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  • Pinging recirc cartridge and other hot water woes...

    Greetings all. I usually hang out on the woodworking side since 'real' plumbing I leave to the experts--thank you all. BUT, my two current de-lemons sort of bridge the gap: Bought a four-year-old house in Austin...thought a recirc pump on the hot water line would save water and time so I look out in the garage and lo and behold...a lovely Taco recirc 'cartridge' is in line already, just not plugged in. Gave it a little test and seemed to work fine. We now have hot water in the master bath right skippy, not 5 minutes later as before. However, while walking through the very quiet garage late one night I hear a faint 'ping' coming from the WH closet...yep(or 'yup' depending..), the Taco sounds like a tiny bearing or something is 'catching' every few seconds...not continuously, doesn't sound like it's about to seize up. We have a home warranty that 'might' cover this but usually only applies to things that are actually failing rather than something that might need servicing. Could less than four years of somewhat hard water cause the problem? OR, was this happening before and that's why the previous(or previous-previous) homeowner left it unplugged? OR do I have a bad Taco? Seems like it could be a bit spendy to check out. Large-outfit plumber who was out before on another matter quoted $650 to install one recirc unit with one manifold(we would like to add one to the other WH that supplies the kitchen and laundry room) but not if they only create problems down the road.
    We added a water conditioning system a few months ago and hope the improved water quality will cut down on the amount of gunk in the lines(plenty of crystals at shower heads, etc) and prolong the life of our water systems. I doubt that previous homeowner ever drained either WH and I'm wondering if that might just open another can of worms.
    Sorry if you dozed off there...I would appreciate any suggestions. If the professional TACO lasts only four years, maybe I should try the Costco homeowner install unit for a buck-seventy-nine instead of $650(no offense to you pros). Thanks for any tips you might have. CoachRick

  • #2
    Re: Pinging recirc cartridge and other hot water woes...

    A Taco recirc cartridge can definitely fail in less than four years. I've replaced them in less than four years.

    I wonder if you have a true traditional recirc line though? I don't think Taco was making recirc systems with a bypass/check valve at the end point four years ago. If you had a "traditional" recirc line you would not need another pump. Hot water would be recirculated by all fixtures.

    If you want to add another pump, Grundfos makes a good retrofit & I have had good luck with Laing models.

    Let a plumber replace the cartridge in the Taco first.

    Good Luck.

    J.C.

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    • #3
      Re: Pinging recirc cartridge and other hot water woes...

      i have installed three of the costco(grundfos) units in the last year, one in my own home. all work great and deliver as promised. the only anamoly associated with its use is that, to get cold water from the cold water tap, it is necessary to run the cold water for a while to purge the hot water that is flowing back to the cold water side of the HW heater(remember, that unit uses the cold water lines to do double duty as the HW return loop). takes about 1 hour to install, if you can read and you take your time. i am not a plumber, but this system was obviously designed for the average DIYer, provided you have flex lines on the HW heater or you can sweat copper.
      there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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      • #4
        Re: Pinging recirc cartridge and other hot water woes...

        Originally posted by FINER9998 View Post
        i have installed three of the costco(grundfos) units in the last year, one in my own home. all work great and deliver as promised. the only anamoly associated with its use is that, to get cold water from the cold water tap, it is necessary to run the cold water for a while to purge the hot water that is flowing back to the cold water side of the HW heater(remember, that unit uses the cold water lines to do double duty as the HW return loop). takes about 1 hour to install, if you can read and you take your time. i am not a plumber, but this system was obviously designed for the average DIYer, provided you have flex lines on the HW heater or you can sweat copper.
        Thanks y'all...

        Interesting...I guess there really is no free lunch. When we had our old Atlanta kitchen replumbed, we added the extra line to loop the hot water...I never thought to check the brand of recirc pump...had to add my own timer. The Taco cartridge I spoke of earlier has a 'built in' timer, but I'm letting it run for now. In ATL I shut it off between midnight and 6AM. I'd love to find an independent plumbing professional like the one in Atlanta...I'm happy to pay a fair rate...just don't want to pay for the 'administrators' new boat. Six-fifty for a single pump seems a bit excessive. Ah, the joys of home ownership!

        JC, thanks for the advice. I do wonder if the 'hard' water helped lead to the early demise of the Taco and if our new softener/filter will help in the future. The kitchen and laundry are on the end of the 'other' WH run so I will want to add the one pump and investigate the current one. We don't have water to waste here in Austin and I don't care to wash dishes with cold water!

        I wonder if you have a true traditional recirc line though? I don't think Taco was making recirc systems with a bypass/check valve at the end point four years ago. If you had a "traditional" recirc line you would not need another pump. Hot water would be recirculated by all fixtures.

        I can't spot a manifold type setup on the fixtures served by the current pump. Not sure how it works...I do know the most remote faucet(master bath) has hot water in about 3 seconds now whereas it took MINUTES before to flush the cold from any line in the master.
        BTW, this is the WATTS pump sold by our Costco:
        http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product...rodid=11026121

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        • #5
          Re: Pinging recirc cartridge and other hot water woes...

          My experience with Taco has been positive. Typically we get 5 to 7 years out of a 007 taco in a closed hydronic system. Hot water recirc. pumps last from 3 to 5 years, on average, depending on water conditions and operating hours.
          If the taco works fine, just replace the cartridge. That would be the least costly solution.
          Mike

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          • #6
            Re: Pinging recirc cartridge and other hot water woes...

            Thanks all. The weather is so nice this week that I am going to attack the deck resurfacing project first. Then, I'll get a pro out to service the Taco and I'll probably hook up a WATTS unit on the other water heater.

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