The Plumbing Connection

Volume 1 | Issue 4

Brought to you by Herkowski Stickler & Associates

Your Trusted Rep Solution Since 1931

Tech Talk

Thermocouple or Thermopile?

What is the difference?

A Thermocouple was used in the older mechanical gas valves. It converted thermal energy into a small electrical current which was used to interrupt a magnetic field to hold a gas valve open. This allowed fuel to flow through the valve and into the combustion chamber, with a current was around 20 to 30 millivolts. With the advancement of safety features on newer water heaters, gas valves have been updated and now have a circuit board inside them to indicate pilot operation and display error codes. 

With the addition of these features, more current is required to operate the gas valve. The newer gas valves use the thermopile to generate a higher current, between 350 to 850 millivolts. Essentially a thermopile is a group of thermocouples, grouped together to generate more power.

What's Happening at HSA?

NUPI Certified Trainer

Our very own Jimmy Kane completed a week-long training course at NUPI Americas in South Carolina. He is now a certified NUPI trainer who can certify installers in electrofusion, butt fusion, and socket fusion. Contact us at to learn more.

HSA Assists Local 130

In its history, Herkowski Stickler & Associates has been committed to providing training and education not only to its staff, but to supporting those who offer instruction within the plumbing industry. Check out our most recent blog where we assisted the Plumbers Local 130 with a training class they conducted.

HSA Assists Local 130 Full Blog

The "Bradvan"

Herkowski Stickler & Associates made a few appearances this month with the Bradvan, a vehicle featuring washroom products from Bradley Corporation. The van is an excellent tool for architects and engineers to see and feel the latest products from Bradley.

Manufacturer Highlights

Why Cages Don't Work...

See the latest blog from Safe-T-Cover by Cary Wiley. This article highlights why cages may not be the best solution to protecting a backflow preventer. See the complete publication as well as other publications from Safe-T-Cover below.

Learn More

L.R. Brands has recently launched Quick Kits. The ultimate in shower luxury and design innovation is now conveniently bundled into easy-to-order kits. These kits include top designs and finishes, available for WallDrain and Square Drain shower systems, and ship in just two days.

Learn More

Chronomite has introduced the first concealed, in-wall, Code-Compliant, Electric Tankless Solution. The InviZible® Water Heater improves appearance, fits in tight spaces, and includes an access panel. They offer models with and without a disconnect switch.

Learn More

Training at HSA

HSA is now offering an assortment of training sessions out of our Illinois office. This includes basic training on any of our product lines, CEUs, Lunch and Learns, NUPI Certification training, custom-tailored training, Maintenance Training, and much more.

Contact our training team at to schedule a training or to learn more about any of the quality manufacturers we proudly represent.

Upcoming Events

Register Now

2023 Wisconsin PHCC/ASPE Product Show

Come out and see us at Wisconsin PHCC/ASPE Product Show on Thursday, May 4, 2023 at the Tributary Hub. HSA will be featuring Jay R. Smith, Murdock, Oatey, Charlotte Pipe, Bradley, Niron, Elmdor, Chronomite, Oasis, and more.

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Herkowski Stickler & Associates

203 South Curtis Road, Milwaukee, WI 53214 

890 Supreme Drive, Bensenville, IL 60106