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munchkin

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Marc_11
Marc_11 Member Posts: 1
I installed two 399 boilers the boilers are two years old,they were inspected and set up by the factory rep,the first year we had no problems,the second year we had many problems.Replaced ignitor and flame rod,we had constant F09 faults,we were told by the factory rep to replace the control board because they changed the pruge time from 3 to 5 seconds,how ever this did not help,we opened the boiler to inspect the burner and found condensation in the exchanger,the drain line was clear but there was scale build up on the exchanger preventing drainage of the condensation,as a result the back target wall and front target wall refractory was damaged and the burner had scale build up,the next problem was the supplier had no parts available.Bottom line these boilers require high maintenance and labor to operate,having a negative expense on the fuel any saving,you will need to baby sit these boilers,there not worth the trouble.

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  • craig_4
    craig_4 Member Posts: 14
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    munchkin probs

    has anyone had any problems with munchkin boards or inducers on boilers made in the last couple of years? i had heard from more than one source that they've had more than their share of warranty issues with newer models. just wondering if there is anything to this. i,ve always liked them and am trying to push the radiant over forced air to a new demographic, but dont want to get burned.
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    YES
  • Al Corelli_2
    Al Corelli_2 Member Posts: 395
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    Not more than any other boiler

    I have a very large installed base of Munchies and Pinnacles.

    The only time I've ever had to change out a blower, was on a service call for an incorrectly installed boiler by a plumber.

    I have NO problem recommending and installing these boilers.

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
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    I've heard ...

    In speaking with the Peerless rep, he tells me the Pinacle uses the older version of circuitry for muchkin - apparently less sensitve to electrical noise.

    More often than not, the problems are caused by mis-installations by inexperienced plumbers who don't read the instruction manuals, don't attend product seminars, and say, yeah this will work, I've always done it this way - I never had a problem.


    The electical control situation is not under the influence of the plumber. I have heard of some contractors using a computer UPS as a power supplu to filer out electical variations to protect the electronics of this boiler. I believe they are now on the 3rd generation of controls for this boiler so there must have been some kind of issue.
  • Chuck Shaw_12
    Chuck Shaw_12 Member Posts: 4
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    you think

    > In speaking with the Peerless rep, he tells me

    > the Pinacle uses the older version of circuitry

    > for muchkin - apparently less sensitve to

    > electrical noise.

    >

    > More often than not, the

    > problems are caused by mis-installations by

    > inexperienced plumbers who don't read the

    > instruction manuals, don't attend product

    > seminars, and say, yeah this will work, I've

    > always done it this way - I never had a

    > problem.

    >

    > The electical control situation is

    > not under the influence of the plumber. I have

    > heard of some contractors using a computer UPS as

    > a power supplu to filer out electical variations

    > to protect the electronics of this boiler. I

    > believe they are now on the 3rd generation of

    > controls for this boiler so there must have been

    > some kind of issue.



    You think they may have gone to a differnt control platform to expand the abiltiy of the product?

    The older Honeywell control couldnt do the things the vision contol can do, it doensnt mean there was an issue

    Rebel
  • craig_4
    craig_4 Member Posts: 14
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    munchkin

    from what ive heard, it was a board issue that wasn't influenced by installation methods. a local supplier stopped selling the muchkins because he was getting too many of them back. i was told that they cheapened the electronics in recent productions and that was causing a lot of crazy things to happen. acting like it was hit by lightening or something. the displays would blink and flicker and the boiler would start or stop just nillie willie. again, this is just what i had heard and am wondering how much truth there is to it.
  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
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    I think ... I'll ask again

    Interestingly enough, the peerless rep here on LI is also the Triangle Tube rep. He was 1 of 2 qualified sources for the comments I made, which craig confirmed & clarified.

  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80
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    #1 Peerless hasn't used the older (Honeywell) version for 2 heating seasons now.

    #2 The older version was extremely sensitive to grounding and polarity issues.

    #3 My biggest gripe (being a serviceman) with the old system was it's limited diagnostic ability. No temperature readout, no blower speed readout, no interface to the board other than a potentiometer.

    As far as there being 3 generations of the 925 control, There have actually been 4. The first series, (P02) was replaced by (PO3) which contained what I would consider to be a necessary fixes. However the last two (PO4-PO5) have been almost entirely feature/functionability improvements.

    I make the distinction between fixes and improvements by asking one simple question. Would the unit still be a viable choice without the change being implimented? If the answer is yes then it is an improvement not a fix.

    As for a UPS being installed on a the boiler to "filter out electrical variations to the electronics" ... I guess I would have to ask what kind of variations and then why are they in there to begin with? If you are telling me that farm houses out in the country have to install some kind of power filter, well being from WI this doesn't surprise me at all. I've seen some pretty nasty wiring in farm houses, not to mention horrible incomming service to those locations.
  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80
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    > from what ive heard, it was a board issue that

    > wasn't influenced by installation methods. a

    > local supplier stopped selling the muchkins

    > because he was getting too many of them back. i

    > was told that they cheapened the electronics in

    > recent productions and that was causing a lot of

    > crazy things to happen. acting like it was hit by

    > lightening or something. the displays would blink

    > and flicker and the boiler would start or stop

    > just nillie willie. again, this is just what i

    > had heard and am wondering how much truth there

    > is to it.



  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80
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    try this

    > from what ive heard, it was a board issue that

    > wasn't influenced by installation methods. a

    > local supplier stopped selling the muchkins

    > because he was getting too many of them back. i

    > was told that they cheapened the electronics in

    > recent productions and that was causing a lot of

    > crazy things to happen. acting like it was hit by

    > lightening or something. the displays would blink

    > and flicker and the boiler would start or stop

    > just nillie willie. again, this is just what i

    > had heard and am wondering how much truth there

    > is to it.




    I have to tell you this gave me a good chuckle. I am laughing at the thought that something as simple as lifting the display ribbon off of the spark ignition cable could be the solution to your problem.

    I can't tell you how many times I get this call. This happens when people remove the display board from it's default position to place it somewhere else. They cut the wire ties that bind the ribbon cable together to give more slack. When they do this, the display ribbon often ends up laying on top of the spark cable. Spark voltage jumps into the ribbon and the display goofs up.

    On a side note, I can tell you that since the Munchkin's inception I have absolutely no evidence that any electronics have ever been "cheapened"... but I'd be willing to bet almost anything I own, that neither do you.
  • Glenn Sossin_2
    Glenn Sossin_2 Member Posts: 592
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    Setting it straight

    Thanks for providing this information.

  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
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    Having just looked at...

    nearly 50 units this past Thursday, the ONLY complaint was stack icing. The cause? The installer forgot how to measure venting elbows and equivelant length; which on Munchkins, unlike the uber boiler, is humongous to begin with!

    If I had propane or NG, and all boilers were free, my first choice would still be a Munchkin for my own home.

    And that's no April Fool, lads
  • [Deleted User]
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    Bottom line....

    I suspect you covered the vent hole on the drain fitting and the condensate is vacuum trapping. Also, I don't know of a mod con manufacturer who DOESN'T REQUIRE an annual inspection/cleaning in order to retain the warranty.

    As for the flame sensor, a simple removal and cleaning during annual inspection keeps it out of the picture. Not sure why they do what they do, but if you are on top of your cleaning/inspections, it should not be an issue.

    Also, just because people don't service their non condensing boilers once a year does not make that right either. Per most manufacturers, they want an ANNUAL inspection on the fire side of their appliance as well...

    And seeings as how they save NO energy, that expense comes right out of the consumers pocket, versus the modcon saving SOMETHING towards the required service...

    And anything that reduces our fuel consumption by 30 to 50% IS worth the time and effort. With an attitude like yours, you might as well get out of business now, because I have a feeling these gems are going to become mandatory in the very near future...

    just my $0.02 worth...


    ME
  • Ken_40
    Ken_40 Member Posts: 1,320
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    Spot

    ON!

    Somehow, we incorrectly assume mod-cons are exempt from annual service. Granted, the service is minimal, but everything ME states is not optional. It is mandatory. The beauty? Gloves are NOT required. These babies may have non-descript "crumbs." The rest is checking and looking.

    How easy can maintenance get!
  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80
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    Here's a bottom line for ya.

    If your customer wants a high efficiency boiler, he will be requiring yearly maintenance. Whichever product you buy.

    If 1 hour a year is too expensive for your customer, sell him another 300# cast iron 80% efficient boiler. While the unit itself will probably be more forgiving to lack of maintenance, I'd be willing to bet if you read the installation manual on that piece of equipment, it would STILL recommend a yearly checkup.

    The job you described worked great for a year, then started to have issues when you failed to follow the manufacturer's recomendation on maintenance. Now you come here and complain that it's a "high maintenance" boiler. It just doesn't sound like a fair test of the equipment to me.

    In my areas, I always inform my customers of the maintenance requirements. Some don't care for it and I encourage them to buy something else if they refuse to do so. Those who get on a service schedule and have the product installed by a qualified professional enjoy fantastic savings on their energy bills and don't mind paying an hour labor, once a year, to keep the system working as designed.
  • Tim Doran_4
    Tim Doran_4 Member Posts: 138
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    NO

    All of the issues that I am seeing are installation issues not product issues. I believe that a properly installed Munchkin is as reliable as any other condensing boiler available today.

    Tim D.
  • jalcoplumb_2
    jalcoplumb_2 Member Posts: 172
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    Problems?

    Sounds like something is either being sucked up at the inlet or around the jacket. Sealing the jacket might help. One thing that does bother me is the fact that HTP has not improved the seal around the boiler jacket.

  • jalcoplumb_2
    jalcoplumb_2 Member Posts: 172
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    Munchkin opinion.

    I have installed many Munchkins throughout the years including many pre 925 units. I always follow the installation instructions to the letter and use a combustion analyzer to set them up. I have had very few problems. I had to replace a few blower units; mostly from the bad manufacturing run they had a couple of years ago. Every time I had a problem I would call my rep or the factory. Every time I got exceptional service and no hassles.

    I have seen many improvements in the product line. It seems that they are constantly improving their product. Some improvements have been to fix design issues. I would like to see some better improvements to the 925 control, a boost feature, the option to use an indoor sensor instead of a thermostat, Vision option for injection mixing to name a few. The boiler jacket seal needs to be addressed. I would like to see the inlet air going directly to the blower inlet, like some of the other manufactures do. This would eliminate the need for a better jacket seal.

    As for blower issues, look at the blowers in just about every modulating boiler and you will find the same manufacture makes them all.

    Overall I have been pleased with them. When I started using them there were not many 90+ modulating boilers out there, now the market is getting crowded. Other manufactures took a backseat and waited for companies like HTP to work the bugs out.

    There are some nice products coming out. I hope HTP will keep updating and improving their line with the times.

    My 2 cents,

    Joe





  • WaterHeaterGuy
    WaterHeaterGuy Member Posts: 80
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    Just an FYI

    Revision 2 did in fact include a couple cabinet modifications to improve the seal. There is now insulation running around the perimeter of the lid, as well as 4 sinch down locking clamps to pull the lid tighter.

    This was definately an improvement to the negative draft scenerios that we were seeing in the field.
  • jalcoplumb_2
    jalcoplumb_2 Member Posts: 172
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    T-80 Rev.2

    Not so good. bottom of cover was sticking out 1/2" Had to use a couple of screws.
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    It's amazing that each and every time someone wants to say something about these things the first response is "It was installed improperly." In my 40 years in this business and the thousands of people I have come into contact with...Munchkin is the only brand that people keep blaming the installers for installing it incorrectly. They haven’t been around much more than four years in any numbers and the thousands out there have already failed or self destructed if they haven’t corroded the control board which is in the incoming air path, I mean any one can see this just by taking off the cover! So why don't we have these issues with the twenty to thirty other brands out there to purchase? And why do a select few continue to blame the plumbers and techs out there for factory defects? I am tired of hearing that it was somebody else’s fault that these units fail at over three times the average rate. And why do you continue to ignore the warranty and parts problems? Please answer why I have to PURCHASE defective parts and then wait for J S to give the stamp of approval if they are going to issue a credit that never comes. These people are playing with a national recall and so far have been successful avoiding there responsibility for one of the cheapest products currently available. If so often I hear about price being someone else’s concern then why is it such a big deal to install quality in the first place! And I consider anyone who answers this thread without replying about the warranty issues to be intentionally misleading for their own personal gain at the expense of the rest of us! O O it must be the writers fault, It must be the truck drivers fault...
  • Craig Bergman
    Craig Bergman Member Posts: 84
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    What's your source??

    These units fail at OVER THREE TIMES the average rate?
    Please site your source for that information. Our company has about 25 Munchkins, properly installed, and we have yet to have ANY major problems with the boiler. Not a single blower problem. Several Flame Rod problems, but at no higher rate than any gas fired furnace. One Pressure Switch, and One Control Board.

    We have NOTHING but good things to say about our experience with HTP and their Reps. Have a question? It's answered! Our Rep even came out to help set up and dial in our first THREE units until we could purchase a combustion analyzer!!

    Bergy
  • clammy
    clammy Member Posts: 3,112
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    munchkin bashing

    I personally have sold and installed at least 6 munchkins for myself and helped my plumbing buddies install at least another dozen or so ,i and my buddy have not had any issues with burner fan motors ,control boards or in short any issues at all .We have a commerical bulding with 6 munchkins 80s that has been up and running for over 4 to 5 years no promblems ,the ones i have seen that had promblems where mostly installed by guys who cut 2 pipes and slide them in they checked nothing and did not read nor understand the piping or wiring instructions ,as staed above most all of the condensing modulating boilers on the market are using dungs valves with the exception of different control platforms .I personally applaude HTP for manafacturing there product in the US and i'm pretty sure being the first US based company to put there foot forward in this market besides from the euro companies and i feel that there doing a great job ,just remenber that the boiler is just a boiler alot of how a system works has to do with looking out side the boiler room and doing the home work to make sure everything will work before making promises and then coming up short .If i had have any of these issues doi you think i would have installed one in my own home? i don't think so and yes of course there other companies who make modulating condensing boilers but most prices are of such that they don't fit into the budget of 95% of the jobs i do plus when you talk to the sales/hydronic eng. guys at the supply house they don't instill much faith in me at least and know less then i about the products except that there better then the HTP munchkin.I will continue to use them and yet to have really any service promblems with them if a custermer wants a differnt mod/con then i'll install it for them ,but the bashing from some of the munchkin is a shame how about some suppoert for a american based company who was brave enough to put there boiler on the us market PS i would love to install just viessmann and buderus but as much as people like to have bmw and benz's in the drive way the jones don't see the german boiler on pavers in the basement .Peace and good luck clammy
    R.A. Calmbacher L.L.C. HVAC
    NJ Master HVAC Lic.
    Mahwah, NJ
    Specializing in steam and hydronic heating
  • scott markle_2
    scott markle_2 Member Posts: 611
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    price on german boilers

    I'm not sure the automotive comparison is accurate. I have been able to persuade some very modest income people that this german technology was a good investment. Were not talking about a $20k upgrade. and unlike the car this equipment will likely be in service for 20 years or more.

    I haven't done a munchkin yet but I probably will soon, mainly because of the T50 which i believe is the smallest condensing boiler available. I'm glad that impressions are generally favorably about this equipment. I will say that in addition to other quality issues the cabinets for the gb-142 and 6-24 are much better looking. counts for something, especially with zero clearance wall hung equipment which may end up in a more multi-use space than it's conventional counterparts, hidden away behind 5/8' sheetrock and fire doors
  • Chris_82
    Chris_82 Member Posts: 321
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    No one is arguing the maintenance issues, except that when they first came out the manufacture was very, very, clear on two issues

    1. No maintenance, period!

    2. No adjustments (see for yourself,) the initial manual clearly states DO NOT touch the gas valve or make any adjustments.

    And considering the majority of posters are reps and factory people why does everyone keep ignoring the fact that there is no warranty coverage at all. I have yet to meet anyone that has not had a problem with the factory procedure and who has not had to pay for defective parts!

    OF course I have seen a lot of responses here saying that aren’t the case but if you have dealt with MRS. Reynolds you know what I am talking about! Their usual response is that this procedure exists so that they can provide immediate service of parts, YA as long as you purchase them from your local supplier! The key word here is purchase!

    Ya, know I’m not selling these things and I’m trying to save some plumbers and some installers problems…the rest of ya can keep spinning your tales of cheep glory But I’m not listening!
  • Dave_4
    Dave_4 Member Posts: 1,405
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    munchkin/peerless debate

    Being a service mechanic in the H.V.A.C field in Wisconsin for 18 yrs I sat and watch the winds blow when the first Munchkins came out.I waited about 2 yrs before jumping with both feet. I purchased one to replace my 6 year old Utica C.I. 83%(expanded the house needed more output).The Munchkin is 4 yrs old and was serviced faithfully, it ran beautifully without a whimper or fuss.This year the combustion blower wheel came apart in November,$575 later I am wondering where the savings in operational cost is.I was able to effect the repairs myself saving the labor cost on a service call,but I wonder about the homeowner who will pay the markup and labor on the part.FYI Peerless and Munchkin are the same boiler to me,you can argue programing nuances but the hardware and heat exchanger are the same,thats why they will be lumped together here.
    Now for Peerless,I have installed 3 Peerless Pinaccle's,

    Things I have encountered:

    PI 144 Flame rod fouling -L.P gas-12/06 unit shut down, unit was fired in 3/06 first time used on a radiant floor project in a pole barn. Rechecked with combustion analyser and manometer.found slight deviation in propane pressure adjusted regulator at house. Haven't heard anything as yet 4/2007

    P.I. 199 Unit installed 12/2005 ran great until 2/2006
    Have replaced 2 boards over the course of the next year that were showing signs of corrosion damage and creating numerous fault codes.Had to extend flue pipe beyond original correct installation to keep flue gas from being sucked in combustion air pipe. This was local problem that was frustrating me and was observed one late night when the prevailing wind created the right condition.
    2/07 unit is failing on TFI. After reseting and cycling unit about 15 times-letting it lightoff and killing the power,I observed the insulator boot on the spark igniter arcing to the ceramic housing creating a weak ignitor spark.The boot is "screwed" onto the wire lead and was coming loose. so far so good but I wonder how long this has been going on? FYI on a commercial Patterson/Kelly
    MACH boiler I encounter this same problem about a week later.They use the same style ignitor cable.

    P.I 80-installed 11/2004-L.P. Runs in conjunction with a wood fired boiler.3/2007 blower wheel blew up.Thank goodness for wood backup,but makes me wonder if this problem would have shown up sooner if the home owner ran exclusivly on propane.This boiler gets used about 25% of the time-when its too warm to fire up the wood boiler or when the wood fire go's out at 4 am in the morning.
    I am having great doubts about using these on other jobs because I hate CALLBACKS and POOR DESIGN.
    AS with anything high efficiency their expensive upfront cost make them a hard sell when compared to a cast iron boiler,but when coupled with a faliure rate this high-I am having a hard time recommending these products.I am not here to bash this stuff,I was a real "cheerleader" for these products but this is annoying and rediculous.

    4/07
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