RectorSeal Acquires G-O-N® LLC, Originator of the Plumbing Industry’s Glue-On-Nozzle Downspout.

RectorSeal® Corp., Houston, a leading manufacturer of quality plumbing and HVAC/R products, acquired the total assets of G-O-N® LLC., Scottsdale, Ariz., recently.
The five-year-old G-O-N is the originator of the Glue-On-Nozzle (www.glueonnozzle.com), a patented, decorative nickel-bronze downspout for commercial building roof drains. The Glue-On-Nozzle is the plumbing and building industries’ only decorative downspout with a theft-resistant glue-on design that’s applied with solvent cement and installed after the wall or building is completed.

“We had the opportunity to buy a company with a ‘best-in-class’ product, so we took advantage of it,” said Larry Kaiser, vice president, RectorSeal. “The Glue-On-Nozzle fits nicely into our expanding plumbing product line that’s sold through wholesale distributors.”

Invented by a former plumber, the Glue-On-Nozzle has seven models ranging from 2 to 12-inch diameters. The nozzle installs in minutes with a three-screw wall escutcheon plate that incorporates an inner PVC coupling for gluing the decorative metal nozzle to the building’s PVC or ABS downspout.

The Glue-On-Nozzle saves job costs because it’s installed after the building or wall is completed without masonry crew coordination.

The acquisition’s transition was seamless as RectorSeal began marketing GON through its network of manufacturer’s representatives on Dec. 21. All information on G-O-N is now available through RectorSeal at www.rectorseal.com or customer service at 800-231-3345.
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About RectorSeal: The RectorSeal® Corporation is a leading manufacturer of chemical and specialty products designed for professional tradesmen. Steady growth over the years has been maintained through a commitment to providing high quality products and services. With a diversified business strategy, RectorSeal aggressively pursues new and unique technologies to serve the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical and construction industries. The RectorSeal Corporation is devoted to providing innovative quality products supported by strong customer and technical service. For more information, visit www.rectorseal.com, email marketing@rectorseal.com or
call (800) 231-3345.

RectorSeal Acquires Novent, the Industry’s Original Locking Cap for A/C Refrigerant Access Valves

no-vent-capsRectorSeal® Corp., Houston,  a leading manufacturer of quality HVAC/R products, has acquired the total assets of Novent Cap LLC, Yorba Linda, Calif., the originator of the Novent® tamper-resistant locking cap for air-conditioning unit refrigerant access ports.

The March 15, 2012 acquisition, plus the recent development of its own  GasGuard locking cap brand, now positions RectorSeal as the market-share leading manufacturer for one of the HVAC/R industry’s fastest growing market. Sharply increasing locking cap sales across the nation are being driven by the recent trends of teenage huffing deaths and black market refrigerant theft due to the inherently easy access of air-conditioning equipment Schraeder valves. The United Parents to Restrict Open Access to Refrigerants (UPROAR) (www.uproarorg.org), a lobbying group of parents who have lost children to huffing, recommends Novent locking caps on its website. Locking caps also have an environmental impact as their O-ring seals minimize refrigerant losses due to leaking Schraeder valves.

Locking caps are currently required for new air conditioning installations by the International Mechanical Code (IMC) and the International Residential Code (IRC), however sales are expected to escalate  in 2015 once a proposed IMC and IRC code mandate is passed to install locking caps on any existing system that’s opened during service.

Novent locking caps can be unlocked only with a unique key available to licensed air-conditioning and refrigeration contractors through HVAC/R wholesalers. It  complements RectorSeal’s keyless GasGuard, which can be removed only with a proprietary socket tool. “Wholesalers and contractors now have the flexibility of an easy to install and tamper-resistant keyed or keyless locking cap, both marketed by a 75-year-old company with a reputation of standing behind the products it sells,” said Larry Kaiser, vice president, RectorSeal.

RectorSeal was previously marketing Novent, as a result of its 2011 acquisition of Fall River, Mass.-based manufacturer/importer Airtec Products Corp., whose assets included the locking cap manufacturer’s U.S. distribution rights. Consequently,  RectorSeal will continue marketing Novent through the same established network of manufacturer’s representatives and wholesalers.  For additional information, visit www.rectorseal.com email: marketing@rectorseal.com; or call 800-231-3345.

New VRF A/C Training Center Epitomizes HVAC/R Industry’s Trend Toward Installation Aesthetics

Fort Worth, Texas–The hundreds of HVAC/R contractors expected to attend air conditioning system classes at distributor, Quietside’s newly-expanded training center will learn as much about installation aesthetics as they will about Samsung’s Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) systems.

“There’s an HVAC/R trend that’s pressuring contractors to make an air-conditioning installations look as good as they function,” said Matt Wall, system air conditioning engineering and VRF technical trainer, Quietside-Texas, Fort Worth, Texas, which is the master distributor of Samsung air conditioning products in North America.  ”Architects and engineers are realizing the visual impact a competed project makes on building owners and prospective clients can greatly affect their future business.  Air conditioning systems can’t just work well anymore, they have to look great tooThis aesthetics trend was the Quietside technical support staff’s impetus for showcasing not only Samsung’s DVM Plus III Series VRF equipment, but also accessories that create a professional appearance.  Therefore, Wall specified Aspen Pumps for condensate management, the PD-Series of lineset ducting and Big Foot Systems equipment mounts for supporting the VRF–all which is available from the new Engineered Products division of RectorSeal Corp., Houston.

Contractors attending any of Quietside’s 16 two-day VRF training seminars every year now get hands-on demonstrations of the training center’s working VRF equipment and the installation accessories. The two-day seminars cover everything from VRF basics and installation to wiring, commissioning and now accessories.

The Carrollton, Texas office of HVAC/R contractor, Bell Mechanical, Baton Rouge, La., installed one 10-ton heat recovery unit supplying nine evaporator coils; and two 8-ton heat recovery units and one 8-ton heat pump, which supplies one evaporator coil each. The outdoor, ground-level equipment supplies the 1,200-square-foot training center, warehouse, assembly area and offices that were included in the expansion of the five-year-old, 52,000-square-foot building, one of four Quietside distribution facilities in the U.S. “VRF systems are really driving the trend of using all these accessories to make a project look professional,” said Mike Bell, president, Bell Mechanical.

Quick and easily-assembled mounting supports are the aesthetic foundation for an aesthetic installation, according to Wall. The three DVM units are mounted on Big Foot Systems’ prefabricated 1.6-square-inch corrosion-resistant, hot-dipped galvanized tube modules supported by 1-square-foot UV-protected, glass-filled nylon footings with anti-vibration mat bases.  The VRF units are 18-inches off the ground for easier serviceability and protection against landscaping tools.  The modular supports were assembled within minutes and reduce mounting costs by more than half versus I-beam rails, poured cement pads or other conventional methods. Leveling the equipment requires only wrenching one or more of the four adjustable support legs.

Lineset protection duct makes the most noticeable difference in installation aesthetics, Wall said. Each unit’s linesets are enclosed in their own gray 4.7-inch-diameter round PVC plastic ducts from RectorSeal’s PD-Series. The lineset ducts themselves are also supported every 10 feet by a series of  piping support footings.  Bell Mechanical used three elbows and two flanges on each of the three runs that total more than 60 linear feet.  ”Protective ducts also help contractors maintain level piping throughout the run and avoid sagging or low spots that can lead to oil migration issues,” said Wall.

“Lineset protection ducts are invaluable for retrofit work, because generally there’s no opportunity to hide linesets under roofs and inside walls as exists with new construction projects,” said Bell, who uses lineset protection ducts and condensate pumps regularly on ductless air conditioning.

Inside the complex of warehousing, assembly, offices and training areas, Wall specified condensate pumps for nine evaporator coils and one mode change unit. The mini pumps are from Aspen Pumps’ Orange Series, Lime Series and White Series to assure proper condensate drainage and prevent property damage. “We occasionally see contractors just mount a mismatched or noisy condensate pump on the wall next to the evaporator coil,” said Wall, “Instead, the HVAC industry now offers a variety of small pumps aesthetically designed for concealing inside lineset ducting or elbow, or inside the evaporator drain pan.”

Quietside will soon have available an additional system for troubleshooting and training, according to Wall. A DVM S Series system, which features a dual inverter, vapor-injected scroll compressors and industry-leading efficiencies, will be installed with Big Foot Systems mounts and Aspen pumps.

As VRF becomes increasingly popular in North America, using aesthetic equipment mounting, lineset ducting and recessed condensate pumps on evaporators provide a positive first impression to the technology’s newcomers.  ”VRF is one of the fastest growing segments of HVAC, as illustrated with Quietside’s double-digit sales increases annually,” said Wall. “If someone’s first VRF contact is an eyesore, they’re not likely to jump on the trend,” Wall said.

About Rectorseal: The Rectorseal® Corporation is a leading manufacturer of chemical and specialty products designed for professional tradesmen. With a diversified business strategy, Rectorseal aggressively pursues new and unique technologies to serve the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical and construction industries. The Rectorseal Corporation is devoted to providing innovative quality products supported by strong customer and technical service. For more information on the PD-Series, Big Foot Systems rooftop equipment mounts, Aspen Pumps, or other engineered products from RectorSeal, call (800) 231-3345 to order the 24-page, color “RectorSeal Engineered HVAC/R Products Catalog.”  Visit www.rectorseal.com or email marketing@rectorseal.com.

GasGuard™ Locking HVAC/R Refrigerant Valve Caps Help Prevent Leaks, Theft & “Huffing”

The GasGuard new product press release pasted below will save lives.

RectorSeal wants contractors to become more aware that teens are dying from “huffing,”

a new trend of inhaling poisonous  refrigerant out of HVAC/R outdoor units.  One solution is to prevent access to refrigerants by installing  locking caps, such as GasGuard, which is now an International Mechanical Code mandate for new installations. By 2015, the IMC  will require all contractors to install a locking cap of some kind any time they open a system–old or new.

But don’t take our word for it about this shocking trend. Here are some excerpts from the United Parents to Restrict Open Access to Refrigerants (UPROAR) website.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that nationwide, 13.3% (up from 12.4% in 2005) of all surveyed students had used inhalants to get high one or more times during their life (lifetime inhalant use).

For more refrigerant specific stats: An analysis of 144 Texas death certificates by the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse involving misuse of inhalants found that the most frequently mentioned inhalant (35%) was Freon (51 deaths).  Of the Freon deaths, 42 percent were students or youth with a mean age of 16.4 years.

Press Release published In AC Today Product News Section April 2013

HVAC Tech Turned Wholesaler Salvages Compressor Burnout

Robert Allen is the vice president of the Johnstone Supply branch in Sacramento, Calif., as well as sister stores in Modesto and Stockton, Calif., and Sparks, Nev. He started his HVAC career as an HVAC technician. During his years in the field, Allen ran into what he called, “the compressor burnout from hell.”

That was his description of an inoperative two-ton package residential air conditioner. Allen’s task was to bring this compressor back to life. The question was, “Could he do it?”

TOTAL BURNOUT

The diagnosis first appeared like a routine compressor replacement. Allen’s recovery unit, however, went into a vacuum and automatically shut off. This typically suggests no refrigerant. Burnouts typically produce some light remnants of acid, soot, and carbon deposits, but when Allen removed the valve cores a black tar slowly oozed out of the system.

“I had serviced dozens of burnouts, but this was the worst case I had ever seen,” said Allen. “This was the kind of burnout where you throw your clothes away after the job because the smell can’t be washed out.”

While he initially gave the R-22/mineral oil system a slim chance of survival, the rental property owner’s limited budget made its replacement cost-prohibitive.

This compressor burnout occurred 15 years ago, soon after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned the use of R-11 refrigerant flushing methods, and the new environmentally-friendly flushing agents had yet to be developed. Trying his best to revive the rental property owner’s compressor, Allen did what he could with nitrogen flushing, compressor replacement, filter/drier change-out, and system recharging.

Despite all his efforts, a critical concern was the potential for unseen residual acid remnants. His service manager suggested using a four-ounce bottle of Acid-Away®, manufactured by RectorSeal Corp., Houston. Acid-Away, which is a 20-year-old, third-party lab-tested acid neutralizer with more than 2 million applications worldwide, was stocked on his truck, but Allen had never used it.

“I was old school in those days; only oil and refrigerant should go into an air conditioning system,” Allen explained, “but if I had a couple of bottles of acid neutralizer stocked on the truck that day I would have used both on that system.”

Allen returned to the site with his service manager’s suggestion and the acid neutralizing solution. The system was fixed.

A year later, the same customer had a no-cooling service call. Allen suspected the system finally died a long, slow death from the burnout. It wasn’t another burnout though that rendered the system unfixable. Instead, it was a faulty fan motor resulting in an iced evaporator coil.

“Curiosity was killing me though, so I did an acid check,” Allen recalled. “The oil was clean, yellow, and looked brand new. From then on, I’ve been a believer in acid neutralizers.”

PROVIDING CUSTOMERS INFORMATION

Today as a wholesaler, Allen is quick to recommend acid neutralizers to service techs with burnouts.

As a service tech, he went from never using neutralizers to applying them regularly as a preventive measure, especially after an acid test proved positive. Allen and his counter people recommend it for any system with a hint of acid.

“We have a good rule-of-thumb, if you don’t know why the first compressor failed, the second one will probably fail, too,” said Allen.

Burnouts typically occur when acid develops in a refrigeration system and eventually attacks the compressor motor’s copper windings and other metal parts, according to Allen. Neutralizers, which are available in different formulas for mineral oil and polyolester oil systems, are miscible liquids that chemically change acids so they can no longer corrosively attack metals and cause future burnouts. They can be hand-pumped into the high side along with the oil, or poured into the compressor crankcase prior to system charging and start-up. Although dosage instructions come with each bottle, a general rule of thumb for acid prevention is one four-ounce bottle per two gallons of compressor oil. Extreme burnout instances might require two or three times more neutralizer than previously recommended. According to Allen and some equipment manufacturers, it’s impossible to put too much or damage any compressor parts with neutralizers.

“I’ve had customers that believe acid burnouts only occur in mineral oil systems, but the newer R-410A systems burnout too, because their POE oil absorbs moisture, which can develop into acid,” said Allen.

Besides burnouts, neutralizers can also be ideal as a preventive product. Third-party laboratory tests have proven neutralizers can reduce acid to 0.00 levels and maintain an acid-free refrigeration system.

As for Allen and his customers, if any of them question the acid neutralizer recommendation as a burnout clean-up step or as an acid preventative, Allen just tells them about “the compressor burnout from hell.”

SIDEBAR: COMPRESSOR BURNOUT REFERENCE CARD

When compressor burnouts happen contractors have to clean them up and it’s not a simple job. To help his customers, Robert Allen, a former service technician and now vice-president of the Johnstone Supply branch in Sacramento, Calif., recommends the following steps to his customers with burnouts. If this is something distributors want to help their customers with, this list could be posted, laminated on a card, or provided as a handout for those looking for some assistance.

• Remove any metering devices and filter/driers.

• Flush nitrogen through the system both ways to remove debris.

• Use a cleansing system flush agent to remove what the nitrogen couldn’t dislodge. Continue cleaning until the flushing agent eventually comes out clean.

• Pour a bottle of acid neutralizer into the compressor.

• Replace metering devices and filter/driers.

• Recharge and run the system.

• Perform an acid check.

source

Girl, 12, Dies After Huffing Freon From A/C Unit

“VICTORVILLE, Calif. (KTLA) — It’s called huffing or bagging — a trend among kids and teens looking for a quick high by inhaling a chemical called Freon.

The dangerous practice is being blamed in the death of a 12-year-old girl from Victorville.

Kristal Salcido lived with her grandmother and cousins. The seventh grader found easy access to Freon from the air conditioning units in their backyard.

Kristal inhaled the chemical, later passing out in her grandma’s bathroom.

She was pronounced brain-dead at a local hospital. Her family made the difficult choice to take her off  life support four days later.

Her family says there were never warning signs of Kristal’s dangerous behavior.

Friends at Mesa Linda Middle School remember Kristal as kind, vivacious and popular.

Unfortunately, Kristal isn’t alone in participating in this dangerous trend.

According to inhalants.org — an anti-drug website — one in five students has inhaled a chemical to get high by the eighth grade.

The consequences can be brain liver or heart damage and even death, as in Kristal’s case.

Ron Postoian and his sons own an air conditioning company.

Ron says he’s serviced plenty of units where the Freon had suspiciously been used up.

“When you inhale it, it kills your brain cells — that’s all,” Postoian explained.

He says something as simple as installing safety lock caps can prevent access to freon.

Kristal’s grandmother hopes parents are listening. She wishes she still had the chance to shield young Kristal from something so dangerous.

–Stefan Chase, KTLA News

RectorSeal Acquires G-O-N® LLC, Originator of the Plumbing Industry’s Glue-On-Nozzle Downspout

gonRectorSeal® Corp., Houston,  a leading manufacturer of quality plumbing and HVAC/R products, acquired the total assets of G-O-N®LLC., Scottsdale, Ariz., Dec. 20.

The five-year-old G-O-N is the originator of the Glue-On-Nozzle (www.glueonnozzle.com),
a patented, decorative nickel-bronze downspout for commercial building roof drains. The Glue-On-Nozzle is the plumbing and building industries’ only decorative downspout with a theft-resistant glue-on design that’s applied with solvent cement and installed after the wall or building is completed.

“We had the opportunity to buy a company with a ‘best-in-class’ product, so we took advantage of it,” said Larry Kaiser, vice president, RectorSeal. “The Glue-On-Nozzle fits nicely into our expanding plumbing product line that’s sold through wholesale distributors.”

 

Invented by a former plumber, the Glue-On-Nozzle has seven models ranging from 2 to 12-inch diameters. The nozzle installs in minutes with a three-screw wall escutcheon plate that incorporates an inner PVC coupling for gluing the decorative metal nozzle to the building’s PVC or ABS downspout.

The Glue-On-Nozzle saves job costs because it’s installed after the building or wall is completed without masonry crew coordination.

The acquisition’s transition was seamless as RectorSeal began marketing GON through its network of manufacturer’s representatives on Dec. 21. All information on G-O-N is now available through RectorSeal at www.rectorseal.com or customer service at 800-231-3345.

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About RectorSeal:The RectorSeal® Corporation is a leading manufacturer of chemical and specialty products designed for professional tradesmen. Steady growth over the years has been maintained through a commitment to providing high quality products and services. With a diversified business strategy, RectorSeal aggressively pursues new and unique technologies to serve the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical and construction industries. The RectorSeal Corporation is devoted to providing innovative quality products supported by strong customer and technical service. For more information,  visit www.rectorseal.com, email marketing@rectorseal.com or call (800) 231-3345.

New 60-Page Free Plumbing Catalog: Instructional Handbook for Wholesalers & Contractors

RectorSeal’s New 60-Page Free Plumbing Catalog is Instructional Handbook for Wholesalers & Contractors

Illustrated guide/handbook’s installation/service product tips and info are a must for any plumbing contractor or distributor’s reference library.

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 31, 2012

Contact:  Jerry Tomasello–Dir. of Mktg.  or   John Parris Frantz
RectorSeal Corp.                              J.P.F. Communications Inc.
(800) 231-3345                                   (773) 871-2600                                 jtomasello@rectorseal.com             john@jpfcomm.com

RectorSeal® Corp., Houston,  a leading manufacturer of quality plumbing and HVAC/R products that’s currently celebrating its 75th anniversary, has released its new free Plumbing Product Catalog, a 60-page, four-color guide/handbook detailing hundreds of product sku’s along with dozens of illustrative design, installation and service tips for plumbing engineers, contractors and wholesalers.

The specialty plumbing products guide, which is the most detailed and user-friendly catalog in the plumbing industry, is available free by visiting http://www.rectorseal.com/plumbing.php or calling customer service at 1-(800) 231-3345.

Besides application and recommendations for each product, the catalog includes comprehensive recommendation charts for the RectorSeal brand of eight pipe thread sealants and 10 different solvents/cements/cleaners, and seven Metacaulk® firestopping products. The catalog also has a convenient index page, a Quick Response (QR) code for smart phone field referencing, and a product code cross referencing page for distributors.

The catalog organizes RectorSeal’s plumbing product line into five categories:

  • Pipe Joining: pipe thread sealants, low-VOC solvent cements, primers/cleaners, Nokorode® paste fluxes and soldering accessories.
  • Drain, Waste and Vent Solutions: Clean-Check® backwater valves, Hubsett test couplings, Magic Vent® air admittance valves and Magic Traptrap fittings.
  • Plumbing Products: Calci-Free water heater flush, specialty tools, leak locators, lubricant, cutting oils and a root destroyer.
  • Firestopping: intumescent and elastomeric sealants, pipe collars and sleeves, putty sticks, pads and joint strips.
  • Miscellaneous Products: potential relay and start capacitors for a/c, acid neutralizers, anti-seize compounds, condensate overlow switches, specialty sealant caulks and cleaners.

The catalog also includes a several crossover products from RectorSeal’s new HVAC Product Catalog, such as Safe-T-Switch® condensate overflow switches, Kickstart® compressor hard start devices, Acid-Away® acid neutralizer for A/C systems, and assorted grease strippers, cleaners, degreasers, lubricants, galvanizing sprays and putties distributed exclusively to the trade.

For more information on RectorSeal’s plumbing and HVAC product lines, visit www.rectorseal.com, call 1-800-441-0051 or email customerservice@rectorseal.com.

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About RectorSeal: The RectorSeal Corporation is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year as a leading manufacturer of chemical and specialty products designed for professional tradesmen. Steady growth over the years has been maintained through a commitment to providing high quality products and services. With a diversified business strategy, RectorSeal® aggressively pursues new and unique technologies to serve the plumbing, heating, air conditioning, electrical and construction industries. The RectorSeal Corporation is devoted to providing innovative quality products supported by strong customer and technical service. For more information,  visit www.rectorseal.com, email marketing@rectorseal.com or call (800) 231-3345. 

Using Chemical Heating-product Additives

Boiler PM
Using Chemical
Heating-product Additives

Download the PDF

Discover some tips to help keep fuel-oil
tanks, boilers and furnaces properly
maintained to run at their optimum.
By Harvey Grodjesk

Using preventive chemical heating-product additives
during annual boiler and furnace tune-ups can ensure
that customers’ equipment performs efficiently
throughout the winter heating season. Additives also can
help equipment reach its full lifecycle expectancy.
In addition to ensuring proper operation, selling preventive
chemical heating-product additives can add more profitability
to a service call. If presented properly, customers will appreciate
the extra care a service technician takes by suggesting
these treatments be applied and explaining what they do.

Boiler-water treatments
While some service technicians may not be proponents of
periodic boiler-water treatments, all boiler manufacturers recommend
them. Depending upon the inherent water chemistry
of local water conditions, a boiler can seemingly operate
fine for 5–10 years without a water treatment, however operational
longevity may eventually suffer.
Most treatments provide multiple benefits, including:

- Removing sludge and rust scale;
- Inhibiting boiler and steam line corrosion;
- Preventing oxygen pitting;
- Inhibiting lime scale;
- Preventing surging and foaming; and
- Checking water chemistry with built-in color indicators.

color indicators manufacturers build into them, which are useful
for visual water-quality checks. After application, a pinkishpurple
water sample indicates a proper pH water chemistry of
approximately 8.2, which is neither too alkaline nor acidic.

Blue or bluish-green water indicates more water treatment is
needed. A complete flushing may be needed if subsequent applications
do not generate the proper water color.

Too much alkalinity can cause surging, scale buildup, or
eventually “caustic embrittlement,” a process that causes the
metal to crack. Too much acidity, on the other hand, leads to
corrosion.

In large commercial boilers, these ailments are averted
with daily checks typically performed by maintenance staffs
trained to use sophisticated test kits to determine the boiler
water’s total alkalinity, water hardness, total dissolved solids
and other common water chemistry conditions. Conversely,
the average residential-boiler service technician does not have
this training or available jobsite time to execute such tests.
Fortunately, a water treatment with diagnostic color characteristics
is more efficient, simple to use and cost-effective.

Therefore, a boiler-water treatment that reacts to operating
conditions for proper water diagnostics is critical. Some
treatments do not chemically react to changing conditions,
but only add a color to indicate that some treatment has
been added to the water. This is similar to automotive antifreeze.
A greenish water color in an automotive radiator
proves antifreeze is present, but it is difficult to determine if
there is enough.

Water treatments that minimize corrosion are more important
today because boiler walls are manufactured thinner
for increased heat transfer, and the recent influx of overseas
metal alloys are not always reliable. Corrosion and scale can
also create hot spots, percolating noise and active pitting sites
that could affect the system’s future integrity.

Another diagnostic sign is water discoloration, which
in hot-water boilers probably signifies layers of corrosion are
building up. Corrosion affects heat transfer and efficiency and
will eventually lead to premature failure.

One of the most frequently occurring steam-boiler problems
is surging or water hammering, which generates noise and vibrations,
the latter of which can eventually damage pipes.

Fire-chamber treatments
Soot buildup in a boiler’s oil-fired or gas-fired chamber, typically
caused by inefficient combustion, is a major service
checklist item. Soot acts as an insulator, thus cutting heattransfer
efficiency. Just a 1/32-in. layer of soot, for example,
can cause a 1%–2% decrease in efficiency. As layers of soot
thicken, the boiler efficiency exponentially decreases.
A soot spray can be applied during annual checkups, as
it reaches remote areas easier than vacuum attachments. A
soot stick can be burned in the chamber for a longer-term
treatment.

Minimizing fuel-oil tank problems
The most common problem fuel-oil-fired boilers and furnaces
experience is moisture in the oil tank and fuel line. Typically,
moisture can cause an ice blockage, flame failure, sputtering
flame and corrosion-caused leaks from oxidation. Other problems
that occur in fuel-oil-tank storage include sludge, varnish,
waxing, gelling and general oil degradation.

Therefore, the most effective way to prevent these issues
is a year-round preventive treatment with an antifreeze and
other additives that minimize these ailments by dissolving
sludge and removing moisture. A year-round treatment can
be applied every fall as part of an annual heating-system
checkup. Also, since summer effects can cause condensation
within the tank, a mid-year treatment can be sold to the customer
to apply themselves in the spring.

Year-round treatments are not curative, but they can prevent
problems from manifesting over the course of several
years. Once too much moisture or sludge accumulates, the
customer is looking at system downtime, several hours of repair
and the expense of curative chemicals. In severe cases,
the service technician may need to revert to dumping, cleaning
and refilling the tank, which will cost the customer hundreds
of dollars, especially considering the cost of a fuel-oil
refill. A year-round fuel-oil treatment, along with periodic filter
replacements, can also minimize blockages in the fuel line
to the burner.

Not unlike the gasoline-additive market for engines, all
year-round fuel-oil treatments are not based on the same
science, but some manufacturers make the same claims. For example,
some treatments are merely kerosene, which will not
dissolve sludge or remove moisture. Additives with aromatic
hydrocarbons, such as naphtha solvents, have a high enough
kauri-butanol value to dissolve sludge. Likewise, additives
such as glycol ethers serve the dual purpose of de-icing and
removing moisture. A manufacturer’s material safety data
sheets will help determine which products use the most effective
chemicals.

Another part of the annual fuel-oil system checklist
should be a test detecting excessive water accumulation.
Typically, service technicians use a paste that detects and
locates water in fuel-oil tanks. The reddish-brown paste is
applied to a dipstick that reacts in the presence of excessive
moisture by turning fluorescent yellow-green.
There are many moisture-detection products on the market,
but some methods are better than others. For example,
some products depend on a pH reading to detect moisture.
However, this method can produce false readings or no
readings at all in the presence of alcohol, which concentrates
in water.

Obviously an oil tank with no water is the goal in a
perfect world; however, managing water to lower levels
with chemical additives might offer the customer the
most service-call value vs. time-consuming heating outages
and fills. If the fuel-oil line pick-up is 4 in. above the
tank’s bottom, a good rule of thumb would be to maintain
moisture below 1.5 in., which can be determined with the
aforementioned dipstick method. A water absorber can also
help reduce excessive water to those manageable levels.
Excessive water can also develop microbial growth,
which can lead to sludge and blockages. Microbes cannot
exist in oil, but they can exist in water and use oil for
nourishment.

Most of the aforementioned prevention methods are
not a matter of life and death, but heating systems left
untreated over time prematurely fail or create catastrophic repairs
that could be easily avoided with annual treatments and
checkups. It is up to the service technician to suggest and use
preventive products. Homeowners will likely pay for the extra
service and appreciate the conscientiousness with loyalty every
fall.

Harvey Grodjesk is Vice President of Operations for the Stewart-
Hall product line of RectorSeal Corp. Grodjesk is a 37-year veteran
of the chemical heating-product industry. RectorSeal offers
a variety of products for fuel tanks and fuel lines, such as yearround
treatments, water-detection pastes, water and sludge dispersant,
and several products for boilers. For more information,
visit www.rectorseal.com.

DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH CONDENSATION PROBLEMS?

TOPIC: DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH CONDENSATION PROBLEMS?

DESCRIPTION: This NATE-accredited CEU class is geared toward HVACR service technicians who need to understand the dangers of condensation generated by HVACR systems. Taught by Riley Archer, the national technical manager for Rectorseal, technicians will learn what causes condensation, how condensation can cause damage, what the requirements are from the International Mechanical Code, as well as what types of preventive maintenance should be done on condensate drain lines. Archer will also cover several methods for unclogging drain lines. This class is also CEU-accredited in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, OH, North Carolina, South Carolina.

CATEGORY: TECH DAY

SPEAKER INFO: Riley Archer, national technical manager, Rectorseal, 2691 Spenwick Dr., Houston, TX, 77055; Phone (713) 263-8001, ext. 3282; Email rileya@rectorseal.com

SPEAKER TYPE: Manufacturer