Finally, there are A LOT of live training opportunities available from the manufactures themselves. Again, even if the training is not directly about Hydronic TAB, all hydronic training is relevant to TAB.

Bell and Gossett’s Little Red School House near Chicago is probably the best known, and their training is free of charge. Upcoming subjects include “Modern Hydronic Heating Systems – Basic Seminar,” and “Water-Based HVAC System Design.”

IMI Hydronic Engineering’s Hydronic College has over 40 dedicated trainers and multiple training centers around the world, including locations in Irving, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia.

Again, a lot of other companies such as Taco Comfort Solutions, Grundfos, Lochinvar, etc., offer live training. Some companies will even send the trainer to your location. In fact, that’s one of the favorite parts of my job is meeting customers on job sites and teaching them how to use our equipment.

Purchase and Use the Equipment

That may sound like a loaded statement coming from someone who works for an instrument manufacturer. However, I’m an instrument geek. I hate NOT having the right tool for the right job. I personally own three hydronic meters and had them prior to working for the manufacturer.

Part of the reason I was hired by Evergreen Telemetry was because I bought their hydronic meter years ago and use it in the field. I arm myself with multiple hydronic meters and use different ones for different applications. That may not be practical for most companies.

On the other hand, I know of several companies with eight to 10 technicians who must share one meter because they have one “Water Guy” who uses it most of the time. In this scenario, the other technicians are denied the opportunity to work on hydronics or to simply familiarize themselves with the meter.

I mentioned earlier that I often hear, “I only work retail or light commercial, so I don’t need a hydronic meter.” If that was true, then why is there an Ohio-based TAB contractor – Melink — whose primary focus is the TAB of retail and restaurants?

Each of their 22 NEBB Certified Professional and Certified Technicians carry a hydronic meter. This is a significant investment for a company that primarily works on projects that “never have water.”

Why Invest in Hydronics Training?

I asked Darren Witter, Melink’s Senior Vice President of Strategic Programs, why they make this investment.

He said, “I frequently find that hydronic systems are not appropriately installed, started-up, or adjusted during construction.
“For this reason, we invest in education and instruments for our field technicians to inspect, test, and balance hydronic systems in conjunction with air systems.”

The primary brands of hydronic meters include Evergreen Telemetry, Shortridge, Alnor, and Dwyer. There are others, and they range in price from $800 to just under $4,000 (and that doesn’t include ultrasonic meters). If you are just getting started, simply invest a few hundred dollars in a pair of reliable gauges and start using them.

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