FAQs for Triad Vertical Boilers



General Questions

The Triad boiler is made entirely of steel. Nobody in the industry is putting such extreme steel thickness in such a small vessel, which is why we call it the “Big Boiler with a Small Footprint”. The square units are our “Creek” high-efficiency condensing boilers, which consist of a solid block, cast aluminum heat exchanger.

Our boilers range in size from 300,000 btu’s to 1,700,000 btu’s, and are designed to be modular, which means that many can be linked together to create a system with millions of btu’s. The footprint of these vessels are all quite small, so they will fit virtually anywhere.

Triad has two main categories of boilers; hot water and steam. The hot water boilers can be used for (i) comfort heating,(ii) domestic hot water (showers, kitchens) or (iii) in a combination boiler that will do both things from one vessel. Triad steam boilers are “low pressure”, used primarily for comfort heating, but also for occasional industrial applications.

Steel is much more rugged than copper. The copper used in boilers is much thinner than steel, and less able to withstand extreme temperature fluctuations. It is also more sensitive to poor quality water, which can result in leaks. And finally, because of the way copper boilers are made, they are very sensitive to interruptions in water flow. Thus if a pump fails, there is a good chance the entire heat exchanger has failed.

Cast iron is a material that can gradually wear away over the years, resulting in thinner walls, and ultimately leaks. Cast iron boilers are made in sections, with gaskets between each section. These gaskets can fail, resulting in the entire section being replaced, When that occurs, the entire boiler has to be filled with water and tested under high pressure, at the jobsite, which is very labor intensive. A leak in a steel boiler can simply be welded.

Firetube boilers tend to have better heat transfer and less exposure to corrosion and scale. In a firetube boiler, the outer tube surface is in contact with the water. Since the outer surface of the tube is greater than the inner surface, heat is more efficiently transferred to the water. The occurrence of corrosion and scale increases with temperature. Because the tubes in a watertube boiler have a higher relative temperature there is a greater chance of increased scale and corrosion.

The rugged Triad can easily last more 30 years, while many copper boilers last only 7 to 10 years (and often shorter). With the short-lived copper boilers ending up in a landfill – which one do you think is a better choice for the environment?

Yes. The upfront cost of a Triad can be more than a copper boiler, but because of its extremely rugged design, it can last up to five times longer. Triads are similar in cost to cast iron boilers, but will still have a life expectancy of 5 to 10 years longer. So, the life-cycle cost is less.

Triad has two types of boilers, steel firetube boilers which are 83% to 84% efficient (with an optional economizer can reach 87%), and Creek condensing boilers which are certified at 95%, and can reach efficiencies of up to 99%.

Several factors make modular boilers a better choice. 1) Redundancy – which means if one boiler goes down, there are others to back it up. With only one boiler, you will be out of heat. 2) Seasonal Efficiency – which means that during a less cold spring day, just one small modular boiler could handle the load, which is much less costly than heating up a big oversized boiler that was originally chosen so it could handle the coldest day of the year. 3) Hybrid System – this means you have a mix of Creek condensing boilers with Triad traditional efficiency boilers. On a less cold day, the higher efficiency condensing boiler will handle the load, yet on a colder day the Triad steel boilers will be more efficient at handling the load. On cold starts, when the system wants to condense, the Creek high efficiency will be used to bring the system up to the comfort level, and will then drop off, and let the Triad steel boilers take over to maintain heat for rest of the day.

The dirty little secret of many types of boilers is the unusually high maintenance costs, especially when all the parts are proprietary to the manufacturer. All of Triad’s controls and parts are “off the shelf” items, commonly used in the industry, from companies like Honeywell and ITT. This dramatically reduces, and simplifies, the ongoing maintenance costs, because you can buy parts from us, or from your local supply house.