The Italian word, “Avanti” means “forward.” In the sense of motion, it’s a fitting description of young business owner Anthony Tosco and his three-man company, Avanti Plumbing and Heating, Inc., just west of Philadelphia.
Currently, the company offers plumbing, heating, hydronics and air conditioning to customers all over eastern Pennsylvania. Most work consists of residential retrofits, but the occasional apartment complex and restaurant provides them with a blend of light commercial work.
“Sixty-five percent is high-end residential,” said Tosco. “We get jobs ranging from $50,000 to those over the million-dollar mark, but we also do work in the average household.” This past year, Avanti picked up 40 residential service contracts.
The firm has been in business since 2006, and its steady growth can be attributed to work ethic, finely-tuned attention paid to customer satisfaction, continual training and adoption of new technology.
Save time, resources, energy
A recent addition to Avanti’s product offering is domestic hot water recirculation — a convenience and resource-saver for businesses and homeowners alike. It’s especially applicable to high-end residences with sprawling floor plans.
Recently, Tosco was called to a beautifully remodeled and enlarged 1920s farmhouse. The newly-reconstructed kitchen with dining area is at the farthest point from the homes’ water heater.
“We were always waiting for the hot water to arrive at the tap,” recalled the homeowner. “There were times it would take several minutes.”
“Waiting means wasting,” explained Tosco. “All the time they spent waiting for hot water to reach the tap, gallons of fresh water were going to waste. On top of that, they have a well pump that ran unnecessarily. This also meant that the property’s septic bed was receiving excess waste water.”
According to government studies, the average American family of four wastes about 12,000 gallons per year without a hot water recirculation system. Tosco says he has certainly witnessed that and more, especially in larger homes with numerous bathrooms and elaborate fixtures.
When Tosco wanted to know more about the latest in hot water recirculation technology, he reached out to an old friend and mentor, Anthony Reikow. Reikow is a trainer at B.J. Terroni, a manufacturer’s rep firm in nearby Bensalem. He suggested that Tosco look at Taco’s extensive lineup of recirculation products with various choices to fit applications with and without dedicated return lines.
After seeing the different options, Tosco settled on the TacoGenie system because the homeowner wanted the greenest solution. Plus, there was an existing electrical outlet under the sink, which allowed for a simple plug-in installation.
“The home owner chose a key fob to activate the pump, instead of the push button or motion detector that came with the pump,” said Tosco. “This allowed them to keep the fob in a cabinet, away from their young kids.”
“Watching the Avanti crew prep my kitchen for the installation was like watching a surgeon prepare for an operation,” added the homeowner. “The floor and cupboards were protected with drop cloths and they all had booties on their shoes. They were very methodical – and it was greatly appreciated.”
“Homeowners can hire anyone they want,” explained Tosco. “It comes down to who they really feel comfortable with. We’re not just selling a service or product — we’re selling a relationship.”
No return line, no problem
Ten miles away at a 12,000-sq.-ft., radiantly-heated home, Tosco was hired to replace an old boiler and improve comfort to the many zones.
A 150 MBH wall-hung mod-con boiler now provides heat and DHW via an 80-gallon sidearm tank set as priority. Above the indirect is an ASSE-1017 Taco 5000 series mixing valve to protect the homeowners from scalding.
Because the home didn’t have a dedicated recirc line, Tosco installed a Taco Hot-Link recirculation system. “The homeowner liked that the Hot-Link is completely customizable to their hot water needs,” said Tosco.
“Hot-Link begins working when the timer-activated pump, which can be installed at the water heater, pushes hot water toward a one-way bypass valve beneath the furthest fixture in the house,” explained Tosco. “As long as the water in the hot line remains cool, the valve stays open and the cool water is circulated back to the water heater through the cold water line. But when incoming water reaches approximately 110°F, the valve closes. Hot water is then delivered immediately when any tap is turned on in the house.”
Hot water recirc, hot topic
In another high-scale Philly suburb, Avanti was called to a home with two propane water heaters – a 50-gallon unit dedicated to the master bathroom and a 75-gallon tank for the rest of the house. The home, having a dedicated recirc line that had never been used, received a Taco SmartPlus recirculation system.
“Installing recircs has given us a foot in the door for custom homes. The SmartPlus pumps don’t require any programming and they’re maintenance-free. Learning the water usage patterns of homeowners, the pump turns on automatically to make sure there’s hot water whenever it’s called for. Our customers want the smartest systems out there — and with technology like this — we’re able to deliver,” said Travis Beveridge, who’s been with Avanti for three years.
Tosco says that he uses only Taco components for their hydronic and hot water recirculation work. “I choose them because they’re an American family making American products to install in American homes. That’s something that makes great sense to me.”