Hundreds of new products came across the Plumbing & Mechanical editorial desk in 2011, but the following products have earned special designation as the 2011 PM Products of the Year. These products are ranked based on responses from PM’s readers. There was a tie for the top position this year and for the 12th and final position. No ties were broken.
PM Co-Product of the YearHeated jacket (pictured above)
Milwaukee Tool’s M12 Cordless Heated Jacket is compatible with the entire line of M12 professional power tools. The jacket utilizes M12 RED LITHIUM battery technology to actively warm the body and stimulate blood circulation in the coldest jobsite conditions. Hidden in a back pocket, the battery delivers superior runtime with up to six hours of continuous heat on a single charge. The jacket utilizes three sewn-in carbon fiber heating zones, strategically placed in key areas to warm the user’s core.
Milwaukee Electric Tool. www.milwaukeetool.com
PM Co-Product of the YearEnergy-efficient tankless water heater
Bradford White’s EverHot tankless water heaters offer energy efficiency in a compact but powerful package. Water is heated on demand at flow rates up to 9.4 gpm. The small footprint and wall-mounting capability of the EverHot models allow for installations in closets, utility rooms or other confined locations. These units are available in three interior and three exterior models in either natural gas or propane gas with maximum input ranges of 150,000-199,900 Btu per hour.
Bradford White Corp. www.bradfordwhite.com
3. Shutoff valveTaco’s WAGS (water and gas shutoff) valve is simple and inexpensive, ideal for new or existing water heaters, completely mechanical and can be installed with or without an electric harness. The cold water supply runs through the valve before entering the appliance. If a leak occurs, an internal water-soluble fiber element dissolves, releasing a powerful, spring-loaded piston that closes the flow of water to the tank. With the addition of a wiring harness for gas-fired appliances, this action also will break a fuse to shut off the gas supply.
4. Cutting toolGeneral Pipe Cleaners’ ClogChopper has six self-sharpening blades to dig into encrusted debris and root masses, and easily grind up stoppages, scale and crystallized urine without risking pipe damage. The spherical design maneuvers around tight bends and traps, and thoroughly and safely cleans metal, plastic and clay pipes. Available in 1”, 1 1/2”, 2”, 2 1/2”, 3” and 4” sizes, the tool is designed for clearing stacks, downspouts, mains and drain-lining jobs.
General Pipe Cleaners. www.generalpipecleaners.com
5. Concentric ventingNoritz’s concentric-vented NR83-DVC saves energy (Energy Factor: 0.82) and protects the environment by heating water strictly on demand. This tankless water heater features lower emissions, reduced electrical consumption, smaller amounts of potentially hazardous construction materials, and easier recyclability of those materials and components once removed from service. Inputs range from 18,000 Btu per hour to 180,000 Btu per hour and flow rates range from 0.5 gpm to 8.3 gpm.
Noritz America. www.noritz.com
6. Prestige seriesUsing condensing technology to create a .94 Energy Factor, the Rheem Prestige Series condensing tankless water heater is the company’s most efficient tankless water heater to date. Units can vent with PVC piping, making installation faster, easier and cost-effective for contractors. Boasting a minimum flow rate of .26 gpm and a minimum activation flow rate of .40 gpm, homeowners using low-flow fixtures receive hot water without having to increase the flow.
7. Truck spray waxEagle One’s Wax-As-You-Dry features an exclusive carnauba-based formula that helps keep a “just waxed” look on a work truck. Wax-As-U-Dry reacts with water to quickly penetrate the surface, leaving wax protection without haze, streaks, residue and discoloration of trim. It also contains an anticorrosion additive that protects paint from rust, road salt, acid rain and bird droppings. Wax-As-U-Dry dries with a towel or chamois. Each time it’s used, protection is added that can last three months or longer.
Eagle One. www.eagleone.com
8. Boiler header moduleWatts’ preassembled, pre-engineered boiler header module package consists of three key components: the PIPF flanged purge valve, the RBFF residential boiler fill fitting and the new AS-MB micro-bubble air separator. Combined, they create technically perfect near-boiler piping and save considerable installation time. The flanged micro-bubble air separator can accept the purge valve and circulator, while the residential boiler fill fitting features a one-piece forged body and a three-way ball valve. The purge valve features a full-port valve design and integral purge port.
9. Venting systemDuraVent’s PolyPro is a polypropylene-based ULC-S636 Type BH, Class II venting system. Engineered for use with condensing appliances, PolyPro is corrosion-resistant and utilizes gaskets that enable rapid and adhesive-free assembly. The system is available in 2”, 3”, 4”, 5”, 6” and 8” diameters. PolyPro has a higher operating temperature of 230° F and is engineered with a corrosion-free condensation management system.
10. Corded oscillating multi-toolBosch’s MX25E Oscillating Multi-Tool is designed to ease flush-cutting, plunge cutting, sanding, grinding, grout removal and scraping. Ideal for renovation, construction and home repair tasks, the tool’s compact size makes it small enough for working in corners and other tight spaces. The MX25E is rated at 2.5 amps and provides power for heavy-duty uses and working with tough materials. A variable-speed dial allows the speed to be matched to the application and material.
11. Thread sealantSpecially marked packages of Hercules Chemical’s Megaloc multipurpose thread sealant come packaged with a free camouflage flashlight (complete with 9 LED lights). Approved for potable water applications and for use on gas lines, Megaloc is a premium-performing thread sealant that contains DuPont Kevlar to help stop threaded joints from leaking. Megaloc is ideal for all metals, PVC, ABS and CPVC plastics. The sealant wipes clean from hands and tools with a dry rag and washes out of clothes.
Hercules Chemical. www.herchem.com