McElroy Cools Off With New Geothermal Installation
Polyethylene Pipe in Wastewater Treatment
The 1LC was used to connect the vertical loops to the headers.
Temperatures soared above 100 degrees 44 days this summer at McElroy’s Tulsa, Oklahoma headquarters. Although not having a crystal ball to predict the heat this summer, McElroy conveniently installed a new heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) system in the oldest manufacturing facility on the company’s campus.

In the spring of 2011, McElroy hired local contractors Environmental Loop Services and K&M Shillingford to upgrade one of the oldest buildings on the McElroy campus. The Fulton Assembly Plant, is a 70,000-square-foot space suffering from years of being repurposed for different manufacturing needs and lacking a major upgrade to become climate-controlled.

While McElroy’s Fulton Assembly Plant is the latest to get a geothermal upgrade, the company hasn’t shied away from putting green systems into other buildings over the years – including a section of the corporate office building and a training center more than 30 years ago.

Polyethylene Pipe in Wastewater Treatment
One of the main staples for constructing the headers on-site was the Pit Bull® 14.
“We’re fortunate to be at a center for geothermal and ground source heat pump technology,” said Chip McElroy, president and chief executive officer for McElroy. “In Oklahoma, we have the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association (IGSHPA), several ground source heat pump manufacturers, polyethylene pipe manufacturers and McElroy. Everything you need to create a great geothermal-loop system is nearby, from the expertise of IGSHPA to the great products manufactured in the area.”

Another benefit of being in this center for geothermal expertise is access to contractors like K&M Shillingford, one of the first to offer geothermal installations to consumers in the United States.

With years of experience, both on the McElroy campus and off, K&M Shillingford and their sister company, Environmental Loop Services, were presented three significant challenges when they installed a vertical loop system for the Fulton Assembly Plant.

Beginning in April, Environmental Loop Services began drilling the more than 80 vertical wells required in three different well fields. Each well was drilled to 400 feet. The major challenge with the wells was getting everything complete and ready by a June 30th deadline. While some of the drilling was in grassy, landscaped areas, the majority of the wells had to be created by drilling and excavating space for headers in a parking lot that remained open to accommodate the McElroy workforce at the Fulton Assembly Plant.

The June deadline was set so that the factory would be climate-controlled before the hottest part of the Oklahoma summer.

“The timeframe was a major challenge,” said Tom Nowak, sales manager for K&M Shillingford. “A part of the challenge was drilling and installing pipe while the facilities are up and running. Another challenge was working above the craneway.”

While tackling a tight timeline isn't unusual, the contractor was required to save floor space by floating the AAON HVAC units in the air at the facility. This served several purposes.

Polyethylene Pipe in Wastewater Treatment
Environmental Loop Services had a variety of Sidewinders™ on the job, including these three jaw-clamp style machines.
“We’re dying for floor space right now,” said Scott Reeder, facilities manager at McElroy. “We had to go up instead of expanding out. Keeping the HVAC units inside helps their life expectancy. Inside or outside, there’s a chance for the units to be damaged by our forklifts and other machinery on site. The best solution for us was to just put them up in the air, and that presented a huge challenge.”

“We also wanted the opportunity to put high-density polyethylene (HDPE) piping in all the way to the units. This is one of very few jobs the contractor has done where they’ve used polyethylene pipe inside a building.”

In addition to floating units in the rafters of the building and putting in the geothermal system by July, contractor personnel felt the pressure of fusing pipe perfectly in the backyard of the company referred to as the “pipe fusion experts.”

“One of the biggest challenges on this job was doing the fusion work,” said Nowak. “With the pipe fusion experts watching and observing, the fusions had to be flawless.”

While workers used a Pit Bull® 26 machine capable of butt fusing 6-inch pipe inside the building, the vertical wells and headers outside required several smaller fusion machines.

After drilling the 400-foot vertical wells to house the Centennial Plastics 1-inch EarthLoops™ piping, the U-bend end of the vertical loop is put into the hole first. Once the pipe is installed in the hole, the loose ends coming out of the ground were fused to the headers using McElroy’s new 1LC and the Mini-Mc™. The 1LC is designed for geothermal work, where a fusion technician might be required to work from above the piping in close quarters. The 1LC and Mini-Mc both fuse pipes from 1/2-inch CTS to 1-inch IPS sizes.

Approximately one-third of McElroy’s employees work in the Fulton Assembly facility. The building enjoyed temperatures nearly 30 to 35 degrees cooler than the 100-degree temperatures outside.


Tyler Henning

P.S. – Do you have an interesting job site that you would like to share? McElroy is always looking for fusion job sites where HDPE is being used and fused to solve an infrastructure problem. Contact Tyler Henning, public relations specialist at (918) 831-9286 or by email at

  Socket Tooling Kit
McElroy Socket FusionWith McElroy’s Socket Tooling Kits, you can get a specific range of socket tooling equipment that fits your needs, instead of ordering each piece separately. McElroy has selectively chosen the proper heater adapters, ratchet sheers, chamfer tools/depth gauges, and cold ring tools for a complete kit. All the equipment conveniently fits in a specially designed tool box and tray to keep all of your socket tooling in one place.

McElroy’s Socket Tooling will fuse ½” CTS to 4” IPS (16mm to 125mm) pipe and is perfect for installing fittings. Select the heater, heater adapter, depth gauge/chamfer tool, and a cold ring tool for your application.

For 2” and larger fittings, a socket fitting holder is required. Smaller size socket heater adapters (½” CTS to 1” IPS) are fastened to the sides of the heater. The larger size socket heater adapters (1¼” to 4” IPS), or saddle fusion heater adapters, are fastened to the heater face.

  Details Being Finalized for New York and Florida Road Shows
The Alliance for PE Pipe’s Roadshow and Expo is an outstanding opportunity to learn more about HDPE piping systems. Always staffed with industry experts, the roadshows are a great opportunity to bring questions with you and learn about the most responsible pipe infrastructure going in the ground today. Complimentary breakfast and lunch is available, as well as entry into an iPad giveaway pending a completed RSVP online at and attendance.

Shows are being planned for October in Syracuse and Albany, as well as Jacksonville, Florida. To get the latest information on the Road Shows, visit
  The Most Important Time You’ll Invest for Your City
The most comprehensive research available about HDPE pipe for municipal potable water systems is now available. The Jana Laboratories final report, “HDPE Pipe: The Sustainable Solution for Potable Water Systems” is available online. In the report, you can:
  • Read about the successes in Palo Alto, California and other municipalities
  • Discover more about completely leak-free systems
  • Review information about advancements in material properties
  • Learn about findings from more than 300 exhumed field samples
  • Consider input from approximately 200 municipalities surveyed
  • Locate published data, reporting and technical guidelines.

  Our pictures this month come from Ryan Ethier, from McElroy distributor A.H. McElroy. The PolyHorse is a modular piece of equipment, with a variety of advantageous arrangements. Here's a look at a unique set-up of the PolyHorse from Peace River, British Columbia, Canada.

If you have photos from a jobsite, we'd love to see them! Yours may be chosen for the next issue of McElroy Connections. Simply email your photos to Tyler Henning, at

#HDPE pipe is used in a cattle feeder. Is there anything #HDPEpiping isn't good for?
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McElroy Manufacturing Website Update
Sep 6th
Great PDF Field Report from ISCO - Large diameter #HDPE pipe used in Guatemala Hydroelectric Project.
Sep 6th
Great article on how #HDD continues to thrive. Even better when HDD is paired with #HDPE
Sep 1st
Over the next few months we will have have some exciting new announcements. Our monthly newsletter is one of the best ways to stay informed. You can subscribe at: newsletter/subscribe.htm
Aug 31st
We're happy to announce that our first shipment has arrived in São Paulo, Brasil! #HDPE
Aug 30th
Check out this month's issue @ucononline. I spy McElroy machines on pages 43 and 59 of the August issue!
Aug 26th
A rather large swagelining project in Australia. The power and flexibility of #HDPE
Aug 24th
Another great information resource is You can visit the McElroy section of the site at: mmcenters/mcelroy.html
Aug 23rd
As someone who is involved with McElroy equipment, we would like to invite you to join our opinion group. Surveys vary in topic and frequency. We promise that it will not be time consuming to participate and those who do, can receive direct benefits for their efforts. Use the link to register or post any questions you have here.
Aug 22nd
Another cool use for #HDPE piping - fish habitats! Some young students put some of these habitats together recently:
Aug 22nd
A nice article about HDPE pipe from the latest issue of Trenchless Technology Magazine.
Aug 16th
Sewage spill in Florida bayou after #PVC main fails. #HDPE is considered as a solution.
Aug 16th

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