Triangle Tube Prestige Excellence 110 Boiler - Hot Water Gives Up After 10-15 Minutes

Discussion in 'Boiler Forum' started by kolinl79, Dec 1, 2013.

  1. kolinl79

    kolinl79 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I have a Triangle Tube Prestige Excellence 110 Boiler in an unheated basement. The issue only occurs in the winter months, currently in the 30's for outside temp. The hot water works well until 10-15 minutes in filling a bath then turns cold. Turning off the water for 5 minutes gives me a few minutes of hot water which eventually turns ice cold again.

    Is there anything I can do to get this to run consistent hot water in the cold months?

    Thank you for any advice or guidance you can provide.
     
  2. BadgerBoilerMN

    BadgerBoilerMN Hydronic Heating Designer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Occupation:
    hydronic heating designer/contractor
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    We install and service Triangle Tube Excellence boiler here in St. Paul, MN and find them like any other "Combi" boiler/water heater...of limited use. That is, one must carefully size any combi-heating appliance to cover both the space heating load and the domestic hot water load. Since these separate loads are almost always imbalanced, the heating greater than the water, or peak demand for DHW exceeds the design load for heating, it makes specifying the Excellence a little tricky. They can be great for a couple of showers but the only way to fill a large tub--more than 60 gallons--is with standing water sized to the load. Say the Triangle Tube 110 with a 60 gallon Smart Tank.

    The reason you only experience the cold water in the winter is the domestic water you start with being colder in winter and it takes more heat to raise the temperature to the same level. This is a symptom of designing to close to the spec. The Excellence has a small storage tank on-board and will outperform any "tankless" water heater with a similar output since a little storage goes a long way. Like a tankless the Excellence Combi Boiler will keep up with a typical shower if the flow is restricted so the boiler can keep up--something tankless water heaters do automatically.

    Performance, and reliability will suffer if the boiler is not serviced regularly by qualified technicians.
     
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  4. kolinl79

    kolinl79 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Sorry, it's been a while

    So what your saying is that the 14 gallon tank on it is not enough to keep up with the demand. i.e. i fill the tub with 14 gallons of water from the reserve and then it gets cold since it can't keep up with demand. Is there a way to configure it to keep up with this demand or am I out of luck due to the small reserve tank? And when you say smart tank, is this a tank not attached to the boiler but a separate system?

    FYI, I don't remember this happening the first year but subsequent years (2-3) it's become more evident. It could have been from the warm winter we had that year, or that the system was "shut off" due to a leak in one of the radiators, i.e. lost settings?

    What are next steps for me to support the demand in my home? Heating has never been an issue, however it's a situation where we "don't flush the toilet" around our house in the winter when the hot water is requested.

    Currently the following all are connected to the boiler

    - Dishwasher (Installation company did this, it was cold previously)
    - Single Shower/Tub (2 Showers, 1-2 baths)
    - Washing Machine (Front loader, HE)
    - Heat Zone 1 (5 radiators)
    - Heat Zone 2 (5 radiators (1 basement))

    Future additions to the heating system will be (2-3 Years)

    - Future Heat Zone 3 (Basment - In-floor if supported or additional radiators)
    - Additional bathroom being added

    Thank you, again I am appreciate your guidance and knowledge.
     
  5. kolinl79

    kolinl79 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Well, I wanted to reply to this post in case anyone else experienced the same issue as I....

    5 Years into this boiler, we are starting to see how this thing is costing money versus saving money. And based on the conversations last time Uptown Heating was out to repair, others have the same issue as me.

    The main issue with this boiler, or more so the quality of water coming into this house is what I would call a design flaw. The switch valve, the valve that switches between domestic hot water and heat has a plastic valve inside. What occurs is that the valve itself corrodes from the calcium in the water causing the valve itself to "stick". I am told Minneapolis has "hard water" and therefore needs to be "cleaned". When this sticking action occurs, instead of getting full water on the domestic side, it pushes hot through the heating side as well causing even a comfortable shower to last no longer than 15 minutes. We have had the company, Uptown Heating, come out nearly yearly to replace the valve which at a cost to me is $700. While I have looked at options and was provided some by the Uptown Heating in regards to removing the calcium from the water at the cost of $2000+, I feel that this is foremost a design flaw at the very least.

    I installed a temporary solution, a Calmat Anti Scale and Anti Rust Unit, so far it has improved the water quality providing a salt-free soft water. I believed this would at least get us through next winter as the part was replaced last year and yet I am still in the same situation as of today. Overall it only covers water in flow and not at rest. The system Uptown Heating quoted was an anti scale system that covered the entire home.

    http://www.homedepot.com/p/Calmat-E...t-Water-Treatment-System-1-6004-000/206266883

    There is supposedly a person in Ohio that supports these systems as the company is based overseas, Euro. While he never ended up at my place, last year there were supposedly many phone calls and conversations in regards to my issue. And while, again, hard water was to blame, some quick research showed this type of issue if engineered properly should have been expected. And I didn't even look at Europe.

    http://water.usgs.gov/owq/images/HardnessMap.gif

    As of last year, another part has gone bad, I have a two zone system and the part that switches between the zones is not opening all the way, cost $200.

    The kicker to all of this, Prestige does not even support or respond to consumers, I have to solely go through Uptown Heating. This puts a wrench in all of this for future help, considering I am generally unhappy on a yearly basis.

    Overall, I haven't been happy with this boiler so far nor the company that I have to hire to support me. We were supposed to get a system that could support at least a 3 bath house and right now we are barely getting a shower out of it. At the $20,000 in costs for install in addition to the consistent parts needed on an almost yearly basis, I should have gone with another company that understood the product they sold me and foremost invested in a company that stands behind their products.

    If anyone else happens upon this post. I would definitely research boiler options, there are others out there, and while all have their issues and my experience may be unique, really understand what you are getting before you sign.
     
  6. Reach4

    Reach4 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Location:
    IL
    I feel confident there is no test you could have performed to come up with that belief. I expect any improvement was a placebo effect. I am very skeptical of that device and the other stuff you are being sold.

    A new valve every year from liming up? No way. If you have hard water, a softener with salt will soften water.

    A boiler should use very little water since it is sealed.

    I hope somebody can give you some useful advice. I would contact BadgerBoilerMN if you are near Minneapolis.
     
  7. kolinl79

    kolinl79 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Location:
    Minnesota
    You are correct, I don't have the means to preform a test nor would I know what test should be preformed. Placebo, likely, the system puts a positive charge resulting in the "feel" of soft water when running. I could be duped, however the other human in my house also noticed and continues to feel/notice the difference in the water. In talking with Uptown Heating, their system was nearly similar except that it charged all lines, not just flowing water. In lieu of a $2000 bill that "may" not fix the issue, I opted for the less expensive version. As a home owner, I can't believe any heating system needs completely clean water which is why all this seems utter non-sense to me.

    It may not be every year, I may get two years out of the valve. It just depends on weather conditions, usage, etc. So far, it has been replaced twice at least with billing details to prove it. 2 replacements, 5 year old boiler, potentially another round this year as soon as the weekend hits and we get near freezing as I will see how bad it will get. And I agree, no way should I have to replace a valve that often. However, when Prestige and Uptown Heating are telling me that is the problem, and they install these frequently, I hired them to give me great advice and the fact they show me the crumbling plastic ring inside the valve... well, it's hard to argue.

    You are correct, the heating part of the boiler is sealed. They have put "cleaner" in there before. I have dumped the system frequently the past few months to get fresh water in the lines. While I get it, it shouldn't be pulling that much water into the closed loop, the valve itself is for actual hot water, i.e. heating. As heated water from the tank or in real-time is requested, the valve closes to the heating side of the boiler when it heats the house.

    I get it, none of this should happen, it sounds wrong. This is what I am being told. The remaining is using common sense to piece the remaining together.
     
  8. BadgerBoilerMN

    BadgerBoilerMN Hydronic Heating Designer

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Occupation:
    hydronic heating designer/contractor
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I have been advocating for better control of the heat transfer fluid quality in residential applications for several years now.
    Especially for European style hydronic control valves such as the three-way diverter in the Excellence and others.

    I had the same experience with an Excellence I installed in St.Paul before I was entirely convinced that the water quality--on the boiler side--must be treated to prevent fowling of the internal components including the various sensors integral in all modcon boilers.

    It is also possible that the SS plate heat exchanger has built up a film of minerals on either side of the plate diminishing performance over time. This is a common issue with tank-less water heaters, more often when hard water is being heated; not recommended. Since the potable water in the Cities is generally soft I look to the heat transfer fluid on the boiler side of the heat exchanger.

    We used the Fernox Power Flushing machine and treated all of our systems guaranteeing the heat transfer fluid for the life of the system. No worries after.
     
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