10 – 15 %

save-moneyNemo came whipping through and dropped a ton of snow here on Long Island. I am no longer “Finding Nemo!” So getting snowbound allowed me to write a little something. It also stopped the flow of questions since everyone is busy helping customers. So this week’s Ask Dave! will be a little different.

Before the advent of satellite radio, it was difficult to find what you wanted to listen to on “terrestrial” radio, considering some of my roadtrips span multiple states. Now I don’t know if it is because of my demographic, but I hear a lot of commercials in regards to switching my car insurance carrier. I also see a lot of billboards with the same requests and when I do get to a hotel room, there are a ton more on TV!

They are all touting that by switching insurance carriers; you could save up to 15%! That sounds like a lot and it can be over time. Just by making a phone call – 15%! Ok, here come some of the scary thoughts, but if I were to switch enough times; could I eventually get car insurance for Free? And if I keep switching, shouldn’t the insurance companies start paying me to be on their plan!!

geckoNow I know that won’t happen, nor is switching too many times going to be easy. That 15% may work out to be $100 a year and I would love to be able to take my wife out when I get home but there may be easier ways. Think of making sure that the bill gets paid with the new carrier. There may be contracts stating how long you must be with them or there can be a cancellation fee that could negate all of the savings. Getting the refund from your old insurance carrier because you paid up for the year….. You see where I am going? A lot of time spent in just switching companies for that amount of savings. Is all of the advertising really getting people to switch in droves or people that are just satisfied with what they are doing now year after year just getting them to think about it?

What does it have to do with energy savings? If we just keep doing what we always do with plumbing and heating systems and just satisfy the need to deliver heat, we may not be performing the task the customers are asking us to do. You may hear them say, “Just give me heat” but is that what they really want us to do? We need to think of ourselves as the “energy reduction expert,” and convey that image to the consumer. It is easy to just give heat, but what about comfort? What about offering the most energy efficient systems we can supply? Sure, we can build a space shuttle cockpit to scrub every last BTU out of the system, but at what price? Is there a reasonable return on investment for it?

Keep your eyes peeled for future posts where I will delve into how to get at least that 10-15%.

Until then, Enjoy.

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BeeTech 2.0

Hey Dave, Since the BumbleBee is a variable speed circulator based upon Delta-T, can we consider this to be “Indoor Reset?”   – Anthony, NY

bee hive

Great question Anthony, ya know I was thinking the same thing the other day when I was doing a training class on some of the benefits of the BumbleBee. When you look at the Universal Hydronics Formula (and if ya don’t know it by heart, get it tattooed on the inside of your forearm or check it out here).

GPM = BTUh ÷ (Delta-T x 500) where;

GPM = gallons per minute flow rate required at any given point in time.
BTUH = heat required at that given point in time.
Delta-T = designed-for fluid temperature drop.
500= constant for 100% water.

So when you look at the formula, it always has to be correct on both sides of the equals sign. That’s the law! The BTU’s are constantly fluctuating based upon the temperature fluctuating inside and outside. If the BTU’s change and the Delta-T remained the same, then the GPM has to change. This is what the BumbleBee does. We need to make the math right. Again, it’s the law. I see where you are coming from in thinking that the BumbleBee can be considered Indoor Reset. An Outdoor Reset Controller utilizes an outdoor sensor to make any calculations for the component. The BumbleBee is reading the heat that is delivered indoors (Delta-T), varies the gallons per minute and therefor can be considered Indoor Reset. What I have experienced in my own home is that my thermostat does not overshoot its target indoor temperature anymore. The system now delivers the heat that is lost at that moment of time and it makes my home more comfortable.

Hey Dave, I just finished watching the Bumble Bee Video. Is dead heading the pump a problem, assuming no zones are calling for heat? And the answer in the video was; “The bumble bee sensing no delta T would ramp down to a minimum”. So I have a  follow up question, If the system sits idle for an extended period of time with no noticeable delta T, are we assuming the supply and return piping must cool at the same rate to eliminate the potential for the bumble bee to start ramping back up?  –  Dave, AK

Bee RelayFirst of all, thanks for watching TacoWorld and for those of you that missed it live and want to watch the recording, check it out here. This is a great question and the answer is “Yup, kinda?!” However, it is best to connect the BumbleBee to a circulator relay and turn it off when the call for heat stops. The most efficient pump is the one that is OFF! When the call for heating returns, there is one feature built into the logic of the controller that the circulator will ramp up to full speed for 3 minutes in order to start moving the water around and have an established Delta-T. Then it applies the calculations needed to control the speed of the circulator. It is not looking for nor calculating the rate of cooling for a given system, just the Delta-T.

Excellent gents, keep ‘em coming. You can either leave a comment here or email me here

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SmartPlus Recirculation

recirc3Hey Dave, Does the SmartPlus need any special piping at the furthest fixture unit?  Mike T, VT

Mike, there is “special” piping that is needed for the current application of the SmartPlus. Just like any other Taco circulator, it needs to move the water in a “circle.” If water comes into the SmartPlus, it needs to leave the SmartPlus. If there is no fixture open at the moment, the water won’t move and you would just “dead-head” the circulator. We don’t want to wait until a fixture is open, if we did that there would be no need for the SmartPlus, the water is already flowing. The SmartPlus needs a dedicated recirculation line in order to move the water. This can be done with smaller copper or even PEX tubing. Drop a TEE in the hot water supply as close as possible to the furthest fixture and return it to the suction side of the SmartPlus. This return tee does not need to be right at the furthest fixture, just as close as you can get it. If it’s three-quarters of the way there, you have eliminated the wait for hot water at the furthest fixture by 75%. And at all of the other fixtures before the TEE, hot water will be available immediately.

Hey Dave, How does the SmartPlus recirculation pump sense flow? Tom W, NC

smartplus controllerTom, the SmartPlus comes with a sensor that you want to strap on the hot water supply pipe coming out of the water heater. As soon as you power up the circulator, it’s in the learning mode. SmartPlus learns the hot water usage in the house for 7 days. The initial 7 days the system is powered, the SmartPlus will pulse the pump for 2-1/2 minutes every 10 minutes. While in this learning mode, SmartPlus is looking for a rise in water temperature, a steady temperature, and then a degradation of that water temperature over a period of time. For example: taking a shower or running the dishwasher would constitute a rise and then a steady temperature. A quick washing of hands is not recorded because of the short amount of time. Once this is recorded, SmartPlus expects this event to happen again 7 days from now. So let’s look at typical hot water usage in a home. Every morning someone’s using the shower at 6am, Monday through Friday. There is a second shower taken at 8:30 am, Monday through Friday and dishwasher usage at 7 pm, Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. All of these events are recorded and the following week, the SmartPlus will anticipate these events and turn the circulator on one hour before the event and continue for one hour after the event. It does not run continuously for that time period, it is running for those 150 seconds every 10 minutes.

If there is no use of hot water for 36 hours, SmartPlus goes into “vacation mode” until there is another event and then the schedule starts up again. If you need more information on the SmartPlus or any other recirculation product, check them out here.

Excellent guys, I hope this helps everyone out there and keep ‘em coming

Dave H.

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Ask Dave! BeeTech 1.0

BBwiringHey Dave, I am familiar with other ECM circulators that have a cord already pre-wired; does the BumbleBee also come with one? If not, can we add one? Jim D, New Jersey.

Jim, thanks for the question. The short answer is No, it does not come pre-wired with a cord. Now to expand on that, we have designed the BumbleBee to operate just like any other circulator you have used in the past. It’s ON when there is a need for heat; and OFF when there isn’t. It should be wired to a circulator switching relay or to a zone valve controller. There is plenty of wiring room and more than 1 thread on the ground screw! Since the “Smaahts” of the circulator works on a Delta T, there would always be some flow going through the system if it was constantly powered, however little.

We find that the most efficient circulator in terms of electrical consumption is the one that is off! If the thermostat is no longer calling for heat, which means the zone is satisfied and comfortable and there’s no need for anymore flow. If you were to install a plug on it for a zone valve application and the thermostats control the opening and closing of the zone valves but not the circulator, you could dead-head the BumbleBee but it would not damage the circ. The circs that do come with a cord are designed with Delta P in mind and constant circulation and that is typically not how we do it here in North America.  Upon closure of all the zone valves in a Delta P system, that pump will actually continue to operate.  The impeller still turns and it still uses electricity. Doesn’t make sense if you’re trying to save electricity, does it?

Hey Dave, Can I use the BumbleBee as a Zone Pump? Right now I use the 0015 and set the pumps on different speeds based upon the application. Fred D, Maine.

bbee curvesFred, you most certainly can! This is probably one of the best applications of the BumbleBee to maintain the best level of comfort in a home. Of course, you want to “Do the Math” and make sure that the BumbleBee is best suited for its size and I thank you for doing it. Out of the box, the circ is programmed to maintain a 20 degree Delta T. In this mode, the circ will supply just the right amount of heat into the zone. It will help smooth out temperature swings in a space especially in zones that are oversized with heat emitters.

In fact, it is the ONLY variable speed ECM circulator on the market that will, in fact, vary its speed when used as a zone pump.  A Delta-P circulator will find a spot on its performance curve and operate at that single speed all the time, which kind of wastes its capabilities, don’t you think?

The BumbleBee consumes as few as 9 watts of power to as many as 42 watts. Take a look at the performance curves here. If you don’t want to use the BumbleBee in the Delta-T mode, it can operate as a 4-speed circulator (We gave you one more than the 0015!) Take a look at one of our recent webinars where we show you how to change the speeds. Of course it also shows you how in the instructions.

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Ask Dave! – FuelMizer

Q. Hey Dave, I want to use the FuelMizer in a project and after analyzing the house and measuring the existing radiation (baseboard) installed, I can heat the house with 160 degrees rather that 180F. This way with the condensing boiler I can gain some extra efficiency points with a cooler return temp. How do I set it up? – Dan, Long Island.

P.S. The boiler only modulates the BTU output, not the supply water temp, that’s why I want to use the FuelMizer.

A. Dan, Excellent job in “doin’ the math” and finding out that the existing radiation installed is more than what the house actually needs. The instructions with the FuelMizer describes where you need to have the dial set to get 180 degree water when it reaches design temp in your area. For Long Island, the outside design is 10 degrees based upon Manual J standards for Suffolk County AFB. If we take a look at the reset curves in the instruction, our line is not there. In order to create a “new one,” we have all off the information we need already; 10 degrees ODT (outdoor design temperature) with 160 degrees SWT (supply water temperature). Find that point on the graph and with the other point being 70 ODT and 70 SWT, connect the dots with a line going through up to 180 SWT and off the chart.

FuelMizer Reset Curves

Now draw a straight line down from where we intersect with the 180 horizontal line and find the ODT, we see we are at -5 degrees. Turn the dial to -5, and you are all set. This means if it gets to -5 ODT, then the boiler will produce 180 degrees F. If it happens to get colder than 10 outside, the boiler doesn’t stop at 160, we are still working on the reset line here. This is where we can get that extra “fudge” when it may get colder than 10 outside.  Dan, there is one more thing to remember; take Dip Switch number 1 and place it in the “Off” position for use with a ModCon boiler.

I hope this helps Dan, Enjoy!

Q. Hey Dave, What is maximum amp rating on the FuelMizer pump relay and are there any issues using it in conjunction with a motor starter for larger pump applications? – Jeff, Colorado.

A. Great question Jeff, thanks for thinking a little outside the box on this one. I am sure you are thinking of using the FuelMizer outside of residential applications and you can. There is no limit on the amount of BTU’s of the boiler system. All the FuelMizer does is


modulate the boiler temperature based upon the Outside sensor and the supply sensor of the boiler. It does not know the size of the boiler at all. So to answer your question, the maximum circulator that can be directly connected and controlled by the FuelMizer is a 1/3 HP motor with 6 full load amps and that will get you a lot of pumping power. If you need to go larger, you can use a starter; just remember that the FuelMizer is going to switch 120Volts so make sure that the input on your starter relay can handle that for an input.

Thanks guys, keep ‘em coming. You can post comments here or email me your questions at davhol@taco-hvac.com


Posted in FuelMizer | 2 Comments

Being the “New Guy” (original post date 8/9/2012)

I haven’t been a “New Guy” in a long time. The experience of being the “New Guy” is practically foreign to me.

Well I’ve been on board here with Taco for a few weeks now! My buddy Darron couldn’t wait for me to start so that he could lose the moniker of the “New Guy.”





It has been a lot of work up to this point, getting immersed in the products and the people. Meeting with the brain trust and picking their heads so that I can fill mine with their vast knowledge and experience.  Amazing, just truly amazing so far. All along the way as I get to meet more and more people here, they all ask, “How are YOU doing?” And they really mean it. It is not just the way you say it instead of “Good Morning” or “Hello”, they truly care about how I am doing, adjusting and taking on new responsibilities. There is a culture here.

I notice how as I meet more and more of the Employees they ask, “How are you enjoying working with Taco so far?” After a couple of times I noticed something different in the delivery of that statement than you would expect.

The use of the word “with”.

You don’t catch it right away but typically when you are at a company or refer to your position or your boss, you use the word “for”.

“How do you like working for Taco?” is not the way they describe it here.

“With Taco

It is a big change for me. As for most people, we don’t like change; it is scary, can be difficult, out of your comfort zone.

I feel comfortable already.

This is gonna be fun!!



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Welcome to my Blog

Here we are, the first “Official” blogImage

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Hello world!

Welcome to WordPress.com! This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

Happy blogging!

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