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Ultra 105 issues

chriswbm
chriswbm Member Posts: 8
edited December 2018 in THE MAIN WALL
Installed in 2011, we have an ultra 105 operating DHW with a WM indirect HWT. We are also running 2 other zones, both radiant slab heat (basement and garage). We’ve had a number of issues in the past which I won’t address but the latest is driving me nuts. For quite some time we’ve had intermittent heating issues with both DHW and the slabs. The boiler supplier suggested I do a maintenance on the unit (cleaning etc) to which I agreed but was not confident whatsoever was the issue. It wasn’t. The issues are still present and worsening. Symptoms-groaning sound on every attempt to fire on any demand. I believe this is an air trap issue but I have no idea how to purge. There’s a spirovent installed in the system that appears to do little more than cost money and take up space. There are a few auto vents that do as much as the spirovent. There is a call for heat, pre-purge sequence starts, we get spark, ignition, groaning, and shut off all in approx 10 seconds. There is no fault recorded. And the cycle repeats. Over and over while not really heating anything. The system is glycol (Canada). I’ve had 4 different plumbers involved over the years and I’m convinced I know more than all of them. I’ve had to re-wire my system due to their negligence and not one of them has ever had a handle on how to purge the system of air. For reference, the system is in my basement along with HWT of course and I’m pumping up to the garage (which seems to be the major issue if my thinking is correct). Any comments, thoughts or tips would be greatly appreciated.

Comments

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,660
    Let us see some pix… the problems may be in the piping. Is this LP or Nat Gas? Was it set up w/ combustion tools when it was installed?
    Ironman
  • chriswbm
    chriswbm Member Posts: 8
    Natural gas. I’ll take some pics right away. Can’t answer the last question (combustion tools)
  • chriswbm
    chriswbm Member Posts: 8



  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,660
    I honestly cant tell from the pictures if its piped right.
    Generally good proper piping is simple and easy to follow.
    Looks like there may have been an attempt to pipe it Primary/ secondary but can see if they got it right or if the expansion tank is placed in the right place.
    The wiring is a whole other situation...
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 6,314
    More and better pics from facing the front of the boiler and piping would help.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • chriswbm
    chriswbm Member Posts: 8
    Pics are difficult due to placement. In pic 1 you can see the expansion tank on the supply side. The pvc tubing going to it is coming from the boiler feeder. It then travels up to the spirovent in pic 2 which is also located on supply side as it branches to the zone pumps for the slabs. This conforms to recommended piping as per the manual. The wiring is currently a mess due to the re-wiring I’ve had to do that hasn’t been cleaned up. Not shown in pics are manual auto vents on the supply and return piping from the HWT. There are 3 other manual vents-1 on each of the return lines from each slab and 1 seen in pic 3 which is on boiler return from hwt.
  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,660
    Best situation you should have the circ pumps pumping away from the expansion tank. Also too many air vents can actually let air into the system vs. getting out air. Placement is important.

  • kcopp
    kcopp Member Posts: 3,660
    If you are not getting an error code it makes me wonder if a setting on the control board is improperly set.
  • chriswbm
    chriswbm Member Posts: 8
    Possibly but it doesn’t explain the noise and I’m sure the noise is directly correlated to the failure. Anytime I’ve somehow managed to get the thing heating, the noise isn’t present during the entire heating run. It’s as if there’s an airlock directly inside or just outside the boiler.
  • gennady
    gennady Member Posts: 806
    edited December 2018
    If you have noise at ignition trial, problem is related to poor gas/ air mixture. Do maintenance. Wm sells maintenance kits. This kind of noise related to excessive gas, a or not sufficient air supply. Check combustion. Set up with combustion analyzer. Adjust according service manual. Also there might be a problem with control board. Check flame signal. It must be around 160. At 90-130, boiler recycles without fault. You can check signal in service mode. It shows on screen. Try pull out electrodes and wipe it with napkin for now. Be careful with gasket. Don’t break it.
    HVACNUT
  • Tom_133
    Tom_133 Member Posts: 720
    Im with gennady, I think its a combustion issue, though I do see the primary secondary piping and it appears to be ok. I dont love the placement or style of the sensors on the pipe, they look like outdoor 10k sensors, this shouldn't cause your problem just dont know how effective they are both in location and style.
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
  • JohnNY
    JohnNY Member Posts: 2,624
    edited December 2018
    I've heard that groaning sound when the intake and exhaust terminations were too close together, or wind was causing the intake to suck in exhaust. A pic of those terminations would be helpful. Also, the exhaust trying to push through pooling condensate creates an unsettling sound.
    Stop hating on your Spirovent.
    Contact John "JohnNY" Cataneo, Master Plumber
    in New York
    in New Jersey
    for Consulting Work
    or take his class.
    Zmanchriswbm
  • HVACNUT
    HVACNUT Member Posts: 3,798
    edited December 2018
    Looks like a DIY job.
    Agree with the others.
    Get a competent tech to troubleshoot and do a combustion test.
    I dont believe the WM Ultra allows for any adjustments to the gas valve. So if the readings are out of range, it's a call to Tech Support, which coincidentally requires an actual Tech.
    Tests during Hi and Lo fire should be within WM specs.
    Test is done from the flue temp sensor location.
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,047
    Agree with the above comments, the issue is on the combustion side. Be specific when getting your next tech, he MUST HAVE A COMBUSTION ANALYZER, and a gas manometer. Don't allow any company in without those two items.
    Then hopefully they know how to use them and contact WM.
    D
    Ironmanratio
  • chriswbm
    chriswbm Member Posts: 8
    Great info guys. While I haven’t eliminated the noise completely, I have minimized it some by cleaning some ice and snow build up around the make up air/exhaust termination kit. I’ve also gotten 3 straight fires without a reset. I’ll continue to monitor and see if I can improve the make up air a bit more when the wind isn’t blowing through me at 50mph!
  • chriswbm
    chriswbm Member Posts: 8
    Figured I’d come back on as I continue to have the same issues. I am convinced the noise is an air issue though I cannot figure out why. I am not convinced this is directly related to the ignition stop and re-fires. I have cleaned and thoroughly checked intake/exhaust terminations and cannot find any obstructions that may cause an issue. I have removed the heat exchanger cover and thoroughly cleaned the chamber. Still, I get ignition, fire, and almost an immediate stop and the process starts again without a lockout. The noise is ever present. I can eliminate the noise if I partially block the exhaust pipe of the make up air fan. Or simply open the heat exchanger inspection cover a crack (small square cover with glass spyhole). Either way, I’m affecting the air/exhaust ratio and eliminating the noise but not the heating problem. Regardless if I eliminate the noise it fails to maintain fire. What I find extremely frustrating is a system that has all sorts of diagnostics that will not display why the ignition sequence is currently interrupting and re-starting.
  • lchmb
    lchmb Member Posts: 2,996
    do you have a concentric vent kit? Pic's of the vent termination? Have you had the system set up using the proper tools (combustion analyzer)? It could be a grounding issue, looking at the wiring...
  • DZoro
    DZoro Member Posts: 1,047
    And I repeat :
    " Be specific when getting your next tech, he MUST HAVE A COMBUSTION ANALYZER, and a gas manometer. Don't allow any company in without those two items.
    Then hopefully they know how to use them and contact WM."

    You will not solve this without doing this. When you are putting your hand over the intake or removing inspection covers you are changing the gas/air ratio.
    The technician needs to set up the O2, CO2, CO, incoming gas pressures pre-start and during run cycle.
    Until this is done you will have issues.
    When the tech is done do yourself a favor and write down those numbers and keep them in the boiler. If you want to confirm that the tech did his job properly post the numbers here!

    D
  • chriswbm
    chriswbm Member Posts: 8
    Getting a tech here is going to take a few days so I went ahead and made an adjustment to the gas valve, increasing the gas feed. No more noise and I’ve had some proper heating sequences. I don’t feel like I’m very close to having everything right yet but I’m making progress. I still have air trapped in the boiler loop and need to somehow get that out and I’m positive I have a flow issue with 2/4 loops in my garage slab-possibly the manifold valves need cleaning. Appreciate all the advice so far-I’m not ignoring it.
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