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Buderus GB142-30 failure. No More Condensing Boilers For Me
So here's my story. 13 years ago on advice from our service tech, we installed a Buderus GB142-30 and converted it to use LPG (propane). We were also told that these units were virtually maintenance free. and it was for about two years. It then started throwing error codes and finally quit. So out came our tech and low and behold, the heat exchanger was completely plugged with something resembling light gray lava. They had never seen this before, so they started scrapping and chipping away at it in an attempt to clean it. OK, problem solved right? Wrong! this had gone on one or twice a year since then, but by cleaning that often, the need for chipping away was eliminated and finally after 11 years they found out that you could use mineral oil to clean the exchanger. This is in addition to numerous ionization electrodes and several motor issues. About a month ago we noticed a brown deposit in the sink where the condensate drains. It looked like sand, but you couldn't pick it up and it wasn't a "solid" material. First I thought it was yeast from cleaning out my homebrew bottles, but then I put a Cool Whip can under the pipe and this material collected in it. Again with the tech and low and behold, there's a hole in my heat exchanger I assume from all those years of scraping and chipping away, each time removing a bit more of the aluminum exchanger. The brown material was the iron in our water. They finally admitted what I had suspected all along, that the propane was leaving "ash" behind during combustion and that propane was probably not the way to go with the Buderus. So now 13 years later I'm looking at a new boiler because the cost of a heat exchanger (if you can even find one) is astronomical. I'm thinking about switching back to a cast iron floor unit and have been looking at the Utica SVB-5. The first boiler we had was a Utica oil fired unit that lasted over 30 years plus it's a local company. Any thoughts on the Utica SVB-5?