The facts are frightening – especially since the problem can be avoided.
Consider this: As many as one in 10 patients hospitalized in the U.S. contracts an infection, according to the Wall Street Journal. That means nearly 2 million patients annually are infected by a bacterium or other agents.
“I turned on the water in the shower and waited for 10 minutes. Warm water finally started flowing, however, it never lasted more than a minute and alternated mostly with cool to cold water.”
Image via Pexels.
That’s the exact quote extracted from an online review of a guest who rated a hotel in Pennsylvania on Tripadvisor.com. The reviewer gave the hotel a rating of two out of a possible five. The site is full of similar comments from guests complaining about how long it took them to get hot water when they wanted to take a shower or wash their hands.
In the hospitality industry, when a guest turns on the hot water in their room, most wait patiently for the water to run a while to the proper temperature. Guests do not like to wait too long for their hot water according to the International Hospitality Association.
In fact, they specifically address “the availability of hot water” as a factor for consideration in their quality standards and star rating systems that they set as the bar for multi-star ratings.
The cost to deliver domestic hot water to ensure customer satisfaction means the domestic hot water system must be balanced in a way that keeps the delivery time low. Until recently, that meant larger recirculating pumps, more recirculating flow, more wear and tear on your hot water system, and more cost.
Read more on Green Lodging News about domestic hot water systems.
From the Bucks County Courier Times Success Through Diversity
“For 30 years, Warminster’s ThermOmegaTech® has been helping to protect locomotives with the smallest pieces of equipment — valves that keep water from freezing and damaging engines.
Today, under new ownership, the valve manufacturer is growing by diversifying its product line to include everything from commercial plumbing products to regulators for barbecue grills.
The company was founded in 1982 by Fred Pirkle — a “modern-day Edison” who held numerous patents, said Jim Logue, President, CEO.”
ThermOmegaTech® began by providing self-powered freeze-protection valves to railroad companies. Over the years, Pirkle and ThermOmegaTech® developed dozens of valve products. But railroads remain its biggest customer, and the company boasts of a 96 percent market penetration in the industry.
But it’s growing in other industries, as well, Logue said.
ThermOmegaTech®’s aptly named BBQ Guru division — which began as a side hobby for Pirkle — is now the company’s fastest-growing business, Logue said. BBQ Guru makes temperature gauges for barbecue grills, and fields an award-winning barbecue team.
“We’re a custom valve manufacturer,” Logue said. “We do valves for all sorts of uses.”
Its newest product is the Circuit Solver®, which saves water and electricity in large buildings like hotels and apartment complexes by allowing the almost instantaneous delivery of hot water. In other words, no more waiting for the shower to heat up. Therm-Omega-Tech already has about 20 projects either underway or in the pipeline that will use the valve.
Keystone Edge recently profiled Jim Logue, President, CEO, for their “Innovation & Job News” section. Jim discusses ThermOmegaTech’s journey into Lean Manufacturing and the growth that we’ve seen with it.
“A few years ago, when Jim Logue, President, CEO, joined ThermOmegaTech, a Warminster valve maker, he found a solid, old-line manufacturer. Still, he recalls, the assembly shop and the machine shop were not clearly communicating, leading to inefficiencies and delays.
No more Since 2010, Therm has been “on a lean journey,” says Logue. Mentored by the Delaware Valley Industrial Resources Center, Therm has taken steps to eliminate waste in its manufacturing processes and, equally important, change the plant’s culture by sharing information and ensuring that all 60 employees understand the big picture.”
“We basically have empowered every employee to have a say in how to improve their work area, or what they see elsewhere,” says Logue. “It gives purpose to coming to work.”
Since adapting the principles of lean manufacturing, Logue says, people are working better and smarter and operations are more coordinated and efficient. The company has seen 70% growth in revenues in its top products and has grown jobs by 10%. Logue anticipates adding another three positions in the next six to 12 months.
HPAC Engineering is the leading mechanical systems engineering publication and voice of leadership in the buildings industry.
The Circuit Solver self-actuating temperature-control valve is designed to solve the problem of domestic hot water not being rapidly delivered to all parts of a building. When entering water temperature is below the valve’s set point, a thermal actuator begins to open the valve to establish a flow rate that will achieve set point.
If the water temperature exceeds the set point, the valve begins to throttle back to find the current equilibrium point. This constant, automatic response to water temperature enables each hot-water branch to quickly and consistently deliver the correct temperature to each connected fixture. The all-stainless-steel valve complies with California AB1953 and meets NSF-61 standards. —Therm-Omega-Tech
Contractor Magazine is the online resource for mechanical contracting.
THE CIRCUIT SOLVER VALVE for domestic hot water systems is easy to install and maintain. It responds to changing water temperature and automatically changes flow to keep temperatures evenly distributed. It is constructed of all stainless steel.
ThermOmegaTech, Inc has been honored by having two of our valves nominated for Consulting-Specifying Engineer Magazine’s annual Product of the Year award. Both the CircuitSolver™ and the DTV are in the running to be the best Plumbing and Water Management product.
Please take a moment and visit CSEMag.com’s voting page here and select CircuitSolver or DTV as your vote for Product of the Year. You may vote as often as you like.
We came across this article on return temperatures. It addresses some key issues in regards to domestic hot water balancing. Our new CircuitSolver™ can be a great way to fix, and even eliminate problems with hot water delivery.
The Importance of Return Temperatures
Delivery & Return Temperatures are the two most critical numbers; these are the temperatures available to the residents at the beginning and at the end of the hot water loop. Too hot is unsafe, too low is unacceptable for cleaning or comfort.
Low Return Temperature is commonly ignored because diagnosis can be tedious and it doesn’t seem like a dangerous problem. Wrong.
Do not ignore a Low Return Temperature Warning! A drop in temperature from delivery to return means that:
Households are quietly suffering with low water temperature,
Residents might be scalded by dangerous fluctuations in water temperature, and,
You are wasting fuel through heat loss.
Return Temperature is like a canary in a coal mine: if there is anything wrong with the hot water system it is often the first alarm to go off. If your return temperature chart isn’t in the pink, your boilers are probably in fine order. But, if you’re seeing a lot of pink, it’s time to fix things before your residents start seeing red
Frederick (Fred) L. Pirkle, owner of ThermOmegaTech, Inc., in Warminster, PA passed away March 9th at his home.
Fred was born on February 17, 1946 in San Antonio, TX to Charles Earl Pirkle and Zutella Bones Pirkle. He lived in San Antonio throughout his childhood and graduated from Harlandale High School in 1964.
In 1970 Fred received a B.S. from the Department of Industrial Technology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX and in 1972 he received a Masters degree from the same university.
“Shotgun Fred’s Guru Crew” The Walk to Defeat ALS!!
Fred Pirkle, aka “Shotgun Fred”, founded ThermOmegaTech® in 1982.
Since then he has patented more than 20 products, including the first temperature control device for charcoal grills/cookers – hence “The BBQ Guru” was born in 2004.
In April 2011, Fred was diagnosed with ALS. As his friends and family are well aware, he is a fighter and continues to fight the disease every day. ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
In Fred’s honor, and in an effort to help support patient service programs and ALS research, ThermOmegaTech® and The BBQ Guru have joined forces with the ALS Association.
We are a corporate sponsor of and have formed a team, “Shotgun Fred’s Guru Crew.” On Saturday, November 5th, we participated in our first Walk to Defeat ALS.
Will OSHA cite a facility for not following the recommendations as stated in ANSI standard Z358.1-1990? Specifically, will an OSHA inspector cite a facility for not supplying tempered water to an emergency eyewash and shower?
Imagine the following scenario: One of your plant floor employees has just had their eye or skin exposed to a caustic chemical, which needs to be immediately flushed from contact. Per OSHA regulations, you should already have an eye washing station or emergency shower on the plant floor, which the employee should be familiar with. In an instant, they need the proper water, at precisely the correct temperature, to prevent scalding or escalating the issue any further. Can you be sure that your employees are safe in a washing emergency?
It could be the temperature inside your enclosure.
Are your enclosed instruments under the weather? It might be time to check the temperature inside the enclosure. Enclosures protect instrumentation against adverse weather conditions or physical damage, and ensure that instruments operate in the proper temperature ranges. However, enclosures may not always provide sufficient protection against temperature extremes that can affect instrument performance. High temperatures can cause some fluids to vaporize, while low temperatures can cause some lines to freeze or some products to thicken – even damaging sensitive equipment. For many instruments, the correct temperature of the instrument and sample will affect measurement accuracy. The best way to solve this problem is to equip enclosures with systems designed to maintain interior temperature within the range specified for optimal instrument performance.
The most common systems used to keep enclosures warm involve steam or electricity – essentially using an outside heat source to keep equipment in the enclosure at a predetermined temperature. Electrical heating can take several forms. Typically, a radiant heater or heating cable is installed inside the enclosure. A thermostat is used to control temperature or the cable may be self-limiting. However, electrical heating has limits. In large installations, the electricity required can be ex- pensive. If combustible substances are present, the possibility of electrical sparks poses risk. And, if the cable breaks, everything beyond the break could freeze.
Keeping your safety shower working at optimum performance is important, no matter what time of year. However, cold winter temperatures can make this especially difficult. Water can freeze in supply lines, clogging the system and shutting off flow. And because water expands as it freezes, internal pressure in the line can increase enough to break steel pipes and their associated valves and fittings. The result can be costly replacement parts, in- creased labor costs, and a shower that’s out of commission while it’s being repaired.
Cold weather can bring other problems, too. Water that’s too cold can discourage workers from using the showers for the full 15 minutes as recommended by ANSI and OSHA standards, thereby contributing to worker injury. Although federal regulations such as OSHA’s 29 CFR 1910 do not mandate every detail of safety shower systems, they do specifically require safe work- place conditions. Unless you provide comfortable water for safety showers, these regulations can be easily interpreted to result in safety violations.
There are a number of steps you can take to prevent cold weather from interfering with safety shower performance. Many are relatively simple to implement and can be readily put in place before cold weather begins.
Warminster, PA (January 22, 2012) It’s hard to imagine a crueler fate for Fred Pirkle, an inventor whose 65-year-old hands have been in creative motion since he was a boy growing up in Texas.
“The first time I stood next to a lathe,” the Bucks County manufacturing executive recalled, “I was shivering all over. I was excited as I could be.”
The first time he got to run a lathe? “I was almost paralyzed with excitement,” Pirkle said.
Today, the excitement is still there, though a fast-moving form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more familiarly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has shut down virtually all Pirkle’s voluntary muscle movement.
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