Este artículo fue editado por: Doctora Munia Cabal-Jiménez
Para hispanohablantes en los EEUU, puede ser difícil llamar para solicitar servicios de arreglo en casa. Esperamos que esta
guía les guíe en el mundo de calentadores de agua y en el vocabulario de la industria.
En los EEUU y la mayoría del mundo hispanohablante, el término más generalizado para referirse al tanque que calienta el agua de su casa es “calentador de agua.” En algunos lugares es común oír: calentador de lava, calefón, caldera, termo o boiler. También es lo mismo cuando se habla de piezas; la jerga que usamos en esta industria es muy complicada en español. Una cosa que puede ayudarle es leer su manual de instalación en español (ejemplo aquí).
Rheem EcoNet Products
Kevin recently serviced Manheim Milwaukee, a large scale automotive sales location based in Caledonia, Wisconsin. They are well-known for their large auto auctions, which include various makes and models, from Ford Mustangs to Teslas. Behind the scenes, water heaters are an important factor in their pre-auction cleanings and preparations. To ensure that their staff is always up to date with their water heater settings, Manheim Milwaukee recently installed a Rheem EcoNet Control Center and had some preventative maintenance done on their units. Manheim currently runs multiple tankless units and will utilize the EcoNet tool to increase energy savings and for remote control of their units.
A.O. Smith University’s campus is uniquely designed with multiple classrooms that provide examples of properly installed units and the history of water heater development. A.O. Smith staff provides in-course demos and teaches technicians exactly how to troubleshoot their units. We typically send all technicians who have not received said training prior to hire and/or do not have experience with commercial units or boilers. Technicians are sent to Ashland City for a week’s worth of training which they are then able to deploy in their respective areas. Ryan, one of our Wisconsin-based technicians, attended A.O. Smith University last week to prepare him for upcoming work on commercial units in the Wisconsin Dells area. A.O. Smith provides state of the art training workshops which have been developed thanks their historical experience as innovative leaders in the production industry, of which Ryan noted: “The atmosphere was very welcoming to learn in.” There are various stations inside the facility which demonstrate the growth of water heaters from 1950 to the present.
Two of our technicians recently had the opportunity to experience live boiler training in the field, thanks to Brandon Moma, the A.O. Smith Start-up Coordinator for Field Engineering. Technicians, Kirk and Jack, alongside George of RC Sales, went to Addison, Illinois for this special training seminar. The technicians visited Clarendale of Addison, a senior living center, which is currently under construction and set to open this Summer. This training was unique for both technicians, due to its location. Aside from being under construction, this is a rare experience “because it was local,” according to our Senior Tech, Kirk. Technicians typically fly to one of the manufacturer’s factories or headquarters. A.O. Smith runs a variety of training programs out of their Ashland City, Tennessee based factory and training facility, also known as A.O. Smith University. The training facility in Ashland City is well-developed and serves as a continuing education center for thousands of plumbers and technicians from across the United States (Our Wisconsin based tech is currently down in Ashland City and our Indiana technician will be heading to Ashland City soon, too).
In the past 14 months, we have been fortunate to establish a relationship with many of the major manufacturers, one of which is PVI Industries of Fort Worth, Texas. PVI manufactures an array of commercial water heaters and storage tanks ranging from 150 to 4500 gallons. Since PVI focuses on the manufacturing and maintenance of commercial units, which are manufactured with different materials than standard residential units. As a result, our more experienced technicians are sent to Fort Worth to learn directly from the PVI staff. As of March, we have sent two technicians and a plumber to receive their PVI start-up certification.
PVI Training | Duplex Stainless Steel
Although our technicians are officially certified to perform start-ups and service on PVI units following the class, we try to provide them with hands-on training in the field with our Senior Technician, Kirk. Our first technician to attend PVI Training this year was Jack, one of our up and coming Illinois based technicians. After heading to Fort Worth, he spoke very highly of the training program: “The PVI Training was very in depth and hands on. The instructor was super knowledgable and was able to answer every question that was sent his way. The most interesting thing I learned was about their Duplex Stainless Steel tanks and their construction. My overall experience was great.” The Duplex Stainless Steel tanks are a part of PVI’s AquaPLEX line which is built to endure years of use as “the ultimate solution to all water heating applications.” (more…)
Women’s History Month | Overview
Information from: The National Women’s History Museum
In the United States, March is recognized as Women’s History Month, an extension of the first International Women’s Day in 1911. Over the next sixty years, celebrations of women’s history expanded, beginning with the Sonoma County’s 1978 “Women’s History Week” Celebration. Eleven years later, Congress officially declared March to be Women’s History Month.
To celebrate Women’s History Month, we elected to reach out to local businesses and local business contacts to hear their empowering stories. You may be wondering: Why would a water heater repair service care about Women’s History Month? The answer is simple: women are the backbone of our company. We often forget the importance of recognizing and acknowledging the journey to success when we see a successful woman. The water heater industry is often stereotypically considered to be a masculine industry and it may surprise many to learn that our company actually has several female employees, and that there are many women employed by the major manufacturers with which we work for warranty service repairs. Despite male dominance in the water heater and business industries alike, women are on the rise and we had the pleasure to learn about some incredible women this month.
Technician Jack was dispatched to Morris, Illinois on a Rheem warranty service call yesterday. Upon arriving on site, Jack inspected the unit and its installation. He was surprised to find that the Standard Atmospheric unit was vented through a wall with a dryer vent used for termination. A simple diagnose and repair call turned into the discovery of a potentially life threatening issue because the water heater was not properly vented. | Note: We will be explaining water heater jargon in this article. If you do not know what a Standard Atmospheric unit is, you are about to find out!
What is a Standard Atmospheric Unit?
A Standard Atmospheric unit is the most common type of water heater. This means that the unit is built to terminate the gases that are created as a result of the [gas powered] unit heating the water. Since warm air rises, natural convection pulls the air up and out of the site via the venting. A Power Vent unit (shown on the left), however, is typically seen as more versatile in terms of where it can be located. Since a Power Vent uses a blower (a fan) to propel the byproduct gases out of the unit, they can be vented through walls. You can easily determine whether you have a power vent unit by looking at the top of the unit. Blowers are typically black and connected to PVC piping, located in place of galvanized steel venting that you see on a Standard Atmospheric unit.
Water Heater Venting Issues Are More Common Than You Think
Over the past couple of weeks our technicians have encountered a large string of improperly vented units. The majority of the units were located across Wisconsin, but this issue is common across the country. As a result, we decided to turn this negative into a positive by taking the opportunity to educate our customers on venting systems.
What is water heater venting and what does it do?
All natural gas and propane water heaters require a venting system to properly disperse of the moisture, carbon monoxide, and other gases produced when the unit is burning the gas. There are multiple types of venting, but they all work to remove the byproducts of heated natural gas and propane heaters. The venting is located at the top of the unit and depending on the exact type of unit, you will see PVC or galvanized steel leading out from the top of the tank. The type of material used for the unit reflects the type of unit. PVC venting systems are typically seen on Power Vent Water Heaters and Tankless Water Heaters. In the example photo on the right, the galvanized venting is denoted by the yellow square.
A.O. Smith Corporation @ Costco #378
Yesterday, four of our team members performed a water heater installation/changeout for A.O. Smith National at Costco #378 in Lake Zurich, Illinois. U.S. Water Heating Solutions was contracted to perform the install as our team is comprised of factory-trained and certified technicians who have attended A.O. Smith University and A.O. Smith Commercial School. Costco’s A.O. Smith BTR 197-118 unit was leaking and required replacement. A.O. Smith National called our company to replace the unit and to making adjustments to the piping and venting of the unit. Our technicians drained, disconnected, and removed the old BTR unit off site and installed a BTX 100 in its place.
The BTX 100 is part of A.O. Smith’s Cyclone Xi product line, which features “a light-duty, power direct vent, fully condensing commercial gas water heater with an internal helical heat exchanger.” It is also an impressive commercial unit, with its Energy Star Qualification and the ability to achieve 96% thermal efficiency. Cyclone Xi units are also equipped with a Blue Diamond® Glass Coating to increase the unit’s corrosion resistance, in comparison to that of other units on the market.
Earlier this month, several of our technicians participated in their local Menards’ contractor expos in Illinois and Wisconsin. Our technician, Ed, first discovered the event at his local Menards in Glendale Heights, Illinois; Technicians Kevin and Ryan followed-up with the event at the Waukesha and Onalaska branches. As a small business, our team members appreciated the opportunity to meet other local contractors, participate in networking exchanges, meet more locals, and provide consultations on water heater repair/replacement.
What water heater options are available at Menards stores?
Each major hardware/home improvement store typically has one major water heater manufacturer with which they are associated. Menards is an exclusive wholesale distributor of Richmond water heaters (with Rheem and Ruud products available via order as Richmond and Ruud are Rheem companies). You can purchase or order a water heater at Menards, then head over to their plumbing desk to find a local installation service.
Technician Kevin operates exclusively out of the Waukesha area and was able to consult with several prospective clients. He was able to guide one person toward a more efficient water heater: “One customer wanted information on replacing a 12 year old electric water heater with a new unit. He was considering installing a gas water and I explained the pro and cons when upgrading. Another customer talked about the benefits of installing a tankless gas water heater and I discussed maintenance and energy saving benefits.”