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Sediment in Modcon Condensate Trap

flat_twin
flat_twin Member Posts: 331
edited September 2017 in Gas Heating
I found a half teaspoon of black gritty sediment in the condensate trap. It looked a bit like coarse black pepper. Is this a normal combustion byproduct or possibly due to dirt or dust in the air near the vent? I live on a state highway with lots of truck traffic. I have to power wash the house at least every other year because of the black dirt that accumulates on the white siding. The concentric vent is on the side of the house not facing the highway. The boiler has been in continuous service for 11 months and burned 730 ccf NG.

Comments

  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    I serviced the condensate trap on my HTP mod-con this summer after about 12 months of use.
    Found about 1/5 of a teaspoon of "grit" at the bottom of the condensate trap.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,092
    Thats pretty normal.
    I have seen A LOT worse.


    delta T
  • flat_twin
    flat_twin Member Posts: 331
    Interesting thread on "coffee grounds" in the HX from a few years ago.
    https://forum.heatinghelp.com/discussion/127942/strange-residue-in-giannoni-heat-exchanger
    I also found some UK threads and pics with severe build up of similar material throughout the condensate plumbing.
    Good to know the small amount I found is pretty normal. Will be following mfg recommended schedule for inspection and cleaning.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,092
    This was a Buderus gb 142 I was asked to look at... not my Fav.
  • flat_twin
    flat_twin Member Posts: 331
    That's quite a lot. Condensate must have been backing up into the HX?


  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Wonder if the trap had ever been serviced?

    If the condensate trap looked like that, what would the neutralizer media look like (if one was used)?
  • captainco
    captainco Member Posts: 737
    If it is gritty it is some type of iron oxide. Soot would not be gritty. Probably something they use to coat the inside of the heat exchanger initially to protect it in storage and then it breaks down.

    Had a problem years ago with oil pumps or oil filters causing black grit that plugged nozzles on new equipment. Finally collected a sample from an oil pump and sent it to one of the pump manufacturers (Sundstrand back then) and it seemed to disappear a few months later. No one ever admitted what caused it.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 4,092
    Condensate was actually making its way through somehow.... I was the 1st since 2008... when it was installed. :#:#
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Many literally ignore their cast iron boilers for years at a time, mod-cons with condensate traps and neutralizer tubes/media can't be treated that way.
    I Wonder how many mod-cons haven't been serviced since installed? :o
    kcoppRich_49
  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 995
    We service mod-con boilers every two years. The gas utility service division has also gone to every two years.
    Here is an interesting condition that the servicing contractor could not come up with a solution. He changed two burner assemblies. He then declared the boiler scrap as it was "leaking"

    The culprit was a blocked condensate trap. We cleaned the heat exchanger. I made a detailed report with pictures. The contractor repaired the boiler and refunded the two previous burner replacements. It was cheaper to do that than go though with litigation.




  • flat_twin
    flat_twin Member Posts: 331
    edited October 2017
    So, while in the care of that particular servicing contractor the HX and condensate trap had never been cleaned? And his trouble shooting skills led him to replacing the burner twice. That's scary. Do you suppose that much neglect has shortened the life of that HX?
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Wow!

    How do you pro's impress the need for regular maintenance on homeowners with Modcons when they're accustomed to ignoring their cast iron boilers regularly scheduled maintenance requirements?

    The Modcon condensate traps and neutralizer tubes absolutely need upkeep, ignore them and bad things will happen.

  • Henry
    Henry Member Posts: 995
    We saved the heat exchanger. It is our standard procedure to clean the traps if installed in the unit. We do NOT use any factory neutralizer tubes. They are the best thing to give us a 3 AM Xmas no heat call. We make our own large PVC box type traps that will probably outlive us.

    Here is one of our standard neutralizer.


    Canucker