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Triangle Tube Cold Feet

jtz
jtz Member Posts: 13
Hi All,

Newbie here, residential consumer. I have used the search function, but didn't find what I was looking for. I'm very close to installing a Triangle Prestige Trimax Solo Series 110 boiler with a TT indirect hot water heater, but getting concerned with many negative reviews and stories (and a class action lawsuit) I'm reading online. I am not one to believe everything I read and I feel like I did as much research and outreach as I could, but I am concerned as I'm about to make a $10,000+ investment. Their 1 year parts and labor and 10 year heat exchanger warranty seems more or less inline with other high efficiency manufacturers, but it seems they suffer an undue amount of bad press, despite a handful of first hand stories I've personally heard (albeit installs were within the last few years only).

As I was soliciting proposals from competent installers, I got everything from the old timers/old guard berating the new technology and advising me to go the "dumbed down" route to technology adopters advocating higher efficiency units, so it was very difficult to make an informed decision apples to apples. I ended up going the Triangle Tube route because of these first hand viewpoints that seemed reliable and without bias, but was hardly scientific.

I welcome words of caution and/or consensus on my decision. Sincere appreciation in advance.

FYI: 2500 SqFT colonial in New England with existing natural gas.

jtz
«13

Comments

  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    I have installed and serviced a number of these units. I find they function without issue IF properly installed and set up. With that said, I had issue with one unit locking out on ignition failure. After a quick discussion with tech support they sent me an ignition module and spark lead free of charge. This was on a boiler that was 4 years old.
    I have seen a lot of issue's with condensing boilers (TT and others) that are not properly set up or serviced. It requires a yearly inspection which is more detailed than cleaning the jacket...
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    I install them all the time and have one in my own house. Be not afraid.
    TinmanZman
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,551
    I have one in my own house and have had no issues in 7 years.
    I really don't think they require more maintenance than old school boilers.
    Do be careful about installers. The installer should perform a heat loss calculation before picking the size and should perform a combustion analysis as part of the setup.
    If the installer has a piping concept that differs from the one in the installation manual he should have a very good explanation of why. "That's the way we always do it" does not count.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    Bob Bona_4Jean-David Beyer
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    I'll echo what has been said above. It's a good product backed by a good company. I'm somewhat curious where the "many negative reviews and stories (and a class action lawsuit)" came from. There was a recall about ten years back on the old Delta line, but I'm not aware of anything like that since.

    How big is your house?
  • jtz
    jtz Member Posts: 13
    Thank you all for the replies.

    As I mentioned above, I live in New England and my home is a 2,500 SqFT colonial. My selected contractor did a very thorough heat loss analysis.

    If you do a simple Google search for "Triangle Tube reviews" you'll get what I got for negative reviews. The law firm soliciting participation in the class action for a shut off defect pertaining to an ignition failure is Seeger Weiss. A Google search for "Triangle Tube lawsuit" will yield the details I found. It appears it was initiated in 2013 and they may still be investigating.
  • unclejohn
    unclejohn Member Posts: 1,833
    TT is a very good boiler and I have one in my house and it is the only mod. con. I will install.
    Bob Bona_4
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,551
    jtz said:

    Thank you all for the replies.



    As I mentioned above, I live in New England and my home is a 2,500 SqFT colonial. My selected contractor did a very thorough heat loss analysis.



    If you do a simple Google search for "Triangle Tube reviews" you'll get what I got for negative reviews. The law firm soliciting participation in the class action for a shut off defect pertaining to an ignition failure is Seeger Weiss. A Google search for "Triangle Tube lawsuit" will yield the details I found. It appears it was initiated in 2013 and they may still be investigating.

    Triangle Tube had a batch of ignitors that failed prematurely. They made no attempt to hide it. At one point they where offering free replacements. Not sure how they could have handled it better.
    Those class action firms are worse than ambulance chasers!
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    Bob Bona_4TinmanJean-David Beyer
  • NYplumber
    NYplumber Member Posts: 503
    TT is a very good manufacturer. Make sure your installer has installed them before, knows what hes doing, and sets it up with a combustion analizer. Read the install manual yourself and ask questions if you see things arent as per the manual. Post the pictures when done here.

    As for your search and finding of negative reviews, people seldom come online to complement that the pizza in the store was good. They only make it known when it wasnt.
    :NYplumber:
    jonny88RobG
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 3,226
    I get calls for a few hundred boiler service and repair calls every year and I can tell you that there isn't a product or manufacturer out there doesn't encounter problems and inspire negative reviews by some percentage of its audience.
    Triangle Tube is a great company making outstanding products. So is Lochinvar. So is Weil-McLain.
    But they all have a handful of products in the field that are just inexplicably buggy or otherwise problematic.
    I believe "online reviews" are something we're going to look back and laugh about 10-20 years from now. I swear they do more harm than good in nearly every instance. The motivation to write and publish a review overwhelmingly comes from bad experiences. No one is waking up with a healthy boiler which needs no attention this morning and thinks they should sit and write about it.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, NYC Master Plumber, Lic 1784
    Consulting & Troubleshooting
    Heating in NYC or NJ.
    Classes
    GordyTinmanSWEIzavnetRobG
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,546
    Keyword: support. The ability to provide it at all levels.
  • jtz
    jtz Member Posts: 13
    Installation has commenced. Will post photos when complete.
    Bob Bona_4Tinman
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    Solid decision.
    Steve Minnich
    Bob Bona_4Gordy
  • jtz
    jtz Member Posts: 13
    So here are some pics as requested. I welcome comments, after which I'll post my questions. The contractor was very easy to work with. Personally, I think it looks good.



  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    edited November 2015
    They could also attend one of the (nearly free) factory training classes TT offers. Doing so would allow them compete using boilers that come with extended factory warranties.
  • jtz
    jtz Member Posts: 13
    Any comments pertaining to the install itself?
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    Take a look at the installation manual, piping schematics. Then compare to what you got.

    Very unfortunate that guys think they know better.
  • jtz
    jtz Member Posts: 13
    Where in the installation manual does it say to perform a combustion analysis?
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,551
    It's on page 60....
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • jtz
    jtz Member Posts: 13
    If anyone knows of any strong resources in the Central Connecticut area fluent in the way of Triangle Tube, please shoot me an IM. Thank you.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,551
    jtz said:

    Any comments pertaining to the install itself?

    The installation looks mediocre.

    The primary secondary closely spaced tees are not.
    Not sure there is a flow check on the boiler circ.

    The condensate trap appears to have been altered. Can you take a close up of the bottom of the boiler? This one could be dangerous.

    And yes, pumping away has been ignored..

    This one is not wall of shame worthy, but not quite right either.

    Not sure who is close to you.
    Charles Garrity is in Springfield MA. Heat pro is in RI. There are a bunch of guys in find a pro who are just south of Boston.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Rich_49
    Rich_49 Member Posts: 2,766
    Zman . You forgot to mention the stellar air elimination
    You didn't get what you didn't pay for and it will never be what you thought it would .
    Langans Plumbing & Heating LLC
    732-751-1560
    Serving most of New Jersey, Eastern Pa .
    Consultation, Design & Installation anywhere
    Rich McGrath 732-581-3833
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,551
    edited November 2015
    Rich said:

    Zman . You forgot to mention the stellar air elimination

    True enough! You might want one of those.

    I have actually run into a couple triangle tube setups will no air eliminator that work just fine. Both the boiler and the DHW have vents and the water moves so slowly in those areas that the air eventually gets out.

    I would absolutely recommend a micro bubble separator.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    zavnetnjtommy
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    I'm fairfield county, a little far? This needs repiping to mfr. spec.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    Fairfield County is far? Heche I go all the way to Fairfield Bob, at least I never need to go to your jobs though. I suggest that the owner simply demand the manual get followed. If that doesn't get it fixed I suggest involving the manufacturer.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    Not to derail thread Charlie but what is manufacturer going to do?Check out the Veissmann thread.But Maybe TT will do something,worth a shot.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    They can say yes that will work, or no that voids your warranty, get it fixed.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    I know Charlie but getting them there might be another problem but can't say from experience just trying to say that not all reps are there for Homeowner.Again Veissmann thread.You might get an idea of where I am coming from.
  • jtz
    jtz Member Posts: 13
    edited November 2015
    I just read the Veissmann thread and there are similarities. I used the recommended contractor tool on TT's website. The results weren't desirable. One I called was no longer in the business, but did have a TT in his home and recommended it, so I went to the next one. The next one was not even an installer, he worked for a distributor but had a friend who had recently had a TT installed and thought the job was "beautifully done." That sounded like further validation of the brand and certainly a good recommendation of a contractor. I still wasn't satisfied so I called TT and I was told I would receive a callback from a rep within my area. I never received a callback so I called back. I was told a second time I would receive a callback. Never did. I continued on, having some reservations about the brand which prompted me to make this post. Once I felt reassured to go with the brand, I made the final decision to move forward with the installer mentioned as an andicdote by the TT distributor above that I had called. On the recommendation of this board, I asked the installer if his piping concept would be as outlined in the manual. He said it would, with some modification for what wasn't accounted for in the manual. So that's the genesis of my decision. It wasn't haphazard or without effort.

    With all of this brewing, I called TT yesterday and asked if they could send a representative to my home so they could look at the job and evaluate the quality and suitability of the install. The front line technician said that wasn't possible.

    I'm not one to give up easily, but since this is not my trade and I can't carry on what's going to be a heated discussion with the installer, I will demand TT involve themselves and validate (or not) the install. If they take issue with it, they can help me work with the installer to get it resolved. At the very least they should do that, especially considering the backstory which I've outlined here. On Monday I'll start with the C-suite and keep bothering them until they get engaged, and they must, because their warranty expressly relates an install to warranty coverage and only TT can validate that.

    What I could use from this board is any senior level contact information at TT which I would appreciate being sent to me via private message if you don't want to post here.
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,239
    edited November 2015
    Seriously, Good luck with the whole thing. I personally have only found about 50% of reps keep their commitments and promises. I would get on the horn with the enthusiasm of a collection agency till I got satisfactory results.

    Bob Bona_4RobG
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    jtz - Have you expressed you concerns with the installer? Is he willing to do it by the book?
    Steve Minnich
    Harvey Ramer
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,239

    jtz - Have you expressed you concerns with the installer? Is he willing to do it by the book?

    That's true. The installer should always be given ample opportunity to correct an error.
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    That should always be the first line of recourse, IMO. His workmanship was good, attention to detail - lacking. This could be a valuable learning experience for him and a win-win for all.
    Steve Minnich
    RobG
  • jtz
    jtz Member Posts: 13
    I have not addressed with him yet because all I can point to is the book and say look, it wasn't done by the book. I can't carry on an intelligent conversation with him. He has reasons why he deviated from the book and who am I as a layman to carry on a conversation with him on the subject other than to say it's not by the book. And frankly, looking at the book, it might as well be Mandarin (and I'm not Chinese). The nuances are lost on me.

    I will be diplomatic but firm. But I want TT to weigh in prior to any conversation with him because that's gospel as far as I'm concerned and it will carry more weight than some know-it-all consumer who thinks he knows better than someone in the trade.

    If he didn't follow the book to the T before, why would doing so now prove to be a learning experience for him? He thinks he knows better and the book is not sufficient for the scenario at hand. If however, TT were to weigh in and deem the work deficient, that may prove to be a learning experience and end up being a win-win.
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,551
    Both your post and the Viessman post make for an interesting discussion. It is really a symptom of the greater problem of what is wrong with the way the heating industry functions in this country. Both manufactures are in a bind. If they aren't careful they will alienate the contractor or distributor and lose future sales. It is probably the job of the distributing rep to deal with this. Most are not qualified, they are hired as sales people.

    I agree with those who are saying this could become a training moment for the manufacture. The problem is, that is a very tricky conversation to have. If it is not done by the right person with perfect tact, it will backfire.

    I have sat through the 2 day Triangle Tube seminar put on by the best trainers out there and listened to guys like your installer argue that their way is better. Finally, the trainer would just say "If you do it our way, we have your back, if you go that way it will get sticky if there is a warranty issue ". The mediocre installer is very suborn and proud. They don't really understand it all and will argue forever about a detail that they don't truly understand.

    Please post a picture of the condensate trap assembly on the bottom of the boiler. The one provided by the manufacture prevents the flue gas from escaping into the home. If it is not installed, this goes from a "C" level install to a very dangerous one.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • Tinman
    Tinman Member Posts: 2,808
    Ok. It sounds like he may be one of those "I know it all" type guys?
    The minute I stop being teachable, I'm done.
    Steve Minnich
    RobG
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,551
    In other news, Triangle Tube has recently gone though some leadership changes. I know some of the top guys in the western US have defected...
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    jonny88
  • jtz
    jtz Member Posts: 13
    Definitely not, confident yes, but not obnoxious.
  • Bob Bona_4
    Bob Bona_4 Member Posts: 2,083
    There was no excuse to deviate from the explicit piping schematics. They aren't "suggestions".

    You will have a tough time with a direct rep to homeowner route. They are for the contractor. Good luck.
  • Charlie from wmass
    Charlie from wmass Member Posts: 4,314
    Well written Hatteras. After looking at several more photos of system your points and an issue possiblely with the fresh air and exhaust piping are also my concerns. Would I have piped it this way? No. Is it terrible? No. 85%to 90% right, which is sadly great compared to most of the boiler piping I see.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating