OT- B&G circulator pump....JUNK ...x2
Close
Login to Your Account
Likes Likes:  0
Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Upstate NY -In the Flats next to the corn fields
    Posts
    9,570
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1880
    Likes (Received)
    2870

    Post

    Heads up.....

    Installed a new boiler at the shop about 6 weeks ago, Peerless Pinnacle boiler and 2 Bell & Gossett
    NRF-36 circulator pumps.

    There is an inner and outer boiler loop, the pump on the inner loop seems fine. The pump on the outer loop made 'bushing' noises as soom as it was powered up. Seemed most noticeable on low speed, but 'ok' on speed 2 and 3. I ended up running it on speed 1, and I chalked it up to 'it'll wear in after a bit'....
    So, last week one evening there was no heat, thermostats calling for heat, opened up the enclosure, and the damn pump was stopped.
    Motor very hot. No place to get any parts, so I beat on the casting with a dead blow hammer till it let out a squeak, and started running.
    WTF????
    All ok till Thursday evening, then NO heat again.
    Pump locked up....again.
    I wired a zip cord to it and plugged it in for continuous run...for the time being, as starting seemed to be the problem.

    Got a new pump friday afternoon, bench tested it Saturday morning. First start, ok. Plugged it back in, NO start! The impeller has a tight spot in it.

    The tag says 'Designed in USA-Made In China'.
    I've had it with Bell & Gossett and their china POS pumps.....the first pump could have started a fire if I didn't find it soon enough.
    The second time it must have been 'on' and stalled a bit longer because it was extremely hot and was beginning to smell that 'cooking electrical parts' smell.
    I hate to do it, but I have to break open the system for the 1 bad pump, so I'm thinking I'll replace both with possibly Grundfoss units and all
    3 of the B&G sCRAP units are going back.
    The Toco brand pumps look like the same POS MIC
    pumps as the B&G units.

    This all seems similar to the china coolant pumps out there. Graymills puts their name on them, ENCO sells the same thing for 1/3 the price.
    Quality: JUNK on both counts.

    dk

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    21,408
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    16782
    Likes (Received)
    17628

    Post

    dkmc, MMMMMMM you have my sympathies, circ pumps are like that, now Grundfos I know are good, (trade connections) in fact I use supposedly scrappers (they,re taken out when boilers are changed) as coolant pumps, never the slightest problem apart from I think three chip jams in 15 years....... usually takes me longer to find the screw driver than to free the rotor...... oh yeah left one switched on pumping against the coolant valve for 3 days once, coolant? coulda heated the shop, still no problem.

    S'pose I'm saying if a heating circ pump will stand that they'll stand most things

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Connellsville PA
    Posts
    561
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    13

    Post

    Congradulations. I have learned to despise the miracle pumps from Morton Grove. They started, years ago, by slathering their name on trash from Ireland. Those were not much better. Parts were not to be had and the pumps would fail at the darndest times.

    I have three Bell & Gossett pumps at my home. All three pumps are older than dirt. I put them in when we built the house. Back then I opted for the old style B&G pumps because the newer stuff was starting to stink. If my current pumps fail; I have no idea what to replace them with. I probably would buy Grundfos. I like the idea of a motorless unit, but B&G motorless put a bad taste in my mouth.

    I guess that I am going to keep putting thirty drops of SB oil in each pump's oil cups, yearly, and hope they outlast me. The most likely scenario will be that I will build up replacement units with 12 volt motors and make up ball bearing heads in my Bridgeport. I have a pile of old cast iron and brass units in the barn and I could not do worse than today's pickings. If you want anything done right, you might as well do it yourself.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Norfolk, UK
    Posts
    21,408
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    16782
    Likes (Received)
    17628

    Post

    Er in my experience ''motorless'' ot electro-mag drive pumps aren't a good idea, on this side of the pond you can't get at the rotors to free them in the event of a jam,= pretty quick burn out. Another fault is they seem to mysteriously ''slow down'' for no apparent cause.

    Just my 2 cents. Sami

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    1,225
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Post

    Thanks for the information on B&G. I am a design engineer who sometimes has to design, or supervise design of HVAC systems. No MIC pumps for me.

    Thermo1

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Redwood City, CA USA
    Posts
    5,366
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    254
    Likes (Received)
    1214

    Post

    Get a Grundfos or Taco, seal-less. The Grundfos ones seem to go & go. I've got four on my boiler now, but only 3 years old. I had a Grundfos and a Taco on my old boiler for 10 years, no problems at all. I'm sold on the water-lubricated ceramic bearing seal-less pumps for hydronics applications.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    19,647
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2517
    Likes (Received)
    3817

    Post

    I have an OLD Made In USA B&G pump, which was on our system until the new furnace.....

    SUPER GOOD. quiet, trouble free, wish it were still there. The little pump now wouldn't allow aenough water through if there were no power,,,, the old B&G does, by actual test..... inadvertant... the old motor on it finally died when we looked at the house. Not running, all the radiators still hot from thermo-syphon action.

    Made in china? That sucks..... another good brand gone to bad.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Upstate NY -In the Flats next to the corn fields
    Posts
    9,570
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    1880
    Likes (Received)
    2870

    Post

    Follow up.....
    Installed 2 new Grundfos pumps saturday in place of the B&G units.

    All around, the Grundfos pumps perform much better.
    There was 'air' sounds in the system for the entire 6 weeks the B&G pumps were in operation, NOW I'm wondering if it was cavatation?
    Could it be inferior design on the China pumps??
    Sometimes it would be less noticeable, sometimes it sounded like a freshly filled system.

    The air and related sounds all went away after about 5-6 hours of running with the new pumps.
    All totally quiet now, with NO motor stalling issues. It's actually difficult to tell if they are running or not. But there's heat, and an ear to the copper pipes confirms it.

    dk

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Waddington, NY USA
    Posts
    297
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    0

    Post

    dkmc, I'm also from Upstate NY, right on the St. Law. River. Can see Canada from the front window. I do hydronics preferably, and B&G pumps leave a bad taste. I only use Gundfoss and then Taco in a blue moon. The only air eliminator I use is the Spirovent and theirs only. Sounds like your system had a bit of air in it at start-up and air will ruin a pump post haste. Worked at a state facility where the contractors never cleaned the strainers before the pumps. Over 120 pumps failed, because the strainers were plugged and there was not any water to the pump inlet and all the pumps had check valves on the discharge. Pumps were started and never checked for flow. Flow and Balancing Co. had all ready done all the balancing on the air handlers and pumps and verified the air balance and liquid flow were adjusted correctly. Test points on both sides of pumps would not release any water and 14 out of 19 air handlers had either supply or return fans running in wrong direction. Idiots could not fathom why the pumps were so hot and there was not any heat downstream. Dope-slaps were passed out fast and furiously. Both piping contractor and Balance Co. forbidden for next 10 years to work on State jobs, and the law suits will go on for years.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    19,647
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2517
    Likes (Received)
    3817

    Post

    The POS we have on ours now is a Taco..... little tiny thing, with what looks like about a 1/4" pipe thru it, no good for thermo-syphon action. Pipes leading to it are 3" or so.

    Noisy little thing also. grinds and whirrrs and can be heard all over the house.

    The old B&G worked for 20 years, and is still good. Quiet, trouble-free. As mentioned, if it quits, system still heats.

    Problem with most B&G I'll bet is that NOBODY ever oils them. I put in the required oil per notes, and never had trouble.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    1,225
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Post

    Jon Frary,
    Good thing the State took action against the contractors. Frequently this doesn't happen on government jobs, but it should.

    Thanks for the information on the pumps.

    When I design a system, I am there at startup, and at least check that it works. Looks like I have to do more checking after construction.

    Thermo1

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Asheville NC USA
    Posts
    8,895
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    3782
    Likes (Received)
    3076

    Post

    Problem with most B&G I'll bet is that NOBODY ever oils them. I put in the required oil per notes, and never had trouble.
    Actually, on the old B&G circulators which used a separate cradle mount motor with resilient bushings, the biggest problem was over-oiling. The excess oil causes the resilient mounts to get mushy, which lets the motor settle in the cradle and put the shaft out of line with the pump shaft. When that happens, the shaft coupler, made of "wings and springs", eats itself with efficient dispatch.

    My house has a Weil-McLain CI boiler which I installed in the late 80's after finally giving up on trying to keep the original American Standard soot-free. (bad design, common problem) The W-M has one of those damned B&G unitized circulators, and I can tell you they sucked long before they were being made in China. Like JTiers said, if the impeller stops turning they absolutely will not pass any water at all. It has to be oiled every 4-6 weeks or it'l lock up. Actually doesn't lock up, but the motor has so little power than any increase in torque stalls it.

    Thermo,
    If you specify independent test and balance, you should be on-site when the work is done. Not wandering around, but dead on top of them observing what's being done. Over the years, we used the majority of the ones operating in the southeast at one time or another, and at least 3/4 of them are incompetent scam artists who'd make the worst welfare abuser you ever met look like an upstanding citizen. I've seen more than one instance where we'd have a couple hundred tons of chilled water, couple boilers, 10 or 12 base mounted pumps, several air handlers, and 300+ pieces of air distribution, and, when the T&B "pros" were done, it appeared we'd installed a perfectly balanced system. Every valve and damper wide open, no changes necessary on any of the fan drives, and their report all nicely bound and indicating perfection across the board. I even unplugged the control air to half a dozen VAV boxes on one job, just to see what they got, and the air quantity was still dead on the money. Made me begin to think we'd paid Johnson $90,000 for nothing, since it was obvious an operating control system wasn't necessary to make things work perfectly

    I would have to say, on base mounted pumps, we had less problems with B&G than with Taco overall. Personally, I always preferred Weinmann horizontal split case pumps to either of them, and would gladly hang any engineer who unnecessarily specs things like 15hp vertical inline pumps, or close coupled pumps, for no good reason, regardless of brand. The customer is always oh so happy when a pump motor with a special, one source, shaft configuration craps out in the dead of winter, and the mfgr says it'll take a month to get a replacement. In addition to the leadtime, motors like this typically cost 3x as much as standard motors, which makes 'em even more joyous.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    St Louis
    Posts
    19,647
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2517
    Likes (Received)
    3817

    Post

    Yah, cradle mount...... original one at the house didn't eat the coupler, it ate a bearing from lack of oil......

    Unitized? That would be like the Taco? bleah....

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Falls Church, VA
    Posts
    1,225
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    0
    Likes (Received)
    1

    Post

    metlmunchr,

    On one job I was short of room, and spec's a pair of B&G 60 series in line pumps. My drawings showed 8" clearance between the pumps and the wall, so that there was clearance to get a wrench on the pumps to pull the rotatling assembly. The rest of the project was design-build, and the design-build firm's mechanical contractor did the mechanical room, and was not too receptive to my drawings and specs. They installed the two pumps tight to the wall, making service difficult. Justice was finally done, however. That mechanical contractor got the service contract!

    If there is a B&G pump with a spider coupling installed near the top of the mechanical room, it is hard to see that the coupling is gone. All you can see is the motor half of coupling still turning. One apartment I lived in had this happen to the domestic hot water circulating pump. I had no hot water first thing in the morning, but by the time the mechanics got there, enough people had let the hot water run that there was DHW. The circ pump looked OK from the ground. After a month of this, they took a closer look from a ladder, and saw that the pump was not turning.

    As far as T&B contractors goes, I have a balancing report on my desk, with the result of measurement intended to show where we have air balance problems when a 13,000 cfm kitchen exhaust fan goes on. The report has lots of data, but does not answer what happens when that fan runs. Yeah, I will watch T&B contractors like a hawk.

    Thermo1

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    wales.uk
    Posts
    1,908
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    434
    Likes (Received)
    454

    Post

    sounds like you got air in system and pump been running dry, try fiting bleed tube/autobleed fitting if available.
    regards
    mark


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •