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Taco's Radiant Mixing Block Helps Heat Solar Home

Latest News > Case Studies

The Anacortes, WA 4,000 sq. ft. home is whole-house radiant.
Mike Drake, owner of Ram Mechanical of Burlington, Washington, is doing a lot more radiant work these days and he's glad to have Taco's Radiant Mixing Block (RMB) available to make his radiant jobs go in fast and work right. He credits the Radiant Mixing Block with being easy to install, requiring a lot less labor, simple to program during start-up, and of such compact size that it's tailor-made for small mechanical rooms affording bare minimum service access.

Last spring his firm completed a whole house radiant job, based primarily on solar heat generation, on a new 4,000 sq. ft. home in Anacortes, the principal city on Fidalgo Island, part of the San Juan archipelago in Washington State. The house has four bedrooms, 3.5 baths and a slab on grade "daylight basement," also zoned, which functions as part of the living space.

Within the basement is a long and narrow mechanical room that just barely holds the equipment Drake's crew installed, including a tankless water heater and also a water heater storage tank that takes up most of the space and which had to be installed last.

Compact Taco equipment fit nicely into a very tight mechanical room.
The Ram Mechanical crew installed two Radiant Mixing Blocks as the centerpieces of the heating system. The RMB is a complete injection system, combining a variable speed injection mixing control, an injection circulator, a system circulator and air elimination all in a single unit. The RMBs provide outdoor reset and respond to calls for heat from the seven-zones in the house. Uponor tubing and manifolds complete the radiant system.

Two solar panels on the roof of the house comprise the main heating plant for space heat and domestic hot water, with a Rinnai tankless water heater for instantaneous backup. Drake says that solar heat is effective even in the cloudy, rainy climate of the Pacific Northwest, and solar heat - along with water source heat pumps and in-floor radiant - are becoming more popular.

Ram Mechanical owner Mike Drake adjusts the Taco Differential Bypass Valve to regulate flow in the system.
Taco equipment, in addition to the RMBs, include two Taco ZVC406 Zone Valve Control boxes, which are six-zone controls with built-in priority switches, and a 4900 Air Separator. A compact Taco Differential Bypass Valve was installed to prevent velocity noise and "dead-heading." By regulating flow during times of reduced heat demand the Differential Bypass Valve effectively controls excess fluid flow in a zone valve-based system.

Drake and his crew like to zone with zone valves and so, by extension, they also like Taco's zone valve controls, which they credit as making connection and check-out easy because of their LED indicator lights. Taco equipment and other accessories make for a matching system that saves contractors time and money and help provide, as Mike Drake says, "an optimal system."

The Anacortes house was the first radiant job where Mike and his crew used the Radiant Mixing Block. As a result, Mike says, "That's all we use now." He credits Taco for introducing smart technology products with design and functionality that "keep the contractor squarely in mind."

Information supplied by Taco, Inc.