We are often asked why do we call the tubing roofer’s use to pump asphalt to the roof, “Lite Wall Tubing”.
Well, many years ago, Roofmaster was asked to develop a way to get asphalt to the top of Hollywood Park, a Los Angeles horse race track. Deryl Yundt, the founder of Roofmaster came up with a pump, mounted on a cart, that used a double line of black iron pipe that circulated asphalt to the roof and back, with a valve on the roof to draw off the “hot”.
What we found, is by the time the asphalt was at the top, the process of heat transfer due to the thickness of the pipe, lowered the temperature of the asphalt to the point that it did not apply correctly.
So, we came up with a thin walled tubing, figured a way to attach pipe unions so they could be linked together and bingo, we have Lite Wall Tubing.
The first unions we installed were made by Stockham Valves and Fittings. This turned out to be the standard union used in the Roofing Industry. When Stockham was sold in the early 1990’s, Roofmaster had a manufacturer make a union with the old Stockham union brass seat and thread pattern, so it would not have an effect on tubing that was in use.
Originally we welded the unions directly to the tubing, but when customers started asking for knock unions because they could never find the pipe wrenches needed to assemble the tubing, we came up with couplings welded to the tubing and Heavy pipe nipples to attach the unions. So in the case of now expensive knock unions, you can buy the tubing with couplings and replacement nipples and reuse the union.
When Roofmaster went looking for a good knock union, we found Catawissa unions. They are distinct in they are an orange in color and have three lugs, thus our Tri Lug Knock union. There is also a Capitol Two Lug knock union available. Unfortunately, one brand does not match another, so the contractor has to make a choice and stick with that choice.
Lately, Roofmaster has taken the Stockham style union and welded ears onto the outer ring to make an economy knock union. For other parts of the States, the Ward Union is popular. We also do an economy Ward knock union.