Security Seal Facebook Twitter GooglePlus Pinterest Newsletter Sign-up
The Wall
Steve Ebels

Steve Ebels

Joined on May 31, 2005

Last Post on March 20, 2014

Contact User

Recent Posts

1 2 3 4 5 ... 58 »

Yah we were stumped.

@ March 20, 2014 9:13 AM in Emergency contact info for Viessmann?

That was the strange thing. No codes of any kind and the boiler pump would run, which to me would mean the boiler was seeing a call for heat. That proved to not be the case.

One thing lead to another..........

@ March 20, 2014 8:55 AM in Emergency contact info for Viessmann?

Despite the boilers being plumb, level and square with the earth, condensate had dripped from the rolled edge seam on the bottom of the heat exchanger housing. There were no leaks in the heat exchangers themselves as originally reported by the building manager.

My guys had to source parts (boards and gas valves) from a distributor other than the one that originally supplied the 4 boiler rack system. (200 mile round trip) After they got those installed on Saturday night, 2 of the boilers still would not run. No fault codes, nothing on the display showing there was a call for the burner to run either.
They could not find anything in the I/O or service manual that covers this type of situation.
It was like there was no call for heat on those 2 boilers. Everyone was stumped and wondered if there was an issue with the  Cascade control so  Andy and Matt went through the entire thing and reprogrammed it to see if that changed anything on Sunday. Still no errors or faults showing on the boilers or the Cascade control. Still no "fire in the hole".
At -22*F and only 2 boilers running they had to cancel school on Monday.

James Brown from Viessmann got in touch with my son Matthew on Monday morning and between the two of them had it figured out in 10 minutes. (which would have been REALLY nice on Friday night or Saturday.)

The issue, along with the soaked valves and boards was the wiring harness itself. Apparently there was enough corrosion on the terminals that the boilers were not receiving any signal, or the wrong signal to fire.
So, another 200 mile trip to get the complete wiring harnesses for those two boilers....
After installing those both boilers fired up immediately and have run fine since.

As things stand now we have the seam on the heat exchanger housing sealed with high temp silicone and will be meeting with the rep next week to determine a final resolution of the leak issue.
Apparently even though the face of the boiler is level, the heat exchanger itself is possibly not. This can allow condensate to puddle inside the housing and eventually drip.

i would advise any contractor s with these units installed to go back and check the installations to make sure the actual face of the heat exchanger itself is level. Viessmann covers this in a manual published September of 2013 but these boilers were installed in 2010.  The boiler housing and the heat exchanger may not be "square" with each other.

The guy on the big white hourse did finally show up

@ March 17, 2014 6:46 PM in Emergency contact info for Viessmann?

We never did get a call from the rep that I know of despite leaving messages on their emergency number.
My guys did get in touch with the distributor that originally sold us the product but there was no technical help available there. Without that they were unable to determine what exactly was wrong as none of the failed units showed failure codes. Just nothing......

They called the manager at the Viessmann distributor up north of us and THAT guy bent over backwards to get us some help even though he didn't even sell us the job originally.


My guys drove up there (4 hour round trip) and Fred loaded them up with parts and sent 'em back to the job.

Final resolution of the issues did not come however until Monday morning when James Brown called and talked with my son Matthew. They had it nailed in 10 minutes. THAT call would have been really nice Friday night or Saturday morning.

I am wishing the previous Viessmann rep was still on the job quite frankly.

Just a thought

@ March 2, 2014 3:03 PM in Bell and Gossett 100 mystery sounds

Instead of wrestling with the old pump you could just take it out and replace it with a modern wet rotor design.
A BnG NRF22 or Taco 007 are nearly direct replacements from a hydronic standpoint and the flange dimensions are identical.
In a Grundfos you could select a 15-58 3 speed or a 15-55 Alpha variable speed which will use 60-80% less power and will auto adapt to your systems flow characteristics.
A Wilo 21 series 3 speed will do the same as the Grundfos 15-58.

All of these will use less power than the BnG 100 by at least 25%.

Just a thought.

Rough numbers

@ March 2, 2014 12:16 PM in New Home, Which heat source????

Cost per million btu with an air source heat pump would be around $19.
With a good pellet boiler running radiant floor (much higher comfort level than ASHP) you would be looking at about $13 so about 40% less cost with the pellet boiler system plus much better "feel" in the home.

We have installed 15 Windhager BioWin pellet boilers to date, beginning November of 2012, and found them to be an excellent product. There have been no issues or problems of any kind with them and two of the installations are heavy duty commercial use with multiple boilers.
One pair which was fired up in September of 2013 now has over 30 tons of pellets consumed between them. 0 problems. Just clean them every 600-800 operating hours and keep them filled. They are a fantastic product.

No luck

@ March 2, 2014 11:55 AM in Emergency contact info for Viessmann?

I find this difficult to believe Paul but I have been told by the distributor contact that we will not receive technical assistance with this until Monday.   Status update......

From what my guys are telling me (I'm about 1,300 miles away) the heat exchangers have not failed. That was info from the building superintendent and was not accurate.

What they have going on is 2 out of 4 boilers on the rack that will not fire or even make an attempt to do so. They are trying to determine if the issue is in the cascade control or in the individual boilers.
The boilers in question do not fire even on a burner test. Pump energizes but not the inducer.

Thanks Alan!

@ March 1, 2014 8:30 PM in Emergency contact info for Viessmann?

Tried every number I have from old contacts but apparently Viessmann does not maintain tech service staff on weekends and nights like they used to.
The thing that is rather disconcerting for me is that there is no local support from the new rep agency or the distributor either.

This is a huge change, a seismic change, from the way Viessmann used to do business and it's not acceptable. Period.
Makes me wonder what is going on........

Emergency contact info for Viessmann?

@ March 1, 2014 12:12 PM in Emergency contact info for Viessmann?

Why do worst case events always happen on weekends.........?

Looking for any number to call at Viessmann that I can get help with 3 failed heat exchangers ASAP.
Our old rep company had 24 hour contact #'s but the recently hired people apparently do not.

Anyone have a personal phone # for someone/anyone at Viessmann?

Go to manufacturers

@ November 26, 2013 1:00 PM in Condensing gas boiler you install

I avoid anything with a Giannoni heat exchanger like the plague.

Viessmann and TT all the way.

That being said, all M/C boiler require regular maintenance, as in religious regular maintenance. Double the emphasis on that if the boiler is running LP gas.

Getting the wild ones this year

@ April 7, 2011 11:41 PM in Getting the wild ones this year

And where else do you go but to "The Wall"

My last post was inquiring about tubing the grade below a freezer. Now I have a customer who has a 32x 60 greenhouse under construction and wants to do root zone heating.  Anyone ever done that?

My questions are:

Do you insulate the sub strata, like down about 2-3 feet? He wants to grow tropical fruit like bananas and citrus and hopes to keep the trees in pots to move outside in the summer. (These will be very large pots, i.e. fork lift movable)

I know the edge insulation would be critical as usual, but then, if you insulate the "floor" at a depth of 2-3 feet you are basically creating a "tub" which I would assume could create saturation problems. Should provision be made for drainage?

The heat loss calc for the building itself is no problem but I'm struggling with how to account for heating up 40-50 tons of dirt to 55*  Talk about flywheel effect.........

Any input from the resident guru's?


@ April 7, 2011 11:41 PM in Getting the wild ones this year

Dp'd it.
 check the other post

mmmm hmmm

@ March 31, 2011 7:14 AM in Heating the ground under a commercial freezer......

I would have to agree on the weight. In this particular job, which is small in comparison to many commercial freezers, the calculated load for each section of pallet rack is near 40,000#. That's each section 42" x 120". The racks are going to be 24' tall with a ceiling height of 30'.  Pretty hard to suspend that much weight without some serious support mother earth herself.

Hat tip to Paul for some excellent documentation and pictures sent my way.  Thanks bro.

Hey Paul...........

@ March 29, 2011 10:48 PM in Heating the ground under a commercial freezer......

If you would be so kind, please send me the pictures you referred to along with any other info or notes about that project.

Thanks in advance!!

That's why I'm asking here first

@ March 18, 2011 10:14 PM in Heating the ground under a commercial freezer......

Talking with the architect, his concern was that eventually, no matter how much insulation you put on the ground under the freezer, it will freeze up and possibly cause the floor to heave, buckle or crack. 

Got this from Perry on the 14th

@ March 18, 2011 10:02 PM in Japan Nuke plants

"Things are getting worse - and at least 3 of the
reactors are done for life - and have partial meltdowns; but,
containment is holding (as of last reports) so there will not be
anything approaching Chernobyl.  The question is can they save the
other 4 (and those have not yet hit the news).
key item is that the plants were designed for either 7.9 or 8.2
earthquake and they got hit with a 8.9   The difference between 7.9 and
8.9 is a factor of 10 (its a logarithmic scale).
Overall I'd say the plants have stood up well given what they were hit with.
far as the US reactors.   We have about 30 similar reactors here (GE
Boiling Water Reactors - BWR) - and many with the same vintage
containment.    Key is that very few of these are on an ocean where
they could be hit with a tsunami an hour after the earthquake (and it
was the tsunami that took out the diesel generators).
other 70+ reactors are Pressurized Water Reactors - and I believe that
design is inherently more capable of dealing with a total loss of power
than a BWR.
The new Generation III reactors
(for example the AP-1000 which will start construction later this year
in the US) are designed to handle a total loss of power - and have
enough passive cooling to prevent a meltdown."

I haven't heard anything in the last couple days because they are in the middle of refueling the plant he works in. ...makes him a wee bit busy.

Heating the ground under a commercial freezer......

@ March 18, 2011 9:51 PM in Heating the ground under a commercial freezer......

There's a chance I might get involved (sucked into) a commercial project this summer that has 28x36 freezer area which will be maintained at -20*. The architect suggested to the builder that he get in touch with someone who can give both of them some guidance. So guess who got the phone call......

I've done enough reading on the subject to be dangerous but I really feel like the one eyed man in the land of the blind. Not enough knowledge about it to be confident in what I recommend.

So I'm wondering if any of you guys have done sub-grade heating under a commercial freezer. What did you use for control? What type of substrate did you place the tubing in? etc etc.

Just got back from Minneapoils

@ December 17, 2010 10:35 AM in How's your weather?

Left Wednesday afternoon about 4:30 and made it to Wausau Wis by about 3:00AM. Crashed in the back seat of the truck. (Left the truck running because it was -13* outside). Hit the road at 8AM and drove in to the twin Cities picked up the 2 wood boilers I was after and had lunch with Martin Lunde and Jim Saufferer at Broadway pizza just west of the dome....or what's left of it.  There is a LOT of snow in Minneapolis that's for sure. Had dry roads across the UP of Mich and through Wisconsin out and back but Martin had called me and advised not to go around through Chicago. Glad I didn't as I would have been pulling 5 tons of weight through slop all the way back.
Last weekends big blow left us with about a foot of white stuff. One of my guys was snowed in so bad he didn't make it to work until the county came and scooped out his road with a payloader. The plows got stuck in it.

Buderus G124x leaking

@ December 15, 2010 11:56 AM in Buderus G124x leaking

Drew just called from a customers house and relayed that the return elbow on the bottom left of the block is perforated/rusted through. On the parts diagram (p/n 05407352) it appears that the elbow is secured to the block with a jam nut and gasket behind it. On the boiler in the home, it looks like it's a bushing. Things are so corroded it's hard to tell what we are looking at.
If anyone here has had one of these apart and could tell us what the configuration actually is please call Drew at 231-920-7471 . Tech service call center @ Buderus was no help in determining how this piece is actually put together. We don't want to try and take that bushing/jam nut out unless we have to. Going to try and clean up the threads and seal up with some thread cord.


Many thanks Brad

@ October 13, 2010 5:03 PM in Calculating heating costs/math problem

I'm asking these questions mainly for my own information/education as I don't get a chance very often to really look hard at these ICF buildings. As is the case on this job, and most in the economic armpit of the USA, commonly called Michigan, the first cost is the only thing that is considered.

Cd factors that reduce heating equipment input will be scarce for this building because of its largely uninhabited nature, so the only tangible difference would be the building mass. Other than that, the difference in R-value and AC/H are the only things that would really influence the building performance. Correct?

I looked up some records of propane prices locally since 2000 and found that they have increased an average of a little over 7-1/2% per year. I don't know if that rate will continue or what difference it would make in your model but I think that it's safe to say no fuel costs are going to go down. I listened to a webinar featuring an oil industry CEO a couple weeks ago and his position was that it is very likely we will see prices back at 2007 levels by the end of next year. Scary thought.

Thanks again my good man.


@ October 13, 2010 3:06 PM in Calculating heating costs/math problem

You wouldn't assume any difference in Cd factor for the high mass/low mass buildings?

Here ya go............

@ October 13, 2010 8:48 AM in Calculating heating costs/math problem

Design delta T is 76* for our area. Those are the numbers from HVAC-CALC.
  I used an efficiency of 95% for the Vitodens that will be running the system. I'm curious as to what factors would reduce that? My experience with those boilers applied to a low temp system shows that if parasitic losses are minimized it will easily hit that.
Of course dear sir, I will yield to your expertise in this area. I'm just a humble pipe fitter.........:)  

numbers numbers numbers

@ October 13, 2010 8:35 AM in Calculating heating costs/math problem

Local cost of propane is running about $1.70/gl on a prebuy program. Our heating degree days are listed as 7800. I used a Cd factor of .85 for the steel building and .70 for the ICF.

Does your program factor in annual increases in fuel costs? 10 years ago propane was selling for $.59 here.
1 2 3 4 5 ... 58 »