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Triangle Tube Prestige heat exchanger corrosion

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dleihs
dleihs Member Posts: 11
Hi all. I'll try to keep this brief but I sure could use some advice. I am by no means a professional.

I've got a Triangle Tube Prestige boiler. It's a 110 I believe. It's now about 12 years old. It is used for domestic hot water, baseboard heat, and in-floor radiant heat. There's lots of pex involved in the system.

It's got a sort of horn sound for 10-15 seconds when it fires up. I figured it was something easy based on what I've read here and in other forums, but the plumber showed me evidence of rust in the condensate, and says the heat exchanger is almost surely corroded. A few months ago, this same company had to replace the blower, which they say is really rare and evidence that the exchanger is corroded--the blower is having to work too hard. (Incidentally, if you pull the front panel off the boiler, the horn noise stops.)

To prove that the heat exchanger is corroded, you'd have to pull it out, from what I gather, and that's a major undertaking. So they're already talking about replacing it, and doing much else too that's all adding up to a ton of money no matter which option I go with.

He says the pex we have largely does not have oxygen barriers in it. (You can see a lot of the pex when you're in the crawlspace.) He says oxygen is getting into the system that way, and that the iron Grundfos pumps are also contributing to the issue. So he's recommending stainless steel circulators and a stainless steel expansion tank--an "O2 conversion," they called it. That's essentially getting all the ferrous stuff out completely, since replacing the pex would be a nightmare.

The exact text in their description of work is below in case I've misstated anything. It mentions two solutions: replacing the boiler and doing the O2 conversion, or replacing the heat exchanger.

So besides getting a second opinion on this, which they encouraged and which I'll surely do . . . What do you think? Do I have a choice? I suppose I could just do the heat exchanger (assuming that really is the problem), which is the cheaper option. But then the issue comes back, albeit in 10 years or so.

Are there other questions I should be asking? I've learned a lot about these systems over the years but this one is way over my head.

I largely trust this company. The system was originally installed by a general contractor who definitely was no master plumber, and we've had to clean up a bit after him over the years. But this pex thing really takes the cake.

Thanks for reading.

********

We found the system had rust in the condensate trap, indicating compromised heat exchanger. Also found the tubing within the home is non oxygen barrier, which allows air molecules to permeate into the hydronic system. This is a hybrid system that has baseboard and radiant heat in the home. We found that all 3 circulators and expansion tank all cast iron, that is causing the rusting into the system. Found the 3in exhaust piping is not pitched in the right direction, which should be back to the boiler causing other compromising issues with the heat exchanger. Spoke with triangle tube in regards to warranty. Warranty has expired, boiler was sold in 2011, boiler is almost 3 years out of heat exchanger warranty. We are providing homeowner options for replacing the heat exchanger which is a month out, or replacing boiler with o2 conversion.
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Comments

  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,072
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    Possibly separate issues that may all be related.

    horn sound, assuming this started after some time and has not existed since install. On those boilers if the exhaust is being sucked back in to the intake it will deteriorate the venturi material. touch the inside of the venturi, the part you can see while installed, if it is rough even a little bit then Take the venturi off the unit and inspect the back of it, it's probably perforated. if it is, your venting will need to be addressed

    Heat exchanger. Someone needs to actually take a look inside the heat exchanger, it sounds like an assumption is being made about a leak, I tend to agree with the assumption but It will be pretty easy to confirm whether or not it is leaking. The heat exchanger is out of warranty, and will probably be expensive. If you are recirculating flue gas as indicated by the foghorn sound there are other components that will be ready to fail

    Non-barrier tubing. In my opinion the only way to protect your boiler fully from that stuff is to install a separate heat exchanger in the system so the boiler never comes into contact with that open side, on the open non barrier side you will need all stainless items non-ferrous components. The heat exchanger that separates the system will become a new failure point however, short of replacing all the tubing which is probably not possible, this is the best compromise in my opinion


    I would figure out why the foghorn sound is there, confirm the heat exchanger is leaking. After that I would get a quote for a new boiler, separated from the open system with a heat exchanger. If the venting is allowing flue gas recirculation I would fix that, it will cause numerous issues down the line.
    dleihsCBRob
  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
    edited March 2023
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    Thank you for your thoughtful response. Very much appreciated.

    Included here are pictures of the intake/exhaust pipes. Exhaust is on the right. The boiler is in the crawlspace under that hatch. And yes, this noise is a recent development. Should these pipes (just PVC) be modified in some way to ensure the flue gas isn't being drawn back in? We live in a windy place, but these pipes are out of the wind 90% of the time, as the house blocks it.

    When I get my second opinion, I'll ask the plumber to look at the venturi and inside the heat exchanger if possible.

    Installed, a new (and updated) heat exchanger will be alot. And that doesn't include the O2 conversion. If, instead, we go all new, the quote on a new boiler is even more of course, and the O2 conversion stuff is another chunk of change on top of that. Ouch. A second heat exchanger was not mentioned but I will bring it up if/when I talk to the first crew again.

  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,072
    edited March 2023
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    @dleihs

    If you could XXXX out your pricing, this site doesn't like to advertise pricing given from contractors for work performed, sharing material cost from publicly available places is fine. I would go with a new boiler, with new warranty, seek out a couple of proposals as this is going to be a large investment.

    It does look like the installer was trying to separate those pipes, however from my eye it doesn't look like the separation meets the minimum recommended and that separation distance has changed a bit as manufacturers learned a bit more about how these perform in the real world. I could see it being possible that the exhaust makes its way back into the intake, this can happen over time and deteriorate components in the boiler and cause poor combustion.

    for your reference I am attaching some pictures of a fouled venturi from an older Prestige boiler I think it was a SOLO 60, this one was recirculating for around 13 years or so before the foghorn sound started. I keep this to show newer service techs that haven't dealt with this issue before




    This picture shows the part you can see while the venturi is installed, you can see it is a bit rough looking, it should be real smooth.




    after taking it apart this is what was found




    Solid_Fuel_ManSuperTechMikeAmann
  • bburd
    bburd Member Posts: 924
    edited March 2023
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    @dleihs those PVC vent pipes are unusually close to the ground. If you live in snow country, that is against code and dangerous because snow can plug them up and cause the system to produce carbon monoxide. Was the job inspected when installed?

    Bburd
    Hgold4423
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,271
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    Is that a crawl space opening next to the vent and intake?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 845
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    Excellent pictures of a bad venturi GGross! Those vent pipe terminations are in a very bad orientation. Those exhaust gasses are hitting the ground and causing turbulance. If there is any snow cover...all bets are off! The exhaust termination should be a min. of 12" above the intake--90° up and then directed 90° out from the bldg. The intake should outlet should be directed 90° down--toward the ground.
    GGross
  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
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    Thanks all. To answer a few questions (and ask a few more):

    The job was inspected when installed, and where I live, I'd be surprised if the county would let anything go, as they're really strict. However, yes, the pipes are very close to the ground. They really can't come out of the wall any higher than that because, yes, that is a crawl space hatch--the unit is right there when you go down into the crawl space. The angle on the pipes could probably be changed and the pipes extended, though, right? Snow is not an issue there because it's under the soffit and the wind comes from the other side of the house 90% of the time, so even when there's heavy snow, those rocks are bare.

    Here are a couple pictures of the venturi. It appears to be in better shape than GGross' example, but I think I see some wear. What do you all think?




    I also located the condensate cap that the plumber showed me. Here's a picture of that and some related items. His contention was that this stuff in the cap was rust, indicating a rusted out heat exchanger. I haven't tried running a magnet over it yet (something someone else did in another post on this site). But I'm a little skeptical because, as you can see in all these photos, our water here (Rocky Mountain foothills) is just a sandstone- and mineral-laden mess. The whole-house water filter is solid orange when I replace it. Isn't it just as likely that's what this sediment and discoloration is? Or does that stuff not make it through the boiler?









  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 845
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    Cut the 45° fitting off of the external exhaust pipe. "Snorkle" the exhaust pipe "up" 90° (at least 12" length) and then put another 90° fitting on top of it facing "out" from the bldg. Leave the intake as it is, or turn it facing downward. Venturi looks ok but getting 'crispy' around the opening.
    dleihs
  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
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    @psb75 Thanks, I will definitely be doing that.
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 845
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    And don't forget the bird/rodent screens in the pipe ends.
  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
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    @psb75 Yes, those are already in place.

    Still wondering about the discoloration issue.
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 845
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    There is almost always discoloration in any boiler water. Black, red, brown, gray are all up for discussion.
    I wouldn't say yours is at all abnormal. You can use the color for clues. But rust in itself is not bad in boiler water. It indicates that there are ferrous components AND oxygen in the system. Preferably your boiler water has very little oxygen in it so that there is minimal rust. Boiler water circulates in a pressurized, 'closed' system and should generally be able to DE-oxygenate itself. Leaks are not good--obviously. They allow fresh, oxygenated water to continuously enter the system. Boiler water should circulate as a normally "oxygen-starved" heat- transfer medium.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    That condensate trap and pump bottom look completly normal to me. 

    Is this NG or Propane? 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
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    @Solid_Fuel_Man Thanks for the feedback. It's natural gas. @psb75 It sounds like you're saying rust is just going to happen, but you want to minimize it. I suppose that's effectively what the plumber who came out said, but he has an extremely expensive solution to make that happen. I'm getting a second opinion on Monday and will try to get them to have a look at the heat exchanger as @GGross suggested, though the first plumber said that would be very expensive labor-wise.
  • delta T
    delta T Member Posts: 884
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    dleihs said:

    @Solid_Fuel_Man Thanks for the feedback. It's natural gas. @psb75 It sounds like you're saying rust is just going to happen, but you want to minimize it. I suppose that's effectively what the plumber who came out said, but he has an extremely expensive solution to make that happen. I'm getting a second opinion on Monday and will try to get them to have a look at the heat exchanger as @GGross suggested, though the first plumber said that would be very expensive labor-wise.

    I am a little confused about this, It takes about 10 minutes to remove the burner on this boiler and get a good look into the heat exchanger. Has this been serviced before? I'm thinking that the plumber you are talking to doesn't want to deal with this boiler or doesn't know how. Is accessing the top of the unit extremely difficult because of the crawlspace installation perhaps? The heat exchanger should be cleaned every year and the combustion tuned. As others have said your venting is incorrect, but not too difficult to rectify. That venturi isn't great, I would replace it sooner rather than later. Likely is not causing you problems right now, but it will.

    GGross
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 845
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    Neil Young said it better than me: "Rust never sleeps."
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,072
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    @dleihs
    I would almost guarantee that venturi is toast. in the pic it looks almost like paper, similar to what the bad one I posted above looks like. It will cause the unit to get incorrect air/fuel mixture and in my case the unit was burning pretty toxic.
    for reference this is what a brand new one looks like, that venturi is made of a hard plastic, when it gets rough and brittle looking like that it has been sucking in flue gas, I would bet money the back side of your venturi is perforated





    If a plumber told you inspecting the heat exchanger would be expensive I would get a new plumber, you have to get into the heat exchanger to do a proper service, no two ways about it.



  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
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    @delta T Thanks, I'll see if the guys today will take a look at the heat exchanger. I think it *has* been serviced before, but I certainly have not been good about getting it checked out every year. Top of unit is not flush to the "ceiling" of the crawl space by any means. @GGross I did call the second plumbing company first thing this morning and asked them to put that venturi replacement part on the truck if they have it before they come out. And yeah, the first crew said pulling the heat exchanger would cost a ton (I guess I should not say how much on this forum) but that he'd show it to me and show how corroded he is sure it is if I let them go ahead with replacing it. Will report back about how this afternoon's visit from the second company goes.
  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 845
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    You can't see the whole heat exchanger but you can see and clean the top and bottom. The covers for the top and bottom are held on by "spring clips". No tools necessary. Like opening a suitcase!
  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
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    @psb75 I don't believe that's the case with my unit (2011 Prestige Solo 110). I don't see any clips on the top or bottom.

    The plumber yesterday (Monday) said, yes, the venturi needs to be replaced and is causing the noise. He also said pulling the heat exchanger would be very difficult, but they might be able to put a camera in there to take a look. He's going to give me a quote on cleaning the heat exchanger, which I'm embarrassed to say I don't think I've ever had done. (I guess it can be cleaned without being pulled?)

    Finally, he showed me a picture of the igniter, which was pretty discolored, and recommended it be replaced. He thought it would be pretty expensive, but the PSRKIT15 replacement kit is cheap so I think he was mistaken about that. (He was younger and I don't think he has a lot of experience with these units, though the company is listed on Triangle Tube's web site, so I think they've been through the training.) I'm skeptical—probably a wire brush would handle the discoloration—but I might just have them do it while they're in there.

    Anyway this is shaping up to be far less catastrophic than I thought it could be. Thanks to @psb75 @GGross and @delta T for the help. Maybe that exchanger is corroded, but if so, maybe I'll just run it until it fails.

  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,072
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    @dleihs

    Your tech may have thought the igniter would be expensive for good reason, the next series of that particular boiler had an ignition update that was offered for free for a few years, it included a new control board, igniter, transformer and a few other goodies. Now that they are not offered free, that update kit is a bit pricey (though a whole lot cheaper than the sum of cost on all the parts about half actually)

    The igniter almost definitely needs to be replaced, it probably has the reddish brown discoloration I have seen on those boilers when they recirculate.

    Cleaning that heat exchanger every few years would generally be important to get the longevity you would expect from this boiler. In your case it looks like you have made it out relatively unscathed despite several jobsite conditions that should have lowered the life of the boiler. Fixing your venting will be important for the long run, you do not want to continue recirculating flue gases through the boiler. It is possible that other components are affected by the flue gas issue, I sometimes see the fan go out, and even control boards. You may want to start planning to have a replacement, at least start stashing away some funds for it, but make sure when you get a new one that the venting has been fixed

  • psb75
    psb75 Member Posts: 845
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    Sorry, I got the wrong thread. I was involved in a Buderus GB 142 thread.

    NOT Triangle Tube. My bad. Very different heat exchanger.

    The Triangle Tube 110 is touted by the mfg. to be "self-cleaning." They are generally quite maintenance free ex-changers. I have one in my house.

    All igniters and ionization rods are considered "consumables" and should be replaced as needed.

  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
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    @psb75 Ha, no problem. Glad I'm not crazy! Anyway, I'll go ahead and get the igniter replaced while I'm at it. Thanks, and thanks to @GGross for mentioning that too. Yes, it does have reddish brown on it. I'll be buying some new PVC today to snorkel it up. The fan did go out, by the way—it was replaced a month or two ago.

    GGross
  • Hgold4423
    Hgold4423 Member Posts: 4
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    What’s the latest here? 
  • Mith
    Mith Member Posts: 14
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    What material is the TT heat exchanger made of? Waterside corrosion of a stainless exchanger would be pretty unusual, wouldn't it, even with a fair amount of oxygen in the system? Certainly it's not a thing we worry about a whole lot on the larger systems I work with, and some of those have literally miles of old steel piping and plenty of small leaks that can admit air. We are careful though to run the systems within the manufacturer specified pH range - stainless exchangers care about that a lot. If you have aggressive, low-pH water and you're not treating it in your boiler system, I guess maybe that could eat the exchanger.

    I can totally buy that if you have cast iron pumps in the system and a lot of air, though, they might be throwing enough rust-dust to gunk up the inside of the heat exchanger. But eating a hole in it? Not so sure about that.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,765
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    The rust color in trap is just from by products of combustion on fireside. Nothing to do with Pex tubing. Also, the heat exchanger definitely needs cleaning before you order any other parts as after or during cleaning they can spring a leak and then the heat x is done. We find the 30 or so tubes become quite blocked up over the period of 10 years, sometimes to the point that you cant get flue gasses through them properly. The mfr service manual states nothing of this but the tubes become very restricted with the rust colored crystals that form from condensate and combustion. You will see them in combustion chamber on top of tube sheet, those same crystals get down in tubes and restrict. The only way we have found to clear them is with a silvfos flat brazing rod the will slip down tube on either side of dimple in each tube. This is not recommended by mfrs but there is no other way we have found to clear the rust crystals from tubes. (See attached photo of what the crystals look like). They are usually more rust colored than this but these have went through several soakings in chemicals to see if any of the stainless safe acids would break them down. They are hard and like to stack up in tubes starting near bottom of tubes and working way up. When you try and clear them, this is when sometimes the acidic condensate have reacted with the crystals and stick to stainless of tubes, this in turns can create rusted pin holes in heat x tubes.
    I know this is tmi but gives you an idea of what to look for.
    Tim

    SuperTech
  • flat_twin
    flat_twin Member Posts: 350
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    Tim, When you said you find these firetube HX plugged up after 10 years, are you referring to ones that have had zero service or ones that have had routine cleanings? I see a couple of teaspoons worth of the gritty coffee grounds material like in your photo when I clean the trap. Our WM Eco boiler is running natural gas. I only flush the tubes down with water but I may try to run a long zip tie down the dimpled tubes when I clean it next.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,765
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    You probably won't get a long zip tie down, they usually are too wide when they are that long. As I said, the only thing we have been able to use effectively is Silvfos brazing rod as its only 3/16 or so wide and stiff. Appx 16"-18" long. But the later versions the dimples are offset not allowing to get all the way down anyway. If you are find granules in combustion chamber or in trap, they definitely will be in tubes. Some are worse, some are better. Its been the last 5 yrs that we have been rodding out as we found running cleaners and water down tubes just not doing it. Mostly these are boilers serviced annually.
    Tim
  • Le John
    Le John Member Posts: 226
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    @tim smith Do Water Tube Heat exchangers hold up better to this coffee grind looking debris?
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,765
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    Water tubes not so much either, they build up in the crevices between the tubes and attack the stainless there. We like firetubes best but they all have their positives and negatives. Either one needs a scheduled yearly cleaning to keep the build up down as much as possible. No matter what, the condensate and granules combine to eat away at stainless eventually. Basically corrosion pitting.
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,765
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    When I mention plugging up, they are not totally plugged but we find we cannot get the tube passages totally clear at some point. I have found firetube boilers close to 75% blocked and still running, we usually cannot get better than 80-90% clear on the real bad ones. Combustion #s still ok, baffles me they still run. Once in a while we find ignored ones that get so bad they blow out the top plate gasket and again, still run until they bake something important. We have found large 6" dia burn spots on the front cover of the boiler where the paint bakes off. Finally cooks the module or wire harness. I don't think the mfrs could design this small of a firetube boiler and get the efficiency they need with out these restrictions. Larger firetube boiler, commercial type would of course have larger tubes, which in turn would probably not get the blockage issue. Just my .02 worth.
  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,646
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    I've always wondered why they don't make the HX 6 or 8 inches longer and have slightly bigger passages to make up for it. 

    But that would cost more, and they wouldn't be entered into the race to the bottom. 

    I've never seen one, but I think system 2000 makes a ModCon with a generous size firetube HX. 
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
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    Hi all. Just to follow up, now that it's 10 or so months later: I got the igniter replaced, and (from the invoice) a "3-5 year Triangle Tube Heat Exchanger Flush required by Triangle Tube to avoid major
    buildup and possible heat exchanger replacement/removal and expensive repairs
    charges. Includes using 1 pint Fernox F3 to flush heat exchanger." The boiler has been running well ever since. I've attached a few photos the HVAC guy took at the time.






    GGross
  • tim smith
    tim smith Member Posts: 2,765
    edited January 17
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    Were there grounds in the combustion chamber when first opened up? Btw, if there was a fair amount of grounds in combustion chamber, there will still be fair amount in tube I have found. ? did he flush the fireside with F3, as far as literature says F3 is for the water side of boiler not fireside.
    kcopp
  • dleihs
    dleihs Member Posts: 11
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    @tim smith Sorry, I really don't know the answer to either question.
  • Hgold4423
    Hgold4423 Member Posts: 4
    edited February 7
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    Great thread all around thanks. I'm going to attempt to swap the venturi out myself as it doesn't seem toodifficult.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,443
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    You will need a combustion analyzer.
  • SEIott
    SEIott Member Posts: 4
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    Thanks for all this information—I was directed to it after searching for problems related to our TT Prestige Excellence boiler and I’ve been reading closely. We’ve got a TT PE 110 as well—installed about 10 years ago. In the last few months, we’ve had sooty deposits left in the bathtub. The sink aerators now have blue/white particles of plastic and some soot. We can only figure that it’s coming from the boiler. One plumber said that a part is likely deteriorating in the tank—he wasn’t familiar with the system and suggested some others to look at it. Before I do that, I wanted to ask for advice on this page since it seems like you know the type of boiler and problems that it has.

    Quick history: Our system has had lots of soot in different interior parts since it was installed—possibly from improper burning. We had the honking noise regularly with large hot water use during the first year the boiler was installed until the roof vent was moved to the side near the intake pipe. Since then, we’ve had a Venturi replaced, another pvc pipe inside the boiler replaced (an air intake maybe), and several cleanings and now the Venturi needs to be replaced again. Not to mention the third year we had it, the pressure relief valve failed and flooded the basement. We’ve got to decide whether to repair or replace the boiler.

    So I’ve got two questions—any ideas whether the soot/particles in the hot water are actually coming from a part deteriorating in the tank—has anyone seen that happen? And any thoughts about whether it is worth it to fix the boiler rather than buy a new one?

    And a third question—a separate boiler-hot water tank combination seems much less problematic than the combined boilers. Any thoughts? Thank you!
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,072
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    SEIott said:

    Thanks for all this information—I was directed to it after searching for problems related to our TT Prestige Excellence boiler and I’ve been reading closely. We’ve got a TT PE 110 as well—installed about 10 years ago. In the last few months, we’ve had sooty deposits left in the bathtub. The sink aerators now have blue/white particles of plastic and some soot. We can only figure that it’s coming from the boiler. One plumber said that a part is likely deteriorating in the tank—he wasn’t familiar with the system and suggested some others to look at it. Before I do that, I wanted to ask for advice on this page since it seems like you know the type of boiler and problems that it has.

    Quick history: Our system has had lots of soot in different interior parts since it was installed—possibly from improper burning. We had the honking noise regularly with large hot water use during the first year the boiler was installed until the roof vent was moved to the side near the intake pipe. Since then, we’ve had a Venturi replaced, another pvc pipe inside the boiler replaced (an air intake maybe), and several cleanings and now the Venturi needs to be replaced again. Not to mention the third year we had it, the pressure relief valve failed and flooded the basement. We’ve got to decide whether to repair or replace the boiler.

    So I’ve got two questions—any ideas whether the soot/particles in the hot water are actually coming from a part deteriorating in the tank—has anyone seen that happen? And any thoughts about whether it is worth it to fix the boiler rather than buy a new one?

    And a third question—a separate boiler-hot water tank combination seems much less problematic than the combined boilers. Any thoughts? Thank you!

    You wouldn't get "soot" in your water from the boiler. Depending on what type of tank you have it may be possible something is deteriorating, though it is unlikely. usually what this is from is your well.

    It's hard for me to say what is in your budget, but the sounds of it you have had multiple inexperienced techs in there fixing stuff. The venturi doesn't go bad, it gets destroyed, because it pulls in exhaust gasses or something else that destroys the venturi. The "honking" or foghorn sounds is a result of poor combustion tuning, which is sometimes caused by a failed venturi that is sucking in flue gasses, and sometimes because it wasn't vented correctly, or not setup correctly on install. it is an easy fix for a competent tech, or a well equipped DIY (combustion analyzer, boiler manual, and general gas safety knowledge)

    I personally do not like a "combi" boiler for my own house, at least not the kind that doesn't have a tank. A boiler with an indirect tank is great, but if the boiler fails you also have no hot water. Personally in my house I have a standalone heating boiler, and a standalone water heater, mainly because if my boiler were to go down at least I can take a shower before I fix it lol. I have no issue with boiler/tank combos they produce a ton of hot water, I am not a big fan of tankless combi boilers in general because they are notorious for not being properly maintained, but they do work when installed well and maintained properly. For most I think installing a tank and then never thinking about it again is what they really want though.

  • SEIott
    SEIott Member Posts: 4
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    GGross—thank you for all the thoughts. I’ve had the same thoughts about all the things that have gone wrong as well. I need to figure out who can do the repairs if we go that route.

    Regarding the “soot,” we don’t have a well—we have city water. I just had the tiles redone in the shower and the faucet put back on. Could it be solder from that work that is getting into the water?