From Wetstock I:
MasterPlumbers.com - November 2002
are the notes that participants from the first Gathering of Wetheads
(November 23, 2002) handed in during the day. From Aaron Ourada
RADIANT COOLING EXPLORATION. Why not? (tubing’s already there!):
Pipe condensor/compressor to refrigerant to water flat-plate heat
Use chilled water coils instead of DX coils for air handlers
Make sure air handler is multi-speed or variable speed
Use a buffer tank between cooling load heat exchanger and other
loads (volumetric boiler loop)
Same injection piping/tubing, etc. used with cooling
Humidistat runs air handler on very low speed for dehumidification
First-stage cooling – radiant – run only a few degrees
below setpoint. Need to experiment with threshold on floors
High speed on air handler used for second stage of cooling if and
How many BTUs of cooling can we could on?
How will it feel and will customers pay for it?
What is the minimum surface temperature in a floor application?
How much could we downsize the air side of the
How much money would it save in spending expense (utilizing staged
compressors too and possible heat rejection into DHW or a pool)
From David Broome OIL TANK REMOVAL
1. Remove oil
2. Rhino Line
3. Remove tank in one piece
From Paul Pollets: Notes from Wetstock Roundtable
An impromptu roundtable discussion at Wetstock discussed Battling
Market Forces in a Declining Economy and Enhanced Selling Technique.
The table was hosted and moderated by Paul Pollets from ART, John
Barba from Wirsbo and Robert Bean from Danfoss. There was spirited
discussion and many great ideas exchanged. Here are some salient
points from the topics shared:
There are many negative forces at work in the marketplace that are
not just common to hydronics contractors, the attitude that cheaper
may be better prevails throughout the US construction industry.
Selling at prices higher than your competitor requires developing
professional sales practices as well as a total professional outlook.
Many qualified and experienced contractors have not put together
a Brag Book with pictures of their installations, projects and testimonials.
Prospective clients have no idea why they would choose them, if
they can?t see their work, or realize why the more expensive contractor
was different and the system proposed a better value than the competition.
In negotiating the final bid price, it was recommended to hold firm,
or reduce the price by taking out certain bid items, or suggest
a lower cost system with different components. If the price is lowered
unconditionally, the client may presume the bid was overpriced to
begin with and not trust the contractor.
Heating Pad/Hairdryer analogy was shared. Bring a hair dryer and
a heating pad to the prospects home and plug them in to demonstrate
the difference between forced air and radiant. Put the hairdryer
on high and blow it on the client for a minute or so. Than let the
hold the heating pad on their body. The hairdryer's noise and discomfort
are exactly how most forced air systems perform. Nobody's going
to argue how comfortable the heating pad feels.
A 3rd party Contractor's referral source generated lots of discussion.
An independent website, sponsored and underwritten by the manufacturers
and dues from participants, could set aside and tout those with
proven qualifications, without the politics involved around manufacturers
referral sources. The manufacturers seem unwilling to establish
or publish an A list, for fear of loosing sales to those who may
not be so qualified.
Notes from Home Depot and YOU discussion (Dealer's Choice):
Original moderator: John R. Hall of The News
Steve Levine from Slant Fin said that the company's baseboard unit
(Fineline 30) is sold to Home Depot by wholesalers, not Slant Fin,
reiterating Slant Fin sells no products directly to the Big Boxes.
One participant said that smaller contractors in rural areas use
Home Depot because their supply houses usually do not carry special
One participant said that in Connecticut, Weil-McLain boilers can
be bought right off the floor.
Another said that a lot of contractors complain about Home Depot
but they wind up buying parts from them.
Are you putting your reputation in the hands of a Home Depot employee?
I.e., if you want to market/advertise a certain product line, you'd
better train your employees on how to sell it.
Notes from "Marketing Hydronics"
Homeowners and consumers, who are so educated today and should know
better, are often getting talked out of radiant heat by builders.
Could be because adding radiant changes the pattern of how builders
build homes takes them out of their comfort zone.
One way of getting builders out of their comfort zone is by showing
that installing radiant heat is not a complicated procedure.
Contractors are often to blame because they don't know how to educate
Get beyond the price objection of installing radiant by not even
focusing on it.
Get information about radiant heating to other trade magazines,
i.e. flooring or cement industries.
Suggest radiant heating to the ?slab guys? and give a referral fee
if they sign up the customer ? cross market your services.
The heating contractor is the one person who always comes back after
construction; not the bricklayers, finishers, etc. It behooves the
builder not to cut out the radiant guys since they deal with the
homeowners more often.
Mark Walnicki wrote: What a great roundtable! Took most of my notes
I too had noted the owner's two jobs. It was also brought up that
one is no good without the other.
- Procedures and policies can be applied to any aspect of a business,
from how to reprimand, down to how to wash the company vehicles.