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HELP: Problem Triangle Tube ModCon + Radiator System

lleveen Member Posts: 1
I was dumb. I didn't insist on a Manual J heat loss calc from my installer. I went with a nice guy, but I don't think things got done right, and now I need help. Some preliminaries:

Location: Olympia, WA 98502 (not very cold in the Puget Sound region)

House stats: 1200 sq. ft., 1.5 stories, built 1937, insulated walls, floors, ceiling

Replaced aging gas forced-air furnace and gas water heater with:

-Triangle Tube (TT) Prestige Solo 60 gas mod con boiler

- TT Smart 60 indirect water heater

- Runtal radiators in most rooms except kitchen which uses a "Toester" toe kick heater

- Two-zone setup with Taco, what, switch, zone controller?

We are trying to resolve a problem TT is aware of with some controllers on this unit. They are sending a new controller out. Actually, they already sent one, but it didn't help. We found out they sent the wrong one (an uncorrected controller unit apparently).


- Frequent "thud" noise. I don't know whether this is delayed ignition or other improper ignition or what. It is disconcerting, and I am hoping a corrected controller addresses it.

- Failure to ignite lockout resulting in boiler lockout error. We have to press the reset button to get out of this. Again, hoping a corrected controller addresses it.

- Slow recovery. I am wondering if the radiators were spec'd too small. I know that radiators do not heat up a house as fast as forced air, but this is pretty slow. Also, from what I can tell, there is only a slight 4-degree difference in the return heat compared to the outgoing heat.

- HIGHER, not lower energy bill. OK, so we only have one heating season bill to look at, but it shows that the average temperature was the same this year and last for the same billing period. I'd expect the new high-efficiency unit to be significantly cheaper to operate, not MORE expensive. Again, I wonder about the delta-T and inefficiency resulting from it.

- Setback thermometers were installed, but I am reading about how they might be inappropriate for mod con boilers.

We are awaiting the new corrected controller to arrive. I expect that will cure the thud noise and the failure to ignite consistently. I remain concerned about the other problems, however.

Was a modcon boiler a bad choice for our small house? Do they make units that modulate lower than 16K?

Was it _technically_ wrong to have two zones in terms of dumping heat even though we are only upstairs for sleeping?

I realize mistakes I made out of ignorance, and need to know what advice _at this stage of things_ do you folks have. THANKS!


  • Dan Foley
    Dan Foley Member Posts: 1,258

    Call Paul Pollets at Advanced Radiant Technology in Seattle:


    Paul is one of the best in the business.  Good luck!

    - DF
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,383
    Paul will help....

    if you ask him too. In the meantime. Got Picts? The set back tstats are a no-no w/ the modcon. What is the piping like? Are you comfortable? What is the house insulation like?
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,710

    Paul is the man you want.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
  • Paul Pollets
    Paul Pollets Member Posts: 3,656
    edited December 2011
    Help with system

    I've been dealing with TT PE110 issues myself the past few days....just replaced another MCBA board yesterday and the new board does affect the parameters previously programmed and all settings must be reviewed upon commissioning. The Runtal radiators should work great, providing they were installed correctly and sized correctly. That your heating bill is higher says "probably not". The harmonic or thudding sound is usually caused by low gas pressures; too lean a mixture; or a bad MCBA board. The boiler must be tuned with a combustion analyzer and a manometer during commission, or it is just guessing.

    Mod-cons are not available that have a firing rate lower than 17K(more likely 20K) Btu's. I always prefer an appliance that will do a min.of 80K BTU on high fire for faster DHW recovery.
  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669

    The new controller will solve most of your problems except the slow recovery.

    did the installer figure the IBR rating needed by doing an output capability of all the radiators

    Sounds to me like the boiler is a little small. Did he install the outdoor senser.

    He may just have the boiler set with too low of an operating temperature in outdoor reset mode.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Outdoor sensor.

    My former contractor was really enthusiastic about selling me a W-M Ultra 3. I am not sorry I got it, but the outfit seemed to know little to nothing about how they worked, even though I was by no means the first customer to have one installed. They wanted to sell me one bigger than the smallest, and the smallest is what I insisted on. Even it is about 100% too big.

    Then the lead technician did not want to install the outdoor sensor, even though it comes with the boiler. He said they do not make much difference. Well if the boiler is oversized, they probably don't. Just run the boiler down to minimum firing rate and forget it.  But by then, I had already read the installation manual and Siggy's big book, so I insisted on having the outdoor reset installed. He did not know how to set it up, so I had to do it.

    I think the manufacturers should sell only to contractors who have been in their training school. There seem to be too many out there who are not clued in on mod-con boilers work or how to install and service them. Yet they imply they know all about it. The contractor should always know more about these systems than the homeowner, but this does not seem to be the case.

    I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had bought the equipment on the Internet and installed it myself. I know I cannot thread 1 1/4 inch pipe, and I have never soldered copper tubing other than 1/2 inch. I think I would have made sloppy joints.  I would have glued all the joints in the PVC supply and exhaust pipe. But I would have put all the pipes and circulators on a 3/4 inch plywood panel and mounted that to the wall with some kind of shock absorbing mounts to keep from transferring the vibrations to my bedroom wall. I know I would have had to hire a plumber to deal with the gas line. Maybe I would have gotten all black pipe instead of that long piece of CSST. I think the contractor had an easier time getting the job through inspection than I would have had.
  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669
    Outdoor senser

    I usually install the ODS. Outdoor reset will save you on your gas bill.

    Jean-David  - If manufacturers demanded that installers go to clases ( I have ) in order to buy their product then those installers would just buy from someone that didn't require that testing.
This discussion has been closed.