Products of 2020

See what tools and equipment caught readers’ attention this year in our Top 20 Products list.

PM Engineer Top 20
PM Engineer Top 20
PM Engineer Top 20

Each year, PM Engineer editors receive thousands of product releases from industry manufacturers. The 20 products highlighted here have earned the distinction of being PM Engineer’s Top Products of 2020 based on the number of pageviews on Congratulations to those products on this year’s list.


ENPRESS is a manufacturer of composite pressure vessels and filtration systems for use in water treatment, and are the manufacturers of Vortech and Mid-Vortech distribution technologies that improve efficiency and reduction of backwash water of water treatment systems, the company notes. PIONEER — the first-of-its-kind POE filtration system — is NSF/ANSI 53 and P473 certified for the removal of LEAD, CYSTS, PFOA/PFOS, it adds. The exclusive and patented products designed by ENPRESS provide superior performance and water saving solutions, the company says. The product is 100% Made in the USA. ENPRESS.

ENPRESS’ PIONEER filtration system



Victaulic’s FireLock Innovative Groove System line expands with the addition of three new products launching in the U.S. and Canada. The new FireLock IGS products have been developed to further enable small-diameter grooved adoption in the fire protection market with a focus on simplifying retrofit and sidewall applications. The RG1 IGS manual roll grooving tool is designed specifically to cold form 1” IGC grooves into schedule 10 through 40 pipe. The tool is ideal for in-air retrofit applications where threading poses a challenge. The No. 147 back-to-back sprinkler tee is a groove solution for sidewall sprinkler applications available in 1/2” by 1/2” by 1”. The small footprint allows it to fit between studs. The IGS weld plunger cones protect the groove and sealing surface of the Victaulic No. 142 outlets from weld splatter. The NAP-1 is for North Alabama Pipe Welding machines and WB-1 is for the Whirly Bird welding machines. Victaulic.

Victaulic groove system



Hoeptner Perfected Products has been manufacturing the FreezeFlow line of sanitary roof hydrants and yard hydrants for more than 30 years. All of its hydrants are sanitary and meet the ASSE 1057 Sanitary Yard Hydrant Standard along with California low-lead requirements. Hoeptner’s Executive Roof hydrants are patented No Drainer hydrants that require no end-user knowledge to keep units from freezing, no matter the temperature. The same is true for the company’s patented yard hydrants, which are designed to winterize even with a hose and RV attached. Hoeptner Perfected Products.

Hoeptner Perfected Products roof and yard hydrants



AERCO’s Innovation commercial tankless water heaters feature the Edge controller and AERguard stainless steel helical firetube heat exchanger assembly. The Edge incorporates feed-forward sensing for precise modulation of its turndown air/fuel delivery system. It fires the unit to accurately match load requirements and produce tight hot water outlet temperature control. Edge includes onboard multi-unit sequencing logic for up to 16 units without a separate sequencing panel. Wasteful overshooting and cycling are virtually eliminated, as are storage tanks, mixing valves and other temperature-averaging components in most applications. AERguard improves scale and corrosion resistance for superior reliability and long product life, the company states. AERCO.

AERCO tankless water heaters




Armstrong has released two new COMPASS R high efficiency models with ECM motor technology for up to 80% energy savings. Featuring an air-cooled ECM motor and advanced Design Envelope variable speed technology, the new COMPASS R20-35 and R40-45 circulators can replace many competing models with bolt-for-bolt connection capability, the company notes. The new COMPASS R models cover a wide performance range and are energy efficient upgrades for two and three-piece and wet rotor circulators. Armstrong Fluid Technology.

New Armstrong high efficiency circulators with ECM motor technology

Armstrong HE Circulators


Uponor notes it is offering the industry’s first code-listed ProPEX lead-free brass commercial ball valves for PEX-to-PEX connections in plumbing and hydronic distribution applications. The full-port valves are available in sizes from ½” to 2”, and are listed to ASTM F1960, NSF 14/61, NSF 359 and the Uniform Plumbing Code. The valves feature blowout-proof stems and are available with stem extension kits to accommodate up to 2” of insulation in insulated piping applications. Additionally, both ends of the valves are manufactured with the proven ProPEX fitting system for expansion connections that cannot be dry-fit, and hold tight with up to 1,000 pounds of radial force. Uponor.

Uponor brass ball valves




Legionella can grow to outbreak levels in seven days, but traditional Legionella culture-testing methods take 14 days to provide a result, LiquiTech points out. LiquiTech’s Spartan test quantifies the amount of live Legionella in a water source in only 45 minutes, so contamination can be detected in real time. Fast and accurate results mean Legionella contamination can be immediately treated before it grows to outbreak levels, LiquiTech adds. Spartan’s onsite test provides rapid results, which prevents outbreaks and helps avoid lawsuits and negative publicity, the company states. LiquiTech.

LiquiTech Legionella onsite testing device




Navien NPE series condensing tankless water heaters are the industry’s proven favorites for high-efficiency, endless hot water, the company states. With cascade capability up to 16 units and common vent capability up to eight units, NPE is the clear choice for any size system, Navien notes. Commercial NPE condensing tankless water heater systems provide the highest efficiency of any tankless water heater system with up to 0.97 UEF. The system features built-in ComfortFlow technology that includes an internal recirculation pump and buffer tank (NPE-A models only) and system longevity from dual stainless steel heat exchangers with an 8-year commercial warranty, Navien points out. Navien.

Navien tankless water heaters


Taco 4900 Mag Dirt Separator


Taco Comfort Solutions’ offers the 4900 Series magnetic dirt separator to provide dual-action dirt separation for closed loop hydronic heating systems. Both hydronic component lifecycle and efficiency are improved with the use of an effective dirt separation system, Taco notes. Taco’s 4900 Series magnetic dirt separator utilizes a powerful, 13,000 gauss magnet in addition to patented PALL ring technology, the company adds. The 4900 Series magnetic dirt separator efficiently separates microscopic particles including dirt and magnetite from hydronic fluid with minimal pressure loss. The unit is easily cleaned by opening a valve at the bottom of the vessel. Available sizes range from ¾” to 2” NPT and from ¾” to 1-1/2” sweat. The unit’s maximum operating temperature is 250°F and maximum pressure is 145 PSI. Taco Comfort Solutions.

Taco 4900 Series magnetic dirt separators




AMTC introduces the HYBRIDFLUSH side-mount sensor flush valve for urinals and water closets. The flush valve is offered as a complete flushometer and as a retrofit kit that easily adapts to most existing flushometers, AMTC notes. It is an all-metal unit powered by four C-cell batteries. It features quiet operation, and electrical and mechanical pushbutton (that keeps working when batteries are drained), and includes unique water-saving options, the company adds. AMTC Corp.

AMTC Corp. sensor flush valve

HSM PTI Inno Shield


PTI, a division of HSM, developed InnoShield, a premium engineered foam pipe insulation with an innovative outer coating, the company says. The new product provides performance in outdoor HVAC and plumbing applications that are prone to extreme temperatures, moisture and sunlight. The coating also provides maximum cut and tear resistance, making it less prone to damage during installation. InnoShield is rated for usage in temperatures ranging from -297º to 220º F, and also features UV protection and low water vapor permeability which allows contractors and homeowners to save on additional vapor barriers. In addition to its suitability for outdoor environments and durability, PTI’s entire foam pipe insulation product line meets ASTM E-84 standards which measures the insulation’s ability to withstand fire and smoke. InnoShield meets these standards up to ¾” wall thickness, InnoTough up to 1” wall thickness and the base-line product, InnoFoam meets the standard up to 1 ½” wall thickness. PTI, a division of HSM.

PTI’s InnoShield



Armstrong Fluid Technology's enhanced Design Envelope IPC 9521 integrated plant control system features the new TowerMax option, the IPC 9521 significantly improves the operating efficiencies of plants using either identical or non-identical chillers. Designed with advanced operating algorithms to reduce energy and water consumption, the TowerMax option is an optimization feature that can help variable-speed chiller plants achieve up to 45% energy savings, Armstrong states. It compliments both new and existing building management systems, and works with all brands of chillers and cooling towers to meet the requirements of Green Mark, an industry-leading green building rating system. It controls up to five chillers, cooling towers and BAS. Armstrong Fluid Technology.

Armstrong integrated plant control system


The LG Hydro Kit is an indoor heat exchanger for LG variable refrigerant flow systems capable of transferring heat or cooling energy expelled from the air-conditioning process to water, offering further efficiency of LG heat recovery and heat pump systems. LG Electronics.

LG indoor heat exchanger

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Matco-Norca introduces its latest AWWA C515-15 valve offering, the 225 Series in 3” to 12” and 3” to 24” models and sizes. These heavy-duty ductile-iron-resistant valves are manufactured to the latest AWWA C515-15 standard and are UL listed and FM approved. Its NSF-61/NSF-372 certifications are verified by UL Water Quality. These valves exceed all requirements for minimum thickness as required by AWWA C515-15. Their flanges and MJ bells are full thickness and exceed all requirements for both C509-15 and C515-15. 225 Series valves have lift lugs, valve box centering guides, full-flow waterway and a full 304 SS stem, nut and bolt package. Primary uses are as a fire main gate valve, potable water, sewer force mains and irrigation control applications. Matco-Norca.

Matco-Norca valves



Aquatherm, a manufacturer of polypropylene piping systems for commercial, industrial and many other applications, offers a scan-to-fab service. Aquatherm Scan-to-Fab enables a skilled technician to perform an onsite job scan with a laser scanner. The resulting point cloud, which is provided as a “.rcp file” (Autodesk ReCap) can be used to create a fabrication model and fabrication spool drawings. Aquatherm Scan-to-Fab ensures accuracy of measurements, dramatically reduces measurement man hours, facilitates quicker installation on complex projects, and provides as-built dimensions. Aquatherm.

Aquatherm scan-to-fab service



AquaMotion’s AHR Expo award-winning hot water recirculation system delivers instant hot water comfort to every faucet/shower from a hot water tank in a 250’ system, the company states. The kit easily installs under the sink in 10 minutes without cutting pipe, AquaMotion adds. The system features a stainless pump with legs, has a built-in timer, sensor, switch and 10’ line cord. It also features automatic or timer-selected operation, on/off 85° to 105° F, and includes two stainless hoses, tees, checks and union fittings. AquaMotion notes annual pump operating costs about $4 and saves 12,000 gallons and utility costs. The system meets California Title 24. For tankless water heaters, use AMH3K-R up to 600’. AquaMotion.

AquaMotion hot water recirculation system



Aquatherm announces the addition of molded fittings in 45s, 90s and tees for its SDR 9, 11 and 17.6 product lines. The fittings are available in nominal sizes up to 10”. Short-radius molded fittings are injection-molded in the Aquatherm factory and come off the production line as a single piece of polypropylene. They are less expensive than segmented fittings with a thicker wall and no change to inner diameter, offering increased strength, Aquatherm points out. Molded 90s will have a higher pressure drop compared to segmented 90s. Segmented standard-dimension fittings are segments of Aquatherm pipe fused together by certified Aquatherm employees to create the 45, 90 or tee. The segmented 90s feature a larger bend radius and somewhat less pressure drop compared to the molded 90s. Both the SR and SD molded fittings are guaranteed to be leak-free and are covered by the company’s comprehensive 10-year multimillion-dollar warranty. Aquatherm.

Aquatherm molded fittings



LiquiTech’s SAFETGARD self-cleaning point-of-entry water filter system improves incoming water quality by removing sediment, corrosion and biofilm de-posits at the point of entry. Damage caused by sediment and iron-based corrosion particulates can be extremely expensive and time-consuming to repair, and LiquiTech’s unique process starts with a sediment analysis to determine the right solution for a facility, the company explains. Compared to traditional filtration technologies, LiquiTech’s SAFETGARD system can save up to 90% more water, and involves far less maintenance and inspection, the company states. LiquiTech.

LiquiTech water filtration system


The Poop Diaries


On a late Wednesday evening, after her toilet clogged, Abby Ross asked her plumber to share his top five “greatest hits.” She said the stories were so hilarious, she had to share them with the world. “The Poop Diaries” features true stories told by her plumber, and many other plumbers, about the most memorable service jobs they have worked on and most unique people they have helped. Whether it’s nudity, rats, fake vaginas, dildos, snakes, weapons and so much more, these plumbers have seen and smelled it all. PME Bookstore.

The Poop Diaries




Lochinvar enhances its AQUAS commercial pool package line with titanium plate and frame heat exchangers featuring inputs ranging from 399,000 to 6-million Btu/h. With a reduced width and simplified maintenance procedure, the updated design allows for installation in a variety of demanding applications, Lochinvar explains. The heat exchanger is compatible with chlorine and salt-system pools and can accommodate a variety of system flow rates. All AQUAS models include top-of-the-line safety features to better ensure consistent pool temperature and prevent potentially dangerous heat levels, Lochinvar adds. The updated models feature Lochinvar’s SMART SYSTEM operating control. A multi-color graphic LCD display and navigation dial make setup and navigation of parameters simple and efficient. Additionally, a built-in USB port allows for seamless system software updates and provides access for computer-aided troubleshooting. Lochinvar.

Lochinvar commercial pool package



Liquitech’s copper silver ionization (CSI) is a nonchemical water treatment technology regarded as the most clinically effective prevention and remediation solution for Legionella. During this treatment, ions are systematically introduced into the water using a byproduct-free and corrosion-free method to rid plumbing infrastructure of Legionella bacteria and other waterborne pathogens. CSI is an electrolysis process, which introduces positively charged copper and silver ions into the water supply. The positive ions bind to the negative cell walls of bacteria, causing the protein in the cell wall to break down, effectively eliminating the bacteria. Liquitech.

Liquitech’s copper silver ionization



Uponor’s ProPEX copper press adapters allow plumbers to efficiently connect PEX piping to existing copper press piping systems, the company explains. They are made from high-quality lead-free brass, meeting all local and national potable plumbing codes. This is a flameless solution to make hybrid PEX-to-copper connections fast and easy by utilizing existing tools that cut project timelines by 71%, Uponor states. Additionally, these are the only copper press adapters made in 2 1/2” and 3” sizes, Uponor adds. Uponor.

Uponor: Connect PEX to copper

Simple Drain


Crushproof Tubing — a manufacturer of high-grade rubber products used in the military, aftermarket automotive and breathing markets — announced that its Simple Drain product has received a Certificate of Listing to the IGC-361 Standard from the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) for its patented, game-changing p-trap alternative, the company notes. Simple Drain can be used in new construction applications as well as DIY replacement work. Simple Drain meets the IAPMO IGC-361 Standard and is not only an alternative to traditional PVC, but is a drastic improvement due to easy installation, self-gasketing, self-plunging and antimicrobial characteristics, the company says. Simple Drain.

Simple Drain P-Trap receives IAPMO plumbing listing



Aquor’s modern House Hydrant system allows homeowners to connect garden hoses in style and with ease, the company notes. The hydrant allows the user to access water year-round with a simple twist — just plug in the garden hose and go. Unplug and the hydrant self-drains and winterizes automatically. The hydrant offers several anti-siphon configurations and is approved by ASSE and CSA for all 50 states and Canada. Originally designed for sailboats and yachts, the hydrant is cast in 316: marine-grade stainless steel for maximum durability and corrosion resistance. Aquor Water Systems.

Aquor Water Systems house hydrant



The XVers L, the newest hydronic boiler from Raypak, a Rheem company, is built to automatically assess the temperature and adjust to make sure the environment is controlled and comfortable. It’s engineered for performance and efficiency, the company states. Equipped with Raymote access, the unit allows end-users to stay connected and informed from any location. The boiler’s advanced touchscreen enables modulating temperature control, safety limits and ignition programming into one user-friendly integrated control platform. With self-learning features that prevent equipment damage, its automated controller is easy to set up, understand and use, making Raypak’s XVers L as close to plug-and-play as possible, the company explains. Available in sizes from 399 to 850 MBtu/h. Raypak.

Raypak hydronic boiler

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