All heating equipment needs maintenance in order to operate in peak condition. Do you offer a service to take care of your customers’ boilers, with a regular maintenance program?

If not, you should. Boilers, like cars or any other mechanical devices, are subject to wear and tear. They need adequate maintenance, to ensure that they don’t break down because if they do, it’s guaranteed NOT to be at a convenient time to repair it. Waiting until something breaks down before repairing and maintaining it, always ends up costing you far more money, unhappy residents, higher labor rates, etc. because it’s usually during peak service demand, or in the middle of the night, or on a weekend. Usually, you end up in scramble mode trying to fix a problem that could have been avoided with regular care.

Providing regular maintenance programs to your customers, is also a good way to build long-lasting customer relationships and add a consistent revenue stream for your business.

Annual maintenance and monthly water quality checks can prevent premature malfunctions and potential boiler breakdowns caused by poor water quality, leaks or water pressure. Any boiler’s functionality can be easily compromised and impact energy efficiency which creates a large bill for your customers.

So, what are some best practices to keep boilers operating in peak condition? Here are 8 annual maintenance steps from Patterson-Kelley to help maintain energy efficiency and extend the life of your customers’ boilers.

  1. Replace all parts affected by wear and tear, every year!

Your annual maintenance kit should include all parts that need to be replaced, including gaskets to re-seal the combustion inspection covers that were removed to clean the fireside. We offer a P-K annual maintenance kit that includes all parts you need for this. Give us a call for information and pricing to get yours.

  1. Inspect the fireside of the heat exchanger

After 2,500 hours of operation, or at least once a year, you should inspect the fire-side of the heat exchanger. You can access the fireside by removing the inspection covers. Any fireside fouling should be removed by using clean out tools and water washing the fireside surface. A thin coat of mineral oil can be used on an aluminum boiler to help minimize potential fouling in between annual maintenance checks. Verify that no debris came loose and fell to the bottom, potentially clogging the air path.

  1. Remove the burner, thoroughly wash and clean the mesh

This should be done even if the burner appears to be clean. After washing the burner; reinstall it and use the fan test option to blow dry the burner. DO NOT fire the burner while wet.

  1. Replace old igniter, flame rod and gaskets

These parts are included in your maintenance kit. It is important that you DO NOT reuse old gaskets.

  1. Select the righT Water Treatment to Prevent Scale

Water side scale is equivalent to having a thin film of insulation between the furnace gases and boiler water. It can drop a boiler’s efficiency by as much as 12% – 21%.

  1. Re-start the equipment and adjust combustion using a calibrated analyzer

A water tube manometer will be necessary to check for proper draft readings.

  1. Inspect electrical connection for corrosion

Condensation can cause corrosion on the electrical connections of a boiler. Check for broken or cracked fusers and replace anything that looks questionable, then test the unit. It is also important to ensure that the electrical connections are tight.

  1. Clean the condensate trap

Once again, the condensate produced by condensing natural gas boilers is corrosive. The condensate trap must be cleaned annually and inspected for potential leaks.

You can also download this checklist from Patterson-Kelley on how to design the system to ease annual boiler maintenance.

Mechanical Equipment is your local Patterson-Kelley representative, and you can call us anytime if you have questions, concerns or would like to order a Patterson-Kelley Boiler Annual Maintenance Kit.

In celebration of our 20th-year in business, we are offering our MILJOCO thermometers and gauges at the prices from when Mechanical Equipment first started! Yes, we are significantly rolling back the prices on these essential products.

For the month of June, you can buy these MILJOCO ISO 9001 certified items at roll-back prices:

 

  • Standard MILJOCO 9” Thermometer with 3.5” stem, model SX935 for $25.00or $29.00 with a standard neck brass well, model W35B.
  • Standard MILJOCO 9” Thermometer, with 6” stem, model SX960 for $30.00or $40.00 with a standard neck brass well, model W60B.
  • Standard MILJOCO stainless steel, 4.5” Contractor pressure gauge, model P4598L, for $14.00 or $21.00 with needle valve and snubber.These are also UL certified per NSF/ANSI Standard 61 and 372 to be safe in potable and drinking water.

You can combine orders for even bigger savings, and even order extra to hold as inventory to increase your savings.

There’s no limit on quantities at these prices, we’ll even discount further on orders of 200 units or more. (Any combination of thermometers and gauges that equal 200 units or more – not including wells or accessories).

 

Customization Available

Some of our customers pre-order every year and have us include their company logo and phone number on the face of the pressure gauges. There’s an additional cost added to these prices for that, but why finish a project and leave the service calls up for grabs? With your name and contact info on the face of the gauge, odds are that they’ll call you when they need service. Call us for details on customization options.

Remember, this offer is only good through June 30, 2019, so review your current project list and take advantage of this great offer!

PSST: If you’re wondering if these prices are an honest-to-goodness real deal, check this link out, we’re even cheaper than Walmart!

 Give us a call at 800-355-7061 with any questions on this Anniversary offer.

BoilerCondensing BoilersHydronic BoilersNon-Condensing BoilersCondensing,commercial boilers

A commercial hybrid heating system can be the perfect option for your next boiler room upgrade. In this latest blog post from Patterson-Kelley, “Commercial Hybrid Heating Systems, Explained in Less Than 700 Words!” you’ll see how a hybrid heating system can help you save money on your initial investment, while still operating at the highest levels of efficiency.

 

Commercial Hybrid Heating Systems, Explained in Less Than 700 Words!

Eventually, all commercial heating systems need to be replaced – and whether you replace one unit, or five, it will require a significant investment in time and money.  In upgrading your system with the latest technology can offer in condensing equipment, high system efficiency, building management and connectivity, the cost to retrofit your boiler room can escalate quickly.

Fortunately, there is an additional option. You can choose to update your boiler room while saving on installation cost and optimizing your heating system efficiency by considering a hybrid system approach.

 

What is a Commercial Hybrid Heating System?

Hybrid systems consist of one or more condensing boilers, combined with one or more non-condensing boilers that perform the same function. It is designed to both, accommodate building loads, and provide instant savings on the cost of installation.

The design of a hybrid system is calculated to handle the building load with the condensing boiler(s) until it can no longer condense or maintain high efficiency levels. Condensing boilers are more efficient when maintaining lower temperatures and lower percentage of boiler modulation (1-50%). Once they begin exceeding certain parameters, they become less efficient.

In a hybrid system, the temperature required to heat the building on a given day would be used to calculate the building load and size the unit(s) accordingly. For example, an engineer would select a specific building and calculate the energy required down to a specific outdoor temperature without exceeding 150°F boiler temperature. When the system calls for 150°F and below the condensing boiler will run, but when the system calls for 151°F or above the non-condensing boilers will kick-in to accommodate the load. This is assuming that the system will operate at a 30° delta T, so that the return temperature is at 120°F to 130°F. This will cause the condensing boiler(s) to provide high efficiency to the best of its capacity.

 

Proper Control of a Hybrid Heating System

Applying the right control to a hybrid system design is extremely critical for proper boiler sequencing, and to attain the most condensing run-time during boiler operation. The end user must be able to prioritize the start sequence of the boiler system. In the case of mild weather, the condensing boilers must have priority in satisfying building load requirements. When the weather changes, and the outdoor temperature drops below the point of boiler condensation (90%+ efficiency), the control should engage the non-condensing boiler(s).  At this point the difference in efficiency between the two types of boilers should be about 1-1 ½ %. The condensing boiler will now be operating at 88%, while the non-condensing boiler operates at 86.5-87% efficiency.

 

Why Install a Hybrid Heating System?

The benefits of installing a hybrid system include increased savings on installation costs and maximized efficiency. A non-condensing boiler can be about 40% more cost effective than a condensing boiler. When replacing a multi boiler system, purchasing a multiple condensing boilers can become more expensive than a combination of condensing and non-condensing boilers.

 

Prevent Challenges with a P-K Hybrid System Solution

Lacking a good boiler control system that can effectively manage the boiler input based on the temperature requirements of a building can become a great disadvantage when setting up a hybrid system. In which case, the building loads would need to be calculated in a way that a portion of the boiler plant will be condensing and the other portion will not be condensing.

In the past, setting up a hybrid system could have been intimidating for both the system designer and the installer. Those times are over! With recent boiler technology breakthroughs, controls are now able to achieve boiler sequencing and manipulate loads based on the type of boiler and temperature requirements.

The Patterson-Kelley NURO® Touch-Screen Control has the flexibility to control hybrid system applications. Just with one click within the settings option, the control can walk you through the easy steps of setting up the appropriate parameters. Even if the boilers are connected to a building management system, properly setting the hybrid system with the NURO® control can be a piece of cake!

Next Steps?

Interested in more information on the Nuro system and how it might help your clients? Give us a call at 800-355-7061 and we’d be happy to answer any questions or help you with the engineering specifications.

You really don’t want to miss this one! Save August 15th in your calendar for our 3rd Annual Mechanical Equipment Customer Appreciation Golf Outing.

2019 is our 20-year anniversary, so we are going above and beyond with prizes and fun.

Come and take a shot for a chance to choose one of 3 prizes in our Hole-in-One Contest, a 2019 Ford F-150 Pick-Up Truck or His & Hers Harley Motorcycles or $50,000.00 cash! Do you feel lucky?

Miss your chance at a hole-in-one? You can still win prizes in our Longest Drive, Longest Putt, and Closest to the Pin contests. But if that weren’t enough (it is our 20th Anniversary after all) we will also have a special raffle, drawing 6 names where:

  • 1 player will get one chance to make a 60-foot putt for $2,500;
  • 4 players will each get one chance to make a Hole-in-One from 165 yards for $50,000 (all 4 could win); and
  • 1 player will get one chance to make a Hole-in-One from 165 yards for $1,000,000!

Seriously, we love our customers and want to share our success with you. We wouldn’t be in business without your support.

We hope you can join us for a beautiful day of golf at the newly renovated Makray Memorial Golf Club® in Barrington, IL.

Lunch will be served before golf, with fine dining and beverages after.

Details:

August 15, 2019

Makray Memorial Golf Club®
1010 S Northwest Highway (Rt. 14)
Barrington, IL. 60010
847-381-6500

Lunch: 11AM
Golf: Shotgun start at 12:00 Noon
Dinner: 6PM

Format will be a “Shamble”:

  • Everyone will tee off on every hole, then everyone’s second shot will be from the spot of the best drive, (you pick up your ball and move it to the best drive spot).
  • From there, everyone plays out their own shots on each hole.
  • The team event will be a 2 best ball, foursome.
  • Scores will be handicapped (using the Callaway System) and prizes will be awarded to the winners.

RSVP: Please respond no later than Friday July 12thSpace is limited, reserve early.  Call your individual Sales Rep or call our office at 847-526-3095 to confirm a reservation and Windbreaker Jacket size.

We all know that designing an efficient heating system is essential for your clients. So, we wanted to share a recent post from one of our top product lines, Patterson Kelley where they take a stand on the debate between variable primary or primary secondary piping and even offer a third, new option with their NURO® Touch Screen Control System.

 

Hydronic Boilers Piping Arrangements

Just like we would debate over sports, music, or politics, engineers have long held strong opinions about piping arrangements for hydronic heating systems.  Which is better:  Primary-Secondary or Variable Primary?  They each have their benefits, but most boiler manufacturers tend to side with Primary-Secondary.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a different choice?

What is a Variable Primary Piping System?

In Variable Primary piping systems, there is one set of system pumps, generally piped in parallel, that distribute water through the heating equipment and terminal units.  Heat generated by the boilers is sent directly to the terminal units.  A Variable Primary piping arrangement can result in lower initial costs due to the installation of fewer pumps, less piping, less electrical, etc.  Variable Primary systems are generally considered to be more energy efficient. This is based solely on the concept that fewer pumps use less energy.  For any given installation these assumptions may or may not be true, but they are accepted when choosing between Variable Primary and Primary-Secondary piping arrangements.

What is a Primary-Secondary Piping System?

The Primary-Secondary piping arrangement includes two sets of pumps, system pumps and boiler pumps.  The system pumps distribute water to the terminal units and the boiler pumps circulate water through a loop that serves the heating equipment only.  The two piping systems are decoupled through what is commonly referred to as a “zero pressure bridge”, which hydraulically separates the boiler from the system. Traditionally, Primary-Secondary piping arrangements have meant full flow in the boiler loop and variable flow in the system loop.  Manufacturers tend to prefer Primary-Secondary because it ensures proper flow through the boiler.  Although a few manufacturers have boasted “Zero Flow” capabilities for their boilers, engineers know that no flow means no heat transfer; this begs the question, “why is the boiler firing?”  Engineers have begun to shy away from Primary-Secondary due to the perceived excessive pumping energy; but is that really the case?

A Third Option

With the advancement of on-board boiler controls like the NURO® Touch Screen Control System, there is now an additional option: Variable Primary-Variable Secondary.  The NURO® can vary the speed of your boiler pump, equipped with either a VFD or EC motor. As the boiler firing rate varies, the pump speed and flow adjust accordingly.  It’s the best of both worlds; flow rate ensured through the boiler, and energy savings associated with variable flow.  One might argue… “what about installation cost?”  Yes, there is slightly more piping associated with a Variable Primary-Variable Secondary piping arrangement, however, the installation cost is not significantly more.  Variable primary systems require a two-way control valve on each boiler to prohibit flow through an unfired boiler.  A boiler circulator with an EC motor is marginally more expensive than the control valve.

Next Step?

Interested in more information on the Nuro system and how it might help your clients? Give us a call at 800-355-7061 and we’d be happy to answer any questions or help you with the engineering specifications.

We are happy to announce that Pat Tucker has joined the Mechanical Equipment team as a Sales Engineer.

Pat has a long history in the commercial HVAC business. He started with a pipefitter apprenticeship right out of high school and was able to work his way up the ranks quickly in each of his positions. He became the Piping Superintendent at Murphy & Miller in Chicago, supervising apprentices, journeymen and foremen for ten years. He was also recognized as the youngest superintendent in Local 597’s history!

He then went on to become the Piping Manager at Westside Mechanical Inc., which added more responsibility and also allowed him to use his managerial expertise. Pat’s track record of success made him a highly sought-after person, and he was soon hired as a Project Manager/General Superintendent at International Piping Systems. That’s also where Pat met his future wife, June, who is now a Vice President at F.E. Moran, and where he also met Dennis at Mechanical Equipment. Pat also began attending night school at IIT, to obtain his mechanical engineering degree.

Eventually, Pat was offered an opportunity on the supplier side of our industry, becoming a Vice President at Flomech in Downers Grove, IL. Pat was responsible for overseeing estimating, sales, design, installation and start-up for all heating and cooling projects. His experience in contracting, gives him a great perspective of our customer’s needs, helping him offer excellent customer service. Pat’s design and installation background helps assure a smooth and profitable job for our customers.

Pat shared, “Coming from the contractor side to the vendor side, I made a commitment to be the vendor that everyone wanted to deal with. I always give 100% effort. I pride myself on that and I respond to my customers as fast as I can, 24/7 no matter the size of the order or how busy I am. Business is all about relationships and I plan to continue my excellent relationships for years to come.”

Dennis O’Shaughnessy, Mechanical Equipment’s founder, said, “I was excited to bring Pat into the ME team because Pat offers our customers yet another source for our ‘best in the industry’ customer service. His knowledge and design expertise is an invaluable asset in making sure that we are performing and delivering better than anyone else. His pipefitter experience tells him that sometimes what’s shown on a drawing doesn’t necessarily work on the job site. Having known Pat for 20 years, I have seen him grow and succeed in this industry, which makes me realize how fortunate we are to have him.”

Pat said, “I’m excited about working with Dennis and his team of people. He and I have known and respected each other for over 20 years. Mechanical Equipment has a variety of top-notch product lines and more opportunities to serve mechanical contractors. I like being able to help customers from A to Z and help save them money by helping resolve any issues, make changes or assist with the design.”

Pat is an enormously proud father of three children that keep him very busy, he also collects cars for fun, (he’s had over 75 throughout his life!) and if that’s not enough, Pat loves scuba diving.

Pat is available for engineering consultations, equipment specifications or anything at all that you need help with. Feel free to give Pat a call to help make your job easier. Welcome aboard Pat!

We have implemented a new inventory control system at Mechanical Equipment to make it easier for you to track your orders with us.

To make it easier to track your orders, our packing slips will now include the UPS tracking numbers, as well as a hot link, to click and check the status of your order. If you want to received an email copy of the packing list, with the UPS tracking number to track and hotlink to the UPS tracking site, make sure to give us your email address when you order and we’ll send that to you when your order ships.

As you will see on the sample packaging slip here, the hot link will take you directly to the UPS tracking site to see where your shipment is in the process with the estimated delivery date.

 

This is just another way we wanted to save you time and hassle when it comes to tracking your orders. You can always still call us, we love to hear from you, but now you have up to date info at your fingertips.

Let us know if you have any questions at 1-800-355-7061.

Patterson-Kelley will begin shipping their new MACH® condensing boiler with 10:1 Mechanical Turndown starting March 29th, 2019.

MACH® Models C750, C900, C1050

Providing high turndown without sacrificing efficiency or reliability.

Patterson-Kelley continues to push the limits of technology by increasing turndown, with emphasis on system efficiency, reliability, and serviceability. By using a mechanical method to achieve higher turndown, they have eliminated the need to add excess air. Adding excess air can reduce the dewpoint of the flue gas and adversely affect efficiency.

MACH® with 10:1 Mechanical Turndown Capability Benefits:

  • Flexibility to match input to building load
  • Better control over temperature differential between return water and exhaust temperature
  • Perfect for new installation and retrofit projects
  • Simple boiler maintenance
  • Available for natural gas application

The MACH® condensing boiler is now available with 10:1 mechanical turndown capabilities for natural gas models C750, C900, and C1050; perfect for a variety of applications.

If you are interested in including this boiler in your next project bid or reaching out to your existing customers to upgrade their equipment, give us a call for specs, pricing, and delivery dates.

You can also download a MACH® with 10:1 Mechanical Turndown Bundle today to grab literature, spec sheets, submittals, and more and start planning your next upgrade or new installation project today.

 

 

 

Sterlco recently sent us an email with information on why you should choose a Sterlco Boiler Feed unit. We wanted to share their reasons so you can use or adapt them when talking with your customers.

  • Sterlco Boiler Feed Units are reliable and efficient at maintaining proper water levels
  • Units are available in steel, cast iron and stainless steel
  • The 3450 RPM motors assure maximum efficiency while maintaining minimum motor horsepower
  • Sterlco has been serving the commercial & industrial HVAC industry ­for applications such as food, beverage, breweries, distilleries, pharmaceuticals, hospitals & schools

See all of their Boiler Feed Units.

Need more reasons to choose a Sterlco Boiler Feed Unit? Give us a call!

This is some interesting information provided by Taco, concerning the VRF industry’s efficiency negotiations at the DOE:

The VRF industry has started another round of efficiency negotiations at the Department of Energy (DOE). Fireworks erupted during the October 15-16 meeting when PG&E presented two reports (links below) from the California Investor Owned Utilities (CA IOUs) claiming that the VRF manufacturers have been publishing unrepresentative equipment ratings that hurt their ability to cost-effectively serve their customers!

They then went on to present two analyses they conducted which evaluated system ratings and published performance data versus field data they collected and laboratory measurements they undertook through the Applied Technology Services (ATS) lab in San Ramon. They also performed sensitivity analysis on the IEER metric. The key take-a-way was that in both test the measured cooling IEER of the systems was approximately 50% that of the published IEER of the equipment. Stated another way, the published IEER’s are approximately 2X the measured IEER’s. This data corroborates what we have been seeing in the field, had documented at the ASHRAE headquarters building in Atlanta, Georgia, and have been touting at VRFrejected.org.

The testing and rating standards noted at the DOE working group meetings are governed by AHRI, Standard 1230. This standard is also currently under review and open for public comment. On November 19, the Hydronic Industry Alliance-Commercial (HIA-C) submitted comments in regards to the performance rating of VRF equipment [LINK]. Key areas of concern addressed the shortcomings of the standard as it is based on a residential unitary DX standard, which is not suitable for commercial application, highlighted by the testing being based on a maximum of 25 feet of piping, something rarely found in the field. The submitted comments also addressed the importance of accurate comparisons of operating efficiency in the heating mode, recommending that refrigerant piping length correction factors for Heating Capacity, COP, and HSPF must be developed along with adequately addressing what speed the compressor is to be tested at in heating mode.

PG&E VRF DOE Test Report 1

PG&E VRF DOE Test Report 2

Give us a call if you have any questions on this.