry – Product MasterSpec. This should make it easier for you to find and specify exactly what Nexus Valve products you need for your hydronic system.

Click on the image link to download a copy of division 232116 – HYDRONIC PIPING SPECIALTIES – to insert into your master specification.

 

 

As always if you can’t find what you are looking for, please give us a call at 800-355-7061.

One of our most popular product lines, Taco, is a member of the Hydronic Industry Alliance – Commercial which is a non-profit alliance of hydronic equipment manufacturers and partners operating in North America. The alliance operates under the principle that water is the most efficient and greenest energy transfer medium on the planet, and they serve as a resource within the HVAC and Service Water Heating industry. Their mission is to educate, integrate, and communicate the advantages of Hydronic System Solutions.

As part of that mission, they have launched a new campaign targeting rejecting VRF systems. In an ongoing effort to expose building owners, architects and design teams to the multitude of issues that can arise by choosing to install VRF systems, the Hydronic Industry Alliance has created a website, supported by an advertising campaign in popular industry publications and websites, which highlights the major concerns and presents first-hand experiences of those brave enough to come forward to speak about their poor VRF experiences.

The VRF industry is spending millions of dollars advertising the falsely-claimed superior energy efficiency of their systems. They are changing the business model of how systems get designed and are trying to change codes and safety protocols to allow for even greater amounts of refrigerants to be piped throughout a building.

The Hydronic Industry Alliance wants the design community to think twice before blindly choosing a VRF system over the many other viable HVAC options, like hydronics, that will almost always better meet the design, budget, safety, comfort and performance goals of the building. The hydronics industry deserves a seat at the design table, before an HVAC system type is chosen, to tell why water always wins – for everyone.

In the coming months, we will see additional information, support materials and case studies coming out of the Hydronic Industry Alliance in regards to VRF systems, the benefits of hydronics, and new design tools to make it even easier to choose the right HVAC systems. As we get this information, we will pass it along to you. In the meantime, make sure to visit www.VRFrejected.org to learn the truth about safety, energy costs, efficiency, and the proprietary nature of VRF systems.

While we support our customers with any of their needs, we encourage you to look at alternatives to traditional VFR systems when designing and building your next hydronic system. If you have any questions on this, please give us a call to discuss at 800-355-7061.