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NRCB180 boiler installation for a combination radiant floor heating and domestic hot water application on an Alberta farm secures first-place finish in the annual fan-favorite photo competition.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CALIFORNIA Once again this spring, Noritz America hosted its second annual Installation Bracket, bringing a plethora of tankless water heater installation photo entries from professionals throughout North America — all hoping to be deemed the best install. Top installations were carefully selected by Noritz officials and entered into the brackets.

The chosen entries underwent a series of bracket-style votes by plumbing professionals and the general public until only two installations remained. The Noritz team had the honor of choosing the winner, declaring Canadian contractor Geo-K Plumbing and Heating from Lethbridge, Alberta, the grand prize winner.

Geo-K owner George Konrad began his trade career shortly after graduating from high school at the tender age of 17 as a plumber’s apprentice. He worked for a local plumbing and heating contractor for eight years before joining the maintenance department for a local college. Eighteen years later, he took a leap of faith and, with his wife Jane,  started his own company, in Lethbridge.

Now, as a veteran journeyman plumber, George is experienced in new-build projects, renovations, retrofits, service, and maintenance. “In all of those years of learning and doing, I have had a keen interest in hydronics, and that interest has evolved greatly,” he explains.

So in November 2021, when a shop on a cattle farm in southern Alberta needed assistance with an in-floor radiant heating project, Konrad jumped into action. After assisting with the shop’s piping layout and system installation, Konrad and the owner chose as their heat source the Noritz NRCB180 Combination Boiler, both for the product’s robust capabilities as well as for the support of the Noritz technical team.

The boiler supports the radiant floor heating system, while also providing domestic hot water (DHW) for a bathroom in the 4,000 square foot building. The first and only combination boiler for residential applications that simultaneously provides both DHW and space heating, the NRCB offers numerous installer- and user-friendly features, including:

  • primary and secondary heat exchangers made of 316L austenite stainless steel, which has a higher corrosion resistance than traditional copper heat exchangers.
  • a fully modulating premix burner with ultra-low emissions of only 14 parts per million (ppm), significantly under the required 20 ppm.
  • a built-in sensor for reading outdoor temperatures, allowing the NRCB to constantly operate at maximum efficiency (95 percent AFUE).

In short, the functionality of this combination boiler made the NRCB an easy choice.

The boiler was installed on an outside wall in the mechanical room, allowing the air intake pipe and the exhaust pipe to easily access the outdoors. “In creating the piping layout of the heating system,” adds Konrad, “I preferred to use a low loss header to separate the primary side of the boiler from the secondary, water-heating side. That way, neither side influences the other.”

Konrad also focused on labeling sections of the boiler, such as the pumps and other devices, allowing the owner to more easily identify the needed parts if service work were required.

The complete installation, which took two days, including connecting the gas and water lines, had four crucial elements, according to Konrad: design, layout, maintenance, and good water quality. Having designed the system with the cattle farm owner and selected the NRCB as the heat source, he believes the project was successfully executed.

“I did go by the facility a few times in recent months just to check things out,” says Konrad, “and I will go back again this fall to service the unit, which will keep the boiler and the farm functioning efficiently.

“I can always trust Noritz products for their reliability and quality performance.”