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Vertical venting thru walls & floors

vivi
vivi Member Posts: 13
 We have a Viessmann Vitodens gas Boiler installed in our garage that is vented vertically through each floor, up to the attic, and through the roof , with the help of some elbows. The pipe is stainless steel from ZFlex.



The contractor had to make a number of holes through our walls, floors and ceilings. He did not use thimbles or repair the drywall, hence there are large gaps around the pipe as they go through the wallboard / floor/ ceiling.



What can we use to cover these gaps? Are thimbles required?



Here are some photos



Thanks

Comments

  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Through the walls and roof:

    The lack of response to your posting may be because some of us are so appalled at the installation that we have been rendered speechless.

    When they are done with their current career, there's a job waiting for them at the local supermarket in the meat department. There's always a demand for butchers.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    As a homeowner, not a contractor, ...

    I have employed contractors for various jobs that are beyond my skills, or that required licensed professionals, to do the work. For this work, I always have to sign a contract. These contracts always say that I must pay about 1/3 at the start of the work, 1/3 when the work is 1/2 done, and 1/3 at the end. Sometimes there is a separate payment for the permits and inspections. The law around here says I am not allowed to make the final payment until all inspections are passed. There is almost always a clause in there that says that they will clean up after themselves, and that everything shal be done in a workmanlike manner. Once in a while the contractor will forget to include that clause, and I ask them to write it in. They will always do that at no extra charge.



    This contractor clearly did not do that job in a workmanlike manner. If your  contract has such a clause in it, you might get your attorney to write the contractor a letter reminding him to complete the job. If not, you might still be able to get him for a code violation. This guy should be ashamed of himself, but he may have no shame. Is there something like a better business bureau in your area?
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    I would not want those guys working at my meat market.

    Maybe they could help Ed Norton at the sewer department, if they are able to get into the union.
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    Inappropriate material.

    I am not 100% positive and maybe Chris (HVCCA) would know for sure, but I don't think that the Vitodens is approved for venting with ZFlex.  I could be wrong.  But I don't think so.



    Horrible installation.  You got hosed.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    edited August 2011
    Z-Flex

    Z-Flex is an approved vent material if done correctly. All I can say about the vent system on this boiler is..Rip it out and try again. What model Vitodens is this? Can you take pictures so I can see this from the front of the boiler so I can see the entire picture. I don't see the proper transition adaptor.  Also would love to see the boiler piping.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • vivi
    vivi Member Posts: 13
    Ouch!

     

    Please tell me what exactly is wrong with this vent system. I know that Viessmann can be vented vertically because I read the installation manual before buying it. The model is Vitodens 100-W WB1A series. The system seems to work fine, the only problem I could see was the holes in the walls and I was wondering what I could get to cover them up.



    Chris, I'll take photos of the boiler and piping tomorrow and post them.



    I really appreciate all the help you guys can give me - I'll need it.



    Thanks,

    Vivi
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Old Version

    That boiler was replaced with the WB1B three years ago. No outdoor reset.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • vivi
    vivi Member Posts: 13
    Here are the photos!

     

    Yes, we bought that boiler about 3 years ago. But we've had the contractor here quite a few times since then. Several of the ZFlex elbows leaked. I called ZFlex and they immediately sent me replacement elbows. The ones that leaked were crimped and the new ones are welded. But they didn't leak all at the same time and there were a few other related issues too, so we see our contractor's guys quite a bit.





    Here are some pics:





    The first is the top of the boiler with the air intake coming from outside and the flue vent going through the wall.

    The next one shows the piping in the crawl space just behind the boiler.





    The 3rd one shows the piping and a Vitocell 100 hot water storage tank.





    The last photo shows the vent pipes across the attic and through the roof at the back of the house.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    edited August 2011
    My Concern

    Is that you wake up each morning and enjoy your day. Transition from the boiler vent adapter to Z-Vent is not correct. Please see page 46 of the attached for the proper transition adaptor. From the original pics you need to use fire stop or better yet a thimble as you leave the sheet rock wall and fire stops between each floor. Like I said in my original post try again on the venting..Can you take a wide pic. Want to see the boiler and piping together.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • vivi
    vivi Member Posts: 13
    Viessmann piping photos

     

    Chris

    You're right, there is no slip joint vent starter adapter. You can see from my first photo on my last post that there is very little space between the boiler and the ceiling. And it couldn't be installed any lower, I gather, because the air intake would have hung too low in the garage and it would have required going through a thick stone wall.



    So, is it really verboten to connect the Viessmann parallel adapter directly to a ZFlex elbow? It looks like the starter adapter fits over the parallel adapter whereas the elbow fits inside it. How serious an issue is this? And what can be done when there is not enough room? There was really no other place to install the boiler.



    Here are two photos of the piping in and out of the boiler. The two pipes at the bottom of the picture on the right connect to the piping in the crawlspace on the other side of the wall.

    See previous post pictures.



    Before buying the Viessmann, I called their Tech Support to ask about venting but they were not very helpful. The message was, we don't deal with homeowners. On the other hand, when the ZFlex elbows leaked, their tech support person was eager to help and resolve the problem, shipping out the new elbows immediately. I think his name was Randy Parnell. (I hope his manager sees this).



    Vivi
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Very Important

    It's very important to follow the mfg instructions when it comes to venting. There is a reason for it. Life instead of death. They were thinking about you and your family concerning the elbow issue. Z-Vent had a issue with the joints. Do what you wish, but I strongly recommend you use the proper transition fitting as well as firestops in those floor penetrations.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • vivi
    vivi Member Posts: 13
    Thank you Chris!

     Thank you Chris! I've lived for 3 years with a dangerous situation and had no inkling that there was a problem. I'm really in a state of shock. I just don't understand how any HVAC professional could ignore the manufacturer's requirements knowing full well that to do so could endanger the lives of his customers. If nothing else, aren't they thinking of liability? Or don't they read the instructions?



    I got the name of this contractor from Viessmann or from their local distributor and I know they've installed quite a number of Viessmann boilers. I will call Viessmann first thing Monday morning and then, my contractor.



    Looking at the boiler and piping again, it seems to me that the boiler could be lowered enough to add a starter adapter. I don't think it would be a problem adding another piece of pipe to the air intake either. Of course, the supply and return pipes will have to be cut and the gas line as well. That shouldn't be a problem - as long as the contractor is willing to do it. Obviously, it has to be done, regardless.



    Thanks again

    Vivi
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Venting and piping:

    For the second time (after Heatinghelp.com crashing),

    You also need to read the installation instructions on the manufacturers recommendations on piping installation. I'm 99% sure that it is wrond. I doubt seriously that it is primary secondary in the way that Veissmann suggests.

    Its amazing how much money you can save when you do it wrong.

    Sad.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Its amazing how much money you can save when you do it wrong.

    You may save in the short run, but if you are figuring the total cost of ownership ...
  • vivi
    vivi Member Posts: 13
    A Homeowner's Lament

     Guys, Guys! Give me a break! I'm just an ordinary homeowner who has to rely on professionals in the trade whom I have to hope know what they are doing and that they are honest. I try to do my homework but there is only so much a person like me can possibly know or understand even if I read the manual. A homeowner does not have the training, knowledge, and experience you have. You think I know what you are even talking about when you mention "primary secondary piping"?



    I did know enough not to hire the contractors who recommended coaxial piping vented through the  garage wall just over a window which opens and just above my gas meter and within 3 feet of my front door

    .

    I could see from neighbors with similar boilers that the plume that is emitted can be pretty heavy and that I would not like it being blown in my face when I go through my front door - or have it blown back into my garage when the window is open. Nevertheless, there were 2 or 3 HVAC experts who thought that was the way to go.



    I wanted a Viessmann based on comments I read on this website. And I liked the fact that it had a stainless steel heat exchanger rather than aluminum (among other things), information which I also found here. And there weren't many contractors in my area who even heard of Viessmann, in spite of the fact that I live in a major metropolitan area .



    Icesailor and JBD, did I pick this contractor based on a low bid? Emphatically no! Unless you think seventeen thousand is cheap. Got name from Viessmann.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    Viessmann Partners

    I don't think Viessmann directly recommended the contractor. That generally is not how the lead referral processs works. Viessmann forwards the leads to the local mfg representative in the market who then fowards them to the local wholesaler who contacts a Viessmann Partner contractor.

    I probably handle them a little differently then most . I call the consumer direct, qualify them, see what they are looking for prior to giving the lead to the contractor. If need be I accompany the contractor on the job site visit.



    Did you ask this guy for references of Viessmann jobs he did similar to yours? If he did this venting wrong with Z-Vent, I'm sure the one before you is wrong too.





      
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Homeowner's Lament: did I pick this contractor based on a low bid?

    I did not pick my installing contractor based on the amount of the bid either. I picked maiinly based on previous favorable experience with that contractor. Trouble is that the contractor has greatly expanded in size, so there is great variety in the skills of the technicians you get. Mind used CSST gas pipe where straight black pipe would have been no more difficult to install. They did not bond it and it was not grounded in any way. They neglected to glue many of the pieces of the PVC air supply and exhaust pipe, causing loss of control board a year later. They would not do a combustion test after installation, or at the first annual service. THey would no longer answer the telephone, would not answer e-mails, or paper mail. They were not as bad as yours, however. Most of what they did is right. They are now my former contractor, though.



    My new contractor is much better, though not perfect. I share your frustration at finding a good contractor.
  • vivi
    vivi Member Posts: 13
    Homeowner's Lament Part II

     In response to Chris, first, did I get references? It has been my experience that a great majority of homeowners do not know whether the work that was done in their homes was done properly or not. And many times, sloppy or slipshod work can be hidden and not manifest itself for some time afterward. I'm exhibit #1, and even though I did more homework beforehand than most homeowners I know would do, I didn't realize that the contractor I hired did such a poor job. Blissfully ignorant for 3 years until the day I decided I had enough of the insects and dust that was coming into the house through the holes cut for the vent pipes, resulting in my post on HeatingHelp.com, which, in turn, led to this very unhappy revelation.



    I do know that this contractor has installed quite a number of Viessmann boilers - in one case 4, (yes, you read that right - FOUR!)  installed in one home (one for the swimming pool). I must emphasize that this was not in my neighborhood. Wonder how many improper installations there are out there? Could be a lot.



    I did mention that I got the name of the contractor from Viessmann and in another post I said that either Viessmann or the local distributor. This was 3 years ago. The Viessmann office in NH gave me the name of the local Viessmann sales rep. I thought it was from them that I got the name of this contractor but it could have been from the local distributor whose name I got from the sales rep. As I mentioned before, there were not many Viessmann installers in my immediate area; and a couple that were recommended by the local distributor were about 20 miles away from me and did not want to travel that distance. A couple of others I recognized that how they proposed to vent the boiler would not have been correct. But I did not know anything about a starter adapter.



    When Chris says he calls the consumer direct and sometimes goes out to the job site himself, to say that he "handles things a little differently than most", is quite an understatement. I'd say that's truly and exceptionally unique. Oh fortunate consumer!



    I've just talked to a tech person at Viessmann and one at ZFlex. And I got an email from a Viessmann senior technical service rep. Very responsive.
  • CMadatMe
    CMadatMe Member Posts: 3,085
    edited August 2011
    Next Step

    Nice to hear both manufacturers have responded to you. What was their take on not having the proper transition starters and the missing fire stops? I know the Mass rep that handles Western NH and if your in his territory, your in good hands . Actually will be with

    them in the am.



    Once you get that venting issue under control, that piping job could use some TLC. Hard to tell from the pictures if it is piped correctly. I do see a couple of things that have me scratching my head.
    "The bitter taste of a poor installation remains much longer than the sweet taste of the lowest price."
  • vivi
    vivi Member Posts: 13
    edited August 2011
    Viessmann and ZFlex Respond

      

    The only question I put to all these guys was the requirement for the starter adapter. Here is what they said:



    First, I sent an email to Viessmann, never expecting a reply. Then I called Viessmann Technical Support, and lastly, I called Z-Flex.



    My email to Viessmann:

    I had a Viessamnn Vitodens 100 WB1A 8-30 boiler installed in November of 2008. I have recently been told that the contractor did not use a transition starter adapter and that this is a potentially dangerous situation. The contractor used an ordinary ZFlex elbow which he fit directly into the Viessmann parallel adapter and caulked it. Please tell me if a starter adapter is required?



    A Senior Technical Service Representative responded that caulking the venting system to the boiler is not approved and that the boiler must be installed according to the manuals provided with the unit. As for the starter adapter, he could not comment since he did not have enough information about the Z-Flex venting that was used. (He did not see any photos).



    Next: a Viessmann tech support person - I'm thinking he's a summer intern because, quite honestly, he really didn't seem to be very familiar with the boiler requirements.



    I explained that our installer did not use a starter adapter and asked whether it is absolutely required. He told me that I needed to contact ZFlex.



    Me: Is it wrong to just use a ZFlex elbow rather than a starter adapter?

    Tech Guy: ZFlex might have that in an elbow form.

    Me: This is just a plain elbow.

    Tech Guy: You need to confirm with Zflex if you can use that.

    Me (getting frustrated): No, that's the question for Viessmann; ZFlex doesn't promulgate the venting requirements for each specific boiler ; it's the boiler manufacturer who sets out all the requirements for its boilers. So my question is, can a ZFlex elbow be used instead of a starter adapter?





    At this point, I direct Tech Guy to pages 44, 45, and 46, of the Viessmann Venting System Instructions, kindly made available by Chris, and I read it to him.



    Tech Guy: He should have used a starter adapter, yes.





    The Z-Flex Tech Guy was quite knowledgeable, explaining that the starter adapter has 2 female ends whereas an ordinary length of venting pipe has a male and a female end. The upshot: using an ordinary elbow may not provide a good seal and could result in a carbon monoxide leak. He was the only one who saw my photos and he did say the contractor should have installed fire stops. He thought the installation was pretty poor.
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