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Fixing a hydronic system with condensation/corrosion

Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,515
I can't tell you what to do, maybe you shall wait until i come!

It is no big deal but..if you system fill valve is bad you could lower the pressure to much

Or if the boiler is just done fired up to 180 F you could get burned..


  • Kool Rod
    Kool Rod Member Posts: 175
    Help me re-engineer my hydronic gas system

    We currently have a 2800 sqft well built house at 10,000 above sea level in Leadville, Colorado. The outside temps get down to -35 and we like 68 in the house...

    Our current setup was built in 1994 and we have issues since we bought the house in 1998. The system is a Teledyne Laars 190,000BTU atmospheric cast iron boiler with Etrol 90 (12 gallon expansion tank) and 42 Boilermate indirect water heater. The house has 7 zone (1 of those is the side arm)

    Since purchasing the house we have replace the exhaust fan on the boiler 3 times due to corrosion. The boiler has about a 20' exhaust with 2 90 degree bends, and the exhaust fan mid stream. Not in the right place according to the manual, it should be at the end. We have also replaced all the exhaust ductwork 1.5 years ago and were told to start saving for a boiler replacement. Well here we are and we save up, the power damper is corroded again and we had our plumber come to give us an estimate.

    He stated the problem is that we are not running the boiler up enough in temps. The only mixing we have is some manual valves. We are shocking the boiler and have at least caused corrosion on the heat exchanger an ductwork.

    I calculated the house heat loss at about 130,000BTU.

    He recommended a Triangle Tube Prestige boiler, which seems to be a high end quality product... He assures me that the modulating/condensing boiler is where we need to go.

    Out gas bills are NOT outrageous (max out at $125 in the coldest months), so I don't think that we recoup our costs by increasing efficiency.... But the main thing is that I don't want to mess with this anymore. I don't want the exhaust fan flying apart on a Friday evening of a holiday weekend (seems like that is the only time it has happened).

    I have had trouble locating a Viessmann installer. Triangle Tube seems to be much more popular in the central mountains of Colorado.

    I have also read online that there is some "hidden" programming of the controls to increase efficiency.. Do you think I could mess with this myself?

    My well water is darn cold too, probably 36-38 degrees out of the tap.... if that matters on boiler sizing? I am guessing we would go with the 175,000 BTU model? I can't afford 2 smaller ones that is for sure.

    Amy other thoughts? Any other ?s I should be asking?
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,515

    E-mail me at [email protected],or call me at 970 513 0697 on Monday, I am in Dillon CO,

    I know both the Viessmanns and the Triangle tubes pretty good

    Have the highest Viessmann at 11200 feet with 95% efficiency.
    I will talk to you ,Richard from Heatmeister
  • Brad White_201
    Brad White_201 Member Posts: 52
    I would second Derheatmeister

    I had the pleasure of meeting Richard at Wetstock Denver in April. His diligence and expertise are also clear in his postings, let alone the demonstration trailer.

    Richard Knows Efficiency at Altitude.

    My $0.02

  • Todd_33
    Todd_33 Member Posts: 62

    Hopefully I can convince him to drive over the pass to help me...
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,515

    If you want to you can call me now!

    I am in the Office pushing paper

    It's the heating season now in Summit county i must go to Camp hale(got a Viessmann to do a fall service on) in the next weeks so maybe i can combine something here ? Richard
  • Brad White_201
    Brad White_201 Member Posts: 52
    Independence Pass?

    If anyone can...
  • Todd_33
    Todd_33 Member Posts: 62

    I have attached some pictures of the system and the manual mixing valve. Derheatmeister was awesome on the phone and we are going to set up a meeting. He asked some questions and had some answers.

    He did bring up the tubing. The house was started in 1995 or so. The house was not completed until 1996-7 (owner built) I was relieved when purchased to no have Entran tubing, but it was brought up the tubing I have might be from Shell (PB tubing?) There is no writing on it, can anyone tell from the pictures what it is?
  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,515
    Cat sleeping grounds!

  • Derheatmeister
    Derheatmeister Member Posts: 1,515
    Oops early post!

    Will this cat be T off if we get rid of it's Pad?

    Was the Expansion tank replaced? what is the Date code on that Exp.Tank? .
    What does the System Fluid look like? Rusty? Dark,Clear?

    System Fluid is a tell/tell sign.

  • Todd_33
    Todd_33 Member Posts: 62

    She is a fighter, but she likes people...

    The fluid appears clear. Everything is date coded 1994. can I crack a fitting to see the fluid better?
  • Todd_33
    Todd_33 Member Posts: 62

    I will wait.. :)
  • Bruce M_2
    Bruce M_2 Member Posts: 123

    Howard, In Richard you have found the best of the best. He will do the work correctly and his knowledge is unsurpassed.
This discussion has been closed.