It is Viega’s commitment to its customers that won over a small business in the Austin, Texas, area. The owner tried out Viega’s PureFlow Fire Protection System and knows it’ll be something he uses again.
Nicholas Messenger owns Kohler Fire Protection, a small but expanding business that focuses on fire protection systems in residential, single-family homes. With previous experience in the fire protection industry, Messenger is growing his business and quickly learning how much things have changed just in the past few years.
“Contractors in Texas and all over the U.S. are experiencing chemical compatibility issues with industry-standard CPVC pipe. By its very nature, CPVC is a very stiff and rigid material and our experience has shown it not to be compatible with certain building materials/chemicals.
They’re starting to see embrittlement failures over time,” Messenger said. “PEX has been out a while now but not as widely used, but it’s certainly becoming more common now.”
On a recent job (a 6,000 square foot custom home), the homeowner requested PEX. Messenger said more and more residential homeowners are asking for it, so he began reading up on his options.
A competitor of Viega contacted Messenger first but he said it “seemed like there were more steps and it was complicated, and I was hesitant to use it.” Messenger reached out to Viega reps and learned about PureFlow and Viega’s fire suppression offerings. When District Manager Keenan Reed said he could loan the press tools needed for Messenger to try Viega on the job, he was sold.
“I worked with Keenan on the whole process and he was really helpful. He supported me through the installation portion and gave me references of vendors to reach out to for purchasing the materials,” Messenger said.
“The installation was incredibly simple. [The PEX] was pretty flexible to make the bends that I needed to and that reduced the fittings needed. The biggest advantage to me was there’s no CPVC solvent. In some high-end homes, you’re on finished floors on a 12-foot ladder and a can of solvent can be a nightmare.”
Messenger said another thing he loves about Viega PureFlow Press Polymer fittings is the included Smart Connect technology, which means fittings won’t hold pressure if they aren’t pressed properly. Some systems won’t fail right away, but do instead after a build-up of pressure and that can cause headaches later. Messenger liked that Smart Connect technology immediately shows any missed connections.
Messenger installed 77 pendants in the fire suppression system in the custom home. He worked with Jeremy Ferriter, Senior Plumbing and Fire Protection Engineer with Viega, who Messenger said was a great help in making sure he had everything he needed to make the correct calculations and plan for his installation.
“Viega definitely seemed the easiest to use, and the support I got was top notch,” Messenger said.