The Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors - National Association unveiled two new additions to its Professional Product Line and a promotional campaign at its annual convention in Nashville.
HydroMaid of Draper, Utah, offers a water-powered, nonelectric disposer that uses torque instead of rpm for cutting action. From under the sink, 42 jets of water push food, glass, bones and rinds into the stainless steel blades. The company claims it results in a cleaner and unclogged application. The disposer uses 5.2 gallons of water at 40 psi and carries a lifetime warranty on its blades.
"This is truly a plumbing product. By not using any electricity, we're involving the plumber continually," said Ron LaFord, president of HydroMaid.
LaFord said the company's involvement with PPL will help plumbers show the customer the advantage of a water-powered disposer.
HydroMaid is also sold in home centers, including more than 500 Lowe's stores nationwide. At the Tech Show press conference in October, LaFord assured contractors that his company would not allow retailers to undercut contractor pricing on the single-model disposers, which have a suggested retail price of $299. When asked how he would enforce that policy, LaFord indicated that HydroMaid might end up pulling the line from stores that do not abide by their wishes.
The second new PPL line is PlumbMaster, the professional brand name for Creed plumbing hardware. It will offer its full port, reversible handle ball valves with the PHCC logo printed on the product. Contractors can print their company name and number directly on the handle for added advertising. The company will also offer its GatorSkin line of high-grade flappers under the PHCC logo.
A new media kit, which includes PHCC logo slicks, a TV commercial with tagline for local plumbers, highlighted products in the line, five taped radio commercials for local radio, news articles for local papers and tips on how to use the commercials, is available for PHCC members. The PHCC-NA also offers a national number for PHCC service (800/PPL-PHCC).
In September, Bob Kreutzer completed the second national radio tour promoting PPL, which aired on 23 stations. The media tour has reached 500 markets in two years, and focuses on the image of contractors. The TV commercial will air nationally on cable stations such as ESPN, A&E, Lifetime and HGTV after the first quarter of 2000. More TV and radio commercials will be completed within the next year, according to PPL council member Mark Giebelhaus.
PPL was developed in 1997 by the PHCC-NA to address the increasing amount of competition that threatened independent contractors. HydroMaid and PlumbMaster join six other PPL manufacturer partners: Anaheim Mfg., Bradford White, Delta, Hammond Valve, Water by Design and Ward Mfg. New additions will be announced later this year, according to the PHCC.
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