Designed and manufactured in the United States, this advanced self-actuating technology threatens to disrupt traditional hot water balancing practice because it enables plumbing designers, engineers and contractors to install a CircuitSolver® valve at the end of each branch and watch the system balance itself. This thermostatic valve automatically controls the hot water flow (see illustration) ensuring hot water is delivered consistently to all faucets without the need for manual balancing.
CircuitSolver® completely eliminates the need for time consuming and expensive manual balancing procedures and equipment. It is a self-actuating, in-line, thermostatic recirculation valve which automatically and continuously adjusts flow to maintain the specified temperature at the end of each domestic hot water supply line.
The thermal actuator inside CircuitSolver® modulates the valve between open and closed in response to changing water temperature caused by heat loss, water demand, or any other reason. This constant, automatic response to water temperature enables each hot water branch to quickly and consistently deliver the right temperature of hot water to each connected fixture. It also minimizes flow through the system by only allowing water that cools below the set point to flow to the return, eliminating the need for oversized recirculation pumps which cause system wear and waste energy.
Discover ThermOmegaTech’s complete line of quality, self-actuating, thermostatic valves for a variety of plumbing applications.
To determine the possible effects of hard water on CircuitSolver’s longevity, ThermOmegaTech has been conducting an ongoing hard water test on the same balancing valve at their headquarters in Warminster, PA since 2013.
A single valve was installed in the facility’s hard water on January 15, 2013, with its performance and appearance evaluated annually. 2021 is the 8th consecutive year that the test CircuitSolver has continued to operate efficiently, with no signs of mineral deposits, wear or fatigue in the installation.
Ongoing Effects of Hard Water Study
To determine exactly how hard the water was before the valve was installed, QC Laboratories, a certified test laboratory in Warminster, PA, analyzed collected water samples and found the hardness of ThermOmegaTech’s water to be 229 mg/L – this is considered “very hard” water.
Typical effects of hard water are often damaging and can include mineral deposits, scale buildup on plumbing fixtures, impaired flow rates, and stained appliances.
Test CircuitSolver as of 2021
The photos below display the test CircuitSolver and its disassembled components when they were removed during the latest inspection in 2021.
With no visible signs of mineral deposits, wear, or fatigue, the CircuitSolver continues to cycle normally after 153,120 modulations to date.
ThermOmegaTech® Rewards the 2020 Top CircuitSolver® Sales Reps
[Warminster, Pennsylvania, June 2021] Recognizing the many struggles and challenges that came with the year 2020, ThermOmegaTech® acknowledges and rewards their CircuitSolver® representative award winners with the prestigious “2020 Top Sales Rep” award, and the “2020 Budget Buster” award as a strong thank you from the ThermOmegaTech® family.
The “2020 Top Sales Rep” award is presented, with great honor, to Specification Sales, Spirit Group, Kast Marketing, and Pinnacle Sales to be recognized as ThermOmegaTech®’s top four representative agencies with the largest percentage increase in sales year over year.
Exceeding their sales budget for the year, A6, Dellon Sales Company, Kast Marketing, Pinnacle Sales, RKR, Specification Sales, Spirit Group, PMI Sales, and Urell have been presented with the “2020 Budget Buster” award to recognize their hard work and accomplishments.
Aaron Markward, CircuitSolver® Regional Sales Manager for ThermOmegaTech®, expresses with great gratification, his appreciation for the representative award winners of 2020.
“It is with great pleasure that we present these two awards to our top sales representatives, and budget busters of 2020. Despite all the challenges we faced this past year, our CircuitSolver® reps proved the ability to achieve and exceed their goals.”
We appreciate the constant support, communication, and effort put forth by all our rep firms this past year and every year. We are excited to continue to grow the CircuitSolver® brand with our reps, throughout the commercial plumbing industry. With that, we want to express a BIG Thank you to our award winners!
Since its discovery in the summer of 1976, Legionella bacteria has been an ever increasingly hot topic in the plumbing industry, seeming to lurk in pipes and water systems, waiting to strike in a moment of lapsed attention or vigilance. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the CDC reports that as of 2018, cases of Legionnaires’ Disease, pneumonia caused by aspirating the Legionella bacteria, have risen significantly. With nearly 10,000 cases reported in 2018 alone, Legionnaires seems to be running rampant in modern water systems.
While some attribute the sharp rise in case numbers to improved reporting, awareness, and testing methods, it has also been suggested that aging infrastructure and climate change could be contributing factors.
While prevalent in modern plumbing systems, Legionella bacteria only presents a risk when able to colonize, typically in stretches of piping with warm, stagnant water. For many buildings, simple changes to system design and management procedures can significantly reduce the prevalence of Legionella bacteria and inhibit growth before it can begin.
1. Avoid “Dead Legs” in Piping Design
Minimizing the distance between supply lines and fixtures in your system design can reduce areas of stagnation in the hot water piping which could accumulate scale and biofilm buildup, a prime location for Legionella bacteria to set up shop.
2. Maintain Water Temperature Control
Legionella bacteria flourishes in warm water with comfortable temperatures ranging from around 70°F to 115°F. Storing water at temperatures above 120°F will generally help prevent colonization.
To prevent bacteria growth, specify hot water tanks that store water above 140°F (60°C) and use a mixing valve to recirculate it to the fixtures at 120°F (48.9°C) to comply with anti-scalding regulations.
3. Keep Pumps Running Continuously
Keeping your recirculation pumps running at all times will keep water flowing and prevent bacteria from grouping together and adhering to pipe walls.
4. Perform Routine Maintenance of Equipment
The CDC recommends cleaning water tanks routinely including periodically draining the system to remove scale and sediment. This will prevent biofilm, organic debris, and corrosion from contaminating your water system.
CircuitSolver Sanitary Flush Valve
For domestic hot water systems using a heat-and-flush thermal disinfection method to prevent Legionella bacteria growth, balancing during the flush is essential to ensure thorough sanitation.
CircuitSolver Sanitary Flush Valve utilizes two thermal actuators for automatic thermal balancing of the system; one for normal DHWS operation, and the other for thermal disinfection. Click here to see how it works.
Residential CircuitSolver Installation Case Study – The Austonian in Austin, TX
Below is a CircuitSolver® success story brought to you from the lone star state:
Located in the heart of Austin, TX, The Austonian is a premier luxury residence boasting 360° views, unparalleled amenities, and a Four Star rating from Austin Energy Green Building. Towering over downtown at 683 feet tall, The Austonian is the tallest residential tower West of the Mississippi River.
Despite its laundry list of amenities, The Austonian’s managers were not satisfied with hot water delivery time to the building’s units. In some cases, 2-3 minutes were needed for warm water to reach fixtures.
A team of engineers was assembled and tasked with finding a solution and improving hot water delivery times.
With more than 50 floors to retrofit, the CircuitSolver® was deemed the ideal and only solution to The Austonian’s domestic hot water system challenge.
Hot water distribution lines had originally been placed in corridor ceilings and branched into residential units during construction. Certified plumbers installed CircuitSolvers® in each unit’s ceiling near the hot water return line. Located behind false air vents for easy access, shut-off valves were placed on either side of the CircuitSolvers® for ease of maintenance in the future.
A majority of the work done was in corridors and access to private residences had to be scheduled. Fortunately construction time in residences was minimized due to CircuitSolver’s® simple installation and set-up.
Residents are reportedly pleased with improved hot water delivery times following CircuitSolver® installation. Units with wait times of multiple minutes saw a dramatic reduction, and fixtures now reach proper temperature in 20-30 seconds. A reduction of water waste and the implementation of lower horsepower pumps has also resulted in significant utility cost savings.
This success story is one among many, and thousands of installations around the country benefit from implementing the CircuitSolver®.
Should you have any questions about implementing the CircuitSolver®, please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated team of product experts.
Inspira Health CircuitSolver case study – Millica Hill, New Jersey USA
Installation Site Overview
Inspira Health operates a variety of healthcare facilities throughout southern New Jersey, including Inspira Health Center Mullica Hill Commons in Mullica Hill, NJ.
Opened in November of 2019, the 5-floor Mullica Hill Commons facility is a state-of-the-art general medical and surgical center, featuring specialized obstetrics and gynecology services.
A new construction, Mullica Hill Commons’ contractors relied on the expert advice of the design engineers to specify products that would meet the needs of a dynamic healthcare DHWR system. The CircuitSolver® Union Assembly Strainer (CSUAS) balancing valve was specified at 140°F to satisfy the designs hot water requirements and reduce installation time. The CSUAS comes preassembly with the CircuitSolver® thermostatic balancing valve with an integrated union, two ball valves on either side, and an integrated strainer.
In accordance with the project specifications, MMC Contractors installed 102 CircuitSolver® Union Assembly Strainers throughout the system saving significant time by not having to manually install each component. CircuitSolver® valves were installed at the end of each domestic hot water branch in place of manual valves to provide a balanced system. “There was no balancing necessary because these valves are self-adjusting,” Mike Formica of MMC Contractors commented. “The CircuitSolver® is the fastest and easiest way to balance a system.”
These self-actuating, thermostatic valves automatically and continuously adjust system flow to maintain a specified temperature at the end of hot water supply line by monitoring water temperature, eliminating manual balancing as well as the possibility of callbacks for adjustments to meet changing system demands.
Soon after startup, the facility was supplied with hot water throughout the building without any balancing procedures. Inspira Health Center Mullica Hill Commons opened on November 8, 2019 to much fanfare and celebration and, thanks to CircuitSolver®, the staff of Mullica Hill Commons will be spending many years caring for their patients with instant hot water at the turn of a tap.
For more information on this Inspira Health CircuitSolver case study or how the CircuitSolver line of balancing valves can meet your domestic hot water system balancing needs, visit our plumbing products page.
St. Elizabeth Healthcare operates five facilities throughout Northern Kentucky, including St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood, a state-of-the-art general medical and surgical facility.
As a healthcare facility serving the larger Cincinnati metro area, there is a constant flow of patients, visitors, and medical personnel through their halls. Unfortunately, the hot water was not flowing quite so quickly. For years the hospital had dealt with an unreliable and unbalanced hot water supply. The domestic hot water system’s (DHWS) return runs were operating inefficiently, leaving some of the hospital wings completely without hot water at times.
To address this problem, MarkCo Plumbing installed around 90 CircuitSolver® balancing valves in their DHWS. The CircuitSolvers® were installed at the end of each hot water branch in the system, replacing the manual balancing valves. These self-actuating, thermostatic recirculation valves automatically and continuously adjusted the flow to maintain the specified temperature at the end of each domestic hot water supply line. No manual balancing was required.
After the successful CircuitSolver® installation, St. Elizabeth Healthcare Edgewood now has access to an on demand hot water supply in all wings, on every floor, at every fixture. CircuitSolver® was able to balance the system when engineers could not.
Where manual balancing fails, CircuitSolver® delivers.
The CircuitSolver® is a thermostatic, self-actuating balancing valve that continuously and automatically adjusts the flow through each branch of a domestic hot water recirculation system to maintain the specified temperature at the end of each branch, regardless of fluctuations in hot water demand. It is a direct replacement for manual balancing valves and eliminates balancing labor and callbacks.
Legionnaires’ disease is arguably the hottest topic in the plumbing industry today.
First identified after an outbreak in 1976, this potentially fatal form of pneumonia is contracted by aspirating Legionella bacteria and presents with coughing, shortness of breath, fever and pain.
Since its initial discovery, the bacteria has been found to be pervasive in large-scale water systems, leading to offices, hospitals, hotels and other sizeable buildings to double down on their sanitization, identification and prevention efforts.
Legionella bacteria can be found in many domestic hot and cold water systems in trace amounts, but does not present a health concern until it colonizes, and the bacteria are atomized and aspirated. In warm, stagnant water, the bacteria can grow and multiply to high concentrations, which is when it becomes dangerous.
Organizations differ on the specific temperature at which the bacteria will grow, but the most common range stated for Legionella bacteria survival is 68°-122°F (20°-50°C). The bacteria is dormant below 68° (20° C) and does not survive above 140° (60° C).
The key to preventing disease Legionnaires’ disease is to make sure that building owners and managers follow a water management program. Unfortunately, there is no one guideline to follow on how to reduce the risk of Legionella growth and spread. Go to any ASPE meeting and ask the members what the best way is to prevent Legionella and you are likely to get as many different answers as there are attendees.
Organizations that mandate domestic hot water systems design guidelines and recommendations are similarly scattered and contradictory in their requirements, torn between the need for energy conservation and Legionella prevention.
ASHRAE, which touts energy conservation practices, suggests that temperature maintenance systems should be automatically switched off “during extended periods when hot water is not required,” whereas OSHA states that in the interest of Legionella prevention, DHWS should be excluded from energy conservation measures and run continuously.
The Uniform Plumbing Code and International Plumbing Code set minimum guidelines for plumbing system and component safety, but do not provide concrete “how to” documents and checklists for Legionella prevention.
The Center for Disease Control simply suggests periodically culturing potable water samples to test for bacteria growth.
Which codes and guidelines dictate your DHWS design typically falls to your local jurisdictions and personal or corporate preferences. However, it still leaves the question of just how can plumbing engineers best design their systems to prevent, or at the very least discourage, Legionella bacteria from growing while still adhering to the necessary requirements so as not to find themselves on an inspector’s infraction list?
Q&A with ThermOmegaTech® about new automatic DHWS balancing valve – CircuitSolver® Union Sanitary Flush
Being “first” often sets the bar high. As one of the first manufacturers of a thermostatic balancing valve for domestic hot water systems, ThermOmegaTech®’s commitment has not just been to set the bar but also to raise the bar. Since the introduction of its CircuitSolver® in 2012, the company has frequently added components, including ball valves, strainers, check valves and ProPress ends to meet customer demand.
In April 2018, the innovation continued with the launch of the CircuitSolver® Union Sanitary Flush thermostatic balancing valve for domestic hot water systems. The union is integral with the valve body, which also has an optional integral check valve. A key feature of the CircuitSolver® Union Sanitary Flush is the new capability to automatically balance a domestic hot water system during a high-temperature sanitary flush procedure.
In the following Q&A with ThermOmegaTech®, Plumbing Engineer explores the features of the new product, including its ability to mitigate Legionella and other bacteriological problems.
PE: What makes CircuitSolver® Union Sanitary Flush different from other valves on the market?
TOT: It has an all-stainless-steel construction for maximum corrosion resistance and durability. It is NSF61 and NSF372 certified — even though it seems that all components in a domestic hot water system (DHWS) should be certified and most plumbing codes and specifications say they must be, not all balancing valves are certified. The valve is completely automatic, thermostatically balancing both the standard recirculation temperature as well as the high-temperature sanitary flush cycle. No power, signal or powered actuators are required, as in some other such balancing valves.
ThermOmegaTech®’s design is highly resistant to mineral buildup and the adverse effects of debris in the piping system. It is the only tamper-proof thermostatic balancing valve on the market. Other competitive devices are adjustable for several reasons: those manufacturers don’t manufacture their own thermal actuators as ThermOmegaTech® does. They can not be as flexible and offer all the setpoint variations we can, so their valve is adjustable, making it prone to tampering and/or being set to a temperature other than what the designer specified.
With this valve, the plumbing system designer specifies the desired temperature and the valves are factory-set to that exact setting.
PE: What are the benefits or special features of the CircuitSolver® Union Sanitary Flush that are specific to those designing and specifying thermostatic balancing valves for DHWS?
TOT: CircuitSolver® Union Sanitary Flush brings the benefits of the standard CircuitSolver® into high-temperature sanitary flush applications. There is no manual balancing required. It can simply be installed; once the system is turned on, within minutes the building’s DHWS is balanced. Unlike manual balancing valves or fixed-flow devices, CircuitSolver® Union Sanitary Flush will automatically go to full open when high-temperature water is being flushed, providing maximum flow for high-temperature sanitary flush…
New CircuitSolver® Union Assembly ProPress® combines CircuitSolver® balancing technology and Viega ProPress® ends.
ThermOmegaTech®, a world leader in the design and manufacture of self-actuating, thermostatic valve technology, adds the CircuitSolver® Union Assembly ProPress (CSUA-PP) to its distinguished line of products.
The CircuitSolver® is a domestic hot water system balancing valve that continuously and automatically adjusts the flow through each branch of a water recirculation system to maintain the specified temperature at the end of each branch, regardless of fluctuations in demand. The CSUA-PP combines the CircuitSolver® technology professionals trust and Viega® ProPress ends for improved ease of installation.
Lauren Berenato, Commercial Plumbing Product Manager at ThermOmegaTech® says, “The CircuitSolver® product line is revolutionizing the plumbing industry by making domestic hot water system balancing automatic and continuous. The CSUA-PP’s Viega ProPress® ends makes it even easier for tradesmen to implement our technology into their systems, saving them time and labor costs.”
Each CSUA-PP incorporates Viega’s Smart Connect Technology. Identifiable by a small dot on each ProPress® end, it allows installers to easily identify un-pressed connections during installation. The CircuitSolver® Union Assembly ProPress is lead-free, resistant to corrosion, and all components are NSF 61 Certified. In addition, each and every CSUA-PP valve is leak tested prior to leaving the factory and comes equipped with a long service life and 3-year warranty.
To view the full article on Mechanical Hub click here.
ThermOmegaTech®, a designer and manufacturer of self-actuating temperature control technology, introduces its newest valve in the CircuitSolver® line: the CircuitSolver® Sanitary Flush valve. This CircuitSolver® Sanitary Flush Valve allows for higher water temperatures to flow through the system during the disinfection process to protect against Legionella growth.
“The CircuitSolver® Sanitary Flush Valve (CSUSF) allows for protection against Legionella growth in systems capable of high temperature flush disinfection processes,” says Nick Tallos, vice president of engineering with ThermOmegaTech®. “We saw a need, especially in hospitals and healthcare settings, for a sanitary flush valve and this technology provides a convenient and reliable solution.”
CircuitSolver® is a thermostatic self-actuating balancing valve that continuously adjusts the flow through each branch of a domestic hot water recirculation system to maintain the specified temperature at the end of the branches. The CSUSF valve uses two high thrust actuators to control the temperature and flow of water through a branch. A low temperature actuator maintains standard balancing temperature, while a high temperature actuator allows for high temperature sanitary flushing of the system.
The CircuitSolver® Sanitary Flush valve is tamper proof and is the ideal solution for a reliable and automatic high temperature flush. It is a direct replacement for manual balancing valves and eliminates balancing labor and callbacks. The CSUSF valve is constructed of all stainless steel, is corrosion resistant, and is pending NSF/ANSI 61 and NSF/ANSI 372 certifications. It also has a long service life and comes with a 3-year warranty.
ThermOmegaTech® will be introducing the valve at the Canadian Mechanical & Plumbing Exposition (CMPX) from March 21-23 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The product release is set for mid-April 2018.
For nearly a decade, CircuitSolver® has exceeded the standard for balancing domestic hot water systems. The thermostatic self-actuating balancing valve controls temperature and ensures hot water is delivered consistently to all fixtures without the need for manual balancing. The simple design combined with the unique technology of the valve has transformed the future of domestic hot water balancing. To date, there are thousands of CircuitSolver®s installed in buildings across the country with more being spec’d into projects every day. More and more contractors are realizing the convenience the valve creates by eliminating the need for time-consuming and expensive manual balancing labor and equipment.
ThermOmegaTech® interviewed a few contractors to hear about their experiences using CircuitSolver®. Below are the responses from three plumbing contractors: E.M. Duggan Inc, Pan-Pacific Mechanical, and Production Plus Plumbing Inc.
E.M. Duggan Inc. – Boston, Massachusetts
Overview of the project
Founded in 1891, E.M. Duggan Inc. is a full mechanical contractor specializing in commercial plumbing, HVAC and sprinkler systems in and around Boston, Massachusetts. Stephen Thompson, who has been working for E.M. Duggan for 30+ years, talks about the recently completed Avalon North Station high-rise apartments, right next to the home of the Boston Celtics, and the installation of CircuitSolver®s.
This newly constructed 38-story luxury apartment building with 537 units used CircuitSolver®s to balance its domestic hot water system. The system was broken into three zones of water — low, medium and high — and required roughly 100 Circuit Solvers.
The contractor was pleased with how quickly the system was balanced. It usually takes two to three days to balance a system manually, but by using CircuitSolver®s, this process was done instantly. This translated into huge savings in terms of time and effort that is usually devoted to the balancing process. There was no scaling or gumming up of the system either, which is sometimes an issue when using manual valves. They experienced no problems or call backs. When asked how CircuitSolver® compares to other balancing valves, Thompson says, “It’s hard to compare to since there really isn’t anything else like it on the market.”
Pan-Pacific Mechanical – Los Angeles, California
Overview of the project
For 60+ years, Pan-Pacific Mechanical has been a family-owned mechanical contractor in California. Richard Parker talks about the USC Village project at University Park Campus Los Angeles, and his experience with installing CircuitSolver®s.
This construction project consisted of five buildings — five stories, at 750,000 square feet a piece. Each building required 110 Circuit Solvers totaling 600 valves for the whole project.
Normally it takes a long time to balance a system. A project this size would take three or four plumbers per building at least two weeks to get the system perfectly balanced. With CircuitSolver®, the contractor was able to start up the system, and it was balanced automatically. This saved them both time and money, plus made the whole process easier. They have had to make zero adjustments and haven’t had any clogging issues that can be a problem when using other valves. Since CircuitSolver® automatically adjusts to the changing water temperatures, the system doesn’t becomes unbalanced and hot water will be at the branch when you need it, so there won’t be any long wait times.
The CircuitSolver® line with an integrated union and optional built-in check valve as well as a complete assembly. This product will also be NSF 61 certified. It also minimizes flow through the system by only allowing small amounts of water to pass through once the set point is reached, which reduces system wear and allows for a smaller circulator that won’t consume as much power.
ThermOmegaTech® is expanding its CircuitSolver® line to include an enhanced CircuitSolver® with an integrated union and optional built-in check valve as well as a complete assembly. As is the case with the original CircuitSolver®, the CSU will also be NSF 61 certified.
The new products extend beyond ThermOmegaTech®’s flagship thermostatic self-actuating balancing valve, the CircuitSolver®, which continuously maintains the end of each domestic hot water supply line in a recirculation system at the specified water temperature. This simple in-line valve completely eliminates the need for time consuming and expensive manual balancing labor and equipment. It also minimizes flow through the system by only allowing small amounts of water to pass through once the set point is reached, which reduces system wear and allows for a smaller circulator that won’t consume as much power. The CSU and CSU Assembly include all the benefits of the Circuit Solver plus additional advantages not offered anywhere else. Read more…
For years, manual balancing valves have been the industry standard in regulating the flow of recirculating domestic hot water systems. Particularly in large, populous commercial buildings, such as offices, hotels and multi-dwelling housing, maintaining perfect hot water distribution was very challenging until Pennsylvania-based manufacturer ThermOmegaTech®, Inc. launched its self-operating temperature actuated CircuitSolver® thermal recirculation balancing valve and set a new standard.
“Even people who are very knowledgeable with years of experience in the industry are impressed with what CircuitSolver® can achieve,” shares Nick Tallos, vice president of engineering for ThermOmegaTech® and 40-year industry veteran himself. “They ask, ‘where was this 20 years ago,’ and call Circuit Solver a game-changing technology.” However, ThermOmegaTech® is no stranger to game changing products. Since the company was founded by the late Fred Pirkle in 1983, it has been solving temperature control problems all over the country and the world.
“I was working with Fred before he started ThermOmegaTech®,” recounts Tallos. “He was working as a sales representative for another company when he was offered a position in product development in Pennsylvania. A few years later, in the early 1980s, he decided to start his own company.” Setting the standard early on ThermOmegaTech®’s first breakthrough product was the highly reliable, cost-effective freeze valve for the railroad industry. “The freeze protection valve has become the industry standard and almost every dieselelectric locomotive in the U.S. has our products,” reveals Tom Ruggierio, director of sales and marketing for ThermOmegaTech®. “We now have 98 percent of the market share for Class 1 locomotives in North America.”
“Our freeze protection valve is critical, because a locomotive has 300 to 500 gallons of coolant circulating through to keep the engine temperature down, but antifreeze is not compatible with the diesel engine technology,” adds Tallos. “If the coolant freezes it means a major risk to the engine, not to mention huge costs due to lost operating time.”
The freeze valve is still one of ThermOmegaTech®’s most important products, but Tallos says the company has grown to fit the needs of numerous other industries and applications. “We took the freeze-valve technology and started applying it to other problems our customers in the petrochemical and industrial arenas had,” he explains. “If we saw an opportunity to make a device to solve their problem, we did, and steadily they’ve become standard products.”
From locomotives to commercial dishwashers, ThermOmegaTech®’s technology can be found in almost every corner of industry. ThermOmegaTech has developed a wide range of valves and systems for the industrial market, including valves for scald protection, steam traps, ambient sensing, surface sensing and more. The company also has mixing valves for water and steam-water applications, which have been incorporated into wash down stations for hot water wash down and instantaneous tepid water heaters.
The most recent generation of ThermOmegaTech®’s game changing technology is the CircuitSolver® thermal recirculation balancing valve and its ability to regulate and cut costs in domestic hot water systems. “The CircuitSolver® is just an extension of the self-operated valve technology we’ve been working on for 30 years; we’re just adopting it to other arenas,” explains Tallos.
One of the major headaches for engineers and contractors in today’s complicated construction projects is properly balancing a multi-loop domestic hot water system (DHWS). Getting these systems properly balanced initially and having them stay balanced over the life of the building has, until now, been nearly an impossible job.
Furthermore, with today’s emphasis on more efficient building design and better operation and management, many practices of the past are no longer adequate or acceptable. No process or system can be ignored when looking for improvements. Even the seemingly simple task of supplying domestic hot water to all areas of a building requires another look to ensure that the most current and efficient methods are being employed.
In this article, we are going to take a look at DHWS, how balancing multi-loop systems works, and what some of the newest trends and technologies have to offer.
DHWSs are designed to keep the hot water supply at the desired target temperature and to minimize wait times and the wasting of water at the fixtures waiting for the hot water to arrive.
Note: The correct hot water design temperatures is a separate subject as to scalding verses Legionella control and is not a part of this article.
In order to have hot water at all locations, the circulator pump must send water through the system fast enough to overcome any heat loss of the circulating piping system. To ensure this target is maintained, the engineer selects the pump and piping so that the flow rate through the system is high enough to maintain the necessary temperature, but not so high as to cause excessive noise and potential pipe erosion due to excessive velocity in the piping.
Furthermore, the engineer must remember that the temperature drop across the system is dependent on the quantity of water circulated. See the ASPE Domestic Water Heating Design Manual for further data.
Many buildings require multiple branches off the hot water supply line. Water flows to the path of least resistance. Hot water use is hyper-dynamic, so the path of least resistance constantly changes. Because flow rates often have to be set much higher than “optimum,” manual balancing valves or constant flow balancing valves cannot effectively resolve these issues.
ThermOmegaTech® has a solution. By installing the self-operating CircuitSolver®, a thermostatic balancing valve at the end of each hot water supply branch before it connects back into the return, you are assured of having the right water temperature at all times. This allows for the right temperature of hot water to be made available at any hot water fixture in a building, regardless of the time of day.
For more than 30 years, ThermOmegaTech® has been building freeze protection valves for Class 1 locomotives. Presently, the company has over 98 percent market share for Class 1 locomotives in North America. All of ThermOmegaTech®’s products, including CircuitSolver®, use the same technology that was developed for the railroad industry. The company has branched out with numerous products supporting a number of industries.
Plumbing Engineer learned more about CircuitSolver®, and some of the questions that ThermOmegaTech® frequently hears about the offering.
Plumbing Engineer: What was the genesis of CircuitSolver® and its design?
ThermOmegaTech®: It’s not an unusual source for new ideas, but a customer came to us with a problem because they saw we make the types of valves or devices that might help his application. ThermOmegaTech® was already manufacturing an inline, self-operating, thermostatic valve that closes on temperature rise, so we showed the customer this valve. The customer (in this case a commercial plumbing systems expert) asked if this valve could be made to open at 110°F and close at 120°F, for example. We already had such a valve, but the discussion progressed further and with some development work the valve was simplified, made more compact, optimized for recirculating domestic hot water systems; and thus was born CircuitSolver®.
In replacing the display by FARO Technologies, which completed its demonstration run in July, ThermOmegaTech® is the latest area business to occupy the Gallery with a product for the commercial building Advanced Energy Retrofit (AER) market.
ThermOmegaTech® specializes in the design and manufacture of self-actualizing temperature control valves. Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing contractors, as well as architectural firms, rely on CircuitSolver® valves and similar ThermOmegaTech® products to dramatically reduce the expense and energy required to supply hot water throughout large residential, industrial, and other buildings.
“CircuitSolver® valves deliver hot water instantly, eliminating the need to purchase and power oversized recirculating pumps,” says ThermOmegaTech®’s Chris Ashworth. “We offer significant electrical savings by virtue of our design—an application that required a five-horsepower pump before CircuitSolver® may need less than one horsepower with CircuitSolver® valves. The smaller pump is far less expensive to buy, and the energy savings can be on the order of hundreds of watts per hour.”
The product also represents dramatic labor savings. While traditional water systems might require a crew of workers to properly balance the temperature for a high-rise building, CircuitSolver® valves automate the entire process.
“You used to have a series of manual balancing valves that required a lot of fine adjustment,” Ashworth adds. “They would turn the system on, see how it worked, and radio to workers on other floors to gauge their temperature. Unfortunately, once you get it set for the empty building, everything is going to change once you get people in it. Unless you have someone there opening and closing valves around the clock, you won’t have an optimal system. CircuitSolver® valves optimize those water flow rates to maximize efficiency.”
When asked about the opportunity to exhibit in the Industry Partner Gallery, Ashworth says it’s a way to raise awareness for CircuitSolver® valves as a supremely cost-effective upgrade option.
“I’m excited for those contemplating building retrofits to see there is a way to significantly reduce utility bills without having to spend a whole lot of money. A lot of green projects have high costs of entry, and you may not see a return for a number of years. With CircuitSolver® valves, it’s as fast as 3-4 months.”
“ThermOmegaTech® has developed a product that not only preserves a limited resource, but they did it in a way that exemplifies the kind of innovative thinking we foster here at DVIRC and through the EEB Hub,” says Barry Miller, DVIRC’s President & COO. “We’re proud to have been active with ThermOmegaTech® through a host of Lean, continuous improvement, and marketing projects. CircuitSolver® valves are proof that their spirit of creative problem solving is alive and well.”
The Industry Partner Gallery can be found on the third floor of the Hub’s temporary headquarters in Building 101 at the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. The program will accompany the EEB Hub when it moves to its new home, Building 661, in 2014, which will include a permanent display space to showcase building retrofit technologies such as CircuitSolver® valves.
Rob Crossett, DVIRC’s Business Development Manager, coordinates the Regional Supplier Program for the Gallery. These suppliers’ displays rotate at 2-3 month intervals and can be seen together with those of the Hub Industry partners: Lutron Electronics, Inc., United Technologies Research Center, PPG Industries, and Bayer MaterialScience, which manages the Gallery display area. The displays are open for viewing to all visitors and participants in EEB Hub activities.
* * * * *
ThermOmegaTech®, Inc. was established in 1983 to produce a proprietary freeze valve for the railroad industry. This valve is now the industry standard for North American railroads, and ThermOmegaTech® has applied that same technology to develop valves and systems for the industrial market. These include valves for freeze protection, scald protection, steam traps, ambient sensing, and surface sensing, as well as many other applications. ThermOmegaTech, Inc. is a privately held organization whose products are distributed and used worldwide. CircuitSolver® is a trademark of ThermOmegaTech®, Inc.
About the EEB Hub
The Energy Efficient Buildings Hub (EEB Hub) was established in by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on February 1, 2011 with a mission of improving energy efficiency in buildings—literally re-energizing them for the future—from its headquarters in Philadelphia’s Navy Yard, one of the nation’s largest and most dynamic redevelopment opportunities.
Federal funding for the EEB Hub’s first five years of operation comes primarily from the DOE, with additional contributions from the National Institute of Standards and Technology Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST/MEP), the Economic Development Administration (EDA), and the Small Business Administration (SBA).
The Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC) is a private, non-profit economic development business consulting firm established in 1988 to serve the needs of the 4,500 small and mid-sized manufacturers in southeastern Philadelphia. The organization’s primary focus is to grow the value of our clients’ businesses through consulting services, training and education, and executive network groups. Our vision is to establish the region as an internationally recognized leader in manufacturing competitiveness. We believe growing business value improves the standard of living and quality of life for those that live and/or work in the region. DVIRC is a founding partner of the EEB Hub and a member of the executive board.
DVIRC is one of seven affiliates of the Industrial Resource Center (IRC) Network in Pennsylvania. DVIRC is funded in part by the NIST/Manufacturing Extension Partnership and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Department of Community and Economic Development. The collective role of DVIRC and its sister organization New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program (NJMEP) is to connect Greater Philadelphia’s manufacturers to projects and opportunities being developed at the EEB Hub, and to grow business value and spur job creation.
ThermOmegaTech®, Inc. introduces its CircuitSolver® valve for domestic hot water systems. The stainless-steel valve has received NSF/ANSI 61 and California Lead Plumbing Law (AB1953) certifications from IAPMO. This is the first of its kind for a self-actuating temperature control valve used for balancing domestic hot water systems. It eliminates the need for oversized recirculating pumps, minimizes heat loss by reducing fluctuations in average temperature and flow rate and lowers flow in hot water return lines.
Certification Believed to be First for a Self-Actuating Temperature Control Valve for Domestic Hot Water Systems
WARMINSTER, PA. – ThermOmegaTech, Inc. the global leader in the design and manufacture of self-actuating temperature control valves, announced today that its new CircuitSolver valve for domestic hot water systems has received NSF/ANSI 61 certification and California Lead Plumbing Law (AB1953) certification from the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO), an independent laboratory.
The certification is believed to be the first of its kind for a self-actuating temperature control valve used for balancing domestic hot water systems.
“The NSF/ANSI 61 certification further cements our belief that the CircuitSolver is an elite product that can solve long-standing issues related to hot water flow,” said ThermOmegaTech, Inc. President and CEO James Logue, Jr. “This valve can change the way engineers solve domestic hot water system and is a clear upgrade over manual balancing valves.”
Water flows to the path of least resistance, and many buildings require multiple branches off the hot water supply line. Since hot water use is dynamic, the path of least resistance is constantly changing and manual balancing valves cannot efficiently resolve these issues. CircuitSolver fixes this problem when installed on the end of each supply branch. Additionally, it eliminates the need for oversized recirculating pumps, minimizes heat-loss by reducing fluctuations in average temperature and flow rate and lowers flow in hot water return lines, minimizing erosion-corrosion problems caused by excessive velocity. The result is a dramatic reduction in water waste, energy savings and greatly improves comfort and satisfaction from all users of the domestic hot water system.
When entering water temperature is below CircuitSolver’s set point, the thermal actuator will begin to open the valve to establish a flow rate that will achieve set point. If the water temperature exceeds the set point, the valve will begin to throttle back to find the current equilibrium point. Continuously operating at the optimum temperature minimizes system heat-loss thereby saving energy. This constant, automatic response to water temperature enables each hot water branch to quickly and consistently deliver the right temperature of hot water to each connected fixture. The valve is constructed of all stainless steel.
CircuitSolver is now available for sale. More information is available at www.CircuitSolver.com. Appointments with engineers from ThermOmegaTech, Inc. can be made through the Web site to determine if CircuitSolver is the right solution for any hot water distribution challenge.
About ThermOmegaTech, Inc.
Founded in 1983, ThermOmegaTech, Inc. is the global leader in the design and manufacturing of the most advanced, reliable, and compact self-actuated valves for temperature control. The company holds over 25 patents for the design and manufacturing of valves for freeze control, scald protection, and tepid water mixing in the rail, manufacturing, processing, health care, hospitality, and building industries, to name a few. All ThermOmegaTech products are made in the United States of America. More details are available at www.ThermOmegaTech.com.
The facts are frightening – especially since the problem can be avoided.
Consider this: As many as one in 10 patients hospitalized in the U.S. contracts an infection, according to the Wall Street Journal. That means nearly 2 million patients annually are infected by bacterium or other agents.
The end result?
The cost is nearly 100,000 deaths and $6.5 billion in overall losses.
Hand washing is a long-standing means of fighting such infections. Doctors, nurses and other hospital employees, as well as patients and guests, constantly wash their hands typically using hot water to do so.
The supply of hot water — and the time in which it is delivered – makes an efficiently designed domestic hot water system paramount in a hospital. And that makes thermostatically controlled hot water flow control valves just what the doctors ordered. Unfortunately, these valves aren’t used as often as they should.
Normally, a domestic hot water system is manually balanced. Enough hot water flows at a rate to insure that when a faucet is turned on, heated water is quickly delivered at a specified temperature set point – often 120 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve this, the system is balanced with manually operated valves opened to produce the desired flow rate.
With multiple end points at sinks and showers, balancing usually requires two or more plumbing contractors. They must spend significant amounts of time between the hot water supply and the loop that services a particular bank of sinks or other fixtures, tweaking flow rates until the desired temperature is delivered.
A better method of achieving hot water balancing while using a fraction of the labor is to use a thermostatically controlled valve that opens and closes mechanically based on a temperature set point. For a hospital, this design has many advantages.
One major advantage is the cost reduction realized from the reduced flow. Using a thermostatically controlled valve only requires hot water flow when the temperature drops — not the constant flow that a manually balanced system needs.
“We are excited that CircuitSolver has been approved for sale and installation in Massachusetts,” said James Logue Jr., President and CEO of ThermOmegaTech. “Massachusetts has a strict policy when it comes to plumbing systems. This approval further cements CircuitSolver as the best solution for domestic hot water delivery problems.”
Water flows to the path of least resistance and many buildings require multiple branches off the hot water supply line. Since hot water use is dynamic, the path of least resistance is constantly changing and manual balancing valves cannot properly resolve these issues. CircuitSolver fixes this problem when installed on the end of each supply branch. Additionally, it eliminates the need for oversized recirculating pumps, minimizes heat-loss by reducing fluctuations in average temperature and flow rate, and lowers flow in hot water return lines minimizing erosion-corrosion problems caused by excessive velocity. The result is a dramatic reduction in water waste, energy savings, and greatly improved comfort and satisfaction from all users of the domestic hot water system.
When entering water temperature is below CircuitSolver’s set point, the thermal actuator will begin to open the valve to establish a flow rate that will achieve set point. If the water temperature exceeds the set point, the valve will begin to throttle back flow as required. Continuously operating at the optimum temperature minimizes system heat-loss thereby saving water and energy. This constant, automatic response to water temperature enables each hot water branch to quickly and consistently deliver the right temperature of hot water to each connected fixture. The valve, which is constructed of all stainless steel, complies with California AB1953, and meets NSF-61 standards.
CircuitSolver is currently available for sale. More information is available at www.CircuitSolver.com. Appointments for a live discussion with engineers from Therm-Omega-Tech can also be made through the website to determine if CircuitSolver is the right solution for any hot water distribution challenge.
Founded in 1983, ThermOmegaTech is the global leader in the design and manufacturing of the most advanced, reliable, and compact self-actuated valves for temperature control. The company holds over 25 patents for the design and manufacturing of valves for freeze control, scald protection, and tepid water mixing in the rail, manufacturing, processing, healthcare, hospitality, and building industries, to name a few. All ThermOmegaTech products are made in the United States of America. More details are available at www.ThermOmegaTech.com.
“I turned on the water in the shower and waited for 10 minutes. Warm water finally started flowing, however it never lasted more than a minute and alternated mostly with cool to cold water.”
That’s the exact quote extracted from an online review of a guest who rated a hotel in Pennsylvania on Tripadvisor.com. The reviewer gave the hotel a rating of two out of a possible five. The site is full of similar comments from guests complaining about how long it took them to get hot water when they wanted to take a shower or wash their hands.
In the hospitality industry, when a guest turns on the hot water in their room, most wait patiently for the water to run a while to the proper temperature. Guests do not like to wait too long for their hot water according to the International Hospitality Association. In fact, they specifically address “the availability of hot water” as a factor for consideration in their quality standards and star rating systems that they set as the bar for multi-star ratings.
The cost to deliver hot water to insure customer satisfaction means the domestic hot water system must be balanced in a way that keeps the delivery time low. Until recently, that meant larger recirculating pumps, more recirculating flow, more wear and tear on your hot water system, and more cost.
Reduced Demand on Hot Water System
However, now modestly priced stainless steel control valves are available that use a temperature sensor and may be installed at the end points of domestic hot water systems. This inline fitting thermostatically controls a temperature set point typically in the 110 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit range, or at any specified temperature. The thermostatic signal subsequently controls hot water flow through the hot water system’s branches, which controls temperature to the individual endpoints: showers and other fixtures in the hotel or lodgings facility. Instead of using flow to control the availability of hot water on demand, it uses temperature, and consequently requires much less work and demand by the hot water system.
What does this mean for hospitality owners and operators? It provides greater efficiency, lower total costs, and a solution that promotes LEED projects and a “greener” building configuration.
A self-operating thermostatic valve controls flow in response to the temperature of the water flowing through the valve. This was developed specifically for domestic hot water applications. The underlying challenge for hotels and large facilities such as condominiums, apartment buildings, stadiums, hospitals and universities is that patrons want to turn on the hot water and would like it to be hot in some reasonably expected time frame, without a guest waiting a long time when they turn on a faucet for hot water.
CircuitSolver® was recently featured in Contractor Magazine, the online resource for mechanical contracting.
THE CIRCUITSOLVER® VALVE for domestic hot water systems is easy to install and maintain. It responds to changing water temperature and automatically changes flow to keep temperatures evenly distributed. It is constructed of all stainless steel.
Valve Delivers Rapid Hot Water and Savings in Domestic Hot Water Systems
WARMINSTER, PA – September 26, 2012 – ThermOmegaTech, the global leader in the design and manufacture of self-actuating temperature control valves, announced today the launch of its new CircuitSolver valve for domestic hot water systems. The company extensively researched the problem of hot water not being rapidly delivered to all parts of a building and utilized its self-actuating temperature control valve technology to solve it. The result is simple, an elegant piece of equipment that is easy to install and maintain, saving time, money, and energy.
“We are thrilled to announce CircuitSolver after hearing what trouble it can be to get hot water instantly to all parts of many buildings,” said James Logue Jr., President and CEO of ThermOmegaTech. “We have been developing valves to control the temperature and flow of water in many settings over the past 27 years. When we recognized this problem in the plumbing industry, we knew that we could develop a simple ‘silver bullet’ valve that would change the way engineers solved domestic hot water system problems. It is no longer necessary to install manual balancing valves and spend lots of time and money installing and maintaining them. Instead, CircuitSolver responds to changing water temperature and automatically changes flow to keep domestic hot water temperatures evenly distributed.”
Water flows to the path of least resistance and many buildings require multiple branches off the hot water supply line. Since hot water use is dynamic, the path of least resistance is constantly changing and manual balancing valves cannot properly resolve these issues. CircuitSolver fixes this problem when installed on the end of each supply branch. Additionally, it eliminates the need for oversized recirculating pumps, minimizes heat-loss by reducing fluctuations in average temperature and flow rate, and lowers flow in hot water return lines minimizing erosion-corrosion problems caused by excessive velocity. The result is a dramatic reduction in water waste, energy savings, and greatly improves comfort and satisfaction from all users of the domestic hot water system.
When entering water temperature is below CircuitSolver’s set point, the thermal actuator will begin to open the valve to establish a flow rate that will achieve set point. If the water temperature exceeds the set point, the valve will begin to throttle back to find the current equilibrium point. Continuously operating at the optimum temperature minimizes system heat-loss thereby saving energy. This constant, automatic response to water temperature enables each hot water branch to quickly and consistently deliver the right temperature of hot water to each connected fixture. The valve, which is constructed of all stainless steel, complies with California AB1953, and meets NSF-61 standards.
“After we installed CircuitSolver, we saw nearly 50% reduction in the time it took for the enhanced hot water delivery to reach the plumbing fixtures,” stated Bob Albanese, Construction Manager representing the Austonian. “It was simple to install and looks like it will be even easier to maintain. Our residents are quite pleased with the enhancements we’ve made to our system.”
CircuitSolver is currently available for sale. More information is available at www.CircuitSolver.com. Appointments with engineers from ThermOmegaTech can also be made through the website to determine if CircuitSolver is the right solution for any hot water distribution challenge.
About ThermOmegaTech, Inc. Founded in 1983, ThermOmegaTech is the global leader in the design and manufacturing of the most advanced, reliable, and compact self-actuated valves for temperature control. The company holds over 25 patents for the design and manufacturing of valves for freeze control, scald protection, and tepid water mixing in the rail, manufacturing, processing, healthcare, hospitality, and building industries, to name a few. All ThermOmegaTech products are made in the United States of America. More details are available at www.ThermOmegaTech.com.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.