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DECEMBER, 2016 RPA NEWS

RPA Annual Meeting and Social Event at AHR 2017
The RPA annual membership meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 31st from 5-6 p.m. in room N238/240 in the Las Vegas Convention Center. The annual social event will be taking place that evening. The Social Event will be held in Ballroom D at the Westgate Las Vegas (connected to the convention center) from 7-9 p.m. Please RSVP for both of these events to denise.voorhees@radiantpros.org by January 2nd.

Click here to download the conference brochure

Registration for AHR has opened

The RPA Education Committee, chaired by Max Rohr, and staff have put together another great slate of educational offerings at AHR.  All of the RPA classes will be held on Monday, January 30th and the RPA/HIA-C Committee class will be held on Tuesday, January 31st.  

For a full list of free educational offerings at AHR, click here: http://ahrexpo.com/education-overview/#education-free

Event Sponsors

New Member Benefit – Service Roundtable
As a member of RPA you are receiving an Associate Membership at no cost to you. If you haven't heard of Service Roundtable yet, let me start by introducing who we are and what you can look forward to as one of our Associate Members.

Service Roundtable is the world's largest private residential contractor alliance group. We are dedicated to providing service contractors with an affordable means to drive new business and get higher sales. We work with business owners, contractors and consultants in the HVAC, Plumbing, and Electrical fields to help them grow their business through our 3 key components:


Marketing, Mentoring and Money- the Three M's of Success

Marketing:
Our dedicated marketing and design team bring you marketing pieces and business tools that you can download to your computer and customize instantly for your company.

Mentoring:
Join Service Roundtable at our contracting events, training, and meetings at Service Roundtable member discount pricing.

Money:
The most important aspect for many companies is the money you make. Why not help increase those profits with our Roundtable Rewards program? With our Roundtable rewards you are able to get money back for purchases of goods and services from our library of over 100 Preferred Partners.


Did You Know?
RPA members have exclusive access to previously recorded HydroniX Talk shows. There are now nearly 30 videos of us interviewing numerous manufacturers, industry icons and other items of interest to our contracting and manufacturing partners. You can gain access through the RPA Members Only portal of the RPA web site, www.radiantpros.org

If you've forgotten your access codes to the Members Only site, contact Alan Wald at alan.wald@iapmo.org
The more you know, the better off you are.


Plastic Pressure Pipe Design Calculator -- BCD Plastic Pressure Pipe Design Calculator
To assist with proper sizing of PEX, PE-RT and CPVC plastic pressure pipe and tubing, the BCD Plastic Pressure Pipe Design Calculator is designed for hydronic heating and cooling, snow and ice melting, plumbing, fire protection and geothermal applications. Developed by PPI's Building & Construction Division (BCD), this free online tool performs calculations for pressure and head loss, thermal expansion and contraction, surge pressures, plus pipe weight and volume. It can even help designers determine the lengths of expansion arms or loops, especially important for larger diameter piping systems. Users can select the pipe type, size and length; flow rate; fluid characteristics such as temperature and antifreeze content; add in fittings; and calculate results. Calculation details may be shown and results can be printed or emailed. Access the Calculator directly at www.plasticpipecalculator.com


HydroniX Talk January Show
Join us in the New Year with Mr. PEX, a tubing manufacturer who produces both radiant hydronic and potable water plumbing products. The original principal of the company is Tomas Lenman, one of the industry foremost experts on the production of plastic tubing. They will be talking about their products and services to the HVAC and Plumbing industry.

Password is HXTJAN2017 (case sensitive)
Click "Join Now"

Make sure you have plenty of cold beer and pop corn, and join us then for some lively and topical hydronic conversation.

We are always interested in hearing from potential interviewees with interesting hydronic or energy savings products. Contact Mark Eatherton with any potentials you think our listeners might appreciate. As always, if you miss the live presentation, you can still catch the recorded session at the RPA web site under the Members Only section.


The Value of Being Certified

Our industry establishes the minimum standards of compliance necessary to allow us to sit and take an examination for the purposes of becoming licensed in a given trade. This is done in an effort to provide the highest minimum degree of competency for the consumer who is purchasing a given product or service. Much of it has to do with life, health safety considerations. You wouldn't want a less than qualified person working on your heating equipment, possibly causing a draft problem that could result in death or illness from a carbon monoxide poisoning case. Hence the reason that some local jurisdictions require the competency testing and licensure of certain trades and practices. It is for the protection of the consumer.

Some jurisdictions also require a continuing education element to the licensure process. This is to ensure that we, the trades' people, stay engaged and are aware of all changes in the code, as well as staying abreast of new technologies, and its safe application. Unfortunately, with the exception of a few forward-thinking jurisdictions, most areas do not require the licensure of people installing hydronic heating and cooling equipment.

Times, they are a changing. In the past, there really wasn't a “standard” by which people could gage the competency of a hydronics system installer. This all changed in 2015 with the introduction of the Uniform Solar Energy Hydronics Code. This code was intentionally incorporated into an existing American National Standard formerly known as the Uniform Solar Energy Code. The reason is so that a competing code enforcement authority or local jurisdiction could have the ability to adopt this section of the hydronics code without conflicting with the jurisdictions existing mechanical and plumbing code.

In an effort to raise the bar, and keep this wonderful industry on the positive side of people's opinions, it is necessary to have a means of certification. The Radiant Professionals Alliance, in conjunction with ASSE International has developed such a standard. It is called the ASSE Standard 19210 Hydronic Installer Certification program. It too was developed following rigid American National Standard protocols.

At present, certification is not mandatory, but will become so over the next few years as authorities having jurisdiction begin adopting and enforcing the new USEHC. We will be rolling out classes for the certification of hydronic installers to the ASSE 19210 standard beginning in January of 2017. Keep an eye out for this program coming to a city near you. In next month's article, we will show you the value proposition behind becoming certified, and the benefits to you and your company for doing so. Thank you for your continuing support of RPA initiatives.

WSI 2016

Legislative Updates --- Newly Introduced Legislation Promotes Plumbing Research.
Recently, Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA) introduced the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Plumbing Research Act of 2016 (H.R. 6424), legislation that would invest in research to bring the data for U.S. plumbing standards into the 21st century, making our plumbing systems safer, more reliable, and more water-efficient. The bill directs NIST to conduct research on plumbing systems. The research addressed through this effort includes updating an outdated algorithm for estimating water demand leads builders to use unnecessarily large pipes, supplying more water than needed to buildings. This wastes water that is critical to the wellbeing of our communities and our environment. Other areas include research on how to improve water efficiency without sacrificing performance and better strategies to prevent the spread of pathogens, including Legionella. IAPMO has championed this effort and plans to work with the new Congress to see this bill passed.

This is just one of the articles of information in the RPA Washington Update. As an RPA member, you should be receiving weekly updates on the recent activity of our legislature. If you are not receiving these updates, please let us know. 


RPA Twitter Corner

 

RPA

RadiantProsAlliance @Radiant_Panel Dec 13

Don't miss @TacoComfort, @XylemInc @BellGossett @uponor @iechvac Jan 31st at #AHRExpo in LV! Register here ---> http://goo.gl/2pzKmg pic.twitter.com/jTzmAjhc6g

RPA

RadiantProsAlliance @Radiant_Panel Dec 7

Catch @davidholdorf @tacocomfort, @ellenrohr @Caleffius, & @WesSisco @uponor on Jan. 30 @ #AHRexpo register here --> https://goo.gl/0fwv1A 

RPA

RadiantProsAlliance @Radiant_Panel Dec 7

RSVP for the RPA annual membership meeting/social event on Jan. 31 @Westgate_LV 5-9 pm. Email denise.voorhees@radiantpros.org for info #AHRpic.twitter.com/MDiDXCewwh


RPA

RadiantProsAlliance @Radiant_Panel Dec 15

Be sure to visit booth N7506 on day 1 of @ahrexpo for chance to win 2 tickets to the PM Live Symposium ---> http://goo.gl/MoJJN4 pic.twitter.com/dFvw4OnoCk

PM Live


RPA on Social Media
Be sure to follow the RPA on our social media channels:

FaceBook: www.facebook.com/radiantprofessionalsalliance/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/4379924
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Radiant_Panel 


Tip of the Month

With Winter settling in it brings with it extremely cold weather and wind. If you don't have a newsletter for your customers, you should consider it. It is a common thread among successful businesses. It keeps your company name in the forefront so that when they need service, they think of your name first. Here are some items you can consider putting into your newsletter or using on your social media (Got FaceBook?) channels to your customers.

Cold weather and programmable thermostats. It is suggested that when it gets extremely cold and windy outside, that the “set back” temperatures be bypassed. Most home heating systems are not designed to recover the internal mass of a given structure, especially when it is extremely cold outside. Set the thermostats to HOLD at a given temperature of between 68 and 70 degrees until warmer weather returns. If you get cold, put on a sweater and hope for warmer weather. If the inside temperature continues to drop in your home, you may need to call for service on your heating system.

During extremely cold and windy weather, consider temporarily closing off crawls space vents to keep water lines in the crawl space from being exposed to freezing conditions. Don't forget to unblock them when warmer weather returns. Never block a code required combustion air vent going to fuel fired appliances. Doing so can result in loss of life or property.

In remote plumbing locations within the home, keep the doors leading to the remote room open, and if there is plumbing located in an outside wall, keep the cabinet doors open to avoid freeze potentials coming in from the outside.

If you will be leaving for an extend winter vacation in a sunny climate, ask a friend, relative or neighbor to check up on your home on a daily basis when cold, and every other day when above freezing to make sure it is warm, and that no problems exist. Leave a list of your common service providers so that if there is a problem, it can be addressed immediately to avoid major damages that might occur.

Many people want to know if it is safe to turn the water off at the main shut off where the water enters the home when leaving for vacation. If your hydronic heating system (or steam heating system) has a means of detecting water loss through code approved devices, then it is safe to turn the water off. It is recommended that whomever is home sitting for you know how to turn the water back on if water needs to be replenished manually in a steam boiler, for example.

When a deep snow fall occurs, inspect your flue gas vent termination to ensure that it hasn't become blocked with snow. And keep an eye out on your elderly neighbor's house vents as well. They might not even be aware that their vents are becoming blocked.

Exterior hoses should have been removed from their lawn faucets months ago, but if one was inadvertently missed, disconnect the hose, and bring it inside to allow it to thaw by placing it in a bathtub. When spring comes back around, carefully test the suspect lawn faucet by placing your thumb over the hose bib outlet, and turn the valve handle on. If you hear water running, but it is not building pressure to push your thumb off the spigot, STOP. Your lawn faucet has frozen and broken and is most probably dumping water into your basement or crawl space. Call your plumbing service company to have it replaced.

Always keep fresh batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Replace the batteries in the detectors per the manufacturer, but at a minimum, once per year. Also, check the device for its expiration date. These safety devices must be replaced on occasion.


Faces of the RPA
Please take a look at the RPA website and click on the "Faces of the RPA" button to see some famous faces of the industry discussing the benefits of belonging to the RPA. One of the videos is from our social event that was held in Orlando. Make sure you do not miss next year's event in Las Vegas. The AHR show runs from January 30 – February 2, 2017. Mark your calendars now. AHR has opened their housing and travel site for discounted hotels in Las Vegas.


RPA Member Profile on the Website
As a member of the RPA, you are listed on the RPA website when a customer is looking for a contractor in their area. We are starting something new where you, the member, can add to your member profile by giving us a little history on your company and/or provide us a few pictures of your work. If you are interested in updating your member profile, please send an email to denise.voorhees@iapmo.org and she will send you out the appropriate form that will need to be filled out.  The website is www.radiantpros.org


Historic Archives
For your personal education, we are providing some historic documents showing how hydronic and radiant has progressed since its inception many years ago. Our materials, manners and methodologies have advanced significantly since its inception many years ago. This information should not be construed as a "How To" guide, but rather provides an historical perspective on our trade. Special thanks to RPA members Dan Holohan and Lance MacNevin of PPI, for allowing us to present you with these historic documents. As an RPA member, we show you the current state of the art materials and methods used today to deliver what is arguably the most comfortable and efficient method known to mankind for providing excellent human comfort."  Please follow this link to take a look back at some historic manuals about your craft.  http://www.radiantprofessionalsalliance.org/Pages/AntiqueRadiantApplications.aspx   

 

IGSHPA

 

RPA and UPS make shipping easier for your business

UPSWhether you're sending shipments across the border or just down the road, UPS® and UPS Freight® are committed to making the shipping process as seamless as possible.
RPA members have exclusive access to the RPA/UPS Savings Program, a member benefit program that not only allows you to save on small package and LTL freight shipments with UPS and UPS Freight, but also gives you access to UPS's dedicated team of customer service representatives who are committed to helping your business grow.

The UPS Freight Association Team will assist you with quotes, booking shipments and any questions you may have — leaving you more time to focus on your business. Enroll online today or contact the team at 866.443.9303 or upsfreightassociations@ups.com to learn more!

 

Employee Suspensions – When and How?

Question: When and how can suspensions can be used?   What, if any, ramifications come with them?

Response: There is no federal or state law in the state where the company operates that prohibits employers from suspending employees as a disciplinary action or while an investigation takes place, as may occur if the employer reasonably determines that it can more fully and fairly investigate a situation in the employee's absence or where the alleged misconduct is so severe that it would warrant immediate suspension or discharge if the allegations are substantiated. That said and as discussed below, in some cases an UNPAID suspension as to an exempt employee can jeopardize the salary basis that is otherwise required to maintain the exemption status, but even in this scenario an unpaid suspension does not expressly violate the law. Non-exempt employees, including any as may be subject to a tip credit, can be subject to unpaid suspensions absent a contract that precludes them.
 
As a general rule relative to disciplinary policies, employers have discretion to establish such policies as they see fit if no employment contract otherwise governs the issue. Disciplinary suspensions, and suspensions pending investigation, are within an employer's right to issue if company policy supports these courses of action based on the facts and where the approach is consistent with how the employer has responded to prior similar scenarios. If an employee is non-exempt, he or she need not be paid for a disciplinary or investigative suspension unless company policy, practice or a contract entitle the employee otherwise. As to suspensions pending investigation, employer policies should support issuance of back pay if the employer's investigation reveals no wrongdoing (or perhaps did not reveal any action on the part of the suspected employee that warranted discharge or an unpaid disciplinary suspension). In this way a suspended employee is made whole for the time lost, and does not suffer what effectively is an unpaid disciplinary suspension, if one is determined not to have been warranted in the first place.
 
If an employee is exempt, however, then note that an employer generally cannot withhold wages or salary for any exempt employee if he or she performs any work in a workweek. That said, there are some exceptions. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act does permit suspension-related deductions from the salary of such employees when such a penalty is imposed in good faith for infractions of safety rules of major significance, OR for unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more FULL days, which also must be imposed in good faith for workplace conduct rule infractions (see https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/overtime/modelPolicy_PF.htm). This provision refers to SERIOUS misconduct, though, not basic performance or attendance issues, and arguably not to partial-week suspensions where the employer is merely investigating (i.e., before an unpaid suspension issues as a form of disciplinary action in and of itself). An employer may thus impose in good faith an unpaid suspension upon an exempt employee for infractions of workplace conduct rules, such as rules prohibiting sexual harassment, workplace violence, drug or alcohol use, or for violations of state or federal laws, but not for anything that would meet not this criteria. No suspension can be imposed if there is not a written policy in place that is applicable to all employees and that provides for it.

See http://www.dol.gov/elaws/esa/flsa/overtime/cr5.htm#3 and
https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/overtime/modelPolicy_PF.htm for a sample policy that mentions this).

© 2014 Advisors Law Group, All Rights Reserved

To learn more about the Federated Employment Practices Network®, contact your local Federated Marketing Representative, or visit www.federatedinsurance.com.

 

Join the RPA

More to offer than ever! Joining the Radiant Professionals Alliance (RPA) is one of the best business moves you can make. If you're looking to grow, gain new customers, solve heating problems more quickly than ever before, tap into some of the brightest minds in the hydronic-heating business, and have a great time along the way, the RPA is for you.

Find out some of what we have waiting for you!

THANK YOU for supporting our industry initiatives with your ongoing support.

NEW MEMBERS (since last newsletter)
EP Sales Inc.
Connor Co

RENEWED MEMBERS (since last newsletter)
Zurn Pex, Inc.
IEC, Dovision of LSB Ind.
CN Engineers
Avenir Software, Inc.
Energy Expediters Inc.
Mechanical Air Service
Simply Radiant Heating
Bob Kirk
F A I Mechanical Contractors, Inc.
City of St.. Johns
Chad Whittington
Integratewd Solutions Inc.
JV Mechanical Contractors, Inc.
Lockwood Mechanical, Inc.
Foley Mechanical Inc.

 
 
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