Click here to Find a Contractor in your area.
Welcome! Here are the website rules, as well as some tips for using this forum.
Need to contact us? Visit https://heatinghelp.com/contact-us/.

Weil-McLain Boiler Issue

Hi,

I have a Weil-Mclain Ultra series 2 boiler. I noticed this afternoon a heavy gurgling sound coming from the exhaust outside my house. I went down to the boiler and I could hear the same noise but not nearly as loud. Sounds like the exhaust is running through water. Pipes & house are still warm, I bled the radiators and no unusual amount of air bled out, no water on the floor, etc. Called the installer and was told there's probably air in the line, that it's probably not critical and could wait until normal business hours.

Does this sound like a big deal or do you think it can wait until Monday? I would rather pay for afterhours help then replace the system if something is going to fall apart by then.
Thanks

Comments

  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,167
    how old is the boiler installation and can you post pictures of the installation?
  • scooterinspo
    scooterinspo Member Posts: 5
    Hi, thanks for replying....we had it installed in 2008.
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,167
    Wow that is some of the worst piping job I've seen. Boiler is piped incorrectly that's where you need to start.
    Where are you located?
  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,167
    I wouldn't have that installer back in your house doing any more work on your heating system. He clearly doesn't know what he's doing
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited December 2015
    While not the best piping, it has presumebly worked since 08. Converted gravity piped direct?
  • scooterinspo
    scooterinspo Member Posts: 5
    hmmm...well it's a retrofit...used to be a 70's oil system and I had it converted to natural gas back in 2008. It may be ugly but pretty much all the cast iron is original and they had to work around it. Every room heats great so it's obviously working correctly. The company (Banner Heating) is a pretty respectable firm and it was inspected by the city before put into use so I feel pretty good about the whole deal.....plus I've saved huge $ (98% efficient + natural gas). I've never had a problem with it until now and if the after hours guy is correct and it's just air in the line I guess it's not a big deal.

    See any specific areas of concern? I'll ask the question when they come out. Thanks
  • scooterinspo
    scooterinspo Member Posts: 5
    Gordy said:

    While not the best piping, it has presumebly worked since 08. Converted gravity piped direct?

    Not an HVAC guy...just the homeowner with a new problem that I have concerns about...so converted gravity piped direct? Your guess is as good as mine.
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 773
    I would think that gurgling may be coming from the condensate. You can check on that by removing the front case, looking down at the bottom of the unit, locating the clear rubber hose. That hose has to hose clamps and if you unscrew them you can remove hose clean it, refill it with water and hook it back up. While it's off examine the bottom of the aluminum heat exchanger thoroughly for corrosion holes. also make sure the tube the rubber mounts to is clear.
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
    Zman
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,762
    edited December 2015

    Every room heats great so it's obviously working correctly.

    The only thing "obvious" about what you've got there is that it could work a whole lot better.
    Your circulating pump is mounted in the wrong position, the piping is too small and ill-configured to deliver BTUs effectively to the large-diameter system piping, the PVC flue is changing colors because the boiler is running too hot, your make-up water supply is piped in the wrong place, there's a leak on the return to the boiler...
    Listen to @EzzyT
    That system needs help and it's telling you so by collecting condensate in the flue, which should be draining.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
    Zman
  • Zman
    Zman Member Posts: 7,013
    Tom said:

    I would think that gurgling may be coming from the condensate. You can check on that by removing the front case, looking down at the bottom of the unit, locating the clear rubber hose. That hose has to hose clamps and if you unscrew them you can remove hose clean it, refill it with water and hook it back up. While it's off examine the bottom of the aluminum heat exchanger thoroughly for corrosion holes. also make sure the tube the rubber mounts to is clear.

    This is most likely the cause of the noise.

    There are additional red flags on this install.
    The color of the PVC is a big one (dangerous too).
    The green circulator is mounted upside down.
    Take a look at the installation manual and compare it to what you have.
    Then google "3 stooges, A plumbing we will go" Which one looks closer?
    At the very least your system needs to be serviced. Not just a "rag and tag" but a complete service including opening and cleaning the the heat exchanger and a combustion analysis. What you have is a serious safety issue.
    Be sure you have current CO detectors in the house.
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
    jonny88
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 9,007
    Condensate water collecting in a horizontal exhaust pipe that is not pitched back to the boiler to drain or has sags creating pockets of water will also do this. If your exhaust has been overheating it may soften and sag on the horizontal runs without enough supports.

    The air inlet pipe is "Cellular Core", is the exhaust the same material?

    I have seen this where outside you hear the water gurgling and then suddenly the pipes pukes out a large amount of water. Pretty obvious ice deposits when the temps are well below freezing.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited December 2015
    All though some of the above issues seem course since your heating system has heated fine. The fact that the installer was/is reputable, and it passed inspection at the time. Does not mean things were done correctly.

    As far as the green taco circulator. It can be mounted in that orientation only IF the system pressure is 20 psi or more. The issue with that orientation is trapping air in the pump.

    The yellowing of the venting material PVC possibly foam core big no no is a sign of over heating. This can cause leaching chlorides to eat away at the aluminum Heat exchanger, and vent failure. There are better options for venting material.

    While you believe your boiler is high 90's efficient it is not. UNLESS the return water temperature is lower than 130* just so you understand. Even when condensing sub 130 you don't reach mid 90's efficiency until return temps get in the 90's.

    I'm sure you had huge savings converting from oil to ng, but it was not do entirely to the efficiency of the new boiler, but more a mix of cheaper fuel, and a boiler that MAY be closer matched to your heat loss, and better efficiency than the old boiler.

    Is the boiler using ODR (outdoor reset)? If not it should be to get the most efficiency out of that boiler. This insures the water temperatures going to the rads are matched to the outdoor temperature. Also insuring the return temps can get down to the 130 and below mark when milder than design outdoor temperatures are prevelant.

    Do you remember if the original installer did a heat loss for the home? Did he do a radiation survey on your cast iron rads to,see if over radiation allows lower supply water temps? Is the present boiler sized to the old one which would be wrong.

    System water PH should be checked seasonally to keep that aluminum heat exchanger happy. Aggressive system water will eat the aluminum.

    The Heat Exchanger is a giannoni design with high head loss because of small passage ways. The correct piping method for that would be primary secondary. It's hard for me to decipher If an attempt was made to do that. I see two pumps are you heating domestic hot water with an indirect also?






  • scooterinspo
    scooterinspo Member Posts: 5
    Thanks much....I'll print this out and talk to the company when they come out.
  • Paul48
    Paul48 Member Posts: 4,470
    The discolored pipe appears as though it may have been left in the sun. Notice, they cut the exhaust and intake out of the same length. They both appear to be yellowed.
  • jonny88
    jonny88 Member Posts: 1,139
    I spoke with Weil mc Lein last week regarding a Ultra Series 2.Boiler was not piped as to specs and no ODR.Was still working though 5yrs later.Exhaust was yellow(pvc).I questioned the tech on the phone and he said there is absolutley no problem with pvc.Not to open another can of worms with the venting issues.