FALL 2017

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M any homeless individuals struggle to improve their lives due to limited personal hygiene, which can hamper confidence and the impressions they make on others, such as potential employers. Showers are taken for granted by those with regular access. For those without, they can be a rare privilege. To help provide the homeless with access to personal hygiene, Florida resi- dent Jeanne Lewis founded Showering Love, a nonprofit organization dedicat- ed to restoring dignity and hope to those most in need. "Imagine you've just mowed the lawn in the hot sun, or finished a heavy workout," begins Lewis. "Now imag- ine that after all that hot, dirty, sweaty work, you're unable to take a shower for weeks or months. That's a reality many homeless people face." Lewis speaks from personal experi- ence. She spent roughly a decade on the street herself. "One of the worst things about homelessness was that feeling of being dirty all the time," she recalls. "It destroys your personal dignity, self- esteem and sometimes even your will to live." Lewis' vision for restoring hope to the homeless took physical form when, thanks to financial donations, she was able to purchase a bus to be converted into a mobile shower station. Afterward, the hard work began of gutting the bus to add showers and toi- lets, which would become available, free of charge, to those in need. Rowdy Gif- ford, a master plumber with more than 20 years of experience and the licensed inspector and plans examiner for the city of Parkland, Florida, planned and executed the bus's plumbing. "We wanted to make the bus to- tally self-sufficient from a plumbing standpoint," explains Gifford. To that end, one freshwater tank and one black water tank was installed in the back. Two bathrooms were planned in the 8-by-30 foot bus — a handicap facility in the center of the bus and a second space for general use in the front, behind the driver's seat. "The challenge lay in moving the wa- ter from the bathrooms, across the bus, to the storage tank," continues Gifford. "Penetrating the bus floor wasn't practi- cal, due to limited space. We needed a smarter solution." PUMPING IT OUT After conducting some internet research, Gifford discovered Saniflo above-floor plumbing technology. Designed for a host of residential and commercial ap- plications, above-floor plumbing systems macerate (or grind) waste into a slurry before pumping it horizontally and/ or vertically through a small-diameter drain line into a septic or sewer system — or, in this case, a storage tank. "I had never heard of this option before, but it struck me as the perfect solution," recalls Gifford. "The pump eliminated the need to tear up the floor and allowed the piping to be run along the side wall." Saniflo donated two Sanibest Pro units to the project, which were distrib- uted by Ferguson. Unlike standard mac- erators, the Sanibest Pro comes equipped with a heavy-duty grinder that can easily handle the accidental flushing of sanitary articles, such as feminine products, baby wipes, dental floss, condoms, etc. The pump discharges waste up to 25 vertical feet and/or 150 horizontal feet. "We chose the heavy-duty grinders to ensure we could process anything the clien- tele happens to throw down the drain," explains Gifford. He installed the units without any challenges or problems, connecting them along the side wall to the storage tanks in back. "We tested the units out, and they work perfectly," Gifford says. "The heavy-duty grinders are per- haps the most crucial, well-performing elements of the entire project. In hind- sight, there are so many applications where I would have used these pumps in the past, had I known about them." With a viable plumbing system in- stalled, the Showering Love Bus will be driven to various locations, especially churches, throughout Florida to provide showers and other services to the home- less. With the current setup, the bus can handle up to 40 showers before the tank reaches capacity. CHECK OR CIRCLE #164 Saniflo pumps help nonprofit 'shower love' on homeless RESTORING HOPE case study /plumbing From top: Plumbing contractor Rowdy Giff ord installs the Sanibest Pro grinding pump from Sanifl o inside the Showering Love Bus. > The Showering Love Bus will be driven to various locations, especially churches, throughout Florida to provide showers and other services to the homeless. HVACPproducts.com HVAC & Plumbing Product News \ Fall 2017 36

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