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Lochinvar Knight boiler problems
Last fall, we converted our heating system from an ancient steam heating system to a hot water system (gas heat). Our house is from 1923, about 4700SF, stone masonry construction, 25 radiators (2-pipe) converted. After much looking into gas boilers, we decided to go with a Lochinvar Knight mod-con boiler, the KBN400. The installer was someone recommended by Lochinvar, so presumably they are trained in these boilers and know what they are doing. So we thought we were finally going to be rid of our worries and problems with heat in the winter. True, the heat we have is more comfortable, and the cost is about 75% of what the old system cost (more than we had expected from the new system, but still much better than what we were previously paying). On the other hand, the system is barely over one year old, and we are having problem after problem with it.
First, no heat b/c of an "ignition lockout". This happens on a Saturday evening, of course. Technician comes on Sunday, replaces the ignition cable and ignitor. All fine and good.
A week later, Sunday morning, same problem: no heat, same message on the boiler. Technician comes out same day, but unfortunately, it's a bad main board this time; the installer has none in stock; the local supply house has none either, so we have to wait until Tuesday afternoon to get a delivery from the company in Tennessee. This of course happens on the coldest weekend of this winter, and we are without heat or hot water for 3 days - no fun!
Board replaced on Tuesday, then 4 days later, on Saturday, we are again without heat. This time it's a blocked drain. Condensate trap and switch cleaned, and all is fine for now (barely one week later). Thank goodness we don't live in a really cold climate (Philadelphia), and that it has been a really mild winter.
What's next? Given that a weekend is coming up, we almost expect a problem again. We are now very concerned about this system, and worry that we can't go out of town for even a few days in the winter because the system might fail again! And we dread a cold winter. This is not what we expected with a new boiler.
What we would like to know is: Should we just expect this sort of breakdown? Did we get a lemon of a boiler? Is the Knight boiler prone to such problems more generally? Could there have been a problem with the installation?
I would also like to warn other potential buyers that it may not be a good idea to get an indirect hot water system to run off the boiler: if the boiler stops working, you will not have any hot water either!