FACTORY RECALLS & NEED for XRF FIELD INSPECTIONS
(Updated December 14, 2009)
Dear GFX Owner:
1. We would like to thank you for selecting Gravity Film Heat Exchanger (“GFX”) products to conserve energy and help in the fight against Global Warming and Climate Change. At WaterFilm Energy Inc. (“WFE”), we take pride in our products and are committed to your continued satisfaction and peace of mind that every GFX manufactured under a WFE-License, or sold via The GFX Store, is made with copper approved for use with potable water -- unless the customer specifies otherwise.
2. For potable water applications, every GFX must be made with a copper coil conforming to ASTM B88 Specifications wrapped around a copper drainpipe made to ASTM B306 Specifications, with permanent incise marks as proof. These are among the many types of copper tubing that cannot be used for drinking or cooking that only educated consumers will know to avoid.
3. But in early September of 2009 troublesome consumer comments were discovered on three websites; a few of which are quoted in footnotes ##, ,  & ; complaining fake, unsafe GFX’s (“knockoffs”) were sold with fraudulent UL labels, e.g.: “Purchased this and found out the building inspector refused to authorize it. Something to do with the fact the UL certification is not applicable to potable water and since the device does not have ASTMB88 stamped on its copper, it was not considered safe for potable water.” & “You did purchase a couple of 2” units in which we used copper that was not ASTM B88 but ACR.”
· Type ACR is unsafe, yet neither Intertek nor Watercycles notified WFE that a recall was issued for these “2” units” (as of 12/12/09).
· Nor has UL, although such products should have been recalled by now; given WFE’s first Complaint to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC #H0990104A) was filed September 10, 2009, followed by others dated September 15th & 18th 2009 to Intertek & UL.
4. The footnotes also reveal Home Depot was informed that some knockoffs pose serious health threats because they may contain toxic copper that cannot be certified safe for drinking water by NSF to NSF/ANSI Standard 61. Are they not aware the CPSC relies on X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) instruments like those described @ www.niton.com to measure toxicity and protect consumers?.
5. Unlike UL, which has not prosecuted or revoked Renewability Energy’s privilege to use their CULUS Mark, Intertek revoked Watercycles Energy Recovery Inc.’s privilege to used their CETLUS safety-certification mark, effective October 8, 2009 -- but as of December 11, 2009 has not issued recalls or notified consumers whether or not Watercycles shipped units safe for use with potable water -- even after its President admitted importing copper tubing from Mueller Streamline having no permanent NSF-61 Incise Marks or third-party certification marks like Intertek’s Warnock-Hersey Mark. He also admitted using ACR tubing, which cannot be certified for use with drinking water. (See email excerpts in Footnote #4)
6. Based on other comments quoted in the footnotes, consumers will have to take matters in their own hands by demanding that local plumbing inspectors, CPSC, Health Canada, UL, Intertek, IAPMO, NSF-International, and/or ANSI, provide an X-Ray Fluorescence ((XRF) analysis of all copper products in their house that are used for potable water because of the likelihood that incise marks, if legible, are counterfeits.
7. An XRF analysis using a Thermo Scientific analyzer, for example, allows “nearly instantaneous elemental analysis” to determine whether or not any copper product is toxic --- something UL, Intertek, Home Depot and others should have done to protect consumers; given the glut of toxic building products and toys being imported from Asia & Mexico.
· According to officials at the Copper Development Association & Canadian Copper and Brass Development Association, counterfeiting incise marks on unsafe copper smuggled into North America is a serious problem.
8. In August of 2008, the CPSC released an XRF-Report finding: (a) For plastics and polymers, XRF is effective for testing for lead; (b) XRF has the potential to be effective for testing paints for lead, but standard reference materials and methods need to be developed & (c) Based on these findings and the fast approaching February 10, 2010 deadlines for businesses to conduct third-party certification tests, the CPSC staff and commissioners have begun disseminating and discussing how XRF can be used more broadly.
9. Products that should be tested or recalled by CPSC, Health Canada, UL, Intertek, IAPMO and/or any manufacturer that sold unsafe copper products such as solar water heaters, indirect water heaters, heat exchangers and knockoffs under the name Power-Pipe (formerly known as GFX), ECOGFX, GFX-Lite, GFX-LC (possibly Thermodrain).
10. If such knockoffs have CULUS, CETLUS, IAPMO labels like those shown @ gfxtechnology.com/ULP.pdf, or were installed pursuant to this fraudulent FCCI letter dated May 3, 2005, they must be recalled. The latter was written on behalf of Fuel Cells and Components, Inc. (FCCI), its subsidiaries Technapulse, LLC & Star Assembly Group LLC. Their Canadian Rep, Daniel Beauchemin (a former WFE-Rep) is Founder/President of EcoInnovation (a/k/a Inventroment) according to House_Hacker Comment #5 (8/26/09). It disputes Comment #4, posted January 26, 2007 by another former WFE-Rep (Gerald Van Decker); both failing to address key safety issues underlying the following misleading statement by Van Decker:
· “Furthermore, the copper used in the Power-Pipe is 100% approved and 100% safe. Our copper coil is sourced from 2 North American fabricators. Wolverine tube is one of the largest fabricators in North America; in their London, Ontario facility they use some pure recycled content. Our other supplier uses pure mined copper stock. These are the only two fabricators that I know of in the US and Canada. I appreciate that their might be issues with copper tube from overseas where there might not be strict quality control.” [100% approved by which accredited third-party certifier?]
11. Both VanDecker and Beauchemin also failed to mention other copper-tube manufacturers such a Cerro, Cambridge Lee, Mueller Streamline, CMC Howell -- or Mexican suppliers that are not overseas and been known to dump uncertified and/or toxic copper tubing on consumer markets. Beauchemin also neglected to mention his ECO-GFX’s were made in the U.S. then smuggled into Canada with no third-party or NSF-61 certification, then alleged:
· “You did not develop the Powerpipe because of complaints from customers due to pressure drops. EcoInnovation continues to sell, install and manufacture these same Eco-GFX units for the past 5 years and have yet to receive one complaint about pressure drops. These same units have been in service for over 27 years, none of which have had any issues you mention.” Beauchemin’s 5 & 27 years claims are belied by this 1986 U.S. DoE Report & invoices dated 2007 & 2008 on pp. 5-9 @ https://gfxtechnology.com/STAR.pdf; that show his knockoffs were made in America by Technapulse & Star Assembly Group.
12. To assist UL’s and Intertek’s fraud investigators, a series of photographs of GFX’s made by different manufacturers were compiled and uploaded to gfxtechnology.com/ULP.pdf. This led to a surprising discovery -- more than one unscrupulous manufacturer, including Doucette Industries, Renewability Energy, FCCI/Technapulse/StarAssembly, Watercycles, Vaughn, EcoInnovation, Inventroment and others made knockoffs with substandard and/or toxic copper that must be XRF-tested and/or recalled to protect consumers.
· An unknown number have counterfeit UL, ETL & IAPMO labels.
13. Canadian health codes require all copper tubing used with potable water be third-party certified, whereas a GFX sold in the U.S. must be made from NSF-61 certified copper, but need not be third-party certified.
14. Therefore, product-labels having a “CETLUS” or “CULUS” Mark cannot be affixed to any copper product unless it was made from copper tubing having incise marks to verify both NSF-61 & third-party certifications.
15. Unless a GFX’s coil & drainpipe have legible color codes and/or permanent incise marks like those described in ASTM B88 §19, ASTM B306 §22 & NSF-61 specifications, or a third-party certification, it’s impossible for consumers, plumbing inspectors and salesmen to tell if it’s safe without an XRF analyzer --- especially since UL has allowed counterfeit labels like those shown @ gfxtechnology.com/UL-File-Conversion.pdf & gfxtechnology.com/Exporting-America.pdf to be affixed to hundreds of knockoffs.
· If there’s no specified color-coding and/or incise marks or other certification; such product-labels are counterfeits.
16. When Vaughn, Doucette, FCCI & Watercycles were authorized to be WFE’s manufacturers, we made sure they used copper parts conforming to ASTM B88 & ASTM B360 standards.
17. But Mueller Streamline also sells large copper coils by the pound – including grades unfit for drinking water -- so it’s cheaper to make GFX-knockoffs with lighter, thin-wall and/or utility-grade copper tubing --- if UL, Intertek, or IAPMO field agents fail to do their job to protect the public against unscrupulous manufacturers. (For two examples, see invoices on pp. 3 & 4 @ https://gfxtechnology.com/STAR.pdf.)
· They must all be replaced at the manufacturer’s expense.
12. What’s the difference between Canadian versions of: ECO-GFX, GFX-LITE, Power-Pipe, GFX-STAR & The Original GFX?
● Unlike a few legitimate gravity film heat exchangers on the market, ECO-GFX, GFX-LITE, Power-Pipe & GFX-STAR embody trade secrets stolen by former GFX Reps in violation of non-disclosure agreements and marketed in violation of rarely enforced laws prohibiting intellectual property (IP) theft, such as: Copyright Infringement, Trademark Infringement, Trade Secret Theft & Passing-Off one well known product for another to deceive consumers.
13. Have ECO-GFX & GFX-LITE products been sold with fraudulent labels having the registered ETL® Trademark?
● Yes, otherwise Intertek wouldn’t have delisted Watercycles, as noted above -- after inspecting three returned Lo-Copper GFX’s.
14. Why haven’t Intellectual Property (IP) Thieves been prosecuted?
● Economic-Espionage wouldn’t pay so well absent corrupt prosecutors, code enforcers, government & utility officials, as discussed in these stories: 2000 EDU & 2004 NY Times.
15. Why would Home Depot sell GFX knockoffs made by Canadian IP-thieves and market them in violation of the Lanham Act?
● Crime pays when no government agency enforces the law, as Bernard Madoff’s victims discovered.
16. Why would Canadian Government officials approve a 2006 Report by Charles Zaloum, et al that proved the original GFX design is superior to every Canadian-Knockoff --- then approve a 2007 Report by Zaloum et al that contradicts it?
● Because Canadian & American officials rarely prosecute government employees engaged in Scientific Misconduct.
17. Why would the 1997 issue of Home Energy Magazine feature a Canadian invention (Drain Gain) and the Original GFX then fail to reference this issue in their April 4, 2008 article entitled: Stop Energy Going Down the Drain, by one of their editors (Jim Gunshinan)?
● Plagiarism, trademark & copyright infringement probably help magazine sales & advertising revenue from foes of Green products.
18. How could Gunshinan miss the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Home Energy Brief #5, which compares the performance of several types of water heating systems with & without a GFX?
● It seems today’s Home Energy Magazine now has a hidden, not-so-Green agenda.
19. Does the following referral by Gunshinan suggest a scheme to deceive the public: “Here are some Web sites where you can find out more about DWHR devices that were submitted for testing at the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology: Power Pipe www.renewability.com ECO-GFX www.gfxstar.ca Retherm www.retherm.com”?
● Gunshinan knew or should have known what Zaloum knew no such product called “ECO-GFX” existed in 2006 and that two GFX models were also tested – 4 years after an Original GFX was tested in the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology.
20. How could Gunshinan and his Publisher (Tom White) fail to notice the Watercycles unit shown in Fig. 12 in NRCan’s 2007 Report is missing from the first figures of Gunshinan’s online version, as well as the printed version entitled: “Drain Water Heat Recovery Devices” by ● Charles Zaloum, Maxine LeFrance, and John Gusdorf (Home Energy Magazine, May/June 2008)?
Zaloum, LeFrance & Gusdorf wrote the 2007 Report; Zaloum, Gusdorf & Anil Parekh wrote said 2006 Report, so they knew Home Energy published fraudulent photos too.
21. Why would the Oregon Energy Office give higher tax credits for fake GFX’s made with toxic and/or substandard copper and offering lower efficiency than a real GFX?
● Ask the Oregon State Attorney General (503-947-4333) why tax-dollars are being wasted to enrich Canadian IP-thieves.
 Conservationmart advertises: “Power-Pipe™ (formerly known as GFX) is made of up two main parts: (1) outer coils (made up of one or two copper tubes) that are tightly wrapped around a (2) larger, inner copper pipe. These two parts, which make up the Power-Pipe™, replace part of your existing vertical drainage pipe (inner pipe) and become part of your fresh water supply line (outer coils).”... On 8/26/09 an anonymous user complained: “Purchased this and found out the building inspector refused to authorize it. Something to do with the fact the UL certification is not applicable to potable water and since the device does not have ASTMB88 stamped on its copper, it was not considered safe for potable water.” (Quotes from: Conservation Mart Comments; post new comment @ http://www.conservationmart.com/p-714-power-pipe-drain-water-heat-recovery.aspx)
 On 3/29/06 James Darwin complained: "The Powerpipe is an illegal copy of the original GFX. The Powerpipe also uses recycled copper that is not recommended for potable water by the US and Canadian copper association due to contamination." … “The posted results on the renewability (POWERPIPE) websites are false. The testing at Natural Resources Canada show that these numbers are far from the truth. Heat recovery from a Powerpipe is 30-35% while the GFX is 40 to 50% as posted on the WWW.GFXSTAR.CA website. BUYER BEWARE OF FALSE CLAIMS MADE BY RENEWABILITY ” (Comments ##1 & 2 quoted from House_Hacker Comment #5; post new comment @ www.househacker.com/permanent/PowerPipe-Drainwater-Heat-Recovery-System)
 On 6/21/07 then 12/1/09 Anonymous complained: " Powerpipe is made with recycled copper from China. The company makes false claims. I purchased 4 units from power-pipe and they were recalled due to lead in the braze. Two of the replaced units were leaking at the joint and 2 others were clogged with metal shavings in the fresh water feed. Highly not recommended.…How does HOMEDEPOT EXPLAIN THIS? I looked at one of these at RONA and noticed only a UL label on the pipe. No NSF 61 (toxicity tests for potable water) was written on the pipe. I called Renewability and they said they were UL certified for use with potable water. I did some more research and it looks like they make this same claim on several Powerpipe documentation. When asked if Powerpipe was safe for use with potable water, UL answered...............
"Searching for file number MH29466, I see that the file is held by the company Renewable Energy Inc. It appears that their Power-Pipe Series heat exchangers are listed as Specialty Heating-Cooling Appliance Accessories under UL Category Code MJAT (USA) and MJAT7 (Canada), but they do not appear to be certified to any drinking water safety standards."… "Powerpipe is made with recycled copper from China. The company makes false claims. I purchased 4 units from power-pipe and they were recalled due to lead in the braze. Two of the replaced units were leaking at the joint and 2 others were clogged with metal shavings in the fresh water feed. Highly not recommended… To set the record straight - Powerpipe is an IMITATION of GFX. “ (Quoted from 15 TreeHugger comments; Post new comment @ www.treehugger.com/files/2006/06/the_powerpipe_r.php)
 Email excerpts admitting Watercycles made GFX-coils from copper tubing exported by Mueller from America to Canada with no incised, third-party certification mark or NSF-61 mark; making their CETLUS labels a fraud: “You did purchase a couple of 2” units in which we used copper that was not ASTM B88 but ACR… Our supply agreement states in 6.01 (a) that we must ‘meet minimum standards; including, but not limited to, ASTM 88 and ASTM B306 standards.” All copper has been purchased brand new. I stated to you that we were not using recycled copper. That said, in regard to your comment, Mueller Streamline can supply us third party certified 3/8 inch type L in 60 and 100 foot lengths. The absence of incise mark does not prove a unit is not ASTM B88.”…”The tubing that was approved in this listing is the same material we are using. ETL recognized we are using the right material when they approved us as a manufacturer...2. I did speak to Chuck Blantan and he confirms the tubing we are using exceeds the B88 requirement. Cu content 99.95% vice the min of 99.9% and wall tolerances of +/- 0.003 vice +/- 0.004; wall range of 0.038 - 0.043 vice 0.036 - 0.044. The copper provided to our customers is of a high quality and exceeds the standard...3. He indicates that incise is required for straight tube and not coils.” [Which standard is exceeded he doesn’t say???] (Quotes from emails sent Wed, 7 Oct 2009 & Fri, 13 Nov 2009 & by Andre Cayer, Marketing, Watercycles Energy Recovery Inc, 306/531-9478, 306/771-2885 Fax)