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Trio P3 oil boiler with Bradford White indirect water heater

cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
edited July 29 in Oil Heating
We had a Trio P3 cast iron oil boiler with a Riello single stage burner and Bradford White 40 gallon indirect water heater installed last week.  We chose this particular oil boiler after much research.  The old oil boiler (EFM PK750) would run constantly even in the summer months just to heat up water.  The Trio is a low mass, cold start oil boiler that only holds 3.6 gallons of water.  Paired with an indirect water heater meant to us that the oil boiler would only fire when it called for hot water, saving us oil.  So to our surprise after install, we kept hearing the oil boiler firing up at 130 degrees.  We contacted the installer to ask if the aquastat was set up as a cold-start.  He told us he had the low limit set at 140.  This morning he came and changed the aquastat to the off position which we thought meant cold start.  When we went to shower later in the day, the hot water turned to warm and never got hot again.  The temperature reading on the oil boiler showed around 83 degrees and the Taco 4 zone switching relay was lit up for zone 4 but the oil boiler wasn’t turning on.  We even turned on the heat for zone 1 and the boiler still didn’t turn on.  We contacted the installer again to find out what was going wrong and he instructed us to turn the low limit back on which we did for now.  This isn’t making sense to us as it seems to defeat our goal of having a cold start boiler because now the oil boiler keeps turning on at 130 degrees but we have no choice in the moment because we need hot water and this was the only way to resolve it.  We reviewed the installation manual for the aquastat and the Trio boiler and something seems off.  There is no thermostatic bypass on our boiler which is “highly” recommended by Trio to limit condensation.  It also appears that the wiring may be incorrect.  We just want the oil boiler to run as we anticipated as a cold start but per our last conversation with the installer he never installed an oil boiler as a cold start with an indirect water heater.  
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Comments

  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,876
    Something is definitely wired wrong. The indirect tank should be calling on the boiler to fire when needed.

    Those are nice boilers. Where are you located?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,414
    edited July 29
    Page 5, diagram 5 in the Hydrostat manual shows the hot for the zone 4 indirect circulator must also get wired in parallel to ZR on the Hydrostat. 
    This way it knows it's a domestic demand and bypasses the economy and thermal targeting settings.
    Zone board switch on priority. Hydrostat switch on I. Just to the left of the I/Z switch is a jumper (page 7, item B ). Remove it if not already done. 
    cysticfib17STEVEusaPA
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    Steamhead
    We are located in Bethlehem, PA.
    F.W. Webb sells the Trio oil boilers.
  • BDR529BDR529 Member Posts: 105
    Nothing wired to the TT in the control. Boiler has no idea what to do.

    Use end switch from Taco relay to TT and reajust control for cold start application
    cysticfib17psb75
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    BDR529 said:

    Nothing wired to the TT in the control. Boiler has no idea what to do.

    Use end switch from Taco relay to TT and reajust control for cold start application

    Do we need a bypass?
  • BDR529BDR529 Member Posts: 105
    Bypass?

    Print what I wrote and give it to the installer. Scratch that. Tell him the instructions are printed in the lid of the Taco relay.
    cysticfib17
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    BDR529 said:

    Bypass?

    Print what I wrote and give it to the installer. Scratch that. Tell him the instructions are printed in the lid of the Taco relay.

    Will do....just feeling frustrated after paying all this money to the "expert" and having to do "leg work" to get it set-up properly but we want it correct. With regards to a bypass, the Trio manual mentioned it being "highly recommended" to prevent condensation. Maybe that is a completely separate issue from the wiring for the indirect water heater but this is all foreign to me and I have learned way more about oil boilers in the past 5 weeks than I ever imagined. We tried to do our homework.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,876

    BDR529 said:

    Nothing wired to the TT in the control. Boiler has no idea what to do.

    Use end switch from Taco relay to TT and reajust control for cold start application

    Do we need a bypass?
    What kind of radiation do you have? Baseboard? Cast-iron radiators?
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • BDR529BDR529 Member Posts: 105
    Yup, the Trio manual says how wonderful it is. They all pat themselves on the back.
    I Think it is a rebranded Biasi. Decent boiler.

    It is a triple pass so a liner kit in the chimney might be a good idea. Was a chimney inspection done?

    If condensate is a big problem keep low limit at 120. The condensate will beat up the chimney eat the old clay liner, it is acidic.

    Bypass piping.. Do a stainless steel chimney liner.Looks like a giant dryer vent. No sense adding more piping.
    If the chimney is junk I think a Trio has a direct vent option.

    However, Any chimney probs should have been addressed first. That would dictate boiler options. My 2 cents.

    Nothing on that boiler that can't be fixed.

    Nice to see they took the time to sweat all the connections.
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    Steamhead said:

    BDR529 said:

    Nothing wired to the TT in the control. Boiler has no idea what to do.

    Use end switch from Taco relay to TT and reajust control for cold start application

    Do we need a bypass?
    What kind of radiation do you have? Baseboard? Cast-iron radiators?
    We have baseboards.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,876

    Steamhead said:

    BDR529 said:

    Nothing wired to the TT in the control. Boiler has no idea what to do.

    Use end switch from Taco relay to TT and reajust control for cold start application

    Do we need a bypass?
    What kind of radiation do you have? Baseboard? Cast-iron radiators?
    We have baseboards.
    That's not a high-mass system, so a bypass should not be needed.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
    kcopp
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,876
    BDR529 said:

    I Think it is a rebranded Biasi. Decent boiler.

    Actually, a rebranded Solaia, which is Biasi-based. Not quite the same. Dave Thomas and the crew at Boyertown do a great job of supporting these boilers if there's ever an issue.

    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,414
    BDR529 said:
    Nothing wired to the TT in the control. Boiler has no idea what to do. Use end switch from Taco relay to TT and reajust control for cold start application
    Yes! XX dry contacts on the zone board to TT on the Hydrostat. How was that not done?
    mattmia2
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    BDR529 said:

    Yup, the Trio manual says how wonderful it is. They all pat themselves on the back.
    I Think it is a rebranded Biasi. Decent boiler.

    It is a triple pass so a liner kit in the chimney might be a good idea. Was a chimney inspection done?

    If condensate is a big problem keep low limit at 120. The condensate will beat up the chimney eat the old clay liner, it is acidic.

    Bypass piping.. Do a stainless steel chimney liner.Looks like a giant dryer vent. No sense adding more piping.
    If the chimney is junk I think a Trio has a direct vent option.

    However, Any chimney probs should have been addressed first. That would dictate boiler options. My 2 cents.

    Nothing on that boiler that can't be fixed.

    Nice to see they took the time to sweat all the connections.

    I do believe it is a rebranded Biasi, Italian made. A chimney inspection was not done. I am not sure if condensation is a problem. I thought we did all our homework before making any decisions but it appears there are so many other factors we didn't consider. We had 8 contractors come for estimates and not a single one mentioned inspecting the chimney. Here is my big fear.....that this thing was not installed properly and that we will have several repercussions down the line that we have no way of knowing now.
  • SteamheadSteamhead Member Posts: 13,876
    edited July 29
    HVACNUT said:


    BDR529 said:

    Nothing wired to the TT in the control. Boiler has no idea what to do.

    Use end switch from Taco relay to TT and reajust control for cold start application

    Yes! XX dry contacts on the zone board to TT on the Hydrostat. How was that not done?

    Not the first time I've seen this. We find it mostly on larger boilers where the unit sits at full temperature or pressure waiting for a zone to call. Some of those we've fixed have resulted in fuel savings up to a third.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    "Reducing our country's energy consumption, one system at a time"
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Baltimore, MD (USA) and consulting anywhere.
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/all-steamed-up-inc
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    Steamhead said:

    Steamhead said:

    BDR529 said:

    Nothing wired to the TT in the control. Boiler has no idea what to do.

    Use end switch from Taco relay to TT and reajust control for cold start application

    Do we need a bypass?
    What kind of radiation do you have? Baseboard? Cast-iron radiators?
    We have baseboards.
    That's not a high-mass system, so a bypass should not be needed.
    From what I read on the Trio spec sheet, it is a low-mass boiler. With regards to bypass, I am referring to bypass valves. Per the Trio installation manual:

    "The PurePro Trio boiler is a highly efficient low mass boiler in which care must be taken to ensure that high
    volumes of low temperature water are not introduced into the boiler. Operating at return water temperatures
    below 130ºF for extended periods of time will allow for the accumulation of condensation, scale and
    increased soot formation in the boiler. Corrosion and eventual heat exchanger failure will result. A
    thermostatic bypass valve is highly recommended on high water volume standing cast iron systems.
    A thermostatic bypass valve will consistently ensure that return temperatures to the boiler exceed 130oF at
    all times.
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    Steamhead said:

    HVACNUT said:


    BDR529 said:

    Nothing wired to the TT in the control. Boiler has no idea what to do.

    Use end switch from Taco relay to TT and reajust control for cold start application

    Yes! XX dry contacts on the zone board to TT on the Hydrostat. How was that not done?

    Not the first time I've seen this. We find it mostly on larger boilers where the unit sits at full temperature or pressure waiting for a zone to call. Some of those we've fixed have resulted in fuel savings up to a third.
    I have no idea how it wasn't done. The installer told me afterwards that they have never set-up a cold start oil boiler with an indirect water heater so possibly he didn't know.
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 5,682
    A 1/2" water line in and out of the indirect? No indication that a combustion analysis was done? Circulators on the return pumping towards the Point Of No Pressure Change instead of pumping away?

    The workmanship is fairly neat, but the technical knowledge appears to be lacking.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    STEVEusaPA
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    Ironman said:

    A 1/2" water line in and out of the indirect? No indication that a combustion analysis was done? Circulators on the return pumping towards the Point Of No Pressure Change instead of pumping away?

    The workmanship is fairly neat, but the technical knowledge appears to be lacking.

    Agreed, it looks "pretty" to the eye but we are now feeling regretful that we didn't go with someone more experienced with this particular boiler/set-up but he initially said he has installed this boiler before which we trusted as truth but now feeling we were deceived. Unfortunately, its too late and the money was already handed over and we are left with trying to figure out how to "fix" it.....not just for the moment but for the long run.
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,437

    A
    thermostatic bypass valve is highly recommended on high water volume standing cast iron systems.

    You don't have standing cast iron radiators, you have copper baseboard, your system is relatively low mass, if it is set up properly sustained condensation in the boiler itself shouldn't be n issue.

    cysticfib17
  • hot_rodhot_rod Member Posts: 13,519
    edited July 29
    pumping at the PONPC also, but really nice workmanship.
    Not a lot on piping in the manual.
    if return rises within 10 minutes it is probably okay without bypass?

    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
    cysticfib17
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,414
    The Hydrostat has Circulator Hold Off as  condensate protection. I'm not familiar with the boiler itself (other than it's a low mass 3 pass) or recommended piping but that should be enough. I haven't had issues with other boilers with the 3250 Plus. 
    cysticfib17
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,216
    I don’t think circulator hold off is going to help/work with this piping arrangement.
    steve
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    Realistically, how often should we expect to hear the oil boiler turn on and call for Zone 4 (the indirect water tank) in a day if we aren't running the hot water? I was under the impression that the Bradford White indirects only lost .6 degrees per hour. Its a 40 gallon tank.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,216
    edited July 30
    It depends. If the domestic hot water pipes are insulated and trapped, maybe 2-3 x per day, 8 minutes each time.
    I have a 3 pass boiler with a 60 gallon storage tank, it runs 3x a day, for less than 10 minutes to recharge, when no one is home.
    Normally, and this is probably TMI, with just the 2 of us, it runs in the morning (wife shower), evening (me shower) and maybe once or twice more during the day to recharge, all run times under 10 minutes. Occasionally it will run during laundry and/or dishwasher.
    steve
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    It depends. If the domestic hot water pipes are insulated and trapped, maybe 2-3 x per day, 8 minutes each time. I have a 3 pass boiler with a 60 gallon storage tank, it runs 3x a day, for less than 10 minutes to recharge, when no one is home. Normally, and this is probably TMI, with just the 2 of us, it runs in the morning (wife shower), evening (me shower) and maybe once or twice more during the day to recharge, all run times under 10 minutes. Occasionally it will run during laundry and/or dishwasher.
    What temp is your indirect set for? Ours is set for 120 but it still seems like it’s turning on more often than we expected.
  • mattmia2mattmia2 Member Posts: 1,437
    The circulators need to have flow check valves in them (or each circuit needs to have a flow check valve somewhere else) or there could be gravity circulation in the boiler piping that could take the heat out of the tank.
    STEVEusaPACanucker
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,216
    Set for 140, mixed down to 115ish.
    steve
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 5,682
    mattmia2 said:

    The circulators need to have flow check valves in them (or each circuit needs to have a flow check valve somewhere else) or there could be gravity circulation in the boiler piping that could take the heat out of the tank.

    Look at the second pic, above the expansion tank.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    mattmia2
  • HVACNUTHVACNUT Member Posts: 3,414
    Ironman said:
    The circulators need to have flow check valves in them (or each circuit needs to have a flow check valve somewhere else) or there could be gravity circulation in the boiler piping that could take the heat out of the tank.
    Look at the second pic, above the expansion tank.
    Nice! And the indirect supply comes off the riser. No flo check. Probably not an IFC circulator. 
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    Set for 140, mixed down to 115ish.
    We do not have a mixing valve. We were told it wasn’t necessary.  
  • subcooler_65subcooler_65 Member Posts: 17
    edited July 31
    That's a nice looking install. I think once the tech corrects the wiring (easy fix) you'll be happy with it. Having the pumps on the return is perfectly fine, they've been done that way for years. No check valve on the indirect may not be an issue as its plumbed in a way that its heat trapped. A mixing valve is not needed, you set the water temp on the h/w tank aqua stat. The only thing I notice, other than the missing TT wiring is the cold water feed to the indirect should have a vacuum break on it. It's code where I am but maybe not where you are. Don't be discouraged. 1/2hr worth of additional work and you'll have a good reliable system for the next 20yrs.
    Also have him support the return manifold somehow....it'll sag and pull on the pipes in time.
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,216
    edited July 31
    Most jurisdictions require it. What happens if your aquastat fails, someone could get scalded. Plus storing domestic at or above 140 kills legionella.
    But you can fix it when the entire boiler gets repiped.
    Also add to the list, wrong gauge vent pipe, and barometric damper probably not plumb.
    And 3 of the circulators you can’t get to the wiring.
    steve
  • subcooler_65subcooler_65 Member Posts: 17
    edited July 31
    Re-pipe the boiler ? For what? There's nothing wrong with that piping.
    It does look like the wrong gauge vent pipe tho (Good catch).
    The circulator electrical access is Ok.
    Local codes will states if he needs a mixing valve. I've never had to install one but I've been out of the biz for about 12yrs.
    OP....Has this been inspected?
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    That's a nice looking install. I think once the tech corrects the wiring (easy fix) you'll be happy with it. Having the pumps on the return is perfectly fine, they've been done that way for years. No check valve on the indirect may not be an issue as its plumbed in a way that its heat trapped. A mixing valve is not needed, you set the water temp on the h/w tank aqua stat. The only thing I notice, other than the missing TT wiring is the cold water feed to the indirect should have a vacuum break on it. It's code where I am but maybe not where you are. Don't be discouraged. 1/2hr worth of additional work and you'll have a good reliable system for the next 20yrs. Also have him support the return manifold somehow....it'll sag and pull on the pipes in time.
    We are not sure if a vacuum break is code where we
    are.  We are located in Bethlehem, PA.  How would you suggest supporting the return manifold?
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    HVACNUT said:
    Ironman said:
    The circulators need to have flow check valves in them (or each circuit needs to have a flow check valve somewhere else) or there could be gravity circulation in the boiler piping that could take the heat out of the tank.
    Look at the second pic, above the expansion tank.
    Nice! And the indirect supply comes off the riser. No flo check. Probably not an IFC circulator. 
    I can’t tell if you are praising or being sarcastic?  Some of this is foreign language to me.
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 5,682

    That's a nice looking install. I think once the tech corrects the wiring (easy fix) you'll be happy with it. Having the pumps on the return is perfectly fine, they've been done that way for years. No check valve on the indirect may not be an issue as its plumbed in a way that its heat trapped. A mixing valve is not needed, you set the water temp on the h/w tank aqua stat. The only thing I notice, other than the missing TT wiring is the cold water feed to the indirect should have a vacuum break on it. It's code where I am but maybe not where you are. Don't be discouraged. 1/2hr worth of additional work and you'll have a good reliable system for the next 20yrs.
    Also have him support the return manifold somehow....it'll sag and pull on the pipes in time.

    I've gotta respectfully disagree with a couple of things stated:
    1. Circulators on the return that are pmping towards the PONPC are not correct piping and can cause air binding and other issues, particularly in a multi story house. If you've never read it, please get Dan's book "Pumping Away" from the on site book store for a detailed explanation. Just because something's been "done that way for years" doesn't make it right. The Europeans mocked the US manufacturers for years (and rightfully so) for shipping boilers with the circulator on the return. They finally stopped and their piping diagrams now show the proper way.
    2. A vacuum breaker is not required by code (IPC) or practice unless the indirect is at a high point in the system where draining could place the tank in a vacuum.
    3. An ASSE 1070; ASME 1017 approved mixing valve is require by code (IPC) on an indirect tank for the reason Steve stated. It's also a good practice to set the aquastat at 140*+ to kill legionella and mix the temp down at the valve.

    There's also no indication that the burner has been properly setup with instruments and a combustion analysis done.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    STEVEusaPA
  • IronmanIronman Member Posts: 5,682
    edited July 31


    HVACNUT said:


    Ironman said:

    mattmia2 said:

    The circulators need to have flow check valves in them (or each circuit needs to have a flow check valve jsomewhere else) or there could be gravity circulation in the boiler piping that could take the heat out of the tank.

    Look at the second pic, above the expansion tank.

    Nice! And the indirect supply comes off the riser. No flo check. Probably not an IFC circulator. 

    "I can’t tell if you are praising or being sarcastic?  Some of this is foreign language to me."

    The indirect piping circuit needs a flow check on it. IFC = internal flow check that can be installed on the circulator.

    In a multi zone system with pumps, flow checks must be installed on each loop to prevent flow in the loops that aren't running when one or more other are running.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
    Canuckermattmia2
  • cysticfib17cysticfib17 Member Posts: 22
    Ironman said:


    HVACNUT said:


    Ironman said:

    mattmia2 said:

    The circulators need to have flow check valves in them (or each circuit needs to have a flow check valve jsomewhere else) or there could be gravity circulation in the boiler piping that could take the heat out of the tank.

    Look at the second pic, above the expansion tank.

    Nice! And the indirect supply comes off the riser. No flo check. Probably not an IFC circulator. 

    "I can’t tell if you are praising or being sarcastic?  Some of this is foreign language to me."

    The indirect piping circuit needs a flow check on it. IFC = internal flow check that can be installed on the circulator.

    In a multi zone system with pumps, flow checks must be installed on each loop to prevent flow in the loops that aren't running when one or more other are running.


    I feel completely stuck and we are very regretful for trusting a "professional" to install our brand new system. I have no idea where to turn from here :(
  • STEVEusaPASTEVEusaPA Member Posts: 4,216
    edited July 31

    Re-pipe the boiler ? For what? There's nothing wrong with that piping.
    It does look like the wrong gauge vent pipe tho (Good catch).
    The circulator electrical access is Ok.
    Local codes will states if he needs a mixing valve. I've never had to install one but I've been out of the biz for about 12yrs.
    OP....Has this been inspected?

    What @Ironman said...

    All in all, it will probably work ok. You just need it set up as cold start. Insulate the domestic piping. The indirect will keep the boiler basically as a 'warm start'.
    And most likely need a cleaning every year.
    But, set up properly, double filtration, you could probably get a tune up every year or two, and a cleaning on the second or third year.
    steve
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