ProStaff Reviews

True Temp installed

Hot & cold frost proof hydrants are not new but the TrueTemp by PRIER is a totally different faucet compared to any I’ve ever worked with in the past. The TrueTemp is a single handle frost proof with the styling of an indoor fixture available in two finished, Satin Nickel Plated & Oil Rubbed Bronze Read More

Hot & cold frost proof hydrants are not new but the TrueTemp by PRIER is a totally different faucet compared to any I’ve ever worked with in the past. The TrueTemp is a single handle frost proof with the styling of an indoor fixture available in two finished, Satin Nickel Plated & Oil Rubbed Bronze.

Focus: True Temp Installation

As part of a larger review process, ProStaff’er Andy Mickelson, owner of Mickelson Plumbing in Missoula, MT and I are each installing one. Andy has a spot for it at his own home, I’ve got it going in at the #duluthbuild project for my little sister’s new home.

 

True Temp installedI took delivery of the Oil Rubbed Bronze finish 12″ model #P-118L12-ORB last week and took it out of the box minutes before the video to get it mounted.

One of the things that stands out immediately with this faucet is the lack of visible mounting hardware, I like that. As you’ll see in the video there is a stainless steel mounting plate/ring that when attached to the mounting surface is completely hidden. Furthermore, this gives the faucet a totally different look than other hot/cold models.

The faucet ships with Phillips head stainless screws and the mounting plate. There were no instructions in the box, although its pretty simple to figure out, I think it may have just been forgotten in packaging. Here’s a link to the install instructions.

Mounting Prep for the True Temp

I had a PRIER 12″ model frost proof faucet roughed-in already. This required me to enlarge the existing 1″ hole in the mounting block to accommodate the new TrueTemp. I simply traced the hole in the mounting plate and cut the mounting block with my M12 jig saw. The correct hole saw size would be 1-3/4″ if installing at a new location. Step two was to align the mounting plate hole with the newly cut hole and attach using the stainless screws. This step requires the installer to level the tabs on the mounting plate, the tabs are the connection point between the faucet and mounting plate and need to be level to ensure the faucet is plumb.

Finally, the TrueTemp body is inserted and a half-turn clockwise engages the tabs and body to securely position the faucet, the final step is to install the remaining stainless screw in the very bottom of the body.

Watch for more info, next time I’ll cover the piping connection options and hot I installed it on my job.

 

Makita Rebar Tool

Hands-on look at the new Makita Tools XRT01 Rebar Tool This week we traveled to the World of Concrete event at the Las Vegas Convention Center to see what’s coming from some of the biggest tool manufacturers in the construction industry. If you’ve never been to the WOC show, like myself, its huge and full Read More

Hands-on look at the new Makita Tools XRT01 Rebar Tool

This week we traveled to the World of Concrete event at the Las Vegas Convention Center to see what’s coming from some of the biggest tool manufacturers in the construction industry. If you’ve never been to the WOC show, like myself, its huge and full of hand-on displays for tool lovers of all types. We got our hands on a lot of tools, the Makita rebar tying tool was just one that left an impression.

Back in October, 2018 Makita announced the addition of 40 new tools to be available immediately. This announcement was made during the annual STAFDA convention in Atlanta and on the list of 40 new tools was the new XRT01 18V LXT Brushless Rebar Tying Tool. Normally a tool like this might slip by us here at MH but considering the usefulness to contractors tying radiant tubing to welded mesh or rebar for new installations, we wanted to get our hands on it.

Makita pulled out all the stops in designing and building their booth at WOC, they had literally dozens of tools powered up and ready to use in simulated scenarios. For the rebar tool they had two different forms built. When I first saw this tool back in October I immediately wondered how it would do for tying PEX tubing so I asked if they had any tubing around the booth to give it a try, they didn’t.

Get in the Uber and head to The Depot

The only way I was going to get first hand experience on whether my ideas for this tool would work was if I brought my own PEX to the show and tried it myself. So that’s what I did.

When I walked up to the concrete forms of rebar in the booth I got a lot of inquisitive looks, it only took about two minutes for nearly every one of the Makita employees to gather around and watch me as I began to test the XRT01 out as a true plumbing/heating contractor would on the job.

It worked flawless. All I did was adjust the torque setting to its lowest level and let’er rip. No kinking, not too tight, not too loose. The capacity of the tool is capped at tying two #5 bars together so the combination of the #5 bar they had and my 1/2″ PEX was well within that range. Check out the video from my tests, all tool specs included at the end of this post.

Makita Tools Rebar Tying Tool features:

 

  • Up to 5,300 ties of #3 x #3 diameter rebar using an 18V LXT® 5.0Ah Battery (battery not included)
  • Multiple bar tying capability; ties up to two #5 diameter bars or four #4 diameter bars in under 1 second
  • 2-mode operation provides single or continuous wire tie actuation for fast and efficient tying
  • Fast and seamless wire reel easy-load design with automatic locking mechanism built into protective cover
  • The BL™ Brushless Motor eliminates carbon brushes, enabling the BL™ Motor to run cooler and more efficiently for longer life
  • Digital adjustment of tying strength to match various tension strength requirements
  • Delivers up to 120 ties of #3 x #3 rebar per wire reel allowing for maximum productivity
  • Trigger power switch with lock-off feature requires two actions to power the tool
  • Center load reel position provides added balance for more comfortable handling and less fatigue
  • Transparent wire reel cover protects the feeding mechanism from harmful job site debris
Makita XRT01 Rebar Tying Tool

https://youtu.be/jUS6nqjWGTQ ProStaffer Jon Block recently took the Milwaukee Tool M18 Fuel Chainsaw for a ride. The Milwaukee® M18 FUEL™ 16″ Chainsaw delivers the power to cut hardwoods, cuts faster than gas, and delivers up to 150 cuts per charge. The unit is designed to meet the performance, durability and ergonomic needs of professional landscape maintenance Read More

ProStaffer Jon Block recently took the Milwaukee Tool M18 Fuel Chainsaw for a ride.

The Milwaukee® M18 FUEL™ 16″ Chainsaw delivers the power to cut hardwoods, cuts faster than gas, and delivers up to 150 cuts per charge. The unit is designed to meet the performance, durability and ergonomic needs of professional landscape maintenance, power utility, and the installed M18™ user. The POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor maintains speed under heavy loads without bogging down to outperform small gas engines and higher voltage systems. REDLINK PLUS™ intelligence ensures maximum performance and protection from overload, overheating and over discharge. The M18™ REDLITHIUM™ HIGH OUTPUT™ HD12.0 battery delivers unmatched run-time in all applications. M18 FUEL™ technology allows the unit to reach full throttle in under 1 second providing ultimate control and productivity.

 

 

Myself and mechanical-hub.com ProStaff contractor Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb have each been using the newest RIDGID tool to join their already mega huge offering. RIDGID’s thermal imagers are definitely well thought out and made with very high-end components, that’s good considering they carry the Lifetime Warranty @ridgidtools is famous for among plumbing and mechanical contractors. There Read More

Myself and mechanical-hub.com ProStaff contractor Andy Mickelson @mick_plumb have each been using the newest RIDGID tool to join their already mega huge offering. RIDGID’s thermal imagers are definitely well thought out and made with very high-end components, that’s good considering they carry the Lifetime Warranty @ridgidtools is famous for among plumbing and mechanical contractors.

There are 4 imagers currently offered by RIDGID. All are point and shoot handheld models and range from high quality entry level (RT-3) to the fully featured RT-9X.

Andy and I have the fully loaded RT-9X. Like the others it has a rechargeable 3.7 Li-ion battery, super resolution capability and a rugged housing. In addition to other features the RT-9X has WiFi connectivity to the RIDGID Thermal mobile app which allows for fast and simple image sharing and saving across multiple devices.

There are so many features built in to this imager I simply cannot list them all. The standard 320×240 infrared resolution is clear and perfect for job site diagnosis. Turn on the Super Resolution mode and turbo charge the thermal image capturing to 640×480 and it’s operating at levels typically only ever seen by much higher priced units.

This is prime-time infrared season for Andy and I as we take on more heating calls and installs. I can speak for both of us when I say this technology has not only opened doors for our businesses but made us faster and more efficient when troubleshooting and diagnosing problems inside and outside the building. It’s like having a super power.

Looking to clean the messiest of jobsites? How about blowing leaves and cleaning the yard after a windy autumn day? Recently, we had ProStaffer, Jon Block, electrician, LH Block Electric Co., Inc., test out Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL Blower. New and improved from the original M18 jobsite blower, the M18 FUEL Blower—now with a variable speed Read More

An LH Block employee uses the M18 FUEL Blower to clean up debris at a jobsite.

Looking to clean the messiest of jobsites? How about blowing leaves and cleaning the yard after a windy autumn day? Recently, we had ProStaffer, Jon Block, electrician, LH Block Electric Co., Inc., test out Milwaukee’s M18 FUEL Blower. New and improved from the original M18 jobsite blower, the M18 FUEL Blower—now with a variable speed trigger—has the power to clear from 15 ft., generates up to 30% less noise than gas, and provides the longest, max CFM run-time.

Designed to meet landscape maintenance professional needs, and the needs of contractors with an untidy jobsite, the POWERSTATE™ Brushless Motor and REDLITHIUM™ HIGH DEMAND™ 9.0 Battery provide the best combination of power and run-time.”The 9.0 battery lasts long enough for most jobs, but when I used my smaller capacity battery, it runs down within a couple of minutes,” says Block.

The blower features a variable speed trigger for increased control.”The M18 FUEL Blower, it’s really nice. It has enough power to get most everyday jobs complete. I really like the selectable 2-speed control and the lock-on button. That helps so you don’t have to hold the button down,” says Block.

The ambidextrous cruise control allows the blower to be set to a desired power output, so the operating hand can be relaxed reducing fatigue.

Yet, according to Block, the downside of the blower is that it doesn’t have a lock-off button. “Whenever you are carrying it around—without operating it—your fingers and hands naturally go to the trigger causing it to turn on at inconvenient times. It seems like it always is turning on when I’m carrying it. I know it’s as easy as moving my hand back, but the grip isn’t large enough behind the trigger to have a place to hold it,” says Block.

Overall, Block likes the tool, “It sure beats lugging an extension cord around the yard/jobsite or mixing gas and oil in a gas-powered unit.”

Kit includes:
(1) M18 FUEL™ Blower (Tool Only) (2728-20)
(1) M18™ & M12™ Rapid Charger (48-59-1808)
(1) M18™ REDLITHIUM™ HIGH DEMAND™ 9.0 Battery Pack (48-11-1890)

In 1998, Jon Block joined the team at LH Block Electric. After serving his apprenticeship and acquiring his Chicago Supervising Electrician License, Jonathan brought his extreme work ethic and his many new innovative ideas to the company and currently serves as the job superintendent and chief estimator.