Case Studies - July 2019

On-demand hot-water circulation system delivers quickly and efficiently

Problem: A homeowner in Hull, Massachusetts, loved her tankless water heater but hated waiting for hot water. The system was is in the garage and the master bedroom was on the second floor on the other side of the house. A 3-minute wait for hot water wasn’t acceptable, and she wanted a system that quickly provided hot water when needed without wasting water or energy.

Solution: The homeowner and her husband found the WaterQuick Tankless from Faster Hot Water. The system is activated by turning on any hot-water faucet for one second, then off. The homeowners called their plumber, who upgraded them to the professional model WaterQuick Premiere and installed it in under two hours.

Result: Now after activating the system, the homeowners get hot water in under 45 seconds without wasting water or energy. A few months later, they added the Home Automation Module and can activate the system by telling Alexa to “turn on the pump.” The homeowner saves time and money without wasting energy with a system designed specifically for tankless water heaters. 619-439-9638;

Tankless water heater an easy fit in residential laundry room

Problem: MLC Plumbing owner Matt Carver knew how a tankless water heater could resolve an issue for the owner of a 40-year-old, single-family residence in Kenner, Louisiana. The home’s 40-gallon, gas-fired tank had begun experiencing leaks, warranting a replacement. However, swapping it with another tank unit would have required a drip pan, which would not fit well into the 5-by-8-foot laundry room.

Solution: Carver convinced the homeowner to opt for a Noritz America EZTR40 system, a direct tankless replacement for 40-gallon, storage-tank water heaters. For starters, the owner liked the space savings: The wall-hung tankless replacement takes up much less space than the old tank heater in the laundry room and requires no drip pan. The home’s existing 1/2-inch gas line was quickly disconnected from the previous tank unit and, once the latter was removed, reattached to the tankless unit. Its top-mounted connections permitted easy hookup to the connectors used by the old tank unit. For venting, Carver threaded the 2-inch, flexible polypropylene tubing that ships with the tankless heater directly through the existing B-vent used by the old unit.

Result: The EZTR40 reduced installation time by 66%, bringing the total installation time to only two hours, including the removal of the old tank unit. The zero-footprint, wall-hung water heater also required only a fraction of the space of the old storage-tank unit. Thanks to the new, space-saving tankless heater, the homeowner was also able to freshen up the space to create a more pleasant environment in her laundry room. 714-433-2905;

Firm uses grinder pumps to make outdoor baths more workable

Problem: Farmingdale, New Jersey-based ToddPod builds outdoor shower stalls and bathrooms in various models and configurations. The firm sought above-floor plumbing technology to accommodate its customers.

Solution: ToddPod’s enclosures are built specifically to accommodate the Sanicubic 1 grinding system from Saniflo - part of SFA Group. The plumbing is not built into the enclosure, but installed later by a contractor hired by the homeowner customer. The grinding system handles up to 50 gpm from multiple plumbing fixtures — toilets, sinks or showers. Effluent enters the unit through any of four adjustable inlets, located on the sides and top. These inlets can accommodate pipes with diameters of 1 1/2- or 4 inches. Effluent entering through any inlet triggers the cutting and pumping system once it reaches a specified level inside. There, it is ground into a slurry before being discharged through a 1 1/2-inch rigid PVC or CPVC pipe connected to the top of the Sanicubic 1. Maximum pumping distances are 36 feet vertically and/or 328 feet horizontally.

Result: Dawn Samuels, owner of ToddPod, describes the happy experience of one customer, a resident of Waretown who lives “right on the shoreline and loves hosting outdoor parties during the summer. His home also happened to be built with an outdoor showerhead, so our enclosure was a natural fit,” Samuels explains. In this particular installation, the Sanicubic 1 was connected to that shower, as well as a sink and toilet, pushing effluent 12 vertical feet and 30 horizontal feet to the sewer line. 800-571-8191;

Boiler used to improve air system with hydronics

Problem: Wilfre Co. in Hebron, Maryland, received a call that a customer’s system wasn’t performing well. The large home had a heat pump system with supplementary heat supplied by hydronic coils in the ductwork. Below 30 degrees F, the system relies on a boiler for space heating. The existing boiler was oversized and piped incorrectly, reducing flow rate and causing the unit to short cycle. 

Solution: The original boiler, installed in the garage, was old enough to warrant replacement. Martin Harrison, owner of Wilfre, planned to replace both the boiler and piping. He started with a Manual J heat load calculation. The home required 180,000 Btu/h at 10 degree F outdoor ambient. Wilfre installed a new U.S. Boiler Co., Inc. - Burnham Brand Boilers - Alpine condensing boiler and primary-secondary piping. The boiler offers up to 95% efficiency. “The five-year parts warranty was a big advantage to the homeowner on this job,” Harrison says. He used the U.S. Boiler Sage Zone Control on the job for precise control. It’s a circulator or valve panel that’s compatible with all U.S. Boiler condensing models, and it allows the boiler to start at low fire and only increase to the firing rate needed for the zone (or zones) calling.

Result: By hanging the new boiler on the wall, with cleaner piping, the homeowners now have more room in their garage. “There’s no comparison between this system and the original,” the homeowner says. “It’s more comfortable, and the boiler is very quiet.” 717-397-4701;


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