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Taco vs Grundfos

FranklinDFranklinD Posts: 398Member
After 3 years of faithful service, my Taco Bumblebee (HEC-1 I believe) died last night. It is the only circ on my old converted gravity system. No power to the screen, no noise, just died peacefully. Bummer. I liked that little guy. I used it because on my system, “constant speed 2” was a perfect match at 10-11gpm. Anyway. I’m warming up the car now to run to the local Menards before work... they have a Taco 007 (WAY too much pump for my system), Grundfos 15-58 3-speed (speed 2 looks like a good match), and a “HydroSmart” 3-speed whose curves roughly match those of the 15-58. My only concern is that the Bumblebee seems to be 6-3/8” flange to flange and the Grundfos (which is the way I’m leaning) is listed as 6-1/2” flange to flange. That shouldn’t make any appreciable difference, should it? I do have a little flex in my piping to play with (all 1-1/4” copper, and thank goodness for isolation valves). It’s been -9°f since last night and the house is staying about 60° thanks to gravity flow (no IFC), but it’s expected to drop further with higher winds again today. Ugh. I also don’t like leaving the boiler to bounce off it’s hi-limit even though I know it’s not hurting it (cast iron, hi-limit at 175°). Yesterday was the day of days, that’s for sure. Cripes.
Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems

Comments

  • ch4manch4man Posts: 134Member
    if you have a gravity conversion, that 007 will work absolutely fine. while not as flat curve as a B&G series 100, it is a perfect replacement. the 15-58 is also close enough to be just fine.

    yer just heating a house fer cryin in the mud. its cold out there, go fix your boiler
  • ch4manch4man Posts: 134Member
    ps. the 007 is slightly shorter flange to flange that the 15-58. i just dealt with that conundrum yesterday where the bypass made for nor way to spread the flanges. just understan the relation of the bolt holes to motor orientation as it has to physically fit
  • clammyclammy Posts: 2,217Member
    All those ecm pump like things clean and no mage nite another industry shall appear hydronic system cleaning or better yet go back to a standard pump and a system by pass or differential bypass valve kiss less money less less service calls and less checks and compalaining from the custermers a win win it everybody love not spending money especially on maintaince but if maintaince where free by all means peace and good luck clammy ps I have a few wilo ecm on my own system nice pumps replaced one already bit I’m in the businesss I will always be my custermers Guinea pig
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,394Member
    Why not an ECM, Grundfos, B&G Wilo, Taco, AquaSmart and all others have small ECM that will fit your application.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • FranklinDFranklinD Posts: 398Member
    Ideally I would go with another ECM but no one locally carries them so it’d be a minimum 3-4 day wait. Plenty of standard and 3-spd circs though. I liked the Bumblebee with the possible exception of it being rather noisy (humming/buzzing through the piping during operation). I do have some wiggle room with the piping, should be plenty to suck up an 1/8” difference in length. I ended up being called into work early (again) so I’ll have to wait until 3pm to deal with it. It warmed up a bit, -3°f now, and sunny so I can get at least a little passive solar gain on the first floor. Probably going to try the Grundfos 3-spd to get me thru the next month or so, then may look into a new ECM and a dirtmag as I’m sure the ‘bee was killed by magnetite (will be opening it up at work shortly).
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • NY_RobNY_Rob Posts: 1,369Member
    The Alpha2 is specifically designed to help mitigate the effects of magnetite, etc... in your system. Add a Dirtmag (fantastic device!) and you should be good to go! Keep the 15-58 as a backup for the Alpha2 once you get it. I just picked up a spare Alpha2 from Pexuniverse.. good place to deal with. I bought the line cord version which will make future swap-outs even quicker.
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,394Member
    NY_Rob said:

    The Alpha2 is specifically designed to help mitigate the effects of magnetite, etc... in your system. Add a Dirtmag (fantastic device!) and you should be good to go! Keep the 15-58 as a backup for the Alpha2 once you get it. I just picked up a spare Alpha2 from Pexuniverse.. good place to deal with. I bought the line cord version which will make future swap-outs even quicker.

    Alpha1 is available there also for less $$ if you don't need all the functions of the 2.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,502Member
    How many hours does the circulator typically run? As an estimate of hours per day/season?
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • GordyGordy Posts: 9,264Member
    I’d just buy the cheapest circ at Menards that will mate up, and order the ecm you want. The cheapy will get you through the cold, and be a spare down the road. Alpha, taco 2218. Alpha is going to be the most bang for the buck, and get a dirt mag installed.
  • GroundUpGroundUp Posts: 506Member
    Bases have been covered, but I'd like to add that an 007 is nowhere near WAY too big for your system. The 007 has a very similar curve to a 15-58 on speed 2
  • FranklinDFranklinD Posts: 398Member
    Well, I ended up grabbing the Grundfos 15-58 and putting it in there. Works like a champ. I have no issues with the 007, but when the boiler was new and it was installed on there, we could hear velocity noise in almost every radiator. The curve charts I have show 14-16gpm for the 007 and 10-12gpm for the 15-58 on speed 2. As all but two of my rads are plumbed across the bottom, I was concerned that the water was flying across the bottom connections and not heating as well as they could. I confirmed that by throttling the isolation valve at the circ (heating performance definitely improved). At the time the Bumblebee was the “latest and greatest” so I figured I’d try it, and it worked great on speed 2 (plus it only consumed 20 watts on that setting). As for hours of operation, during the coldest parts of the winter I leave it running 24/7 as it really helps to even out the rad temps. Someday I’ll spring for a modcon but for now the Burnham ESC 4 is humming along without a problem. It’s a bit oversized but not by much (heatloss is 65,000 btu/hr at a design temp of -25°f which we hit for at least 2-3 weeks every winter). The 15-58, on its lowest setting, gets me a solid 20° delta-t, so its good enough for now. I’ll look into the ALPHAs for sure! One more question: once I get a new circ and install it, what can I do to extend the “shelf life” of the 15-58? I held onto that 007 as a backup and by the time I needed it (3-4 years), it had seized up completely. I haven’t disassembled it yet to mess with it, but I’ll get to it today hopefully. It had been installed on the boiler for a month or so before I replaced with the ‘bee. I had rinsed it out and then placed it in a one gallon ziplock, then sucked all the air out. I had hoped that would be sufficient, obviously it wasn’t. Thoughts?
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • FranklinDFranklinD Posts: 398Member
    Also - I apologize for my “giant paragraph” posts. Every time I break for a new paragraph, my writing disappears from that point on once I hit ‘post.’ Probably due to posting from my phone, but that’s what’s going on. And yes, it drives me nuts too. I heartily apologize.
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • GroundUpGroundUp Posts: 506Member
    By stuffing it in a ziploc, all you did was lock the moisture in there with it. Gotta leave them open to dry air for storage
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,394Member
    edited February 9
    Moisture really should not cause a circulator to seize up, they are designed to move water. Probably had some minerals in there that locked up the shaft when the water dried out and left them behind.
    Or rust.

    Most of the time you can remove the allen bolts pull the motor and impeller from the pump body and free them up, or a tap on the volute when you power it up.

    Some circulators have a screw slot on the motor end to give them a spin when they lock up.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • SuperTechSuperTech Posts: 938Member
    I have the Alpha 2 as well as two Viridian VT2218's on my boiler and both are fantastic. You will find the Viridian a huge upgrade from the bee. Much better display, more functions and it's virtually silent during operation.
  • GroundUpGroundUp Posts: 506Member
    Moisture will lock up the motor of a Taco pretty rapidly. That's why they so often seize in OWB applications. They are designed to move water in the volute, not the motor
  • FranklinDFranklinD Posts: 398Member
    I should’ve specified that after rinsing out the 007, I shook it out and let it air-dry for a week before sealing it up. I haven’t taken it apart yet but I will. I’m sure Hot Rod is correct and the minerals left over are what did it. I always wondered what the large, flat screw on some circ cans was for...now I know! Interestingly my new 15-58 lacks that feature. Oh well. I’ve been reading up on the Alpha and the Viridian, especially since my gas water heater (power vent) just turned 15 years old and I’m thinking about installing an indirect this summer. Always something to do! Thanks, all!
    Ford Master Technician, "Tinkerer of Terror"
    Police & Fire Equipment Lead Mechanic, NW WI
    Lover of Old Homes & Gravity Hot Water Systems
  • Erin Holohan HaskellErin Holohan Haskell Posts: 1,047Member, Moderator, Administrator
    FranklinD said:

    Also - I apologize for my “giant paragraph” posts. Every time I break for a new paragraph, my writing disappears from that point on once I hit ‘post.’ Probably due to posting from my phone, but that’s what’s going on. And yes, it drives me nuts too. I heartily apologize.

    @FranklinD, please send me a PM and let me know what type of phone you're on and we'll look into this.

    Is anyone else running into this issue too?
    President
    HeatingHelp.com
  • Joe MattielloJoe Mattiello Posts: 570Member
    Hi Franklin
    Gravity systems are usually equipped with large diameter piping; you mentioned 2"? The large pipe enabled thermal siphoning to get as many BTU's around the system as possible. As you've witnessed without your pump, the system can struggle.
    There is not a lot of resistance in your system with 2" line, so 007 will work fine, but hard to move so much volume in your old gravity system, when the pipe is not changed to smaller diameter. Because of that some technicians would go with a high velocity pump to get the water circulating more. Dan Holohan does a much better job explaining it then I can; it's in one of his books; I've read just about all of them. the 0010 would be minimum capacity for your system, and If you like the latest and greatest in technology, try the new 0018e with Bluetooth technology. Taco had a cool demo set up at the annual ASHRAE show in Atlanta. For more on support contact Taco at 401-261-4890 and ask the technicians some challenging questions about your system, and some of the new products available.
    Joe Mattiello
    N. E. Regional Manger, Commercial Products
    Taco Comfort Solutions
  • StetStet Posts: 18Member
    I installed the bumble bee on 4 systems. All for died quicker than I imagined they would. So I changed to the Grundfos Alphas. Most definitely quieter than the bee. They are all still out there pumping away Still use the new Taco sentry zone valves and controls. Just can't seem to go back to their pumps as the Alphas have been so reliable.
  • ZmanZman Posts: 4,868Member
    Stet said:

    I installed the bumble bee on 4 systems. All for died quicker than I imagined they would. So I changed to the Grundfos Alphas. Most definitely quieter than the bee. They are all still out there pumping away Still use the new Taco sentry zone valves and controls. Just can't seem to go back to their pumps as the Alphas have been so reliable.

    The early bumble bees had some issues. The newer taco ECMs are really nice. The performance ranges and digital readouts make them a good fit for many applications.
    I have trouble finding ECM circs in the grundfos line that are just a little bigger than the alpha. Taco fills that size range nicely.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • EBEBRATT-EdEBEBRATT-Ed Posts: 5,732Member
    Certainly seems that these pumps should last longer than 3 years. It would seem water quality must be the issue
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