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heating system recommendations?

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Tracy_3
Tracy_3 Member Posts: 4
We will be replacing an aging boiler in our 1913 2-story home this summer. Our local heating guy is recommending a Triangle Tube Prestige system to heat a 2,800 sq ft house with hot water heat (he's currently calculating which model/size after doing measurements this morning). He is also suggesting replacing the 10-year-old hot water heater and having the TT unit heat our water as well. This is a new concept for me. Am looking for "plain english" thoughts about the TT system in general, its longevity (when will we be likely to have to replace the boiler again?), and the benefit (or not) of having it heat our water as well.

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  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,548
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  • Tracy_3
    Tracy_3 Member Posts: 4
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    Yes, it is currently a hot water system. Gravity?? I don't know - I don't think so, as there is a pressure gauge on the boiler. But how would I be able to tell? (Clearly not my area of expertise!!)
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
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    Gravity Hot Water

    Tracy-

    Gravity hot water is evidenced by a number of things: Relatively large iron pipes (a small single family house may have 2 inch pipes or larger). The pipes usually pitch continuously away from the boiler which promotes gravity flow.

    There may be an expansion tank in the attic or uppermost floor. It may or may not still be in use, but it may well still be in existence. Check those closets. Usually a copper-lined tank with a pipe leaving the bottom. May be a sight glass or a float type fill mechanism or a manual valve. Check out the Heating Q&A link above for more reading.

    If still under gravity operation it will not have a circulator (pump). Chances are it was converted over the years as so many were, and may have a circulator. (That does not disqualify the original gravity intent mind you.)

    Given that the house was built in 1913 and the forced hot water circulator was not invented until about 1928, I would be 99% sure it is or was gravity hot water.

    Reason we ask is, you have an opportunity to get remarkable performance out of the system. Large pipes means low resistance to flow. Chances are you have large radiator surfaces which -especially if the house was insulated- means very good range of temperature reset. You can heat your house with cooler water, get more comfort AND save fuel dollars. How many deals give you all that?

    Stick around. Lots of tips. Mike T. may chime in, among others. Mike has a converted gravity HW system running on a modulating condensing boiler and has done yeoman work on the fine points. Stay tuned.

    Brad
  • Tracy_3
    Tracy_3 Member Posts: 4
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    There are two pipes attached to each radiator (one in, one out) and they are small (1" diameter, I'd guess). The pipes from the boiler are also small and go upwards vertically to the pipes in the house. Plus, this is a newer boiler - not original to the house - probably installed in the 70s. I'd guess it is NOT a gravity system.

    So I think I am back to the original question about replacing it with the Triangle Tube Prestige and the option of also using it for the hot water system instead of a water heater. I'd love input on whether folks think this is a good boiler, how long it might be expected to last, and the water heater replacement issue.

    And thanks for helping me figure out what I have!
    Tracy
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
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    Still a great place to start, Tracy

    Each boiler mentioned on this site has it's supporters and adherents. the TT Prestige has had some glowing reports for simplicity, low pressure drop, efficiency and price point. It is considered to be a good value from what I have read. (I am an HVAC engineer not an installer so you know my frame of reference). If you have a good contractor and that is what he/she recommends and stands by to support it, that is the best place to start.

    Keys to your best efficiency regardless of your boiler brand are:

    1) Is your house buttoned up, insulated and sealed as best it can be? Best value regardless.

    2) Boiler sized for the calculated heat load as opposed to a nameplate replacement? (Capture credit for all of that insulating work!)

    3) Do you know how much radiator output you have (EDR measurements)? The better to estimate what temperature curve to which to set your boiler. Speaking of which:

    4) Outdoor reset: Reduce your HW supply temperature when it is warm out, raise it when colder out, automatically. Best savings plan going, IMHO.

    5) Add thermostatic radiator valves (TRV's) at all the radiators you can afford too. Spreads the wealth, prevents overheating and evens out the temperatures. Saves money especially in concert with #4).

    Probably could write more, but why? Stay tuned.
  • Tracy_3
    Tracy_3 Member Posts: 4
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    hot water heater and boiler linkage?

    Anyone with comments about using a Triangle Tube Prestige system to heat the house with hot water heat AND replacing the 10-year-old hot water heater and having the TT unit heat our water as well? Our heating guy thinks this is great and more efficient that usual hot water heaters.

    Also, how long would we expect a TT Prestige boiler to last? It has a 5/10-year warranty, but when would it likely need to be replaced?
  • Robert O'Brien
    Robert O'Brien Member Posts: 3,548
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    Yes

    an indirect will provide more hot water at lower cost with a longer lifespan than a direct fired tank type heater.As far as lifespan of the boiler,it's safe to say most condensing boilers will have a shorter lifespan than a conventional cast-iron boiler.

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