Caleffi TwistFlow Manifolds

Adam

Now in stock at SupplyHouse.com are a range of Caleffi TwistFlow Manifolds! The Caleffi TwistFlow brass manifolds are pre-assembled distribution manifolds ideal for radiant panel systems. These unique manifolds come equipped with built-in automatic air vents and drain cocks on both the supply and return manifolds. Flow meters and flow rate balancing valves come equipped to help make sure you have the right amount of flow going to your loops. A pair of shut-off ball valves and mounting brackets are included as well, making this all-in-one manifold package a great choice for your next radiant heat job.

Caleffi TwistFlow brass manifolds are available in 3 to 11 loop configurations. Loop Fittings are available for standard 5/16”, 3/8”, 1/2”, 5/8”, and 3/4” PEX and 3/8″, 1/2″, 5/8″, and 3/4″ PEX-AL-PEX. Caleffi TwistFlow Manifolds are in stock and ready to ship today!

Manifold

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A Few Tips on Radiant Heat and Wood Floors

Kristine

Dans_Tip_Radiant_Heat_Floors

1. The wider the boards, the greater the chance for trouble. Stick with boards that are no wider than three inches. Wide wood can warp.

2. Use mechanical humidity control. The relative humidity in a radiantly heated home that has wood floors should be no more than 50 percent. Without this constant humidity, you get cracks in the wood.

3. The seeds of the damage are planted during construction. As the concrete dries, the moisture will leave it and enter the wood. As a precaution, tape a square of clear, plastic sheeting over the concrete floor and watch it carefully for moisture.

4. Provide for heat and ventilation during construction. The painters and plasterers are adding gallons of moisture to the indoor environment. Heat the place or that water will wind up in the wood. Get a moisture detector and don’t let them put down wood with more than 6% moisture.

5. Run the heating system for about five days before the carpenters install the finish wood. This will help dry out the wood.

6. Try to keep the wood floor no hotter than 85 degrees F at its surface. Too much heat isn’t good for the wood. Consider using a setpoint control to monitor the wood’s surface temperature instead of an air-temperature thermostat.

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PexTV Episode 10

Mark

In part 2 of “PEX To The Future” Mark goes back in time to try to stop Frank the contractor from installing a fuel guzzling boiler.  We also learn about the features and benefits of the Weil McLain Ultra Boilers.

In this episode, you’ll see…

Featured Product: Weil McLain Ultra Boilers
Can Mark change the past and install an energy efficient boiler?

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ClearVue Condensate Pump

Tom

DiversiTech’s ClearVue condensate pump comes at a price similar to those of comparable condensate pumps, but it offers several unique features. Its clear body allows you to see inside the pump in order to monitor operation and diagnose problems. The pump can clean itself at the push of a button, while a drain button allows you to empty the tank instantly. Mode-indicator LED lights join these buttons on the control. Rubber feet minimize noise during operation, while the ClearVue’s floatless sensor is less likely to experience mechanical failure than a standard float. Perhaps most importantly, the ClearVue operates at variable speeds based on the flow of incoming condensate. This saves energy and cuts down on noise.

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What a Dehumidifier Does…

Mark

Have you ever wondered what actually goes on inside of a dehumidifier?  Recently I did a video with Nicole from customer service about the dehumidifiers sold on our website. We created a pretty cool image that shows the basic functions inside a dehumidifier.

When an excess amount of moisture is detected in the air, a fan in the dehumidifier draws the warm air over a cold coil that condenses the moisture into liquid. The water is then removed through the drain pipe. The dry air then passes over the warm coil and is added back into the room.

Dehumidifiers reduce the growth of mold and tarnishing of wooden and painted surfaces in your home. Also, compared to air conditioners, dehumidifiers use significantly less energy resulting in lower cooling costs.

dehumidifier

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Hot Water in an Instant

Tom

Are you tired of waiting for hot water to reach your shower every day? Do you shake your head as wasted cold water flows down the drain? SupplyHouse may have the solution: a hot water recirculation pump. These pumps allow you to get instant hot water at the turn of the faucet and can result in big savings on your water bill. When you turn off a shower or faucet, the water sitting in the pipes gradually loses its warmth through a process referred to as standby loss. This is the first water released for the next usage. Recirculation pumpscycle this water back to the water heater to ensure that you get hot water right away.

Circulator pumps with low flow-rate capabilities typically work for this type of application. But if you’re looking for a product designed specifically for the job, we recommend a Grundfos Comfort Series Hot Water Recirculation Pump. This pump includes a timer that signals the pump to force water back to the heater through the cold water line at set times. It is easy to install, uses less energy than a 25-watt light bulb, and can save up to 16,000 gallons of water per year.

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KS1 Kickstart Compressor

Adam

The KS1 Kickstart Compressor from Rectorseal is the only two-wire, pre-assembled starting component Hard Start Kit on the market that uses a high-quality mechanical potential relay in a unique design. There is absolutely no use of circuit boards, timers or PTCR devices. The KS1 is used for single phase 208V, 230V and 265V 3.5 to 5 Ton HVACR Compressors.

Hard start devices extend the life of compressors considerably by bringing them up to full speed more quickly and efficiency. They can also assist compressors in starting under very adverse ambient conditions such as low voltage or high head pressures.

The main benefits of having a Kickstart device are that they extend the life of your compressor, and they reduce “light flicker” during the start-up process.  The KS1 is constructed with high quality components that are used extensively throughout the industry, and the life expectancy is comparable to your HVACR component.

KS1-2 copy

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Direct Burial of PEX Tubing

Tom

PEX tubing is approved for direct burial outdoors, a practice most often necessary when running a water supply line to a house. PEX, since it can expand, resists freezing more effectively than rigid pipe, but PEX can still burst if water freezes in a line. As a result, it’s a must to bury the tubing below the frost line. The depth of the frost line in a given area can be obtained by contacting the municipality or local water company. Although an unbroken line of PEX would be ideal, dezincification-resistant brass PEX fittings or plastic PEX fittings should be used in areas known to have aggressive water or soil when a fitting is necessary. Stainless steel clamp rings are a better choice than copper crimp rings due to their increased corrosion resistance.

Residential water supply lines generally use 3/4” pipe (occasionally 1”). SupplyHouse carries PEX-B tubing in these sizes, as well as PEX-A rated AquaPEX and pre-insulated AquaPEX. Sleeving the buried PEX (in PVC, for example) shields the tubing and can make potential repairs easier. Embedding PEX in sand protects it from any rocks in the soil. Always check with all applicable local codes prior to installation.f1040750-1

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How to Become a Better Troubleshooter

Kristine

DansProTip

Avoid “Auto” Conclusions Don’t try to solve the problem while you’re still in your truck. Some technicians make up their minds before looking around, and then they set out to prove that they’re right – even if they’re not!

Comprehend the components If you don’t understand how the parts work you’re going to have a tough time understanding how they form a system.

Understand the system Think in terms of systems, not symptoms. Try to see the whole works in your mind’s eye when you’re troubleshooting. Don’t focus on just one piece of the puzzle. Leave the boiler room and wander around.

Focus on physics High pressure goes to low pressure. Water seeks its own level. Heat goes toward cold. You know these things, but you might forget them on a problem job. Stay focused on physics.

Be methodical Make a mental checklist of the possible causes of a problem and work your way through the list. The one potential cause you decide to skip will probably be the one that’s screwing up the job.

Let your mind do the walking Think like air, water, and steam. Visualize your way through the job. Ask yourself what you would do if you were inside the pipes.

Ask the superintendent I a/ways take the time to have a cup of coffee with him, and he a/ways gives me the clues I need to solve the problem. Yet hardly anyone ever speaks to this guy!

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Bath Fans Do More Than Clear Odors

Kristine

Since the bathroom is the most humid room in any house, a ventilation fan is the best defense against moisture-related problems—namely, mold and mildew.

Humidity is not only uncomfortable, it is damaging to your home, particularly indoors where it can lead to peeling paint, warped wooden doors and floors, and the potential for mold and mildew. Nowhere is the humidity problem more evident than in bathrooms, where bathtubs, showers, sinks and toilets all contribute to the release of moisture into the air.

Fortunately there is an easy solution within reach of most do-it-yourselfers: installing a bathroom ventilation fan. Bathroom fans are designed to promote positive air movement, bringing fresh air into the bathroom and at the same time, removing steam, humidity and even foul odors from the area.  In short, improving the overall air quality in your home.

“Since the bathroom is the most humid room in a house, having a ventilation fan is a no-brainer,” says Daniel, a member of our tech team. Ventilation fans are designed to solve air movement problems and improve indoor air quality in homes and buildings. In many cases they are required by local building codes. “In the bathroom, a ventilation fan can quickly and efficiently whisk away odors, along with steam and moisture to reduce the potential for mold and mildew,” he adds.

Bathroom fans come in three basic types: ceiling-mounted, which are installed directly into the ceiling and ventilate into the attic or through the roof; inline/remote fans, where the actual fan unit is located in the attic and connected to a ceiling grille in the bathroom with ductwork, venting to the outside through the attic roof or wall; and wall-mounted/external fans, which are mounted on the exterior wall of the house.

Inline/remote fans offer several advantages over ceiling- and wall-mounted fans: because the fan unit is located in a different location, inline fans tend to be substantially quieter. Also, one inline fan can be connected to several ducts and therefore can be used to ventilate multiple locations—a shower and a tub for instance—or even multiple bathrooms.

The main goal of bathroom ventilation is to change the air, and most experts say an efficient fan should produce eight complete air changes every hour. Therefore, the capacity of bathroom fans is rated in cubic feet per minute (CFM), indicating how much air a particular fan can move. According to the non-profit Home Ventilating Institute a good rule of thumb is to use 1 CFM per square foot of bathroom area: for example, typical 8-by-10 foot bathroom comprises 80 square feet and therefore needs a ventilation fan rated at 80 CFM.

For bathrooms larger than 100 square feet, the HVI recommends installing ventilation based on the number and type of bathroom fixtures: for example, showers, tubs and toilets all require a fan rated at 50 CFM, while a whirlpool tub requires a fan rated at 100 CFM. Therefore, if you have a large bathroom with a whirlpool tub, shower and toilet, your total ventilation needs adds up to 200 CFM.

Bathroom fans come in varied models and sizes, and typically are rated for continuous duty. Since many homeowners today are concerned with energy efficiency, there are numerous fans that are rated as part of the U.S. Energy Star program; Energy Star-compliant fans use approximately 20% less energy than standard models. Some bathroom fans also come with timers, humidity/moisture sensors, motion sensors that turn on when someone enters the room, heaters and decorative lighting kits.

Check out our video for more information about how to choose the right product for your needs:

This post was written in collaboration with Bob Vila

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