Cougar USA Blog

Overflow and Flood Protection for Break Tanks in Commercial Buildings

Oct 25, 2018 10:06:00 AM / by Tim Zacharias posted in Level, Flood Protection

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Many commercial buildings in Houston have large water storage tanks to meet city plumbing code requirements. These break tanks provide water for fire protection pumps and domestic (potable) water pumps to supply the building. A major concern with break tanks in the building is the potential for flooding due to tank overflow. This is especially critical when the tanks are in a basement level.

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Break Tank Fill Valve Types – Float Versus Electronic

Oct 23, 2018 4:54:00 PM / by Tim Zacharias posted in Pressure, Level

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Many commercial buildings use storage tanks for Domestic (Potable) and Fire Water Applications, especially in Houston where it is required by code. As water is used in the building, an automatic system is required to replenish the water and maintain a constant level in the tank. In domestic applications, this process can repeat multiple times an hour during peak demand loads. An automatic level-control system has two main components, Fill Valves and Controls.

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Why is a Break Tank Required in Houston for Pumping Applications?

Oct 17, 2018 4:05:00 PM / by Tim Zacharias posted in Pressure, Level

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Some call them House Tanks, others Break Tanks, Storage Tanks or Buffer Tanks. If you have been in the pump room of a building in Houston, you’ve seen these large water tanks, but why are they used? The Houston Amendments to the Uniform Plumbing Code states that upstream from a pump system, an atmospheric storage tank with an air gap between the tank and city water supply must be used. This applies any time the city water pressure is insufficient to supply a building for both Domestic (potable) and Fire Water applications and the addition of pumps is required.

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Older Domestic Booster System Modifications Versus Replacement

Oct 15, 2018 3:47:00 PM / by Tim Zacharias posted in Pressure, Energy Savings

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In Houston, there was a construction boom in the 1970’s and 80’s with hundreds of high-rise buildings adding to the skyline. Many of these buildings are still using the original mechanical systems for HVAC and pumping applications. Potential mechanical failure and energy savings are forcing building operators to choose between modifying existing equipment or replacing them all together.

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5th Annual Engineer All Stars: Maintenance Olympics

Oct 10, 2018 7:20:59 PM / by Cougar USA Marketing posted in General Info

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We had a blast participating in the 5th Annual Engineer All Stars Maintenance Olympics that took place this past Saturday, October 6, at Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, TX.

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Low Flow Shutdown Sequence for Pressure Boosting Systems

Oct 9, 2018 12:59:00 PM / by Tim Zacharias posted in Pressure, Energy Savings

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According to ASHRAE 90.1, Domestic Water Booster Systems must shut down during periods of no flow demand. Operating pump systems when there is little or no demand wastes energy and increases wear and tear on the pump and piping system. While this sounds simple, it is one of the most challenging control sequences for a Booster System.

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Living Water International - Trip to Honduras

Oct 5, 2018 4:53:06 PM / by Cougar USA Marketing

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Recently Cougar USA employee Deanna Parmenter worked with Living Water International to drill water wells in Honduras.  Living Water is an NGO based in the HOUSTON, TX area. Here she shares her experience.

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Design Considerations for Pressure Boosting Systems in Commercial Buildings

Oct 4, 2018 12:41:00 PM / by Tim Zacharias posted in Pressure, Energy Savings, Design

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More than 60 years ago, the Late Dr. Roy B. Hunter developed a system for calculating water loads in commercial buildings. The estimated water demand of fixtures (water closets, sinks, etc.) are given a value called Fixture Units which have an equivalent demand load in Gallons Per Minute (GPM). The Fixture Units and Demand Load relationship is known as Hunter’s Curve and is still the basis for plumbing system design today.

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Building Assessments for Energy Efficiency and System Performance Improvements

Oct 2, 2018 4:22:00 PM / by Tim Zacharias posted in Pressure, Energy Savings

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In 2017 about 39% of total US Energy Consumption was consumed by the residential and commercial sectors. In a commercial building, HVAC Equipment (ie. chillers, boilers, cooling towers, etc) and Lighting are the biggest targets for energy savings, but the capital costs for improving these may be prohibitive. There are many opportunities for energy savings and building performance improvements with other systems in commercial buildings.

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Water — A Precious Resource

Sep 12, 2018 2:32:00 PM / by Cougar USA Marketing posted in General Info

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Why We Need to Conserve Water

When you see photographs of Earth taken from space, water seems abundant. Most of that water, though, can't be used for drinking or for growing crops. In fact, only 1 percent of all the water on the planet can be used to support human life. Most of the Earth's water is undrinkable salt water. Even some of the fresh water is unavailable for our use because it’s frozen solid.

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