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Pumping Away and other really cool piping options for hydronic systems
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Pumping Away and other really cool piping options for hydronic systems

When I knew Gil Carlson, he was never far from the cigarettes he so loved. On the days when I was fortunate enough to be able to sit and listen to this giant of the hydronics industry, it was always through a cloud of bluish smoke. I think the man used only one match a day.

"The blue haze of those days seems almost poetic to me now. Gil was an engineer and he was brilliant. I was neither. I believe Gil saw the mechanics of hydronics in his mind's eye as Einstein must have seen the Universe. It all flowed together in a very visual way for him. It didn't for me. When he'd come to New York, I'd sit in the smoke and attempt to see what he saw. I'd stare into the depths of my confusion and try to imagine the mechanical movements he described by way of charts and formulas as real things. I knew he saw them, but try as I might, I couldn't. Not at the time, anyway. On most days, I'd walk to the subway in total confusion and frustration . . ."

So begins Pumping Away, a book I wrote to describe the workings of hydronic heating systems I tried to use words that made the subject spring to life in a visual way. I'm really happy with the way it turned out, and it's been one of our best-selling books for years, both in the US and Canada.

I kept the drawings in this book simple. Even if you've never worked with hydronics before, you'll be able to follow them. The first part of the book deals with boiler room piping and explains how you can put the discoveries of the late, great Gil Carlson to work for you. If you pipe a boiler Gil's way, you'll save time, money and eliminate the need to bleed individual radiators. Literally thousands of contractors have reported great success by following the principles in the first part of this book. I wish I could take credit for those principles, but the genius was Gil Carlson's. I just did my best to tell his story in plain English.

The second half of the book takes the "Pumping Away" boiler-room piping design and applies it to an entire menu of piping options. Pumping Away contains 122 pages and is an easy read, but I think it's a book that you will refer to again and again. It will save you time and money. Read it, take it seriously, and I think you'll find (as so many other have) that you'll never have to bleed the radiators again - even on jobs with diverter tees. And won't that make life simpler?

Dan Holohan

Reader Reviews:

"I teach a three-day hydronic certification course and always prepare by reviewing Pumping Away. It’s a great way to get one's communication skills thinking about how to make technical stuff simple and fun to learn." - Robert Bean, R.E.T. (Registered Engineering Technologist)

"If I were allowed only one Holohan book I would choose Pumping Away! This book was written in plain English for "Everyman." It's the hydronicians bible and should be the most-often-used, dog-eared book in your collection. A copy at home and in your truck is a must. I can't think of a better Christmas present for your competitors. You know the ones that need them most. :) Buy a dozen or more." - Bob "Hot Rod" Rohr

"As a homeowner and commercial building owner, I found Pumping Away to be my heating system's best friend. With the help of this book I designed the radiant floor and panel radiator system in our 1910 building. We can go barefoot in minus-10-degree weather and have drastically cut our fuel consumption. The book enabled me to communicate the design requirements to the Plumbing and Heating contractor. He had never installed a system with the sophisticated controls that were clearly explained in Pumping Away which also included piping diagrams. So if you are a professional in the business or a homeowner that has some skills and interest in this area and want extreme comfort and fuel savings, this book is for you." - Maine Doug

"If you are looking to buy a book to increase your heating knowledge it has to be Pumping Away. Dan Holohan not only makes it fun to read but even more important, fun to learn. Although I am semi-retired from installing forced water systems those I do put in for friends and family are put in exactly as Dan suggests. The only regret I have is that this book was not known by me thirty years ago so all my customers could have had the silent systems that come about because of Pumping Away. Oh, one warning, once you've read Dan and realized how much you learn and enjoy his writing your going to want to buy them all. Oh, and one more suggestion--Do It." - Jack Davis

Products Comments & Ratings

Average Rating: 5.00 out of 5 (3 ratings)

( ) Posted by bugle on December 4, 2013 @ 8:52 AM

Recommended to me by my friend "Fireplug Greg" , (a boiler man in Burlington Vt.) after I asked him what I thought was a simple question about circulators ... Soooo glad I read this and have a better understanding of what's going on in my basement.

( ) Posted by Rich Jones on January 15, 2010 @ 1:14 PM

This is the 3rd Pumping Away book we have bought in the last few years. We keep wearing them out letting new techs and installers read them! This is a great book for anyone doing any kind of hydronic work!

( ) Posted by Anonymous on August 18, 2009 @ 12:15 PM

In this book, Dan takes one of the hardest concepts to understand and makes it all so easy. Easy reading, very understandable, quick learning!! This book IS required reading for any new fellow employee that wants to learn hydronics. THIS IS A MUST BUY!

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