ProductCordless Vacuum Pump
The victor in the fight for this year’s Electronic and Hand Tools title had, as it turns out, already made an impression on someone in the HVAC media before the judges were done.
Gary McCreadie of “The HVAC Know It All” podcast weighed in about the Navac NP2DLM Cordless Vacuum Pump after it emerged as the category’s Gold medal winner.
“The pump is lightweight, no cord needed, well-built,” said McCreadie, who is a licensed refrigeration and gas technician. “If used with the correct hose diameter, it will pull an incredible evacuation on systems up to 5 tons.”
McCreadie, who had been working with the 2-cfm pump for about three months when he commented, also pointed to the convenience of not needing to search for an available power supply. In fact, up to one hour of cordless runtime comes courtesy of a 5.0A/h lithium-ion battery. Navac Inc. pointed out that this latitude can be especially useful in places like rooftops, attics, and crawl spaces.
An accompanying battery charger and carrying case adds to user convenience from day to day, but perhaps more importantly, an alert signal notifies the technician if the battery is starting to run low. This element will give the technician ample time to close the isolation ball valve (which serves alongside a check valve) so the system will not lose its vacuum, said Jason Sierra, Navac’s technical service manager.
While McCreadie mentioned his exceptional experience with the pump on systems up to 5 tons, the manufacturer said the “standard application” is evacuating HVAC systems up to 4 tons. Its dual-stage, twin-cylinder pump achieves an ultimate vacuum of 23 microns to obtain a completely dry system, according to the manufacturer. The inlet ports consist of both ¼-inch and 3/8-inch flared fittings.
In addition, the cordless pump can be used in repairing appliances like refrigerator/freezers.
A compact design complements the cordless capability in the field. The pump stands 7.5 inches tall and is 3.5 inches wide. At 8 pounds, its weight compares favorably with other pumps. And as the product’s application observed, the unit can be held in the palm of a hand even with the battery attached, so it is ready for travel to the widest range of environments.
Navac conducted multiple surveys and focus groups to determine which features to focus on for this model. The company expects it to “open the door to innovating better products” that could lead to developing an entire line of cordless and compact products.
ProductRidgid Press Booster
“A revolutionary press tool” is how the award application for Emerson’s Ridgid Press Booster describes the product, and the judges shared the high regard for it, as it took the Silver.
Made to use with Viega® MegaPress® XL Jaws and Rings, it is designed to let contractors make fast, flameless connections in under 25 seconds when working with steel pipe systems from 2½ to 4 inches.
Such lofty adjectives come into focus when contractors consider a time commitment of 30 minutes or more to do similar work using other methods, and given that the Press Booster’s flameless approach allows technicians to avoid hot work permits.
Hard-to-reach angles are a breeze, according to Emerson, thanks to an actuator that can rotate 180 degrees on the press ring. Weighing less than 22 pounds and coming with a built-in carrying handle and strap, the Press Booster is designed for portability and easy transport between jobs. It comes backed by the Ridgid Full Lifetime Warranty.
ProductSpark-Proof Dual Voltage Platinum Vacuum Pump
JB Industries earned the Bronze award this year, thanks to its Spark-Proof Dual Voltage Platinum Vacuum Pump.
A voltage selector switch (115 V/230 V) and removable, interchangeable power cords provide flexibility for technicians, who can also use the unit with flammable A2L refrigerant gases, such as R-32 and 1234yf. In the event that flammable refrigerant gases are present, the pump design will prevent sparking and/or ignition.
On the performance side, it offers a two-stage direct drive with ½-hp capacitor start for thermal overload protection. The vacuum pump is available in a 7-cfm model with ¼-, 3/8-, or ½-inch intake tee. Its internal check valve prevents oil backflow during power failure, and users will appreciate a large, easy-to-see oil level sight glass, plus an accessible oil fill on the cover. The manufacturer describes the unit as 100 percent field repairable for added convenience.
All-metal construction with finned aluminum heavy-duty housing means strong durability, as do brass fittings and stainless steel valving. This is rounded out with an ergonomic ½-inch NPT break-resistant exhaust handle with lift ring.