Jump to content

Mystery valve


BADAIR
 Share

Recommended Posts

Anyone know who's this is and what it does?

I found this electric supplied valve on what appears to be a segregated water supply with a hose bibb termination located in the attic next to the water heater. Of course I took notes, name, model #...and left them between first, second inspection, and home, can't remember the name except I think it ended with 'man.

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif mysteryvalve.JPG

72.95 KB

Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif mysteryvalve2.JPG

72.27 KB

Thanks in advance for any help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Valve...or Pump? I see the cold feed and hot output on top of the tank, is the horizontal line in the backgroung a return of the hot water line back to the heater? Is the hose bib teed into where the drain on the heater would normally be? Does that line get hot when the heater is turned on. What is controlling the pump?

I've done a few jobs, where it mattered that there be little or no delay of delivery of hot water at the fixture. The hot water line was a continuous loop back to the heater with a pump, and sensor on the return of the loop. When the sensor sensed a drop in the temp in the line, it would turn on the pump and circulate hot water throughout the line, Could this be that?

Whatever it is, I don't find the 2x4's supporting the pump thrilling!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe the Sevens are on the right track. It's difficult to tell from those photos, but it resembles a circulation pump as you would see on a hot water heating system such as a Aqua-Therm system. But, I've not seen such a system use an electric water heater.

I have also seen pumps on water heaters of very large houses just to boost pressure or move hot water along. Could it be for hot water to a master bathroom with a jetted tub at the opposite end of the house? I've seen that before too.

Just not enough info to be of much help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From that angle it's hard to tell, but it kind of looks like a Grundfos circulator. It's got the right color too. If so, it's probably supplying water to a radiant heating panel someplace - wall of a bathroom or floor of a foyer - or to a fixture far off somewhere else in the house where they wanted to get hot water quickly.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by Jim Katen

Like the others said, it's just a circulating pump. It moves hot water in a big circle around the house so that no one will have to wait for hot water when they turn on the taps.

I see 'em every week. I figured everyone saw them as often.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Seldom see them in my area. Have had buyers complain about how long it takes to get hot at fixture. I explain the problem and what it takes to fix it. I guess it is another regional thing.

Paul B.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Les,

Yeah, like Jim said, they're pretty common here - in high-end homes anyway. I wouldn't have been able to identify a B & G motor on a boiler. Hell, I only saw boiler number 10 in 10 years earlier last week.

It's too bad we couldn't have inspector exchange programs where we swap markets with inspectors from other parts of the country for a couple of weeks and can get some more experience with systems that we don't see a lot. I'd love to be able to spend some time in the northeast to get some more experience checking out boilers and steam and hot water heater systems and then a few weeks in the south to get the more experience with air conditioners, heat pumps, swamp coolers and pools. I guess I've seen about a dozen air conditioners in 10 years, probably only about 2 dozen heat pumps, I've never seen a swamp cooler, and about half a dozen pools.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Besides high end homes, I've put the in laundromats, when the owner was concerned about the first person in the morning, or after a quiet spell during the day, getting cold water when they were expecting hot. I guess that he was being a bit fussy, but that's how he is.

Now, I install this type of set up in almost any installation that is within my control.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Metrowest area of Boston and the Greater Metropolitan area has plenty of new and old oil fired steam boilers in houses. Hard to "add on" to a steam system--add a tank and loop pex for hydronic heating. Steam is not generally used for new houses. Good mechanics are retired/dead.

A good system would be an oil fired hydro air system. Efficient long lasting oil fired boiler doing all the work. Running hydronic loops thru the air exchangers and maybe the basement. Providing hot water to the building. Summer comes-- switch on the A.C segment--same vents. See this regularly in the McMansions. Boiler snoozes exept when hot water is needed.

Dunkirk, Weil McLean, Smith, and Burnham all make steam boilers.[:-banghea

Jack Ahern Needham on the Charles

Bridgton, Maine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by mgbinspect

Hey Jack!

Actually, I'm surprised (for no good reason) that steam is being installed new!? That's interesting. I would have thought that the average person would be a bit scared of it.

I see a lot of new steam boilers in NJ. The system is old, only the boiler and controls are new. It is often cost prohibitive to change out the steam heat system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A new steam boiler is very common around Boston. Jack A is correct. You can have a 'home inspection training school' in one house around here very, very often. Not kidding. In fact that is a phrase I use weekly up here. ("Look's like an inspection-training school..").

That goes for structure, electrical and plumbing. Many converted old 'gravity' hot water systems around here as well. The one thing we don't have are 'swamp coolers' (a la AZ/NM). I believe we have everything else. We also have different types of steam systems.

To be expected when you are inspecting in all of New England (and a lot of the entire Northeast for that matter).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We deal with most everything except heat pumps. Our most difficult set-up is the municipal steam systems, where the Board owns everything up to the household unit and it requires a local license to even "touch" them.

The other weird one we see, for us, is old embedded electric ceiling radiant heat with DC controls and switches.

I know Kurt and Mike and me have often talked about a "Traveling Road Show" that would expose most of the regional differences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks to all for the links and other info.

The circulation pump sounds like the ticket for a 3-story condo.

This is not a Grundfos circulator. I'm sure of that. Even during a senior moment I'd remember that name once seen again.

I'll be going back if the clients don't back out for other reasons and will get the mfg. ID this time I'll put it in my money clip where I wont loose it before I can do the research. There's plenty of room in there I'm married.

I did call out the unsecured pipe on unsecured 2x4 blocking. They ran all of the plumbing and the gas lines in the same manner, lazy.

What is controlling the pump? Good question and I wont know without mfg. specs.

2Bcontinued...or it's on to a new property for these folks. They are not happy campers. Neither of their current vehicles can enter the parking garage. Approach is down a single lane alley hard left over a speed hump, under a 6’9â€

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You might also want to mention that without insulation, efficiencey will be reduced and the pipe could act as a radiant heating system.

That is of course, assuming the circulator is intended for domestic hot water and not hooked up to a remote radiator or convector.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally posted by RobC

You might also want to mention that without insulation, efficiencey will be reduced and the pipe could act as a radiant heating system.

That is of course, assuming the circulator is intended for domestic hot water and not hooked up to a remote radiator or convector.

That's an important point. Also, if the pump is set to run 24/7, the constant circulation is going to scour the interior of the pipes, particularly at 90-degree ells. This will shorten the life of the pipes.

If it isn't already on a timer, I'd add one. I'm curious to know if there's a timer under the top cover similar to the one in RobC's picture.

- Jim Katen, Oregon

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was going to comment on the "timer pump" in RobC's picture, but didn't, now I will. Before I continue, I totally concede that I could learn plenty from some of those that I am in disagreement with regarding the use, or optimum use of this device, and I hope no one is insulted with the fact that I do disagree, as that is not my intention. If I'm wrong, please, by all means, educate me!

I imagine that if the pump is feeding some type of heating loop, a timer might work, but wouldn't you rather have a thermostat controlling it? This way it goes on and off when the set high and low temps are met??? I'm sorry, but continuously running, regardless of temperature just doesn't make sense to me.???

On the same thought, if it is circulating a domestic hot water loop, once again, wouldn't it be more desireable to operate when the water drops below a certain temperature, rather than run continuously, whether it is needed or not, just because of the time of day? And not deliver hot water immediatly at other times, just because of the time of day?

Actually, the only place that a timed pump makes sense to me in on a fixture such as a fountain in someone's front yard or at a restaurant, or something of that nature when the only thing that matters was the time of day.

Even a thermostat with variable time settings is still a thermostat! Unless it is not a pump(although it looks like a pump to me), and it is some type of valve and then I could see it being used for a lawn sprinkler system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The circulator in my picture services a remote fixture, an ensuite lav in this case. They are more a matter of convenience than function.

If you've ever been in a large home and had to wait for the hot water to arrive you would appreciate this device. However, we don't want them operating continuously, when the house is empty, so we place conditions on them to turn on at specific high demand times such as mornings and evenings.

To impose a temperature condition on the circulator would cause it to cycle eratically and defeat its original intention - that of supplying hot water on demand.

It may look like a pump but it only circulates water without creating pressure hence the name circulator.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rob,

I am familiar with your example of the large home scenerio. The way that I came to learn of the technique I mention was in a single family home that had 9 bathrooms and three kitchens! The homeowner was a very particular man, and insisted that when he opened a hot water faucet, he wanted hot water to come out.

I don't understand about the working eratically part and defeating the purpose of supplying instant hot water.

When the temp in the supply line drops, the pump circulates fresh hot water, so the water in the supply line is ALWAYS hot. When hot water is called for, it will ALWAYS be there.

Yes, if it's on a timer it will heat up the system at a prescribed time and you will get hot water instantly, I agree. But, how long do you run the pump? Five minutes? twenty minutes? three hours?

It only takes a few moments to heat the line. What about the rest of the day? What about erosion?

If it's on a temp sensor, especially if the pipes are insulated. the pump will turn on occaisionally, for a few moments, but you will have instant hot water ALL the time, whenever.

I think we both agree on the circulator pump aspect...

But regarding the controller,

well,

INSTANT HOT WATER AT A CERTAIN TIME OR ALL THE TIME... THAT IS THE QUESTION!

Do you think the difference in the price of the equiptment is more than marginal?

I do concede that depending upon how long you run the circulator pump, the timer technique may be slightly more ecnomical, although I don't think thats much more than marginal either. But if you're not home all day, and consider when you're asleep, well thats a horse of a different color and heating up the water for a few minutes at the same time every day and forget the rest of the day may work for them.

I also installed the same type of system in a large laundromat, with a 2" hot water maifold serving 75 machines of various sizes. In this situation, we used a 3/4"return. Worked fine. My concern was the first customer or two, at the end of the line, not getting hot water as expected.

Rob, we all have our own way of doing things and what works for one, may not work for another. You may be right, I may be crazy. This is simply my opinion. That's why I love this forum. I can pick up on many different styles and systems and create my own "what works for me".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I looked there when the issue came up, but they were hiding that model. It is a cool site if you like pumps.

Instant hot water has been around for a long temp via heat loops, pumps, etc. In most northern climates the heat loss is not really a loss as it still is within the thermal envelope. Most piping, in most systems, will be enclosed within dead air and usually the exposed drop pipes are insulated.

I have never given erosion much thought as I have never seen a circulating system suffer from it.

Mother Earth News had a bunch of articles on efficient use of hot water in the early '70s.

Most new construction around here uses tempered water for filling stools as ground water is abt 52degrees.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...