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Thread: Boiler and Furnace "Expert Installation" and my Job / Life

  1. #1
    Senior Member pred's Avatar
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    Boiler and Furnace "Expert Installation" and my Job / Life

    Im 50 and have been working in the HVAC field since 1990 or so,
    I was hired to help install commercial heating boilers and in 2 years I was running the install crews,
    Long story made short,
    When it can't be fixed and the building has 200 cold complaining tenants, Call Peter, He will fix it,
    Well,
    This has bought me to where I am today,
    ~ ~ ~
    Owner of the 700,000 SqFt building I run wanted me to look at his friends high efficiency boiler which the install company can't fix,
    SO,
    First I will mention that the high efficiency boilers will never pay you back in a house hold setting unless you live in a cold area and you're house 1s some 10,000 + SqFt.
    ~ ~ ~
    So,
    The boiler won't light or run, But it will shutter and have scary combustion noises. WHY?
    I find the plastic "Swirl plate" that mixes gas/air is corroded, WHY?
    Because its been pulling in exhaust gas, WHY?
    Because the installer followed the installation instructions, BUT
    put the flue between a wall and a hard place,
    SO I moved the flue some 4' away,
    replaced the gas/air injection parts and discovered the boiler didn't heat right, WHY
    because the installer set boiler up to run between 70 and 140* on aqua coils,
    So I reset the thing to heat at 140-180* like it should,
    Found the flame sensor was warped, WHY?
    Because the installer went with a pump for a cast iron rad system NOT the fan coil,
    causing the heat exchanger to have a higher delta T, "water moved too slow"
    SO I replaced the flame sensor and put in the proper sized pump,
    ~ ~ ~ ~
    SHEESH,
    This boiler has failed some 3 to 4 times a winter, since its install in 2013, Eaten $1000 ds in parts and labor because the EXPERT installation company can't read the I&O manual,
    PLUS this is the second boiler since the first was piped so poorly it cracked the heat exchanger,
    ~ The swirl plate does not spin, It purely helps the gas and air mix and regulates air intake,
    ~ ~ ~ ~
    This is VERY common in the heating and cooling industry,
    I expose a lot of rip offs in the industry for the bosses and owners and this is why they like me.
    ~ ~ ~
    We just had a $800,000 Quote to replace a bad emergency gen for our dialysis unit,
    I asked enough questions and got them to test in front of me and they resolved the issue to a sticky governor on the fuel regulator on the diesel gen,
    Cleaned and lubed and all is well with the CAT diesel,
    ~ ~ ~
    I will mention, The high efficiency furnaces WILL save you a lot of dollars, Just stay at the 92% efficiency models, Anything higher you are losing money,
    Trust me folks.
    ~ ~ ~
    Here are some pics of the Owners friends boiler,
    Check the swirl plate,
    And how they put the inlet and exhaust pipes behind the AC condensers,
    I imagine I will see aluminum corrosion on the condensers as well,
    ~ ~ ~
    Bunch of good guys here in the forum.
    Any heating question are welcome,
    I may not ben good with people,
    But I can help you get your heater of boiler back on line over the phone,
    Water steam of air,
    ~ ~ ~
    Keep warm guys !
    Peter B
    sw1.jpgsw2.jpgsw3.jpgsw4.jpg
    Last edited by pred; 11-05-2016 at 04:30 AM.
    littletommy, rbm, Purple and 7 others like this.

  2. #2
    Senior Member arbolmano's Avatar
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    Very cool. Big stuff what serves us. And another example of why reading directions isn't such a poor idea.
    Tonto on the "Left Coast"
    1987 TW200 (2) 2015 BMW F700GS
    More Wagging and less Barking
    "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think"
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Michael Bryce Winnick's Avatar
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    I can replace the condensation pump on my furnace. I live in a very cold place. For anything more than that, you should call Pred. MBW

    Edit: I can also change the filter.
    Last edited by Michael Bryce Winnick; 11-05-2016 at 08:29 AM.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Devils Advocate's Avatar
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    I've done that, AND I can change the filter too......

    Hey pred,

    I notice that I'm getting some condensation running back down the exhaust. It seems one joint was not glued on the PVC. You can see where water was running out side the exhaust just below the blue band.

    furnace and mirrors 004.JPG

    The blue band is a fat rubber band, the ones you find on your broccoli at the store. I stretched that over the bottom piece and the top piece then fit snug and seems to have stopped the water leak.

    Here is the result of that water leak;

    furnace and mirrors 005.JPG

    The fit between those two pieces didn't seem tight like a normal PVC to PVC fitting. Should I just clean them up and just try gluing them together anyway?
    2005 Husqvarna 55R21HV
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  6. #5
    Senior Member Smitty Blackstone's Avatar
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    Looks like a swirl plate from a Munchkin/Pinnacle.

    I do the exact same thing you do, Brother.

    Been in the same business for many many years. Fourth generation.

    I agree about the high eff units not paying back.

    Plus, at high temps it makes no sense to use them, as they only save when condensing.

    Don't do installations unless conditions are right. Spend the time doing preventive maint and repairs.

    I've seen dozens of situations like the one you show.

    Sometimes homeowners do a better job installing because they read the manual.

    Good luck out there. Be careful.
    Dryden-Tdub and jtomelliott49 like this.

  7. #6
    Senior Member pred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Devils Advocate View Post
    I've done that, AND I can change the filter too......

    Hey pred,

    I notice that I'm getting some condensation running back down the exhaust. It seems one joint was not glued on the PVC. You can see where water was running out side the exhaust just below the blue band.

    furnace and mirrors 004.JPG

    The blue band is a fat rubber band, the ones you find on your broccoli at the store. I stretched that over the bottom piece and the top piece then fit snug and seems to have stopped the water leak.

    Here is the result of that water leak;

    furnace and mirrors 005.JPG

    The fit between those two pieces didn't seem tight like a normal PVC to PVC fitting. Should I just clean them up and just try gluing them together anyway?
    Ide pull it apart and install new PVC,
    Exhaust condensate is acidic as you can see how it ate the metal band, It will do the same to the electrical contacts as well,
    ~ ~ ~
    As far as the Flue in my first post, The book may show the pipes 12" apart and say OK,
    But fort her on it will tell you about how not to put in window well, In a 90* wall area and so on,
    And yes Munchkin is very similar and all the new high efficiency units at $5k + just for the boiler and the recommended yearly service and cleaning won't save you a dime unless the unit works for 10 years without a single repair and your yearly cleaning is CHEAP.
    ~ ~ ~
    That being said,
    I have a 4 unit building where I live and rent and 3 of the 4 boilers are from 1952.
    I may go 2 - 3 years without even looking at the old "New Yorker" boilers aside from draining the expansion tanks each year,
    In fact,
    In the past 16 years I've owned the building,
    One boiler started to leak so I replaced it,
    One needed a new gas valve
    I think all needed a new pump at one time or another,
    And thats about it aside from the occasional vacuuming the waffle burners,
    ~ ~ ~
    The maintenance required for all the boilers including the replacement of the one would have cost WAY less than ONE high efficiency boiler install,
    ~ ~ ~
    Got to be careful these days ~ ~ ~
    Sales guy will say
    "The new boiler can save you 40% on you're heating bills"
    Lets do some math together,
    Lets say,
    Your FUEL bills are
    $200 a month for 6 months a year = $ 1200 a year,
    You can save 40%, = $ 480 a year.
    The cost OVER a standard cast iron boiler. $5000
    So how long do gas savings take to equal the differential cost of the high efficiency boiler?
    ITS 10.4 YEARS ! ! ! !
    Now can you factor in the minimum $500 suggested service each year just to clean the heat exchanger and tune the boiler?
    HUMMMMMM,
    You just gotta be more careful !
    Peter B
    Last edited by pred; 11-05-2016 at 10:04 AM.
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  8. #7
    Senior Member Smitty Blackstone's Avatar
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    Plus add in the cost of the extra piping (primary-secondary), additional circulator, etc. It all adds up.

    The best choice is a cast iron boiler. When maintained as needed (very little) it should outlast you.

    I can't get it through people's heads.

    With ODR controls, a cast iron boiler is more system efficient than anything out there.

    As to AFUE, used to be that std cast iron gas boiler was 82%, that's it. Now they have 84% units. Not that I think AFUE is anything more than marketing crap, it does however provide some degree of comparison. True efficiency is what the SYSTEM is doing, not just the boiler.

    We routinely repipe and re-control older systems. Best bang for the buck, PLUS fuel savings.

    Al Corelli
    ACA Inc.
    BoilerSavant Inc.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member Tweaker's Avatar
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    It must be getting cold where you guys are. I turn my furnace on once a year to see if it works and blow some dust out of it. Don't use it for air conditioning either not needed. 30 year old "high effiency "gas furnace with a fan in the flue. I did find a torn duct in my attic where the plumbers pulled it out of a space so they could climb in to repipe from plastic to copper water pipe. They damaged it and didn't reattach it properly. I found it when I opened a wall in our bedroom to an attic space some people have made into closet space which I am starting.
    ”Everything You Know is Wrong”

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    Twin 2014 TW200's made side by side on the assembly line, Moose rear racks, Protaper ATV high bars, DG oval pipes, kick starters, rejetted carbs, 130 main jets, 2 -3 -.020 shims on the needles and @ 2 1/2 turns on the pilot screw, #34 pilot jets, Acerbis hand guards, Shinko 241 front tires, modified Krator foot pegs, 14-55t sprockets, Ricochet skid plates and 90 degree fuel filters.

  10. #9
    Senior Member phelonius's Avatar
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    I don't have a heater in my home, therefore I don't worry about any of the above. BTW, I don't have an air conditioner either.
    In the depths of winter I sleep under two blankets instead of one. Much easier than changing furnace filters and such.
    I guess living on a rock in the middle of an ocean does have some advantages although I can't ride very far in one direction.
    Last edited by phelonius; 11-06-2016 at 03:28 PM.
    Phelonius

  11. #10
    Senior Member pred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phelonius View Post
    I don't have a heater in my home, therefore I don't worry about any of the above. BTW, I don't have an air conditioner either.
    In the depths of winter I sleep under two blankets instead of one. Much easier than changing furnace filters and such.
    I guess living on a rock in the middle of an ocean does have some advantages although I can't ride very far in one direction.
    What rock are you on?
    And isn't a circle "One direction"?
    Seems like I always go one way and then back anyway,

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