Katie Rotella blogs from this year’s ISH North America tradeshow and Network ’08 conference … Day Three.

We’ve come to the end of this year’s ISH North America event, but not without a morning filled with housekeeping business, specifically the Annual Business Meeting of the Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors"

Dave Yates and Mark Eatherton at Mark's Carlson-Holohan award ceremony this year.

Rock, paper, scissors, it was decided editor Steve Smith would remain at the Marriott Marquis to sit in on PHCC speaker events, while I would shuttlebus-it over to GWCC. See, I promised Dave Yates and his wife Lois I would make it to the last ISH seminar of the show, which was his presentation, along with fellow radiant heating contractor Mark Eatherton. These two were “Two Real Sharp Peas in a Bright Green Pod” (the actual name of their presentation, which I thought was kinda cute). Dave and Mark are great guys, and as winners of the PM-sponsored Carlson-Holohan Award for Excellence, they truly are inspirational advocates and educators in the hydronics world. Mark, the current recipient of Gil Carson’s System Syzer, cleverly photocopied the rather large (but delicate) instrument, and passed it around the room for all to see.

But with only one hour to share their knowledge from the field, Dave and Mark got right down to it. As a contractor, Dave welcomes this “perfect storm” of rising costs and push to increase efficiencies "

Webstone's newest valves on display.

The ISH tradeshow floor opened at 11 a.m. and I was hitting the ground running. After three days, I’ve become a show pro, and even was able to offer directions to a fellow attendee. And like I promised yesterday, I focused my attention on the heating booths. Beginning with
Webstone and Bill Colglazier, who put the company’s newest valves in my hands and told me all I wanted to know. New this year is Webstone’s Isolator EXP E3 tankless water heater service valves. The E3 is a compact version of its original EXP, but also with an adjustable pressure relieve valve outlet. “This makes it a perfect fit for installations in recessed boxes or other tight quarters,” Bill said. Plus, with over 90 SKUs of valve configurations, Webstone is able to provide a system for “whatever contractors can dream up.” Including an Isolator uni-flange ball valve with rotating flange and drain. He also showed me the new ProConnect Push, which works with copper, PEX and CPVC. These connections require no soldering, and have a lifetime warranty. Another cool feature: the design makes it easy to repair or replace damaged fittings (darn that pesky o-ring!), making service much easier for contractors.

Clean, protect, and reduce the noise of all types of residential central heating systems.

On to more heating products, I next visited Marathon International, maker of the BAXI line of boilers. But what caught my attention were some tubes on display. No, not tubes as in piping. These were “caulk-shaped” bottles that were filled with a range of solutions for cleaning, protecting and reducing the noise of all types of residential central heating systems "

Who would hide this in a cabinet? Homeowners just don't understand ...

I walked around a bit more, past a slew of booths for contractor software (ISH had a great Technology Pavilion this year). I stopped to see good friend Jan Andersen with Mr. PEX Plumbing Systems. Besides the company’s new PEX-Al-PEX offering, he showed me its stainless-steel manifolds in 2- to 10-loop preassembled configurations. In the booth it was presented in a very nice cabinet (also available through Mr. PEX). So not only is the manifold made of less costly material, it can be contained within a paneled unit to be more appealing to homeowners. Though I have to admit, I wouldn’t hide that stainless-steel component in a box "

Above, a UV-penlight reveals Hercules' Un-Purple Primer. Below, Sta-Put Ultra won't bleed and ruin porous materials.

One of my duties as editor-at-large at ISH North America is “booth detail” at my own company’s exhibit. BNPMedia Inc. had all of its plumbing industry magazines represented, so there was a little for everyone to enjoy if they needed something to read. And my job was to replenish the supply of magazines as attendees grabbed them up. As the day wore on, and traffic inevitably slowed, a gentleman wandered over from one of the neighboring booths to make use of the many chairs standing empty in my stall. We talked niceties for a while, until I realized who I was talking to "

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