News in brief.

Holohan Featured At NCAPHCC Challenge

Hydronics guru Dan Holohan will address the Nassau County Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors first-ever “NCAPHCC Challenge,” May 5 at the Holiday Inn in Plainview, N.Y. Holohan will be speaking about the role of the plumbing and heating contractor in the next millennium. The evening festivities will include dinner, a raffle and a networking exchange. Members and prospective members can sign up on the NCAPHCC Web site, or call Richard English at 516/593-7422.

Construction Increase Projected

Construction costs in the first quarter of 1999 are projected to increase 0.54 percent from the fourth quarter of 1998, according to the Turner Corp., a national general builder. The projected increase is almost 4 percent higher than the first quarter of 1998.

Plastic Chips Safe In Dip Tubes

Water containing tiny plastic chips from defective household water heaters is safe, the American Water Works Association (AWWA) said Feb. 19. AWWA said up to 90 percent of residential water heaters built between 1993 and 1996 — an estimated 21 million units — may rely on defective polypropylene “dip tubes,” which break down inside the water heater and cause plastic chips to flow to water faucets. The chips do not pose a health risk, but they can decrease water flow from household faucets and appliances, and diminish water heater efficiency and effectiveness.

Moen Declines PPL Participation

Moen officially informed PHCC Professional Product Line Chairman Don Morin that it will not be participating in PHCC’s PPL program, the association said. Moen plans to come out with its own product directed at the professional contractor. Manufacturers who participate in the PPL program include Anaheim Mfg., Bradford White, Delta Faucet, Hammond Valve and Water by Design.

Nevada Wins Utility Fight

The Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors of Nevada won a battle against utilities when the state legislature ruled any utility affiliate needs to be physically and financially separate from the parent utility, and the two cannot share office space or personnel.

Service Experts Announces 23 Acquisitions

Service Experts Inc. (NYSE: SVE) announced it completed the acquisition of 23 companies representing annualized revenues of $42.4 million. The acquisitions include 12 new service centers and 11 affiliate, or “tuck-in,” companies.

Comfort Systems Forms Alliance With Energy Systems

Comfort Systems USA Inc. (NYSE: FIX) announced it formed an alliance with Energy Systems Group (ESG), an energy services joint venture of Indiana Energy, Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Co. and Citizens Gas & Coke Co. The agreement establishes Comfort Systems USA a preferred provider for ESG.

Grohe Donates 10,000 Faucets To Relief Effort

Grohe donated 10,000 faucets to the German Red Cross for the Honduran Hurricane Mitch relief effort. The faucet donation will be used in the reconstruction of schools, hospitals and residential buildings in Honduras, the Central American country that was devastated by Hurricane Mitch last November.

Providence Names Amtrol Manufacturer Of The Year

Amtrol Inc., a manufacturer of water system solutions, has been named Manufacturer of the Year by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. Amtrol is headquartered in West Warwick, R.I.

Chicago MCA Bestows Kreisman Award

The Mechanical Contractors Association of Chicago (MCA) awarded its first Herb Kreisman Award to Adam Shepherd, a junior in the building construction management program at Purdue University. The award is given to a student at Purdue University working toward a B.S. in building construction management. Its namesake was an honorary member of MCA from 1960 to 1991.

Wirsbo Celebrates 500 Million Feet Of PEX

Wirsbo, a manufacturer of cross-linked polyethylene (PEX), recently celebrated 500 million feet of PEX in service in North America. The company also celebrated 250,000 feet of radiant floor heating and plumbing installations in the United States and Canada. Wirsbo is located in Apple Valley, Minn.

New Union Leadership For Sheet Metal Workers Takes Office

The Sheet Metal Workers’ Inter-national Association announced the election of Michael Sullivan of Indiana to serve as general president and Ted Zlotopolski of Missouri as the general secretary-treasurer March 1.