Trades Talk, a Plumbing & HVAC Podcast

Ep. 08: PVC Drain, Waste, & Venting Products

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Episode Description:

There are a lot of myths that surround plastic pipes. For example, there are those that still perpetuate the idea that plastic pipe is noisy and easy to break due to the nature they are brittle.

Plumbing noise levels in residential bathrooms can only reach 45 decibels as per the ASHRAE Chapter 48 standard on noise and vibration control. To put this into a bit of perspective, a refrigerator usually marks in at around 40 decibels and a dishwasher at 60.

Mike Mercurio, senior technical sales representative for IPEX, joins me on the podcast to break those myths. He will also explore some of the latest plastic pipe technology innovations in today’s marketplace.

Be sure to listen to the full episode, we promise a fun and interesting chat for this lineup!


Ep. 07: In's and Out's of Water Heater Maintenance

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Episode Description:

If a water heating isn’t kept in proper working condition, there is a chance it could affect the warranty of the unity. Do I have your attention now? Good.

Adding regular maintenance packages to your business model allows for consistent work around the calendar year. For those who know all too well that work tends to come all at once or not at all—maintenance plans allow for extra work during those not-so-busy seasons.

Yet, what exactly should be checked annually on a water heater? Well, I now have the answer for you. Paul Tomlin of AO Smith walks me though the six-point checklist that every  contractor should keep on them when doing their regular maintenance checks.

Here are the basics:

  • 1. Check the water pressure
  • 2. Control water pressure
  • 3. Control thermal expansion
  • 4. Inspect T&P valve
  • 5. Drain and flush tank
  • 6. Check or replace anode rods

  • Take a listen as Paul goes into a bit more detail for each of the points mentioned above and some additional things to check off. And as always, thanks for listening!

Ep. 06: 2021 Federal Election

Episode Description:

Elections are a time for change. It’s a changing or reinstatement of the guard. With every election comes new challenges, questions, and concerns. How will this federal election affect me, my family or my work? On today’s episode of Trades Talk, we look to answer that question by gathering a few friends from the industry to form our Advocacy Panel.  

Join us as Ken Lancastle, chief operating officer with the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC), Dave Hughes Technical Consultant, Codes and Standards at the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH), and Martin Luymes  Vice President, Government and Stakeholder Relations at Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) discuss just how this upcoming election could affect the skilled trades. 

Ep. 05: Vaccinations in the Workplace

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Episode Description:

The entire Plumbing & HVAC team is now fully vaccinated; that is to say that all three of us are. Yet, it wasn’t required as a company rule, mostly because companies are not allowed to mandate vaccinations in the workplace here in Canada. I discovered this fact by chatting with Humera Rehman, an associate with Rodney Employment Law. She explains that, here in Canada, it is very unlikely that employers will be able to mandate the COVID-19 vaccine. Although, this entire pandemic is unprecedented, so really anything is kind of game at this point. 

Topic change. 

Have you always wondered why the water heater you just installed develops this little pool of water over time? Well, the solution might just be condensation. I thought this was just something that formed on my beer before I was able to finish it. Take a listen in our Tech Talk segment as Paul Tomlin of AO Smith teaches me about condensation management in water heaters. You truly do learn something new every day; why not make today’s fun fact about water heaters.

Ep. 04: Spring Air Conditioning

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Episode Description:

Training in the pandemic has increased largely due to the fact that contractors or technicians have the ability to complete courses on their own time. No longer do they have to take work off to learn a new skill.

This is just one of the lessons learned by Darrin Best, HVAC manager with Doyle Home Services, during the pandemic. “If you want to learn; this is the best time to do so.” Why not also take a listen to your favourite podcast, Trades Talk, while you are at it?

In each episode, I am joined by a technical expert to discuss a bit more technical aspect of the industry. This was one of the more difficult interviews I have had on the show due to the truly complicated nature of the discussion. Take a listen as he attempts to teach me more about “Pressure Drops in Water Heaters”; and I’ll have to say, he does a pretty fantastic job.

Ep. 03: Advocacy Panel

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Episode Description:

Behind the scenes, trade associations are consistently working with the various levels of the Canadian government to ensure that the interests of the mechanical trades are met. Ken Lancastle, chief operating officer with the Mechanical Contractors Association of Canada (MCAC), and Ralph Suppa, president and general manager with the Canadian Institute of Plumbing and Heating (CIPH), join us to discuss the latest advocacy work that has been done on the behalf of their members. 

For the latter half of the episode, our technical expert, Sean Giberson, residential regional sales manager with Taco Comfort Solutions, explores the technology that goes into ECM circulators. Check it out as he teaches us about constant pressure mode in relation to circulators. 

What are you waiting for? Have you listened yet! 

Ep. 02: Contractors' Roundtable

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Episode Description:

For over a year now, we’ve heard these rumblings about this “new normal.” But what exactly does this mean to HVAC/R contractors? Although it’d be easiest to say that ALL contractors have gone through the same experiences in this pandemic, life as a contractor just isn’t that simple.

We spoke with two commercial contractors as part of this Contractors’ Roundtable — Tim Padfield of Pad-Car Mechanical and Scott Munro of Opus Mechanical. The former from Alberta;  whilst the latter from Ontario. Talk a listen as both talk about their experiences through the pandemic and their best practice suggestions to their fellow contractors. As Scott eloquently puts it — “culture cannot be created remotely.”

In the second half of the episode, our hosts chat with Paul Tomlin of AO Smith about thermal expansion. As the temperature of a hot water heater rises, this is when thermal expansion occurs. Listen to Paul discuss ways to combat this issue, including the well-known expansion tank. Did you know that they need to be charged? Our expert will tell you how.

Go check it out, already!

Ep. 01: Attracting Youth to the Trades

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Episode Description:

“We need to talk.” When you hear this from a spouse or friend, you might think the worst has come. You think back to everything that you’ve done wrong in the past, and might even make up things that you haven’t done but just aren’t so sure. 

Well, today we are saying this with the best of intentions. But, we do still need to talk.

We need to attract more people to the trades. It’s as simple and complicated as that. With the current ageing workforce, we are on the precipice of not having enough tradespeople. One solution is to take a look at the younger generation. We need to have the next crop of students think about the trades as a viable career. It provides an exciting and challenging opportunity for those looking to enter the workforce.

Take a listen to some industry leaders and their best approach to how we can attract more people to the trades. Enjoy!