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The variety of products manufacturers provide requires accurate support information, unique to each company. Whether it is up-to-date maintenance bulletins, energy calculators for water savings, or product alert tips, electronic media gives managers a new wave of technology and products to evaluate.
Managers have a wealth of information at their fingertips to help understand the manufacturers' products as they relate to the codes and standards landscape. Two notable resources are the Safe Plumbing program from Plumbing Manufacturers Institute and the WaterSense program from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which is an industry voluntary standard for plumbing fixture and fittings.
Plumbing manufacturers conform to product designs mandated by codes, and their products carry proofs of their compliance with industry standards. Examples include Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
The real challenge for managers is holding their ground on viable, maintainable products that are originally specified but that become victims to late-construction project value analysis.
The result can be the substitution of inferior products and technology, and all the reasoning for advanced technology to save water and curtail long-term maintenance costs go by the wayside during these last-minute changes.
Many managers are working today with reduced budgets and resources. Manufacturers' web sites are reliable sources of information for investigating the most appropriate technology to meet facility needs.
These sites can also advise managers of the latest maintenance updates and servicing tips. Manufacturers also can offer more on-site solutions from educated sales engineers and promotions, such as lunch-and-learn sessions and training.
This article was prepared by the staff and manufacturer members of the Plumbing Manufacturers International.
The Plumbing Manufacturers International (PMI) is the voluntary, not-for-profit international industry association of manufacturers of plumbing products, serving as the voice of the plumbing industry. Member companies produce a substantial quantity of the nation's plumbing products. The group's mission statement:
For more information on PMI or its meetings, call (847) 481-5500, or visit www.pmihome.org and www.safeplumbing.org.
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