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New HTP install

Henry Member Posts: 996
This is our first HTP Elite 399 install that we did as an emergency in January. It was the easiest mod/con to program. Our installers prefer the construction of it and the ease to move it around. The customer yesterday, claimed 30% savings so far. He also said that no one in the small mall complained of too cold or too hot even with the past month's crazy up and down temperatures. So, I got the go ahead for a second install in another mall that we are doing today and a two boiler install at yet another larger mall.

The water in the background is coming through the foundation. Notice OUR neutraliser , it will not block and cause a late Saturday night failure!


  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669
    edited March 2012

    I would suggest putting a piece of plastic ( like a baggie) wraped around the RH side of the connection board under the top cover of the boiler. What I did was remove the 6 screws that hold the board to the boiler and put the heavy guage plastic film under the RH side of the board and then screw the board down - then cover the board with the plastic film. This is real important. If ANY water gets on the top of the boiler it can and will run down onto the connection board - even a few drips onto the board can short it out.

    It is real important to wrap the plastic under the RH side of the board because if water gets onto the metal plate to the right of the board it will run onto the board because they mounted the board TIGHT to the metal.

    The gray pipe was sapposed to be used on the exhaust not the intake.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Water on control board.

    With my W-M Ultra 3, there is "no way" that water should get into the top of that boiler to wet the control board, since no water goes through the compartment it is in. Furthermore, all the water is in the lower compartment that is pretty well separated from the electronics compartment, and leaks, if any, should flow out the bottom of the boiler, not go uphill into the electronics.

    But the installing contractor managed to find a way, and when the boiler stopped one day, it was determined that there was over an inch of water in the top compartment, and the control board was completely under water. No plastic bag or film would have been enough to protect the control board. A small pump (one quart per day) would have been needed. When we found the problem, it was fixed without the pump. The leak was not from a water pipe, but condensate in the vent pipe that leaked out of one of the joints, ran down the pipe on the outside, and into the top of the boiler. The installing contractor had forgotten to glue most of the joints in the air supply and vent pipes. They were all purple, and that fooled the inspector.

    The interesting thing was that the technician did not have a spare control board with him, and since we could not find the source of the leak, he dried off the board and on a whim, we tried it and it worked. He left the top open and said I should watch it (no point paying him his hourly rate to sit there for a couple of days watching it looking for the leak). I thought I found where the leak was coming from (I was wrong). But he was not convinced and one day he came out with the W-M factory rep and they both examined the thing. It seemed possible that I had found the source of the leak. But I did not. We did find it. The rep gave me a new control board for free because he did not want me to run with the old one.  I was impressed by that rep because he did not have to give me one for free; this was not a warranty job. Perhaps my former contractor should have paid for it, but although one of those boards is expensive, there was no way that its cost would be enough to pay a lawyer.
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 996
    Vent connection

    The exhaust on a HTP is on top where we have the white S636 vent connection. The grey pipe is combustion air. Thgere is no water falling on the boiler?????
  • meplumber
    meplumber Member Posts: 678
    Good Job Henry

    Just a bit of advice.

    If this is a high temp application, (160 - 180 deg F) then pay special attention to maintenance of the heat exchanger.  We are seeing some issues in the oldest versions of these that were run in that temp band for the bulk of their life.

    I agree, easy to program and install.  I have become nervous in the last 6 months after seeing some of the previously mentioned issues.

    Good Job.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Grey pipe:

    Perhaps the grey pipe is for the fresh air intake and it is grey PVC electrical conduit. Its cheaper.

    Is there yet a PVC pipe and fittings that has approval or approves of their PVC being used to vent heating appliances?

    Wnodering and waiting:
  • RobG
    RobG Member Posts: 1,850
    exhaust vent

    Henry, I have never installed one of these boilers. But it does appear from the I&O manual that you have the intake and exhaust pipes reversed. Once again, I am only going from the pictures in the I&O manual and have no hands on experience with these boilers. Good luck.

  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    I think it should be noted that Henry is in Canada...

    And as he noted, the exhaust is a code approved venting material (the white one). I've seen enough of his work and read enough of his posts to know that he knows what he is doing. He sits on committees that make these kinds of decisions.

    Nice job Hank. Good luck on getting the others.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Canada Code Approval:

    I have misunderstood. I thought that the CSA was the first to not allow PVC pipe and fittings that were not listed by the PVC manufacturers for gas or high temperature venting. That that's where the PE like Inno-Flue came from.  Everything I see "down here" is done with PVC which it is my understanding, isn't approved for such by the manufacturers like Charlotte Pipe And Foundry.

    The install is excellent.
  • Mark Eatherton
    Mark Eatherton Member Posts: 5,853
    Maybe this picture will clear it up...

    Obviously, there are numerous colors (and types) of approved plastic venting under the S636 venting rule in Canada.

    Google S636 and see what pops up.

    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    PE pipe venting:

    I wish they would mandate that stuff where I am. I'm tired of looking at tan to brown PVC coming out of the sides of houses.
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 996

    S636 is an ULC standard for venting that was mandated by our CSA B149 committee of which I am a voting member, even when no manufacturer in Canada made any, but ONE had met the standard. S636 PVC or CPVC is made according to ASME sch 40 standards but has a new colour to differentiate it from standard sch 40 PVC and CPVC pipe. Notice that the S636 PVC venting pipe is rated at 140F which is the same as sch 40 PVC pipe at 75 PSI!

    The brown one sees in PVC vents is actually leeching of the chlorides in the pipe. It is very common in pure water applications that were wrongly spec with PVC. I built an aquatic lab for an university that had an electrical Ing design the all the piping. After killing several hundred trout and salmon, and installing a 6 foot tall 24 inch dia carbon filter, they finally got rid of the Ing and listened to me. They then added baking soda to rid the water of chlorides

    Thanks Mark for the good words. BTW, I am the only voting member on all B149.1 to .6 committees and sub-committees  to pay his own way and not paid to be there! I try to maintain a balance between the AHJ, the manufacturers and the lobby groups with actual field experience. 90% if not more of the problems and accidents are due to the installer and not the equipment! There is no reason to modify a code if it is not enforced properly!
  • Steve Whitbeck
    Steve Whitbeck Member Posts: 669

    I was assuming that the gray intake pipe was high temperature pipe that belongs on the exhaust not the intake.  I don't care how good of an installer YOU are - You or someone Will spill water onto the top of the boiler and then the connection board WILL be toast. You can't dry it out and get it to work - it won't. I have tried. Wrap the board in plastic sheating or carry a spare board on your van. I am the local guy that HTP tells people to call when their installer can't fix the problem.

  • Gerry Alder
    Gerry Alder Member Posts: 25
    water damaged connection boards

    Yup . I seen it too. A pump seal blew sprayed down most the room and of course damaged the connection board and the display board on a EL-399 . Sometimes bad things happen and leaks of one kind or another often occur in a mech. room . I guess if you expect leaks to happen some one may go the extra mile and protect vital sensitive components from water damage

    How about a water proof boiler that may be a good selling point , who has one of those?

    I seen a lot of tankless w.h.'s with dipped control boards and it seems to work cause every now and then I manage to get those wet (power off) and dry it off -no damage.

    As for maint. I noticed more of the high temp giononni hx's lookin better (less coffee grounds) than the low temp condensing units. Not all follow that trend.

    I am jealous, looks like a fun upgrade with more to come . good job.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    Dipped control board?

    Mine is not dipped. (W-M Ultra 3) Even if it were dipped in epoxy or something, it would not have been enough, probably, from submerging the board in an inch of water. Because all connections to the board are made with plastic connectors, which makes changing the control board a 10 minute job even though there must be 50 wires or so. And those connectors are not waterproof. So the outside of the box would just have to be made waterproof instead.

    Even if the connectors were waterproof, the wires going into them are fastened by tightening them with screws, so the whole assembly would have to be waterproof somehow. I think as an expensive practical alternative, the entire electronics area would have to be made waterproof. Now most of the wires, including the ignition wire, go from the control board to the bottom compartment where the igniter is, so this would not be a trivial job.

    In my case, the problem could have been avoided if the installing contractor used glue in addition to the purple primer when fastening the vent pipe together.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Venting HTP

    I don't quite understand how you got all this water into your boiler from the exhaust. Usually, if you have cross contamination, and getting exhaust into the intake, the boiler quits because the air/fuel ratio goes to hell.

    Some Mod/Con boilers I have seen state to not use outside air if the appliance is located in a damp location. In the case of where I work, chlorides are the problem. Salt in the air, being close to the ocean makes a mess of boilers and electronics.

    Again, where did all this water come from?
  • BobC
    BobC Member Posts: 5,473
    edited March 2012
    They saved a nickel

    A long time ago the company i worked for got a contract to build power supplies for a west coast CTV company. They were VERY sensitive to price and even told us not to conformal coat the printed circuit boards to save a nickle.

    About 10 months later we started to get the boards back and found the small signal transistors rattling around the bottom of the enclosure. It turns out a not of these were mounted on poles around San Fransisco bay and the salt air was attacking the transistor leads.

    We replaced the parts and checked everything else to make sure it wasn't about to rot through and humisealed the boards. We never got a humisealed board back but we did get non-humisealed boards back that were not close to the bay.

    i really don't know why the boiler control manufacturer didn't just conformal coat these boards before they put them in, it would save a lot of needless expense. All you have to do is clean the board after soldering it and then dip it into some polyurethane (not the water based kind).

    Another product ruined by accountants,

    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    conformal coating

    Does seem like a reasonable requirement for a board that lives in such close proximity to water -- and especially condensate.
  • bill_105
    bill_105 Member Posts: 429
    I remember that

    A guy was replacing a box at my folks house across from the SF airport. He explained that the damp and salty air was ruining the boxes. This was like in the early 80's. He also said it was horrible in Half Moon Bay.
  • icesailor
    icesailor Member Posts: 7,265
    Polluted Air:

    Back where I used to live, and still work, you can get periods in the Winter and Spring when you get ocean storms with high winds, and no rain. It covers everything with salt. At night, you can see the primary wires on the poles arcing across the tops of transformers and insulators. Occasionally, transformers blow up with a big bang and a flash in the night.

    Only a good soaking rain will wash the salt off the wires and the cars. That same salt gets sucked into direct vent appliances causing havoc. It also raises heck with electrical services. The old time linemen used to cut a slit into an electric service drop that was connected to a weather head on the roof or side of a building. The rain droop could allow water to enter the inside of the insulation and travel through the wire through capillary action and then drip on the neutral bar in the panel. Causing a loss of neutral.

    Never a good thing.
  • Jean-David Beyer
    Jean-David Beyer Member Posts: 2,666
    how you got all this water into your boiler from the exhaust.

    There are two three-inch PVC pipes coming out the top rear of my boiler. They go up near to the ceiling of the garage where my boiler is located. One is the air intake pipe, and the other is the exhaust vent pipe.

    They go up to the ceiling, take a 90 degree turn and go across the width of the garage, and then outside the garage through a double metal mounting plate. These pipes had been covered with about 1/4 inch of black foam insulation. It turns out this was a stupid idea, but that is what the installing contractor did.

    Now the exhaust vent is supposed to be sloped down toward the boiler so that any condensation would drop into the bottom of the heat exchanger and get removed by the condensate pump. Trouble is, the contractor did put purple primer on all the joints of that PVC pipe, but forgot the glue for most of the joints. So some of the returning condensate in the vent pipe leaked out of two of the joints and ran down the outside of the pipe. You cold not see this because of the black foam insulation: the water was between the inside of the insulation and the outside of the pipe. But this vent pipe goes through the box where the control board is, and that is where that water ended up, covering the control board and confusing it. It made several complaints. It said communication was lost between it and the display. It complained about some sensor output being inconsistent. I forget what all. Some of those complaints were impossible, which made the situation incomprehensible until we opened the top and found all that water.

    The fix involved removing all the insulation, repairing the joints, and drying the control board. I am not sure if that would have been legal, but they replaced the control board even though the old one was still working. Here is how it looks after the fix.
  • zacmobile
    zacmobile Member Posts: 211
    boiler venting in Canada

    Got an email from our gas inspector a few months ago clarifying proper application of S636 PVC & CPVC. The white PVC S636 shall only be installed on high eff furnaces & high eff tank style water heaters. For boilers you can only use the Grey CPVC because of the potential to reach higher temperatures than either furnaces or water heaters. I argued up and down with him about it that our boilers have temperature limits that would never allow that to happen but he just pointed at the clauses & said the code was the code. The grey S636 is extremely expensive so I don't use it anymore, I've switched to the gasketed PP stuff like Centro Therm or ECO King.
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 996
    CSA B149.1

    As a voting member of the Canadian gas code, your inspector is wrong. You can use whatever the boilers  or hot water tank certified I&O manual specifies! There is a slight difference between the boiler certification standards and vent standards. The vent standards measure combustion gas temperatures in the middle of the vent while the boiler standards measure on the surface of the vent. The S636 PVC pipe is rated according to SCH 40 PVC pipe which  is 140F at 75 PSI. There is no pressure in a vent. The actual melting point of PVC is much higher. AL29-4C is cheaper that the S 636 CPVC. There are also now alternatives S/S to Al29-4C that are less expensive. The use of PP venting must be approved by the appliance manufacturer. Not all manufacturers have approvals for it!

    Also, one has to respect the building code. Therefore, you cannot use plastic venting when passing through say a garage or emergency stairwell! This includes combustion air piping!
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