Anthony’s Voice

Some classic heavy metal made it’s debut in 1970.  Black Sabbath’s 2nd album came out late in the year, and went quadruple-platinum:

The title song from Paranoid, the only top 10 hit Ozzy and the boys every had.

Anthony Reikow isn’t paranoid by any stretch of the imagination, but he does hear voices.

Anthony is a trainer for BJ Terroni, the Manufacturer’s Rep for Taco and several other fine hydronics products in Philadelphia.  Like any good trainer, Anthony has a little voice in head that keeps asking him questions.  It makes him a curious and inquisitive guy.

Anthony likes to look at things, think about what he sees, and then let the voice in his head take him places not often visited by normal people.

Lots of us trainers are like that.

Anthony has an oil boiler in his home, with two zones of baseboard and zone valves.  One zone’s a good bit longer than the other, with a higher BTU load.

For 18 years a Taco 007 handled the pumping chores. It was way more pump than he needed, though. At design conditions the system Delta-T was around 10 to 12 degrees instead of the designed-for 20. It was even lower when it was warmer out, which was most of the time.

Not ideal, but things rarely are in the real world.

Last fall, after 18 years, the Taco 007 decided it was time to go to Circulator Heaven.

Being a curious guy, Anthony decided to try a newfangled variable speed circulator.  Anthony’s little voice told him that since he was a Taco rep, he should use the Taco 008-VDT (click here for a Delta-T review).

Anthony’s voice is very brand specific.

Once the 008-VDT was installed and running, Anthony’s little voice needed more.

“Why not check the Delta-T in your zones?” the voice asked.  Anthony did.

The Delta-T in the short zone was about 150, while the longer zone was right at 200, just as he set it up to be. And it was nowhere near design conditions at the time.

The little voice was impressed. So was Anthony.

Now Anthony got to thinking. The high limit aquastat on his boiler had an adjustable differential.  It had been set to 100, meaning the boiler would fire on a call for heat only when its temperature plunged to 50 below the high limit of 180, and would keep firing until the boiler temperature reached 50 above the high limit.

“Hmmm,” thought Anthony.  “A 100 differential with a 100 to 120 system Delta-T with the old pump?  No wonder the boiler short cycled like crazy.”

“You’re right, Anthony,” said the voice.  “So what’s the Delta-T pump going to do for us?”

“It should cut down on that short cycling,” he thought.  “It’s only going to pump what the house needs, and that’s going to change all winter. The boiler’s going to like that!”

Anthony smiled.

“Hey Anthony,” the voice said.  “What would happen if you stretched the differential out a bit, like to 250?”

“Hmmmm,” thought Anthony.  “The boiler wouldn’t fire until it hits 168.50, and would fire until it hits 192.50.  Even under design conditions, my flow rate’s going to be way less than it was with the fixed speed circulator (the 10-120 Delta-T told him that!)”

“Think about all the residual heat in the boiler you’ll be using,” said the voice. “You won’t short cycle under design conditions any more, that’s for sure.  And when it’s warmer than that out?”

“We won’t short cycle then, either!”  Anthony knew that taking advantage of the wider boiler differential, a fixed system Delta-T and flow rates that varied with the actual BTU load of his home, his boiler would run less often, but for longer intervals.

“That’s going to affect our fuel bill,” the voice told him.

And the voice was right.  The winter of 2010-11 in Philly was a good bit harsher than the previous one.  Despite that, Anthony saw a 15% drop in actual fuel usage.

And the place heated even better than before.

Both Anthony and the voice inside his head are very, very happy. This winter he’s adding a PC-700 boiler reset control.

The voice told him to.

Want a 1970 hit that’ll make you almost as happy as Anthony?  Here’s a classic…

“Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is” was on Chicago’s debut album in 1969, but was released as a single in October of ’70.  It peaked at #7.



One Response to “Anthony’s Voice”

  1. “His voice is very brand specific” Love it!

    The PC700 is a great add-on control for this very situation. I have had great success lowering customer’s gas bills here in MN with said control.

    Any chance there are plans to manufacture a relay with ODR built right in? Maybe Anthony’s voice has an answer…

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