Before and After: Installation of a Triangle Tube 175
I am very new to this board but hoped my experience recently in installing a Triangle Tube and Indirect Hot Water heater would be useful to someone.
I have an 1893 Victorian house in central Denver, CO with a mix of radiators, baseboards, and a radiant loop in a small addition. I had a Crown boiler (210,000 BTU, <60% efficient) that was most likely installed in the late 1950s/early 1960s. It probably replaced the original coal fired boiler, converted to natural gas when Denver banned coal in the 20s.
The Crown boiler was always undersized for the head load of the house; on cold snaps (<0F) the house would slowly cool down about 1F a day with the boiler running 7x24. This year as I turned it on for the season I saw water leaking out the back on warm up and cool down; the cast iron was starting to crack; it was time to break down and replace it.
I got at least 5 quotes for this work; all supplied info for a traditional (cast iron) boiler and a condensing boiler. The Triangle Tube units seemed to be the most popular choice in condensing boilers. Quotes varied from $8.5K - $15K for a traditional and $11K - $21K for the condensing unit. And that didn't include the indirect water heater!
With the federal tax rebate and a 20% Historical Preservation credit, going with the more expensive condensing boiler seemed like a good choice. Every single HVAC person highly recommended the addition of an indirect water heater, and I went with the Mega Store unit (53 gallons). In the end I chose the guy who has been repairing my system for several years; although he was a small operator his price was on the low end and I trusted him. He did some great stuff like put little LEDs on the pumps so I could tell which one was running.
Attached images show my old (40+ year old) Crown boiler and the new Triangle Tube Prestige 175 which replaced it. A thermal mix valve is used to take 160F water from the indirect heater and mix it with domestic cold water to make 130-140F domestic hot. A secondary pump on a separate thermostat is used to "steal" heat from the main loop for the radiant loop. Currently we have disabled the outside temperature sensor but as I get used to it I will probably turn that back on. It doesn't seem to scale up the flame very fast and I have a great deal of water to heat up from cold.
The house is large (3600 sq feet + 1600 sq foot basement) and the radiators are set up in a pretty illogical manner; my HVAC guy put in lots of valves to adjust flows in and our of the "loops" which actually make no real sense in terms of an area of the house.
Any insights, suggestions, and similar experiences? Thanks for reading!
Andy in Denver
Last edited by denverandy; 11-13-2009 at 12:25 AM.
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