Download PDF version (251.1k) Log In or Register to view the full article as a PDF document.


No Sweat. Installing supply-line shutoffs just got easier, thanks to Watts' new KwikStop Water Supply Stops. Available in straight and angled styles, the NSF-approved quarter-turn valves simply push on to 1/2-inch copper, CPVC, and PEX tubing. According to the maker, they can be removed and reused if necessary. List price is $6.15 each. Watts, 978/688-1811,

Jacket Required? Whether embedded in a slab or running through accessible space, water lines can be challenging to fix or replace. Pre-Sleeved 1/2-inch Aquapex Tubing is designed with its own color-coded high-density polyethylene sleeve, which makes repairs and replacements a lot less difficult. This product is ideal for water lines buried in pesticide-treated soils, too, the manufacturer says. Uponor, 800/321-4739,

Keep It Basic. Simplify your clients' solar hot-water heating systems with a Phoenix Solar. This 80- or 119-gallon solar storage tank has a built-in 97 percent-efficient gas-fired backup heater with a sealed-combustion 199,000-Btu modulating burner. Side taps for space heating add versatility. Made from 316 stainless steel, the tank is covered with 2 inches of foam insulation and doesn't need anodes. Heat Transfer, 800/323-9651,

Metal Connectors

Long Term. I've seen salt air completely eat through traditional galvanized metal connectors within a few years. Short of moving inland, the only real solution for owners of coastal homes is to use stainless steel connectors like those made by PowrFab. In addition to 30 standard shapes, the company makes custom hangers complete with an engineering stamp. A single 2x8 hanger (JH28) sells for about $9. PowrFab, 541/265-4269,

Top Coat. Once it became evident that copper-based pressure-treating formulas were corrosive to metal connectors, many connector manufacturers switched from G90 to G185 zinc coatings for additional corrosion resistance. But USP took a different approach with its Gold Coat connectors: A gold organic polymer coating applied over the connectors' zinc base coat protects the zinc from contact with the copper formula, thereby eliminating any risk of galvanic corrosion, says the company. Prices compare favorably with those of G185 hangers from other companies, according to USP. USP Structural Connectors, 800/328-5934

Space and Brace. Set roof trusses faster with the Stabilizer, a spacer and brace that fits between truss chords and fastens without nails or screws. At 1 1/2 inches wide, the product can be temporarily stored on the truss chord while the truss is lifted and positioned, allowing crew members to use both hands. It comes in 16-inch and 24-inch sizes, for $1.20 and $1.35 respectively. MiTek, 800/325-2556,