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Gas Boiler Pump and Zone Locations

NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
I just had my first PM down on my Triangle Tube Challenger

Gas Boiler.  This PM was not done by the

original installer.  He said the boiler

pump and zone circulators were not installed per Triangle Tube’s manual.  His company quoted me a price of $1,050 to

re-pipe it to the owner’s manual.  I

understand it is not installed per the Triangle Tube diagram, but my question

is will it cause any harm to my system the way it is now?  It has been installed for 18 months, working

well with no major issues and I hate to spend this kind of money if the system

is ok as it is.  I have attached some

pictures from the manual and a picture of my current set-up.  From my picture you can see the boiler pump

is installed at the boiler supply connection on the left, pumping towards the

boiler.  The zone circulators are in the

picture on the right.  They are both

pumping downwards.  The expansion tank is

located just below the boiler pump in my picture.  I also believe, based on feeling the

supply and return connections when the unit calls for heat, that the flow is

from left to right through the boiler, not right to left.  I

hope this makes sense and that someone can chime in as to whether or not I can

leave well enough alone.

Thanks
· ·

Comments

  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,267Member ✭✭✭
    More pics

    If you could post some more pics. Farther away and from different angles. Also note which way the arrows on the circs are pointed.

    It is definitely wrong, it is a question of how wrong.

    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    · ·
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    If it aint broke

    don't fix it, from what I see it is not piped how the manual suggests, but it has worked for almost 2 years, do you want to spend $1000 to repair something that works? Its not the best job I ever seen that is for sure, but it works, I would close my pockets if I were you, ride it out until the system needs to be replaced and next time, hire someone that knows how to follow basic instructions...



    PS -We try not to talk money on this forum, Im terrible at it, but still one of the rules....
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    Gas Boiler Pump and Zone Locations

    Here are a couple more pictures.  The arrows on the two circulators on the

    right side (the returns from the two zones) are pointing down.  The arrow on the circulator in the middle is

    pointing towards me, which based on the piping out of it, would put the flow

    towards the boilers supply.  Thanks for

    your help.
    jpg
    jpg
    2013-05-18_18-18-24_895.jpg
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    jpg
    jpg
    2013-05-18_18-18-35_599.jpg
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    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    Gas Boiler Pump and Zone Locations

    Yes, I agree.  I don't want to be pouring money in to it, if it's not really needed.  As I said, it has been working well, I just didn't know if this set-up could shorten the life at all of the boiler substantially that would warrant it being corrected.

    Thanks
    · ·
  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,267Member ✭✭✭
    Backwards

    It looks like the supply and return on the primary (boiler ) loop is backwards. I am surprised the boiler controller would allow this as the temp sensors would not read correctly.



    Ideally the zone circs should be pumping away from the expansions tank.



    You said it runs fine? No air or velocity noise issues?



    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    · ·
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    Now that I see it...

    they did a few things wrong for sure, but I stand by what I said, if it is working, $1000+ is a lot of money, I don't see anything that is going to dramatically shorten the units life, I personally wouldn't spend the money, not on that unit.. Them are generally low cost units and to throw 50% of the units cost into repiping a working system just doesn't make sense... Obviously you haven't had any problems in the year and a half its been there, soooo? totally up to you at that point....





    Did the tech mention any safety reasons to change the piping, that would help for reasoning in the $1000+ expense.
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    Gas Boiler Pump and Zone Locations

    Once in a while we can hear some slight "crackling" noise from the baseboard heating pipes when it first fires up, otherwise it has been fine.
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    Gas Boiler Pump and Zone Locations

    No safety concerns were mentioned.  He said it could "potentially" shorten the boiler life along with that of the expansion tank.
    · ·
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    Its a tough call

    Spend 1/2 what the unit costs to make it last an additional 5 %, like I said, its not rite' but it works... The other problem is even though your warranty {from the installer} is probably up or maybe never even existed, you aren't having any problems with the system, so maybe he thinks he is doing it a better way? Maybe in his experience that makes them last longer, I don't have any tangible proof to prove otherwise.. {although Dan may ;-) }



    The project looks tossed together and done fast, but we don't know all the facts, maybe it was the installers birthday and he was in a hurry to get to his surprise 13th birthday party at Chucky Cheese?



    But seriously, its good you are asking pros what you should do, but this is going to be your call, the tech that suggested the repipe was really the one with the burden of talking you into it, if he didn't then- thats, that... If you don't trust him enough to just do what he says because he thinks its the rite thing, you need to find another tech, or you will be in this position next time when another guy comes and says he should have installed the backflow over here with a down pipe and he should have put a Low water cut off here, and a thermal expansion tank here, and piped the T&p valve down, and put a heck of a lot more isolation valves in {after the water feed would be nice}, and used less {to none at all} black pipe, and ect. ect. ect....

    My point being (and I have said this on here 20 times), "EVERYONE DOES IT DIFFERENT" your way may not be "out of the book" "the way I would do it" , "the way the teach" , ect, But it may work just as good, and if that is the case and it is safe and doesn't void the units coverage, then who am I to say you can't do it that way {unless I sign you pay check , then you better do it how a say}...



    But its your call, weigh it out and let us know how you choose to go, but if you choose to do it, then please post pics of the job when its done so we can rip the new guys work apart, lol Just kidding...
    · ·
  • gennadygennady Posts: 524Member ✭✭
    edited May 2013
    ugly

    This is one of ugly looking installations, but as i can judge from the picture only one thing needed is relocate 2 system pumps to system supply side, there might be other issues, but photos are not very clear.
    Gennady Tsakh



    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.

    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
    · ·
  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,267Member ✭✭✭
    Misdemeanors and Felonies

    Your system has tons of misdemeanors. Pumping into the expansion tank, lack of isolation valves, how about support for the pipes and wires. I agree with heatpro on these. It is ugly but not worth fixing. Pumping backwards through a boiler, especially a Mod Con is a felony.It will absolutely wrong and is will reduce the life and efficiency of the boiler. The closely spaced Tees are also backwards. The good news is that the fix is to flip the circulator.

    It could be an optical illusion, based on the pics, it looks backwards.

    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    · ·
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 2,192Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 2013
    Am I Missing Something?

    The only "major" problem that I see is that the boiler circ is pumping the wrong direction. Why not just turn it around so it pumps the right way? Surely that wouldn't take much time or $$.



    And, I agree with Carl: I can't see how the boiler could operate at all, much less properly, with flow through it being backwards. The control should lockout sensing the return is hotter than the supply. Maybe the installer reversed the sensor connections if he discovered his error?



    At any rate, the flow direction should be corrected. I wouldn't just leave it the way it is.
    Bob Boan







    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    · ·
  • gennadygennady Posts: 524Member ✭✭
    edited May 2013
    Flow direction

    It looks like system flow is from right to left. Moving 2 system circulators to left pumping upwards might correct installation. Still not going to make it better, but closer to right one.
    Gennady Tsakh



    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.

    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
    · ·
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    I don't think its backwards guys

    it wouldn't work at all, and he has been using it for 18 months... And if it is backwards he would have had to swap the harness for sensors over which would this installer was really incompetent and shouldn't be touching thermostats never mind installing mod cons....



    OP what direction is that primary pumping? away from or to the boiler?
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    Primary Pump Direction

    It's pumping towards the boiler
    · ·
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    OK, thats not a huge help

    that could mean it is pumping into the boiler or towards the boiler since it is mounted horiz.

    So is it pumping into the black steel pipe or the copper pipe going into the boiler?



    Pumping into the boiler or out of the boiler...
    · ·
  • Paul48Paul48 Posts: 2,429Member ✭✭✭
    UGLY

    It seems as though ugly and wrong usually go together. That installation reflects a lack of pride, and ignorance. You could spend an hour with a 12 year old, going over the I&O, and at the end of that hour, he would have a better understanding of what had to be done, than this installer had. No offense, but it's sad, and it's too common.
    · ·
  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,267Member ✭✭✭
    He has already....

    In an earlier post, He indicated the arrow was pointed toward the photographer. Now he is confirming that it it pumping toward the boiler (backwards). I think it is important to get all the facts before advising "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". There are many really dangerous systems out there that "work"

    JMO

    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    · ·
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    Paul you are definitely rite

    my 15 year old son could do a better job and no doubt when I was 15 I could also... But would you pay over $1000 to improve the aesthetics at this point, if the unit works...
    · ·
  • nicholas bonham-carternicholas bonham-carter Posts: 5,569Member ✭✭✭
    Pumping away, or backwards?

    Why not put some tape on all the pipes, and arrows marking the direction of flow, including the inlet and outlet of the boiler.

    Then take another picture, and repost so it will be easier to see.--NBC
    · ·
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    Zman

    "If it aint broke dont fix it" in my post I also said as long as there are no safety concerns.. Safety is obviously the first concern wether or not it works, you can run a garden hose for a gas line it will work but its obviously not safe, and then worth fixing, but if the unit is operating safely in a manor that allows the factory warranty to stay in tact, than I don't see the point of spending tha much money to make it look better...



    If the pump is indeed pumping backwards, then yes, I would swap that around but I doubt that is the case...
    · ·
  • Paul48Paul48 Posts: 2,429Member ✭✭✭
    If

    those zone circs are pumping down, then the primary is pumping away from the boiler, and circulation through the boiler is not backwards. Not ideal, but not the end of the world "as we know it".
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    Pump Directions

    I know this sounds strange, but the arrows on the zone circulators on the right hand sand are pointing straight down.  The arrow on the pump circulator in the middle is pointing towards the picture taker.  Based on the piping coming out of this pump, it is going up and back in the direction of the boiler.
    jpg
    jpg
    Circulators.jpg
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    · ·
  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,267Member ✭✭✭
    What I thought

    That is what I thought. I do see the primary loop being piped backwards as a big deal.

    I have know idea why the boiler has not faulted being as the return must be hotter than the supply. I think they either switched the sensors or the flow rate is so fast, the boiler did not pick up the error.

    Personally, I would forgive the other flaws in the system. The reverse piping on the boiler loop is not OK. Just flip the circ and double check the sensor wiring.

    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    Another View

    Here's another view of the pump circulator more towards the top.  My arrows show the direction of the flow, out the pump from the front, straight up and back towards the boilers supply.
    jpg
    jpg
    Top View.jpg
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    · ·
  • Paul48Paul48 Posts: 2,429Member ✭✭✭
    Missed

    I didn't see that loop on the primary, and I don't know how it works like it is set up.
    · ·
  • gennadygennady Posts: 524Member ✭✭
    Boiler pump direction

    Reverse flow on the boiler. Bummer. Pump mut be flipped. This installation is really out of wack.
    Gennady Tsakh



    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.

    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    What if?

    If the circulator pump was to be flipped, then if my understanding is correct, it would need to be moved to the "T" on the left of it.  Again, if I understand it properly, this would be because it needs to pump away from the expansion tank.  If this were to be done, then where the return is now would also need to be moved over to the left in the place where the pump currently is located.  So basically flipping the pump, moving it and the return over to the left in order to maintain the 12" max.  Am I correct in this?  If this is correct, would it be ok to leave the zone circulators right where they are even though it's not the ideal location?  I obviously won't be doing this, I just want to understand the options once presented to me.

    Thanks
    · ·
  • gennadygennady Posts: 524Member ✭✭
    edited May 2013
    Boiler pump

    Boiler pump must be either flipped or relocated to right. If you want to relocate boiler pump, then flow direction must be into boiler. If you want to leave where it is, then just flip it. System pump installed on the right, pumping down might work although not kosher. Just keep system pressure on the high side. You might have air elimination issues.i would recommend moving them to the left pumping up.
    Gennady Tsakh



    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.

    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    Might as well do it right the "second" time!

    Thanks, if I'm going to have this done I might as well do it the proper way.  Thanks again for your help.
    · ·
  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,267Member ✭✭✭
    second time

    If you are looking for a quick solution, there is nothing wrong with flipping the circ.

    If you want to make it "really right", your zone circs should "pump away" from the expansion tank as well.

    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    edited May 2013
    What about the expansion tank?

    If I was to just flip the pump circulator, wouldn't it then be pumping towards the expansion tank, which I believe is another wrong? (too many wrongs already, I know!)

    Thanks,
    · ·
  • ZmanZman Posts: 2,267Member ✭✭✭
    Expansion tank

    The boiler circ being flipped would have much less effect on the expansion tank than the 2 zone circs presently have. There just isn't enough resistance between the tees to create a problem.

    For my money, I would flip the circ and be done with it.



    Carl
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    · ·
  • NelobNelob Posts: 12Member
    edited May 2013
    I guess I need to decide...

    ...if I will just do the flip or do the whole thing right.

    Thanks everyone, I learned a lot!
    · ·
  • heatpro02920heatpro02920 Posts: 991Member
    Well that solves that

    I am truly surprised it works at all... I would flip the circ and then make sure it works, maybe he did swap the sensors...
    · ·
  • gennadygennady Posts: 524Member ✭✭
    edited May 2013
    Flow switch

    How can it be? Even with swapped sensors , there is a flow sensor.
    Gennady Tsakh



    Absolute Mechanical Co. Inc.

    www.AbsoluteMechanicalCoInc.com
    · ·
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