Increase Profits by Dollars Per Fitting – HVACR Business Insights

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ZoomLock Flame-Free Refrigerant Fittings reduce job hours and labor costs by 40-60 percent

North Mechanical
Greg Fuller
President, North Mechanical

Until now, HVACR contractors and technicians have had to rely on brazing as the way to join copper tube and fittings for refrigerant lines. But brazing requires highly trained, highly paid technicians; fire permits; fire spotters; brazing tools and gases; nitrogen purging; and more. 

New Parker Sporlan ZoomLock Flame-Free Refrigerant Fittings eliminate brazing and all the costs and time associated with this old fashioned technology. No more flames; no more nitrogen purging; no more leaks.

ZoomLock fittings install in ten seconds, and can be installed by junior, entry level technicians. Unlike brazed fittings which are highly vulnerable to leaks, ZoomLock fittings are leak proof, and are consistently repeatable. In addition, ZoomLock fittings eliminate internal pipe contamination.

Contractors using ZoomLock fittings report time and labor costs on tube connections have been reduced by 40 to 60 percent. Such improved productivity puts more money directly on their bottom lines.

“We’ve known about the product for a while, and we’ve used it on the service side of our business, and in repair jobs,” says Greg Fuller, president of North Mechanical in Indianapolis. “It’s a great time saver and we think it’s an excellent product for a quality installation.”

HVACR Business spoke with Fuller about the advantages of ZoomLock Flame-Free Refrigerant Fittings in a large scale installation.

 Other than time savings, what’s the biggest advantage of ZoomLock? 

It’s a huge time saver, especially when you think about the time you save by eliminating purging. There’s also the cleanliness factor. In start-up, if the system isn’t clean enough, you can have some real issues. The ZoomLock fitting assures us it’s going to be clean and that makes a big difference, especially with a really large installation.

You need to keep the inside of the pipe clean and keep the refrigerant cycle clean, so as not to mess up the compressor. With this many feet of copper, there becomes a higher possibility of that happening and with using the ZoomLock fitting you don’t have anything that would contaminate the inside of the pipe.

Have you used it on a large scale project yet? 

Yes, we’re actually using ZoomLock on a big VRF job right now, and so far we’ve had great success with it. It’s the first time we’ve used it in a large installation, having only previously used it on repair jobs. We thought this product would be a good way to save some time from brazing, as well as our concerns about cleanliness.

We identified it as a viable option to use on this particular large-scale VRF system, knowing it was a good way to keep the small bore copper clean. Purging can be a problem, and this system had about 225 cassettes on it.

Tell us more about the challenges of this installation. 

It’s a new cancer pavilion for a large, local hospital chain. Because this application involves many treatment rooms, a VRF system is an excellent solution that allows the ability to have control in each room. And it helps keep costs down.

The VRV system is also efficient, because it allows for heating in one place, cooling in another and the ability to work in conjunction — use the heat coming out of a room you’re cooling to heat a room that’s cold, and so forth. We weren’t the designer for this job, but we did win the bid to install this large system.

When you put together your bid, did ZoomLock factor into your ability to get the cost down? 

Yes, and it may be the reason we were successful. I don’t know if anyone else bid it with this product or not, but the fact that we’re able to get the cost down on our bid because of the time savings associated with using ZoomLock could have been a deciding factor, or certainly tilted the decision in our favor.