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This is the "wpengine" admin user that our staff uses to gain access to your admin area to provide support and troubleshooting. It can only be accessed by a button in our secure log that auto generates a password and dumps that password after the staff member has logged in. We have taken extreme measures to ensure that our own user is not going to be misused to harm any of our clients sites.
  1. Commercial HVAC Systems

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    Waco performs  complete HVAC system replacement packages for our many commercial and institutional clients. New technologies from manufacturers have vastly improved  the quality and comfort of air as it is distributed throughout the building.  Waco has been proactive in advancing the implementation of these new systems.  We will explain the many components required for  constructing a properly functioning commercial HVAC system.

    Important Components of a HVAC System:

    Depending on what system or combination of systems that are being utilized in a building – these are the main components that we will review:

    *Boiler                 *Cooling Tower

    *Chiller                * Ductwork & Piping

    * AHU                  * Controls & Instrumentation


    The main components in a boiler are: the combustion chamber, burner, economizer, heat exchanger, intake fan, exhaust stack, pumps,  piping, valves, controls and instrumentation.

    Boilers vary greatly in size, type of  fuel and the type of heat produced (usually steam or hot water). Many of the larger types of boilers used in the past have been replaced with new more efficient packaged boiler systems. These new units require less space, and ramp up times are greatly reduced so that needed heat is available quickly and effectively.


    The main components in a chiller are: the evaporator, condenser, compressor, air separator, cooling towers, pumps, piping/ valves, controls and instrumentation.

    Chillers vary greatly in size, too, and are dependent upon the size of the building and how much humidity control is needed. Data Centers are one example.  These buildings have equipment that generates vast amounts of heat and therefore require  larger chiller systems, very strict humidity controls and an extensive backup system. On the other hand, standard office buildings or schools  vary as to the time of day they are occupied, and will require a system that can more efficiently meet these fluctuations in occupancy.

    Air Handling Units (AHU)

    There are many types of AHU’s, some which incorporate a boiler or chiller and others which will operate independently.   These systems involve moving air within a building.  Fan coil units ( FCU’s) usually have hot and cold water piping entering the unit and piping to drain excess condensate. These systems are connected to a network of  air ducts that are controlled by dampers and instruments that allow the system to offer both warm and cold air to the required space. Variable Air Volume ( VAV’s) and Constant Air Volume ( CAV’s ) are another type of system often used and are connected to the ductwork as well.  Variable Refrigerant Flow ( VRF ) is a type of fan coil system that uses refrigerant  rather than cold or chilled water piping.

    Cooling Towers

    These are critical components to a commercial system. They typically transfer heat coming from piping through a network of fans, louvers, or spray nozzles and return the cooler fluid back into the system. Different fluids are used in these systems but the most common ones are water, brine and glycol.  Large cooling towers will have a substantial structural support framework, which can deteriorate over time.  Waco has an experienced team to replace both the structural steel and cooling tower.

    Reference job: Richmond City Hall.

    Ductwork and Piping

    Properly sealed and sized ductwork is a critical component to ensuring proper air flow and ventilation in a HVAC system. Efficiently bringing in conditioned outside air and reducing pollutants entering the system is an important aspect of providing the occupants with a healthy environment.  Properly engineered ductwork (including transitions in duct size and other  airflow design) will further increase the efficiency of the system. Waco has invested in sheet metal equipment, plasma cutters and other  technologies to ensure  that airtight sealing of  all connections of the ductwork  and equipment will be done correctly and in accordance with engineered specifications.  Determining the right piping materials (PVC, Copper, Black Iron or Stainless Steel) are critical for maintaining an efficient system and one that will require the least amount of maintenance in the future.  Waco has many years of experience properly installing  pipe systems as designed for differing systems.

    Controls and Instrumentation

    No area of the HVAC system has seen more innovation and technical improvements than  controls and instrumentation equipment and software.  The ability to easily regulate the HVAC components that control temperature, humidity, airflow and ventilation is critical for a building owner.  The BAS ( Building Automation System ) of today, involves a system of sensors and controllers which submit or receive data and electronically send messages to the devices that operate the pumps, dampers, actuators, flow meters and other HVAC equipment. Most HVAC BAS systems utilize either BACnet (an ASHRAE designed system) or another designed system, and can be controlled through the internet.   These systems can be operated on site or remotely, allowing the building facility manager greater flexibility when changes are needed. Waco uses the services of several well known building control specialists when installing these systems on HVAC equipment.

    Contact Waco for Your HVAC System Needs!

    Waco is one of the leading commercial HVAC contractors in the industry.  Our company has been in business for over 60 years.

    Partner with us today to learn more about our HVAC system capabilities!

  2. Process of Asbestos Removal

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    Click to ExpandProcess-of-Asbestos-Removal” data-lazy-src=

    Asbestos is widely used in many building materials due to its exceptional heat resistance and binding properties. It is also considered a practical component for floor tile, roofing and flashing, bricks, pipes, insulation, and asbestos concrete.

    However, the process of removing asbestos exposes people to asbestos fibers that pose significant health hazards. These fibers can cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Thus, understanding careful and proper asbestos removal steps is critical to avoid asbestos-related diseases.

    This article will walk you through the asbestos abatement process and explain why hiring asbestos professionals is essential.

    What Is the Asbestos Abatement Process?

    Asbestos abatement removes or reduces the harmful effects of asbestos. It usually starts with inspecting materials for the presence of asbestos before assessing the associated danger level. This process does not always require removal when the asbestos is untouched and intact. However, it is crucial to properly abate the material if there is a significant risk present.

    The process of asbestos abatement includes the following steps:

    1.    Preparing the Work Area

    The affected area must be closed off with barricades to keep people away, and the workers must implement warning signs. In addition, specialists must seal all air ducts, turn off HVAC systems, and install airtight plastic barriers and high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration blowers. These procedures will keep asbestos fibers from contaminating the environment outside the affected area while creating negative pressure within the compartment. Also, air monitors must be installed to determine the concentration of fibers in the air during the process of removing asbestos.

    2.    Removing the Asbestos Material

    The experts will remove the asbestos-containing materials with a hand tool or wet methods before being bagged and prepared for proper disposal. Alternative approaches, such as encapsulating and containing asbestos fibers in an impenetrable jacket or wrap, may also be used. However, a complete removal is strongly advised to reduce the likelihood of future complications.

    3.    Cleanup and Air Testing

    After removing a significant portion of the contamination, the work area will undergo a fine cleaning process. First, an encapsulant will be applied to surfaces to trap microscopic particles or fibers that might remain in the air. Asbestos removal experts will then use HEPA vacuums to re-clean the space before testing the surrounding air for asbestos residue.

    HEPA vacuuming is used in asbestos removal steps to reduce fiber dispersal and clean surfaces.

    4.    Disposal

    Once asbestos residue presence is ruled out, abatement contractors will take the contaminated material to a designated disposal site while following the region’s protocols for properly removing asbestos waste.

    5.    Post-Cleanup

    When the work area is cleared, the workers will remove the barriers and prepare the site for re-occupation. Finally, the abatement contractor will provide waste shipment records, permits, licensing copies, inspection results, and laboratory analysis reports to ensure compliance with environmental standards.

    Why Is It Important To Hire Asbestos Professionals?

    Improper asbestos handling can result in health-threatening exposure. This is one of the main reasons only asbestos abatement professionals must manage, remove, and dispose of asbestos-contaminated materials. Professionals and experts should properly close off affected areas, clean up equipment, test the air, and dispose of the material to minimize the risk of exposure to harmful substances.

    Another reason is that different laws and government agencies regulate the handling of asbestos. These include the following:

    Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act (AHERA)

    The AHERA is an Environmental Protection Agency regulation requiring institutions such as schools to inspect facilities and establishments for the presence of asbestos-containing material. It also aims to establish plans to minimize health risks posed by the material.

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Regulations

    OSHA regulations protect workers from asbestos exposure above a specific limit. The Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) for asbestos is 0.1 fiber per cc. This limit means that workers’ exposure to asbestos must not exceed 0.1 f/cc of air in an average of over 8-hour work shifts.

    Asbestos National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)

    The asbestos NESHAP regulations require work practices to be observed during demolitions and renovations of all structures, installations, and buildings. These buildings exclude residential ones that have four or fewer dwelling units. The regulation also requires the building owner or operator to alert the appropriate state agency before demolishing or renovating buildings that may contain a certain amount of asbestos.

    Furthermore, certain manufacturing and fabrication operations are either prohibited from emitting visible emissions into the outside air or must adhere to air cleaning procedures. This regulation also includes specific requirements for asbestos-containing waste removal.

    Waco’s Safe and Effective Asbestos Abatement Services

    As certified asbestos abatement contractors, Waco is dedicated to meeting our customer’s needs securely and effectively. We guarantee that all processes follow all local, state, and federal regulations and guidelines.

    Our company currently provides asbestos removal services in Virginia, including Richmond, Northern Virginia, Norfolk, Hampton, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, and Harrisonburg. We also cater to abatement needs in Washington, DC and a wide range of locations in the Mid-Atlantic region.

    We are dedicated to providing exceptional customer service at every process stage. Contact us today to learn more about our asbestos removal services, or request a quote now!

  3. What Is an Industrial HVAC System?

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    HVAC projectWaco Inc. offers complete HVAC systems that include: fabrication, installation, renovation, and replacement services. With over 50 years of experience, our highly qualified technicians have what it takes to handle large commercial buildings and industrial facilities , from replacing a single chiller to renovating an entire HVAC system.

    The term “industrial HVAC” can refer to an HVAC system used in an industrial facility, or a more general term for an HVAC system used in a large building like a hospital or large business. At Waco, Inc, our specialty lies with HVAC services for industrial facilities, and we’ve put together this guide for existing and potential customers. It outlines the types of equipment used and how they differ from residential units.

    HVAC Systems for Industrial vs Residential

    Industrial HVAC systems provide heating, cooling, and ventilation to larger facilities, such as chemical processing, manufacturing, power generation, and water treatment plants. While they follow the same basic operating principles as residential HVAC units, they are greater in capacity and complexity. Additional concerns such as excessive heat generation from equipment or toxic fumes, require greater attention than one would expect from a residential or commercial building. That’s why it is essential to partner with an experienced industrial contractor when you want to upgrade or replace a system. They will have the knowledge and skills to ensure that the entire HVAC systems components function correctly as it pertains to the individual facility’s needs.

    Types of Equipment Required fwhat is an industrial HVAC systemor HVAC Systems in Industrial Facilities

    Industrial HVAC systems consist of many components, which vary depending on the specific needs of the facility. The types of equipment commonly found in them include:


    In HVAC systems, compressors reduce the volume of refrigerant gas, which increases its pressure and temperature. The high-pressure, high-temperature gas then enters the HVAC system’s condenser, which removes the heat it absorbed.

    Air Separators

    Air separators separate and remove entrained air from fluids. This function helps keep HVAC systems running efficiently and safely.


    Chillers use water to transfer heat away from a space. They are available in two variations: water-cooled and air-cooled.

    Control Systems

    Control systems allow users to monitor and manage the operation of various elements within an HVAC system. Automated control systems enable any necessary HVAC system changes (e.g., increased or decreased temperature or airflow) to be made automatically.

    Cooling Towers

    Cooling towers are used in combination with chillers or condensers to remove heat from the facility. Their design and size vary depending on the cooling load of the facility.

    HVAC Fans

    Industrial facilities use fans for a variety of purposes. For example, they are used for exhaust, air intake, ventilation, and more.


    Hot water or steam must be produced and maintained at much greater volumes in industrial facilities. Sizing and piping to the boiler is critical.

    Humidification/Dehumidification Systems

    HVAC systems can be used to control humidity within an industrial facility. If the facility requires more moisture, the system may have a humidifier unit. If the facility requires less moisture, the system may have a dehumidifier unit.

    Industrial Ventilation Systems

    In addition to temperature and humidity, industrial HVAC systems are used to establish proper airflow within a facility. The ventilation components help purify and circulate air as needed.

    Heat Pumps

    Heat pumps extract heat from the air, water, or ground. They can be used to heat or cool a facility.

    Rooftop HVAC Units

    Rooftop HVAC units are installed on the roof of facilities. They use ducts to circulate the air into various zones of the facility.

    Split HVAC Units

    HVAC systems can be categorized into single-split and multi-split units. Single-split units require each indoor unit to have a corresponding outdoor unit, while multi-split units allow multiple indoor units to connect to one outdoor unit.

    How Do Residential and Industrial HVAC Systems Differ?

    Industrial HVAC systems operate similarly to residential HVAC systems. The main differences between them are:

    • Capacity. HVAC systems components for industrial facilities are much larger. A home or business might use a 5-ton unit while an industrial facility might use a 50 ton unit. Note: 1 ton is equivalent to 12,000 btu of cooling.
    • Location. HVAC systems at industrial facilities are generally located on the rooftop of facilities or in a courtyard where both noise and heat can be reduced while in operation. Most residential HVAC systems are commonly located near the home on the ground floor.
    • Complexity. HVAC systems at industrial locations are more complex and modular in design than residential HVAC systems. This means that multiple HVAC units will have all of the electrical and automatic controls in one panel box. This is critical for proper climate control and any adjusting as required.

    HVAC System Solutions at Waco, Inc.

    The experts at Waco, Inc. are here to help with your industrial facility’s HVAC needs. Whether you require a new installation or replacement assistance, we’ve got you covered. To learn more about our HVAC system capabilities, contact us today. To discuss your project requirements with one of our representatives, request a quote.

  4. What’s the Difference Between Process Piping and Plumbing?

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    Insulated process piping

    Piping systems can be broadly divided into two categories: process piping and plumbing. When selecting the right piping for your operation, it is important to understand which piping you need for your application. Both process piping and plumbing offer unique benefits, and each must comply with specific industry standards and material requirements, depending on their use.

    What is Process Piping?

    Process piping refers to the system of tubes, pipes, hoses, valves, flanges, fittings, gaskets, and other components specifically used in manufacturing and conversion operations. Process piping arrays are specifically used to mix, separate, transport, and otherwise control the flow of fluids from one point to another. Most manufacturing processes require process pi

    ping to facilitate the conversion of raw materials into finished products such as beverages, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, and paper products.

    Process piping is used to convey gases and liquids for a wide range of industries and applications, including:

    • Oil and Gas Processing
    • Chemical Manufacturing
    • Food and Beverage Processing
    • Power and COGEN Plants
    • Paper Mills
    • Plastic Manufacturing
    • Brewing Applications
    • Aerospace and Automotive Manufacturing
    • Wastewater and Water Treatment
    • Semiconductor Manufacturing

    Since process piping is in direct contact with a product that could be acidic, caustic, corrosive, or toxic, it is manufactured in a variety of materials. These include 304 or 316 stainless steel, Inconel, fiberglass resin, chrome moly, heavy wall carbon steel, and many others. In some cases, the actual pipe is internally lined with a glass, plastic or epoxy coating for protection.

    plumbingWhat is Plumbing Piping?

    Most of the utility systems and equipment in a commercial building or home are connected with piping that is considered plumbing. This would typically include piping to showers, faucets, toilets and drains. Common materials used in plumbing systems are copper, carbon steel, brass, PVC, CPVC, and other plastic types.

    Process Piping vs. Plumbing: Key Differences

    Plumbing systems must comply with a variety of codes, regulations, and industry standards for installation, maintenance, and inspection. Plumbing is typically found in heating and cooling, waste removal, and water distribution operations. In order to meet regulatory standards for corrosion resistance and strength, copper and plastic are the most popular plumbing materials. Plumbing equipment must also be built to comply with standards specific to its intended use.

    There are two primary differences between process piping and plumbing. These include:

    • Building Codes. While detailed building codes govern the materials, size, and configuration of plumbing within a facility or system, process piping must meet far fewer requirements. Process piping is less regulated and can be designed with materials that are particularly suitable for the process application at the engineer’s discretion.
    • Purpose. Plumbing and process piping have different purposes. For example, if your system is used to transport water to the facility and move wastewater away, it is a plumbing system. If your piping system conveys, mixes, or removes chemicals, water, gases, and other fluids that are incorporated into or in direct contact with the finished product, it is process piping.

    Process Piping Contractor Services at Waco, Inc.

    Waco, Inc. specializes in the development of custom piping systems for heavy industrial processes where reliability and dependability are a must. Our superior craftsmanship, consistent performance, and attention to our in-house quality assurance guidelines create an exceptionally precise piping system guaranteed to meet the needs of even the most complex applications. We maintain records for complete verification and testing of materials and components to ensure optimal compliance.

    Our extensive selection of piping services includes:

    • Custom Spooling
    • Sanitary Stainless Steel
    • Air / Instrumentation
    • Large and Small Bore Piping
    • Extensive In-House Fabrication / Storage
    • Process Skid Packages
    • Hi Purity Systems
    • Natural Gas and Fuel Piping
    • Shutdowns / Outages
    • Steam / Condensate Piping (R-Stamp)

    Process Piping Experience

    Waco, Inc. is the go-to provider for complex industrial process piping projects. Since 1963, we have served businesses, industries, and institutions while completing complex projects for some of the nation’s largest, most established Fortune 500 companies. We have decades of experience, adhere to safety and regulatory standards, and maintain a reputation for completing complex jobs on time and on budget. This makes us the company of choice for custom piping solutions, from design through completion. For more information on our process piping capabilities, contact us today or request a proposal for your next project.

  5. Where Is Asbestos Found?

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    Asbestos and Lead Removal by Waco, Inc.

    Asbestos is a material that poses little risk when undisturbed. However, this naturally occurring mineral can release microscopic fibers into the air when disrupted, making it very dangerous if ingested or inhaled. The fibers enter the body and lodge in the lining of the chest, abdomen, and heart cavity. Over time, it causes irritation and life-threatening conditions such as lung and pulmonary disease and mesothelioma. In this blog, we’ll answer some of the most common asbestos questions to give you a thorough overview of this material.

    Where Is Asbestos Found in a Commercial or Industrial Building?

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    Where Is Asbestos Found in a Commercial or Industrial Building?
    Asbestos was seen as a highly desirable commercial and industrial building material because the fibers were insulating, fire-resistant, and added no weight but significantly increased the strength of the material to which it was added. It can be found in churches, schools, and large industrial facilities built before 1980 in the following places:

    • Cement pipe and conduit
    • Drywall joint compound
    • Ceiling tiles
    • Floor tiles and adhesives
    • Partition walls
    • Insulation around boilers, ducts, pipes, sheeting, and fireplaces
    • Roofing shingles, flashing, and adhesives
    • Sprayed on ceiling material
    • Fireproofing
    • Window Caulking and Glazing

    Products Containing Asbestos

    Asbestos is included in a variety of products, including:

    • Brake linings and clutch pads
    • Ceiling tiles
    • Floor tiles
    • Joint compound
    • Sprayed-on fireproofing and insulation in buildings
    • Putties, caulks, and cements, such as in cement pipes used for carrying chemicals
    • Fume hoods and lab benches
    • Wall and ceiling texture
    • Insulation for ducts, pipes and boilers
    • Siding shingles on commercial and residential buildings
    • Roofing shingles
    • Wall and ceiling insulation
    • External siding

    Where Is Asbestos Found in a Home?

    Homes built after the 1920s and before 1980 likely have some form of asbestos. Even floor tile installed in the 1980’s may be asbestos containing. It was used in a variety of building materials until the danger was recognized, and the mineral was regulated for most uses. Structures that have not already undergone some type of remodeling and asbestos remediation may still have asbestos-containing materials inside or outside the building, including the following.

    • Inside
      • Backing of vinyl sheet floor coverings
      • Carpet adhesive
      • Compressed asbestos sheets
      • Fireplace flues
      • Insulation below a wood heater
      • Internal walls and ceilings
      • Loose-fill attic insulation
      • Vinyl floor tiles
      • Pipe Insulation
      • Transite panels
    • Outside
      • Backing for electrical meter boards
      • Eaves and gables end
      • Insulation for hot water pipes and tank
      • External building siding
      • Roofing Materials

    Is Asbestos Still Used Today?

    Asbestos became highly regulated in the U.S. between 1973 and 1990. Gaskets, brake pads, and some products containing less than 1% asbestos are exempt and still sold in America. The exemption states that warning labels aren’t necessary for products containing less than 1% asbestos or those that will not release asbestos fibers within normal use. The list of products regulated in the U.S. include:

    • Asbestos wall compound
    • Asbestos fireplace decorations
    • Asbestos filters for pharmaceutical manufacturing
    • Asbestos flooring felt
    • Asbestos paper products
    • Friable asbestos pipe and block insulation
    • New uses of asbestos after August 25, 1989
    • Spray-on coatings containing more than 1% asbestos

    Industry Leading Asbestos Abatement Services

    Asbestos abatement requires skill, training, and experience. Since 1979, Waco, Inc. has successfully removed asbestos in thousands of private residences and commercial facilities. We are proud to be recognized as an industry leading environmental contractor in the development and completion of asbestos removal and disposal, and we serve Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, District of Columbia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina. Contact us today if you have questions about our services or submit a quote request for your project.

  6. What Is the Role of a Mechanical Contractor?

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    Example of mechanical contractor jobsite

    Mechanical contractors oversee mechanical construction, replacement, and repair projects in a range of industries. Their responsibilities vary depending on the project, but mechanical contractors are often in charge of supervising other mechanical workers, scheduling subcontractors, and making sure mechanical systems are installed correctly and within budget. They work in a variety of areas, including process piping, HVAC systems, industrial process equipment, structural steel installation, and more.

    The role of a mechanical contractor is essential to the success of a range of projects and day-to-day operations.

    What Types of Projects Require Mechanical Contractors ?

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    What Types of Projects Require Mechanical Contractors ?

    From troubleshooting and redesigning faulty systems to installation, maintenance, and repair, mechanical contracting is a multi-faceted job. Mechanical contractors respond to the needs of the particular job site and commonly provide services such as:

    No matter where they work or what kind of machinery or equipment they’re dealing with, mechanical contractors are expected to coordinate work between their team and other contractors while staying on schedule and keeping within the budget. It’s a job that requires creativity, problem-solving and decision-making skills, a high level of organization and time management, and strong communication abilities to ensure clear explanations of tasks.

    Mechanical Contractor vs. Mechanical Engineer

    It’s important to note the difference between a mechanical contractor and a mechanical engineer. The engineer designs systems and components and oversees the production process. The contractor takes over at that point to install the system or component for a client. Both roles contribute to the success of a project, and it’s important to have highly-skilled, experienced professionals in each of those positions.

    Mechanical Contracting Services from Waco, Inc.

    Founded in 1963, Waco, Inc. has grown to incorporate a wide range of products and services. Over the years, we have served a number of industries with mechanical and environmental contracting services, and we’ve had the pleasure of completing a variety of complex projects for prominent Fortune 500 companies.

    With locations in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland, we offer mechanical contracting solutions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with a focus on productivity, safety and regulatory compliance, adherence to schedules and budgets, and professional customer care. To learn more about mechanical contracting and what we can do for you, contact us or request a quote.