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    bad boiler installation? (38 Posts)

  • firefly firefly @ 4:56 PM
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    bad boiler installation?

    We've been having constant problems with our boiler, which was installed last April, and I suspect it was installed wrong.  The installation company has come out about 9 times since November, but they have yet to solve all of the problems with the boiler.  They've needed to cut the pipes several times, they've already replaced the oil pump, and they've added a bleed valve and a mixing valve.  Since November, neither the heat nor hot water has worked consistently, the boiler has shut off completely a couple of times, there has been a strong odor (of oil), there has been a loud rattling sound, the boiler has leaked, there has been air in the pipes (which bleeding manually a few times didn't solve), it has spewed black smoke, and it has sounded sickly when kicking on.  I'm attaching a couple of photos.  Any advice would be appreciated.  Thank you. 
  • icesailor icesailor @ 5:10 PM
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    WHAT?

    Rigfht off the bat, the tempering (hot water mix) valve is installed wrong. It needs to be a minimum of 6" below the cold inlet to the tankless.
    There is supposed to be a pressure relief valve on the cold water inlet to the hot water coil.
    There isn't enough money to get me to work on that burner. I should use mirrirs to look at it? Aren't there codes for access where you are?
    Its really hard to do your best when you are expected to put 10# of bricks in a space for only 5#.
  • firefly firefly @ 6:34 PM
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    access codes

    I haven't been able to find any info about access codes in my area for residential, just commercial.
  • STEVEusaPA STEVEusaPA @ 5:20 PM
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    Ugly...

    I feel bad for you. How do you get the aquastat cover off...or even the aquastat? And forget about removing the burner or swinging the boiler door for a cleaning. The only long term correct approach is either a different boiler that can fit in the space, or that boiler on a different place
    Sorry
    steve
  • todd_ecr todd_ecr @ 6:16 PM
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    boiler

    This appears to be a boiler we manufactured. Can you post the model and serial numbers?
  • firefly firefly @ 6:40 PM
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    boiler

    It's a Carrier/Bryant boiler.  Do you manufacture them?
  • todd_ecr todd_ecr @ 7:09 PM
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    Carrier/Bryant

    Yes we do. The model number should be on the white rectangular sticker shown in the picture you posted. If there is a 'series' number could you post that? It appears to be the sister of a Dunkirk Empire.

    Is any pressure showning on the pressure/temp gauge on the top of the boiler? A picture of the circulator pump, expansion tank, and pressure reducing valve would help too.
  • billtwocase billtwocase @ 7:16 PM
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    I can only imagine

    what was in there before. I thought it was one of those wonderful Dunkirk boilers. They knew nothing about installing and servicing when they did this mess. That hivent on the return is a no-no here. Probably part of your air problem. Is this a mono-flo system?
  • icesailor icesailor @ 7:37 PM
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    Worse that that:

    Worse than that, the radiation is below the boiler and the supply and return doesn't go above the boiler before going down. I don't see a Low Water Cut Off (LWCO) on the boiler.
    The more you look, the more you find.
  • firefly firefly @ 9:43 PM
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    model #

    It's model #BW5BAH00140, serial #3711V02940, and the pressure gauge says it's at about 10psi.
  • billtwocase billtwocase @ 7:40 PM
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    got that right Ice

    Gold with a EZ-1 would have been a good  choice here. Everything in the front. It also needs outside air intake
    This post was edited by an admin on February 10, 2013 7:41 PM.
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 7:55 PM
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    WOW...

    I am curious as to what a job like that costs and when the final inspection is scheduled for? Was a Permit even pulled, are these licensed contractors or craigslist capers?

    I can't count the times I went and priced a job and then months later called in to see what the "contractor" that got the job did... I normally never take the job repairing other peoples mistakes if I originally quoted the job....

    Im sorry to see the work these guys did in your home, I always say "don't let anyone work in your house if you don't trust them to start a fire under where you sleep 15+ times a day, because that is what the equipment is going to be doing"... These guys should not have been trusted... At least they are coming back though....

    No LWCO that is just bad for business, ill bet no back flo, psi reliefs, ex tanks, ect.. Really cost savers there...
    This post was edited by an admin on February 10, 2013 7:57 PM.
  • firefly firefly @ 9:57 PM
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    It wasn't cheap

    I'm pretty sure the company is licensed - they're a decent size and have been around for many years.  The techs have mostly been pretty nice, but the bottom line is, the boiler is still screwed up. 
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 6:40 AM
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    Its time to get to an end...

    I would call the company service manager and let him know that if it isn't correctly repiped, your next phone call is going to be to the Local inspection office, DOL, and BBB... When they see that fines and licences are on the line, they will get it done rite...

    In the mean time add some more pictures of the complete install and we will put together a list of what they have to do to remedy the problem....

    Im looking at whats there and thinking if it were my install I would install a boiler with a top flue, front tankless, front boiler return, and top supply, backed against the wall not side ways...
    http://s3.pexsupply.com/images/products/zoom/386-700-832-1.jpg
    a peerless wbv will also work, utica {rr ret.}, and a few others have top flue, front tankless, ect...

    Next would be to have them install an outside airbox {for which ever burner they install}, because that room doesnt look to have the cfm needed for the boiler and that will lead to soot and more problems than you want to deal with.
    http://patriot-supply.com/images/field_controls_46268401_lg.jpg

    Then make sure the boiler has a correctly installed mixing valve, isolation valves, Pressure relief valves, expansion tanks {do you have city water}, low water cut off, properly mount the oil filter securely to something that allows the oil line to be disconnected and the front door opened, a properly installed draft regulator, some kind of air scoop, new high vents, ect... Make sure when you look at the boiler it is serviceable, the top can be removed to clean it, the tankless can be removed if it ever fails or needs a gasket, the front door can be opened to repair/replace the firebox or service, all the controls can be accessed and removed with out replumbing, ect...

    Just a lot of common sense, Im sad to hear they are a big company, I would bring these issues up to someone that has accountability for the install....

    But short of changing that boiler with one similar to what I listed, you are never going to be happy with the install, because down the line when you need to change the firebox, you are going to pay for the boiler to be removed from that room, fixed and replaced... A job that usually costs $400 will be $2500, when that aquastat fails, you will pay $700 vs $300 because the tech will have to drain down your dw system and remove them pipes then replace the aquastat and repipe the tankless...... Plus the system will probably be endless problems because they did it wrong...

    Good luck, and I hope this helps... start making phone calls and you should get what you paid for...

    PS can we get more picute of the entire space and other side of the boiler, is that a refrigerator next to the boiler, if so why didnt they turn the boiler and use that refrigerator area to access the tankless...
    This post was edited by an admin on February 11, 2013 7:03 AM.
  • firefly firefly @ 7:26 AM
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    lose-lose situation

    It sounds like we're pretty much in a lose-lose situation from what you all are saying.  I really appreciate the feedback, though.  The boiler was just too large for the space, which makes sense...I really should have seen that before, and the installation company definitely should have known that when they measured the space.  Next to the boiler is a stackable washer/dryer, but we really don't have anywhere else to put it.  I'm posting a photo of the space and behind it. 
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 7:51 AM
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    Not good work

    Now that I see the space better they could have turned it around and accessed the tankless by moving the washer.. I would have piped the tankless over to the wall and piped everything over there...

    That is just a hack job, if you paid good money for the install, I would call them back and get them to make it rite, threaten to call the local mechanical inspector, that will get them moving, since I dont see a LWCO and that is code across the country...

    If you dont want to make that phone call you are going to have to bite the bullet and pay a better contractor to make it rite... That install is a joke, you said they had to come back and add a mixing valve, so that means they piped the tankless rite to your DHW line, they are lucky no one got burnt. I seen what 180* water does to flesh when you can not get out of the shower or reach for the valve fast enough.... That company go sued and closed up shop, they were in webster mass and I met the women that got burnt {her husband did the stucco work on my home}...
    This post was edited by an admin on February 12, 2013 7:55 AM.
  • Ron Jr. Ron Jr. @ 4:35 PM
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    I agree with the pros

    who said the boiler should be turned so the burner is in front . Looks like there's plenty of room . Even if the boiler has to be raised on blocks so the pipe on the left isn't in the way .

    Whoever pinned the circulator , expansion tank and relief valve between the boiler and the chimney should be ashamed . Some of those parts will eventually have to be changed and they made it an all day affair .....

    We are used to cramming a whole bunch of stuff in a tight space . Never have I had to cram anything anywhere where it was almost impossible to change a part or clean the boiler . Your particular boiler wouldn't have been my first choice since the coil is on the side , but it can be moved and piped so it's much easier to service . Wit the right crew who keeps the idea of servicing in mind .  Please let us know what the company does for you .
  • firefly firefly @ 6:14 PM
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    makes sense

    Thank you, that does make sense.  I'll let you know what happens.   
  • billtwocase billtwocase @ 9:18 AM
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    if anyone knows how to,

    It is Ron Jr. I don't know how he fits as much in as he does in such a small space, and it looks to be very serviceable, and neat to say the least. This particular boiler looks to be in a pit, and to face it burner out would have been no better. I installed a many Ultimate which is the cousin of this thing with the coil on the opposite side. They are more wide than deep, so at times the sideways installation was a must. A different boiler would have been the way to go. 
  • Ron Jr. Ron Jr. @ 8:36 PM
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    Thank you Bill for the kind words !

    The side mount coil , is this a boiler you can use for steam or hot water ?

    I'd love to see a triple pass , top flue ( maybe quad pass then ) boiler with a front facing coil .......

    I'll never understand why most triple passer ports are on the rear of the boiler ........
  • todd_ecr todd_ecr @ 6:51 AM
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    BW5

    http://www.dunkirk.com/uploads/product/literature/fd07c26038576fd2abbe704fb05e5321.pdf

    This is the IOM for that boiler. One big issue that the other guys are mentioning is the clearence for the burner. The door on the front of the boiler that the burner attaches swings open for important yearly service. This cant be easily done on your because of how the installed it.

    If the boiler were to be rotated 90 degrees, then you may not have enough room to get the tankless coil out if that needs service.

    At any rate, the installation company needs to make it right. It sounds like they will come back, do a band-aid fix, them leave and hope its ok. Thats not going to work here.
  • Paul Fredricks Paul Fredricks @ 12:07 PM
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    Ice

    I've never heard of a relief valve on the cold going into a coil. Is that a code item?
  • Ron Jr. Ron Jr. @ 6:35 PM
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    Watts 530C

    It's code here on Long Island for boilers with a coil . We install them on the cold inlet . 
  • icesailor icesailor @ 9:18 PM
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    Pressure Relief Valve:

    It is in Massachusetts and has been as long as I have been doing it. I would have said that we use Watts 53L's but someone posted another number and now I'm not sure what we use. It is only for thermal expansion.
  • Paul48 Paul48 @ 1:36 PM
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    Oh Boy!

    No backflow prevention either.
  • icesailor icesailor @ 6:27 PM
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    Backflow:

    You don't need a backflow on a tankless. And you don't need an anti-syphon device unless it is connected to a storage tank. Then, you need one to protect the tank. Not the coil.
  • Paul Fredricks Paul Fredricks @ 1:58 PM
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    New to me

    I've never heard of that before. And no inspector has called for it. I guess it must a local/state code. Ct uses the International code. I'm not saying it's not in there, just that I haven't seen it.
  • Paul48 Paul48 @ 2:31 PM
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    Thought it was pretty much national.

    Section 608.16.2
  • Paul48 Paul48 @ 2:43 PM
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    Sorry Paul

    You were refering to the relief valve?
  • Paul Fredricks Paul Fredricks @ 9:37 AM
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    yeah

    The relief valve on the cold inlet to a domestic hot water coil.
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 7:45 AM
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    You need to think before installing

    I have done tons of tight space installations, and have always managed to make everything fit. Just last week I removed an oil fired furnace from a laundry room that was 5x6, that had a washer and dryer in it, I replaced it with a first company hydro air and a utica boiler with a tankless and still fit the washer and dryer in there.... BUT I talked the customer into letting me use a wall in the closet behind the laundry room for my piping, so I just ran 2 1-1/4" pipes and 4- 3/4" pipes through the wall and had my mixing valve, circulators, water feed expansion tank ect all in the back closet against the wall easy to work on and just connected to the boiler and hydro air unit....
    Your install doesnt even require that much thinking they just did what ever first popped into their untrained heads, just a case of the techs either not knowing or not caring...

    In HVAC you are sometimes better off hiring family owned {smaller companies} than big companies because you are more likely to get some "by the hour Bob" that could give a sh!t what happens at your house after he leaves" In my experience with smaller companies you get better service in general..
    This post was edited by an admin on February 15, 2013 10:59 PM.
  • Paul Fredricks Paul Fredricks @ 9:46 AM
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    No

    We are a big company, and our techs take a lot of pride in their work. I can point to plenty of small local companies that do hack work. We see it all the time. The real thing to do is hire a company to do the install that is going to do it right, not because they are big or small. Research and planning ahead by the customer, that's the right way to do it
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 11:17 PM
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    I didn't mean any offense Paul...

    I try not to consider myself a "big" company, I have 14 employees {not year round total, 8 full time year round}, 6 trucks on the road every day... And I am on the verge of not being able to control everything we do, but I go to EVERY single install {do a lot my self}, and I would NEVER let that job go by, the techs would be on unemployment and I would redo the job at my expense personally.. I know that would never happen to that extent, but I have gone to "call backs" where I would have done the job better than my employee did, just today I went to a job to that one of my techs just did a cleaning and replaced a few high vents... I went for an unrelated no hot water call {bad circulator} and noticed he didn't wipe down the boiler jacket and top of expansion tank and there was blue pipe dope dripping from the high vents.... I went to my truck, wiped everything down cleaned up the pipe dope, and will have a talk with the tech first thing Tuesday morning... I also checked the cleaning it was done and everything else looked very good... Hes a good tech, has 25 years experience very smart, but didnt do the job as good as I would have, although this is pretty rare, It happens...

    But Paul, I apologize if I offended you, I didn't mean to generalize all BIG companies, I know around here I don't want to name them but there are 3 that do terrible work, and just keep getting more of it because their advertising budget is more than most companies yearly NET... For the most part, around here you hire a well known smaller operation and you will be happy with the outcome, you go to one of the big 3 and you will be sorry, I can not count the stories I have heard and witnessed....

    I would imagine its hard to watch 50 employees and 30 trucks, I work almost 80 hours a week trying to keep up with 20 percent of that....
  • icesailor icesailor @ 6:39 PM
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    Proper equipment for the application:

    Any boiler with a front mounted tankless coil, removable from the front would have done.
    It also looks like the appliance to the right side was a washing machine or dryer. If the burner had been mounted in the front like the tankless, the appliance could have been moved to take the coil on the slight chance that it would ever need to be removed.
    Lack of forethought on the proper equipment lead to this problem. It never should have happened. There are so many front mounted tankless boilers out there to choose from. Why did they ever consider one like that for a confined space installation.
    Someone screwed up and needs to own up to their mistake. Turning the boiler 90 degrees counterclockwise would solve all the problems from where I sit.
  • Paul Fredricks Paul Fredricks @ 7:24 AM
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    No offense taken

    We have 36 techs on the road. We can't get to even a small percentage of the jobs to keep tabs on the work. We what we do see is almost always good work. We have a good team who take a lot of pride in their work. We do have a number of other bigs around here, 2 of them are notorious for poor work, so I know what you mean. Lots of small hacks too, doing work for cheap. Keeps us busy putting things right.
  • heatpro02920 heatpro02920 @ 8:06 AM
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    wow, 36 techs...

    That is a good sized business, I think I would have a nervous breakdown by noon time... I know there are some small guys out there that are hacks too, I call them the c-list capers, we have tons of them....

    What part of connecticut are you in Paul?
  • Paul Fredricks Paul Fredricks @ 3:34 PM
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    Bridgeport

    Standard Oil of CT. A good place to work and, for the most part, the employees care to do a good job.
  • Charlie from wmass Charlie from wmass @ 10:23 PM
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    Yes Paul

    Your competitors even have people calling me down your way for repairing their repairs.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.
    cell # 413-841-6726
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