Reeves Journal Nov 17


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November 2017, Vol 97, No 11
The Western Authority on Plumbing, HVAC and Piping
001 cover final.indd 1 10/25/17 2:26 PM
A facility manager sets the function of an eF water heater installed by Gold Seal Mechanical.
Dan Frisch Photography.
| Industry News
| Industry Calendar
| New Products
| Must-See Products
| Ad. Index
Graywater Regulations
A regional state-by-state breakdown
of what’s allowed and what isn’t.
By Allison Deerr
Tech topic:
Radiant Controls
All the ins and outs of radiant controls
and why they’re not thermostats.
By Allison Deerr
Pipeline |
By Jack Sweet
8 Legal Corner | By Kenneth Grossbart
10 Marketing Mechanics | By Ruth King
18 Service Sense | By Tom Grandy
The Dr. Is In |
By Michael Farias
26 Coach’s Corner | By Ed Cerier
30 Cracking the Code | By Dan Cole
REEVES JOURNAL (ISSN: Print 0048-7066 and Digital 2329-0161) is published 12 times annually, monthly, by BNP Media, Inc., 2401 W. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 700, Troy, MI 48084-
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Boilers Buying Guide
Whether wall-hung or floor mounted
today’s high-tech boilers keep your
radiant system running.
By The Reeves Journal Staff
Gold Seal Mechanical
This Spokane company
is in it for the long haul.
By Rachel Vastyan
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The year 1967 was remembered by folks in Spokane, Wash.
as one of extremes. In February, they had record cold temps
— minus 11° F, substantially colder than the average of 22°
— and in August, they sizzled with record highs of 99°, 15°
higher than normal.
And as far as they can recall, Robert Sr. and Richard Dixon — the
father/son team who started Gold Seal Mechanical — theirs was the
only plumbing and mechanical firm started that year in the then-
much-smaller town of Spokane.
Back in that very last year of the so-called “Swinging Sixties, Rob-
ert and Richard were just a two-man shop, both working out of their
own trucks while establishing credit at local supply houses. Customers?
They had a few.
Today, Gold Seal — now celebrating its 50th year in business — has
blossomed into one of the regions largest plumbing and mechanical
contracting firms. It employs more than 120 people, runs 40 trucks and
routinely works a territory in a 100-mile radius of the home shop — an
area that includes pieces of four states, including Spokane metro and
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho areas, providing complete plumbing, mechanical,
backflow prevention and drain cleaning services.
In their steady economy, Gold Seal is a company that today sees
25% residential new installation work, 30% service work that mostly
favors the commercial side of the business, and 45% new installation
commercial work — a facet of the business that’s running at full tilt.
They mostly split their business between plumbing and hydronic
work. After all, hydronic heating is well-suited to the rigors of winter
weather in the Pacific Northwest.
The company prides itself for its outstanding customer service, well
recognized in the area — with a healthy handful of customers who
originally signed on in ‘69. Clearly, an edict still works: Getting the job
done right the first time.
“We’ve done well maintaining the reputation and work ethic through
the years, even as the company has grown way beyond our expectations,
says Robert Dixon (Richard’s son), estimator at Gold Seal.
In it for the long haul
In it for the long haul
By Rachel Vastyan
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The company’s experienced journeymen plumbers are all
trained to the highest level, licensed, insured, bonded and con-
tinue to take courses and certification tests to stay up to date
on the latest technology evolving in the industry.
Affinity for commercial installation and service work
One job within Gold Seal’s 100-mile radius is the Affinity
campus in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Though in the neighboring
state, it’s actually just 15 miles from Gold Seal. Perched near
the shores of Lake Coeur d’Alene, Affinity is an active-adult,
55+ independent living community with all the amenities that
prides itself on its lively approach to keeping customers hap-
pily engaged: At Affinity, somethings going on at all times,
said the facility’s manager.
With 121 apartments, and private as well as common area
restrooms and kitchens, Affinity residents create a healthy
demand for clean water, and plenty of heated domestic water,
too. Meeting (and preferably exceeding) all facets of com-
fort was a key design criteria for the facility when it was con-
structed in 2012.
“Our Gold Seal crew did all of the underground and above
ground drains at Affinity, as well as the above ground water, all
of their new fixtures and water heaters — then we ran water
and gas lines to them, explains Mike VanDyke, Gold Seal
commercial projects superintendent.
“Our ‘recipe’ for mechanical equipment — if you will —
includes the best, most reliable equipment, VanDyke says.
“Occasionally, customers demand equipment other than what
we’ve written into the contract, though that’s not common.
We explain that our many years in the business have helped us
perfect the list of ingredients, and — with that understood —
we also stand firm on our commitment to fully guarantee our
work, and the equipment.
At Affinity, Gold Seal chose to install five Bradford White,
100-gallon, 199,000 Btu eF water heaters to meet all of Affin-
ity’s domestic hot water needs.
“So we chose several separate water heaters for a modular
approach, assuring redundancy, VanDyke says. “If a problem
arose for one of the units, the others would most likely meet
demand without challenge. But with the eFs — systems we fre-
quently choose for commercial jobs because of their durability
and great track record with us — we don’t expect problems.
Gold Seal also installed Taco SmartPlus hot water recir-
culation pumps, assuring the residents wouldn’t have to wait
while hot water reaches the taps. Another key advantage of the
facility-wide recirculation of DHW is that precious water isn’t
wasted, and residents don’t pay to send wasted water down the
drain, either.
Protecting the cleanliness of the large volume of domestic
water at Affinity is a 6-inch stainless steel backflow assembly.
VanDykes team installed the “Silver Eagle” back flow at the
facility to protect the purity of the domestic water.
“The backflow’s placed in the mechanical room opposite
the bank of Bradford White water heaters for easy access,
says Affinity maintenance supervisor John Rodrigues.
Annual backflow testing is easy, and the assemblies are fully
protected there.
“We were extremely pleased with the work Gold Seal did
for us, adds the facility manager. “In fact, we keep using them
to do the plumbing work for most of our Affinity locations.
We currently have five facilities in Washington alone, two in
Idaho, and one each in Colorado and Montana.
Around the town
Back in Spokane, service technicians went to perform routine
maintenance for a light commercial wall-hung mod-con at
an office and warehouse facility. Next to it, they’d installed a
small, six-gallon-per-minute Watts OneFlow anti-scale system
for the tankless water heater that feeds three bathroom sinks,
a kitchen sink and a hot water hose bib used for cleaning off
drain equipment.
These systems prevent scale by transforming dissolved
hardness minerals into harmless, inactive microscopic crys-
tal particles. These particles make their way through plumb-
Gold Seal Mechanical celebrates its 50th year of business this year.
Dan Frisch Photography.
“Maintaining excellence in service
isn’t only a job performed for clients,
it means providing excellent working
conditions for our own employees.”
— Richard Dixon
020-023 gold seal mechanical.indd 21 10/27/17 2:04 PM
ing systems without latching on to pipes,
fixtures, valves or heating elements and are
available in many connection sizes to meet
flow rates from 0.5 to 450 gpm or more.
Gold Seal has had great success with
the water treatment systems, well-suited to
combat the heavily mineralized groundwa-
ter supplies in their area.
“We especially like that we can keep
water heaters and combi’ boiler heat
exchangers from scaling up this way, and
with the added benefit of not having to use
salt to do it, VanDyke says.
Classy piece of history
Gold Seal is often called upon for historic
renovations, such as the nearby Davenport
Hotel. The Davenport, built in 1914, is a
regional landmark and architectural mas-
terpiece, favored by tourists and historic
structure aficionados alike. In 2000, the
hotel was gutted and completely remodeled.
Gold Seal was chosen to do all the
plumbing work, drain lines, water lines and
fixtures. True to their recipe, the list of com-
ponents included Bradford White water
heaters and Taco recirculation pumps.
The Davenport, opened as a destination
in its own right, offering palatial splen-
dor and five-star service. In 2002, after the
hotel narrowly escaped demolition, Walt
and Karen Worthy completed a multimil-
lion-dollar restoration, sparing no expense
in restoring its glamour. Those who walk
through the Davenport Hotel walk in the
footsteps of film stars, explorers, famous
writers and politicians including Charles
Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Clark Gable,
Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, John F. Kennedy,
Babe Ruth, John Travolta and Ringo Starr.
Gold Seal’s commercial clientele also
include Lowe’s, Best Buy and Walmart.
“We’ve been called on to do their
plumbing, drain lines and fixtures, as well
as routine maintenance work, Robert says.
Left: A Gold Seal technician works on an instantaneous water heater. A Watts OneFlow water treatment
system protects the unit’s heat exchanger from mineral deposits. Dan Frisch Photography.
Below: A Gold Seal supervisor performs an annual
maintenance check on one of many Bradford White
eF water heaters at the Affinity independent living
community. Dan Frisch Photography.
020-023 gold seal mechanical.indd 22 10/27/17 2:04 PM
Year after year, decade after decade, the clients continue to call on
Gold Seal because they’ve earned the symbol of excellence, and sub-
stantiate the chosen name.
“Here at Gold S eal, we now have fourth-generation plumbers and
technicians working for the company, Richard says. “Maintaining
excellence in service isn’t only a job performed for clients, it means
providing excellent working conditions for our own employees. The
track record speaks for itself. We’re very pleased with the results. RJ
A facility manager sets the function of an eF water heater installed by
Gold Seal Mechanical. Dan Frisch Photography.
020-023 gold seal mechanical.indd 23 10/27/17 2:04 PM

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