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  • Wednesday, June 14, 2023 1:06 PM | Anonymous

    The phasedown of HFC refrigerants in the U.S. commercial refrigeration and air conditioning industries is well underway, causing concern among many HVACR professionals about its impact on the industry. One of the reasons for this apprehension may be the difficulty in keeping up with the ever-evolving federal regulations, state building codes, and safety standards that support the emergence of alternative low-GWP refrigerants.

    To alleviate some of those concerns, Emerson recently hosted a webinar that discussed the present regulatory landscape regarding the transition to alternative refrigerants, as well as potential future regulations pertaining to PFAS (“forever chemicals”).

    ROBUST RECLAIM: Reducing the demand for refrigerant in the existing installed base will require a much more robust recovery and reclamation market. (ACHR News-Staff photo)

    Refrigerant Transition

    The transition away from HFC refrigerants officially began in December 2020, with the passage of the AIM Act, which mandates an 85% reduction in the production and consumption of high-GWP HFCs by 2036. In order to reach that goal, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been tasked with three primary responsibilities:

    1. Decreasing HFC production and consumption;
    2. Promoting the adoption of next-generation technologies through industry-specific restrictions; and
    3. Establishing standards for managing the existing stock of HFCs and their substitutes.

    Under the first point, HFC production was initially reduced by 10% in January 2022. A much larger stepdown occurs in January 2024, when production of HFCs will be cut an additional 30%, for a total 40% reduction from the baseline. Another big reduction comes in 2029, when HFC production will be cut an additional 30%, or 70% from the baseline.

    “Remember that the baseline was calculated on average between the years of 2011 and 2013, and since then, our HFC usage has increased,” said Jennifer Butsch, director of regulatory affairs at Emerson. “So this 40% reduction from baseline is actually greater than a 40% reduction of where we were, say, in 2021. … As we move forward, it's really important that the demand also decrease, or else we'll start to run into areas of potential shortage.”

    EPA addressed the second point in December 2022, releasing a rule that was largely in line with the requests made by AHRI. This includes banning the use of high-GWP HFCs such as R-410A in new HVAC equipment, starting in January 2025 (see Table 1). Butsch said the one noticeable difference in the EPA rule was the transition date for most of the commercial refrigeration applications: EPA proposed to be January 1, 2025, or one year sooner than the manufacturers had requested.

    TABLE 1: Proposed GWP limit restrictions on HFCs by sector and subsector. (Courtesy of EPA) Download table as PDF

    “The larger equipment has a proposed GWP limit of 150 on the commercial refrigeration side for the most part,” said Butsch. “If it's less than a 200-pound charge, it's 300 GWP, which is consistent with the requests from AHRI. Chillers and air conditioning equipment have a proposed GWP limit of 700. The request was 750 GWP, but for all intents and purposes, this doesn't have much impact.”

    The final rule for the technology transition rule is expected later this year in October.

    The third point has to do with reducing the demand for refrigerant in the existing installed base, which will require a much more robust recovery and reclamation market. According to EPA, the current market for reclamation is estimated to be below 2% of the total of the refrigerant produced, which is very low, said Butsch.

    “The global refrigeration and air conditioning market accounts for 86% of new HFCs produced. Of that 86%, over 50% is actually used to top off leaks in existing equipment versus filling new equipment,” she said. “This demonstrates the need to address the service market. In addition to reclaim, there will likely be leak repair, refrigerant management, and best service practices in the installation of new equipment all specified [by EPA]. We expect to see a draft or a proposal later this summer.”

    While the HVACR industry is anxiously awaiting these final rules from EPA, Butsch noted that the AIM Act lacks federal preemption, which means states have the freedom to regulate HFCs as they see fit. Most are hoping that states adopt EPA’s guidance; otherwise, there could be a patchwork of different refrigerant regulations around the country.


    Possible PFAS Regulations

    In addition to the regulations described above, there are new regulations being proposed, not just in the U.S., but also in Europe, said Rajan Rajendren, global vice president of environmental sustainability at Emerson. These potential regulations concern PFAS, and they do not specifically target refrigerants but are more broad in nature.

    “These chemicals are used in many, many things that you use on a daily basis, such as Teflon,” said Rajendren. “It matters to [the HVACR industry] because the conversation is about whether PFAS should be restricted or banned, which is now beginning to affect our industry.”

    But just how much these restrictions will affect the HVACR industry depends on the definition of PFAS. According to Rajendren, there are multiple definitions, with the European Union (EU) having one, while EPA and individual states such as Delaware and Maine having another.

    According to the American Chemistry Council, PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a diverse group of chemicals characterized by the strong bond between fluorine and carbon. Because of this strong bond, PFAS provides products with strength, durability, stability, and resilience. PFAS have been used in many consumer products since the 1940s, including refrigerants used in air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. More recently, their ubiquitous presence in water, soil, and air samples has raised concerns about their potential impacts on human health and the environment.

    “There are basically three broad areas in which these PFAS chemicals are present in the HVACR industry,” said Rajendren (see Table 2). “The first is polymeric compounds, such as Teflon and any other kind of plastic. That means you’ll find PFAS in bearings and compressors, as well as in all kinds of components and finished equipment, such as air conditioners and refrigeration equipment.”

    TABLE 2: PFAS definition and impact on the HVACR industry. (Courtesy of Emerson) Download table as PDF here

    The second area where PFAS can be found is the refrigerant itself. Research is still underway in the U.S. about this topic, but according to the EU’s Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH), refrigerants not containing PFAS include CO2, propane, R-32, R-152a, R-1132(E), and R-1132a.

    The third category involves processing aids, which manufacturers use to make products such as Teflon. Some solvents could fall into this category as well, said Rajendren.

    “This is not the last you're going to hear about PFAS from any of us,” he said. “But the industry is responding to a lot of this kind of activity, by providing information and helping regulators and policymakers and legislators with as much information as possible to let them know how all these chemicals are actually used in our products, and how they might actually impact not only the environment, but also human beings.”

    Article provided 6/13/23 by: By Joanna R. Turpin, ACHR News
  • Wednesday, June 07, 2023 1:41 PM | Anonymous

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has released a final rule fulfilling its statutory requirement to periodically evaluate and revise the test procedures for Consumer Water Heaters and Residential-Duty Commercial Water Heaters. A summary table of changes can be found in the DOE Rulemaking starting on page 22 of the document. The final rule adopts some updated ASHRAE standards, clarifies some product definitions related to heat pump water heaters and circulating water heaters, adjusts some calculations and procedures, and re-inserts tabletop water heaters as a product. More importantly, DOE is required to establish test procedures prior to revising related product standards. This rulemaking will likely be soon followed by new proposed efficiency standards for typical residential water heater products, PHCC will continue to engage with DOE and other related stakeholders to ensure practical product improvements are implemented. - By Chuck White, VP of Regulatory Affairs, PHCC National

  • Wednesday, June 07, 2023 1:08 PM | Anonymous

    Here are several instances where a solution like push-to-connect fittings can make your work on a remodeling job quicker and more efficient

    Plumbing is a key consideration when it comes to home remodels.

    Remodeling a home’s plumbing system or fixtures is a major undertaking that requires careful planning and execution to ensure that everything works as intended. But bathroom, kitchen or entire home plumbing renovations could turn a quick remodel into a complex issue depending on what you encounter once you assess the system. On top of that, the goal is to consistently provide quality results in a timely manner to ensure high customer satisfaction and secure repeat business.

    From replacing old pipes and fixtures to rerouting water and waste lines, plumbing remodels are challenging and require the right tools. Selecting the best plumbing solutions, such as push-to-connect fittings, gives you a quick and efficient way to overcome even the most challenging circumstances.

    Here are a few instances in which having push-to-connect fittings on hand would support a remodeling job.

    To adapt to different pipe types

    When remodeling a plumbing fixture or adjusting the system, you may encounter a pipe material you don’t have readily on hand. In these situations, a push-to-connect fitting is a perfect solution. They are often compatible with multiple CTS pipes so you can switch to your preferred pipe type, whether that be PEX, copper, CPVC, PE-RT or HDPE. Some couplings, like SharkBite transition fittings, also work with PVC and polybutylene. With only a couple of types of push fittings, you can seamlessly update the plumbing no matter what kind of piping the home has.

    To streamline installations

    A plumber’s day can be extremely busy, especially when those emergency calls come through. Push-to-connect fittings can help you complete jobs more quickly since they don’t require special tools or use time-consuming techniques. Just cut, deburr and push the fitting into place.

    Some push-to-connect fittings, like SharkBite Max, are designed for easier pipe insertion and can be installed in wet lines, making repairs and connections faster and smoother — even when the water main cannot be shut off. Plus, you can pressure test them immediately.

    To work better in tight spaces

    Plumbers are used to working in cramped spaces, like small closets or under cabinets. Luckily, push-to-connect fittings are ideal for those areas. Because you don’t need special tools for installation, you can save time and effort while making the overall job easier. The streamlined process minimizes common issues of working in tight spaces, such as straining your body, using bulky tools that limit your movement or having crimp rings or clamps shift while you work.

    To work quickly while also delivering on quality

    Not only are push-to-connect fittings versatile enough to provide a secure connection in hot, cold and high-pressure water situations, they’re also approved to do so. Many push-to-connect products meet standard plumbing codes and are approved by UPC and IPC for permanent installation. These types of fittings are also typically backed by a warranty, adding extra peace of mind.

    Peter Joseph, owner of Two7 Plumbing, is a big proponent of using push-to-connect fittings, such as SharkBite Max, on his residential jobs.

    “They’re made to be more durable,” he says. “They’re made to higher pressure specifications and ratings, and I like using something I know I can trust to last for a long time.”

    Juggling time constraints, budget and the homeowner’s schedule can be challenging. But with products like push-to-connect fittings on your truck, you can keep jobs running smoothly with quicker, cleaner installations. This will ultimately help you meet any remodeling hurdle while improving job site performance and customer satisfaction.

    -By: Jeff Long, P&M Magazine May 30, 2023

  • Wednesday, June 07, 2023 12:53 PM | Anonymous

    Equipment theft is everywhere, and if your business hasn’t been a victim yet, there's still a strong likelihood it could be. Nearly 1,000 pieces of construction equipment are reported stolen each month to the National Crime Information Center, but because many thefts go unreported, and there is no one central place tracking all thefts, this number is a low estimate. The National Insurance Crime Bureau estimates the losses total anywhere from $300 million to $1 billion annually.

    These losses are only for the machinery itself. As a contractor, stolen construction equipment is also likely to result in downtime on the job, project delays, higher insurance premiums and a costly deductible. Your insurance coverage could be dropped altogether. Instead of hoping your business won’t be a victim, a better approach is to be proactive about preventing equipment theft.

    While experts agree there is no 100% foolproof way to prevent theft, there are several actions you can take.

    “We recommend a layered approach that employs multiple theft prevention strategies,” says Ryan Shepherd, director and general manager of Crime Analytics and Supply Chain Solutions at Verisk. His focus is on reducing theft and fraudulent activity in construction and agriculture with the help of data. Verisk manages the National Equipment Register, a database that records equipment theft and ownership records, and offers analytic tools and assistance to the insurance industry and law enforcement.

    1. Get notified immediately when equipment is on the move

    GPS tracking or theft recovery devices such as Lojack can make a difference because contractors get an immediate notification when their equipment is moved from a geofenced area. The sooner you know about theft, the better the chance of recovery. Immediately report it to the police, insurance company and the National Equipment Register.

    Related: Managing Your Business During Inflation

    Shepherd says if thieves suspect a machine has such a device, they may let it sit for a few days in an area such as a parking lot to see if someone comes looking for it.

    2. Maintain an inventory of equipment

    If a piece of equipment is stolen, police will want information about the machine. Keeping an inventory of everything you own or lease on hand will save valuable time and improve your chances of recovery. Include the following information for each piece of equipment:

    Type of equipment, manufacturer and model number

    Serial, VIN or PIN number (if none is available, stamp or engrave a unique number and logo on the equipment and record it)

    Date of purchase

    Location of storage and use


    Personnel authorized to operate the equipment

    3. Register your equipment with the National Equipment Register database

    On most construction equipment, serial numbers and PINs are either nonexistent or non-standardized. The lack of titling requirements makes ownership verification difficult. Registering your equipment with the National Equipment Register will help law enforcement identify equipment after a theft. According to Shepherd, the cost is typically just $3 to $4 per year, per machine.

    4. Employ methods to disable machines or make them less mobile

    There are several ways to deter theft by making the equipment immobile or at the very least, less mobile. For example, remove the fuses and circuit breakers when the equipment is unattended or install devices such as a fuel shut-off system, wheel locks, battery switches, ignition locks and other hidden deactivation devices.

    Placing equipment in a wagon-train circle with more easily transported equipment such as generators in the center will also make the equipment more difficult for thieves to move.

    Related: How to Build a Durable Enterprise

    5. Use fencing, lighting and credentialing to secure the job site

    Poor lighting and easy access to a job site will make your equipment an easy target for thieves. Lighting, fencing and security cameras all serve as deterrents. Credentialing employees and subcontractors restricts access to authorized personnel and ensures thieves who look like they belong can’t just pull up to the job site and remove equipment.

    6. Make connections with law enforcement and the community

    When working in an area, Shepherd recommends contractors reach out to community members through local business networks, homeowner and crime-stopper groups about their operations and who to call if something doesn’t appear right. You can also reach out to law enforcement about extra patrols during off hours or holiday weekends.

    “It’s simple stuff, but it works,” Shepherd says.

    7. Make sure employees are on board with your security protocols

    An effective security plan is only as good as the employees who implement it.

    “Once you implement a security protocol, you need to follow through,” says Shepherd. “Allow your employees time to do what you are asking them."

    - By: Association of Equipment Manufacturers, P&M Magazine June 1, 2023

  • Wednesday, June 07, 2023 12:31 PM | Anonymous


    Finding and keeping quality employees is critical for plumbing, heating, and cooling contractors who want to grow their businesses. No matter what strategic, marketing, or succession plans are in place for the company, the success of the business depends on having quality field and office personnel to provide services to customers.

    While items such as salaries, work schedules, and workplace environment can attract employees, employers also need to offer an overall benefits package that is competitive with similar employers in the market, says William Roerden, financial adviser for Certified Financial Services and the primary contact for PHCC’s Multi-Employer 401(k) Program (see box on page 19). "Health insurance is the first benefit potential employees ask about, with the retirement plan coming in at a close second," he says.

    The interest in a company’s retirement plan is often driven by the individual’s personal goals, age, financial status, and family situation. A young, single person is less likely to focus on retirement than someone in their middle years, but a retirement plan can prove to be an important retention tool as the employee watches their future retirement income grow.

    "Over time, offerings of employer-funded traditional pensions, which are known as defined benefit plans that guarantee a set income for the rest of life at retirement, have changed," says Karen Brandon, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins, who was a featured speaker at a PHCCCONNECT2022 education session hosted by PHCC’s Union-Affiliated Contractors. "Non-union companies typically offer a 401(k) plan with employers matching employee contributions at rates defined in their plan." For example, an employer may match 50% of an employee’s contribution up to 6% of their compensation – or any other parameters identified in the plan documentation.

    In a 401(k) plan, which is a defined contribution plan, employees have their own accounts and can make investment decisions about the funds – their contributions as well as employer contributions – within the parameters of the plan. If the employee leaves a company, the account can be rolled into another retirement account to follow the employee. These types of retirement plans only pay income to a retiree until the account balance runs out, unless an annuity contract from an insurer has been purchased.

    Union-affiliated companies are more likely to offer traditional pension plans, but even some of those plans have changed. Union plans are funded by pooling money from union-affiliated companies, not individual employees, to pay pensions to retirees. Increasing numbers of retiring employees as baby boomers age out of the workforce has strained a number of plans. This, along with other factors that include poor investment returns and smaller workforces, which mean smaller payments from employers, have caused some pension funds to go bankrupt or to be taken over by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), a federal government agency that provides insurance. While the PBGC can continue making payments, they can only be made up to a certain amount, which might be a smaller payment than what was promised by the pension plan.

    Hybrid Plans Offer Additional Solution

    One option that some unions as well as non-union employers that have only offered a defined benefit plan are pursuing is the hybrid retirement plan that offers components of both the defined benefit and defined contribution plans, says Brandon. An employer can convert the existing traditional plan, or freeze and terminate it, and offer a cash balance plan in which participants receive a set percentage of their yearly compensation plus interest charges. This type of plan is maintained on an individual account basis, much like a defined-contribution plan. The employer contributions to the account are based on average pay and increase with years of experience and if the investments do well. There is a floor benefit and a cap on interest, and a reserve created if the investments perform above the cap.

    "Union-affiliated companies have less flexibility to convert their plans from defined benefit pension to a 401(k) plan, but some unions are moving to offer hybrid plans," says Brandon. It is difficult for many companies to withdraw from union plans due to a withdrawal liability in which they must pay their share of unfunded vested benefits. "Companies can negotiate with unions and their trustees, but they need to plan well in advance if they believe it is best for them to withdraw."

    "Adding a hybrid arrangement to a traditional defined benefit plan is similar to refinancing a mortgage where you pay off the old loan with a new loan that is re-amortized with better terms," says Brandon. "I was skeptical of this approach at one time, but if you can get better terms and an additional influx of money, it makes sense for some employers."

    Many employers in the p-h-c industry find that a safe harbor 401(k) plan makes sense for them. A safe harbor plan is not subject to the complex annual nondiscrimination tests that apply to traditional 401(k) plans, which makes it less cumbersome to manage. A key difference in the traditional and the safe harbor 401(k) plans is the vesting schedule that defines when an employee has access to funds contributed by the employer. With a safe harbor plan, employees are fully vested from the first day.

    "I like vesting schedules because they do promote retention," says Roerden. "Employers who want to focus on retention with a 401(k) plan and a vesting schedule can use a third-party administrator and an adviser to handle the annual nondiscrimination tests."

    The Value of Saving: Educating Employees

    When Charles and Anthony Bracco’s father started Modern Plumbing Industries in 1975, he believed strongly in taking care of his employees and, as soon as he could afford to do so, offered a comprehensive, employer-paid health insurance benefit that attracted employees. In 1990, the PHCC member company located in Winter Springs, Florida, added a traditional, defined benefit retirement plan. "The original plan was a profit-sharing plan with a vesting period of six or seven years," says Charles Bracco, president of the company. About 20 years ago, the profit-sharing retirement plan was modified to include a 401(k) that is funded by employee contributions and company matches – 100% up to 3% of the individual’s salary and 50% of the next 2% of the salary. "It is a safe harbor plan, so all eligible employees were vested immediately," he adds.

    Baxter Comfort Solutions is a fourth-generation heating and cooling company that began in 1928 and has 12 employees – two part-time and 10 full-time. "We offer a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, long-term and short-term disability, a health savings account, and a 401(k) plan for retirement," says Karen DeJong, co-owner and office manager of the PHCC member company located in Baxter, Iowa. "We’ve offered the 401(k) for more than 10 years, and we match the employee’s contribution up to 3% of the salary."

    All eligible employees – those who are full time – are participating in the retirement program, says DeJong. When onboarding new employees, it is important to educate them about the value of saving for retirement and taking advantage of the company match, she says. "Younger employees are familiar with 401(k) plans but are not that concerned about saving because, for them, retirement is a long way off," she says. "We explain how participating immediately will create savings that continues to grow and gives them a chance to get the company match, which is ‘free’ money for them."

    For employers who are evaluating what they offer, DeJong recommends asking peers in a network group what they offer or checking with associations the company may belong to. "Setting up a retirement plan is not something you want to learn as you go along. Make sure you do it right at the start," she says. "It is harder for small businesses to set up a retirement plan along with other benefits, but you have to do it to be competitive as you recruit employees."

    Using PHCC’s Multi-Employer 401(k) Program, Baxter Comfort Solutions was able to transfer its existing retirement program to a new plan and take advantage of group pricing.

    If planning to make a change to the retirement plan, start by looking at your employee population’s age, whether or not you want a vesting schedule, if and how much you want to contribute, and other factors that can be used to tailor your plan to your company, says Roerden. "If a company is less than 100 employees, it is a good time to start now and take advantage of a 50% tax credit on start-up costs – up to $500 for the first three years of the plan."

    "At the end of the day, some employees value a retirement program more than others depending on their preferences, but it’s important to take care of your employees to attract and retain the best," says Bracco. "Even with immediate vesting in the retirement plan, our company culture, family orientation, and total benefits package have contributed to retention. Most people stay with us, some of them more than 20 years."

    When asked if he has advice for other company owners reviewing their retirement plans, Bracco says, "Do what you can do to help your employees, even if you’re a small company. Something is better than nothing."

    PHCC’s Multi-Employer 401(k) Program

    As a benefit to members, PHCC has partnered with Lincoln Financial, a nationally recognized leader in retirement planning services, along with trusted experts from Certified Financial Services, to develop a unique program that leverages the strengths of group participation to provide a cost-effective and easy way for you to implement a turnkey 401(k) employee program. For more information, testimonials from your fellow members, and contact information, visit


    Sheryl S. Jackson is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in education, leadership and legislative topics for several industries, including construction.

  • Wednesday, May 31, 2023 10:01 AM | Anonymous

    Manatee County, EPDM Gasket Exemption

    Manatee County is extending the exemption on the use of factory installed EPDM gasketed PVC pipe for pipe delivered and on-site until December 31, 2023. There has been a resin shortage that impacted the availability for PVC pipes with the EPDM gaskets. However, in discussion with suppliers and manufacturers, this market is improving, and it is not expected the exemption will continue in the future. Therefore, please start making the necessary adjustments for projects approved after December 31, 2023 to install with factory installed EPDM gasketed PVC pipe.

    No deviation request by the Contractor or the Engineer of Record will be required during this period of exemption. A copy of this letter should be provided to the contractor and be on-site with the other approved documents that are required to on-site (i.e., approved construction plans). During the record drawing process, please indicate this deviation on each applicable sheet.

    Please contact Scott May if you have questions.

    Scott May, P.E., Manatee County Engineer
    Deputy Director - Engineering Services
    Public Works Departments
    Engineering Services
    1022 26th Ave East
    Bradenton, FL. 34208
    Phone: 941-708-7462

  • Wednesday, May 24, 2023 1:13 PM | Anonymous

    Insurance companies driving leak detection technology adoption amongst consumers.

    John Wallace, owner of Atlanta-based JM Wallace Plumbing, has been offering leak detection solutions since 2007, but it’s only recently during the last few years where he’s really seen the technology take off.

    “We do a lot of high-end work in the Buckhead-Atlanta area in a lot of larger, custom homes,” Wallace says. “The insurance companies down here are basically requiring homeowners to have some type of leak detection technology installed in their homes, so they’re driving a lot of adoption. Basically, when you start getting into sheet rock trim, hardwood floors and all the really high-end materials and whatnot, the insurance companies really start pushing these homeowners — not the builders.”

    After starting his own company in 2000, Wallace immediately recognized the benefits of offering leak detection solutions to customers.

    “The work we do, everything is high-end, and with all these finishes, why not give the homeowner the option to be able to shut their water off when they go out of town? I’ve built up relationships with my customers based on trust. Why not offer them this peace of mind? A lot of homeowners don’t even think about what happens if a pipe bursts or a washing machine or water heater breaks and floods the home unless they’ve already experienced a similar situation. It saves them from having to go through tragic times dealing with flooding and the insurance companies. Though all of it is terrible and bad, water damage to me is a lot worse than even a fire.”

    JM Wallace installs leak detection products in both new construction and retrofit applications. Wallace actually receives a lot of leads through FloLogic.

    FloLogic system

    “FloLogic was one of the first ones on the market with this technology — they kind of spearheaded the way for other companies,” Wallace explains. “And I’m a big believer in small business — I’m a small company. If there is an issue, they are a phone call away, and they always answer the phone. They send product, no questions asked and stand behind their warranty work. FloLogic is just a great company to partner up with. There’s a lot of great products out there, and I’ve installed a lot of different ones, but FloLogic is my go-to product.”

    After detecting a leak or critically low room temperature, the FloLogic system closes the water supply to minimize and prevent any damage or waste. The FloLogic mobile app sends instant alerts, providing vital information about abnormal water activity, critically low temperatures, or auto-shutoffs. Homeowners can easily forward information to a plumber, caretaker or their emergency contacts.

    Wallace prefers FloLogic’s leak detection system because installation is very user-friendly.

    “Every installation is different depending on the house — if you’re going back in and retrofitting it in, sometimes you have to rework a few little things here and there to make everything fit together just right as opposed to a new construction process where you just work it into the design. At the end of the day, everything is plug-and-play and self-explanatory

    “The other thing I like is the whole makeup of the valve itself is all brass,” he adds. “FloLogic also comes with a battery backup. The other beauty about it is say someone forgets to shut the water off when they leave on a vacation — FloLogic automatically defaults to away mode after 18 hours of no water usage. There are still water functions, but it’s very limited. It’s really awesome technology in my opinion.”

    On the other side of the country, Los Angeles-based Beagle Services has been offering leak detection solutions since its inception over two years ago.

    “Our mission is to prevent water damage and water loss at scale,” notes Paul Vacquier, CEO, Beagle Services. “We are helping clients prevent water damage, which is the number one cause of preventable insurance claims. We also help conserve water loss due to leaks and updating plumbing systems.”


  • Thursday, May 11, 2023 10:34 AM | Anonymous

    SWFL PHCC and MACCA hold Unlicensed Contractors Activity Meeting with local Sheriff’s Departments and Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation

    The Southwest Florida Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association (SWFLPHCC) and Manasota Air Conditioning Contractors Association (MACCA) held a panel discussion on May 4, 2023, on unlicensed contractors’ activity. Timothy McGrath, Tampa Field Manager-Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation; Rick Wells, Manatee County Sheriff; Lieutenant Craig Fairly, Criminal Investigations, Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and Sergeant Paul Guyton, Economic Crimes, Charlotte County Sheriff's Office were the panelists.

    The panelists provided information on the current state of unlicensed contractor activity in each county/city, specifically post hurricane investigations. They also discussed the current efforts each county/city is employing to curb unlicensed contractor activity. as well as future plans for addressing this issue. and how our members can help.

    The legal requirements for licensed contractors (i.e., license # on vehicles, etc.) were addressed. For instance, if a contractor carries more than one contractor license then all work vehicles must correctly display all license numbers on their vehicle. If you run across a vehicle that does not have their license number(s) correctly displayed, McGrath requested you download the DBPR Mobile App to report violations and vehicle license number issues when you are on the go. Capture as many photos as possible, including tag number, description and/or photo(s) of the person or vehicles involved in the crime, etc.

    These photos can be uploaded with the report through the app. They can be done anonymously, if you do not want to receive any follow-up information on the case. You can also use the mobile app to search contractor licenses, inspections, check the status of a license.

    McGrath suggested all contractors and their employees put the app on their phones.

    The Sheriff’s Departments, and the Florida DBPR said they have limited resources to deal with this issue. The best way to curb the issue of unlicensed contractors within our community is to educate others through social media, educating the elderly population within the community, utilizing local resources, and being an ambassador for industry.

    Please report any unlicensed activity to your County/City Police/Sheriff Departments and/or the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) Hotline #1.866.532.1440, email the department at or download the DBPR mobile app.

    BECOME A SWFL PHCC MEMBER - for more information on member benefits, please visit:

  • Wednesday, May 10, 2023 2:38 PM | Anonymous

    Workers’ compensation provides an important safety net for employees and business owners alike. In a nutshell, a good workers’ comp policy ensures that — should an employee ever become injured or ill as a direct result of doing their job — their medical bills and lost wages are properly compensated. Workers’ comp policies are designed to provide for employees who are subject to workplace accidents, without placing too onerous a financial burden on the business itself.

    As with any good system, workers’ comp can be abused. Fraudulent claims cost businesses billions of dollars every single year. And while there is probably no way to totally eradicate workers’ comp fraud, there are a few simple strategies your business can follow to minimize these abuses.

    1. Establish a safety plan.

    One of the most important things you can do to minimize workers’ comp fraud is to prioritize the safety of your employees. Not only will this help you reduce the number of workplace accidents, potentially making fraud cases easier to identify, but it also earns the goodwill and trust of your employees. Create and document a full employee safety plan, including steps to audit workplace hazards, investigate any incidents, and create an employee safety team to seek continuous improvement.

    2. Reinforce your safety policies.

    There are a number of ways to keep your workplace safety plans top-of-mind among your personnel. Instructive signage and posters go a long way. Include safety guidelines in any employee handbook that you develop. Set company-wide safety goals and reward your employees for meeting those goals.

    3. Create a fraud-free culture.

    It’s also important to be direct with your employees: Fraud will not be tolerated. In employee handbooks and within all workers’ comp documents, stress your zero-tolerance policy for fraud. Encourage your employees to report any instances of fraud that they become aware of.

    -Information provided by: Plumber Magazine, May 1, 2023

  • Thursday, April 13, 2023 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    Accela Civic Apps for the Development Community

    Why is the county switching permitting systems?
    The county’s current system was installed in 2004 and last updated in 2012. It is nearing the end of its functional life, and the move to Accela will provide a standardized, cloud-based solution that is easily configured and maintained with the latest product updates.
    Who else is using Accela Civic Apps?
    Manatee, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Polk counties, and the City of Tampa all use Accela with high satisfaction.
    How long will this transition last?
    The county anticipates that Accela will fully launch by September 2023.
    Will training be provided on how to use Accela?
    Sarasota County will launch a new customer portal that will be easy to understand and use. A variety of training tools will be provided to support common questions and challenges, such as how to use the new Digital Plan Room feature. In addition, the county will keep its customers informed with progress emails throughout the process.

    -Information provided by Sarasota County Accela News, Mar 30, 2023

PHONE / FAX: 941-977-5077

8283 Vico Court
Sarasota, Fl. 34240 

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