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Dead Men Tales: Adventures in Pumping

HeatingHelp Administrator Posts: 651
edited September 2022 in THE MAIN WALL

Adventures in Pumping

The second-most prevalent machine in the world is the pump. But this wasn’t always the case. In this episode, Dan Holohan shares how the arrival of pumps shaped the heating industry.

Listen and subscribe here.

Thank you to our podcast sponsor SupplyHouse.com.


  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,364
    Hmmm, It's all about education isn't it? Education comes in at least two forms, fun and painful. It sounds like you were dealing with contractors who preferred the latter. >:)

    Yours, Larry
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 15,767
    It amazes me. I worked for 5 contractors in my 46-year career. Not one of these contractors had a clue about how to size a pump. They would guess.

    I don't claim to be a pump expert at all but on the jobs where I sized the pumps, I never had one that didn't work.

    No one ever trained me. One contractor I worked for sent 3 employees to the "little red schoolhouse" at B & G. They all came back from there trip to B & G after having a fun trip drinking beer and talking and it's funny but none of them could size a pump. It always ended up on me. I would measure every foot of pipe, get the water tower resistance and the chiller barrel resistance and add it up. A little work but simple enough.

    The best one we had was a condenser water pump for a big chiller. They bought a pump for 1500gpm which was ok but for only 25 feet of head. The water tower was 25' above the
    chiller. I told them before we installed it it was not big enough. They looked at this big 20 hp Armstrong pump and decided I was nuts and said "install it" so I did. This involved taking out part of the building wall to get the big pump into the mechanical room.

    After the Trane start up rep told them he was short on flow they decided to listen.

    Out came the wall
    out went the old pump
    In went a new 40 hp Patterson pump with 70' of head
    repipe the 8" and 6" pipes
    buy a larger vfd for the 40 hp pump and install it
    change the wiring
    Put the wall back

    It was an expensive lesson for them

    I guess guessing costs money
  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,553
    I can't stop laughing!!!
    Retired and loving it.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,567
    The funny(?) thing about it is that once one wraps one's head around how pumps (we're looking at centrifugals and their cousins here) actually operate, it turns out it's really not hard... system curve, pump curves, match them up, done.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,307
    I can talk until I'm blue but people believe bigger is better.