Case Studies - December 2019

Microbiological product reduces pumping costs and frequency

Problem: Five years ago, an Ohio resident spent $430 to have his 1,500-gallon septic tank completely pumped out. This routine maintenance activity had to be performed every two years. Following this schedule, the customer would have run up a bill of $1,290 in pumping costs for three pumping procedures over the five-year period of 2014-19. By the time he paid for next year’s routine pumping, he would be spending an estimated $1,720.

Solution: Rather than staying locked into the traditional procedure, the homeowner decided to try the biological route of enhancing his system with supplementary microbes, enzymes, nutrients and stimulants to speed up the biodegradation process in the septic tank. He began rigorously applying ECO-SEPT, a 1-ounce water-soluble pouch from Bionetix International, by flushing it down the toilet once a month. It is designed to reduce pumping frequency by unleashing a diverse microbiology for faster degradation of paper, grease, vegetable waste and other organic wastes. It also extends the life of leachfield lines and reduces bad odors, blockage and backups.

Result: As of April 2019, five years after starting the biological treatment, the septic tank had passed all inspections, with no need for pumping. This was done at a fraction of the expected pumping price, allowing the septic tank owner to save several hundreds of dollars on routine maintenance costs. 514-457-2914; www.bionetix-international.com.


Thermal hot-water balancing stops complaints

Problem: The domestic hot-water system installed in the early 1970s at the Courthouse Square Apartments in Denver had been suffering from a shortage of instantaneous availability of hot water since startup. Over the years, the installing contractor tried to balance the system by adding pipes and circulation return branches — to no avail. The pyramidic parallel direct return type of design was a problem since the initial installation. Residents began complaining to the local health department which, upon investigation, determined the system was noncompliant with the local health standard, which requires hot water to be delivered at 120 degrees F within 30 seconds. The property also experienced severe hydraulic erosion corrosion due to imbalances in water flow. This caused leaks on the circulation return system, resulting in interruptions to the hot-water system for repairs and hidden water damage due to pinhole leaks.

Solution: Advanced Hydronics reviewed the installation’s hot-water supply and circulation system drawings. When performing system inspections, they determined that continued traditional balancing with the installed quarter-turn balancing valves was an impossible task due to their throttling limitations. Caleffi North America ThermoSetter thermal balancing valves were installed throughout the building, bringing the system immediately into compliance with mandated temperature standards.

Result: Installing ThermoSetter valves not only reduced the water velocity to fix the hydraulic erosion and prevent further erosion damage, the property also realized a 15% reduction in energy and water consumption due to residents not wasting water while waiting for the hot water to be delivered to their apartments. 414-238-2360; www.caleffi.com.



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