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MECHANICAL
THE MECHANICAL PLAN
The mechanical section, like the plumbing section, may include a site plan at the beginning showing mechanical work to be done outside the building. In addition to this site plan, the mechanical section includes the following: 1. Foundation and/or Basement Plansshow mechanical work to be done in the crawl space, under the slab on grade, or in the basement. 2. Floor Plansone plan per floor shows mechanical work required for each floor. Ductwork is shown on the floor where it is to be installed. For example, ductwork located above the second floor ceiling and serving the second floor is shown on the second floor plan. If ductwork is located above the ceiling of the second floor to serve a space on the third floor, the ductwork is drawn on the second floor and is noted as being installed on the second floor. Piping for the heating and cooling system is drawn and noted in the same manner. 3. Elevations, Sections, and Detailslocated on sheets that follow the floor plan sheets. These large scale drawings show how units, ductwork, and piping are installed. The drawings also show how the units are to be connected with piping, ductwork, water, steam, and so forth. 4. Schedulesmechanical schedule sheets such as those listed below relay information to the mechanical worker: A. B. C. D. Unit or equipment schedules Register, grilles, and diffuser schedules Duct insulation schedule Piping schedule

Sheet M-1 of the Construction Drawings, Mechanical Figure 1, shows mechanical plans for a small bank and trust company, including ductwork, piping installation, and sections and details.

Reading Mechanical Plans


INTRODUCTION
The first thing that a technician should do upon receiving a set of plans for a building is to review all the plans, scanning each one to see what drawings are available, where major information is shown, and to get a general overview of the building. A review of the specifications will help the technician learn more about the building and what is expected of the builder. This chapter will refer to these plans to demonstrate arrangement and location of various portions of information. Mechanical Figure 1 shows the mechanical floor plan for a building. Considerable attention will be devoted to ductwork because it is such a vital part of a building project.

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READING THE MECHANICAL PLANS


The first thing to find on the sheet is the title of the drawing. On Mechanical Figure 1 the title is Floor Plan. If the building had multiple floors, the title would indicate which floor is represented on the drawing. The scale used for the drawings is given as part of the title. In this case, the plan has been reduced, making the 1/4'' 1'-0'' scale incorrect. Because of this discrepancy, the only dimensions that can be relied on are the ones specified on the plans. In actual practice, this drawing would not be issued as a construction drawing for builders and technicians to work from. After determining the tide of the plan and the scale used for the drawing, the technician should review the entire plan to study all the details and construction information that is given on the sheet. If there are multifloor and multi-sheet sets of plans, it is important to know, in general, where various details, schedules, sections and so forth are located. It is also important to obtain an understanding of the entire mechanical system. In reviewing this plan, it is suggested that the technician read each sheet like reading a book.

LOOKING FOR SPECIFIC SYSTEMS


After the general overview of the plan and the mechanical design, each specific part of the air-conditioning and heating system should be reviewed. In most cases, the air conditioning and heating units are reviewed first. On this building, the units are a part of a split system, air-to-air heat pump. The outside unit is located on the roof, and the inside unit is located in a mechanical space above the ceiling to the right of the front entrance. A floor plan of this mechanical space is shown in the upper left-hand corner of the mechanical plan.

FOLLOWING THE DUCTWORK


The inside section of the heat pump has a 30'' 18'' supply duct extended toward the top of the plan. (Note: Where the North arrow is not indicated, the top of the sheet is normally considered north.) This supply duct splits into two 15'' 18'' ducts with a splitter damper, and these two ducts continue to serve the air supply to the entire building. The supply air outlets are shown with the air quantities (CFM) indicated. The return air duct connects to the inside section of the heat pump and extends to the front entrance, turns down and connects to an 18'' 18'' return air grille mounted in the wall six inches below the ceiling. The first dimension tied to any noted ductwork will be the width; the second dimension will reflect the height. For example, a 30'' 18'' shown duct will be 30'' wide and 18'' high.

THE SUPPLY AND RETURN AIR OUTLETS


In the table at the top center of the mechanical plan is the Air Distribution Schedule. This schedule gives the description of the supply and return outlets including a typical manufacturer and catalog number. In many jobs, the design engineer or technician is not allowed to mention specific manufacturers for the specified equipment. In such cases, a detailed description of the desired air distribution outlet must be included in the specification.

WRITTEN NOTES AND INSTRUCTIONS


It is sometimes advantageous to have written notes and instructions placed on the plans. On this job these notes have been titled General Notes.

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OTHER INFORMATION SHOWN ON THE MECHANICAL PLAN


In addition to the information described above, the mechanical plan describes and shows electric heaters, timed override switches, night set-back thermostats, and refrigeration piping. Also included on the mechanical plan are such items as drawings of equipment space and sections. Plan 2/M-1, on sheet M-1 is a plan of the equipment space located over the Womens Toilet. Section 4/M-1 is a longitudinal section of the inside heat pump unit.

MECHANICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Some small jobs have the specifications printed on a separate sheet and bound with the regular plans. For example, the specifications for the plans at the end of this book are bound in this way. On larger jobs, all specifications are bound in a separate book that accompanies the plans when they are turned over to the contractor.

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MECHANICAL Figure 1. Typical mechanical plan and associated drawingssmall bank building.

VIEW PHOTO

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Heating and Air Conditioning


FORCED AIR SYSTEMS
One of the most common systems for climate control circulates the air from the living spaces through or around heating or cooling devices. A fan forces the air into large sheet metal or plastic pipes called ducts. These ducts connect to openings, called diffusers, in the room. The air enters the room and either heats it or cools it as needed. Air then flows from the room through another opening into the return duct. The return duct directs the air from the room over a heating or cooling device, depending on which is needed. If cool air is required, the return air passes over the surface of a cooling coil. If warm air is required, the return air is either passed over the surface of a combustion chamber (the part of a furnace where fuel is burned) or a heating coil. Finally, the conditioned air is picked up again by the fan and the air cycle is repeated, Mechanical Figure 2.

MECHANICAL Figure 2. The air cycle in a forced-air system.

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Furnace
If the air cycle just described is used for heating, the heat is generated in a furnace. Furnaces for residential heating produce heat by burning fuel oil or natural gas, or from electric heating coils. If the heat comes from burning fuel oil or natural gas, the combustion (burning) takes place inside a combustion chamber. The air to be heated does not enter the combustion chamber but absorbs heat from the outer surface of the chamber. The gases given off by the combustion are vented through a chimney. In an electric furnace, the air to be heated is passed directly over the heating coils. This type of furnace does not require a chimney.

As liquid changes to vapor, it absorbs large amounts of heat. The boiling point of a liquid can be changed by changing the pressure applied to the liquid. This is the same as saying that the temperature of a liquid can be raised by increasing its pressure and lowered by reducing its pressure.

Refrigeration Cycle
If the air from the room is to be cooled, it is passed over a cooling coil. The most common type of residential cooling system is based on the following two principles:

The principal parts of a refrigeration system are the cooling coil (evaporator), compressor (an air pump), the condenser, and the expansion valve, Mechanical Figure 3. Keep in mind that common refrigerants can boil (change to a vapor) at very low temperaturessome as low as 21F below zero. Also remember that a liquid boils at a higher temperature when it is under pressure. The warm air from the ducts is passed over the evaporator. As the cold refrigerant liquid moves through the evaporator coil, it picks up heat from the warm air. As the liquid picks up heat, it changes to a vapor.

MECHANICAL Figure 3. Schematic diagram of refrigeration cycle.

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The heated refrigerant vapor is then drawn into the compressor where it is put under high pressure. This causes the temperature of the vapor to rise even more. Next, the high-temperature, high-pressure vapor passes to the condenser where the heat is removed. In residential systems this is done by blowing air over the coils of the condenser. As the condenser removes heat, the vapor changes to a liquid. It is still under high pressure, however. From the condenser, the refrigerant flows to the expansion valve. As the liquid refrigerant passes through the valve, the pressure is reduced. This lowers the temperature of the liquid still further, so that it is ready to pick up more heat. The cold, low-pressure liquid then moves to the evaporator. The pressure in the evaporator is low enough to allow the refrigerant to boil again and absorb more heat from the air passing over the coil of the evaporator.

HOT-WATER SYSTEM
Many buildings are heated by hot-water systems. In a hot-water system, the water is heated in an oil or

gas-fired boiler, then circulated through pipes to radiators or convectors in the rooms. The boiler is supplied with water from the fresh waster supply for the house. The water is circulated around the combustion chamber where it absorbs heat. In some systems, one pipe leaves the boiler and runs through the building and back to the boiler. In this type, called a one-pipe system, the heated water leaves the supply, is circulated through the outlet, and is returned to the same pipe. A typical onepipe system uses a specially designed tee to divert water to a radiator or other heating convection outlet. A cone-shaped venturi that is built into the tee by the manufacturer creates resistance to the flow of water. This diverts part of the water flow into the branch outlet, through the radiator, and back into the main flow, Mechanical Figure 4. A two-pipe system uses two pipes running throughout the building. One pipe supplies heated water to all of the outlets. The other is a return pipe, which carries the water back to the boiler for reheating, Mechanical Figure 5. Hot-water systems use a pump, called a circulator, to move the water through the system. The water is kept

MECHANICAL Figure 4. Onepipe system.

RADIATOR OR OTHER CONVECTION OUTLET

WATER MERGES

FLOW RESTRICTION DIVERTS SOME WATER INTO LOOP

INTERNAL CONE CAUSES RESTRICTION TO THE FLOW OF HEATING WATER

ONE-PIPE SYSTEM

STANDARD TEE FITTING

MECHANICAL Figure 5. Two-pipe system.

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at a temperature of 150180F in the boiler. When heat is needed, the thermostat starts the circulator.

ELECTRIC RESISTANCE HEAT


There are a number of heating system designs that rely on electric heating elements located in each room. Some such systems have electric heating elements embedded in the floor or ceiling. In these systems, the surface of the room is heated. Another kind of electric heat has heating outlets similar to those used for hot-water heat.

HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING EQUIPMENT ON DRAWINGS


As with plumbing, architects do not usually prepare heating and air conditioning drawings for residential construction. The architect specifies the type of heating and air conditioning to be used. The heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor prepares required drawings as needed for personal use only.

SUMMARY
Information regarding the scale of the drawing and specific information on the sheet is found on the title of the sheet. It is important for the technician to gain an understanding of the entire mechanical system before concentrating on any of its parts. The types of air conditioning and heating units and their locations are shown on the mechanical plans. If there is no directional arrow on the plans, the top of the plan is considered north. The technician should study the supply and return air ductwork throughout the system. When ductwork sizes are stated, the first number refers to the visible side of the ductwork, and the second number refers to the other dimension. The Air Distribution Schedule describes supply and return outlets for typical units or includes a detailed description in the specification. Written notes and instructions may be placed on the plans.