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Boiler Budarus GB142 Manifold Pipe Corrosion

JWest
JWest Member Posts: 15
Let me start by saying that I am not a plumber so I thank you in advance for any experienced help you can give me.

My Budarus GB142 boiler was installed approximately 7 years ago. My plumber at that time gave me no maintenance suggestions and I never saw him again. He just said that gas runs clean so I should be happy. Anyway when my hot water tank died this year I found a new plumber who suggested he schedule a cleaning of the boiler. He said it was definitely dirty. During the cleaning he said he would like to schedule a change of the manifold pipes because they are all rusted. There was originally a thick styrofoam cover over the pipes that came from Budarus but we have since taken it off. When I looked at them I had to agree. If you tried to take the bolts off they would probably just crumple and snap. But then he told me how much it would cost to order the kit plus labor and I am in shock. So I started doing some research on this system and learned that a lot of people had complaints about the reliability of it as well as the cost of replacement parts. Someone else told me that it's a cast aluminum high-efficiency boiler and the competition has since come out with cast iron models that are far superior. So here are my questions if you could please respond:
1) Did someone do something wrong that made the manifold corrode prematurely?
2) Should I just leave it alone because it's working and it should run for years like this?
3) Should I not put another dime into this system and get rid of it before it bleeds me dry?
4) Should I definitely do the repair because I should get another 15+ years out of this thing easy and it’s actually a very nice system?
Please see the attached two photos.

Comments

  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    Looks like you have some leaking issues. Are those dielectric unions next to the boiler?
  • JWest
    JWest Member Posts: 15
    I'm sorry I wouldn't know the answer to that.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    The mineral build-up and rust on those pipes and around the right-hand circulator point to a need for piping repairs. Did the plumber mention this? Did they check the expansion tank?
  • JWest
    JWest Member Posts: 15
    He mentioned he wants to change the pipes but it won't be cheap, even just to buy the kit. He also said he can no longer buy the same kit because Budarus just uses one common one now for all the GB142 models. That will increase labor costs. If he looked at the expansion tank he did not mention it to me.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    A Webstone Hydro-Core kit would work and should cost less than the Buderus version.

    Can't tell for certain looking the photo, but it looks like the supply and return to the boiler are 1" and the main could be either 1" or 1-1/4"?
    JWest
  • JWest
    JWest Member Posts: 15
    That's definitely a cool site. I do not see that they have a ready-made conversion kit for Budarus though. They have the option to custom make one but I'm not sure if that would work ok or not.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    You can buy the compression fittings from Buderus (p/n 75977) which have 1" NPT male outlets. Turns out there are in fact dielectric unions (made by Watts) below those. I'd lose the dielectrics, but do make certain the water pH is OK -- that aluminum HX requires some attention to water chemistry. Rhomar and Fernox both have approved treatments.

    I've worked exactly one GB142, so perhaps someone with more field experience can comment on the specifics of the pipes exiting the boiler. It may be possible to use press or some other connection method there instead.
    JWest
  • JWest
    JWest Member Posts: 15
    Thanks for everything. Big help. Ok I'll see if anyone else chimes in.
  • tjorn
    tjorn Member Posts: 6
    This is a good example of things not being done correctly from the beginning. There is nothing wrong with the materials most boilers/heat exchangers are made of. The problem lies in the installation. Systems need to be cleaned when new or replacing a boiler that has failed. As mentioned earlier PH is a huge issue.

    If you pre-clean, check PH and water quality (less than 6 grains hardness) and run a good glycol (my preference) or water treatment and then test it once a year to make sure it is stable you can eliminate these kind of issues.
    JWest
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 15,029
    Is the system filled with water or a glycol antifreeze? Was the boiler disassembled and the condition of the HX checked? fluid quality tested?

    Those questions would help decide if it is worth repairing or replacing.

    Once a year maintenance and fluid check is a good idea for any boiler system.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    JWest
  • JWest
    JWest Member Posts: 15
    I would say NO, these things were not done. That means these things have not been done in 7 years. It looks like in my experience that you would be surprised how many plumbers do not know enough about high-efficiency systems and it's shortening the life cycle the consumer can get out of them.
  • SWEI
    SWEI Member Posts: 7,356
    I would have someone test the pH, check the HX for leaks and other issues and at least begin the standard service routine before I spent money on other parts. There is at least a possibility the boiler may need replacing.
    JWest
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,303
    Is this boiler natural or lp? I would think the hx needs a good cleaning. I'd be shocked if the flame sensor and ignitor are not needing to be replaced. Also the condensate trap may be crudded up.

    Your system isnt good but I've seen worse for sure. When these leaks aren't addressed the calcium makes a mess, corrosion sets in. It's not a Buderus problem, it's a leak problem

    If the pH has gone bad you may wish to let it live out its useful life and save your money now.

    It's a shame your original installer gave you lame advice.

    G
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    SWEIJWest
  • JWest
    JWest Member Posts: 15
    Say Gary, I notice you live in Mass too. Is there any chance I could get you to come down to Blackstone MA and service the unit? I'm on the RI line.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,303
    I'm sorry J we don't travel that far, I think Joel at Boucher Energy Systems might be closer, he knows his stuff.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,997
    Have them redo the condensate collector also...not supposed to be piped directly. They like it to drop into a collector. The boiler is excellent if taken care of.