PEX Crimp vs. PEX Clamp

Tom

PEX crimp and PEX clamp connections use the same fittings, normally referred to as “crimp” or “barbed” PEX fittings. Each method requires a different tool and a different type of ring, but the styles are similar enough that PEX newcomers frequently wonder which method is preferable. Crimping and clamping create equally reliable seals that will not leak when performed properly. The choice between crimping and clamping should ultimately come down to personal preference, although there are a few pros and cons to keep in mind.

Stainless steel clamp rings resist corrosion more effectively than copper crimp rings, which can be a major benefit in direct-burial applications. PEX clamps also tend to be easier to remove. Since only a piece of clamp rings must be compressed in order to make a connection, a single clamping tool works with multiple pipe sizes. Although successful clamp connections can be confirmed based on the release of the ratchet tool, crimp fittings can be checked with a go-no-go gauge long after the original connection was made. Crimp rings and components are generally more readily available than their clamp alternatives. For more information, visit the Resource Center at SupplyHouse.com or watch our demonstration videos below.


 


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Gruvlok Grooved Fittings

Adam

Gruvlok Grooved Fittings have recently been added to SupplyHouse.com. You can find Grooved Elbows, Couplings, Tees, Flanges, Butterfly Valves, and more hereGruvlok Grooved Fittings by Anvil International, sets the industry standard for durability, efficiency and flexibility, and these fittings are designed to withstand the most rugged applications, while providing easy installation and saving time and money when joining grooved pipe.

Through a combination roll-grooving and two-bolt coupling design, Anvil’s innovative product line joins piping and other components into a single rugged yet flexible system. This makes Gruvlok fittings ideal for a variety of applications – especially in tight spaces.

With a Gruvlok union at every joint, maintenance is just as easy as the installation. Every component in a Gruvlok system can be easily accessed and replaced, so that repairs can be made without total system shut-down.

You can find Gruvlok’s range as part of our extensive Pipe Fittings category on our site. For all your plumbing requirements, SupplyHouse.com is the place to visit.

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Axiom Pressure Pal System Feeders

Tom

Hot water heating systems generally operate on a closed loop (i.e. under pressure with the same fluid continually being reheated). This allows water in such systems to oxidize so that it cannot cause ferrous metal system components to corrode, but systems will gradually lose small amounts of fluid. Losses generally occur through evaporation from air vents and valves.

The standard solution to this problem is a make-up water assembly, which automatically feeds small amounts of water to a system in order to offset fluid losses and maintain constant pressure. These assemblies connect to a potable water supply and must include backflow preventers to stop reverse contamination.

Axiom’s Pressure Pal water feeders (available in 6-gallon and 17-gallon sizes) offer two advantages over standard make-up water assemblies. First, they contain a limited amount of fluid. This limits damage in the event of a catastrophic pipe burst, during which a traditional fill assembly would provide fresh water indefinitely. Second, the Pressure Pal can feed a pre-mixed water/glycol solution, which can prevent dilution in systems that contain antifreeze. Additionally, they remove the risk of backflow contamination and can be used to detect leaks in their early stages.
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How To: Choose the Right Size Air Conditioner

Kristine

Keeping cool this summer may be easier—and more affordable—than you imagined. The key to comfort is knowing what size air-conditioning unit will do the job effectively and efficiently.

Temperatures are climbing. With the dog days of summer just around the corner, the perfect time to shop for a new air conditioner is now. There are numerous factors to consider when you’re shopping for an air conditioner, including whether your home can accommodate a ductless mini-split system, a built-in wall assembly, a window unit, or a portable model. But all air conditioners have one thing in common: They must be sized properly in order to effectively lower the temperature and remove excess moisture from the air, resulting in a comfortable, cool indoor environment.

When you’re shopping for an appropriately sized air conditioner, a number of factors come into play, including the general climate and average summer temperatures in your region of the country; the square footage of the room or rooms to be cooled; the installation location in the wall, window, or ceiling; the number of people typically occupying a room; and the amount of insulation in the home. An air conditioner that is too small for a given area will not be able to cool the space efficiently, while an air conditioner that is too large will tend to cycle on and off too rapidly, wasting energy and impairing the unit’s ability to remove humidity from the room.

Air conditioners are rated by their seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), and their capacity is expressed in British thermal units (BTUs). The BTU rating gives an indication of how quickly and effectively a particular unit can cool the room where it is located. Most home air conditioners sold in the United States range from around 5,000 BTUs to more than 20,000 BTUs.

“The BTU—or British thermal unit—is the amount of heat required to raise or lower 1 pound of water 1 degree Fahrenheit,” points out Daniel O’Brian, a tech team member at SupplyHouse.com. “Since we measure all of our heating and air-conditioning units in BTUs, it’s important to know how many BTUs your living space requires so you don’t buy a unit that is too large or too small. Another common measurement that heating and air-conditioning units are assigned is ‘tonnage.’ But don’t let this confuse you—one ton is just 12,000 BTUs!”

Correctly sizing an air conditioner for a given room requires a tape measure and a few simple calculations. The first step is to determine the size of the room where the unit will be installed. SupplyHouse.com offers a handy sizing calculator to determine the correct amount of BTUs needed for a given room or set of rooms. The calculator requires the dimensions of a room, in length and width; the type of room, such as kitchen or bedroom; the number of people typically in the 2014-06-18_1050room; and finally, the exposure of the room—whether it is very sunny or shaded. Once you plug in the appropriate information, the calculator will determine the correct size air conditioner in BTUs. If you are cooling two adjacent areas, or if your room is odd-shaped, determine the square footage of each space as if it were a separate room, and then add the two measurements together to get a total amount of BTUs.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, another rating that homeowners should consider when purchasing a new room air conditioner is the Energy Efficiency Rating, or EER, which represents the cooling capacity of a unit in BTUs per hour divided by the watts of power consumed at a specific outdoor temperature (usually 95 degrees Fahrenheit). The EER rating is found on the yellow Energy Guide label on the air conditioner, and it typically ranges from 8 to 11.5. An EER rating of 10 or higher is the most efficient and will yield the highest savings on monthly electric bills. A higher EER also helps the environment by reducing greenhouse emissions.

SupplyHouse.com offers a large selection of mini-split air conditioners and accessories from the top manufacturers in the industry, and features a variety of informative tools and instructional videos.

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This post was written in collaboration with Bob Vila

Posted in All Posts, HVAC |

Basic Baseboarders: A New Option for DIY Renovation

Tom

Baseboarders do-it-yourself baseboard heater covers changed the face of baseboard radiation. The original Premium design features covers filled with small perforations. This prevents small children from being able to touch hot elements, while allowing better airflow to and from a heater. The attractive and unique design complements modern décor. Ease-of-installation is perhaps the biggest benefit: Baseboarders covers can be installed in seconds when connected to the backplates of existing covers, while wall brackets can make them compatible with bare elements and many electric baseboards.

New “Basic” Baseboarders covers provide a more affordable alternative to the original covers and have a different look. Basic Baseboarders only contain perforations on the upper portion of the cover, but offer the same safety protection as Premium covers. Basic covers are intended for standard installations. As a result Baseboarders currently only produces them in 3’, 4’, 5’, and 6’ lengths, and certain unique accessories (including open end caps and outside corners) are not available for them. Although durable and rust-resistant, Basic covers are made of a lighter gauge of galvanized steel and are backed by a shorter rust-proof warranty than Premium Baseboarders covers. Check out the picture below. You may even prefer the Basic design!

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UEi Testing Instruments

Adam

New to SupplyHouse.com is a range of testing tools from UEi Test Instruments. Universal Enterprises, Inc (UEi) was founded in Beaverton, OR in 1967. They are a leading manufacturer of portable testing and measuring equipment in the HVAC industry.

If you take a look at UEI’s main page here, you will find a number of categories containing testing instruments for Combustion, CO Detection, Refrigeration, Clamp-On Meters, Digital Multimeters, Leak Detection, Pressure Testers, and much more.

In stock and ready to ship, SupplyHouse.com is the place to visit for quality HVAC testing tools.  Have a look at our extensive selection of HVAC Tools today!

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How to Connect PEX to Faucets and Toilets

Tom

PEX tubing can simplify potable water plumbing installations, while providing added freeze resistance, hot/cold color coding, and a reduced risk of pinhole leaks. PEX’s flexibility reduces the need for fitting connections, which can greatly cut down on installation time.

There are several ways to come through walls and make connections to fixtures with PEX. Most people prefer not to have colored PEX exposed. Since PEX also may not be as rigid as copper (for holding valves, etc.), transitioning to copper stub-outs is a popular option. SupplyHouse.com carries copper stub-outs with several different PEX connection options. Drop ear elbows offer a comparable way to transition from PEX to rigid pipe.

Uponor offers several items that make PEX penetrations neat and attractive. Their PEX Wall Support Bracket mounts between wall studs. It provides holes for 1/2” and 3/4” PEX. Uponor 1/2” Bend Supports snap right into the larger holes on the brackets, making it easy to create secured 90-degree bends to fixtures. Used with an Uponor ProPEX escutcheon and chrome finishing sleeve, PEX can be concealed all the way up to a stop valve. Holdrite manufactures a wide range of similar parts, including plastic stub-out clamps, PEXRITE stub brackets, bend supports with wood mounting brackets, and pre-assembled PEX stub-out kits.

SupplyHouse sells angle-stop and straight-stop valves with several PEX connection options: crimp (e.g. ProPEX, PEX Press, and SharkBite). These valves adapt to the appropriate risers or flexible hoses for connections to fixtures such as faucets, toilets, and dishwashers. Due to the rise in popularity of home-run piping systems with PEX and manifold shut-off valves, many PEX lines servicing fixtures have centralized shut-offs. In such systems, using PEX swivel adapters to connect PEX directly to faucets and toilets could be a viable option. Keep in mind, however, that this strategy may result in exposed PEX and more difficult access to valves in emergency situations. Local codes also frequently require shut-off valves at all fixtures, whether the lines servicing them have centralized valves or not.


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Posted in All Posts, PEX Products, Plumbing Supplies | Tagged

Intelligent Washing Machine Flow from Watts

Tom

Watts IntelliFlow Washing Machine Water Shut-off Valves automatically regulate hot and cold flow to washing machines. The valves sense increases in electrical current draw when a washing machine operates. This signals the valves to open in order to allow water to flow to the washing machine. The valves close when current draws fall back to normal levels. The valves are equipped with 1/2” inlet connections and standard, 120-volt power cords. No hardwiring is required, and the washing machine’s power cord connects directly to an outlet on the valve assembly. SupplyHouse.com offers a recessed, wall-mount version of the valve which includes a drain connection. The leak sensor that comes with this model signals the valves to close in the event of a leak, providing additional peace of mind.

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HVAC Replacement Parts

Adam

Here at SupplyHouse.com we have been very busy adding to our HVAC Replacement Parts section and have added a bunch of new brands along with hundreds of replacement parts. The new brands added include Bristol Compressors International, Century and their replacement electric motors, Packard’s range of replacement parts, Revcor fan blades, and Titan Pro’s range of Run Capacitors.

All of these parts are exactly what the top HVAC companies purchase to put in their HVAC units, and we are selling them directly to you!  Take a look through our extensive HVAC and Replacement Parts sections and get your HVAC units up and running today!

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Hydronic Kickspace Heaters

Tom

Kickspace heaters can serve as a space-saving solution in hot water heating systems. They take up a fraction of the space of baseboards or panel radiators, making them ideal for kitchens and bathrooms (or any other area in which baseboard installation is not possible or desirable). Kickspace heaters are usually installed on the ground (often below cabinets), but they can also be mounted on or behind walls with the help of proper surface or recessed mounting cabinets. Fluid from a hydronic system flows through the heaters. An electric blower facilitates heat transfer to the living space and boosts heat output. Diverter tees may be needed to promote sufficient water flow to a kickspace heater branched off from the main baseboard line. SupplyHouse.com carries kickspace heaters from Beacon Morris and Slant/Fin.k84-1

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