243 West State Road 176 | Island Lake, IL 60042 800-355-7061

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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.

 

Do you take care of your 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 you can take to help maintain energy efficiency and extend the life of your boiler.

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

Our PK annual maintenance kit includes all parts that need to be replaced, including gaskets to re-seal the combustion inspection covers that you need to remove in order to clean the fire-side. Right now, we’re offering a limited time 20% discount on our Patterson-Kelley Boiler Annual Maintenance Kits (part #BP-0000-0345) until September 15th. 2018. Order yours today.

  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. Call before September 15th to get 20% off!  800-355-7061.

Patterson-Kelley recently published a blog post on innovation in boiler controls that we thought would be of interest to you. They are one of our most trusted lines of heat transfer equipment like boilers and water heaters. As you will see in the blog post, Patterson-Kelley is definitely committed to making boiler control technology one of the most impressive features of your heating systems. Read on!

The Evolution of Boiler Controls

The technological innovation of boiler systems has drastically enhanced how users interact with their boilers. The industry continues to improve safety and efficiency standards to fit the game changing environment. Today, users seek features that influence the return on their investment. These notable features include increased energy efficiency, great zone controls and low operational costs; all of which can be achieved by selecting the right boiler control technology.

Boiler control systems have evolved through the years, reducing energy waste and providing the user with greater control over their equipment. Innovation helps to facilitate day to day processes, and allows boilers to better respond to the genuine requirements for comfort heat and hot water demand.

Prevent Boiler Short-Cycling

We all want our heating system to increase cost savings and reduce carbon emissions. However, the issue of boiler short-cycling is the primary reason for boiler inefficiency, generating high operational costs for building owners. Boiler short-cycling occurs when the system fires only to recover its standing heat losses, without genuine comfort heat or hot water demand.

In a previous era, “time delay” devices were introduced to attempt to prevent short-cycling. This device keeps the boiler from firing on fixed time delays. However, it does not take heat or hot water demand into consideration, limiting the end user’s ability to realize cost saving energy reductions.

The introduction of building management systems(BMS) and building optimization positively affected the heating industry by increasing efficiency and providing the end user with more control over their system. But once again these controls have resulted in the implementation of technology that can interfere with existing control strategies, compromising the comfort levels of a building.

Today, we use a modern and intelligent boiler load optimization control. The computer-based control allows for continuous monitoring of both flow and returning temperatures in real time. The control consists of both hardware and software, and engineers have even found a way to integrate the use of internet protocols.

The Patterson-Kelley Solution

The Patterson-Kelley NURO® control system constantly analyzes the boilers outlet temperature and compares it to the current comfort heat setpoint. This enables the control to identify and prevent the boiler from short-cycling. When the outlet temperature drops below the setpoint, the NURO® commands the boiler to increase its firing rate, and as it approaches the comfort heat set point, the control will command the boiler to decrease its firing rate. Both the Comfort Heat Wizard and the Domestic Hot Water Wizard in the NURO®, allow the end user to easily set up and tune the comfort parameter for optimal performance. The control also allows for remote monitoring through a desktop or mobile device, with the NURO® Connect App. Who better knows how to control the boilers than the boiler manufacturer themselves.

The success of this approach led Patterson-Kelley to engineer a NURO® Conversion Kit, which allows current MACH® boiler owners to convert their control to the latest technology.

We’d be happy to talk with you and answer any questions on the Patterson-Kelley Boiler Control options for your next project. Give us a call at 800-355-7061.

This post originally appeared here

Patterson-Kelley is one of our most trusted lines of heat transfer equipment like boilers and water heaters. They recently published this article on boiler turndown rates that we thought you would find it of interest.

 

Operate at Peak Efficiency

Thermal efficiency is simply the chemical energy added to the boiler divided by the energy added to the boiler water.  As more energy is transferred from the hot gas into the boiler water, the thermal efficiency increases and the temperature of the hot gas decreases.

Almost all boilers are tuned to add excess air, which ensures ideal combustion of the fuel for proper air-fuel mixing. The excess air can also prevent the burner from overheating by “pushing” the combustion flames off the burner.

When energy from the hot gasses is transferred to the boiler water, the gas temperature dips below the dew point, which causes vapor to become liquid. The energy released from the conversion is picked up by the boiler water and results in a significant boost in efficiency. Every pound of water converted into liquid adds approximately 1000 BTUs to the boiler water. However, dry flue losses and loss of vapor can result in energy loss.

Energy loss can be readily calculated if the amount of CO2 and O2 in the flue gas and the stack temperature is known.

With the evolution of boiler technology, manufacturers have found a way to offer units with multiple firing rates, and units that can modulate seamlessly between fixed low fire rates and fixed high fire rates. The fixed fire rates are defined as the boiler turndown capacities, and modulation is accomplished by reducing the air and gas flow into the boiler.

The benefit of this modulation is threefold; it reduces cycle losses, it reduces the wear on the components, and it can potentially lead to higher thermal efficiencies.

Impact of Turndown

This begs the fundamental question – wouldn’t a boiler with extreme turndowns be much more efficient than one with 5:1 turndown?  The answer to that is NO!

To achieve high turndowns, the boilers are tuned to deliver greater amounts of excess air at low firing rates to keep the burner from overheating. The additional excess air will significantly reduce the dew point of the water in the flue gas and alter the losses in the dry gas. To illustrate this effect, the example used in Figure A is updated to reflect a 20:1 turn down where the O2 is set to 11% (corresponding to a CO2 of 5.6% and 97% excess air).  The results are highlighted in Figure B below.

Note that the dew point has been lowered from 130.6° F to 117° F  and the boiler is no longer in the condensing range.  This represents a 3.7% DECREASE in overall efficiency and this is just the beginning of the bad news! 

When excess air well above 50% is used in the boiler, it impacts the stability of the combustion flame which can lead to excessive flame failures, nuisance trips and cycle losses.

The Analysis

Realistic boiler modulation rates have helped improve the overall boiler system efficiency from reduced cycle losses and increased thermal effi­ciencies. Extreme turndown produces the opposite effect. Boil­er plant designs must factor in actual (not extrap­olated) boiler efficiencies through the firing range of the equipment and matching the expected plant loads with the right boiler size selections.

Interested in learning more about Patterson-Kelley boilers or how turndown rates affect efficiency? Give us a call at 800-355-7061 and we’d be happy to help.

Nexus Valve just released this video which demonstrates the installation process for the NexPress crimp piping connection system engineered for hydronic HVAC systems. It’s a little over a minute long but we think you’ll find the information valuable.

Let us know if you have any additional questions on installation or on the NexPress crimp piping connection system in general. We’re happy to answer any questions. You can reach us at 800-355-7061.

Nexus Valve has announced the addition of the HLA UltraFlex™ hose NexLok union adapter. This hose adapter can handle 250 psi of water pressure and temperatures of 32 – 200 degrees.

Made of solid brass, these adapters provide superior connectivity between Nexus UltraFlex female swivel hose ends and NPT pipe fittings or copper tubing. The UltraFlex hose end, where the hose adapters can be threaded in, has swivel fitting with NPSH (straight pipe) threads and gasket.

All threaded ends (including NPT) have faces that are machined true and flat for maximum sealing performance against gaskets.

Available in 1/2″, 3/4″, and 1″ sizes.

Call us for more information or learn more here. 

The Department of Energy (DOE) has made some changes that affect commercial and industrial pump systems. To stay up to date and compliant, you might be interested in registering for this free webinar. Taco, one of our most popular manufacturers, is hosting “DOE Commercial Pump Regulations and Labeling” on Oct. 25th at 1 p.m. CST.

Did you know that 25% of currently available pumps will not be saleable as of January 27, 2020 due to new energy efficiency levels being implemented by the DOE. This webinar will cover the scope of pumps affected by the new Commercial & Industrial Pump rules, the new rating system, test methods and performance requirements. It will also explore the industry’s efforts to implement a new Energy Rating labeling program, which is similar in look-and-feel to the Energy Star appliance labels and can easily be used by utility incentive programs to incentivize the purchase of high-efficiency pumps.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the scope of products covered under the DOE rulemaking
  • Pump Energy Index (PEI) is the new DOE metric – what it means and how it’s applied
  • Learn the compliance timelines
  • See what the new pump label looks like and how it will help affect purchases of higher efficiency equipment

Register Here

We wanted to share a case story with you that involved one of the popular product lines we carry, Nexus Valves. We hope sharing this case story of how they solved a noise issue at a local University will give you some ideas on solutions your can provide your clients.

Recently Nexus Valve and one of their manufacturers’ representatives, Faco, were highlighted in HVAC/P magazine for a project that used the Dynamic, a combined pressure independent flow limiter and control valve, to solve a noise issue at a local university. The Dynamic, along with custom valve packages, were combined with the NexLok push-fit connection system to provide a fast, clean installation for the partnered contractors.

In the case story, you’ll see that Ball State University had an opportunity to renovate one of its popular residence halls,which is an eight-story building housing 450 students and features a computer lab, fitness room, lounge area, and laundry rooms. The building was 46 years old and residents were complaining of loud noise associated with the water pressure.

The University turned to Nexus Valve for a solution with the issue. Nexus Valve brought in their local manufacturer’s representative Faco to help solve the challenge and use this project as a training opportunity for their Dynamic Valves.

The result was to suggest a pressure independent control valve combined with a thermal motoric actuator to keep constant water pressure,which significantly reduces the noise level.

Not only did the solution they designed using the Nexus Valve system solve the noise problem, but when it was combined with new technology, the tool-less industrial strength Nex-Lok push-fit connection system, it allowed for a fast, clean installation that avoided damages in tight spaces. In fact, overall the contractor felt it ended up being an 80% faster install. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Want to read more about this case story? Click here and go to page 30 of the HVAC/P magazine.

To learn more about the Nexus Valves Dynamic valves/ Nex-Lok solution and how it could help make your next project more efficient and effective, give us a call at 800-355-7061.

Have a case story of how you were able to solve a customer challenge using our products? We’d love to feature it on our blog. Shoot us an email at sales@buymeinc.com to get the ball rolling.