The Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors — National Association’s Educational Foundation is proud to announce the winners of the national plumbing and HVAC apprentice contests. The contests were held October 10th & 11th in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on the tradeshow floor during the PHCC—National Association’s CONNECT 2018 event.
A total of 19 plumbing and 10 HVAC apprentices from across the nation took part in the contests.
Plumbing Apprentice Contest Winners
The plumbing apprentices were required rough-in a bathroom system. The set-up includes a toilet, sink and shower, complete with supply, waste and vent lines, plus cleanouts and extra features designed to test the contestants’ knowledge and skills. The test set-up includes a variety of pipe materials – cast iron, copper, PVC and PEX, and corresponding joining methods.
HVAC Apprentice Contest Winners
The HVAC competitors were required to complete a written test, demonstrate proper brazing techniques and perform a hands-on diagnostic on an HVAC package unit, with system errors created by the Foundation’s contractor volunteers for the competition. The competitors also had to perform a pressure and leak test, demonstrate proper refrigerant recovery procedures and the ability to accurately take a variety of instrument readings.
A dedicated team of contractor volunteers arrived two days before the competitions to assemble the competitor test benches, distribute the materials and supplies and setup the testing areas. They monitor the competitions, evaluate the apprentices’ work and provide constructive feedback on each competitor’s performance following the event.
The contests are made possible by the generous support of several industry sponsors who provide monetary support and in-kind material and tool donations. Sponsors for the 2018 competition include, with headline sponsors appearing in bold: AB&I Foundry; A. O. Smith; Bradford White Corp.; BrassCraft Manufacturing Co.; Copper Development Association, Inc.; Daikin; Delta Faucet Co.; Emerson; Fluke, IPS Corp.; KOHLER Company; Mechanical Hub Media; Milwaukee Tool; NATE; NIBCO INC.; Oatey; Reed Manufacturing Co.; RIDGID; State Water Heaters; Tyler Pipe & Coupling; Uponor; Viega, LLC; and Zoeller Pump Co.
Milwaukee Tool made a major contribution to the Plumbing Apprentice Contest this year by donating 20 of its M18 Force Logic Press Tools and jaw kits, with a retail value exceeding $60,000 total. This gift allowed the competitors to gain experience and prove their skill with making press connections during the plumbing competition and will be used in future competitions as well.
“These contests are an incredible demonstration of the opportunities that exist because of the Foundation,” reports Foundation Chair Craig Lewis. “You have these amazing apprentices from all over the country coming here to show off their skills. The sponsors are so generous with their support. And then our volunteer committee members and staff are pulling it all together in a new exhibit hall every year. It really is quite a thing to see and I’m very proud everyone involved with these competitions."
(L) Plumbing Contest Winner James Houser with PHCC Educational Foundation Chair Craig Lewis and Plumbing Contest Committee Chair Jim Steinle.
(R) HVAC Contest Winner Josiah Tiegs with PHCC Educational Foundation Chair Craig Lewis and HVAC Contest Committee Chair Scott Balmer.