Over the years, we at Pipelines have worked with, repaired and installed tens of thousands of plumbing products, some high-tech, some very much old-school. When we choose a product for your home, our goal is to protect your investment, save time and thus save you money, and be gentle to our planet. In order to be on our most-beloved list of products, an item must fit the guidelines below:
- Well made, long-lived, repairable
- Built with quality control so that we know what is coming out of the box each time
- Thoughtfully engineered so it is easy to install
- Environmentally sound in power consumption, water consumption, and emissions to the air
- Recyclable; not meant to be thrown into the landfill
- The loved offspring of its manufacturer, so training is available, as are parts and performance data
- Locally made if possible
A few of our favorites:
For as long as flow toilets have been in use, the amount of water vs. effectiveness has been in question. Toto was the first manufacturer to produce a toilet specifically designed to use less water and still clear the bowl, leave clean surfaces and operate reliably over extended periods of time.
They also make toilet seats that are heated, wash you and dry you and even play music (really, we couldn’t make this stuff up- check it out). We’ve also found their other china products, like sinks, to be well made, which for us translates to less installation time and lower installation costs for our customers.
The German company Buderus is the world’s oldest manufacturer of cast iron. The company has long provided products for the European heating market, which demands low NOX pollution emissions, low noise levels and greater fuel efficiency than the US market (fuel is much more expensive in Europe). Buderus boilers are made with superior metals and precision casting, allowing them withstand the expansion, contraction and corrosion which cause boiler failure. Their cast iron boilers have twice the insulation of American boilers, keeping the heat in the system where it belongs. Buderus also makes panel radiators which are an excellent value. Finally, Buderus offers great technical support and training so we can install and maintain their products with confidence.
Shower valves are buried behind the finished surfaces in your bathroom so they need to be reliable. Symmons products are long lasting, easy to repair and available in a number of current styles. They are made responsibly in Massachusetts, which is reason enough to fall love Symmons.
Perhaps only a plumber gets excited by heating circulator pumps, but we think you should be as excited by Grundfos’s Alpha circulator. Instead of running at a constant speed, using a constant amount of electricity, the Alpha regulates its energy consumption in response to your heating system’s needs. In a system with several zones, the wattage used by the circulator changes as zones are added or dropped. You can watch this happen on the display Grundfos has thoughtfully provided on the pump’s front. This type of pump will save money every minute it is in use.
When it comes to heating system controls, what you want is smart system efficiency and increased comfort. The Tekmar tN2 and tN4 heating control system is so efficient because its thermostats communicate with each other and with the boiler, so, for instance, it knows where to send leftover heat at the end of the heating cycle, or when to begin a heating cycle so the room has hit its set temperature at the appointed time.
Grohe shower valves and faucets are designed for use over time. They are made to last internally and externally; they keep their looks. They are sensibly engineered, which results in lower installation costs for our customers and they are readily repairable which results in lower maintenance costs.
We love radiators, and we don’t care who knows. Radiators heat you the way the sun does on a cold day, with radiation that vibrates your very molecules vs. hot air moving across your skin. Runtal makes radiators in the European way: thin panels of all sizes which can be hung on walls, act as room dividers or stair rails, and even be hung on the ceiling. We get ours from the factory in Haverhill, MA.