We are moving building[x] to our new home HVAC 360!

We are looking to start a few new and different things in addition to our podcast and newsletter so go to and get on the list so you don't miss anything.

Entries in plumbing (3)


HVAC 360 - Episode 070 - Plumbing Lessons Learned

In the episode of HVAC 360, I discuss the lessons learned for plumbing that I shared at a session of ASPE (American Society of Plumbing Engineers) in September. Even if you have nothing to do with plumbing these may be good lessons to stir your memory. As always comment and provide feedback and share this episode if you like. If you have any ideas for shows please let me know.

Or if you would like to save this directly to your computer you can Download the Episode Here! Just right-click on the link and save to your desktop.


HVAC 360 - Episode 024 - Toilet Rooms: HVAC and Plumbing

In celebration of the World Toilet Organization's World Toilet Day, Saturday November 19th, I have decided to talk about toilet room design, covering both HVAC and Plumbing.  So often we forget in our professional lives that toilet rooms have a very emotional connection to us in our day to day lives.  I mention a study saying that a dirty toilet room can have a negative effect on the bottom line of consumer stores but I would extend that "negative impact" to dirty toilet rooms whereever you worked.  So the moral of my story is to take toilet room layout seriously, help architects avoid errors, and advocate for the owner.

Or if you would like to save this directly to your computer you can Download the Episode Here! Just right-click on the link and save to your desktop.


Contractors, Drains, and Backflow Preventers, Oh my! 

I was at a meeting today and there was a quick discussion about double check backflow preventers and reduced-pressure backflow preventers.  These devices prevent water from being sucked out of a piping system and contaminating it.  This is most commonly a concern when you're talking about connecting a potable (i.e. drinkable) water source to a device that will mix chemicals with that water (say a film developinig machine).  A comment was made by the contractor that only the reduced-pressure needs a floor drain.  This is partially true, as the reduced-pressure backflow preventer will 'spit' out of the bottom during operation and will need to be connected to a floor drain (typically via an air-gap fitting), but as an engineer I would want a floor drain under the double check as well for future maintenance.

A word of caution.  This was an experienced contractor with a lot of knowledge, but as a younger engineer I found it difficult to be able to tell whether I could take what a contractor would say for the truth.  My advice to you is to do your homework.  Take what you have been told and use it as a starting point to research your answer.  And of course for the young contractors the converse will also be true, the only difference lies in the responsibility of being right. 

Now my whole conversation centered around whether or not a drain had been shown on the plans and this is a great question.  Often times drains will not be shown or not shown in the correct locations for various reasons. Also drains may be located in places that will cause condensate or drain pipiing to cross a walking path, thus causing a tripping hazzard.  Or I have seen drains located half under a concrete house keeping pad.  So my advice to you is know what equipment needs a drain and review the location prior to bidding and again early in construction.