I'm investigating replacing my original A O Smith radiant heat boiler.I simply want to turn the garage into a climate controlled area ("living space") to gain some heated/dry storage and a place for exercise equipment. I contacted a contractor familiar with several models I was considering and he recommended the Triangle Tube Prestige Solo 110 boiler.
By coincidence, a number of my neighbors have recently replaced their boiler with this model. However, some (all?) installed the boiler outside of their garage, encasing it in a cabinet. The contractor I spoke with said that the Triangle boilers were not rated for outside but you could do it if you built a cabinet around it (weather proofed it).
The contractor says the Triangle Prestige Solo boilers are sealed units so no pilot light to ignite hazardous gases (car exhaust or paint). The units draw their fresh air directly through a pipe to the outside so I can seal up the current fresh air opening in the garage and insulate, no problem.
My questions are:
- has anyone installed one of these units *inside* their garage?
- for those who also got the add-on tankless water heater, do you like it? Pros/cons?
- has anyone had to have one of these serviced yet?Any gotchas? The contractor I spoke to said that there are lots of ways to cut corners when you install one of these and it doesn't show up until you have to service them.
Any feedback much appreciated.
* Triangle Tube Prestige Solo 110 Condensing Stainless Steel Sealed Combustion Wall Mounted Boiler
I know lots of people have had their boilers replaced with the Triangle Tube line of boilers. Can anyone say how their experience has been with the unit and with their installers?
I had 2 different companies quote--both told me totally different things about:
- whether the new integrated combo (Triangle Tube Excellence) is suitable for a 1700 sq ft/5 member family
- whether the typical boiler (Triangle Tube Prestige Solo) plus add-on Smart Tank (30 gal vs. 50 gal) was a better option
- whether the unit(s) had to be hardwired or could be plug-in
I would really appreciate hearing about other's investigation/experience.
If you are willing to do some more research, you can figure out what your house needs in terms of heat since you don't want too large of a boiler other wise it won't run as efficiently as possible. It's unlikely you'll get someone local to do this calculation for you as it takes some time, some guesses and some trust. You could probably pay for a calculation and then be more certain of what to get. I used the software from Taco by signed up at their site. I then determined I needed about 35K BTU for my Sunnyvale Atrium style Eichler. I tried to figure out the "head" or resistance of the system via calculations (and failed) but this was for extra credit. :-0
And the forum itself.
While I really do like the Triangle Solo, I also chatted with the installer and wanted to be comfortable with their take on things, maintenance, price, time line, etc.
If you can do this by the end of the year and get an high efficient unit, you can qualify for a $1500 Federal tax rebate.
From this I went with a 80K Munchkin contender (also a nice unit) with outdoor reset (tracks the heat produced and cranks it up for cooler weather). So far (less than a week) so good. :-)
jake: it's indeed unfortunate that you've few responses. fwiw, we've recently replaced our boiler, but as you know, feedback on specific service providers has been generally requested/mandated by the moderators to be taken offline. as such, you know where to reach me should you have questions and i'd be more than happy to share my experiences. to mark's point above, if you can get someone to invoice you (not necessarily install) by the end of next week, you can save $1500...
Slight correction: you get a $1500 tax credit. How much of that returns to your pocket depends on your situation. See your accountant for details :)
BTW, I also agree with redneckmodern - I am new to this forum and I can only imagine how much more valuable (and active) this site would be without censorship. By all means, delete the posts from Joe the Plumber who boasts he is the best radiant heat guy in town.
But if someone has a good or bad experience with someone, or simply mentions "I had my boiler replaced by XYZ company last year, it's been running fine and I'm glad I did it", I don't see a problem with that.
I realize this is someone else's sandbox, but as a 15+ year moderator, I can tell you that censorship rarely results in a better overall site.
Thanks for the responses I got--much appreciated and helpful. In the end, I installed the Triangle Tube Solo 110 before the tax credit deadline. I still need to schedule the final inspection and will post if anything untoward happens.
I had the installing company replace everything (from the pipes that enter from the gas/water, all the way back out to where they connect to the radiant system).
Things I liked:
- they changed the hardwired electrical connect to a grounded receptacle so the boiler now plugs in (the boiler is UL listed). Makes it a much faster disconnect than running to the circuit breaker.
- they used a concentric flue (pipe within a pipe) up through the existing roof vent, so I didn't have to worry about fixing roof leaks after the fact. The concentric flue allows fresh air in through one pipe, exhaust air out through the other so now I can seal up the garage when I'm ready. The boiler requires no fresh air source in the garage.
- as part of the installation, they swapped out my existing thermostat for a Honeywell unit with "adaptive intelligence". Basically, that's supposed to mean you simply set what temperature you want and when. It figures out how long it takes to get to that temperature and the next time starts the cooling/heating accordingly to reach the desired temperature at the desired time.
- the contracting company I used was very accommodating. They did the permit online for me, installed the unit on very short notice so I would qualify for the tax credit (put it in dec 30), and their office staff prepared the relevant paperwork for the tax credits and sent it along with the installer
In the next couple of days, I'll post to the "Rec(commendation) Room" on this site and give the contact info for the company that consulted for me, plus the contact info for the company that actually did the install. I hope it will be of use to others.
I had Prestige Excellence installed in October. I have an Alliance home in Terra Linda and I have a carport that I plan to enclose. Due to the older boiler (probably about 25 years old) and HWT (also about 20 yrs) I decided it was probably a good time to replace both and take advantage of the Federal Tax Credit.
I did not get the expansion tank, so I am just running the boiler with the internal 14 gal HWT then on demand. I have 2 baths and for a typical day with the wife and 1 child, the unit provides ample hot water.
Over xmas we had guests in town and on a few occasions had both showers running... acceptable, but noticed that the was not as hot as when only 1 is running. I think I might be able to solve that by installing some low flow/adjustable shower heads.
The unit is quiet and has twice the BTU capability of the old unit. I notice the floor warms quicker and a bit hotter than previously and it seems to make the house more comfortable even with the temp set at 64. We had an adjustable thermostat before, but the one you had installed sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.
The best part is that we've noticed about a 25% drop in natural gas usage and therefore in cost. While it still will take many, many years to realize any type of true payback, it's nice to see that it is making an immediate impact.