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Uft boilers with dirty fire sides in 10 months

nathanfuge
nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
edited July 2017 in Gas Heating

Hey there folks. I've installed several uft boiler and I'm getting error 41 due to a plugged fire sides. The intake air is coming from inside the house. The inducer fan and intake pipe has some "dust" init that I believe is causing the problem. I've replaced everything the book said to and turned down the fan speed. So it's not that. The fire sides is about half plugged. I've opened up a few of the other ones I have installed all with the same dusty condition aucuring. All with different intake air supply's. none of this is construction dust. Anyone else having this problem or know of a cleaning soulution? Thanks Nate




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Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,002
    Are you checking combustion with an analyzer??
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    Yes every time I install one. All of them are Running on LP too.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,307
    Is that filter box for the combustion air being pulled from inside the home? Seems like a lot of dust on the fan from filtered inside air?

    Did you check combustion with the analyzer before you pulled it down?

    Has your analyzer been calibrated recently?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,990
    Why are you not pulling air in from outside?
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    do you have the required amount of open air space for that to run in inside air?
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Is DIP Switch #5 set for LP? It should be set to "OFF" position.
    Factory default is set to "ON" for Nat. gas.
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Do all the failing setups draw indoor air through a similar filter box?

    Error 41: Fan Speed too High with Flame On
    Possible Remedies:
    1. Check the vent connections for blockages.
    2. Check the burner assembly.
    3. Check fan operation. If fan appears to be operating normally but RPMs are too low or too high, replace the fan.
    4. If the problem persists, replace the main control.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    My question is if filter box was installed after dust issues?

    Is there a clothes dryer in close proximity to the appliance?



  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    Yes I added the filter after the fact. No dryer near by
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    NY_Rob said:

    Do all the failing setups draw indoor air through a similar filter box?

    Error 41: Fan Speed too High with Flame On
    Possible Remedies:
    1. Check the vent connections for blockages.
    2. Check the burner assembly.
    3. Check fan operation. If fan appears to be operating normally but RPMs are too low or too high, replace the fan.
    4. If the problem persists, replace the main control.

    No I added the filter on this one after the fact. I did one through four. The fire sides were so plugged I had to replace the heat exchanger. They come factory set for LP now.
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370

    NY_Rob said:

    Do all the failing setups draw indoor air through a similar filter box?

    No I added the filter on this one after the fact.
    Maybe you've fixed the condition that caused the problem then....

    Only time will tell then.

  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    Yeah I hope so on that one but I'm seeing it start to happen on several others. I just can't believe it isn't happening else where. Its a fine dust/pollen/I don't know what it is but it sure plugs up the fire side tubes quickly. I'm still waiting for a answer from tech support. Thanks everyone for the help/support. Lmk if any of u guys start to have this problem
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    If they are all in basements, dust seeks to settle in the lowest elevation of the dwelling.

    Seems odd this is a multiple event with your installs, and all have inside combustion intakes. I'm assuming you did this because drawing exterior air is not feasible. Most use the outside combustion air option. Winter air is much cleaner outside than inside.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    One other thing is what is going on with the exhaust pipe once it enters the vertical vent? Does your vent go all the way up to the exit point of the b vent? Or is it just stuffed in side a couple of feet?

    They taped connection point looks like it's not 100% sealed. Pulling inside air for combustion will create negative pressure which could be pulling exhaust back down the vent if it's not terminated high enough.

    Just a thought.
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    This on isn't isn't in a basement. Just a single level house. I'm pulling indoors air because the house is 20ft from the ocean and I've had problems with other boiler from the salty air. The room has combustion air grills. This one got plugged up in 10 months. The exhaust pvc pipe is running all the way to the roof. I have two other boilers up in the mountains that both intake and exhaust are roof terminated that are getting this same dusty plugged up condition. Along with several more I've been back too. I would think this problem is going to start showing up everywhere. I would call it normal air dust that is taking these boiler out. Still waiting for something from tech support. Thanks for the thoughts. Lmk if u start seeing this.
  • Suzook
    Suzook Member Posts: 221
    Ugh, what did I get myself into??? This looks like a MAJOR issue! I'm thinking i need an inline intake filter on my brand new uft.
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    I would pull the rubber intake hose off the blower motor after it has ran for a few months and see if you're starting to get a layer of dust in it. I've seen it on every one I've been back too.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,548
    Hello Nate, Might be interesting to take some of this dust to a lab and see what it's made of. Is it some byproduct of burned propane, or ????

    Yours, Larry
    kcoppCanuckerRich_49
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Suzook said:

    Ugh, what did I get myself into??? This looks like a MAJOR issue! I'm thinking i need an inline intake filter on my brand new uft.

    You're pulling air from the outside right.... don't sweat it!

    From reading the HTP UFT install manual it seems like "power vent" (getting intake air from inside the building) is a last resort where "direct vent" (getting intake air from outside the building) is the 99.9% preferred method.
    The UFT's have been around for a couple of full heating seasons now... if clogging was a common issue we'd know by now.

    Henry
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    Hey Larry, how have you been? I think I'm to that lab point. Any recommendations? I don't think it is a product of propane because the "dust" has been in the intake air pipe before the gas enters. I've also seen this dust on pretty much ever other induced draft style boilers. The munchkins the elites extra... Just seems like the ufts can't handle it. This one ran for almost 5 out of the 10 months due to her being elderly and right on the cold ocean. Oh and she leaves her doors open because she smokes in the house. The boiler room is sperated from her smoking and has combustion air grills. Just to rule out second hand smoke. I am seeing it start to happen on several other ones too with the same looking dust. All with different intake and exhaust terminations. From roof to side wall and unbalanced. We did have that major wild fire but checking my install date it was after that. Maybe residual ash floating around? I highly doubt it though. I don't know why I'm having such a problem with these UFT boilers and nobody else is. I'll take any and all advice I can get. Thanks Larry. Hope your doing well.

    Thanks again everyone, Nate
    MikeG
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    Intake air is intake air. Where it comes from, and what particulates it contains is where you are looking for the solution to your issues.

    As been said a lot of ufts out there, and none of these issues.
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,307
    Do you have many water tube type installed in the same areas? maybe some early Munchkins still in service? How are they comparing when you open them up?
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    I agree. I don't know if it is pollen, dust, salty foggy air or a combination. I all know is that looking through the fire side tubes I can see that half of them are almost completely plugged up. I've ran cleaning solutions through it with no change. I've tried pushing a hacksaw blade through but can only get half way through at best. Didn't they come out at the end of 2015?
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16



  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    The uft has aluminum fins in the heat transfer tubes. What do they look like? Aluminum can be finicky.
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    From the top they look alright but 1/4 to 1/2 through some are almost completely plugged. I sent some pics
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    edited July 2017
    That's an interesting heat exchanger I don't see how a particle big enough to clog a can get through the air filter

    Perhaps it's sucking it in from somewhere inside the units through a coupling or fitting
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    A lot of little ones over time is my best guess
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,307
    Certainly the original Triangle Tube fire tube design has time and track record on it's side. Sometimes in an effort to improve on a particular design, or get around patents a dependable design becomes more finicky.

    The big selling feature to fire tube design is the condensate flushed the fire tubes clean, the "self cleaning" feature they marketed.

    Maybe adding more transfer surfaces inside those tubes in an effort to shorten or take cost out of the HX may not work out as well in all conditions. need to be careful where you take costs out of a product.

    My guess is it would be all but impossible to do accelerated testing for these type of potential problems, so many unknowns and variables out there. I look at a 5 year in service life to really prove out a new design. I think we are all still learning.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    nathanfugeSolid_Fuel_Man
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Any word from HTP yet?

    10yr warranty on the HX.....
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,307
    Gordy said:

    The uft has aluminum fins in the heat transfer tubes. What do they look like? Aluminum can be finicky.

    Salt and aluminum don't always get along so well. If it is near the ocean, inhaling that air, perhaps that is reacting with the AL.

    AC units by the sea have a tough life from what I've seen. Dissimilar metals, moisture and electrolyte = ?

    I live in the woods, my metal roof is always covered in pollen, no doubt my roof top concentric vents inhale a bit of that "green"

    As soon as my combustion analyzer comes back from recertification, I'll open my homes Cadet for a clean and check.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Canucker
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    After playing the parts changing game with them then the I believe function 12 and 13 for fan speed I'm waiting for a email from a supervisor. Smh. I think having it running on LP is also why it fouled so fast. All the munchkins on LP seemed to foul up a lot worse than natural gas. Oh they're saying no warranty because its not leaking. I would think they would want to be all over this one since nobody knows why it happened.
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited July 2017
    hot rod said:

    Gordy said:

    The uft has aluminum fins in the heat transfer tubes. What do they look like? Aluminum can be finicky.

    Salt and aluminum don't always get along so well. If it is near the ocean, inhaling that air, perhaps that is reacting with the AL.

    AC units by the sea have a tough life from what I've seen. Dissimilar metals, moisture and electrolyte = ?

    I live in the woods, my metal roof is always covered in pollen, no doubt my roof top concentric vents inhale a bit of that "green"

    As soon as my combustion analyzer comes back from recertification, I'll open my homes Cadet for a clean and check.
    That's why I asked :) IIRC this was discussed in a uft discussion a few moons ago as to how that composite aluminum, and SS holds up together. We know how finicky aluminum hxers are in terms of water quality. Now in this configuration a self cleaning condensate bath tainted with salt in the air may not fare well. Maybe dust is not part of the equation.


    Certainly designs can not cover the many air particulate scenarios in differing regions.
    Canucker
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,990
    I would get the air from outside and filter that. I know that IBC boiler has a couple accessories to do that with.

    http://ibcboiler.com/ibc-products/air-filters/
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    It almost looks like chalk I wonder if those pieces are corroding and it's just kind of falling down. If you look at an intake manifold on a car that lives near the salt water it's always got a white flaky corrosion
    Gordy
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,514
    edited July 2017
    10 months is a pretty short time frame. Is this unit providing an indirect with dhw? Or just heat. So how many months if use of just heat?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 16,307
    Gordy said:

    hot rod said:

    Gordy said:

    The uft has aluminum fins in the heat transfer tubes. What do they look like? Aluminum can be finicky.

    Salt and aluminum don't always get along so well. If it is near the ocean, inhaling that air, perhaps that is reacting with the AL.

    AC units by the sea have a tough life from what I've seen. Dissimilar metals, moisture and electrolyte = ?

    I live in the woods, my metal roof is always covered in pollen, no doubt my roof top concentric vents inhale a bit of that "green"

    As soon as my combustion analyzer comes back from recertification, I'll open my homes Cadet for a clean and check.
    That's why I asked :) IIRC this was discussed in a uft discussion a few moons ago as to how that composite aluminum, and SS holds up together. We know how finicky aluminum hxers are in terms of water quality. Now in this configuration a self cleaning condensate bath tainted with salt in the air may not fare well. Maybe dust is not part of the equation.


    Certainly designs can not cover the many air particulate scenarios in differing regions.

    Condensate in that area has a Ph of what? In the 4's possibly.
    I know the first aluminum block boiler manufacturers struggled finding an alloy or coating that would live happily in that environment. A lab could analyze those deposits and determine the potential origins.

    What's the condensate traps or demineralizes look like. By products of that combustion or metal breakdown might be found there.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    Gordy
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 18,943
    Seems to me that you really need a lab. to analyse the material doing the plugging. If all the units you are having problems with are close enough to the ocean, I'd be seriously thinking about corrosion products from the aluminium.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    Canucker
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    Thanks everyone. Im going to take some of what was under the heat exchanger to a lab. I think it is going to be the salty air. Did u guys see that pic after I removed the heat exchanger? Here it is again.
  • nathanfuge
    nathanfuge Member Posts: 16
    Pic