Archive for February 2012


Noritz Unveils Contractor Promotion for PROCard Members

Posted on February 29, 2012 by John OReilly

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of its entry into the U.S. tankless water heating market, Noritz America Corporation recently unveiled a 10-month contractor appreciation promotion designed to recognize and reward members of its ongoing PROCard Program, as well as to attract additional professional installers to the group.

By submitting warranty registrations on Noritz products installed between March 1 and December 31 of this year, participating contractors will earn chances to win prizes in monthly and quarterly drawings. All participants will also be eligible for the grand prize drawing in January 2013 when the winner will receive a new Yamaha Rhino 700cc fuel-injected, side-by-side utility vehicle, valued at $19,000.

Promotional rules: The 2012 PROCard Promotion is open to all program members in the United States and Canada at To join PROCard, interested contractors should visit or call (866) 766-7489.

All participants can enter as many warranty registrations as they wish each month to be eligible for the monthly drawings. They are also automatically entered for the three quarterly drawings as well as for the grand prize drawing.

  • Current members will earn one chance in the monthly, quarterly and grand prize drawings for each warranty registration submitted from March 1 through December 31.
  • Members who submitted fewer than five warranty registrations in 2011 will earn five chances for their very first warranty registration during the 10-month promotion and one chance for each subsequent registration.
  • New program members will earn 10 chances for their very first warranty registration during the promotional period and one chance for each subsequent registration.
For more information on the 2012 PROCard Promotion visit

Design a Home Steam Shower with Online Virtual Spa System

Posted on February 20, 2012 by Nora DePalma

Visualize a new steam shower for your home with the new Mr. Steam Virtual Spa System.  From generators to controls, decorative finishes, lights and options such as chromatherapy or aromatherapy, the Virtual Spa System enables visitors to select and preview every element of a home steam spa in a simple step-by-step guided process.

Visitors begin by entering their steam shower dimensions and materials, either natural stone or porcelain/ceramic tile. Mr. Steam’s sophisticated sizing tool takes materials into account so that the Virtual Spa System calculates the most efficient generator size.

Options are available on a la carte basis or visitors can select from a package of components. A final summary page provides a list of all components with names/model numbers, photos, finish, tech specs, and price. The summary can be printed and emailed along with the tech specs.

The Virtual Spa System also makes it easy for homeowners or professionals to quickly compare a number of steam shower options to meet different budget levels.

For more information on this new online system, view the complete press release for the Virtual Spa System or email us.


Uponor Boosts Tech Ed with Student Factory Tour

Posted on February 17, 2012 by John OReilly

On Feb. 14, more than 60 pre-engineering students from Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, Minn., visited the Uponor North American headquarters in Apple Valley, Minn., to learn about new innovations in radiant heating and cooling, as well as plumbing and fire sprinkler systems, using crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing.

The students’ visit was in conjunction with a push to encourage more science and technology education in Minnesota schools. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), who visited Uponor on Jan. 11 to promote business innovation, also spoke in an online column about the importance of technical schools and the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) network in Minnesota.

To download the full press release and several hi-res images, please visit…


Uponor North America Names Bill Gray President

Posted on February 16, 2012 by John OReilly

Uponor has named Bill Gray president of Uponor North America, effective Feb. 15, 2012. He is also a member of the Uponor Group executive committee.

Gray has served as the vice president for UNA Sales since June 2011, where he was responsible for the leadership of all Uponor North American sales efforts in the United States and Canada. Previously, he was general manager for Uponor Ltd. in Canada for three years where he oversaw all Canadian operations, including sales, marketing, demand management and technical and customer service.

To download the full press release and a hi-res image, please visit…



Keeping Old Supply Lines: Like Not Changing Your Plumbing “Underwear”

Posted on February 16, 2012 by Joel Williams

While shopping for a compression elbow for a new dishwasher, I asked the sales clerk what was the proper outside diameter for the water supply line.

He said, “We’ve got a complete kit for dishwashers  over there.” I told him that I just wanted the fitting.

He looked at me slyly, and said, “You’re not planning to reuse the existing plumbing supply lines, are you?”  I laughed and admitted that this indeed was my plan, to which he replied, “using existing plumbing supply lines is like putting a clean pair of clothes over dirty underwear.”

Never having the practice illustrated so visually, I asked him to elaborate.  He explained that the fitting expands during the tightening process and the brass compression ring never regains its initial bond.

Moral of the story?  Change your underwear.


Wet & Forget Scrub-free Outdoor Stain Remover Wins My Heart

Posted on February 13, 2012 by Joel Williams

My deck is aching for a little spring cleaning.  Every time I walk our dog, I see the discoloration and grime from the mold growth and mildew that result from the lack of a southern exposure.  Our newest client, Wet & Forget, has an outdoor stain remover tailor-made for millions of homeowners like me.

The environmentally gentle, scrub-free exterior stain remover safely and gently removes unsightly moss, mold, mildew and algae stains on siding, roofs, decks, concrete and any outdoor surface imaginable. Check out these amazing before and after images from this composite deck – all without harmful bleach or back-breaking power washing.  The beauty of this non-caustic, non-acidic, bleach-free cleaner is that it requires no scrubbing, no rinsing and no elbow grease.

Simply apply with a pump garden sprayer, then sit back and let Mother Nature do the rest. Results can be seen within days for those less contaminated areas and over several months for more distressed areas.

This product delivers on the “maintenance free” promise of composite decking materials.  Spring cleaning, here I come.





Mr. Steam Awards Vacation to Kitchen & Bath Showroom Manager

Posted on February 8, 2012 by Nora DePalma

Lisa Jones, showroom manager at Dahl Decorative Kitchen & Bath in Glenwood Springs, Co., and winner of the Grand Prize in the Mr. Steam® Passport to Bora Bora Rewards Program for 2011.

Mr. Steam, makers of high quality steam showers and towel warmers for residential and commercial use, recently announced the winners of the Mr. Steam Passport to Bora Bora Rewards Program for 2011. Lisa Jones, showroom manager at Dahl Decorative Kitchen & Bath in Glenwood Springs, Co., won the Grand Prize: a four-night vacation for two to Bora Bora, including round-trip airfare and a guided tour.

The grand prize announcement was the culmination of the fifth annual, seven-month incentive program, designed to encourage showroom personnel and sales associates to engage the Mr. Steam brand while actively promoting its various offerings. Ten other showroom managers from around the country received prizes as part of this sales incentive program.

To qualify, a trained, registered participant had to sell a Mr. Steam product and then return the Rewards Incentive Form to the company. From May through November of last year, Mr. Steam randomly selected a Passport to Rewards Program winner each month, issuing him or her a gift certificate to a spa in their area. Winners have included:

For more information on this announcement, view the complete Mr. Steam press release or email us.


AHR Expo Rides the Rising Tide of Energy Efficiency

Posted on February 7, 2012 by John OReilly

If you are actively involved in the HVAC business—whether wet heat, forced air or some creative combination of the two—and chose not to attend AHR Expo 2012 in Chicago last month, you owe yourself a heart-felt apology. You really should have made the scene—no excuses, please (if you didn’t, there’s always AHR Expo 2013 in Dallas).

The beleaguered construction market of recent years has taken a terrible toll on everyone’s marketing budget, and trade shows have been a particularly conspicuous target of sharp spending cuts. More and more decision-makers, potential exhibitors and attendees, are opting to hang onto their cash and stay home with scant regret, convinced there is precious little ROI to be gained spending another four or five days living out of a suitcase in Las Vegas, Orlando, or Wherever.

But while it may be a bitter season for most exhibitions, the annual AHR Expo continues to flourish. You’d think the prospect of spending three days in Chicago in mid-January would be reason enough for all interested parties to just say “no,” but you’d be wrong. In fact, this year’s event broke all the records any trade show covets. According to the AHR Expo’s website, the 2012 event saw…

  • Record visitor attendance: over 39,000 contractors, engineers, distributors, facility managers, manufacturers, reps and other HVACR professionals.
  • Record total attendance: over 58,000 visitors and exhibitor personnel.
  • Record exhibit floor: more than 428,000 net square feet of booth space in two halls at McCormick Place.

Much of the credit for this success goes to ASHRAE, its staff and membership for all the hard work that goes into making a successful exposition of this magnitude year after year after year. But I don’t think it’s especially radical to suggest there’s an even larger, more critical reality at play here, given the enthusiastic crowds at the AHR Expo in recent times.

National phenomenon: It comes down to two words: energy efficiency, and the galvanizing impact this movement is having despite the economy, or perhaps because of it. This impact affects not only on the people who attend the Expo, but also—and more importantly—American society as a whole. After all, absent a vibrant market for energy-efficient products, the number of exhibitors and attendees at the AHR Expo would be far fewer, no matter how hard show organizers worked.

Americans continue to regard the green movement in general with a skeptical eye. But when it comes to saving money on their fuel bills, a critical mass of homeowners are “all in.” A recent article by John K. McIlwain in Urban Land, the online publication of the Urban Land Institute, summed up the trend by quoting an unnamed developer to the effect that energy efficiency has become the “new granite countertop.”

“After all, no one asks what the payback period is for a countertop. Just as items that were once added to a new home or condo for an additional price are now standard, so too are energy-efficient equipment and design becoming standard features expected by the buyer or renter.” (Italics mine.)

The makers, designers, specifiers and installers of heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment understand this happy reality, and its beneficial resonance on their businesses and their careers. That’s why McCormick Place was humming with activity in late January—at least for the first two days of the AHR Expo—and why it will likely be humming again next January when the show moves to Dallas, and then in 2014 when it returns to New York, New York.

It’s also why if energy efficiency is the core rationale for how you earn your daily bread, you just might want to check out the AHR Expo, one of the very few trade shows these days that isn’t struggling to justify its existence.


Skilled Trades Get Boost from Go Build Georgia

Posted on February 7, 2012 by Nora DePalma

For a long time now, it’s been drilled into our heads that a four-year college degree was the way to go. As the economy remains sluggish and real unemployment numbers fail to improve, more and more attention is beginning to turn to a formerly maligned career path: the skilled trades. The recent turnaround has likely been caused by a number of factors. First and foremost is a lack of skilled labor: The pool of available workers may be very large, but it can be difficult for employers to find people with professional training or more advanced skills.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal recently unveiled a program designed to attract a new generation of skilled building trades, called Go Build Georgia, patterned after Alabama’s Go Build Alabama, right down to the website design. As a recent article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, experts are predicting a tremendous need for trained construction workers in the coming years. Of the nation’s current construction workforce, one third is age 50 or over. As baby boomers begin to retire, they will leave tremendous numbers of vacant jobs. The Construction Labor Research Council estimates that 95,000 new workers will be needed each year for the next decade to fill these positions.

Uponor trains contractors.

We are privileged to know and work with a great number of smart, highly skilled trade professionals. The question is, how do we make sure there is a next generation of well-trained plumbers, builders and HVACR technicians?

Take it beyond Career Day. We’ve heard of contractors connecting to high school students by donating relevant supplies and equipment for classroom presentations, and even working with local suppliers to bring in tools and damaged equipment for practice. Many school systems in the U.S. have little or no budget for these types of programs, so schools are often very happy to receive such support.

Don’t forget the administrators and staff! Some contractors sponsor lunches with school guidance counselors to educate them about the many opportunities available in the trades.

Provide public support for trade education. The Go Build Alabama campaign is apparently funded by fees paid by firms who hire skilled workers. Georgia has not yet finalized its funding for Go Build Georgia, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Promoting the return of shop classes at the high school level can spark interest and enthusiasm in trade careers, while expanding access to updated vo-tech facilities can provide a considerably lower-cost alternative to a four-year degree.

Construction is one job that can never be outsourced, and having a wealth of working, skilled trade professionals is something that benefits absolutely everyone. Here’s hoping that both public and private support for trade education will continue to increase in the coming years.


JADO Pyke Collection: Sculptural New Bathroom Faucets

Posted on February 3, 2012 by Nora DePalma

The new JADO Pyke Collection of luxury lavatory faucets and accessories feature strong sculptural profiles and distinctive geometric lines, ideal for your most demanding contemporary or transitional application. Blending attention-grabbing aesthetics with fine craftsmanship and durable construction, Pyke faucets offer such JADO hallmarks as superior performance, carefully considered ergonomics, time-tested reliability, and environmentally-aware water efficiency.

The comprehensive faucet collection that combines contemporary elegance with superior performance include widespread, monoblock, and vessel lavatory faucets; a deck-mount tub filler; a tub/shower set; a personal hand-shower set; and matching accessories such as a towel bar, towel ring, tissue holder, and robe hook.

The Pyke Collection is WaterSense-certified, saving 32 percent water over standard models, and is offered in a variety of attractive designer finishes including polished chrome, brushed nickel and platinum nickel.

For more information about this elegant new collection of luxury faucets, view the complete press release for the JADO Pyke Collection or email us.