Hooked on Hydronics Blog

Joe Britt, PE

Joe Britt, PE is the Vice President and Business Operations Manager at Heat Transfer Sales of the Carolinas.

Recent Posts

Is Your Commercial Boiler System Oversized?

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on Dec 1, 2016 9:07:48 AM

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Topics: General Knowledge, Building Owner Tips, Design Engineer Tips

Best Installation Practices for All HVAC Pump Styles

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on Nov 18, 2016 11:01:58 AM

You can purchase the best pump in all the world for your commercial HVAC system but, if it is installed improperly, it will mean additional costs in replacement parts, labor expenses and equipment down time. If you want to keep commercial pumps running for the long haul, you need to insure that best practices are followed, starting with the initial installation.

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Topics: Pumps, General Knowledge, Design Engineer Tips

Why Air Must Be Removed from Hydronic HVAC Systems

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on Sep 21, 2016 3:01:53 PM

In hydronic HVAC systems, water is circulated through the pipes and equipment as it delivers and removes energy throughout the system. In a closed loop piping system, the water is kept under pressure and never exposed to the open atmosphere as it travels from the pump discharge back to the suction. And, in this type of closed system, air poses several problems, including:

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Topics: Pumps, Design Engineer Tips

What Is a Hydronic HVAC System Anyway?

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on Aug 18, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Republished blog post from November 2015

Are you unfamiliar with how air conditioning, or HVAC, systems work? HVAC is the Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) method for conditioning the indoor environment of a building, usually with the intent of keeping the occupant comfortable. A hydronic HVAC system utilizes water as the primary fluid to transfer energy throughout the building. Water has outstanding heat transfer characteristics, along with other benefits (i.e. – plentiful, non-toxic, “green," inexpensive) that make it ideal for this purpose.

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Topics: General Knowledge, Boilers and Water Heaters

Commercial HVAC Green Options and Money Saving Opportunities for Commercial Buildings

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on Aug 12, 2016 11:09:50 AM

Republished post from December 2015

Dedicated Outside Air Systems (DOAS) are quite common today in commercial HVAC building designs. A big reason for this are the Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) requirements from standards such as ASHRAE 62.1. This new standard involves introducing more outside air into a building than ever before. Fresh air is generally good – occupants are happier, healthier, and more productive. But fresh air also carries moisture,especially in the Carolinas. Gone unchecked, high moisture content in the air, otherwise known as high humidity, can lead to physical discomfort and bacteria and mold growth. High humidity can cause other issues like surface sweating, condensate pooling, and electrical equipment issues.

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Topics: General Knowledge, Manufacturer Information, Building Owner Tips, Design Engineer Tips

Pump Talk: Impeller Trimming for Variable Speed Pumps

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on Aug 10, 2016 1:37:21 PM

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Topics: Pumps

Project Files: Water Source Heat Pump System

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on Jul 28, 2016 10:55:45 AM

Observations from the field at an assisted living facility.  

(The purpose of this blog series is to provide real-world examples of hydronic HVAC and plumbing issues observed in the field, our recommendations, and, when feasible, the ultimate outcome. The names of those involved are omitted to protect the innocent. Some photos include blatant mistakes or oversights. Viewer discretion is advised.)

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Topics: General Knowledge, Project Files

5 Common Installation Mistakes on Base Mounted Pumps

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on Jul 27, 2016 11:08:40 AM

Some might argue that pumps are the most vital component of a commercial HVAC system.  Just as the body cannot live without the heart to pump blood, a building cannot heat or cool without the pumps doing their job.  Boilers, chillers, cooling towers, air handlers, terminal units, radiant devices, etc. are all useless without water flowing through them.  (Yes, air handlers and other fans can provide ventilation, but the air would be unconditioned.  You might as well open a window and hope for a breeze!)
Whether you are a contractor, engineer, or building owner, making sure your pumps are installed correctly is really easy IF you know what to look for.  Here are the five most common installations mistakes we see on base mounted end suction pumps.
Number One:  Pump Base/Frame Not Grouted & Bolted

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Topics: Pumps, General Knowledge, Building Owner Tips, Design Engineer Tips

The Cost of Ambiguity in Building System Design

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on Jun 27, 2016 7:30:00 AM

As a manufacturer’s rep, it is our job to delve into the fine details of a project’s mechanical and plumbing systems.  Our task is to select equipment appropriate for the application that meets the design intent and contract specifications.  Unfortunately, we far too often encounter the following stumbling blocks:

·      Outdated equipment specifications

·      Contradicting plans & specifications

·      Incomplete equipment schedules

·      Required equipment not mentioned

·      Incorrect equipment for the application

·      Equipment performance doesn’t match the building loads/requirements

·      Generic installation details that do not apply

·      No inter-trade coordination, such as with electrical or controls

·      Sequence of operation doesn’t match the application
Designers are asked to produce more work more quickly than they ever have.  As demands increase, the temptation to cut and paste from other projects and take shortcuts must be overwhelming.  We all encounter this in our jobs from time to time and we certainly sympathize. 

But here are just a few ways that the early rush on a project may inflate costs down the line:

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Topics: General Knowledge, Design Engineer Tips

HVAC Pumps: Radial Thrust

Posted by Joe Britt, PE on May 17, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Most people in the pump industry have not heard this term. To be perfectly honest with you, I’ve known about this issue, but only recently found the proper term. By definition, radial thrust occurs within a centrifugal pump operates too far from its Best Efficiency Point (BEP), resulting in imbalanced forces that push along the radius of the pump impeller. In plain English, the pump shakes and sounds like it is cavitating. Try to throttle the discharge valve of a pump while it is operating at full speed, and you will see what I am talking about.

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Topics: Pumps, General Knowledge, Design Engineer Tips

Why we blog

At Heat Transfer Sales of the Carolinas, we are invested in the success of our customers.  And we believe in the products we represent.  We use our blog posts to educate and answer questions about hydronic HVAC and engineered plumbing equipment and the industry in general. 

We are dedicated to:

  • Helping our customers find solutions
  • Innovative thinking
  • Serving as true partners in the HVAC & plumbing industry
  • Representing the latest high-performing equipment

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