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Bosch Combi 151 New Install multiple problems - FA error - EA error

ejabbo
ejabbo Member Posts: 5
Hello,

I see many helpful and smart people responding to others who are having all sorts of problems and I come brining a bunch of problems on a new instal that were making the Bosch technicians on the phone complexed.

Natural Gas, baseboard heat, 1 zone.

Brand new Bosch Combi 151 ZWB42-3 finalized and started up late at night 12/12. Installer ran did everything he needed to do and everything worked. Until the problems started.

12/16 - About 11pm noticed no hot water and house was getting cold. Checked the unit. Displayed EA error. Reset. Booted back up, checked on it a few times before I went to bed. No errors.

12/17 - Next morning unit was off with FA error. Which i'm sure people will know, means Flame detected even when burner is off. I hit reset. Called installer, It would go into FA if you called for hot water and shut it down or if you called for heat it would stay on for 10 - 15 minutes or couple of cycles it would go into FA.

Installer came that night, checked a few things, called Bosch, they had him check a few more things and tests and ultimately deciding to change the computer board was the first step.

12/18 - Installer came back replaced the board. Soon after restarting FA error again. Called Bosch, tried a few more things and then they could only think that the gas valve needed to be replaced.

12/19 - Installer came back with new gas valve, called Bosch, checked a few more things again and they told him to go ahead with changing the gas valve. Booted back up, no FA error, I thought the nightmare was over. Called for heat and hot water all looked good.

12/20 - About 11pm - EA error this time. Reset. Called for heat and hot water, stop the call, rinsed and repeat a few times to see if the FA was going to come back up. Nothing after two hours. It stayed running.

12/21 - About 6am - EA again. Hit reset, called installer to inform him. I went to work. Wife checked and about 12pm EA again. Hit Reset. Installer couldn't get to house. 9pm EA again. I pulled cover off, hit reset and the only thing I observed is it seemed like it was having a hard time lighting up. Hard to explain but almost like gas stove burner. You could hear the unit trying to rev up but flame took a bit longer to light.

Bosch did have the installer look at the electrodes before replacing gas valve on 12/19 but everything looked good.

12/22 - EA again in the morning. Hit reset and the weird thing is as of right now at the time of this post 12/23 at 2pm haven't had the EA error yet.

The installer hasn't been able to make it back yet. So he hasn't had a chance to call Bosch to update them on this EA error but the last time he talked to them before replacing the gas valve, they said if that didn't fix it they may have to send out one of their people because they couldn't understand what was going on.

I am posting this for a couple of reasons. To see if anyone ever ran into this many issues like this with a brand new install. To maybe help someone in the future while I keep people updated on my situation. And to see if anyone has any ideas.

I know its hard to help without getting hands on and I still have my installer who needs to take a look at this EA error but unlike the FA there doesn't seem to be any way to make it go into the EA error. Or at-least, that I know of.

The other question is how strong should the gas smell be from the outside exhaust pipe? Its a short run from the unit to outside and if standing in the right spot, there seems to be a strong smell when the unit is kicking on. No smell inside the house.

Thank you for reading and any information you could provide. I posted some pictures below and I will keep this post updated as we move foward.

Picture of install. Before any errors and before installer ran drainage to pump.


Picture after hitting reset for EA error.

Comments

  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,980
    Get rid of the dip in the drain. The boiler can’t drain its condensation water
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
    kcopp
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,980
    Actually which line is which? Can’t tell
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,047
    You shouldn't have any raw gas smell. I'd be looking at changing the igniter and transformer. When it does light, is the ignition smooth and quiet, or is there a huff and a puff...?
    D
  • Shane_2
    Shane_2 Member Posts: 137
    Have your gas pressure checked.
    Looks like 3/4" feeding the boiler, how far to the meter?
    Is there anything else coming off that gas line?
    I have seen some gas company regulators fail and do some strange things.
  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    After installing the new gas valve, did the installer do a combustion analysis with his calibrated/certified combustion analyzer?
    Ask him for the printout......
    ratioSuperTech
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,980
    LOL I think my initial comments were off--- but yea the tech needs to set the hi and lo fire on these units. I have the numbers memorized at this point= 4.0% on high and 5.5% on low (O2)



    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,996
    actually I think GW is onto something.. can't have a second trap on the condensate it will cause odd issues..one of which is EA... just had a Bosch do the same thing..
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,980
    Yes then my eyes noticed the bucket!

    Seems odd to send the relieve to the cond pump (if that swoop thing i circled is the relief)/ But I don’t recall which flexi pipe is which. And if it was a trap I don’t think the system would restart
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • Leon82
    Leon82 Member Posts: 684
    Does EA mean ignition fail after 3 tries like on their tankless?

    I have the 199btu tankless and would get ea and sometimes a poof ignition.

    I shortened the venting. I was near the high end of length.
    I had an ignitior arc outside the combustion chamber multiple times. With the short vent it's never a problem. Knock on wood
  • ejabbo
    ejabbo Member Posts: 5
    First off, I truly appreciate everyone's feedback and in such a quick time. I can't express how grateful I am to all of you for your time to respond and your expertise.

    I have added an updated picture below. The black condensation hose goes the pump now and the grey safety relief valve discharge hose is just sitting there. Sorry about that, the picture I posted was the one I took right after they started it up to test it out.

    Shane, sorry for my ignorance but I am assuming your asking how far is the outside gas meter is from the unit. If so, it's basically on the other side of the wall but higher and to the right of the unit. The gas company just replaced the gas meter this summer and I guess everything is spaced correctly by code. The only other thing that gas line runs down to is my stove.

    Dzoro it does sound like a huff and puff. When I was watching it after the new gas valve was replaced and after getting the EA error it sounded almost like it was struggling, huffing and puffing is a good way of explaining it. It seems like is sounds a little better now than it did on Friday night. I tried to record it, just now, after calling for hot water and shared a dropbox link to the video:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/cjp1rzhhp880e7d/Calling-for-hot-water.mp4?dl=0

    And I am not sure if he did a test after the new gas valve was installed. I don't have a print out but I know when he was speaking with Bosch they had him do those tests during trouble shooting and it was done more then once. The testing was on the gas valve itself and the flue gas test port. But because of everything thats been going on, i can't remember if he did do it after installing the new one. He may not have.

    Bosch had him check the set of electrodes for any defects prior to replacing the gas valve. I'm not sure if that is what you are referring to when you said igniter and transformer. And the computer board was the first thing that was replaced.

    I still haven't received the FA error again after he replaced the gas valve and the EA error hasn't came back up yet. So the last time I had EA was yesterday morning.

    But after reading your posts, that again I am truly grateful for, I think what makes the most sense is the new gas valve needs to be tweaked. Especially if I shouldn't be smelling gas raw gas from the exhaust pipe on the outside. I know the last thing my installer wants to do is keep coming back here trouble shooting and replacing parts on a brand new unit. So after thinking about it some more, he may have never double checked the numbers after replacing the new gas valve because we were all happy it didn't jump right back into that FA error I was first getting.

    I am hoping he can get here tomorrow to take a look.

    I will update on any progress and if the video or updated photo reveals anything new to you guys, please let me know.

    Thank you again!








  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,047
    Have him give you the combustion numbers and write them down if he doesn't have a printer.
    Those numbers tell the health of the boiler and are very important. They should consist of CO, CO2, O2, and will have the efficiency number also.
    At this point not sure what is causing the delay/poor firing. It could be gas/air mixture, or igniter/transformer.
    PS always keep those numbers with the boiler, I usually place them inside the boiler

    D
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,047
    Just listened to your video. It is not set up properly, in the installers manual you can find for yourself and him the combustion numbers that the manufacturer needs to have for that boiler.
    It wont be right until those numbers are met within range, if they are in range and it is still fog horning he will need to contact mfr. to correct the fog horning.
    When properly set up it should lite of smooth and no noises.

    D
    SuperTech
  • ejabbo
    ejabbo Member Posts: 5
    Thank you D, I finally was able to talk to the installer, explained whats going on with the help from the info I received here and he seems to be on the same page. He is coming over this week to dial in the numbers. He said he doesn't think he did do the tests after replacing the new gas valve. In his defense, after doing the initial setup and tests. When the FA error started, every time he called Bosch the techs were having him test many different things and sometimes the same things multiple times.

    He said he will call Bosch when he comes back to keep it on record because of the issues we had prior to replacing the new valve.

    You wouldn't happen to live or work in central Massachusetts area, just in case of future issues.

    I can't say anything bad about my current installers. They are good people. I think the frustration set in though for everyone after the errors started because it was a brand new unit. The only thing is they are slammed with work and rushing a bit. I think they are trying to get too much done before the end of the year. Everyone is working to get the MassSave rebates submitted in time and troubleshooting a brand new install wasn't on the to do list.

    I know I said it before but I can't express how helpful this info has been and how much I appreciate it and your time.

    My next question I would like to discuss, down the road, is the FW200 and why some say you absolutely need it and some say it just causes more problems. But safe to say, I think I will save that topic until this unit working as is.

    If you have any computer issues, website questions, any multimedia needs or questions, please let me know.

    I will update after those numbers are tweaked and tested.

    Merry Christmas


  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,047
    Completely understand, as being a contractor myself. The combustion testing on High and Low fire are just as important as cutting and installing the last piece of boiler pipe. If it's not done and done right it will cost him hours and not minutes to do it right.
    The install looks good, just have to finish the job ;)
    MERRY CHRISTMAS :)
    From Wisconsin to Mass!
    D
    NY_Rob
  • ejabbo
    ejabbo Member Posts: 5
    edited December 2018
    Hello everyone,

    I just wanted to update because I am hoping my issues are done and maybe this might help others down the road.

    The installer cam back the other day, unfortunately I wasn't here to view, but he was on the phone with Bosch to do some more tests and regulated the gas valve to the acceptable range and checked a few other things.

    The other suggestion he gave me was were my exhaust and air intake came out of my house was close to some bushes. It passed code but out of extra precaution told me to cut them down two to three feet. So i chopped one down completely and took the other down way below the pipes. I want them gone anyways but afraid to pull out because of water in the basement.

    But no more errors, no more huffing and puffing and no raw gas smell out of exhaust pipe when firing up.

    What I have learnt. New install, even done correctly, can still have factory issues.

    FA error is very annoying but with a new install, Bosch tends to replace the computer board first thinking something got messed up during install or transport. But in my case it was the gas valve (or it seems so far).

    After replacing the gas valve FA went away but I was getting the EA error and like DZoro and others suggested after taking the time to read, look and listen suggested the new valve needs to be adjusted to the correct numbers.

    EA can be many different problems but with the right people looking at it they can figure out the issues by going through the check list of things.

    Its been over a week without an error message and running well. If I do get any type of error code in the next few weeks I guess Bosch is sending out their own technician to look at it.

    So hopefully the New Year will be much better. Again I cant express how awesome the people on this forum have been and how much its appreciated to get insight from others from all around. Especial thanks to you DZoro for your added input.

    The next forum I will open and would love feedback on is the FW200 specific to these units. Are they more of a pain for the homeowner or should they be used. I have read up on it and asked about it and it seems this is one those things people either are 100% for or they think are useless.

    Anyways, Happy New Year!

    EJ

  • NY_Rob
    NY_Rob Member Posts: 1,370
    Thanks for posting back!

    It's still hard to believe that the "tech" who installed the new gas valve didn't perform a CA/adjustment on it immediately after installation. Obviously it's not "factory calibrated" to your boiler and needed adjusting.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 3,980
    EJ very good

    When I see too much shrubbery I open up my voice box during the initial visit. It’s someone common that shrubs needs to be cut back.

    The huffing seems gas valve set up related. What a bummer the guy didn’t adjust the high and low fire in the first place

    FW200——honestly some heat techs are terrified of the control. I have one guy that calls tech support every time he installs one (so naturally I try to be the one that starts it up); you would think a tech would make some notes and file it away for the next time, but no. It’s a bit technical but once one understands it there’s not a lot of mystery

    Gary
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    www.wilsonph.com
    [email protected]
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,047
    @ejabbo, thanks for the report back! Nice to hear all is better. Just too bad they didn't finish the job when they installed it. Yes there should not be any obstacles around the pipes, including inside corners of a home.
    I'm not familiar with the FW200 so I wont be of any help there.
    Happy New Year!
    Stay warm,
    D
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