ClearVue Condensate Pump


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…


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.


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Hot Water in an Instant


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


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.

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Direct Burial of PEX Tubing


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



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


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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Sioux Chief Copper Manifolds


Brand new to are a range of Sioux Chief Copper Manifolds with Crimp or Compression Balancing Valves. Both of these styles are available with 2, 3, and 4 loops, and have brazed branches which are perfect for hydronic applications. These economic PEX manifolds will be useful for anyone from the infrequent DIY’er to the hardy professional. These manifolds are built to last and easy to install.

What makes these Sioux Chief manifolds special is that they come with balancing valves. This means that they can be used in radiant heating applications unlike standard copper manifolds.

Balancing valves are used to send different amounts of flow to different loops. More flow equals more heat. There are several situations when regulating flow can be useful. For example, a short loop will require less flow than a long loop. A well-insulated room will require less flow than a sun room.

The Compression Manifolds with balancing valves can be found in the Compression Manifolds section, and the Crimp Manifolds with balancing valves can be found in the Crimp Manifolds w/ valves section.coppermani2

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When to use Supply End Caps on Viega Manablocs


Viega Manablocs have three “supply port” connections: one hot and one cold at the top, and one cold at the bottom. Since the Manabloc is partitioned internally into hot and cold sections, hot water from the water heater must enter through the hot port. Incoming cold water can enter through either cold port. Only Manabloc supply adapters or caps should be used at these connections due to their proprietary thread. The intended function of the second cold port is to feed cold water from the Manabloc to the water heater. Many applications include a tee on the cold feed line prior to the Manabloc as an alternate method of feeding the water heater. In these cases, install a Manbloc supply end cap (part 53601) to seal the unused cold supply port. Refer to the diagrams below for example cases. Neither method offers any major advantage over the other. The tee/cap method may save some space for installations in tight spots, but it creates two additional fitting connections, which are always more likely to leak than a piece of tubing.


diagram diagram2



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UV Air Purifier


New from Honeywell, the Ultraviolet Air Purifier with AirBRIGHT Odor Absorption uses ultraviolet light to help keep your air clean.  The system can eliminate up to 99 percent of mold spores on the air conditioning coil, which will help to maintain system efficiency and airflow.  Similar to what is used in hospitals and restaurants, the UV Air Purifier system is installed in the ductwork of your central air system and is designed to help reduce airborne odors, toxic chemical vapors, germs and mold in your home.

How it works: The AirBRIGHT Odor Absorption uses UV rays and carbon cells to capture odor-causing airborne particles and transforms them into harmless water vapor.  Using Advanced Photo catalytic Oxidation (PCO) technology, the UV Air Purifier combines germicidal UV light and activated carbon cells to reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) in the air.  Because the UV light cleans and regenerates the cells, the AirBRIGHT system is virtually maintenance free.

Energy efficient and eco-friendly, the UV Air Purifier is highly recommended for homes looking to reduce pet and cooking odor, homes with air conditioning or with a humid climate, and homes that have windows and doors closed for extended periods.

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PexTV Episode 9


Hey, here’s episode 9 of “PexTV” but its also kind of like episode 467…This weeks episode gets a visit from a special guest. You won’t want to miss who it is…

In this episode, you’ll see…

Featured Product: Honeywell RedLINK Internet Gateway
Tip of the Week: Energy Star qualified products

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Connecting PEX to PB


Polybutylene (PB) piping was commonly used for domestic water piping in the United States during parts of the 1970s and 1980s. Polybutylene can be identified by its gray color. Lawsuits related to fitting assembly failures caused the production of PB to stop, but the plastic tubing is still present in some homes.

PB has the same outside diameter as PEX of the same nominal size, but outside diameters differ slightly between the tubing types. This means that you should not use PEX fittings on polybutylene, but that you can use PEX crimping rings and PEX crimping tools on barbed PB connections. offers a small selection of PEX to PB fittings in common sizes. Only the SharkBite U4008LF and U4016LF fittings do not require tools on either side. The other options have barbed PB connections and either a crimp or PEX press connection on the PEX end.

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