Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Relocating the Boiler

Laurelie
Laurelie Member Posts: 16
I am replacing my boiler and panel/pumps. The whole thing is currently located inside a cramped closet. I was thinking of relocating it, ideally to spread out the panel a bit, and get a larger boiler like a Triangle Tube Prestige.

The supply and return pex pipes are located in that cramped closet, which raises the question: Do I lose much by having the boiler located farther away?

If I got a Challenger, everything would fit again. I'd rather gain more from an easier to work-on location. It's about 20 feet away. I would have to pipe long supply- and return- lines to the new boiler location.

Is that a big deal, with efficiency? Bad idea? Good idea? Am I losing all that much? Is it all that much better to leave everything where it is?

Thanks.
«1

Comments

  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,597
    The Prestige is a much better boiler with a far superior heat exchanger than the Challenger. So, based upon that, it may be worth it to you. But, moving it just for the sake of moving it would not be prudent as Hat said.

    I doubt if you'd lose anything in efficiency, but moving hydronic, gas, flue and drain lines + high and low voltage wiring could be a lot of $$$.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Laurelie
    Laurelie Member Posts: 16
    I should have mentioned: The current system that exists is a rotten DIY mess. It was installed without a permit by an unlicensed former owner. It has a leaky Takagi running the whole thing.

    I need to re-do it anyway, because I'd like a real boiler, a real permit, a real panel layout, real primary/secondary, and of course, a real licensed installation.

    I will sell this property one day, and everything should be ship-shape. Plus, I have tenants and would be liable. I want it to be safe.
  • Paul S_3
    Paul S_3 Member Posts: 1,257
    edited March 2016
    Where are you located....you can find a real pro from here to do this installation ...and if the distribution system is messed up by a DIY'er just changing the boiler room may not make a difference
    ASM Mechanical Company
    Located in Staten Island NY
    Servicing all 5 boroughs of NYC.
    347-692-4777
    [email protected]
    ASMHVACNYC.COM
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/asm-mechanical-company
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 8,975
    Some pictures of the "Mess" may sway some minds here. One thing to consider is how far/accessible the new space would be from the outside wall for venting/combustion air.
  • Laurelie
    Laurelie Member Posts: 16
    I have gotten three bids. Contractors like Navien combi units here in San Francisco, where I'm located. I don't like them. I think they're cheap.

    Moving the boiler and using a fire tube boiler will cost twice as much, but I want quality. A Challenger isn't the same as a Prestige, IMO.
  • LionA29
    LionA29 Member Posts: 255
    Can you post some picture of this " mess"?
  • njtommy
    njtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    edited March 2016
    I would recommend looking into Lochinvar boilers as well.
    Steve Minnich
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,837
    Ironman said:

    I would recommend that you contact:

    Alan (California Radiant) Forbes from here on the wall.

    I agree with Ironman.

    If the original poster will send me an email, I can get her Alan's cell phone number, He's a professional member of the RPA.

    [email protected]

    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,828
    I agree that Alan is a great installer.

    With regards to the Challenger the HX may be different but if it were my house I would actually prefer the Challenger/ IBC- HC / Intergas boiler over the Prestige.
    It has fewer moving parts, Simpler design and I am pretty sure w/ over 1 million installs not 1 HX failure...
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,680
    My choice would be the Lochinvar Knight KHN. Firetube HX. 10:1 turndown. But, as others have said - Alan will steer her in the right direction.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
    njtommy
  • Steve Minnich
    Steve Minnich Member Posts: 2,680
    @kcopp - Zero HX failures? That's pretty remarkable with all the poor installations we see.
    Steve Minnich
    Minnich Hydronic Consulting & Design, LLC
    [email protected]
    Hatterasguy
  • Laurelie
    Laurelie Member Posts: 16
    edited March 2016
    The main reasoning for the Prestige vs the Challenger is the Prestige's better stainless steel fire tube heat exchanger. As I've posted before, I am working with inaccessible non-barrier pex tubing installed by a former owner. Meaning 1) I can't rip it out and start over and 2) I need as much non-ferrous material as possible.

    I've read that Challenger's HX isn't as good as the Prestige with non-barrier tubing.

    I am willing to pay for a more compact stainless steel unit like the Vitodens 100, but again, that HX isn't as good as the fire tube. I want less maintenance.

    (As an aside, sometimes I think about moving on to the Versa Flame, but again, with ferrous materials for the radiant heat, I don't trust it.)

    Finally, after living with a tankless DHW for so many years, and getting a max of 3gpm, I'd like to move on to an indirect tank. I want more water pressure and more flow. And of course, the max efficiency.

    If I relocated everything I gain a closet--which is a big deal in a city--and I gain room to have a nice panel and indirect tank. Not to mention the ability to access everything without disturbing tenants.
  • Laurelie
    Laurelie Member Posts: 16
    edited March 2016
    Also, after some great conversations with Triangle Tube, I have settled on the newer PA110 unit without the internal circulator (not the PT110 model with the cast iron 15-58) because I can use a stainless steel delta t Taco pump.

    Again, my settling isn't final. Otherwise I wouldn't be searching out advice on this wonderful site. :-)

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,828
    edited March 2016
    The part Challenger HX that would be in contact w/ the water, is copper. I actually have job out there that I used a Challenger Solo w/ an indirect. The tubing was non barrier Poly Butylene.
    No problems w/ the warranty.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,597
    Laurelie said:

    Also, after some great conversations with Triangle Tube, I have settled on the newer PA110 unit without the internal circulator (not the PT110 model with the cast iron 15-58) because I can use a stainless steel delta t Taco pump.

    Again, my settling isn't final. Otherwise I wouldn't be searching out advice on this wonderful site. :-)

    I would not recommend using a delta T circ to pump directly through the boiler. The logic in the pump will not play in harmony the logic in the mod/con and both them will be fighting each other ramping up and down. The only way a Variable speed circ will work is when the boiler is controlling the speed of the circ like the larger Lochinvars do.



    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    SWEI
  • Jason_13
    Jason_13 Member Posts: 299
    I like the K2 from US boiler with the new Sage Zone control that you can program the btu input per zone and the panel limits the input of the boiler to match the zone. Adds up rpm's as more zones call limiting the max input. It also adds a second heating curve if needed. I have seen this control added to existing US Boiler high efficiency boilers and up to a 20% savings by just adding the control.
    The Sage2.2 zone control has options to assist in controlling short cycling like adjustable low fire hold, anti-short cycle time, high and low independent differentials, adjustable light off rate, reducing btu input by reducing the rpm's on the fan. changing the PID of the fan (changing the ramp up and down speed on the fan) from the control all buying time waiting for more load on the boiler.
  • Laurelie
    Laurelie Member Posts: 16
    edited March 2016
    Thanks for all this advice. I shall heed it.

    RE: Lochnivar. That seems a perfect fit, but then, I see it often gets bad reviews. Also the Trinity. Even the Weil McLain Eco 70. But the reviews and forums all have nasty gossip on those brands. Never do you see gossip on TT or Viessmann. I realize the installation is the main thing, but again, nobody bad mouths TT or Viessman for quality. (They bad mouth Viessmann for costing way too much. )

    And Also, again, the KHN has a cast iron 15-58 pump (just like the PT110). My understanding is, you cannot switch out these pumps for a stainless.

    You may recall, I have have non-barrier tubing here. That's job number one.

    As for the calculated heat loss on this building is about 43,700. It a 1800 sf staple-up large lower floor of historic Victorian (1868), plus a slab pour basement 900 sf. We have a severe problem with staple up heat loss because the lousy non barrier tubing was installed 16" o.c. (instead of 8"). Very wasteful, but that's what it is. That's the main cause of the high heat loss.

    I wanted the Solo 60, but again, it has that cast iron pump. I'm still not sure why you can't switch out that pump for a stainless....? Any ideas about that? I already plan a mag filter for the system, but a cast iron pump seems a non starter.

    I would get the Challenger, but it seems to be a better version of the Navien and I just don't get the appeal of those units. Copper sounds good, but again, I want to stay with the system that is the best for dealing with this non-barrier.

    I also have the issue of wanting plentiful hot water with the indirect. Often consumers get larger boilers to achieve that. Could a 55btu boiler running at 135-140 degrees give me enough hot water?

    I will look into the other boilers, K2 from US boiler.

    Speaking of Navien...They came out with a NHB-55 unit that seemed perfect, and is cheap. $1680. I just want to do this once, and not worry. Maintenance free(er) products are a big appeal to me. I am one of the few humans willing to pay more upfront for quality.
    vincyking11212
  • Laurelie
    Laurelie Member Posts: 16
    Sorry to be repetitive, but the non-barrier staple up tubing is in the upstairs floor, and is permanently sealed in with sheetrock below for the new tenant-occupied living space. Non barrier is also inside the concrete slab in the downstairs. It cannot be replaced.

    If I won the lottery, I might consider ripping up the floors in both spaces and start fresh with warm board subfloor and redo the hardwood floors. But as it, the gorgeous original existing hardwood parquet in the upstairs, and old growth fir in the downstairs, are staying put. This rules out "fixing" the non-barrier tubing.
  • njtommy
    njtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    Triangle Tube has problems just like every one else. Weil Mclain will have the same problems now to after adopting triangle tubes down firing burner. They are both made by the same manufacture.
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    edited March 2016
    The pumps can be switched, they are not internal, on the Lochinvar and triangle tube
    SWEIHatterasguySteve Minnich
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    The 110 is the only TT model that comes with an internal pump. I never did understand why. You can swap an ECM circ in them just fine.
  • Laurelie
    Laurelie Member Posts: 16
    I thought you could, but that's not what TT told me. It seems like a standard flange grundfos pump....
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    edited March 2016
    I doubt any manufacturer would 'approve' a swap like that, but it does work.

    As Bob mentioned above, you want a ΔP pump there and not a ΔT. We've tried both an HEC-2 and a VT2218 and they just don't play well with the boiler control logic.
  • MikeG
    MikeG Member Posts: 169
    What would it take to isolate the non barrier side from a regular boiler with a HX and SS circs? If still looking to do an indirect the components keep adding up.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,828
    IF you clean the system w/ a Fernox or Rhomar cleaner and then add inhibitor it will make the non barrier tube Much less of an issue. Have the system water checked yearly. You May be able to for go the Non Ferrous components.
    JMO.
    Ironman
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,597
    I sell and install Viessman, TT, Lochinvar + several others. Forget the online reviews. When something goes wrong, people always blame the appliance when 98% of the time it's the fault of the installer.
    The TT and the Lochinvar WHN and KHN have the fire tube HX. The only one that I've ever seen fail was actually in a TT that close contractor friend installed. It actually lost two in two years! When he asked me to find what was wrong, it turned out the circ was undersized because that's what someone in tech support had told him was the right one. I showed him the applications manual called for a much larger one. No problems since. He's a good hydronic contract that got some wrong info and he was blaming the appliance!
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,597

    Ironman said:

    The only one that I've ever seen fail was actually in a TT that close contractor friend installed. It actually lost two in two years!


    What's the failure mechanism in such a situation?

    Anyone disassemble it?
    IDK. Both times it had broken where the mounting flange was welded.

    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    They go off on high limit. If the CH MAX SETPOINT was raised in response, there can be scale buildup at the top of the HX.

    I have seen pictures of HX bottom pan failures, quite likely from chlorides leaching down a PVC flue. That's why the new HX (with the polypropylene bottom pan) was developed for the TriMax. Lochinvar and others using the original TT FT HX design should probably be requiring the use of PP or SS flue pipe.
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    The Lochinvar comes with a cpvc starter piece and someone sells a stainless starter piec for ite. I haven't seen a pp starter piece.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Centrotherm has appliance adapters for them.

    Somewhat ironically, there's PP inside most of these boilers already -- which connects to a PVC/CPVC sized conversion piece which then needs an appliance adapter to convert back to PP.
    Leon82
  • njtommy
    njtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    edited March 2016
    TT had problems with the combustion fan motors/ fan blades too. I believe TT said it was due to using low profile concentric vent kits and the flue gases being sucked back in.
  • Laurelie
    Laurelie Member Posts: 16
    Navien anyone? ;-)

    I was all set on spending the money, but after reading this info, wonder i don't just save money if they'll all fail. :-)
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,828
    Not a fan. Lots of parts. Funky HX.
  • njtommy
    njtommy Member Posts: 1,105
    I've had a Navien NCB-240 in my house for 2 heating seasons now with no problems. It's a nice boiler for the price point.
  • Laurelie
    Laurelie Member Posts: 16
    That's been my whole dilemma here. Since I have non-barrier tubing, I figure I will "go through" boilers more often, so why not use a cheap one that will wear out in 5-7 years anyway at half the price vs. a more expensive one that could last a long time but get messed up anyway.
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    edited March 2016
    If that's OK with you you could look into a htp uft
    Or the Westinghouse version
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,828
    The Non Barrier tubing should not preclude you to having a shorter boiler life.... Unless you leave the water in the system untreated.
    But there again leaving any system water untreated these days can lead to shorter boiler life...
    SWEI
  • robsimpson
    robsimpson Member Posts: 3
    Unless I missed it, I didn't what see supply water temperature you are using for the staple up? I love mod-con boilers, but unless they are truly modulating they aren't that efficient. If you need 140 degree water or higher to get enough heat to the staple up zones, I'd rethink everything. I'd also make sure that you have a real Manual J heat loss on hand, it should be required for your permit but I would VERY strongly suggest that you have a blower door test done to see what the real infiltration of your building is. A leaky home can really skew your heat loss.

    As for moving the boiler 20', absolutely no problem with proper pipe and pump sizing. I would only use a primary/secondary set up and I'm a huge fan of DeltaT pumps on the secondary piping.

    I would strongly suggest you ask the competing contractors for a piping diagram of how they intend on installing the system. Any boiler is only as good as the installer.