Ach Phooey! Taco Pump Siezed

Since we returned from a trip to see our newest grandson about a week ago, I’d been noticing that the floor was not warm but the radiators in the back were. I thought since I had turned the heat down that it was just not coming on in the slab area of the house. But when I woke up at night all the thermostats were calling for heat and the floor was not warm. I tried opening all of the zone valves manually in case they were not getting electricity or were broken and still the floor did not get warm. Then I knew there was a problem.The main secondary pump was apparently not working.

The Culprit Pump

The Culprit Pump

I could smell that the wiring was burning so I shut all the thermostats off and called Supply House. At first they wanted me to hire someone to look at it which was quite frustrating. I just said no, who else could I call–Taco directly? Then the guy finally decided to talk to me about the issue. He said the burning smell is probably because it is running dry. But I could not see that it could be dry since the pressure in the boiler is correct and the water feed is open to make up any water that might escape, which it doesn’t because we don’t hear the water tank filling at random times. I just keep it open as a fail safe.

The tech recommended I take it apart and let them know the status of the impeller. He thought it might be disintegrating–maybe from hard water. I took out the cartridge and the impeller was seized up solid and both the cartridge and the top plate had brown burn marks on them. So I called back but they were closed by the time I had it apart and had to wait until the next day. The new guy said no problem, these pumps do this, we will send another one under warranty. Said to look for the paperwork in my email.

The paperwork requires that I send back the part and they will look at it for 3 to 5 days and then send a replacement. Yikes! In that time it could get to zero degrees and we only have the solar heat and the wood stove. By the way solar alone kept us quite cozy last night at 25 degrees outside.

I do have a second cartridge that I put in the old pump at some point until that pump stopped working in a day or two. I took out the cartridge and examined the impeller and it turned hard but I was able to loosen it up and get it turning freely. So I put that in the pump. Then I must have been tired because I dropped one of the flange nuts and darned if I could not find it anywhere. These are the kind of frustrations you can only hope to avoid.

Unfortunately that cartridge was also fried. I took the pump out again and rigged it up to pump from one bucket to the next and it did not pump at all. At this point I am convinced that the Taco 011 pump is the wrong fit for this system. According to my calculations and the pump diagrams this pump is the right size but I have now burned out two of them, one used and one brand new. So time to buy something else.

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