Category Archives: Garden

The Power of the (Outdoor) Shower


Imagine yourself standing in a cool rainfall of water with the stress of the day releasing itself from your tired muscles. Now add the feeling of sunshine on your face and the smell of freshly cut grass or a verdant, thriving landscape tickling your nose.

You’ve just experienced the power of an outdoor shower.

There’s nothing like the bold, invigorating, and dare we say tiniest bit naughty feeling you get from showering outside. Whether you live in the warm, tropical Southeast, the arid Southwest, or the chilly climes of the Northern states, an outdoor shower can offer you a way to reconnect with nature right in your own backyard. Now here comes the big but – BUT as with any plumbing project, there are certain things you need to consider before you purchase or install an outdoor shower.

Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, your friends at® have you covered with a useful Outdoor Shower Buying Guide that will walk you through the process of choosing your location and your shower, as well as provide design suggestions and ideas.


The Pros and Cons of Outdoor Misting Systems

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5 Father’s Day Gift Ideas

With Father’s Day just around the corner, many of us are still probably thinking “I’m sure I’ll find the right thing in the next couple of days…”

Well, let us see if we can help you out there. Here’s the top five favorite things from our store as selected by the dads on our staff (in no particular order):

garden-index-flexeel-hose 1. High Volume Garden Hose – It’s great for watering the garden, washing the car, or squirting the kids. Fantastic all-around hose is drinking water safe and comes in different colors, including the most popular favorite color ever, blue.

gifts-index-hand-held-camera 2. Hand Held Inspection Camera – Pretty much every guy here thinks this is just an awesome little gadget. While it’s designed for duct and pipe inspection, you could peer under the bed for monsters, look under the car without getting greasy, or just carry it around and look cool.

index-toiletseats-wood-seats3. Toilet Seats – Maybe it’s just us, but there’s an awful lot of toilet seat talk around here! Comparison of material, manufacturer, which seat is preferred, etc. It’s entirely possible your dad could use a new seat for the throne. And just think, every time he uses it, he’ll think of you…

gifts-index-handshower4. Shower Head – Again, it might be just us, but our dads on staff have been known to get into some pretty good debates when comparing shower heads. One can’t live without his Speakman Anystream, another feels the best stream actually comes from our super water-saving budget model, while yet another dad throws down in favor of handheld showers (of course he likes to bathe the dogs with his handshower).

And last, but not least, believe it or not:

pvc-fitting-777-side-90-sxsxs5. PVC Fittings – They’re like Legos for adults! Well, more like Kinex or an erector set, but still, you can stick things together, build nifty stuff, and they’re made out of plastic. Who wouldn’t like them? After all, they come in all sorts of sizes and we’ve got configurations you can’t find at your local box store (side outlet 90s, by the way, make great corners for PVC frame tents. Just sayin’).

Your turn: we’ve told you what our dads seem to think would make good presents. What about your dad?

Teak My Bath!

Teak has been the hot “new” thing lately with the trend toward luxury bathrooms. And why not? Teak has all sorts of fantastic qualities, which is why ship builders used it way back when, and still use it now. We’ve just gotten smart and brought it home with us to improve our homes.

Teak folding bench in showerSo what makes teak so amazing anyway? Well, beyond the terrific reddish-brown color of new teak products, which is simply gorgeous, its naturally weather resistant as well as highly resistant to mildew, fungi and rot.  As if this wasn’t enough, teak is pretty strong. All together, it’s a great wood for almost anything that will be exposed to the elements on a regular basis, which it was used by shipbuilders even way-back-when.

These days, we see teak mainly in outdoor furniture and on boats. If oiled and maintained, teak will maintain that lovely distinctive color. If left to age naturally, it loses none of the exceptional qualities that make it so desirable, but will age into a lovely silvery color rather like driftwood.

So what’s this have to do with a plumbing supply company?

Teak porthole mirrorWell, since this stuff does so well with water, we thought you might like it in your bathroom. Tired of cold tiles and slippery rugs? Get a teak bath mat. To coordinate, add towel bars, shelves, perhaps a robe hook or two. Don’t worry, the teak will handle being in a steamy bathroom just fine.

Naturally, teak and boats are simply made to go together, so there’s quite a few teak accessories specifically designed to make your boating life easier. For those of you who prefer to do your traveling on land, those accessories also fit fantastically in an RV or motor home, keeping your dishes, spices, and other necessities stowed away neatly.

Gorgeous organization can make a real difference in smaller spaces, so the same things that work so well on boats and in motor homes can make a cabin or small apartment more comfortable.

Teak folding tableLove the look of teak but running short on ideas outside of the bathroom? Teak benches will withstand the rigors of a busy household, and are incredibly versatile, making them an ideal gift for parents. Set just inside the entryway as a seat for pulling off wet boots and coats and add a few teak hooks for an instant organizational solution for jackets, hats and scarves.

How about using a teak waste paper basket to hide an ugly pot for your favorite plant for an instant visual upgrade? Or a folding teak table for convenience? Tired of struggling with a flimsy plastic step stool? Try a teak one!

We’re sure when you put your mind to it, you’ll find all sorts of places you could tuck a little teak around your home.

Your turn: what’s your opinion – love the teak, or leave it?

April Showers Bring… Plumbing Supplies?

We all know the saying “April showers bring May flowers.” And truly, the rain is something we’re very grateful for.  And like so many things, a common saying suggests thoughts and memories.

Some of us, when we think  of frequent spring rains, we also think of the problems it brings – flooded basements, driveway runoff, and soggy landscaping. Some problems can be solved by basement sump pumps and other supplies we’re happy to help you find.

Others think of the garden we’ve invested so much time and effort in creating and maintaining. We take a moment and appreciate that Mother Nature’s doing the watering this time since it’s a hassle to drag the hose about on a hot day. Perhaps this year it’s time to add a drip system or an extra hose bibb to the far end of the yard, or upgrade to a prettier one (just for fun).

And still others of us are reminded of muddy children gleefully stomping in puddles and excitedly pointing out rainbows as the skies clear. We don’t have much that will help you make that any better, but we do recommend patience and a good mop if they stomp those wet shoes in the house!

Whatever spring rains make you think about, we hope you also think of for all your plumbing needs.

Are You Ready For Spring?

It should come as no surprise that gardeners have favorites. There is often discussion about this tomato vs. that tomato, or whether this color of rose is right for the ornamental garden plot over there. Garden tools are no different. Several of our team members have gardens, both ornamental and edible, that range from the basic to the fantastic. As an ode to spring, we’ve complied a list of their favorite garden helpers from our warehouse:

Coiled garden hose in olive greenCoiled hose – There’s nothing worse than dragging a hose back and forth across your nice, green lawn in an effort to coil it up nicely after watering the roses. If you get annoyed at your garden hose and leave it out, you get lines of brown crisscrossing your lawn seemingly overnight. If you conscientiously put it away after each use, you wind up with muddy hands. It can feel like a no-win situation! This fantastic coiled hose is the ideal solution. Designed for portability and often used for watering individual plants, like in a container garden, this hose has a slightly smaller diameter than the standard garden hose. Several of our staff have one or more of these hoses and say they love it for watering container gardens and confirm the manufacturer’s claims of flexibility and vibrant color even after years of use. One team member likes to use it for filling the kids’ wading pool. She says the coils almost work as a “clip” to keep the hose from slipping out of the pool while it’s filling.

Our favorite lightweight straight garden hosesStraight garden hose – We consider this the very best garden hose made. Seriously, it’s great! Flexible, lightweight, and sturdy, this hose is fantastic for those who need more water faster than the coiled hose will offer (like for car washing), but still want something that will last longer than the frustrating bargain basement garden hoses that every home seems to have. We’ve been offering these hoses for years and the only complaint we’ve had is that they don’t come in enough colors; fortunately, the “sand” color looks good against pretty much any house color. Several of our staff own these hoses too, and even with consistent use (and in some cases, abuse), these hoses still outshine every other straight garden hose we’ve tested.

Water pressure regulatorWater pressure regulator – You might wish you had better water pressure, but those with high water pressure know it causes its own set of problems. Most residential fixtures and plumbing are designed to withstand average pressures of 40 – 80psi. Lower pressures result in limp garden hoses, frustrating showers, and filters that seem to simply stop the water flow. On the other hand, higher water pressure can blow seals, cause poorly connected fittings to burst, and generally cause leaks both inside and out. One of our staff literally blew through four garden hoses in about a year due to his 120psi water pressure. He finally invested in our fantastic garden hoses mentioned above and eventually added a water pressure regulator to his system, and couldn’t say enough nice things about the change.

Decorative hose bibb with turtle handleThe last things on this list are purely decorative. And by that we mean that we offer them just because they’re pretty. All of our staff have ooh’d and ahh’d over these gorgeous hose bibbs. Don’t get the wrong idea! They work, and do their job extremely well. In fact, the only difference between these decorative hose bibbs and the “plain” hose bibbs we also offer are the whimsical handles, so you know they’re well made. Go ahead, indulge your desire for pretty things without sacrificing practicality and trade out that plain-Jane garden hose bibb. These decorative hose bibbs will brighten your garden with a little whimsy and make you smile to catch a glimpse of a cast bronze dragonfly or butterfly peeking through the day lilies.

Circular shaped garden hose holderWant another example of functional art? Take a look at these garden hose holders; they’re like filigree jewelry for your wall! We like them because they create a little feeling of luxury with their gorgeous designs and lovely finishes while still offering the practicality of sturdy, rust-proof and recycled cast aluminum. One team member pointed out that she especially likes the circular style garden hose holders because they will hide ugly hoses effectively but don’t automatically create a hiding place for the black widow spiders we see around here like a lot of the decorative hose boxes.

So that’s a few of our staff favorites, but we have quite a few other garden related items on our website. And of course, we offer all the fittings you need to repair or expand your sprinkler system, drip system, or even add a drinking fountain to your back yard.

Your turn: what’s your favorite garden helper?