Alan Cape, wholesale market manager for Rheem Water Heaters, explains the benefits of the Rheem Guardian System to contractors attending the June 24 meeting in Atlanta.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An estimated 3,000 plumbing, heating, and air conditioning contractors received a briefing on the new ANSI Standard for Flammable Vapor Ignition Resistant (FVIR) water heaters in a series of dealer meetings held across the country this spring. Organized and hosted free of charge by Rheem Water Heaters, the national education initiative kicked off on May 7, with the first of two meetings for plumbers and wholesalers in the Boston area. The final meeting took place on June 24 in Atlanta. In between, sessions were held in 20 other locales from New York to San Diego and New Orleans to Seattle, with as many as 275 contractors attending each of the 25 meetings.

Tom Wujcik (left), Southern U.S. sales manager, and Alan Cape, wholesale market manager, both with Rheem Water Heaters, field contractor comments and questions during the Atlanta meeting.
The events were structured to address major issues facing contractors who install and service residential, gas-fired water heaters. ANSI Z21.10.1a-2002, which became effective July 1, 2003, addresses the problems caused by improper storage or use of gasoline or other flammable liquids near gas-fired water heaters. To meet the new standard, any atmospherically vented 30-, 40-, or 50-gallon gas-fired water heater produced on or after the effective date must be designed so it cannot ignite flammable vapors caused by spilling gasoline outside the unit.

According to Rheem, this has compelled all water heater manufacturers to implement dramatic product design modifications. As a result, the meetings were geared to provide attendees with an understanding of the new FVIR mandate and its impact on their businesses. The gatherings also marked the introduction of the Rheem Guardian System™, a new line of residential gas-fired, atmospheric water heaters de-signed to meet the new ANSI standard.

Publication date: 08/25/2003