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Triangle Tube Challenger not enough heat

Hello forum readers. Hope to learn things and find help for my new hot water and house temperature heater. I have a 2-storey apartment building, with 2 zones connected to my combo heater. heating hot water goes to baseboard passive radiators, but they can't seem to generate enough heat to achieve thermostat set point. I have fiddled with some of the settings, such as "boiler set point temperature", but that doesn't seem to help enough. I read here it might be wiser to slow down the circulation pump, which is now at speed 3 of 3. I was actually looking for more details about the "heat curve", there are 3 settings related to that, and I have the impression it might be keeping the water from getting hotter that I'd like it to go to achieve 72 Degrees. It gets to about 64 now.
We cleaned the fins of the rads, bled them, hoping that raising the temperature will allow me to reach my goal. Any/all ideas/suggestions/help/ questions welcome. -Jack

Comments

  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 5,598
    There are many variables. The first question is how long has this boiler been in service? When you say: "NEW" is this the first winter the boiler is in use?

    Second is, what size piping is used to connect the boiler to the baseboard loops?

    Third, are the baseboards properly configured? E.g. the covers are all assembled properly, and there is space under the cover to allow proper airflow thru the elements.

    And finally. Has this ever happened before with the old boiler? (assuming this is a NEW boiler you are asking about)

    Pictures of the boiler room from far enough back to see the boiler and the piping near the boiler from floor to ceiling. That will help a lot!

    Yours Truly,
    Mr.Ed
    Edward F Young. Retired HVAC ContractorSpecialized in Residential Oil Burner and Hydronics
    kcopp
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Thanks for that quick reply Ed. I am going over next door and will take some pictures. I see where you are going with your valid questions, I will try to answer as well as I can. The Challenger was installed 2-3 years ago I think, I will ask the wife to go trough the records. the tenant that is complaining usually spends her winters in Florida, but what with the covid crap, it is the 1st year she spends in the apartment so I'm not really able to ascertain if it's worse than in previous years or not. Kind of the same answer for the old boiler VS the new Challenger. I will send pics tomorrow, and the settings. I am not a real plumber so I will ask around for the size of the pipes etc. Insofar as those heat curve settings, do you know where I can find what they mean? When the machine is working, I can see on the display the temp and the cycles it is operating in, I will relay that and the current settings also tomorrow.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,188
    edited February 2021
    Well lets just say it not piped up to spec....
    Undersized piping. The pump on too low a speed/ flow. This also is the issue why you get an e7 lockout. Boiler had all this heat and it cant get it out to the system.
    Needs a re-pipe.
    The piping from the boiler to the "low loss Header" he made up looks like 5/8" Uponor. That is too small. It needs to be 1" copper preferably.
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Thanks for that, Kevin. I guess that's what happens when you replace an existing boiler with a new machine and don't change the piping in the whole house. I wonder if what speed I should set the pump to, it was at 3 and I swithed it to 1 yesterday. Besides changing the other parameters on the unit, such as temperature and the heat curve stuff I don't understand, not sure how I can best set this thing for maximum heat dissipation in the rooms. BTW, I'm planning to go install a camera pointing at the unit so I can see the display from my place next door, and to replace the thermostat with a wifi-enabled one so I can get accurate data insofar as the effects of the changes I make to the furnace seetings, instead of relying on the comments of the tenant, which I find too vague and hard to come by.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,188
    Speed 3 would be a minimum... Even w / 1" piping. Pretty simple fix really. Is that the 125K btu unit?
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    3 is the fastest. I'll set it back to that. What is a simple fix? The speed, or replacing the piping in the wall from the unit to the rads? Sounds hard to me! Then again, I'm more of a computer/electric guy than a pipe/plumber guy. As for the #BTU, not sure how to tell. Will ask the guys who put it in.
    I would like to obtain a device that captures temperature at fixed interval and records it, ideally wifi so I can leave it there and retrieve the data remotely to keep track of what effects my adjustments have. I have a thing now that records and stores internally, but I have to go get it physically and plug it into the USB post of my compûter to retrieve the data.
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Kevin. According to my heating guy, it's 125K for heating, 150K for DHW.
    (I just figured out "Preview" here doesn't work (for me). It made me lose all my text yesterday. Now I'm wiser, I copy it to the clipboard before pressing any buttons so I can get it back in case of glitches...)
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,188
    Yes the piping is a simple fix... The system will not run right until this is done. Unfortunately no shortcuts.
    Zman
  • ednelson7373
    ednelson7373 Member Posts: 8
    hi my name is Ed Nelson I am with Triangle Tube tech support
    you may just have a setting that is not correct although not being piped correctly can be an issue
    if you give us a call while in front of the boiler we may be able to help with the settings
    856 228 8881
    Thank you
    rick in Alaska
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Hi Ed. Very happy to find you here. Yesterday, a guy from GrayHawk who sold us the machine spent half a day working on the unit, and he was in touch with your tech support at some point. He added some air release thingies I think, changed some other gummed up parts, bled the rads, and when he left, I could see that the machine was behaving similarly than the one at my own house next door, ie the status was changing between 1,3,6 etc. I think he still wants to replace something which they didn't have in stock. The upshot is that I can see, with the new wifi Honeywell thermostats I installed that the temperature is creeping up, and I'm hoping to achieve 72 in both zones at some point and have the zones stop demanding more heat. Right now, in the upstairs zone, I see the temp is at 68, outside temp is -11C. Because I'm a geek, I also set up a webcam pointed at the machine so I can remotely see the temp/pressure gauge, and the LED temp/status display. So waiting another day, say, to see what the temp will do inside, and for the Grayhawk guy to replace his part. Will report back, and as you suggest, will call you from in front of the machine if you want. As you might have seen in the little videos I posted, I cycled trough the settings to show what they were set to at the time, not sure if GrayHawk modified them or not. I was also looking for info in the Heat curve settings, but, correct me if I'm wrong, they only apply if I have an outside temperature sensor, and I don't think I have one.
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Temp. still slowly rising in both zones, Upstairs now at 70/72, Downstairs 71 of 72 with outside temp. +9F. Waiting for callback from heating guy to know what he expects to change next and when.
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Apparently, I'm waiting for some kind of sensor the Grayhawk guy says is supposed to indicate / regulate temperature somewhere and the its resistance when measured indicates what temperature it is set to, but said sensor shows erratic resistance response so he figures he should change it. ... Mayday! I just pulled up the videocam of the boiler display, and instead of the usual fluctuating temp and code 3, there is no temp displayed and code A! Can't find what that means in my book.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,188
    Control Self test.... is what A means

    Taking that long at 180F to heat up the space does not seem proper. Its been days no?
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    This morning it's -4F outside, and upstairs zone is OK at 69/69, and downstairs I am unable to ascertain properly as the tenant has baseboard hot water rads in her small apartment bedroom, kitchen, and living room, with doors between the living room and the kitchen/dining area. The smart thermostat is in her living room (I can't tell if she has the doors open or closed or varies), and she has a electric heater/fireplace imitation she uses I don't know when.) I am not sure she is understanding the concept that if she heats the living room with her fireplace, which she did before when she found it too cold, it fools the thermostat into thinking it's warm enough and dropping the demand for heat. Sigh. Right now, I see the thermostat is set for 74, room temperature is 72, and demand for heat is on.
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Ed, what means "Control Self-Test"? Also, my heating guy is taking issue with the way I have my new thermostats set up. He thinks that might be dangerous for frying the electronics in the Challenger because I have an external 24VAC transformer feeding it. I respectfully disagree with him, as I thought the way it worked originally was that since there are only 2 wires coming from the furnace to the thermostat, and the original thermostat was a dumb mercury-type thing that shorted to request heat and opened when it was hot enough (I measure 24VAC across the open circuit when I remove the thermostat and test there), the wires downstairs connect to a power supply and relay, and the other side of the relay connects to the pump and its power supply. So there 24VAC side of the relay is isolated from the 120VAC (?) side of it that runs the pump, and nothing of that is even connected electrically to the boiler which only notices whgen the pump runs cold water trough it which it turns on to heat. Am I right? The heating guy thinks my 24VAC transfo powering my smart thgermostat is being added to the 24VAC coming from downstairs and 48VAC is going to the boiler mboard and bad for it.
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Annoyed that even after putting plastic sheating on the window to help keep the cold out, the temperature is still 69 of the requested 72. I'm going to measure the voltage on the thermostat relays downstairs just to confirm all is as expected there. I never see the little ight near the radiator icon on the heater go off, which I expect it should if I turn down the heat request of both zones... FYI, thermostats are new honeywells RTH6580WF (I added more picts of my setup in https://1drv.ms/u/s!AlUCXH-477GAieNR3wyiThPdmgzU1g?e=mvr81r
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Heating guy suggested I put a small fan near the rad to make more heat escape from it. Going to try that.
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 13,424
    edited February 2021
    @Eskimo007

    If the piping is too small no fiddling with the controls will fix it..

    I don't know the boiler but @kcopp does. If your running too large of a TD on the water temp you baseboards will output low. Increasing the system flow will lower the TD raise the average water temperature in the baseboards and you will get more heat.....as long as the boiler is sized correclty
  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Added the fan, and a IoT thing so I could turn it on and off from my phone, and program a schedule for it. Doodad was changed that was showing weird resistance / temperature setpoint readings, and tech tells me there was leakage from it and water going on the MB so good thing he checked. Says these things are high-maintenance, but no one showed me how to maintain, or offered a PM program. Sigh. Not looking forward to seeing the bill.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,188
    They are not that bad.
    In fact they are the easiest to clean in my opinion.
    It does need to be installed property to the mfg specs listed in the I&O manual.
    I have a few TT versions out there.
    The version I have out there is the IBC DC/ HC type. Approx 75. Same heat exchanger.
    This is why "we" talk about the most important part of a new boiler install is the installer and how well they know the product.


  • Eskimo007
    Eskimo007 Member Posts: 1
    Wise words methinks KC. Don't mind if I use that in some of my future conversations.