PEX Fittings for Large Tubing


Six options for fittings exist for PEX tubing 1” and smaller: crimp, clamp, ProPEX, PEX press, push-fit, and compression (watch our video below to learn more). The choices decrease for larger PEX sizes. 1-1/4”, 1-1/2”, and 2” PEX requires ProPEX, PEX press, or SharkBite 2XL fittings. New SharkBite 2XL fittings do not need special tools for installation and also work with copper and CPVC. PEX inserts must be purchased separately and used for all PEX connections with these fittings. Uponor’s WIPEX compression-style fittings are the only current option for 3”, 3-1/2” and 4” PEX. WIPEX fittings have male threads opposite the PEX side and are also available for PEX between 1” and 2”.

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The Mini-Split Air Conditioner: Today’s Smart Cooling Option


If you live in an older home without ductwork, or if you’ve added a new room to your house, consider the benefits and convenience of a mini-split air conditioner.

Now that summer has arrived, it’s definitely time to focus on home cooling. If your house does not have central air conditioning—and if you don’t love the look of window units—a ductless mini-split system may be just the right option for you.

Mini-split systems typically consist of two separate units: an interior evaporator (with fan and cooling coil) and an outside condenser. The two pieces are linked by flexible tubing that runs cooled refrigerant from the outdoor compressor to the indoor unit for distribution. Because no ductwork is required, a mini-split particularly well suits both older homes and new room additions.

“Mini-splits are a good alternative to other air conditioning options,” explains Daniel O’Brian,  a member of our Tech Team. “There’s no need for the intricate ductwork of traditional central air systems. And they don’t hog a window or need to be removed off-season like removable window units. They also produce significantly less noise (because the compressor is outside) and eliminate the need for electrical cords cluttering the living space.” As a potential benefit for houses in colder climes, some mini-splits can act as a heat pump and provide supplemental heating in winter.


Most mini-split indoor units are mounted on walls. Ceiling models—suspended, recessed, and concealed—are also available. If you’re looking for something more decorative, many customizable options exist for wall-mounted units, from mirrored faceplates to the LG Art Cool Mini-Split (shown below).


Like all air conditioners, mini-split systems must be sized properly in order to cool a room effectively. Some of the factors that determine the size and type of unit required are climate, square footage, the number of people typically occupying a room, and the amount of insulation in the home. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a mini-split system sized to cool an 800- to 1,000-square-foot space.

Mini-split systems are rated according to their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), and their cooling capacity is expressed in British thermal units (BTUs). offers a handy calculator that estimates the BTU requirement for a specific room or set of rooms. The same tool recommends particular systems on the market that would meet those needs. Note, however, that your mini-split system must be installed by a licensed HVAC contractor.

To learn more about mini-split air conditioning systems, check out the video below or visit

This post was written in collaboration with Bob Vila

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Fantech Dehumidifiers


Dehumidifiers are primarily used to remove excess moisture from the air.  Some homes or residences can have moisture problems only at specific times of the year, such as in spring, whilst others may have problems all year round.  There can be certain areas or rooms that need specific attention.  At we sell dehumidifiers to cover most situations, and this blog post will concentrate on Fantech’s popular range.

epd-150lr-1The EPD Series has a low grain refrigerant system that removes more moisture from the air than standard refrigerant systems. These are available with 150 pints or 190 pints capacity.  The low temperature operation to 40°F allows moisture to be removed from the air at lower humidity levels than standard.  There is also a standard refrigeration model that comes with 180 pints or 250 pints capacity. These are commercial grade and have an extremely high daily output.


The GD55S is a light duty dehumidifier, which is ideal for flood recovery and restoration in both commercial and industrial environments.  It features a rotary compressor and includes a folding handle for easy transport. It has 101.2 pints capacity and comes with a 2-speed fan, humidistat and overflow protection with indicator light.

gdc-124cs-1The heavy duty GDC model comes in a choice of stainless steel or heavy duty steel. These have a larger capacity (124 pints) than the GD55S, and they come with a built in condensate pump. They also have a handy on-demand pump purge switch, hour meter, and illuminated On/Off switch.

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Tie Dye Friday, the official start to the summer!


With the summer solstice arriving, employees wanted to ring in the sunny days with something fun and colorful. Inspired by the beautiful weather to come, we created Tie Dye Friday Funday in which all participants got to make up their very own tie dye shirts. Once we picked up a few necessary supplies it turned out to be a really simple project, with some interesting results. Check out our tie dye creations and see what you think.


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Connecting PEX to PVC


There is no single fitting currently available that can connect PEX directly to PVC. Push-fit fittings such as SharkBites work with PEX, copper, and CPVC — but not with PVC pipe (Schedule 40, Schedule 80, DWV, etc.). The best way to make a PEX to PVC connection is with a pair of threaded adapters. Use a PVC socket solvent fitting with male threads and a PEX fitting with female threads. The PEX x FNPT adapter can be in any PEX fitting style (crimp, ProPEX, PEX Press, push-fit, etc.). Try to have male threads on the plastic fitting when you connect plastic threads to metal threads in order to minimize any risk of cracking the plastic threads. If, for example, you need to connect 3/4″ PEX to 3/4″ Schedule 40 PVC and you prefer to use SharkBite fittings on the PEX side, you can use parts 436-007 and U088LF.

Connecting PEX to PVC

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Quick-Release Pliers


Mill-Rose have released a very handy tool that can quickly and easily remove push-on fittings, and we sell it right here at The Quick-Release Pliers come with a cushion-grip handle and its spring action ensures a rapid and secure grip on copper, PEX, and CPVC tubing. The adjustable jaw works on 3/8”, 1/2” and 3/4″ push-on fittings, and its heavy-duty design can be used in even the most hard to reach areas.

The Quick-Release Pliers is the only tool you need for these popular push-on fitting sizes, and it is cost-effective, time-efficient, and aggravation-free to use.


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PexTV Episode 5


“It’s about time these tanks got hung.” In episode 5 of “PexTV” We dive right into one of our newest products…The HydroClaw! Take a look at a product spotlight, a customer review and also the world premiere of the trailer for the feature length film. Feel free to email us at with any thoughts or suggestions for future episodes.

In this episode, you’ll see…

Featured product and customer review: HydroClaw Expansion Tank Support Bracket
Trailer premiere: “The HydroClaw – It’s about time these tanks got hung”

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Tip: Use Shut-off Flanges with Hydronic Circulators


Most circulator pumps in hydronic heating systems connect to system piping with flanged connections. Flange options allow different pipe sizes (between 3/4″ and 1-1/2″ for standard residential circulators) and connection methods (sweat or threaded) to be used with the same pump. SupplyHouse offers flanges that have built-on shut-off valves. Also known as isolation or service flanges, shut-off flanges make servicing or replacing a circulator pump a much easier task. If a circulator does not have shut-off valves on each side, the entire system may need to be drained and refilled in order to install a new pump or replace a cartridge. Watch our video below to see how easy it can be to replace a circulator that has shut-off flanges installed.

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How to Program Honeywell Vision Pro 8000 Series Thermostats


The Honeywell vision pro 8000 series thermostats are easy to install, easy to program and very easy to use.  These thermostats feature a large backlit display, a real time clock, screen lock and precise comfort controls within one degree of set point.  You can program reminders for low batteries, humidifier pad replacement and air filter replacement and they come with a 5 year warranty.

These thermostats are 7 day programable, which means you can set individual schedules for every day of the week based on your lifestyle.  They come pre-programmed to energy saving levels and are easy to program with your own custom schedule. They can also be adjusted manually if you want to override your program.

Here is a step by step video on how to program the schedule on the thermostats in this series.

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Taco Bumble Bee Circulator


The Taco Bumble Bee (HEC-2) is a wet rotor, variable speed “smart” circulator. The Bumble Bee delivers the ultimate 1-2 punch of electrical savings and system efficiency (fuel usage) cost savings. The unique ECM motor design saves over 85% of the electrical energy compared to conventional fixed speed and 3-speed circulators.  The Taco Bumble Bee is fully programmable, and contains a digital display that reveals real time wattage use and GPM flow.  It can determine the exact flow of water that is needed to match changing heat loads.  Its 360° swivel flange and simple wiring makes installation a breeze.

The Bumble Bee can be run in 3 different modes: Delta-T, Fixed Speed, or Set Point

  • Delta-T:  allows the pump to be set at a 5° to 50°F temperature difference between supply and returns sensors. Delta-T mode greatly increases the overall efficiency of the boiler so less fuel is used, which saves money!
  • Fixed Speed:  allows you to run the pump at a specific GPM.
  • Set Point:  allows you to run the pump at a desired temperature ranging from 65° to 200°F.

The Bumble Bee also increases whole house comfort by continuously adjusting its speed.  This delivers the right amount of BTU’s, at the right time, to the right place in the system. The Taco Bumble Bee pump is ideal for hydronic, radiant heat, and snow melt applications.


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Trunk & Branch and Home-Run Piping


Trunk & branch and home-run piping systems are the two most popular ways to configure PEX tubing for domestic water. The traditional trunk & branch method includes main hot and cold lines that run through a building. Smaller lines branch off the main trunk with tees or small manifolds in order to feed water to fixtures. Home-run systems typically use single hot and cold manifolds mounted near a water heater, from which an individual line runs to each fixture. The intuitive piping setup makes home-run systems popular among do-it-yourselfers, and Viega’s Manabloc simplifies installation. When deciding between these two types of piping, note the advantages listed below and watch our plumbing manifold video for more information.

Advantages of trunk & branch systems:

  • Less total tubing required
  • Higher water pressure during single-fixture use
  • Easier to install in most retrofit applications

Advantages of home-run systems:

    • No fittings usually needed between manifold and fixtures (which speeds up installation and reduces the likelihood for leaks)
    • Ability to have centrally-located shut-off valves for each line
    • More balanced water pressure when multiple fixtures run
    • Shorter wait time for hot water in non-recirculation systems

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Save 5% on Eemax Tankless Electric Water Heaters – Use Code: EEMAX5 (Exp. 6/26/13)


Enjoy Endless Hot Water with Tankless Heaters!

-    Heats Water on Demand
-    Greats space-saver
-    Easy to install

Eemax tankless electric water heaters are small, easy to install and can last up to twice as long as traditional tank water heaters. When a plumbing system calls for hot water, the flow enters the heater and goes through a heating coil with electric heating elements. The water heats up instantly at a preset temperature and since there is no tank to fill, there is no end to your supply of hot water. The Eemax tankless electric water heaters deliver hot water to any fixture with 99% energy efficiency.

Eemax offers a full line of electric tankless water heaters. These Eemax electric tankless water heaters include the single point models, flow controlled models, HomeAdvantage models and thermostatic models of electric tankless water heaters. Visit to shop for your Eemax tankless electric water heater, and use code: EEMAX5 to save 5% (Exp. 6/26/13).

Learn more about Eemax Electric Water Heaters:

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